All about trust
Some supporters of Fox Chase Cancer Center's expansion in Burholme Park suggest the court decision blocking it preserved parkland at the expense of jobs.
It's not about preserving parkland; it's about preserving trust. If, out of love of my city, my fellow man and my neighbors, I gave a piece of property as a public park, that is what I wanted. I didn't give it to be a park until someone decided he wanted to use the land for something else. Would you give the city anything knowing that it could not be trusted to honor your wishes?
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Having heard that there are too many libraries in Philadelphia, closing some seemed like a good idea. Now Amy Dougherty, executive director of the Friends of the Free Library, has presented a well-thought-out argument for keeping those libraries open ("Alternatives to closings," last Sunday).
If public libraries are a major fill-in for school libraries, they must stay open! If this fill-in role was not taken into account by Mayor Nutter and the library administration, what else did they forget? Nutter should heed the plea of the Friends of the Free Library to keep them open until the end of June, and give the community time to explore other options.
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It has been nine months since my uncle, Bill Barnes, appeared in court for what the district attorney is calling the murder of former Philadelphia Police Officer Walter T. Barclay Jr., who died 41 years after he was shot. My uncle was told he could expect to go on trial in the fall. Well, fall is gone. He also was denied bail.
Why? My uncle has little time left here on earth. All he wants is to go back to work and be with his family for as long as he can. It seems to me the justice system is hoping and waiting for him to die in prison without having to prove its case.
What happened to Officer Barclay is a tragedy, but my uncle has already paid for that crime. Until a trial date is set, he should be released at least to a halfway house.
Fix the prisons
State Rep. John Perzel is wrong to suggest that longer prison confinement will make people less likely to commit new crimes ("Pa. parole system is broken," commentary, last Sunday).
Instead, the focus should be on extensive rehabilitation inside the so-called corrections facilities and help on the outside with housing, jobs and treatment.
Legislation for less parole and longer sentences might sound good to some people, but it won't have the desired effect.
The freedom Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi had to be able to throw shoes at President Bush cost all Americans a lot, but some more than others.
Perhaps the next time a U.S. president visits a foreign country, he should bring along a pair of boots from a G.I. killed in action.
Maybe then, foreigners will appreciate the ultimate sacrifices made by thousands of our sons and daughters on their behalf.
Hannah Dougherty Campbell
As long as there are markets and investors, there will be securities fraud. The seeds of the Madoff tragedy lie not with lax regulators, but with gullible investors who never once asked, "Does it seem too good to be true?"
Madoff is a variation of all of the snake-oil peddlers through history. His investors were gamblers who went all-in for a sales pitch. They don't deserve our sympathy. No amount of regulation can prevent stupidity.
Senate pay cut
I have one question for all the Republican senators who killed the financing package for American automakers, with the demand for deep salary cuts on the part of the autoworkers (not managers or executives): Are those same senators willing to take the same percentage cut in their pay, on the same schedule?
Their mismanagement of financial regulation got the country in this mess in the first place.
David W. Feldman