Despite tremendous financial challenges, the Coatesville Area School District is working hard to maximize opportunities to partner with those in the community who can bring resources to the table. At the Brandywine Health Foundation, we can't begin to plug the gap created by state cutbacks, but we are here to help and value our partnership.
Looking ahead, the search for a new superintendent is an opportunity to find the right person to lead us and one who has a modern view of the value of our diverse community. That true education professional must bring 21st-century skills children can emulate.
James H. Manning Jr., chairman; Frances M. Sheehan, president and chief executive officer, Brandywine Health Foundation, Coatesville
Archdiocesan charity proposal
Pope Francis recently spoke to volunteers at shelters run by the Jesuit Refugee Service in Rome, saying, "Empty convents are not for the church to transform into hotels and make money from them. Empty convents are not ours; they are the flesh of Christ: refugees." With 30 parishes in Philadelphia merged or closed in the last few years, and 46 city and nearby suburban parishes yet to be examined for possible merger or closure, local church leaders should respond to the pope's call by offering 10 percent of the closed convents and other assets for the needy in our community.
Frank McGinty, Jenkintown, email@example.com
Snapshot of boxing greats at play
As a rookie producer-director-writer for ABC syndication in Philadelphia in the late 1960s, I was fortunate to be assigned a syndicated film documentary on Olympic boxing champion Joe Frazier. One of my first research trips was as an overnight passenger in the champ's new Caddy, which he drove down to Beaufort, S.C., to show his family. The other passenger on that trip was the late Kenny Norton, then a sparring partner with Frazier at the North Broad Street gym.
The soundtrack was Otis Redding; the speed limit, a matter of personal taste. At dawn, we stopped at a car wash just outside Beaufort. A curious, white attendant strolled over just as Joe and Kenny grabbed towels and began to dry the freshly washed car. "Hoo-eee," he said to me. "That is some fine-looking ride. Those boys doing a good job for y'all?" Without missing a beat, Joe and Kenny became instant method actors. "This good enough for you, boss?" asked Joe. "We working fast enough?" said Kenny. And so on.
Over the years, such moments, and the amazing relationship between these remarkable boxing legends outside the ring, remain unforgettable.
Glenn A. McCurdy, Elkins Park, firstname.lastname@example.org
Son's unofficial mom has advice
When Clark DeLeon took me on a tour of Philadelphia (which was superb, because he really knows and loves the city), he failed to forewarn me that his car was in need of serious attention ("Clark and Lois: It started with cats," Sept. 22). At one point, we parked, put sufficient money in the meter, but returned to find a ticket - not for illegal parking, but an expired inspection sticker. Clark knew that, without even glancing at the ticket. Also, when I placed my cotton handbag on the floor, I later put it in my lap and found it was soaking wet - because his air conditioner was leaking. So I learned that Clark is not too concerned with complying with the law, or about having his car in good order. Being his new, unofficial mom, I wish he would obey the rules. Otherwise, he has become a wonderful son to me.
Lois Satalof, Philadelphia
Make thrift pay once more
Income and asset gaps of the size that now exist are not the self-evident badges of economic merit that some tout them to be ("Income gaps can be catalysts," Sept. 17). Rather, they are a sign that tax incentives - rather than motivate public and corporate leadership to lift all boats - have developed an internal system of rewards that encourage captious, corrupt self-reward with public and private assets under the leaders' control. We would all profit from a return to higher tax rates that would make such self-reward unprofitable.
Ben Burrows, Elkins Park