Different FlagsRecently you printed a story about the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 18, 1992

Different Flags

Recently you printed a story about the effect the budget will have on the University of Maryland System. In your story you mentioned the need to protect the "flagship" campus (College ++ Park) and the need to eliminate some programs.

Unfortunately, to different parts of the academic and political communities of Maryland, "flagship campus" means different things. Legislation can designate a single flagship campus. But legislation cannot cause creativity, intellectual diversity, academic achievements and "drive" to instantly develop.

Almost 10 years ago, the faculty at UMBC saw a need to develop a graduate-level program in the field of biotechnology. Accordingly, a M.S. program in applied molecular biology was started. This was the first program of its kind in the nation and I believe it was the first graduate degree in the field of molecular biology that was offered by any component of the University of Maryland.

A purist would contend that this program should have been started at College Park. However, it was successfully developed at UMBC because of the interest and expertise of our faculty. Thus, we have a good example of a philosophy that supports one fully comprehensive institution while not inhibiting creativity at any campus within the system.

Our M.S. program in biological sciences was cited by The Sun as an example of a program that could be eliminated to save money. This degree does not cost UMBC any money. This program has been piggy-backed onto our very successful Ph.D. and applied M.S. programs. The M.S. in biological sciences gives us the opportunity to experiment with new curricula and approaches.

Ronald E. Yasbin

Columbia

The writer is a professor of biological sciences at UMBC.

Country Music

Eric Siegel's article in the Arts & Entertainment section Sept. 27 quotes country music historian Bill Malone and mourns the loss of country's working-class roots.

I suggest that he consider another quote from Mr. Malone's "Country Music U.S.A.," a statement early in the preface:

"The music developed lineally out of the rural styles of the past, and the bulk of its performers today, in point of origin, are southerners who came from farms or small towns or who are only a generation away from a farm background.

"The old attitudes, mores and social responses which originally produced the rural musical styles still endure in the southern United States. Country music is still as 'country' as rapid urbanization and commercial pressure will allow it to be."

Perhaps the weekend countdown is not the criterion by which to measure the number of working songs being written and sung these days. The countdown is merely a tabulation of the songs that are currently most popular.

A week of steady listening to Baltimore's country music station would reveal a variety of songs being written and sung which cover virtually every facet of our human condition.

Jane Zee

Glen Arm

High-Rise Yuppies

I do not mind people objecting to my ideas but I resent your correspondent recently accusing me of bitterness, sarcasm and, especially, of not liking yuppies.

I love yuppies. I love their youth, enthusiasm and joie de vivre. I especially love their money -- Baltimore needs every dollar they earn and spend.

I was dead serious in suggesting that we convert high-rise public housing projects into condo paradises for yuppies and for anyone else willing and able to make the hefty monthly payments. The high-rises are in ideal locations for those who have the money to enjoy Baltimore's many attractions.

As it is, when they want to have fun, the yuppies from Owings Mills, Towson and elsewhere get in their cars and drive downtown, wasting precious oil and adding to our pollution. The only thing preventing this is the idiotic and shortsighted regulations of the federal government.

The poor in the highrises need jobs and hope. The unskilled jobs most qualify for are in places like Owings Mills, White Marsh and Columbia. Coca-Cola will build a 900-worker plant in Dorsey in Howard County. The federal government should let Baltimore use its new housing money to provide housing for its unemployed where the jobs are.

I love yuppies. I wish every yuppie in Maryland would move to Baltimore. Then we would start creating jobs here and stop this maddening suburban sprawl that is responsible for so many of our current ills.

Vincent P. Quayle

Baltimore

The writer is director of St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.

Fairness in Testing Vehicle Emissions

Barry Rascovar's Sept. 27 column, "Subverting the Bidding Process -- Again," implicates Envirotest Technologies Inc. in a conspiracy to somehow tamper with the state's procurement of the new Maryland Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program.

Mr. Rascovar's conclusion in this regard is totally without merit and based upon factually incorrect suppositions.

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