We the people are left out by Comcast
What a disgrace! I had a problem the other day paying my Comcast bill online ($148+) that they love to advertise as Triple Play for $99.99. Yeah, try and get that deal. If you like one converter box and basic channels, that’s another story in itself.
So I wind up online in a chat window with a person who is going to help me access my account. They kept asking me to sign up for auto pay so I wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting my password again, etc.
I said I refuse because it saves the company on postage and paper and someone’s job and they offer no discount or lower rate for doing it.
Once this was all over, I asked the girl in the Comcast chat window on the company’s Web site where they are located. Sure enough, she said the Philippines. What a disgrace.
We are paying $148+ a month for nothing fancy, basically HD Triple Play, no premium channels, and they’re hiring help in the Philippines, not right here in the USA! But they are another big guy saying they create jobs, and they smear that billion-dollar skyscraper in our faces here in Philadelphia! Who is inside that new building? CEOs and CFOs, because the help is in the Philippines.
It’s a disgrace to rob us with those high costs each month, but not hiring US!!!
Mourning a lady of the law: Karen Auerweck
Ms. Karen Auerweck, 54, crime scene investigator for the Philadelphia Police Department’s crime scene unit, passed away suddenly on Oct. 7. Ms. Auerweck was the first female to be transferred to the elite ranks of the male-dominated unit in 1982. Ms. Auerweck was nearing retirement at the time of her passing.
Throughout her career, she processed thousands of crime scenes, and as a result of her diligence and expertise, violent criminals were removed from the streets and the families of victims obtained closure and justice.
In 1985, Ms. Auerweck was assigned to assist in the processing of the MOVE crime scene on Osage Avenue. There, she spent almost seven months sifting, recovering and analyzing evidence that would later prove instrumental in establishing the facts of what happened that fateful day.
She was dedicated to the premise of fairness; that scientific evidence is used not only to accuse and convict, but, equally important, to exonerate those who were not involved in the crime.
Ms. Auerweck was respected not only by her peers but by countless numbers of attorneys, both in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and those in private practice. She trained and mentored many present-day crime scene investigators through compassion, skill and her desire to ensure that the evidence always supported the facts. She will be truly missed by many.
J. Peter Bushman
Retired member of the Philadelphia Police Department’s crime scene unit
Cats are looking for love
This weekend, Nov. 11 to 13, Forgotten Cats is having their Second Chance For Love, in the adoption center of PetSmart at 901 Old York Road in Abington.
There will be adorable, adoptable cats and many kittens. The kitties are vetted, neutered and ready for a family of their own to take them home. What better way to express love than to adopt a little one that truly needs you? Please come and visit this weekend. Someone is waiting for you!
Philly’s in a downfall
I belong to a group called FightforPhilly.org. On Oct. 24 our group addressed City Council members on two bills for small business. The privilege bill was passed and will be implemented in 2012.
I spoke to Council members regarding the refuse collection tax that costs $300 per year, and left unpaid it accumulates penalties and interest charges. My dilemma is unchanged and I am expecting a higher property tax next year.
The city has done nothing to enhance a decent living wage for many years. The expenditures are increasing by leaps and bounds. So far, we the people must endure property taxes, water and sewer taxes, operation licenses, the DROP program, city wage taxes, sales taxes, possible soda taxes — where does it end?
These officials are responsible for the downfall of Philadelphia. If you doubt me, take a look around the city at all the abandoned buildings and properties.
Anna D. Kauffman
Who will pay the fines?
City Council just passed a curfew law that would impose a $75 fine on parents. Now, how are they going to pay that? They’re crying now they can’t afford to pay for their kids’ bus fare.
They really can’t pay for anything. They like to have everything given to them. There’s a $500 maximum fine. Wow, who is going to pay that? The Access card might work, or maybe the taxpayers will pay via a new tax. There will be plenty of curfew violations, but no money.
P.S. City Council people are as useless as pulled teeth.
Jerry Foglia Sr.
