Letters to the Editor

Readers write about student online gambling, planned communities, trucker diesel discounts, and a plethora of choices.

Teach college students about the detriments of gambling

After reading the April 1 article, "Colleges wiser to gambling issues," I became aware of the pressing problem of gambling among college students and the imperative need for a solution. I was pleased to hear that schools are making an effort to decrease these high numbers of student gamblers. It is difficult, though, to convince students of the detrimental results of gambling when it is so popular with their peers and generally accepted by adults as a harmless amusement. However, there are many adults who have faced the devastating consequences of losing their money, family, and self-respect. Perhaps by hearing these powerful personal testimonies, students would reconsider their own practices and the injurious consequences that follow. Whether the solution to this problem of gambling is found in school-supported activities, or in adults voicing their personal regrets about gambling, I believe a solution must be found soon.

Geneva Banz
Tacoma, Wash.

The world's need for planned cities

In response to the April 1 article, "Chávez seeks Shangri-La with 'socialist cities'": I applaud Venezuela's proposed socialist planned cities. They are one of a number of solutions to urban poverty and haphazard civil planning of Venezuela's pre-Chávez era. Having worked and traveled in Venezuela for the previous two summers, I had witnessed the many new public works projects and education, health, and job training programs that have benefited the poor and working classes, all funded by Venezuela's oil sales profits.

The cooperative and planned community approach to city planning is very familiar to me, as I am living in Greenbelt, Md., the first planned cooperative community built in the United States.

Other planned communities include nearby Columbia, Md., and Reston, Va., which were designed and built in the 1960s in part as alternatives to urban sprawl. Progressive, green, cooperative communities such as these are needed now more than ever in the US as well as in Venezuela, with the emphasis now on lessening the carbon footprint, having families living nearer to their work locations, and promoting cooperative communities with civic activism.

Robert Snyder
Greenbelt, Md.

Should gas prices brake for truckers?

Regarding the April 11 article, "High diesel prices squeeze truckers": I think that all long-haul truckers should be given a break on the price of gasoline for their rigs. After all, the long haulers are doing the general public a big favor by keeping them supplied in the style they have been accustomed to for the past several decades. Regardless of the price of oil by the barrel, or whatever excuse someone wants to give the public for the high cost of gasoline, truckers should be given a break.

Roger Howe
Pateros, Wash.

Put a life of choice into perspective

Regarding Barbara Kelley's April 24 Opinion piece, "Haunted by too many choices": In order to understand what the value of their choices are, and to put them in proper perspective, I think it would be valuable for young people to visit (through service-learning projects or the Peace Corps) areas where people have fewer choices.

The problem with the value of choice in this country is that it has been somewhat corrupted by the advertising industry; people don't understand that every option does not equal happiness and that the people who portray that scenario are most often trying to sell you something.

Michael Riordan

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, 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. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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