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Disposing of Junk Mail

Thanks for the article, ``How to Pare Your Share of 77 Billion Pieces of Junk Mail,'' Jan. 15. I've written to the Direct Marketing Association, but still get junk, so I found another solution. Everything that comes with a postage-paid reply envelope or card gets it back - at their expense. Above my name and address I write: ``Take me off this mailing list!'' Also, the postal service can sometimes remove your name from the lists used by local markets, cable companies, and coupon mailers for their third-class mailings addressed to ``occupant.'' As for any additional burden on the postal service: If they charged junk mailers what they charged the rest of us, we'd have tons less junk mail and more trees.

Amy Carpenter, Eugene, Ore.

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Asking companies to be excluded from mailing list ``trading'' is a step in the right direction. But telling people that they may stamp ``Refused'' on their junk mail and hence send it back to the post office where it will be destined for a landfill is being just as irresponsible as those who send out the mail in the first place. It should be pointed out that this ``junk'' can be separated and recycled. Stephen Tuckerman, Bloomington, Ind.

Blacks and media coverage Your insightful Martin Luther King Day coverage of ``The Black Experience Now,'' Jan. 18, made it painfully clear to me how little news the media normally offer us concerning the black community. Especially with the Gulf coverage now dominating local media, mention of black issues, leaders, and hard-won advances seem to have no place in the daily news. Such limited coverage gives the widespread impression that blacks have little to be known for other than their stereotyped assignments in society. I regret that the media have become such an effective filter limiting our knowledge and shaping our assumptions about this vibrant, significant community in America. Please continue to keep us informed.

Carolyn Huber Mendez, Columbus, Ohio

Scientists, too, appreciate beauty The article ``The Forces of Nature on Display,'' Jan. 15, suggests that scientists somehow don't see the beauty and drama in nature. This suggestion surprises and troubles me.

As an ecological scientist, I can happily report that scientists do in fact see and respond to such beauty. However, scientists by nature and profession seek and study an additional level of reality in nature. They study the process and mechanisms behind the beautiful and changing surfaces of the natural world. Rather than ignoring the beauty the author sees, scientists suggest additional kinds and layers of beauty in nature. They have discovered and explained how the forces of nature result in the complex and engaging natural landscapes we all cherish.

Steward T. A. Pickett, Millbrook, N.Y.

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