Arts programsI read with interest your editorial about a...

the Forum

October 13, 1994

Arts programs

I read with interest your editorial about a "Fledgling new arts school" (Sept. 26).

The story gives one the impression that this is the only school offering this program, and that it is a "new" idea. For those of us who have been fighting for this, implementing and seeking funding, the article was untrue.

For the past two years we have offered in grades kindergarten through eighth a comprehensive arts program integrated with the curriculum at the St. Mary of The Assumption School, funded by the Marion and Henry Knott Foundation and individual donors.

This successful program is not in operation this school year due to the lack of funds.

At the present time we are working with students in "Learning To Read Through The Arts," written by professor Bernadette O'Brien, directly relating the arts to the city school curriculum (language arts).

There are several other schools, besides our own, doing similar things.

We are at present working with the following city public elementary schools: Callaway, Beechfield, Patapsco, Thomas Jefferson, Highlandtown, Coldstream Park; and parochial schools St. Mary of the Assumption and St. Pius X Parochial schools.

All of us work at a dedicated pace for very little compensation. We would appreciate your knowledge and mention of this successful operation.

Deborah London


SG The writer is executive director, the Cultural Arts Institute, Inc.

Choking on smoke

In three-fourth-page ads on the backs of the nation's dailies (which must have cost a pretty penny), the R .J. Reynolds tobacco company endorsed "informed debate" on the cigarette industry.

I found it interesting that the ad started with the accusation that ,, "the government is trying to compare cigarettes to heroin and cocaine."`

According to the American Medical Association, 100 times more Americans die every year from legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol than all of the illegal drugs combined -- and no one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana.

Well, if debate and dialogue is what R. J. Reynolds is calling for, I will oblige.

As a matter of fact, I agree with the central point of the ad, that an "exorbitant cigarette tax" is no solution. It will lead only to an illegal underground as we have already created with our current policy toward "illegal" drugs.

"We believe," the ad continues, "that the answer to most smoking issues lies in accommodation, in finding ways in which smokers and non-smokers can co-exist peacefully."

Well, here's the way to do just that.

The American people (smokers and non-smokers alike), through our government, should requisition the entire tobacco industry -- as is appropriate in time of emergency. The deaths from cancer and heart disease due to smoking certainly constitute an emergency.

The government should then supply tobacco products to tobacco addicts, and to anyone else over a prescribed age, at a nominal cost.

This would end the greed incentive the tobacco industry has in encouraging more addicts and in selling more early deaths. No advertising whatsoever.

The same products could be available at prescribed locations. But instead of a smiling Joe Camel or photos of virile men and sexy ladies prancing around with cigarettes, truth in advertising would prevail at such government tobacco stores.

The walls could be covered with photos of the diseased lungs of tobacco-induced lung cancer victims, the enlarged hearts of cigarette-induced heart disease victims and the widows and orphans of their survivors.

Instead of Musak, the "background music" would be the strained gaspings of the emphysema victims.

We should treat illegal drugs and alcohol in a similar manner.

This may not be exactly what R. J. Reynolds had in mind when it called for "dialogue and discussion," but as far as I'm concerned, if R. J. Reynolds doesn't like it, it can choke on its own smoke.

A. Robert Kaufman


Hughes at the helm

Parris Glendening should be commended for nominating former Gov. Harry Hughes to be chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Governor Hughes is a man whose integrity is beyond reproach. Recognition as one of Maryland's finest public servants is long overdue.

As governor, Harry Hughes worked closely with the General Assembly to resolve many long-standing state problems.

Under Governor Hughes major strides were made in tax reform, economic development, environmental protection, improving a long-neglected corrections system, increasing aid to the elderly and reducing the tragic toll taken by drunk drivers.

Harry Hughes' leadership in speaking out against racially, religiously or ethnically motivated acts of violence was praised by Congress, which cited his Task Force on Violence and Extremism as a model for the nation.

And it was Harry Hughes who got the ball rolling toward the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards by advocating the creation of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

The Maryland Democratic Party can be proud to have the Honorable Harry Hughes at the helm.

Allen W. Eckel


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