In gridiron season, UMCP is Football U.What is the...

Letters

November 24, 1996

In gridiron season, UMCP is Football U.

What is the University of Maryland at College Park about?

The answer was given Thursday when the university canceled classes at 2: 30 p.m. and sent employees home (with full pay) to free-up parking for the 7: 30 p.m. Georgia Tech football game.

Previous pronouncements about the university's commitment to teaching and research seemed to mean little in face of the university's "commitment" to football. Given the decision to cancel classes five hours in advance of the football game, is College Park more than a football stadium with a college attached?

Parents and students desiring a vigorous and serious academic experience may have to look beyond College Park.

Ted Kruse

Baltimore

Zinman's departure is Baltimore's loss

It has been said that symphony orchestras are only as good as their conductors, and Baltimore is losing one of the best in David Zinman. The sad fact is it could have been prevented. With a little compromise from management and a more vocal audience, perhaps he would not be leaving.

Unfortunately, people are just more willing to pay $2,000 for a personal seat license for the Baltimore Ravens or spend $30 per ticket on the Baltimore Orioles. We can only hope that people will come to invite the symphony into their lives, before we lose the next conductor.

Amy Baskerville

Baltimore

Slot machine ads help pay MTA's bill

The complaints about the slot machine ads on MTA buses would be funny if they were not so typical of our politicians. They refuse to fund the MTA properly, they tell the MTA it should be more self-sufficient, and what happens? The MTA sells the advertising space on the sides of buses to raise money to keep fares down and maintain service. When people don't like an advertisement . . . they complain, "Take it down, take it down."

Not once did I hear anyone say we will make up the lost revenue. When the MTA goes to Annapolis for its budget, will someone offer to replace the lost funds? Not on your life. The MTA is restricted more than any other transit system in the U.S.

If people want to complain, they need to put their money where their mouths are. That is an extra million dollars the MTA would have to get somewhere. Raise the gas tax another penny to remove the ads from the buses. Only people in cars see them, not the bus riders. Let them pay to have them removed.

Robert Reuter

Baltimore

Treatment for drugs desperately needed

Congratulations to Jim and Ed Gogek, columnist and psychiatrist respectively, who managed to complete an entire Nov. 20 column about drugs, alcohol, addiction and crime without ever once mentioning the T-word: Treatment.

The whole argument about whether to legalize or decriminalize drugs is moot without energy, vision and funds directed toward widening the scope, intensity and accessibility of substance abuse treatment.

The recent experience of Baltimore's own health commissioner is a poignant example. Earlier this month, Dr. Peter Beilenson, disguised as an addict in search of much-needed treatment, went into methadone treatment centers. He quickly learned that the road to treatment is a rocky, callous and frustrating one.

Until a continuum of substance abuse treatment and recovery services is easily available and accessible to those in need, we all remain victims of fear, crime, stigma and poor public policy.

Lauren Siegel

Baltimore

Quarles was a notable scholar

After reading the obituary of Dr. Benjamin Quarles in The Sun of Nov. 19, I recall my brief association with him and Mrs. Quarles.

The film, "The Man Who Loved the Stars," starring Ossie Davis as Benjamin Banneker, was made by the Catonsville Historical Society in 1978. Dr. Quarles was among the scholars from Morgan State University and other colleges who were consultants for the writing of the film guide.

Dr. and Mrs. Quarles became members of the Friends of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park after Baltimore County bought the acreage on which Banneker, the first black American man of science, lived until his death in 1806. The county's new visitor's center at the park in Oella is now under construction.

I am disappointed that Dr. Quarles did not live long enough to see the site's museum, which will house Banneker artifacts and other related material. He would have been enthusiastic about the project.

I sat with them at Morgan when Dr. Elaine Breslaw, author and former faculty member, presented a program that included a talk by Ossie Davis and the showing of the film. Dr. Quarles was always a true gentleman as well as being a notable scholar.

Jean Walsh

Catonsville

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