Calling 'cut' on film incentives
In commenting recently on a plan for the Boyd Theater, Greater Philadelphia Film Office executive director Sharon Pinkenson was able to exclaim with glee that no public funds would be used. Yet she has no problem with her Film Office feeding at the public trough when it comes to lobbying for increased state subsidies to lure film companies to our area ("Uncap Pa. film tax credit," Feb. 4). While this is done under the guise of bringing jobs, these are not permanent jobs. Studies have shown that the real beneficiaries are movie companies that receive the tax credits. Their accounting can be orchestrated so that they do not exceed thresholds that would mean the state receives a greater return. From what I've read, more states are becoming aware that they are getting less bang for their buck, and they are eliminating or scaling back on these handouts.
Roger H. Sternfeld, Wyndmoor, email@example.com
Sneaks, sodas, and much more
It is encouraging to see companies like Coca-Cola and Nike awakening to the threat of climate change to their bottom line ("Coke and Nike know the truth," Feb. 3). But their business models seem to incorporate only direct threats to supply chains. They would do well to consider the threat to their customer base. As climate change proceeds, we can expect increases in poverty, displacement, sickness, and mortality. Estimates vary, but the World Health Organization attributes 140,000 excess deaths annually to climate-related causes such as drought, floods, and disease. All of that is bad for selling Coke, running shoes, and many other consumer goods. Perhaps that realization is what it will take to break the global paralysis and encourage the drastic measures needed to combat climate change.
Alan Windle, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Look beyond the usual suspects
Enough of exploiting tragedy to malign the National Rifle Association (editorial cartoon, Jan. 28). I'm neither an NRA member nor a gun owner, but those who belong in those categories must be just as horrified as anyone by the deaths of innocent people. The Columbia Mall in Maryland, like the sites of similar tragedies, was officially a gun-free zone. This did not deter a disturbed person from arming himself and killing there. In fact, a similar situation at the Clackamas Town Center mall near Portland, Ore., two years ago came to an end after the gunman was confronted by a law-abiding citizen who was armed. This doesn't suggest that arming everyone is the answer any more than stricter gun-control measures are. There are no easy answers.
Brian Gillin, Broomall, email@example.com
Saving lives along with souls
Nancy Grogan's commentary on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's lack of a voice on gun violence did not surprise me ("Speak out on gun violence," Jan. 31). As a cradle Catholic, I have concluded that the church is uncomfortable addressing male-centric issues such as gun violence, domestic violence, rape, incest, pornography, pedophilia, and more. Its moral strength is narrowly directed at the female reproductive system and homosexuality. I hope Grogan's article will help church leaders broaden their moral outlook to include right-to-life issues for victims of gun violence.
Patricia Johnson, West Chester
An appropriate advocacy stance
The Catholic Church is not a political lobbying organization, nor should it be, lest it lose even more credibility among the populace ("Speak out on gun violence," Jan. 31). One of the church's central tenets is "Thou shalt not kill," and there are already laws in place prohibiting murder. The church, therefore, rightly keeps its focus on overturning laws that permit killing the unborn and terminally ill. Its refusal to advocate for gun laws is a sensible choosing of battles by a rightly apolitical organization.
Ward T. Williams, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recalling the good Paterno did
Nancy Nuszer McCann's commentary on Joe Paterno truly said it all about the great Penn State football coach ("Leadership beyond the gridiron," Feb. 3). It would be wonderful if the new coach, James Franklin, did away with players' names on the uniforms and brought back the concept that the players are one team, not a team of individuals.