Convertino Was a Good Guy
I'm from the Binghamton, N.Y., area and knew Jay Convertino ("The Lonely Killer," Feature, June 20). He used to live next door to my family on Colesville Road when we were teenagers. Everyone knew Jay from the small club scene in Binghamton. Jay used to hold these great formal New Year's parties at his house in Endicott. We were all young, having a good time, drinking and playing cards into the night. He really was an affable guy in every way. Anyone who says different never knew him to begin with.
I initially learned of Jay's death from my brother, who heard of it back home. I didn't know Jay was in Baltimore, since I moved here from Pittsburgh. With the rate of killing in this place, I never picked up the story when it first appeared locally.
I read the allegations some made toward Jay's business practices. He was a self-made guy trying to make his way. He wanted to be a promoter since we were kids. The criticisms appear to define the nature of promoters in general. We're not talking about vocational paths of enlightenment. I don't believe the majority of the claims, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn the job and this city changed him.
Anyway, I just wanted to speak on behalf of the Binghamton hometown guys who knew Jay growing up. Jay was driven, but decent. He made people feel welcome and he was sincere in his friendliness. He didn't deserve to die as he did.
Scene of the Crime
I just moved to Baltimore from Illinois. Imagine my surprise to see the red door from my apartment pictured in your main story about the double homicide ("The Lonely Killer"). I work at Johns Hopkins and was elated when I found something so close to work. I don't even know what to think.
Dixon Has Favor of the Lord
I read with disgust the letter of Wallace Farmer ("Use Development to Stop Murders," The Mail, June 13) who is hoping that Sheila Dixon will be the ex-mayor of Baltimore soon. Talk about self-hatred on the black side--or is it men who hate smart women?
Sheila Dixon is a good mayor. She has tried to reach out to the communities and all the racial groups in the city of Baltimore to create one Baltimore family. Sheila Dixon has done well despite the support she has NOT received from people who do not want Sheila Dixon to succeed in Baltimore because she is a "black woman" who is living well with God.
Baltimore is Baltimore. There are a lot of jealous people in Baltimore because of self-hatred, and having no reverence for life. Jealous people always have destructive behavioral patterns.
As an Afrocentric feminist and a liberal Roman Catholic who is now practicing "liberation theology"--faith practiced with passion beyond the church walls on the streets for everyday people to see God's miracles happening all the time--I see that all ministers who have churches in Baltimore have failed this city, and its poor people especially. Most of the ministers want to preach the words of our Lord inside of a church. I feel that all ministers of every religious faith must have a new vision to walk the streets, as Christ did, to change the lives of people one person at a time.
If the murder rate continues to climb, I believe we must close all churches to determine if the religion of man has become demonic in the minds of people who do not own anything in life and feel like losers. If that is so, the federal government must implement job training programs in all communities in America. It's a federal problem--that is what America's poverty has become.
I feel that many preachers are preaching to enlarge their own status in the world, not Jesus Christ. Faith, and the practice of faith in America, is a man's domain. We women are still perceived as "unclean vessels" to be seen and not heard. Jesus never believed that lie. He never preached that lie.
In my opinion, Sheila Dixon should continue to be the mayor of Baltimore. The favor of the Lord is on Sheila Dixon. My "sight and touch" gift has revealed that to me.
Larnell Custis Butler
I just found Edward Ericson Jr.'s comment regarding the signed blank prescriptions ("Mis-Diagnosed," The Mail, April 4; "Dr. Dee, for Drugs?" Mobtown Beat, March 7). I asked my staff several times. They are willing to testify under oath that they said "no" to this question. This was tape recorded by the Maryland Board of Physicians staff. They should listen to it again.
I was accused, also, of narcotics spread all over my table, floors, and everywhere else. Again another "ghost." First, we do not receive narcotics from drug reps. Second, I do not have a dispensing license, and third where would I get narcotics?
I was accused of immoral behavior when I tried to help Patient A make a little money because he had a slightly challenged 19-year-old girlfriend and a 4-year-old son. The board took everything Patient A wrote after he was discharged for violating the drug contract. Patient A wrote that I forced him, 200 pounds, six feet tall, to have sex with me, exchanged drugs for sex, forced him into a hotel. He can not even afford his food--how can he afford a hotel?
The board accused me of selling and distributing drugs: How can I sell drugs when there were no narcotics available in the office. Selling and distributing, I should have benefited. Then why should I be bankrupt now?
The board is supposed to take care of patients, but what about my three patients of four to seven years who died within six months after they closed my office down? Medicine is not just writing prescriptions; there is also the psychological and emotional support that patients hold onto. And then there was the 16-year-old boy who almost died from continuing seizures when he ran out of medication after no other physician accepted his insurance.
There were 230 signatures of patients that went to Gov. Martin O'Malley, as well as multiple calls to him and the board to testify to the falsehoods of the claims; they were virtually ignored by the board. Patient A called my lawyer and apologized for writing the board because of his rage for being discharged [from my care]. The board said, "It does not count."
Then there were threats and harassments by the boards that I am writing about for a book company.
Edward Ericson Jr. responds: On June 13, the Maryland Board of Physicians permanently revoked Dr. Dee's medical license. "Although warned, sanctioned, and educated by the board twice previously," the board wrote, "the physician continues to provide inadequate and dangerous medical care and her deficiencies as a medical practitioner have been proven to be irremediable."
Corrections: Our review of the Death Set's new EP ("Know Your Product," Know Your Product, June 20) contained a wealth of misinformation. The title is Rad Warehouses, Bad Neighborhoods, not the Anglicized "Neighbourhoods," the song called "Listen to this Collision" is called just "Collision," and it was released by Morphius Records alone. In addition, the track "Distressed by Late Night Television" is not a new recording, but a remastered version of an old one, and while Beau Velasco is not playing live with the band currently, he did play on the new EP and he's still involved with the band. City Paper regrets the errors.
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