What's in name? Celebrate NFL footballWhat's with all the...

Letters

June 21, 1996

What's in name? Celebrate NFL football

What's with all the griping about the Ravens? We've waited 12 years for an NFL team in Baltimore. What seemed impossible just a year ago is now reality.

I'm not guilty about accepting the Ravens as our own; I don't feel victimized by PSLs and I don't care that the new stadium doesn't quite match up to the architectural standards of Camden Yards.

What's important? In two months, we will once again field a team at Memorial Stadium.

Season tickets don't work for me, but I plan to attend games whenever I can. Big-time football returns to Baltimore, and it's time to celebrate.

Larry B. Shaw Sr.

Baltimore

No beer bellies among the plebes

As I read Steven Hoffman's May 24 letter, "Plebes exhibit beer bellies," I became outraged. He was writing in reference to the photograph of the plebes from the U.S. Naval Academy in the May 21 edition of The Sun. As a member of the Class of 1998 at the academy, I can honestly say that Mr. Hoffman's assumptions are completely incorrect.

First of all, plebes are not allowed to drink alcohol, no matter their age. This rule is strictly enforced by fellow midshipmen and the administration. Second, the photograph showed only the base level of plebes attempting to climb Herndon Monument. These plebes are most likely all football players who are purposely bulked up to enhance their abilities to play football. These young men will not be allowed to graduate unless they meet the Navy's standard of men having less than 22 percent body fat.

In addition, I feel it is necessary to mention that if the government would not continue to make cuts in the Defense Department budget, maybe our Supply Department would have more than $4.75 a day to feed each of us and therefore our meals could be of better quality food.

The crux of the Naval Academy's problems does not lie in midshipmen being overweight or drinking, it lies in the ethical and moral standards our society instills in our young men and women long before they reach the age of 18 and enter the military.

Samantha L. Stahl

Baltimore

Bicyclists have rights to road

I am writing in response to the June 17 letter from Fred Metschulat suggesting bicyclists be restricted to only a limited number of roads. I don't agree.

It was rude of a bicycle rider to have made an ugly gesture when Mr. Metschulat sounded his horn. (Sometimes the sounding of a horn by a motorist is not interpreted by the bicyclist as a friendly warning. It is just as likely to be taken as a demand that the bicyclist get off the road.)

Bicyclists do not help matters by provoking drivers. However, the bicyclists were not obligated to "yield the right of way." As long as a bicycle rider is not unnecessarily impeding the flow of traffic, he or she has as much right to the road as the motorist has, even though the bicycle moves more slowly. In places where it is not safe for a car to pass, a good bicyclist will move to the center of the road to make it clear that he or she has the right of way.

Bicycles are not merely for recreation. Bicycles are a vital means of transportation. We ought to encourage their use.

Stephen Forrest

Baltimore

Essex college faculty works hard for pay

Edward Sherwin's letter June 12 ("Professors shouldn't whine over salaries") may have some legitimate gripes with Essex Community College, but it doesn't justify the gross distortions and over-generalizations he makes.

It is true that professors at ECC are required to be in the classroom teaching 15 hours per week and in their offices available to students five hours per week.

When I worked at ECC, I suspected a tiny number of faculty members put in little time beyond these requirements. However, most of the faculty I knew spent another 20 to 40 hours each week preparing and improving their courses, developing and grading papers and exams, serving on college committees and governing bodies and continuing their professional development.

Essex has one of the most competent, creative and dedicated faculties I have seen at any institution.

Whether or not the summer school pay schedule is appropriate is a legitimate issue. Mr. Sherwin, however, does not enlighten the debate by making false and unjust claims about individuals who have dedicated their lives to the education of students in Baltimore County community colleges.

It is an insult to people like my husband, who has taught at ECC for 27 years and who I know works 50 to 60 hours a week for 48 weeks a year (for less than $50,000).

It is an insult to Ed Sherwin, who, when I worked with him at ECC, put in long hours to develop and build an innovative and highly respected vocational program that was unfortunately discontinued by the college a few years ago.

Dottye Burt-Markowitz

Baltimore

Stephen's Square foreclosure plans

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