Castille shouldn't direct investigation

Thank you for cracking open the door and giving us a peak inside the time capsule that is Philadelphia politics and its machinery at work.

As if this whole situation isn't embarrassing enough to our city, how can someone at the center of the storm - Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille - be able to select the investigator whose mission will be to impartially determine whether the $12 million in public funds spent to date on the new Family Court building - payments which Castille apparently authorized - was legitimately spent?

I believe the public would agree with your editorial ("Too close for comfort," Thursday) that any investigation must be managed completely independently of his office.

Thomas Ikeler

Berwyn

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Unions aren't realistic on pensions

Mayor Nutter has proposed reforms to the city's pension plans that include a less expensive alternative for new employees. The immediate and vocal union opposition would be laughable if it did not display such blind ignorance of reality.

The pension benefits in the current plans will eventually bankrupt the city, and must be reined in. Private employers in the region years ago changed their plans along the lines proposed by Nutter. There can be no justification for giving public employees pensions superior to those of the public they serve.

Stewart Patrick

Narberth

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Dividends should be withheld

BP shareholders are objecting to the possible freeze of dividends. Last I heard, shareholders are accountable for the mistakes of their company. Man up, folks, this one is going to cost you.

I just find it interesting: When there is a disaster in another country, the United States is always there with resources and help; when a disaster occurs here, where is everyone?

Daniel W. Renwick

Mantua

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Huge vehicles should be banned

Sitting at a gas station, I noticed that the bumper of a large vehicle right in front of me was at my eye level. That meant its overall height had to be greater than a foot more than my Toyota Camry's.

I asked what the big car or truck might be, and the attendant said it was a "medium-size SUV." That seems to mean that there are small, intermediate, and large derivatives.

The love affair of Americans and automobiles has reached a fantasy stage requiring, I suppose, more intervention by the Obama forces to pass a "Uniform Automotive Size and Reduction in Redundancy Act," as soon as other deficiencies in common sense are eliminated by him in new and ever more dynamic oratory before cheering crowds.

Bert Medland

Newtown Square

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History tells a different story

I found your "Unconscionable" editorial (Wednesday) to be a sad one. It is well-known that the subject of Palestine is filled with emotion and myth. One half-truth was your statement that Jews have been living in what is now Israel and the occupied territories for thousands of years.

It is a fact that some Jews have been living in some parts of Palestine for many years, perhaps thousands. It is also a fact that the filling up of a predominantly Palestinian Palestine with Jewish refugees and European and American immigrants did not begin earnestly centuries ago, but only since World War I.

In these days where contrary voices are seldom heard, why would you choose to join the howling mob to lynch the gadfly? As you said, Helen Thomas was entitled to her opinion. No matter how biased or anti-Israeli her point may be, it is not bigoted, nor anti-Jewish.

Thomas M. Ricks

Havertown

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Is stormy weather ahead for WHYY?

Re: "In a tough year, WHYY is strong," letter, Friday:

I have served as the auditor of both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and provided pro-bono services to the not-for-profit sector for 30 years. What WHYY management's comments about "timing differences" in paying its liabilities as well as its renegotiated line of credit tell me is that there may be serious liquidity problems ahead.

WHYY is a cultural, artistic, and educational asset of the area. It has a public trust with respect to the contributions it solicits, and should be more forthcoming on what steps it has taken to meet the current funding environment it faces.

Craig J. Firestone

Huntingdon Valley