Urban StudiesEditor: Proposed budget cuts at the...


April 19, 1991

Urban Studies

Editor: Proposed budget cuts at the University of Maryland at College Park will eliminate the Institute for Urban Studies and its Community Planning Program. This poses a serious threat to Baltimore City and Maryland counties.

Newspapers, television and everyday experiences tell us that the urban crisis is deepening and that suburban areas are not protected from it. Baltimore suffers from poor housing, unemployment, homelessness, economic stagnation, poverty, ineffective schools, welfare dependency and other typical urban problems. Maryland counties struggle to manage growth and protect the environment effectively and fairly. Baltimore and the counties are all trying to manage an increasingly unworkable system of public finance.

The Community Planning Program and the Institute for Urban Studies educate professionals who work on these problems. Graduates work in local planning and housing departments throughout the state, in the public schools, various state departments and in county executives' offices. They are working on problems which affect not only the quality of daily life, but the social and economic survival of Baltimore and the state.

How can the university justify eliminating urban and planning programs? Now is a time not simply to keep these programs, but to build them up.

Howell S. Baum.


The writer is a professor in the Institute for Urban Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Whistle Blowers

Editor: Dennis E. Kloske, the under secretary of Commerce who lost his job for telling that the Bush administration failed to heed warnings about the sale of sophisticated technology to Iraq, can go commiserate with Margot O'Toole.

Remember, she's the postdoctoral fellow who suffered dearly for telling the truth in the scientific scandal involving Dr. David Baltimore. I wonder who, during the moral development of these two individuals, filled their minds with the nonsense that honesty is the best policy.

Apparently, President Bush is not encumbered by such ethical considerations.

Gerson Paull.


Speed Kills

Editor: Why was 35 mph made a national speed limit during the gas rationing period of World War II? Because the slower the speed of an internal combustion engine, the more it conserves precious fuel.

Why are there so many traffic fatalities on the superhighways in Europe? Because with high limits or no speed limits, the %J slightest problem -- such as fog, deer crossings or disabled cars -- often results in horrendous pileups of numerous vehicles.

Why is 65 or 70 mph ''dangerous conduct?'' Because trucks traveling at those speeds represent massive amounts of kinetic energy for destructive force in any accident.

Exhaust fumes from higher speeds clearly hurt the environment as shown by tree destruction in Germany's Black Forest and elsewhere.

D8 Three cheers for your editorial, "Unsafe at 65 mph."

W. Cameron Slack.


False Hope

Editor: Kal's April 4 editorial cartoon portraying our economy couldn't have said it better.

Our banking and financial system is still in serious trouble. Unsinkable corporate giants are either going under or laying off thousands.

Troubled also are major airlines and the ''big three'' car makers. Bankruptcy is now a routine court procedure. Wall Street slid from a $5.5 billion profit in 1986 to a $2 million loss last year.

There are nearly 8.6 million jobless nationwide, 2.1 million more than last June. There is the possibility of 1,700 Maryland state jobs being cut and 500,000 of our military returning to the job market.

The estimated national deficit for 1991 is $318.1 billion -- five times higher than the Bush administration fiscal 1991 budget proposal of $63 billion. The increase in the number on welfare and of the homeless is unprecedented.

Now in view of all this we keep reading that the end of the recession is very near, the end of the war being the panacea. Perhaps, but the facts would indicate that possibly the worst is

yet to come.

Dolores M. Waters.


Kal's Reagans

Editor: I find Kal's portrayal of Nancy and Ron (April 10) in extremely poor taste.

I think Kal is from Ireland. How can he portray Ron as he did when he is a descendant of our Irish King Brian Boru?

The only Teflon evident is in Kal's brain cells where intelligence is sliding down the tube.

John G. Thompson.


Editor: Kal's political cartoon is inexcusable. It doesn't make a rational political point nor does it have any basic in fact. Instead it indicates, to this reader, the artist's deep-rooted hatred of the Reagans. While mean-spiritedness goes hand in hand with Kal's chosen profession, and readers expect a certain amount of it from political cartoonists, it seems only fair that the artist not only temper his hatred with humor, but that it be based on fact not fiction posing as fact.

Stanley M. Bell Jr.


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