Week of September 12, 2001

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Chris is in a better place: I read your article about my cousin, Christopher Nilhas, who has been suffering from cancer [D.J. Wilson, "Living on a Thin Line," Sept. 5]. Chris passed away Sunday morning. Chris was a big-hearted, fun-loving guy who could always make you laugh. He loved his family and his children. He will be greatly missed.

There is a trust fund set up by neighbors of the Nilhas family [attach note to check indicating that it is intended for the fund and make checks payable to the Chris Nilhas Trust Fund; send checks to Midwest BankCentre, 2191 Lemay Ferry Rd., St. Louis, MO 63125, 314-631-5500]. If the money is sent here, it will hopefully be used appropriately to pay bills and meet the children's needs.

Chris, we all love and miss you very much, but we know that you are in a better place and no longer in pain.
Dana L. Haag
via the Internet

We will all travel this path: The D.J. Wilson story about the Nilhas family and Chris Nilhas' affliction with cancer was read by me with interest. Certainly everyone feels a great deal of sympathy for this family, but something vital appears to be missing. Sooner or later, every one of us must travel the same path that Chris is on now. We must all cope with the transition from life to death. Although D.J. Wilson and the Nilhas family views this as a tragedy, it need not be.

I was disappointed to note that not a single reference to God and the hereafter appeared in Wilson's stuff. How much comfort and solace a liberal dose of Christianity could make things for Chris and his entire family. One doesn't have to be a religious nut or fanatic to recognize this basic truth.
Richard H. Gerding
Concord Village

Novel Approach
Research makes the difference: Your article on Missouri's migrant workers was very good [Jeannette Batz, "Following the Melons," Aug. 29]. The article reads more like a novel than a newspaper. I think the piece is of such high quality partly because you devoted considerable time researching your subject.
Robert Oberman
via the Internet

Pregnancy's Tests
Her kids will hate her: I read the story about some lady and her getting her poor, poor children involved in the ungodly crap she's trying to pull [Jeannette Batz, "Casualties of War," Aug. 15]. I honestly can't believe that this so-called mother has her children in the middle of this. Does she not know what she's doing? Her kids are going to grow up hating her.

It's my body! Let it be! This decision [to abort] is our decision, not yours. I don't understand how these people think they can get involved where they do not belong.
Teri Kennedy
via the Internet

Most aborted fetuses feel no pain: Mark Hasler asks, "Imagine the discomfort and pain the babies feel when they are ripped apart by a suction machine" ["Letters," Sept. 5]. Thanks to Mr. Hasler's pro-life colleagues, we don't have to imagine it. We know the answer: They don't feel it at all.

In 1987, two pro-life scientists, K.J. Anand and P.R. Hickey, set out to prove once and for all that fetuses can feel pain. The results, though, overwhelmingly indicated that fetuses cannot feel pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy, when the lobes of the brain grow together and establish synaptic contact. Since approximately 99 percent of all abortions are performed in the first or second trimester (i.e., before the sixth month of pregnancy), it is safe to conclude, based on this study, that 99 percent of aborted fetuses don't feel any pain at all.

Nice try, though.
Josh Martin
St. Louis

There are better ways to spend time: I feel incredibly sorry for Angela and Dan Michael's children. Without therapy to overcome the effects of brainwashing and being used as political tools, they will grow up to torment law-abiding citizens facing a heartbreaking decision. People like the Michaels need to find a better way to spend their time.
Jessica Donahoe

Job Opening
Backup Copy Editor: The Riverfront Times seeks a copy editor available on a freelance basis. Qualified candidates should have copy-editing experience, as well as a working knowledge of PC-based word processors and QuarkXPress. Please send a cover letter and résumé to:

Roland Klose
Managing Editor
Riverfront Times

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St. Louis, MO 63130
Fax: 314-615-6716

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