Letters to the editor December 14, 2011

Downs­iz­ing should be on Coun­cil’s agenda

In Janu­ary we will have six new mem­bers on City Coun­cil. I hope they do bet­ter than the six they are re­pla­cing.

First on the agenda should be the elim­in­a­tion of the DROP pro­gram.

Second, they should stop us­ing city-owned cars at tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense. Out of 17 Coun­cil mem­bers, only four use their own cars.

Third on the agenda is that three months va­ca­tion with pay is too much for the tax­pay­ers. Two without pay and one with pay is enough. After all, they’re on per­man­ent va­ca­tion all year. Now, 17 mem­bers have 150 staffers; the one with over 50 is the pres­id­ent of Coun­cil. One mem­ber has only three. The staff budget is $3.76 mil­lion total. Do we need that many staffers? No. Do we need 17 Coun­cil mem­bers? Of course not.

Last on the agenda is term lim­its. I have writ­ten be­fore that the pres­id­ent of the United States is only al­lowed two terms, so why should City Coun­cil have life­time jobs? The prob­lem is the voters who con­tin­ue to vote for the same people every elec­tion.

Wise up, you Philly voters. Just be­cause they throw some crumbs in your neigh­bor­hood does not give them the right to life­time mem­ber­ship on Coun­cil.

Jerry Foglia Sr.


In memory of Snick­ers

I would like to ask any­body that if they have any thought about ad­opt­ing a cat to PLEASE do so. They are a beau­ti­ful an­im­al and you will love hav­ing one.

I lost my won­der­ful cat Snick­ers today as I write this let­ter. I had 14 won­der­ful years with him, and if I can en­cour­age one per­son to bring one home, I will feel something good has come out of it.

Like North­east cat ad­voc­ate Gina De­n­ofa says, there is a little one wait­ing for you that needs you. Thank you, Gina, for all you do for cats, and thank you, Snick­ers, for all you did for me.

Bri­an McGee­han


Don’t take your  loc­al phar­macy for gran­ted

I am re­spond­ing to Mr. Howard J. Wilk’s let­ter in the Nov. 30 edi­tion (Phar­macy bill is bad medi­cine) op­pos­ing HB 511 and SB 201, Ac­cess to com­munity phar­macy ser­vices.These bills will al­low the pa­tient to choose between mail-or­der house or com­munity phar­macy with the same days’ sup­ply of med­ic­a­tion and the co-pay.

Many in­sur­ance com­pan­ies are us­ing mail or­der be­cause their phar­macy be­ne­fits man­agers (PBM) own the mail-or­der houses, which is a con­flict of in­terest.

There has not been a le­git­im­ate study done to show that mail or­der is less ex­pens­ive. In fact, some be­lieve that it is more ex­pens­ive, be­cause it dis­penses more brand-name drugs than com­munity phar­macists. Gen­er­ic drugs save money.

Re­ceiv­ing large quant­it­ies of med­ic­a­tion can be waste­ful. Phys­i­cians of­ten change med­ic­a­tion due to side ef­fects and loss of ef­fect­ive­ness. Some pa­tients com­plain they re­ceive med­ic­a­tion on auto­mat­ic re­fills even after they have stopped tak­ing it.

Mr. Wilk says he uses his loc­al phar­macy when he is in a hurry or needs to talk to the phar­macists. What will he do when the loc­al phar­macy is gone?

Barry R. Jac­obs

Ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or

Phil­adelphia As­so­ci­ation of Re­tail Drug­gists

Hol­i­day stress hits care­givers, too

The hol­i­days are a nat­ur­al time to en­joy fam­ily and get-to­geth­ers — shar­ing fest­ive meals, ex­chan­ging gifts and cel­eb­rat­ing tra­di­tions. But for the 65 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans tak­ing care of someone with a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness, find­ing hol­i­day cheer can be dif­fi­cult.

After months or even years of ab­sorb­ing a loved one’s pain, the ad­ded stress of the hol­i­days can cause the sud­den on­set of a little-known con­di­tion called com­pas­sion fa­tigue. Symp­toms in­clude ir­rit­ab­il­ity, out­bursts of an­ger, dif­fi­culty con­cen­trat­ing and ex­haus­tion. The care­giver feels un­ap­pre­ci­ated and may even have dif­fi­culty caring about oth­ers.

Who is most at risk? Of­ten, they’re in­di­vidu­als who are caring for their loved one on their own. They’re de­voted in­di­vidu­als who have few in­terests bey­ond care­giv­ing. They lack ex­tern­al sup­port.

