Letters to the editor September 22, 2011 edition

Put drug clin­ic next to Schwartz’s of­fice

Some­times the solu­tion to a di­lemma is so simple it evades us. Why not put the pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic in the cur­rently de­funct, presently for-rent pret­zel bakery ad­ja­cent to the neigh­bor­hood of­fice of Frank­ford Av­en­ue’s own mem­ber of Con­gress, Allyson Y. Schwartz?

Nev­er one to res­ist jump­ing on a mov­ing band­wag­on, our hon­or­able mem­ber of Con­gress — though I’m sure she kicks her­self for not liv­ing among us — will be in a per­fect po­s­i­tion to keep an eye on things for the com­munity her staff so re­lent­lessly takes every op­por­tun­ity to re­mind us she rep­res­ents.

Madam Con­gress­wo­man might even dis­cov­er why a busi­ness­man buy­ing gold, dia­monds, plat­in­um, sil­ver coins and bul­lion would be in­ter­ested in con­cen­trat­ing 200 heroin ad­dicts per day along that com­munity’s main thor­ough­fare.

Fa­gin — if you re­mem­ber Oliv­er Twist — op­er­ated a thieves’ academy to school young pick­pock­ets.

Signs out­side Alan Yan­ovsky’s Sansom Street shop in far-off Cen­ter City an­nounce cash paid for the very items drug ad­dicts steal to sup­port their habits. One won­ders: Will SEPTA’s handy Route 66 be­come the means to haul fresh loot from here to there? Curi­ouser and curi­ouser.

Jerry Briggs


The par­al­lels of Fumo and Ack­er­man

While read­ing about how fed­er­al pro­sec­utors are ap­peal­ing Judge Ron­ald Buck­wal­ter’s sen­ten­cing of former state Sen. Vin­cent Fumo as be­ing too light, I no­ticed a few note­worthy par­al­lels with the Ar­lene Ack­er­man saga.

One pro­sec­utor said, “rather than work­ing hard, Fumo spent months away from work.” Didn’t Ack­er­man take a two-month “va­ca­tion” this sum­mer, leav­ing the school dis­trict in ut­ter tur­moil?

And in their re­cent opin­ion, U.S. Court of Ap­peals Judges Ju­lio Fuentes and Le­onard Garth said, “Evid­ence of Fumo’s in­tent to di­vert funds from a non-profit char­ity for per­son­al use was over­whelm­ing.”

Does that sound any­thing like the meth­od that was used to fun­nel “dona­tions” to Ack­er­man’s exit fund be­fore donors backed out? Iron­ic­ally, the name of the “char­ity” is “Chil­dren First Fund.”

Judge Fuentes ad­ded that the jury found that Fumo used his Sen­ate staff as per­son­al ser­vants, us­ing one as his “driver.” Only one? Ack­er­man had two. Both were dis­trict-paid school bus drivers, wait­ing on her beck and call. Amus­ing com­par­is­ons?

Ex­tremely amus­ing, be­cause one is in fed­er­al pris­on, with pro­sec­utors Beav­is and Butthead ask­ing the court to give him more time, and the oth­er is be­ing paid close to $1 mil­lion in tax­pay­er money to leave the city.

Jim O’Keefe

Castor Gar­dens

What’s in a name? Don’t ask Perzel

Ex-state House Speak­er Emer­it­us John Perzel pleaded guilty in a Dauph­in County court. Boy, was I shocked!

Pre­vi­ously, his wife’s broth­er (Perzel’s broth­er-in-law) pleaded guilty. Sub­sequently, his wife’s neph­ew also pleaded guilty. John, don’t look now but your in-laws are out­laws.

Make sure that they give you a cell that jus­ti­fies your stature. You might luck out and get that state pris­on maybe run by the com­pany where you had stock op­tions and were on its board of dir­ect­ors (Geo Inc).

Now, as a felon, does your name have to be re­moved from all those build­ings named for you with tax­pay­er or non-profit dol­lars?

May­er Krain

Mod­ena Park

Athe­ist is OK with cross at WTC

As read­ers of some of my let­ters to the North­east Times know or might guess, I am an athe­ist, and some­what of an act­iv­ist in that re­gard.

A group called Amer­ic­an Athe­ists has filed suit to block the dis­play, at the Na­tion­al Septem­ber 11 Me­mori­al and Mu­seum in New York, of the cross-shaped steel beams found in the rubble of the World Trade Cen­ter.

Read­ers of this news­pa­per should know that this group doesn’t speak for all athe­ists and they cer­tainly don’t speak for me. 

