Letters about SEPTA, gun violence, theater and PW's cover stories.
Regarding Joel Hoffmann’s recent story on SEPTA cashiers:
I am the wife of a “cashier” and I did not appreciate your article. This job is not an easy one. They have to deal with ignorant people everyday. No matter how polite they are to the customers, the customers are never happy with the answers. When they try to do their job—collect fares—some people refuse to pay. My husband has been called all kinds of names, spit at and threatened more times than I can count. They get no support from SEPTA. They are basically out there on their own. As far as their responsibilities, they are responsible for collecting all money, tokens and passes. They give out information and directions to people.
Also, all of the cashiers have not been injured from their original jobs. My husband drove the trolley for 20 years before having a heart attack. He would have liked to go back to driving, but the company would not allow it based on his condition.
I would suggest the next time you decide to write an article about something or someone, do your research. This was very disturbing to me and I am sure a lot of other people. I did not appreciate the assumptions made against these people who get up everyday and go to a job that is far from safe. And they do a damn good job at it!
LINDA MURPHY via email
Regarding Joel Mathis’ column about gun violence in Philadelphia:
Mr. Mathis, in response to your gun violence article, in which you speak for Tom Corbett, here are my thoughts, not flavored with any bias or color:
First and foremost, guns are not violent. Buy a .357 6-shot revolver and leave it alone in a locked room for 10,000 years, and it will do less damage than the cholesterol in a single Big Mac.
I live in Philadelphia and have never laid my head to rest at night worried about gun violence. Check the facts and you will find some startling truths. The homicide rate is directly related to location and a certain segment of the population (i.e., young men of color, specifically African and Hispanic Americans.)
If you’re still not persuaded by facts, take a look at Montana, where the lack of an inner city along with almost non-existent gun laws leaves behind an indelible truth.
JOHN MALTESE via email
Regarding recent cover stories:
I just want to commend you on your recent choice of feature article topics (ACORN, the don’t-snitch culture, health insurance reform). If this marks a change in editorial policy, I urge you to stick with it.
Given the struggles of local and city newspapers, independent and alternative press is a more critical, urgently needed force than ever for vigilance in covering local wrongdoing and corruption. Readers have widely diverging opinions about these issues, but you provide an invaluable service in reporting them.
PATTY QUINN via email
Robb got it perfectly in his review of the Wilma Theater’s Coming Home by Athol Fugard. Eloquent theater criticism of this play from PW is most welcome, especially in light of an inadequate Inquirer review of the same play (which fixated on one small failing), and, a week after the play’s opening, no review from the City Paper .
Robb and PW are on a roll. Maybe it’s time for PW to do critical justice to the abundance of engaging dance in the city, which PW seems largely to ignore.
JONATHAN STEIN via philadelphiaweekly.com
Unionized labor may have its downsides, but the steady decline of union membership has been disastrous for American workers, including Pennsylvanians. That's one reason the TWU deserves your backing.