China's use of prison labor
As Mayor Nutter forges relations with Chinese industry, and as Philadelphians look to China for models of development, everyone should be aware that many Chinese factories are in fact forced labor camps ("Nutter gets to know sister city," Monday).
These camps, called laogai, hold millions of people who have been arrested for petty crimes, political offenses, or no wrongdoing at all. Laborers work for no pay, often for years, without any means of communication with life outside the camp.
The goods produced in labor camps already make their way into American and European markets. As consumers, we should be careful about what we buy, and as citizens, we should hesitate to praise and endorse Chinese business practices.
Rachel Cualedare, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay back DRPA grants
Don't you think that recipients of the "economic development" grants from the Delaware River Port Authority who make millions of dollars, and who pay some employees millions of dollars, should repay their "economic development" grants ("Easy to be generous when it's not your money," Saturday)? I'm talking about the Phillies and the Eagles, which received "grants" for their new stadiums.
Joseph P. McCool, Feasterville
District's fiscal irresponsibility
The Philadelphia School District has reached a new low in fiscal responsibility ("District sends mixed message," Monday).
School police officers were scheduled to receive a 3 percent raise June 30 under their contract, but they were not granted the raise because of a lack of funding. But, somehow, the district was able to find funding to allow more than $300,000 in raises to management personnel, which would have covered most of the police raises. Employees received raises ranging from $5,000 to $11,000, with one receiving more than $42,000.
This entire fiasco is just another example of the way tax dollars are wasted because they are considered "other people's money." As this behavior continues, I hope the district doesn't go running to the state for more funding, because I do not want any more of my tax dollars wasted in this fashion.
Mike Krakovitz, Drexel Hill, email@example.com
Moving article on survivors
Thank you for the moving article on the twin Holocaust survivors, Alfred Pick and Ruth Tengood ("At 100 years, going strong - together," Monday).
To be surrounded by several generations of children and grandchildren helps make the horrific treatment in the concentration camps become a thing of the past. Of course, those years can never be forgotten, yet it must be a comfort to be able to look to the future and see a family that will never go through all the ordeals that faced these two survivors.
Happy birthday, twins. May you live the rest of your lives in sunshine.
Gloria Gelman, Philadelphia