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A great big . . . miss

February 27, 2009

Re "Obama forgoes grand projects," Feb. 23

This article's subhead shouts, "Unlike the marvels of FDR's New Deal, the stimulus is more about traffic, sewers and school repairs."

Grand projects or not, President Obama's stimulus plan seems to have missed the mark by a wide margin. How many of those people losing their jobs at Mervyns, Circuit City, Starbucks or even Lehman Bros. can put on a hard hat and find jobs repairing schools, building bridges or replacing aging sewers?

Very, very few, I suspect.

David Coffin

Los Angeles


The Times reports that "the Bay Area city of Hercules drew heat for listing a duck pond park and dog park as possible uses for stimulus money," as did the proposed restoration of the National Mall.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, March 03, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 22 Editorial pages Desk 1 inches; 49 words Type of Material: Correction
Hoover Dam: The caption on a photo of Hoover Dam that ran Feb. 27 said: "Under FDR, the U.S. built huge dams, such as Hoover Dam, to spur economic recovery." Construction of the dam began under President Hoover and was completed in 1935, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term.

What those opposed to both the New Deal's initiatives and Obama's stimulus package forget is that the nation's most beloved parks were created or improved by the Works Progress Administration or the Civilian Conservation Corps. These civilian armies also created forests that have added immeasurably to the nation's commonwealth and planted innumerable trees now gracing towns and cities in their maturity.

These unmarked gifts may not be as dramatic as Grand Coulee Dam, but they have improved the lives of generations of Americans without their knowledge. Why should we do less for our posterity?

Gray Brechin


The writer is a project scholar for California's Living New Deal Project.

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