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Letters to the Editor 

To Be Fair

In your Commentary ("Keep the Crook in Jail -- It's Important," Aug. 14) you state, among other comments, the following: "To be fair, since the days of Huey and Earl Long, Louisiana has had a reputation for freewheeling, corrupt politics."

I believe, to be fair, you should point out that during my four years in the governor's office (1980-1984), there was absolutely no corruption. I am proud of the fact that my term was considered, and still is, one of honesty and integrity.

David C. Treen
Former Governor

Anger and Despair

I have a few questions for the so-called city planners.

Since Katrina, every level of government seems to have been mismanaged or corrupted with little or no accountability. Out-of-state corporations made the lion's share of money through no-bid contracts as out-of-state workers were brought in to do work native New Orleanians were denied.

The federal money that has been released has been mostly wasted. People needing help have to jump through hoops and are denied or given insulting offers. Major companies are pulling out as the costs of property and rebuilding have soared. The U.S. Corps of Engineers try to comfort us with bringing our levees back to the inadequate category 3 protection.

The latest is the insane property tax increases. I'd like to know who's going to stay or come back to a city that can be destroyed with the next storm and is charging New York City rates when we're not making New York City incomes?

I despair for the city I love because it's dying before my eyes and the government that is supposed to help us seems to be burying us instead.

Michael DiBari

Share the Responsibility

In reference to "Trash to Treasure" (News & Views, Aug. 14), according to Wikipedia, "recycling is the reprocessing of materials into new products. Recycling generally prevents the waste of potentially useful materials, reduces the consumption of raw materials and reduces energy usage, and hence greenhouse gas emissions, compared to virgin production."

The recent discussion concerning global warming has focused primarily on alternative sources of fuel for the purpose of transportation. However, another very important pro-environment tool is recycling. The effort needs to involve more than the consumer and the government. It needs to involve those who sell (and profit from) those products that can be recycled. For example, the manufacturers of bottles and cans, along with the producers of what's sold inside them, as well as the grocery stores that distribute them must take on a greater economic role in the process of recycling. The voluntary curbside approach is a good start, but it relies primarily on the altruism of the consumer.

The question is: Does the consumer bear sole responsibility for what happens to a can or bottle that contains a product or should some of that responsibility be borne by those who profit from its use? Are these responsibilities being borne already and are they equitable? Some time ago, bottlers would charge a five-cent "deposit" on a bottle to be "refunded" when the consumer returned the bottle. It seems that this concept could be put back into operation for a whole host of products. The consumer could clean the bottle or can, return it to the grocery story for a refund, and the grocery store would return it to the producer who would send it to the manufacturer, etc., with each receiving a refund along the way.

When all parties involved have an economic incentive to participate, recycling will make a much larger contribution toward preserving the environment.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

Clean Things Up

I attended the Saints pre-season game Aug. 10 at the Superdome. It was a great game and I was very excited to see the Dome almost packed to capacity with fans, most of them local.

When the game ended, I exited the Dome and followed fans entering a staircase that borders the Dome and the New Orleans Center. I was appalled to see the stairwell was home to a number of people. There were mattresses and small tables as well as clothing and other personal items filling the staircase. The crowd was literally jumping over beds to get down the stairs.

The Superdome has become a symbol of rebuilding and pride for New Orleanians. Soon we will have thousands of football fans from other cities visiting the Superdome and it would be a shame for them to see that New Orleans doesn't have enough self-respect to at least take care of our Superdome and move the squatters out. It is a disgrace that the New Orleans Center has not reopened. It is even more of a disgrace that the New Orleans Center has not bothered to clean up the mess that it has left behind. Superdome, NOPD and the owner of New Orleans Center should show New Orleanians, the Saints and our visitors the respect they deserve.

Heather Buck


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