Thomas ChoiceTheo Lippman Jr.'s Jan. 4 column concluded...


January 18, 1993

Thomas Choice

Theo Lippman Jr.'s Jan. 4 column concluded, "So eight of the nine present members of the Supreme Court were nominated on the basis of previous judicial experience. Only Byron White was never a judge."

To have been a judge is not the same thing as to have been nominated to the Supreme Court on the basis of previous judicial experience.

Judge Clarence Thomas received the lowest qualification rating from the American Bar Association of any justice ever confirmed to the Supreme Court. Judge Thomas had not been a judge long enough for his previous judicial experience to matter.

Contrary to Lippman's assertion, Justice Thomas was nominated for reasons entirely unrelated to his "previous judicial


Gregory Lewis


Adult Education

As a TABCO member (Teachers Association of Baltimore County), I was outraged by the budget suggestion made by Ed Veit, TABCO president ("County's Future on the Table", Jan. 8) to move adult education programs to the community college.

This would not be a budget-cutting move, but cause Baltimore County to lose major federal funding brought into the school system by this office, and jeopardize important inter-agency collaborative efforts to support at-risk families.

This office provide adult literacy classes for parents at eight elementary schools in the county at no expense to the schools. Evening programs provided by this office offer employment training, adult basic literacy education and high school diploma programs which increase the productivity of thousands of the citizens of Baltimore County each year.

Grants to run these programs are awarded to the Office of Adult and Alternative Education because of its national and state reputation for running high-quality programs for over two decades.

If Mr. Veit had researched this suggestion he would have discovered that over 75 percent of the funds used by this office are from grant money brought into the school system with minimal funding provided by county money.

In the last two years, this office has brought in two family literacy programs, Even Start and the Parents as Teachers Project, which directly support teachers' efforts to help over 250 families a year in homeless shelters and on welfare in the county.

Through a collaborative effort with county government agencies, this office also provides basic education to about 250 adults a year to help to remove them from the welfare rolls. The office provides education programs to two family support centers that teach welfare families to become self-sufficient.

Recent educational research concludes that education must be multi-generational to stop illiteracy. Illiteracy costs taxpayers money. Moving these programs to the community college would jeopardize federal funding to many programs.

Most importantly, it would not save money, but would take away important support for the teachers that Mr. Veit is supposed to serve. Did Mr. Veit research this suggestion? I don't think so.

Sharon Pitcher


The writer is a reading specialist at the Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Adult and Alternative Education.

Give Hubble Its Due

I'm perturbed at the negative way in which the media often look at the progress and work of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Many people look to the media for a guideline for their lives, and what the media say is what a lot of people think.

In late April of 1990, when the HST was deployed, a flaw was found in that the mirror of the telescope was the wrong thickness. This will be fixed in April 1993. Even so, this has not stopped the HST from doing its work.

Although none of the discoveries yet qualify as revolutionary, they have helped us learn about our universe and surroundings.

A lot of people may not care about most of the discoveries, but these may connect with their lives later on.

For instance, HST has evidence that there may be another solar system encircling the star Beta Pictar, located 56 light years away. If there is another solar system, it could tell us how planetary systems form.

Information like this could lead to a major discovery.

We can now take a closer look at Jupiter, because the first color photograph of the Great Planet was taken by the Hubble Telescope in May 1991.

The fine detail of all photographs taken by the Hubble is made possible only by this unique space probe. The HST can also observe Mars in ultraviolet light, which would normally be absorbed by the ozone in Earth's atmosphere.

This telescope is ideally suited for unraveling what's happening in the dense cores of distant galaxies. Recently in our own solar system there was a series of harsh storms. The HST had observed them, and scientists studied the patterns, giving us a better understanding of the storms.

Every 60 years or so, a great number of ice crystals and the rare White Spot appear on Saturn. The Hubble has proof of these, and this information is valuable.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.