Public radio should get back to basics
Several years ago classical music station WJHU was declared broke and looking for a bail-out from the state. At that time the news operation cost in excess of $300,000 per year; now it is probably closer to $400,000.
Several months ago, successful drives for operating funds were concluded by WJHU and WBJC, the other good music station. This inspired a letter to the editor by the manager of one station praising the success of the other in raising more money, which would allow it to further support its news operation in the interest of "diversity."
Diversity is the current buzzword of the liberal left, whose philosophy is fully represented in the news and commentary being broadcast by these stations.
The expanding news operation, while disproportionately expensive, represents the best in bureaucratic empire-building. Playing recorded music requires a disc jockey and an engineer. News requires any number of bodies -- whatever the budget will stand. Thus the public and the federal government will be always asked for more.
Here is a message for WJHU and WBJC: Get back to basics. The airwaves are awash in news programs. Stick to your original charter -- good music at a reasonable cost.
Manley F. Gately
I would like to respond briefly to the religionists and supernaturalists who replied to my article "New Age bunkum" (Other Voices, April 16) with indignation and intolerance.
For the Christians I offended, their own Bible enjoins them to "love" others -- even those who persecute them. Isn't it about time they began practicing what they preach?
If Christian faith -- or any other faith -- is as strong as is claimed, then it should be able to withstand questioning or criticism.
Your readers' responses suggest either that their "faith" is weakened by the slightest criticism or that they are not as secure in their supernatural convictions as they believed.
This country is founded on the principle that great diversity of ideas and opinions is desirable and even necessary to the democratic experiment. From this flows our cherished right of free speech. I am perfectly content to grant supernaturalists and evangelists that right -- and I demand the same right in return.
hilip A. Stahl
Serious questions about aquarium repairs
Something is rotten on Pier 3. The National Aquarium is already in need of major repairs and, according to experts consulted by the aquarium itself, there is a strong possibility the original construction was faulty.
While the logical course would be to determine if negligence was involved and, if so, to recover the damages from the contractor, incredibly this is not an option the aquarium wants to pursue.
Instead the already overburdened Maryland taxpayer will be asked to kick in $8.5 million toward the aquarium's repair, even though most find its admission too high for tight budgets.
It is noteworthy that the construction was performed by one of the largest contractors in the state, Whiting-Turner, with the well-connected Willard Hackerman (who has managed to establish himself in the city as a philanthropist) at its helm.
The best part, though, is that the daily construction logs maintained by the city for one of its most important projects -- which could prove or disprove negligence -- have mysteriously been "lost."
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there's something fishy going on here. We may never know exactly what politics have come into play, but we do know when we are being duped.
Before we are asked to kick in one red cent, those construction logs had better turn up to determine whether Whiting-Turner should bear the financial burden of the repairs.
Until then, leave the Maryland taxpayer out of it.
. Logan Cockey
Baltimore I cannot again enter the warm weather season without venting my frustration with the bicycle groups who choose the most dangerous roads in Baltimore County for their excursions. Roads such as Blackrock, Falls and Butler are far too heavily traveled by motorized vehicles for bicycles to be safe.
These roads are a series of turns and hills that make it impossible to see the bicyclists until it's almost too late. There is also little or no shoulder along the roads, although that doesn't seem to matter anyway because the bicyclists always ride in the road.
The posted speed limit on most of the roads is 40 mph, but as most of us who travel these roads know, the usual speed is about 50 to 60 mph. When a car is moving at that pace and encounters a bike, there is little one can do to avoid an accident.
I feel that the state should designate specific bike routes on various roads throughout the state. That way drivers who want to avoid encounters with the bicyclists can take alternate roads, and drivers on the designated roads will at least be alerted to the possibility of a bicyclist on that road.
I'm sure that I have probably offended many of the bicycle groups around the area, but I would much rather offend them than be the accidental cause of their demise.