August 28, 2015
Close read An article on Philadelphia's adult literacy efforts revealed an important flaw: There is no hard data to show that the program works ("Bridging the knowledge gap," Monday). There is a reference to 1,500 adults "completing classes" and "getting help," but those mushy terms could mean anything. In a city with a never-ending education funding crisis, shouldn't a program that costs $1 million a year be able to show some real results? |Jim Landers, Abington No emergency The recent coverage of the age of Philadelphia's emergency fleet was missing an important fact: The mileage on these vehicles ("Fire trucks burn out," Friday)
August 28, 2015 |
UNTIL THREE years ago, my wife and I were like a lot of immigrants: Drawn to the U.S. by jobs better than what we could find at home, we saw ourselves as outsiders - temporary resident aliens, as the government called us. Even living in Washington, I followed U.S. politics with detachment, the way you'd watch a football game between two schools in states you've never been to. When our friends back home in Canada asked if we planned to stay, we'd shrug...
August 27, 2015 |
SAMUEL VASQUEZ has been spending a lot of time on Ben Franklin Parkway in recent weeks. Sam, who spent many years homeless on the streets of Philadelphia, knows that in just a few weeks, the Parkway will be filled with perhaps over a million people eager to hear the words of Pope Francis. No longer homeless, Sam is now a resident at Project HOME's JBJ Soul Homes and is part of a special outreach team, including several formerly homeless persons, who have been going out in Center City, engaging in dialogue with the men and women currently living on our streets.
August 27, 2015
Any geneticist worth his salt ... Extensive scientific studies have shown that foods containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, do not pose health risks, and the higher agricultural yields attributed to them have helped alleviate hunger globally ("GMO panic is bad policy," Aug. 14). The faddish, absurd hue and cry over such foods is typified by a distributor of Himalayan salt labeled GMO-free. For the uninitiated, salt is a mineral, not an organism, and therefore devoid of genetic material.
August 26, 2015 |
AT THE CLOSE of every session, my colleagues and I hear a familiar patter, signaling the end of a legislative day, and we exit to the refrain that is now ringing in my mind: "The House will stand in recess until [some future date], unless sooner recalled by the speaker. " As Republican House leadership hollowly tries to blame Gov. Wolf for Pennsylvania's current budget failure, perhaps they should be pointing fingers closer to home. While it is true that Gov. Wolf vetoed the Republicans' budget bill - an anemic, retread of a budget that would have worsened the commonwealth's fiscal situation - there is one person who has the power to get House lawmakers back to work and craft a better budget for Pennsylvania: the speaker of the House.
August 26, 2015
Puzzle maestro leaves empty space It's impossible to imagine Sundays without crossword creator Merl Reagle in my house ("Merl Reagle, 65, crossword maker," Sunday). How dutifully I first read everything else just so I could go guilt-free to his crossword reward. Reagle was accessible and kind, always answering e-mail. One of my favorite Reagle puzzles, published on Mother's Day, revealed a message on completion: "Call your mother. " I wasn't the only mother who wrote to thank him. I got a response from his wife, who wrote that he received so many appreciative notes that he commandeered her to help answer them.
August 25, 2015
Don't stop the press It's about time somebody gave overdue credit to journalists and newspapers. As a graduate of Temple's journalism school and onetime radio news reporter, I have had almost a lifelong relationship with the people and products of this challenging industry. I shudder at the claim that print media is an endangered species because, in addition to the reasons cited by former Inquirer publisher Brian Tierney ("Why newspaper content counts for all of us," Aug. 16), journalism has been a source of and a training ground for many artful and trustworthy writers.
August 25, 2015 |
YOUR PAPER HAS now stepped to a new low for reporting a "story. " A dog is killed accidentally by a police cruiser, and because the owner hates cops and puts out an erroneous petition calling for his firing, your paper deems it newsworthy because people like dogs! Why don't you tell the truth? Your paper is nothing more than a supermarket tabloid that sensationalizes useless stories. Since this "news" falls under the category of hating police, your paper ran with it to further enrage the public.
August 24, 2015
ISSUE | TAX BREAKS Stuck in reverse The recently unveiled plans for a new Subaru of America headquarters in Camden are extremely disappointing. They consist of two squat buildings and more than 1,000 parking spaces. We taxpayers are to give up $118 million in tax revenue so that Subaru can build an outdated, suburban-style office complex within a 13-minute walk of the biggest transit hub in South Jersey. This will do nothing to revitalize the city. That would require it to encourage interaction with the city around it, and this plan pretty much guarantees that will never happen.
August 22, 2015
ISSUE | GMOS 'Only two decades' In supporting Monsanto's dream bill, the Inquirer Editorial Board is out of touch with the general public ("GMO panic is bad policy," Aug. 14). Polls have consistently shown that Americans support labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. That is because labeling genetically engineered ingredients, which have been on the market for only two decades, just makes sense. Consumers have a right to information about how food was produced before they buy it. The broad-based support for GMO labeling is the reason Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine have passed laws to require it. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and corporations such as Monsanto have bankrolled the effort to pass federal legislation nullifying the state laws.