Hitting sour notes
I live in Center City and I'm forced to listen to some truly awful street musicians for hours on end ("What now for musicians?" Dec. 12). In the summertime, the playing extends well into the evening. Is there no reasonable limit to how many times I have to hear "The Pink Panther Theme" played by the same lousy trumpet during an afternoon, and the next afternoon, and the next?
I would love to find the address of Paul Messing, the lawyer who won this case ("Suit on outdoor music is settled," Dec. 11), so I can go to his house and freely express my love of drums for hours. Does anyone care to guess how long I would be allowed to do that?
While pedestrians and SEPTA commuters listen to this noise for minutes at most, Center City residents have to tolerate it for hours and days on end. This does
enhance our quality of life.
Ronald R. Ulm
U.S. is wasteful
In his Oslo Nobel Peace Prize address, Al Gore mentions the failure of the United States to act on climate change (Inquirer, Dec. 11). In Bali, the United States refuses to agree to cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. In Lancaster, smiling Philadelphia workers find affordable "big" housing and cheap taxes and commute 125 gas-guzzling miles to their jobs ("The new western pioneers," Dec. 11).
The U.S. position on global warming is no mystery, and its citizens need only look at their own reckless energy consumption and living habits to understand it. London has a 20-mile, no-development zone around the city to prevent sprawl, while Philadelphia and virtually every other American urban center spread their boundaries unchecked.
The U.S. development pattern is good for the economy (at least the auto industry, gas and utility companies, and home builders) and that's all that seems to count. Smog be damned!
Teachers work hard
Before Nancy Katz Colman uses the words
cushy teacher's pension
("A mom career by default," Dec. 5), she should walk a day in a teacher's shoes. The opposite of cushy is difficult, and that's what teaching is. I woke up every day for 36 years and went to work as a classroom teacher. Just because her inconsiderate friend blurted out, "Nancy doesn't work," is no reason for Colman to discredit retired teachers.
Stay-at-home moms don't get it ("A mom career by default," Dec. 5). Working moms work because we must, just as men do. Without our paychecks, our families would lose our homes, our kids would not go to college, and there would be no food on the table.
We still do all the things stay-at-home moms do: care for aging, dying parents; take the kids to school; help with the college application; cook, clean, shop, and attend teacher conferences. Plus we work 40 hours a week for a paycheck. We do both because we must.
Good for you if you don't have to do both, but take ownership of your decisions; be thankful for your good fortune; and stop whining.
One side on Mumia
I understand the need to show both sides of any story (Letters, Dec. 10), but in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, there is only one side: He murdered a policeman. His original death sentence should be restored. End of story.