updated 09/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Although I was appalled that Jennifer Lopez had started dating Ben Affleck so close to filing for divorce, I can't help but be happy for her. He seems like a great guy and is just what the hardest working woman in show business needs. I hope this relationship will have longevity and the two will avoid marriage—at least for now.
K.S. Gonzales, Fairbanks, Alaska

As a teenager and a member of the Latin community, I despise all of the so-called positive attention that Jennifer Lopez bestows upon us. To many, she possesses qualities worthy neither of respect nor admiration. It's a joke to hear about yet another failed marriage. The only failure I see is Jennifer's failure to stay faithful to her husband.
Rebecca Salazar, Clarendon Hills, III.

Lopez seems to think that love is a game. I'm sure the bookies are taking bets on how long this Affleck affair is going to last before she moves on to the next victim.
Evelyn Wenzel, Tucson, Ariz.

I was shocked to see that PEOPLE'S editors thought that a staged fling involving a not-yet-divorced actress-singer was more worthy of a cover story than the coal miners. If that's not a case of sensationalism over substance, I don't know what is.
Amy Watkins, Chicago, III.

I thought for sure that when I received my PEOPLE this week I would see a photo of Lance Armstrong on the cover. He has accomplished so much—not only winning the Tour de France four times but overcoming a form of cancer that almost took his life. Being a cancer survivor myself, I look at Lance Armstrong as a true hero who knows what the most important things in life are.
Suzanne Hoffman, Long Valley, N.J.

I have two words for Jennifer Lopez's latest romance: publicity stunt. These two don't even look like they like each other, let alone love each other.
Tina Brainerd, Los Angeles, Calif.

American Idol
Our family is hooked on American Idol. We watch each week and vote for our favorites. But your panel? What did Gloria Gaynor have for breakfast the day she did the interview? She was downright mean! Everyone else on your real pop-star panel seemed to have a little objectivity. We're hoping for Justin Guarini or Tamyra Gray to make it to idol status. We'll watch to the end.
Linda Lockman-Brooks, Charlotte, N.C.

I was at the Cher concert in Seattle sitting in the second row. To a 46-year-old who grew up on Sonny and Cher and later Cher's music, her farewell concert was pure joy. Her costume changes reminded me of why she is such a classy lady. She still reigns at 56 for her showmanship. Bravo, and thanks, Cher.
Cathy Dunican, Everett, Wash.

Teen Drinking
Thank you so much for running the article about teens and younger kids drinking. I think it's very important to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. I'm a 15-year-old sophomore, and it really saddens me to think that when I go back to my 20-year high school reunion, some of my class won't be there because they will have given their lives to drugs and alcohol.
Ashley Stickney, St. Joseph, Mich.

I was not surprised when I read that Britney Spears walked off the stage during her concert in Mexico. On July 18 I took my teenage daughter and a few friends to see Britney in Bossier City, La. I noticed that she seemed very tired and to be just going through the motions. There were large screens on which you could see her facial expressions up close, and Britney did not look like she was enjoying herself. She spoke maybe 10 words to the audience. We all left disappointed after paying almost $100 per ticket. I think that it is too much, too fast for a 20-year-old, and it is starting to show. I too have a 20-year-old, and if I were Britney's mother, I would see to it she gets the TLC, help and rest that she most obviously needs.
Camille S. Copes, Waskom, Texas

Picks & Pans
I was stunned by Tom Gliatto's review of the motion picture Signs. Had I read it first and believed it, I would have skipped this awesome flick. Please give me the opportunity to pick or pan movies. You need fresh blood!
Julie M. Burton, Bellingham, Wash.

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