PLUGGING THE DRAIN
Your article, America down the Drain by Robert H. Boyle (Nov. 16), should by law or Constitutional amendment be required reading, rereading and digesting by the President, all members of his Cabinet, all Congressmen, state governors, state representatives and all other political officeholders ad infinitum.
ROBERT T. HEADLEY
Don't be too sure we've lost the fight in behalf of all Americans to preserve significant sectors of their Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan shoreline heritage. Mr. Boyle is right when he says that a steel company (the Bethlehem Steel Co., to spare the more public-spirited firms from possible misidentification) has ripped the guts out of the very best, but much remains that can still escape the exploiters and speculators.
Conservationists have hammered at the wreckers and praised the thoughtful politicians so vigorously on this issue that many antipark candidates were busted at the polls this November. Even House Minority Leader Charlie Halleck, a dedicated foe of anything but smokestacks in the dunes area, squeezed through his gerrymandered Second District by a relative whisker.
Mr. Boyle might have noted that Congressman Halleck, who was nabbed a couple of years ago for blasting doves over a baited field, stands a first-rate chance of being dumped from his Olympian perch by sober-minded 20th-century Republicans.
THOMAS E. DUSTIN
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Since Congress failed to take action to protect a smaller unit of the National Park System, Rainbow Bridge, from being flooded by the rising waters behind Glen Canyon Dam, it is particularly upsetting to see another unit of the National Park System (Grand Canyon) go under the Bureau of Reclamation's ax. If this precedent is allowed to stand, no unit of the National Park System will be safe.
FRED T. DARVILL, M.D.
Mount Vernon, Wash.
If technological progress has "imperiled" our cities and its countryside as Mr. Boyle says, it has also promoted efficiency in living. If the fisherman has been deprived of his trout stream, the motorist has been blessed with better roads for transportation. If Mr. Boyle recognizes and accepts this paradox of progress, he will certainly agree with the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who stated in his second inaugural address of 1937: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
RICHARD H. SPERO
To Boyle's list of doomed glories, I must gloomily add the wonder spot of the Sierras, Emerald Bay. This most exquisite sight, a glacial lagoon that forms part of the California shore of Lake Tahoe, is about to be "improved" by means of a multilaned bridge slung across its natural entrance to the lake. Ignoring the pleas of local residents, naturalists, campers and other troublesome characters, some nameless highway men with a surplus of cash have decreed that, like it or not, they shall have an expressway there, and if it happens to slice through the one state park with a lakefront view (it does), well, that's just too bad, but Progress hath her price.
New York City
Lest your readers imagine that everyone in Connecticut is conservation-minded, it should be mentioned that the highway commissioner aims to grab 35 acres of New-Haven's noted East Rock Park for a spur to four-lane Interstate Route 91, thereby destroying marshland wildlife and rechannelling the meandering Mill River between concrete embankments.
VIRGINIA AND IRVING FISHER
During the middle of 1961 when we were trying to save Diamond Head from apartment buildings, I was asked to give a talk to the Consolidated Conservation Society of Hawaii. This organization was composed of the Audubon Society, which was trying to save the beautiful Hawaiian stilt from extinction, the Hawaiian Trail Hikers, fishermen, botanists and various other nature lovers. Many dedicated, decent, gentle people attended, but there were no captains of industry, prominent intellectuals, artists, politicians or writers present. I believe that it is the intellectual elite of America who have failed us in these matters. They don't want to be bothered with conservation. They don't, it seems, want to be bothered with anything that demands action.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Like so many conservation pieces, Mr. Boyle's arouses the momentary ire of the individual but gives him nothing specific to do in his own community. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Get a few friends and form a simple committee to look after your community.
2) Put together a list of everyone who does bulldozing and clears land in your area (you can get it right from the Yellow Pages).
3) Put together a simple system to check every building permit issued by your community (these are open to public review).
4) Inspect the land to be built on.
5) Contact the owner in a pleasant way, meet with him and work with him to save as much of the natural beauty as possible.
ROBERT W. WILKERSON
Congratulations to SI on successfully second-guessing yourselves by ranking Notre Dame as No. 1 in the Midwest and then proceeding to pick unranked Michigan State to beat us.
Now that you have seen the error of your ways and the might of the Fighting Irish, the only way to atone for this mistake is to acclaim Ara Parseghian as your Sportsman of the Year.
Notre Dame, Ind.
With the faint hope that I might be able to discourage you from choosing some such stellar athlete as Branch Rickey or Stepin Fetchit, I suggest the one athlete who currently dominates his sport as does no other: the Boston Celtics' Bill Russell.
RONALD L. BAUER
In my opinion there is only one person who should receive the Sportsman of the Year award. That person is Don Schollander.
I nominate Brooks Robinson.
I would like to congratulate Tex Maule on an outstanding contribution to football (The Ball Game That Never Was, Nov. 16). Think of the injuries, training and wear and tear on coaches, players, fans, officials and even broadcasters that he has eliminated by playing the AFL-NFL game on paper! Instead of a few thousand people being able to view the game, millions can read about it for 35¢, much more democratic!
Thanks to Maule, we not only know the champions of both leagues, but the victor of a game one league won't agree to play! Clearly he is the kind of genius we need to clear up football. If he's not too busy maybe next week he could take pen to paper and save us the trouble of playing the 1965 season and spare us all that nasty battle to sign new players that he predicted.
Mrs. RANDOLPH A. MARKS
Otto Graham, who knows football far better than Tex Maule, contends that the AFL champion could play even with the NFL standout. And it was Otto Graham who quarterbacked the Cleveland Browns from the ephemeral All America Conference into years of domination in the paternal NFL. I believe Otto Graham.
Maule has overlooked a couple of facts. First, a 48-7 Baltimore victory over Buffalo would be no worse than the Colts' lopsided slaughters of Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco or anyone else. Second, it takes a defensive line to go with a defensive secondary. Who does Baltimore have that compares to Tom Sestak, Jim Dunaway, Ron McDole and Tom Day? And how many points did Houston score when Blanda completed 37 of 68 passes against the Bills? Only 10.
CHRISTIAN L. KRAATZ
East Lansing, Mich.
Grateful cheers for Tex Maule. His article was welcome reading in a diet of provincial nonsense doled out to credulous citizenry by an absurdly partisan local radio and press.
JOHN PAUL DAVIS JR.
Hats off to Tex Maule for his very cogent arguments against an AFL-NFL game at this time. Supporters of the AFL are letting impetuosity cloud their reason.
LANNY R. MIDDINGS