Generators generate neighborhood noise: In response to your lead story on October 27 regarding Wilma the Bitch ("Category Too Much"), I offer the following. It is not so much frustration with Wilma as with the degrees of human selfishness that weren't washed away by the storm:
Generator etiquette wake up and smell the coffee. After Wilma careened through town like a freight train, we were treated to something special namely, splendid weather, a dark sky filled with stars, and a peaceful quiet. At least, until the generators fired up and shattered the tranquility. Running through the night, these noisy demons continually interrupted my family's sleep. Of course, there were courteous neighbors who turned off their somniferous machines at night or even sent over a pot of piping hot coffee in the morning.
There are also the selfish who seemingly modified mufflers to achieve maximum sound intensity in violation of all noise standards and subsequently disturbed the peace. Currently, my only consolation is the sound of their sputtering pistons as they gasp on that last drop of fuel from an empty tank.
John Barimo, Ph.D.
University of Miami
Weep Not for Jose
The 411 on the 911: Good story! Cops make mistakes, and sometimes they think they are infallible ("A Tragedy of Errors," Bob Norman, October 20). Jose Diaz and his family knew what he signed up for; it wasn't Sunday school class, and the chance of dying is greater in that profession than in most.
So it is a tragedy, but one less cop is not a bad thing. After all, everybody thinks we are in a free country. It's more like a police state. As much as the public wants to believe and the media try to immortalize cops, there are very few good honest cops. So life goes on.
Dirt Is Dirt
You're gay? Stay away. Still: Regarding Tailpipe's recent article "No Touchy" in the October 20 issue, it's clear that the author has taken his political correctness to a dangerous level that risks harming those in need of blood transfusions. The exclusion of men who have engaged in homosexual activity since 1977 is part of a donor screening process enacted by the Food and Drug Administration. Like it or not, this policy has kept the blood supply safe. The risk of HIV infection from a blood transfusion has decreased from 1-in-2,500 in 1985 to around 1-in-225,000 today.
The fact that Tailpipe has to rely on HIV infection statistics from sub-Saharan Africa only makes his case weaker. Yes, in that part of the world, the disease is mainly a heterosexual one, but that is simply not (yet) true in the United States. In fact, there has been a noted resurgence of HIV infection among homosexuals in this country.
If we are to accept Edmund Newton's logic that all blood donors should be treated equally, then donations would also be encouraged from intravenous drug users. When it comes to the safety of the public, it's much wiser to offend a few people rather than risk their lives.
Kansas City, Missouri
Glass Media Houses
Solve your own problems: Regarding "Park This" (Tailpipe, October 20): Just once, I would like to see media clean up their own house before they go checking in someone else's. It seems every time there is a slow news day, they turn to what the police department is doing. Why don't they mention the fact that reporters in trying to report the news before they are scooped by someone else employ such tactics as speeding, parking illegally (on sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.), trespassing, and harassing individuals. It would be nice to see that sometime on the 6 o'clock news or during Problem Solvers.
No More Secrets
A simple test could have saved her life: I think the play The Normal Heart will certainly heighten awareness of AIDS and bring back the history of this pandemic that was not addressed by the Reagan administration ("Agitation Nation," Dave Amber, October 20). So many lives were lost.
I am the author of a book, A Burden of Silence: My Mother's Battle with AIDS. She was transfused with HIV-contaminated blood in 1983 while undergoing heart bypass surgery. She was 66 when she was diagnosed. My parents kept her illness a secret, but people must know the truth about what happened to the blood supply in the 1980s.
The Institute of Medicine found the FDA negligent in not following the screening procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. If they had performed a simple blood test, then thousands of lives could have been saved.
We can't forget about those victims lost to AIDS through the negligence of the blood banks. The hemophiliacs were compensated for the loss of loved ones. However, no compensation was given to non-hemophiliacs. Not that any amount of money can bring back my mother or other infected non-hemophiliacs. Japan, United Kingdom, and Canada provided compensation to all of the victims transfused with HIV-positive blood.
Nancy A. Draper