The battle of words continued this week in a public forum and government offices over the Montgomery County school board's two-month-old decision to close 27 schools.
In Baltimore, the Maryland Board of Education agreed to consider charges by opponents of the closings that racial issues were involved in those actions and in the related altering of attendance zones of six schools. The action rebuffed efforts by the county school board to have the appeals rejected outright.
In Silver Spring, the Maryland advisory committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission conducted a tumultuous four-hour forum on the closings.
Members of the school board's conservative majority portrayed themselves as courageous public servants who are being maligned for trying to educate all students while dealing with fiscal problems as enrollments decline.
The leader of the conservative bloc, Marian Greenblatt, said the critics who charge racism are conducting their own "form of race-baiting . . . the big lie technique." She attributed the tactic to dissatisfied citizens "unhappy that their local school was closed."
Roscoe Nix, Montgomery NAACP president, called her statement "slanderous and scandalous." He accused Greenblatt, who is considering running for Congress, of playing politics and asserted that board actions reflected a "consistent policy of racial bias."
Joseph M. Cross Jr. of Newport News, a 1969 architecture gradJ uate of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, lost his $400 class ring overboard while sailing in Hampton Roads in mid-1980.
He recently got the ring back. It was found in an alley in Charlottesville, behind a now-closed fish market. Coleman B. Maddox saw its glint, picked it up and, through an inscription, traced its ownership to Cross. Both men theorize it was swallowed by a fish that was caught commercially and delivered to the fish market, where its entrails were removed and discarded.
What kind of fish? Richard Odum, a U.Va. marine biologist, said the chances were 95 percent it was a bluefish. "They are very aggressive feeders and will gulp down anything that sparkles," he said.
The University of Virginia has named its new Institute for Afro-T American and African Studies for the late Carter G. Woodson, a pioneer black historian who was born in 1875 to former slaves in Virginia's Buckingham County.
An advisory committee approved the naming yesterday, and the university's board of visitors is expected to take final action today. The institute, within the U-Va. faculty of arts and sciences, plans a major academic conference next month.
Woodson, who obtained degrees at Berea, Ky., College, the University of Chicago, the Sorbonne and Harvard, served as dean of liberal arts at Howard University in Washington. He founded the quarterly Journal of Negro History and was its editor for 35 years. He also started what has evolved into Black History Month.
A "substantial amount" of gasoline, perhaps 100 gallons or more, A drained Thursday night into a tributary of Four Mile Run near the Arlington-Fairfax county line, the Fairfax County Fire Department reported.
A spokesman said the gasoline was spilled when workers at the U-Haul truck rental center, 5634 Columbia Pike, were trying to pump out water that had seeped into an underground gasoline tank. It washed through a storm drain into the creek, the spokesman said.
Arlington County fire officials, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard and the Virginia Water Pollution Control Board also were involved in monitoring and, directly or indirectly, in cleaning up the spill or in removing gasoline-contaminated snow from the U-Haul parking lot. The Fairfax spokesman said there was no resulting danger to residents.
The District of Columbia's Metro-Mini bus service begins tomorT row on three routes--M14, from the L'Enfant Plaza subway station via Sixth and Water streets to Half and O streets SW; M16, from the Minnesota Avenue subway station to the Mayfair Gardens and River Terrace housing projects, and M18, from Congress Place via Stanton Terrace to the Sears store on Alabama Avenue SE. Service on a fourth route--M12, from the Kennedy Center to upper Georgetown--began in December.
Buses will run every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. The fare is 50 cents. Bus and subway transfers will be accepted.