ComptrollersEditor: Regarding your front page article Feb...


February 26, 1992


Editor: Regarding your front page article Feb. 10 on Comptroller Jacqueline F. McLean, not once in the last four years did you do a story on Hyman Pressman, who should have retired long ago due to his illness.

Not once did you talk about the waste of salary taxpayers paid to him while he sat in the Board of Estimates and did and said nothing.

Not once did you talk about the $75,000 paid last year to a driver for the president of the City Council.

But you want to single out a woman who has been a role model and an outstanding financial supporter of our community, both black and white. She is too successful and too much a professional for you to say anything good about.

For the first time, Baltimore has a comptroller who is concerned about the welfare of our city, and what do you do? Of course, attempt to tear her down.

The African American community is tired of the racist attacks the media is throwing at a very capable individual who happens to be a woman. When will you learn that it is time to bring people together -- not continue to divide us?

Mae Kimbel. Baltimore.

Different Yields

Editor: Jane Bryant Quinn's Feb. 2 article, ''ARM Funds: Good Yields but Some Risks,'' serves as a most felicitously timely caveat that the cushy safety of money-market instruments is not to be found there: share-price fluctuation will occur.

One quibble, however, might be that Ms. Quinn possibly misleads the prospective shareholder when she states that the ''average yield'' that ARM funds give out ''includes any changes share value,'' suggesting perhaps that this yield is comparable to a historical total-return figure.

The average yield of which she speaks is an SEC-standardized 30-day current yield, which equals annualized net investment TC income per share during the latest 30 days divided by the highest offering price on the last day of this period; net investment income comprises both current income net of expenses and the period's net accumulation or amortization.

This 30-day yield, then, is a theoretical construct, analogous to the yield to maturity of an individual bond. It must not be construed to be a historical total return, which does factor in the share-price change of which she speaks and the effect of reinvested dividends during a past period.

& Herbert T. Fee Jr. Baltimore.

Film Colorization

Editor: As an owner of the historic Senator movie theater, I have been educating my patrons for years regarding the ongoing film restoration and preservation efforts of the Turner Entertainment Co., current owner of many of the best American films ever made.

It is ironic that the dedicated professional stewards of the vast Turner library are not recognized by most Americans for their inspired and sensitive management of this national treasure trove of films. Instead, the focus in the popular media is on the grossly misunderstood controversy over the issue of video colorization.

An important fact, not recognized by the public, is that the Turner Entertainment Co. has never colorized a single frame of actual black and white movie film. Instead it assembles the best available source material of a particular title, and utilizing a restored black and white film negative, it colorizes an electronic facsimile of the original film.

This colorized facsimile is then broadcast, and often offered in videotape format to be viewed on television, a medium known to reproduce poorly the delicate shadings of the original black and white film.

As a movie theater owner, I can attest that when colorized films arebroadcast, many viewers, particularly the young, tune in and develop an interest in certain films they would otherwise zap past if broadcast in black and white.

As an example, during the Senator Theater's popular engagement of the restored 1933 film, ''King Kong,'' many of our younger patrons reported that they had discovered the film colorized on cable and were then motivated to experience the original, 25 feet tall on a large movie screen.

A portion of the revenue generated from the much maligned colorization is then devoted to the restoration and preservation of the Turner library.

Not only do the popular titles get the treatment, but many of the undiscovered jewels as well. Left over from the colorization process is often the best negative in existence, from which Turner strikes pristine 35mm prints to be presented in theaters around the country.

Is Turner Entertainment's video colorization of non-color films really the black and white issue often portrayed by the media, an example of crass commercialism, a desecration of the art of film?

Or could it actually be an ingenious method of funding the restoration and preservation of our precious American film heritage, providing the public opportunities to experience pristine 35 mm. prints of original films projected in all their glory, as they were meant to be, on movie screens around the country?

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