If you or someone you know is at risk, it’s es­pe­cially im­port­ant to take care of your­self now. Set aside a few minutes each day for a quick nap, to write in a journ­al, or to med­it­ate. Take a walk out­side, spend some time with friends and en­joy your hob­bies. Most im­port­ant, sur­round your­self and your loved one with fam­ily.

To make the most of this time and cre­ate en­dur­ing memor­ies, rest, in­dulge in your fa­vor­ite things and let the sup­port of oth­ers sur­round you and your house­hold with hu­mor, com­fort and joy.

Crys­tal Gorel

Be­reave­ment Co­ordin­at­or

Cross­roads Hos­pice, Ply­mouth Meet­ing

We the people are get­ting ripped off by the Fed

Re­cently I re­ceived an e-mail let­ter from my con­gres­sion­al rep­res­ent­at­ive, Allyson Schwartz, in re­sponse to my at­tempt to meet with her.

My ex­cite­ment turned to dis­gust as I real­ized this was a form let­ter ex­press­ing her sup­port for the re­volt against bank deb­it card fees.

(My e-mails to her must have gone in­to the “yelling at the bankers” folder.)

 I real­ize Ms. Schwartz gets a lot of com­plaints and her staff tries to re­spond for her, but this is ex­actly what’s wrong with our Con­gress. We nev­er get to speak to most of them, face to face. They need to face our an­ger.

I have nev­er been so up­set at gov­ern­ment in my life, as I have watched the Fed­er­al Re­serve un­der Ben Bernanke loot the sav­ings ac­counts of hon­est Amer­ic­ans.

For three years, des­pite ma­jor price hikes in food and en­ergy, he has kept in­terest rates near zero. For re­spons­ible savers, seni­ors and those try­ing to plan for re­tire­ment, this re­fus­al to put an hon­est value on the dol­lar has been a bru­tal “si­lent” tax in­crease.

To date, al­most $300 bil­lion in in­terest on sav­ings and check­ing ac­counts, on bonds and bond funds, has been sucked away by the Fed and the banks. This is a crisis for seni­ors who use in­terest in­come to sup­ple­ment mea­ger So­cial Se­cur­ity be­ne­fits. Pen­sion funds are be­ing weakened as their bond in­come dwindles. And how do young­er people save money, when every dol­lar put in­to sav­ings, at the end of the year (after taxes and in­fla­tion are con­sidered) is worth about 95 cents? That’s right.

Savers are be­ing pun­ished for sav­ing, while debt­ors gain, and rich spec­u­lat­ors have a feast in cheap money.

Folks, we work­ing stiffs are be­ing robbed! The pres­id­ent claims he wants to tax the rich, while his Fed chair­man si­phons off money from work­ers and the me­dia ay next to noth­ing about this hy­po­crisy.

Please, Con­gress­wo­man Schwartz, stand up for the little guy. Deb­it card fees are pea­nuts. Many seni­ors are los­ing thou­sands of dol­lars a year in in­terest on their life­time of sav­ings. Fight the Fed’s ri­dicu­lous money policies that steal the sav­ings of work­ing people.

If any read­ers care about what I say, I urge you to cut out this let­ter and mail it to your mem­ber of Con­gress.

Richard Iac­on­elli


Hit the road, Barack

First, I am a re­gistered in­de­pend­ent and have been all my life. Fur­ther, I have missed vot­ing only once in my adult life­time and could not hon­estly say if I’ve voted for more Re­pub­lic­ans than Demo­crats or vice versa.  

But I do be­lieve this pres­id­ent must go.  

His en­ergy policy is anti-Amer­ic­an. No drilling in the Gulf of Mex­ico since the BP leak, which if I re­mem­ber, happened while he was play­ing golf in Hawaii. No more drilling in Alaska, off-shore East or West Coast, o pipeline from North Dakota un­til after the elec­tion.

He failed to au­thor a budget for 2009, 2010 and 2011, which is HIS re­spons­ib­il­ity. He waits for the Re­pub­lic­ans, then fails to re­spond, im­ply­ing it’s un­ac­cept­able.

He ap­points a com­mit­tee of two, one Demo­crat and one Re­pub­lic­an, who agree, and present a com­prom­ise, which he re­jects. He ap­points a second com­mit­tee of three Demo­crats and three Re­pub­lic­ans and third com­mit­tee of 12, who can­not agree. He threatens the com­mit­tees that if they ar­rive at cer­tain “com­prom­ises,” he’ll veto the bill. He im­plies that it bet­ter fit his idea.

Then he blames the Re­pub­lic­ans.

