The columns "The Classroom Versus the Field of Dreams" and "Wilder and the Liberals," both Aug. 20, succinctly describe the current black American education debate. Douglas Wilder's implied rejection of such cultural-isolationist ploys as "black English" is philosophically compatible with the ACLU/NOW's right-minded objection to single-culture, single-sex "academies" for the children of apathetic, bewildered, and economically disenfranchised parents. The self-serving sociopolitical agenda of those who would promote such "politically correct" segregation sadly confuses ethnic chauvinism with American ideals of equality and fairness under the law. Alan Hull, Marietta, Ga.
Wetlands and property owners' rights Regarding the article "Bush Redefines Wetlands; Scientists Concerned," Aug. 19: Bush's new plan will protect private owners of wetlands from confiscation of their property rights; the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that takings for public purposes shall receive just compensation. I am a strong supporter of solving current environmental problems, many of which do require the use of government power for regulation and correction. But removing individual property owners' rights should be done more carefully and with fair and just compensation. Robert B. Hotaling, Haslett, Mich.
On taking down fences Regarding the editorial "Fencing Them Out," Aug. 22: "Good fences make good neighbors" is not according to Robert Frost, but, rather, according to his neighbor. Toward the end of Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," he says to his neighbor: "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know/ What I was walling in or walling out,/ And to whom I was like to give offense./ Something there is that doesn't love a wall,/ That wants it down." But his neighbor "moves in darkness as it seems to me,/ Not of woods only and the shades of trees/ He will not go behind his father's saying..../ He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors. Would not a more careful use of the poem have given greater substance to your observation on zoning in the community of Chester, N.H.? Eleanor H. Ratledge, Chappaqua, N.Y.