False AlarmsEditor: Has anyone else noted that the metal...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 23, 1991

False Alarms

Editor: Has anyone else noted that the metal detectors at our Baltimore-Washington International Airport must be among the most supersensitive in the world?

In no other airport am I stopped with such regularity, and nothing is ever found except the metal buttons on my blazer or the metal clips in my boxer shorts.

The detection process is time-consuming and annoying. The supersensitive metal detector setting has spawned a growth industry.

There are now more men and women required for the frisking procedure that follows the metal detector alarm.

Can't something be done to improve our small town image?

Frank A. Oski.

Baltimore.

Sondheim's Work

Editor: One can only feel surprise and disappointment in reading the Opinion * Commentary article June 20 by David W. Barton Jr., entitled ''Planned Arrogance.''

If any citizen in Baltimore takes time to read the strategy for the downtown area of Baltimore for the next 20 years, it is only possible to look at the document and the report as thoughtful and constructive.

The challenges in our city are significant, but any program of this magnitude will require the patience and hard work of a large number of citizens -- from business and government leaders to all Baltimoreans, working together.

What was particularly surprising in Mr. Barton's article was the lack of recognition of the thoughtful analysis that Walter Sondheim has given to city planning and development.

Mr. Barton should have known better. When he served as chairman of the Planning Commission, Walter Sondheim was hard at work leading the Charles Center/Inner Harbor program and development projects for Baltimore.

No civic or business leader in Baltimore has spent more time and given more of a commitment to downtown redevelopment and future planning than Walter Sondheim.

Mr. Sondheim is now policy adviser for the Greater Baltimore Committee. Without his leadership, and the public-private partnership between the city administration and the private sector, Baltimore would not be in as strong a position as it is today to plan for our future.

In part, that future has been creatively identified for biotech/life sciences, as a core element of Baltimore's future, by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

All of us should take the option of constructive, not destructive, analysis as we evaluate these important initiatives for the Baltimore region.

Walter Sondheim has done just that and, again, David Barton should know better.

George S. Wills.

Baltimore.

Sickly Bay Tags

Editor: I laud the fund-raising efforts to save the bay with the sale of the Chesapeake Bay license plates. I have one myself. But I take exception to your editorial (July 19) that the plates are more attractive than the regular black-and-white ones.

The sickly green hues in the heron plate are not becoming and they clash with most car colors.

But more important, from a law-enforcement point of view, the special plates are far less visible and the placement of the marsh grass in the lower right corner tends to confuse or obfuscate the last digit or letter.

So cut the grass and make the colors bolder.

Carlos P. Avery.

Rockville.

Computer Talk

Editor: I was offended by Joel Myerberg's comments in your July 11 article on computer bulletin boards and the disabled, ''Opening window on world.''

Mr. Myerberg seems to think the physically challenged should spend their time sitting around discussing their disabilities. A computer bulletin board offers a chance for people to exchange ideas and communicate without some of the problems physical disability brings.

I am the moderator of a PC technical conference on EchoNet, an international network in which computer bulletin boards participate.

We can have a spirited discussion on the pros and cons of a particular piece of software or hardware without anyone being able to tell if the participant just came in from playing sports or is using a touch stick, a speech synthesizer or a Braille printer.

There are discussion areas on disabilities, but probably the best thing bulletin boards offer is not only a much more level playing field but a chance to be a leader.

Theodore W. Rosenberg.

Baltimore.

Vassar's Mission

Editor: Richard Reeves' May 29 column on Vassar's commencement contained some serious factual errors that need to be corrected.

First of all, Vassar had one commencement for all graduating seniors at which Dr. Mathilde Krim was guest speaker. There was not a separate event for black students nor was such an idea discussed.

Where Mr. Reeves saw ''determined separatism'' and ''division,'' those of us on campus experienced mutual respect. Mr. Reeves took my word ''challenging'' out of its warm and happy context. My words were, ''You have been energetic, challenging, interesting, and a lot of fun. . . I shall miss you.'' Other speakers detailed their love for Vassar and, indeed, the senior class gift was the largest in over a decade.

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