Sue Paterno saved PSU football

Monday's Rose Bowl matchup between Penn State and the University of Southern California has generated considerable excitement across Nittany Nation. We're proud of Penn State's resiliency, our fans, our faculty, our coaches, and our team. Perhaps we should remember how we got here.

In July 2012, the Freeh Report of Penn State's involvement in the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse case was released. Penn State then received draconian NCAA sanctions, including a four-year ban from bowl games and a reduction in scholarships for players. That week, former coach Joe Paterno's wife, Sue, asked me, as a newly elected member of the Board of Trustees, to appeal the sanctions. I wrote a letter to the trustees and lodged the appeal. Fellow alumni trustees joined what became known as the Paterno suit, and state Sen. Jake Corman eventually also filed suit. Those actions resulted in the NCAA reducing the sanctions in 2014.

If not for Sue Paterno and her courage to challenge the NCAA, we would just be starting to rebuild this storied program instead of being ranked No. 5 in the country and playing in one of the top bowl games.

While we cheer our Lions, we should be proud of Coach James Franklin and his staff, our players, and our fans. Their talent, loyalty, and courage sustained our school pride. And we should be thankful that Sue remains a part of our team.

|Ryan J. McCombie, State College, Pa.

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Affordable housing in the works

Kudos to reporter Caitlin McCabe for her article highlighting the challenges facing low-income renters in Philadelphia ("Rising rents hit affordable housing," Dec. 23). The mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity has been tracking this issue closely, given the role housing plays in exacerbating poverty. We know there are no simple solutions to the lack of safe, quality, affordable housing, which is why we are working to align the efforts of public and nonprofit agencies to stabilize Philadelphians' housing security in the short term and to increase it long term.

This work is part of Shared Prosperity, the city's antipoverty plan ( In the year ahead, our community will need to amplify our efforts, as we know that stable housing is a critical component to living a life of opportunity.

|Mitchell Little, executive director, Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, Philadelphia,

 Consider source of 'news'

Amy Ridenour made some interesting observations in her commentary, "Too many feel ignored by press" (Tuesday), but I take exception to her charge that the press is indifferent to the wide range of ailments in this country. Yes, during the campaign the press was forced to focus and comment on the exaggerations and outrageous behavior of Donald Trump, but this was a campaign and election like no other.

The Inquirer has, over the years, done a wonderful job of highlighting the problems people face in their neighborhoods, with their children's schools, their jobs, and their lack of adequate health care. But, do most people even read the paper? Instead, they rely on social media and television stations that support their points of view. We've now seen how unfortunate that is.

|Catherine Conahan, Havertown,

City tobacco rules unfair to stores

The Philadelphia Board of Health has adopted regulations that will devastate the small businesses of those of us who include tobacco products among the hundreds of products we sell. The regulation to cut the number of tobacco retailer permits will mean that I will not be able to guarantee to someone interested in buying my store that the permit will be available. This significantly reduces the value of my store.

It is not right to take away what I have worked years to build. This regulations will cause financial hardship and is discriminatory against businesspeople. I have been operating in Philadelphia for 25 years. Owning a business in this city has become a thoroughly discouraging experience, and if these regulations are implemented, it will be devastating.

|Bhagwan Bhatti, Girard Food Market, Philadelphia

No way to treat an ally

President Obama's appointment of John Kerry to follow Hillary Clinton as secretary of state culminated a tenure filled with poor choices and counterproductive decisions. On Wednesday, Kerry again demonstrated how not to treat your allies by trying to explain away the United States' abstention on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements ("Kerry slams settlements," Thursday). In his typical all-knowing, deprecatory style, Kerry defended Obama's decision by saying they were "standing up" for Israel's future and "preserving the two-state future."

That ship sailed long ago. Hamas and the Palestinians want to be recognized as a flag-waving state, but they continue to deny that Israel has a right to exist. When you see how the Palestinian children are taught, you realize the next generation will be no different.

Israel has yielded much and received nothing in return except rockets lobbed into their backyard and terrorist incursions. The Obama reign can't end soon enough.

|Stephen Hanover, Doylestown