Letters to the Editor

Volume VI Number 26
July 2-8, 1998

Seeking Causes of Cancer Clusters

Dear New Bay Times~Weekly:

Your interview with Anne Arundel County Council member Diane Evans [May 28-June 3] was most interesting. One question you asked, and her response was intriguing. Ms. Evans, you said, gave momentum to an effort to study whether the unusual number of cancers in Anne Arundel are connected to the environment. Ms. Evans replied that a committee of volunteers produced a 70-page report on the study, but Ms. Evans didn't know "whether there have been results that answered the questions."

Last year a friend, a doctor from Los Angeles, came to Washington to see his daughter receive her Ph.D. from Georgetown University in cellular biology. She also has an M.D. from Georgetown, and she wants to specialize in cancer research. My wife and I took the doctor and his wife to Galesville for dinner, and when we passed through Tracey's Landing, I said this was one of the cancer hot spots in Anne Arundel County. The doctor said oncologists now believe that genes play an increasingly important role in cancer.

St. James Church is nearby, and it is over 300 years old. I believe that the pastor, the Rev. William H.C. Ticknor, is a descendant of one of the original founders. Go down the road a few miles to All Hallows Episcopal Church, and it is also over 300 years old. A few years ago, they celebrated their 300th birthday, and at the ceremony a number of descendants of the original families were there.

I suspect genes will be found to be as important as the environment in accounting for the unusual numbers of cancers in Anne Arundel.

-Tom Gill, North Beach

Bob White Heard and Seen in Deale

Dear New Bay Times~Weekly:

June 20, a group of us were sitting around discussing Middle East politics, lying about old friends who could not defend themselves and making occasional forays into the world of ornithology because birds were all over our newly replenished feeder on the edge of the water at Parker Creek. Although most of us know substantially less than the plastic "quick guide" to the local birds of the Chesapeake, that never stops our making pronouncements on any bird that comes in view. One friend, recently returned from Cape Cod where they are plentiful, suddenly realized we had been hearing a bobwhite quail, but it was back in the marsh and couldn't be seen.

This afternoon while in the canoe, I heard the bobwhite again at the edge of the water on my neighbor's property. One push of the paddle and I glided along the shoreline just far enough until he burst out of a cedar tree and flew away into the woods.

I had meant to write you saying we had heard the bobwhite Saturday, but once again procrastination pays big dividends! Now we can say we've actually seen it.

-Ron Wolfe, Deale

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