Letters to the editor October 13, 2011 edition

Know people be­fore you con­demn them

This is in re­sponse to the let­ter from Jerry Foglia Sr. pub­lished in the Sept. 29 is­sue of the North­east Times en­titled I have a dream.

Al­though I am on dis­ab­il­ity, I work as many hours as I am able to. I’m also rais­ing two grand­chil­dren, I’m act­ive in my church, own my own home, pay my taxes and keep my home and yard clean and well-main­tained. And I have had AIDS for more than sev­en years. If you met me, you would nev­er know that un­less I told you. Of course, I wouldn’t tell a nar­row-minded big­ot like you, any­way.

There are many oth­er people liv­ing with AIDS just like me, so maybe you should take time to learn about the people you are con­demning.

Theresa Daugh­erty


No green light un­til you’re 18

We have to raise the min­im­um driv­ing age to 18, raise the stand­ards and raise the price. With the ad­di­tion­al fund­ing they could have a driv­ing test longer than the 10 minutes that it now takes, and really test the abil­ity of the ap­plic­ants.

James O’Keefe

Castor Gar­dens

Al Tauben­ber­ger is a self­less lead­er

On Sept. 22, I of­fi­cially en­dorsed my long­time friend, Al Tauben­ber­ger, for City Coun­cil at-large. As faith­ful read­ers of the North­east Times know, Al is pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce. He has been work­ing every day of his life pro­tect­ing jobs and pro­mot­ing small busi­nesses throughout this re­gion.

Could there be a more pivotal time in this city’s mod­ern his­tory to elect a per­son with this kind of ex­per­i­ence to City Coun­cil?

In my years as city con­trol­ler, I had the op­por­tun­ity to work closely with Al on a num­ber of pro­jects. As I said pub­licly at the en­dorse­ment event, Al nev­er once called and asked me for something for him­self. He of­ten called on be­half of oth­er people and loc­al busi­nesses. This is the kind of self­less lead­er­ship this city des­per­ately needs.

Any­one who knows me knows how much I love the city of Phil­adelphia. As a kid grow­ing up in Ox­ford Circle, I fell in love with this city. Today, I am afraid for our fu­ture. There are many forces work­ing against us — some of which are bey­ond our con­trol — but the time is now to stand up and fight for the fu­ture.

Al Tauben­ber­ger is a lead­er, and he’ll fight for you.  That’s why I am en­dors­ing him for City Coun­cil at-large.

Jonath­an A. Saidel

Linger­ing ques­tions about Lloyd Ay­ers

I just fin­ished read­ing let­ters from Lt. Thomas Le­onard and Mar­ie Pat­ton in last week’s North­east Times (Fire com­mis­sion­er uses a double stand­ard). The sub­ject was Fire Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers dis­cip­lin­ing his men, such as Fire­fight­er Jack Sliv­in­ski Jr., for pos­ing on a cal­en­dar ex­pos­ing his manly chest; pro­ceeds from the cal­en­dar help wid­ows of fallen fire­fight­ers. He didn’t men­tion that Mr. Sliv­in­ski be­came so up­set that he com­mit­ted sui­cide. 

The lieu­ten­ant went on to men­tion a uni­form prob­lem he had with the com­mis­sion­er. He had one of his but­tons un­buttoned. Shame.

Ms. Pat­ton wondered if the pic­ture would have brought so much at­ten­tion if it were in­side the cal­en­dar. I was sur­prised no one asked what would have been my ques­tion: Would Fire Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers dis­cip­line his fire­fight­ers who are Afric­an-Amer­ic­an? I only bring this up be­cause it seems to me that this is the cri­terion when things are re­versed. 

Fred Staf­fieri


A sea of garbage at the Navy de­pot

Have you re­cently driv­en down Tabor Av­en­ue in Lawndale past the Navy de­pot? On a reg­u­lar basis there is garbage and debris scattered all over the place on the de­pot side of the street.

The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment should set a good ex­ample and not overtly ig­nore the city’s trash reg­u­la­tions.

City gov­ern­ment should re­quire all fed­er­al and state fa­cil­it­ies that op­er­ate with­in the bound­ar­ies of Phil­adelphia to in­stall trash con­tain­ers and man­age the garbage cleanup along­side their prop­er­ties or suf­fer the con­sequences of severe fines.

