Healing the planet
As holistic nurses, we appreciate the spotlight that the approach of Earth Day focuses on protecting and preserving the planet ("Cleaning up New Jersey's act," April 7). It reminds us that we can't function or live well if water is polluted, the air contaminated, or the land poisoned, and ensures we consider the health of the ecosystem in relation to the health and safety of those in our care. Since we are taught to encourage natural healing from sunlight, minerals, and plants, Earth Day is a day for celebrating how body, mind, and spirit come together and are supported by the environment in which we live.
Barbara Byrne Notte, Main Line of Philadelphia Area American Holistic Nurses Association, Pottstown, firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the proposals in a New Jersey School Boards Association task force report on reducing special education costs is shifting the burden of proof to parents when there is disagreement over a child's individual education plan. While a savings for districts, it would force parents to retain attorneys to advocate for what they feel is best for their children. The school boards group seems more concerned with saving money at the expense of special education students than providing a fair and equitable education for them. The task force should have recommended a process whereby school districts and parents come to mutual agreement, so there would be no need for lawsuits.
David M. Levin, Vineland
Jewish school labors
As a teacher and rabbi, I am shocked that the Perelman Jewish Day School in Wynnewood and Melrose Park proclaimed an end to its collective bargaining process ("Perelman teachers object," April 10). The school's argument that, as a religious institution, it is not covered by labor laws restricting such moves is a shameful misuse of its Jewish character, since Torah, including Jewish law, and modern Jewish values all encourage workers to band together. All the more that teachers of Jewish tradition and culture should be treated with respect in a school under the auspices of Conservative Judaism.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Responding to the anguished cries of billionaires (and the politicians they support) still facing some campaign-spending restrictions even after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision opened the floodgates of money into elections, the high court (actually only five of the nine justices deserve credit) has now kicked open the gates even wider. And rightly so. Can you imagine the frustration of being unable to buy the government you want?
John J. Donohue Jr., Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Voting best antidote
If voters weren't swayed by mindless attack ads, took time to learn candidates' positions, and bothered to vote, increased funding of campaigns would be irrelevant.
Bill Dingfelder, Bala Cynwyd
SRC not cutting it
If the School Reform Commission was created to remedy the ineptitude of the old school board, why hasn't it solved the School District's problems ("What good is the SRC?" April 11)? Since it obviously can't do any better, it should be dissolved and replaced.
Alan Bronstein, Elkins Park
Paint with care
As a practicing artist, former city planner, and architectural designer, I am well aware of the benefits of the Mural Arts Program, but enough already ("Murals our brand," April 9). The zeal of its leaders often results in poor judgement in site selections that offend sensitive tastes. More care needs to be taken.