India, Pakistan should make realistic gains
The June 24 news story, "India, Pakistan to discuss Kashmir, other disputes," highlights the fact that relations between the two South Asian neighbors have been strained for 50 years over Kashmir.
As a significant first step, both nations have agreed to stop propaganda and provocative actions against each other. At long last, it appears, there is hope on the Indian subcontinent.
Prime Ministers Inder K. Gujral of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan deserve a lot of credit for taking bold steps. A lot of popular rhetoric in both countries goes against their open-minded approach.
The Kashmir issue is especially thorny. These two countries have gone to war over it. There is evidence that since 1989 Pakistan has armed, trained and financed Islamic militants in Kashmir, although it denies the charge.
The current negotiations are a good start. However, let's be realistic; it will be a while before India and Pakistan can solve all outstanding issues.
So, while they discuss Kashmir, they should also focus on a few smaller issues which would benefit the people of both nations.
Political leaders could claim as small victories: (1) relax water and fishing rights; (2) relax trade barriers; (3) expand mutually beneficial sectors of trade and investment; and (4) ease travel for business, family reunions and pilgrimage.
This would help the economies of both India and Pakistan, create jobs and income, and give democracy a real boost on the subcontinent.
This is the perfect time to start this process, because 1997 marks the 50th anniversary of their independence from Britain.
Whatever happened to sense of humor?
The furor over Del. Nancy Jacobs' innocent forwarding of some humorous e-mail leaves me appalled. But given the current broad reach of the thought police, I am not surprised.
I grew up in an ethnically diverse area of west Pennsylvania. The jokes, whether based on ethnic, religious, gender or other differences, flowed like water, and no person or group was granted any exemption. Through all of this I never saw anyone -- male or female, young or old -- take offense.
The divisiveness fostered by the thought police in this country has been more damaging than anyone wants to admit.
What Tyson did wrong was get into the ring
So, it is acceptable sport to make every effort to completely incapacitate, possibly kill, another human being by smashing the delicate, irreplaceable brain around the inside of the skull, but it is "despicable" to bite a relatively expendable appendage.
Joseph R. Blair
Chapman's Landing is global treasure
The proposed Chapman's Landing development in southern Charles County is a perfect example of county planning run amok. The county has chosen its most sensitive and biologically richest land for future development of a city nearly the size of Annapolis.
The World Wildlife Fund has ranked Chapman's Landing "among 200 globally outstanding eco-regions" because it is "especially rich in reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, rare butterflies and plants."
Amphibians and migratory song birds are declining world wide due in part to the loss of habitat such as this 2,000-acre tract of unfragmented older growth forest with paludal wetlands.
The topography includes steep slopes with highly erodible soils that if disturbed will cause excessive erosion and sedimentation. Downstream, the nationally acclaimed bass fisheries of Mattawoman Creek and the newly designated Mattawoman Creek Wildlands would be devastated by the adverse impacts.
Just because a county government does not possess the wisdom to preserve its "global treasure" does not mean that the state or federal government has to perpetuate that bad decision.
The writer is co-chairman of the Maryland Wildlands Committee
Fancy footwork at Towson University
Judith Green's June 22 feature, "Gotta Dance," states that Towson University has an undergraduate degree aimed at teaching, not performance.
In fact, TU's Department of Dance offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance in Education. It is the only institution of higher education in Maryland that offers the degree.
In Dance Performance all students major in performance and may elect to add the education component.
Many of our dance alumni have gone on to perform with distinguished dance companies such as Alvin Ailey II, Lar Lubovitch Company, Eliot Feld Ballet Company and the New York Theatre Ballet Company. Undergraduates have also received scholarships for study at the Joffrey Ballet and Juilliard.
Ms. Green's article covered the lack of support of dance in Maryland. Hopefully, it is articles such as this that will change the present condition of support for dance performance. Locally, college and university performances of music, theater and art have generally been well covered by the press, but dance still lags behind in this area.
Hoke L. Smith
The writer is president of Towson University.
Pub Date: 7/02/97