If the city can hire “trash po­lice” to fine middle-class Amer­ic­ans be­cause a can of soda is in the wrong con­tain­er, city of­fi­cials should ag­gress­ively pur­sue fines against Big Broth­er-state and fed­er­al agen­cies that are egre­giously ab­us­ing the city’s clean-and-green policies set forth by the may­or and City Coun­cil.

Jason Kaye


It’s a per­fect match: Light the Night for life

I’m a 28-year-old fe­male. I come from a fam­ily of five. I have one broth­er and one sis­ter. My par­ents have been mar­ried for 28 years. I went to St. Timothy’s and St. Hubert’s. After high school I de­cided to be­come a nurse. I stud­ied at CCP, and then was ac­cep­ted in­to Roxbor­ough Me­mori­al Hos­pit­al School of Nurs­ing. I star­ted out there in 2010 as a hope­ful stu­dent.

I loved work­ing with pa­tients and learn­ing about dis­eases and treat­ment. We went on break that May, and I was en­joy­ing a beau­ti­ful sum­mer. I was full of en­ergy and life, but to my sur­prise my body wasn’t so healthy. It star­ted with bleed­ing gums. No big deal, or so I thought.

I figured it was nor­mal but just brushed it off to think­ing maybe I was just brush­ing too hard. Weeks later, my throat star­ted to be­come sore, then pro­gressed to what I thought was hor­rible strep throat.

I called my doc­tor and got an an­ti­bi­ot­ic. After tak­ing a full course with ab­so­lutely no re­lief, I got an­oth­er an­ti­bi­ot­ic. I told my doc­tor something wasn’t right. The re­sponse was, “Just let the medi­cine work.”

I went to sleep that night but couldn’t sleep. I knew in my gut that something was wrong. It was a Wed­nes­day morn­ing at 4 o’clock and I got my­self in­to the car and drove to Naz­areth Hos­pit­al’s ER.

First I saw the ER doc­tor, who said I had an abs­cess on my throat. The next doc­tor came in and said I would need sur­gery to re­move an abs­cess, fol­lowed by the E-N-T doc­tor, who said there was no abs­cess. Next the hem­at­o­logy doc came in ask­ing how long I’d been an­em­ic. An­em­ic? I told him I’m not an­em­ic. He replied that I was very an­em­ic.

At this point I’m still calm, not know­ing what the next doc­tor would say. I was sit­ting in bed play­ing cards with a close friend when a doc­tor from Thomas Jef­fer­son Uni­versity came in and handed me his card. On the card read hem­at­o­logy/on­co­logy. He began talk­ing about leuk­em­ic cells.

I don’t re­mem­ber ex­actly what he was say­ing but I do re­mem­ber say­ing, “Are you telling me I have leuk­emia”? The an­swer was “there is a high prob­ab­il­ity.’

My heart rate went from 70 to 170. The next day I was trans­ferred to Thomas Jef­fer­son, where the dia­gnos­is was made. It was acute my­el­oid leuk­emia, a can­cer that af­fects my bone mar­row and the cells it pro­duces.

Five days later I was hooked up to chemo­ther­apy and shav­ing my head. In or­der to walk to the bath­room or get a shower I needed my mom to hold me up. I was a very sick girl. I shivered in bed with a fever of 105.5. That hos­pit­al stay las­ted 40 days. It was fol­lowed by more hos­pit­al stays and chemo. My doc­tor sug­ges­ted a stem cell trans­plant.

This de­cision would be the hard­est de­cision I have ever made. Both my sis­ter and broth­er were tested to see if they could be po­ten­tial matches for me. If not, I would have to go on the donor re­gistry. My sis­ter was a 100 per­cent match. The chances were only 25 per­cent.

This was what made up my mind to go to trans­plant — an ex­tremely high-risk pro­ced­ure, but best chance for a cure. As a donor, my sis­ter was simply hooked up to a ma­chine through an IV that cir­cu­lated her blood, tak­ing out the stem cells and put­ting back what it didn’t need. Then, after I re­ceived chemo and ra­di­ation, her stem cells were de­livered to me and dripped in­to my veins through IV.

