Dave Valle is the type of ballplayer that kids should look up to.
PETER HENDRICKSON, WALTHAM, MASS.
I was thrilled to read about the work Dave Valle and his wife, Vicky, are doing in the Dominican Republic (A Ray of Hope, Feb. 17). When my wife and I got married, we made a commitment to help others. We became supporters of Freedom from Hunger, whose philosophy is "credit with education." You don't have to be a baseball player to make a difference. Together with friends we have started four credit unions in Bolivia. Microenterprise does work.
DANIEL KRIESBERG, Bayville, N.Y.
As a volunteer for a couple of years in the Dominican Republic, I observed firsthand the tragic conditions described in your article. Valle's relief efforts qualify him for more than sports fame. The only thing lacking in your story was information on how we may contribute.
SAM ROBERTS, Orem, Utah
Contributions may be sent to Esperanza International Foundation, 600 108th Ave., N.E., Suite 1014, Bellevue, Wash. 98004, or call 206-451-1080.—ED.
The photography in Elaine Farley's first swimsuit issue has broken the mold (Winter 1997). From the eye-gripping photo of Tyra Banks on the cover and through the pictures inside, Farley has given us a new spirit of fun and sexuality. Congratulations on her debut. She is a worthy successor to Jule Campbell.
MARK MANGOLD, Camp Springs, Md.
Cheers to Steffi Graf for appearing in the swimsuit issue. I consider myself a feminist, but I think the whining about the objectification of women has gone too far. There is nothing sinister about human sexuality. It should be celebrated.
JULIE PETERSON, Ann Arbor, Mich.
I am probably one of the few who actually read the swimsuit issue. It mentions Bikini Atoll as the place from which the "two-piece, atom-sized swimsuit" took its name. As a resident of the Marshall Islands for 16 years, I thought your readers might find it interesting to learn that no Bikinian woman would be caught dead in a bikini, because it is against Marshallese custom for a woman to expose so much flesh. My wife, who scuba dives, has to wear a hip-length T-shirt over bicycle pants in the water. Journalists often come here looking for a Bikinian in a bikini. Doesn't exist. Nothing but Bikinians out here.
JACK NIEDENTHAL, Majuro, Marshall Islands
Why did you tease us with the beautiful Yasmeen Ghauri in the Table of Contents and then not show her again? Please give us another look.
DAVID REGAN, Ukiah, Calif.
Why bother including the prices and where to buy the suits if you can't even tell what they look like?
KIMBERLY A. JACKSON, Arlington, Va.
In previous swimsuit issues, what separated SI from its imitators was the blending of beautiful models, fashionable suits and exotic environments. All were integral elements of the shot. This year I did not get a sense of this artistry. Most of the shots could have been taken in my backyard.
ROBERT BULMAN, Anola, Manitoba