Protect Pinelands from pipeline

Protesters oppose the proposed natural-gas pipeline Tuesday outside a Pinelands Commission hearing in Browns Mills.

Protect Pinelands from pipeline


As a member of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, I would like to thank the hundreds of protesters who showed up at a New Jersey Pinelands Commission hearing Tuesday to oppose the proposed natural-gas pipeline project ("Pipeline hearing packs the house," Wednesday). The pipeline, presented by supporters as a small abatement of the Pinelands Protection Act, would be just the latest but perhaps the most dangerous incursion into the "protected" area. We must oppose any further degradation of this vital wilderness and the crucial aquifer beneath it.

The commission is not doing its job. It is up to the citizens to protect this cherished land.

|Barbara Patrizzi, Mount Airy,

A source of clean power


As a lifelong resident of New Jersey and a resident of Cape May County, I care about the Pinelands. I also care about replacing the coal-fired electricity generating plant at Beasley Point with a more environmentally friendly, natural-gas-powered generating facility. After reading your recent editorial ("Pinelands endangered," Jan. 9), people would surmise that South Jersey Gas was intending to desecrate the Pinelands with a natural-gas pipeline that would have a huge negative impact on the ecosystem.

The proposed pipeline would be run alongside Route 49, which bisects the Pinelands from Millville to Tuckahoe. Other utilities exist in that easement.

It seems your Editorial Board would rather have the Beasley Point facility cease to exist over an arbitrary line in the sand that you have established about the sanctity of the Pinelands versus Gov. Christie. I, like other utility customers, look at how we can improve things in a gradual and incremental manner that, while not perfect, works toward a better situation for everyone involved.

|James Faulk, Ocean City,

Focus should be on gun violence


President Trump said Philadelphia's murder rate has been "just terribly increasing" ("Trump dead wrong on Phila killings," Friday). As a proud former Philadelphia police officer, I follow such statistics with great skepticism.

Mayor Kenney accused Trump of using "fake facts," but the Inquirer's editorial ("Gun violence; so what?" Friday) stated that "homicides in this city to this point [of 2017] are up 37 percent."

The number of reported deaths should not be the issue. Those keeping count of the toll on human life and the perception of how safe the city is should not fall victim to these statistics. The real issue, as the editorial pointed out, is gun violence. I applaud the Editorial Board for its commitment to finally report the facts and hope it will change the final analysis for all major cities going forward. It is important that we move away from reporting homicides and shine the spotlight on gun violence.

The president was correct to bring this important issue to the forefront. The only difference between a homicide and a shooting is not the motive or intent, but how quickly first responders and hospitals can stabilize a victim of gun violence. There is nothing "fake" when it comes to being shot.

|Jean M. Wallace, Flourtown


Planned Parenthood plays key role


The commentary, "Clinics better option for health-care needs" (Tuesday) misled readers about how federal funding for Planned Parenthood works. Planned Parenthood does not receive a large sum of money from the government to use as it chooses. Like other health-care providers, Planned Parenthood is reimbursed for services provided to Medicaid patients, many of whom have nowhere else to turn for care.

Those services include essential preventative care, such as cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and general wellness exams. Extreme politicians in Washington would have you believe that "defunding" Planned Parenthood will prevent abortion. It won't. Instead, it will lead to higher rates of unplanned pregnancies and more sexually transmitted diseases.

|Krysten Connon, Philadelphia


A two-newspaper town?


Helen Ubiñas, Ronnie Polaneczky, Jenice Armstrong, and Philly Clout join a string of Daily News writers now being featured in the Inquirer. If I wanted to read the Daily News, I would subscribe to the Daily News. If the plan is to have only one paper, let's get it over with and shut one down. But if you continue to publish two newspapers, they should be different papers, with different columns, articles, and features.

|Peter McPhillips, Philadelphia,