Magazine

A Visionary At Holy Cross


"The Holy Cross fraternity" (People, Mar. 12) is about a great and liberal Jesuit education foundation, an exceptional teacher and mentor who found his calling, and students who were able to become great. It is a testimonial to a particular education system that works. I'm a product myself of this Jesuit education system and found my own mentors. I believe they teach each of us to have an internal scale that allows one to handle whatever problems, differences, and situations come about.

Marco Diaz

London

Father Brooks was a visionary who transformed Holy Cross from a small Catholic Irish college into an institution of real higher learning. His vision brought coeducation, an end to very costly athletic scholarships [in favor of] the return of the student athlete, a self-sustaining endowment, and a legacy that's being continued by Father [Michael P.] McFarland today. Having played with "Eddie J" and knowing Ted Wells as well as Stan Grayson, Father Brooks' vision has shown to be the correct one.

Stephen Hickey

Warwick, R.I.

I remember Clarence Thomas at Holy Cross. He always wore a blue Holy Cross baseball warm-up jacket. Everywhere. He seemed quiet, brooding. I understand his anger about being portrayed by the press as benefiting from affirmative action. He made it through a very tough English department and graduated cum laude. Holy Cross was a place where no one ever cut you any slack academically. His accomplishment was his own.

Chris Foley

Marblehead, Mass.

I would like to register Vail Resorts Inc.'s (MTN) disappointment with your recent article on carbon offsets, "Another inconvenient truth" (The Environment, Mar. 26).

Your article may leave readers with the impression that our commitment to the climate is nothing but hype. Nothing could be further from the truth. Vail Resorts is committed to reducing our energy use and looking for sources of alternative energy. While it's true that we considered building a wind turbine on Vail Mountain, we quickly determined that trying to power our entire company through our own wind turbines was neither feasible nor environmentally responsible. Our local utilities were not an option because they simply did not have enough alternative energy for our needs. Renewable energy credits allowed us to fulfill our commitment to tap alternative energy sources and provide the investment necessary to encourage new wind power development in places where it made sense.

Since the climate is a truly global problem, it should not matter where the green electricity is generated, only that it replaces fossil fuel generation. Of course, there should be no secrecy in the process and contrary to your article's insinuation, Vail Resorts is committed to transparency. Readers can learn about our wind power purchase and how Vail Resorts is encouraging our guests and employees to choose clean energy at www.snow.com/windpower.

Rob Katz

CEO, Vail Resorts Inc.

Broomfield, Colo.

"The trouble with ETFs" (Personal Finance, Mar. 12) is misleading, presenting facts in a vacuum. Most fund-tracking error is driven primarily by the Securities & Exchange Commission and IRS rules that apply equally to exchange-traded funds and index mutual funds.

We find that our clients invest in ETFs because they provide cost-effective, tax-efficient access to markets. In most cases, there is not a comparable index fund to use or even to compare to (there are actually more ETFs than index funds). If there are other traditional funds with access to the market or sector, they are likely going to have higher costs and be less tax-efficient, which leads to higher tracking error.

Instead of buying the ETF, investors could buy the individual securities, but investors face illiquidity and transaction costs and, with international securities, foreign ownership restrictions. In the end, this approach will lead to high costs and tracking error as well.

Lee Kranefuss

CEO, iShares at Barclays Global Investors

San Francisco

"When the going gets tough..." (News & Insights, Mar. 12) prompts me to share my experience for the possible assistance of others.

It is dangerous to suggest that "everyone knows" that frequent male urination is prostate-related. My "normally" enlarged 60-year-old prostate turned out not to be the cause of my getting up frequently at night. It was my previously untreated sleep apnea. Apnea causes low, sometimes very low, blood oxygen levels, and this triggers serious kidney hyperactivity to compensate for the desaturation. I treated my apnea, and now my large prostate and I sleep through the night.

Doug Ellice

Gambrills, Md.

"Homing in on trading abuses" (News & Insights, Mar. 12) asks the question: "Do allegations that a UBS writer sold info to hedge funds signal a growing problem?"

Any prosecutor worth the title would welcome an opportunity to press criminal charges if he had circumstantial evidence of similar weight against a suspect accused of a felony. How about the Wall Street analyst who writes a glowing report on a subprime mortgage lender after the analyst's employer just profited from issuing questionable securities for the same company, only to have the lender company virtually collapse immediately afterward?

Is it any wonder that innocent investors who do not have inside sources feel that they do not have a chance against the greedy people of Wall Street and are leaving the market?

Ingvar Eliasson

Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.

I am responding to the letter written by Peter G. Hill in "Keeping divorced parents from becoming deadbeats" (Readers Report, Mar. 19), regarding the article "Pepperoni, onions, handcuffs" (Up Front, Feb. 26).

I couldn't agree more with Mr. Hill's comment that "not too many parents can meet their obligations from a prison cell." The problem that not only our agency but all child support agencies face, however, is that by the time a non-payment of child support case reaches the criminal level, with the impending threat of jail or prison time, all other options have been exhausted. It is at this time that the threat, or reality, of prison time is the only other choice a judge is left with.

We have found that those parents who are running from their child support responsibility are constantly coming up with new and innovative ideas for eluding the legal and moral responsibility of bringing a child into the world. Therefore, as child support agencies, we must also continually come up with new and innovative ideas on how to locate these absent parents and hold their collective feet to the fire.

Cynthia S. Brown

Executive Director

Butler County Child Support

Enforcement Agency

Hamilton, Ohio


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