It will be exciting to see another skyscraper rising in Center City, a lovely addition to an already diverse and interesting skyline ("Approval is close for tallest tower," yesterday). But does anyone but me wonder where the architects come off claiming it to be a 1,510-foot building? To construct a 1,200-foot building with a 300-foot, unoccupied spire on top and then call it a 1,500-foot building is akin to me letting my hair grow, combing it into a vertical spike, and then claiming to be 7 feet tall. No big deal but, hey, let's be honest.
Re: "Flashes of reality in N. Phila," Sunday:
Anthropologist Mariana Chilton attempts to blame society and government for poverty within a cohort of unmarried women with children. As a Christian, I believe it is our responsibility to offer these women and children our charity. As a citizen, I believe these women have simply made bad choices, and their fellow citizens should not be made to pay for their mistakes through governmental redistribution of wealth.
The process of school redistricting in Lower Merion Township has deteriorated to the point where neighbors are pitted against neighbors, friends are not speaking, and our children, who watch us more than we know, are learning that the way to get what you want is to stick it to the other guy.
That adults cannot negotiate a compromise where all give a little so we each get something we value, that this has been reduced to a zero-sum game, is nothing short of tragic. I place responsibility for this on the school board and district, which through inconsistent communications and reactionary behavior, have left parents scared and bewildered every time a new and completely different redistricting draft comes out.
Re: "Safety first," editorial, Monday:
While I agree in principle that the Philadelphia School District needs to send a clear message to troublemakers by expelling them or transferring them to alternative schools, I am not sure enough people truly appreciate the scale of this challenge. As a student teacher in an affluent suburban district, I could issue an index-card-sized referral slip to a disruptive student and send him or her to the office, no questions asked. In Philadelphia, where I taught for six years, referral forms measured a full 8½ by 11 inches and had to be completed in triplicate. Furthermore, a teacher was expected to exhaust other strategies - a detention, calling home, etc. - before referring a student. Indeed, a sure way to curry disfavor among administrators was to send disruptive students to them a bit too often.
Ronald L. Zigler
The governors who came to Philadelphia with hopes of a federal bailout ("Obama seeks states' input," Wednesday) have some things in common with the Big Three automaker chieftains also seeking government handouts. Bloated payrolls, expensive and poor-quality products and services, and bad union contracts are three that immediately come to mind. The Obama administration should insist that states getting help show a path to balanced budgets within two years without the benefit of tax increases, and that any emergency funds are repaid within five years with interest. To allow states to raise taxes will only make the financial trough longer and deeper.
This is an important time of year for seniors. Through Dec. 31, they can enroll in, or change, their Medicare prescription-drug programs, which provide benefits that could save them hundreds, even thousands, of dollars each year. Heading into the fourth year of the Part D drug program, most seniors are already enrolled and are happy with the benefit. However, given the state of the economy, it is particularly important that seniors review their existing plans this year, compare alternatives, and make sure they have selected the option that best suits their needs.
Plans change, costs change, and our health needs change as we age, which means our prescription-drug needs change, too. Help can be found at
Healthcare Leadership Council