Keep Burholme Park clean
With the start of summer also comes increased use of the gem of our community: Burholme Park. As I walk through the park with my dog, I have unfortunately also noticed an increase in litter, despite the fact that there are plenty of trash cans located throughout the park. It seems to me, that with the privilege of using our park, an appropriate act of gratitude would be to clean up after yourself when you leave.
Furthermore, here’s a message to the Northeast Optimists who were given the privilege years ago to use the park. Please tell your players and fans to pick up your litter and use the trash cans available. There are at least five around your area. In the last few days, I have picked up a shopping bag full of trash and bottles around your building on each of my walks. The picnic tables in front of your building are a great convenience, but please don’t leave your trash on the ground.
Everybody complains about the taxes we have to pay, but think about it: Tax dollars are used to clean up after you, if you don’t accept personal responsibility. More importantly, let’s have some pride and keep our community clean!
Parking tickets have this train commuter ticked off
The Fox Chase train station has been successfully rebuilt. During the reconstruction through the rough winter months, I parked my car in a handicapped spot for my commute to Center City. I have been commuting in town for the entire 40 years of my working life. Philadelphia, not SEPTA, manages the parking lot.
Only in the last couple years have I had a mobility problem. In the past, I complained because there were only a few spots for handicapped drivers. The Philadelphia Parking Authority added more spaces. During construction, many of the numbers for the parking spaces had worn off, were covered by snow or were hard to read. Frequently when the weather was bad, the parking meters were broken.
All this has been corrected, but my argument is with two parking tickets that I received during the winter.
As the wicked witch rode her broomstick in the movie The Wizard of Oz and wrote across the sky the words “Surrender Dorothy,” I have given up and paid an exorbitant fee to the parking authority.
On a February snowy day, I received a ticket for an unpaid meter. I punched in the wrong numbers but had the receipt that I paid $1 for the day. The violation is for $26. I sent the original receipt with a letter. You can fight the tickets at the parking authority office in Center City. This is ridiculous, because I would have to take time from work and I have difficulty walking.
In the beginning of March, I received another ticket. I parked my car in a spot with difficulty because the lot was not shoveled well. I could not see the signs and got on the train to avoid standing in the freezing cold. I did hang my handicapped tag in my car. I received another ticket. I wrote a letter.
During the months since, I have received repeated letters asking me for copies of my handicapped tag, copies of my wallet card, copies of my car registration and letters telling me that it was under investigation. I trusted that this would be resolved. A month ago I received another “investigation” letter telling me I should call in 30 days. I tried to get through with this number. I’m busy working and didn’t get through.
I received a letter in the mail yesterday. Before opening it, I naively thought it would be a “we understand” letter. It said that I have not paid two violations outstanding from the winter and listed the dates. They advised again that I could contest it at the parking authority, otherwise I must pay the ticket, which was now double each fine.
I have been a taxpaying Philadelphian all my life. I know our school system is strapped and the city is struggling. I give up, “wicked witch.” I mailed the violation today with the feeling that I am contributing to the welfare of the City of Brotherly Love. The light at the end of the tunnel is that I am retiring this year and will not commute to work again!
No good deed should go unrecognized
On Thursday, June 2, my husband and I were informed by a passing motorist that we had a flat tire. As we pulled over to the side of the road, the motorist followed us and offered to change the tire for us.
While somewhat skeptical at first, I felt the genuine concern of this man (who was wearing a shirt identifying his employer and stated he was on his way home from work), so we took advantage of his kind offer. This person, who later identified himself as “Juan,” also refused my offer of payment for his efforts.
This experience left us with a renewed sense of pride in our fellow man.
All we can say is thank you again, Juan, for your kindness to us. Your family, friends and neighbors are indeed blessed to have you in their lives.
St. Jerome students talk about the box
Editor’s note: A recent Northeast Times editorial, Keep the box, supported the retention of a box on job applications that asked would-be employees if they have ever been convicted of a crime. Students in Luba Kwoczak’s sixth-grade class at St. Jerome School are speaking out on the issue.
Before their school year ends on Friday and they have no more teachers and no more books until autumn, the Times is happy to share their views. Have a safe summer, kids!
City Council and the mayor have passed a bill that will help criminals. “Ban the box” prohibits employers from including on job applications a box asking applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime. We agree that employers should ban the box.
Instead of the box, they should have a mandatory lie-detector test after the interview and an essay question so applicants can describe what kind of crime they were convicted of.
We agree with you that good people should get priority over people who have committed a crime, and employers should have the right to know a criminal’s record. If someone committed a crime, he/she cannot rewrite their history. Instead they should have a chance to write a new future.
