Letters to the Editor: Aug. 18, 2011 edition

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E-mail: pronews@bsmphilly.com

Make May­fair clean again

I have lived in May­fair for 42 years. It was once a nice, clean area, but not any­more.

Renters and oth­ers that move in are not like the people that lived here in the past.

The lawns are un­kept, pa­per and fli­ers are on the lawns, tele­phone books are on the steps for weeks, bottles are in the street, there are dirty di­apers, trash cans have no lids and have mos­qui­toes in them, and a re­tain­ing wall is fall­ing for­ward.

If each per­son that has a dis­orderly prop­erty would be fined, maybe after one fine they would shape up to avoid ad­di­tion­al fines and live in a clean neigh­bor­hood.

Mary Eng­land

Gov­ernor’s dogs may be in jeop­ardy

Re­cently Gov. Tom Corbett ac­quired two dogs in a cheap pub­li­city and pub­lic re­la­tions stunt to de­ceive people in­to think­ing he ac­tu­ally con­tains an ounce of hu­man­ity.

If he treats them the same way he does people, they will both end up at Mi­chael Vick’s house.

Le­onard T. Roberts


Take these gi­ant steps to stop the mad­ness in Philly

May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter and Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey:

You’re both good men who are sin­cerely in­ter­ested in im­prov­ing the lot of Phil­adelphi­ans. However, you’re swim­ming against the tide of a vi­ol­ent, un­educated, un­em­ploy­able un­der­class that is bent upon ham­mer­ing this city back to the Middle Ages.

I just fin­ished watch­ing foot­age of the bus shoot­ing promp­ted by a phone call from a 20-year-old “moth­er” who was chided for ab­us­ing her tod­dler. The foot­age was on the In­ter­net! Hey, good pub­li­city for the city, huh?

I read the ac­counts of the flash mobs’ at­tacks upon in­no­cent pass­ers-by in Cen­ter City. From 10 to 15 jack­als mocked those vic­tims as they were be­ing beaten and stomped. Four, in­clud­ing an 11-year-old, were ar­res­ted.

Our schools serve as stages for brawl­ing stu­dents.

Mean­while, pub­lic mon­ies rep­res­ent­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars are be­ing leached out of our pub­lic cof­fers by the likes of a  hil­ander­ing PHA dir­ect­or, a self-serving chool su­per­in­tend­ent and con­nec­ted politicos and their friends. Need $50,000 for a block party? Few­er re­sources equate with more dif­fi­culties in ad­dress­ing the above situ­ations.

Al­low me to make a few sug­ges­tions.

Boot-camp ori­ented in­sti­tu­tions for the hood­lums. When in school, they’re rais­ing hell, and at home they’re fol­low­ing the ex­amples of in­di­vidu­als who be­long on the Maury Povich Show. Losers be­get losers. Let’s try to re­form some of these in­di­vidu­als.

Court hear­ings and pen­al­ties for the ir­re­spons­ible “par­ents.” In­car­cer­a­tion. Fines. Dis­missal from pub­lic hous­ing. The re­voc­a­tion of as­sist­ance pay­ments. Pub­lic ser­vice. A hun­dred or so clean­ers in or­ange jump­suits would do won­ders for the dirty streets of Phil­adelphia. Good cit­izen­ship is a re­spons­ib­il­ity for all Phil­adelphi­ans.

The gar­nish­ing of wages to pay court fines and to com­pensate the city for its ex­pendit­ure of pub­lic re­sources. If one calls 911 for an emer­gency trip to the ER, one gets a bill, and the city ex­pects to get paid.

I also de­mand that City Coun­cil de­vel­op a pro­gram for deal­ing with the above crises as well. And let’s not tip­toe around the causes for the di­minu­tion of the qual­ity of life in this city. It’s time for plain talk­ing.

George Swales


Joe Mc­Col­gan is an ex­cep­tion worth your vote

A few weeks ago I had the pleas­ure of speak­ing with Joe Mc­Col­gan, can­did­ate for Phil­adelphia City Coun­cil at-large. I wanted to write and say it was a pleas­ant sur­prise to fi­nally speak to a can­did­ate run­ning for of­fice who is “one of us.”

Too of­ten in our city, people seek of­fice purely for per­son­al gain and ar­rive to City Hall with their own agenda — not that of the people who voted them in. Based on my con­ver­sa­tion with Mr. Mc­Col­gan, I truly be­lieve he is dif­fer­ent and has what it takes to lead our city in the right dir­ec­tion pre­cisely be­cause of his “non-polit­ic­al” back­ground.

