EVERYONE who cares about the safety of our community should be watching closely as the House Liquor Control Committee meets today to consider state Rep. Mike Turzai's bill to privatize the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits shops.

Turzai's original bill, HB 11, would eliminate the shops in one step. But the committee is considering other provisions that would lead to the slow destruction of thousands of jobs and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue. These steps would greatly increase the number of stores and destroy an important and unmatched system of preventing sales to minors.

Where we now have some 620 stores, with the proposed changes to HB 11 we would have more than 10,000 sales outlets.

This number dwarfs even the largest number of private retail liquor and wine outlets projected in the report that Public Financial Management prepared for Gov. Corbett. It flies in the face of this year's report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that said that increased access leads to increased consumption and to increased alcohol-related problems and deaths. Why would we ignore the advice of our country's premier public-health watchdog?

The Wine and Spirits stores are not broke. We shouldn't risk our communities, jobs and reliable revenues on a fix they don't need.

Wendell W. Young, IV

President, United Food

and Commercial Workers Local

No, not Newt

Newt Gingrich made a statement about poor people being placed in jobs such as cleaning floors and toilets, and this is the way to keep them from becoming pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. A man who wants to become the president of the United States makes degrading remarks about the people of this country, and there are no repercussions because of his status. He should be censored for making such remarks.

If this man is allowed in the White House, it will be a disaster. The only thing that Gingrich is concerned with is getting President Obama out of the White House instead of trying to fix the economy or working with the president and other Democrats who are trying to rebuild this country's economy and bring jobs for the people who need it instead of lining the pockets of the rich.

Please, people of this great nation, do not allow the country to be taken over by the very people who have denied the elderly, poor and the middle class being able to live with dignity.

Lora Neal

Philadelphia