The World Trade Cen­ter cross has tre­mend­ous his­tor­ic­al sig­ni­fic­ance apart from its re­li­gious sig­ni­fic­ance, and it is fit­ting and prop­er that it be dis­played at the me­mori­al.

Howard J. Wilk


You can’t buy a Su­per Bowl

Once again, the Eagles have put all their eggs in one bas­ket and gave a ri­dicu­lous salary to Mi­chael Vick. 

Didn’t any of the people who came up with the $100 mil­lion watch the Pitt­s­burgh game? They have tried giv­ing these out­rageous con­tracts to Ran­dall Cun­ning­ham and Donovan McNabb and they must feel that any­one mak­ing that kind of money must be a su­per­star.

Mi­chael Vick and De­Sean Jack­son have a style that in­vites in­jury, and the ex­perts poin­ted out they would prob­ably be hurt some­time dur­ing the sea­son.

I’ve been a fan for a lot of years and hope I’m wrong, but this dream team looks like a 10-6 sea­son, and Vick can cry all the way to the bank!

Jim Laverty


Ban­dit signs are a blight on Phil­adelphia

The pro­lif­er­a­tion of “ban­dit signs” re­cently re­ceived air­time on a loc­al TV news sta­tion, which re­por­ted the ef­forts of Chris­toph­er Saw­yer, of Kens­ing­ton, to re­move the signs along the streets.

Mr. Saw­yer is not alone in his ef­fort to rid the city of these il­leg­al signs and the blight it brings to our city.

There are sev­er­al groups of ded­ic­ated cit­izens called “sign sharks” who are very vi­gil­ant at re­mov­ing these signs from the streets around their neigh­bor­hoods. People see these signs and are puzzled as to why the city or state does not clean up this trash at­tached to the poles and in the grass traffic is­lands along our high­ways.

By now we all know that the city and state are not go­ing to help be­cause of the lack of funds and in­terest in low-pri­or­ity, qual­ity-of-life is­sues, but this is an elec­tion year. Let us put pres­sure on the cur­rent Coun­cil mem­bers and Coun­cil can­did­ates to en­force the laws.

If the ex­ist­ing laws are en­forced, the pro­gram may pay for it­self. If the cur­rent laws are not ad­equate, then let us ad­opt a law sim­il­ar to one passed by the city of New Or­leans (the dirti­est city in the na­tion; Phil­adelphia be­ing No. 2, pun in­ten­ded).

The signs are a dis­trac­tion to drivers, a trip­ping haz­ard where ped­es­tri­ans can be im­paled by the steel rods, il­leg­al and un­sightly, and many of the ad­vert­isers are from out­side of Phil­adelphia. The signs are a blight des­troy­ing our city and dirty­ing our roads. Let us fine them heav­ily, em­power the cit­izens to file com­plaints, re­voke their busi­ness li­cense, if they have one, from do­ing any work in Phil­adelphia or in the Com­mon­wealth of Pennsylvania.

This is not only a city prob­lem; they are crop­ping up all around Pennsylvania. Those who have driv­en around our beau­ti­ful state, along scen­ic Grand Army of the Re­pub­lic High­way (Route 6) in the north, Lin­coln High­way (Route 30) in the south through Gettys­burg and all of the small towns in-between can at­test to the ban­dit signs that are lit­ter­ing our roads.

Maybe the at­tor­ney gen­er­al should in­vest­ig­ate these ad­vert­isers, be­cause some may be con artists and des­per­ate, un­in­formed people will be caught in these too-good-to-be-true schemes.

While we are wait­ing for our of­fi­cials to en­force the law, we the people must join forces, re­move these signs, and im­prove our qual­ity of life. 

James Stew­art


Where were the flags on the 9/11 an­niversary?

The 10th an­niversary of the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks was very mov­ing. My fam­ily and I have not for­got­ten the sad­ness and hor­ror of 9/11. Since that day many more brave people have giv­en the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in the war on ter­ror.

Why then, did I not see Amer­ic­an flags on the an­niversary? I live in Somer­ton and am ashamed at how few people took the time to fly their flags on that day. In the days fol­low­ing the at­tack on the World Trade Cen­ter, every­one was fly­ing their Amer­ic­an flags, so I know that people have them.

It is dis­grace­ful that we Amer­ic­ans take for gran­ted the free­dom af­forded us by oth­er people’s sac­ri­fices. It is im­possible for me to be­lieve that we can­not even take the time to show our sup­port by fly­ing our flags.

