Letters to the editor August 4, 2011 edition

Small in­sults can wreck a com­munity

Al­most every day I walked past the garden in a sea of con­crete at the Pel­bano Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, a chil­dren’s garden. Then it was gone.

At a re­cent po­lice meet­ing I learned that teen­agers had des­troyed the garden, ur­in­at­ing on plants, rip­ping them from the ground, even smash­ing the wood sign that asked people to re­spect this labor of love.

It’s dis­turb­ing to think that people would des­troy something that could not pos­sibly bring them any gain. (They must hate them­selves.) Then I thought about the young chil­dren, who were soon to en­joy the garden’s bounty. What a les­son it is for the kids to see the mind­less de­struc­tion of what they had worked for.

I hope the hood­lums are caught. Bet­ter yet, I wish they would turn them­selves in and of­fer to re­plant the garden at their own ex­pense.

Des­troy­ing a kid’s garden may not seem like such a big deal, but these small in­sults des­troy the co­he­sion of a com­munity. They tell us our com­munity is less safe, our neigh­bors less trust­worthy, and that is sad for us all.

Richard Iac­on­elli


Poor re­sponse from Coun­cil staffer

At 3:30 p.m. on Ju­ly 28 I called Coun­cil­wo­man Joan Kra­jew­ski’s of­fice and spoke briefly with an uniden­ti­fied male staff mem­ber. With the clos­ure of the bridge on Holme Av­en­ue ex­pec­ted to last between one and two years, I wanted to sug­gest a way to im­prove traffic flow around Holme Circle.

I de­scribed how drivers stop for the red traffic light in front of the Gulf   sta­tion and there is no traffic com­ing from their left be­cause the bridge is closed. There is a “NO TURN ON RED” sign on the traffic-light pole. Law-abid­ing drivers just sit un­til the light turns green even though drivers be­hind them are blow­ing horns try­ing to per­suade the first driver to ig­nore the sign and turn. Why not re­move the sign?

Even though the staff mem­ber agreed it was a good idea, he said there was no way he was go­ing to get in­volved try­ing to have the sign re­moved dur­ing the bridge re­build­ing.

It’s good to know we can count on the staff of our elec­ted of­fi­cials to get things done in Phil­adelphia.

Ed­ward Moore


Coun­cil­man O’Neill gets the job done

It nev­er ceases to amaze me that the people that know the least about someone or something talk the loudest.

Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill has been a staunch ad­voc­ate for the North­east and Phil­adelphia cit­izens for 30 years. I’ve been in Fox Chase over 25 years and have noth­ing but ad­mir­a­tion for his work.

When the Board of Re­vi­sion of Taxes at­temp­ted to raise our prop­erty taxes, Bri­an was there at the meet­ing sup­port­ing each con­stitu­ent that was there. When the neigh­bor­hood needed a new bridge on Rhawn Street, Bri­an was a front-run­ner in get­ting it done.

More re­cently, Bri­an has op­posed the soda tax, DROP and pro­posed real es­tate tax in­creases again. He’s al­ways in the back­ground get­ting it done for his con­stitu­ents in the North­east. He’s done it for 30 years and is the best equipped to con­tin­ue for the next 30.

Mark Dou­glass

Fox Chase

Coun­cil­man O’Neill’s time is up

It was re­fresh­ing to hear how City Coun­cil can­did­ate Bill Ru­bin called one of the good cit­izens of North­east Phil­adelphia to dis­cuss his opin­ion. To see how he relates to people, rather than dis­miss them, was quite frankly a breath of fresh air. A for­mid­able man open to dis­cus­sion re­gard­less of opin­ion, who doesn’t come from a prom­in­ent law firm, Bill Ru­bin is one of us.

Look­ing back on Bri­an O’Neill’s ca­reer, one can­not dis­miss the fact that 30 years is a long time to hold a power­ful po­s­i­tion in City Coun­cil, but the voters in the 10th Coun­cil Dis­trict are look­ing ahead. And we’re look­ing at Bill Ru­bin.  

Debbie Bon­ner

Pine Val­ley

A warn­ing to pro­tect an­im­als

I am tak­ing care of my son’s dog while he and his fam­ily are vis­it­ing friends out of state. We walk every morn­ing and even­ing and ob­serve the law.

Rocky is a 14-year-old small Bichon, a very do­cile and af­fec­tion­ate dog. As we were walk­ing by the new­er twin homes on Welsh Road be­low Winchester ap­proach­ing Tol­but Street, an un­leashed Ger­man shep­herd dashed out and jumped on Rocky’s back.

I held Rocky’s leash tightly and tried to free him, bruis­ing my leg and fin­ger.

