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War CasualtiesA May 9 letter to The...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

War Casualties

A May 9 letter to The Sun asks readers to "not forget the 18 million, or as many as 22 million, Russian people who died during World War II."

Before the Nazi invasion of 1941, Soviet soldiers were dying in the Winter War of 1939-40 in Finland. Many of them were not Russian by nationality.

Great losses, both civilian and military, occurred also in Belarus and Ukraine. Historians estimate that total losses on all Soviet fronts reached 26 million.

Wherever they fell, the sons and daughters of Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and so on parted in the main as nationals of countries mentioned, not as Russians.

Let them rest in peace as representatives of now-independent nations unblemished by imperialistic "Russian" identifications.

Paul Fenchak

Lutherville

Sleeping Soldiers

It's getting so that the simpler a problem is the harder it is for people to understand. It must be the lead in our fillings. Pretty soon we'll be arguing about whether 2 + 2 = 4.

For Michael Olesker and all others who think that homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly in the military, I offer this question: Do you believe that there should be separate sanitary and separate sleeping arrangements for women in the military? If so, why? Argument over, argument ended.

Actually, there is a way for homosexuals to serve honorably (and effectively) in the military, and that is to keep their mouths shut and their hands to themselves. The military is having a hard enough time dealing with two sexes, much less four.

arl G. Croyder

Baltimore

Dental Dilemma

Often the issue of health care availability, or lack of it, is associated with the elderly or the poor. I am a 24-year-old, white, college student from an upper-middle-class family and I don't have, nor can I afford, health insurance. This is of great concern to me and it is one of the main reasons I voted for Bill Clinton. But there seems to be no practical solution in sight.

As a college student working part time, I cannot afford to go to the doctor or dentist. One trip to the dentist can be as much as a month's rent for me. I was recently faced with a painful broken tooth.

My dentist, knowing that I had no insurance, suggested a root canal and a crown, the grand total being $1,000. Needless to say, this figure was totally out of my reach. Instead, I was forced to have the tooth pulled, which still cost me $125 -- better than $1,000, but still a lot for my budget.

Emergencies happen. Being without health insurance forces us to make specific decisions; choice is taken away. I would like to have the choice to seek medical care when I need it without worrying about whether or not I will be able to afford to eat next week.

How will Americans without insurance be able to afford health care with medical expenses steadily rising? If universal health-insurance coverage and price controls are not an option, then what choice are we left with?

Health care is not a problem specific to the elderly or the poor. It crosses all age, ethnic and economic barriers. Not all healthy young people choose not to buy health insurance; some of us simply can't afford it.

Ken Wood

Towson

South of the Border

I had to laugh out loud when I read that Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, R-2nd, had expressed concerns about human rights violations in Mexico.

How delusional does she think we are?

Not only has Mrs. Bentley been silent on civil rights issues at home, she has actively lobbied on behalf of the Serbian nationalists who are killing more and more Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina every day.

Timothy F. Crofoot

Reisterstown

Judge Bollinger

I do not know all the facts and the reasons why Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Bollinger is being criticized. However, neither do the majority of the other people who are running around criticizing him. They were not sitting in the trial, either.

If a girl goes out and gets drunk with a bunch of other people who are drunk, then she is playing with fire. When you play with fire, sometimes you get burned.

Judge Bollinger has an excellent record and does not deserve the public abuse that he is receiving. I support him. I hope the citizens of this county and state will support him.

Judges are called on continually to make tough decisions. They are not perfect and neither are we. We need to remember that before we let a radical group run him out of office.

Now is a good time to look at ourselves and decide if we are going to rely on good judges to make the decisions, or if every time a group doesn't like one of their decisions, we are going to remove them from office.

Henry J. Knott Jr.

Baltimore

Gays and Lesbians

On behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore, I am writing to commend The Sun for the quality of its coverage of the recent March on Washington for Gay, Lesbian and Bi Equal Rights and related activities.

Rather than succumbing to presenting only the extremes or most colorful aspects of the events, The Sun properly focused on the human impact being experienced by everyday gay, lesbian and bisexual people, their friends and family members.

It was a particular pleasure to work with Peter Honey and Holly Selby in developing their stories. Each was sensitive, responsible and professional in their approaches to us.

We look forward to continued quality coverage in the future. Keep up the good work.

John Hannay

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Gay and LesbiaCommunity Center of Baltimore.

Cochlear Implant's Miracle

It has been nine months since our son, then aged 4 1/2 , was operated on and given an opportunity with a cochlear implant to hear sounds and speech that would have otherwise been nearly impossible to him, but are taken for granted by others.

His continued enthusiasm, inquisitiveness and growing receptive and expressive language skills are too numerous to mention. What we would like to emphasize here is not the wonderful

success that Justin has had to date, but the ever important options that exist and should be made available to the hearing impaired.

We were dismayed by comments of James Tucker, superintendent of the Maryland School for the Deaf, in Deidre Nerreau McCabe's May 13 article, "Ear Implants: Help or Harm?" How could a "professional" person -- supported, by the way, through our tax dollars -- be so misinformed of the most current research and developments and choices in the field of deafness?

We, like other parents who have made this difficult decision, were given no false hopes, promises of a "hearing" child, or the like. What we were told, through a most rigorous and lengthy evaluation process, was what could be.

As parents, we make the best choices we can for our children on a daily basis. Did we make this choice for our son? You bet, based on the latest information from parents of hearing-impaired children, the medical field and the deaf community itself.

Any guarantees? No, but with the necessary rehabilitation and commitment from the family, the potential is limitless.

Do we have any regrets? None, with perhaps the exception of one -- that Justin was not a candidate for a cochlear implant at an earlier date.

David Reymann

Baltimore

____________

I recently spoke by phone to my six-year-old granddaughter in Atlanta. She informed me that when we celebrate our birthdays -- which for both of us take place on the same day -- we could share the cake but she would be the one to blow out the candles.

This charming exchange took place despite the fact that my granddaughter was born profoundly deaf. Through the miracle of a cochlear implant, she is a hearing-speaking child.

She attends school with other hearing children and teachers report her progress is at the level of her classmates. She dances and sings, enjoys being read to and angrily scolds her younger brother for taking one of her prized possessions.

It is this miracle of modern medicine, the cochlear implant, that opponents of implants label as unnecessary, destructive and immoral.

I will not dwell upon the numerous misleading statements made by the president of the Maryland Association for the Deaf and the superintendent of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Parents of hearing-impaired children need to know that for many it is a safe and effective medical procedure that will enable many to fully participate in a hearing world.

Allen Kershman

Baltimore

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