Mt. Pleasant is not the strife-torn battleground that your article "Living on the Edge in Mt. Pleasant" depicted {front page, Oct. 7}. In fact, most of the residents are neither public drunks nor self-anointed "community activists" who would turn Mt. Pleasant into a Victorian home theme park.

Most residents of Mt. Pleasant go about their business in relative harmony and live there because of the neighborhood's diversity, not in spite of it. I am a white homeowner there, and I know that those who would destroy Mt. Pleasant to fix it do not speak for me.

Nonetheless, Mt. Pleasant is at a crossroads, and we must see if we can begin to function as a community rather than a zip code. Will activists work with shop owners who may not share their "vision" of Mt. Pleasant Street? Will the business community make the connection between the litter and loitering in front of their stores and lost business?

We can meet these challenges without sterilizing all that makes our neighborhood vibrant. So please, don't send the National Guard into Mt. Pleasant just yet. -- Jeffrey Bobeck

As a Mt. Pleasant resident I was disappointed to read another article describing this neighborhood in terms of rich vs. poor, blacks vs. whites vs. Hispanics v. have-nots.

Since about 1973, a middle class population driven out by the 1968 riots has slowly been returning because of the availability of affordable large homes. I suppose your paper would call this process "gentrification." But this "new" group your article referred to is for better schools, clean and safe streets and parks, responsive police and fire departments, public transportation, enforcement of building and business codes and decent housing. It is unfortunate some view these concerns as those of a certain racial group or as programs benefiting only the new "gentry."

Mt. Pleasant prides itself on its sensitivity to racial equality, to ethnic diversity, to tolerance of lifestyles and to community activism. It is trying to establish ground rules on how to live in the public space together. Too bad some people don't understand that. -- Michael Salzberg