Joseph Doherty, Philadelphia
The blame for child's death
A child is dead, but not from an illness, and who is to blame ("How system missed chances to save a child," Sunday)? Is the cause abuse by the biological parents or caregivers? Is the court system to blame for placing the child back into the same environment that was destructive at the onset? Are the underpaid, overworked social workers of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services to blame?
While all groups are looking to place blame, other children are probably being abused by their families. How are we to make our children safe? We need to change the laws that permit children to again and again be placed in unimaginable situations. Our laws are antiquated. The rulings are antiquated.
What hope can we give those children who are abused? How can they grow up to be productive citizens? Who is to blame? We all are.
Gloria Gelman, Philadelphia
Don't burden longtime Philadelphians
I almost 70 years old, and have lived and worked in Philadelphia all my life. I have no axe to grind with the city, but with your editorial, yes, I do ("High suburban taxes make city more attractive," Monday).
You suppose that the small increase in suburban taxes makes the city more attractive, and it may. But you are asking suburbanites to come to a city that ranks near the bottom in job creation; is the sad victim of an outrageous murder rate; is the home of schools that have been on the brink of chaos for decades; and has a mayor who seems to spend most of his time courting national media.
I was dumbfounded by your assertion that the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) would correct our real estate tax problem. When the city has failed to collect millions in back taxes, you want to foist a 300 to 400 percent tax increase on the neighborhoods that suburbanites would presumably move to. AVI basically attacks the middle and working classes by making their areas, including South of South, Fishtown, Fairmount, Bella Vista, Queen Village, much more expensive to live in and would do very little to help poorer areas revitalize.
Find ways to solve the long-entrenched problems of our city without putting the burden on the people who have helped make this city livable.
Mike Scavo, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Is abortion morally wrong too?
Jonathan Zimmerman writes that the death penalty is wrong because of "the horror of taking away human life" ("Death penalty morally wrong," Tuesday). All who agree with him should reflect on the implications regarding abortion. If it is wrong to take the life of those guilty of heinous crimes, how could it be morally right to take the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent? How much blood is on the hands of those who support legalized abortion?
Andy Horvath, Elverson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where's the love for jazz artists?
Though arts and cultural organizations may be responsible for distributing $1.04 billion in household paychecks throughout the Philadelphia region, it's unfortunate that jazz musicians - if they can find work at all - are still being paid the same $100 per night they received 40 years ago ("Arts in Phila. economy: A pretty picture," Monday).
Bruce H. Klauber, Philadelphia