Editor: Milson Raver has died and with him the end of a happy era in public education in Maryland.
Mr. Raver was the executive secretary of the Maryland State Teachers Association from the '40s to the middle '60s. It was a time of mutual respect and even affection between all levels of the school systems throughout the state. The state superintendent, Thomas G. Pullen, and Mr. Raver would speak together to support bills at Annapolis.
It was a time of cooperation rather than confrontation. Teachers did not ''get'' as much by that mode but, in retrospect, they seemed to have been held in greater respect.
All retired teachers are indebted to Mr. Raver's memory because of his tenacious defense of the retirement fund. In the happy days of the '50s the interest from the retirement fund was greater than the money needed to pay the pensions.
The General Assembly always wanted to take this ''excess interest'' into the general treasury. Mr. Raver led the defense and limited the amounts of the takings.
In the '60s, times changed and Mr. Raver's mode of mutual respect no longer matched a spirit of rights and demands and confrontations. He stepped aside.
All Maryland educators, however, would profit in remembering his example.
Editor: Kudos to Harborplace and the management corporation for the recent series of noon-time concerts by local school students.
This program provided pleasant entertainment for scores of office workers and visitors, while highlighting the musical accomplishments of teens from Pennsylvania, Bel Air and Randallstown, just to name a few.
This is the kind of entertainment the Inner Harbor deserves.
Francis M. Bagwell.
Editor: I feel that the City Council's action in killing the container tax was totally irresponsible. Don't the members of that body realize the catastrophic financial situation of this city?
Personally, I didn't realize I was paying a container tax until I read of its repeal, and I doubt that it is hurting the average citizen.
Let us hope the council will reconsider its action, and restore to the city the several million dollars so sorely needed.
Don't Trash Them
Editor: The Mass Transit Administration agrees wholeheartedly with Mary Wolfe's April 29 observation that recycling should be as routine and convenient as a trip to the hardware store. That is why we entered into an agreement last year with a community organization to use our Rogers Avenue park-and-ride lot as a twice-monthly recycling pickup center.
The Northwest Baltimore Corporation has done a good job of encouraging citizens to bring their recyclable items to the lot. Recently, however, the Rogers Avenue lot had become, instead of an alternate-Saturday and Sunday center to bring recyclable items, a place where people were bringing obviously non-recyclable trash on other days. The debris was blown all over the parking lot, creating an eyesore and a nuisance for our customers and neighbors as well as a costly maintenance problem.
While the MTA encourages and participates in recycling programs, we also have a responsibility to our neighbors and our customers for the upkeep of our facilities. We are proud of how MTA's clean facilities show respect for the communities where we are located.
This recycling project, despite the best intentions and hard work of the community sponsors, was closed because it jeopardized our ability to maintain our standards of good neighbor cleanliness. We are absolutely ready to have the center reopen at the station in a way that enhances our environment.
Ronald J. Hartman
The writer is administrator/general manager with the MTA.
Editor: How is it that 125 disabled activists can barricade entrances to government buildings and block rush hour traffic at a busy intersection with no arrests being made?
When a group of pro-life activists blocks entrances to an abortion clinic, arrests are performed immediately and sometimes aggressively.
I guess political correctness even plays a role in who can and can't get arrested nowadays.
Editor: I was thrilled to read in your paper that a union has finally been set up to represent Maryland correctional employees. For years now, conditions in the Division of Correction have been eroding to a point where it is impossible to keep quality personnel in the system. This is a problem not only for people like me who have worked in the system, but for all the people of Maryland.
With the justice system issuing longer prison terms and with all the controversy surrounding parole of any kind, it is clear that Maryland is going to have to devote greater resources to recruiting and keeping quality staff in order to build a safer and more secure prison system.
While many people see public employee unions as only interested in grabbing more and more tax dollars, it should be pointed out that problems in the corrections system have to be addressed. The only way that problems like this get addressed is when people join together and put on the pressure to make the necessary changes.
The new Maryland Correctional Union is an idea that is long overdue and should be a welcomed relief to both correctional employees and the citizens of Maryland.
Herbert Berry Jr.
Editor: The situation described in your article, ''Japanese firms reportedly withheld key parts of U.S. gulf-war weapons,'' (April 30) comes as no surprise to me. I have heard Rep. Helen Bentley's ''Japan bashing'' for years.
We had better wake up. We won't get off so easily next time.
Joseph W. Doughney.