Phillies strike out on playoffs for all to see
Well, it’s time for post-season baseball again. But a lot of Phillies fans are denied the nail-biting and heart palpitations this year.
At a time of deep recession, and with seniors and families stretching their dollars, many have had to turn off cable. If so, you are out of luck. Major League Baseball has determined again that the National League playoffs are to be on pay TV only. Hopefully some senior and community centers with cable will open to the many neglected fans.
I remember when the Phillies got their new ballpark. They got a special parcel of land, and all the taxpayers shared in the cost of building Citizens Bank Park. We were full partners in this endeavor. Yet, in recent years, do you notice how fewer and fewer games are broadcast on Channel 17? How quickly we are forgotten.
So when our millionaires are playing their millionaires, amid a thousand TV commercials, remember grandpa, the national pastime has become more about the bottom line than the final score.
So a lot of us will “watch” the Phils on the radio. Yet each year it gets a little harder to cheer.
Fire commissioner uses a double standard
Lloyd Ayers, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department, is nothing but a hypocrite. He disciplines Firefighter Jack Slivinski Jr. for posing for a calendar that helps out the widows of fallen firefighters, then shows up on a video in uniform, on duty, promoting the Black and Nobel bookstore.
He states he goes there for all his educational needs. Yeah, right! How much did he pocket for this promotion of an African-American bookstore? He couldn’t spell educational.
A few years ago, Commissioner Ayers suspended me for being out of uniform while attending a funeral for a firefighter. My top button underneath my tie was unbuttoned, I was suspended for 20 hours and transferred to what is known as a shang-hi station. At the time, I had almost 30 years on the fire department.
A few years passed and my grievance hearing for this incident was finally held and guess who showed up completely out of uniform? Yep, good old Lloyd. When he was informed by my lawyer that he was out of uniform, he crouched up, bulging eyes and neck, and said, “I’m the commissioner.”
This commissioner and his sidekick, Deputy Commissioner Ernest Hargett, have done nothing but ruin this once-proud Fire Department. They should be removed from their positions immediately. They couldn’t manage a fruit stand, let alone a major fire department.
Lt. Thomas G. Leonard
Philadelphia Fire Department
• • •
With all the sexually explicit pictures on the market, what was the big deal about Jack Slivinski posing shirtless for a calendar? It was even done to raise money for widows of firefighters killed in the line of duty. Would it have brought so much attention if the picture was inside the calendar? Was the disciplinary action done to bring attention to Fire Commissioner Ayers?
It is sad to realize the outcome for Jack Slivinski, his family and friends. Maybe there has been a lesson learned.
There’s no free ambulance ride
A few weeks ago, I read about a Korean woman who got a bill for over $1,000 for ambulance service. Why is it so high?
My sister got one too, since she got sick and was taken to the hospital, and she got a bill for $1,050 (her insurance only covered part of it). For what? For traveling one mile? The other ambulance service took my sister to another hospital and they only charged my sister $400, yet they went more than eight miles. The difference is $650. Why do they charge so much money, and who gets the cut out of it? P.S. It used to be free but not anymore.
Robert F. Schaffer
No flags at school on weekends
This is in response to Anna Gavin’s letter to the editor in the Sept. 22 edition, Where were the flags on the 9/11 anniversary?
All public schools on weekends are not supposed to fly their flags, as that is not appropriate.
In addition, Ms. Gavin, what you do not know is that on Monday, Sept. 12, at about 8:30, the principal, Mrs. Velazquez, and I led a small ceremony outside where a few words were said. I played Taps and a flag was presented to our school police officer (a former Philly cop).
The next day, a man came up to Mrs. Velazquez and said how touched he was by our simple ceremony. The man was and always will be a Marine.
Bustleton resident and music teacher at William Loesche Elementary School
Youth can bring real change with their vote
There are more than 27 million American men and women ages 18 to 24 with a Facebook account. That’s 27 million voices that share their insights and opinions on the Web.
If our youth are willing to display their opinion on a social networking site, imagine the impact if they brought their voice to the voting booth. Unfortunately, we cannot simply “like” a candidate. We have to cast a vote.