A former nav­al of­ficer, Mr. Mc­Col­gan ex­plained to me how he and his wife (a pe­di­at­ri­cian at St. Chris­toph­er’s Hos­pit­al) es­tab­lished a non-profit of­fer­ing care to sexu­ally and phys­ic­ally ab­used chil­dren long be­fore he even con­sidered run­ning for City Coun­cil. It was re­fresh­ing to meet someone who un­der­stands what the res­id­ents of Phil­adelphia need be­cause he him­self is one.

It seems just about every politi­cian or per­son seek­ing to be­come one in Phil­adelphia is just in of­fice to add to their pen­sion without pos­sess­ing any real de­sire or in­ten­tion to ad­dress the needs of our city. I like to say that Joe Mc­Col­gan seems to be the ex­cep­tion to that old Phil­adelphia rule.

Sean W. Mul­len


Read­ers write about the 10th dis­trict Coun­cil race

The choice is simple: O’Neill for Coun­cil pres­id­ent

Con­grat­u­la­tions to your Aug. 4 ed­it­or­i­al, which stated em­phat­ic­ally, “The North­east Times will not en­dorse any City Coun­cil can­did­ate who re­fuses to rule out vot­ing for Tasco for pres­id­ent when the new Coun­cil con­venes in Janu­ary.”

This mes­sage needs to be ex­pan­ded con­sid­er­ing a re­cent thought-pro­vok­ing art­icle in the Daily News writ­ten by John Baer, “With his na­tion­al ex­pos­ure grow­ing, might Nut­ter get Obama ap­point­ment?”

If May­or Nut­ter were to be offered and ac­cep­ted an ap­point­ment, the pres­id­ent of City Coun­cil, through suc­ces­sion, be­comes our next may­or.

Gos­sip, ru­mor and spec­u­la­tion have centered on the choice of either Mari­an Tasco or Dar­rell Clarke as the next Coun­cil pres­id­ent. Neither of these two should be chosen!

Tasco’s strikes not only in­clude DROP, but serving as the chair­wo­man of the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, she has been a ma­jor force in des­troy­ing ma­ter­nity care de­liv­ery op­tions for fam­il­ies throughout the city. In the North­east, ex­pect­ant par­ents have been forced to­ward the sub­urbs (Abing­ton, Holy Re­deem­er and St. Mary’s) for ac­cess to care that has been elim­in­ated at Aria, Naz­areth, Jeanes and the clos­ing of North­east­ern.

Clarke has his­tor­ic­ally been an en­emy of the 2nd Amend­ment and des­troy­er of busi­ness op­por­tun­ity, ex­pan­sion and cre­ation. Ex­amples in­clude the hun­dreds of thou­sands of wasted dol­lars in court costs over gun con­trol, his le­gis­lat­ive spon­sor­ship of paid sick leave and sup­port­ing the mer­ger of Fair­mount Park with the De­part­ment of Re­cre­ation.

Look­ing at the re­main­ing po­ten­tials, left are eth­ic­ally chal­lenged and philo­soph­ic­ally flawed in­di­vidu­als who could steer our city fur­ther down a path of de­struc­tion and bank­ruptcy.

Most prom­in­ent are Bill Green, who has been tar­nished by cam­paign fin­ance is­sues con­nec­ted to John Dougherty’s mul­tiple PACs, Wilson Goode, saddled with the scan­dal of Latrice Bry­ant, and the mas­ter of non-is­sues, Jim Ken­ney, who con­tin­ues to ex­pand the au­thor­ity of the PPA. Jan­nnie Black­well, Curtis Jones, Maria Quinones-Sanc­hez, Bill Green­lee and Blondell Reyn­olds-Brown also can­not hon­estly be con­sidered de­sir­able as Coun­cil pres­id­ent.

Of those re­main­ing, the choice is ob­vi­ously simple — sup­port Bri­an O’Neill for re-elec­tion and his pro­mo­tion from serving as Re­pub­lic­an minor­ity lead­er to Coun­cil pres­id­ent.

His 30-plus years of ded­ic­ated ser­vice to the 10th dis­trict, thought­ful and fair le­gis­la­tion — as well his zon­ing ex­pert­ise — qual­i­fy him for con­sid­er­a­tion as Coun­cil pres­id­ent. Factor in the pro­spect of a min­im­um of two new Re­pub­lic­an Coun­cil mem­bers and these three as a block could po­ten­tially provide com­prom­ising lever­age in se­cur­ing the best in­terest in mov­ing Phil­adelphia to­ward a more fa­vor­able dir­ec­tion.

The in­flu­ence, power and au­thor­ity cre­ated in a “what-if” situ­ation re­in­forces the im­port­ance of choos­ing wisely an ap­pro­pri­ate pres­id­ent for City Coun­cil.

Elmer Money

Mor­rell Park

(Ed­it­or’s note: Mr. Money lost a bid for a Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion for Coun­cil at-large in the May primary elec­tion.)

