PG NewsPG delivery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Home Page
PG News: Nation and World, Region and State, Neighborhoods, Business, Sports, Health and Science, Magazine, Forum
Sports: Headlines, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Collegiate, Scholastic
Lifestyle: Columnists, Food, Homes, Restaurants, Gardening, Travel, SEEN, Consumer, Pets
Arts and Entertainment: Movies, TV, Music, Books, Crossword, Lottery
Photo Journal: Post-Gazette photos
AP Wire: News and sports from the Associated Press
Business: Business: Business and Technology News, Personal Business, Consumer, Interact, Stock Quotes, PG Benchmarks, PG on Wheels
Classifieds: Jobs, Real Estate, Automotive, Celebrations and other Post-Gazette Classifieds
Web Extras: Marketplace, Bridal, Headlines by Email, Postcards
Weather: AccuWeather Forecast, Conditions, National Weather, Almanac
Health & Science: Health, Science and Environment
Search: Search post-gazette.com by keyword or date
PG Store: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette merchandise
PG Delivery: Home Delivery, Back Copies, Mail Subscriptions

Weather

Headlines by E-mail

Headlines Region & State Neighborhoods Business
Sports Health & Science Magazine Forum

Letters to the editor

Friday, November 10, 2000

Paying a living wage will attract better employees

I was glad to see that Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey softened his position on living wages for direct county employees, according to the Oct. 26 Post-Gazette ("Roddey Does About-Face on 'Living Wage' Question"). What a super start!

Now Mr. Roddey and all County Council members need to realize that paying human service workers a humane living wage is a wise decision. Turnover would be greatly reduced by attracting better qualified and more reliable people who would take care of our most vulnerable citizens.

Out of a $635 million budget, surely a mere $3 million (less than 0.5 percent) can be found to pay the county's share for such priceless services. After being paid a living wage, affected workers would require many fewer wage-support services such as housing and food assistance that county taxpayers supply.

The state and federal governments have found slack in their budgets before and they can do it again for their shares of this worthy human services investment.

Living wages must be required from businesses receiving direct county assistance and/or tax abatements. Providing poverty-wage jobs in exchange for our hard-earned tax dollars is not an intelligent tradeoff. I don't know of any business that would survive such naive practices.

I'm confident that the county executive and all County Council members will realize how smart comprehensive living wage legislation is to Allegheny County.

JANE E. SCHWARZ
North Side


Love those trains

As a former resident of the South Side, I became angry upon reading the Oct. 16 article "Train Whistles Annoy New South Siders" -- as did letter writer Carol Schmidt ("Affluent South Side Newcomers Don't Like Train Whistles? Boo Hoo," Oct. 23).

My parents raised six of us on Merriman Way, as did many of our ethnic neighbors. When we were growing up, there were plenty of trains. We studied train whistles, went to sleep by train whistles. Also, no old Polish woman was happy to hear train whistles because her son had a job on the railroad, as was quoted in the Oct. 16 article. The Polish men did not work on the railroad. The Irish men worked on the railroad.

Tom Kolano, in his Oct. 28 letter ("Keep the Whistles Blowing"), said, "Why build near tracks?" We knew about the tracks. That is why real estate was cheaper there. We had no park or playground near the river. We enjoyed just going down to count the boxcars and wave to passengers on the trains and hear the whistles blow.

We lived through the Depression, lumberyard fire, the Flood of '36, the train whistles and the beautiful church bells. I hope we see more trains in the future. And may these people in their expensive homes enjoy the South Side as we of the poor class did.

SOPHIE FRANC SIERZEGA
Scott


Beautiful story

I would like to commend Patricia Lowry on the beautiful story she wrote about saving St. Nicholas Church ("Highway Threatens St. Nicholas, a Unique Piece of Pittsburgh's History and Landscape," Oct. 10). Our church is located on East Ohio Street on the North Side.

I had many calls and very favorable comments from all of our parishioners. I also had many calls from former parishioners (who moved away) from St. Nicholas Church, the first Roman Catholic Croatian Church in America.

What a heartwarming story about "Mala Jaska," which was named after a small village in Croatia (pronounced mulu yusku-u, as in "hut"). Our ancestors settled here in 1894 and built this beautiful church. They also founded the Croatian Fraternal Union of America, which now has 100,000 members throughout the United States, Canada and Zagreb-Croatia. This is some of the history of the neighborhood and she has written lots more.

ELSIE M. YURATOVICH
North Side


Editor's note: The writer is a member of St. Nicholas Croatian Church.


Remember the veterans

I would like to commend the Post-Gazette for its continuing articles on our nation's veterans. Not only do the articles illuminate the individuals and their heroics, but also provide a well-needed history lesson as well. They remind me how important it is that I never take for granted my freedom and how lucky I am to be an American.

