Posted: February 16, 2009

Move to undermine?

That Sen. Judd Gregg withdrew from consideration for commerce secretary is another blow to President Obama's overtures of bipartisanship. Gregg must have known the president's agenda when he first accepted the post. Still, his motive for embarrassing Obama was irresolvable conflicts. He suddenly had an epiphany? It appears the Republicans are marching lockstep to undermine this president to improve their untenable position. In these times of national crisis, the Republicans care only about their survival over the country's

Anthony J. Frascino



Setting an example

About 10 years ago, a large mill in Massachusetts burned to the ground just before the Christmas holiday. Everyone who had worked there thought that was the end of his job. But the owner announced he would rebuild at the site and continued to pay his employees while the work was done.

Now, here in Philadelphia, we have another sensitive, thoughtful, and compassionate man: Steven Korman ("Korman's appeal to CEOs: Resist layoffs," Tuesday). Men like him are in love with life - not money - and are an example to all of us.

Kas Kasparian


Safe milk

As a child, I was told that I should drink milk to grow strong and healthy. But now we live at a time when milk from cows treated with rBGH, a growth hormone, has been linked to colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

Most of the industrialized world has banned the use of rBGH, while the United States allows milk from cows treated with it to be served to children. Something needs to change to protect us against the threats of rBGH, and there is opportunity now. The Child Nutrition Act is up for reauthorization. By adding language to this legislation that clearly gives schools the right to buy rBGH-free milk, we can protect our children's health.

Susan Hildebrand


Arts shortchanged

Congress is scratching off funds for the arts as though they were a bit of unnecessary fluff. The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities. They enhance development, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers.

Congress and the new administration must recognize the importance of the arts and support this important investment.

JoAnne Castelli Castor



Bait and switch

I bought long-term-care insurance eight years ago when my husband died. I have since retired and factored my insurance costs into my budget. But last year, my long-term-care insurance carrier asked New Jersey for a 30 percent increase in premiums for existing policies. The state agreed to 10 percent, and the insurer has come back to ask for the remaining 20 percent. Pennsylvania allowed the full 30 percent.

Nevada, New York, Florida, and Indiana don't allow insurance companies to increase the premiums on long-term-care policies. Why do New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow insurance companies to engage in this "bait-and-switch" tactic with senior citizens?

Mary Beth Neiman

Cherry Hill

Child support

Instead of burdening California taxpayers with the bills for Nadya Suleman's octuplets, pro-lifers should put their wallets where their hearts are and start a foundation for the lifetime support of these "innocent" infants.

Olga Pitcairn

New Hope

One Reader's View

Bail is a bankrupt policy

Your article "Fugitives owe the city $1 billion" (Feb. 8) showcased that the use of money to determine an individual's liberty pending trial is an anachronism that must be eliminated.

Philadelphia is not alone in the bail predicament. Not long ago, the district attorney in Los Angeles estimated that bail-bonding companies owed the county $30 million over a three-year period, with statewide losses between $100 million and $150 million. New Jersey has closed the state's biggest bail-bonding company, which owed $100 million in forfeit bail bonds. North Carolina, Connecticut, Nevada, and, yes, Pennsylvania have reported losses in the millions to private bail-bonding. An even more staggering economic dimension of this issue is the taxpayer cost of jailing low-risk arrestees simply because they cannot pay. The issue isn't who owes this money, but rather why we are using money at all.

We must demand rational policies that support the identification of those who can be released safely and those who pose a threat to our communities, regardless of how much cash they have. Maintaining our notion that money will keep us safe and the court system functioning will put more dangerous offenders on the street while filling our jails with those who cannot pay.

Tim Murray

Executive director

Pretrial Justice Institute


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