Nine years ago, I lost my mom, Theresa Orr, to physical complications from a life of addiction. She had liver and colon cancer, and even after getting sober, she got sick, and I watched her take her last breath six months after her diagnosis.
In 2011, I lost Samantha Angelo, my childhood best friend of more than 20 years. I've also lost several other childhood friends to this horrible epidemic called addiction.
Now, I'm a mentor helping others to overcome addiction.
I support the campaign Tony Luke Jr. has started, #brownandwhite (" 'It's our cause,' " Sunday), in loving memory of all those we have lost. I pray we all come together as a community to battle this disease of addiction. Love, help, and support are available for those whose need it. Please reach out to someone you trust, local organizations, and anyone who can help you obtain the gift of recovery today. Help is possible, and so is recovery.
|Crystal D'Antonio, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
A New York Times article, "The Hobbies of Capitol Hill: Beekeeper, Baker, Photographer . . . Senator?" featured Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.). We learned that Toomey enjoys beekeeping in his free time. "When you're in my line of work, you're often dealing with abstractions," he said. "It's fun to have something tangible , where you can see results."
Since the election of President Trump, hundreds of Pennsylvanians have gathered outside Toomey's district offices around the state every Tuesday, in an event that has become known as "Tuesdays with Toomey." Health care has been the focus of many of our recent gatherings.
Each Tuesday, real people who will be impacted by the Republican health-care bill share their stories and urge the senator to vote no on any bill that does not insure more people, with better benefits, at a lower cost.
The health and livelihood of Pennsylvanians is anything but an abstraction. If Toomey's work in Washington ever feels like an abstraction, he should conduct a real town hall in Pennsylvania. Meeting the constituents impacted by his proposed health-care legislation will undoubtedly make his work on the bill seem more tangible.
|Alissa Packer, Camp Hill, Pa.
The story, "At G-20, resolve to defy Trump" (Saturday) suggested that world leaders' opposition to President Trump is a warning sign of Washington's diminished clout. Nonsense, it actually demonstrates an increase in Washington's firmer influence on global affairs.
Trump understands that correcting the imbalance resulting from existing agreements is needed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was specifically annoyed about Trump's attitude toward free-trade agreements. Interestingly, you'll not find a "Made in America" label in Germany.
The European Union was formed to create a unified European attack against American business interests. For example, EU countries have subsidized Airbus for years to compete against Boeing.
Trump proposes to support U.S. steel producers by restricting imports because it's in our national interests to have a modern, healthy steel industry. New, fair agreements must protect our national interests and our business community.
We now have a president that puts America first. Despite their frustration with a tougher America, European leaders will adjust.
|John Carr, Washington Crossing
Pushing "speed cameras" for Roosevelt Boulevard and Pennsylvania highway work zones is misguided ("Speed cameras could be coming," Monday). An Ohio judge has called speed cameras a three-card monte.
Why would we rely on poor engineering and predatory enforcement to issue gotcha tickets to safe drivers? There have been a lot of errors with cameras, and in many cases, people cannot obey laws, such as when they are stuck in the dilemma zone at an intersection. The Maryland Drivers Alliance has an entire section on speed-camera errors.
Setting 85th percentile speed limits, making yellow lights longer, and using stop signs only where needed would work wonders.
Drivers will automatically be found guilty with cameras, and they will have no rights.
Please contact your state representative, state senator, and the governor to oppose bills in the State House and Senate and demand best-practice engineering.
|James Sikorski Jr., Wapwallopen, Pa., Pennsylvania advocate, National Motorists Association, email@example.com
The letter, "Plenty of blacks are successful" (Monday), has no place in a respectable newspaper, opinion page or not. Yes, there are thousands of talented and capable black citizens, but the letter ignored the systemic racism that has impeded their road to success for hundreds of years.
Teaching in Philadelphia for 25 years while sending my own children to well-funded schools in the suburbs gave me a frontline view of the hurdles black children face from childhood. While sitting in our house on Baltimore Pike in Lansdowne, my children and I counted the disparity in white and black motorists stopped by police in the 1980s. We had a lesson in racial profiling from our first-row seats. And black people were prohibited from membership in the swim club in our neighborhood. Segregation existed in Lansdowne even though it was illegal.
These are but three incidents of racism that were up front and personal to me as a white observer.
|Mardys Leeper, Villanova
As a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia suburbs and a citizen of the United States, I am sickened and appalled by Environmental Protection Administrator Scott Pruitt's announcement of a rollback on the Clean Water Act ("EPA ditching clean water," July 4).
If these crucial protections are repealed, corporations and other wastewater dischargers will be free to dump their contaminated waste in any waterway they please. Plain and simple, this act will endanger the waters that I depend on to physically stay alive.
I do not understand how Pruitt can justify his actions. The EPA is supposed to keep Americans safe from harmful pollution - not encourage it. I hope that my elected officials and fellow citizens will stand with me in protecting the Clean Water Act.