The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on August 30, 1990 · 55
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 55

Baltimore, Maryland
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 30, 1990
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THE SUN SECTION THURSDAY AUGUST 30, 1990 Weather F JVIMT MICHAEL OiESEUSR Turning off TV should improve entire picture I turn on my television set and nothing happens: not a sound, not a picture, not a hint of electricity stirring, not a buzz, not a hum, not even a commercial with 1 7 dancing bears explaining the superiority of their favorite brand of toilet paper. My local cable television company has Cut me off from the world as it Isn't. I apologize to the cable company for my failure to pay last month's bill. I apologize to my senses for waiting so long to turn off the television without the cable company doing it forme. The cable company says they can't turn on my TV again until I pay last month's bill, plus another installation fee. I will pay it, of course. Who wants to be cut off from commercials with dancing bears? And yet, and yet . . . A wonderful thing has happened In the days since the television set died: I have rediscovered reading. In fact, I have rediscovered reading at the same time America continues to undiscover reading. in my home, the reading of newspapers and magazines has never ceased, but the reading of books is another story altogether. In newspapers and magazines, you read articles that take minutes. You absorb them during commercial breaks. Books take hours. You absorb them over a lifetime. My attention span has dwindled to minutes. America's attention span Is dwindling to the length of a television commercial. Two days ago, on the front page of this newspaper, we had the latest in a series of stories about young people whose reading skills are limited to the messages on T-shirts. "Verbal averages on SAT fall to worst in decade," the headline said. The story said language-test results have now sunk so low that College Board officials warn reading could become a "lost art" among high school students. For openers, I resent the refer-- ence to reading as an "art." It Implies reading's a kind of cultural luxury, something we do after we've taken care of important stuff, a frill. It isn't. Reading Is the way we learn about the world, which is now spinning for large numbers of people at exactly the rate of our fingers hitting the remote control button of our television sets. Everything's happening too quickly. You don't like the commercial with the 17 dancing bears? That's why God invented the remote control. Reading Is where we slow things down, where we run the world at our own pace. Reading Is where we can do Instant replays in our heads. It's where we catch our breath. It's where1 Our brain engages itself, Instead of merely our nerve endings. It's where things get explained. The good news about the latest SAT -scores? Maryland's students score a couple of points better than the rest of the country. The bad news? The whole country's doing terribly. The average reading score is 424 out of a possible 800. There was a time, not so long ago, when I taught at one of our local universities. The students were Journalism majors. There was a time, apparently, very long ago, when Journalism majors read everything they could get their hands on: not only to absorb Information, but to find out how writers made the English language sing. Every semester, I'd ask my students to fill out questionnaires. One question: What publications do you See OLESKER, 2F, Col. 1 MARYLAND William J. Steiner, candidate for Anne Arundel County executive, is found guilty of receiving stolen goods. 6F Tougher standards for Maryland public schools are approved by State Board of Education, but board president says more rigorous measures are needed. SF Indsx Obituaries 3-6F Weather T ' 2 SECTIONS 8F Allegany fugitives, missing guard hunted By Gelareh Asayesh Sun Staff Correspondent CUMBERLAND Police In four states are searching for two criminals who escaped from the Allegany County Detention Center early yesterday, taking an unarmed 46-year-old guard with them and apparently driving off in her car. Edgar Eugene Kerns, 30, and James Vernon Barnes, 35, walked out of their maximum-security cell at the Detention Center about 2:30 a.m., forcing guard Sandra Kay Bee-man ahead of them while applying a choke hold to her throat Kerns of Martlnsburg, W.Va., was serving a 180-day sentence for grand larceny and writing bad checks. He also was awaiting sentencing for an assault conviction. Barnes, who was born in Rom-ney, W.Va,, and whose last known address was in Springfield, Va., had been moved to Cumberland from a Virginia state prison where he was serving a 50-year sentence for kidnapping, robbery and rape. He also was awaiting trial on kidnapping and rape charges in Maryland. I i-. 