Cover image trashes city
While I commend the City Paper and its columnists for their effort to expose the problems occurring in Pittsburgh, we have to be conscious that we don't create a negative image of our city in the process. When I picked up the Nov. 29 issue and glanced at the cover page that said "This City Is a Dump!", I was disturbed. The article itself was wonderful. It pointed out crucial issues that we face with illegal dumping and what we need to do to solve the problem. As a volunteer in the city's Redd Up campaign, however, I found the cover to be such a negative advertisement for our city.
Whether it's to read a film review, check local events or browse the classifieds, there are a lot of people exposed in one way or another to the CP. Many people aren't taking the time to read all of the articles, and all that some people will get to see is the cover when they walk past a stack of CP's in their local coffee shop, or when they glance at the front page in the newspaper dispenser.
When the only thing you see on the front page of a local paper is "This City Is a Dump!", it doesn't give people the feeling that things are moving in a positive direction, when in fact they seem to be. Imagine what type of image this gives to others: visitors from other areas, like the tens of thousands of students in Pittsburgh's colleges and universities. When we have people coming to Pittsburgh from out of town to see a sporting event or go to a convention, is this the cover we want them to glance at?
Also, our own city residents see this, and it is a discouraging sight at a time when we should be encouraging people to stay in our region. While I realize that the intention of the cover is to attract attention, it is still possible to portray a negative issue from a positive viewpoint, and focus on the possibility of change. Maybe the next time an article like this is written, the cover can be presented in a way that acknowledges the issue, but from a more encouraging prospective. Instead of seeing an old tire, maybe we can try and look to find a more positive image of people picking up trash. By doing this, we not only call attention to the problem, but give people the feeling that they can do something to make a difference.
-- Derek Green, Forest Hills
Rep. Murphy: The churl next door
I want to thank you for your help in exposing the real Tim Murphy to more voters in western PA. [Editor's note: The writer is one of two Pittsburgh-area residents whose letters to the Post-Gazette apparently resulted in a background check by Murphy staffers, as reported in our Nov. 23 piece, "Taking Congressional Fight to Extremes".] Murphy has managed to slip under the radar and avoid a lot of press attention, even though his voting record has been identical to Rick Santorum's. I think he well deserves the sobriquet "Mini-Me Murphy."
I found particularly offensive the campaign ad in which he professed to have been a doctor who worked with his community first, and now was once again helping the community get better health care. In fact, the only health care Tim worked for increased the speed with which doctors and hospitals received their reimbursement from various insurance companies. Another Republican looking out for the interests of his constituents!
I live about five doors from the Murphy household. During the campaign, my lawn had signs for Kluko, Casey and Rendell, and my car had "DUMPRICK in 2006 (and Timmy, too)," and "America, the best Democracy Corporate Lobbyists can buy" bumper stickers. All the man had to do was knock on my door. But it appears that he prefers to have someone else do his research, and carry out his retribution. Like J. Edgar Hoover.
I wonder what he is planning to do with us. Will there be punishment? Will we be reported to the Agency of Un-American Voters of USC? Turned over to the IRS for audits for the rest of our working lives? Should we need the help of a congressman, will he first check "the list" and deny assistance to anyone whose name appears?
Well, I shouldn't be too surprised. This is democracy as practiced by the Bush administration.
-- Christine Gallo, Upper St. Clair