Perry Point cuts seen as harmfulAs the widow of a retired...

LETTERS

March 22, 1996

Perry Point cuts seen as harmful

As the widow of a retired Air Force veteran of 25 years of service, I would like to express my views regarding budget reductions within the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am specifically referring to reductions in the bed capacity and the likely closure of the in-patient substance abuse treatment program at the Perry Point Veterans Administration Medical Center.

We would all agree that reductions are necessary and government should be streamlined and cost-effective; however, alternatives should be offered when cuts are made in a program that is so valuable to Maryland and Delaware veterans.

Every day, I hear and read of the ravages of substance abuse in our area.

Baltimore City, for instance, has the highest incidence per capita of intravenous drug abusers in the country. It would appear to me that those responsible for making these decisions have never been directly or indirectly affected by this disease of addiction. With certainty, they are making these veterans in urgent need of treatment the lowest priority in the VA's vast and otherwise often redundant health-care network.

This attitude of indifference in the context of the staggering social pathologies associated with drug abuse throughout the mid-Atlantic is appallingly callous in its "bean counters" bureaucratic logic.

Mildred Rodriguez

Dover, Del.

Peace process is needed and genuine

Rabbi Eli Hecht's denigration of the Middle East peace process ("Satan's Peace," Opinion Commentary, March 13) is totally unwarranted.

In the wake of the tragic assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, there was a growing appreciation in Israel of the peace process. It will zTC only compound the horror of the recent bombings if Hamas is permitted to achieve the ultimate goal of its terrorism: the death of hope for a partnership between Israel and its neighbors.

In the writer's enthusiasm for his story, the record of the past few years is distorted by overstatement. Satan has all the ''Arab brethren'' calling for peace. Of course, this did not happen.

What really did happen is that a considerable portion of the ''Arab brethren'' not only called for peace but is actively engaged in working for it. We are effecting change where change was thought impossible.

Indeed, we are witnessing the realization of beliefs and ethical insights that are at the heart of Judaism. Judaism believes in the possibility that humanity can change, and that goes back to our conviction that each human being is made in the image of God (including the ''Arab brethren'').

Finally, Israel and the world at large should muster the courage and foresight to hold fast to Rabin's legacy. At this point, that legacy calls for the intense pursuit of a two-track program.

First, the intense pursuit of personal security by a carefully targeted war on the terrorists.

And second, an equally intense advancement of the peace process upon whose ultimate success depend both personal security and the survival of the entire Middle East.

Robert D. Katzoff

Baltimore

St. John's honored President Gordon

I was employed by Douglas Gordon from 1974 until his death in 1986, and continued assisting Mrs. Gordon until her recent death.

The obituary of Winifred Douglas Gordon in The Sun on March 14 stated that Mr. Gordon had been president of St. John's College and had been fired.

This was true, but the article neglected to state that the college, in retrospect, recognized the error and injustice that had been perpetrated upon Mr. Gordon, and proclaimed him ''President Emeritus.''

I feel this information, omitted from Mrs. Gordon's obituary, stirred up a curiosity that would not have occurred had all the facts been stated.

It also detracted from the purpose of the article, which was to honor a wonderful lady whose passing will be felt by all whose life she touched.

Since neither Mr. nor Mrs. Gordon is here to explain, I felt a loyalty that the truth should be known and clarified for all who knew, and knew of, the Gordons.

Grace K. Cahlander

Baltimore

Medicaid pays for too much

Certain medical entitlements need to be cut. I am a nurse in a suburban hospital OB/GYN clinic where the vast majority of our pregnant patients are single women. Not only does Medicaid pay for their very necessary prenatal delivery and post-natal care, but it also provides for their tubal ligations when they decide they have had enough children.

Why, though, does Medicaid pay to have their tubes reattached when some meet a new boyfriend who wants to have a child with them? There are very few private insurance companies that will pay for this costly procedure. If the new boyfriend wants a child, why isn't he obliged to pay for this operation and not the taxpayers?

Medicaid also pays for infertility treatments for unmarried women who are unable to conceive, also adding to the welfare rolls.

Mildred McCreary

Baltimore

Good to know who's really in charge

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