Be a good citizen — come clean
On May 28, The Philadelphia Inquirer had a story about a man who attempted to clean up the litter left behind by climbers on the slopes of Mount Everest.
That same day, the Friends of Pennypack Park volunteers cleaned a section of Pennypack Park. Like the climbers whose goal was to reach the summit and enjoy nature’s beautiful view, the citizens who wander through the city parks have the same desires, to enjoy the park’s natural beauty.
However, as we are all aware, like the climbers, there are the few who for some reason think it is their right to graffiti, destroy, trash the park and deprive others from enjoying its natural beauty.
Is the problem the lack of education or is it just that the parents never bothered to teach their children right from wrong? The answer is all of the above and many other reasons.
The lack of education and ignorance is that people do not realize that the wildlife can be caught in the discarded fishing line, plastic bags, and rings that hold the beer and soda packs. Parents must teach by example, because if they don’t care, the children will follow suit, which will breed another group of uncaring adults.
To conclude: if one man is willing to climb a mountain to clean up the litter, why can’t we be good citizens and keep our parks clean or at the very least clean up in front of our homes? Please don’t litter — it hurts every living thing.
Our heroes were forgotten on Memorial Day
On Monday morning, May 30, Memorial Day, my American flag was raised, as it is every day. To my dismay, of the approximately 40 homes on the 8700 block of Jackson St., I was the only one who was flying colors in observance of the reason behind the holiday and in memory of all the past and present servicemen and women whom this day is about.
There are three houses on this block whose owners were in the service in the past, but no flags were displayed. There are other flags flown by these and the rest of the homeowners here for other holidays — Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, to name a few.
Unfortunately, our brave troops who have fought for and given us the freedom to fly these are not remembered.
Perhaps the next time our country gets attacked, my neighbors will call on figures depicted by their flags and not the United States Marine Corps or any other service branch.
It is also a disgrace that the United States post office branch — a federal institution — at Frankford and Solly avenues in the Northeast has been reopened now for five months but has never flown a flag on their flagpole.
I have inquired about this on many occasions and was informed that “the pulley is broken.” What a sorry excuse. No wonder this government agency is in trouble.
So, for all the people out there who were too lazy or too busy or too apathetic to give credit to our veterans on their special day, Happy Memorial Day!
Jerrold W. Czech Sr.
What a disappointment to me in observance of Memorial Day. Come on, people, where were the American flags? It was a real find to see just one on many blocks in Mayfair/Holmesburg neighborhoods.
Do you care about being in this great land? Do you show respect for all our military people keeping us free? The day was once called Decoration Day to honor all those in all wars that we will not forget them. Get on the ball for July 4. Go buy a flag for 99 cents at Shop Rite on Frankford Avenue that is made in the USA! Let’s fly those flags.
Dog licenses are not her pet project
I am the owner of two dogs and I have a complaint about the licensing system. The idea of the license is to provide the city with revenue and have a record of dog owners. With computer technology today it is very easy to access information about veterinarians from outside the city.
I think it is an unfair policy to have people pay who choose vets within the city, while those pet owners who live in the city and go to vets outside the city do not pay.
If I change my vet I should pick one outside the city, which therefore relieves me of paying a yearly license. I also know some people who have pets and live in the city who go to vets outside the city.
Danger’s in the air at Forrest School
Attention, parents: Do you know where your kids are? Perhaps they are climbing the roof of Forrest Elementary! It hasn’t been uncommon lately to see a group of them running across the roof. There is not one part of the roof that is flat, which makes it scarier to watch.
It takes one slip to have a child fall to their death. So a word to the wise: If your child plays around that area, it would be a good idea to sneak over to see what they’re doing.
We need Mayor John Street
Why John Street?
Many people are probably asking that question. I am not one of them. I believe right now our city needs John Street. I had the privilege to be the president of the Philadelphia FOP Lodge 5 from 2002-07. He was the mayor that I worked with. One thing was always certain: When it came to dealing with our members, he never made a mistake of the heart. Believe me, that says a lot.
If you are looking for a guy that’s warm and fuzzy, it’s not John. However, if you want a person that is compassionate and direct, then John is your man.
