Who's Benefiting From US-Russia Trade?

Regarding the opinion-page article "Economic Engagement Benefits Both Russia and US," Aug. 13: The sum and substance of the article is that Russia is America's new colony. And Russians are paying a big price: Factories are closing, unemployment is escalating, and little is to be found that's made in Russia. No wonder dollars poured in for Yeltsin's election.

Ralph Slovenko


Professor of Law and Psychiatry

Wayne State University

What's really in your lawn

Lawns are "environmental enemies" in more ways than are stated in the article "Beware: Your Lawn Mower Is an Environmental Enemy," Aug. 12. Turf in the United States covers an area the size of Pennsylvania, and it costs $30 to $40 billion annually to maintain. That makes it one of the most expensive, unproductive, and environmentally unsound forms of land use. Fungicides, insecticides, and fertilizer, often used excessively by homeowners and lawn companies, contaminate land and water, including groundwater.

And what happened to nonmotorized mowers that could reduce pollution and replace the unnecessary exercise contraptions?

Jurgen Pape Granville, Ohio

Sparking more life into electric cars

Regarding the business-page article "GM's New Electric Car Packs Sports-Car Punch, for 70 Miles," Aug. 8:

Since General Motors' electric car goes an estimated 70 to 90 miles on a charge of its lead-acid batteries, the automaker should offer longer-range nickel-metal hydrides as an option.

The Solectrica Sunrise, a four-passenger electric out of Wilmington, Mass., recently achieved 373 miles in mixed city-highway driving on its nickel-metal hydride batteries. The Sunrise is slated for 1998 delivery at $20,000 (based on 20,000 orders per year) with these remarkable power cells as standard equipment.

Howard Lawrence

Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

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