5 . . Mill. I 1,1 I llll I III, I Ml, .111,, IIIIL IL ...l.Ul II ASSOCIATED PRESS Missing are prisoners Edgar Eugene Kerns (left), James Vernon Barnes and guard Sandra Kay Beeman. Armed only with what appeared to be hard objects wrapped Inside white socks and holding Ms. Bee-man, the two men marched past six doors, a Jail trusty and a second pris on guard before fleeing, according to Lt. John A. Bone, the Jail administrator. Correctional officers do not carry guns, which are not permitted In the Jail. A third correctional officer and supervisor, Cpl. Gary Huffman, had left the Jail to pick up dinner for the three employees, Lieutenant Bone said. Corporal Huffman was gone no more man minuies. . "It definitely hit us at the very' weakest time," said Lieutenant Bone,. -who added that typically three to five "It's lust one of those things that can nappen anywnere ana can nap- pen to the best of them," he said. I , The escape, the first from the Dt-tentton Center in 17 years, appar- ently occurred after Ms. Beeman, a -10-year Jail employee, unlocked both doors to the maximum-security section where the two Inmates were held. ; Lieutenant bone saw mvesuga- tors are at a loss to explain why she- would have opened the doors a . violation of the Jail's policy of requir.' : lng at least two guards to be present -when a cell door is opened. V "The doors were opened by some-." ji ocuu maj. vjcujt v . whiiijjoihi, un. nnHprsherlfT "She had the. kpvs. . we intena to una out wny tnose u wi (9 www upviiwut t-siia oiiw upvii them under threat, or why?" While Ms. Beeman's family anxiously awaited word yesterday, about See MANHUNT, 2F, Col. 3 ,!! f. ' ' " . I .1 1 f i THE SUNHVNQ K PHLUPS JR. TVyTpjTrjn rf An It was the moment of truth. Truth Hall, that is, a dormitory building at Morgan State Universi-ivxis v xx&g vJ.C4.jr ty in Northeast Baltimore where students Sandra Young of New York (left) and her roommate. a f TVTn-rrfa "i unay nooper trom lappanannocx, va., cneenuuy checked in yesterday. Bringing up CL L lYlUl were Sandra's parents, Leroy and Viola Young. i the rear Board of Estimates approves contract with orchestra Budget problems force cut ; of $25,000 in BSO support ; By Martin C. Evans Baltimore will be spending less on highbrow music this year. The Board of Estimates approved yesterday aV 9402,81 contract witn tne Baltimore sympnony ur- chestra, one that will help support a range of symphony offerings including more than 10,000 free tickets for schoolchildren, the orchestra's Summerfest series and last month's concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of " Harborplace. . The grant, in the form of a contract between the" Mayor's Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture and the orchestra, represents a $25,000 cut from last year's level. "It doesn't mean we have to cut back services but it . does put pressure on our other funding sources," said i I I . n n 11 1 1 A f J . 1 X C A. 1 1t f rauicia r. rurceu, uirecior 01 ueveiupmeiu lur uic rou, As the city's fiscal 1991 budget was being prepared . earlier this year, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke Insisted on cuts In city support for the symphony and other cultural ' nrtlvlHpa 999 urav nf rlnslntf the rltv's fnrmldahle htidftet shortfall. Municipal support is a major source of funds for the symphony, which uses ticket receipts to cover , only about half of its $ 1 5 million operating budget In addition to its contribution from Baltimore, the . ' orcnesira win receive auoui pouu.uuu lruui oaunuure County, $50,000 from Anne Arundel County, $25,00tf ' from Howard County, $10,000 from Harford County and, ' $5,000 from Carroll County, according to Ms. Purcell. . ; Toot iuqk tVio QCmomKiii. DGH haf-oH linnnnV schoolchildren from eight counties in Maryland. The ma Irtrltw nf rhA phlMrpn ramp fmm Kaltlmnrp l it7 anil Rnltf.' more County, which each receive 10,000 free tickets for . public school students. Under the agreement, the "BSO agrees to furnish the ' citizens of Baltimore" including the orchestra's subscrip- , uon series, two uiscoveiy uoncens at wnicn composers explain their music to the audience, seven summer con certs at the Meyerhoff, eight summer concerts at Oregon , Ridge, one at Merrlweather Post Pavilion and a free con cert at Kinder Park In Anne Arundel County. The