The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) will waste $200 million building the Route 202 Parkway, a 19th-century road to accommodate the needs of a 21st-century metropolis ("Route 202 parkway gains approval," April 27). What colossal stupidity.

Instead of giving the region an eight-lane, limited-access highway that would aid commerce and reduce commute times, PennDot will simply add to the Philadelphia region's inventory of highways with insufficient capacity (the Northeast Extension, the Blue Route, the Schuylkill Expressway, to name but a few). Does this agency ever see highways built in other states, in other metropolitan areas? The first flat tire during rush hour will shut down the road completely.

What an embarrassment.

David J. Gibboni

Puppy mills

My sympathy goes out to Lewis and Stephanie Ostrander, whose puppy, Maya, died of canine parvovirus ("Couple sue Pa. dog breeder under N.J. law," April 19). Let's hope this tragic case is a warning to others never to buy animals from breeding kennels or puppy mills.

Puppy mills - which supply puppies to pet stores - raise dogs in cramped, crude, filthy conditions. Female dogs are bred repeatedly and are usually destroyed when they can no longer produce puppies. Both the puppies and their mothers routinely suffer from malnutrition, exposure and a lack of adequate veterinary care. Diseases such as parvovirus run rampant.

If someone is thinking of adding a dog or cat to his family, the best place to find a new companion is a local animal shelter, where there is never a shortage of loving, healthy animals of all shapes, sizes and ages waiting for homes.

Matthew Mongiello

Gun killings

On the same day The Inquirer dedicated seven pages to stories about the shootings at Virginia Tech, there was a story about a shooting in Japan ("Nagasaki mayor shot to death," April 18).

The story went on to say that in Japan, where handguns are strictly banned, the entire country had 53 known shootings last year. In Philadelphia, there there will soon be 100 more killings than this.

I don't know whether it's too late, but our elected officials must try to end the sales of these weapons.

Gary D. Rooney