Letters to the editor: November 30, 2011 edition

Al­most-Coun­cil­man Tauben­ber­ger thanks the people

I sin­cerely thank the thou­sands of Phil­adelphia voters who ex­pressed their con­fid­ence in me on Elec­tion Day by vot­ing for me in the race for Phil­adelphia City Coun­cil at-large. To say I am humbled by your sup­port is a gross un­der­state­ment.

Even though the elec­tion res­ults have not yet been cer­ti­fied, it ap­pears that I fell short by a mere 168 votes, which is a stark re­mind­er that, yes, it’s true: every vote counts! For me, however, per­haps the most grat­i­fy­ing thing about the res­ults was the over­whelm­ing sup­port I re­ceived from my neigh­bors in North­east Phil­adelphia.

In short, I won the North­east by a wide mar­gin, and lost the rest of the city by less than 170 votes.

I ex­tend con­grat­u­la­tions to City Coun­cil­man-elect Denny O’Bri­en, who is go­ing to be an im­port­ant and ef­fect­ive voice for the North­east in City Coun­cil. As pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce, I look for­ward to work­ing closely with him to main­tain and ex­pand our job base — something we have been do­ing since 1991.

My fo­cus will be to con­tin­ue to serve the small-busi­ness com­munity in my ca­pa­city at the GN­PCC, as well as the res­id­ents and busi­nesses of Burholme through my con­tinu­ing work at the civic as­so­ci­ation and Town Watch. This is work I en­joy im­mensely, and I in­tend to con­tin­ue to re­main act­ively en­gaged in the is­sues of the day.

Again, thank you and God bless.

Al Tauben­ber­ger

Holmes­burg is up­per­most in her mind

Please ex­plain to me and oth­ers liv­ing in Holmes­burg, what is this bit with “Up­per Holmes­burg”? I know it has been that way for quite a while now, but I nev­er really heard any ex­plan­a­tion.

I have lived in Holmes­burg for 57 years (I’m 60) and in all those years, it has al­ways been known to me as just “Holmes­burg.” Who was in­volved in chan­ging cer­tain sec­tors to “Up­per Holmes­burg”? Was it a polit­ic­al or fin­an­cial in­flu­ence? When ex­actly did this change take place? Where are the di­vid­ing lines? Is the rest of Holmes­burg con­sidered “Lower”? Is “Up­per” more su­per­i­or or in a high­er in­come brack­et? There are even ban­ners on the tele­phone poles in­dic­at­ing that you have ar­rived in the “Up­per” sec­tor. Why do you want to be sep­ar­ate? Any­one care to re­spond?

Mary Peters

“Just” Holmes­burg

Think loc­ally when you’re hol­i­day shop­ping

As the hol­i­days ap­proach and you start to de­cide which gifts to buy, con­sider your loc­al eco­nomy when do­ing so.

I know that when we read the tags on most items, you see they were made in China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thai­l­and, Mex­ico and many more, but that doesn’t mean it will be dif­fi­cult to find a great gift that will spur your loc­al eco­nomy and some small busi­nesses. I’m sure some loc­al mech­an­ics sell gift cards. Who couldn’t use a fresh tun­eup, de­tail or oil change? The wo­men in our lives would def­in­itely en­joy a day at a loc­al spa or salon.  Sup­port one of the loc­al small BY­OBs by pur­chas­ing a gift card for a friend or fam­ily mem­ber.

When pur­chas­ing wine for the many Christ­mas parties, con­sider wine from a loc­al winery from Pennsylvania or New Jer­sey. Con­sider donat­ing to some loc­al churches, shel­ters, and/or non-profits such as Toys for Tots or Phil­abund­ance, too.

If every­one makes an at­tempt to do this, it will make a big dif­fer­ence in our com­munity. 

Jeff George 


A sane ex­plan­a­tion for Black Fri­day in­san­ity

Why does the worst in people come out on Black Fri­day?

Every­one knows Black Fri­day can be a tough day to go out and shop. People are tired, anxious and look­ing to save money — all char­ac­ter­ist­ics of a friendly per­son, right? Wrong.

Emo­tions were es­pe­cially high this year, with many stores open­ing at mid­night. Some lines were out the door in the mall I went to. I was not there for two minutes be­fore I saw a wo­man yelling at the work­ers for not be­ing able to find the back of a line. There was also a lot of push­ing and shov­ing as people tried to get past one an­oth­er, which led to dirty looks and death stares by some people. So why do people get like this on Black Fri­day?

