Wrong choice to lead HHS

Congressman Tom Price (R., Ga.), President-Elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, doesn't care about health, and that's concerning. As a woman, I'm concerned that Price opposes mandatory contraception coverage, which impacts 15 milliom women, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a public health researcher, I'm concerned that Price voted to block funding for needle exchange programs, proven strategies to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis-C. He even voted against a law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco as a drug.

As an LGBTQ person, I'm concerned that Price opposes same-sex marriage and transgender rights, important social determinants of health. These are key objectives of the HHS Healthy People 2020 guidelines. The prospect of Price leading this agency is frightening.

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) has stated his reservations about Price as secretary of HHS. It's time for Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) to show us he cares about the health of all his constituents.

|Rebecca Ashare, Ph.D., Philadelphia

Aramark right to fire vendor

Yes, Aramark's firing the pistachio vendor was the right call. Michael Smerconish makes all the valid points about free speech and protecting constitutional rights ("Firing vendor was right call," Dec. 11). But the lines between free speech and outright racist hatemongering are different now as the Klan and other vile organizations have been drawn out from under their slimy rocks by our incoming regime.

Perhaps discussing the background of Joseph Neubauer, Aramark's former CEO, would help frame this discussion. Born in British-controlled Palestine to parents fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s, Neubauer came to this country alone at age 14 in search of a good education. He worked his way to the helm of a multibillion-dollar company and has donated fortunes to universities, museums, and other causes. I think this company has the right to dismiss anyone in its employ who foments hate and racism. She has the right to her odious opinions, but if she were my employer I'd fire her too.

|Neil Cohen, , Moorestown, neilcohen@aol.com

Blacks gets harsher sentences

Thank you for publishing the chart regarding Chaka Fattah's sentencing ("Fattah gets 10 years," Dec. 13). What jumped out in that admittedly small sample is the disparity of sentencing of black congressmen. Throw in former Philadelphia treasurer Corey Kemp, who received a 10-year sentence, and you would seem to have a pattern, both nationwide and in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, of white male judges sentencing black politicians to much longer periods of incarceration. While many studies have shown that minority defendants face discrimination in the judicial system, the federal courts need to address this issue.

|Clifford B. Cohn, Esq., Villanova, cbcohn@cbcohn.com

Electors should dump Trump

I campaigned my heart out in Pennsylvania for Hillary Clinton because I believe that Donald Trump is the single most dangerous candidate ever to run for president. He won in Pennsylvania by less than a percentage point. I am writing to urge the electors of Pennsylvania to ignore Trump's narrow victory and reject him Dec. 19 as unfit to serve. He not only lacks respect for immigrants, women, people of color, Muslims, other non-Christians, lesbians and gays, science, facts, the press, business ethics, and the Constitution; he also lacks the temperament to be trusted with the nuclear codes.

|Gabriella King, Laurel, Md., jteacupj@aol.com

Kenney should stop Toll condos

I find Mayor Kenney's response to the Toll Bros. plans to destroy our city's beloved Jewelers' Row laughable. ("Kenny calls new Toll plans 'disturbing'," Dec. 10). Now that Toll has increased the height of its condos, the plans are more than disturbing; they are an artistic and historical affront to a jewel in our city that has attracted thousands of tourists, does thousands of dollars of business, and, above all, contributes to the beauty and character of our city. It's time for Kenney to put a halt to this project. Our city deserves better than a new glass condo towering over Washington Square and the charming buildings on Sansom Street.

|Jean Haskell, Philadelphia, jean.haskell205@gmail.com

Hometown proud of Conway

I find it ironic that the same progressives who were electrified (and rightly so) at the possibility of Hillary Clinton breaking the "highest and hardest glass ceiling" are now demonizing Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway ("Not everybody loves parade," Dec. 11). Any person who wishes to see barriers broken should celebrate that Conway shattered a glass ceiling by becoming the first female to run a successful presidential campaign. This accomplishment made her an excellent choice to be the grand marshal of any parade, especially in her hometown, Hammonton.

|Nick D'Orazio, Philadelphia, nickdorazio01@gmail.com