Elders also favor care for descendantsI wonder if our...

the Forum

August 18, 1994

Elders also favor care for descendants

I wonder if our distinguished leader, Eugene Lehrmann, conducted a survey among members of the American Association of Retired Persons to determine the percentage of people who support his endorsement of both Democratic health care plans ("Two Democratic health care plans endorsed by AARP," Aug. 10).

As a long-time member of AARP, I would like to know why he has taken such action. Why two plans? Are they identical?

From listening to the debate in Congress, it appears that both sides debate ably and effectively in favor of their respective plans. However, I am baffled by the ability of both sides to contradict each other.

I do not believe that 33 million AARP members agree with Dr. Lehrmann's endorsement. I certainly do not.

I want a health care plan that not only provides benefits for senior citizens but also for my children, grandchildren and their children.

James F. Macri


Right move

The Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CPHA) strongly supports the new Move to Opportunity Program (MTO) discussed in recent letters to the editor.

We support efforts to give low-income families the opportunity to move out of high-poverty neighborhoods, giving them the chance to attend good schools, to live and play in safety and to have access to the expanding job markets outside the city.

The MTO program is an improvement to the existing Section 8 program for two reasons.

First, it provides counseling to families so that they know their rights and responsibilities as tenants and so that their transition to a new neighborhood is successful.

Secondly, it does not concentrate poverty in areas of the city or the metropolitan region that are already struggling, like other public housing programs have done.

Families participating in MTO cannot move to a neighborhood that has more than 10 percent of the residents living in poverty.

CPHA has strongly advocated and will continue to advocate that MTO families are not all sent to the same apartment complexes that have long accepted Section 8 tenants.

CPHA has long worked for healthy, stable neighborhoods. The Move to Opportunity program is a smart step toward giving families in public housing the chance to succeed and lessening the impact of poverty on a neighborhood.

My family made such a move from two generations of public housing in San Francisco to home ownership in an integrated, civic-minded neighborhood many years ago.

There is no doubt that such a move not only improved the quality of life choices for us as a family but also contributed to the continuing community involvement of my parents over the last 35 years.

Lenneal Henderson


The writer is vice president of CPHA and senior research fellow at the University of Baltimore's Schaefer Center.

Castro's medicine

In 1980, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro overwhelmed the U.S. immigration service with 125,000 illegal immigrants known as the Mariel boat people. Now he threatens to repeat this nonsense.

Perhaps turn-about is fair play. Thousands of Haitian refugees now reside in tent cities in Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. territory in Cuba. Perhaps we could open the gates and allow in any of these refugees who wished to go into Cuba.

We could then promise all Haitian boat refugees intercepted in the high seas free passage to Cuba, via our Guantanamo Bay naval base. Castro would be given a taste of his own medicine.

This would allow Haitian refugees yet another option, and at the same time bestow upon Fidel Castro thousands of his fellow Caribbean citizens to help build his nation.

Since we would not force any Haitians to go into Cuba against their will, who could object to this policy?

Fidel Castro himself could not object to this infusion of immigrants, since he seems to have enough trouble holding on to the people who already live in Cuba.

Iver Mindel


The fight to save the Constellation

Your editorial "Don't give up the ship!" (Aug. 7) presented a thoughtful examination of the problems facing the oldest United States warship still afloat and the first American-built vessel to win a major naval victory -- the U.S.F. Constellation.

The editorial points out the need for all concerned citizens to take note of the plight of this once magnificent vessel -- not because it is a sentimental trophy but because of its great value as an economic asset to Maryland's tourist industry.

However, the Constellation is more than just an economic asset. Both philosophically and historically, the Constellation represents over 150 years of service to this nation. It has a proud and glorious history as one of the original six frigates commissioned by our first Congress.

The Constellation has served in most of America's past conflicts, including the Civil War. Throughout her history, she has performed numerous missions for the U.S. Navy -- training, showing the flag and more.

The Constellation is still a proud ship, even in her present state of disrepair. She continues to be part of our naval history and a symbol of our nation and its people.

The Constellation should be repaired, maintained and kept at the Inner Harbor -- not only for economic reasons but because she continues to be a symbol of those values Americans hold dear -- honor, pride and, yes, patriotism.

Let's not give up the ship without a fight, now or in the future.

ohn A. Micklos


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