Letters: Hayden, Housewares, Santas

Listeners responded to the interview about the late U.S. Sen. Carl Hayden of Arizona, to the story about the closing of a Boston-area housewares chain, and the interview about Santas and the swine flu vaccine. Robert Siegel reads from listeners' letters.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Time, now, for your letters. This week, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia became the longest serving member of Congress in history. He surpassed the late Carl Hayden of Arizona. And while discussing Hayden's career this week, our guest mentioned the Native American leader Geronimo, whom he called Navajo. Well, as many of you pointed out, Geronimo was not Navajo, but Apache.

Also this week, we checked in with Bowl and Board, the struggling Boston area housewares chain, after it declared bankruptcy and now faces liquidation. It was a story that Rafe Semmes of Savannah, Georgia knows all too well. He once ran a nearly 100-year-old wholesale hardware firm. And he writes: It nearly killed me to do what the owner of Bowl and Board finally had to do - shut the doors. And he continues: Thank you for bringing this story to your listeners. Economic fallouts like this happen to real people who are our neighbors, our friends and our economic families.

Finally, yesterday, we heard about the concerns of many Santa Clauses out there who worry that their work with kids makes them vulnerable to swine flu. Michael Hallstone(ph) of Makaha, Hawaii heard this story with his four-year-old daughter, who pointed out a major factual error in our reporting. Mr. Hallstone writes this: NPR should know what children everywhere know, there is only one Santa Claus, not many.

While NPR typically does a great job fact-checking their reports, I think this time they owe the thousands of children listening to that story an apology and correction. Well, to all the kids who may have heard our slip up, we apologize. Looks like we've just been bumped from the nice to the naughty list.

Keep those letters coming, you can write to us by going to NPR.org and clicking on Contact Us.

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