As Veterans Day approaches, I think of those the PG has written about, and those close to me who served, ranging from World War II, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and in all branches. I would like to thank all veterans for their service and inspiration and hope they know how much they are appreciated.

CHARLES TUROCY
Wilkinsburg


A waste of money

Two-hundred-thirty-three prisoners are awaiting execution in Pennsylvania. Only three have been executed since 1962. Those prisoners awaiting the conclusion of their lives are wasting our hard-earned tax dollars.

You have 233 prisoners who can't provide for themselves in any shape, way or form. So if you do the math, you figure 230 mature men and three women times how much it would cost to feed, clothe, watch and shelter them. The numbers will speak for themselves. You would be surprised how much money is being put into cold, hard murderers. Not to mention the tax dollars that go into their court hearings.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are not most of the prisoners one and the same? Have they not all pushed the law too far? Have they not all been convicted fairly through trial by jury? Have they not all had their chances at life? Is it worth our own money to let convicted, cold-hearted murderers sit around and do nothing?

Our hard-earned tax dollars are going to people who wasted their lives, just as they do our money.

JOHNATHAN BOUCEK
Franklin Park


Editor's note: The writer is a junior at North Allegheny High School. The letter was written as an assignment for English class.


Only a theory

Though I realize that it was an Associated Press article, you chose to insult the majority of your readers by publishing the article "250 Million-Year-Old Bacteria Found in Grain of Salt in N.M." (Oct. 19).

Your readers should not have been exposed to the irresponsible journalism which the article exhibited. Evolution is a theory; it is not scientific law. As a matter of fact, in many ways it is lousy and preposterous scientific theory, violating many basic principles and laws of its own field. Evolution is a theory; nonetheless you continue to publish and write articles which present it as scientific fact and law.

This is misleading at best and brainwashing at worst. Thankfully, the majority of your readers still do not believe in evolution, but rather in the revealed order of intelligent design and creationism.

REV. ERIC R. ANDRAE
Highland Park


Democracy threatened

In the United States, we count on the media to help us root out corruption and other wrongdoing. Why is no one curious how it occurred that the exit polling of every media center was so wrong in Florida? How is it that, in the face of this exit polling, Gov. Jeb Bush was still certain that Florida was "a done deal" for his brother?

In an election decided by a few hundred votes, thousands of people were confused, even denied a new ballot when they realized they made a mistake. Some 19,000 ballots were simply thrown out! People will be suing to have their voices heard correctly.

This is a question of the future of the presidency and the courts. But, more important, it is a question of the legitimacy of our democracy.

MATT BALL
Indiana Township


The mayor's harsh judgment on Section 8 families

I read with interest columnist Tony Norman's piteous paean to the painful weakness of liberal thought in reference to Mayor Tom Murphy's current beef with Section 8 families in Pittsburgh. ("Crime and Punishment," Nov. 3). I also read ACLU Executive Director Witold Walczak's more strongly considered commentary ("Don't Evict the Innocent," Nov. 3 Perspectives) in reference to the eviction rights of the mayor and the city housing authority against Section 8 families.

Both, in separate ways, kind of hit the nail on the head in terms of our willingness to have separate responses to the issues of persons who own property vs. persons who do not, and even more specifically, persons who are poor and dependent for a time on government -- that is, public largesse -- and those who for the time being are not.

Both, in my view, also minimize a larger point (though Walczak in his thoroughness does not mention it):

Not only does the mayor seek to have the families whose children have committed crime cast into the shadows and onto the streets, but he and his Housing Authority chieftain are willing to withhold housing relief from an entire class of innocent persons because they have a beef with public policy and the courts.

They have made a wholesale judgment of all potential Section 8 families and they, lamentably, find it within their (changeable) power to withhold consideration for all people in need of Section 8 housing.

What I have difficulty with is that whatever the mayor's and Housing Authority's problem with the families of youth who have perpetrated a crime, they are using and abusing the fate of 1,680 who are not yet in the system to have their way. These officials are holding these folks hostage as a class simply because they feel they have the power to do so.

How is this justified except to say that they are "potential criminal families" simply because they need Section 8 housing? Thus, they are liable, each and every one of them and their families, for anything that anyone in their class does, has done and more flagrantly, might do. How many steps away from wholesale judgment is this?

And where precisely have such wholesale judgments by petty officials led us in the past? Pittsburgh leadership casts its vote affirmatively for a modern American caste system.

C.E. CAMPBELL-PORTER
McKeesport




bottom navigation bar Terms of Use  Privacy Policy