Seth Zuckerman displays a somewhat selective historical memory in his March 8 column "California: Don't forget history."

Certainly, increasing energy efficiency makes sense, and is a necessary part of the effort to prevent periodic blackouts. However, conservation does not create kilowatts. California has a growing population, a growing economy, and a growing desire for things that run on electricity. Everything from the personal digital assistant to the emerging fleet of electric cars demands electrical energy. The nuclear plants that Mr. Zuckerman is happy we cancelled years ago would today have saved us billions of dollars more than their original cost.

We would all like to blame greedy utility executives or clueless legislators. However, the source of our power problems lies at our own doorstep. It is too late for California. Due to our lack of foresight, we are doomed to suffer energy shortages for some years to come.

James Owens La Canada, Calif.

Successful partnerships in education

Regarding your March 6 editorial "Partners in pedagogy": I wish to point out an additional way in which colleges have partnered up with high schools.

In Portland, students who complete all classes provided by their high school in a specific area, such as Latin or mathematics, can take additional classes at a local college, free of cost. This wonderful program enabled me to continue my math classes into advanced calculus while still in high school. I am pleased that colleges across the nation are catching the spirit of high school partnership. It is a blessing to all involved.

Maria Stewart Portland, Ore.

In defense of 'Dawson's Creek'

Regarding your March 8 editorial "Freak(y) Dancing": I must take exception to your inclusion of "Dawson's Creek" in this article.

I've been watching "Dawson's Creek" for more than two years and am very impressed and interested in the way sex and relationships are handled on this show. It seems very realistically and sensitively done, I have not seen any careless or sexist scenes there. In fact, exactly the opposite. The main characters seem to give a lot of thought to their actions and the writers show the depth of people's feelings when they have made mistakes, too.

Carol Iversen Lee Atherton, Calif.

Keep propaganda out of schools

Regarding your March 8 article "In Virginia, a pledge to teach patriotism" and editorial "Mandating 31 words": Memorized chants do not breed patriotism, although they do teach lessons of obedience and compliance. Among most of my classmates in the schools I have attended they also inspire rebellion, and disillusionment with a culture that depends on mantras to inspire confidence in society rather than real social change. The Pledge of Allegiance is a form of institutional propaganda. Whatever the cause, our schools should be as free of propaganda as is humanly possible.

Noah Mayers Whitefield, Maine

True justice many years later

Thank you for telling one more story of justice. When I saw your March 1 front page article "Posthumous Justice: Yamashita passes the bar," the phrase echoed through my head "if not now, when?" That was a beautiful story, well told, although tragic. We still have far to go, but Mr. Yamashita has now passed the final bar, in a higher court of justice.

Mary Wise Miami

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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