Animal-rights advocates who hadn't previously responded to our story on Aspen Mayor Bill Stirling's fight to ban the sale of fur in his city (an initiative that was recently rejected by voters) turned out in force, hackles raised, to reply to readers who had defended the right to wear fur (PEOPLE, Feb. 19). As usual, the only clear losers are the animals.

DIRTY DIVORCING
I enjoyed your article "Dirty Divorcing." It brought back a lot of memories of my own divorce just one year ago. At the time, it wasn't funny when I received harassing phone calls every night. Neither was it funny when my house was broken into and my car's brake fluid was drained. Through counseling, I learned that there is a winner and a loser in every breakup. I was determined to be a winner, even though the divorce was not my decision. And now I have my home, my job, my friends and my pride. For all his dirty tricks, my ex lost everything. Sometimes the dirtiest trick is to play no tricks at all.
Name Withheld

As a judge who hears over 2,000 divorce cases a year, I have observed that combatant spouses in bitter disputes seldom obtain the result each thought he or she wanted. As they acted out their anger and struggled for control, Oliver and Barbara Rose chose their home as the symbolic trophy. In the ensuing battle they destroyed what they were fighting for. Imagine the destruction that takes place when the divorcing couple decides to make their children the prize.
Ronald L. Solove
Columbus, Ohio

I was very disappointed to see the topic of divorce as your cover story for the week of Valentine's Day. Do you mean to tell me that on the most romantic day of the year you would rather write about couples fighting over dogs and fish than write about the famous couples who are happy and in love? C'mon PEOPLE, don't you think we read enough about infidelity and unhappy marriages?
J.A. Robbins
Phoenix

JOAN RIVERS
I am happy that Joan Rivers is coping in so brief a time after her husband's suicide. My husband committed suicide in 1973 when my children were 1 and 3 years old. The financial burden was nothing compared to the emotional baggage that we have carried around with us for the past 17 years. In suicide, as in no other cause of death, the true victims are the ones who must live on after a loved one commits this selfish act.
Colleen Mastroianni
Wolcott, Conn.

EVERETT ALVAREZ
I am appalled to think that Everett Alvarez's ex-wife considered she had a right to his money from the government after she divorced him. She left to marry someone else and yet wanted to still be supported by Alvarez. It makes me sick to think that she could be so grasping, and what really makes me furious is that she has no sense of remorse for her actions. I admire him for walking away from her.
Michelle R. Marsoun
Hillsboro, Ore.

BRAD JOHNSON
I'm crushed, wounded and ready to open a vein. Are you positive Brad Johnson is happily married?
Wanda Faye Stanfield
West Chester, Pa.

MAIL
I was very surprised to learn that some of your readers found the article about Mayor Bill Stirling's efforts to ban fur sales in Aspen trivial. Like most Americans they may be simply unaware of the brutal daily realities of the fur industry. This is not about fashion, a truly trivial subject. It's about the morality of torturing animals so that affluent women can parade their wealth.
Greta L. Mohon
Norman, Okla.

Jennifer K. Flannelly stated her "right" to wear fur coats. Her attitude is just what one might expect from a person trying to justify the killing of innocent animals for human vanity. The bottom line is this: The previous owner of her full-length fox coat was murdered in it, and she is wearing stolen property. Being an American never gave us that right.
Susan L. Gundich
Cleveland

In response to the letter about Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, attacking Frank for saying a son will "be here to take care of you when I'm gone": I am tired of women who take exception to innocent (and often loving) remarks by men and turn them into a battleground for feminist rhetoric. Kathie Lee supported herself before Frank came into her life, so I doubt he believes she couldn't "survive" without him. I took that statement to mean that, because of the disparity in their ages, Frank Gifford feels he may not be around to grow old with his wife and that a son would be there for Kathie Lee in his father's place. What's so wrong with that? I am divorced and support myself, and I often call on three wonderful, supportive males. I'm proud to say that my two sons and my father always come through. This doesn't make me less of a woman, either in my eyes or in theirs.
Denise K. Rose
Cape Coral, Fla.