Jews and blacks
have common bond
The murder of security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, allegedly by neo-Nazi James von Brunn, should send a message that people who want to kill Jews also want to kill African Americans.
Fifty years ago, there was a strong alliance between these two communities, based on their common heritage as targets of discrimination. This alliance has frayed over the years.
The murder of Jones by an allegedly racist, anti-Semitic neo-Nazi is a reminder that whatever else they may be to each other, in America, Jews and African Americans continue to be targeted together.
As long as people like von Brunn exist, Americans of Jewish descent and those of African descent will be best served by working together against those who wish us harm.
The Education Improvement Tax Credit program is little-known but provides significant tax credits to businesses that donate to scholarship programs for low-income Pennsylvania students through high school. EITC is at risk of being cut from the state budget.
The Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia depends on donations from area corporations that participate in EITC. In the past 11 years, we have provided more than 7,000 four-year scholarships to low-income children who attend more than 200 private, parochial, and other tuition-based schools.
In the end, cutbacks or elimination of the state EITC program would cost taxpayers millions in lost revenues from a generation of children who will be unable to access quality education.
Ina B. Lipman
Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia
to select judges
For more than 50 years, the Philadelphia Bar Association has held that merit should be the primary factor in determining who is qualified to be a judge. Through its ruling in Caperton v. Massey, the U.S. Supreme Court agrees, declaring that judges must recuse themselves from cases involving their large campaign donors.
A bill proposed by Pennsylvania Sen. Jane Earll and Rep. Matthew Smith is the latest bid for merit selection of state judges. With the U.S. Supreme Court bringing more attention to this issue, we must work to ensure that candidates seeking a seat on our state benches are the most qualified, not the most financially or politically connected.
Sayde J. Ladov
Philadelphia Bar Association
Re: "Avoid fried foods to avoid cancer," May 25:
It is true that colonoscopies do not "prevent" colon cancer in a literal sense; they serve to remove polyps that are benign precursors to cancer. Polyps are linked to diet, heredity, or simply aging. We are seeing a slow drop in colon cancer death rates, not due to diet changes, but due to the performance of colonoscopies and polypectomies. It is a safe, painless, and reliable procedure.
As a gastroenterologist, I witness daily the lifesaving benefit offered by colonoscopies. Encourage colonoscopies. Educate your readers; don't endanger them.
Neil M. Cohen
A June 5 letter asked "How can there be common ground?" on the abortion issue. But the pro-life movement could find common ground with the pro-choice movement. Neither likes the idea of "wholesale abortions."
The pro-choice movement also accepts abstinence as a praiseworthy and healthy solution to those who do not wish to have children at the present time.
However, the compromise that many who are pro-life will not accept is contraception, or the "morning-after pill." Education on all forms of contraception would prevent most unwanted pregnancies, and ultimately most abortions. This is where compromise is needed.
Elinor I. Naylor
want light rail
A May 25 article, "Not all are aboard for Glouco light rail," was at best misleading in its presentation.
Indeed, the essence of the article was a push by Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield to procure federal financing for increased security along the River Line. But the article also led one to believe that Gloucester County residents fear crime will ensue with the light-rail extension.
By my count, only one Gloucester County resident was actually mentioned in the story, and he was very much in favor of the light-rail extension. It is a shame that you would spin such a negative feel to any project without real substantive evidence of that negativity.
Kenneth C. Kunz