ISSUE | HEALTH CARE
Hospital is doing fine
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article that inaccurately described Lower Bucks Hospital as "now shuttered" ("Doctor charged with putting his patients at risk," Thursday). To the contrary, Lower Bucks Hospital, in Bristol Township, Bucks County, has made impressive progress in the past two years.
Despite some challenging times, Lower Bucks Hospital never closed its doors. In 2012, Prime Healthcare became our new owner and invested nearly $25 million in facility and technology upgrades to better serve the community. We look better than ever, and the diagnostic departments, operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, and inpatient spaces are well-equipped.
The article was in part about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Our hyperbaric equipment is state-of-the-art, and we have a team of highly trained practitioners. Additionally, we are recognized by the Joint Commission as a top performer in key quality measures in care for heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, surgery, and immunizations.
We want our community to recognize our forward momentum and positive energy, as well as our loyal and talented doctors, nurses, and employees. I wish everyone good health, but when you need care, come experience the new Lower Bucks Hospital.
|Linda J. Grass, chief executive officer, Lower Bucks Hospital
ISSUE | MASS TRANSIT
Projects = jobs
The Delaware River Port Authority board recently approved its 2016 capital budget, which includes
$28.3 million over five years to reopen the PATCO Franklin Square Station. The budget allocates $500,000 for a design firm to draft blueprints for the station's refurbishing. That does not guarantee the reopening, but it confirms the board's serious interest.
As is the case with the movement to extend SEPTA's Broad Street subway line into the Navy Yard, the push to reopen Franklin Square Station is enjoying significant bipartisan political support from both sides of the Delaware River. The considerable energy behind both projects affirms the importance of infrastructure investment for the entire region. Green-lighting both projects would ease highway congestion and create jobs.
The rebirth of historic Franklin Square above the station and new development in the surrounding community have led to an influx of residents and a renewed interest in using the station. Since its dramatic facelift, the park and its popular amenities (miniature golf course, carousel ride, playground, holiday light show, family-friendly New Year's Eve spectacle) have attracted close to one million people annually. They are all potential PATCO riders.
|John J. Dougherty, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, Philadelphia
ISSUE | PHILADELPHIA
Not a Kenney fan
Just a short and quick observation on Mayor-elect Jim Kenney: Before public-school funding is settled, he is promoting free prekindergarten. He will also keep Philadelphia a full sanctuary city.
We go from Mayor Nutter to Mayor Nutty.
|Joseph Albin, Philadelphia
ISSUE | TERRORISM AND REFUGEES
Not all come in peace
"Give us your tired, your poor" was a poetic phrase that signified liberty and the benefits of a democracy. It did not for all time open our gates to those for whom escaping the tyranny of caste and economics dictated their decision to come to the United States ("What can we do?" Sunday).
No matter how large we are or how generous a host we've become, we are overwhelmingly a nation of Judeo-Christian philosophy, laws, idealism, and culture. The Founding Fathers were not aware that fundamentalist Islam had as its ultimate target the destruction of all empires except that of the one true prophet, Muhammad.
Jihad is a religious word that has come to mean killing Westerners in the name of Allah, whether they be soldiers in Iraq, young people attending a concert in Paris, or tourists in Mali. Kill the infidel and join me in paradise - all your dreams will be yours, eternally.
I'm not against allowing refugees into our country; I'm against us assuming that they all come in peace.
|Scott Cameron, Philadelphia
Trust the vetting process
I was disappointed that my congressman, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R., N.J.), voted for the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act on Thursday. This legislation aims to expand background checks of Iraqi and Syrian refugees looking to enter the United States, a misguided response to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
The bill rests on the false assumption that the vetting process for refugees is not secure. In fact, refugees undergo multiple rounds of background checks, which can take more than two years, before they enter the United States. Refugees live in a United Nations camp, often in poor conditions, while they are vetted.
As a Cato Institute analysis stated Wednesday: "Few ISIS soldiers or other terrorists are going to spend at least three years in a refugee camp for a 0.042 percent chance of entering the United States when almost any other option to do so is easier, cheaper, and quicker."
|Alexandra Stark, Moorestown, Alex.firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't succumb to fear
When did "the land of the free and the home of the brave" become the land of the frightened and the home of the heartless? The huddled masses are at the door. Leaving them out there to die isn't just unchristian; it's un-American. If we close our eyes and our doors on the Syrian refugees, then the Islamic State has already won, for when we let fear control our actions, freedom dies.
|Therese Musewicz, Lincoln University, email@example.com
Borders: Open . . .
It was reported that suspected terrorist mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud managed to travel undetected across many borders en route to Paris. France's interior minister stated that it was not even known that Abaaoud was in Europe. So much for open borders.
|Aram Jerrehian, Haverford
. . . or closed
Thank goodness for our political leaders who are quick to close our borders to all problem immigrants from war-torn countries. If we don't immediately restrict immigration from all Middle Eastern countries, these foreigners will soon be shooting up our schools.
If we let these undesirables cross our border, the next thing you know, they'll be in our movie theaters, mowing us down with automatic weapons. They will probably even infiltrate our prayer groups, murdering us as we worship in our churches.
No, we can't have that here in the United States. Closing our borders is the only way to stop such horrible, violent acts from happening.
|Mike Breen, Oreland
A difference from 1930s Jews
As a Jew and a Holocaust scholar, I find the parallel between today's Middle Eastern refugees and the Jewish refugees of the 1930s dubious at best.
The Jews of the 1930s were an overwhelmingly urban population with virtually no violent tendencies. Although today's Iraqi and Syrian refugees are worthy of sympathy, they come from an entirely different culture and have an entirely different set of attitudes and experiences. The violence in Paris was facilitated by the difficulty of tracing the large numbers of people who have come from the region.
Historical parallels are attractive but often dangerous. We should be careful about making them.