Terence, Kyle, Meghan, Connor and Andrea
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We strongly agree with your editorial, Keep the box. Good guys should get first priority because they try harder to obey the law and they do the right thing. We also agree employers have the right to know if an employee is a “bad seed,” because they could hurt other employees around them. We agree that you cannot change your past personal history, but you can make it better in the future.
Anthony, Jessica, Sydney and Tim
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We agree with your opinion that “good guys should get priority,” because if someone works hard all their life, they should get the job, not the criminals. We also agree that “employers have the right and indeed the need to know if the guy or gal they’re thinking of hiring is a bad seed,” because if someone was accused of being a murderer, the employer should know so they can keep the other employees safe. Lastly, we agree that banning the box is political correctness gone wild. It essentially treats criminals as being merely “ethically deprived,” and we believe criminals should take full responsibility for their actions and decisions.
Elise, Evan, Jack, Maryrose and Sabrina
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We agree with most of your opinions in the editorial. We agree that good guys should get priority because people who do good should get rewarded. We also agree that employers should know if the person they are hiring committed a crime so they can protect their business and their employees. We disagree that “criminal conviction should be a scarlet letter,” because we think everyone should get a second chance if they are trying to change their life around.
Eimile, Alyssa, Nicole, Jimmy, Kyle and Gerard
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Employers have the right to know if their employees have committed a crime. Employers need to know what kind of people they are hiring. However, we disagree that good guys should get first priority. People who commit a crime but change should get first priority, too. We also disagree that businesses have a right to steer clear of criminals. People should at least get an interview, because they might have changed.
Megan M. Anthony, Megan L., Ryan and Tim
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We agree that good guys should get rewarded for not doing wrong. We also agree that employers should know if the person they are hiring is a bad seed because no one wants to hire a bank robber as a banker. However, we disagree that a criminal conviction should be a scarlet letter. Most people deserve a second chance.
Alicia, Caitlyn, John, Matthew and Nicolas
* * *
We agree that good guys chose to do the right thing and should be rewarded for it, and that employers have the right to know and not hire people that might be dangerous to their companies. We also agree that businesses have the right to steer clear of criminals.
They can do this by not getting rid of the box on job applications.
Emily B., Nick, Connor, Alex, Emily M. and Maddie
* * *
We agree that criminals should have to tell employees if they were convicted of a crime on their job application. We also agree that good guys work harder and are more trustworthy, and employers should know how much trust to give applicants so they can watch them closely if they need to during work. We also agree that you “cannot undo personal history.” You cannot take back what you did in the past; you can only change your future.
Colleen, Michael, Robert and Hope
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People that do everything right should get first priority. Employers have the right to know if the applicant has been in jail. We also agree that you can change your future, but you can’t change your past history.
Anastasia, Julie, Jeffrey and Joseph
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If job applicants didn’t do anything wrong, they shouldn’t get punished. Employers should know about the applicant’s past because it might not be a safe job for the applicant. We agree that “you can’t rewrite your personal history,” because it is in the past, so it can’t be taken back. However, the future is to be written when it happens, and people should be given a second chance.
Rebecca, Kelley, Chris and Justin
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We agree that the good guys should have first priority, because they never did anything wrong. Employers have the right to know if the applicant is a “bad seed” because it could be dangerous for their company. Also, you can’t go to jail and then pretend it never happened.
Daniel, Vinnie, Dominique, Brittany and Danielle
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It’s not fair that a criminal should be treated special. Who knows if something bad is going to happen again? We also agree that you can’t rewrite your personal history. You can change your future but not your past.
Vincent, Corey, Joel and Alexis
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Employers are responsible for their employees during work. Employees could get tempted to do something wrong. We also agree that people who follow the law deserve a better shot at a job than people who don’t follow the law.
Robert, Nicole, Regina, Zach and Kayli
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We strongly agree that employers have the right to know who they are hiring, and that applicants can’t rewrite their personal histories. We also agree that good guys should get priority, because we think they should keep the box on job applications and make people who have committed a crime responsible for their pasts.
Liam, John, Nick, Sabrina and Victoria
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Employers have the right to know if the applicant has a criminal record or has ever been convicted of a crime. We think that businesses should “steer clear of criminals” for their safety. Also, we think good guys should get first priority because it seems that criminals are getting a better chance at the job than the good guys.
Justina, Shawna, Dan, Dom and Raymond
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We strongly agree that employers have the right to know if the person they are hiring has a criminal record.
In our community, people tend to lie and may not be over their past crimes. We also agree that good guys should get first priority. Good guys should be first in line for jobs instead of last, because they actually listen and follow the laws, and they deserve first priority due to their actions and smart decisions.
City Council should not intrude on businesses.
Madison, Katie, Vincent, Phillip and Danielle
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