Lucas CollectionI am writing in response to Paul Kohl's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 05, 1995

Lucas Collection

I am writing in response to Paul Kohl's letter (Feb. 20). I have been a faculty member at the Maryland Institute since 1965, and I serve on the faculty Lucas committee.

I believe that the proposed sale of the Lucas collection deserves the broadest possible public discussion, but I also believe that it is equally important to identify the orientation of those expressing views on the future of the collection.

My colleague, Mr. Kohl, as chairman of the photo department, speaks on behalf of a splinter of the Institute student body. His students may not "be content to sit in front of an easel and paint," but I deal with students who are enthusiastically engaged in doing just that.

Perhaps the Lucas collection is irrelevant to contemporary photo students. However, it is not irrelevant to painting, drawing, general fine arts and art history students. At the time Lucas bequeathed the collection, photography was not included in the Maryland Institute curriculum.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Kohl regards the Lucas collection as nothing more than a cash cow to be converted to fund his extensive technology shopping list.

His willingness to part with a valuable resource of another department is tantamount to the fine arts departments asking the photographers to sell their enlargers so the proceeds can be used to buy easels.

James J. Hennessey

Baltimore

Tenants' Fault

In my opinion, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is getting a bum rap from the series in The Sun faulting him with the way city contracts on public housing are awarded.

On many an occasion there is an emergency factor involved -- flooding, electrical problems, gas leaks, etc. There is no time for competitive bidding. Some repairs must be done immediately, without going through low-bid procedure.

Why doesn't someone put this problem squarely where it belongs, with the destructive, uncaring tenants responsible for most of the cost of renovating and repairing homes?

The majority of tenants are caring and conscientious about their homes but, unfortunately, they, too, pay the price of run-down neighborhoods inflicted upon them by the minority.

Tenants in all public housing with a history of repeated damage to their units should be denied repairs until they learn to take better care of them.

Some of these homes would make some of the dirty streets and alleys of Baltimore City look clean by comparison. Let's get the message to these people to clean up their act or face eviction.

Albert Antonelli

Baltimore

Sun Fan

As a new resident in Maryland and a new reader of The Sun I want to compliment you and your staff on the quality of page 1 of your Feb. 9 paper.

Clean, inviting typography; creative use of white space uncluttered. Next, your clear, direct headlines; crisp and BTC informative. Then your balanced blend of featured articles. Each sparsely written, yet thorough.

I was not disappointed by completing each and was particularly struck by the hope offered in "Grand jury suggests giving addicts drugs" and the poignancy and depth of "50 years later, Dresden firestorm can still blister."

Topping things off for me was Mark Bugnaski's eye-catching color portrait, "Food for Flight." One fine, evocative shot, well printed. If that is typical of your efforts, you can count on me as a loyal reader.

John G. Schreiner

St. Michaels

Good Child Care

. . . In reading the study of day-care centers on which an Associated Press article published in The Sun Feb. 7 was based, we find that the article did not present the facts involved in the study but chose to focus on the negative results of the study.

Congress is looking for ways to save money and cut programs. It is considering how much to invest in child care for working families, along with changes in welfare policy that will increase the demand for child care for families making the transition from welfare to work.

This negative article will have an adverse effect on Congress' decision involving programs that need increased funding, not less funding.

Maryland's child care regulations are among the strictest in the nation, which explains why our state was recognized as one of the top 10 for the past two years in the quality of its child care.

The study showed relationship between quality and staff turnover, quality and staff compensation, and quality and staff education.

It states, "The cost of providing care is . . . positively related to the level of quality of services."

The study spoke also of the fact that higher staff-to-child ratios and administrators' prior experience are significantly related to quality.

Maryland requires a higher staff-child ratio than many other states and requires significant educational levels and experience its child care center directors; we wish that Maryland's high standards had been pointed out.

It was very interesting to us to see that centers which had access to public funding or other extra resources in addition to parents' tuition had higher quality.

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