Childhood obesity is said to be at epidemic proportions. Now imagine telling a child that he has to eat healthy and exercise when a president or even a New Jersey governor is considerably overweight. Obesity is not just a personal matter when societal medical costs and the effects on children are considered.
Donald Giorgione, Cherry Hill
Church can't afford the upkeep
As an eighth grader at Sacred Heart School more than 50 years ago, I took a class trip to visit St. Charles Borromeo Seminary - now the focus of a $14 million renovation project ("Archdiocesan fund-raising falling short," Feb. 10). I was impressed then, and I'm still amazed at this estate, but why does the church still own it?
This is not the 19th or 20th century. Schools and parishes are closing because of demographics. The child-abuse scandal and decreasing numbers of practicing Catholics make raising money difficult.
The church must go back to its roots and leave the Main Line. Move the Archdiocese of Philadelphia seminary to one of the inner-city parishes, and let the church's future leaders learn in an environment that reflects the potential growth of the church.
Andrew J. Anderson, Marlton
Smart alternatives to postal cuts
Five-day delivery is the wrong way, but there are Washington interests that would like to see the Postal Service pushed to the fiscal cliff so that privatization could move in.
That failed in Europe. Besides, the Postal Service provides the nation with more than just mail delivery. Carriers save lives and serve as a neighborhood town watch. On the Saturday before each Mother's Day, postal workers conduct the biggest one-day food drive in the nation.
Congress can strengthen the Postal Service by crafting a meaningful reform that eases pension obligations and expands competitiveness.
Clay Smith, political director, National Association of Letter Carriers, Glenside
Abstaining from privatization
I've changed my mind about privatizing the liquor control system in Pennsylvania after checking prices for about 20 items in stores in Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. Most of the out-of-state prices were higher and the inventory was vastly smaller. This was especially true for wine, other than jug or box wine. Prices for a decent bottle were significantly higher. So I'm now very much in favor of keeping the system as it is.
Edward T. Hoffman, Harleysville
Reform taxes, ease housing costs
What New Jersey needs to support affordable housing is an end to its 19th-century dependence on local property taxes ("Court should foil Christie's housing fiat," Feb. 8). A broader state property tax replacing local taxes would yield many positive outcomes, including lower taxes in most communities (making housing more affordable).
It would also end the fiscal incentive to zone out affordable housing as a ratable that doesn't pay the cost of providing municipal and school services. That would end much of the controversy around the siting of affordable housing.
A state property tax also could be used to provide local tax stabilization in return for strong growth controls in environmentally sensitive communities, farmlands, and areas with water resources. That should be a concern to all, regardless of income.
Dan Hoffman, Philadelphia
Zero tolerance for gun misuse
Responsible gun owners should demand that irresponsible owners be punished. There should be a law along the lines of "one mistake with a gun and you're done." Guns are not toys. If a person acts irresponsibly with a weapon just once, all of his or her firearms should be confiscated and the individual should be banned from ever owning a gun again.
JoAnn Carey, Warminster