ISSUE | GOOD WORKS

Prevention focus

I had the privilege of working with Mildred Scott Olmsted when I was development director of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's national office in Philadelphia ("Historical markers honor great women of Pa.," March 23). Although she was near the end of her century of life, she was completely clear-minded.

Her explanation for her transition from social worker to activist for justice and peace holds a lesson that many today would benefit from. She said she "had been working to fix people after they fell off the cliff" and then "decided to work to prevent people from falling off the cliff."

|Phyllis Rubin, Wynnewood

ISSUE | CONVENTIONS

Whose ox?

The article on the Philadelphia Auto Show practically celebrated the cutting of labor costs, in part through lower wages, as if that is inherently and unquestionably a good thing ("With labor changes, Auto Show cut costs," March 22). Is The Inquirer a mouthpiece for Convention Center management?

This article showed just how far the newspaper has gone in speaking on behalf of the elite and leaving out a working-class perspective.

|Andrew Gold, Philadelphia

ISSUE | ROUGH RIDE

European know-how could save lives

Last June, my wife and I took a road trip through southern Germany ("Pave the way to better U.S.," March 22). The roads were in excellent condition compared with our roads' crazy quilt of patches.

A German associate in Doylestown told me of Germany's superior engineering and construction standards. By contrast, we build on the cheap and then fail to maintain. It's pay now or pay later, and later is more expensive, highly inconvenient, and, sometimes, dangerous.

|Michael Frank, Doylestown, mfrankplanner@gmail.com

Refunds due

I want a refund on the $2.3 billion midnight gas-tax increase passed last year, since state highway crews have failed to keep the roads smooth and pothole-free. As usual.

|Tom McCarey, Berwyn

ISSUE | CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Coach united a team, a city, and a nation

I don't always agree with The Inquirer, on many levels, but how could anyone make a better selection than Taney Dragons coach Alex Rice for the 2014 Citizen of the Year ("Inspiration for the city," March 22)? He brought together the team, the city, and the country. He assembled a team that reflects what America is all about.

|Andrew J. Anderson, Gloucester Township

ISSUE | ELECTIONS IN ISRAEL

Peace is waiting on Palestinian leaders

Trudy Rubin's comment on the failure of the so-called peace process fails to account for Palestinian leaders' refusal to take yes for an answer from any Israeli government and come to the negotiating table ("Fear-mongering secures win," March 19). They count on the United Nations, the Obama administration, and other nations and bodies hostile to Israel to try to do their bidding.

Israeli voters, in truly democratic fashion and in addition to overwhelmingly reelecting Benjamin Netanyahu, elected the highest number of women to the Knesset and made an Arab party the third-largest faction. This is in stark counterpoint to the Palestinian Authority, where Mahmoud Abbas is serving his 10th year.

Rather than the vote triggering the prospect of another Mideast war, it is the feckless appeasement of Iran by the Obama administration, and the continued indulgence of the Palestinian leadership's intransigence, that do so.

|Scott M. Feigelstein, director, Republican Jewish Coalition, Pennsylvania/South Jersey Chapter, Bala Cynwyd; and William Wanger, chairman, Greater Philadelphia Chapter

ISSUE | BEDNARIK'S HEROICS

Before playing warlike game, the real thing

After reading some of the best newspaper writing about Chuck Bednarik, I happened to visit the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum in Media ("The loss of a legend," March 22). Purely by coincidence, and to my amazement, I found an Army Air Corps kiosk with none other than Concrete Charlie in a video describing his World War II experiences as a B-24 bomber machine gunner flying 30 missions over Germany. At several points during his narrative, Bednarik's demeanor noticeably changed when describing his kill-or-be-killed wartime experiences. No doubt Bednarik's competitiveness in combat carried over to the gridiron.

Had Inquirer columnist Bill Lyon had the opportunity to see this video, I have to believe the headline on his article could have been: Eagles great epitomized American toughness.

|Joe Henwood, Media, joe.henwood@verizon.net

ISSUE | HUMAN RIGHTS

Archbishop Romero's legacy and U.S.

Oscar Romero was one of many Catholic clergy who sacrificed their lives in the name of justice in Central America ("Salvadoran martyr a voice of love, liberty," March 22). Especially impressive was Romero's willingness to speak out about the unholy alliance between the American government and brutally oppressive right-wing regimes. More Americans should have been embarrassed by our shameless support of governments that committed atrocities in our name.

|Peter C. McVeigh, Oreland, pmcveigh@comcast.net