Another pill isn't always the answer

As a 69-year-old, I applaud the Elder Law Task Force effort, but I was shocked to see that one of the recommendations was to use more medication for dysfunctional families ("Group urges law changes to protect elderly in Pa.," Dec. 12).

It has been well-documented that seniors in particular are often overmedicated because of the side effects of a medication they supposedly need. Another medication is prescribed to address the side effects, and so on. This ridiculous cycle can and does significantly alter an older person's ability to think rationally, and it can lead to mistaken diagnoses of dementia, often resulting in unneccesary nursing home placements, more medication, and the types of legal fights over guardianship and financial control that the task force was formed to work against.

As I get older, I see and feel firsthand the type of denigration to which our society subjects the aged - the pat-on-the-head syndrome. But the physical limitations of aging bodies do not correlate with mental limitations.

Seniors should be encouraged to take their lives into their own hands and make their own decisions. Doctors should not automatically reach for the prescription pad; I know many who do not. Society needs to learn that not every problem can be fixed with a pill. The Elder Law Task Force should take note.

|Barbara Kay Tarnoff, Philadelphia


Any good guys?

We have read about the folks who took gifts from an informant during a state sting ("The truth about Kane," Dec. 18). When are we going to learn the names of the officials who turned him down - so we can congratulate them?

|John Griswold, Philadelphia

Time for Kane to go

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane's resignation is overdue ("The truth about Kane," Dec. 18). The irony of her campaign slogan - "a prosecutor, not a politician" - could hardly be brought into higher relief following Seth Williams' demonstration of courage, ethics, and independence in prosecuting officials Kane declined to charge.

|Tom Durnell, Philadelphia


Neighbors' expectations still high

As neighbors of the Boyd Theatre, the Center City Residents' Association promptly responded to the change in ownership with a Nov. 25 letter to the new owners emphasizing our expectation that a movie theater - along the lines of that proposed by iPic - would occupy the property ("Plan's failure raises new hope for Boyd," Dec. 19). That letter was copied to Mayor Nutter, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, and other officials.

The new owner of the Boyd, Pearl Properties, has a record of developing tasteful properties that have become assets. We expect and hope that the development of a high-end movie theater with dining will commence promptly at the Boyd location.

|Jeffrey L. Braff, president, Center City Residents' Association, Philadephia


Toyota's less than total recall

Toyota sent me a safety recall notice for the passenger-side air bag on my 2003 Corolla. So I contacted my dealer, and guess what? The supply of air bag modules is so limited that they are only being sent to so-called rainy areas. What they could do for me is disconnect the air bag module.

When I called Toyota's corporate offices, they offered me another solution: Don't carry any front-seat passengers.

|Joyce London, Woodbury


Partnership easy to pass up

What a thrill it would be to enter into a public-private agreement with the Philadelphia Gas Works, investing millions and acquiring a partner that has proven ineffectual at business and suffers from an outdated, hazardous, decrepit infrastructure ("Pipeline dreams," Dec. 17).

|Jeff Kurtz, Jeffersonville


Driving down crime produces a safer Temple

As noted by The Inquirer, Temple University's Campus Safety Services include 130 sworn police officers and the equivalent of 250 full-time AlliedBarton personnel, who form an impressive, well-trained public-safety team ("Temple police expand the zone," Dec. 18). Just as impressive are their results.

So far, crime has decreased 3.5 percent in 2014 compared to last year, with robberies down 9 percent and aggravated assaults down 17 percent. This follows a 26 percent overall crime decrease in 2013. These decreases have come amid continuous growth in Temple's student body, more residential life in and around the main campus, increases in building use, and an extension of the coverage area for policing.

In addition to working to decrease crime, we prioritize increasing connections and relationships with our neighbors. These outreach initiatives include welcome-wagon events at which we educate students about the importance of being good neighbors.

Through these efforts as well as others, we continuously evaluate services and resources to optimize them for the Temple community. Our university is a safe and enriching environment in which to learn, work, or live.

|Charles J. Leone, executive director, public safety, Temple University, Philadelphia