Pa. must enact

LGBT safeguards

The passage of a so-called religious freedom law in Indiana presents Pennsylvania lawmakers with a unique opportunity to proclaim full human rights for all ("Inviting bigotry," April 2). Now is the time for Harrisburg to enact a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that ensures legal protection for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

As a religious leader, my faith calls me to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Let's tell Indiana and the rest of the nation that Pennsylvania is no place for hate.

|Rev. Peter A. Friedrichs, Media,


When public safety is in play, all veils off

Certain professionals, including commercial air crews, should be willing to give up their right to mental- or physical-health privacy as a condition of employment.

When I was a naval aviator, I and my fellow pilots did. Regular physical and mental exams were given by Navy doctors, who had a duty to report any condition of any pilot that would render him unfit to fly. The pilot would be grounded until cleared medically. In the civil aviation world, a similar regime could and should be in place. Regular mental-health and physical checkups should be given to air crew members.

This is not rocket science. The public's right to be safe from physically or mentally impaired air crew members absolutely trumps any medical privacy rights. If crew members are not willing to give up this right, they should seek other employment.

|Ned Dunham, Flourtown,


State aid to leverage an energized future

The Inquirer editorial describing a New Jersey tax incentive award to Holtec International as political largesse showed a misunderstanding of the grant ("Giveaway city," March 29). My company is shelling out $260 million over the next three years that, subject to conditions, will make it eligible for tax incentives over the following 10 years. After taxes and fees, the state support is less than $150 million. In short, we are spending $260 million in the hope that we will be reimbursed $150 million in a decade. For the record, our capital outlay is the largest private investment ever in the city.

I believe in giving people the fishing rod rather than the fish. We plan to begin providing training to men and women who, upon graduation, will be hired by our Camden plant. Starting with 400 workers in 2018, we fully expect to increase to 5,000 in five years.

Our ongoing development program to build the world's first unconditionally safe nuclear reactor has the potential to transform the Camden plant and make the Philadelphia-South Jersey region the intellectual and manufacturing capital of a transformative technology, with more than $1 trillion in long-term business prospects. Anyone who regards the Christie administration's efforts to bring us to Camden as misguided should think again.

For the record, I have never contributed to a Christie campaign, nor have the governor's people solicited us. As far as our Camden project is concerned, George Norcross played no role in facilitating the negotiations. The credit for getting Holtec to Camden lies instead with the energy company PSEG.

PSEG's efforts to persuade us to make a large investment in New Jersey were partly altruistic and partly enlightened self-interest. Saddled with aging coal-fired plants, the utility sees Holtec's new "walk-away-safe" reactor as the solution to its clean-energy goals. Together with PSEG, we will leverage our investment in the Camden waterfront to build from scratch a whole industry that will yield handsome dividends for the region for decades and decades to come.

|Krishna P. Singh, president and chief executive officer, Holtec International, Jupiter, Fla.


City Democrats should heed legal eagles

The city Democratic Party yet again has betrayed the trust of voters by endorsing judicial candidates based on cronyism rather than merit ("Top judge candidates miss bar's approval," March 31). Not only did the Democrats endorse three judicial candidates given "not recommended" ratings by the Philadelphia Bar Association, but they also endorsed Anthony Clark, who hasn't voted in years, for city commissioner - an official who is supposed to oversee elections.

As a former ward leader, I know how dependent voters are on the candidate information given out by the party. As a past chair of Americans for Democratic Action, I also know how much the voters need guidance in judicial elections. Merit selection is the answer for picking judges. Standards and high expectations are the answer for endorsing other candidates.

|Mary Goldman, Philadelphia

Go for a proven leader as mayor

Being keenly aware of the city's pay-to-play mentality, I don't understand why The Inquirer would publish an article that seemed to all but canonize rich, suburban investors for supporting one candidate because of his position on charter schools ("Execs pool funds for Williams," March 23). Voters need to forget who has the money and vote instead to elect a proven leader as mayor.

|Sharon M. Banfe, Berlin