Zoo's progress not yet completeReading the Sept. 6 column...

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September 28, 1996

Zoo's progress not yet complete

Reading the Sept. 6 column by Jeff Jacoby, "The suffering of a mother bird," made me think of a recent morning visit to the Baltimore Zoo. It was my first glimpse of the chimpanzee house, and it served to point out how far the zoo has come in doing a good job in placing animals and birds in their natural habitats.

It's a far cry from when I brought my own kids there in the 1960s. But the poor tigers. They do stand out as majestic, intense animals still relegated to the same (albeit bigger) cage area of three decades past. Perhaps they are next on the list to be given some space.

And if something could be done for that poor, forlorn and solitary bald eagle that people rarely visit, that would be equally welcome.

I believe that he cannot fly/survive in the wild, but perhaps he, too, can be given some more space.

Howard K. Ottenstein

Baltimore

Animal organs needed to prolong human life

The Sept. 21 news that the Food and Drug Administration has come up with regulations dealing with the growing field of xeno-transplantation is most welcome.

The use of animal organs and tissues has been a part of medicine for decades. For example, people with defective heart valves can have them replaced with pig valves.

The polio vaccine our children receive is made with monkey kidney cells. Until a synthetic was developed, diabetics used insulin manufactured from cows and pigs. Actual transplantation of animal organs into human patients is a logical extension of that research.

The need for organs is critical. As your article reported, nearly 50,000 Americans are now waiting for a transplant. Every year, 3,000 people die waiting for an organ to be donated. Animal rights activists who oppose the use of animal organs for transplants must be awfully confident that they and their loved ones will never be on the waiting list.

Dan Matthews of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called xeno-transplantation "cruel." The real cruelty is that scientists have given us the technology but opposition by groups such as PETA threatens to keep the benefits of animal transplants from reaching those in need.

Susan E. Paris

Alexandria, Va.

The writer is president of Americans for Medical Progress Educational Foundation.

Joint efforts in training

Howard Libit's Aug. 26 article, "Bringing vo-tech into a new era," mentions vocational programs in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore counties.

However, he only briefly touches on Baltimore City. He may be unaware of some of the local efforts. One such program is the Construction Industry Educational Foundation.

Founded in 1990, CIEF was started by representatives of the various construction associations; the American Subcontractors Association of Baltimore, Contractors of America Inc. (Maryland Chapter), Building Congress and Exchange of Metropolitan Baltimore Inc. and the National Association of Women in Construction.

One particularly successful affiliation is the partnership between Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School and CIEF. Members of the local construction industry have been working in conjunction with instructors to develop a curriculum that will enable students to get decent paying jobs once they leave school. The attendance rate in this program is 85 percent, which is substantially higher than that of other Baltimore City public schools.

Howard County is not the only region working toward preparing students for the workforce.

Charles E. Grey

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Construction Industry Educational Foundation.

Teach children to use crosswalks

Since the Sept. 10 fatal accident involving a Greenspring Middle School student crossing Greenspring Avenue, the media have focused on pedestrian safety at all the city schools. Because my daily commute takes me past this school, I am well aware of the problem and city attempts to solve it.

One morning, a city police officer was stationed at one of the two crosswalks. Both the officer and I were aghast at what we saw. A parent delivering young people stopped at the curb across from the school and let out the students.

The drop-off location was nowhere near either crosswalk. As soon as the car departed, two of the students strolled across Greenspring Avenue, seemingly oblivious to the traffic moving toward them from both directions.

What is wrong with this picture? This parent obviously had not instructed the students to use crosswalks. Perhaps the parent failed to learn this himself.

The solution is not providing more police officers to guard crosswalks. The solution is for parents to take the responsibility to insist that their children learn and execute safe street-crossing behavior. This city needs to spend its public safety funds wisely, not for the protection of young people who should already know how to use a crosswalk.

Marjorie Richmond

Baltimore

Agnew and Warfield books recommended

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