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Letters to the Editor 

Who Foots the Bill?
Thanks for the great editorial ('Time To Make Noise," March 11) holding the federal government liable for 90-100 percent of the cost of all levee repairs. It has become tiresome to listen to "debates" about how much the federal government will have to do, kicking and screaming, for New Orleans, especially among those who seem to think that New Orleans is poor and corrupt and doesn't deserve any more "handouts," and certainly no more than token assistance in rebuilding.

There is no way that anyone in Louisiana should have to contribute a dime to constructing what has already been paid for twice over but never delivered. Outsiders don't seem to understand that the flood was manmade, not a product of the hurricane. They don't seem to care whether a place, unique not just in the United States but worldwide, simply limps back to survival or vanishes altogether.

As a former New Orleans resident, thank you. And keep fighting the good fight.

Joyce Levine
Sunrise, Fla.

Remember When
In your Scuttlebutt item "Safe Place to Visit, But ..." (Feb. 26), Allen Johnson asks, "When will the city and NOPD come up with a strategy to keep residents as safe as visitors?" After the 2006 crime march, Mayor Ray Nagin hired former Houston Police Chief Lee Brown as a crime consultant. A year later, New Orleans had reclaimed the title of nation's murder capitol.

I was discouraged by the move because the city could have hired the most qualified former police chief in the country: namely ours — Richard Pennington. From the mid- to late-1990s, Pennington's reforms resulted in the biggest crime decrease among 50 major U.S. cities.

Here's a request for the mayor and City Council: Hire Richard Pennington. He would have a strategy from his own experience to keep residents safe.

Rob Florence

Keep It Clean
This letter is in response to the proposed conversion of the Little Gypsy power plant from clean natural gas to dirty coal right here in Louisiana, a state that has suffered from environmental degradation and polluted air for years. Unfortunately, the Public Service Commission, elected representatives of the people, chose to approve the conversion but are still on the fence as to whether the cost of $1.5 billion will be paid by Entergy Louisiana or ratepayers. Entergy wants us to pay for it because Wall Street has decided not to finance coal plants anymore. Bank of America, Citibank and JP Morgan don't think coal plants are good investments. Why should ratepayers make this loan?

I don't understand why we are bucking the national trend of trying to eliminate coal-fired plants. Other states are putting their resources behind renewable sources. We are just sitting on the sidelines of progress again. We already know that burning coal causes increased pollution and mercury. These affect those who need our protection the most — children. We are truly getting the short end of the stick with this deal. The PSC wants to increase pollution in the state, increase health risks to citizens, and then send us a bill.

Leslie March
Conservation Chair, Sierra Club Delta Chapter
Mandeville

Real-life Drama
My daughter just started performing with the NORD/Crescent City Lights Youth Theater group. I was hurt when I found out that this group might not be open for too much longer due to a lack of space for them to practice or have their shows. They usually use Gallier Hall, but that location is asking for an astronomical monthly rent price.

How can the city of New Orleans expect our kids to have something to do with their time if it does not give them the proper space? I am sad because you always hear that they want our kids to have productive lives and to rebuild New Orleans, but the city itself is not willing to help them.

Rhonda Lange
Gretna

Give Bobby a Chance
Your commentary "UNO's Founding Father" (Feb. 5) seems straight out of the Democratic Party's playbook. Gov. Bobby Jindal's campaign made an accounting error — nothing more. The contribution was noted on the GOP's state report, just not on Jindal's. The error was corrected and a fine paid. Period.

To infer that Jindal is a hypocrite for his criticisms of our past corruption is stupid, obtuse and not worthy of your publication. No one got a job, state contract or gambling license based on a contribution. Roads were not shoddily constructed based on political patronage. If you catch Jindal doing any of those things, please publicize it to the max. Otherwise, give the man a chance to do some good.

Jerry Huffman

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