Mega events tarnish Art Museum and Parkway

Mega events mar Art Museum area

Once again, it seems that the city doesn't care about the gem that we have in the Ben Franklin Parkway and Art Museum area ("City wrapping up plans for NFL draft," Wednesday).

More than three weeks prior to the NFL draft, streets were closed and visitors (who may bring more money to the city than these Parkway events) were banned access to the iconic Art Museum steps and inconvenienced to enter the museum.

I walked the area last week - as I often do, and which was one of the reasons for moving to this part of town - and, ironically, they were aerating the ground and planting grass seed in large areas that had already been beaten down by the last three run/walk events conducted this year, while trucks were rolling onto those same areas to set up the huge stage for the NFL.

I keep hearing about all of the millions in revenue coming from these events, but it doesn't seem to trickle down to us in the form of tax relief.

The TV reporters interview people standing near the museum but who live in other parts of the city, saying, "It doesn't seem to be much of an inconvenience, and it's only a couple of days."

They don't know.

— Vaughn Cook, Philadelphia

NFL draft a major disruption

The story, "Neighbors cool to NFL draft" (April 7) greatly understated the disruptions that residents of Fairmount and the northwest part of the city will have to endure for a month to accommodate the NFL's decision to run its draft on our city streets.

The draft is scheduled to take place over three days, April 27-29, yet the street closures started on April 10 and won't end until a week after the event.

The city's listing of "road closures, parking restrictions, and transportation service adjustments" for the event has four phases. The closures will likely result in big tie-ups and delays for people from Fairmount, East Falls, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill who use Kelly Drive as the alternative to the Schuylkill Expressway. The inconvenience to Fairmount residents is only a part of the disruption that many other residents will have to endure.

Who decided this was a good idea? Why didn't the city insist that this event take place where all the sports facilities are located in South Philly, where there is sufficient parking and public transportation to accommodate fans?

Doesn't the NFL understand that Rocky Balboa is not a real person, but just a character in a movie?

— Mary Ellen Krober, Philadelphia

Force, not bumping, is the issue

We need to stay focused on the problem ("Christie: Halt 'bumping' from flights pending review," Wednesday).

What happened to United Airlines passenger David Dao is appalling No one should be physically forced off a flight due to overbooking, much less to make room for employees, theirs or others. That said, of the 143 million passengers United transported last year, 3,765 were bumped. That is less than 0.003 percent - not bad business. Airlines must fly as close to capacity as possible to make money. Last year, U.S.-based carriers safely flew almost one billion passengers more than one trillion miles and arrived within 15 minutes more than 80 percent of the time.

Bumping isn't the issue. Being forcefully ejected from a plane without cause is what happened. Politicians like Gov. Christie need to stay focused on their own problems and not knee-jerk react every time something goes ballistic on social media.

— Ed Truncale, Erial, etruncale@comcast.net

Notifying Russia makes sense

Some people are expressing concerns that President Trump told the Russians that we were launching missiles into Syria ("Tillerson to press Russia over Syria," Wednesday). What is the concern? It seems to be a sensible and logical step. Would those with concerns prefer Trump hadn't told the Russians and unintentionally harmed Russian soldiers, further escalating the situation? Unless we are careful, an inadvertent clash in Syria between Russia and the United States could spark a major war.

— Nick D'Orazio, Philadephia, nickdorazio01@gmail.com

Trump consistently helter-skelter

Trump isn't an enigma - he's erratic ("Trump ever the enigma," Sunday).

It's not perplexing that his actions violate his campaign pledges, as he regularly contradicts himself and denies earlier statements even in the face of video or old tweets. Sure, he ran as the "America First" candidate, but he also promised to order the military to commit war crimes in the fight against ISIS. One day, he derides the value of the international alliances and institutions that have maintained stability since World War II, but the next day he reaffirms the country's commitment to them. He is driven by petty rivalries, provoked by tweets, and profoundly influenced by what he sees on cable news. He uses words as a tool, not to convey any meaning.

It's not surprising that Trump attacked Syria. It's surprising that anyone expects him to feel bound by - or to believe - the word-salad that comes out of his mouth.

— Anthony Cantor, Toronto

Eugene Lang touched us

The passing of philanthropist Eugene Lang reminds us of the great good that can be had from such as he ("Eugene M. Lang, 98, tech executive, Swarthmore donor," Sunday).

Starting out washing dishes in a restaurant and building on the superb education he got at Swarthmore College, he served as a role model for others to follow. That all those billionaires in today's White House would take a lesson from his life.

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts.

— Henry and Bobbie Shaffner, Bala Cynwyd, hfshaffner@yahoo.com

Free gunlocks good for Philly

Thanks to the Inquirer, Daily News, Philly.com, Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams, and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke for the best thing to happen to the city since the Bicentennial.

I was browsing through the Inquirer at breakfast and happened to see the full-page ad (beautifully designed) for the offer of free gunlocks to anyone who wants one. I don't have to point out the benefits of the donation. I'm curious to know whose idea it was and whose money was used to implement it. If the donor or donors want to remain anonymous, thanks again to those who are implementing it.

— Deedee Bennett, Philadelphia, deedeebennett1306@gmail.com