Coming out from under the covers last week was the WWRC-AM (980) morning team of Ed Walker and Bruce Alan, who testified before the Maryland House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee on one of the state's perennial issues, covered (or uncovered) trucks.

For those who have been hiding under the covers for the past several years, there is an annual debate about trucks with uncovered loads. On one side are the people who say uncovered loads present a hazard. Many serious accidents, including some fatal injuries, have occurred, when cargo has fallen off a truck and onto a car, they say. On the other side are those, mostly in the trucking industry, who say that the covers would constitute an unnecessary expense and would endanger truckers who would have to fasten them. Trucks have remained uncovered in Maryland despite debates on the issue since 1962. Three bills up for consideration by the committee, incidentally, were voted down.

So what were a couple of radio guys doing passing themselves off as experts on trucks? "Good question," said Alan. "We're not experts, but we have done several shows on this subject, covering both sides of the issue, and have had a chance to hear listener comments on this issue" -- sort of like an informal public hearing.

"I've reported on traffic for years," Alan added, "and I've seen rocks, sand, mattresses, you name it, coming out of trucks." Alan admits he has more than a little personal interest in the issue. "This is the third windshield I've had on this car," he said, "and it already has a crack in it {from debris falling off a truck}."

Walker and Alan say they aren't calling it quits, either. "Ed and I are going to stay with this," Alan said after the bills had been defeated. "We're going to help organize some grass roots support a` la Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. We intend to see that a bill gets on Governor {William Donald} Schaefer's desk."

WAMU's Feedback

Here's one of those feathers in a station's cap. WAMU-FM (88.5) is producing a talk show that will go national. "Feedback: America Talks Back" will be a live call-in show with an 800 number featuring big names in the world of politics and other weighty disciplines.

"This is the first national talk show we're doing on a regular basis," program director (and executive producer of "Feedback") Steve Palmer said. "It's going to give people the opportunity to talk to leaders." The show will be distributed nationwide by American Public Radio.

"Feedback" will be hosted by Sanford Ungar, dean of the school of communications at American University (where WAMU has its studios and from which it gets its call letters) and a former host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

The show will air from 9 to 11 p.m. and debuts Sunday, March 6. More word later on who will be the guests on that show.

WXTR's Good Vibrations

Several listeners have noticed a little echo at WXTR-FM (104.1, .1, .1) (echoes don't work as well in print, but you get the idea). They're pretty sharp-eared listeners, said program director Bob Duckman, who admitted that the oldies station has enhanced its sound a tad. The station may play oldies, but that's no excuse to sound old, he added, saying that when the music stops and the talk starts, there is just a hint of reverb.

Duckman explained that it gives the station a more modern sound, and that there aren't many stations in the area that don't have a little echo, echo, echo ...

The Rehm Report

Diane Rehm is nothing if not busy. In addition to her regular show on WAMU and her correspondent duties on WNTR-AM's (1050) "Europe Today" (mentioned in this very space last week), she is now a reporter on TV's "Modern Maturity" until the election.

Rehm will be covering a team of activist seniors and reporting on their lobbying efforts in various primaries and caucuses. You can catch the show on Channel 26 at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays and on Maryland Public Television at 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Cold Cash ... and Clothing

Good news from WMZQ-AM/FM (98.7/1390). Its "Come in From the Cold" campaign has raised $10,000 to aid Washington area homeless. Listeners have donated cash and clothing -- so much clothing, in fact, that the station made three deliveries daily to area shelters to distribute it. The money raised has gone to shelters and soup kitchens as well.

But the station is not stopping here. Clothing can still be brought, and checks sent, to the station at 5513 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20015.