I applaud Neal Peirce's column May 5, "The Ivory Tower and the 'Hood," which shows the University of Pennsylvania's involvement in solving its neighboring urban challenges.
You don't have to travel to West Philadelphia, however, to see hands-on action by universities working with the local community to attack social problems. At the University of Maryland at Baltimore, this is a vital part of our educational experience, service mission and duty as a public institution.
By helping citizens in Baltimore and throughout the state with health care, legal aid and social service concerns, UMAB's students and faculty assist those who need it the most but can afford it the least.
Our professional schools -- medicine, law, nursing, pharmacy, dental and social work -- provide thousands of hours of uncompensated expert care in out-of-classroom settings, as students learn real-life lessons of social responsibility.
UMAB's non-faculty staff take part, too, by volunteering time toward our award-winning partnership with Baltimore City public schools.
Whether it's providing health care for the homeless, helping children stay in school, resolving landlord-tenant disputes for the poor, counseling parents having trouble raising their kids or providing pre-natal care for single mothers-to-be, we take seriously our duty to give something back to the community in which we live. The education experience is devoid without it.
Higher education must be involved in solving the real world problems that surround campus. Our nation's future lies in the balance.
The writer is director of community relations for the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
The May 5 editorial on Doug Riley's position concerning the Towson traffic plan strikes me as being very short-sighted. Rather than being criticized for a change of mind, Doug Riley should be commended.
Mr. Riley is a committed public servant who evaluates his decision very carefully. His record shows that he is responsive to his constituency and willing to listen to all sides.
In the Burke Avenue situation cited by The Sun, Mr. Riley spent an entire weekend along with his two young daughters monitoring the traffic situation at that site. He then was persuaded to change his decision. How many other political leaders would take the time and make the effort to become so involved? Or for that matter, have the courage to go on record with a change of mind?
Again in the Joppa Road and Allegheny Avenue traffic plan, Mr. Riley has shown responsible leadership. He has asked for a six-month trial period for his plan.
In the traffic plan for central Towson, there are many special interest groups clamoring for consideration. Business owners in central Towson are just one of these groups, and they ought to give the new plan a chance to be tested. After all, will their businesses be improved if central Towson is so congested with traffic that consumers are persuaded to shop elsewhere?
I have known Doug Riley for more than eight years. He is a practicing attorney and a dedicated family man. Along with these responsibilities, he has chosen to serve as a Baltimore County councilman. In this position, he has demonstrated strength of character, decisiveness of action and openness to relevant information and alternative viewpoints. Isn't this the type of qualities we need in our political leaders?
Page Windsor Miller
X-rays Not Perfect
I had a mastectomy seven years ago and am deeply concerned about the fact that nowhere in the many articles concerning breast cancer is the fact mentioned that many times the mammograms do not show a cancer -- even when one is present.
This happened to me. I had regular mammograms. I had discovered a "dimple" myself. My physician confirmed it by digital examination; even the day before the operation a mammogram showed nothing.
And it was a large malignancy.
I was then told mammograms fail at least 10 percent of the time. That could add up to many deaths of unsuspecting women.
I believe women should be told that this situation may be so in their case, that they should learn how to examine themselves between regular visits to their doctor, and not to depend entirely on a mammogram.
Marjorie A. Muller
Abortion: Irreverent Reverends
I thought it particularly enlightening to read (The Sun, April 22) the contradictory statements of the Schenck brothers when the Rev. Robert Schenck was arrested in Buffalo during the anti-abortion demonstrations.
Rev. Robert Schenck was arrested for displaying a fetus. The Rev. Paul Schenck said the fetus was the same one used last summer in Wichita, Kan. Robert Schenck shouted from the police bus window, "All that we ask is that she [the fetus] not be destroyed because we have been given custody of her for burial."
If they truly believe that a fetus is a person, one would expect them to treat a dead person with respect and not carry around a body for nine months for display and exploitation in formaldehyde. It is apparent to me they have no respect for the living or the dead, no matter what their beliefs are. This is just another example of the hypocrisy of the anti-abortion group.
Lawrence A. LaMotte
MA The writer represents District 5-B in the House of Delegates.
The well written comments (letter, April 23) by J. Terry Edmonds on "The Silence of the Lambs" winning the Academy Award was much appreciated.
A good movie, but not Academy Award material. It just shows where Hollywood's mind is -- it's mindless! The fact that so many people thought it was great and seem to be intrigued with these non-feeling sickos is very disconcerting.
And they call this genius? I find myself worrying about the soul of the country and where it's heading.
Mr. Edmonds is not alone. There are some of us out here who also feel rather queasy by the Academy's decision.
Doreen A. Griffin
While The Sun featured a scenic view of hot air balloons over the Maryland State Fairgrounds, nothing was said of the spectacular event that took place May 9 on the ground which was of importance to a whole lot more people.
EXPO '92, a gathering of the families of Scouting, Boy Scouts of America and Cub Scouts, filled the Timonium Fairgrounds with over 10,000 visitors, according to Dick Behrens, BSA's Director of Development and Communication for the Baltimore Area Council.
For $2 a person, families of all sizes and ages could enjoy camping skills and demonstrations, crafts and hands-on techniques, games and activities.
Over 200 Scouting units from the Baltimore area set up their exhibits or campsites with the hard work of 3,000 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and the leaders who volunteer tirelessly to provide the youth with fun, guidance and an education they don't get in a classroom.
There were campfire foods to sample, obstacle courses to be overcome, crafts to make, races to enter, shows to see and skills to develop. It started early in the morning with a breathtaking ceremony of massed flags at 10 a.m. and ended at 6, a fantastic and exhausting day for everyone.
We Can't Forget the Runners-up
Before the Rodney King beating verdict and its tragic aftermath, I had done some driving through rural areas while reflecting on my past, present and future in the United States.
My family grew to adulthood in poor, all-black neighborhoods, although they don't seem so poor as I look back. My father was a janitor and my mother a part-time domestic worker. There were six children. There were shared chores as we grew, church on Sundays and holy days (mother and children Catholic, father Presbyterian) and school.
For me, there were a few run-ins with the juvenile justice system, but I survived with support from family, friends, neighbors and teachers. There was graduation, military service, college and employment. There was marriage and childbirth. It seems a fairly normal life.
As I reflected, two important years continued to arise to my consciousness: 1948 (integration of the military) and 1954 (Brown vs. Board of Education). As with all momentous events, there were positives and negatives. Blacks gained greater opportunities and more social mobility, but it was also the time of deterioration of the black family and the lessening of church influence. In earnest, we began chasing the American Dream, and as in any race only first, second, and third-place finishes are recognized.
There is no reason for the top finishers in a track meet to share their medals, but in the race of life we cannot forget the runners-up, because then we all become losers. Don't imagine that the underclass are the only losers when we increase police forces, build detention facilities and fund some ill-conceived social program. We all lose. We lack vision.
What I observed driving through small communities named Libertytown, Windsor, Jarrettsville, Elmer, Pennsgrove, Buena, etc., was a beautiful America. People working in shops, on farms, in offices, laughing, conversing, helping. They were white, black, brown and yellow. A beautiful, multi-ethnic montage. In Atlantic City I talked to an Iranian family.
Our multi-ethnicity should be our greatest asset. Instead we allow it to become a liability. I thought, what an opportunity exists. Imagine an integration of cultures producing a citizenry wise to the ways of all cultures.
My main concern is the country's refusal to focus on the needs of children. I feel that we adults must be willing to sacrifice, through taxation and less personal comfort, to assure that our next generations will be prepared.
Maurice S. Dorsey