Protect CylburnCylburn Hills, the planned new addition to...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 26, 1993

Protect Cylburn

Cylburn Hills, the planned new addition to Coldspring, is a source of great concern to all those of us interested in the Cylburn Arboretum.

The present plan involves placing a number of single family houses within 10 feet of the property line of the arboretum. The Cylburn Arboretum Association believes a buffer zone of 75 feet is needed.

In addition, the developer of Cylburn Hills is proposing having gates along a fence (at the property line dividing the arboretum and Cylburn Hills) so that residents of this new community can easily enter the arboretum.

This would have a serious impact. Wildlife habitat and native wildflowers would both be destroyed. Little by little, the Cylburn Arboretum would be degraded.

At present, Bill 429, authorizing the building of Cylburn Hills, is before the Baltimore City Council. All citizens of Baltimore who know and appreciate this unique park, which is also noted as a historic landmark, -- the Cylburn Arboretum -- should let their representatives on the City Council know their feelings.

Audrey Sawyer

Baltimore

MA The writer is president of the Cylburn Arboretum Association.

City Schools

Through the years, letters to the editor castigating the Baltimore public schools have been a staple of The Sun. I am writing in support of the city's public schools, and their principals, teachers and students.

My research of 15 years on the characteristics of exceptional schools has been conducted internationally. One of the main, and most important, characteristics of exceptional schools is the principal's instructional leadership style; another is his or her expectations for teachers and students.

Through my work with Baltimore principals and teachers as director of the University of Maryland Baltimore County's Center for Educational Research, I've met many dedicated, hard-working, conscientious and committed principals and teachers.

One three-year project worked with middle school teachers on computer use in mathematics instruction. A two-year project ran computer clubs in Baltimore middle schools and brought school teams to UMBC for a computer and calculator tournament.

A third project introduced elementary school principals to the use of computers in the school office through week-long workshops at UMBC. Principals, students and teachers have committed long hours to each of these projects.

Two years ago we studied the implementation of the IBM Writing To Read program, which called for great changes by principals and teachers in kindergartens and first grades. Our evaluation found that, uniformly, principals and teachers used their best efforts to successfully introduce these new methods of instruction.

I direct a young scholars program, funded by the National Science Foundation, which brings 40 Baltimore students to live at UMBC for six weeks during the summer before their ninth-grade year.

They have biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer applications classes. As part of their program, teams of students prepare a research report. A sampling of their project titles are: The Preparation of Aspirin; The Bacteria Love Story; Scapholeberis Mucronata; and Freefall and the Ballistic Pendulum.

It is my opinion that the public schools in Baltimore do a good job of educating a significant portion of the students on a high level.

Gilbert R. Austin

Catonsville

Voice of America

I was disappointed that The Sun helps perpetuate several inaccuracies about U.S. international broadcasting in [Jeane Kirkpatrick's] March 9 column, " 'Free' Radio Still Serves a Purpose."

For the past 50 years, millions of people around the world have listened to the Voice of America for accurate and objective information, not just about the United States, but about their own countries. But listen they have, and they still do.

As for the record of VOA in delivering news in 49 languages, I offer the following: During a visit to VOA in 1991, then Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel told us, "You have informed us truthfully . . . [Now] you will have to inform us about how to create a democracy . . ."

In Moscow after the failed coup, graffiti scrawled on a wall near the Russian White House said, "Thank you, Voice of America, for bringing us the straight scoop."

And, since the spring of 1989, the Chinese government has -- unsuccessfully -- attempted to jam our broadcasts. They certainly don't jam because of our reporting on America. They do it because they do not like what we say about their repressive practices. The world has changed, and U.S. international broadcasting is changing with it.

Joseph B. Bruns

Washington

The writer is acting director of the Voice of America.

AIDS and Values

In his succinct chronicle of the AIDS epidemic and its political implications, "Neighborhoods Where AIDS Grows" (March 13), George Will draws our attention to a far greater problem in American society -- a problem of which AIDS is, in fact, a symptom.

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