COMPUTERS THAT CAN LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND
Disabled people have great need for technologies that help them gain independence. As profiled in "Let's talk" (Special Report, Feb. 23), speech technology is one that gives the disabled access to computers. The Internet has great potential for sharing information about treatment and research. As I meet more people who have limited or no use of their hands, I recognize how critical this can be.
Christopher Reeve Foundation
New YorkReturn to top
MOST WORKERS WANT A SAY IN UNIONS' POLITICAL GIVING
In "Labor and the GOP: A shootout in California" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Feb. 16), you quoted AFL-CIO President John Sweeney's claim that Proposition 226 is "an attempt by conservatives and business to silence the voice of working families." Yet you did not note that every poll conducted on Prop 226 shows that more than 65% of union members and Democrats support our efforts to make union leaders more accountable on how they spend members' dues on politics. Prop 226 places the same requirements on employers as it does on unions: no payroll deductions for politics without a worker's permission.
While I welcome the support of national leaders, Prop 226 proudly wears the label "Made in California." The idea for the initiative was hatched in my living room.
Co-Chairman, Yes on 226!
Tustin, Calif.Return to top
CRAMPING COACH PASSENGERS TO CODDLE FIRST CLASS
Your otherwise informative story "Airlines raise their class consciousness" (News, Analysis & Commentary, Feb. 23), was somewhat inaccurate regarding TWA. Our airline's main cabins currently offer passengers 31-inch seat pitch--which is as much room as any competitor offers and more room than many. We formerly provided two or three additional inches between the rows in coach class. We've moved that space up front to add 60% more first-class seats in our domestic cabins. This gives business travelers more opportunities than with any other airline to reserve or upgrade into a first-class seat. Business fare travelers pay more and, because of that, think they deserve more. We agree.
Mark E. Abels
Trans World Airlines Inc.
The airlines' strategy of coddling first-class passengers at the expense of economy class is, as usual, a false strategy designed to maximize their short-term profits at the expense of long-term growth.
The willingness of businesses to pay the first-class premium will shrink at the first sign of economic slowdown. The airlines' future growth potential is increasing economy-class travel among the evergrowing population of leisure-rich retirees. Meanwhile, the constant improvement in electronic communications will continue to reduce the demand for business travel.
Thomas T. Semon
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.Return to top
COM ED LOOKS ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
Regarding "The scramble to keep Commonwealth Edison aglow" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Feb. 23), Commonwealth Edison's residential rates for electrical power compare favorably with those of other major metropolitan areas such as New York and Los Angeles. Over the last five years, it has devoted considerable resources to ensure customers have electricity when they need it. In 1999, when commercial and industrial customers begin exploring an open market, Commonwealth Edison will be poised to compete for their business, as well as opportunities in other energy-related service.
John T. Costello
ChicagoReturn to top