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Katie Couric

I have always admired and enjoyed watching Katie Couric on NBC’s Today show. She is very real and refreshing. Katie deserves every penny of her new salary, but I do think she could afford (and deserves) to splurge a little on herself. What an amazing talent, a true natural. You go, girl!

Yvette Minnor, El Cajon, Calif.

Katie Couric is worth all that and more. She is intelligent, works hard, and the chemistry between her, Matt, Ann and Al is second to none. She deserves every dime.

Mj Hughes, Milton, Del.

I haven’t even opened my copy of this week’s PEOPLE, but the answer to the question on your cover is an emphatic “No.” Katie Couric is good at what she does, but no one deserves to be paid $65 million to sit on a couch for three hours a day when so many other talented folk are being laid off, fired or cut to part-time hours due to the slowing economy. I’m almost embarrassed for her.

Libbey Wade, Gastonia, N.C.

Why don’t you ask the police, fire and EMS personnel and their families (talking about personal tragedy) of the City of New York, whose combined salaries probably don’t amount to that much in a year, if they think the actual work Katie does is worth that amount of money?

Mike Brown, Mesa, Ariz.

Is Katie Couric worth $65 million? Did she bring about world peace or discover a cure for cancer or AIDS? What do you think?

Connie Jo Wilson, Cincinnati, Ohio

Katie Couric is beautiful, intelligent, talented and a great television hostess. But a $65 million contract? Where are the priorities in this world? I’m a teacher who absolutely loves my job. But after college, graduate school and nearly eight years of teaching under my belt, I still struggle to pay my mortgage and car payments.

Susan Edelen, South Jordan, Utah

Thousands of people face the loss of a spouse or sibling without the financial resources and public support that Katie has. While her grief is certainly wrenching, it is not unique.

Sandra Ettlinger, Morristown, N.J.

Katie Couric worth $65 million? Hardly! If anybody is worth that, it’s Diane Sawyer. Her intelligence, poise and sophistication make Couric look like a schoolgirl.

Kathy Ryan, Middlebury, Ind.

I am very happy for Katie Couric and her new $65 million contract. I for one would pay that much to be able to sit next to Matt Lauer very morning!

Patty Blake, Ballston Spa, N.Y.

Style Watch

In the Star Talk section you ask, “What would you splurge on if you won the lottery?” A cute question, to be sure. But to ask it of Kelsey Grammer, who signed a $75 million deal to continue playing Frasier (that’s $1.6 million per episode), is ludicrous. If he won the lottery? Dr. Crane, it seems to me, has already won!

Jay T.Smith, Highland Park, III.

Picks & Pans

With regard to Leah Rozen’s review of The Shipping News, I’d like to speak up for Newfoundlanders. Many of us do speak with thick accents. Some of us do make a “gobble-down” seal flipper pie. And, yes, some Newfoundlanders are definitely eccentric. But let me assure you that the people of this island are warmhearted and compassionate—just ask any of the thousands of travelers who were stranded here as a result of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and were welcomed into Newfoundlanders’ hearts and homes.

Jean Knowles, St. John’s, Nfld.

Organ Transplant

Congratulations on your article detailing the very dangerous process of solid-organ transplant. It did my heart good to read the story and the very important message about the shortage of donors. Hopefully your readers will come away with a greater awareness and understanding of this life-and-death issue and sign an organ-donor card.

David Hegarty, Toms River, N.J.

Mattie Stepanek

Eleven-year-old poet Mattie Stepanek’s story really got to me. The fact that someone who is so young and is faced with a tragic disease and its consequences can have such depth of character is heartwarming. Mattie and his mother epitomize the saying “From adversity comes strength.” God bless them both.

Debra Vester, Oolitic, Ind.

Star Tracks

George Clooney may have taken his vintage Harley for a spin around Malibu, but the bike he’s pictured on is neither vintage nor Harley. Just keeping you honest.

John Hawk, Valencia, Calif.