How many of you would like to run into a burning building and risk your life to try to save the structure or more importantly, people inside the structure? Odds are, not many of you raised your hands.Thankfully, enough men and women in Philadelphia are brave enough to put everything on the line as members of the Philadelphia Fire Department. Sadly, though, those courageous heroes — every uniformed member of the department — are essentially getting kicked in the teeth by short-sighted, heartless, pig-headed city officials who care more about their egos and saving money than saving lives — a point highlighted by firefighters’ family members at a rally in Burholme last week.By resorting to temporarily closing fire stations throughout the city — a procedure called “brownouts” — fire officials, particularly Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, are putting citizens in jeopardy. They’re banking on the hope and possibility — and yes, perhaps the probability — that nobody will ever die as a result of reduced manpower and slowed response time resulting from brownouts, but they are playing Russian roulette. They’re literally playing with fire, and shame on them.Some day their luck is going to run out. When somebody dies because the short-staffed, ill-equipped fire department cannot get to the scene of a fire in time, there will be hell to pay in Philadelphia. And in this city of 1.5 million people, that is likely to happen. If fire officials think that’s OK, it’s time to get new fire officials.Send letters to the editor to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Perzel case was politically motivatedIn the conclusion of the film Judgment at Nuremberg, Ernst Janning, played by Burt Lancaster, is a former judge under the Nazi regime who admits he made his “life excrement” because he followed the powers of Nazi Germany. He states “that he never knew it would come to that,” meaning, of course, the atrocities.Spencer Tracy, in a memorable retort, responds that he knew “it would come to that, the first time he sentenced a man whom he knew to be innocent.”Dauphin County Common Pleas Court “Judge” Richard Lewis should watch this compelling film and heed its warning.I have known, watched and admired all John Perzel did for the community and noted how well he was liked by our senior citizens. The plea he made I am sure came with much consideration for not only himself but his wife and children.I have always believed these charges were politically oriented, but now sentence has been passed by this wretched, cheap, charlatan and lackey who is no more than a sycophantic lapdog seeking crumbs from the table of a false idol. This detestable cretin is not qualified to sentence a 5-year-old to a “time out.” He too will be judged one day. We can only hope that sentence will be most severe.Leonard T. RobertsMayfair
— The loss of their precious infant to a rare disease inspires a Parkwood family to fight.