Immigration and overpopulation

In your March 26 article "Hispanics spread to hinterlands," demographer William Frey notes "everyone" is excited about the influx of Hispanics into America's hinterland. He is correct. And one reason that a majority of American citizens wish to see a reduction in immigration quotas and stem this flow is because of the problems caused by overpopulation.

Our immigration policy has resulted in the US being one of the world's fastest-growing countries. While rapid population growth in a small, rural community might initially appear to be beneficial, its ultimate results are unmistakably illustrated in California: failing schools, congested traffic, tax increases, power failures, and environmental degradation.

To give small-town Americans the benefit of the doubt, the reason some of them resist this massive influx of newcomers may not be based on ethnicity. An alternative view is that small-town Americans understand the costs of overpopulation and wish to conserve their stable communities and the quality of life within them.

Jeffrey Jacobs Alexandria, Va.

Minority of faculty oppose absences

I enjoyed your March 27 article "The other March madness" on Uka Agbai of Boston College.

For the record, when I told your reporter that some Boston College faculty "make allowances" for student-athletes traveling to competitions, I was referring to faculty who are willing to give such students make-up exams and who don't penalize them for missing classes because of athletics-related travel. The faculty I was referring to who "take a harder line" are a minority who refuse to tolerate any absences on the grounds that athletics should never be permitted to interfere in any way with academic activity.

Paul Spagnoli Chestnut Hill, Mass. Faculty Athletics Representative

Mankind can coexist with nature

Thank you for your refreshing viewpoint in your March 21 editorial "Wilderness is us." Hearing the two sides bicker, I always had the idea that there must be a way to co-exist with nature. We're smart enough for this. All we have to do is put our minds to it!

Lorraine Taylor Vancouver, British Columbia

Where is Bush's scientific thinking?

President Bush's rapid assault on the environment indicates to me a lack of scientific thinking. The entire administration echoes this void. The administration is staffed with experienced and talented people, but where is the science? We are living in the 21st century, but government thinking is narrow and regressive.

Allegiance to the extractive industries bypasses the welfare of the people and doesn't even glance at future generations.

There is a connection to economics, but the profit-and-loss statement should include a broad picture of costs and benefits to the larger populace over an extended time period. We can live comfortably, but not by exploitation. Exploitation does not look beyond today. We can find a better way.

Foreign policy goes backward to isolationism, an oxymoron in today's global society. Reactivate the arms race and extend it into space? This is not just bad science, it is devoid of common sense. Is there a voice of reason anywhere in our government? We are concerned about the bullies in our schools and the violence they cause. What will be the result of our role as the world bully? Violence - on a global scale.

Marie A. Tollini Bedminster, Pa.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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