Put Hershey funds to good use

Two articles about the Hershey School and its $12.5 billion in assets ("Loads of cash, less charity," Nov. 6; "Reimagining Hershey's dream," Sunday) highlighted an ongoing tragedy. When Milton Hershey created his plan to help needy children in Hershey, the size of his gift was likely commensurate with the mission. Today, the assets far outstrip the need - a remarkable situation.

Nonprofit law expert Don Kramer rightly suggests that the school's board seek court approval to expand its mission. Although the educational needs of many children in Pennsylvania are not being met, the board fails to leverage Milton and Catherine Hershey's generosity. It seemingly prefers to hide behind a provision of the gift that limits the school's mission.

The situation calls to mind the parable of the servant who was given one "talent," a unit of money, to hold for his master (Matthew 25:14-30). Instead of investing the talent to make the most of it, he buried it. As a result, it was taken away.

|Larry Berger, Devon

Teen's protest is appropriate

I applaud Vineland middle-school student Manuel Martinez ("Teen protests Trump, sits during pledge," Thursday).

There were five boys in my family. All of us served our country in war. Three older brothers saw action in World War II, with one losing his life in the Battle of Anzio. Two of us saw action in the Korean War.

But when I see a country that has put a madman in office to head the greatest country in the world, I, too, feel that I should protest. Though he lost the popular vote by more than 2 million, Trump chooses right-wingers for his cabinet, attempting to dismantle the progress that has been made over the last 50 years.

Trump has never done service for America, only for "the Donald."

Hopefully, there will be many more like Martinez who will protest this egotist. I will be one of them.

|Thomas Skudlarek, Lansdale

Free speech for teachers, too

Manuel Martinez's mother gave him permission to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance. When some teachers and students expressed their displeasure with his actions, it was called bullying.

Don't the teachers and students who disagreed have the same rights as Martinez?

Vineland School District administrators said there had been discussions with staff members, and there will be no more remarks to Martinez regarding him exercising his rights. Is this not stifling the rights of those who disagreed with him?

|James B. Humphreys, Edgely

Luxury hotel means jobs

Dranoff Properties Inc. continues to reshape Philadelphia's impressive skyline. Developer Carl Dranoff's latest stunning project, SLS Lux Philadelphia Hotel & Residences, at South Broad and Spruce Streets, is a 47-story glass tower that will feature 152 high-end hotel rooms and condos.

The $362 million project, which will employ 2,724 construction workers, also will include 4,600 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Dranoff is partnering with Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment, a hotelier known for creating iconic properties in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and Miami Beach.

The SLS Lux will partially fill our city's crying need for high-end hotel rooms, which remains the single biggest obstacle to securing bigger and better conventions, a mainstay of our local economy. Dranoff Properties is awaiting a state grant to secure full and final funding for this game-changing project.

I and others lobbied the state for more than 10 years to build the Convention Center. I hope we don't have to wait that long for the SLS Lux. The Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council is ready to turn Dranoff's grand vision into a towering reality.

|John J. Dougherty, business manager, Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, Philadelphia