updated 09/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are without a doubt living the American dream. California is in terrible shape, and I can only imagine that Arnold has a great sense of civic duty to be willing to take on the difficult task of fixing it. He doesn't need the money or the fame, and he can't even use the governorship as a stepping stone to President. Schwarzenegger's reign in California would certainly be closely watched by the rest of the nation, and who knows, if he does the job well enough, maybe a constitutional amendment is in order allowing immigrants to make a run at the White House.
Ted C. Soderberg, San Francisco, Calif.

So Arnold and Maria have weathered tough times—the death of beloved family members, a parent with Alzheimer's and personal health issues. And this makes them different from the rest of us how? Oh, that's right...they just happen to be millionaires.
Sheri Speck, Shawnee, Kans.

Will you be giving equal space on the cover of PEOPLE to the other 135 candidates who are running for the governorship of California?
Robert R. Smith, Fishers, Ind.

It seems unfair that Arnold is getting all the attention when some of the other candidates are more experienced, I guess being a big Hollywood star helps.
Deborah M.Varson, Benicia, Calif.

The unexpected death of Gregory Hines has affected me deeply. As a tap instructor and performer, Gregory was my inspiration since childhood. He almost single-handedly saved this American art form from extinction. I was lucky enough to be able to work with him, and to this day that was the highlight of my career. He was warm, encouraging and down-to-earth. I hope the tap community will continue to inspire new generations of dancers just as he did during his lifetime.
Gayle Greenbrook, San Jose, Calif.

You only had to see Gregory Hines in action one time to know that his love for tap was truly from the heart. That man could dance!
Janet D. Pasek, Beecher, Ill.

The only good thing to say about PEOPLE sticking Gregory Hines in the back of the magazine is that you saved the best for last.
Teresa Licskai, Paris, Ont.

As an owner of four adopted cats and dogs, it's absolutely wonderful to know that Quentin escaped the fate of the gas chamber and now has a family. But I can't help but wonder about the fact that 700 people stepped forward to adopt him only after he miraculously survived. If these same people would walk into the Humane Society to adopt a dog or cat on any given day, there would be a lot fewer animals on death row and a lot more families with the blessing of a grateful and loving pet.
Kitty Snyder Sias, Decatur, Ga.

Kudos to Steve Hoye for trying to take back our public beaches, one person at a time. Since I was an adolescent, every time I visited La Jolla Shores I made it a point to walk down a beach marked "private." I wanted to prove that the beach belongs to all of us, not just the country club set. It always angered me to see people read the sign then turn around. If I visit Malibu anytime in the future, you can bet that I will take a stroll along any beach with a sign that says "private."
Deanne Schaleger, San Diego, Calif.

I understand that being told you can't have children is tragic. But what's even worse is the number of unloved children who wind up in foster homes. I believe all children are a gift from God, and that in vitro fertilization is one of the most selfish procedures around. If two people can't have children naturally but still want to be parents, then they should save their money, reduce the world's overpopulation and adopt.
Michelle Barrett, Wichita, Kans.

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