Fly the flag to remember 9/11
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the morning of 9/11/01? Of course you do. Everyone who was alive then remembers. And do you remember how many flags we saw flying on Sept. 12 and beyond?
Honor our heroes. Please memorialize the 10th anniversary of that day by flying a flag from your window or on your lawn this weekend.
An act of kindness on the beach
After falling asleep for a few moments on a beach in Brigantine, I awoke to see one of my friends, Bill Brown, walking on the beach toward a young blind girl who was using a broom handle as a guidance cane.
He led her to the water’s edge and helped her sit down. He took her in the water, gave her a drink and asked the lifeguards if he could leave her bag with them. The ironic part of the story is there were about 500 people on the beach that day, but no one noticed the struggle of this blind girl.
Bill came to her rescue and when she had enough beach, he took her hand and walked her home.
We need more people like Bill in this world.
Catholic or public school? No contest
It’s Catholic high school (and grade school) tuition time, or time for all retired Catholics to ante up.
North Catholic and Cardinal Dougherty have closed but Father Judge and Archbishop Ryan have extra capacity. Let’s all ante up and write them or Little Flower a check to help them keep the classrooms full. The alternative is a Philadelphia public high school. It’s a no-brainer!
Joseph J. Murray
It’s time to pick a kitty cat
This Friday to Sunday, Sept 9 to 11, Forgotten Cats will have its Second Chance For Love, in the adoption center of the PetSmart store 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!
Paul Kauffman will be missed by many
I sadly learned via last week’s edition of the Northeast Times of the sudden passing on Aug. 22 of community activist Paul Kauffman, who was a tireless leader in the betterment of his Upper Holmesburg neighborhood.
I had the privilege of knowing Paul through his membership in the 8th Police District Advisory Council, where he represented the Upper Holmesburg Civic Association, and by personally working with him in the clearing of leaves and debris from the Trumbette Playground on various occasions.
His energy and determination were infectious to those of us who worked with him, and despite city budgetary cuts and negative odds, I was always amazed at his networking sources to “get the job done.”
My condolences to his family, who lost a wonderful husband and father, to the UHCA, which lost a long and faithful member, and to Paul’s community, which lost a devoted resident and volunteer who REALLY cared about his neighborhood and those who lived there!
Nice job on the storm prep, Mayor
Thank you, Mayor Nutter and all the people who worked with you and cooperated with you for a job well done.
The hurricane, which started out as a major disaster, was handled in every detail, saving many lives. We need you to continue to lead us as our next mayor.
Ode to Irene
Words to be sung to the music of Goodnight, Irene:
Irene, goodbye, Irene
I’ll see you in my dreams
Last Saturday night
You came blowing
Trying to tear up the town
Now you and your water have parted
Now I can stroll downtown
Oh, Irene, goodbye, Irene
Now I’m happy to see you’ve gone
Tribute to the 9/11 heroes, Fire Department of New York
I wrote this poem 10 years ago, just after 9/11. I was living in Florida at the time. Having served in the Philadelphia Fire Department, I couldn’t fathom 343 of my brothers dying in one incident. I still can’t! So, like many others I was inspired to write down my feelings:
They were going about their business in their homes away from home
Laughing and kidding each other, truly something to behold
They may have been drinking a cup of coffee or mopping up the floor
Maybe going over their equipment or scanning last night’s box scores
They all loved the camaraderie, it was what united them
So to fight the smoke and fire, then return and relive it again
It’s incredibly amazing the risks that they imposed
Upon themselves while fighting with a ladder and a hose
Each job that they encountered, “was different,” they would say
That was partly the reason why they loved their work each day
A feeling of excitement filled them when a comrade yelled, “Another run”
Adrenalin began flowing as the siren blared its song
Sometimes it was an auto, a trash fire or false alarm
Or maybe a “pot of meat” left on the stove too long
But they knew each time they went out the door away from their second home
The big one could be just around the corner to challenge their every bone
We can label them heroes, but they were only flesh and blood
They didn’t do it for the money, it was their labor of love
Don’t try to understand them ’cause they were not quite sure
What drove them and pushed them from floor to smoky floor
And I’m sure they could never have envisioned what greeted them that day
It had to have been hell’s decision to put them in harm’s way
And I know for certain if they were here, but sadly they are gone
They would say, “No need to call us heroes, we were only doing our job.”
