Regarding Krestia DeGeorge's two-part series with CornellUniversity urban planning professors Rolf Pendall and Susan Christopherson ("Ailing in Upstate," October 27, November 3):

            Professor Pendall hits the nail right on the head by saying: "Why is it so necessary for Syracuse and Rochester to compete with each other? They really are within the same economic region. The fate of Syracuse is the fate of Rochester and vice versa."

            Yes, indeed, and Buffalo and the smaller cities of western and central New York as well. This is the reason that two organizations --- the Power of Three and Advance Upstate --- were formed as collaborations of different business, government, and economic-development organizations from all three metro areas of the region. Hopefully, they and their member organizations can continue working together for the betterment of the three cities and the surrounding region.

            The possibilities in this are endless.

            Kevin F. Yost, Middle Road, Rush


Thank you for publishing the weekly Body Count. I strongly urge all readers to read those names and ages to themselves each week. They will begin to realize how young these soldiers were and how they came from all over America to fight in a tragic war that serves no useful purpose for the United States.

            I wonder if George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld read the same list. If they do, I don't know how they can live with their conscience and continue to pursue their war policy.

            These young people will never have the opportunity to raise a family, pursue a non-military career, have grandchildren, or grow old gracefully. How sad!

            Kenneth Hendel, Tall Tree Drive, Penfield


First, thank you for giving space to the Body Count each week. I feel compelled to read the entire list, mainly for place names. My home state of Maine has the third-highest number of active-duty reservists in the nation.

            It is difficult not to pause at each name and wonder about the person's past --- and the future that might have been. The age of each demands attention: Most are between 19 and 24.

            Second, in "Fight Back! Rice, No; Gonzales, No!" (Urban Journal, November 17), you make it clear why Condoleezza Rice should not be secretary of state and Alberto Gonzales should never be attorney general.

            Let us hope that your prediction about the senate agreeing to both nominations proves wrong. How could anyone who heard Condi avoiding questions from the 9/11 Commission ever expect leaders of foreign countries to believe her? Considering Mr. Gonzales's past advice to President Bush, how can anyone expect his future advice to be any better?

            Finally, do Mr. Bush and his cabinet members read the body count provided by the Department of Defense? Do they consider how they would feel if one of the dead, or merely maimed, was a relative? I guess it would make no difference. Gotta stay the course, no matter who dies.

            Byrna Weir, Chelmsford Road, Brighton


Thanks for Jennifer Loviglio's most recent column ("Read It and Sweeps," The XX Files, November 17). The POV is always fun, but for me it's the writing": just excellent. Pace, pop, and the occasional snarl makes her work one of the few must reads in Rochester.

            Tom Burke, Birch Crescent, Rochester


I enjoyed Jennifer Loviglio's article on the Nielsen surveys ("Read It and Sweeps," November 17), but one thing was not noted: If you live in a nursing home, you will not be eligible to be counted.

            Another question: As the US government debt is rapidly increasing, will we eventually encounter the same problem that Germany did in the early 1920's when it tried to pay off the massive debt from World War I reparations and was caught in overwhelming inflation?

            Bernard A.Yablin, Winton Road South, Brighton


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