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Readers 'Shocked' at Family's Plight but Wonder About Responsibility

July 28, 1993

Regarding "Living Close to the Edge" (June 27): I admit I was shocked. It's disgraceful that a woman who has worked 16 years at a job makes only $4.75 an hour and that having enough to eat has become a privilege rather than a basic human right.

However, people need to wake up and accept some responsibility for themselves. If you are truly worried about having enough to feed your family, how do you justify sinking them further into poverty by bearing 14 children?

Parents must think of the quality of life they can provide their offspring. Why must an older child go hungry (frequently, according to the article) so that a younger one may eat?

DEBORAH CHANDLER

Upland

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I'm not certain what the point of "Living Close to the Edge" was meant to be. What it did painfully remind me of, however, is how our system doesn't work. The welfare, health care, food stamps and Aid to Families with Dependent Children obviously aren't transitional but an expected, demanded way of life.

What's sad is that our state's dwindling tax base and resources are being drained in this direction, rather than going toward education, environment and job development.

GLENDA BUNTING

Arcadia

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I am not a harsh person. I donate regularly to a homeless shelter. I support two foster children in Colombia and am inclined to reach into my pocket for money if a woman with children approaches me in the supermarket parking lot. I see this as a basic responsibility that comes with my good fortune of having a nice job and being able to support my family.

I felt my heart being twisted as I read "Living on the Edge" until I got to the part about the mother who was currently unable to work to help support her 12 children because she was pregnant with twins. Doesn't this couple feel any responsibility about not creating any new lives that will be living even closer to the edge? Their unfortunate circumstances are not all due to fate but partly of their own making. My sympathy goes only to the babies waiting to be born.

MAUREAN HECHTER

Chatsworth

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I strongly believe that the problem when there are five days each month without enough money to buy food lies in the food selections people make.

Prepackaged foods, soda, candy and the like are not only among the least nutritious of the available foods but are also the most costly. Whole grains and vegetable proteins are an excellent source of protein, lower in fat than meats and cheeses and result in considerable savings.

I am a working mother with two children spending an average of $440 per month on groceries for a family of four. My family's diet is varied and highly nutritious, made up mostly of grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, vegetable protein, eggs and a small amount of fish.

ANNE DE FAZIO

San Diego

History in the Making: A Defense for Savers

Stephanie Culp is quoted at the beginning of "New Dirty Tricks"(June 21) as saying "80% of everything filed is never looked at again." So everything should be thrown out and nothing should be saved.

Her line of thinking is clear: Nothing is of value. No exception is made for the childhood works of great artists or writers or famous figures from history. After all, how would a parent know if his or her child is going to be of any importance? Just toss that stuff out.

In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was being signed. But the first drafts of the document were unimportant. So toss them.

Why stop there? Just think how neat and clean the United States would be if every last library, public and private, and all collections of any kind were dumped into the nearest landfill.

Stephanie Culp would be happy, but I think she would be alone in her joy.GALEN A. TRIPP

North Hollywood

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Stephanie Culp tells us savers to stop saving all of those papers because 80% of what we save, we will never look at again. Probably true. But we who save have to know that if we want to look at an old school paper, a political cartoon, a birthday card, Christmas card, birth announcement, wedding announcement, obituary, we know it is there. Somewhere. And we know we will find it. Sometime.

MICKEY MILLER REGAL

Idyllwild

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The only places cleanliness is next to godliness are in a hospital or when contamination threatens. Otherwise, helping others, fighting for what's right and saving time-- these are next to godliness.

RITA KURTZ LEWIS

Westchester

The Money Pin Means It's Time to Cut Taxes

Re "Make Us Safe, Mr. Mayor" (July 7): In answer to Robin Abcarian's negative commentary on Richard Riordan's inauguration, the folded dollar bill pinned to a businessman's lapel is symbolic. It is meant to caution our elected officials to cut spending before raising taxes.

DONNA H. SOLIN

Los Angeles

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