IN YOUR June 15 editorial (

"Serious Parole Violations, Disturbing Trends in New Parole Board Report"

) and the one on June 17, (

"Safety Money"

), you refer to the tragedy of the three children and a mother killed by an individual fleeing police.

No matter whether these individuals were involved in the juvenile or criminal-justice system, it's a horrible nightmare for the victims, family and community. However, you concluded from this story that it affirms the auditor general's report released last week. There is no connection to this case and the report.

The two individuals involved were not under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, as your editorials stated. They have not been in the state corrections or parole system. The alleged driver of the car was under the supervision of the juvenile court system.

On behalf of the board, our sympathies are with the victims' families and the community during this difficult time.

Catherine C. McVey, Chairman

Pa. Board of Probation and Parole

Harrisburg, Pa.

Ridiculous alarm tax

I wholeheartedly agree with letter-writer Cheryl Jackson.

The tax for having an alarm in your house is ridiculous. If we had proper protection in the first place, there'd be no need to have an alarm. I have one because when I lived in North Philadelphia, I walked in on a thief.

I promised myself I'd no longer live in a home without an alarm - I might not be as lucky the next time.

And what do I get for being victimized? A tax! And it's a tax that doesn't provide me with anything other than a warning that, if I don't pay it, I'll be fined if my alarm accidently goes off.

I've paid it, but it's totally unfair. They should tax you if you don't have one because you're not protecting yourself. Living in Philadelphia is getting expensive for the middle class. And if we move out, who's going to pay the taxes they need to keep running it?

Mary Lynn Kaiser, Philadelphia

Tax blunts & 40s

After reading Steve Fournier's letter about blunts and 40s being sold in Chinatown, I thought that if the city lets gas stations and convenience stores sell these (usually to teens) why not up the tax on them?

Seems every time I go into a small store or gas station, someone asks for Philly Blunts. Tax things that are leading to violence and truancy.

Steve, you hit it right on the head.

Laurence Barberra, Philadelphia

Hofmann whiffs

In his June 17 column, Rich Hofmann lashes the lawyers who leaked the names of players on the ostensibly anonymous list of those who tested positive for drugs in 2003.

It's an interesting posture for a journalist whose trade depends on the courage of whistle-blowers to stick their necks out.

These lawyers had nothing to gain but the satisfaction of exposing an insidious fraud perpetrated on baseball fans. Hofmann calls for them to be held in contempt. I'd suggest the same punishment for the reporters who failed to question the swelling stats and necks, instead cheering like rubes as juiced Sosa and McGuire played us all in their home-run race.

Andrew Glazer, Brooklyn, N.Y.

TV volume complaint

With all the technology, I wonder why Comcast and Verizon can't control the volume of each station. It's very annoying having to adjust the volume each time you change the channel.

William Palmer, Philadelphia

Behind the curve

In a recent speech, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared "we cannot tolerate North Korea becoming a nuclear state."

I have news for the secretary. It's a fait accompli - and he needs an intelligence update.

Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia