Residents of tower show their gratitude for aid and...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 13, 1999

Residents of tower show their gratitude for aid and comfort

As residents of Charles Towers, we would like to express our thanks to the following people who went above and beyond what was expected of them to help us throughout Friday's ordeal.

The staff of the Tremont Plaza Hotel, who quickly made rooms available and provided blankets, food and hot drinks.

The Red Cross volunteers, who arrived on the scene almost immediately and were there throughout the night and into the next morning to provide comfort and food.

Residents of neighboring buildings, who stopped by to ask if anything was needed and lent clothes to those who were not dressed for the winter weather.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who arrived in the early hours of the morning to provide information and support.

And especially the firefighters, who fought the blaze; the emergency medical technicians, who attended to those who were injured; and the emergency services personnel, who made sure the building was safe after the fire.

Many others lent a hand during our time of need. A great deal of media coverage was focused on the spectacular images -- the flames pouring out of the windows and the burned out apartments. More attention should be given to the generous acts and the bravery of the people mentioned above.

Todd Goldwasser

Aliza Thompson

Baltimore

Money for military planes mean less for the elderly

Thanks for the The Sun's coverage of the problems older Americans are facing with the terrible cost of prescription drugs and the fact that these drugs are not covered by Medicare ("Seniors' lack of drug coverage targeted," Feb. 4).

Millions of seniors cannot afford and do not get drugs that they need. It makes no sense for seniors to go without new drugs that relieve the pain of arthritis or blood thinners that reduce the risk of stroke for $60 dollars a month.

The president and members of Congress say, as Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana did recently, that officials "would like to have a drug program if we can find a way to pay for it."

Why not take a cold, hard look at President Clinton's proposed $267 billion military budget, with its $53 billion dollars for new weapons systems.

Interestingly enough, the $1.8 billion allotted for six new F-22 fighter jets would cover exactly 10 million patient-months of a common heart medicine, which costs $180 per month. That's a year's supply of life saving medicine for 833,333 people for the cost of six airplanes.

Will we as a country cover the cost of medicine for our parents, or will we continue to pay it to the arms dealers?

Back in April 1953, President Eisenhower declared that "every gun that is made, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed."

It's also a theft from those who need medicines and can't afford them.

Michael Bardoff

Baltimore

The Block can be improved, even with nude dancing

Regarding your coverage of dancers on The Block going nude ("Block bares it all legally" Feb. 5), I don't think you delved into this change of venue like good newspaper reporters.

In my monthly or more frequent visits there for 37 years, the Block has been nude for all that time except the last six years. During these last six years, patronage has declined by at least half.

Most bars have been three-quarters empty during the week for the last several years. A woman trying to make a living must work 16 hours a day in the dark and dank, trying to feed her kids. It wasn't that way when bars were full, and ladies did their last numbers nude. They worked an eight-hour shift and made a living.

Drinks that in 1990 were $6 are now $20. And those are the cheap ones for a moment with a woman. A Coke is $5 now instead of $4.50 because the owner needs the 50 cents that went as a tip to the bartender. When there is no traffic, no one can make a living. This leads to drug use, which in Baltimore is prolific just about anyplace but on The Block. The Block has been cleaned up.

Just about every major city has nude female dancing, as we did from the end of WWII.

My vote goes to letting The Block stay as it became last week. The people in Annapolis aren't going to gain or lose a single vote by rubbing out four hundred or so jobs, that are mostly in the domain of young people and their young patrons. Instead, improve Baltimore by making available rapid-detox centers.

Cut the heart out of crime instead of worrying about G-strings.

Richard Frank

Baltimore

Malcolm X helped country more than other honorees

This letter is in response to the letter ("Shame on Postal Service for Malcolm X stamp," Feb. 6). Malcolm X was a dynamic leader, and he was fighting to right the injustices African Americans suffered in this country. He was assassinated before he realized his goals.

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