As a citizen desperately concerned, yet totally at a loss as to what he can do, about the ravage of our natural bounties, I would like to express profound gratitude to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for the timely, informative and revealing article, My Struggle to Help the President (Feb. 16). Robert H. Boyle offers ample evidence that individual citizens are concerned and are attempting to do their part—and more—in the struggle to overcome pollution, only to be thwarted in their efforts by bureaucratic attitudes.
One can only hope that Mr. Nixon will give a careful reading to Mr. Boyle's article and then multiply his story by thousands of similar cases. If concerned citizens cannot expect and receive the assistance of the officials of local, state and federal government in our "war," where can we go—before it is too late?
LANE W. ERWIN
I am pleased to see that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is discharging its responsibility to the nation by devoting space to this most serious of crises. My Struggle to Help the President is a most revealing article which documents the incredible ineptitude and apathy of state and federal agencies charged with enforcing antipollution laws.
I ask the readers of SI to discharge their responsibilities by writing to their Senators and Representatives to complain of government foot-dragging on the pollution issue. I suggest that when they do write, they enclose a copy of Boyle's article.
WILLIAM G. HELLER
Fort Wayne, Ind.
March 2, 1970
I want to congratulate Robert H. Boyle for contributing My Struggle to Help the President and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for publishing it.
Please keep up the fight. You reach a huge segment of the population, and it will take a monumental effort to take the blinders off the workhorses.
K. H. WOOD
There has been much in the news media recently concerning environmental pollution. Little has been done about it. Robert H. Boyle's article successfully demonstrates the futility of the antipollutionists in attempting to propagate action against industry through already-existing laws. As Art Glowka said, "People go to bed at night thinking that the Government is looking after things. Well, the Government isn't." For this reason, environmental improvement, along with other student movements, will gain unprecedented momentum in the '70s. Passive concern will be of little or no help, for "oil discharges from the Central pipe" will continue to "gush forth."
Thankfully, we are coming into the age of the eco-activist, for the good of all Americans.
May I compliment SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Lord Ritchie-Calder for a perceptive and enlightening look at the crisis of our environment (Mortgaging the Old Homestead, Feb. 2)? I was particularly impressed by Lord Ritchie-Calder's call for planned cooperation between nations to resolve this complex issue. The depredation of our environment is certainly one problem that bridges political philosophy, race, religion, national boundaries and all the other contrived divisions that set us against one another in this country and in the world. Restoring the "quality of life" can be a challenge to all of us. As both a leading polluter and the home of many of the world's greatest scientific minds, America should take the lead in confronting the problems of a ravaged biosphere.
But what can we do individually? We cannot, obviously, all be scientists or legislators. But we can all be participants in the April 22 day of environmental concern being planned by schools and concerned groups across the country. It promises to be the first giant step in a broad national attack that will ally young and old alike.
FRANK THOMPSON Jr.
Thank you for the article. I was reminded again of Aldo Leopold's comment in A Sand County Almanac: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
I would invite all readers to join the TEAM (Total Environment Awareness Movement). This is not another conversation group—no membership fees, no meetings—just a movement toward awareness leading to action. Anyone concerned about the environment should keep himself informed, then make the right kind of noise at the right place at the right time (and a good place is at the polls on Election Day—conservationists must develop a political muscle).
Lord Ritchie-Calder also speaks the same language as Arnold Toynbee when he speaks of a global civilization. Any pollution of any kind affects everyone on the face of the earth. Wyoming industrialists have talked about "air sheds," as though the atmosphere does not circulate. The total environment is at stake, and we must see the problems in wider perspective. And we must make our politicians do their job of protecting our environment. As Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko suggests, we must terrorize them into considering the ecological implications of progress and population and pollution, which are all tied together.
Here in Jackson Hole we are trying to deal with some of the problems at the local level through the Jackson Hole Environmental Action Society. We are also trying to deal with the problems at the state level through the Wyoming Outdoor Coordinating Council. Where is the national coordination? There arc a number of conservation groups that try to fill the gap, and President Nixon has given lip service to the total environment, but then he backed the National Timber Supply Act. This is somewhat inconsistent.
