Letters: W.Va. Mining Tragedy; Dollar Coins Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read letters from listeners.

Letters: W.Va. Mining Tragedy; Dollar Coins

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Time now for your comments. And first, Tom Blackburn(ph) of Haverhill, Florida, sent praise for our update yesterday from NPR's Howard Berkes on the investigation into last year's West Virginia mining tragedy.

He writes this: That coal mine disaster is one of those stories that usually comes and goes in American journalism. In the near future, those stories may even stop coming, since none of the victims were rich and famous, and some of the malefactors are.

But Mr. Berkes stuck with it, got to know the real people involved, probably knows more about it by this point than the officials he interviews and is doing a wonderful job of being both a reporter and a mensch.


Many of you also wrote in about our conversation with Planet Money's David Kestenbaum. He told us about the more than one billion one dollar coins currently sitting in government vaults not being used.

Well, Eric Wenrick(ph) of Fresno, California, knows of someone who might make good use of all those dollars: the Tooth Fairy.

SIEGEL: And Paul Weisenfeld(ph) of Venice, California, had this idea: NPR could give a dollar coin out as a prize for appearing on Weekend Edition's puzzle segments, and people can use them to buy Will Shortz's books. Instead of Carl Kassel's voice on a home answering machine, win a John Quincy Adams dollar or maybe get one for having a letter read on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

BLOCK: Headed your way, Paul Weisenfeld. And Madonna Laws-Lowell(ph) of St. Louis doesn't need to win one. She writes: I keep a sack of them in my car and several in my pocket. The smile I get from people when I pay with them is worth any miniscule inconvenience the coins pose. Everyone thinks they are so cool.

I give a sack of gold to all my nieces and nephews every year who think I'm the greatest Aunt in the world because of it. The pirate voice imitations alone are fantastic.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: I refuse to rise to the bait. Thank you for all of your letters. Heave more aboard at npr.org. Click contact us, or you'll walk the plank.

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