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Original Issue


Your January 8 issue was a fine one. A longtime reader of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I have often disagreed with and even been enraged by some of your opinions and found many articles on what I consider the lesser sports (hunting, boating, skiing, etc.) very uninteresting. However, I found this issue engrossing from cover to cover. Your recognition of the Southeast, and particularly North Carolina, as one of the hotbeds of fine basketball and your recognition of North Carolina State University as one of the nation's Top 10 football teams did nothing to lessen my opinion.
Raleigh, N.C.

Joe Jares was more than complimentary to the University of North Carolina in his recent article on the Par West Classic (The B.V.D. Boys Shoot Down a Hex, Jan. 8). But to the Chapel Hill faithful it was music to their ears. The final victory over Oregon State is even more impressive when one realizes that starting Center Rusty Clark was suffering from "food poisoning" and that Forward Bill Bunting did not even dress for the game.

Congratulations on your fine article on Portland's Far West Classic. We often feel slighted here in the Northwest, where LewCLA dominates all we read and many fine teams pass almost unnoticed.

However grateful for the coverage, I feel compelled to point out two factors which escaped mention in your feature. The Portland classic drew nearly 60,000 people from a population of 400,000, second only to the 68,000 attending in New York. The second point is that a fifth-ranked North Carolina barely squeaked by an Oregon State team rated nowhere by anyone.

Let all the East Coast, Southwest and Midwest sportswriters have their national rankings, while we sit back and enjoy the best round ball played anywhere.
Portland, Ore.

I would like to thank SI and Curry Kirkpatrick for the splendid article, much awaited by us Norfolkians, about Norfolk State College's dynamic basketball team (All Together Now—A Big Whompf for Norfolk State, Jan. 8). We have waited for over two years for the Spartans, the nation's leading collegiate point producers, to receive their share of the national limelight. This red-hot, explosive and currently undefeated quintet would like nothing better than to meet and beat what you call the best!
Norfolk, Va.

I believe Curry Kirkpatrick has it. I mean the sound the crowd makes when the Norfolk State basketball team scores a basket. Heaven knows, I tried to get it in my stories. Last time I wrote, I said it was "whump" and then "whoomp." Kirkpatrick's "whompf" is it, I believe. Jolly good show.
Norfolk, Va.

I have read many conservation articles in my day but I don't recall encountering one that had as much pure "meat" as How to Stop the Pillage of America (Dec. 11). I have reread your article a number of times and the conviction has grown that a copy of it should be in the hands of every conservation leader in Florida.

I realize that this article is only one of a number of excellent presentations of natural resource problems that have appeared in your magazine. I am sorry that I have not written to you in commendation of each of them, but please rest assured that, the prestige of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is very high among all the growing army of citizens who are alarmed about the deteriorating quality of our environment.
Governor's Natural
Resources Committee
Lake Wales, Fla.

How to Stop the Pillage of America should be must reading for every high school and college student in the country, because these are the people who are going to have to deal with the rapidly growing complexity of the problems.

The idea of a National Council of Ecological Advisors to be established by Congress with the advice of the Department of the Interior seems to me to be excellent. It should be pushed, both by the too few Congressmen actively and dedicatedly interested in our conservation problems and by the leading conservation organizations in the country. In this latter context I was perplexed by the omission of any mention of the National Wildlife Federation and its well-known executive director, Thomas L. Kimball, an experienced battler for the conservation of our natural resources on all fronts.
Kingston, R.I.

Thank you for adding your influential voice in support of conservation in the interests of all Americans. Maybe if the conservation cause is continually supported by mass media, politicians will stop talking and start acting to clean up rivers, air pollution and prevent destruction of our natural beauty. Keep up the good work!
CBS Television Network
New York City

I want to commend your magazine for the publication of Robert H. Boyle's article. Making rational decisions, profiting by past mistakes, and learning to anticipate future problems in the management of our environment is becoming a matter of greater urgency because the space of time between each new acquisition and application of scientific and technical power is growing successively shorter. The scope and scale of change in the latter half of the 20th century, coupled with population pressures and conflicting demands on our limited natural resources, make it imperative that better management and decision-making techniques be devised.

As Mr. Boyle's article wisely points out, these techniques will have to be implemented at the local, state and Federal levels if we are to restore and maintain a quality environment for present and future generations.

On December 15 I introduced a bill to establish a national program on environmental quality control. This legislation is now under study by the staff of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and would accomplish a number of recommendations made in Mr. Boyle's article.
U.S. Senator

I consider your provocative article an excellent discussion of a subject with which too few people are familiar. I was disappointed, however, to find that you did not mention the fact that the State of Rhode Island in 1965 passed legislation designed to preserve as much salt marsh in the state as possible. One of these legislative measures prohibits the alteration or filling of a marsh without permission of the state, and the other, in effect, provides for the zoning of salt marsh areas.

It is my hope that you will continue to make known to Americans how important for all of us is the preservation of this valuable natural resource.

As a member of the House Interior Committee with direct responsibility in the area, I was indeed gratified by your article. You have detailed in broad perspective the problems of environment and the great need to conserve our wildlife resources.

I introduced my proposed Lake Restoration Act having in mind the conditions you featured. Hopefully, the word "eutrophication," the excessive fertilization of plants which turns lakes into marshland, will not become a household term like pollution. Your article should spark a new effort.
Member of Congress

I was interested to read the short article titled "Under Wraps" (SCORECARD, Dec. 11) relating to the atomic pile built in the squash courts under the old west grandstand of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. I believe you have unwittingly adopted an error committed by the rest of the press commemorating the 25th anniversary of Fermi's successful self-sustaining chain reaction.

The atomic pile was not located in a squash court but in a racquets court, which, as you know, is considerably larger than a squash court. The court was installed under the Stagg Field grandstand soon after the west bleachers were built. The reason I have knowledge of the type of court is because a fraternity brother, Fletcher Catron of Santa Fe, N. Mex., and myself, both members of Coach Stagg's baseball teams of 1912-1913, played a variety of racquets or squash in the court while we attended law school at the university. I designate our game as a "variety of racquets or squash" because racquet balls were scarce at that time in Chicago, so most of our play was with squash balls and squash racquets. While we were in school I don't recall that anyone else used the court in any fashion.

Another recollection I have of the court is that the walls and ceiling were constructed of large slabs of slate. Your mention of the need for fur coats in the court during cold weather is indeed correct. There was no heat and, during the winter months, we were heavily clad in sweat clothes when playing "squash racquets."
Kansas City, Mo.