Clean Walls of Cities With Art, Not Canes

I thank God for Fernando Mateo and Mitch Santiago (``N.Y.C. Tries to Get Graffiti Off the Wall, on to Shirts,'' June 1). In a day when certain elected officials have actually introduced bills that would require Singapore-style public whippings for youths convicted of paint-spraying, the need for Mateos and Santiagos has never been more obvious. Where others would plant violence, humiliation, and hate, they have planted direction, self-esteem, and hope [with a T-shirt contest, giving graffiti artists a chance to legally exercise their skills].

The answer to graffiti does not lie in Singapore's blood-soaked rattan cane, or in the warped justifications for it. The answer lies in the hearts of people like Mateo and Santiago. Thank you for sharing their story. Mary I. McFetridge, N. Pole, Alaska

Finding rainbows in ice and snow

I thoroughly enjoyed the article ``Cool School,'' May 18, because in the mid-1950s I piloted one of the United States Air Force C-124 cargo aircraft, with the mission of supplying a tiny village called Station Nord.

Nord is located on a northernmost point of Greenland; at that time, it was an electronic surveillance post. We had no skis on the giant C-124, and had to land on a crudely fashioned gravel strip. Staging out of Thule, Greenland, we flew around the clock, because during the summer months it is never dark.

I will always remember the eerie beauty of Greenland. From the air, I was able to take some color slides at midnight, and the subtle hints of sunset-like color spoke of tinges of the rainbow reflected from the ice below. During the day the deep fjords with glacial formations of cracked ice were breathtaking. Hiking several hundred yards from Thule Air Base, we found the arctic tundra just springing to life with tender floral growth. With all its dangers, the far north is a place of exceptional beauty. Richard N. Kosman, Marietta, Ga.

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