His only claim to fame to date is Obama­care, which was passed by ques­tion­able prac­tices and now is in court. Twenty-six states want it ab­ol­ished. That’s a ma­jor­ity, and of the 24 re­main­ing states, not all agree. Their gov­ernors may be “for” Obama­care, but not the cit­izens.

He has tried un­suc­cess­fully a half-dozen times to in­crease taxes on the “rich” and he has been re­buffed. So he la­bels Con­gress as do-noth­ing.

What if he is re-elec­ted and the makeup of Con­gress swings more to the con­ser­vat­ives (Re­pub­lic­ans) or re­mains the same? We’ll have four more years of noth­ing be­ing done and him blam­ing the “lazy Amer­ic­ans and fat cat bankers.”

Both Ron­ald Re­agan and Bill Clin­ton faced dif­fi­cult eco­nom­ic is­sues but both learned to rise above polit­ics and to work to the best in­terest of the coun­try. Pres­id­ent Obama makes it clear, it’s his way or the high­way.

I be­lieve it’s time to give him a GPS unit  and show him the ramp to I-80 — the shortest route to Chica­go.

Joseph J. Mur­ray

Mor­rell Park

Roll over, Grover

Re­pub­lic­ans must find a way to re­voke this in­sane pledge not to raise taxes, be­cause as it is, only the 1 per­cent are be­ne­fit­ing from it.

They know this, be­cause most of their cam­paign funds come from them, i.e., the wealth­i­est people in the world (for­eign and do­mest­ic).

Grover Nor­quist is the mas­ter pup­pet­eer, with all these Re­pub­lic­an politi­cians dan­cing to his tune, leav­ing the Amer­ic­an cit­izens scratch­ing their heads and won­der­ing how we get out of this $15 tril­lion debt. God help the next gen­er­a­tion and their off­spring, be­cause they will in­her­it this mess.

The Demo­crats have most cer­tainly ex­acer­bated this mess y con­trib­ut­ing to the bail­outs of the very scoun­drels who caused this downslide in our eco­nomy. And just as the Re­pub­lic­ans are claim­ing now, they’re do­ing it all ldquo;to save us.” If that’s not enough, Obama wants to spend an­oth­er half-tril­lion dol­lars to spur the eco­nomy. Is that not ad­di­tion­al debt?

The White House also just blew a half-bil­lion of our money on a failed loan to a sol­ar man­u­fac­turer, while we have to budget our in­come to buy gro­cer­ies. Our gov­ern­ment is bank­rupt­ing us and these clowns in Con­gress re­fuse to in­crease taxes on the mil­lion-dol­lar-per-year fat cats. The Oc­cu­pi­ers have a point, but they should be in Wash­ing­ton D.C.

James O’Keefe

Castor Gar­dens

Bad pay­day loans

Pay­day loans in Pennsylvania are sup­posedly il­leg­al, ac­cord­ing to one of my ources at a ma­jor bank. So how did an ac­quaint­ance of mine, a Pennsylvania res­id­ent, ob­tain sev­er­al pay­day loans? If they are il­leg­al to write in Pennsylvania, why aren’t they il­leg­al to ob­tain y Pennsylvani­ans? Ex­ample: Il­leg­al drugs are both il­leg­al to sell and ob­tain in Pennsylvania.

One pay­day loan was for about a week’s time un­til his pay­day. The amount of the loan was only $300 and the in­terest was un­der $3 but the fees were $135. The amount to be re­paid was over $437.

This defin­it­ively is a case of ex­ploit­ing the poor, un­educated, des­per­ate people.

Where are our le­gis­lat­ive lead­ers who have to pro­tect some people from them­selves and vul­tures like these?

May­er Krain, CPA

Mod­ena Park

Stop ho­mo­sexu­al­ity

The Bible states: If a man also lie with man­kind as he li­eth with a wo­man, it is an ab­om­in­a­tion; they shall surely be put to death (Levit­i­c­us 20:13)

Death is be­ing dealt by God through AIDS, but we need to stop ho­mo­sexu­al­ity from be­ing taught as an al­tern­at­ive life­style and same-sex uni­ons and ad­op­tions from cor­rupt­ing Amer­ica in the eyes of God.

Wil­li­am Wal­ters


Speak your mind  …

Let­ters should be 300 words or less. Short let­ters have a bet­ter chance of get­ting pub­lished. All let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing and MUST in­clude the writer’s full name along with day­time and even­ing phone num­bers for veri­fic­a­tion pur­poses. An­onym­ous let­ters will NOT be pub­lished. Mail to: Let­ters to the Ed­it­or, North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053. Fax: 215-355-4857. E-mail: pronews@bsmphilly.com

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