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Troubled by Unwanted 'Sanctuary'

July 12, 1991

Every once in a while, the View section prints a piece on a menopausal working woman who has quietly done something altruistic at great personal cost. View printed one a few years ago in which a woman adopted some racially mixed, multiply handicapped kids. Articles like that make one fold up the paper with tears in one's eyes and then resolve to try to be a little less self-absorbed.

Journalistic and editorial excellence like that makes all the more incomprehensible your decision to do a story on the apparently completely self-obsessed Pat Donovan. Surely there was someone more deserving of all that ink and color photography than this lady.

If The Times is really hard up for material, may I suggest an interview with my friend Stella Religa? Stella, a 30-year operator at the phone company, used her menopausal years to open her very modest home and means to battered women and their children before there was any public support for that kind of thing. The house has been jampacked with women and children every night. . . .

Donovan seems a better candidate for a piece on mothers who abandon kids than as a possible cultural icon.

LEONORA HOLDER de AVILA

Long Beach

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