Absentee landlords have politicians ticked off
In response to efforts to improve neglected properties in the Northeast:
Over the years, I have received numerous complaints from constituents regarding unresolved tenant and maintenance issues at properties with absentee landlords.
I recognized this as a problem all across the city. That is why I introduced Bill #090834, which amended the city’s property maintenance code by requiring property owners that do not live in the city or a surrounding county, under specific terms and conditions, to designate a local property manager and provide the full contact information to the proper city department.
This bill helps to address the issues of safety, health and the welfare of existing buildings by establishing minimum requirements for safe and sanitary maintenance. This includes proper lighting, ventilation, heating and protection from the elements and safety from fire and other hazards.
This legislation allows the proper city department to then serve the responsible party with proper written notice describing any conditions that are unsafe or unfit and identifies a stipulated amount of time to take corrective measures.
Enforcement is needed now so that the city can properly address the issues that arise with properties that fall into this category.
Marian B. Tasco
Ninth District councilwoman & majority leader
• • •
As the state representative for the 172nd Legislative District in Northeast Philadelphia, I’ve had the opportunity to work with various city departments on a variety of issues. An issue of extreme importance in my district and our city is blighted properties and negligent out-of-town property owners. These disregarded homes not only denigrate the quality of life but force hard-working families to move.
I am elated that Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Fran Burns has taken bold steps to help combat this plague.
According to a Philadelphia Daily News article on Oct. 26, Commissioner Burns stated she would, “Extradite out-of-town owners and usher them into the city’s new blight court.”
It is encouraging to know that the city is willing to take the necessary actions to address these cancers that have affected neighborhoods. While the issue of abandoned properties and negligent out-of-town property owners is citywide, it is especially toxic in the Northeast.
Earlier this year, my office began to track down these out-of-town property owners and quickly realized how pandemic the issue is. A firm commitment at the municipal level was paramount and today, under Commissioner Burns’ leadership, it was delivered.
I hope that Commissioner Burns takes the necessary steps to also track down and haul in these negligent out-of-town property owners that rent these blighted properties, collect an income and refuse to address the blight of their properties or pay city fines.
I will continue to fight against these properties, track down their owners and hold them accountable for their blighted properties. It is imperative that we keep our neighborhoods strong and not allow blighted properties to diminish our neighborhoods.
By bridging the state and city governments, we will be able to hold property owners accountable and prevent neglected properties from forcing our neighbors to move.
State Rep. Kevin J. Boyle
172nd Legislative District
Rep. Boyle’s district includes portions of Mayfair, Fox Chase, and Holmesburg. Rep. Boyle holds a master’s degree from Harvard University in education policy.
Local sports radio is a turn-off
As I see it
By John Scanlon
I figured this would happen. It saddens me that corporate suits are yanking the plug on more and more FM rock stations these days, lured by the latest trendy format, and when CBS Radio yanked the plug on venerable WYSP-94 and immediately plugged in sports talk, I knew the region’s IQ was about to dip 20 points.
It has been two months since this switch from classic rock to sports jock. Pink Floyd has been replaced by Joe from Mount Airy and his whimpering tale of insomnia and how the tragic Phillies have basically ended his life.
It’s sad that so many sports fans are willing to be publicly pathetic on a radio call-in show. Or, even worse, pathetically shallow. As I sat in my car during an interminable red light at the Boulevard and Southampton Road, listening to Joe ramble in his depressed monotone, I just couldn’t cope.
So I turned off the radio. And I wondered. Do we really need a second FM sports-talk station in town? Do we really need to double the boredom of listening to alternately whiny and get-a-life people who, caller after caller after caller, can beat the same theme to death, 24/7, for one solid week, maybe even two?
Host: Next up we have Phil on his cell. Phil, what’s up?
Phil: Ryan Howard … man, I don’t know, I’m just so disgusted right now … he just strikes out way too much for someone hitting in the four hole. Do you agree?
Host: Absolutely right!! The man has got to put the ball in play!!
This is sorted out for 10 minutes. Then it’s on to the next caller.
Host: James from Cherry Hill, how are you on this fine night?
