District was

looking for trouble

I find it unfathomable that LaGreta Brown was the most qualified person to be appointed principal of South Philadelphia High School ("Principal not new to controversy," Tuesday). Her previous experience as principal of Atlantic City High suggests many problems with personnel, her own temperament, empathy for employees and parents, and even insubordination.

Is it surprising, then, that she dropped the ball in dealing with a serious racial problem? District officials: You reap what you sow.

Michele Baccare



System fails

to keep us safe

The recent expose on the complete failure of the judicial system in Philadelphia to detain violent criminals clearly shows that administration after administration has ignored important calls to action over the past few decades ("Justice delayed, dismissed, denied," Sunday). Two measures, which due to politics and lack of will were never enacted - vigorous pretrial detention policies and the construction of more prison space - could have saved many lives if they were instituted years ago.

I hope City Council and Mayor Nutter will realize that now is the time to reform the bail system and ensure that every person arrested for a violent crime remains incarcerated until his trial to keep the public safe.

The idea that one gun a month legislation will do anything to stop one violent crime is not only laughable, but it is also both ignorant of the facts and insulting to the people of Philadelphia, who are held hostage by roughly 50,000 violent criminals walking its streets. The public should be extremely wary of politicians who want more laws that criminals will ignore instead of directing resources toward measures that will actually keep the city safe.

Robert Ciervo


Gaming bill

a giveaway

I concur with Saturday's editorial "Like bait for a trap," which discusses the shortcomings of the bill to expand gaming in Pennsylvania. The editorial, however, fails to mention the biggest problem: This bill was a giveaway to the casino industry. I voted against the final passage of the House version of the bill.

The test for me was twofold: First, does the bill get the best value for Pennsylvania's taxpayers? And second, does it adequately reform our gaming system?

I concluded that, while the bill makes a good attempt at reforming gambling in Pennsylvania, the proposal is not a good deal for Pennsylvania's taxpayers.

The licensing fee and tax rate on table games are too low. An amendment I voted for would have taxed the table games at a rate of 34 percent (slots are already taxed at 55 percent). The final bill that passed the House would eventually yield only a 12 percent tax rate.

The reason the rates are so low is that they were set largely based on what the casino industry said it would be willing to pay. Despite my requests, there was no independent analysis done to assess the true market value of the license or a fair tax rate on rates.

This is not how business should be done.

We had a chance to responsibly expand gaming in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the House failed to do that.

Rep. Josh Shapiro (D., Montgomery)



No good side

to global warming

Re: "Global warming would do some good," Sunday:

When you pump ever more energy into an oscillating system, the magnitude of the oscillations increases. If you've never seen the film of the Tacoma, Wash., bridge falling down, I strongly suggest you watch it on You Tube.

Take that bridge as a simple analogy for Earth's weather systems. If you think that we will all benefit from substantially higher high- and lower low-pressure systems, think again. Tornadoes occur at the frontal boundary between opposite pressure systems. The greater the temperature and pressure disparities, the larger and more numerous the storms.

Further, global warming means lots of melting ice and a corresponding rise in sea levels. I certainly hope you don't have any property down the Shore. And forget about Manhattan, much of Hawaii, and lowland nations around the world.

Then, there are the crops that will fail. And last, there are the wars to be fought over water and to prevent the wholesale migration of populations across national borders, especially when there is nothing for people to eat on either side.

Joseph Magid


Faith in science;

science in faith

I am astounded that Rick Santorum has such strong faith (defined by Merriam-Webster as "firm belief in something for which there is no proof"), believes unequivocally in stories written by dozens of men thousands of years ago, and yet scoffs at hundreds of recent years of scientific experimentation that supports the theory of evolution ("Challenging science dogma," yesterday).

Evolution has not been proven, yet it is foolish to ignore the path toward understanding our evolutionary relationship in this world.

Further, few dispute the role of faith and spirituality in science.

Scientific experimentation is carried out by humans. Most humans have faith, belief, and spirituality. Therefore, most science is carried out by people of faith. It is only those like Santorum, continuing to tread water in the shallow seas of ignorance, who do damage to both science and religion.

Todd Brown

Newtown Square