Drilling does not threaten water

Thursday's editorial ("Save our water") all but endorsed an outright ban on clean-burning, job-creating natural-gas development from the Marcellus Shale, which puts more than 141,000 Pennsylvanians to work, and thousands more into other support industries.

The editorial implies that Philadelphia's water supply is at risk from the potential development of natural gas more than 150 miles north of the city. Readers deserve to know that Pennsylvania American Water - one of the commonwealth's largest water utilities - recently confirmed through testing "that the quality of the water supplied by [their] treatment plants has not been impacted by . . . Marcellus Shale drilling."

Our industry meets some of the nation's most forward-leaning regulatory standards to ensure that drinking water and the environment are protected. A clean environment and shale gas are not mutually exclusive. They can and must be balanced.

David Callahan

Vice President

Marcellus Shale Coalition

Harrisburg

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Mifflin principal unprofessional

I was appalled to read about the treatment of the white teachers at the Mifflin School ("4 white Philadelphia teachers file racial-bias lawsuits," Wednesday).

If a white principal had made similar statements to black teachers, he would have - and should have - been fired on the spot. How can a teacher be fit to teach white students, but not black students? Racial equality is a two-way street. If these teachers are competent, there is no reason why they can't teach students of any background.

It sounds as if the principal is the one who should not be involved in education.

Mike Krakovitz

Drexel Hill

mike@mksremodeling.com

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Play didn't deserve nitpicking review

Having seen

The Shadow Box

, I must object to almost everything that Toby Zinman had to say in her review of the production ("Three people facing death, and those who love them," May 13).

First of all, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Tony Award for best play in 1977.

Zinman said Melissa Connell was actually too beautiful for her part. But Connell, like the rest of the cast, was perfectly believable in her portrayal. Zinman also had to be the only person to notice a wedding ring on the unmarried Agnes.

When I went, the small theater was practically full, and when the show ended, there were few dry eyes in the audience and the applause was generous and enthusiastic. Asked to remain for a discussion period, most stayed and participated.

These small theater companies produce exceptionally well-done shows despite their small budgets. Most of the cast members are professional actors with very good skills. They deserve better than a nitpicking review like Zinman's.

Mario A. Maurizio

West Chester

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Tortured warrior vs. mere lawyer

John Yoo has once again defended the use of torture ("The post-9/11 intelligence architecture is vindicated," May 15), saying that the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is what produced the information that led to finding Osama bin Laden and killing him.

John McCain says otherwise. He says the name of bin Laden's courier was obtained through standard interrogation methods, and that KSM gave us bogus information.

I tend to believe an actual warrior who himself endured torture in the service of our country versus a lawyer regarded by some in the world as a war criminal for his activities in the Bush administration.

Yoo makes no mention of why that administration did not order the capture or killing of bin Laden when he was cornered in Tora Bora, though former President George W. Bush once said at a news conference that bin Laden had been marginalized and that he no longer thought about him.

President Obama, on the other hand, took the risk, made the call, and got the job done. Case closed.

Joseph Creighton

Marlton

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McCain trustworthy about torture

How can Rick Santorum dispute Sen. John McCain's comments about interrogation techniques? Santorum says he bases his thoughts on "everything I've read." I would think the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee would have better information on how Osama bin Laden was tracked down.

Santorum is well-educated, but I'll take the word of the guy who was actually tortured for more than five years as the bottom-line on enhanced-interrogation. Kudos to Brooke Buchanan, McCain's spokeswoman, for not deigning to respond to Santorum.

William D. Markert Jr.

Philadelphia

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Bush and Obama compared again

A letter Wednesday ("Bush, Obama, and bin Laden") said that "President Obama exercised the courageous judgment that Bush lacked." The evidence? A quote in which former President George W. Bush said he didn't give bin Laden much thought. But would the "cowboy" Bush have done less if he had Osama in his sights? Not likely.

However, when a truly crucial decision for our country arose - whether to try to win the war in Iraq - Bush chose to risk sending in 30,000 more troops, while then-Sen. Barack Obama favored leaving the mess and getting out as soon as possible.

In this much more significant and risky presidential decision, Bush exercised courageous judgment that Obama lacked.

Anthony P. Schiavo

Lafayette Hill