Damming the American River

Regarding the article "A Long Battle to Dam a River Hits the Rapids," Aug. 5: The American River Coalition suggests that one solution to the Sacramento, Calif., flood-control problem is the re-operation of the Folsom Reservoir, an existing facility downstream of the proposed Auburn Dam. Re-operation would increase flood control storage space, thus reducing the need for additional storage upstream.The re-operation of Folsom Reservoir would cause significant environmental impacts. First, a reduction in reservoir levels would have a negative impact on reservoir recreation and recreation in the lower American River. Second, a reduction in reservoir levels would reduce the available pool of cold water that could be released to assist the migration and spawning of anadromous fisheries in the lower American River. Finally, a reduction in reservoir levels would reduce the water and power resources availa ble from the current operation of Folsom Reservoir. The only way to improve existing conditions in the lower American River without reducing the recreation, power, and water-supply benefits of the existing Folsom Reservoir is to construct a multipurpose Auburn Dam. Robert J. Reeb, Placerville, Calif., Executive Director, American River Authority

International influence through example Regarding the opinion-page column "Bush's Opportunity to Foster Freedom Around the World," Aug. 8: The author seems to ignore a lot of realities in his desire to impose our "values of freedom and the free enterprise system" on "all mankind." Since he is quite pleased with our recent "triumph" in the Gulf war, the author seems to imply that our enhanced superpower status should be used to bring quite a few countries into line with our policies. Setting a good example here in our own country and being completely nonselective in supporting human rights at home and abroad is a good means of influencing other peoples and countries. Throwing around our military might and boasting about "triumphs" we brought about at the expense of more than 100,000 Iraqis is no way to bring about "freedom and the free enterprise system." We had better clean up our act at home where many of our rights and laws are being trampled in the halls of our lawmakers, where corruption is rampant, where the action word is money, where integrity is almost absent. Then, maybe, we can offer free advice to other states. William V. Kelly, Austin, Texas

The rejuvenation of running Regarding the Home Forum essay "Beyond the Huffing and Puffing, Runners Are the Great Noticers," Aug. 8: Like the author, I have been running for about 10 years and have also found the poet in me. Besides the "runner's high" I often get from being out on the road coursing through nature, I also enjoy the silence that enables me to find that still, small voice in me that knows only truth, peace, and appreciation of all around me. How easy it is to lose sight of all there is to appreciate in our world today. Like many folks, I madly rush from work to home, from social commitment to personal-growth course. I frequently miss not only the smell of the roses but the very feel of the wondrous world I inhabit and the many magnificent souls who are my coinhabitants. Running soothes my soul, helping me to constantly reassess my priorities, redress my shortcomings, and forgive all who are merely human just like me. How high a society of similarly committed runners could soar is truly the stuff dreams are made of. Thomas C. Hecht, Madison, Wis.

Dramatic images The recent series of photographs from the Middle East are simply superb. Among the most striking are those illustrating the fighting of the Gulf oil fires, Aug. 1, and the front page Aug. 2, showing a group of Palestinians watching family members being loaded into buses to go to detention centers. With the eye of an artist and a strong sense of composition and drama, the photographer enriches the pages of the Monitor and adds immeasurably to the texts. Moyer Wood, Kennett Square, Pa.

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