Support for Towson U. will help spur changeYour editorial...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

December 26, 1998

Support for Towson U. will help spur change

Your editorial series on the problems inherent in the University System of Maryland highlighted the major issues that we at Towson University have faced since the creation of the system in 1988 ("Higher education in turmoil").

Despite perplexing system roadblocks and poor state funding, Towson has still made major strides in the past five years by adding several new undergraduate and graduate programs.

Your strong support of Towson, displayed especially in two of your editorials, will add significantly to the changes that are necessary if Maryland is to have a premier system of higher education as you envision.

Indeed, Towson University is dedicated to fulfilling its promise to become a major force in higher education throughout Maryland for all its citizens as our arts and sciences and professional programs, both undergraduate and graduate, continue to grow and develop in the future.

Jack Fruchtman Jr.

Towson

The writer teaches constitutional law and politics at Towson University.

Slain officer's story brought tears to eyes

I have just finished reading the article by Sarah Pekkanen " 'Officer Down!' " (Dec. 20). It didn't matter how hard I tried to keep the tears from streaming down my face, they did anyway.

I didn't know Officer Harold Carey personally, and yet I grieved for those few minutes for him. I felt the absolute pain of his loss.

His parents and his fellow officers have indeed suffered a loss, and so have I.

I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Officer Carey. I pray that he is indeed in a better place.

I also congratulate Ms. Pekkanen for the talent she has shared with me -- the ability to touch someone with words. It was a very moving telling of the facts and emotions of all involved in this tragedy.

Thomas E. Mitchell

Randallstown

Stadiums for second, not first, childhoods

Maryland has sharply reduced subsidies to welfare recipients. This has freed up approximately a half billion dollars to aid a small group of Baltimore males, who have used the money to build two downtown stadiums.

To prevent sports fans from exercising too much, each stadium has a light rail stop. Unlike all other light rail stops, the Ravens stop has a sheltered ramp, which goes to the stadium. Many patrons have luxury sky boxes. (For readers unfamiliar with the game, a sky box is an incubator for those prematurely reaching a second childhood.) Here, the temperature is controlled. Occupants are fed on demand, mostly liquids. Some find that at least one meal is needed between lunch at noon and dinner at 6 p.m.

Because Maryland taxpayers paid for the stadiums, they are delighted at the economic returns. Midway through the second half of a Ravens game, some fans move toward the exit, muttering, "Let's go to Hancock or Cumberland and eat a sandwich." If a baseball game is not exciting, the fans leave in the late innings, to beat the crowds to soda fountains in Elkton or Havre de Grace.

Because these stadiums are the only entertainment venues in Baltimore that do not offer reduced admission prices for children, another generation of sports fans is unlikely. Then, alas, the Orioles and the Ravens will go the way of the dodo bird.

Robert Y. O'Brien

Severna Park

Tablets show origins of civilization in Africa

In response to the article "Egyptian tablets may be earliest writing" (Dec. 16), it would appear that the truth, to some degree, is finally being told.

Yet this article did not mention the artifacts from the ancient Qustul, Nubia (the land now known as the Sudan), which pre-dates the Egyptian dynastic system by at least 300 years.

Those artifacts prove that hieroglyphic writing, the worship of Osiris, Isis and Horus; the governmental system of pharaohs and dynasties; architecture; the sciences; and many other ideas started in Nubia.

Not only did humankind start in Africa, but civilization started there as well.

Olatunji Mwamba

Baltimore

Baltimore County residents need the 'park-loving spirit'

Three articles on the first three pages of your Dec. 18 Maryland section displayed, no doubt unintentionally, the stark difference in attitudes toward land development -- residential vs. park -- in Baltimore and Howard counties.

There's the usual concern, mostly traffic, of citizens groups over the planned 1,200 to 1,400-home, Columbia-style village in the area of Howard County near Interstate 95 and Route 216. But some of those groups believe a quarry there would be the foundation for a needed regional park, and the Rouse Co. and county officials seem likely to talk about such an acquisition ("Rouse plans 200 more homes in Howard next to proposed Columbia-style village").

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