Joseph P. McCool, retired Philadelphia fire captain, Feasterville
Debate headline was misleading
When I saw the front page Tuesday morning, I thought for a moment I'd somehow missed the first presidential election debate after reading the headline "Christie: Debate a win for Romney."
Come on, Inquirer, I expect better from a world-class, Pulitzer-winning newspaper. I know it's hard to fit a headline in a single column, but wouldn't "Christie: Romney will win debate" have worked too?
Maureen Wellner, Philadelphia
Where was the debate analysis?
I can only assume that Robert Patterson didn't understand the Editorial Board's plan to feature opinions about the upcoming presidential debates on the cover of the Currents section ("Looking ahead to the debates," Sunday).
Dick Polman nicely summarized the issues facing the two candidates and what they need to accomplish. Patterson, however, went on a three-column diatribe about how the economic and social problems facing today's Pennsylvanians are all President Obama's fault, taking us back to the middle of the 20th century, a period he calls "the glorious thirty years," to show us how far things have deteriorated.
Does Patterson really consider The Inquirer's readers so uninformed as to believe all our problems happened in a single presidential term, or does be simply consider us all to be part of Mitt Romney's 47 percent?
Steven Barrer, Huntingdon Valley
Supermarket may not be answer
I couldn't help but feel frustrated when I came across an article lauding Philabundance's not-for-profit supermarket, Fare & Square ("Chester to get 1st big grocery in years," Friday). Plopping a supermarket on the outskirts of the city will not magically fix the troubles Chester has had with hunger.
The city is home to 13 food pantries, such as the Bernadine Center. For generations, many of the city's residents have been gardening and sharing their yields with the community. Additionally, Chester's co-op has been able to sell groceries at affordable prices.
But despite the programs already in place, Philabundance decided to build a new supermarket without extensively collaborating with organizations in the area or getting a sense of what Chester residents want. Philabundance can't expect to change the food climate in the city without community input and discussions with local food leaders.
In some antipoverty organizations' eyes, the people of Chester are the perfect guinea pigs for new initiatives. An experimental supermarket may seem like a promising plan, but without proper outreach, this pie-in-the-sky initiative is bound to damage existing food initiatives as well as food access in the city as a whole.
Marta Sicinska, Philadelphia
Vouchers no substitute for funding
The likely demise of Radnor's A Better Chance program ("Chance for betterment," Sunday) illustrates why vouchers for our schoolchildren will not be effective in giving all students the education they deserve.
Only a limited number of talented, low-income, out-of-district students were benefitting from this longstanding outreach program, but now funding problems may end even their chance to fulfill their potential.
When there simply aren't enough effective schools around to meet the needs of the total student population, those families with the least financial ability to pay will still usually end up in substandard schools.
Unless this society shifts its priorities, and funds our schools until each is brought up to snuff, the productivity of our future workers will continue to suffer.
Edwin H. Smith, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org