MY FRIEND Brian Way was murdered on June 13 in North Philly in a store in which there were patrons and people working behind the counter. Yet a full three days later, the police were no closer to solving the case.

I visited this store as we stood out there and shared memories of a father, a friend and a relative. His wife has been the tower of strength.

What I can't understand is how an entire community has become prisoners to a mindset that "No one says or sees anything." I'm 38, and my generation may have been the last in which a community looked after one another.

The community of those days wouldn't let a murderer cut down someone, and walk down the street.

The community of those days had stores with proprietors who knew everyone in the neighborhood and took pride in the fact that they were part of the community.

The community of those days was a tight-knit group who looked after each other's children.

The community of today has the mentality of "Don't you touch my child."

The community of today has "bulletproof" takeout stores with proprietors who feel as long as they put a baby picture up on the glass, they've done their part for the community.

The community of today collectively does not "see" anything. We hear so much about "change" and "progress." Unfortunately the "progress" of society has regressed to a point that no one cares about anyone.

Charles L. Herndon III, Philadelphia

Bravo for Senate frugality

On behalf of my family and our workers, I'd like to thank the state senators who voted to pass the 2009-10 state budget (SB 850). I encourage their colleagues in the House to do the same. We all need to live within our means.

I know many local community programs could be affected by the cuts. But these are the same challenges families and small businesses are already dealing with in their own budgets. More spending means higher taxes. And higher taxes only will squeeze our communities even more. Please don't rely on Main Street to bail out state government.

That will only lead to fewer jobs and a weaker Pennsylvania in the long run.

Tom Borneman, Lansdale

Kudos to Stacy

What a beautiful tribute by Stacy Heenan Biscardi to her husband for Father's Day. Fathers aren't often shown in such a loving and warm way.

Benjamin E. Zuckerman, Philadelphia

Tiller was no hero

Though I pray for the soul of George Tiller, I don't mourn him as a hero.

Who was he to choose who is to live and die just because they have a birth defect? (So did Stephen Hawking.)

P.S. God bless Ben Stein and Christine Flowers, they are true saints to me.

Carlo P. Nardizzi, Coatesville

Questionable photo

In what universe is putting a picture of a 6-year-old in a coffin in the paper a good idea?

Please explain!

John Zemek, Philadelphia