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Your article by Alice Park [How to Stop the Superbugs, June 20] failed to mention one small detail: the loss that Spanish farmers have faced due to the unproven accusations by the Hamburg authorities concerning Spanish cucumbers. Full truckloads of not only cucumbers, but also sprouts and tomatoes, had to be destroyed by the farmers after the products were returned to southern Spain.
Jürgen Friedrichs, MADRID
First it was beef (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), then chicken (bird flu), now it's vegetables (or is it not?). Only God knows what it will be next year (or next month). Avoiding fruit and vegetables won't guarantee that one will not fall sick. I guess it is human nature that people panic easily but they tend to forget quickly too. It won't take long before Germany's vegetables will be eaten and exported again.
Simone Maputo, HAMBURG
Business Dinner as Usual
Michael Scherer's "Grin and Bear It" was excellent [June 20]. The photograph that accompanied it of President Obama, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi enjoying a leisurely fine meal shows exactly why our politicians are completely out of touch with the general population. Let them eat at McDonald's. President Clinton did.
John Eames, OLIVE BRANCH, MISS., U.S.
High School and Beyond
I felt "Life After High School" was somewhat simplistically presented [June 20]. I am a junior in high school, and my family has one of the lowest incomes in a very affluent community. I found it difficult to understand why you made no correlation between income and popularity. Yes, conformity rules in high school, but it takes money to conform. I have found that often the popular kids are the ones who can afford brand names, throw big parties in their nice houses and invite people on their phones that their parents are most likely paying for. Playing sports all year is very expensive too, as is attending SAT/ACT prep courses, student-government programs and class trips.
Gabrielle Johnson, TOWNSEND, MASS., U.S.
Many years ago, one of my Seattle high school friends was a "secret dancer" like the girl in your story. He never let anyone know he took ballet lessons. He went on to establish the Joffrey Ballet.
Kenneth G. Wong, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF., U.S.
Behind U.S. Wind Power
In his article "Breezing In" [June 20], Erik Heinrich points out the discrepancy between what the American population wants and what is being done legislatively concerning the development of renewable energy. What a pity to hear that America's national energy policy depends on short-sighted, profit-oriented fossil-fuel lobbyists and their willing collaborators in Congress rather than environmentally aware politicians with a sense of responsibility for future generations.
Mark Hartzheim, COLOGNE, GERMANY
Come a Little Closer
In your piece "A Playboy in Winter" [June 20], Catherine Mayer noted that Hugh Hefner is "certainly old, and his hearing is impaired; we sit knee to knee so that he can catch my questions." I think the seating arrangement may have had more to do with her knees than Hefner's hearing.
Jonathan Diamond, TITCHFIELD, ENGLAND