As the meeting unfolded, it became clear that what we were witnessing was a dog-and-pony show, where a few of these issues were discussed with feigned concern, but at the last minute all switched gears and voted unanimously to approve the plan. The board's own staff recommended against acceptance, as did the city controller.
This so-called professional oversight process was tragically transparent, and what we have is duplicitous dereliction of duty that only kicks a can of fiscal worms further down the road.
Politics once again triumphs, and oversight is overlooked by a cadre of board members who all are part of entities that can benefit from how the city and state government may treat them.
Jim Foster, Philadelphia
As the Jewish mother of a 22-year-old son who happens to be gay, I would like to add my voice to the cheers for Pope Francis ("Catholics cheer his comments," Sept. 23). His simple words of tolerance and respect bring comfort and hope for a future that accepts people for who they are, instead of what they are not.
Amy Gold McDonald, Jenkintown
No tickets required
Peter Dobrin's thorough review of cultural funding brought to light some often-overlooked statistics about the popularity of arts and culture venues in our sports-loving city ("Culture at a crossroads," Sept 22). To take the analogy a step further, it's worth noting how much TV, radio, and the Web extend the reach of these organizations. While the Phillies and Eagles connect with fans on Comcast SportsNet, Fox, and others, WHYY brings the region's arts and culture treasures into millions of homes.
Talented young musicians are featured weekly through On Stage at Curtis. The Barnes Collection shared the priceless collection with PBS viewers across the nation. Our Oct. 8 Sawallisch: A Philadelphia Orchestra Tribute offers front-row seats to a special concert, and we'll soon announce another national production in partnership with Pennsylvania Ballet. Best of all: Admission to these events is free anywhere, anytime.
William J. Marrazzo, president and chief executive officer, WHYY, Philadelphia
Fueling real violence
I agree, the Second Amendment has been bastardized by the right and twisted to make gun access far too easy ("Massacres too common," Sept. 18). The framers never envisioned a populace arming itself with semiautomatic weapons, and would be horrified to see how their words are being misconstrued. But they would be just as horrified at the hardening of this culture by the gratuitous violence, gore, and wanton sexuality coming out of the entertainment industry.
We are soaked with entertainment full of violence, so much so that the senseless taking of human life in the real world no longer causes most to raise an eyebrow. Gun access is a facilitator for those prone to violence, but let's not forget that it's a hardened heart that kills. We need some commonsense updating of our interpretations of both the First and Second Amendments.
Christopher Knob, Media, email@example.com