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    As an obesity researcher and cardiologist, I agree with most of your article. However, it is a mistake to single out high-fructose corn syrup as uniquely problematic, as the New York City schools did. That deludes people into thinking other nutritive sweeteners are healthier. Scientists agree that all the nutritive sweeteners--including sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses and concentrated fruit juices--are interchangeable from a nutritional standpoint. We need to be concerned about our children's overall eating habits and level of physical activity and not get distracted by pursuing one component of the American diet. Every time we have proceeded in this way, it has been a failure.

    James M. Rippe, BOSTON

    Tragedy in Poland

    Thank you for "From Tragedy, Hope" by Zbigniew Brzezinski [April 26]. The genuine compassion that the Russians have shown during this sad time for the Poles will help mend old wounds. It is another landmark on the road to recovery from World War II, and the significance that it has for Europe and the rest of world will reach further than anyone's initial expectations.

    Rebecca Wetherbee, CHINO HILLS, CALIF.

    What Really Ails NASCAR

    Sean Gregory's article on NASCAR is long overdue and was spot-on [April 26]. Your reporting, however, failed to mention one of the sport's major problems: the Chase, NASCAR's version of playoffs. This season within a season basically makes the first 26 races a mostly irrelevant warm-up for the ratings-driven final 10 races. So NASCAR wants ideas from fans on how to fix the sport? Instead of a fireside chat, NASCAR should hold a beer summit and listen to devoted fans rather than its corporate bedfellows.

    Gordon Jesberger, KYLERTOWN, PA.

    One of the main reasons that many Southerners have become less zealous in their support of NASCAR is that they feel rejected and betrayed. The sport began, flourished and thrived in the South for its first 55 years. But in the quest for more and more profit, NASCAR moved races from North Wilkesboro, N.C.; Rockingham, N.C.; and Darlington, S.C., to places like Las Vegas; Riverside, Calif.; and Loudon, N.H. To the fans in these venues, a car race is just a car race. To Southerners, it's a way of life.

    John Plummer, ROCKY MOUNT, VA.

    Brian France calls diversity one of NASCAR's two major strategic goals, yet it will not have a "breakthrough" until it rids its events of the prerace Christian invocation. I am a Christian who believes in Jesus, but I also appreciate the wealth of religions that exist in this country and the world. Training women and minority drivers is a nice tactic on the diversity path, but NASCAR also needs to realize that religion plays a central role in people's lives. Continuing this exclusive tradition will only further alienate those NASCAR would like to bring into the fold.

    Chris Burton, GAINESVILLE, FLA.

    Justice Stevens Wasn't The Retiring Kind

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