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Letters: Tap-Water Critics, and Lewis Libby

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Letters: Tap-Water Critics, and Lewis Libby

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Letters: Tap-Water Critics, and Lewis Libby

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Each Thursday, we read from your e-mail.


And my conversation about bottled water inspired quite a few of you to write. I spoke with Charles Fishman, who looked into the business of bottled water for an article in Fast Company magazine. And it was this comment that brought in the mail.

Mr. CHARLES FISHMAN (Senior Editor, Fast Company): The bottled water somehow calls into question the tap water. But in fact, the additional marvel or the real marvel is that the tap water system, the municipal water systems in this country are incredibly safe and provide darn good drinking water to 300 million people everyday.

BLOCK: Obviously, you haven't lived in the southwest, explains Marci Madsen(ph) of Scottsdale, Arizona, who is no fan of her local tap water. While it may be safe to drink, she writes, it smells awful and tastes terrible.

SIEGEL: Salvator Babonas(ph) of Pittsburg writes, my own municipal tap water is excellent at the source, but the last mile of pipe to my house is a century old, as are the pipes in my house. As a result, my tap water is far from the odorless, colorless, tasteless liquid it should be.

BLOCK: And Bruce Walker(ph) of Los Angeles described this experience. A few years ago, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was concerned about people buying bottled water and sent out a flier saying that tap water was safe. I wrote back saying I was sure it was safe. It just didn't taste good. I got a call from someone in the LADWP and I explained my situation. He asked where I lived and I said the harbor area. His reply? Yeah, the water is pretty bad down there.

SIEGEL: Well, a number of you were unhappy with the statement that was made during our discussion of the commutation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence. One of our political analysts suggested that people outside Washington, D.C., don't care about this controversy.

BLOCK: We'll let Diana Stickney(ph) of Phoenix, Arizona, sum up what many of you wrote.

SIEGEL: I have followed this case closely for the past four years, she writes. I've also passionately followed all the news and events about our war in Iraq. Please, do not insult me with the assumption that I am not interested and concerned about this or any other matter of our national government just because I live 2,000 plus miles away from Washington, D.C.

BLOCK: Listener Thomas Goodrich(ph) was upset by something he didn't hear in our review of this past Supreme Court term. We spoke with two legal scholars, including Douglas Kmiec of Pepperdine University. Goodrich points out that we didn't mention that Kmiec's son was, until recently, a clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts. We were not aware of that fact. If we were, we would have included it.

SIEGEL: Finally, our story about the economic troubles of Skowhegan, Maine, brought this e-mail from listener Marian Rye(ph). She now lives in Riverside, Rhode Island, but grew up in Skowhegan in the 1950s.

BLOCK: There was poverty then, too, she writes. Sometimes, dinner was nothing but apples from an orchard nearby or a bowl of popcorn. But the richess of growing up in that place and time are what I remember most. The beauty of the countryside with its farms, pine and birch forests, the wild Kennebec rushing along beside the Canaan Road, and the high Maine sky with its rolling cloudbanks. We had endless forays into the woods and hills, where we would snack on wild strawberries and blueberries in summer. Spruces come in winter.

SIEGEL: If you have memories, praise, or criticism to share, write us. Go to and click on contact us at the top of the page.

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