I am shocked. This business of "ecology" and "preservation of nature" is just the nonsense of some blockheaded, radical nonconformist who threatens to destroy the very fabric of American life. After all, which is more important, progress or survival? Obviously progress. Imagine! The industrious, prosperous manufacturers, who make up the most influential segment of American society, being challenged right in the open and by these people who actually claim to believe that improving the quality of life should have priority over the military-industrial complex.
It's just too bad you had to compromise the quality of your otherwise fine magazine by presenting these ideas, which can serve only to excite and divide the country for the ridiculous purpose of saving a handful of worthless trees and rivers.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
I have just finished the article about Tom McMillen, "the best high school player in America" (If You Want Tom, Easy Does It, Feb. 16), and thought that your readers might like to know that on Feb. 10 McMillen broke the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association record (3,174) for most career points. He is now approaching the national record.
South Williamsport, Pa.
SCRATCH AND PURR
Your article covering the national figure skating championships (A Little Murder Set to Music, Feb. 16) was a perfect example of how a writer conceals her ignorance of a sport with a forced personal view, which does nothing to enhance the sport of skating. Miss Ryan seems determined to encourage the worst in us. She just scratches the surface. And speaking of scratching, you might ask her to declaw herself for future assignments or shift her to a society column where such nonsense is tolerated and even enjoyed.
The world is sad enough. We don't need this kind of negative reporting.
FRANK J. FABIN
New York City
Congratulations to SI and Pat Ryan for the latter's coverage of the U.S. figure skating championships at Tulsa, in which the titleholders, Tim Wood and Janet Lynn, successfully defended their titles. Figure skating is not an easy sport to report without becoming too involved in its technicalities. In this case Pat Ryan focuses all attention on the winners and runners-up in the men's and women's senior singles. She shows clearly their differences in approach and style, while giving each full recognition for his or her performance and, at the same time, introducing personal appeal by means of delightful and pertinent anecdotes. The article as a whole is written with a warmly facile yet scintillating pen, making the protagonists so alive as to almost put the reader in a rink-side seat.
New York City
How could former Senator Barry Moore have the audacity to say, "Ted Williams doesn't know much about pitching" (SCORE-CARD, Feb. 2)? Who was greatly responsible for the decline of the Senators' ERA to a respectable 3.49? Who was influential in Dick Bosnian's vast improvement (he lowered his ERA to a fantastic 2.19 as well as compiling a 14-5 record)? Who had confidence in Casey Cox and helped him to achieve a 12-7 record (Cox was winless in '68)? Who else but Ted Williams? As for overworking the hot pitchers, Williams had little choice in the beginning of the season with so little relief potential (Darold Knowles had not rejoined the club as yet). Get with it, Barry Moore. How could the world's greatest hitter not know a good deal about pitching?
Garrett Park, Md.
Regarding the letter from M. Lester Lynch (19TH HOLE, Feb. 2), I must rise as a native North Carolinian and a basketball fan and defend the Tar Heel state. I must explain that our claim of being the best basketball state simply means that the best basketball in the nation is played here. As one commentator said, "Northern players pack up their bags and move to North Carolina or California." Most of those players do not repack their bags for the North, either.
Sure we admit that better ballplayers come from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and other states. Yet we are not completely without our big names: Bill Bunting, UNC; Vann Williford, N.C. State; Randy Denton, Duke; Henry Bibby, UCLA; Lou Hudson, Atlanta Hawks; Freddie Neal and Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotters; Walt Bellamy, Atlanta Hawks; Sam Jones, formerly of the Boston Celtics; and yes, Pete Maravich of LSU. Charlie Scott of UNC, like Pete Maravich, played his prep ball in our state, so we have at least a partial claim to "Great Scott." As I see it, that gives us claim to two of the top three pro prospects in college today, the third being Bob Lanier.
As to the question of why Newark, a city one-tenth the size of North Carolina, produces more basketball players, the answer is simple. In a state of small cities, the amount of competition is neither as large nor as good. In a city where people are closer, it stands to reason that the quality of competition is going to be better.
WHOM WAS THAT LADY?
Associate Editor William Johnson is quoted (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER, Jan. 26) as saying, "I've had my grammar corrected in a public restaurant at full volume by that relentless perfectionist, Howard Co-sell." A few sentences later Johnson continues, "I met...a lady whom I believe was Miss America of 1965."
Howard, you just couldn't have been relentless enough.
PAUL F. NAGLE
New Haven, Conn.
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