Letters and Comments

November 2007

From the Editor

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Numbers can be wonderful tools for storytellers. This week we're launching a major new initiative that's packed with them: a comprehensive ranking of America's top-performing public high schools. Thanks to our partnership with School Evaluation Services, a unit of Standard & Poor's that collects ...

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Energizing Ideas

"Power Revolution" [November 5] was very interesting, especially the "Deep geothermal" section.

My business has been using what we call "low-grade geothermal" for more than 30 years in two projects. In most areas of the United States, the ground temperature at a depth of 8 feet is over 50 degrees.

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Space for Needy Students

The cost of college tuition often denies qualified students attendance at prestigious universities ["A Costly Cap and Gown," November 5].

At age 17 in 1940, I was on active duty in the U.S. Army as a high school dropout. It was my good fortune to receive a GED certificate. Upon discharge in 1945, I ...

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Rx for Health Care?

Thanks for the informative article "America's Best Health Plans" [November 5].

As a healthcare professional, I know all too well the consequences of poor health practices. No one can deny our skyrocketing healthcare costs, and I applaud the strategies to help curtail these costs, though some are in ...

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Combating Kidney Disease

Your November 6 article on the rise of kidney disease ["Kidney Disease Increasing in U.S.," usnews.com] should be commended for pointing out the need for greater education and research in kidney disease prevention and treatment.

On behalf of an organization representing the kidney community, I feel ...

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Oases of Opportunities

After reading "Classes Geared to Older Adults" [November 5], I scanned the offerings at the three of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in the San Francisco Bay area to see what I might have missed.

In our complex fiscal world, courses dealing with personal finances and wills have a very ...

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Your Will Is Not the Way

I read "How to Avoid a Death Trap" [November 5] and agree almost totally with the recommendations.

However, as a pre-arrangement funeral counselor, I have one suggestion. Putting funeral preferences in your will is probably not the best place for them. Since a will is usually not opened until after ...

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To Women's Health

"What To Do About HPV?" [October 29] showed a healthy skepticism concerning the new hyped-up vaccine, Gardasil, designed to protect against some strains of papillomavirus, a known cause of cervical cancer.

It will not be the first vaccine to have problems. With the hpv vaccine, we are attempting to ...

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Rx for Cheaper Meds

"Are Your Drugs Safe?" [October 15] about the U.S. prescription drug industry's concern over the safety of lower-priced prescription drug imports missed an important point.

Even as the drug companies tell us drugs manufactured abroad are inherently risky, U.S. drug companies have opened their own ...

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Camp Faces Cancer

"The Heart After Breast Cancer" [October 29] reminded me of Camp Kesem, a great social support opportunity for young children of parents who have or have had cancer.

This one-week, free camp is held during the summer and is planned and run completely by college-student volunteers at 17 campuses ...

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Affordable Housing

"The Saving Grace For Older Women" [October 29] was right on target.

I am 65, widowed for 10 years, did not get a good education, and am not highly marketable. I do get widows' benefits from Social Security, but it is a challenge to live on that amount. I supplement it by babysitting. One of my ...

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Ending Politics As Usual

Regarding "Can Washington Be Fixed?" [October 29]: Yes, Washington can be fixed.

The first step is to change how we finance our elections. Elected officials govern to please those who financed their last election campaign and will fund their next election campaign, too, if the elected official has ...

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Troubles With Turkey

Kudos to Mortimer B. Zuckerman for "The Wrong Time to Rile Turkey" [October 29].

As a lifelong Democrat, I am appalled that Congress, instead of standing up to President Bush, stopping the war in Iraq, and bringing the troops home, is using valuable legislative time on moralistic relativism. Perhaps ...

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Transplant Insights

Regarding "Trial by Transplant" [October 22]: I'm 39 and was diagnosed at age 21 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

I became more symptomatic at age 35 and found out three years ago that I am in the end stage of this disease and that a transplant is in my future. I am on the waiting list but am doing ...

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Voter Influence

It is indicative of the intelligence of the leaders of the conservative movement that one of them can state that the election of Hillary Clinton would result in "a president who will devote her energies to destroying the conservative movement" ["A Brewing Fight on the Right," October 22].

I think ...

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A Tough Pill to Swallow

I applaud your reporting on an important health issue affecting many college women: the prescription drug price hike on college campuses that is forcing many women to forgo their birth control ["The Pill's Price on Campus," October 22].

The inevitable and unfortunate consequence of this financial ...

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Handling the Heat

"The Climate's Change Agent" [October 22] gives well-justified credit to Al Gore.

He is indeed the man who called the world's attention to global warming and the urgent need for change. But developed nations are shying away from the painful sacrifices that would be needed to slow down the release of ...

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Resolution Reactions

"Was It Genocide or Not?" [October 22] refers to the pending, nonbinding resolution before the House of Representatives to recognize that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in the crumbling Ottoman Empire was indeed genocide.

Historians have acknowledged that it was the intent of the Young Turk ...

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Auto Assessments

Congratulations on your excellent article ranking the best cars and trucks ["Finding the Best Car for You," October 15].

I waited for more than a year for the new Toyota Highlander design to be introduced. When the information was finally released, I didn't like what I saw. I rushed out and bought a ...

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Roles, Rescue, and Reality

Regarding Pulitzer Prize-winning author Susan Faludi and "Post 9/11, a More Macho America" [October 22]: Who can make a woman into Doris Day, except under conditions of abuse or slavery?

Who are the leaders and media who are attempting to do this? Sitcoms are filled with wisecracking females,

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