I was also dis­mayed by the lack of Amer­ic­an flags fly­ing at busi­nesses in our area. In all of the busi­nesses from Kelvin Av­en­ue to By­berry Road on Bustleton Av­en­ue, the only busi­ness fly­ing a flag was the Home De­pot, and this flag was at half-staff. Thank you, Home De­pot. You have my busi­ness.

Where were the flags on the at­tor­neys’ of­fices, the vari­ous drug store chains, the in­sur­ance agen­cies, the gas sta­tions, Wawa, Loes­che pub­lic school? Shame­ful, really shame­ful!

I guess it takes the deaths of thou­sands of people for Amer­ic­ans to show their pat­ri­ot­ic pride. How very sad.

Anna Garvin

Mu­seum of ar­ti­facts is ri­dicu­lous

Re­gard­ing the story in the Sept. 8 edi­tion, Rem­nants of a cata­strophe, I am ap­palled there is a mu­seum dis­play­ing items des­troyed in the 9/11 at­tacks. This is no way to re­mem­ber the lives lost on that day and the ser­vice people we lost after the at­tacks.

This is so ri­dicu­lous, and if any­thing, there should be a mu­seum with pic­tures and a story of each in­di­vidu­al, not a re­mind­er of the de­struc­tion.

We all re­mem­ber that day and will nev­er for­get, and what we don’t know is who each per­son was that died that day.

I hope you pub­lish this com­ment be­cause I know I am not the only one un­com­fort­able with this dis­play of at­ro­cit­ies.

Tom Naylor 

Mor­rell Park

Give the Tea Party some sweet talk

As a mem­ber of the North­east Phil­adelphia Tea Party, I am of­fen­ded by your car­toon in last week’s edi­tion. I see that you, like the rest of the me­dia, have taken a stance against the Tea Party. The de­bate with Wolf Blitzer was very much the op­pos­ite of how you have por­trayed it.

Try look­ing at the lib­er­als and Demo­crats if you want to por­tray vi­ol­ence.

In­stead of mock­ing us, you should thank your lucky stars for us. Oth­er­wise this ad­min­is­tra­tion would be far more so­cial­ist than it already is.  You seem to have a lib­er­al mind­set. No sur­prise there. I guess you are an Al­in­sky­ite too, huh?

Pat Dougherty


Are Cath­ol­ic schools Cath­ol­ic any­more?

Read­ing the story in the Sept. 1 IN­sider sec­tion (His job is fight­ing hate) gave some in­sight as to what is at the root of why many Cath­ol­ic schools are strug­gling.

Carl Pearlson, a Jew­ish law­yer and former re­gion­al board mem­ber of the Anti-De­fam­a­tion League, ex­plains in the June 4, 2001 edi­tion of Jew­ish World Re­view why he left the ADL after 25 years: “Fight­ing hate” be­came a eu­phem­ism for an at­tack on sexu­al mor­al­ity, the tra­di­tion­al fam­ily, and the Jew­ish view that chil­dren de­serve a lov­ing fath­er and moth­er, not two fath­ers or two moth­ers. It is only through the per­verse no­tion of ‘tol­er­ance’ that sup­port for tra­di­tion­al teach­ing about the fam­ily is in­tim­id­ated and con­demned.”

It is this same ADL, the art­icle in­forms us, that is spon­sor­ing pro­grams in the Phil­adelphia pub­lic schools and in the Cath­ol­ic school sys­tem teach­ing Cath­ol­ics how to deal with “hate” and “di­versity.”

The con­sequences are ob­vi­ous. Cath­ol­ics fig­ure if they want their kids to be lib­er­al they can learn this kind of stuff for free in the pub­lic schools. 

Oth­er par­ents who want their chil­dren to ad­here to the true tra­di­tion­al teach­ings of the Cath­ol­ic church will choose to home-school, and en­roll­ment in the Cath­ol­ic schools will con­tin­ue to de­cline.

Jack Bil­bee

Fox Chase

Cath­ol­ic schools are bet­ter? Hog­wash!

Re­gard­ing the let­ter Cath­ol­ic or pub­lic school? No con­test in the Sept. 8 edi­tion: In­sinu­at­ing one can­not ob­tain a good edu­ca­tion at a pub­lic school is hog­wash.

I’m a firm be­liev­er that it’s up to the in­di­vidu­al, peri­od, re­gard­less of what type of in­sti­tu­tion you learn at. No-brain­er should save his money for a rainy day.

Joseph H. Snyder

Up­per Holmes­burg

Speak your mind  …

Let­ters to the ed­it­or 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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