In response to your Dec. 11 editorial "Reinventing California": You discuss the proposal to restore Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley. In the early 1900s, a fierce national debate raged regarding the fate of the valley. San Francisco proposed to build a dam and reservoir for public water supply and electricity, and John Muir, regarded as the father of national parks, called Hetch Hetchy "a grand landscape garden, one of Nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples."
The Monitor wrote of the support for preserving Hetch Hetchy Valley in 1909, quoting a resident of Pasadena, Calif., as saying: "There are plenty of other sources of water supply for San Francisco or any other large city. Those same rivers can be stored further down at various points; it is true the cost would be greater. Let us keep these grand wild gardens that God has given to us and to all, for all ages to come."
The New York Times, Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, and San Jose Mercury News support a feasibility study that will demonstrate ways to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley and address the water supply and power concerns of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Christian Science Monitor could add its voice to this rising chorus.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
Executive Director, Restore Hetch Hetchy
In response to your Dec. 9 article "As war looms, Churchill rises on the reading list": You indicate that there is great admiration in some congressional circles for Churchill.
I hope these readers of Churchill gain a balanced view of what he said about war. A quote that seems particularly pertinent to the current situation, in which attacks on Israel and Israeli retaliation continue, is the following: "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to the war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy."
Maurice W. Wildin
In response to your Dec. 12 Opinion piece "He's no Sebastian Junger, but he can fictionalize": Thank you for one of the better sources of world news.
Since Ron Charles could do such a good job marketing the documentation supplied by Iraq, would he also share how he would market the fiction released regularly from the White House? Frankly, I'm more inclined to believe Saddam Hussein than this administration. And far too soon again, this time from Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, the world will hear: "I was just following orders."
In response to "A church culture draws scrutiny": The recent scandals are a great surprise to many. I know many good Catholics who profess a deep and convincing faith in their religion. They will be the most adversely affected and emotionally upset.
This scandal is not about lawsuits, money, or even reaping "justice" for past sins. It represents a very strong and legitimate argument questioning religious motives and beliefs. What does it bode for the future of religious groups within our society? Are we seeing the beginning of a systematic departure from organized religion in the world? These are troubling questions for many and will remain so for generations to come.
My only hope is that religious organizations squarely confront the villains and not brush the crimes under the carpet as they have done so often in the past.
Crown Point, Ind.
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