Letters to the editor: November 23, 2011 edition

Get Fido off my lawn, dog­gone it!

I lit­er­ally have a pet peeve. I try to keep up with my curb ap­peal, but it is con­stantly threatened by dog own­ers. I am a huge pet lov­er and have had them all my life, but I feel it is ir­re­spons­ible for the own­ers to not curb their dogs.

My block does not have side­walks, so our lawns go straight to the curb. It un­nerves me to see own­ers en­cour­aging their dogs to go up on our lawns here to leave their waste. True, most own­ers carry a baggy and pick up the fe­ces, but you can’t get it all, which leaves the scent for every­one else to leave their mark, and the ur­ine is left to burn the grass.

When I ask own­ers to please curb their dog, I am met with sar­cast­ic re­marks or I am just ig­nored while they stand still in front of me to al­low their dogs to re­lieve them­selves.

I have dogs that are my be­loved pets. If you don’t want your dogs mak­ing on your lawn, what makes you think I want them mak­ing on mine?

Laura Bi­gelow


For­eign goods are the Amer­ic­an way

What is made in the United States any­more? Last week I went shop­ping in a few area de­part­ment stores. Everything I looked at was made in a for­eign coun­try. The la­bels and tags read that they were made in In­dia, Korea, China, Taiwan and the Phil­ip­pines. 

I know these coun­tries, and I know where they are loc­ated. I was feel­ing proud — after all, in school I al­ways ex­celled in geo­graphy. Then it happened. The new la­bels and tags read Malawi, Ga­bon, Ben­in, Bot­swana and Mol­dova. I had nev­er heard of these coun­tries. Could my know­ledge in geo­graphy have slipped that badly?

I asked a few fel­low shop­pers about these new coun­tries, but found out they were just as mys­ti­fied as I was. I sup­pose next time I go shop­ping I will have to take a world at­las with me.

Mar­vin Garber


A real piece of work at scene of ac­ci­dent

So­ci­ety has really stepped up and de­veloped some real men. My wife and her moth­er were in­volved in an auto ac­ci­dent around noon on Sat­urday, Nov. 12, at the in­ter­sec­tion of Tre­vose and Edis­on av­en­ues in Somer­ton.

A young white male ap­prox­im­ately 30 years old ap­proached the car to ask if they were all right and then drove off.

The only prob­lem with that was this in­di­vidu­al was the one that ran a stop sign and broad­sided the car my wife and her moth­er were in. My wife called 911, and more than an hour and a half passed be­fore a unit was dis­patched to the scene. Real nice.

I’m sure the fam­ily of the in­di­vidu­al in the white car that hit them and drove off must really be proud of you, pal!

If there is any truth in 2012 and what may hap­pen to our world, I feel it’s time our plan­et gets a new flea col­lar and so­ci­ety needs to get rid of fleas like you! If I’m harsh it’s only be­cause my wife has two small chil­dren to take care of, which now is go­ing to be hard due to the fact she is in pain when she walks. Thanks!

One last thing: The car will cost us $3,400. The car you hit be­longed to our old­est daugh­ter, who had it re­paired the week past and paid $890 from her sav­ings. I hope you and yours en­joy the hol­i­days.

John Ed­mund­son


O’Neill and Ru­bin are both win­ners

An­oth­er cam­paign is over and North­east Phil­adelphia can be proud of Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill and his chal­lenger in the Nov. 8 elec­tion, Bill Ru­bin. The fought hard, they fought long and they cam­paigned across the 10th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict.

Both men are win­ners be­cause they brought demo­cracy and the free ex­change of ideas to North­east Philly. But the real win­ners are the cit­izens of the North­east. We are the only dis­trict to have a com­pet­it­ive race in Phil­adelphia, and that’s the way free­dom works!

To O’Neill, give them heck in City Hall! To Bill Ru­bin, who can­vassed in many neigh­bor­hoods twice and was a tire­less ad­voc­ate, kudos! 

I wish they could both fight for us in City Coun­cil, be­cause North­east Phil­adelphia really needs it now.

The fresh new Coun­cil faces from the North­east will be Bob Hen­on and Denny O’Bri­en. What if O’Neill, Hen­on and O’Bri­en formed the North­east co­ali­tion in Coun­cil? Wouldn’t that be great? Happy Thanks­giv­ing!

Myles Gor­don


How about Mickey Tauben­ber­ger?

The Tauben­ber­ger los­ing streak con­tin­ues. Every time a Tauben­ber­ger has an elec­tion op­pon­ent they lose.

