* Does it come as a great shock that coaches criticize players, particularly at practices? Following the coach's dismissal, current and former players attended school board meetings, and spoke publicly of his fairness and excellent coaching methods. Overwhelmingly, both before and after his death, players, parents, and just plain spectators, as well as administrative officials, his peers, his students praised his dedication, and concern for young people and basketball expertise .
* The negative statements regarding Principal David DeGroodt and Athletic Charles Earling were totally off base. They wouldn't sign the waiver allowing Harper to continue in sports against the wishes of school board president Barbara Wallace. These men are paid professionals; their judgments and values are recognized by the higher authorities of the New Jersey educational system. Who gives Harper and his parents the right to question or denounce them, and who gives Barbara Wallace the right to challenge their position?
* The Daily News sports editor, Bill Conlin, has a son who was cut from the school's basketball team. Could this be one of the reasons he allowed such an offensive article to be released on the same page as an article about the coach's death? Such poor taste!
Haddon Heights, N.J.
Editor's Note: Bill Conlin is not the sports editor; he is a sports columnist, and had nothing to do with the story. Executive Sports Editor Mike Rathet says he does not consider the juxtaposition of the Harper story and the report on the coach's death in poor taste.
ISRAEL DOESN'T WANT PEACE
Columnist Charles Krauthammer (Feb. 9) must represent the government of Israel, as he never runs out of excuses, no matter how reprehensible the actions of that government. His latest gibberish tries to justify and excuse the latest atrocities against unarmed civilians, mostly women and children, by Israel's occupying army, by listing the many equally reprehensible acts by their fellow Arabs over the past 40 years, as if two wrongs make a right.
Since the Camp David accords were signed, I must have read hundreds of letters, articles and columns stating that if the Palestinians' leadership were to agree to recognize Israel's right to exist, Israel would be glad to sit down and negotiate for peace. But Yasser Arafat, undisputed leader of the Palestinian people, has accepted United Nations resolutions affirming Israel's right to exist.
Israel doesn't want peace. Israel wants Arab lands as a condition for peace, and the Palestinians be damned.
Some writers in recent weeks have deplored the fact that Palestinians are not taken in or helped by their fellow Arabs, which would be ideal for Israel as this would get rid of all the Arabs, and they would not own it all. But Jews and Arabs are of the same heritage, Semites - the only difference is their religion.
MBEC SPURS ECONOMIC INVOLVEMENT OF MINORITIES
In his Guest Opinion column Feb. 1, Tom Becker alluded to some alleged problems of Minority Business Enterprise Council (MBEC) and its activities through the Sheltered Market Program, Bill 17-500, which guarantees a minimum of 15 percent minority and 10 percent female participation in most city-let contracts.
Had Mr. Becker examined the directional change this program has taken in the last year, he would know we've purged over 1,000 firms, and with the new amendment, will continue weeding out "bad firms".
Brokering is not necessarily fronting. Minority entrepreneurs historically have not had access to the manufacturing entity to sufficiently become competitive in the market place. More needs to be done to establish distributorships for MBEs and WBEs with traditional suppliers that serve the city.
MBEC is correcting the many inequities and inadequacies which affect the
financial well-being of minorities and women.
City Council has demonstrated, through amendment of chapter 17-500 (Bill 1260), a determination to eradicate by suggesting a minimal goal of 15 and 10 percent. Even that small percentage as an allocation meets resistance in the business community.
MBEC believes the future of the city is tied to an economic involvement of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians and women.
Curtis Jones Jr.
Deputy Finance Director/Staff Director
Minority Business Enterprise Council
Re the page one photo of the Penn basketball players who shaved their heads: If the women's team had shaved their heads, now that would be a story!
NO OPPOSING VIEWS
Jack McKinney really has to be kidding! With all the self-righteous pomposity of a demigod, he asserts Marlin Fitzwater shouldn't voice an opinion; that Georgie Anne Geyer is a "dippy" right winger and that the Public Broadcasting System is a "right-wing talkshop" with the McLaughlin Group show.
McKinney states all this while his smiling face is right in the middle of your pages of total left-wing editorials, with no opposing views. As a matter of fact, nearly every day, the Daily News offers only left-wing views with very little, if any conservative commentary.
In the same edition that McKinney's column appears, a guest opinion by George Huhn infers President Reagan's "henchmen" will try to balance the budget with "the bodies of 4 million children." Boy, that's equal time, isn't it? Makes Reagan sound like Stalin, and his "henchmen" like the KGB.
I think it's time for the McKinneys, George Huhns and all the far left to start worrying about the United States and not how we look to, act toward, feel about, or aid the rest of the world. We aren't here to feed and clothe and protect every Third World nation. We are here to secure the "blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Let the rest of the world secure for their own posterity - they might find the price too high - but that is their problem, not ours.
John W. Connelly
'HARD-WORKING' SOUTH PHILADELPHIAN RESENTS CHARACTERIZATION AS A 'PUNK'
An article Jan. 14 by Maria Gallagher began: "Ralph Staino, a grocer's son, was just another South Philadelphia punk."
As a native South Philadelphian of 32 years, I find this statement, which categorizes all South Philadelphians as punks, an example of prejudicial journalism. Later in the article, Gallagher describes Staino's associates as ''South Philadelphia hoodlums."
Recently, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder made a statement stereotyping black athletes. That cost him his job. I do not suggest a similar punishment for Gallagher, but some type of reprimand is in order for her irresponsible and unprofessional remarks.
Most of South Philadelphia consists of neatly kept homes, fine restaurants, clean streets and above all, proud, hard-working residents.
As one of those hard-working residents, I will not stand for being categorized as a "punk" or a "hoodlum. Writers like Gallagher should not be allowed to take cheap shots at any neighborhood or insult any Philadelphian.