Letters to the editor

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So when will they ban other killer substances?

It's ironic that Jonathan D. Finder, an M.D., would mention that ballparks are about baseball, popcorn and hot dogs in his March 28 letter ("Ballpark Winners") applauding PNC Park's decision to ban smoking.

I think he forgot to include a few adjectives like buttery, salty popcorn and fatty hot dogs. Maybe these health risks can be banned as well in a few years. And beer. He forgot beer.

Yes, I'd much rather share the road with a buzzed or legally intoxicated fan driving home from a game than walk through a cloud of secondhand smoke.


Assist from county

Regarding "The Pirates' Smoking Ban Is Not a Winning Move" (March 22 letters): I'm not sure of the letter writer's point. He doesn't care for the smoking ban at PNC Park despite the fact that he is a nonsmoker but connects smoking with baseball. Hmm.

Then he starts on the "We Will" slogan, preferring that the Pirates allow smoking and put a winning team together. Maybe the secret to improve hitting, fielding, pitching ... oh, what the heck, management and other stuff, is to increase smoking and other repugnant acts. Sorry, you're just not making any sense.

The Pirates made a heap of money by having a club dedicated to cigar smoking. They also catered to the group of boomers who think it is cool to smoke cigars together in a smelly sports facility. Something strange happened. The local government intervened and said, "No more." That made the inevitable occur. Instead of calling the club idea a failure, out of sync with the times and offensive to the fans who suffer from the pollution created, the Pirates had an excuse to close this experiment gone bad.

Anyway, fans will continue to seek the giveaways and attend baseball at PNC Park. We will expect the grand hopes of management to come true this year: a winning record. And, without the stench of the foul-smelling stogies wafting from the former club and elsewhere, the atmosphere will be clear enough for all to witness those dreams coming true.


Speaking of tactics

I wish to respond to Dennis Roddy's statement in his March 22 article "City Candidates Removed From Primary Ballot," in which he insinuates that I, as attorney for the Patrick Dowd campaign for City Council, might have been "engaged in a tactical maneuver to winnow the field and give their candidate better odds against the incumbent."

Apparently the incumbent's political maneuvering seems to have escaped Mr. Roddy's attention. It should be clearly noted that Leonard Bodack Jr., through Anthony Lisowski, initiated ballot challenges against both Patrick Dowd and Tom Fallon on the basis of errors in their statements of financial interests. (How much better can the odds be than to remove all challengers?)

When Mr. Bodack learned that his effort to knock Mr. Dowd off the ballot was unsuccessful, he then withdrew his challenge against Mr. Fallon. Did he suddenly change his opinion about the value of information omitted from Mr. Fallon's statements of financial interests? Or did he decide that, with Mr. Dowd now remaining in the race, a three-person contest would be more advantageous to his campaign?

These tactics, sadly, are an unfortunate misuse of the judicial system for political purposes. Mr. Bodack should be ashamed of himself and the voters in City Council District 7 should remember this on May 15.

Highland Park

Illuminating idea

In every rain or snow event in the first months of 2007, I have observed far too many drivers violating the Pennsylvania law stipulating that lights must be turned on when wipers are in operation. Headlights are one of the free major safety features of our automobiles.

Driving with lights on in the dawn and dusk periods also can enhance visibility and therefore safety. Many times during those periods of the day, an unilluminated vehicle is lost in a long line of vehicles that are illuminated and can be a hazard for those trying to enter traffic on a high-speed highway.

For the safety of all, perhaps it is time that all wiring systems in motorized vehicles be constructed so that headlights automatically turn on when wipers are on. As is available in many automobiles, sensors that read low natural lighting cause the vehicles' headlights to be illuminated. Maybe this should become a standard feature.


Design decisions

It is obvious to me that columnist George F. Will, like many people, has no clue what the current job description is of today's interior designers ("Designer Cartel: Government Shouldn't Help Private Businesses Stifle Their Competition," March 22). We are responsible for fire codes, Americans With Disabilities Act compliance, psychology of color, environmental issues, ergonomics and specific public group design, such as designing for the elderly.

The general public is forced to use certain public spaces, and we need to be absolutely certain that the interiors of those spaces meet all codes and are appropriate for the group utilizing it.

There are 14 (both graduate and undergraduate) degree programs in Pennsylvania, a rigorous third-party testing system called the NCIDQ that is accepted and recognized throughout the country and continuing education credits that ensure that interior designers are educated properly, have the proper work experience and maintain their education through out their careers.

State licensing is not a matter of keeping certain people from practicing interior design; this is a matter of ensuring that qualified professionals are involved in decisions that, yes, may be life or death for the general public.

We need to make certain that finishes specified in dorm rooms have the proper fire class rating, that the color red isn't used in a cardiac unit of a hospital, that steps are clearly contrasted in an assisted living facility, that office workstations support proper ergonomics and a hundred other daily decisions that hopefully the public never needs to be fully aware of.

Interior Designer
Office Depot

Here's to the band

Pittsburgh is blessed by many fine institutions, one of them being the University of Pittsburgh Marching Band, which consistently turns out excellent programs in support of Pitt athletics. More importantly the band has a capable, dedicated leader in Jack R. Anderson, who also turns out excellent young men and women in his program.

I know we speak for hundreds if not thousands of parents when we thank this dedicated leader for the inspiration he has given our son and others resulting in a greater love for music and their alma mater. Thanks to Jack and the many others who help the Pitt Band.


We welcome your letters. Please include your name, address and phone number, and send to Letters to the Editor, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. E-mail letters to letters@post-gazette.com or fax to 412-263-2014. Letters should be 250 words or less, original and exclusive to the Post-Gazette. All letters are subject to editing for length, clarity and accuracy and will be verified before being published.


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