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Letters: Back-to-School Boom, Newhart
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Letters: Back-to-School Boom, Newhart

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Letters: Back-to-School Boom, Newhart

Letters: Back-to-School Boom, Newhart
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Listeners comment on the boom in back to school fundraisers, the American auto industry and Bob Newhart.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails. We talked last week about the boom in back-to-school fundraisers: the candy bars, wrapping paper and other trinkets students sell to raise money for their schools. More than a few of you brought up the issue of fundraising burnout.

Listener Tom Kilolay(ph) e-mailed from California with a suggestion from his school. Last year, he wrote, we decided to try something radical: drop the usual product-sale fundraiser and just ask for the money. The result is that we earned more than we did selling stuff and with a lot less effort.

Another listener, Sara Kinser(ph) is the president of her school's Parent Teacher Association in Denver. She pointed out it's not so easy for some schools. Our PTA is expected to raise over $35,000 this year. These funds are not for extras. They are for teachers. If we do not raise the funds, we have to cut our gym teacher or even one of or grade-level teachers.

News last week that several U.S. carmakers planned job cuts drove our conversation about the American auto industry. Can it compete with foreign brands, and what would make you consider buying American?

I don't understand why people still hang on to this patriotic view of consumerism when it comes to buying cars, wrote Kate(ph) in Charlotte, North Carolina. I think this point of view deprives the American automakers the incentive to make better cars. And why is it that American automakers can't produce better cars? What are the Japanese doing that we aren't?

Tom Cheney(ph) wondered: What is an American car. I'm desirous of buying American, he e-mailed, but does that mean a car built in the USA with the profits going to Japan, or a car built in Mexico or Canada with the profits going to Detroit? It's a bit of a conundrum.

Bob Newhart sat down for an interview on the show last Wednesday on his career and his new book. It's called: I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny. During the conversation, a listener called in to say how much she enjoyed Mr. Newhart's invention-of-golf routine.

Tom Wider(ph) in Ann Arbor, Michigan e-mailed a correction. The invention-of-golf routine was done by Robin Williams in his Live On Broadway show. He did credit Bob Newhart's routine about pitching the new game of baseball as part of the inspiration for his routine. Thanks to Tom for that correction.

If you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by e-mail. Our address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from, and give us some help on pronouncing your name.

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