Letters to the Editor

Critics of what Joe Paterno did about allegations of child sexual abuse want the late Penn State coach's statue removed from outside Beaver Stadium. GENE J. PUSKAR / Associated Press
Critics of what Joe Paterno did about allegations of child sexual abuse want the late Penn State coach's statue removed from outside Beaver Stadium. GENE J. PUSKAR / Associated Press
Posted: July 19, 2012

Legend will outlive Paterno statue

Babe Ruth famously said, "Heroes are remembered, but legends never die." Joe Paterno, former head coach of the Penn State football team, was and will forever remain a legendary coach who changed college football forever.

As a University of Connecticut student, I have always respected Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program. Many people feel that Paterno's legacy is stained because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. However, it is important to separate the artist from his art.

As Penn State is thinking about removing his name from history books, people should remember Paterno for his work, which included 38 winning seasons, numerous bowl wins, and dozens of accolades.

Penn State can remove his statue and rename the library, and ultimately try to get over this dark period in the school's history, but legends like Paterno will always live on and will be remembered by those who love the game of football.

Asim Ahmad, Pittsburgh

Paterno accusers lack evidence

With all of the emotions surrounding Jerry Sandusky's atrocities and Penn State's role in it, assumptions are being made about Joe Paterno that are being treated as facts.

The first assumption is that Paterno was an active participant in the decision not to report the 2001 sexual-abuse incident. There is no evidence in notes or e-mails sent directly from Paterno or on his behalf that he was actively engaged in these discussions. The only evidence is Athletic Director Tim Curley's e-mail reference to a conversation with Paterno. We don't know whether he actually talked with Paterno or used his name to reach a desired conclusion. If he did talk to Paterno, we don't know whether he told Curley not to report the incident or to do what he thought was best.

The next major assumption is that Paterno had full knowledge and understanding of what was taking place. Assistant coach Mike McQueary's testimony was that he didn't give Paterno the details of the shower incident and Paterno was not present in the subsequent meetings when the details were discussed. Could and should Paterno have done more? Hindsight clearly says yes, but do the facts clearly show he was part of a conscious effort to hide a monster? The known facts, without leaping to assumptions, don't show that, nor do his 60 years of life in the public eye.

Kevin Sheetz, Doylestown

Founders wanted active government

The writer of a letter Friday, "Government needs to do less," contends that "the role of government, as the Founding Fathers clearly understood, is to protect individual rights — period." That is complete nonsense. The writer is encouraged to actually read the Constitution. Article I, Section 8 delineates the powers of Congress, including, among others, the power to collect taxes, to regulate commerce — and to "provide for the ... general welfare of the United States."

Indisputably, the general welfare of the United States encompasses more than just the protection of individual rights. It includes, but is certainly not limited to, a healthy environment, an excellent educational system (crucial today as we compete with other countries in a global economy), a safe, modern transportation and infrastructure system, and the health and welfare of the American people.

Jim Davis, Avalon

Don't care who pays for political ads

When are you going to stop whining about the Citizens United case ("Tell public who's buying ads," Wednesday)? Take your own advice regarding Obamacare: The Supreme Court ruled, so just deal with it!

Does it really matter who pays for the ads we see during the campaign? It's really about whether or not I agree with what the ad is saying, not which group put up the money for the thought behind it. I'm either going to agree with an ad's sentiment or reject it. It's that simple.

Maybe the real reason you want to know who is sponsoring the ads is so you can attack them in your newspaper. Then you can try to demonize and marginalize anyone whose ads you disagree with. Admit it, that is the real reason you want to know, not for transparency's sake. At least have the guts to be transparent about your agenda.

Doug Hall, Downingtown, doughall610@gmail.com

Keep the homeless off Parkway

Mayor Nutter is totally justified in trying to get the homeless off of the city's premier avenue. I give to Philabundance and to the South Jersey Food Bank, but the Parkway is no place to feed people.

I used to go to the museums quite often, but I am really put off by the homeless living on the Parkway. I have had to explain to my young son why some men are allowed to urinate outside. I have been accosted for money and have been embarrassed to have out-of-town guests see the Parkway strewn with trash.

We all know homelessness exists and needs to be dealt with, but the city needs to put its best face on its streets to be considered a great destination.

Regina Simmons, West Deptford, r_simmons1212@hotmail.com

Let's kill the property tax for schools

The Property Tax Independence Act, which would eliminate the ultra-regressive property tax for schools in favor of an increase in the personal income tax and the sales tax, was recently voted down in committee, but has a strong chance of reappearing in the near future and possibly making it to the House floor for a full up-down vote.

In its current form, this bill would eliminate the local school property tax (which currently funds about 57 percent of education) in favor of increasing the personal income tax from 3 percent to 4 percent and raising the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent. It would also expand the goods and services that sales tax is collected on.

Since property owners pay a disproportionate share of their taxes to fund education, the vast majority would end up with a lot more money in their pockets to spend and help stimulate the economy. Also, the cost of education would be more evenly spread out among all the commonwealth's citizens. First-time homebuyers would not be burdened with exorbitant escrow payments, and senior citizens would not be in constant fear of losing their homes because they can't afford spiraling school tax bills.

Most importantly, schools across the state would be funded by a single source — the state. All schools would be guaranteed an equal share of funding based on student population. There wouldn't be disparities based on stagnant tax bases or rural areas.

This new method of funding is fairer because, unlike the property tax, it's based directly on a person's ability to pay based on family income. You can calculate how much you would save under this new plan by going to a website: www.ptcc.us/pfpfcalc.htm. Do the math, and then contact your legislators to urge them to enact this fair and sensible law. David L. Chaump,Duryea 

Voting isn't a privilege, it's a right

I respectfully disagree with the writer on a letter Sunday, "Voting system needs integrity," which claimed voting is a privilege rather than a right.

Voting in the United States is most certainly a right, guaranteed by the Constitution for all citizens above the age of 18, regardless of race, color, gender, or economic status. (See Amendments 14, 15, 19, 24, and 26).

Because voting is a right, and not a privilege, it should be incumbent on government to ensure that every eligible citizen can meet the requirements of the voter-ID law before it takes effect.

My biggest concern about this legislation is the apparent lack of concern being shown by its proponents for ensuring that this fundamental right of all citizens is upheld and given first priority both now and in the future.

Marianne Zollers,Eagleville

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