Bill Rubin says no to Tasco
Al Taubenberger’s remarks last week (Keep the pressure on the DROP sham) helped to solidify their posture on not “endorsing any candidate who supports Tasco.”
A recent Times editorial was adamant in its reprimand! Council candidates Joe McColgan and Bill Rubin join Al in ostracizing the DROP queen. Joe Gaynor and Mayer Krain, both Brian O’Neill supporters, must be furious with their candidate for not “saying no” to Marian Tasco.
I couldn’t make much sense from letters written by Mayer and Joe in the Times Aug. 25 edition. The former labeled me a Republican turncoat while continuing to think that $125,000 isn’t enough to live on. Yes, Mayer, you are absolutely correct: Rick Mariano had other jobs outside of Council. He wired my neighbor’s house. He didn’t need the dough as much as needing an outlet from the pressures of Council work.
Allow me to once again edify Joe Gaynor. Retired Common Pleas Court Judge Armand Della Porta, via court order circa 1987, concluded that the city commissioners office hire 10 registration clerks. While many applied, few made the cut and qualified for the competitive written test. Bill Rubin, as one of the 10, was assigned to Commissioner Marge Tartaglione’s office. He later received a promotion to account clerk, where he worked for all three commissioners.
Sorry Joe, no patronage to be found in Bill’s closet. It’s now happy hour and time for my double shot of reality.
John T. Fritz
Chairman, Republicans for Bill Rubin Committee
DROP is still a good program
Hello I am a Philadelphia police officer and just got done reading Al Taubenberger’s letter to the editor last week calling the DROP program a sham.
While I agree with the Northeast Times and Mr. Taubenberger’s opinion on the abuse of the program, the program itself is still a good thing. The politicians and certain other appointed city officials who were allowed to abuse DROP was disgusting.
Unless I’m wrong, those politicians who abused DROP are collecting a pension, DROP money and Social Security.
On the other hand, Philadelphia police officers and firefighters do not pay into Social Security. When one of us retires, if we never paid into Social Security we do not receive it. A lot of us, from previous jobs, are eligible for Social Security benefits, at a different rate, not the full rate that is deserved.
My solution is simple and yes, biased. Let the police and fire pay into Social Security and receive full benefits or allow the DROP program to exist for us. I know other city workers will not like that, but too bad.
I do agree with the paper, though, about voting the politicians out, but it has to be those who are embedded and need a wake-up call.
Another idea, on a higher level: How about abolishing the practice of giving Social Security to those who come to this country and have not contributed a dime? We could also stop giving Social Security to the criminals who can’t work but collect a check. Stop giving to the people who continue to have kids but can’t support them.
Nobody seems to want the government in their lives, unless they are giving out money. DROP is a program in other states and has been there for many years.
In final, the only problem with DROP was allowing Philadelphia City Council to get a hold of it.
Where’s Perzel’s pay-raise booty?
The editorial Shame on Perzel in last week’s Northeast Times points out that John Perzel was one of the masterminds of the illegal pay raise state legislators gave to themselves, but that’s not the whole story:
Some legislators have returned the money. Perzel has not. If he’s not going to give it back willingly, it should be taken from him.
Howard J. Wilk
The rich should share the load
Why is it we have real Americans willing to put their lives in danger fighting for us, but the multi-rich can’t reach in their deep pockets and help our country when we need them the most? They wouldn’t have to sell their yachts, limos, jets or any of their mansions. Just a little pocket money.
The poor and the seniors can’t do this on our own. Are the multi-rich really Americans?
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 address: firstname.lastname@example.org