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Financial Planning for 'Generation X'

I read with interest the Oct. 22 article "Kids Learn to Save, Repay Loans." A recent survey commissioned by Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Co. confirms that young people are aware of the need to save and plan.

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What these students lack, however, is knowledge about basic financial terms and concepts. I applaud educators, such as the one mentioned in the article, who make time in the classroom to address this topic. Young people must be able to manage their money with a long term strategy.

Parents, teachers, and corporate leaders alike need to make a concerted effort to offer every child a structured opportunity to prepare for financial realities ahead.

Robert W. Fiondella

Bristol, Conn.

Chairman, Phoenix Insurance

Media fueled the Jewell Express

Thanks for running the Oct. 31 editorial, "Wrong About Jewell," about the unfortunate mistreatment of Richard Jewell by the FBI and the Atlanta news media. Now that it's over, is there any real concern about the damage done to Jewell's reputation?

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For me, the incident has led to a loss of trust in the credibility of the local news media. It appears they will go to any length to one-up each other in the quest for market domination. It would help if all of us were more discriminating in our news consumption.

Ken Brakebill


Singapore knows what it's doing

In "The Caning of Democracy," Nov. 7, the author accuses the People's Action Party (PAP) of using "time-worn authoritarian tactics to stifle political expression."

The author acknowledges that "Singaporeans are among the best educated and most cosmopolitan people in the world," and also that "the PAP will retain a parliamentary majority and form the next government." Why should Singaporeans vote for the PAP, if indeed it is as oppressive and authoritarian as the author claims?

The author criticizes the lack of independence of the Singapore judiciary. The World Competitiveness Yearbook 1996, published by the International Institute for Management Development, ranked Singapore fourth in the world and best in Asia in terms of public confidence in the fair administration of justice.

The author bemoans the lack of open, mature political debate in Singapore. In 1995, he opposed the awarding of an honorary degree by Williams College to Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. Yet the author had never visited Singapore. Mr. Goh invited him to come to Singapore for a public debate, with full media coverage, so that he could expose the evils of Singapore government and show Singaporeans the error of their ways. The author declined.

Chan Heng Chee


Singapore Ambassador

Ranching environmentally

The Oct. 30 article, "Oregon's Open-Range Ranching Spurs Battle Over Bovine Control," fails to educate readers about alternative solutions to the dilemma between open-range ranching and the environment.

Ranching's old ways need to adjust to the necessities of a new era. A June 30 article in the Sun News (Silver City, N.M.) reports: "Holistic Range Management ... holds every level of the ecosystem, from fungi and termites to predators, as an important part of an ecosystem into which his cows fit, rather than dominate."

Ranchers need to look at ranching and environmentalism differently in order to move successfully into the next century. Journalists should report new solutions, especially when they are already in practice, in addition to just reporting yet another conflict between ranchers and environmentalists. These conflicts continue to grow, but more and more ranchers are prospering while they preserve the environment.

Miguel F. Sarria

Albuquerque, N.M.

Letters must be signed and include your address and telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or they can be faxed to 617-450-2317, or sent by e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@CSPS.COM.

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