White House knew ambassador was in danger

Re: "What did the White House know about Libya, and when?" Sept. 27

The answer to this hypothetical question should be very obvious.

White House officials get daily intelligence briefings. After calling for the unauthorized bombing of Libya, they knew that the climate was volatile in this unstable country and thus wasn't safe for the ambassador and his staff.

For shame.

Bernard Helinski


D.C. Council still neglecting inner-city youth

As a fifth generation Washingtonian, I have seen gear stick changes in the city since my youth, but one thing has stayed the same: poor support in lower-income area recreation centers. Before city officials decided to pull the trigger and build these wonderful new structures, did they even think about what was needed inside these facilities?

I have been coaching football for inner-city youth for four years, and every program has the same issues.Currently, I coach for the Greenleaf Wolfpack two blocks from the Washington Nationals ballpark. Our new rec center has barely any programming inside, and no transportation to take kids on field trips or student-athletes to their games.

Our football/baseball field is in desperate need of attention. The coaching staff has to come to the field at 6:30 a.m. on Saturdays to spray paint the lines, pick up trash and make sure our kids have the equipment they need so they won't have to forfeit.

In most instances, kids ranging in age from 5 to 16 have to share jerseys, helmets, chin straps and mandatory padding just to play a game they love, and one that helps them escape their day-to-day struggles. This outdated equipment poses a higher risk of injury.

We are not the only program that needs attention from the city, but we have decided to take a stance.Tommy Wells is chairman of the council's parks and recreation committee, and Greenleaf Recreation Center is in his ward, but neither he nor anyone on his staff have ever showed up at a game.

We are not asking for council favors, political influence or millions of dollars in tax abatements. We just want some effort so our next generation of inner-city youth will be better off than my generation.Council members need to stop gambling the next generation's future away for present benefits.

Marqus Jackson


Metro should pay for Silver Line extension

I am against increasing the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to finance Metro's Silver Line. This is unfair, and appears to be targeting people who happen to commute daily on the toll road or businesses that employ folks in the area.

It is also unwise, given the fact that wages are not keeping pace with increasing costs -- especially for folks in low-pay or entry-leve-type jobs.There is no guarantee that any sort of economic growth will sustain the development and maintenance of the planned Silver Line extension given businesses' preferred strategy to outsource jobs to drive down wages.

It is wrong to expect folks who don't use the existing Metro lines to finance the Silver Line extension. If Metro wants it, then Metro should pay for it from the revenues it generates from existing sources or expand its other options to finance it.

The most we can hope for in terms of accountability is to vote out those incompetent politicians who were elected to represent their constituency, but then looked the other way and allowed this to happen.

David Siecker