The best thing I can say about Billy King getting fired ("New game plan for 76ers," Dec. 5) is, "What took so long?"
This guy did not have a clue on how to run a professional basketball team. He dismantled a team that was NBA Finals material and for years gave us a revolving door of players and coaches.
We are paying big bucks to over-the-hill players who are not playing for us, and have watched for years as the teams up the New Jersey Turnpike eat our lunch.
Billy King, good luck in your new career. I recommend a new profession.
Why does The Inquirer feel the need to go 60 miles away to look for problems ("Critics still take aim at Pa. pigeon shoots," Dec. 5)? Right here, in Philadelphia, we have people who think shooting other people is a sport.
Besides, I don't know too many city dwellers who haven't - at one time or another - had the urge to blast away at those flying rats.
For the umpteenth time, the editorial "Blackwell finally cuts a deal" (Inquirer, Dec. 3) regarding the new youth detention center mischaracterizes the Barnes Foundation as a museum. The Inquirer knows better. Barnes is an educational institution with a world-class art collection and arboretum ancillary to its teaching philosophy.
The editorial blithely glosses over the detention center's costly interim move - courtesy of the taxpayer - to East Falls. With more pressing issues such as funding for books, art and music programs in the public schools, not to mention the daily report of carnage, what fiscal, social and/or moral sense is being exercised by the politicians and power brokers of a once great city?
Aram K. Jerrehian
Your editorial about Jannie Blackwell's role in the Barnes Foundation/Youth Study Center deal wasn't nearly critical enough (Inquirer, Dec. 3).
When politicians negotiate payoffs from businessmen in exchange for favorable treatment, it's "pay-to-play" corruption. When Jannie Blackwell negotiates a $12 million investment in her district from other politicians in exchange for her favorable vote, it's political horse-trading as usual.
It was ironic that this story ran on the same day as your coverage of Mayor-elect Michael Nutter's speech on "Great ethical expectations." He can start by reforming the "informal veto" privilege of City Council members so that it can't be used to extort taxpayer-funded improvements in exchange for votes.
Bravo to the Vectrix electric motorcycle developers and to Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce for showcasing "green" vehicles (Inquirer, Dec. 1).
Electric vehicles are our birthright. Electric car and truck ads show the popular Detroit Electric Cabriolet Roadster was sold as "thoroughly smart and elegant - but economical to maintain" while "98 percent of all automobile trips are within easy radius for the electric (60 to 70 miles)." As late as 1923, a fleet of 276 Walker Electric Trucks delivered goods for the Marshall Field store in Chicago "for half the cost of the gasoline car."
"The Electric-Cab Service in New York City" is illustrated on page 1201 of Harper's Weekly of Dec. 10, 1898. It shows cabs returning to the cab station's battery-room, pulling up to have a fresh battery loaded into the rear compartment under the driver's seat.
This country was built on electric vehicles and they will serve us well again.
Barbara G. Drebing
What a relief that President Theodore Roosevelt didn't object to having a bear bear his name (Inquirer, Nov. 30). Where would we be without the beloved