US Pacific territories

Real ``progress in the Pacific'' since the 1940s has been made, not by former United States Trust Territories but by those island groups formerly administered by New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain [`` .... progress in the Pacific,'' Nov. 14]. Besides neglect in health care, there are other areas in the US Trust Territories that leave much to be desired. There has been a breakdown of a self-sufficient life style that once provided plenty of nutritious food from subsistence farming and fishing.

Also, there has been the introduction and maintenance of apartheid with the creation of the ``reservation''-like situation on the overcrowded slum-island of Ebeye; you can hardly come up with a score of ``progress.''

The difference is, perhaps, that New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain had a genuine interest in the welfare and self-sufficiency of their former colonies as well as a respect for the lives of the their inhabitants.

The US, on the other hand, seems to view the islands they claim as bits of watery real estate created for their private use as laboratories for nuclear weapons testing and military strategy games. Neil Kernahan Newport Beach, Calif.

Help lines It is no secret where the waiting line leads in the Soviet Union [``Where does the waiting line lead?'' Nov. 17]. But how about the United States?

In the US the waiting line leads to the soup kitchen for the hungry, to the shelters sought by the homeless, to the waiting room in the Department of Welfare for the poor. Lack of housing, lack of consumer products seem the mark of Soviet society.

In the US an immoral state of things prevails - colossal fortunes on the one hand, depths of poverty on the other. Louis Mascali Escondido, Calif.

Setting priorities I'm not interested in attending or funding a $6 million birthday party for the Golden Gate Bridge [``Birthday bash for Golden Gate gets Bay Bridge boost,'' Nov. 20]. Just think how far $6 million would go in setting up shelters for the homeless. Public support for the Bay Bridge celebration made it possible to carry it off for a ``relatively paltry $70,000.'' When the party's over, what's left except the cleanup, which may employ some of the needy? Can't we do our appreciating and celebrating on a smaller scale? Carolyn Hill Citrus Heights, Calif.

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