A toll on business
Adding tolls to existing interstate lanes that we have already paid for, and that our taxes continue to pay for, is a terrible idea ("Debate on new proposals to toll nation's interstate highways," Oct. 5). My company's transportation, warehousing, logistics, and commercial-moving business relies on interstates, and for some researcher to come along and say "Just put tolls up and everything will be fine" would be laughable if it were not so ridiculous.
Tolls push traffic onto local roads that weren't built for that type of volume. Tolls increase the cost of goods that ship by truck. And tolls hurt businesses that are unlucky enough to be located where tolling stations are placed. I'm sure none of that was in the study cited in recent news accounts.
If more funding needs to go toward road construction, then tolling is by far the most inefficient and harmful way to raise the money.
Stephanie "Sam" Fleetman, president, Mustang Expediting Inc., Media
It's dismaying that there are still individuals and groups who seek to spread their message of hate and prejudice, such as a white-supremacy group that, on at least two recent occasions, distributed hate-filled fliers in Medford and Lumberton.
At an October Burlington County freeholder meeting, I raised the issue and strongly recommended that the freeholders establish a human-relations commission. Camden County's commission provides an excellent model for us to emulate and build upon.
The commission would hold monthly public meetings, assist towns that wish to establish their own commissions, provide workshops and educational programs, and coordinate conflict-resolution services. This can be done at no additional expense to taxpayers, since commission members would be volunteers appointed by the freeholders.
Joanne Schwartz, freeholder, Burlington County
Just when I thought The Inquirer was coming to its senses, Charles Krauthammer returns with his brand of hateful, small-minded, and seemingly uninformed right-wing propaganda. I enjoyed the few calm weeks reading the paper relatively free of his bombastic rhetoric.
Steve Kaplan, Wayne
At Aqua Pennsylvania, we're making strides to lessen our impact on the environment through sustainable initiatives, ranging from solar arrays powering our plants to running compressed natural-gas trucks and service vehicles fueled from our own fueling station.
One greatest return from our investment has been our participation in the region's demand-response program, which offers a way for a company or institution to lower costs by reducing its demand on the power grid during peak periods when wholesale prices skyrocket. Beyond helping to stabilize the grid, Aqua has been able to realize an annual electricity budget savings of more than $500,000.
We encourage other large electric customers to realize the value of their participation in the demand-response effort.
Steve Tagert, president, Aqua Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr
Trudy Rubin faults Republicans for linking "the extraneous issue of gutting the president's health-care program" to the shutdown ("Shutdown repercussions," Oct. 10). But Obamacare is a monstrous, intrusive, costly, political act of 2,700 pages, passed by a short-lived monopoly of Democrats. Now that Congress has been restored to a sane balance, there is a chance to stop it. Why now? Because as enrollment grows, the number of people dependent upon it will make it almost impossible to undo. And the political advantage of this constituency to Democrats may return us to the one-party rule that spawned this monster.
Anthony P. Schiavo, Lafayette Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org