I won­der what would hap­pen if they ran un­op­posed? Could they even win?

Can write-in can­did­ates like Mickey Mouse and Don­ald Duck, if they get more votes than a Tauben­ber­ger, ac­tu­ally win and take of­fice?

May­er Krain

Mod­ena Park

McGee­han staff gets a thumbs-up

What a pleas­ant ad­di­tion in May­fair! Since March, state Rep. Mi­chael McGee­han’s dis­trict of­fice has been loc­ated at 7201 Frank­ford Ave.

I find all of his aides al­ways very cor­di­al and help­ful. They take time to help us in so many ways. It is a wel­come sight in our com­munity.

A sin­cere thank-you to a great team work­ing to­geth­er.

Marge Shel­len­ber­ger


Don’t throw Joe Pa­ter­no un­der the bus:

The buck stops at the pres­id­ent’s of­fice

Cov­er-up was the only word I haven’t seen in all the press cov­er­age over the past weeks, but isn’t that ex­actly what was per­pet­rated at Penn State? Was it not in­ter­est­ing that ous­ted Penn State pres­id­ent Gra­ham Span­i­er im­me­di­ately spoke up with un­waver­ing sup­port for Cur­ley and Schultz after they were charged with per­jury?

Why was he so un­usu­ally de­fens­ive? Could it be that he felt guilty be­cause they were a part of his cov­er-up and they were only try­ing to pro­tect him from be­ing in­crim­in­ated dur­ing their testi­mony?

The first blatant com­plaint about San­dusky came in­to cam­pus po­lice from the moth­er of a mo­les­ted boy in 1998, three years after Span­i­er was in­stalled as pres­id­ent, and after an in­tern­al in­vest­ig­a­tion, San­dusky was giv­en a verbal rep­rim­and and told to stop. Does that sound like a severe enough pun­ish­ment for a child mo­lester? I think not! At that point, the State Po­lice should have been brought in and this creep ar­res­ted and charged.

Con­sequently, the as­saults con­tin­ued un­til Mike Mc­Queary al­legedly wit­nessed San­dusky rap­ing a young boy in a cam­pus shower in 2002.

In a state of shock at this second-in-com­mand of the school foot­ball team com­mit­ting a crime (vi­ol­at­ing a child), he called his dad, who told him to re­port it to his su­per­i­or, the team coach, which he did. JoePa, in turn, re­por­ted it to his boss, Cur­ley, the ath­let­ic dir­ect­or, and he, in turn, re­por­ted it to his boss, the school pres­id­ent, Span­i­er, who already knew that this guy was a pred­at­or.

With this alarm­ing re­port, Span­i­er un­doubtedly felt threatened be­cause he could be charged with har­bor­ing a crim­in­al. So now it was more than merely sav­ing a scan­dal for the school, it was self-pre­ser­va­tion. That is when the in­tense cov­er-up began and every­one down the line be­came col­lat­er­al dam­age, the ab­use vic­tims, Mc­Queary, Pa­ter­no, Schultz and Cur­ley.

The really amaz­ing part of this ex­posed scan­dal is that the per­pet­rat­or is al­lowed to re­tire, Pa­ter­no gets fired in dis­grace, and Mc­Queary is put on paid leave.

In ret­ro­spect, we all have our opin­ions about the ac­tions of the in­di­vidu­als in­volved, as colum­nist Mike Smer­con­ish wrote in his op-ed column that Mc­Queary was a cow­ard for not do­ing something to stop that crime and pro­tect the child, but un­less you are or were in­volved with a struc­tured en­vir­on­ment, you don’t real­ize that the chain of com­mand must be ad­hered to.  And that is pre­cisely what every­one did — in line, they each went to their im­me­di­ate su­per­i­or.

Ul­ti­mately, it was the pres­id­ent of the uni­versity to de­cide the con­sequence, and now we all know the res­ult of his de­cision: Pa­ter­no fired in dis­grace, Cur­ley and Schultz in­dicted for ly­ing to the grand jury, Mc­Queary se­questered (for his own pro­tec­tion), and many more in­no­cent chil­dren vi­ol­ated, by a sexu­al pred­at­or, who could have been stopped years earli­er, if not for Span­i­er.