Some people say it’s be­cause people are crazy; however, I think the crazi­ness can be ex­plained by ap­ply­ing some so­ci­olo­gic­al the­ory.

Ac­cord­ing to so­ci­olo­gist James Cole­man’s ra­tion­al choice the­ory, people make their choices by look­ing at the profits and costs of a de­cision. They will usu­ally go after what will give them the greatest re­ward, even if they have to sac­ri­fice some things to get there.

There­fore, Black Fri­day shop­pers want to get items at the cheapest price they can, so they do not mind if they have to shove someone out of the way or yell in an­oth­er per­son’s face to get the coveted re­ward. They by­pass their po­lite­ness, be­cause in that situ­ation, the sale is more im­port­ant than their ci­vil­ity.

Even though Black Fri­day is a crazy and ir­ra­tion­al day, so­ci­ology can be used to help ex­plain some of the in­san­ity. Maybe there is a meth­od be­hind people’s mad­ness!

Erin Mc­Carthy


Let­ter writer only passed the buck

In re­sponse to a let­ter writ­ten by Robert Schaf­fer that was pub­lished in the Nov. 16 edi­tion as to why the po­lice didn’t sweep up the street after an ac­ci­dent: You seem able-bod­ied enough to write your let­ter, walk to a mail­box and watch an­oth­er of­ficer sweep up the mess. Why not do your part and sweep it up, or call 311, and they would dir­ect you on whom to call, in­stead of passing the buck along?

The point that was also made that it would help with the budget crisis makes ab­so­lutely no sense. If it were up to you, the po­lice and fire would be mow­ing the city lawns (with their own mowers, of course, since they make plenty of money) in between calls to help with the budget.

John Mc­Cle­ary


Thanks, Doc

Many thanks to Dr. Brett A. Sweitzer, his staff, sur­gic­al team and the 3 west unit at Mont­gomery Hos­pit­al.

I un­der­went a total shoulder re­place­ment and was very im­pressed and sat­is­fied with the med­ic­al treat­ment rendered.

I re­com­mend Dr. Sweitzer and Mont­gomery Hos­pit­al to any­one with med­ic­al needs! Thanks again for such out­stand­ing ser­vice.

Milton Mar­telack Jr.


Phar­macy bill is bad medi­cine

Barry Jac­obs, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the Phil­adelphia As­so­ci­ation of Re­tail Drug­gists, urges us to sup­port Pennsylvania House Bill 511 and Sen­ate Bill 201. Not spe­cific­ally men­tioned in Mr. Jac­obs’ re­cent let­ter to the North­east Times, but part of the bill, is the pro­vi­sion that there be no quant­ity lim­it dif­fer­ence between loc­al phar­ma­cies and mail-or­der phar­ma­cies for covered pre­scrip­tions. This le­gis­la­tion is bad for con­sumers.

In­sur­ance com­pan­ies make more money when they min­im­ize their costs. They have found it use­ful to have their in­sureds use mail-or­der phar­ma­cies, which, be­cause they are stream­lined, high-volume op­er­a­tions, can charge less, either to the in­sur­ance com­pan­ies, or to con­sumers, as the spe­cif­ic policy may dic­tate.

If their costs to fill pre­scrip­tions rise, they will likely raise premi­ums, or raise pre­scrip­tion co-pays, or both.

My in­sur­ance cov­er­age is such that I pay the same amount for a pre­scrip­tion, from a loc­al phar­macy or mail-or­der phar­macy, but I’m lim­ited to a one-month’s sup­ply from a loc­al phar­macy, where­as I can get up to a 100 days’ sup­ply by mail or­der.

Mr. Jac­obs is ab­so­lutely right that loc­al phar­ma­cies provide the kind of per­son­al­ized ser­vice that you can’t get from mail-or­der phar­ma­cies. When I need a pre­scrip­tion filled in a hurry or want to dis­cuss it face-to-face with a phar­macist, I use a loc­al phar­macy. When I want to re­fill a pre­scrip­tion I’ve been on for years, I use a mail-or­der phar­macy. I urge cit­izens to con­tact their le­gis­lat­ors to op­pose House Bill 511 and Sen­ate Bill 201.

