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Letters: Do the crime, you'll do the time

ISSUE | POLICE REFORMS Citizens should know the ground rules I would add a section to the recent federal report recommending changes in procedures and training in the Police Department (" 'Significant strife,' " March 24). It would include provisions that we should educate citizens that the police volunte


Citizens should know

the ground rules

I would add a section to the recent federal report recommending changes in procedures and training in the Police Department (" 'Significant strife,' " March 24). It would include provisions that we should educate citizens that the police volunteered to protect and serve; that if you want to commit crimes, you should be prepared to be arrested; that if you decide to resist arrest, force will be used to control you; and that if you choose to shoot at officers, they will shoot back.

|John J. McNesby, president, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, Philadelphia


Spring cleaning

In a season of hope - spring - I think of the successes of renewable energy in replacing polluting, sickening fossil fuels, and it gives me immense hope. We really can come to rely on energy efficiency, plus wind, solar, and geothermal power.

Just as a caterpillar dissolves in its chrysalis to be reborn as a completely different (and lovely) creature, society will need to reorganize itself around new ways of living, traveling, working, creating, and generating energy. The technology is ready, while still improving. All that is needed is political decisiveness. What we cannot do is allow fear of change to stop this transformation.

|Sue Edwards, Swarthmore


Activist's good arm

In the 1970s, when I lived in Philadelphia and was president of the Northwest Housing Association, I often petitioned public-housing agencies for help putting fire-damaged and foreclosed properties back on the market in my neighborhood ("Best not to forget the past of Milton Street," March 30). I made absolutely no progress until Milton Street showed up at the federal housing offices at Fifth and Walnut Streets and hurled stones up at the building. The afternoon of Street's demonstration, I received a call from officials asking to meet.

I appreciated the risks Street took so that others would get the attention they deserved. My guess is that he still has many fans.

|Bill Brooks, Newark


On Iran, Congress has to heed vox populi

In reaching a framework for a final agreement to limit Iran to a peaceful program under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, the parties have shown great political will, putting diplomacy and peace over threats of aggression and bombing in the longest negotiating marathon in many years. But it's not over.

Congress, particularly the Senate, now must show the bipartisan political will to support and enforce this framework for a deal. The proposal by Sens. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) to weigh in before the agreement is signed in June puts the cart before the horse and contradicts 225 years of constitutional practice.

Polls show that Americans, by a two-thirds majority, support these negotiations - by more than 70 percent in Pennsylvania. Congress should follow the better angels of our nature, not irresponsible calls for a larger war and devastation in the Middle East.

|Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action Friends Center, Philadelphia,

Reform must comply with Hippocratic oath

Even though Congress is making progress on repealing the much-hated Medicare formula calling for major cuts in physician reimbursement, I cannot support the reform at hand for two reasons.

First, patient privacy would be forever gone, as all electronic records would be required to "talk to each other," creating an involuntary national database to which the government would allow qualified third parties access (for a fee). There would be no opt-out for patients.

Second, physician quality would be determined by the government, not our peers. Our reimbursement would be contingent on meeting governmental quality measures, whatever those may be. The health secretary could determine which physicians have valid national provider identifier numbers, which we need to write prescriptions. Why put this provision in unless the goal is to punish physicians who don't toe the line?

The proposed reform is bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for the country. The so-called doc fix is nothing more than a neutering (fixing) of my profession.

|Ira U. Smith, M.D., Cherry Hill


Local musical chops won't be dimmed

I am extremely disturbed and annoyed that there are no more visiting orchestras performing or scheduled to perform at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. When the venue opened, there were many classical music series, visiting orchestras, and more. Now we are offered nothing.

Upon e-mailing the Kimmel Center management regarding my concern, I was told that their mission is to showcase the Philadephia Orchestra, not compete with it. I found that response ludicrous.

Other visiting orchestras wouldn't be in competition with the Fabulous Philadelphians. Classical music lovers appreciate hearing the diversity of other orchestras. This in no way detracts from the Philadelphia Orchestra. Indeed, touring orchestras that played at the Academy of Music never jeopardized our orchestra's standing in the city. Many other American cities with orchestras of their own regularly offer visiting orchestra series.

I urge Anne Ewers, the president and chief executive officer of the Kimmel Center, and the other powers that be at the center, to reconsider this philosophy and engage visiting orchestras for future seasons.

|Doug King, Pennsville