ISSUE | LIBRARIES
Temple University's announcement of plans for a new library is no cause for celebration ("Temple's new library must go digital,"
Dec. 12). A major research university requires a large circulating print collection that is browsable and open. Computerized databases cannot replace the discovery process of exploring the stacks, nor have they been proven to have the same value and life span as a traditional bound book.
It is a disservice to Temple's students and scholars to sacrifice such a necessity to make room for flavor-of-the-month gadgetry. Certainly a modern campus library can accommodate both old and new resources.
|Ben Webster, Philadelphia
ISSUE | BOYD THEATRE
Still a 'go'
Regarding our plans to bring an iPic luxury movie theater to the Boyd, although the beginning of construction has been delayed, our plans for the project are unchanged. Anyone who has negotiated a real estate transaction knows the process can have its ups and downs, but we have been through many negotiations, understand the process, and remain committed to bringing iPic to this Philadelphia landmark.
|Hamid Hashemi, president and CEO, iPic Entertainment, Boca Raton, Fla.
ISSUE | HUNGER
Off the table
According to a recent broadcast report, food waste is the greatest contributor to landfills across the country. Food is wasted from the manufacturer to the consumer. One example is the free breakfast that's served to schoolchildren across the city.
Because of budget constraints, the meals are served in classrooms during instructional time. For many reasons, much of the food purchased for the children goes to waste. At the end of the day, it goes into the trash.
While food banks could use it, the mechanics to get it to them don't exist. Because it was purchased with government funds, making such a donation could even be illegal.
Whenever I visit a school to tutor and notice leftover food, I lament the waste of this resource.
|Jeff Smith, Philadelphia
ISSUE | PROTESTS
Lower crime rates to minimize encounters
The protests regarding so-called police brutality ignore the essential issue, and that is the pervasive, systemic violence within the black community. Until that issue is resolved, we will continue to have regrettable confrontations between the community and police officers, who are charged with preventing crime.
One needs to do nothing but watch the local news to see - on a regular basis - white emergency workers speeding gunshot victims to hospitals, carrying people out of burning buildings, or providing winter coats or Christmas gifts to inner-city children. Yet at the same time, black youths murder each other with no regard for the life of anyone, old or young, in their own community.
Crime demands a police presence and leads to arrests and confrontations with police. Confrontations often result in bad things happening. Address the real issue: crime.
|T.G. O'Hara, Collegeville
ISSUE | RED-LIGHT CAMERAS
Garden State drivers safer, no longer harassed
New Jersey has taken a giant step toward safer highways by canceling its parasitic, dangerous red-light cameras ("N.J. turns red-light cameras off," Dec. 20). In news coverage, pro-camera statements are repeated while leaving out the fact that cameras increase accidents, injuries, and deaths, according to more 40 unbiased studies.
State transportation officials and the Legislature are no doubt bitterly bemoaning the loss of their dangerous cash cows. But Jersey's roads are now safer.
To correct unsafe intersections, officials are free to employ time-tested highway engineering principles to correct the design flaws that make roads dangerous.
|Tom McCarey, Berwyn
ISSUE | PUBLIC PENSIONS
Sharing the pain of funding retirees
An Inquirer editorial recommends taxes on the wealthy to fund public pensions ("Shouldn't break promise," Dec. 15). New Jersey's millionaires did not create the pension crisis and already carry a significant share of the tax burden.
Data from 2011 showed that 45,000 families earned more than $500,000 and paid 36 percent of income taxes in a state with nearly nine million residents. The 15,000 households earning more than $1 million paid 26 percent.
If a tax increase is part of the solution, all should pay more, or the rest of us will have no incentive to control pension costs.
|Ken Mitchell, Mount Laurel
ISSUE | TORTURE
Gauging accountabilty will save lives
A criminal investigation into the practice of torture during the last administration is long overdue. This is not about politics. It's about who we are as a nation.
It's also practical. Torture creates martyrs and enemies. Civilized treatment of prisoners wins converts.