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Great Section

Dear LASN: After much anticipation, I received the December issue of LASN a day or two after Christmas. The PMBR article on Brennan Estates Main Entrance looks great! You and your staff did a wonderful job with not only the content, but the design and layout as well. The use of sketches along with the photographs was very successful from a visual point of view, and I thought the hand-drawn quality of the sketches was a refreshing change from most CADD drawings done today. Also, the juxtaposition of each drawing with what was actually built worked well. I brought (the magazine) into the office today and everybody who has seen it is very impressed with the article and the entire magazine.

J. Seemans, RLA, ASLA
Wilmington, Delaware

Dear LASN: We got our (December) copy of LASN and I must say I am very impressed with it. The article and (CLARB Executive Direct Clarence) Chaffee's outlook came out great. But what I am most impressed with is the Licensure Review. You really did a great service by asking boards "what's up?" If you do nothing else next year (well, this year), please survey the state boards again.

Matt Rankin
CLARB Communications and Marketing Manager
Vienna, Virginia

Editor's Note: To review LASN's December forecast issue as well as news on licensure issues, click on

Conservation is Up

Dear LASN: I received the December issue of your magazine and read your editorial "Christmas Poem." Near the middle section of your poem, you say, "...Still, with Bush at the helm, Conservation is up. Who would 'a thought that he'd fill up that cup?" You infer that the current President and his administration are conservation-minded. I could not disagree with you more. A brief look at some of this administration's actions and proposals include" 1) In only two years, the Bush administration has weakened the Clean Water Act more than any president in the last 30 years (this according to American Rivers, an organization this publication supports); 2) This administration has eased clean air rules, allowing refineries, utilities and manufacturers to avoid installing new, updated anti-pollution equipment once the plants modernize; 3) the Bush administration had pushed to drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, but, thankfully, the Senate, led by insistence from the Democratic Party, defeated this measure. And the list goes on… "Conservation is up" you say? I would say, "Conservation is up a creek!"

M. Wheeler
Wheaton, Illinois

Publisher's Note: As noted in the December forecast issue of LASN, according to government figures, federal spending on conservation is up.


Dear LASN: I just finished reading the December 2002 issue of your magazine and wanted to congratulate you on a great publication. Of all the magazines that come across my desk, I look forward to yours…great technical news, appropriate information without all the politically correct rhetoric that comes with some of the other trade journals. Keep up the good work! God Bless you and your staff in 2003.

T. Gibbon
Philadelphia, Penn.

Differing Opinion

Dear LASN: For years, I've barely tolerated George Schmok's juvenile right-wing fundamentalist prattle. His Gideonesque quotations, carefully slipped into each issue, belong in his nightstand and not in a "professional" magazine. But it was his attempt at "poetry" that did me in. Mr. Schmok's shallow message held within those 10 adolescent paragraphs is a genuine disservice to the ideals of landscape architecture. Beyond that, Schmok's comments are both socially and ecologically irresponsible. Perhaps 2003 will include the revival of a once fine magazine.

E. Brynildson, RLA
Montello, Wisconsin

LASN asked Brynildson: Which ideals do you speak of? I truly would appreciate hearing your views. Brynildson responded with the following:

Mr. Schmok, I'm a leader, not a follower, so I'm accustomed to not goose-stepping in line for anything. As for the spiritual dimensions of landscape, the native soil and all that breathes freely upon it, is all the body of God we'll ever see. Therefore, it must be cherished and guarded. Your obsession and repeated excitement over "construction is hot" tells me you sorely lack an ecological conscience. When "construction is hot," I ask you; at what cost? Tacky sprawl, loss of prime agricultural lands, forest fragmentation, endless roads and habitat destruction are inevitably the real costs paid. You are a walking, talking, anomaly to state-of-the-art thinking in landscape architecture. Your myopic vision fails to recognize our paramount inherited professional responsibility (that is, IF you're actually a registered landscape architect), which is, to think and act holistically. Any truly "Good Lord," blesses more than just American people.

In Agreement

Dear LASN: After recently re-reading the Letters to the Editor in the November issue, specifically the letter from J. Hess of Oregon, I felt compelled to write you. I always read the letters page for the exact opposite reasons Hess criticized you for. I enjoy your viewpoints and outlook and find if refreshingly different from most publications. I would like to make a few comments on the Hess letter.

First J. Hess seems very versed in a unitarian view of world religions, but not in the person and work of the God of the Bible. If this person would study God instead of religion he/she would discover God does bless those who follow Him and His directives. (This is not a commentary on if America fits this category as a nation). Further, if God is God then inherent in being God, He is not too busy to decide whom or what He may choose to bless. Lastly, was the personal interpretation of "Destroy this temple." Looking into the Bible and the context, Jesus was talking about Himself and His impending death, not an illusion to Iraq. Nor do I believe you were applying this verse to Iraq.

Thank you for your publication. I use it monthly for its articles and reference it for specifying products. I look forward to your editorials in the future.

R. Stewart, Landscape Architect
Highland Village, Texas


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