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Different View of Council Meeting

August 16, 1987

As one who lived off and on for many years in the Southland, I try to keep up to date with the events of interest there. It is, therefore, with amazement that I read your article (July 21) on the Costa Mesa City Council's rejection of a sister-city relationship with the Ukrainian city of Melitopol.

I wonder about several things. First, was the writer actually at the meeting. If so, how come the facts are so distorted and biased? I refer to the comment calling Dr. Eugene Kovalenko of Long Beach a Soviet immigrant.

The second thing I wonder about is this David Balsiger and the obvious spell he cast upon the Costa Mesa council. Are they all such blind sheep that they don't or can't use their own minds? That they would allow a misguided and misinformed hack such control over their thinking is sad. You seemed impressed with Balsiger's self-claimed publishing "record" as though that grants him wisdom and "rightness." I find it ironic that his group's acronym includes the laughable but dangerous word "RAMBOC."

My main concern is that someone without much experience, except what he claims for himself, would be able to lead the members of a city council, as well as your reporter, by the nose. At the same time, you relegate an American-born scientist with broad international experience to being "a Soviet immigrant." I was privileged to know Kovalenko's father, one who was never a Soviet anything. He fought against the Reds and eventually escaped with only the clothes on his back. His sons were born in this country. They both served in the American armed forces and Dr. Eugene Kovalenko was graduated from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa and UC Berkeley. His views on citizen-diplomacy may be different from Balsiger's, but I'm willing to bet his way is closer to what the Master taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

JOHN A TREHEARNE

Park City, Utah

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