Howard J. Wilk


Care work­ers are an­gels in dis­guise

Novem­ber is Home Care and Hos­pice Month, a time to re­cog­nize the hard work and ded­ic­a­tion of more than 1,800 home health, home care and hos­pice agen­cies provid­ing care to 405,000 Pennsylvania seni­ors and dis­abled res­id­ents.

It takes a very spe­cial and kind per­son to per­form these ser­vices, and we proudly sa­lute Com­munity Care of the North­east em­ploy­ees, and dir­ect care work­ers throughout Pennsylvania.

Com­munity Care of the North­east is a non-profit, state-li­censed home care agency serving North­east Phil­adelphia res­id­ents in their homes since 1985. Our goal of help­ing in­di­vidu­als re­main in­de­pend­ent con­tin­ues with great zeal. Our suc­cess is mainly due to the high stand­ards of our dir­ect work­ers and care­givers.

Dur­ing early Septem­ber we ex­per­i­enced vari­ous weath­er chal­lenges, in­clud­ing an earth­quake, a hur­ricane and flood­ing. CCNE em­ploy­ees called their fam­il­ies to check on them, wheth­er or not they were sched­uled to re­ceive ser­vices at that time. CCNE vo­lun­teers and em­ploy­ees worked to­geth­er to en­sure our con­sumers had med­ic­a­tions and food sup­plies. Many re­ceived home cooked meals, soup, flash­lights and bat­ter­ies.

Re­gard­less of weath­er, we are there to tend to the needs of our cli­ents. Our dir­ect care work­ers are truly an­gels in dis­guise.

I just re­ceived a let­ter from a con­sumer stat­ing, “Your agency is an an­swer to my pray­ers.”

How of­ten have I heard these words? I truly be­lieve we are not alone in our times of need. We just have to be still and listen to His lead­ing.

Com­munity Care is proud to join oth­er home care pro­fes­sion­als to give thanks to the ded­ic­ated men and wo­men who ad­voc­ate on be­half of our con­sumers, who of­ten are un­able to speak for them­selves.

To learn more about home care ser­vices, call Com­munity Care of the North­east at 215-335-4416. Go to www.com­munity­care­nephila.org or vis­it the Pennsylvania Home­care As­so­ci­ation Web site at       www.pahome­care.org

Jean E. Lan­gen­bach

Dir­ect­or of nurs­ing and edu­ca­tion

Get those kids

I live in the Holme Circle area. It has al­ways been a nice area un­til re­cently. Teen­agers really have nev­er been a prob­lem in this area. But re­cently, start­ing last sum­mer, the teen­agers in the area have be­come more and more de­struct­ive. They have dam­aged cars by knock­ing off side mir­rors, tak­ing lawn dec­or­a­tions, and on Oct. 31, they ripped off the wind­shield wipers of a car. This dam­age may have cost $200 to $300 for the own­ers to re­pair.

The par­ents of the teen­agers have no idea or don’t care. If the cul­prits are found, the par­ents and teen­agers should have to pay for the dam­ages. The group of teen­agers has grown over the years to 30 or more. The po­lice have been con­tac­ted but they can only do so much. It’s im­port­ant to re­port all van­dal­ism, no mat­ter how small, so the po­lice have a re­cord. Also, the par­ents of teens should ride around the area on Fri­day and Sat­urday to see where their chil­dren are “hanging out.”

Mary Anne Dooley

Get those ali­ens

I’d like to pose a chal­lenge to our pres­id­ent and to any fu­ture lead­er of our coun­try. The chal­lenge is to do what only three pres­id­ents in his­tory had the guts to do: Force the de­port­a­tion of il­leg­al ali­ens to help make more jobs avail­able for Amer­ic­an cit­izens and to help re­lieve over­burdened re­sources such as So­cial Se­cur­ity and health care.

It’s true that Her­bert Hoover, Harry Tru­man and Dwight D. Eis­en­hower de­por­ted il­leg­al ali­ens to make more jobs avail­able for Amer­ic­ans in post-WWII and Korean War times. If there was ever a time this ex­ec­ut­ive or­der is needed again, it’s now. There aren’t enough jobs, health care and hous­ing re­sources for our own cit­izens in des­per­ate need, let alone il­leg­al im­mig­rants who come here and bur­den our over­taxed So­cial Se­cur­ity, wel­fare and health care sys­tems.