What does O’Nell think about a Tasco pres­id­ency?

I could not agree more with your Aug. 4 ed­it­or­i­al on the City Coun­cil pres­id­ency is­sue.

Back in May of this year I pledged to not sup­port Mari­an Tasco. I also chal­lenged my op­pon­ent to do the same. To date, I have got­ten no re­sponse nor seen his po­s­i­tion clearly defined.

I hope this really is THE cri­ter­ia used for NOT re­ceiv­ing the North­east Times en­dorse­ment. I also hope you con­tin­ue to drive this point home. The time for self-serving politi­cians is over, half-mil­lion-dol­lar DROP pay­outs, 17 per­cent pay in­creases in down eco­nom­ies, city cars, etc., is over!

In Janu­ary there will be a new be­gin­ning for the city and an at­mo­sphere of fresh ideas.

I be­lieve it is time for the North­east to have a new voice.  While my op­pon­ent talks about vot­ing “no” on prop­erty taxes, we keep pay­ing more, and next year we are slated to have an­oth­er in­crease.

Enough is enough. Let’s stop fol­low­ing the worn-out path and chart a new course.

Bill Ru­bin

Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee for City Coun­cil’s 10th Dis­trict

Bill Ru­bin of­fers a bet­ter to­mor­row

City Coun­cil is work­ing this sum­mer. Hon­est. Not by choice but by City Charter man­date to study ger­ry­man­der­ing Phil­adelphia’s 10 Coun­cil dis­tricts. The ex­er­cise oc­curs every dec­ade fol­low­ing the U.S. Census re­port.

Last time they were se­questered in cham­bers 10 years ago, they star­ted without Rick Mari­ano. After an aide re­minded him of what was go­ing down, he made a beeline down­town to pro­tect his turf. He said at the time, “I like be­ing a coun­cil­man and it’s NOT a hard job.”

I guess so.

May­er Krain, who wrote a let­ter to the ed­it­or sev­er­al weeks ago, thinks that the job is bet­ter served if a law­yer is elec­ted. This is why he sup­ports Bri­an O’Neill, as the job “re­quires the writ­ing of laws.” Mr. O’Neill is one of two Coun­cil people who have law de­grees among the 17-mem­ber body, and he’s the only dis­trict coun­cilp­er­son to have one.

Joe Gaynor in­cor­rectly wrote in the same edi­tion that Bill Ru­bin had a pat­ron­age job when he worked for Com­mis­sion­er Marge Tartagli­one. Facts as they are, Bill nev­er had a pat­ron­age job. His work as su­per­visor of elec­tions and vice chair­man and trust­ee of the Phil­adelphia Board of Pen­sions and  Re­tire­ment were civil ser­vice po­s­i­tions.

Bill Ru­bin sup­ports term lim­its and will in­tro­duce one-job-only le­gis­la­tion. In short, this means City Coun­cil people can­not work at any oth­er pay­ing job. They must learn to live on $125,000 per year. Mr. O’Neill has had the lux­ury of work­ing at a pres­ti­gi­ous Cen­ter City law firm for much of the time he has been in Coun­cil, which cov­ers 30-plus years. His firm was men­tioned in the Phil­adelphia In­quirer as one of sev­er­al that were do­ing work for the Phil­adelphia Hous­ing Au­thor­ity.

Bill Ru­bin does not want a city car; he wants a bet­ter Phil­adelphia; he wants the same things that you and I dream about, per­haps pray for.

His list, in part, in­cludes, a good edu­ca­tion for each and every child in Phil­adelphia, a bal­anced budget, a lim­it on how many out­side law­yers the city may hire. Bill cham­pi­ons a city that is free of blight and has fam­ily val­ues — a city that is eth­ic­ally sound.

John T. Fritz

Chair­man, Re­pub­lic­ans for Bill Ru­bin Com­mit­tee

O’Neill back­er sounds like his cam­paign man­ager

In a re­cent let­ter to the North­east Times, Debbie Bon­ner opines, “It’s time to do some house­keep­ing with Coun­cil mem­bers, start­ing with the 10th dis­trict,” and she has just the can­did­ate in mind to fill the of­fice, Bill Ru­bin.

She elab­or­ates: “What this com­munity needs is a can­did­ate who act­ively par­ti­cip­ates, listens and re­sponds to the cit­izens in a timely man­ner. Haven’t seen that hap­pen in a while.”

You’re wrong, Ms. Bon­ner. This week, I brought a situ­ation with a city agency that has been troub­ling me for he last three months to Bri­an O’Neill’s 10th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict of­fice. By the time I left, the prob­lem had been solved. They do this for con­stitu­ents on a daily basis. And it wasn’t the only oc­ca­sion I’ve re­ceived as­sist­ance with prob­lems re­quir­ing the ex­pert­ise of know­ledge­able pro­fes­sion­als like Bri­an and his staff.

