Editor: Richard Reeves' July 18 Opinion * Commentary column misses the mark completely. He repeats the canard that the electorate was duped with racial politics in the last election. In fact, the Democrats failed to address the very important issue of crime in a way that would gain the confidence of the electorate. In addition, the Democrats had no new ideas on the economy, education policy, the drug problem, or defense. Clearly, the race issue was not a deciding factor.
In praising Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., who says nothing that hasn't been said better by other liberal Democrats, Mr. Reeves has turned a blind eye to Mr. Bradley's deceptive comparison of two Republican administrations, and his avoidance of a direct comparison with the disastrous Carter years of 21-percent interest rates and double-digit inflation.
Senator Bradley and his political allies are going to have to realize that elections cannot be won by exploiting class and racial problems. The Democrats must drop cheap rhetoric and statistical hocus-pocus, and get down to the genuine concerns of all Americans.
#Stavros P. Vlahoyiannis.
More for Less
Editor: State employees are not "whining" about increased work hours. The issue, and it is a valid one, is more hours for less pay.
We are being forced to work 216 hours per year without compensation. This is a pay cut. It is being done in a sneaky, underhanded way. We won't even get a cost of living increase.
Yes, we are glad to have jobs. Why should this mean that we have to sit passively and endure any attack on our integrity and attempts to keep our heads above water?
No one utters a peep about Gov. William Donald Schaefer's pay raise of $35,000. How many extra hours is he working for free?
Editor: It was with deep regret that I read that Mike Kelly will be leaving the deanship of the University of Maryland School of Law to become a vice president at Georgetown University.
The entire state and especially the bar is indebted to Mr. Kelly for his significant leadership at the law school. He has transformed the UM law school from a mediocre local law school to one that has regional and national recognition and prominence.
By every measure the law school has significantly improved over the institution which he inherited. The physical plant of the law school has dramatically improved during his tenure, the faculty has become excellent and diverse and the quality of students has increased dramatically.
In addition, the curriculum of the law school has been enhanced greatly and now offers practical and clinical programs which make the law school's educational offerings more relevant to the legal problems of today's society.
Circumstances have changed dramatically in the last few years as the law school experiences budget tightening and as significant upheavals occur in the legal profession. The new dean must set a new course which will address issues such as the prospect for reduced resources and a practice of law which is less able to absorb large numbers of law school graduates.
Mike Kelly leaves tempered by the difficult politics of the university system and the UMAB campus, and he will combine that with a new Jesuit environment.
This combination will make him able to face any challenge. I wish him well.
Allen L. Schwait.
The writer is a former chairman of the University of Maryland Board of Regents.
Editor: Instead of exhorting state workers to "quit cherbeefin," couldn't N. H. Buchar (letter, July 17) show some compassion or understanding and join the protest against unfair hardships placed on workers in order to show a "saving" in the budget that is only on paper?
Along with an 18 percent decrease in salary, the state worker will soon find a second increase in his contributions to health care. Soon all clerical workers will be working for minimum wage.
The objection of most is not working the 40 hours; it is to not be paid for 40 hours.
Would any private employer indenture his employees?
Dolores A. Tonelson.
Tell the Mortician
Editor: There is much press attention today regarding the health profession and the HIV virus, as to better communication between doctors and patients, in order to be more informed regarding the AIDS problem.
However, at no time is the mortuary profession mentioned or even considered in these debates and press coverage.
Those of us who are morticians, especially we who do the embalming and preparation for viewing or other purposes, are at risk in this problem also, maybe even to a greater degree than others, since some funeral homes are called to make removals of deceased at accident scenes or the like and have no prior knowledge of anyone being infected with the virus.
Many times there is no information given to the funeral home regarding an infection, due to a desire to "protect" the family, by a physician or health institution. Morticians face the lack of an autopsy report until after the fact, or just have no knowledge of the person having the virus.
Funeral homes have been told to treat all deceased as if they had AIDS. If this were to be done, the cost of preparation of the deceased would greatly increase, due to the safety regulations set down by governmental bodies regarding the clothing and equipment to be used.
It is time for the morticians to be included in any discussion regarding the transmission of the AIDS virus. After all, we too have families of our own to protect.
Philip E. Cvach.
Slap in the Face
Editor: When many of my colleagues, members of other allied health professions and myself chose our careers, we did so with the belief that it was something noble and honorable to do.
We made the decision to sacrifice ourselves and give our life to the care of other human beings, our patients. That was our goal.
We have now been slapped in the face by the U. S. Senate with the passage of the Jesse Helms bill.
Members of the medical, nursing and other health professions who care for the ill are the ones who get infected with the HIV virus mostly by accident and not by choice.
It is not surprising that the same senators who in the middle of the night, like thieves, gave themselves a substantial raise are the ones who condemn us to up to 10 years in jail if we choose not to be HIV-tested or don't disclose our medical history.
The same senators give more rights to prostitutes, drug addicts and dealers and homosexuals and at the same time lower themselves to that level.
Alejandro Mejia, M.D.
Editor: I congratulate Michael Olesker. He is the first observer to suggest (July 18) some parental irresponsibility in the recent tragic, accidental shooting death of 6-year-old Tiffany Smith on the streets of Baltimore.
At 10:45 p.m., the time of the shooting, a 6-year-old child should be safe at home, asleep, and not roaming the streets of the city.
! Paul Slepian. Baltimore.
Editor: Thank you for your July 19 editorial, "License for the Bay." As you stated, the Chesapeake Bay commemorative license plate is an ideal way for Marylanders to show their pride in this vital estuary and to contribute financially to the bay's revitalization.
For each $20 purchase, $10 is donated to our non-profit organization, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, to be distributed to community groups for bay restoration projects. Sales of a limited edition bay series plate, ranging from $100 to $500, provide additional money for bay-related improvements.
Since 1985, the trust has supported hundreds of citizen projects, including shoreline protection efforts, tree and marsh grass plantings, water quality studies, habitat restorations and development of education programs and materials to improve understanding of the bay environment.
I want to express our sincere appreciation to your readers for their generous support of another vital source of funding mentioned in your editorial, Maryland's state income tax
Under this three-year-old program, Marylanders have contributed more than $3 million to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund.
These gifts are shared equally by the bay trust and the endangered species programs of the state's Department of Natural Resources.
Thomas L. Burden.
The writer is director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust.