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Bury hatchet and save PimlicoWhile Gov. Parris...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Bury hatchet and save Pimlico

While Gov. Parris N. Glendening gloats over the racing industry's "gamble" on Ellen Sauerbrey's campaign and threatens to withhold state support for tracks in next year's budget, citizens of Baltimore City suffer with the prospect of four more years with an embarrassing, dilapidated-looking Pimlico Race Course ("Glendening cool to aiding track owners," Jan.19).

I support the governor's position on slot machine gambling, but he must recognize that Pimlico's status as a triple-crown course, like the prestige of our National Football League franchise and our bid for the Olympics, requires a commitment from the state.

Mr. Glendening and Joseph DeFrancis need to bury their partisan hatchets and invest in and overhaul the rundown appearance of Pimlico.

Dorothy Baker

Baltimore

Utility workers delivered energy

This letter is to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to all of the work crews from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and out-of-state utility companies that worked around the clock to restore electricity in the Randallstown area as well as other outlying areas that faced the emergency situation.

It was truly commendable that crews worked through fatigue and tremendous obstacles.

They did a magnificent job, and we thank them.

God bless them all.

Margaret Brown

Ann Brown

Randallstown

I would like to commend Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employees for their performance dur- ing the recent ice storm. Telephone operators were courteous and patient, and crews worked with amazing efficiency and speed.

We are fortunate to be able to rely on such professional capability in a dangerous emergency. The employees are all greatly appreciated.

Barbara P. Katz

Baltimore

Dr. Samuel Glick a caring pediatrician

Many people now live to be 98, but too few have the verve and opportunity to contribute to society as did Dr. Samuel Shipley Glick, who died recently.

As one of his last remaining classmates from the Class of 1925 of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, I vividly recall the day we awaited one final examination question to be handed out in the huge meeting room in the building at Cathedral and Saratoga streets.

Dr. Glick went to the piano and played a little Beethoven for all of us. That spirit was still with him until a few weeks ago when we dined in adjacent groups at the gracious Johns Hopkins Club. It was a spirit that was conveyed to the children he cared for as a pediatrician, his faculty associates, students and his family and enduring friends. What more could one wish for?

Dr. Thomas B. Turner

Baltimore

Clinton backers fear full story will emerge

Why are the president's Democratic supporters against allowing witnesses in the Senate trial?

Obviously they are concerned that Monica Lewinsky, Betty Currie and Vernon Jordan will tell the rest of the story.

Cross-examination by the 13 Republican prosecutors have them troubled that other events of President Clinton's past may be resurrected.

Also, why does The Sun want to get these hearings over and a vote taken as quickly as possible? Hey, the country has done well since January 1998.

The economy is strong, and we are at peace around the world. Crime is down, education is better.

Why don't we just keep the trial going indefinitely?

E. C. Chavatel

Cockeysville

Congress not obligated to care what we want

Susan Reimer's column ("End this impeachment process now, hear me?" Jan. 19) was considerably off target. While she may be tired of the matter, she fails to remember that we have a government that is a republic, not a true democracy. Therefore, our representatives are not obligated to do what we want or care what we want in constitutional matters.

Ms. Reimer properly characterized the president as leading with the wrong part of his anatomy. While "heavy petting" is not a high crime or misdemeanor, perjury should not be tolerated from our president.

Lou A. Koschmeder

Gambrills

Writer has dry wit or need for reading

I have to congratulate Thomas Bowden of Millersville on his letter "When human needs matter, nature has no rights" (Jan. 19).

He has one of the driest senses of humor I have seen, unless, of course, he was serious, in which case I feel truly sorry for him and suggest that he read "A Civil Action."

Tim Eastman

Baltimore

In his letter, Thomas A. Bowden states: "To sustain our lives, we must shape the earth to serve our needs. Nature has no rights."

It is very sad to think that people are egotistical enough to believe that they are the most important beings in the universe. Some of us delight in all God's creatures and are more than willing to share the earth with them.

Teresa Robinson

Perry Hall

Win, lose hub at port, reporting is splendid

It won't be a big surprise if Baltimore fails to become the site for the East Coast hub for Maersk Inc. and Sea-Land Service. But those of us with an interest in shipping and the Port of Baltimore have had the benefit of the best writing on the subject in decades via the splendid articles written by Sun staffer, Robert Little. His articles have been most thorough.

Milton Daniels

Baltimore

Clearing up (or throwing more confusion into) start of the next millennium

I am amused most every day by the conflict over when the millennium starts -- 2000 or 2001.

Everyone is so serious about it, when it is mostly meaningless. Our dating system is only a convention thought to start with the birth of Christ.

We could have used any event to start the calendar, such as the beginning of the Roman Empire and the Egyptian dynasties. The only accurate event to measure time might be the beginning of the universe.

So let's not get too uptight, and enjoy the change from 1999 to 2000, as it seems most of us want to do.

The first millennia occurred billions of years ago, and the world has survived.

William C. Ermatinger

Parkton

Please let's get our dating straight. We are confusing lots of people, especially our young ones, over when the first century started, when the 20th century will end and when the 21st century will begin and end.

