Northeast Times

Story Archive April 11 2012

Can Catholicism save itself…from itself?

In this week's Riverward Rant, columnist Joe Quigley looks at the state of religion in America.


iPhone your councilperson

City Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) will unveil a new iPhone app - created at no cost to taxpayers - that will allow users to report quality of life issues to City Hall.


The role of a lifetime

Fishtown resident and singer Sarah Beckham will perform in ‘La Boheme’ at the Prince Music Theater. It was the very opera that inspired her to start her performing career.


A knot-ty way to fight autism

At the Philly Soft Pretzel Factory on Aramingo Avenue, throughout April — National Autism Awareness Month — all proceeds from the $1 ribbon pretzels will be donated to support the cause.


Editorial: It didn’t have to happen

Too often, city officials and judges believe the best way to handle a problem is to first pretend it doesn’t exist, then pretend to do something about it, then, only if absolutely necessary, do something about it. Now, two firemen from Northeast Philadelphia are dead, and it appears their blood is on the hands of local government.The horrific five-alarm blaze at a vacant warehouse in Kensington that killed Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney Monday morning likely would not have happened had the city and court system been proactive, not reactive. The Langhorne-based company that owned the empty warehouse, on the 1800 block of E. York St., owes back taxes and unpaid water bills. That’s bad enough, but the building reportedly had been visited by the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections a half-dozen times since November and had been broken into, even after the city sealed it up.Something’s terribly wrong with this picture. Too many Philadelphia neighborhoods have abandoned warehouses that are tragedies just waiting to happen.If city officials and the courts, from Mayor Michael Nutter and president judges on down the ladder, had any courage, they would have made sure that buildings like the one that collapsed on Lt. Neary and Firefighter Sweeney were torn down years ago.Like so many other segments of government, vigorous enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy on tax deadbeats and absentee landlords — of hazardous residential AND commercial properties — is doable but rarely done. Had the city and courts not dilly-dallied, two Northeast families and the entire family known as the Philadelphia Fire Department would not be in tears today. ••Send letters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com


Letters to the Editor: April 11, 2012

Fire department captain appreciates our supportThank you very much for your editorial last week regarding the brownouts in the Philadelphia Fire Department (Respect our firefighters).As a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department for 35 years, it is extremely rare to see anything in writing from the media here in Philly which depicts us firefighters in a positive light.As far as I’m concerned, it seems very obvious that the two major papers (The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News) are pretty much controlled by City Hall, which I think is pathetic.These brownouts are no different than Russian roulette. The city is taking a chance that a fire does not occur in a company’s particular local area on any given day.Although nobody can say with absolute certainty that some of the fire deaths that have occurred when brownouts were in force would not have resulted with the same outcome, there have been a few where many of us firefighters feel there could have been a chance to save the lives of some of these people.I believe that the city of Philadelphia treats its firefighters like second-class citizens. I also believe that the public, in general, does not really care about us either. The one time I do know that they care about us is when they need us, whether it’s for a medical emergency, fire in their home, natural gas leak, or whatever the case may be.Once again, thank you for your support. It is appreciated.Robert BowmanCaptain, Engine 58Bustleton Avenue and Hendrix Street