All schools should be improvedRegarding the rush of...


October 31, 1997

All schools should be improved

Regarding the rush of support to help Baltimore City schools, (letter, ''Spend hotel money on city's needy schools,'' Oct. 22) we must take into account all schools -- Catholic, private and public -- where more money would mean a better education.

Better education is key to the success of the world tomorrow in politics, economics and the overall knowledge of history, so that what happened years ago will never happen again.

The idea of putting millions of dollars into unnecessaries is astonishing when all of the necessaries are not yet fixed. Above all else, we must put the children at the top of our priority list because they are the future.

Try and picture how far behind the world would fall if the children weren't taken into account.

Janine Aughenbaugh

Glen Arm

Classical music lives, thanks to WBJC radio

Two letters about classical music that appeared recently in The Sun included criticism of WBJC, Baltimore's classical music radio station.

I would like to offer a different opinion of WBJC's music. While concentrating on the most popular nonvocal classical pieces, it actually is more varied than indicated by the letter writers. The broadcasts of superb concerts and operas provide an outstanding service to the community.

Because of WBJC, Baltimoreans can tune in to a local station anytime and listen to classical music. Let's be thankful for that.

Only a few simple changes would substantially improve WBJCs quality. First, reduce the repetition of the station's call letters to a reasonable, non-irritating level. Second, move concert broadcasts to 8 p.m. to allow more people to listen to them. Third, designate a weekly time period for playing 20th century classical music.

John Grant


Unsafe driving by people in high places

In two articles in Thursday's Sun (Oct. 16), we are reminded that drivers in even the highest of positions foul our roads with unsafe actions.

An article in Section A reported that a driving instructor quit after ordering a student to chase a car that cut them off so he could punch the offending driver in the nose. An article in section B reported that an off-duty Baltimore police officer passed on a double yellow line and killed an Upperco mother.

How many times are we to be reminded that aggressive driving '' habits are one of our nation's major killers? These are not accidents. Just as people decide to drink and drive, they decide to drive safely or express ''road rage.''

Driving teachers and law enforcement officers should be the last people we read about in situations like this. But every day we watch as our fellow drivers and even police cruisers (on duty or off) exceed speed limits, neglect turn signals, and sometimes kill people.

Bill Burnham


Visiting doctors could detect health problems

In this era of home care for seriously ill patients -- formerly called patients, then clients, now customers -- where is the visiting M.D.? If medicine is an art as well as a science, as one good doctor told me, we need more of the philosophy of Hippocrates and Maimonides in our board rooms.

For example, a friend was advised to bring her mother, ill for years with dementia and unable to walk, to the doctor's office or call 911 and have her taken to an emergency room to have a skin eruption evaluated. As it turned out, the eruption was a life-threatening side effect of long-term use of one medication.

Because of these blisters, her mother was provided a hospital bed at home, a registered nurse's visit and an aide to help with bathing. (She could have used all of these before, but the debilitation of dementia can't hold a candle to a blister.) And when her mother needs re-evaluation, she again will have to be laboriously returned to her doctor's office. And when she is healed, I suppose all of the above help will exit along with the blisters.

I ask the bottom-line insurance providers two questions. First, why are doctors not assigned to home care as well as other health professionals? Surely an ambulance ride to an emergency room for a skin eruption is not cost-effective. It is criminal to ask family caregivers, who themselves may not be well, to get incapacitated patients -- oops, customers -- to a doctor's office.

And second, when will the agony of the mind be treated with the same respect and response as the agony of the body?

Myra Welsh, R.N.

Owings Mills

Writer understands cultural identity

The feature article Oct. 20 on Sujata Massey and her book ''The Salaryman's Wife'' was a breath of fresh air.

She has dealt with a difficult issue that confronts many Americans: cultural identity.

This is not just a term we learn in social studies or history. It is a reality many of us grew up with and live with, as we find our rightful place in a multi-cultural society.

I remember coming to this country over 20 years ago, going to school and making this my home. During this long period, I lived in the South, traveled throughout this great country, finally setting my roots in Maryland.

During the 1970s, while living in the South, I also felt a tacit disapproval, as Ms. Massey did in Minnesota, sometimes from well-meaning people who did not know where to place me.

I was neither white nor black. My values, traditions and culture were different.

At that time, when I still believed in gods, I believed in Hindu gods. I was not a regular church-going Christian.

But, as Sujata Massey found through her travels and writings, I struggled through my cultural identity, before knowing ''what crayon to use when drawing my skin color.''

Let there be more writers like her, more books like ''The Salaryman's Wife,'' and more understanding of cultural identity.

Pradeep Ganguly


Pub Date: 10/31/97

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