People's VictoryIn a letter to the editor March 22, R.A...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 26, 1992

People's Victory

In a letter to the editor March 22, R.A. Bacigalupa blamed the Department of Transit and Traffic for permitting parking on the west side of "the last great driving street in Baltimore, Calvert Street," during rush hour.

Not so. Tired of having to move our cars just to speed commuters, residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to Calvert Street (and St. Paul Street, Charles Street and Maryland Avenue, by the way) were the true instigators of this system. We operated under the banner of "Streets for People" and Transit and Traffic fought us every step of the way. The regulations went into effect in 1978.

Sorry, Mr. Bacigalupa, it was community folks, not city government, who had the temerity to force you and other commuters to drive slower through our neighborhoods.

Grenville B. Whitman

Baltimore

Nixon's Wisdom

Rejected ex-presidents sometimes great elder statesmen do make. Former president Herbert Hoover showed us how to streamline the federal government after World War II. Jimmy Carter is helping to open our hearts and hands to the plight of the homeless. And now Richard Nixon implores us to dig deeper into our collective pocketbooks to preserve democracy in the former Soviet Union.

Mr. Nixon understands that fledgling democracies like Boris Yeltsin's Russia, set against a history of authoritarianism and immediate economic dislocation, must be supported with massive economic aid if they are to weather the hostility of extremists on the right and the left who lurk in the wings (The Sun, March 15). Americans should regard this assistance as a kind of overdue Marshall Plan. (In fact, we did offer the Soviets foreign aid in the 1940s, only to have Stalin turn it down at the outset of the Cold War.)

The ex-president further argues that our failure to extend aid would undermine the United States' ability to influence the course of history in Russia or worse, should President Yeltsin be overthrown, set the stage for political instability behind the former Iron Curtain of unprecedented magnitude.

When we recall that the collective failure of the West to prop up the fledgling Weimar democracy in Germany after World War I set the stage for the rise of Hitler and the most costly war in the history of mankind, I believe that Mr. Nixon is correct about the urgency of the moment and also correct about the importance of bringing this issue into the current political campaign.

Joe Garonzik

Baltimore

Reading Better

Thank you, thank you for using larger, more readable type for the alphabetical obituary index. The index itself has been greatly appreciated and the new type is a great help.

M. Louise Green

Gaithersburg

Choices

What an election!

On one hand, we have Bill Clinton and his "skeleton of the week." He should be advised either to clean out his closet or burn down his house.

On the other hand, you have George Bush, whose campaign song is "Blowin' in the Wind." His advisers should recommend backbone surgery and remind him that when you offend no one, you offend everyone, and when you please everybody, you please nobody.

What a choice!

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Overcoming Gender Bias in the Sciences

I read with interest your editorial concerning the "faulty research" used by the American Association of University Women in its report which concluded that gender bias against women continues to exist in the classroom ("Shortchanging girls," March 14).

You wrote that "the report fails to consider whether emotional and psychological differences between the sexes might account for the disparity. Nor does it address peer pressure and other social and cultural factors that can hardly be transformed by more sensitive classroom teaching."

This comment is most interesting, considering that today American education is being called upon to provide many of the remedies for our economic and social problems.

Even as our dependence upon technology has been increasing, mathematical and scientific literacy has been declining. Yet your editorial implies that social and cultural pressures and psychological differences can limit the effectiveness of a gender sensitive program. Thank goodness there are many science and mathematics educators today who disagree with you.

Teachers who are sensitive to these differences are developing programs for young women that not only provide them with the skills and the opportunities to pursue technological careers but also make them aware of the biases that exist.

Parent education is also an area that must be addressed. Parents should express the same expectations for their daughters in science and mathematics as they do in the humanities. They should encourage their daughters to take as many science and math courses as possible in high school. Without a strong secondary school background it is difficult, if not impossible, to pursue study in college.

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