A giant helping of customer service
On July 26 I went to the McDonald’s at 7901 Oxford Ave. My father-in-law was at a nearby hospital and would not eat. All he wanted was an Egg McMuffin — that’s all he talked about. It was 3 p.m. when I went to this McDonald’s. My husband told me, “No way. You aren’t going to get a McMuffin.” I saw no harm in at least asking.
I asked to speak to the manager and explained the situation: My father-in-law had eaten very little in two weeks and I was concerned. To my amazement, the manager was more than happy to make the sandwich and showed genuine concern. It showed me there are still good people out there who will go above and beyond.
I went back to that store today and told them he ate the whole sandwich. I expressed my appreciation and feel they should be recognized for outstanding service and concern for someone they did not even know. They are the best public relations persons and it came from the heart.
People like to complain, but this store deserves special mention. I hope everyone in the area patronizes this store and tell them they really know how to take care of their customers.
Lynda George and family
Calls to 911 get no response
Can someone advise me how to get a police response without exaggerating the problem?
Within the last six weeks I found it necessary to call for assistance. At 2 a.m., an unknown male was trying to get in our house through the front door. My granddaughter, who was sleeping downstairs, was awakened by his persistence on the doorknob and door glass and was scared to death. She called 911. Forget it. Maybe they only respond to crime scenes.
Recently my husband was involved in a fender-bender with non-English-speaking people. They exchanged info but didn’t want to leave the scene without an official police report (insurance companies advise this). Three 911 calls were made within one and a half hours, but there was no response.
If all the cops are out chasing murderers and rapists, this city is worse than I thought. Makes me think that our family really should leave this city! Don’t try waving them down — they won’t stop.
Movie night a big success at Gifford
Gifford Recreation Center held its annual Community Movie Night on Aug. 1 with the help of Gifford staff, two generous businesses, a community advisory council and state Rep. Brendan Boyle and his staff.
Despite heavy rain and a bleak weather forecast, over 200 people showed up to watch Toy Story 3 at their local park. The skies cleared up around 6:30 p.m. just in time for the municipal workers to set up the equipment for the 8:30 p.m. showing.
I want to personally thank O’Mare’s Pub, Suburban Pharmacy and the Gifford Playground Advisory Council for their financial support. I want to thank state Rep. Boyle’s office and staff for promoting the event and securing the funds from the local businesses. For the second year in a row, we had a successful night and I hope to continue this partnership in the years to come.
Facility supervisor, Gifford Recreation Center
Tony’s Place owner is a class act
I enjoyed reading John Loftus’ piece on some of the traditions surrounding the Philadelphia landmark that is Tony’s Place in Mayfair (Dough Boys, July 21 edition).
It remains a stop for me whenever I am in the neighborhood. Although the current owner, Joe Mallamaci, is much too unassuming to promote himself, he is and has been a tireless supporter of many neighborhood and citywide charitable causes.
Joe gives freely of his time, energy, enthusiasm and organizational skills, working most often in the background.
He is truly a credit to his family, past and present, as well as to the community the Mallamacis have been a part of for so many years. And, speaking of service, Joe is a humble, decorated Vietnam veteran who overcame serious combat wounds to successfully carry on his family’s business. To Joe, I say welcome home, and thank you for your service (then and now).
Fox Chase/Sea Isle City
Section 8 houses are eyesores
It may seem a little strange that I talk about shoveling snow in the summer, however I’ve noticed a trend.
Perhaps it’s ironic, but I have two Section 8 houses on my block, neither of which shoveled their snow once this past winter.
Here we are in August, and both Section 8 houses have yet to cut their grass. Is it not enough my taxes provide their shelter?
Both Section 8’ers have much nicer cars than I. I’m aware the city does scheduled Section 8 inspections, but what about unscheduled inspections? What about income re-verification?
Words of wisdom from FDR
I am against welfare as are many hard-working people. One of our great presidents was a liberal, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who detested welfare, or relief, as it was called in his day. This is what he said to Congress on Jan. 4, 1935:
“Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit … The federal government must and shall quit this business of relief.”
I believe this sincerely.
Jerry Foglia Sr.
