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Letters to the Editor

The bike race on the Parkway is a wonderful event - flags flying, music playing. The mayor is there; the governor is there. The crowd is excited, and the energy is palpable. A great event for the city.

Bike race is no picnic in Manayunk

The bike race on the Parkway is a wonderful event - flags flying, music playing. The mayor is there; the governor is there. The crowd is excited, and the energy is palpable. A great event for the city.

But in Roxborough and Manayunk, the race has become a nightmare. It's nothing more than an excuse for young "adults," many of them clearly underage, to get drunk. Many residents are fed up with the drunken brawling, the urinating and vomiting in their yards, and the belligerent behavior. There is damage to property, and broken glass and trash everywhere. Residents have taken to leaving the neighborhood for the day to get away.

It appears that there is an active policy to disregard laws that prohibit open containers of alcohol on city streets and underage drinking. Unfortunately the prevailing attitude is "they're just having some fun," with the result that these behaviors are, in effect, encouraged.

How about a court with a judge near the Manayunk Wall? Unless something is done to curb and eliminate this behavior, the neighbors may rise up in protest, and then there won't be a bike race anymore.

Donald A. Simon


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Word choices can mislead

While I agree in general with many of the sentiments expressed in the editorial "A better idea for Gaza" (Sunday), I am troubled by two of your language choices, which are clear examples of how language can mislead or convey subtle yet damaging impressions.

First, you say that Hamas has "lobbed" rockets into Israel. Did al-Qaeda lob two airplanes into the World Trade Center towers? For years, Hamas has been firing thousands of explosive-laden rockets into Israel with the intent of killing or maiming innocent civilians. How would the United States respond if Mexico were doing the same across our southern border?

Second, you say that Israeli commandos resorted to lethal force on the Turkish aid ship because they were "rebuffed." They weren't rebuffed. As the video of the events shows, Israel's soldiers were violently attacked by people wielding lethal weapons in a clearly premeditated act when those soldiers attempted to conduct a nonviolent search of the ship to prevent the importing into Gaza of additional rockets to be "lobbed" into Israel.

Benjamin Zuckerman


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We can't afford wars' price

It turns my stomach every time I read about the cost of the two wars. On top of close to $1 trillion spent to blow up Iraq, we have already spent $250 billion to kill people in Afghanistan, most of them innocent civilians. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress that the cost of America's longest war is now approaching $100 billion a year.

What are the objectives? Unclear. What have we accomplished? Nothing, expect to alienate the rest of the world. Meanwhile, education, job creation, and humanitarian work around the world all go begging. According to the New York Times, more than 150,000 teachers are expected to lose their jobs next year. These jobs could all be saved, and we could embark on truly innovative educational programs, with a fraction of what we spend to destroy Afghan cities and villages in a vain hunt for al-Qaeda.

Gordon Bennett

West Brandywine

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Married priests are welcome here

Re: "The priest - and his Mrs.", Sunday:

The article states: The Catholic Church "banned married clergy eight centuries ago. In 1951, it made an exception for married clergy who convert, but on a case-by-case basis."

There is a significant omission here: Throughout the centuries, the Eastern Catholic Churches have enjoyed the tradition of a married clergy, i.e., a married man can become ordained to the priesthood.

Leo Iwaskiw


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Beware cost of added regulation

Rather than rubber-stamp the passenger bill of rights, how about questioning the overall costs of regulation ("Friendlier skies," Monday)?

I guarantee that the ultimate cost of regulation will be the increased cost of airline travel. Increased cost equals decreased demand. Decreased demand equals financial difficulty. Financial problems equal another bailout of the airline industry (remember 2001?).

Let the consumer speak with his or her wallet. We can always refuse to patronize airlines that don't offer suitable levels of service.

David Brooks


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Let baseball be baseball

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with those who say that baseball Commissioner Bud Selig "dropped the ball" on the Armando Galarraga call. While I agree that he is a lousy commissioner, it would be wrong to tinker with the game by reversing the call.

Not only would Galarraga's perfect game be marred by an asterisk, but the door would be opened for baseball's thugs and lawyers to rule the game - it would only be a matter of time until every call made by the umps could be open to question.

Leave the game alone. The players aren't perfect, and the umps shouldn't be expected to be perfect either. Both umpire Jim Joyce and Galarraga acted with true class, and that's the way it should be left.

Mark Long

Lafayette Hill