AS THE TRADITION of ringing in the New Year in Philadelphia with the Mummers approaches, we appreciate Stu Bykofsky's column (Dec. 3) noting the improvements parade-goers can look forward to this year, from better views at the City Hall judging area to shorter gaps between performances. The column notes 1,200 ticketed bleacher seats - in fact, more than 1,500 seats will be available to fans at the enhanced Grandstand entertainment zone on JFK Boulevard between 15th and 16th streets. Tickets for these bleacher seats are available through the Independence Visitor Center.

Each year, we've increased the number of bleacher seats at the parade to provide lifelong fans, first-timers, local residents and tourists alike with exclusive views of the spectacle of more than 10,000 Mummers marching toward City Hall. There are many family-friendly elements to this year's event: the comfort and improved views of the bleacher seats, six performance zones, places to get warm, refreshments and endless entertainment. The 2013 parade will continue to be a bigger, more terrific showcase for all ages of Philadelphia's rich history and creativity of our people.

Leo Dignam

Deputy commissioner

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

A bunch of poop

Re: "Poop Troops" (Daily News, Dec. 3).

The city of Philadelphia will become nothing but poop if they don't start enforcing the law that was created for this. The mayor needs to up the ante and make the fines more like $150 or $200, not $25.

My husband and I are fed up too just like Janet and Joe (creators of the program). We should not be accepting what these dog owners are doing.

Mr. Mayor, please don't cater to people that are being lazy and ignorant. We need a cleaner Philadelphia.

Come together, already - these people need to stop being permitted to ignore the law. I'm sure a few big fines would make them carry a bag.

We don't have enough police, they are fighting crime, but wouldn't it be great if, while driving around the neighborhood, the cop could just ask these knuckleheads if they have a bag? We can't follow all of them home (which I have done, and left their dog doo on their step).

Do I want to walk around Olde City in 95-degree weather, take a whiff of cans containing dog doo? No. Make people be responsible.

Dog doo is waste. Pick it up and take it home.

Don't get a pet if you can't take care of it; their poop is part of taking care of it. I think the intention of Janet and Joe is good, I don't agree with assisting lazy people to break the law.

K. Rhoads

Philadelphia

Bob Costas and guns

I'm no gun nut or Second Amendment fanatic, but I agree wholeheartedly with Will Bunch (Best of the Blogs, Dec. 5) that Bob Costas had absolutely no business giving that speech about gun control at halftime of a football game, something I found to have been extremely self-serving on his part. Not only was what he did flat-out stupid, Costas expressed what I thought was incredible naiveté on the subject.

If the assassination of a sitting president (JFK) and the attempt on the life of a second (Ronald Reagan), the senseless slayings of beloved celebrities like John Lennon or horrific massacres such as Columbine couldn't move the needle on comprehensive gun control, how will the murder-suicide of a previously unknown football player and his girlfriend change anything? Short answer, it won't, and anyone with one working brain cell knows that. Talking heads like Costas should stick with what they know; when they veer into arenas beyond their knowledge, they invariably wind up looking like fools who deserve all the outrage they get from the public when they open their mouths and ram both feet inside.

Jeffrey C. Branch

Philadelphia

Will Bunch responds: My sarcasm may have been too subtle. To be clear, I reject the absurd notion that there's never a right time to talk about America's gun culture. I think Bob Costas's monologue was courageous and, as the article concludes, "It was absolutely the right thing to do."

Stop means stop

It has become a daily occurrence that as I drive through Delaware County, West Philly and all the little towns that make up the tri-state area. I find that people of all races and ages in vehicles of all shapes and sizes refuse to fully stop for stop signs. These are not "pause" or "roll slowly through intersection" signs, they are STOP signs. How many accidents could be avoided if people would just stop, look both ways and then proceed. I know that hit-and-runs are usually caused by impaired drivers, distracted driving and aggressive driving, but if we could give ourselves five extra minutes before we leave our present location, fender-benders and hit-and- then-stop incidents would be greatly reduced.

Just common sense.

David Nardy

Lansdowne