agreement also provides for a free concert at the-Johns Hopkins Children's Center for patients, parents, -; stall and local schoolchildren and an outdoor conceit v complete with fireworks next summer. for hffniJ filnw tn make use of tickets allotted free to. schoolchildren last fall, the school system eventually used the entire 10,000-tlcket allotment plus another' 2,000 tickets returned unused to the orchestra by paying customers, according to Ms. Purnell. , The orchestra, which Is on vacation, opens Sept. 8. with its 75th anniversary concert. Activated Md. reservists put civilian life on hold By Jonathan Bor He withdrew from college, played cards with buddies, partled with friends, shot a round of golf, stayed up late, said goodbye to family and watched "Mo' Better Blues." Raymond Moreno, a 23-year-old Washingtonlan, squeezed all he could out of civilian life after hearing last Saturday that his Army Reserve detachment would be pressed Into active duty this week In the unfolding Persian Gulf crisis. Yesterday, having put his Junior year at Howard University on indefinite hold, the former business student became a full-time soldier as the Army activated the 200th and 202nd Transportation detachments 20 men and women in all at Fort Meade. They were the first reservists called to the base since President Bush announced Aug. 22 that he would deploy 40,000 reservists nationwide. Specialist Moreno sat In a sweaty gymnasium, wearing camouflage fatigues, high-laced boots, close-cropped hair and a look of noncha lance that suggested he was ready for whatever the Army was ready to deal him. - "Anytime you're In the military, everything's taken real seriously, so getting called up wasn't a big shock at all," he said. "If it's a real shock to you, then maybe it's your own fault. Maybe you weren't taking things seriously." For the servicemen, it was a day to take care of last-minute business like telling the Army whom to contact In case of an emergency, designating life-Insurance beneficiaries, drawing up wills, getting immunized for various Illnesses and filling out myriad forms to ensure they get paid on schedule. The two detachments perform some of the bureaucratic functions necessary to move military equipment swiftly. This Includes finding the appropriate vehicles, and documenting the movement of cargo from trucks and rails to ships and planes. Depending on the military's need, they could work stateside or overseas on a base. port, rail station or air-See RESERVES, 3F. Col. 1 Initial bids buoy city's recycling hopes By Martin C Evans The city of Baltimore moved a step closer yesterday to curbside recycling. Two companies have submitted plans to collect bottles, cans and paper from residential homes at a cost the city apparently can afford. Public Works Director George G. Balog said both bids appear to be low enough to allow the city to begin curbside recycling without Increasing Its budget for trash collection. If that Is the case, a pilot recycling program should begin In some of the city's northern neighborhoods this November. And If the pilot project is successful, officials hope to extend curbside recycling to the entire city within two years. "We're going to sit back and take a quick look at how lt works," Mr. Balog said. "If lt works, we're going to roll with 1L" Under the pilot program, residents who collect plastic bottles, glass, tin and aluminum would be able to set out specially marked containers at the curb. Residents would also be able to recycle bundled newspapers, letters and other paper by curbside pickup. Collections would alternate, with pa- Areas proposed for pilot curbside recycling Pick-ups to begin In November H4LAN L- Abnn01 IL jfik ROLAND 1 I YORK ry-H Jffl" I 1 PARK I RD. gN AT HAMILTON f GUILFORD yt v DA. WOOO-l I f I I , . GREEN- BERRY : I . f ; Enlarqsd SPRING "v"' 1 Stadium I GARDEN- ami AVE. 1 i 1 ' . ' I PI I ' J VILLE-X ' ' WaUbL. JSsUL-J BALTIMORE per collected one week and other materials the following week. The firms that bid for the contract to collect the material are White Brothers Trucking, which bid $98,511. and Browning-Ferris Industries, which bid $ 105,72a Mr. Balog said It will be at least a week before a decision is made on whether to award the contract, be- SUN GRAPHICS cause city officials need time to determine whether the proposals meet the requirements. Nonetheless. Mr. Balog said both-, companies appear to be offering to . make the collections for less than the roughly $38 per ton that It costs the city to burn the 1,000 tons qf See TRASH, 8F,Col. 1 I r

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