Space for Saving
Editor: Last month Baltimore witnessed the opening of two new museum exhibits in architecturally significant spaces in the Mount Vernon area. The Asian collection of the Walters Art Gallery opened in Hackerman House and the Museum of Contemporary Arts opened an exhibition on Russian photography in the service building of the art moderne Greyhound terminal complex.
Although the first project opened with great fanfare to wide acclaim, the latter project also deserves our attention and praise.
Four years ago, the city of Baltimore had plans to demolish this very building for a surface parking lot. Thanks to the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), at the urging of the Baltimore Art Deco Society, Baltimore Heritage and the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Improvement Association, this short-sighted plan was rejected.
Indeed, at the time, the fate of the entire Greyhound complex was in jeopardy. Today, as the Greyhound terminal building nears completion as offices for the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments, Baltimore can take pride in the cooperative effort between preservationists, neighborhood leaders, city officials, the developer and the tenant that resulted in such a magnificent project.
Now our attention must be focused on the service building, indeed a diamond in the rough. With its large, unobstructed floor area, intricate wood roof trusses and abundance of natural light, this building can be rehabilitated for a wide range of new uses.
Although a new roof and updated systems are clearly necessary, this building can, too, become a wonderful adaptive use project. Its future, however, remains in doubt unless a feasible plan can be formulated for its re-use.
"Photo Manifesto: Contemporary Photography in the U.S.S.R." will be on exhibit in the service building through June 21. Lovers of art and architecture should see the potential of this building for themselves and encourage city officials to work for its rehabilitation.
' Donna Beth Joy Shapiro.
Fred B. Shoken.
The writers are presidents of, respectively, the Baltimore Art Deco Society and Baltimore Heritage.
Editor: Your section concerning the recent study on Baltimore regional planning was disturbing both in content and in style.
Beginning with a perusal of the list of individuals interviewed by the team, the list did not include anyone from Anne Arundel County and few outside of the traditional Baltimore City-based organizations.
While downtown is vital and important and the image of Baltimore is critical to successful economic development, a downtown strategy will not suffice. Baltimore cannot assume the leadership nor presume to know all of the answers.
The Sun can contribute to the process by paying greater attention to the communities of the region. The news of Anne Arundel County is in a small local supplement, if at all, while the news of Baltimore City and other jurisdictions are on the front page of the Maryland section.
Anne Arundel County is a thriving economic and cultural community. Job growth alone has increased at a 3 percent average rate annually over the last 10 years (compared with 0.9 percent for the region). Though the city lost 2,290 jobs per year, Anne Arundel County gained 5,800 jobs per year.
Political, business and environmental leadership go well beyond boundaries. Keep your eyes and ears open.
S. Robert Kaufman.
The writer is chair of the economic development committee othe Anne Arundel Trade Council.
Editor: While police may be the immediate response to the immoral behavior of junior high students coming home around Patterson Park, a more constructive long-term solution would be to organize some kind of safety patrol that would include students (with interesting rewards for participating), community groups and parents.
One suspects that this sort of organized, supervised presence would be welcomed not only by a fed-up neighborhood but by the majority of students. It's hard to imagine that they or their parents approve of the delinquent behavior and obscene language that is so out-of-hand now.
J. J. Ross.
The Bull Deserves a Medal
Editor: Referring to Michael J. Clark's article entitled "Bout With Bull Teaches Man Respect For Matadors":
The reason for the bull's attack should have been obvious to anyone who understands animals. The two men were chasing the horse, and that's his "buddy" -- so he merely came to his friend's aid, thinking that the horse was in danger.
It's a "gut reaction" that is usually called bravery or valor -- to attack whatever threatens the source of one's feelings of comradeship! Why is it that humans cannot see that animals often respond in the same ways that we do and have the same affections?
What this incident should have taught that man is that even "lower" animals can have "higher" motives and may react and place themselves in jeopardy to protect a companion.
Isn't it interesting that an official "humane" society reaction is to consider destroying the bull? Actually, he deserves a medal for the attacks -- especially if those pick-up trucks were Japanese-made and the bull was a General Motors fan!
