Cut paper use and save money

As a Pennsylvania taxpayer, I'm glad to hear that the grand jury "found no legitimate need to have separate and costly print shops" ("Printing money," Wednesday). However, isn't it also past time to require the Pennsylvania legislature to do what private businesses and nonprofits have done in this age of online communications: conduct a thorough review of what material still needs to be printed at all vs. what can be supplied via cyberspace, with economic and environmental savings?

My state legislator, Rep. Josh Shapiro (D., Montgomery), has given constituents the option of receiving newsletters and other materials via e-mail rather than snail mail, and I would hope that other state representatives are following suit.

Diane C. Moskal


nolead begins

Following Family Court deal

Of the $12 million spent so far on the Family Court facility, the most fascinating aspect to me is the $1 million spent for "land costs" on publicly owned land - paid to a private lawyer ("Family Court money trail," Thursday).

If this deal stands up, it will epitomize Philadelphia's version of the sale of the Brooklyn Bridge, without being apocryphal. Who knows, maybe there's a way for SEPTA to increase revenue by selling the Broad Street subway to itself.

James Miles


nolead begins

Time to freeze BP's assets

Last year a Main Line dentist fouled a section of the beaches of Avalon with medical waste and lost his license to practice. BP officials have fouled thousands of miles of ocean floor and coastline, killed 11 people, and destroyed livelihoods for decades to come - and are still in charge?

Undoubtedly their lawyers are right now busily crafting a way to reinvent the company in order to protect their jobs and assets. Which is exactly why President Obama should immediately seize BP in order to assure that its assets are fully available for the extraordinary costs of cleanup and restitution for the lives and millions of livelihoods they have destroyed.

The dentist faced criminal charges; Attorney General Eric Holder has initiated an inquiry into the leak, but resolution will take years - plenty of time for BP's lawyers to design an elegant escape. Now is the time to seize BP. We freeze the assets of terrorists: The BP spill is nothing short of a biological attack.

Jane Dugdale

Bryn Mawr

nolead begins

Property is basis for liberty

Isn't it obvious that the letter "Paul's biased views warrant concern" on Tuesday is devious and more about politics then equality? How else can anyone explain the writer's assertions that a limited- government libertarian like Rand Paul should be marked by the moral stigma of racism because of his views on property rights?

To assert that a libertarian doesn't support equal rights is absurd. In fact, libertarians are staunch defenders of individual liberties, linking them to property rights. They claim that without the right to property, no other rights exist, because it is through the actions of free men that property is acquired. Blatant discrimination is inconsistent with those principles.

The writer's annoying, tiring assertion seeks to cast a net over those he disagrees with and gather them up, declaring they'll return us to the "Dark Ages." But what is more dark and oppressive than such a media-fueled, hysterical inquisition that invents perceived heretics while using dogmatic accusations about equal rights?

Larry Steiger

Mount Laurel

nolead begins

'Don't ask, don't tell' imperfect, but works

On May 27, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the 2011 defense appropriations bill. Included is language to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The armed forces have not been engaged in a "witch hunt" for gay service members. The vast majority of the discharges for homosexual conduct are based on the statements of service members who identify themselves as homosexual.

Before we allow our politicians to make changes, we need to carefully study the implications and the opinions of our officers and enlisted personnel.

I served in the Army for 30 years. During those years I am certain that I served with gay and lesbian soldiers. They never brought up their sexual orientation, and I never asked. They served our country honorably. I do not recall one instance in all my years of service when a soldier from my unit was discharged because of sexual orientation.

My last assignment as a full colonel was as the deputy chief of staff for personnel in an Army Reserve division, so I know what I'm talking about. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was a reasonable compromise that addressed a difficult issue. It is not perfect, but it has worked well.

Dan Dunn

Moscow, Pa.

nolead begins

Look out, libraries

Here we go again. Another round of budget cuts, and, of course, the libraries are affected. The summer months are approaching, and our children will be deprived of a haven.

When will Mayor Nutter realize that he only needs to look in his own back yard to trim waste in city government? Am I the only citizen who is annoyed that the members of City Council get a fully paid three-month summer vacation?

Carol A. Pasquarello