Letters to the editor, June 16, 2011


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!

Dor­is Si­mon


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!

Janice Jak­ubowitcz


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.

Mary­ann An­der­son

Lex­ing­ton Park

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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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Let­ters to the ed­it­or 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. 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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