Sumo Softy

Jeff Yang's article on the sumo competition in Atlantic City inaccurately reflects sumo wrestler Emanuel "Manny" Yarbrough's career in Ultimate Fighting ["Size Matters," December 22].

The 720-pounder's record in the octagon is an unimpressive 0-1, and the "200-pound karate champion," who Yang says lost to Yarbrough and "shattered his wrist attempting to knock him over," actually defeated him. He broke his hand striking help less Manny in the head.

Yarbrough never "made a mockery out of smaller opponents," as Yang states. In fact, Manny's size and strength couldn't help him beat a since-forgotten amateur fighter. This, as well as the results of the sumo contest at Atlantic City, show that technique can prevail over brute size and strength, even in the apparently chaotic realm of ritualized sport combat.

Doug Sparks

600 Sexy Pounds

In Jeff Yang's article "Size Matters," Manny Yarbrough is quoted saying, "I'm the sexiest man in the world, over 600 pounds."

Let me say that, without a doubt, that statement is untrue, because I know the sexiest man over 600 pounds: It is me, the Gentle Giant, Michael Munford. I am also a sumo and I train with Manny at the same dojo.

Michael Munford
Plainfield, New Jersey

Cutting Remarks

I was appalled that Hillary Rosner, in her Choices review of the wine bar and cafe 'Ino ["Liquid City," December 15], maligned a dog grooming shop that had previously been located on the site, and has been in operation for more than 30 years.

The Poodle Cut was forced out of its longtime location by a landlord who wanted to substantially increase its rent. It is still a thriving business, and is now located directly across the street from 'Ino.

Ms. Rosner's comment that the old place was "grungy" and her insinuation that it used to smell are inaccurate. Hurrah for the pets—and poo on restaurants and bars.

Bob Barkan

Psycho Sexual

In Jockbeat [December 22], Frank Ruscitti reports that after learning that musician Gary Glitter was about to go on trial for producing and possessing child pornography and may also face charges of child molestation, he spread the news to various sports teams that play Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2," and was gratified when one of them pledged to stop playing the record.

Wouldn't it have been better to wait for a guilty verdict before joining the art police? There's an overwhelming case to be made for the pretrial quarantine of a person accused of such crimes, but why lock up his music?

The lyrics of "Rock and Roll Part 2" (what there are of them) are in nocuous. Is Ruscitti saying that 1950s alarmists were right when they maintained that rock and roll's beat alone will turn you psycho?

Dale Thomajan

Totally NORML

Cynthia Cotts, in an item titled "Joint Effort" [Press Clips, December 15], characterized a victory party for medical marijuana supporters as a "left-wing gathering."

Ending marijuana prohibition isn't the bailiwick of left-wing or liberal organizations. It's the "right" thing to do.

Walter F. Wouk, President
Capital Region NORML
Howes Cave, New York

Tic Talk

Re Sharon Lerner's HMO Watch column headlined "Ticked Off" [December 22]: My heart goes out to Michael Egan, the Lyme disease patient whose battle to get insurance coverage was discussed in the piece.

I know how he feels because I also suffer from Lyme disease. It took a year before I was diagnosed with this horrible disease. I was then told that I had been treated enough for Lyme disease and that I probably had multiple sclerosis.

Then I was told I had a virus. A neurologist prescribed an antidepressant. Finally I found a doctor who said, "Yes, you do have Lyme dis ease," and I started treatment.

A year later, my doctor re quested IV antibiotic therapy since I was still very sick. My insurance company denied my treatment, stating that there was not enough evidence to support a diagnosis of Lyme disease. My only choice was to stay on oral antibiotics and add weekly Bicillin injections. I am seeing some improvement, but still have days when I can't function.

Lyme disease patients all over the country are experiencing misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment. Health insurance companies must be held liable for denial of treatment when a doctor orders therapy.

Karen Crown
Swedesboro, New Jersey

Talk Is Cheap

In response to Sharon Lerner's HMO Watch column titled "Ticked Off": If anyone believes that Michael Egan's struggle with his insurance company over Lyme disease treatment is an isolated occurrence, let me point out that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of similar stories nationwide.

The medical community has failed to take an objective look at Lyme disease. Partly, this is fueled by the financial support given to academic "Lyme experts" who sell insurance companies their "expert testimony" in cases such as Egan's. The last thing the insurance companies want is scientific proof that the long-term antibiotic therapy Egan was pursuing works.

There are many of us who have successfully treated Lyme disease with long-term antibiotics, proving that they do work and that chronic Lyme is a curable disease. Because some insurance companies refuse to pay for this treatment, only patients with extensive savings or a house to mortgage can benefit from long-term antibiotic therapies.

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