AIDS HysteriaEditor: It was with great alarm...

AIDS Hysteria

Editor: It was with great alarm and disgust that we read James Kilpatrick's article "Scared Silly" of July 29.


We would like to think that the Opinion * Commentary page is meant to engender intelligent thought on difficult issues of the day, and not merely a forum for someone's hatred.

Mr. Kilpatrick's article is representative of the ignorance and fear surrounding AIDS, and will only serve to create further misunderstanding and discrimination.


It is hard to believe that any professional journalist could make a statement such as, "Eventually, it is assumed, all 1 million will die of AIDS; but eventually all of us will die of something anyhow." Can this man be for real?

Karen M. Finn.

Cathleen J. McGrath, M.D.



Editor: The U.S. Senate certainly had quite a week before itrecess. First, senators met in a pre-planned "secret" session to vote themselves a raise out of the public eye.

I had always assumed that leaders such as a U.S. senator would TC have the courage to say something like, "I work hard, I haven't had a raise in years. I deserve a raise, and that's the way I will vote!" So, with one eye on the polls and another on the purse, we have our vote.

Not satisfied with that example of leadership, they next vote for jail terms for AIDS-infected health care workers who do not inform their patients. Never mind that the only suspected case of doctor-to-patient transmission remains an unsolved mystery. Sen. Jesse Helms leads the Senate to pass this inane piece of legislation.


This time, both eyes are focused on the polls, both ears are listening to the media, and the mind is ignoring the facts.

It is terrifying to think that a group of people so lacking in courage and so vulnerable to public hysteria makes our laws.

Gordon Shelton.


Ambulance Flap

Editor: The flap regarding Annapolis Fire Department transporting Hilda Mae Snoops to a Baltimore hospital while a backup ambulance from Anne Arundel County had to answer an emergency call raises some interesting questions, particularly about gubernatorial privilege.


Supposing the woman who had fallen had been a nobody named Suzie Jones, instead of the governor's lady friend, and an ambulance had been summoned.

Ms. Jones, like everybody else, would have been transported to the nearest hospital, where doctors would have stabilized her and, if they thought it necessary, offered to hospitalize her. If she wanted to go to another hospital for whatever reason, she had the privilege to hire a private ambulance, like everybody else.

Perhaps the man who had the heart attack would have died anyway, but that does not excuse tying up half the city's fleet of ambulances to do a favor for our governor and his lady friend.

I don't think much of Alderman Carl Snowden, but I think the

investigation he wants is warranted. The same rules should apply to all, including the governor and his friends.

Charles A. Frainie.



Makes Sense

Editor: As a native of the Eastpoint area of Baltimore County I think Councilman Donald Mason's redistricting plan makes sense.

Dundalk and Essex share many similar characteristics. Both are blue-collar areas which have experienced economic hard times, an increase in crime and shrinking populations. Both communities are attempting to bring more jobs into the area. Both are transitioning to those industries in which jobs will be more readily available in the 21st Century.

Realism suggests that a great Essex-Dundalk coalition will indeed give the area more economic and political clout when addressing the aforementioned issues.

Don Mason put together a logical plan. The plan extended the Seventh District into a geographically adjacent area with similar needs. Whereas the representatives in Perry Hall and White Marsh will be fighting for new schools and roads to satisfy the needs of a growing white-collar community, representatives in Dundalk and Essex will be fighting for funding to retrain workers and help those citizens who may have faced lay-offs.


Joseph J. Markwordt.


City Fair Comes of Age

Editor: Without making a big deal about it, but with the intent of seeing that an inaccuracy is not perpetuated, may I suggest that future stories about the City Fair no longer refer to it having "begun" 22 years ago.

The first fair, and the planning for it, occurred in 1970, not in 1969, and the event is 21 years old, not 22.

(Unless, of course, in the manner of pro-lifers, you count the time of conception as the start of life. In the summer of 1969, the City Fair was a twinkling in the eyes of Sandy Hillman and Hope Quackenbush, and an aspiration in the heart of Bob Embry, but scarcely a developed embryo.)


I suspect that the extra year is the result of the fair's own publicity, for news stories last fall had the same inaccuracy. The 1991 event is, of course, the 22nd City Fair.

Richard P. Davis.