James: Hey, love your show. I wanted to talk about Ryan Howard. Is this guy ever going to get a hit when it counts?
This is basically sorted out for 10 more minutes the way it was sorted out 10 minutes earlier. Then it’s on to the next call. God, don’t let it be about Ryan Howard. Or that Phils manager Charlie Manuel suddenly can’t manage. Or that the Eagles need to dump coach Andy Reid. Or that Andy Reid’s wife needs to dump Andy Reid.
OK, maybe not that one. It just seems that way.
Let me say at this point that I am as devout a Philly sports fan as anyone, and I can relate to feeling this despair and exasperation, but it was years and years ago that I let it wreck my life. I don’t think I even had underarm hair yet.
Kids spoiled by today’s era of championship Phillies teams don’t know the distress of being 8 years old and dying with crappy Phillies teams. They don’t know the distress of dying with a worse-than-crappy Phillies team in 1961. The Phils lost 23 straight games that July and August, at the time establishing the historic benchmark for ineptitude in major-league baseball. It’s a benchmark that has remained unparalleled in the 50 years since.
Morning after morning I’d walk into the kitchen and ask my mother, “Did they win last night?” She’d say no, they didn’t, and then I’d hysterically flop on the floor and scream, “I can’t believe how much they stink!!” This became a sick and unbearable ritual during that streak, day after day, until my mother finally wised up and made it a point not to be in the house when I woke up.
I relate this childhood meltdown because a thought comes to mind. Thank God there wasn’t sports-talk radio in 1961. Or, for that matter, three years later in ’64, when the Phils blew first place with an epic collapse the last week of the season, a remarkable choke job that, 47 years later, is just an ancient and tired moment kept alive by old-timers who still talk about that awful week like it was the baseball version of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
It was OK when there was just one sports-talk station in town, 610 WIP. Hard to believe that well over two decades have passed since the AM station went sports — the first such format in the nation — and it prospered until two years ago, when the corporate owner of WPEN-FM, at 97.5 on the dial, ditched the music and switched to sports talk as a companion to its own AM sports station, 950 ESPN Philadelphia, which had been the venerable WPEN.
Personally, I think 97.5 The Fanatic has blossomed as the better sports-talk station in this town, even if it’s still battling for the Arbitron ratings to proclaim it. The callers seem more in touch with life — even smarter — and The Fanatic’s morning drive-time hosts are knowledgeable and entertaining and keep the emphasis on the show, a welcome respite from the stale vaudeville act that Angelo Cataldi and his yuck-it-up sidekicks have become at WIP over the years.
Rest assured that WIP is feeling The Fanatic’s heat. And rest assured that WIP honchos, well aware that the difference between AM and FM signals is like the difference between Ty Cobb’s wool knickers and Chase Utley’s polyester pants, knew they had to go FM to level the field.
Which is why rock station WYSP-94 is now, quite sadly, just a memory. WIP’s parent company, CBS Radio, dismantled the FM station and on Sept. 2 debuted SportsRadio 94WIP. Now it simulcasts the sports chatter on both of its stations, banging heads with 97.5 The Fanatic and 950 ESPN Philadelphia to deliver sports talk all over the radio dial.
It’s too much. It’s so unnecessary.
I get it that people need a break from the somber stuff in the world these days. War rages on. Our standard of living is shot. And for the life of me, I still can’t figure out whether Demi and Ashton are still an item. But that’s precisely the point. If the corporate suits are big on talk radio, let’s talk about issues more meaningful than whether Juan Castillo should be stocking shelves at Target instead of running the Eagles’ woeful defense.
I suppose that sports radio is a jubilant wonderland when your teams are basking in glory. Not so when your baseball team has bombed and your football team is handsomely paid but unpredictable, and thus your sports-radio station becomes a vapid wasteland of repetitious boredom and banal chatter of little socially redeeming value.
Forgive me if I never felt moved to call WIP and weigh in on outfielder Hunter Pence’s hernia. I had a more pressing matter. I had to know whether Demi Moore’s a free babe again. ••
John Scanlon is editor of the Northeast Times. He can be reached at email@example.com
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