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NEWS
May 17, 2016
ISSUE | PETER LIACOURAS Temple's redeemer The passing of former Temple University President Peter Liacouras marked the official end of an era ("Former Temple president Peter Liacouras dies," Philly.com, Friday). Liacouras saw his charter in a simple manner - to lead and manage Temple's transition - and this vision became a reality along Broad Street and in North Philadelphia. His years of work benefited Temple, the neighborhood, and the community, and as with Comcast cofounder Ralph Roberts, social activist the Rev. Leon Sullivan, and former Mayor Richardson Dilworth, his sense of uncompromising integrity raised the bar for all Philadelphians.
NEWS
May 17, 2016
ISSUE | SODA TAX Reducing the levy would harm the city I urge City Council President Darrell L. Clarke to support Mayor Kenney's proposed 3-cents-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages instead of cutting it to 1 cent an ounce or less ("Clarke floats smaller drink tax," Thursday). This tax would improve the health of thousands of Philadelphians. It would help, not harm, those being singled out as likely to be hurt by this tax. Many people do not understand the harmful effects of sugar, including weight gain and diabetes.
NEWS
May 17, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. SCHOOLS Speak up, people The placement of the article "Pa. audit of Phila. schools finds lax safety, 'broken finances' " on the back page of Thursday's Local News section says it all about why our schools are broken. Until Pennsylvanians muster the outrage to make this front-page news, we will continue with the injustice that is hurting our children and undermining our city. |Paul S. Sylvester, lecturer, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, pssylvester@gmail.com
NEWS
May 17, 2016
ISSUE | HIROSHIMA Lower the nuclear threat I welcome President Obama's decision to be the first sitting U.S. president in the nuclear age to visit Hiroshima, the site of the first use of nuclear weapons ("Obama to make history with visit to Hiroshima," Wednesday). Remembering the horror and destruction wreaked by a relatively small nuclear weapon compared with today's nuclear weapons is crucial to generating the global will to move toward abolishing such weapons worldwide. The last nuclear reduction treaty was in 2010, between the United States and Russia.
NEWS
May 16, 2016
ISSUE | TENURE Pa. teachers deserve the benefit of seniority Leave it to the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature to cut school funding, underfund the teachers' pension fund, and eliminate the academic free speech offered through tenure, and then pass a bill that uses teacher effectiveness, rather than seniority, to decide who gets laid off ("Wolf gets school seniority layoff bill," Tuesday). The investment made to get a teaching degree, the high level of scrutiny and competition during the hiring process for the few jobs that open up, and the near-constant administrative supervision to ensure that state standards are being met suggest we're getting excellent teacher performance.
NEWS
May 16, 2016
ISSUE | VISIT PHILA. Ex-CFO let off easy Joyce Levitt, former chief financial officer of Visit Philadelphia, got a tap - it can't even be called a slap - on the wrist after seven years of embezzling more than $200,000 from a taxpayer-funded organization that paid her $120,000 a year ("Guilty plea for tourism ex-official," Thursday). I am waiting to see what happens to Stephanie Mayweather, the former executive director of East Division Crime Victim Services, who was charged with stealing more than $15,000 from that support group ("Victims advocate now charged," Thursday)
NEWS
May 16, 2016
ISSUE | CORRUPTIONStung by the FBI John Estey is my neighbor - I know him. There is not a doubt in my mind, whether it meets the definition of entrapment or not, that he would have never been involved in funneling illegal campaign contributions to Pennsylvania legislators as part of an FBI sting operation if he had not been expertly targeted and then tempted ("More shame on Harrisburg - and the FBI," Thursday). He's a good man who was given the use of a Ferrari and then got caught speeding.
NEWS
May 16, 2016
ISSUE | ADOPTION Finally, a chance to find my birth mom My mom in heaven - you adopted me, loved me, and left me with so many unanswered questions. The young girl who gave birth to me - I know you loved me, I know you were forced to give me away, and I understand you could not keep me. If you are searching for me, I know you cannot find me, because I cannot find you. Our records are sealed; our existence is hidden away. We were told to forget - how can we? I think about my mom in heaven, how I miss her and wish she could have answered my questions.
NEWS
May 14, 2016
ISSUE | DEMS' CONVENTION Time for Philly to shine Civic leaders Paul Levy and Stephen Tang have argued that Philadelphia must leverage its momentum to promote growth ("Use key assets to promote Philly growth," April 28; "Keep city focus on job growth," April 29). Innovation fuels this momentum. From Philly Tech Week to Microsoft's decision to open an Innovation Center in University City to the Huffington Post citing Philadelphia as a prime city for techies, the city is gaining national attention for its growing innovation and start-up culture.
NEWS
May 14, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. SCHOOLS Hire subs in-house As a retired teacher from Philadelphia, I agree with Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, who is opposed to hiring another company to find substitutes ("Jeers, cheers for new subs plan," Saturday). That would be another expensive stopgap that does not address the complex problems that plague our schools and make it difficult to hire substitutes. Higher pay will not get and keep substitutes. The focus must be on getting every classroom a permanent teacher and aide at the start of the school year to eliminate disruptions and disciplinary problems.
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