Please don’t feed the able-bodied panhandlers
Every day as I return from a grueling job, I am subjected to a tall man on the corner of Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard. His game is to mingle with the cars and shout, “Got any spare change?”
I have lowered my window to explain that my neighbor is supporting several kids by washing dishes. I also said that in my 60 years of life, I have done many things for a living — all honest. I asked him to try working at a local restaurant.
Of course, he became indignant and continued to beg. Yesterday, I again lowered my window. I said, “Remember me?” He sarcastically said, “Why should I have to wash dishes?” and left me with profanity. Another woman works the median outside of Marshall’s. She uses “Hungry” on a piece of cardboard. One evening, I caught her talking on her cell phone as her “shift” ended. A beggar with a cell phone?
Illegal, and legal, immigration makes many people mad. With “citizens” like these with their hands out, no wonder industrious newcomers take the low-wage and hard jobs. Shame on all who beg, unless disabled so badly that they cannot work. My wallet is open to blind and disabled veterans. Yet, many partially disabled people do get up early and work, whenever possible.
Able-bodied people like these two have no shame. It is about self-respect and integrity. Others should refuse to support them.
Harry B. Bridges Jr.
Outraged by Ackerman
Arlene Ackerman, how narcissistic and vindictive can you be? Unemployment is for those people who are in need and not to be used as one more twist of the knife.
We, as Philadelphians, are finally seeing the person this woman is deep down. Not for one minute did she ever have our children’s education first; it was always about HER and what she could scavenge from the taxpayers of this city! She was an overwhelmingly horrendous example of one of our so-called leaders.
Put your money where your academics are
It’s nice to have backers for the field of dreams for Father Judge High School to donate $2.8 million, but where are the donations for students who want to go to Father Judge for academics but cannot afford to go to Judge?
Please stop putting sports before academics. With that money, your brother school, North Catholic, would be alive today. It’s a shame that Catholic education is a business before educating young minds.
Joe V. Gilmore Sr.
Lowlifes are hurting our neighborhoods
It seems like I’m constantly reading in this paper about shootings and assaults in the Northeast. This is what happens when lowlifes move into great neighborhoods like Mayfair and Tacony.
Driving around the Northeast, it’s easy to see which homes are occupied by people who just don’t care. Their landscape is unkempt, trash is piled in front of the house days before trash day and the house lacks even minor upkeep. My guess is these homes are owned by absentee landlords (Section 8) who couldn’t care less.
I think the worst part is that their kids will grow up to live the same way. As they say, there goes the neighborhood.
Turning Point marks its grand opening
Rhawnhurst Turning Point, a new non-profit center for youth, opened its doors to Northeast Philly on Nov. 12.
We were delighted that over 85 people toured our vibrant center, which offers free homework help, art classes, service opportunities and a drop-in center for young adults from grades six to 12.
We are especially grateful to City Councilman Brian O’Neill’s office, the SEPA Synod of the ELCA, the Presbytery of Philadelphia, the Rotary Club of Northeast Sunrisers and our hard-working volunteers for making this day a huge success.
For more information on Rhawnhurst Turning Point, please call 267-601-5147, send an e-mail to RhawnhurstTurningPoint@yahoo.com or visit us on the Web at www.RhawnhurstTurningPoint.com
Rhawnhurst Turning Point is located at 7812 Castor Ave. and open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 9 p.m.
Human trafficking – A crime against humanity
By state Rep. Thomas P. Murt
The trafficking of human beings is one of the most heinous of crimes imaginable. It is frequently called “modern day slavery” or “dead bondage.”
Human trafficking occurs around the world in the most-developed as well as in Third World nations. Despite our collective affluence as a society, human trafficking is sadly alive and well in our nation, including in our commonwealth.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing criminal endeavors in the world. After drugs, humans are the second most trafficked item on the planet. It is a $9 billion-a-year operation that uses force, physical restraint, violence, fraud, coercion and threats to force victims into various forms of slavery.
In child prostitution, more than 100,000 children are exploited each year in the U.S alone. Across the U.S., more than 60,000 adults are enslaved as victims of human trafficking each year. The actual numbers are much higher due to a gross underreporting of the crime.
This underreporting is due to the victims being kept physically and socially isolated from the general public. Frequently, the victims are mistakenly believed to be prostitutes who have chosen the lifestyle, or simply illegal immigrants whom society has chosen to ignore.
