Temple needs better pediatric unit

Temple University's health system has a long way to go before it reaches the level it was when I was chairman of the pediatrics department and my children graduated from its medical school ("Temple health's condition upgraded," Monday).

Although system chief Dr. Larry Kaiser mentioned that the liver-transplant program is lagging, he failed to mention the system's biggest deficit - the lack of a true pediatrics department - and there seems no hope in sight for alleviating this problem. The current department consists of a few outpatient clinics with no specialists.

About 10 years ago, the health system secretly signed a document with Tenet Health System to close its inpatient facility, Temple Children's, and be prohibited from hiring pediatric specialists for 25 years. Although Kaiser was not at Temple Health then, most of the individuals involved in this bizarre deal are still there. I have discussed this grave deficiency with him. A medical school requires a pediatrics department.

I am hopeful that Kaiser can correct this situation.

|Iraj Rezvani, M.D., Wyncote

Woods, Hershey schools off track

As the great-niece and closest living relative of Woods Resources founder Mollie Woods Hare, it was with surprise and some embarrassment that I read the Inquirer article "What the nonprofit providers pay execs" (Sunday). I found former Woods chief executive officer Diana Ramsey topping the list for compensation. And this article closely followed the Inquirer's exposé on the huge endowment of the Milton S. Hershey School.

I grew up in suburban Harrisburg and am familiar with the local lore of Hershey Chocolate founder Milton Hershey.

I cannot help but feel that my great-aunt and Hershey, who both wished to "nurture and educate" children by setting up governing "trustees" to ensure their legacies in perpetuity, would be very disappointed. Perhaps it is time for the trustees of both organizations to reflect on the "trust" they were given by these humble and bighearted entrepreneurs and refocus on the founders' main interest: needy children.

|Margie Gault Levinthal, Wynnewood, margierae1808@gmail.com

Fixed-up homes must be kept up

As an economic development specialist, I appreciate real estate writer Alan J. Heavens' look at a method of improving neighborhood housing ("Revitalizing in a different way," Nov. 13).

For those of us homeowners on blocks where Neighborhood Restorations has ownership, however, we see little property maintenance once a house has been renovated and leased. This lack of post-development accountability leads to the very conditions Neighborhood Restorations purports to minimize. Or are they shrewd business owners expanding their own opportunities?

|Bernadine Hawes, Philadelphia

Binzen saw end of 'Whitetown'

In 1970, I was a graduate student at West Virginia University and read a book, Whitetown, USA, by then-Philadelphia Bulletin staffer Peter Binzen, that described the racism in the Kensington section of Philadelphia (" 'He was out to get the story,' not any person," Nov. 18). I lived the first 18 years of my life in a rowhouse in Philly, and the theme of Binzen's book struck me far away in West Virginia.

In 1976, I and a few friends moved to Fishtown, and I witnessed the hatred some people had for blacks.

Over the years, I became involved with Penn Treaty Park, and I started to notice the many ethnic groups that visited the park in Kensington - Hasidic Jews, Muslim women wearing burkas, Hispanics, African Americans, and whites. Many times, the park, a place preserved because of peace and friendship, seemed like the United Nations - the antithesis of Whitetown, USA.

In January, the retired Philadelphia Inquirer reporter wrote a commentary, "Claude Lewis made history - and covered it." I thought about the changes I had witnessed at Penn Treaty Park and wanted him to know that we had made progress.

I visited Binzen at his retirement community. He was an old man with a good mind. We chatted a little, but I had only one thing to mention, that the park had become a center of diversity. He was so pleased that it brought a tear to his eye.

In March, he visited the oasis along the Delaware River with two daughters and a grandson. The family later toured Fishtown and Kensington to see the positive changes.

May Peter Binzen rest in peace, knowing that some things have gotten better.

|John J. Connors, Moorestown, penntreatymuseum@gmail.com

He got the story

Almost 20 years ago, I was working as an account executive in a small public relations firm in Ardmore. Inquirer business reporter Peter Binzen was the first person I thought of to pitch a story about a Lancaster-based client. When I mentioned it to my coworkers, they rolled their eyes and wished me luck. He answered my phone call with a curt "Binzen." He listened to my story and said: "OK, sounds good. Send me more information. I can be in Lancaster this week."

The result? A full-page story in the Business section - and bragging rights in my office that Binzen did a story on my client. He was a newspaperman's newspaperman and will be missed.

|Trish Bradley Lockett, Ardmore, trishlockett21@gmail.com