Navy BashingCongratulations on the article (June 13) about...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 27, 1994

Navy Bashing

Congratulations on the article (June 13) about the Naval Academy Athletic Association. One of our own, The Baltimore Sun, is now into Navy bashing.

Running a business here in Annapolis has its challenges, which are not helped when one of our local newspapers does not get the whole story.

Proper marketing should not be considered "perks." Being in the hotel business, and realizing how contracts run, it is apparent that the NAAA did not pay $155 a night for the rooms in question, nor did they pay $1,000 for suites.

The Army-Navy game is a highlight across the country and a perfect time for the NAAA to market their sports needs for the Naval Academy.

The money spent was surely well spent. The article did not mention the return on their investment -- great community relations, increased ticket sales and local business involvement.

Besides the fact that in Jack Lengyel and Rear Adm. Thomas Lynch, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have been well served with their community involvement, which has resulted in an increased economic base for all concerned.

The article was not properly weighted. It did not explain the reason behind the marketing opportunity outlined, nor did it correctly spell out the reason behind the condo, which is surely not a perk.

Enough said. I would surely hope that your future coverage of our community would be somewhat more well rounded and impartial.

Thomas A. Negri

Annapolis

Visiting Nurses

How disturbing that as venerable and respected an organization as the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) has to suffer from a completely inaccurate headline like the "VNA may have become outmoded" (Business Section, May 31).

As one of many oncologists who rely upon the services of the VNA to care for patients in the Baltimore area, I found the article sufficiently misleading so that for the first time in my life I'm writing a letter to the editor.

The purpose of the article was to report the sale of the VNA to a hospital consortium. The headline and the first half of the article gave the impression that the services of the VNA are no longer appropriate to the needs of the home care patient in the 1990s. The VNA is not outmoded nor are its specialized services no longer needed.

It has worked to evolve as medical care has changed over the last decade.

The VNA is one of the few agencies with nurses who can deliver both "high tech" and hospice services. This allows a patient with cancer to receive at home both complicated medical treatment and later, if the disease progresses, to receive terminal care from the same nurse.

This continuity of care is very important for the patients and their families, as it keeps an established professional relationship in the home as the disease becomes terminal.

Other home care companies still split these duties into different internal organization, as the VNA itself once did.

The VNA worked over several years to change from split service approach to the one nurse/one patient approach.

The VNA is Medicare hospice approved. Many other agencies are not so certified.

I fear that my patients seeing the headline and first few paragraphs may question their care from the VNA.

These patients are struggling with the fears of a frightening disease and do not benefit from a sensational "grabber" headline.

In addition, the tone of the financial aspects of the article is more opinion than responsible news reporting. There is nothing "outmoded" about the VNA's purpose, vision or strategic planning that brought them to an affiliation negotiating table. It was the many years of service, growth, recognized quality and success at meeting the challenges of the community that made the VNA desirable to potential partners and owners.

Michael Purtell, M.D.

Ellicott City

Finding True Role Models

While the public has placed the athlete-entertainer on a pedestal, sometimes undeservedly, Charles Barkley has cautioned us correctly that no athlete can be expected to serve as a role model.

The problems of Jennifer Capriatti, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Tyson, Pete Rose and, most recently, O. J. Simpson bear out this contention.

The message is clear: Athlete-entertainers represent a cross-section of the American people, no better and no worse, and no more should be expected from them than the average person on the street.

However, as a consolation to the athlete, certainly no other profession has been untarnished and capable of providing role models for our youth.

Certainly not politics, the law, medicine, science (with recent indications of fraud in this community), nor even religion.

Perhaps the only message that can be derived from the spate of problems among public figures is that the appropriate role model is probably someone in your family, your neighbor, your co-worker or your fellow student, but not among the public figures so revered by the American public.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Answering Rowan on Farrakhan

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