Only 22 percent — or 10.8 million — of American voters ages 18 to 24 went to the polls during the 2006 congressional election. The 2008 presidential election saw a heartening increase: 48 percent of voters in that same age bracket voted. Just two years later, in 2010, that number dipped back down again.
This year may not be an election year for president, Congress or the state legislature, but it’s an important election cycle for our city. Philadelphians will cast their votes for mayor, City Council, city commissioners, sheriff, register of wills and Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, Common Pleas Court, Municipal Court and Traffic Court judges.
Unfortunately, a major voter turnout doesn’t look very likely. Only 29 percent of all eligible voters cast their ballots in Philadelphia during the 2007 municipal election. Our city can and should do better.
Some of our brightest, strong-willed and most enthusiastic citizens are our young adults. They bring vibrancy to our city. They frequent our restaurants and museums. They open businesses and work hard in our universities. They also pay their share of taxes. Their voice in choosing our elected leaders is important.
Citizens must register by Tuesday, Oct. 11 to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 general election. I invite everyone to register. The ability to vote is a powerful American right. After all, a Facebook status is fleeting; a vote can have a lasting impact.
State Sen. Shirley Kitchen
Clean City Council’s clock in November
Philadelphia’s chief integrity officer, Joan Markman, just released a scathing report regarding the behind-the-scenes politicking engaged in over the fate of Martin Luther King High School.
State Rep. Dwight Evans, School Reform Commission chairman Robert Archie and Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman all locked horns in private over the future of MLK, and all had vested interests in the outcome.
Well, Archie and Ackerman are gone and the school is now a Promise Academy. However, the school district is $630 million in the red and members of City Council are responding negatively to the Markman report.
Most are offended by the release of the report, and most are shrugging off the MLK battle in the mud as Philly politics as usual.
Councilwomen Jannie Blackwell and Marian Tasco — a DROP participant — offer praise to Evans while Councilman James Kenney chooses to attack Mayor Michael Nutter over the report’s release. Councilman Frank Rizzo — another DROP participant — wants all of the report’s interviewees identified.
Only Councilman William Greenlee serves up a faint-hearted condemnation of the school district’s brawl in the mud while Zack Stalberg of the Committee of 70 is alone in expressing outrage over the response of City Council — which brings us to the point of this letter.
City Hall is broke. Property taxes have risen almost 15 percent over the last two years, although over 110,000 property owners haven’t paid taxes in years and new assessments are coming. Only the Northwest, the Northeast, and Center City are footing the city’s bills, with areas like Fairhill representing an almost 40 percent delinquent property tax rate. And City Council does nada.
Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey have clamped down on the flash mobs, but on Sept. 11, 2011, six individuals were shot to death in our city.
The schools are a mess and in dire need of more Glen Mills-type entities than Promise Academies. And the current Philadelphia Federation of Teachers contract concludes on June 30. Any hope for those teaching in this city? Oh, Ackerman is richer by $905,000, and Archie just did a bail on the SRC. Any wonder that sale signs are going up all over?
As evidenced by City Council’s response to the MLK report, what we have before us is simply business as usual in this city.
My response: Let’s clean house downtown, starting with Tasco and her DROP monies. Is Greenlee a keeper or a goner? Likewise Councilman Bill Green with his mayoral ambitions? What about Council members Wilson Goode, another son of a failed mayor, and Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Brian O’Neill? And those vying for public office? David Oh and Al Taubenberger?
We need fresh faces and fresh thinking in City Hall, more members of the political opposition and fewer political lifers. Nutter needs individuals who will serve the city, not their political backers. We need folks who will go after our property-tax deadbeats and our criminal underclass.
We need more makers and fewer takers and fakers!
Philly is headed in the direction of another Detroit — a non-viable, parochial entity of lost souls, criminals, deadbeats and political opportunists.
But we go to the polls in just over a month. It could be a last chance for Philly.
President Obama is a fraud
Regarding your Sept. 22 editorial, Sour grapes, about the Electoral College: No, it is not sour grapes regarding John McCain’s loss to Barack Obama. It is a sour taste in the mouth with disgust. This man was not vetted as any other candidate was. His mentors, Jeremiah Wright and Frank Marshall Davis, alone should have been a danger sign. He himself said he hung out with Marxists and radicals. He is a dangerous man, more than you can imagine.
