Letters to the editor

Posted: July 06, 2012

IT IS UNFORTUNATE that the late Penn State football coach and lord of "Happy Valley," Joe Paterno, is not alive to defend himself from charges that are arising from the "smoking gun" of email messages that would indicate to a reasonable and prudent person that he was the kingpin in a conspiracy of silence that enabled Jerry Sandusky to continue along his merry way for years to molest innocent young boys who looked up to him as a role model and who were flattered by his attention and affection.

Along with disgraced former Penn State "leaders" President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz, Paterno would appear to have been successful in forcefully making the case that the violent sport of football trumps all other facets of life, that even when a prima facie case has been made that the cancer of a child molester is present in the ranks, it should not be addressed lest the athletic program suffer. Atrocities are allowed to occur and metastasize when good people stand by and do nothing.

Many have felt sorry for Joe Paterno, concluding that he died a broken man and that he was treated unfairly by the university. In light of the most recent allegations, perhaps the university had it right in unceremoniously ousting him. If the revelations revealed in the communication between the parties on the matter of Sandusky are found to be legitimate and as damning as they appear, maybe the statute of Joe Paterno on campus will no longer be a shrine to a man believed to be an honorable, great and inspirational leader, but a reminder of the conspiracy of a university that served to facilitate the commission of infamous crimes.

If nothing else that is positive arises from the Sandusky trail of horror, perhaps it will serve to educate Pennsylvanians as to the extent to which scarce public resources are being squandered. Paterno was able to amass a $13.4 million pension; Spanier was able to garner a compensation package of close to $1 million per year at the conclusion of his employment, and Schultz receives a state pension of $331,000 per annum on top of a lump-sum payment that he withdrew upon retirement of $422,000.

It is ironic that Spanier hosted a regular weekly television program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network called "To the Best of My Knowledge," as it appears that his knowledge of the beastly nature of Jerry Sandusky did not prompt him to act with common decency and morality.

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Don't believe it

Re: Video security cameras

Our original expectations are not always what they turn out to be: For example, when they were going to allow video security cameras, everyone was complaining about invasion of privacy. Now we just laugh at the "fools" and can't wait until they get caught.

Or when Commissioner Ramsey received that huge pay raise to stay and the mayor and City Council told us that the two past real-estate-tax increases were only temporary, we expected the murder rate and our taxes to decrease.

Mayer Krain

Philadelphia

Getting rid of history

One wonders what William Penn, our city's first developer, would say about the Historic Commission granting demolition rights when a "financial hardship" is filed ("Historical Spine Missing?" July 3). He might ask: What if the city of Philadelphia were granted a "financial hardship" and then allowed to sell off its most precious assets?

For the record, on March 24, 1812, the city was granted permission by the commonwealth to dismantle Independence Hall and sell the Liberty Bell as scrap. But the people intervened; they said no! A few years later, in preparation for Lafayette's much-awaited return in 1824, the building was restored. Today it is an invaluable asset, a physical manifestation of our nation's historic memory.

To borrow and extend a thought from Wm. Penn: "Let us preserve and restore what is old, whether a building, a viaduct or a ship. Let us then see what wealth can do."

John Dowlin

Philadelphia

Your papers, please

Re: Signe's "My Papers: U.S. Constitution" cartoon (June 27)

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three key provisions of Arizona's strict immigration law, I have reservations regarding the clearance for police to make immigration-status checks on those who they have stopped for other vehicular offenses. My concern is that those "driving while Hispanic" could get pulled over for a petty or false offense, only for the purpose of checking their legal status. Let us hope that police won't violate the law. Nevertheless, just give someone an inch and, no doubt, they'll do their best to take a foot. My hunch is that Arizona will take full advantage of the ruling, although time will tell.

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater, Fla.

Overkill on gas prices

The writer on the subject of gas-price blame was incredibly inaccurate and prone to exaggeration. First of all, the gas prices under Obama never rose to almost $5 a gallon and the prediction from the anti-Obama forces that it would rise to that level never came to fruition. Secondly, the prices have come down more than "a few pennies." In my area, South Jersey, the prices have come down almost 50 cents a gallon. And, thirdly, regardless of who is in office, the other side is always ready to play the blame game.

Ridiculous.

Peter Schneider

Voorhees, N.J.

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