Editor: An interesting article May 28 by Robert A. Erlandson about Green Mount Cemetery noted some of the celebrities interred there. Two other personalities equally worthy of comment are, however, omitted.
One of them is Edward C. Pinkney, first poet of the United States Navy. With a boost from the letters column of The Sun, I was enabled to solicit enough money to erect a modest monument to his memory in 1941. It stands in lot 2, area D.
The other notable is the Confederate veteran, Maj. J. Innes Randolph.
He composed one of the most quoted songs of the Civil War, which had verses beginning, "Oh, I'm a good old Rebel!"
To the shades of both these neglected gentry I say, God speed.
Curtis Carroll Davis.
Right to Life
Editor: I am writing to express regret in the change of topic regarding abortion. The issue several years ago was whether life began at conception. Recently, it has changed to whether the mother has the right to choose to have an abortion, with no regard for the child. This is sad.
For you see, in August of 1963, my life was changed forever. A girl in Washington got pregnant. Abortion was illegal. I do not know why my mother chose not to abort me, but I do know this: In August of 1963, I was not aborted.
I was carried to full term by my biological mother, born on April 26, 1964, and given up for adoption to a couple from Baltimore. A loving, Christian, more-than-you-could-ever-ask-for couple who could not have children of their own.
The abortion dilemma is a fundamental one for me, for if abortion were legal in 1963, there is a strong possibility I might never have been born. I do not know if my "life" started with conception, but I know that my "life" would have ended with abortion.
Thank God that we are living in the United States, where the citizens attempt to protect people's rights. In my opinion, the mother has the right to use modern, 100 percent effective birth control, and I believe that a conceived child has the right to be born.
I wish to publicly thank that girl in Washington who, in August of 1963, felt that abortion was not her right.
Martin T. Lange.
Doctors and AIDS
Editor: In "Baltimore prison dentist dies of AIDS" (The Sun, May 23), a health officer estimates the chances of contracting the AIDS virus during a dental procedure at 2 in 1,000. The Sun should note that recently the Centers for Disease Control in zTC Atlanta estimated that the chances of a patient becoming infected with HIV by his or her physician are, at most, 1 in 41,600 and possibly as small as 1 in 1.5 million.
The physicians of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland are concerned about the issue of HIV and health-care workers. Med Chi has a policy stating that the testing of health-care workers and patients should be done when a significant exposure to HIV has taken place between a health-care worker and patient in order to protect the patient.
Med Chi policy maintains that physicians who are aware of their HIV-positive status have an ethical responsibility to report their HIV status appropriately.
During the last legislative session, Med Chi supported the passage of bills defining what constitutes a significant exposure to HIV and outlines ways patients and health-care workers can be tested under informed consent.
The bills were based on the premise that 90 percent of all those who are requested to take an HIV test will give consent. The bills also allowed for substitute consent to be given (i.e., for comatose patients).
Gov. William Donald Schaefer signed into law H.B. 194. It requires Med Chi to consult with the Centers for Disease Control, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Maryland Hospital Association to develop practice protocols for health-care workers infected with HIV. The protocols are to be submitted to the legislature on Dec. 2, 1991.
Med Chi is proud to be included in the development of appropriate protocols to address this most serious health-care issue.
J. David Nagel, M.D.
The writer is president of Med Chi, the state's medical society.
Editor: I found "Please Don't Feed the Blacks," Opinion * Commentary page, May 28, profoundly offensive. Ken Hamblin speaks from the vantage point of ignorance.
It is not benign federal policies that have created the squalor and strife in America's ghettos but the combination of stinginess, paternalism, racism and mean-spiritedness so well illustrated by his article.
His comparison of poor blacks with animals is revolting. His complaints against an imaginary liberal largess are too absurd to merit comment. The nation's investment in welfare programs has been but a minuscule fraction of the massive allocations to weapons manufacture.
Mr. Hamblin has succeeded in perpetuating a damaging stereotype. It must be easy to pick on the most vulnerable segment of our population when you don't know what you're talking about.
M. Patricia Fernandez Kelly.
Actors Win All
Editor: What about the 1992 presidential election? Will George Bush be reelected? Of course he will. Like Ronald Reagan, he is a superb actor in projecting the image of sincerity, whether demagoging or not. Even Franklin Roosevelt, were he living in this era, would probably nod his head in admiration of the Reagan-Bush technique.
Really Too Much
Editor: Americans should not be taken in by the fatuous argument of Jeane Kirkpatrick in her column of May 28. After describing the plight of Tibetans under Chinese oppression, Ms. Kirkpatrick states that the U.S. government has done "reasonably well" in responding to this unconscionable breach of human rights. In fact, George Bush continues a disgraceful tradition of ignoring human rights concerns in foreign policy as evidenced by his extension of most favored nation trade status to China.
Ms. Kirkpatrick has the gall to label this a "foreign policy of human rights" and states that "no government has ever done it." History will recall that only Jimmy Carter has ever made a serious effort to put human rights on the foreign policy agenda. These Republican apologists are really too much.
Matthew G. Wagner.
Editor: Your editorial page reached new heights in the May 28 editorial, "Operation Solomon," where the dramatic rescue of Ethiopian Jews and their transport to Israel was portrayed in such a sensitive and comprehensive fashion.
Frieda F. Eisenberg.
Stealing Open Space Funds
Editor: It was shocking to learn that the governor and legislative leaders have decided to raid the remaining $30 million balance in the Program Open Space trust fund to help cover the latest $109 million state budget deficit.
I communicated with a number of state legislators and administration officials during the past legislative session regarding this issue. The response given in most cases was that, when faced with the operating deficits, they had no choice but to use these specially allocated capital funds.
The legislature and the administration went ahead and appropriated $33 million from the trust fund to cover what was a portion of the operating deficit projected at that time. Now that an additional $109 million in deficit is projected, the same trust fund is being targeted again to solve the revenue shortfall.
The Open Space trust fund was established to acquire parklands, recreational areas and natural habitats to serve current and future generations of Maryland residents. As an active home builder in Maryland, I am particularly distressed by the actions of the state to deplete the trust fund because we have contributed substantial sums over the years through transfer taxes exacted by the state. My job as a home builder is to provide the best quality housing for the best price while being sensitive to environmental concerns. It is the state's job to provide and maintain adequate parklands and recreational areas.
I am certainly aware that governments face some difficult choices in these times, as do businesses and individuals. Life is full of tough choices, but this does not justify making decisions that are unethical and irresponsible. The test is whether one can retain his or her ethical and moral principles in the face of adversity. The legislature and the administration have already failed this test miserably.
I urge the governor and members of the legislature to face up to their responsibility and not give in to the temptation to steal from the trust fund again.
David F. Tufaro.
The writer is managing partner of Summit Properties.