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Letters to the Editor 

Refresh Your Memory
An enthusiastic thank you, Gambit, for your cover picture of Aaron Broussard ("Pumped," Nov. 28). At first I was dumbfounded that the hapless Broussard would allow anything that connected him to the Katrina pump debacle and the havoc and devastation he caused so many families and businesses.

Then as I reflected on it, I realized how vividly it portrayed his attitude -- not only the chutzpah but the in-your-face arrogance, traits increasingly common among our local professional politicians: Edwin Edwards, Cleo Fields and William Jefferson quickly come to mind.

I hope every citizen of Jefferson Parish sees this cover picture and that their individual and collective memories will be refreshed and prolonged. In this way, at election time we can turn Mr. Broussard out to finally make his living in the private sector where decisions carry responsibilities and foolish ones carry penalties.

Thomas D. Freeman

What's So Great About Lafitte?
I am writing in response to "Like a Ton of Bricks" (Oct. 24). Your article made the pre-Katrina Lafitte Housing Project sound just like a Sunday afternoon in Audubon Park on an autumn day when the weather was just right and the birds were singing. Should I regret never having visited the Lafitte Project when it was open? It would have been trespassing for a nonresident to enter a housing project, but if your article is to be believed, then would it have been worth the risk? I don't think so.

If Lafitte were as wonderful as you described, then no one would be redeveloping it. Also, your article is so concerned about where poor people can live in this city. We are the poorest city on the face of the Earth. Do you think we got that way by having a shortage of inexpensive housing all these years?

Wake up and smell the coffee. By the way, your own classified ads show that rents are coming back down almost to normal, but I guess paying the rent isn't a worry for people with Section 8 vouchers.

Ian Goldenberg

Keep It Local
Katrina has been a hard journey for many of us. Our city officials asked for business owners to come back and rebuild, and we did. We have struggled with rebuilding our homes and businesses. My family and I have made progress. We came back to rebuild and help make our community better than before. We own a furniture store in Metairie.

We have had many difficulties and battles. We fought with insurance companies and battled with not being able to pay the bills. We finally made it. Now we have another battle. Corporations have decided to come here and suck up all the funds. This is hurting our local businesses. We can't compete. They are putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into advertising and trying to take us off the map of Louisiana. They don't want a little, they want it all. They don't care about the people, nor do they care about our small businesses.

We survived Katrina. I am afraid we won't survive greed. It saddens me to think that we, the small businesses of Louisiana, may be destroyed by these corporate giants. I pray that the people of Louisiana don't forget the small businesses and keep their money local. And for the corporate giants, please stop trying to take food off our tables and out of the mouths of our children. Go away if you can't share.

Donna P. Chisesi

The Air Around Us
In "Unfriendly Skies" (Nov. 14), Sam Winston reports that the state argues "the economy first needs to demonstrate a need for more flights" in order to support the startup airline DirectAir. How much more does New Orleans and Louisiana tourism need to hemorrhage before the Blanco administration understands that lack of flights is a major crisis?

And if US Air succeeds in taking over Delta, there will be more industry consolidation, higher fares and even less flights. Maybe that's the "demonstration" our state government is looking for.

DirectAir's John Miller suggests that if Louisiana is not interested, he will approach Mississippi, a state which has handled its recovery alarmingly better than this state has. Mississippi landing a low cost carrier hub might finally demonstrate to our state leadership that they need to do something to bring in more flights.

Rob Florence


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