Editor: In response to an article in The Sun May 23, regarding the controversy surrounding Baltimore County public schools not providing breakfast for students, I would like to say that free and reduced lunches are provided, school nurses are used as family physicians, so why not have free breakfast? While we're at it, why not have the students bring their dirty clothes in and schools can do their laundry, too?
I am not against feeding hungry children, but surely there must be a way for families to be helped at home. To continue to expect our schools to take on more and more parental responsibilities is ludicrous. Schools are trying to teach students a sense of responsibility while our government continues to take over the duties of their parents. This certainly must send mixed messages to the students. How much better it would be for the parents to be taught to care for their children themselves.
Barbara E. Hinton.
All Should Compete for Scholarships
Editor: It was with utter amazement that I read the May 18 Garland L. Thompson column. Since Mr. Thompson is apparently unaware of the facts surrounding my son's lawsuit challenging the blacks-only criteria of the University of Maryland's Banneker Scholarship Program but is still willing to propagate zTC misinformation about that case, I am compelled to set the record straight.
First, nowhere have my son and I disparaged blacks in general or black students at College Park in particular as Mr. Thompson states. In fact my son and I strongly believe that blacks are fully capable of competing fairly for and obtaining any government benefit, such as a state university student academic scholarship. Moreover, they may even be entitled to a competitive preference because of past discrimination they have faced. However, what my son and I believe is unconstitutional and offensive is for the University of Maryland to set aside, that is guarantee, a minimum 20 full scholarships just for blacks each year, irrespective of the students' financial need. That is unfair to everyone else, including other minorities that have faced discrimination in the past, and it stigmatizes blacks in the community at large.
Unfortunately, contrary to Mr. Thompson's statement, it is not my son and I who are disparaging blacks, it is the University of Maryland which is doing so by in effect saying that blacks can only obtain academic scholarships by competing solely among themselves. As Mr. Thompson himself said in his piece, it is those who oppose affirmative action that believe that few blacks can compete with whites in fair competition. My son and I do not believe that, but the University of Maryland apparently does.
Next, Mr. Thompson inaccurately states that my son claims that he was more deserving of a Banneker Scholarship because he had higher scores than 33 of the 41 blacks who received those scholarships. In fact what my son claims is that he was unlawfully deprived of the right to compete for a Banneker
Scholarship solely because he is Hispanic and not black. The fact that he had better grades and SAT scores (and took more and more difficult high school courses, had more extracurricular activities, had a higher class standing, held more important leadership positions and participated in more community service activities) than many of the Banneker winners is only important in the context of the case because it shows that he would have been a competitive candidate if allowed to compete. If my son would have been allowed to compete for the 20 reserved scholarships and lost, so be it, but he was not allowed to compete slowly because of the color of his skin.
Finally, Mr. Thompson seems to argue that blacks are deserving of Banneker Scholarships because of their economic disadvantage. In so doing, Mr. Thompson shows his ignorance of the Banneker Program again. The program is not need based. The son of a black millionaire could compete for a Banneker Scholarship while the son of an impoverished Mexican-American migrant farm worker, for example, could not. My son and I fully agree with Mr. Thompson that the sons of disadvantaged blacks must be nurtured in our society to allow them to pull themselves up and succeed. However, apparently unlike Mr. Thompson, we believe that this can be done without trammeling the constitutional rights of everyone else.
As a final thought, Mr. Thompson should try to put himself in the place of those he is accusing so that he can better understand his perceived adversaries. When the state of Maryland still had a segregated system of education, my wife was a young child growing up in the multi-racial Hispanic nation of Costa Rica and I had just immigrated to the United States from a displaced persons camp in Italy. It is difficult for us to understand why our son has to be a victim of reverse discrimination when 35 years have passed since the University of Maryland at College Park was desegregated and there is absolutely no evidence of continuing discrimination on that campus against blacks. With that in mind, perhaps Mr. Thompson and his ilk will reserve their invective and misinformation for their real adversaries and not for those like myself who apparently share at least some of Mr. Thompson's agenda.
' Samuel Podberesky,