PENNSYLVANIA can't afford to turn its back on stimulus dollars, and state lawmakers should be held accountable for depriving 29,000 unemployed people of the federal funds that can put food on their table.

The state's convoluted eligibility formula that excludes income from an unemployment-insurance claimant's two most recent wage quarters might have been justifiable before the days of computers, but it should no longer provide an excuse for not acting quickly and responsibly to modify the rules.

Drawing on Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds is a patriotic move that will stimulate spending and boost local economies. It is also the humane thing to do when neighbors, like me, are struggling to meet mortgage payments, feed their families, and find a job.

Sydelle Zove, Board Member

Philadelphia Unemployment Project

Conshohocken

Right on, Christine

Re the May 5 op-ed by Christine Flowers:

I don't believe in anyone taking the law into his own hands, as what was done to Jose Carrasquillo. But what was amazing was how the community got together on a common cause, the safety of their neighborhood. They didn't ignore what had happened to an 11-year-old.

I know what it's like to lose a first-born grandson, Michael White, two years ago, and no one who saw the killers would do anything to bring them to their due justice. I'm happy to know that there are still concerned people out there who care enough to act when needed.

Thanks to Christine for the insight and fine writing in her article. She looked at both sides of the situation.

Charlotte White, Philadelphia

Punishment

Re the letter "The Presumption of Innocence" from Rob Boyden:

I wholeheartedly agree with Boyden's assertion that Kaboni Savage is innocent of these new charges until proven guilty.

That said, if the horrific remarks attributed to Savage are found to be true, there isn't an electric chair hot enough to sufficiently punish him. If he isn't executed, I sincerely hope he enjoys a year in prison for each of the 121 words in Boyden's misguided defense of this convict's constitutional rights.

Tom McCourt, Philadelphia

Fearful & bigoted talk

I'm declaring it un-American to call other Americans "un-American." It boggles the mind at how often the labels "un-American," "socialist" and "fascist" are thrown about. They are being used to bolster fear and bigotry.

Michele Evanglist, Aston