If people had wanted to see what democracy looks like in Louisiana, they should have tried to attend the hearing on a proposed hotel development in Fontainebleau State Park held one recent evening in Mandeville. About 1,000 protesters showed up, only to discover that the venue held about 200 people and had been packed by supporters of the development two hours before the scheduled hearing, thus preventing opponents from expressing their opposition.

The idea of a hotel complex, and ultimately a floating casino, on a precious piece of wild land set aside by Louisiana taxpayers for the benefit of all, and providing access to the tranquility of nature, is preposterous and appalling. And to deny the public its right to express its opposition to the proposal is reprehensible. We should note that a much larger venue was offered to the mayor, who rejected the idea, and it is not hard to see why.

Dan Purrington

retired physicist

Metairie