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Your Letters: Gas Prices; Napping Fire Lookout


Time now for your letters.

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WERTHEIMER: Last week, we took a look at rising gas prices with the former CEO of the Shell Oil Company, John Hofmeister, who now heads up a nonprofit called Citizens for Affordable Energy.

That didn't sit right with Eleanor Saunders of Hillsdale, New York. She writes: Why is it that NPR addresses rising gasoline prices by interviewing an industry insider and then moves on to a story on the VW Bug, a traditional internal combustion engine car? There are plenty of interesting automotive alternatives that would reduce U.S. demand for oil and U.S. gasoline prices while also decreasing trade deficits and dependence on a politically unstable region. It was hard not to react cynically to the words of a former Shell executive, even if he now heads a nonprofit.

Barbara Fukimoto of Sunnyvale, California took issue with Mr. Hofmeister's call for increased domestic oil production. An alternative, or at least a complementary answer would be to replace some solo car trips by walking, biking, taking transit or carpooling when feasible. We might even find we enjoy these more social forms of travel.

Listeners also wrote to us about Scott Simon's interview with Philip Connors, who wrote a book about the time he spends as a fire lookout over Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Scott asked him if he wanted to get away from the hubbub of the city why not just take a nap?

Mr. PHILIP CONNORS (Fire Lookout, Gila National Forest): I have a job that allows me to take a nap on occasion. So, there are different ways of dealing with that feeling that we all get, I think, living in a crowded city.

WERTHEIMER: That prompted this response from Steve White in Portland, Oregon: Did I hear correctly that Philip Connors, a federal employee, occasionally takes naps while working as a fire lookout? Maybe we could treat air traffic controllers more like fire lookout workers and let them take a much-needed nap while on the clock.

Finally, we brought you the story of a Florida man who claims he composed this familiar rallying cry:

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Bobby Kent copyrighted those notes in 1980, although there are competing claims. Still, he wants every major professional sports organization to pay him $3,000.

Martin Brooks of Columbus, Indiana thought of another party that could be on the hook. He writes: I seem to recall an episode of "The Flintstones" from the 1960s where Wilma and Betty were off on a shopping spree and would repeatedly sing in unison (hums) charge it. It seems to me that this gentleman himself could be liable for plagiarism from "The Flintstones." How embarrassing would that be? Of course, since that took place in the Stone Age, the statute of limitations has probably expired.

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WERTHEIMER: There is no statute of limitations on your comments. Go to NPR.org and click on the Contact Us link. You can also post a comment on Facebook or Twitter at NPRWeekend. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.