Science StudentCongratulations to Jennifer Kalish, Bryn...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 08, 1994

Science Student

Congratulations to Jennifer Kalish, Bryn Mawr School '94.

We are impressed both by her contributions to science and the many other activities in which she is involved. A Westinghouse scholarship is a true mark of excellence.

However, The Baltimore Sun deserves no such award. The April 18 feature article, "The Right Chemistry," does not convey a serious image of Ms. Kalish as a scientist.

Phrases like "is thinking about clothes," "she's also wondering what to wear," and "Jennifer has baby brown eyes," contribute to the perception of girls as more concerned with appearances and social life than serious scholarship.

It is hard to imagine an article about a Gilman Westinghouse scholar that would describe his physical appearance, concerns for dress code and desire for a prom date. Instead, the article would emphasize his leadership within the school and his career goals.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 1990-91, only 32 percent of all people receiving bachelors degrees and 20 percent of people receiving doctoral degrees in the physical sciences were women.

There are many reasons for these appalling statistics, not the least of which is the frustration caused by being treated in a belittling manner.

Ms. Kalish need not defend her achievement with the words, "I am normal."

A woman having a strong interest in science should not be categorized as abnormal.

Meghan S. Flanigan

Wendy J. Derjue

Melissa P. Knauert

Providence, R.I.

=1 The writers are students at Brown University.

Braying Scribes

After reading the recent acidic hatchet jobs done by your columnists on the late Richard Nixon and followed in a few days by the final rites and eulogies for this man, it seems to me that a few things should be said.

The mutterings of your scribes may have been read by a few thousand, but the final honorarium for this fallen ex-president was watched by many millions.

The world was reminded of the many accomplishments of this man, his mistakes were mentioned, and he did make some, but he paid dearly for them, but he continued on to rebuild his shattered life and become a very respected elder statesman whose advice and counsel was sought by many, including President Clinton, by his own admission.

In passing I would ask your scribes to show me a man that never makes a mistake, and I will show them a man that never does anything.

The funeral rites were both moving and touching.

You saw a brave man break down and cry as he prayed for Richard Nixon and the country.

It was one of America's finest hours, and I can only suggest that if your scribes have any further braying that they do it in the barn where most braying occurs.

Clarence J. Earl

Baltimore

Missed Target

Your newly posthumous characterization of Richard Nixon as "the angriest president" was wide a mile. His travels and ignominious departure from office notwithstanding, Nixon persevered, studying, traveling and writing volumes, becoming both an internationally respected senior statesman and sage counselor even to former anti-war demonstrator Bill Clinton.

While time and personal growth enabled old political enemies to work together in the national interest, your editorial indicates an atavistic return to the divisiveness of the Vietnam and Watergate era.

Your posture represents an embittered inverted personification that is neither becoming nor appropriate.

R. Christopher Goodwin

Mount Airy

Disaster Relief

Recently it was Oklahoma. The next week it was Missouri -- again! Even the governor was there to express his anguish. And last year all the local political leaders and do-gooders were expressing their anguish, too, when it was Missouri, Iowa, Illinois etc.

In the decades I've been around, Davenport has expressed its anguish many times. How many times are taxpayers going to be called on to subsidize their view of the river, without an intervening levee?

And so we all have anguish about the people whose homes and belongings have suffered water damage. Money can replace things, but not repair the emotional harm of the flood victims.

I submit that is not a federal problem if the damage occurs a second time.

I do really care about people, but not when the local jurisdiction permits them to move back into their flood plain, only to incur more emotional damage when the next flood comes along.

So what should federal disaster payments be used for? Easy, pay the people to move out of the flood plain and rebuild elsewhere.

And do not give disaster payments to states that will not condemn flooded property and forbid rebuilding in a flood plane.

States should identify all flood plains and present their program to prevent building in flood plains when applying for federal disaster relief.

I believe that states and local jurisdictions not only have control of their own building codes and permits, but are in a position to know where the flood plains are located.

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