Save Jewelers Row facades

Toll Brothers City Living has announced that its proposed luxury condominium on Jewelers Row would be 29 stories, rather than the 16 stories that had been disclosed ("Toll Bros. enlarges Jewelers Row plan," Tuesday).

While the developer has not made its plans public, Mayor Kenney in October expressed his "strong request" that Toll Bros. preserve the facades of the four threatened buildings in the

700 block of Sansom Street. This has also been a stated goal of the Preservation Alliance, and we have offered to help make this highly achievable outcome possible. We call on Toll Bros. to share its plans with the public and to work with us on the preservation of these facades. This will help meet the expectations not only of the mayor but the many Philadelphians who value and cherish the unique scale and charm of Jewelers Row and wish to see these historic facades preserved.

|Paul Steinke, executive director, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, psteinke@preservationalliance.com

School choice deserves backing

The opposition to President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary because of her support for school choice is an affront to children across the country whose educational opportunities are enhanced because of their ability to attend schools that are best-suited to their particular needs ("Education choice shows schooling split," Tuesday).

For far too long, teachers' unions have vehemently opposed any constitutionally permissible aid to nonpublic schools, despite the critical role they play for so many families. The more than five million pre-K to 12th-grade students in nearly 34,000 nonpublic schools do not deserve the disparagement that some public school advocates espouse on a regular basis.

For our children's sake, let us hope that Elisabeth DeVos will propose new policies and ideas that will not only strengthen our public-school system, which is vitally important, but that will also afford nonpublic schools the assistance and recognition they so desperately need and deserve. As DeVos aptly stated, "The status quo is not acceptable."

|N. Aaron Troodler, Bala Cynwyd, troodler@gmail.com

Democrats should tone it down

It seems time for the Democratic Party to do a little introspection. If it really cares about the well-being of our country and its citizens, it would be wise to temper its vitriol.

We have members of Congress breathlessly declaring that the Electoral College is un-American, while these same people laud the Broadway musical honoring the man who created it.

We have political science professor David Faris declaring, "You will give us Merrick Garland or you may go die in a fire," and, "The future of democracy, and of the planet, depends on Democrats digging in their heels and fighting dirty."

Let us hope they are able to get under control. What have we just witnessed in the last cycle? Elementary-school kids asking their parents whether the sun will come up tomorrow. The "big, bad wolf" has been replaced by Donald Trump. Party leaders are promising to fight every nominee for cabinet posts. Why? Because, like the Tasmanian Devil, they are in a constant state of irascibility. They've had their eight years with the dyspeptic Sen. Harry Reid and nothing to show for it but duplicity and failure. It's time to move on.

|Stephen Hanover, Doylestown

Players owe fans total effort

I was moved by the poignant comment by former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham:

"I drain all the life out of myself out there. I get paid to play, to win, to give the city pride, so maybe everybody can forget for a little while how hard life is" ("Recent losses by Eagles an insult to the fans," Tuesday).

All too often, the behavior of our athletes on and off the field leaves so much to be desired. Who could forget Ricky Watters' "For who? For what?" after he made a half-hearted attempt to catch a pass from Cunningham in 1995.

Pro athletes' exorbitant salaries are offset to some degree by their often short-lived time in their profession and the ever-present danger of a career-ending injury.

Nevertheless, Cunningham clearly got what it meant to be an Eagle. He understood his role and accepted it. What compensation could equal the ability to lift the spirits of an entire city?

Hopefully, the current team will realize its responsibility to the legion of Eagles fans and emulate Cunningham's classy philosophy.

|Michael J Harkins, Haddonfield, mharkinsmd@gmail.com

Keep sports in perspective

With all that is going on in the world, I can't take a loss by the Philadelphia football team as the be-all and end-all of life. The racial divide, fires, homicides, traffic fatalities, cancer, and anti-Semitism get me down. But, maybe I'm missing something.

|Zachary Margolies, Philadelphia

Lyon's poignant battle

Bill Lyon never falters; he's still coming at life with a one-two punch ("One little burst of energy," Dec. 4). I miss his sports column greatly and would write a longer letter, but after reading his commentary about his battle with Alzheimer's, I'm too busy wiping away the tears. Keep punching, Bill.

|Eugene Kane, Kennett Square

Weighing government subsidies

When a giant company gets a taxpayer-funded subsidy to keep a few hundred jobs, it's called a great deal. But when a few million citizens get a taxpayer-funded subsidy to get affordable health insurance, it's called terrible socialism. I guess all subsidies were not created equal.

|Alfred Abel, Jenkintown