Ms. Bon­ner was back in the Aug. 4 North­east Times edi­tion, yet again, pro­mot­ing her can­did­ate, Bill Ru­bin. She’s be­gin­ning to sound like a pub­lic re­la­tions cam­paign man­ager con­duct­ing a pro­pa­ganda cam­paign in the press.

Why not do it the le­git­im­ate way, Ms. Bon­ner? Ring door­bells, hand out lit­er­at­ure, hold ral­lies — whatever you choose. Bri­an O’Neill has an out­stand­ing re­cord with North­east voters, which is ex­actly the reas­on they keep elect­ing him.

Let your can­did­ate fight him at the bal­lot box. That’s the Amer­ic­an way.

John Hayes

Mod­ena Park

Wake up and smell the an­ger, gov­ernor

Dear Gov. Corbett:

We are ex­tremely for­tu­nate to have such an im­port­ant per­son as your­self, mak­ing pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ments re­gard­ing pro­ced­ures for emer­gen­cies and pos­ing for photo ops with the new dog in the fam­ily, as we’ve seen Pres­id­ent Obama do with Bo in the White House.

We’ve been wait­ing for you to make state­ments or hold press con­fer­ences, but we thought it would be to ex­plain why we are in such dire straits, not mak­ing pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ments.

Point be­ing, Tom, you are the gov­ernor of the state and we are in deep crap, but you seem ob­sessed with not tax­ing any­one, es­pe­cially your friends, drilling for gas in the Mar­cel­lus shale re­gion. They don’t need your pro­tec­tion, Tom; they pay their fair share in every oth­er state in which they’re drilling, and here’s a news flash for you — neither do we need your pro­tec­tion.

We would much rather pay a little more in sales tax than have our chil­dren de­prived of their edu­ca­tion and the un­der­priv­ileged go without food and ne­ces­sit­ies. You need to come down from the pro­ver­bi­al ivory tower and start gov­ern­ing.

A num­ber of your fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans in Wash­ing­ton have stone­walled the pres­id­ent’s sug­ges­tion of elim­in­at­ing the spe­cial perks and tax breaks en­joyed by cor­por­ate Amer­ica and caused a re­duc­tion of our triple-A rat­ing. Don’t be like them, Tom, be­cause we the people have a feel­ing that most of them will be look­ing for new jobs after the next elec­tion.

James O’Keefe

Castor Gar­dens

State pen­sions don’t make sense

Re­gard­ing last week’s art­icle, Boyle broth­ers pro­pose new bill, while it would make me feel good to deny a state pen­sion to a per­son con­victed of a sex crime, it does not get to the core of the prob­lem, which is, why do we pay for pen­sions for any state em­ploy­ee, in­clud­ing the Boyle broth­ers?

I would have no prob­lem with small match­ing con­tri­bu­tions to a pen­sion plan owned and paid for by the em­ploy­ee, but to grant 80, 90 or 100 per­cent pen­sions to them is just wrong, and ex­pens­ive too. Fur­ther­more, I be­lieve that we do not need a full-time le­gis­lature, and pro­pose that le­gis­lat­ors be re­im­bursed for mileage and per-diem ex­penses while in ses­sion, but noth­ing more.

Salar­ies for people rep­res­ent­ing us are a ri­dicu­lous concept. Upon elec­tion, they should take a short leave of ab­sence from their full-time po­s­i­tion (like Na­tion­al Guard mem­bers, who are ac­tiv­ated in fed­er­al ser­vice) and get back to their full-time avoca­tion as soon as pos­sible.

To deny a pen­sion to a state em­ploy­ee later con­victed of any­thing, in­clud­ing sex crimes, is not an ef­fect­ive solu­tion to the pen­sion prob­lem.

Charles C. Kal­ata


Are they poor or are they just pre­tend­ing?

In his let­ter last week (Sec­tion 8 houses are eye­sores), Steve Garvin is spot-on about the be­ha­vi­or of Sec­tion 8 hous­ing. I’ve seen the same thing in my neigh­bor­hood, so it’s not an isol­ated in­cid­ent. But he did over­look the ubi­quit­ous satel­lite dishes and cable lines.

Back in the day, poor people couldn’t even af­ford a TV set. Today, with the help of my tax dol­lars to pay for their hous­ing and gro­cer­ies, they can af­ford the best pro­gram­ming avail­able. There are the poor and then there are those who “play” at be­ing poor.

It’s time for the idi­ots and mor­ons who run this city to take a long, hard look at these scam artists be­fore they turn this city in­to an­oth­er De­troit.

Ron Zabiel­ski


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