The most dis­grace­ful irony came from Span­i­er’s re­place­ment. He re­ferred to Span­i­er as “doc­tor” and de­clared that he may de­cide to come back and teach at the uni­versity be­cause he is still a mem­ber of the fac­ulty. Is that how the es­teemed board of trust­ees has de­cided to be­gin cor­rect­ing the situ­ation, by re­ward­ing the single per­son re­spons­ible for this scan­dal? Span­i­er needs to be ar­res­ted and charged for this cov­er-up.

Jim O’Keefe

Castor Gar­dens

The flash mob and Joe Pa­ter­no 

Amid the hor­rible child-ab­use ac­cus­a­tions at Penn State, I am also very saddened at the “flash mob” of na­tion­al me­dia so quick to be Joe Pa­ter­no’s judge, jury and ex­e­cu­tion­er. They hardly men­tion the name of the man ac­cused.

Joe Pa­ter­no is be­loved by many of his former play­ers. He helped build a new lib­rary on cam­pus.

He and his wife built a Cath­ol­ic cen­ter for mor­al guid­ance. He lives simply, and donates a lot of his money to the school. So, sud­denly, he has be­come the face of evil? I don’t buy it. A man is the sum of his whole life, all the good and bad. Joe has lived an hon­or­able life.

The big me­dia, for in­stance, is full of money lust, the praise of false her­oes, and sexu­al­ity is peddled like candy. People who stand against abor­tion (the worst form of child ab­use) are of­ten mocked. And the me­dia talks of Joe’s “mor­al” ob­lig­a­tions?

Let’s see. The then 75-year old Joe Pa­ter­no was told of sex ab­use done by a former coach, and he re­por­ted it up the chain of com­mand to the school pres­id­ent. Was Joe sup­posed to go to the po­lice and say: “Some­body told me about a sex crime that I didn’t see, to a vic­tim who didn’t come for­ward”?

Pe­do­philes can be very cun­ning people, but the me­dia in­sist that — what? Joe should have put on his Columbo trench­coat and con­duc­ted his own in­vest­ig­a­tion? Or that Joe makes like Bruce Lee and kar­ate-chop his former coach in­to mince­meat?

In fact, we have had no tri­al and no con­vic­tions. That will be the time to point the fin­ger and ap­por­tion blame, maybe even at Joe.

Yet the me­dia are so ar­rog­ant, so sure of the facts, so de­term­ined to des­troy in their rush to judg­ment, that they be­come part of the prob­lem, not the solu­tion. The me­dia frenzy will dam­age the real Penn State — the in­no­cent stu­dents, staff and alumni. We’ve seen this be­fore: think Duke lacrosse team.

Richard Iac­on­elli


Point­ing fin­gers ru­ins JoePa’s life

I have to com­ment on the JoePa Penn State news be­cause I used to be a per­son with strong con­vic­tions when it came to tra­gedies like this. Then one day I was faced with news that my best friend did something sim­il­ar to a little girl. The old me would have said “lock them up, throw away the key,” ex­cept now this was not some name­less pred­at­or. This per­son was like fam­ily to me. It was not easy to wrap my head around this friend hav­ing been a com­plete mon­ster in hid­ing this whole time.

Lucky for every­one, it turned out to be a crazy ru­mor. Not a single part of it was true! It just has been mak­ing me so mad these last few days hear­ing the whole world hav­ing an opin­ion of what they would do in Joe’s shoes.

The fin­ger should be poin­ted at the pred­at­or. What happened to the days when someone who com­mits such an aw­ful act be­comes the main story — not what this per­son and that per­son should have done? Es­pe­cially, not tak­ing in­to con­sid­er­a­tion what it was like to find out someone close in your life (a co-work­er, a close friend) does these things to in­no­cent chil­dren.

Maybe he should have called the po­lice, maybe the fath­er of the ac­tu­al wit­ness should have called, who cares? A man who had total ac­cess to ba­bies is a dev­il! That is the main story. That is what should be the head­line on every news­pa­per.

I do not care about JoePa’s mor­als. I care about the im­port­ant facts of this story get­ting through, and I care that so many people point fin­gers so quickly, ru­in­ing a per­son’s life and ca­reer without put­ting your­self in his place (JoePa) for one minute.

I bet this whole thing was more stress­ful on him than any­one cares to think. This is how a le­gend ends a lifelong ca­reer. Turns one tragedy in­to an even big­ger mess. The sad­dest part is I saw so much of Joe on the news, I can­not re­call the face of the man charged with ac­tu­ally com­mit­ting this gross crime. I don’t even re­mem­ber his name!

Nicole New­man

Castor Gar­dens

Speak your mind  …

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