Nine months later, I’m a healthy wo­man. I would like to get the word out about how easy it is to be­come a donor. There are many people who die from this dis­ease be­cause they can­not find a match.

The Leuk­emia and Lymph­oma So­ci­ety will spon­sor its an­nu­al fund-rais­ing walk called Light the Night on Sat­urday, Oct. 22 be­gin­ning at the Art Mu­seum. I’m look­ing for people to donate or even to just walk with us.

I also want to thank the won­der­ful doc­tors at Jef­fer­son — Mark Weiss,    Neal Flo­men­berg and Lori Grosso —  for sav­ing my life.

Amy Scol­lon


Tea party mem­bers are from out­er space

Re­gard­ing the let­ter in last week’s North­east Times en­titled Pres­id­ent Obama is a fraud:

Yo, Pat Dougherty — will you Tea Party people please make up your mind about who you are? I keep hear­ing that the Tea Party is made up of de­cent, av­er­age Amer­ic­ans who love their coun­try and wouldn’t dream of be­ing nasty to those who dis­agree with what they are try­ing to do.

Now I read your let­ter, which is filled with dis­tor­tions and ugly lies about our pres­id­ent He’s what? A fraud….sham….an in­com­pet­ent who wants to trash Amer­ica? You even ques­tion his wed­ding!

We Demo­crats are ter­ri­fied of you? You’ve got to be kid­ding. How can we be scared of people who are liv­ing on an­oth­er plan­et?

Ed­ward Huber


• • •

Pat Dougherty of May­fair asks, “Where is any­one that re­mem­bers him from his school days?”

On the In­ter­net, go to www.snopes.com/polit­ics/obama/columbia.asp and links therein can be found thor­ough doc­u­ment­a­tion of Obama’s at­tend­ance at Columbia Uni­versity.

Howard J. Wilk


Tea parti­ers are hurt­ing Amer­ica

Isn’t it amaz­ing how much people don’t want to ad­mit the truth? Un­less you have had your head bur­ied in the sand for the last nine months, it’s pain­fully ob­vi­ous that one party is do­ing everything it can to make our coun­try fail at a time when we need to get us out of the fix they put us in over eight years.

As George Bush put us tril­lions of dol­lars in debt by spend­ing money over­seas, Obama is try­ing to spend money here to help our own people sur­vive. Un­less he gets a pair and starts fight­ing these people, noth­ing is go­ing to hap­pen. He must use his pres­id­en­tial powers and do what needs to be done.

If these tea parti­ers were really for Amer­ica they would try and help the coun­try rather than hurt it. Every year the rich are get­ting rich­er and the poor are just fight­ing to put food on the table. There has to be a more even play­ing field.

Rus Slaw­ter


Let teach­ers do what they do best

What I don’t un­der­stand is how, as a coun­try, did we get here? At 59 years old, my gen­er­a­tion and the gen­er­a­tions be­fore me have ba­sic­ally been taught the uni­ver­sal read­ing, writ­ing and arith­met­ic. Amaz­ingly, that base was enough to put us on the moon, gave us the many break­throughs in medi­cine and af­fords us the bril­liant tech­no­logy that we all take for gran­ted today.

I was not fed my meals in school; that was my par­ents’ re­spons­ib­il­ity, and yes, there were con­sequences for bad be­ha­vi­or not only in school but at home.

What a dif­fer­ent pic­ture we have today when seem­ingly the only people held re­spons­ible for our fail­ing school sys­tem are our teach­ers! The stu­dents, par­ents and of course our es­teemed school dis­trict/su­per­in­tend­ent(s) seem to be coated in Te­flon; no amount of fail­ure or graft seems to stick to them.

Years past we ac­tu­ally had to learn the work or we were held back. The stu­dents today are not taught vocab­u­lary, spelling, so­cial stud­ies or any oth­er sub­jects not as­sessed on the count­less gov­ern­ment­al-fun­ded gen­er­ated tests.

I think we should stop all the bur­eau­crat­ic money-grub­bing, pa­per-shuff­ling non­sense and get back to the job of ac­tu­ally let­ting the teach­ers do their jobs and TEACH our chil­dren. Then, just maybe, we will be able to look to the fu­ture and see where we as a coun­try are go­ing.

Kath­leen Gillespie

Mod­ena Park

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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