The 6-foot-tall own­er stand­ing in his drive­way did noth­ing to con­trol his dog, nor apo­lo­gized for the in­cid­ent.

This was ab­us­ive be­ha­vi­or. I hope my ex­per­i­ence will help oth­er de­fense­less an­im­als to be safe.

Jean Civ­itillo

Holme Circle

Ver­dict of 12 mor­ons makes no sense

Re­gard­ing Ed­ward Huber’s let­ter in the Ju­ly 21 edi­tion (She’s not guilty, so what’s with the ob­scene car­toon?), since it’s ap­par­ent that you’re un­able or un­will­ing to lo­gic­ally think about this your­self, Ed Huber, let some ra­tion­al thinkers help you out.

Ca­sey An­thony did lie to the po­lice and you’ve ac­know­ledged that in your tirade. Right? That’s a per­fectly nor­mal thing for in­no­cent people to do. Right? Dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings she and her at­tor­ney ad­mit­ted to the “ac­ci­dent­al drown­ing” of Caylee. Right? So while Caylee was “miss­ing,” al­though at the time Ca­sey ap­par­ently already knew she was dead, she goes out club­bing?

Her daugh­ter ap­par­ently drowns and is then wrapped in a blanket with duct tape placed around her nose and mouth.

Why? Ca­sey’s ac­tions are not those of a moth­er whose daugh­ter is miss­ing or who already knows that her daugh­ter died a few days pri­or to her party­ing spree.

The car­toon you’re re­fer­ring to in­dic­ates that in­justice was done on Caylee’s be­half. How these 12 mor­ons (and I don’t know what makes you so con­fid­ent they were so in­tel­li­gent; they de­lib­er­ated for 45 minutes without re­view­ing ANY of the evid­ence) found her com­pletely in­no­cent of Caylee’s death is bey­ond me and the ma­jor­ity of free-think­ing people throughout this coun­try.

I say that she should be brought up on new charges of gross ab­use of a corpse. I hope that helps you. I do what I can. If you need fur­ther as­sist­ance please don’t hes­it­ate to ask us all. But I do en­cour­age you to util­ize some ra­tion­al­iz­a­tion on your own. Best of luck. 

Mike Al­ex­an­der


Ack­er­man sev­er­ance pay vs. DROP

I had not in­ten­ded to reply to Mr. John Snyder’s let­ter pub­lished Ju­ly 21. His angst was aimed at cross­ing guards (DROP should be off-lim­its to cross­ing guards), but The Phil­adelphia In­quirer re­cently had an art­icle re­gard­ing Schools Su­per­in­tend­ent Ar­lene Ack­er­man’s eli­gib­il­ity for $1.5 mil­lion sev­er­ance pay, which is what she would con­trac­tu­ally “earn” for the next three years. That would pay for my wife’s pen­sion for more than 200 years.

Un­less Mr. Snyder just has a prob­lem with cross­ing guards be­cause they work only part time, I sug­gest that his angst is mis-aimed. Cross­ing guards def­in­itely earn their ne­go­ti­ated “part time” pen­sion, to scale and small as it may be. DROP is a pro­gram, not a pen­sion, that city work­ers can choose to use or not use.

It’s un­for­tu­nate that many people have little or no pen­sion, and I, too, am dis­turbed by this. I lost 29 years of pen­sion rights be­fore Con­gress en­acted “ves­ted rights” (ERISA) in 1974 pro­tect­ing your pen­sion after work­ing for the same em­ploy­er with a pen­sion plan, at first for 10 years, and changed in 1989 to five years. It is still dif­fi­cult for many people to earn and keep pen­sions, and we’re thank­ful for the “luck” our hard work earned for us.

Mr. Snyder, even if the DROP pro­gram was denied cross­ing guards, it would mat­ter little, be­cause the prob­lem is not cross­ing guards but the mis­use of DROP by elec­ted and ap­poin­ted of­fi­cials who should nev­er have been al­lowed to use the DROP pro­gram. Their pen­sions are gen­er­ous enough and in their case with “fake re­tir­ing,” it is truly double-dip­ping.

James Moore


At­ten­tion, vet­er­ans!

Rhawn­hurst-Castor Post 754 is open to vet­er­ans who would like to join the Amer­ic­an Le­gion. Our mem­ber­ship is open to any­one who served in the mil­it­ary.

Ours is the largest le­gion post in Phil­adelphia. We have 758 mem­bers. Men and wo­men who would like to join can call me any­time at 215-632-7781. Dues are $25 for the year.

Wil­li­am Cole

Com­mand­er, Post 754

Join in the for­um — write to us

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