Maybrook as park

Re: "Main Line's fabled castle up in the air," Sept. 9:

Maybrook is magical. In the '90s, before security guards and gates blocked our access, my sons and I would ride bikes or hike in the "secret passageways" of this beautiful estate. We would explore the overgrown gardens, look into the stagnant pools of the broken fountains, and search the grounds for the pet cemetery rumored to be hidden somewhere in the woods.

We were certain we could hear laughter, tinkling champagne glasses, and strains of music coming from the ballroom, where the windows were just slightly too high for us to peer into. We knew the legendary fox was watching us. It was haunting but so wonderful.

In these days of environmental awareness and preservation of green spaces, why not keep the estate as a Lower Merion Township park? It would be magical.

Karen K. Deasey
Wynnewood

Rearranging Barnes

Re: "A modest proposal for new Barnes: If Barnes moves, reorganize the art," by Edward J. Sozanski, Sept. 2:

Art works are created as unique objects, and not intended to be dependent on relationships with other works. Albert Barnes' arrangement is just as arbitrary as any other. He saw and imposed relationships between objects.

As the article notes, Barnes' wishes already have been violated, with the art work having been moved, toured and reproduced. Why was all this OK with the Barnes purists, but moving the collection is not?

Sozanski's proposal to reconfigure a relocated Barnes collection seems like a sensible solution.

Benjamin Long
Philadelphia

Privatize state stores

Re: "Buying beer in Pa.," editorial, Sept. 10:

While the proceeds from a sale of Pennsylvania's state liquor stores could be in the millions of dollars, a better reason to privatize the state stores is that government should not be in the business of selling alcohol.

The role of state government should be to regulate the sale of alcohol, not profit from it. Currently, the state allows private beer distributors to sell beer. There is no reason why wine and liquor stores can't be run the same way.

I will introduce legislation to privatize the wine and spirit state stores. The measure would allow private entities to sell wine and spirits at locations convenient for consumers, such as grocery stores.

It is important that any plan to privatize the state stores must be done in coordination with local municipalities and working with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving to ensure we are ever vigilant against efforts to circumvent the law.

State Sen. Rob Wonderling

Lansdale

No Iraq occupation

The testimony this week by Gen. David Petreaus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker included proposals to withdraw a few troops from Iraq. But the general and the ambassador also laid out a scenario that would entail a long-term U.S. military occupation of Iraq to create a compliant, protected regime in the oil-rich heart of the Middle East.

A long-term occupation of Iraq would be a bad solution to a failed war policy. Members of Congress should work toward a plan to end the war that people of all political persuasions can unite around.

One such proposal already has been put forward and would enact into law the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. It includes firm commitments to withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq and rebuilding that country, and pledging full support for diplomatic negotiations with all of Iraq's neighbors.

Thomas Nelson
Lansdowne
twnelson@erols.com

McCain's not too old

Re: "McCain too old for the presidency," by Steve Chapman, Sept. 12:

Too old indeed! Having survived the many trials of body and mind that John McCain has, he has the durability to serve out two terms in the White House with great effect. To posit otherwise is an outrageous misreading of McCain as well as a slur on thousands of octogenarians who carry on every day with tasks of all dimensions. Mind you, I am an old Democrat, but fair is fair, and I think we can take him anyway.

Alfred Gilbert
Philadelphia