I applaud The Inquirer for drawing much-needed attention to the restoration and preservation of the Boyd Theater, Philadelphia's last remaining movie palace from the 1920s ("Boyd Theater renominated for city landmark protection," May 30).
Restarting the historic designation effort is critical to preserving the Boyd and defending it from demolition. However, the state Supreme Court has held that the Philadelphia Historical Commission does not have the legal authority to protect the theater's remarkable interior.
I recently introduced legislation in City Council to give the commission this power, and I hope my colleagues quickly advance the bill to Mayor Nutter's desk.
The Boyd is one of the city's cultural treasures, and reopening it to the public would be a tremendous economic boost to Chestnut Street. We must take the necessary steps to ensure the Boyd's interior is protected and open for the enjoyment of future generations.
The large headline "The Age Factor" (Inquirer, May 25) on Dick Polman's column almost has me expecting a similar piece titled "The Inexperience Factor" regarding Barack Obama. But I will not hold my breath.
Polman says McCain's people are deathly afraid of voter reaction to their candidate's age. This implies that they didn't notice his age until now. Also, the primary voters did not seem to be too concerned about age as they chose McCain over much younger candidates.
And, of course, Polman includes a couple of TV jokes at McCain's expense. Just one more effort by another leftist writer to elect Barack Obama president.
In "Stopping oil's assault" (Inquirer, May 25), the production of several million barrels of oil per day from coal, tar sands or shale was not discussed.
The United States has a 600-year supply of coal reserves, and more oil exists in Colorado shale than in Saudi Arabia. The technology exists to convert coal into liquid fuels, and the recovery of fuel from tar sands is already commercially practiced.
In the 1970s, when oil went from $3 a barrel to $35 a barrel, there was a massive effort to develop the technologies to produce fuels from these alternative sources. But when oil dropped to $10 a barrel, the work was terminated.
To justify the investment in alternatives, we need to establish a floor price for crude oil. A tax on imported oil, to set an appropriate minimum price, would do it.
A 10-year "Energy Independence" effort is required. The money spent would stimulate our economy, create jobs and, most important, free us and the world from dependence on the Middle East. It can be done and should be done.
Harold A. Sorgenti
Reid Kanaley clearly missed a sixth option to address the skyrocketing price of oil (Inquirer, May 25): Open protected U.S. lands to responsible drilling.
Drilling responsibly and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive goals. We have the ability to be petroleum self-sufficient, but our resources are trapped underground, held hostage by bureaucracy and politics. If we fail to take control of our own destiny by reducing or possibly eliminating our dependence on foreign oil, we will continue selling out America one barrel at a time.
We have limited oil reserves and will surely need them for more important things than fueling trips to suburban malls. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and coastal waters is analogous to raiding our lifeboat food rations so we don't get hunger pains (Inquirer, May 25).
We need to face the painful reality that two-thirds of the 20 million barrels of oil that we consume every day are used for transportation. Solution number one is to stop driving. Live near work or use trains. A national effort to enlarge and modernize our rail systems must be undertaken immediately.