Letters to the editor
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I'm writing with a different response regarding the Pittsburgh Promise. I'm not incredibly concerned about the deal that UPMC attempted to make ("UPMC Drops Tax Credit Bid: Goes Forward With Pledge of $100 Million to Promise," Dec. 27). Assuming that the Pittsburgh Promise will become a reality, what I would like to ask is why is it not extended to children in private and parochial schools? They are also the future of our city. And they are also just as deserving of a chance to further their educations.
Those of us who chose to enroll our children in schools other than the public schools did so for our own reasons, and many of us struggle daily to pay the tuition required. But our children are still a part of this city, too, and will face the same hurdles that all kids will face when it comes time to pay for college. Don't they deserve all the help they can get as well?
Unless I'm mistaken, to achieve the grades necessary to be eligible for the Pittsburgh Promise, parochial school students have an even bigger hurdle to jump, as the standards are higher for them to reach each letter grade.
I do hope that possibly our mayor might consider this and open up the Pittsburgh Promise to all deserving students in this great city of ours.
Is this city mathematically challenged? We give money to those who do not need it and try not to accept money that is being given in good faith. The gift that UPMC announced is unbelievable and now it has even rescinded its request for a tax credit ("UPMC Drops Tax Credit Bid," Dec. 27).
UPMC could very easily follow the letter of the law and give only what is required and not a penny more. We must embrace UPMC for the good that it does and not always look to complain about executive salaries, hidden agendas and the like.
Also, how many of the people who are complaining are voting? You do the math!
I don't have a problem with the Post-Gazette, but I do with UPMC. I've read numerous articles about its donation of $100 million to fund college education for city children. I'm not saying this is a bad plan -- in fact, I think it's great that others want to help further education for children.
I do have a few problems with this particular plan, the main one being UPMC. It says it is donating money for this, but did it also tell you that it has increased its insurance premiums to working-class people tremendously? Also did it tell you that the premiums of the elderly also are going up? This all happened right before it announced its contribution.
So who is really contributing: UPMC or its customers? Also this is intended for city children, yet kids who are in need of assistance and grants like this don't all live in the city. There are children all over who need programs like this, and I feel all eligible children should be able to apply for the grants.
After all, we are paying for this contribution -- not UPMC.
Having regularly read Paul Krugman's column in the PG for the past several years, it occurs to me that this man has suffered greatly during the Bush administration. This continued suffering might pose a health risk to his readers. The president and his advisers have done nothing right.
Under such circumstances, how could Professor Krugman become anything other than an angry, pessimistic person? Seven years of perceived incompetence would take its toll on anyone. Thus it is easy to see why negativity, criticism and pessimism are ongoing themes in his columns.
However, the unfortunate result for his readers is the mirror neuron effect, whereby one who listens to someone complain endlessly tends to start doing the same. This effect leads to emotion contagion, whereby one can become a negative or pessimistic person by simply listening to or being near a negative or pessimistic person. Emotion contagion can spread through large populations.
Surely, Professor Krugman does not want to be the source of a virus that would give rise to a pandemic of unhappy, pessimistic, angry fellow citizens. Assuming that he has the best interests of his readers in mind, the best thing he can do at this point would be to cease writng his opinion pieces -- at least until after the end of the Bush administration. An alternative would be for all of us readers to stop reading his column for the time being solely for reasons of maintaining our good health.
This is the problem with the politicians, and especially those who are so worried about the environment: They forget what and who is important -- people. The reason I say this is because of what has happened with prescription inhalers used for asthma treatment.
I recently needed to refill my inhaler and was told by the local pharmacist that the inhaler was now different because it contained ingredients that harmed the ozone layer. However, these ingredients were the most effective for helping calm down an asthma attack.
I was also informed by the pharmacy that since the medication was altered, it was not covered by my prescription coverage because it is now considered a new medication.
To make a long story short, I had a minor asthma attack and this new, altered inhaler did almost nothing to help. I then went to the emergency room and needed to receive a couple of breathing treatments to settle down my breathing. I then informed the ER doctor what inhaler I used and he actually began to laugh, saying, "It's crazy that the medication would be altered like this. Don't they know how many millions of people rely on inhalers for asthma relief?"
I was diagnosed as asthmatic when I was about 7 or 8 years old and have needed to use inhalers every day since. I ask you this: What happens to the elderly who rely on inhalers also and who are on fixed incomes? Will they receive the same rude awakening when they are advised that these asthmatic medications are now not covered by insurance because they supposedly harm the ozone layer?
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 email@example.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.
First Published December 29, 2007 12:00 am