EVERY TIME I turn on the news, there's another murder in Philadelphia. Born and raised here, it breaks my heart.

An election is coming up, and everyone has a "solution." They say there are no jobs. But you have to crawl before you walk. I graduated from college in 1972, and jobs were almost impossible to find. I worked for the minimum wage at Strawbridge's for two years. When they asked me to work on my days off, I was there. A great experience!

Before leaving, the company offered me a position in management. I declined. But you never know who is watching you.

Minimum wage, or a little more, what does it matter? Half a loaf is better than none. Sacrifice - does anyone know what it means today? You can't buy a Hummer now, you can't hang out all night, you can't buy designer stuff yet. You can't continue to have baby after baby with different daddies, with no intent to work or continue your education.

Children learn by example. Stop the babbling. Stop pointing fingers. Take responsibility for this once wonderful city's decline.

Here's the question: Do we really want to change? One step at a time!

Carol Afonso-Durant, Philadelphia

D.A. is right, Mr. Mayor

D.A. Lynne Abraham is the only person in city government that has the guts to tell the mayor how she feels about crime.

Everyone knows that on this topic, Mayor Street has failed miserably. Street's retort to all of this was that Abraham has a personal vendetta against him. Wake up, Mr. Mayor. This is not personal. She is tired of the killings, just like the rest of us.

Your "town meetings" are too little, too late. Redeployment of officers has never been the answer. Redeploy them from where? You take them out of neighborhoods that still need them. That is not the answer.

Your "what can I do about it?" attitude is unacceptable. Kids are dying in the streets. Caught in the crossfire from the hoodlums that you can't get your police force to deal with. Stop trying to put the fire out with a water pistol. It is out of control.

Kenneth Carchidi, Philadelphia

Happy Valli

Hatred, anger, madness is all around us in its grandiose negativity. But not all is lost because one of my favorite vocal stylists, Francesco Castelluccio, turns 70 on May 3.

That's right, Mr. Frankie Valli.

Mark Anthony Vare, Philadelphia