April 02, 2001 12:00 PM

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry deserves the love and support of everyone close to him. Facing any addiction takes extreme courage. This could cost him everything, yet he has made the choice to deal with his problem, not pretend it isn’t there. Has he let people in his life down? Maybe. But haven’t we all at one time or another? Now is the time to show him that his family, friends and fans are on his side.

Nancy Swank, Gaithersburg, Md.

I think Matthew perry is a very strong man for knowing he needs help. He also needs to know a lot of people are pulling for him.

Teresa Kain, Wiarton, Ont.

Denise Fergus

My heart goes out to Denise Fergus and Ralph Bulger for the tragic murder of their son Jamie. I am appalled that Jamie’s killers are going to be released after only eight years, especially with new identities and anonymity for life. As a mother, I certainly do not want them free in the same world as my children.

Melanie Johnson, via e-mail

I am sickened and outraged that two boys who took the life of an innocent 2-year-old could go back into the community with new identities. If they’re so reformed, why don’t they be the men they’ve supposedly become and face the animosity and anger they have brought upon themselves? That, not tutors, computers and video games, should have been a part of “rehabilitation.”

Gretchen Safstrom, Duluth, Minn.

I cannot bear looking at the picture of that poor trusting little boy going off with those beasts. I have three sons and would kill anyone that would hurt them. I hope those boys suffer for the rest of their lives. No name change is going to make them feel better about the life they took and the lives they’ve destroyed.

Vanessa Quintanilla, Yonkers, N.Y.

Casey Jacobsen

Your article glamorizes the “harsh and unforgiving” mentor-ship inflicted on Stanford’s Casey Jacobsen in his youth. For every Casey Jacobsen fortunate enough to survive such assaults on his confidence, there are thousands of talented and happy kids who have been chased out of athletics altogether by abusive coaches and parents.

Joe Grant, Omaha

Kate Carmichael

I got up this morning with a stomachache and was flipping through PEOPLE while waiting to let my office know I wouldn’t be in. Then I read about the amazing Kate Carmichael, and I want her to know that I’m on my way out the door. If she can do it, the rest of us can. I’m sorry she won’t be lucky enough to dance at her children’s weddings and cuddle her grandchildren, but maybe, just maybe, she’ll be a daisy in her daughter’s bridal bouquet. Safe journey, Kate.

Andrea Braun, St. Louis

As a resident of Halifax, I have witnessed firsthand the wonderful work Kate Carmichael has done for our beautiful city. Her tireless devotion to the downtown area and its development should show all of us that even when faced with death we do not need to give up on the things close to our hearts. Halifax and the people who live here will be forever in her debt.

Karen E. Newton, Halifax, N.S.

Shelly Ament

Now I know how President Bush can save that $1.6 trillion that he wants to give back to us working stiffs. He can start by not approving any more $75,000 in federal money to put radio collars on 10 elk! I assure you that I love and care about animals as much as biologist Shelly Ament, but I’d much rather see my tax dollars go toward real things like education, feeding and housing the poor and our national defense. That’s almost $10,000 per elk. When was the last time we spent $10,000 on an underprivileged child?

Donna Raque, Columbus, Ohio

Picks & Pans

I had practically given up on network TV when Survivor came along. We watch it religiously, and it’s the only adult show that doesn’t get turned off when my 3-year-old daughter enters the room. To me, hungry people killing a pig in a natural setting is healthier for a child to see than actors on a fake-looking set slinging one-liners at each other.

Tess Stevenson, Irvington, N.Y.


In the Mailbag section, you printed only two letters about the Kelly Ripa article, and both were bashing Kathie Lee, which I felt was very wrong on your part. I know people have the right to their own opinion, but I feel you should be fair and print good and bad opinions. For Kelly Ripa, I wish her the best of luck. To Kathie Lee, if you are reading this, the show was not the same without you and that’s why I stopped watching.

Jina Costa, Marietta, Ga.

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