New police building an outrage

Originally Published in The Philidelphia Inquirer

New police building a travesty

The Philadelphia Police Department’s decision to move its headquarters into the former Inquirer-Daily News building on North Broad Street means it is abandoning plans to use the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 46th and Market Streets, which has been undergoing renovations for the past several years (“White tower will take on a blue cast,” Thursday).

The former Inquirer and Daily News building is large enough to house the Police Department headquarters, the city morgue and toxicology lab, the emergency dispatch center, and two police district stations.

This is an outrage and a betrayal of all the taxpaying citizens of the city.

City officials cannot, on the one hand, cry poverty and raise taxes, and, on the other hand, walk away from a $50 million purchase and renovation of the Provident building just because the police can’t find their way on the El from 46th Street to the courthouse downtown. The Inquirer building will require tens of millions of dollars of work to transform it into the new Roundhouse, and the city does not expect to recoup its $50 million when it sells the Provident building.

What else could this money be used for? How about paving more roads, cleaning more streets, or hiring more teachers?

This is an insult to the citizens of Philadelphia and a stain on the Kenney administration.

|Noam Szwergold, Philadelphia

The Philadelphia planning and development director says the former Inquirer building ” is a great location for the efficiency of police operations.”

Where was all this efficiency, planning, and development when they threw $50 million down the drain for the building at 46th and Market Streets?

|Dick Jones, Warwick


Bombing is not the Islamic way

I am truly horrified by the barbaric attack in Manchester, England (“Terror probe widens to 2 continents,” Thursday). No human being of any religion could condone killing innocent young people.

Just a few weeks ago, I was in the United Kingdom, where I learned about true Islam from the Khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. He has always preached that Muslims show love and kindness to all people, ignoring their religious convictions. The Khalifa once said, “Those who seek to justify their hateful acts in the name of Islam are serving only to defame it in the worst possible way.”

I want to give my sincerest condolences to the people of Manchester. They should always be proud Mancunians and never worry about these losers, who will always be losers.

|Nameer Bhatti, Blue Bell, [email protected]

Can’t ignore climate change

Climate change is killing New Jersey’s Atlantic white cedar trees (” ‘Ghost forests’ show how salt water is advancing,” May 22). As seas continue to rise, the trees don’t have time to adapt to the salty conditions of the ocean water as it encroaches upon the coastal forests. If this situation is any indication of what people can expect to see in the near future, we should be worried.

Like the cedar trees, humans are struggling to adapt to an ever-changing climate. The term “climate refugee” has become more prevalent in our everyday language. The same tidal floods that are killing cedar trees are also flooding coastal homes and businesses at an alarming rate.

We can’t afford to ignore the problem of man-made global warming any longer; we’re already beginning to see its effects. We need our legislators to support commonsense laws that protect those who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change – be they people or cedar trees.

|Leah Bernstein, Berwyn

Dangerous rhetoric

I would remind critics of Israel that while some of their criticism is warranted, they engage in dangerous rhetorical choices when they refer to the United States “taking direction from the Israeli lobby” or being manipulated into “putting Israeli interests above our own” (“U.S. blocking Mideast peace,” Tuesday).

Such rhetoric is nothing but poorly disguised anti-Semitism; there is nothing subtle about the implications of a grand “Israeli” (read: Jewish) conspiracy to control U.S. policy. Such criticism ignores countervailing lobbying by wholly anti-Israel states and their representatives and plays on centuries-old, anti-Jewish polemic.

I appreciate genuine, fair criticism of Israel, but progress cannot be made as long as much of the criticism continues to be thinly veiled anti-Semitism.

|Nissim Lebovits, Bala Cynwyd

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