It’s all about the politicians
“Government of the people, by the people and for the people?”
I feel that it has changed to “of the politician, by the politician and for the politician.”
Our president recently threatened to hold back our Social Security checks. He won’t hold back the politicians’ wages or stop giving away our money to other countries or ban pork.
Let us not forget that it was the politicians that took our Social Security money that they had no right to touch and put in the trouble it is in now.
I feel we should rename our government “Pleasure Island,” and you know what happens to people when they go there.
John F. Rauchut
Earth to school district: Get rid of Arlene Ackerman
The Philadelphia Inquirer has been telling people for at least six months that the schools are failing under the (so-called) leadership of Arlene Ackerman.
As far as I can see, state Rep. Mike McGeehan is the only concerned person trying to reverse the damage being done here by the “wicked witch” from the land of failed school districts. The only really intense investigation initiated by her was when she was trying to find out who the whistle-blowers were who called the paper to report what she was doing in the beginning. And of course, they were all fired. Duh!
Let’s just take a moment to reflect on how a superintendent is judged for her performance:
PSSAs, first and foremost, and where has the bulk of the improprieties and outright cheating by principals and teachers in one-third of all Philadelphia School District schools been proved to occur? PSSAs, of course!
And do we suppose that those principals and teachers decided on their own to get those test levels elevated? Duh again! It has been exposed in Atlanta, the same identical pattern, and we can’t see it happening here? Come on, wake up, you people! For the children, they are the ones being punished; they will suffer for the rest of their lives for not being educated.
The one person who is gaining from this travesty has just buffaloed the mayor and a sufficient number of City Council members into forcing an additional tax on the very people of this city whose children she’s been cheating out of their education, and has begun her two-month vacation.
Don’t think that she doesn’t see the handwriting on the proverbial wall. If she is fired, she stands to have herself a $1.5 million windfall (if we allow it) plus a nice cushy job for life (as she calls it) with a prominent university, not in Philadelphia. I believe it’s Columbia. Her comment was picked up from an inadvertent open microphone.
Let’s get behind Mike McGeehan and kick her butt out of here, and replace the School Reform Commission with a meaningful group of people who will actually oversee the new superintendent.
The state Department of Education is finally in the process of investigating all of the nonsense being perpetrated by the witch in Philly, with hopefully the intention of doing something about it, but we don’t have to wait for them. Write to your own state representative and tell him to talk to Mike McGeehan and get this mess cleaned up. Don’t waste your time with Mayor Nutter or City Council — they’re in Ackerman’s parade.
Just tell us the truth, Madam Superintendent
Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has numerous communication staffers making well into the mid $100,000s. Councilman Bill Green wants that department’s staff cut way back to save dollars due to her excessive deficit of $629 million.
Why does she need so many spin doctors? The product that she is trying to produce is our “educated” children. Can’t she personally just tell us the truth? Why does her administration have all these problems that need spinning?
Help the poor
I was very angry when I read the letter about Social Security giving to the undeserving (July 28 edition).
Why in the world should they get any money when there are people who have worked and don’t get that much? No wonder there isn’t enough money in the Social Security fund to even give us a small raise each year.
The government needs to cut down on their wages and also their increases and pensions, to help the poor and needy.
Congress is a national embarrassment
As I see it
By John Scanlon
Decades from now, history books will still relate how Washington, Jefferson and Franklin helped found our nation, but don’t count on a chapter about how Congress heroically pulled it from the edge of catastrophe on Aug. 2, 2011.
I think George, Tom and big Ben would have been mighty embarrassed by the legislative Laurel & Hardy show that finally ended with that afternoon’s Senate vote of 74-26 to enable the country to keep fulfilling its financial obligations. The vote came just hours before a midnight deadline for Congress to increase the government’s borrowing limit or put it in a bind as harrowing as a broke teen with $2.98 on his ATM card.
It wasn’t a pretty moment in our nation’s history. But if you like melodrama with your politics, there was plenty of it, from the funny histrionics of neck-vein-bulging, crimson-faced House floor speakers doing lousy Patrick Henry impersonations to the eloquent appearance of recuperating Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a tender moment that stopped just short of bringing conflicted Democrats and Republicans together for an arm-in-arm rendition of We Are the World.
