Homeowner went unheard at City HallI would like to commend...


April 11, 1997

Homeowner went unheard at City Hall

I would like to commend John B. O'Donnell and Jim Haner for their excellent April 6 report, "City program's trail of rubble.''

The city's posture during the ordeal was that my expectations were unreasonable and that my situation was unique.

The resultant feelings of isolation can be debilitating. The fact that this kind of interest was shown by The Sun was very encouraging.

I would just like to add that the average citizen would expect to have representation in government -- someone to contact when these kinds of problems occur.

We expect that, if no one else hears us, our City Council representatives will. In my situation, however, that was not the case.

I wrote to all three of my council persons (5th District) in June 1996. I have yet to be acknowledged by their offices.

Elizabeth Frazer


Campaign finance reform overdue

I am in agreement with George Will's column of April 3, "Simple and radical, like the First Amendment." Taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns should end and full disclosure of contributions must begin.

It sickens me to realize that President Clinton has turned the White House into a combination flop house and coffee shop, at $100,000 per flop. Worse still is knowing that government really represents special interest and not the taxpayers.

I have a right to know who bought my elected officials.

Dee Smith


Sun headquarters also lost to city

It is interesting to note that in an article (April 7) written in conjunction with the purchase of Alex. Brown Inc. by Bankers Trust, you highlighted other important headquarters that Baltimore had lost since 1987.

It was a clever selection of starting date -- since this eliminated the inclusion of the sale of the A.S. Abell Co. (publishers of the Baltimore Sun) that occurred in 1986. Certainly the sale of Baltimore's major daily paper was a significant event.

Whether this was a Freudian slip or deliberate, it would have greatly amused and intrigued Brad Jacobs, the former brilliant editorial page editor of the Evening Sun, whose obituary appeared in the same edition as the above.

Perry J. Bolton


The writer was vice president for corporate development of the A.S. Abell Co.

Defense industry mergers subsidized

Greg Schneider did an excellent job of reporting on the complex issues surrounding defense industry mergers (March 30, "Merger subsidies under attack").

However, I would like to clarify one of the points regarding Northrop Grumman Corp.'s position on restructuring costs associated with the consolidation of the defense industry.

Northrop Grumman does not oppose Raytheon receiving restructuring costs associated with its planned acquisitions of Texas Instruments and Hughes Aircraft Co. Our company always has been a strong proponent of this Department of Defense practice.

A recent General Accounting Office report points out that for every dollar the Defense Department has paid to date for restructuring costs, it has realized savings of $1.93.

Jack Martin Jr.


The writer is public information manager for the Electronic Sensors and Systems Division of Northrop Grumman Corp.

HMO allegations technically correct

The April 5 letter by Frank Bruno, M.D., states that he has "never been told how to practice medicine by any HMO."

This is technically true because, although he states he is only "a solo practitioner," he has actually been part of the organizations which are denying care.

His signature is attached to a letter from Mid-Atlantic Medical Services Inc. (a managed-care company), dated July 12, 1996, in which physicians are told that "effective immediately, all referrals from Primary Care Physicians to Specialists may be for only one visit."

The letter also states, among other threats, "We are terminating the contracts of physicians and affiliates who fail to meet the performance patterns for their specialty."

This letter is signed by Dr. Bruno as "Chairman, Physicians Health Plan Inc.," which is part of MAMSI.

His statement concerning the HMOs' emphasis on preventive medicine is, in most cases, again technically true but not relevant because many of the HMOs, with their discounted fees, make it impossible for the practicing physician to give much thought to prevention.

Marion Friedman, M.D.


King drew the line between right and wrong

Martin Luther King Jr. is not guilty of being a sap for the reasons columnist Gregory Kane stated (April 5, ''King forgot real questions for killer'').

The civil rights movement succeeded because an entire nation was forced to witness what it had for years ignored -- the brutality of one segment of society against another.

Dr. King perfectly framed the higher moral ground that allowed the majority of otherwise disinterested Americans to identify the true culprits of America's hideous racial inequality.

The civil rights movement was more of a revolution than it was a mere ''movement'' and, like any revolution, many diverse leaders sprang up to further the cause.

No doubt many of the movement's greatest warriors were not so quick to offer blanket forgiveness or espouse Dr. King's ideals.

Anne Moody ("Coming of Age in Mississippi") could scarcely hide her scorn when relating her disillusionment during the March on Washington when she ''realized that we didn't have leaders leading us; we had dreamers talking about their dreams.''

Nevertheless, Dr. King drew the line between right and wrong and a civilized nation could not ignore the injustice of ''separate but equal.''

Like Gandhi before him, Dr. King chose the nobility of non-violence over the culpability of confrontation and created an atmosphere where the civil rights of all Americans could be protected.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was no sap.

Val Prochaska


Pub Date: 4/11/97

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