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updated 09/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Correspondents were outraged at Michigan Judge Raymond Cashen's decision to deprive single mother Jennifer Ireland of custody of her 3-year-old daughter, Maranda, because Ireland put her in day care while attending college (PEOPLE, Aug. 22,1994). Wrote one reader: "This mother is trying hard to better herself and loses her child in the process. When are judges going to rule in the best interest of the child?"

JAMIE LEE CURTIS
Finally, someone who deserves the attention she gets. Thank you for proving you don't have to be a criminal, go through a scandalous divorce or be married to a prince to qualify for the cover. Jamie Lee Curtis is a wife, mother, actress and writer who obviously plays all the roles well.
DAWN KAESTNER, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.

While working on the set of True Lies in Florida, my son—who was the key grip—and his wife had to rush their baby to the hospital due to a high fever. Jamie Lee Curtis baby-sat their two other sons all evening in their hotel room. I always knew she was a star, but when I heard about this I was impressed with her graciousness. Then I read that she lets her dogs drink out of her water bottle. Now I know I was justified in admiring her.
MARIA MORIARITY, Calabasas Park, Calif.

JENNIFER IRELAND
In a time when welfare and government aid is an easy option for unwed single mothers, Jennifer Ireland should be congratulated—not punished—for her drive and determination in wanting to better her life and the future of her daughter. I cannot begin to imagine what Judge Cashen was thinking.
LISA BUSTICHI, Santa Cruz, Calif.

As a physician with two young children, I found Judge Cashen's indictment of working mothers and quality child-care providers ignorant and frightening. Women make an incredible contribution to society. To sell us short by telling us we can't possibly achieve in the professional sector and raise children who respect women as role models and equals is to set society back to the 19th century.
MARIANNE RIES, M.D., Silver Spring, Md.

I couldn't believe a judge would rule in favor of a father who lives at home, cuts grass part-time and filed for custody after learning he would have to pay child support. What a crock!
NANCY WALKER, Manassas, Va.

CHRISTY HENRICH
The senseless death of Christy Hen-rich can be blamed on the people responsible for parenting and coaching her. Children are not born with an intense drive to be Olympic athletes, Hollywood stars or concert pianists. I have coached children for over 20 years, and my experience has been that the level of performance which students like Christy display is usually fueled by the need to gain the approval of their parents, peers and coaches. If Christy could send a message to every stage mother, father and coach, I am sure it would be to back off and stop pushing your kids to be perfect.
ART SCOTT, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

I was both surprised and relieved to read your article about Christy Henrich's death from anorexia nervosa and bulimia. As a therapist treating these disorders, I have become accustomed to flippant and patronizing reporting about eating problems. Unlike your earlier article on actress Tracey Gold, the Henrich profile depicted the nature of the illness, including the symbolic control of weight and food when all else seems unpredictable, and the helplessness that friends, coaches, family and even therapists often experience.
TRISHA L. SOUDERS, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington

MICHAEL FAY
Puh-leez! How dare anyone suggest that Michael Fay suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects rape victims, war veterans and abused children. To include him in such a group is an insult to those who really are victims. Michael Fay is a kid who broke the law and suffered the consequences.
NANCY ROYBAL, Santa Fe

DAVID CARUSO
David Caruso is acting like a brat. He had the audacity to ask for a $70,000 raise, from $30,000 to $100,000 per episode of NYPD Blue, and then, when he didn't get it, to walk. Doesn't the man realize that he's already making more money in one episode than some people make in a year? He should stay with the show that made him a star.
LESLIE SVANEVIK, San Mateo, Calif.

MAIL
In reply to Caroline Eager's letter, please note that Roseanne and Tom Arnold have donated over $2 million to charity, including the creation of their very own foundation for sexually and physically abused children. Your article focused on their supposed expenses and certainly did "conspicuously" miss their continuous support of various worthy organizations.
JOY SIROTT HURWITZ, assistant to Roseanne, Studio City, Calif.

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