Phillies disappointing;

change needed at top

After many lackluster post-season playoffs, the management of the Philadelphia Eagles finally decided it was time to take a new direction. The first order of business was to replace head coach Andy Reid with Chip Kelly.

The general manager of the the Philadelphia Phillies, Ruben Amaro Jr., assembled a team that he thought would bring a World Series title to Philadelphia. Out of 30 teams in the major leagues, the Phillies pay the third-highest in player salaries, and they don't have much to show for it.

The first half of the season is completed, and they are not even playing .500 baseball. Last year the Phillies ended the season with a record of 81 wins and 81 loses. At this juncture, it looks like they are headed in the same direction.

Maybe it's time to think about replacing Manager Charlie Manuel and Amaro. Until a management change occurs at the top, this team will continue to disappoint its fans.

DAVID M. LEVIN

Vineland

Rodeos are archaic

and cruel to animals

Regarding the July 4 story, "Rodeos deny, reject use of e-prods after horse's death":

The controversy over whether a horse was tortured to death at Cowtown Rodeo is nothing new. One of the first letters I ever wrote to The Press in the 1980s concerned an incident I witnessed while attending the rodeo.

During a children's bucking contest, a calf broke its leg and then had a chain attached to its leg and was dragged out of the ring by a tractor. The crowd cheered.

I have never attended another rodeo or circus or even eaten meat products since then. When you know better, you do better. Bucking horses and bulls, like circus elephants and tigers, are not taught - they are tortured into performing. Nonperformers are sold for slaughter.

There are positive ways to have rodeo entertainment - equestrian vaulting, precision riding teams, trick riding, mounted shooting, cutting, even herding dogs at work. But I realize people will read this letter, dismiss it and then attend the rodeo.

So while you are there, maybe try to look at it from the animal's point of view. Consider calf roping, for instance. You are scared and running at top speed and suddenly you are hung and strangled by a rope around your neck. Then your delicate legs are manhandled and tied up. It is as archaic and cruel as matadors and bulls. This is family entertainment in a civilized society? We can do better.

JANIS HETRICK

Scullville

How can Congress

cut unemployment?

The shortsightedness of Congress has done it again. Is it not enough that federal workers and the National Guard are being forced to take one day a week off, a pain and hardship for them? Now, starting this week, people getting extended federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation will have their benefits reduced 22.2 percent.

Our fellow Americans who are just barely surviving on what they receive from unemployment now must make do with less because of the sequestration cuts.

Maybe they can skip food one day a week, or just not buy the medicines they need next month. Maybe the mortgage company or landlord will take 22.2 percent less. Where does it end?

Are the members of Congress giving back some pay? No, of course not. Is Social Security next? I rely on my Social Security disability every month. Take 22.2 percent from what I receive, and I can say with certainty my family and I will be living on the streets.

I voted for President Barack Obama and wonder where his leadership is. I say it's time for a change, out with the old and in with the new. Keep using the power of your vote until politicians nationally and at the state and local level vote for us and not what the party says.

BRUCE HOLZMAN

Ventnor

O.C. cottage plan

is poor planning

Regarding Ocean City's plan to develop so-called coastal cottages:

Will our elected officials and our planning and zoning board officials ever learn that the confusion and mess we are now in is a result of poor planning a few years back?

As a retired planner, professional engineer and attorney, I agree with Planning Board member Marc Shuster 100 percent.

He has said, "You're putting eight or nine pounds of building on a five-pound lot."

We will be getting smaller lots with typical size units - not smaller units on smaller lots. It makes no sense. These changes will satisfy builders and developers and do no good for the citizens who own and live on the island.

Good planning and orderly development would never include such a ridiculous concept.

The developers and builders got what they wanted years ago - and here we go again. I suggest that the mayor and council listen to Shuster. He is a professional planner as well as a member of the Ocean City Planning Board, and he has stated the problem correctly.

LOUIS C. RIPA

Ocean City

Let's put a limit

on lottery payouts

Why can't there be a ceiling on lottery wins? No one needs hundreds of millions of dollars - not when we are cutting funding for education and school activities. The payouts are too large, and a lot can be done with some more state money.

MARILYN FILLMORE

Linwood