Noise on the side
University of Pennsylvania professor Mathias Basner's research on the negative health effects of noise should be required reading for restaurant owners in Philadelphia ("Noise is health issue, study says," Dec. 2). The dining experience in a great many restaurants is ruined by obnoxiously loud noise levels. Regardless of the quality of the food, I refuse to eat in those restaurants - to protect my health and my peace of mind. However, the waitstaff and cooks don't have a choice, and have to suffer exposure to excessively high noise levels for many hours every day. Restaurants need to do more with design and furnishings to reduce noise levels. Basner's research should make everyone think twice before dining in a noisy restaurant.
Gary King, Philadelphia
Post 'For Sale' signs
There is absolutely no reason why Mayor Nutter cannot, right now, identify all property that should be sold, set up a system for interested buyers to contact the city, and develop plans to sell to those buyers ("Blight costs city too much," Dec. 1). He should be doing all of that right now. There is no legal impediment to his doing that right now. After he has a plan, the City Charter requires him to submit a bill to City Council for the sales, because all property sales must be approved by Council. There is nothing remarkable about such a rule because corporations require their boards to approve land sales. It is the mayor's job to take the initiative and submit the bills.
Mark Zecca, Philadelphia
Behind recent accounts of the internal tussle for control of drone warfare is the deeper and larger question of the legal, moral, and ethical implications of the use of drones at all ("CIA slow to cede control of drones," Nov. 26). Should the United States be assassinating targets on a kill list? Is that who we are as a nation? And does drone violence end violence against America? Yemeni activist Faera Al-Muslimi noted in congressional testimony that one drone strike instantly radicalizes people in ways that al-Qaeda propaganda never could. Answering such questions is far more fundamental than resolving agency control of drones.
Nancy Neiman-Hoffman, Gwynedd, firstname.lastname@example.org
Passing a transportation bill that includes support for public transportation was not easy, and may not be universally popular, but was the right thing to do. Public transit, particularly in this region, is an asset to be encouraged.
John Haigis, Darby, email@example.com
As a counselor certified to provide folks across New Jersey with face-to-face help when they enroll in affordable, quality health plans through the Affordable Care Act, my commitment is to make sure that applicants are aware of benefits available to them, whether this is their first time being insured or they are just looking for more affordable, comprehensive coverage. Working with applicants, counselors make sure that those eligible for coverage understand the enrollment process, and how and where they can sign up. Our mission is to combat the misinformation spread by self-declared patriots.
Ed Sadowski, Sicklerville, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Inquirer's Thanksgiving editorial suggests that citizens be more respectful of President Obama ("Giving thanks should be easy," Nov. 28). Presumably, this would mean a return to the days of George W. Bush's presidency, when there was nary a critical peep from the opposition, nor demeaning jokes about the president's intelligence by David Letterman and other pundits. Those were the good old days when the opposition held its tongue. Or did I miss something?