Letters to the Editor

July 07, 2003

Stem cells not most powerful

To the editor:

Your Monday (June 23) edition carried a wonderful article about little Jordan Lehman and his parents' fight to win Jordan's battle against Tay-Sachs disease through treatments that use stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood.

However your reporter saw fit to interject editorial comments implying that embryonic stem cells are "the most powerful." This is entirely false. The only consistent good results for patients have come from cells taken from cord blood and from adult cells, especially when taken from the patient, when possible.

Obviously no people are killed in these cases to obtain the cells, as is the case when embryos are created to be killed when a week or two old so that their cells my be harvested like so many potatoes. Experiments with embryonic cells on Parkinson's patients often ended up as disasters. Why was that not mentioned?


Has your reporter or editor taken time to do the science? Do they think that they would not have been killed if someone had taken them from their mother's womb when they were a few days old? When did their lives begin? Research might have shown them that what is driving the demand for use of embryonic cells is the 100,000-plus embryos sitting around in storage in fertility clinics just waiting for a market to profit from the leftovers.

Richard Giovanoni

Warthogs will fly on

To the editor:

I was happy to see Don Currier's column "A-10: The Ugly Duckling From Hagerstown Now Swan in Iraq" in your April 13 edition.

Everything Currier says is on target, and I was pleased to log more than 2,400 hours in the Warthog during my Air Force career, including combat time during Operation Southern Watch.

Since Currier's column was written, the fate of the A-10 has been an item of news in such prestigious papers as the New York Times. The bottom line is that despite rumors to the contrary, the Air Force plans to continue to keep the A-10 in the inventory until 2028, and will upgrade the aircraft to improve its capabilities.

A word to the great Americans of Hagerstown and the surrounding area who may have worked on or built A-10s: You did a dynamite job. True to the Republic and Fairchild aircraft traditions, you produced a rugged, lethal, and highly effective combat aircraft that has saved the lives of our servicemen and women on the ground in theaters around the world. Whenever I've talked to my Army compatriots about what airplane they would most like to have overhead, the Warthog was the number one choice. Thank you for your efforts.

Al Allenback
Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Executive Director, Civil Air Patrol

Tannery workers need tough hides

To the editor:

Well, this is getting a bit ridiculous. First of all, the union at the Garden State Tannery has pushed the employees to go back to work, with threats about losing their jobs. Now the company has in black in white on paper that the employees are on an hourly wage pay scale.

I would like to know how - if it is a hourly wage - would the company get by with having an employee who runs a certain amount of hides get paid one amount, and if he runs another amount of hides he gets paid a lower rate. Something just doesn't make sense.

The company and the union better go back and look at the paper again; they can't do that to the employees. What kind of union would let this kind of stuff go by? It is not right. It is time that someone stands up and opens their mouths about all of this.

One thing I do know is that the people at Toyota are not going to be very happy if they find out that the tannery is sending their leather to Mexico and then sending it back, where the tannery puts one of their labels on it. And they will find out.

It is time for the employees who have a backbone to do something about it. I think the company needs a reality check, and real quick like. To the employees: Stand up and do something. Don't sit back and let this go on. They are going to do it because no one wants to take a stand against them.

Terri Miller

Let them leave

To the editor:

I'm constantly amazed at the ignorance of our Berkeley County Commissioners. Recently, one was suggesting a tax increase to raise the salaries of a couple of bellyaching deputies. The deputies suggested they were going to leave and go to a higher paying county for a job.

This is nothing more than blackmail. I say, don't let the door knob hit you on your way out. A lot of people are unemployed and would love to make $12 an hour to start. Most of the jobs of higher pay are in areas of double or triple housing costs, which is a family's largest expenditure.

Many local people work in the city to receive higher wages. But do locals expect that pay? Get real commissioners! I've been retired for 15 years and my pension hasn't gone up one dime yet I live in the same county with housing, food, taxes and medical costs as these poor mistreated deputies.

Ray Hardt
Falling Waters, WVa.

Poor publicity for cancer event

To the editor:

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