Of course, as soon as President Obama signed the legislation to raise the government’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — but also to produce savings of $2.4 trillion over the next decade — it was time for the great debate over political victory. You tend to forget how stupefying it is to keep pressing the TV remote, gliding from one news network to the next, and seeing the same party blowhards giving pundits their take on what just happened:
The Democrats stuck to their guns for a debt ceiling that preserves entitlement programs … It was a banner day for Tea Party fiscal conservatives and their unyielding demand for deep spending cuts … Obama was too cozy with the Republicans by surrendering his demand for revenue increases … .
And blah, blah, blah.
Hey, they can spin the outcome however they want. That’s OK; it’s politics. But it’s utter horsebleep — conciliatory, perhaps, but still highly delusional horsebleep — for some to laud the last-minute accord as a shining example of bipartisan government in action. If anything, the days before that Aug. 2 rush job were a shining example of why our nation’s legislative branch is so ineffectual.
It’s why the fiscal fright show came down to the last hours, and it shouldn’t have. Four months ago — way back during the first days of April — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had started to lay out the impending debt crisis for members of Congress and its dire ramifications for the nation.
Of course, we all knew that the pols wouldn’t let their partisan stonewalling and rhetoric and grandstanding to allow those last grains of sand to pass through the hourglass without congressional action. They knew the cataclysmic consequences. Even more, in this era of an ornery constituency hopelessly mired in a junk economy, joblessness and disintegrating lifestyles, these politicians weren’t stupid enough to commit career suicide by forcing a government meltdown.
So what both the Republicans and Democrats gave us was political gamesmanship. They gave us pompous swagger; they wanted us to know that without a debt-ceiling package satisfactory to party leadership, they had the brass ones to just let the chips fall where they may on Aug. 2.
But when the moment came, they didn’t have brass ones. They hurriedly passed a slapped-together fiscal blueprint built more on fantasy money assumptions than reality. They were just so predictable.
Not so the surprise arrival of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at the Capitol during the victorious House vote (269-161), which paused for a poignant reception of robust applause, hugs and even tears from colleagues who gathered around her. This had to be quite therapeutic for Giffords, as well as affirmation for all of us that she, indeed, has made amazing medical progress since a lunatic shot her in the head as she chatted with constituents seven months ago.
But Giffords’ dramatic entrance to cast her own “yes” vote — followed by her immediate return to Houston to resume her therapy — wasn’t as symbolic as it was a bit of over-the-top political theater.
The Giffords moment was more Hollywood than Washington. As the scene played out that night on TV news coverage, it struck me as the political version of that epic moment in The Natural when washed-up and sickly ballplayer Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford, remember?) crushes a majestic, championship-winning homer that slams into the light tower, igniting an explosion of sparks that bathe Roy in white light as he takes a slo-mo victory trot around the bases.
So if you look beyond the Giffords feel-good moment of the summer, the reality is that Congress didn’t defuse this crisis, its members created it. Their laxity to address alarms sounded months ago brought it down to one chaotic weekend when a frenzied House and Senate quickly had to tackle the complexities of debt reduction and push something through as the clock ticked down to financial Armageddon for this country.
If incumbents on both sides truly have digested the freshly released public-opinion polls — including last Thursday’s New York Times/CBS News poll that recorded an 82-percent disapproval rating for Congress’ job performance — they should have had a queasy feeling that the 2012 elections could be pretty ugly.
I think Sen. Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, is one lawmaker who has a firm grasp of his job description.
“We need to think about why we are really here,” he told CNN. “We’re here to solve problems. We’re not here to worry about the next election, and, unfortunately, there’s too much focus on pure partisan politics and not enough focus on solving problems confronting the country.”
The policies, self-interests and decisions of these lawmakers have created the myriad problems that now overwhelm them, and us. The country is weary of the political newcomer who will be “guided by constituents” but eventually morphs into a hanger-on whose actions are guided by political self-preservation.
Those poll respondents rightly regard this Congress as an embarrassment. Personally speaking, that’s not the way I’d want to go down in the history books. ••
John Scanlon is editor of the Northeast Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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