ISSUE | UTILITIES

Reflecting on PGW moves by Council

Gas Workers Local 686 lauds City Council's decision to kill the Philadelphia Gas Works sale. While Mayor Nutter excluded stakeholders, Council involved everyone in meetings with its consultant. Council President Darrell L. Clarke and his colleagues had concerns that PGW's privatization would lead to the loss of family-sustaining jobs with health care and put the city's poor at risk. It also was a bad deal for PGW workers, with no protections for jobs, pensions, or health care.

Council members stood with workers and the poor, who literally would have been left in the cold if the proposed private buyer took over. Council reflects our citizenry, not the interests of big business. Its members have consistently demonstrated their willingness to protect everyday Philadelphians, as evidenced by their recent support of airport workers making poverty-level wages. Council members did what they're elected to do - listen to all constituents, not just the well-connected - and make informed decisions. They got this one right.

|Keith Holmes, president, Gas Works Employees Union Local 686, Philadelpha

ISSUE | GOOD WORKS

Hospice run by nuns touches higher truth

The story of the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne and their selfless and compassionate work lifted my soul ("Divine Care In Hunting Park," Dec. 29). Day after day, I read stories about greed, destructive power, and hatred. But Monday morning, I was greeted by a well-written story that proves that good is done by people who have faith in something other than themselves.

|Anne Hill, Fort Washington

Big seat to fill

Kudos to bus driver Eugene "Smitty" Smith on his successful career and subsequent retirement ("Next stop: Retirement," Dec. 30). As my father once told me, if you like what you do, you'll be happy. And if you are happy, you will be successful.

|Cindy Gelman Singer, Philadelphia

ISSUE | RESOLUTIONS

'Do unto others' trumps other life goals

In anticipation of the perennial deluge of New Year's resolutions, much ink, forests in the Pacific Northwest, and time may be saved by the realization that the adoption of the Golden Rule as an organizational principle trumps all other resolutions. This is inarguably true, since the majority of all problems and quotidian madness (e.g., conventional motorist behavior) would not exist if the Golden Rule were rigorously followed. The Golden Rule demands serious thought while one is throwing confetti and blowing whistles.

|John Raymond Stanks, Pennsauken

A driver's seven-point plan for safe new year

Here is a list of resolutions that all drivers should make:

1. I will come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

2. I will not pull out in front of a vehicle a few hundred feet away.

3. I will not drive through a red light.

4. I will not talk on a handheld device while driving.

5. I will not text while driving.

6. I will not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

7. I will be a courteous, considerate, and safety-conscious driver.

|David M. Levin, Vineland

Peace prospects in the grip of Russian bear

The wishful thinking of author William Lambers makes no sense ("Lessons in peace from U.S.-Britain treaties," Dec. 23). He claims that

ISSUE | PENN STATE REFORMS

Alumni in the eye of scandal look ahead

I was a student when the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal broke, and, as students, we recognized that the true victims were the young men ("Paterno dispute leaves a growing rift," Dec. 28). We held candlelight vigils as a sign of support. Even so, many of us just wanted the coverage of the scandal to end. But the group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship refuses to allow the coverage, the scandal, and the aftermath to end.

Representing a vocal and very wealthy minority of Penn State alumni, the group wastes trustees' time trying to reevaluate the Freeh report. It appears that the group's commitment to improving Penn State begins and ends with the scandal and its aftermath, while the university and its students want to move forward and try to change for the better - as with President Eric J. Barron's commitment to address issues of sexual assault, affordability, and health care. It's unfortunate that recent graduates do not have the money or influence to champion actually improving Penn State and moving forward.

|Jacob Feldman, Huntingdon Valley