A New Orleans nursing home failed to evacuate 34 patients, and the patients died [front page, Sept. 14]. A hospital failed to evacuate 45 patients, and they died [front page, Sept. 12]. Also abandoned in Hurricane Katrina were the prisoners at the city jail. Two on a lower level drowned, and some escaped when the roof started to blow off.

In contrast, the Royal Sonesta Hotel successfully evacuated all its guests because the manager stayed on the job, made a phone call and chartered some buses [news story, Sept. 11].

I never thought I would look to a hotel chain for a heartwarming story.

EUGENE G. WINDCHY

Alexandria

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Regarding President Bush's speech [front page, Sept. 16]:

There was not one mention about how to pay the bill. That's not surprising, coming from a president who has yet to see a spending bill that he hasn't signed or a tax reduction scheme that he hasn't embraced. Calling it "reckless" doesn't go far enough.

ED RADER

Alexandria

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How does one explain a no-government -- forget limited-government -- president putting forth an FDR-style New Deal?

And urban homesteading [news story, Sept. 16]? For a moment, I thought it was 1889 and Benjamin Harrison was announcing the Oklahoma Land Run.

Or did President Bush somehow channel Huey Long, who promised New Orleans the biggest pork barrel project in history?

GEORGE HENSON

Dallas

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The politics of Hurricane Katrina amaze me. Here's one example:

Cuba offered in early September to immediately send to Houston 100 clinicians and specialists in comprehensive general medicine. These medical personnel would bring with them medications and basic diagnosis kits, and within a few days Cuba could send 1,000 additional trained personnel with such equipment and medications [news story, Sept. 4].

This offer reflects a long tradition of the Castro government supplying medical aid to underserved areas, mainly Africa.

The Bush administration has not accepted the offer, of course. I'm sure the tens of thousands of medically deprived Katrina victims in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi appreciated this strong show of anti-communism.

CHESTER HARTMAN

Washington

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In two weeks of extensive coverage of Katrina's devastation, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has been mentioned only as a facilitator of short-term, low-income housing.

However, HUD's experience in helping with planning and development of cities and communities is desperately needed when the future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is being discussed.

Perhaps HUD could establish a task force of leading planners from this country and abroad to help guide the future of this hurricane-ravaged part of the country.

ANN SATTERTHWAITE

Washington

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Charles Krauthammer ["Where to Point the Fingers," op-ed, Sept. 9] stuck his neck out and included President Bush and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on his list of those who did not perform well in responding to Hurricane Katrina.

But he put New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin (D) as No. 1 on his list without listing A.J. Holloway (R), the mayor of Biloxi, Miss. He put Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) as No. 2 on his list without listing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R). That is quite telling.

Poor people weren't bused out of areas of Mississippi or Alabama either. Did those mayors and governors do anything different? Or is the difference just that Ms. Blanco and Mr. Nagin are Democrats and Mr. Halloway, Mr. Barbour and Bob Riley, governor of Alabama, are Republicans?

And I wonder where Mr. Krauthammer learned that "there is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period."

Ocean temperatures have risen, and hurricanes thrive on warmer oceans. Where is Mr. Krauthammer's proof for his assertion?

LINDA MOORING

Fairfax