I chal­lenge our coun­try’s lead­er to put a stop to this non­sense of preg­nant il­leg­al ali­ens com­ing over our bor­ders, drop­ping their ba­bies on Amer­ic­an soil like a moth­er hen lays an egg and then de­mand­ing that both she and her child now be giv­en Amer­ic­an cit­izen­ship along with free health care and ac­cess to gov­ern­ment pro­grams.

Do what is ne­ces­sary to en­sure the sur­viv­al of all Amer­ic­an cit­izens who work hard and struggle each day to provide for them­selves and their fam­il­ies. Give these wo­men and their chil­dren whatever rudi­ment­ary health care they need so that they are well enough to be sent back to wherever it is they ma­tric­u­lated from.

Also, so we can’t say it wouldn’t be a learn­ing ex­per­i­ence, give them de­tailed in­struc­tions on what they need to do in the fu­ture to be­come leg­al Amer­ic­an cit­izens. Then, track down and en­force the de­port­a­tion of as many il­leg­al ali­ens as can be found.

Des­per­ate cir­cum­stances re­quire des­per­ate meas­ures. To our coun­try’s lead­ers, I want to chal­lenge them to do what only three be­fore have had the guts to do, and win the re­spect of the Amer­ic­an people.

Peter L. Di­Gi­useppe


Fall of an em­pire

There were sev­er­al reas­ons for the de­cline of the Ro­man Em­pire. They were all in­ter­weaved with each oth­er. De­cline in mor­als and val­ues, pub­lic health prob­lems, polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion, un­em­ploy­ment, in­fla­tion, urb­an de­cay and mil­it­ary spend­ing.

Match­ing our na­tion to these reas­ons in the de­cline in mor­als and val­ues, we can first look at Hol­ly­wood, with its films that are loaded with foul lan­guage and nud­ity.

With pub­lic health prob­lems, we have many with that prob­lem. On polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion, just look at the news with more and more politi­cians be­ing ac­cused. Un­em­ploy­ment caused by Wash­ing­ton, al­low­ing our busi­nesses to move their factor­ies over­seas for cheap labor and send their products back here at our in­flated prices.

In­fla­tion can be blamed on greed of the oil com­pan­ies, which raised prices bey­ond reas­on, which, in turn, caused all oth­er busi­nesses to raise all their prices. On urb­an de­cay, just look at streets in Phil­adelphia that are filled with trash. On mil­it­ary spend­ing, we have our troops sta­tioned in 150 coun­tries and none on our own bor­ders.

Wake up, Wash­ing­ton, be­fore you take us down the path of the Ro­man Em­pire.

John F. Rauchut


Pan­cre­at­ic can­cer is an en­emy that must be de­feated

My heart goes out to the fam­ily of Steve Jobs, his friends and col­leagues. He was an Amer­ic­an icon and one of the greatest vis­ion­ar­ies of our time. His passing is such a great loss for our coun­try.

I did not know him per­son­ally but I shared something in com­mon with him — pan­cre­at­ic can­cer. I was also dia­gnosed with neur­oen­do­crine pan­cre­at­ic can­cer in 2004. Even though I am a “sur­viv­or,” I am con­stantly sick from this hor­rible dis­ease. I am blessed to still be alive, but it has taken away a part of my life. I ex­per­i­ence firsthand how this can­cer not only af­fects me, but my whole fam­ily.

Al­though Mr. Jobs battled a rare form of pan­cre­at­ic can­cer (pan­cre­at­ic neur­oen­do­crine tu­mor) his passing, if due to the dis­ease, serves as a harsh re­mind­er of the re­lent­less­ness of this deadly can­cer and the lack of pre-screen­ing meth­ods and ef­fect­ive treat­ment op­tions avail­able. We must take ac­tion to en­sure sci­entif­ic pro­gress is made to give pan­cre­at­ic can­cer pa­tients a fight­ing chance.

We need our mem­bers of Con­gress to co-spon­sor and pass the Pan­cre­at­ic Can­cer Re­search & Edu­ca­tion Act (S362/HR733) so that we will have the ne­ces­sary fund­ing to make true pro­gress against this dis­ease.

To learn more about this im­port­ant le­gis­la­tion and how you can make a dif­fer­ence, vis­it www.know­it­fight­itendit.org

I hope all those in­spired by Jobs will hon­or his memory by join­ing the fight against pan­cre­at­ic can­cer. To­geth­er we can know, fight and end this deadly dis­ease.

Robert Hollawell

Crispin Gar­dens

Speak your mind …

Let­ters 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 pur­poses. 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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