Bakersfield has the worst air in the country -- there's no surprise there. Our leaders have to find the courage to do some things that are unpopular, but necessary, to improve our air quality.

* Do away with all drive-thrus. People have to get out and do their business. No more idling autos. Sonic does all right. Park your car and they bring the food to you.

* Stop the use of leaf blowers -- they are noise polluters and they blow dust into the air, adding to the danger of valley fever. Stop using gasoline-powered lawn mowers, too; electric mowers work just as well.

* No fireplace wood-burning below 3,000 feet. Who needs a fireplace in Bakersfield? Enjoyable, but not necessary.

* Ban Fourth of July fireworks and fireworks stands. Or at least limit fireworks to commercial events. It will still pollute, but not as much, and the charitable organizations can make money from these events.

* Start an "Is This Trip Necessary?" campaign and encourage people to reduce their driving. That worked during World War II when gasoline was rationed.

* Do not allow the extension of Highway 58 to happen as now planned. You want to see an increase in pollution? That will do it. Divert Highway 58 through Arvin. Talk to your political representative about it.

Kenneth M. Cannon