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Letters: Legal Immigrants and Hot Cheetos


It's Thursday. The day we read from your email.


And we're going to begin with a note from David Levy of St. Louis, who was struck by our story about the Vesey Street staircase at Ground Zero in New York. It's the only surviving above ground remnant of the World Trade Center and yesterday the National Trust for Historic Preservation named it one of the 11 most endangered places in the country.

NORRIS: David Levy writes, "When my wife and I were in New York in 2004 we went to Ground Zero. As we walked along the fences and were about to turn the corner to leave the area, I turned around for one last look. It was at that moment that I saw those stairs. They were like a punch in the stomach and I could not help but wonder what could have made them survive. They haunt me to this day. I was not sure anybody else had seen them or had felt anything at their inexplicable survival. Thank you for the story."

SPIEGEL: Our stories on legal immigration have brought in a number of emails, mostly from people who have dealt with the immigration system or who have relatives who have.

NORRIS: Jim Wright sent this note of thanks to our reporter Jennifer Ludden for her series and adds this, "I've been trying to get a visa for my wife for the last 11 months. My friends and family are astonished that something so simple takes so long. They no longer wonder why so many people choose to immigrate illegally."

SPIEGEL: Michele spoke with pharmacist Alan Julius about the coming deadline for seniors to enroll in the Medicare prescription drug plan. He said he didn't think the program was working very well. Well, Maryanne Eddins (ph) from Perdido, Alabama, disagrees and shares this story.

"My mom, who is 93-years-old, had a $350 a month prescription drug expense until I enrolled her in Medicare part D in January. All it took was a phone call to the pharmacy that dispenses her meds. They reviewed the plans that were available and sent me a summary that included the drugs she needed. Her monthly expenses are now $130 for the same medications. I initially thought that the proposed part D plan would be a disaster, but it really helped my mom."

NORRIS: And while we're on the subject of health, or lack thereof, many of you wrote in after hearing Luke Burbank's story about Flaming Hot Cheetos. Luke visited a school in Pasadena, California, where the kids couldn't get enough of the snacks.

NORRIS: I like them so much. They're my favorite. When I eat Hot Cheetos I get crazy.

NORRIS: I just love Hot Cheetos. I love them so much.

NORRIS: The kids love them so much the school's principal banned the snacks.

SPIEGEL: And school teacher Jonathan Ericsson of Mar Vista, California, understands. He has seen the Flaming Hot Cheetos fad first hand. Ericsson writes, "Once, a girl shrieked so loud that my whole class fell silent. I asked what was wrong. 'I got Flaming Hot Cheetos in my eye,' she cried. Many students sighed. Sadly they knew her pain."

NORRIS: And finally, Betsy Rogers of Seattle had this to say about the Cheetos story. "Curse you, NPR," she writes. "Almost a year ago to the day I tipped the scales at 200 pounds. I decided it was time for a renewed commitment to health and fitness. So, imagine my dismay as I was driving home from an hour workout at the gym to hear Luke Burbank's story on Flaming Hot Cheetos. I felt like Homer Simpson, mmm, Cheetos, salty, crunchy, spicy. What could be better? I couldn't get them out of my head. I kept rattling on about them to my husband during our evening walk. So to shut me up, we had to stop at our local convenience store. Fortunately, the only carried a small bag, but we still added almost 350 empty calories to our waistlines. Thanks a lot."

SPIEGEL: So, what have we done for you lately? Write to us. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the top of the page. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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