Letters to the Editor

Posted: February 15, 2013

Seeing a viable Barnes in Merion

It is normal for The Inquirer to continue boosting the Parkway Barnes. But several years before the move to Philadelphia, Lower Merion Township passed an ordinance allowing greatly increased visitation ("Barnes attendance exceeds expectations," Jan. 27).

The Barnes could have had a minimum 144,000 tourists, and as many students as could be handled. In other words, the Barnes in Merion could have had at least 80,000 more visitors yearly from 2008 through 2011. Notably, the Barnes board did nothing meaningful to implement the increase, never applying to the township to do so.

Implementation of broader admissions policies together with a higher admission price could have easily covered the modest operating deficit of the Barnes in Merion.

Evelyn Yaari, president, Barnes Watch, Bala Cynwyd, eyaari@comcast.net

Defense nominee can do the job

Republican senators' treatment of Chuck Hagel was disgraceful and demeaning to the Senate. They treated a former colleague disrespectfully and unfairly to score points with their right-wing base, and to attack President Obama's foreign policy. Given his level- headedness, experience, and sound judgment, Hagel is just the right person to manage the Department of Defense during a time of great world insecurity and financial austerity at home. Rather than set foreign policy, Hagel will be effectively assuring our defense.

James Mengel, King of Prussia

Merchant's self-defense not news?

A store owner defends his business, his wife, and himself from an armed robber with a legal gun, and the story is buried ("Police: Tacony deli owner killed would-be robber," Feb. 6). Had the robber murdered the pair, the story would have made the front page, and the article would have condemned the availability of guns. But as a self-defense shooting, it got second billing.

John Towarnicki, Philadelphia

Tracking Phila. voting woes

More than 5,000 Philadelphia voters registered near the fall deadline, and the Pennsylvania Department of State confirmed that these voters' names were on the state voter list. The names were provided to city officials and should have been in the city's supplemental poll books. These voters should not have had to vote with provisional ballots ("Still sorting out city's election mess," Feb. 6). This system has successfully provided data to all counties, including Philadelphia, since 2005, and did so for Pennsylvania's 66 other counties in 2012.

Shannon Royer, deputy secretary for external affairs and elections, Department of State, Harrisburg

Inclusiveness can save lives

Gay adolescents attempt and commit suicide more often than their heterosexual peers. While the factors are complex, research shows that a supportive environment may reduce the risk. The Boy Scouts has long been a leader in youth development. As an Eagle Scout and pediatrician, I urge the scouts to lead the way to creating inclusive environments in which boys can grow, develop, and flourish. They must put an end to fostering a culture of fear, shame, and discrimination, which may not only inhibit boys' development but may also harm their well-being.

Joseph A. Picoraro, M.D., Philadelphia

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