The current mayor is loved by the media. Mr. Street was not. That can go a long way in our city. The current mayor can’t get a basic labor contract completed with three of the city’s municipal unions.
In regard to the economic issues, we heard nothing but promises before the current mayor was elected. Since he took office, we have only heard excuses.
Also, what is the police manpower level over the past four years? Do you believe that our city’s crime problem has improved? What about the brown-outs at fire stations? Are we playing Russian roulette?
We really have a chance to make our city great, so look at John Street the person, not as he was painted by the press and the current mayor.
A fine way to punish political litterbugs
Well, the primaries have been over for more than three weeks but many of the campain (spelling intentional) signs were still scattered all over our roads for too long. Every politician had their signs out there. It is totally disgusting how little these politicians care about us or our neighborhoods. If they did care they would have them taken down right away. Street money was used before the primaries; how about saving some for cleanup after the primaries?
I have a remedy for these signs that will generate plenty of revenue. Before the elections, the signs were advertisements to help someone get elected (which the Department of Licenses and Inspections is not paid for). After the election the signs become trash. All the politicians should be fined for littering. At $75 a pop that’s plenty of revenue. We know who they are.
The only flaw in this plan is the people in charge of enforcing the law are the same ones breaking it. SHEEESH!
DROP is bad law
I am protesting your editorial of May 12 (Think outside the box), in which you endorsed Bob Henon for the Democratic nomination in the 6th Councilmanic District.
Henon would have won the May 17 primary even if you had endorsed Marty Bednarek. However, there was both distortion and contradiction in your editorial. It concerns DROP, the critical issue in the primary campaign, not just in the 6th district.
I attended the candidates debate at Tacony library on April 28. The key question asked by the moderator was: “DROP, Yes or No?”
Bednarek answered “No,” Henon waffled: “Yes” for city employees, “No” for elected politicians. Bednarek was clear: “We cannot afford DROP” for either elected politicians or for city employees.
In your editorial, you distorted the candidates’ DROP stand. You focused on the question of supporting Marian Tasco for Council president. That secondary question distracted from the DROP issue itself. Henon said he would not vote for Tasco. You called him “courageous” and endorsed him. Your contradiction is glaring: You cannot be anti-DROP and pro-Henon. Henon will vote to continue DROP.
Marty Bednarek told the truth: Philly taxpayers cannot afford DROP. My father worked 30 years for the city and retired in the 1980s. He did not get DROP. Why should these retirees get it? The DROP legislation is bad law. There is no job that takes four years to teach your successor. Why should a DROP retiree get a guaranteed rate of return for four years? The city pension fund cannot get one!
Who will pay the price for DROP? City taxpayers, including those in the 6th district. One journalist told the truth about DROP: Ralph Cipriano in the City Paper. DROP’s total cost through 2009: $1 billion.
For Council, O’Brien is on the Money
On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to personally thank my neighbors in Northeast Philadelphia. Over the past several months, I engaged in a campaign for an at-large spot on City Council. While I was not successful, you gave me the opportunity to meet and learn of the concerns affecting the people of the Northeast. I would not trade these relationships and experiences for the world.
We discussed everything from quality-of-life issues to taxes to health care. I remain committed to solving the maternity care crisis that exists in our city. It seems as if whenever I turn on the news or open the newspaper, I learn of a new maternity ward closing. We need leaders in City Hall who will address this in a very serious way.
Because it may be an issue that is not on the radar screens of most voters — yet — we need someone with the experience to take the ball and run with it, someone who has a record of getting results with new and innovative ideas. We need state Rep. Denny O’Brien to serve us on City Council.
During his tenure as chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee in the Pennsylvania House, Rep. O’Brien wrote the tobacco settlement that uses funding for research and recognizes that investing in people is the infrastructure on which to build a successful health care future. Further, he wrote the Breast Cancer Protection law, the Autism Insurance law and the bill categorizing hepatitis C as an occupational disease for firefighters.
Denny is a fighter for an affordable and accessible health care for everyone. I am confident that, given his past results, Denny O’Brien is the best man to fight for health care in City Council.
I’m proud to call Denny my state representative but I’m even more proud to call him my friend. I wholeheartedly endorse Denny O’Brien for City Council at-large because the city needs his leadership.
