AFTER READING the recent commentary by Marc Steir on on the proposed tax on sugary drinks, I wasn't only incensed by it but deeply resented it.

Like many who sit in think tanks and see the deprivations of distressed communities from afar, Steir seems to think that because the 3-cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages will benefit the poor, they should be willing to pay for it.

He crossed a serious social line when he wrote that.

Low-income people, many of whom live in food deserts, who don't always have access to quality pre-Kindergarten programs should welcome higher grocery bills with open arms?

Children in low-income families will benefit by being prepared to enter school. The restoration of libraries and parks is even more necessary in distressed communities. But don't speak of correcting the ills of our city by adding financial burdens on the backs of those who suffer from economic injustice.

Pastor Dayna DeVine

Speak Life International Ministry


I am really tired of hearing how Big Soda is stealing money from Philadelphians. I am more concerned how the city of Philadelphia is stealing from its citizens. In my youth, we didn't work for the city because the pay was too low to live on. To compensate for that, better pensions were offered. Now, the salaries are more than $100,000 and the pensions are enormous. On top of that, we have DROP, which is now being used to steal more money from the city.

And I hate to mention how many assistants there are who contribute nothing but added expense. So I say, Mayor Kenney, let's cut down government spending, and maybe then we can afford the services you are proposing.

Joe Orenstein

Southampton, Pa.

Mayor Kenney, stop blowing smoke up our you-know-what. Funding pre-K is nothing but baby sitting and getting the people to pay for it with the soda tax, when the real way to pay for it is to get rid of the DROP system. The money you save will more than cover the pre-K, schools and parks.

Rodger Ryan


Protecting kids

from stupid people

I have now read an article about the proposed new law that Council President Darrell Clarke has proposed to make it a crime to leave a firearm within reach of a child, and while his intentions are good, it is a total overreaction to a very grave incident.

Law-abiding and educated gun owners know how to handle and store a gun. They do not play with a gun around sleeping children, or keep a loaded weapon under a mattress or seat cushion or anywhere easily accessible by a child.

The proposal brought up by City Council President Clarke would only hinder the use of gun, lawfully, by an owner who is trying to protect his/her family and, God forbid, a child or any person uses a gun irresponsibly or on themselves, and would now add the burden of criminal charges on a law-abiding citizen.

I write this letter not as a zealous gun-rights advocate (I do not belong to the National Rifle Association), but as human who does not need any further government intrusion on my rights because some idiot wanted to play with a gun.

What would be next, if some idiot decided to do doughnuts or play bumper tag with a car?

With all due respect to Councilman Clarke, in the end, you cannot legislate stupidity or ignorance. Unfortunately, you can only use the tragedy as an education tool.

Jim Crown


Rules don't pertain

to Armstrong?

I had to laugh as I read Jenice Armstrong's totally biased article on white privilege.

She tries to make it racist that they wouldn't let her in the conference. She points out that she didn't register, and the policy is that you must register to enter.

Like so many people of color she just expects that the rules do not pertain to her. I can't believe you actually printed her article .

Jack Yocum