I read the Dec. 3 article, "Simplifying life until it just fits into a box truck," and wondered why such an article would be worthy of front-page news in The Inquirer.
There are so many people in our area who contribute to the community and give to others. I would be much more interested in reading a front-page story about someone who gives selflessly, instead of a story about a person such as Chris Harne, who thinks only of himself and works as little as possible.
In this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I believe more readers would be satisfied to read stories of true inspiration, not laziness.
Mary Anne Mazanec
Expansion is wrong
Kudos to the writer of the Nov. 30 editorial, "A move benefiting all." The Fox Chase Cancer Center must be extremely happy to see such a well-written article endorsing their big-business expansion. It covered all the issues in a style that slowly but directly persuaded the reader into thinking this $800 million building project is "a move benefiting all."
This project on donated parkland is a move benefiting one rather large and (as we can see) rapidly-growing business. If they throw money at traffic problems, promise to beautify the remaining park and create jobs, everyone is willing to look away while they do something that is wrong.
Let the Fox Chase Cancer Center use existing buildings or other available land in the area to reach their goals. They do not have the right to use this land for their corporation. Save Burholme Park!
John Tracey Jr.
Misleading on taxes
During the Delaware County Council campaign, the endorsed Republican candidates led us to believe that their organization was going to hold the line on any tax increases. Even their radio commercials warned that the Democrats would raise taxes if they got elected.
Now, just weeks after the election, we find out that there may be a 8.5 percent property tax increase for 2008 ("A different line on raising taxes," Nov. 30).
The Republicans won County Council based on the fact that they were fiscal conservatives and that they would hold the line on taxes. Call it voter deception, but Delaware County has been "scrooged" again. I predicted this would happen during my primary campaign for County Council.
Now that they have floated the 8.5 percent proposed tax hike, the Republicans probably will come back in late December with a smaller increase, say about 5 percent. They will make it look like they are giving all of us a Christmas gift because they will have reduced the tax increase down to about 5 percent.
Rocco J. Polidoro
Scouts can't complain
Rather than the Boy Scouts complaining about their increased rent, they should be thankful for the nearly 80 years they have had free rent ("Scouts ignore gay-policy deadline," Dec. 3)! The Girl Scouts, Red Cross, United Way or other community agencies have not had such a gift. Also, how many new police officers might $199,999 provide annually?
Tax focus too much
Although I agree with The Inquirer about the need for more citizen input and transparency in the city budgeting process ("Dial 311 for better services," Nov. 26), I would hope the paper would follow its own advice by giving readers a more complete picture of Philadelphia's service needs.
All children and families in the region deserve good schools, housing, recreation, child welfare, health and public safety. Philadelphia will become competitive when we provide these.
To achieve this, we will have to stop focusing narrowly on how Philadelphia's tax rates compare with other cities' and start focusing on what it offers residents. We will have to address the thorny issue of how the city's governance structure - with contiguous city and county borders - puts it at a disadvantage for raising the revenue needed to serve its current population. And we will have to commit to providing the services that the current generation of children and youth need to grow into mature and productive business and civic leaders.
The Next Great City will be one that doesn't alienate businesses with high taxes, yes, but also one that doesn't alienate families that can relocate to communities with better schools, cleaner streets, fully-staffed recreational opportunities and public safety.
Carolyn T. Adams