Editor: Every three months we are reminded of failures by Rebound Inc. to maintain the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile delinquents. Now a legislative audit reveals that vocational programs have not been started six months after Rebound's contract began.
The excuse? The programs take six months and most inmates only stay about four months. If that isn't a Catch 22, I've never heard one.
Did anyone ever consider implementing a three-month training program? (Maybe they could increase the length of incarceration.) Are they interested? I doubt it.
Last December, it was revealed that escapes had increased an alarming 700 percent since September. Rebound has still failed to train their new staff and security. Volunteer tutors are discouraged, clothing and blankets are inadequate, no records were kept for a 45-day period, etc.
The secretary of juvenile services, Mary Ann Saar, wants to give Rebound nine more months to comply with their contract obligations. Nine more months? Enough is enough. Do it now. Or else.
Editor: In one of his columns, Roger Simon pointed out that perhaps Gov. Bill Clinton should fear his friends more than his enemies. Comments by "friends" during the recent controversy over his Vietnam conduct confirm Mr. Simon's observation.
When Mr. Clinton told an incredulous group of reporters that he had known nothing about the Sept. 19, 1969, proclamation decreasing the likelihood of someone being drafted, his classmates from Oxford, having rushed to the defense of his wartime actions, inadvertently recalled that at the time Vietnam or "Vietnam and me" dominated all talk.
It appears highly unlikely that the Sept. 19 announcement would have gone unnoticed. More damaging, however, was the rejection by the "friendly" Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of his claim that he did not dodge the draft.
In an editorial on Feb. 16 the hometown newspaper concluded, "he had in fact, evaded, avoided, dodged -- whatever the semantics -- a near-immediate call-up in September and October. His best defense is that he was 23 then and he is 45 now and he has matured."
He certainly has matured and became more "courageous." Just a year ago, didn't he stand up and be counted in support of the gulf war and weren't we being told that this stance made him much more "electable" than those Democrats who opposed the war?
But then, someone like Roger Simon might be so unkind as to point out that it is not so difficult to be macho and gung-ho for war when you are sending others off to fight and don't have to
Richard K. Marshall.
Editor: In her Feb. 22 feature article about "Popcorn's starring role," Jean Marbella, writes that "the cost of popcorn and the soft drink you need to wash it down are both wildly marked up."
She does a disservice by not considering all of the services a movie theater provides at absolutely no cost at all to the moviegoer.
Construction, equipment, utilities, staffing, space allocation and the cost of keeping auditoriums and rest rooms clean are just a few of the services which the patrons receive free -- thanks to a fair mark-up of movie food service products. Required additional services of record keeping, collection of taxes, salaries and bills are ignored by Ms. Marbella as expenses that need to be paid for.
Ms. Marbella indicates she thinks that Kevin Costner probably receives the lion's share of the $6.50 it costs to get into many theaters. She does not have a problem with this.
However, she seems to have a problem with the theater management company making a profit that will be spread it around to many hard-working American employees.
Irwin R. Cohen.
The writer is president of R/C Theatres Management Corp.
Editor: I'm amazed at Americans' fixation with the felling of the Brazilian Amazon while the U.S. government sells off our largest northwestern rain forests to Japan.
Old growth forests in the United States are being cleared at an alarming rate and raw trees, not finished products manufactured by American workers, are being sold to the Japanese. But let's not blame Japan. Americans elected this Congress and must urge their representatives to forbid the export of raw timber.
A restriction to export only wooden products manufactured in the United States would create jobs for Americans, save our last North American rain forests and allow the U.S. economy to benefit from the profitability of manufacturing and marketing American products from American resources.
Concerned Americans who donated money to halt Amazonian clear-cutting should also call their congressional representatives to support severe limits on U.S. timber exports.
This action could have an immediate effect on the destruction of American rain forests.
Bruce T. Gayle.