Wilson H. ElkinsThere are some important points that need...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 11, 1994

Wilson H. Elkins

There are some important points that need to be emphasized about the work of Wilson H. Elkins, the recently deceased former president of the University of Maryland.

Dr. Elkins succeeded Harry Clifton "Curley" Byrd, who as president not only emphasized athletics over scholarship, but came extremely close to wrecking the entire university.

There was good reason for Mr. Byrd's choosing football over scholarship -- he was the football coach and for many years the university's athletic director, too.

Of course, Dr. Elkins' appointment infuriated the state's sports establishment.

Mr. Byrd concentrated his efforts on the College Park campus and hardly knew there was a Baltimore campus as well.

The medical school, which almost didn't exist at the time, should indeed have been grateful that Wilson Elkins was able to hire TC capable dean and some good faculty members and to obtain accreditation. The school lacked modern facilities that it has been able to obtain only in recent years.

It would have been sensible and decent if Wilson Elkins could have been rewarded in some way in life for his accomplishments as president of the University of Maryland for 24 years.

Melvin D. Reuber

Columbia

Hostile to Teachers

It comes as no surprise to most teachers that the March 25 editorial "Baltimore County Snowblowers" was so arrogantly hostile to the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.

One sometimes gets the impression that only the editorial staff there knows what is right or wrong. Thank God we have such righteous people writing there.

Yes, there should be a lot of things to consider when making any kind of change to the school calendar or day.

For example, from April 5 through the end of May, my youngest daughter will have to be the bus stop at 6 a.m. and some of her friends at 5:30 a.m., a little unreasonable, I think.

A decision had already been made on how to make up the time lost. Must we change the calendar for every whim we have out there?

I would like to know when I can plan activities with my family and not have to check daily with the Board of Education or The Sun to find out when my family will be home.

The editorial made light of the fact that there may be a breach of contract here.

This newspaper has never thought that it was very important when a public employee's contract was broken. We all know the staff would have a different opinion if their contract was broken, especially with no input from them.

I am glad that they agree that 180 days in the school year is important, but it is still just an arbitrary number that, even at this time, not everyone in the state is required to follow.

For instance, private and parochial schools only have 170 days, so what's the big deal about a waiver?

If you are concerned about teachers getting paid for days they were not there, I still don't understand your worry. You were not worried or concerned about the little contract issue when teachers and other public employees were furloughed and lost five days of pay two years ago.

The Sun gives the impression that it is wrong for Ray Suarez to be looking out for the welfare of the teachers, and with that the students, of this county. Isn't that what he was elected to do?

The only issue that I can see that the newspaper has is that public employees should not have rights. You certainly have never proven to me in your editorials that you are concerned about my children's education, or all children for that matter. But teachers have.

Roger W. Provost

Baltimore

Media Ugliness

I have always been a strong advocate of freedom of the press and a staunch supporter of the people's "right to know."

However, the constant inflammatory headlines and looking under rocks for ways to attack the Clintons has become repugnant and even boring. If Hillary Clinton made a windfall in the stock market, I say good for her. I wish it would happen to me.

I would much prefer to read about the issues that are truly important to the welfare of our country. We live in a world that is full of serious problems, and they affect our nation's well-being a great deal more than what the Clintons did in their private lives in the 1970s.

I fear that the media is following in the footsteps of so much of the ugliness that seems to be pervading our society.

Helene Flit

Baltimore

Addictions

David Kessler, head of the Food and Drug Administration, has asked Congress to consider reclassifying cigarettes with nicotine as an addictive substance that should be regulated as a drug.

America's No. 1 addictive drug is caffeine, and physicians warn this addiction causes many health problems. Will Mr. Kessler also be asking Congress to regulate chocolate, soft drinks and coffee?

And, considering the death and destruction America's wide-spread addiction to alcohol is causing on our own roads and within our families, will Congress also regulate all alcoholic beverages?

Nicotine is not the only addiction problem this nation has. It's time Congress and others stopped taking the easy path.

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