ChatsworthEditor: Thank you to Sandra Crockett and The Sun...


April 24, 1991


Editor: Thank you to Sandra Crockett and The Sun for the very informative article on the Chatsworth School that appeared on April 10.

This school and six other special schools in Baltimore County provide the educational environment necessary for special students not available in the mainstream schools.

Currently in the field of special education there is a much-publicized ideological difference about ''least restrictive environment.'' Defining education in the least restrictive environment depends on each student's individual needs.

It is important to understand that Chatsworth, with all of its apparent segregation, is the least restrictive environment for those students whose appropriate educational placement requires such an environment.

The unfortunate circumstance is that Chatsworth serves students up to age 11. Many learning disabled or emotionally handicapped students require this sort of environment beyond that age. There is no public school in Baltimore County that serves that purpose. A mainstream school is not necessarily appropriate for these children simply because they have reached the age of 11.

I applaud Dr. Robert Dubel's statement that, ''It is the compassionate thing to do.'' But compassion and good intentions aside, the law also requires that schools like Chatsworth be available as part of the continuum of service options available to special-needs students.

Irene Spencer.


The writer is president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Maryland, Inc.

Gay Issues

Editor: I want to thank The Sun for its excellent article on the gay community, estimated to be ten percent of this city's population, and a figure used for estimating sexual orientation figures for the nation.

Baltimore has made strides toward legal protection by passing City Ordinance 79 to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, and by Mayor Schmoke's establishment of the Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Issues.

The Sun's attention to gay issues will promote understanding. Gay people have the same needs as other citizens.

They also have the heavy baggage and fear of violence, discrimination and personal rejection.

As the proud parent of a gay son, I want to support our gay community and to commend the courageous persons who shared their personal experiences in order to help others learn.

Enna Gorman.


Shared Lament

Editor: I read with great interest and some sympathy the letter, "Radio: A Listener's Lament," by Lynn C. Goldberg, bemoaning the irresponsiveness and inconsistency of local radio stations.

It is an economic fact that commercial outlets must key to the fickle preferences of their constituent audiences. Their existence relies upon income from advertisers who, with justification, support only the ones reaching the greatest number of potential buyers for their goods and services. It has also been determined that not everyone is tempted by radio advertising -- fine music audiences, for example, are not.

Nothing new.

A long time ago it was proved that only a non-commercial station, one not relying on ratings, could serve such limited interests. On Sept. 15, 1952, WBJC went on the air with classical music.

As if to prove the point, WWIN, Maryland's only part-time classical station at the time, re-aimed its focus. WBAL, WCAO, WITH and WCBM have all come and gone from the "fine" music area. Only has WBJC, for nearly 40 years, been able to remain constant to its small, loyal listening audience.

Thank God.

Richard G. Ballard.


Stop Bashing

Editor: We think the bashing of Governor Schaefer should come to a halt. His good deeds and accomplishments certainly outweigh his mistakes. How about giving this man, our elected ** leader, the respect and cooperation he deserves?

( Charles and Ann Turbett.

Bel Air.

Cheap Shots

Editor: Your April 16 article drawing attention to Adele Wilzak's formal departure date was in very bad taste. The quote attributed to the president of the state Senate was a cheap shot and, therefore, equally disappointing.

Adele was not terminated. An embarrassment occurred in her organization. To preserve the public trust and prevent the erosion of service to the people, she accepted personal responsibility and resigned. Isn't that enough?

Unfortunately, the press and some legislators appear to savor feeding scapegoats to the public. When is The Sun going to comment on her distinguished career of more than 30 years of public service? How do you plan to acknowledge the programs started and the people helped because of Adele's openness to innovation and personal commitment?

A two-month transition period is fully appropriate. It is a small courtesy to extend to a person in crisis who devoted her life to helping people. I'd like to see The Sun follow up with a feature outlining her outstanding record of achievement in service of Marylanders. Meanwhile, Adele deserves thanks for all she's done; many of us remember.

Jacqueline H. Rogers.


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