IT WAS WITH sadness and disgust that I learned of the closing of many of the city of Philadelphia's public libraries in the face of a massive budget deficit.

How is it that rich sports teams have been able to bamboozle the public out of their hard-earned money on a consistent basis, obtaining long-term, guaranteed handouts so that owners of teams like the Eagles, Phillies, Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins have not had to dig very deep into their pockets to finance lavish stadiums. But institutions which enrich us are guaranteed nothing, having to beg elected officials for sufficient appropriations to keep operating each year?

Will we ever learn that a professional sports facility is in danger of closing due to revenue shortfalls? Not a chance!

If mammoth ticket and broadcast revenues are not enough, all that the greedy owners need do is to demand more, more, more, and simple-minded public officials will oblige them, foolishly considering sports to be critical to our well-being.

Oren M. Spiegler,

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

I am furious that Mayor Nutter would even consider giving the Mummers $300,000 for their parade while he is insisting that libraries and fire houses must be closed and that city workers be laid off due to the city's financial "crisis."

The Philadelphia Corporation on Aging has daily adds on KYW describing senior citizens who can't afford to heat their homes. There also are stories about various soup kitchens that are in dire need of funds because of the increase in the number of people who need their services.

It was bad enough that the mayor allowed the Phillies Parade (costing at least $1,000,000). It is clear to me that Mayor Nutter is just another in a long line of politicians who talk about "change" but who actually continue the same worn-out, anti-worker policies.

John Jaros, Philadelphia

Lend an ear

I hate people who lack proper cellphone etiquette.

A few friends of mine will ask "Who's That?" after I'm done talking to someone on my cell.

I just tell them it's none of their business!

Matt Engel, Wilkes-Barre

Time out on Obama

You have got to be kidding me. How can Time magazine name Obama Man of the Year? For what? Being black? Being elected president? Being a first term senator?

Someone please tell me what he has done to merit such an honor? I will tell you: Nothing. Give CNN the Man of the Year award for getting Obama elected. For god's sake Mens Health had him on the cover and he smokes.

Ken Carchidi, Philadelphia