Questions about our movers and shakers
I have a few questions in response to a recent article in The Philadelphia Inquirer regarding political allies in City Council. Several defined allegiances included South Philly, the Northwest, and North Philly. OK…who is specifically representing Center City and Northeast Philadelphia, those two entities that represent voters paying the highest tax bills in the city?
Why is Marian Tasco still a part of the Philly political scene? She is a DROP recipient. Fellow DROP participants Frank Rizzo and Marge Tartaglione didn’t get passes. Why Tasco?
How did electricians union leader John Dougherty get to be such a power broker behind the scenes? Is he the reincarnation of Ron White, John Street’s bud-on-the-side?
How many of the fresh faces running for City Council will actually be elected, given the 20 percent turnout rate in the primaries and Philadelphia’s historic acceptance of mediocrity in government? Will Mayor Nutter be faced with the same-old, same-old AGAIN?
Will ANYbody step forward to take on Arlene Ackerman and her propensity to turn over public schools to for-profit entities?
The principle of thirds reflects her efforts. One third of the for-profit schools are better than their public counterparts; one third, the same; one third worse. A fair return on our tax dollars? And the system is bankrupt, to boot.
And isn’t it time to eliminate the tax abatement bill that has promoted the building of so many McMansions in Northeast Philly and condos in Center City, forcing longtime residents to endure more congestion, noise, and traffic while newbies pay lower taxes?
There. We’ve come full circle. Is ANYbody happy?
Have a Coke and fix the budget
Dear Mayor Nutter,
The soda tax does not affect everyone. As you well know, everyone does not drink soda or sugar-based drinks. Philadelphia supermarkets share weekly sale incentives on soda and it is one of their profiting sales. Taxing soda will only drive the buyer over the bridges to shop. You are setting up the opportunity for this scenario.
Think about it. You have a graduation or some other affair. You need cheap gas, cheap liquor, tax-free soda, Jersey tomatoes, save 1 percent on your sales tax — where are you going to go? Costco, Canal’s and your favorite gas station in New Jersey, compliments of gasbuddy.com. What will be next, soda police at the borders and bridges? When police stop a driver while on a cell phone and notice an open can of Coke, will that can of soda be a violation someday?
Start listening to the people and get City Council and at-large members out into their communities to hear these complaints before they go on vacation for the summer down at the Jersey Shore!!!
My quick fix to supplement the budget would be to increase the gun permit fee. Why does it cost more to register a vehicle than a gun permit? Why does my vehicle have to be inspected every year, but the straw purchaser of a gun flies under the radar? No authority ever wants to inspect the gun and the purchaser. Do you think an annual gun inspection for city residents and guns registered in the city would generate cash for the failing budget?
Think of all the illegal guns on the street that could be surrendered under an amnesty program. What does the city pay in supplies and services? What do we pay for fuel in city vehicles? Is it higher than today’s price? What do the various departments pay for supplies? Is the city getting ripped off and are we as consumers thrifty enough to shop for bargains while the vendors hold the city at bay with high prices? Who are the vendors and what do they charge? We have a right to know.
Change the bidding process to be more accountable. Charge every posted advertisement and political sign that is nailed to city trees, PECO pole and placed on city property an advertisement tax. No need to count the signs, just come up with a figure.
As for tax abatements, why should real estate taxes be excused for 10 years for buyers of new construction homes when those who have been paying faithfully are not given any abatement?
Why do we not have the option for our real estate tax to be paid on a monthly basis?
Mark A. Evans
Help the homeless with DiCicco’s DROP booty
City Councilman Frank DiCicco has introduced legislation that would criminalize aggressive behavior by the street homeless.
Not only is this a slap in the face of the homeless, but it is unnecessary (Philadelphia has a relatively low street-homeless population and relatively good resources) and would put a strain on law enforcement and our criminal justice system.
Although people may argue the merits of the law, think about the nearly half-million dollars in DROP money that Frank DiCicco will be taking from taxpayers.
Maybe some of that money could be used to take us one step closer to eliminating homelessness rather than enriching some politician.
Jordan Gwendolyn Davis
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