LIKE MANY, I have concerns about President Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan. But I'm a little skeptical about Sen. Arlen Specter's sudden opposition to the increase.

By coming out so forcefully against the president's plan, calling it a "venture" and not worth American lives or money, it seems like Specter has something to prove.

Is he trying to demonstrate his independence from his new political patron? Is he trying to convince the left he's really "one of them"?

I'm not sure I agree with Obama, but I believe he weighed the situation carefully and came to the decision he thinks is best for the American people. I'm not convinced the same can be said of Specter.

Mary Cellucci, Broomall

How Tiger lost me

Thanks, Daniel Cirucci, for your op-ed on Tiger Woods. I couldn't care less about him, his golf game or whether his wife probably beat the heck out of him with his own golf club.

Year ago, when Woods made that stupid statement on "Oprah" that he didn't consider himself a black man, but something called "Cablinasian," something nobody ever heard of but him, I was done.

That one asinine statement took me right over the edge of apathy! When the average working person is concentrating on the economy, his next paycheck, and will she be able to pay the mortgage next month, Woods pales in comparison to "real life."

Ajay Jones, Philadelphia

Dave Roberts, gentleman

Farewell to Dave Roberts, retiring from 6ABC after a long career.

His genteel manner shall be missed enormously. In 2006, Roberts was gracious to mail me a letter in response to a query. He autographed the envelope in addition to the letter. God bless Mr. Dave and much happiness!

Mark Anthony Vare, Philadelphia

What W. didn't do

For years, everybody bashed George W. Bush - he did this and he did that and nothing he did helped us out.

But he didn't promise us a mortgage relief package, didn't promise us a stimulus package and, most important, didn't say "I promise to bring home our troops by September 2009" as a campaign attention-getter to get elected president.

Bush may have made some bad decisions, but at least he didn't say one thing and do the complete opposite.

Andrew J. Dankanich, Philadelphia

Great diabetes section!

A big thank you for the work of Becky Batcha, Karl Stark, Alejandro Alvarez and Darla Synnestvedt, who spent time with us in preparation for the Nov. 19 Diabetes Supplement.

We're grateful for the inclusion of the Diabetes Education Center at Pennsylvania Hospital. We've experienced an increase in calls for service from community members and colleagues alike. The supplement was a wonderful way to keep the public informed about new trends and resources.

Regina N. Linehan, Director

Diabetes Educ. Center, Pennsylvania Hospital

Bicyclist victim

While assisting a homeless person near Broad and Walnut, I was almost run over by a bicyclist who left the area after giving me the finger for being in his way at the crosswalk. I'm glad police are stepping up their patrols regarding reckless cyclists.

Greg Bucceroni, Philadelphia

Bikers & cyclists

Now that the PPA is converting to kiosks instead of meters, the poles will be converted to bike racks. Good news for cyclists. Safe, secure, and free parking are much needed.

But did anyone give any consideration as to where a motorcyclist is going to stick his parking receipt from the kiosks? If you leave it on the bike, it either blows away or can be stolen.

So, I agree, if anyone is to enforce bike regulations, the PPA is your man. Stay tuned for A&E's "Schwinn Wars."

Lonnie Goldiner, Philadelphia

The Dirty News

How is a family man trying to raise sons and daughters with some decent moral values supposed to bring home the paper when the sports section is infested with ads large and small for XXX adult video stores and so-called gentlemen's clubs?

J. Kelly, Philadelphia