The Pennsauken Mart is finally history. The controversial demise of the mart came April 26. A new era will begin, according to Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli. Pennsauken will be the "gateway to Camden County."

Over the years, plans for the site included a civic center housing a hockey arena and a condo complex for people 55 and older, complete with a boathouse, lake and underground parking. They were nixed.

Now, according to an article by Inquirer reporter Ed Colimore, the property will become housing, a commercial space and possibly a hotel ("State will provide county $16.5 million for mart site," April 25). That's just great - more families coming, adding to Pennsauken's already-overcrowded school system.

I now travel to Willingboro to my new store at the Grand Marketplace, where more than 170 stores are located. (Thirty-three Pennsauken Mart merchants have relocated there with me.) Driving home, I travel through the several towns in the Route 130 corridor. One sees the excitement of the new construction that has been done there. Then I enter the "gateway to Camden County" and see nothing but rubble.

Kerry Yobb
Cherry Hill
Yobb is former president of the Pennsauken Mart Merchants Association.

Nab illegal guns

My compliments on The Inquirer's article on the arrest of three men for illegal gun sales ("22 guns, 3 men seized on the street," April 26). I only regret that the article was not put on the newspaper's front page.

The criminal activity associated with the black-market sale of arms has long been ignored by our law enforcement agencies, especially the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF). The bureau is primarily responsible for investigating these crimes, but its position at the bottom of the federal law enforcement food chain has left them under-staffed and under-funded for many decades.

The net effect of this unfortunate situation is that distressed socioeconomic areas with high crime rates become free trade zones for illegally obtained firearms. The gangs of straw purchasers that canvas the country with fake identification know there is virtually no chance that the BATF will catch them. With that knowledge and the potential profits to be made on the inner-cities black markets, the guns keep pouring in.

Three men were arrested and that is a good thing. The bad news is that there are scores, maybe hundreds, of other black-market arms dealers out there operating with near impunity. Until the feds make this a priority case classification and put the resources into investigative efforts, the problem will continue no matter how restrictive gun ownership or purchasing regulations become.

Douglas L. Green
North Wales

Let nurses nurse

In every other state, advanced practice nurses are allowed to provide care to the fullest extent of their education. However, Pennsylvania's archaic laws don't keep pace with current standards and block patient access to primary care by nurses. For patients, this means more cost for less care.

Gov. Rendell proposes to get us in step with the rest of the nation in his Prescription for Pennsylvania. This plan will improve access to primary care, reduce costs, and maintain high standards if nurses are allowed to deliver the care they're trained to provide. A medical practice virtually doubles the number of patients treated when one nurse practitioner joins the staff.

The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association urges you to contact legislators and demand that the commonwealth adopt the same regulations as the rest of the nation. Pennsylvania's 200,000 nurses are ready and willing to help. Together, we can improve patient access to care.

Nancy C. Sharts-Hopko, Ph.D., RN
Bryn Mawr