PENNDOT pain aside - and Ken Weinstein of the Trolley Car Diner got it right in telling it like it is - we are heartened by those who have stuck with us through the Germantown Avenue project.

Mount Airy has come a long way in recent years. As a business that has been on the avenue for 100 years, we've seen a lot of dedicated businesspeople open up stores, restaurants, salons and boutiques.

The Mount Airy corridor on Germantown Avenue has grown to be a very popular attraction and shopping destination. Our shop, Rothe Florists, has seen a dramatic increase in sales over the last four years, and have now noticed the impact of the Germantown Avenue closure. I am SO proud of our Mount Airy neighbors and surrounding folks who have supported the avenue merchants during this time.

But I'm shocked at the recent news that Gov. Rendell - who of all people, should KNOW what a closure like this can do to a business community in Philly - has not taken any action on this.

Not even a simple word of support to the community, or words to PennDOT to "Get a move on!"

The simple fact that he is not pushing PennDOT to finish this project on a TIMELY matter is beyond me. It's as if he just doesn't care.

Herb Rothe III, Philadelphia

Bucket brigade

It's in times of economic uncertainty and stress that the scam artists come out to prey on the unsuspecting public. With jars and buckets supporting every cause known to mankind, they abound at popular traffic intersections.

I was approached at Westmoreland and the Boulevard, and when I asked for ID and where their office was, they disappeared. Be careful, ask for ID, and, if you're not satisfied, don't contribute. You need it for a better cause - gasoline.

Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia