Faces In The News

December 30, 1990

An item in a year-end picture page Sunday in The Sun said some doctors said the long incubation period for acquired immune deficiency syndrome casts doubt on the immediate usefulness of testing for infection. In fact, doctors say testing is valuable because it makes it possible to treat infected patients years before they develop the disease and because it alerts such patients to the fact that they can infect others.

The Sun regrets the error.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke expressed frustration earlier this month when he demanded that Richard C. Hunter leave his post as Baltimore's superintendent of schools when his contract expires in July.

The mayor had, by many accounts, lost confidence in Dr. Hunter's ability to make substantive improvements in the troubled city school system, which has 108,000 pupils, and had begun consulting community leaders about replacing Dr. Hunter.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

There were complaints from within the school system that Dr. Hunter was too remote personally to inspire his employees in the difficult task of improving an urban school system, but Dr. Hunter was not giving up quietly. "When I make a commitment, I make it," he said. "It's not one I break."

Harry Weinberg, the rich and sometimes enigmatic Baltimore financier, died Nov. 4 at his home in Hawaii after an eight-year battle with bone cancer. His last act was one of extraordinary charity: He left at least $900 million in assets to the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation for the aid of the poor in Baltimore and elsewhere. Mr. Weinberg accumulated a fortune in real estate, municipal transit companies and other ventures during the last half-century and was a local example of the familiar American success story -- the son of immigrant parents, he quit school at 12, worked in his father's auto shop, sold newspapers on the side and parlayed a series of remarkably successful business deals into enormous wealth. In downtown Baltimore, he accumulated 47 properties extending from Cathedral Street west to Martin Luther King Boulevard and from Monument Street south to Pratt Street.

The death from AIDS in November of Dr. Rudolph Almaraz, a respected surgeon who specialized in treating women with breast cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital, produced much anguish and heart-searching. The news left patients worried about the chances of infection and sent the medical community into heated debate over the ethics of informing patients when a physician has such a disease. Johns Hopkins Hospital sent letters offering free acquired immune deficiency syndrome tests an estimated 1,800 patients, but some doctors said the long incubation period -- medical evidence suggests that patients harbor the virus for an average of 10 years before they become sick with the full-blown disease -- casts doubt on the immediate usefulness of such testing.

The medical profession also was eager to allay fears that doctors with AIDS pose a significant risk to their patients.

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