Readers write in about ‘Dinoman,’ Bergers cookies, the Education Issue and Gene Weingarten


Raymond Stanford, posing with a model dinosaur head, has found plenty of authentic tracks. (Marvin Joseph)
April 23, 2012
Comments about the April 22 ‘Dinoman’ story by Brian Vastag

What a wonderful article! I appreciated the in-depth look and freedom from judgment. It was a great read and, I’m asking others to take a look and enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks. Go, Ray!

Dave Rosenmarkle, Arlington

There is no reason I can see to ship this priceless collection out of state, either to Colorado or the Smithsonian. It should stay right here in Maryland, even Prince George’s County. Perhaps even College Park.

Why can’t we have our own museum for dinosaur tracks??! The University of Maryland in College Park would be great. It sounds like the Ray Stanford collection is large enough to form the core of a new museum on that subject. Not just an exhibit, but a whole museum!

I didn’t know Maryland is a treasure trove for dinosaur fossils; if there are tracks, there must also be bone and/or egg fossils. Let’s put Maryland on the paleontological map!

Tim Shank, Bethesda

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Comments about the April 22 story about Bergers cookies by Andrew Reiner

I moved to Baltimore in 1975 and was introduced to these mounds of heaven shortly thereafter. When I began traveling for work a few years later, I sent boxes and tins of Berger cookies to out-of-town clients. To this day, I still get requests to send them (which I happily oblige).

Clients thought I was delusional when I suggested that the treat is even more decadent frozen. Once tried, this often becomes the consumption method of choice. I first [froze them] to keep them out of easy reach. That lasted only until I had the first frozen one. Now the only way to keep them out of reach is to leave them at Giant for someone else to discover.

Thank you for the wonderful article and the back story on the cookie. Hopefully even more people will discover what Baltimore has known for years and keep Bergers flourishing.

Brock Abernathy, Baltimore

Born and raised in Philadelphia, a Montgomery County resident for more than 30 years, I had Berger cookies for the first time this year as a pie. We were eating dinner at Bertha’s in Fells Point, Baltimore, where the waitress rattled off the few desserts on the menu.

“Dutch apple pie, Berger cookie pie ...”

“What’s that?” we asked.

She said they were a locally made cookie and the pie was a kind of chocolate caramel pie made at a local bakery, whose name escapes me.

It was delicious.

The author may think such a confection is sacrilege, but if not, he may want to call Bertha’s and ask where they get their Berger cookie pie.

Susan Holliday, Takoma Park

Thanks, Mr. Reiner, for your wonderful article about Bergers cookies!! They are “to die for” and sinfully delicious! One can never find another cookie with all that sinful fudge chocolate toping anywhere but in Baltimore. When I was living in Seattle and flew back East to visit family members in Baltimore, I would always take a few boxes back with me to Seattle. I have relocated back to the East Coast and now live in Virginia; when I do go to Baltimore, I have gotten those wonderful Berger cookies for friends and several people who work in my apartment building, along with the current mayor of Alexandria. I always tell them, “ You don’t have to eat all of them at the same time, but can freeze them and eat them at your pleasure.” Everyone who has gotten these Berger cookies from me has said, “These cookies are amazing, and often I can’t stop eating all of them in a day or two.” Yes, Baltimore has steamed crabs, Cal Ripken Jr. and crab cakes, but nothing can replace Bergers cookies!!!

Annabelle Fisher, Alexandria

Reaction to the April 15 Education Issue

I hope that Montgomery County public schools do really adopt an “integrated” approach to teaching money management (“Show them the money,” by Jennifer Miller). A great place to start would be to eliminate the due date and deadline policy: Students have time past the “due date” to turn in the assignment — they also have a “deadline,” which is on average three days later! I try to teach my foster child that my credit cards don’t have this option — if I don’t pay Visa on time, I get a huge penalty. There are no similar penalties at MCPS. I’m just saying. …

Maura Solomon, Germantown

In 1991, I started my second career as a college professor. As a CPA, I began teaching accounting and finance. The first thing I noticed about the students I was assigned to teach was their lack of financial literacy. For years, I taught accounting with a sprinkling of personal finance. I felt I could not properly prepare the students for a career in accounting without helping them understand the basic skills they would need to survive in the world. I have also thought that if I ever had the resources, I would start a foundation to begin work to change high school curriculum to include three life skill courses. Besides a lack of financial literacy, many of the students I taught also seemed to lack two other life skills — personal relationship and parenting skills. Much of those two skills are acquired through life experiences, but there are some basic skills that could mitigate the “pain” of learning. In the meantime, I am thrilled to read that Maryland and Virginia are beginning to add personal finance and economic courses. Your article has renewed my interest in helping students learn the skills that will assist them with life in today’s economy.

Richard M. Piazza, Woodbridge

Thank you for “Animal Lovers U” [by Julia Duin, April 15]. There are far too many college degrees in how to abuse and kill animals for a living — mainly by forcing them to become food and experimental subjects — so it’s refreshing that there are finally courses on how to help animals.

Holly Sternberg, Annandale,

President, Compassion for Animals

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Weingarten is a hostile defecation-head

Gene Weingarten’s column “A Pee Party Republican” (Below the Beltway, April 8), reinforces my contention that the process by which Mr. Weingarten has made it to the top is quite simple — it’s the process of elimination. His repeated references to urinary and defecatory bodily functions continue to constitute a major portion of his section of the Sunday Magazine, a feature of which I would not be proud, were I The Washington Post.

Beyond that, Mr. Weingarten continues to insist, at conferences I’ve attended, that all humor is hostile. My view is that he’s only partially correct – his humor is!

Leonard Greenberg, Sterling

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