General Schwarzkopf's sister can't resist some long-distance advice
As the sister of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf watched his televised news conference from Saudi Arabia yesterday, she couldn't resist offering some long-distance advice:
"Stay cool, Norm," she shouted at one point as he responded to questions about the media's lack of access to air and ground missions inthe Persian Gulf.
Schwarzkopf appeared ebullient and relaxed as he fielded questions about the progress of the war.
"He's lightened up a bit. I'm glad to see that," his sister, Sally, told a reporter who visited her home in Maryland. She asked that her last name and hometown not be disclosed.
She also was glad to see for herself that he is safe.
"I'm easily psyched," she said. "Saddam Hussein's statements chill me. It comforts me to see him."
Studio 1209, a commercial photography business in Baltimore, is doing its bit to help out the families of soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf.
Carol Frank and Adrienne Novak, owners of the studio, are offering the chance for five people to participate in their Operation Valentine.
Military spouses, both male and female, 18 years or older, are invited to enter a drawing for a free glamour make-over portrait session. Studio 1209 will provide five winners with a glamour make-over and photographs, which will be sent overseas at no charge.
"We know one or two people who are involved in this situation and they just seem so depressed," Frank said. "We thought it would be a nice gesture. It's not much."
For more information, call the studio at 244-0092.
HELP FOR ISRAEL SOUGHT
After a visit to Israel, the leaders of more than 30 American Jewish organizations -- who spent part of the night in a shelter during an Iraqi missile strike -- said this week they would return to the United States to seek more help for Israel.
Shoshana Cardin of Baltimore, who led the delegation, said that the Jewish leaders expect to meet shortly with officials of the Bush administration.
The delegation included Rabbi Joel Zaiman of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Pikesville, who is the president of the Synagogue Council of America.
Cardin said the main request to the administration would be "the need, without question, to try to eliminate the potential for Scud missiles coming here from western Iraq."
The group from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Foreign Minister David Levy and other officials on their three-day visit.
Cardin said Israeli officials fear Saddam Hussein may make good on his threat to hit Israel with chemical weapons.
"He has repeated that he has chemical, biological and nuclear weapons," she said. "And there is concern that he would use one of them if he is trapped against the wall and felt that he had . . . nothing further to lose."
CITY CHIPS IN
Baltimore has decided to help municipal employees called into military service during the war by paying for health insurance for their family members at home.
Under the policy announced this week, the city will pay the full cost of health insurance, prescriptions and vision care for family members. Fifty-seven employees have been called into active duty so far, according to city officials.
"These are trying times for all of us," Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said. "I'm hoping that by picking up the total cost . . . of health-insurance coverage, we can make it a little less burdensome for those families waiting for their loved ones to return."
Under a liberalized policy, employees called to active duty can continue to receive their full city pay for up to six months by using accumulated vacation and sick leave. Employees could previously use up to three months of leave.
HEADLIGHTS AND SIGNS
WXCY-FM in Havre de Grace has declared tomorrow "Shine on Your Troops Day." The country-western station, with an audience in northeastern Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, is asking drivers to keep their headlights on tomorrow. The station also is asking drivers to honk their horns at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. . . . Dugan's Exxon, at the corner of York Road and Bellona Avenue in north Baltimore, is offering free "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers. Red, white and blue, of course. . . . Update on the Loyola College dormitory windows. Last week, this column noted no peace signs. By yesterday there was one, as well as several American flags and pro-military slogans.
If you know an interesting story of how the war is affecting people on the home front, please call 332-6457.
PERSIAN GULF SHOWDOWN
Thomas W. Waldron, Bruce Reid, Monica Norton and Patrick Ercolano contributed to this report.