Horton column shares timely insights about environmentTom...

Letters to the Editor

July 22, 1998

Horton column shares timely insights about environment

Tom Horton's column "Greed leads to disaster in Fla." (July 10) is both timely and insightful.

Horton points out how short-term economic values, the replacement of natural forest systems with intensive commercial timber practices, have contributed to fire risk and the crisis in Florida.

Risks to human life and private property are also aggravated by Florida's burgeoning population and urban sprawl -- increased development invading forests and other environmentally sensitive areas.

And finally, of course, five of the hottest years on record have occurred in this decade, with 1998 promising to join the list. This should be evidence enough of a global warming trend.

It is time we begin to recognize the complexity of global natural systems and processes.

We must understand that markets and the promise of future technology cannot solve the problems we are creating. We need to understand and incorporate sustainable values into our personal and public policy choices.

Tom Horton's writing does much to raise environmental literacy in our community.

Nicholas R. Brown

Baltimore

The writer is an assistant professor of politics and environmental policy at Goucher College.

Poor proofreading mars Goldstein editorial

Your July 4 editorial ("Louis L. Goldstein, 1913-1998") failed to identify exactly what the late comptroller "poured" over those voluminous reports. Was it his morning coffee? His lunchtime iced tea perhaps?

You should secure the services of a living, breathing proofreader to "pore" over your copy.

John J. Fuller

Perry Hall

Letter, column point out parents' role in reading

Your excellent series of Reading by 9 articles was very well summed up July 14 by the Opinion Commentary article "Let's provide tools needed to fix our schools" by Kalman R. Hettleman and a letter to the editor on the opposite page "Help from home is needed to teach children to read" by Patrick Radomsky.

Mr. Hettleman, identified as an education consultant, does an excellent job of summing up all the gobbledygook about more education for teachers, smaller classes, child testing and research, and explains why every child needs a tutor and why this is too expensive for any school system.

Then Mr. Radomsky in four paragraphs also says that every child needs a tutor and that tutor should be a parent or some other person at home.

They both then agree: that child will be reading by 9.

I. L. Garfinkle

Baltimore

Maybe future teachers need a journalism class or two

The July 8 Sun Journal, carried a story "Poor showing in Massachusetts," which reported that 59 percent of applicants for teaching positions in that state failed a pre-admission test.

Good English and grammar, coupled with excellent diction, are hallmarks of people in journalism. A teacher applicant might argue that copy readers check for such nice things as proper use of English and grammar and have a dictionary at their elbows.

Yet all you have to do is look at on-the-scene journalists reporting live on camera. Even in the excitement of a breaking news story, they come across showing they were taught well and also learned well.

As aspiring doctors take pre-med courses and future attorneys take pre-law, one is prompted to suggest that potential teachers be required to take courses in journalism. Apparently, in that field the subjects are being communicated and learned.

It was sad to see in your article the written text of some of the Massachusetts applicants, who demonstrated on the surface their lack of qualification for a teaching position. No wonder Johnny can't read! Communication skills are essential for good teaching.

Massachusetts is not alone in this inadequacy. This writer recalls vividly in his pre-retirement years reviewing letters written by graduates seeking employment from other states with MBAs who could neither spell nor write nor punctuate, but they were seeking junior management positions on the strength of their degrees.

Richard L. Lelonek

Baltimore

A friend's explanation of N. Ireland's history

Some years ago we were on a visit to Ireland. I asked a friend later why there was such hostility in Ireland between Catholics and Protestants.

He had some knowledge of Irish history and he explained to me that it was basically economics.

He said that when the Roundheads under William of Orange came to Ireland and defeated King James at the Battle of the Boyne they confiscated everything the Irish had. The Irish could not attend schools or hold a responsible job or enjoy any of the material pleasures of life.

By virtue of superior numbers and wealth, the Orangemen have continued to harass the Irish Catholics to this day.

The Irish Catholics have responded with violence and hatred to the Orangemen to this day.

With the peace process taking hold, it was hoped that sanity would return to this troubled land, but the Protestant Orangemen had to show their arrogance with the cowardly parade celebrating the Battle of the Boyne, which occurred hundreds of years ago.

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