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NEWS
July 8, 2016
ISSUE | BREXIT Triumph of ignorance The United Kingdom's "Brexit" vote was an example of why social studies (history, economics, geography, and civics education) is crucial ("Independence or isolation?" Sunday). People knowledgeable about history would have recognized the dangers of a divided, competitive Europe. Economics demonstrates the benefits of free trade among nations. A basic grasp of geography would have revealed the falsity of the implication that hordes of Syrian refugees pose a direct threat to the British Isles.
NEWS
July 8, 2016
IN HER COLUMN on Thursday, "We've Seen Bitter Days," Helen Ubinas said it right. Her words are an example of what's wrong with society. I read: "I had returned from vacation ready to write a column about 16-year-old Asir Brown, gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Grays Ferry on July Fourth weekend. "But then I turned to one of the televisions in the newsroom and watched the emotional news conference outside Baton Rouge city hall, and there he was . . . " And so, you made the decision to chalk up Brown's tragic death and completely ignore it, and write instead about Alton Sterling, the 37-year-old CD street vendor who was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge, La. Once again, you are trying to divide.
NEWS
July 8, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 Unleashing anti-Semitism Last weekend, something incredible and frightening occurred: The Republican Party's presumptive nominee for president tweeted a blatantly anti-Semitic meme about Hillary Clinton. The claim that criticisms of the image amounted to "political correctness run amok" are belied by the fact that it was lifted from a white supremacist site ("Trump defends tweet with star," Tuesday). To me, this issue of human decency transcends politics.
NEWS
July 8, 2016
SOME BALANCE is needed on the facts about House Bill 530, a proposed charter-school reform measure and the subject of your editorial on Wednesday ("Cloudy, Chance of Crisis). HB 530 does not, as you claim, "eliminate enrollment caps for charters. " In fact, enrollment caps already are forbidden by current state law, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made clear last winter: "Enrollment of students in a charter school . . . shall not be subject to a cap or otherwise limited by . . . any other governing authority.
NEWS
July 7, 2016
ISSUE | EDUCATION Dorms at a community college? Community College of Philadelphia's plans to build two dorm buildings is puzzling and troubling ("Big welcome mat," June 8). President Donald Generals said the goal is to attract international students who will pay higher tuition than local students. An important role of community colleges is to give local students opportunities to take college-level, career-oriented courses when a four-year college is beyond their financial means.
NEWS
July 7, 2016
ISSUE | EAST FALLS Playground would spoil McMichael Park McMichael Park in East Falls should not become a pawn in the radical redevelopment of one of Philadelphia's prettier neighborhoods ("Adults' playground spat," Thursday). The six-acre park has always afforded families the space they need to walk their dogs, play with their children, and enjoy a small bit of wooded splendor within a city of brick and concrete. Those who are proposing construction of a playground are ignoring the disrespectful precedent it would set and the potential for unintended consequences.
NEWS
July 7, 2016
ISSUE | PHILADELPHIA DEVELOPMENT Build on gains and improve schools For all the complaining about Philadelphia's 10-year tax abatement, consider that the city and the region saw nearly $7.4 billion in new construction and major renovation between 2013 and 2015 ("Learning the drill," Thursday). That construction added 27,700 jobs and is revitalizing trade schools. This is taxpaying, home-buying, community-developing job creation. The abatement has revitalized entire neighborhoods, with developers risking financial ruin by building bigger homes - for less money and lower taxes - in fringe communities.
NEWS
July 7, 2016
ISSUE | SEXUAL ABUSE Senate's cowardice It is horrifying that Pennsylvania's Senate Judiciary Committee lacked the courage and wisdom to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice retroactively ("Pa. panel dials back sex-abuse measure," June 29) and that the Senate passed an amended bill 49-0 on Thursday. There must be room for the provision to be found constitutional given that Sen. John Rafferty Jr. of Delaware County, who is running for state attorney general, had no issues with it. And the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and several high-level prosecutors have supported retroactivity for years.
NEWS
July 7, 2016
ISSUE | WORKERS' RIGHTS Unions limit choices A commentary preached that right-to-work laws unfairly force unions to pay for nonmembers "free riding" on union representation ("Right-to-work laws have no place in Pennsylvania," June 29). But both private-sector and government unions insist on representing members and nonmembers alike; it's a critical part of their business model. Unions stifle competition because they want a monopoly over the labor force. Government unions in particular want the political clout that comes with monopoly representation.
NEWS
July 6, 2016
ISSUE | RACIAL PREJUDICE 'All lives matter' misses the point When actor Jesse Williams made a moving speech at the BET Awards about systemic racism in our society and the deaths of so many unarmed black men across the country, I thought people of all races would try to let the knowledge soak in. The slogan "All lives matter," used in a letter Thursday, does not begin to touch on systemic racism in our culture. All it does is detract from a major and relevant issue that plagues this country in an attempt to highlight a class that has not been oppressed in our society.
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