Greater good

The court decision blocking Fox Chase Cancer Center from a part of Burholme Park is dismaying. Let me get this straight: The city and the Fairmount Park Commission have approved the expansion request, yet some neighbors fear it will restrict their ability to walk their dogs or to use a driving range that is open only half of the year.

Philadelphia is a world leader in medical research and medical education. Yet we are going to prevent the growth of one of the premier cancer centers in the country because of the shortsightedness of some vocal residents.

Are we a great city, or do we remain captive to provincial attitudes? Whatever happened to the greater good?

Marc J. Horman

Doylestown

Union choice

You needn't look much further than your shrinking workplace, pension and 401(k) to understand why we must level the playing field between lavishly paid CEOs and the rest of us, who depend on successful American businesses to support our families.

If passed by Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act would restore balance between employees and employers and ensure that workers have a fair chance to form unions. Under the act, when a majority sign cards stating they want union representation, a union is formed, and negotiations begin. If a contract isn't reached in 90 days, there are provisions for mediation and binding arbitration.

Some 42 million workers say they would join a union if they could, but labor laws favor employers. Corporations routinely intimidate, coerce and fire employees who try to form unions. Historically, unions have benefited all Americans, improving wages, health care and working conditions.

Ted Kirsch

President

Pa. American Federation of Teachers

Cold Kimmel

The Kimmel Center has all the warmth of a subway platform. Cold, barren, echo-shattering, gray, dull walls don't exactly scream: "Stay and visit awhile."

No disrespect toward the modernistic/artistic concept of this building, but don't negate the need for a warm, welcoming entrance to pull in - and encourage - visitors to marvel, as well as keep 'em coming back! (Think Picasso's "cubist" paintings wrapped in an afghan.)

Vicky Benedict Farber

Narberth

Generational ethics

I take exception to William Kashatus' commentary Wednesday ("The ethics-challenged generation") on the alleged superior "moral integrity" of the World War II generation.

I find no comparative figures in the Josephson Institute's study of the millennial generation to tell us how many of previous generations cheated on tests or committed plagiarism, to show the difference between then and now.

Moreover, the WWII generation's "morality" included racial segregation and discrimination against women and gays, and the "ethics" showcased during the Watergate and Iran Contra scandals were far from unassailable. Every generation has its miscreants and its heroes.

Michael P. Rellahan

West Chester

Good pick

I did not vote for President-elect Obama, but I applaud his choice of retired Gen. Eric Shinseki to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I am a veteran, and we need a good combat leader to head the VA. With this choice, I also am beginning to like Obama, since Shinseki was criticized by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for telling the truth that we needed more troops in Iraq.

I also fault President Bush for having this good general retire after 38 years in the military.

George J. Walton

Upper Darby

Bankrupt hope

Re: "Gambling robust in Pa. amid instability," Sunday:

The article offers a good example of why slots parlors, especially near a transportation hub, should not be in Philadelphia. It tells how "hope springs eternal" in the heart of a gambler who is both unemployed and on disability.

Who will support her when her money is all gone? Slots parlors are geared to make people lose.

Gerald H. Yablin

Philadelphia