Stadium School pupils show impressive gains
As a volunteer at the Stadium School since its opening, I was disappointed in the perspective of Jean Thompson's March 28 front-age article.
I have volunteered in the school every week for three years and can only state what my observations have been over time.
In addition to what the students have accomplished academically, the most impressive successes can be seen in their eagerness to learn, self-discipline to stay on task and determination to succeed.
These traits are the foundation to achievement and are taught at the Stadium School in a variety of ways.
The article suggested that the elementary classes be cut from the program. It is my observation that these early years help the students develop discipline, interest in the learning process and trust in the faculty which permit them to tackle the more difficult middle school challenges.
I have known the majority of these children for three years. The strides they have made in reading, writing, math, problem solving and expressing themselves are truly impressive.
Katherine McLean Constable
Dropping the 'at' not worth trouble
In reference to the news that the University of Maryland at College Park and University of Maryland at Baltimore shall henceforth officially drop the "at," I must ask: Is this what I'm paying my state legislators for?
And by the way, will the taxpayers have to pay for the new T-shirts and sweatshirts that will surely have to replace the current UMAB ones?
Baseball players no role models
It struck me as quite odd while leaving Oriole Park the other evening that people are so willing to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to see overpaid prima donnas play baseball. Yet within a hundred yards of the park you have homeless people begging for change so they can eat.
All one hears about is ballplayers haggling and whining over whether they are worth $6.7 million per year or $7.2 million. The public display of greed by today's athletes just sickens me.
If I ever again hear the term "role model" used in the same breath to describe one of today's athletes, I think I'll throw up.
Thailand's policy on homosexual rights
Letter writer Tom Gill (April 3) asserts, "I taught in a Buddhist university in an overwhelming Buddhist country, Thailand, for two years, and I soon learned that Buddhists just accept homosexuals as part of the human race."
How ironic it is, then, to read the following in a press release from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission: "On Dec. 26, 1996, in a report in the Bangkok Post, the Rajabat Institute Council, the collective governing body of all of Thailand's teachers colleges, declared that it would bar homosexuals from enrolling in any of its colleges nationwide. The announcement brought strong criticism from human rights groups and many others, who are urging the repeal of this discriminatory policy."
It seems that bigotry knows no religious or national boundaries.
No evidence of global warming
Your editorial of March 30, "Global warming talks heat up," is a full-blown example of the sloganeering used to advance this scientifically unsupportable theory. It included the usual catch phrases -- "rich vs. poor," "little doubt that the earth's temperature is on the rise," "the science of global warming may not be conclusive," etc. -- that is the stuff of social engineering rather than science.
The earth's temperature has never been constant. In fact, the empirical evidence is that we are in a cooling trend. There is no scientific study, other than computer generated models, that supports the global warming bug-a-boo.
This thesis, based on "little doubt" and "not conclusive" science is being sustained and furthered by the "end is near" and class warfare crowds. There is more of gravy than grave in this non-event.
Why ten-digit dialing was adopted
Your April 1 letters section included two under the heading, "Shift to 10 digits triggers criticism." I would like to respond to both.
In the first letter, the writer contends that Bell Atlantic is moving to address the shortage of telephone numbers in Maryland without regard to its customers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Maryland Public Service Commission's decision to implement an overlay plan, supported by Bell Atlantic, was made on the basis that it would be the least disruptive to consumers when compared to the traditional geographic split approach.
Two major considerations were consumer confusion and disruption.
Under the overlay plan, which "overlays" two new area codes onto the existing 410 and 301 regions of the state, Marylanders will be required to dial ten digits for all local calls.
Under the alternative geographic split, which would divide the state into four area code regions, telephone users would still be required to dial ten digits for many local calls while dialing seven digits for others.
The overlay, with its consistent ten-digit dialing, eliminates confusion by eliminating the guesswork.
Splitting the state into four area code regions would also have required that half of all Maryland customers (1.4 million) change their telephone numbers.
This would not only cost Maryland businesses millions of dollars but be disruptive to residential phone users as well. Under an overlay plan, no one's number changes.
Finally, the second letter raises a question that many consumers may have asked themselves: Why didn't the Public Service Commission simply assign the new area codes to cellular phone companies, paging companies and other companies whose products are driving the need for so many numbers?
The answer is: Federal law prohibits the assignment of area codes to specific telecommunication industry segments.
Obviously, there is no simple solution to this complex issue, but it's important that Maryland consumers know that they were the primary consideration in arriving at a solution.
The writer is vice president for external affairs of Bell Atlantic-Maryland.
Pub Date: 4/09/97