Conservative is not a bad word; A map would've helped; Still no substitute for giving or getting blood 


Conservative is not a bad word
The Aug. 8 issue of Style Weekly, and several prior editions, have had letters to the editor which were critical of the Republican Party as it relates to black voters, which I think need some comment and explanation, as follows:

At this time of black history publicity and study, it should be emphasized that the Republican Party was the leader in the elimination of slavery and the Union participation in the Civil War.

It was the Republican Party that gave black leaders in Richmond, and elsewhere, their first chance to hold major public office and to vote freely.

It was the Democratic Party that vigorously resisted, and which came back into power in Virginia in the 1880s and pushed through the 1902 Virginia Constitution which severely restricted the black vote. It was the Democratic Party that opposed school desegregation and pushed for "Massive Resistance." Black people need more information, and should not rely fully on their leaders who are frequently protecting their own political interests and "turf" in the Democratic Party.

The word "conservative" is not a bad word and I think that a lot of black people agree that the views of law abiding, tax paying, responsible families and citizens are entitled to much consideration.

Urchie B. Ellis

A map would've helped
The beauty of the James River through Richmond is that it meets the needs of so many people. "Urban Fish Tales" Cover story, Aug. 8 addressed that issue nicely. Black and white, old and young, fly-fisher and bait-caster, catch-and-release and fish-in-the-frying pan, this resource ties us all together.

What the story lacked for me, however, was a map. How do you get to the different places, where do you park and, perhaps, what special things should you consider — places where you get towed, where the CSX railroad enforces a $250 fine, and stuff like where to get good equipment and advice.

River maps are available through the James River Park System (780-5311) and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (367-1000).

One minor criticism: There are not many oaks among those sycamores along the river. Perhaps Brandon Walters was looking at elms, maples, sweet gum or river birch?

Ralph White
Park Manager
James River Park System

Still no substitute for giving or getting blood
Thank you for the compelling article about Meg Moring and Sean McQueen, both of whom have Fanconi Anemia News & Features, Aug. 15. Meg and Sean are two of the thousands of patients who enter Richmond hospitals every year for medical treatment that includes blood transfusions.

The Richmond area has an outstanding reputation for its high level of blood donation. But the reliability of our local blood supply leads to even more medical advances, and the ability of our community to keep up is sorely tested. Blood donations are not down here, but blood transfusions are up dramatically.

Virginia Blood Services, the local non-profit that collects and distributes all of Richmond's blood, welcomes as volunteer blood donors anyone at least 17 years old, weighing at least 110 pounds and in good health.

The entire simple procedure takes about an hour at VBS donor centers all over town and at any of the thousands of blood drives we conduct each year. And you can register as a bone marrow donor at the same time you are giving blood.

Unfortunately, there is still no substitute for the old-fashioned taking of blood from one person's arm and putting it in someone else's. Blood transfusions are still the standard lifesaving treatment for many diseases and conditions.

Laura Cameron
Vice President
Corporate Communications
Virginia Blood Services


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