City BoonRecently, I had occasion to use the light rail...


June 13, 1993

City Boon

Recently, I had occasion to use the light rail line for the first time. It is great.

At first, I really wasn't wild about a downtown ball park, but with the subway and light rail, it is great.

Surely, it is a boon for downtown workers with access to it.

Robert W. Blontz


Quality of Life

In some ways Barry Rascovar's May 23 column on why Baltimore needs to hit back at the counties is very wide of the mark.

As a county resident, I attended the public meeting and stayed till one in the morning to plead for substantial county funding for the cultural activities located within the city. Furthermore, I suspect that if a zip code analysis were done as to where the members of these institutions come from -- or for that matter their volunteer workers -- perhaps it is the residents of the city that have some explaining to do.

I asked myself, are we contributing our fair share? A quick count showed our family supporting the Baltimore Museum of Art, zoo, Walters Art Gallery, National Aquarium, Science Center, WBJC, WMPT. Obviously, we feel that the institutions enhance our quality of life.

As for regional solutions, please take a hard look at all the selfish area politicians and their electoral districts. Have you ever met a politician prepared to legislate himself or herself out of existence? I haven't.

Kalman V. Illyefalvi


Percussion Glory

We have generally agreed with Stephen Wigler's reviews and indeed heartily agree with his May 22 appraisal of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's closing "Favorites" concert -- with one exception.

It is true that the program of the "1812 Overture," "Espana" and the "Bolero" was an excellent one. Mr. Wigler's omission was in not lifting up the fact that conductor David Zinman never once recognized the percussion (and tympani.)

The "Bolero" would not be the same without the magnificent (and very difficult) playing of the snare drum throughout the entire piece. And what would the "1812 Overture" be without percussion?

This is not to take away any of the accolades to the other players in the orchestra, but Mr. Zinman rarely lifts up or recognizes the percussion section. Many of our friends at the concert that night agreed.

For Mr. Wigler's information, the previous time the "Bolero" was performed by the BSO, two snare drummers were placed in front of the orchestra as lead instruments and received due recognition.

We have had season tickets to the BSO for many years. The orchestra has grown mightily in every way over the years, but one would wish that Mr. Zinman would recognize all sections of the orchestra when they do an especially difficult and commendable work.

)Mary Jo and Robert E. Zimmerli


Get a Gun

A letter by Jane Caplan of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (May 19) correctly stated the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Unfortunately, she is in error interpreting the Supreme Court's decision and its meaning.

The Supreme Court has affirmed that the militia is not the National Guard or reserve forces but consists of able bodied, law abiding citizens, i.e. "the people."

If the Second Amendment were correctly interpreted, we would follow Switzerland's example, in which all military-eligible, law-abiding citizens would store their "fully automatic service assault rifles" at home in order to protect against all enemies foreign and domestic.

In addition, a .50-caliber B.M.G. bullet is only about two inches long and weighs approximately 500 grains, more like a Vienna sausage that a "hot dog."

Thomas S. Bartholomae


County Should Get Rid of Stuart Berger

I read with amazement the May 27 letter written by Dr. Stuart Berger in reply to Peter Jay's article, "What Do Honors Mean When Everyone Gets Them?"

In his letter, Dr. Berger states that Mr. Jay must think that education is "some type of sport in which only certain people succeed."

Then Dr. Berger goes on to draw an analogy between education and medicine by saying that when he goes to the doctor, "It is my fervent prayer that he intends to cure everyone."

He adds that "it is the goal of the public schools to be certain that everyone succeeds."

If this is an example of the kind of thinking that prevails in the office of the Baltimore County superintendent of schools, the good citizens of Baltimore County would be well advised to rid themselves of this plague as soon as possible.

Has it escaped Dr. Berger's logic that at least in sports some of us come out winners, while doctors cannot keep any of us from meeting our ultimate fate?

Perhaps Dr. Berger thinks that teachers of his county are magicians, can overcome the many social ills of our society, the disintegration of the family unit, the crime that is creeping out from the inner city and an entertainment industry that exposes children to every backstage conflict of adulthood before they are able to understand its complexity.

I, for one, would not burden my employees with such a mission and doom them to dismal failure.

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