Clearly, the authors of the letters published in The Sun ("This is only next to the last year of the 20th century," Jan. 5) and ("The Sun's view correct on 21st century's start," Jan. 13) did not understand Dionysius Exiguus' use of the year 0 as a benchmark when he devised a Christian system of dating in A.D. 532..

According to the calculations of this sixth century monk, Christ was born in the year 0. All the years preceding this benchmark were marked as before Christ (B.C.), and all the years after the benchmark were marked as anno Domini (A.D.). The year after B.C. 1 was not A.D. 1, as stated by Michael Shackleford in his Jan. 13 letter.

Consider the number line: 1 (read as 1 B.C.) is followed by 0, not +1 (read as A.D. 1). It is contradictory to say that Christ was born in B.C. 1 when every schoolchild knows that B.C. stands for before Christ was born.

When Christ was 6 months old, the date was A.D. 1/2. When he was 12 months, it was A.D. 1. He probably had his Bar Mitzvah during the year A.D. 13. Twenty years later, in 33, he was crucified.

It is erroneous to calculated the first century as from A.D. 1 through A.D. 100. The first century started in year 0 and ended 99. The second century started in 100 and ended in 199. The 20th century began in 1900 and is ending on Friday, Dec. 31, 1999.

And we shall usher in the first day of the 21st century on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, and end it in 2099.

Marcus Ampadu

Baltimore

I cannot understand why so many, including The Sun, are confused about when the next century begins.

On Jan. 13, a letter published in The Sun sought to explain how our calendar came to be. The information provided by your correspondent is correct; however, the conclusion that the next century begins Jan. 1, 2000, which was drawn from the information, is incorrect.

While Dionysius Exiguus, Latin for "Dennis the Short," concluded that Christ was born in B.C. 1, the correct date, according to current scholarship, is no later than B.C. 4, when King Herod died. Thus the 2,000th anniversary of that event occurred no later than 1997.

In any event, the beginning of the next century does not depend on when Christ was born. It is a simple matter of counting. Since Dionysius began counting the first century at A.D. 1 rather than 0, the first century ended at the end of the year of 100, and the second century began at the beginning of the year 101.

The next century -- and the next millennium -- begins at the first instant of time after the end of the year 2000 (the last year of the 20th century and the last year of the second millennium). The date will be Jan. 1, 2001.

J. Wayne Ruddock

Baldwin

I was surprised when your reports on the installation and removal of Maryland's millennium clock in Annapolis did not correct the gross error that the next millennium doesn't begin until Jan. 1, 2001. Then I noticed that your news staff is apparently unaware of this fact. However much we may wish it to be, 1999 is not the 20th century's final year; the year 2000 is. Please don't continue to reinforce this error.

Rich Roberts

White Hall

Dionysius Exiguus was a Greek monk from Scythia Minor who died in Rome in the sixth century. The calendar date he established is based on Christ's incarnation -- the Day of Annunciation -- and not the actual birth.

With Christ's birth recorded on Dec. 25, Dionysius started his calendar on the date nine months earlier of March 25.

He designated all time before this date as Ante Christium (A.C.) or Before Christ (B.C.). All years subsequent to this date were designated anno Domini (A.D.).

Dionysius began his calendar with year 1, not year 0. This calendar designation was accepted by the Latin church and used by Venerable Bede in his history of the English church.

The Latin calendar, still in use, is not based on the particular year of Christ's birth so much as this point of reference established by Dionysius and adopted in 673. With that in mind, when the anno Domini calendar began with year 1, the first century ended with year 100.

Consequently, the 20th century ends Dec. 31, 2000, and the 21st century begins Jan. 1, 2001.

Joan Manns

Bel Air

Regarding the letter published in The Sun ("The Sun's view on 21st century's start correct," Jan. 13) stating that the next century begins on Jan. 1, 2000.

Michael Shackleford's letter actually disproved his point. Regardless of the year of Jesus birth, the end of the first year of the first A.D. century was the year A.D. 1. Because A.D. 1 was the end of the first year of that century, A.D. 99 is the end of the 99th year of the first century. This makes 100 the last year of that first century, 1000 the last year of the 10th century, and 2000 the last year of the 20th century.

People may feel free to celebrate as they wish, and it seems most are treating Jan. 1, 2000, as the end of the 20th century.

This, however, does not change the fact the first year of the common era is still the year 1, and unless the first century had only 99 years, Jan. 1, 2001, is the beginning of the 21st century.

Douglas Allen

Baltimore

I will try to clear up the millennium controversy. All it takes is some common sense and a little arithmetic.

First of all, the date of the birth of Jesus or any tampering of the calendar in the past is not relevant. Time is not an absolute.

A century of years is 1 thru 100 (year 100 must be completed before the next century begins). A millennium of years is 1 thru 1000 (year 1000 must be completed before the next millennium begins).

Two millennia are 2,000 years, or 1 thru 2000. (Again, 2,000 years must be completed before the next millennium begins.)

Hence, the new decade, century and millennium will always start with a 1. The new millennium starts Jan. 1, 2001.

Of course, some people will not agree and will continue to insist the new millennium starts on Jan. 1, 2000. To those people I say: "Have your celebration, but you are technically wrong."

Richard W. Allen

Westminster

Pub Date: 1/23/99

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