Orange County: Up From Satire

As I read the Orange County section of The Times recently, a variety of letters and articles seemed particularly significant and somehow related: Tom Santley's letter on Orangewood; Nancy Noble's column on child care; the holiday parties to benefit worthy causes in the social pages; the editorial on Costa Mesa's financial support of the arts; the YWCA's Christmas gathering for homeless women; community centers aiding the less fortunate.

What I see is a caring community where business leaders, public officials and individuals are concerned not only with making a better living for themselves, but also making a better life for the community. I see the public and private sectors working together to balance the need for subsistence with the need for substance in the lives of the people of Orange County.

This recognition that providing a quality environment includes enriching the spirit of man through the arts, through sharing of one's abundance, through concern for the needs of others--young, old, helpless and homeless--says a great deal about this community to others.

The collective intelligence and spirit within this community that has created a dynamic economic environment and developed innovative programs and partnerships to work on the problems of housing, transportation, care of abused children, child care for working parents, a center for the performing arts and a variety of other community needs, has the potential to serve as a model to other communities in addressing pressing social and economic concerns.

I applaud those community leaders who have the vision to see the possibilities in cooperative community effort, and The Times for featuring the positive achievements of such efforts. BETTY SHAFFER

Santa Ana

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