Man in wheelchair would rather not alter the USS 0...

Letters to the Editor

August 05, 1998

Man in wheelchair would rather not alter the USS 0) Constellation

I have mixed feelings about the story "A Civil War-era ship sails into a modern dispute" (July 22), which tells of a disabled man who wants the USS Constellation to be wheelchair-accessible.

Ships of this kind are built for the job they were created to do -- fight. No comforts were considered. Major changes to the ship may leave the visitor lost as to how it really felt to be in battle with the crew and possibly lessen the ship's historical value.

One of the great lessons we should take from visiting historical sites is just how difficult life was in the past. Modern upgrades may detract from this lesson. Historical places transport us back in time, to experience a taste of the everyday hardships people endured to make life better for us.

This is how we truly can remember them and honor their sacrifices. Historical places should teach us, and altering them may not let us see things as they truly were.

I understand Robert Reuter's point very well. For I, too, use a wheelchair; I have multiple sclerosis. I know it is all but impossible for me to experience all I want to, yet I know I just can't at this time.

Technology is always improving, and one day I will be able to go where I want, but until that day comes, I hope things can be preserved so someday I will be able to see them as they were meant to be used.

I know there must be room for compromise. Perhaps replicas can be made, on shore, of inaccessible areas of the ship. A lifelike model could make it possible for the elderly, as well as people like me, to get a taste of this period.

Charles Farrell


No reason to maintain flawed managed care

I must write to agree with Froma Harrop's column about HMOs ("Republicans and Democrats want to fix HMO mess," July 28). She is right. "Profit-oriented managed care is flawed at the core. Let's just dump it."

Virginia Levin


Patterson Park is not deserted

In response to the article "Force of nature" (July 19) regarding Henry Stern's tenure as parks commissioner, I was delighted for the most part.

L However, I found one passage alarming in Joe Mathews' story.

In the article's illustration of Stern's accomplishments during a period when parks and recreation funding nationwide has been low, Baltimore's Patterson Park was mentioned as one of "those" parks that are so dangerous they're all but deserted.

Patterson Park does suffer from a lack of local government imagination, but it is not a place so dangerous that it is deserted. This piece makes no mention of the daily dog walkers, joggers, in-line skaters, basketball players, soccer players, swimmers, cyclists, little leaguers, ice skaters, anglers, gardeners and the occasional people watchers.

It makes no mention of the Polish festival, Latino festival, blues festival, firefighters festival, mountain bike race, antiques festival, community sleepover and 5K road race.

It makes no mention of the park as home to Banner Neighborhoods, Virginia Baker Recreation and Senior Center, various summer camps and an adult day care center for Alzheimer's patients.

At a time when television news has become a sort of local "Hard Copy," The Sun's continued propagation of Patterson Park as dangerous and deserted is even more appalling because it is not based on fact.

James G. Shetler


The writer is program manager of the Patterson Park Community Development Corp.

Despite Brothers Grimm, wolf is an asset to wildlife

Bravo to the writer of the lead editorial "A call for the wild in Yellowstone Park" (July 29).

This sentiment should be echoed nationwide. To destroy the wolf again, after centuries of mistreatment and misunderstanding, an image enhanced by legends and fairy tales such as the Grimm Brothers' would be a national environmental error and disgrace.

The wolf is a beautiful, highly intelligent, basically shy and needed ecological neighbor. It should be protected nationally from stupid and biased judgments that would again destroy him.

Louise Dauner


The writer is a retired professor at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Apathy toward sex scandal explains our moral slide

In their column ("President's testimony won't give this he-said, she-said scandal credibility," July 31), Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover contend that most Americans are not concerned with lying about sex.

About the same time, on the Marc Steiner radio show, a local publisher voiced his opinion that had a similar and sinister ring -- he didn't think President Clinton should be censored, even if he lied about his sexual exploits.

With this kind of base thinking it is no wonder that the moral values of America are in a steep decline. The message from the highest office and our fellow Americans seems to be "if you can get away with it, do it." A grim message for our children.

Kathryn Coke Rienhoff


Not enough news coverage given to Goodwill Games

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