Letters to the editor

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Coverage should focus on the greater tragedy

I have read with a mixture of shock and dismay the stories in the PG over the past week about the killing of Kenzie Marie Houk. Eleven-year-old Jordan Anthony Brown is charged in her shooting death ("Boy, 11, Charged in Slaying of Father's Girlfriend," Feb. 22). It is an unexplainable tragedy that an 11-year-old could take such actions.

However, I am very disturbed that the nature of your coverage has focused overwhelmingly on determining the right forum to try Jordan Brown or the means of punishment for someone of his age. What about the greater tragedy? Where is the coverage that focuses on the two young children who have been left behind without a mother to raise them?

While the case does perhaps provide an appropriate occasion to consider Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system, articles that emphasize concern for this defendant are somewhat misguided. If ever there was a case that proved the merits of treating a juvenile as an adult, this is it.

STEPHEN PEEPELS
Squirrel Hill


Society's role

A society that says it is legal to buy a child a child's model shotgun deserves to be tried for murder ("Boy, 11, Charged in Slaying of Father's Girlfriend," Feb. 22). To say that it is a constitutional right to give a weapon to a child, who is not of voting age, doesn't make sense.

Yes, guns and hunting may be family entertainment for some and good business for the gun manufacturers. A child who has grown up in a hunting family would have formed an idea of what is a live animal versus what is a dead animal. It doesn't take much imagination to change the animal that was hunted to a human being. There are many tragedies involved in this sad story.

CHARLOTTA KLEIN ROSS
Highland Park


No benefit for us

Ridgemont residents face decreasing house values if the City Vista at Parkway development is approved ("Ridgemont Condo Rezoning Delayed," Jan. 28).

There are certain circumstances that decrease property values for owners. One major factor is noise damage.

If City Vista at Parkway is approved, the project will take over our small neighborhood and leave Ridgemont residents with no benefits! Who benefits? SouthStar Development Partners. While a Florida-based developer celebrates profits, we Pittsburgh residents in Ridgemont shall see a huge decrease in our main investment, our home, our future. Our once quiet, family-oriented, safe neighborhood will be changed forever from noise damage from 418 units and tenants' automobiles making 2,174 daily weekday trips in our neighborhood (2,174 is documented from SouthStar's traffic report).

According to US Roadways Engineering Research, factors that determine the reduction in property values are caused by noise. Environmental noise caused by traffic can reduce property values tremendously! This includes impact by residential noise damage.

With 1,000 additional cars in our Ridgemont neighborhood, and additional noise from the 418 units, I will personally have myself and Ridgemont residents submit a bill to SouthStar if this development is approved to cover the cost of damages for decreased home values.

KIMBERLY BOTTICELLO
Ridgemont


Threatened lifestyle

When I revisit history, I analyze patterns that humans have made in reference to the treatment of mankind. The biggest pattern that I perceive to be recurring is how living beings' true "quality of life" is threatened by pure greed.

My correlation to this pattern is my "small-town America" neighborhood, Ridgemont, facing extinction due to, in my opinion, "greed" of a Florida-based developer. Our quaint neighborhood was aesthically chiseled in the 1940s after World War II, creating single-family houses built on the dream that we are united as neighbors.

Now, our dream is facing a nightmare, our heritage will be encroached upon, like the experiences the Indians faced from our past. We will no longer be able to "claim" our land as our investment for our families' future if SouthStar developers are allowed to build seven-story high-rises, 418 units, in our small-town America neighborhood.

Many neighbors have voiced their concerns that this invasion will violate many city of Pittsburgh zoning codes under "901.03 Purpose and Intent." These zoning codes are designed to protect neighbors' "quality of life."

If this development is allowed to proceed, then I will internalize mankind's history, the despair the Indians went through when they were told they were taking a journey to a "new future." That trail misled the innocent to a "trail of tears" that ended with a false sense of kindness that was driven by pure greed.

BETH HANIS
Ridgemont


Facts are facts

The Rev. David D. Wilson ("Church Division," Feb. 19 letters) is mistaken if he believes the Oct. 4 Pittsburgh vote to realign with the Anglican province of the Southern Cone in South America created a wholly new Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. This vote in no way makes redundant an existing diocese that remains solidly affiliated with the Episcopal Church headquartered in New York.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is very much alive and, with prayerful, spirit-guided attention, will thrive and grow. While disagreement on theology, discipline and practice is always painful, it is hardly new. Anyone with a passing familiarity of the evolution of Protestantism since the Reformation knows this.

But facts are facts, and the Rev. Wilson is not entitled to his own facts. Denominational canons are clear that church property is held in common by the national church. That means, ladies and gentlemen, that the marbles belong to all Episcopalians. By all means, if you want to leave the playground because you don't like the rules of the game, you are free to do so. But you can't take the marbles with you.

MICHELE D. BAUM
Upper St. Clair


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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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