Victims are relocated frequently, and even when being rescued, they are reluctant to cooperate with authorities. They have been taught to fear law enforcement and are unaware that they have rights under U.S. law. Sadly, the supply of human trafficking victims from around the world is seemingly endless.
In our commonwealth, victims of sex- and labor trafficking include U.S. citizens and foreign nationals as well as children and adults.
In sex trafficking, the activities in which the victims forcibly participate include criminal-controlled prostitution, massage parlors, closed network residential brothels, and mail-order brides. Victims are often advertised on Internet sites and placed in hotels or truck stops where they are made available to customers.
A recent human trafficking case in Pennsylvania involved girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who were forced into sexual activity at truck stops. Traffickers usually withhold passports and immigration papers from foreign-born victims, requiring them to ‘work off’ debts as prostitutes or as slave labor.
Many women believe they are legally emigrating from their home country, only to find out when they arrive, they owe additional fees to the trafficker and must work off their indenture as prostitutes.
Victims of labor trafficking are usually found in settings such as domestic servitude, agriculture, nail salons, factories, and in traveling sales crews selling candy and magazine subscriptions. In western Pennsylvania in Armstrong County, 20 males from Thailand were recently discovered slaving away in the mushroom industry.
Pennsylvania, although primarily a “pass through” state for human trafficking, is also a destination.
In addition to commercial front businesses and agricultural operations, traffickers utilize the many highways of the commonwealth to move victims between locations in Ohio, New Jersey and New York, and to connect with the I-95 corridor, where victims are easily moved along the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Maryland, D.C., Georgia and Florida.
In Pennsylvania, truck stops, especially along the “Miracle Mile,” are well-known for playing host to sex trafficking.
A legislative effort is gaining momentum in Pennsylvania to address the crime of human trafficking, but more importantly, to reach out and save the victims. These bills are designed to give our law enforcement professionals more weapons to use in their efforts to find and stop traffickers, and to rescue victims.
It is tragic and heartbreaking that in a civilized nation such as ours, forms of slavery still exist. It is appalling that we have not done more to stop it. It is past time to stop this crime and rescue the victims.
A human selling other humans into slavery is a crime against humanity and it must be stopped.
Rep. Murt, a Republican, serves the 152nd Legislative District. The district includes the Philmont Heights section of Somerton and a large portion of eastern Montgomery County.
Don’t get zinged when purchasing electronics
A couple months ago, I decided to upgrade my home portable telephones. Not being technically savvy, I went into the local electronic store, told the salesperson what I wanted to spend and how many phones I wanted in the unit. He showed me a reliable brand name with three portables within my budget and I happily purchased them.
I opened the box when I got home and took out the instruction book. The print in the book, written in four languages, was so minuscule that I couldn’t read it even with my reading glasses and a magnifying glass.
When a friend came over, he was able to hook up the units and get it operating quickly. The problem was that the salesperson didn’t tell me about the few important things that would affect my older phones.
The new units would not operate with the older phones even though they were manufactured by the same company. There were two in each bedroom and the kitchen wall phone. They immediately stopped working. I had to trash the other portables and now the kitchen phone is merely a decorative piece.
The most important thing that I didn’t see in the manual, nor did the salesperson point it out, is that you have to use rechargeable batteries in the phones.
I never used rechargeable batteries and realized this fact only when one of the units wouldn’t hold a charge with the dollar store AAA batteries. I looked again at the manual with the teensy print. On the back cover in bold print was the instruction to only use rechargeable batteries!
Shouldn’t something this important be in bold print on the front cover? I remembered telling a rather arrogant boss years ago that if he gave me a manual and keys to an airplane it didn’t mean that I could fly it.
I went back to the electronic store where I purchased the phones. I brought the manual with me. The salesperson, not the one who sold me the units, handed me a 2-pack of rechargeable batteries. I thought I also needed some kind of device to put the batteries in to keep them charged.
I graduated college with honors but I felt totally stupid. All I needed was the batteries, and they charge in the phones when they sit in the charging units.
Eighteen dollars later, I took the 2-pack of batteries home, put them in the phone and voila, the discharged phone worked again.
Surely some baby boomers or even younger people have faced the same dilemma. It will happen frequently at this time of year when people are purchasing holiday gifts.
Please remember to ask all salespersons when you purchase something electronic — “is there anything else I need to buy along with this?”
It will save you a lot of aggravation. Trust me.
Speak your mind …
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