KING OF THE ROAD

ALTHOUGH FRANK AHRENS SEEMED TO BE trying to write a fair article about SUV drivers ["Why Big Is Back," November 7], he single-handedly confirmed the stereotype that SUV drivers are reckless jerks unconcerned about the safety of other drivers. By tailgating -- in fact, chasing a Honda Civic "just for fun" -- he clearly showed why an ego and a 5,400-pound vehicle are a dangerous combination.

I think I speak for many drivers of normal-size cars when I say I hope Mr. Ahrens doesn't trade up to an SUV any time soon -- he can't handle it.

LISA LINNELL

Arlington

JUST A NOTE OF CONGRATULATIONS ON Frank Ahrens's well-done article on what most of us out here call the "yuppie selfish mobile." It would have been nice if he could have placed more emphasis on the horrendous safety risks these giant ego boxes pose to the rest of us.

The primary danger posed by SUVs and minivans is our resulting inability to see anything around them . . . over them . . . through them. Have you ever been parked between two of them and tried to back out? There is absolutely no way to do so safely. You're playing Russian roulette with parking-lot traffic. I would have no hesitation in suing the owners of one of these vehicles if I were ever to be hit while trying to back out of a space engulfed by them.

BONNIE G. BIRD

Kensington

THE POST MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUnity to educate the car-buying public when it failed to mention that SUVs and other light trucks emit as much as three times more smog-forming pollution than the average car. SUV owners and potential buyers in the Washington area live in the second most congested region in the country, with a heavily polluted atmosphere. By early last August, for example, Virginia and Maryland had already experienced three weeks of summer "dirty air days."

By highlighting the emission problems of SUVs, The Post could have contributed to the potential reduction of these "dirty air days."

MICHAEL S. NELSON

Audubon Naturalist Society

Chevy Chase

EDUCATION ISSUES

IN DEBBI WILGOREN'S ARTICLE "PUBlic Web" [November 14] she writes that "every school system in the Washington area has a Web site, save for the tiny Falls Church district." Contrary to Wilgoren's statement, the Falls Church City Public Schools do, indeed, have a Web site, which can be found at www.fccps.k12.va.us.

At this site one can find information about community involvement in the school system, school board information, employment information, International Baccalaureate information, in addition to specific school information (enrollment, test scores, graduation requirements, personnel, transportation, etc.).

CHRISTINA CHRISTIANSON

Falls Church

I READ "CITY COLLEGE" BY DANTE Chinni [November 14] with interest. He does not mention Wilson Teachers College anywhere in his history of the University of the District of Columbia. It was the teachers college for white students while Miner Teachers College was for black students. When the D.C. schools were reorganized after they became integrated, Wilson and Miner were combined as D.C. Teachers College.

PHYLLIS WALKER JOHNSON

Arlington

WHY FOCUS ON THE REMEDIAL READING programs at UDC and ignore its excellent chemistry, biology and physics programs? I'm a Georgetown-trained physician, an NIH-trained scientist, a researcher and an author. I'm also a UDC graduate. UDC provides affordable educational opportunities for those with limited financial resources, and its science programs are excellent.

ADRIANE FUGH-BERMAN

Washington

"A CONSUMERS GUIDE TO AREA HIGH-Tech Training" by Karla Taylor [November 14] made no mention of Central Michigan University. CMU offers two technology programs at its seven area learning centers: Falls Church, Fort Myer, the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Meade and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Since the early 1970s, CMU has offered working adults a unique opportunity to pursue either a graduate degree or a certificate in seven different areas of study. In 1998, CMU's Washington area learning centers served more than 2,235 students.

STEWART W. EDWARDS

Central Michigan University

Falls Church

I WAS DELIGHTED TO READ JIM NAUGHton's "Super NOVA" [November 14]. As we move into the new century, education is the key to success -- moving our society forward in the information age. However, so many people still believe that the only method of obtaining an education or new skills is from a traditional four-year institution. I want to thank you for pointing out the vital role community colleges play in educating the citizens of this nation.

GINA KRANITZ

National Association

of College and University Business Officers

Washington

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