Mailbag: Another side of the man killed in explosion

Re. "Records: Man killed in bomb blast had lab equipment," (May 1): Get the facts right! The white powder was flour. He was upset with Pillsbury. We found notes he had written to them complaining about the packaging, etc. The liquid was water. He had built a still to distill it in the kitchen. The hazard team didn't even clean all of his blood off the porch. We had to do that ourselves.

Lloyd and I have cared for and loved Kevin Harris for as long as I can remember. Pop called me when they couldn't reach Kevin, and trusted I would get back to him with answers he needed, and I did.

In the '70s, I was lucky to be included in Kevin's big trip from Mexico to Canada. I hiked roughly 130 miles with Kevin. I was so proud of his achievement that I contacted The Times. A reporter did a big write-up in the View section, with a picture of Kevin on the cover.

Kevin was always one of a kind. He liked to ruffle feathers, and he liked to argue any case. Sometimes, I thought no matter what I said, he'd take the opposite side. Through the years, Kevin was always there when I needed help. I tried to be there for him.

Lloyd and I took him groceries until about five years ago, when he lost trust in us, and it broke my heart. But when we gave him a little something in a Christmas card, we always woke to some little gift tucked in our palm tree in the front yard.

It made me feel good knowing he had paid a visit, even if it was with the darkness of the night sky, keeping him safe from the things he feared. I felt like Kevin was more active at night.

I will never forget Kevin. I will always wonder what I could have done to help him.

Kevin was my friend. I will always know that he mattered. Rest in peace, my sweet, Kevin. You were meant for a gentler, kinder world

Renee Mayo-Ellis

Costa Mesa


Hoag abortion ban

Re: "Hoag to no longer perform elective abortions," (May 6): Hoag Hospital, shortly after partnering with the Roman Catholic hospital, St. Joseph's Health, diagnoses its elective abortion services and decides that it's not performing enough of them. Its prescription for this condition is to stop performing abortions.

However, apparently to reassure the public that it still has the chops to perform surgery, Hoag says that it will still handle the surgery and care of a woman who has had an abortion elsewhere, but had complications needing a full-service hospital.

Something here doesn't compute. Hoag says it doesn't get enough practice to keep doing abortions, yet it can handle complications from abortions done elsewhere. Seems to me, if Hoag is skilled enough to handle complications, it certainly should be skilled enough to handle an uncomplicated abortion.

What seems more likely is that merging with a Catholic hospital pressured it to drop abortions. This is happening with greater frequency across the nation as mergers with Catholic hospitals increase. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which dictates the rules for Catholic care providers, doesn't allow for exceptions.

Prognosis for Hoag's stance on elective abortion once the Catholic orientation becomes general knowledge? It's going to get egg on its face.

Tom Egan

Costa Mesa

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