Contractor should serve time
Griffin Campbell has recently been portrayed as a scapegoat in the 2013 Center City building collapse, and, therefore, somehow not responsible ("Contractor seeks reduced sentence," Thursday). His attorney is calling for house arrest and probation. We reject this line of thinking.
Campbell was prosecuted for his decisions and conduct, not the decisions and conduct of others. He was found responsible, convicted of six counts of involuntary manslaughter and other charges. He was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison and is eligible for parole after 15 years. That's about two years for every person killed. We feel that Campbell was given a relatively light sentence given the scope of human loss and suffering caused by the tragedy.
As the parents of Anne Bryan, who was buried alive, suffering under the rubble for many hours before she died, we were disappointed that others were not criminally prosecuted. We brought our civil suit because we believed others were responsible in addition to Campbell, and we wanted the entire story told. The civil trial focused on the responsibilities of others. The civil trial jury did not hear all of the damning evidence related to Campbell's guilt that was presented in the criminal trial.
We have always maintained that Campbell was responsible and should be held accountable for his role in this tragedy. We support the decisions of both the civil and criminal juries. Under the law, Campbell is entitled to an appeal, and that process should be followed, not upended.
It is distressing to us, who have suffered so much, that some are using the results of the civil trial to try to eliminate Campbell's responsibility. Campbell is not a victim of the Salvation Army Thrift Store collapse - those who died and were injured are the victims.
|Nancy Winkler and Jay Bryan, Narberth, email@example.com
Arts deserve every dime
The National Endowment of the Arts is such a small amount of the total federal budget. Yet, as an artist and consumer of theater, dance, and music and a constant visitor to museums and galleries, I am amazed how that small amount of seed money becomes such a catalyst for so much art education and subsidies for schools, museums, and arts organizations.
The misconception that the arts are not necessary is detrimental to the support of culture in our communities. This is a bipartisan issue; most agree that cutting this $148 million from the budget - a mere 0.012 percent of federal discretionary spending - would thwart states from following through with more workshops for returning veterans to write about their experiences.
Participation in arts programs decreases young people's involvement in delinquent behavior, increases academic outcomes for disadvantaged children, and improves students' attitudes about themselves and their future.
|Mary Kane, president, Philadelphia/Tri-States Artists Equity, Chester Springs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trump wrong on water rule
President Trump's recent executive order rolling back the "clean water rule" section of the Clean Water Act is incredibly dangerous for Pennsylvania residents. The water quality in Pennsylvania has been shown to be unsafe for children to drink, with PennEnvironment giving Pennsylvania schools an "F" for lead in their water. Of 40 Philadelphia schools tested, 14 percent had high levels of lead in their water.
The clean water rule allows local government the means to address such problems; without it, our children will have a much more difficult time accessing clean water in school.
I urge Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey to immediately propose legislation to protect Pennsylvanians, particularly our children, in light of Trump's reckless order.
|Dylan Reichman, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Support abortion providers
March 10 marks National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, a time to recognize the women and men who have the courage and compassion to provide safe abortion care for our communities.
At Women's Medical Fund, we talk every day to low-income women and girls who struggle to access abortion care, and one thing is clear: providers are some of the fiercest advocates for their patients' well-being. They often go above and beyond to provide their patients top-notch abortion care that respects their decisions, affirms their dignity, and protects their health.
In a climate in which political attacks on abortion are frequent and doctors are often harassed for providing this care, we want to thank those who provide safe reproductive health care in Pennsylvania and around the country and always stand with their patients. Today, we proudly stand with them and #CelebrateAbortionProviders.
|Marah Lange, program coordinator, Women's Medical Fund, Philadelphia