Good doesn't outweigh bad

It is disturbing to see friends of a politician testify about the good the politician has done, as if that gives the guilty one a pass to not pay for his crimes. Some years ago Gov. Ed Rendell shamelessly testified for former State Sen. Vince Fumo when he was was found guilty, and now several politicians are claiming former Congressman Chaka Fattah should receive a lighter sentence because he did a lot of good for a lot of people over the years.

It is convoluted thinking. No matter the good one has done, justice demands one must pay for one's crimes. Were that not true Al Capone, chief Chicago gangsters in the early 20th century, should have gone free as he was a big contributor to the Catholic Church in Chicago.

|Dan Landis, Broomall, dllbroomall@gmail.com

Show some compassion

My brother-in-law, a former human resources director, came to believe, as I already knew, that unions arise because of management's ineptness and actions. Similarly, sanctuary cities and campuses arise because those in positions of power lack compassion. A lack of compassion is evident in the legislation a Pennsylvania lawmaker proposes that would penalize any state university that declares itself a sanctuary campus. Reflecting this nation's better values is the broad support for creating a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally and the ability of children in these families to continue their education in order to enjoy a better life.

|Gerald D. Klein, Elkins Park

Support our president

We Americans support OUR president. If there were protests, etc., regarding President Obama's election some would call it "racism." The country, Democrats and Republicans, voted Barack Obama in twice. Stop! Give President-elect Trump a chance!

|Kathleen D. Patton, Glenolden

Schools should have libraries

Thanks to Terri Akman for her insightful commentary on the volunteer library program at Vare-Washington Elementary School and the benefits it has brought to the students "Volunteers help keep library time in the lineup," Dec. 15.)

When I began teaching in the School District of Philadelphia back in the 1960s, every school had a functioning library staffed by a trained librarian. The library was soon upgraded to an Instructional Materials Center, where teachers could take students to research a project with the help of the library teacher. They had library time every week.

The fact that Vare-Washington depends on benefactors and volunteers to conduct what used to be routine tells you the whole story of how the state takeover since 2001 has shortchanged our schools. When are we going to correct this neglect?

|Gloria C. Endres, Philadelphia

Tax policy can save history

I share Inga Saffron's concern about the fate of Jeweler's Row and other endangered historic buildings that lack adequate protections from demolition ("After Jeweler's Row, what's the next preservation tragedy?" Dec. 8). Creating the right conditions for preservation of these historic commercial corridors, however, requires not only effective local policy, but also strong policies at the federal level, including the federal historic tax credit.

U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly and Pat Meehan have led efforts to ensure the tax credit remains a vital tool for preserving history and revitalizing communities. Constituents should convey their support for federal policies that protect our historic resources and kick start local economic activity at the local level.

|Shaw Sprague, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, savingplaces.org