He is a student of Saul Alinsky and Cloward and Piven. Their agenda is his agenda. Where are his school records? Why are millions of dollars being spent to keep them hidden? Where is anyone that remembers him from his school days? His wedding? Any part of his life before he was thrust on the scene by Bill Ayers and other radicals?
You cannot answer these questions because you don’t want to face the truth. The man is a fraud. A sham. An incompetent leftist that wants to transform America. What, into Europe? That is his agenda.
The Tea Party will not allow America to be destroyed. Insult us and demonize us all you want. It only proves how terrified of us you truly are.
• • •
You say the Republicans hope the economy stays in the tank until Election Day 2012.
I disagree completely. Let’s just reverse it. The Republicans are in and beat the Democrats. Two and a half years go by and the economy is still in the tank. It’s nuts to think the Democrats wouldn’t think the same thing. The Electoral College that state Sen. Dominic Pileggi wants to change will be a good thing.
The Pennsylvania change would be a small start, because any time you take the vote out of the hands of the people is very bad. Winner-takes-all is a stupid system, in my view. The other states in the union will start to change later, perhaps. The politicians will always fight this change, because it’s good for “we the people” and it “makes sense.”
Joseph F. Peters Sr.
Too many reasons not to vote for Henon
City Council candidate Bobby Henon says he is against a methadone clinic on Frankford Avenue. He’s in front of every camera and reporter that will listen. If you check the finance report for Mr. Henon, you will see that he has taken contributions from Carl Primavera, the lawyer who represents Healing Way.
If you look at the video of Mr. Henon’s primary debate he states that a second casino should be in Philadelphia since Philadelphia won the bid for two casinos. Is this his way to thank all the unions who have emptied their pockets into his campaign? Will he build it in Northeast Philadelphia? Let’s hope not.
Mr. Henon also states that he will not elect a president for City Council that is taking DROP money. The only one that is left is Marian Tasco. However, the FOP has endorsed her for re-election to City Council. This is the same FOP, with John McNesby as their president, that sold “Get out of jail free courtesy cards” for $1,000 in support of Bobby Henon’s campaign. Bobby took the money. I fully support the FOP but not their president.
So, Henon wants another casino, he takes money from supporters of a methadone clinic but is supposedly against it, and he finds it morally right to take donations from the sale of police courtesy cards.
Bobby Henon is not what we need in City Council if we are going to turn things around. This is his first run for a political office; he is already a typical politician. Think about it.
O’Neill’s comment was offensive
What a shame for the good citizens living in the 56th Ward. The remapping of City Council districts would put the 56th Ward within Brian O’Neill’s 10th district. And his response was “It’s not what I would have wanted, but I can certainly live with it.” What an inappropriate comment. It’s offensive!
And that is the difference between him and Bill Rubin. It takes a little more than being an attorney to deal with people, and I’m not talking about a small circle of acquaintances. It takes the ability to relate to the folks in the community. There’s a difference between being in the community and being “part” of the community. Bill Rubin is an integral part of our community who can relate to all people, not just a few he chooses.
He takes the time to listen and respond. I don’t think we’d hear Bill Rubin making comments such as, “It was done to me, not for me” with regards to redistricting. Quite the contrary, Bill Rubin would welcome the opportunity without feeling he was wronged. That kind of thought wouldn’t even be on his radar.
Besides, being a councilman is what you can do for the community rather than what you were not given, or should I say given and don’t really want.
With these kinds of responses and as a community, we are in real need for a change. And the change begins with Bill Rubin.
Timing of debate insensitive to Jews
It is sad that there will be only one mayoral debate this fall, a measly 30 minutes. But, to make matters worse, it is scheduled for this Friday evening, Oct. 7, which coincides with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Observant Jews will be fasting and praying for forgiveness on this High Holy Day and will be unable to view this important event.
It is sad that candidates Michael Nutter and Karen Brown are either oblivious or insensitive to this holiday observance. I hope they will reconsider and reschedule.
If not, I will unfortunately have to forego voting for either candidate, but will vote in City Council, commissioner and other contests in November.
While American soldiers fight for freedom, democracy and open debate overseas, we sometimes ignore these very principles in Philadelphia.
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