Youth panels work

Re: "Vote No on Ballot Question," May 6:

As a former San Francisco youth commissioner, I need to respond to misconceptions of the voter-approved Philadelphia Youth Commission. Your editorial's description of "children" running a "silly" commission was unfair and incorrect.

The commission would not be a group of 12-year-old "children" running amok through City Hall; it would be a group of young people between the ages of 12 and 23.

The San Francisco Youth Commission is more than 10 years old and is also a product of a ballot question. San Francisco youth commissioners as young as 12 advise the mayor and city officials. Some, dissatisfied with their school's textbooks and decrepit bathrooms, have pushed for better facilities and materials. Others petitioned for a crosswalk in front of their school.

Why are young people shooting adults? Why is there so much violence in this city? How can we limit it? I cannot guarantee that this commission would erase violence from the streets of Philadelphia. But I can guarantee you that young people are the best equipped to brainstorm new and innovative ways to reach their peers and encourage them that there are less violent ways to solve disputes.

Lynn Berger
Philadelphia
lfb@sas.upenn.edu

Stop campaign calls

Candidates should be banned from making those annoying campaign phone calls. My wife, Judy, and I spent a good part of the day before the primaries - afternoon and early evening, including dinnertime - answering those calls.

It's harassment, and those using the procedure of automated telephone calls should be required to pay that month's telephone bills of the people they are bothering.

Cliff Rainey

Glen Mills

Support SEPTA

I have been reading about SEPTA being in need of funding or it will face cuts. I do not live in Philadelphia, but as an airline employee based in Philadelphia, I rely very heavily on SEPTA to get around when I'm in town. I am sure there are many others in the metro area who rely heavily on SEPTA as well.

To cut any service would be devastating to many people who use the buses and rail. There have got to be several proposals to obtain additional funding. I encourage every person who rides SEPTA on a regular basis to write his or her elected officials to gain support.

Joel Barman

Indian Trail, N.C.

One true candidate

I have been let down and disgusted by both the mainstream Democrats and Republicans. The difference between the two parties is only what they want to spend my money on.

Democrats claim to want to bring us home from Iraq, but everyone knows they are lying. They voted for the war in the first place. Now they insist that their recent micro-managing in the appropriations bill is a way to bring home the troops, when in reality it will never work because Bush will veto every such bill they pass.

Meanwhile, the Republicans insist that all we need to do is stay in Iraq for the remainder of the decade and throw more of our money at it.

For these reasons and others, I will be voting for the only presidential candidate who didn't vote for the war, and is for limited government, low spending, reinstating the Constitution, and bringing the troops home - Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Check his record!

Daniel Bier

Medford

Redesigned air space

Geoff Semenuk's May 15 letter countering Tom Belden's blog-posting in favor of the FAA air-space redesign for Philadelphia International Airport ("The quiet truth of FAA redesign: Many benefit," philly.com, May 7) argues that the solution to delays is to spread out rush-hour scheduling rather than spreading out the planes as they take off.

He seems to think a significant number of customers won't mind leaving later for a day in Detroit or Chicago or a day-long flight to the West Coast. That's absurd, and the airlines, which hold a lot more data about passenger wishes and economic habits than he, know it.

All we'll end up with are jammed early flights, unprofitable later flights, and - guess what - passengers frustrated by delayed arrival at their destinations.

Swarthmore's progressive Quaker forebears are spinning in their graves at Mr. Semenuk's wish to continue living in the past!

John Baxter
Newtown Square
jmbaxt@aol.com