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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
• • •
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.
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.
Speak your mind …
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