Century's EndHoward Garrett (in the Dec. 4 news story...


January 13, 1993

Century's End

Howard Garrett (in the Dec. 4 news story, "2000: A planned odyssey") shouldn't worry about being late for the celebration of the end of the century. If he turns up on December 31, 1999, he will be one year early.

If we count to ten, we don't stop at nine. There was no year O. And the decade, century, millennium will end on the 31st of December 2000.

This was the reason that Stanley Kubrick called his movie, "2001 a Space Odyssey." It's about the beginning of the 21st century.

9- I thought this issue was settled in 1990.

Michael W. Hartley

Fair Hill

Keeping Zinman

In an article Dec. 20 about upcoming conductor openings at several major American orchestras, music critic Stephen Wigler offered what he called a "subjective and speculative scenario" that includes David Zinman leaving Baltimore for the Minnesota Orchestra.

No one can doubt the extraordinary contributions that David Zinman has already made to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during his eight years as music director. Zinman and the BSO have become known to music lovers throughout the world.

Wigler refers to reductions in touring and recording as posing a threat to keeping Zinman here, and indeed they do.

The BSO board and management join fully with David Zinman in recognizing that these are the very activities upon which this orchestra's advances have been founded. No orchestra can create a significant impact beyond the borders of its community or expect to retain the services of the first rank of conductors and musicians unless it tours, records and broadcasts.

But I believe this community will rise to the occasion and provide the support necessary to keep the Zinman/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra partnership thriving and to maintain a great symphony orchestra in Maryland.

George V. McGowan


The writer is chairman of the board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Promoting a New Solar System

I'd like to see people get excited about demanding that our electric utilities use solar energy.

Public pressure is a lot more powerful than we realize. People power forced cities and towns to institute recycling. Suppose we harness that power to promote clean, safe, efficient, and economical renewable energy?

A campaign called the Solar Brigade aims to get utilities to use more solar power.

The idea is simple. People send a notice along with their monthly bill, demanding 10 percent solar power in 10 years. You let the National Audubon Society know your name and address. Audubon uses the collective clout as leverage to negotiate with the electric utilities to make the switch.

Jump-starting the use of solar energy in this way will save the planet from 170 million tons a year of carbon dioxide and cost less than a 1 percent increase in electric bills per year. It will also start us on the road to a truly sustainable national energy policy. Nothing could be more important for the planet.

Christine E. Norris


Church and Keno

When I was a devout Roman Catholic, I used to look over my shoulder with admiration at the Methodist Church in its staunch stand against all forms of gambling.

Now that I am a devout and committed United Methodist, I vTC wonder where all the fire and determination went among United Methodists. Why have we not put on sack cloth and ashes at the thought of keno becoming a reality in Maryland?

I asked a life-long Methodist, a minister and a son of a Methodist minister, if I had been mistaken and United Methodists were really all fired up, enraged that such a profanation as keno could spread itself abroad in the land like a slithering monster in a grade-B horror movie.

His reply was, "There was an article in the United Methodist Connection." The Methodist Connection is a United Methodist newspaper. That was it. That was all the militant activity he could recall.

But are the individual churches doing anything? Is rage being expressed all around me? Are my friend and I standing in the middle of a hail storm and don't even know it?

Or, rather, has apathy sweetened the lives of church people and made most of us soft and flabby?

Allan Prell, the talk show host, was lamenting one morning the introduction of keno gambling into Maryland. One telephone caller asked him why the churches are not rising up in righteous indignation?

"They're dead," he said. "The churches are dead."

On this issue of keno, who's to say that Allan Prell is wrong? The churches have not lost their impact on society -- or have they?

Bob Gill


By the Numbers

On the Monday before Christmas, The Sun brought the depressing news of the murder of a 16-year-old girl near Reisterstown Road Plaza. The reporters, Thomas Waldron and Laura Lippman, told us us that this was the 320th homicide of the year in Baltimore. They continued:

"The number of killings is the second-highest in city history, just 10 shy of the record 330 homicides in Baltimore's deadliest year, 1972."

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