Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2012

No cross­ing at the Boulevard cros­sov­er
Sur­prise! The cros­sov­er on the Roosevelt Boulevard go­ing south­bound in the in­ner lanes to get to Un­ruh Av­en­ue has been ce­men­ted closed!
Now, if you want to cross over from in­ner lanes to the out­er lanes, you have to get over at the Cottman Av­en­ue cros­sov­er or go past your streets to Levick Street. Whose idea was that? You would think after over 30 years or more, they would tell you of a change like this. I lost my cros­sov­er!
Fran Kam­in­sky
Castor Gar­dens

Don’t ig­nore bad part of Perzel’s re­cord
It is quite evid­ent by some of the let­ters to the ed­it­or writ­ten by former con­stitu­ents of ex-House Speak­er, Speak­er Emer­it­us John Perzel, that they view him only for what he did for his dis­trict.
Oth­ers, like me, know some of what he did that had noth­ing to do with why they voted for him to rep­res­ent his dis­trict. One of those things got him ar­res­ted, con­victed, fined and sent to pris­on.
Be­fore you con­demn me for be­ing a “hate­mon­ger,” maybe you should thor­oughly in­vest­ig­ate Perzel from all of his fa­cets. I guess it is true with what they say: “Ig­nor­ance is bliss.”
May­er Krain
Mod­ena Park

Fire­fight­ers are her­oes for etern­ity
A cloud of dark smoke has settled on Phil­adelphia and it at­tempts to deafen the shrill­ing cries of sor­row and loss. Two fire­fight­ers lose their lives and thou­sands feel the chill of death as if they too have been pulled out of the real world, in­to some sur­real ex­ist­ence just to ex­ist and catch their breath.
Heartache and pain are only in the be­gin­ning stages of de­vel­op­ment that will last years for some and days for oth­ers. Why? It is our hu­man­ity that makes us whole when real­ity breaks us in­to pieces. It is the com­fort­ing word of a neigh­bor, the hug of a fam­ily mem­ber or the saddened look of a stranger that makes us real­ize we will make our way through the cloud of ad­versity and total dev­ast­a­tion.
Lt. Neary did his job for 38 years and did it well. He could have been sit­ting be­hind a desk in an ad­min­is­trat­ive po­s­i­tion but he wanted to be among the front line staff act­ing in the ca­pa­city of teach­er and peer. It will nev­er be cal­cu­lated as to how many oth­er lives he saved by his words rather than his ac­tions, be­cause both in a job like this are so valu­able.
We can say he gave it his all and even in his death he was still teach­ing us that we must do the right thing, be self­less in our re­sponses to oth­ers and mod­el a be­ha­vi­or that re­sounds like the sirens on the truck he road in, his last ride to his fi­nal day of etern­al peace.
Fire­fight­er Sweeney also gave up the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice: his young life so that oth­ers would be safe. You don’t be­come a fire­fight­er if you are stingy with your will­ing­ness to help no mat­ter what the costs hap­pen to be.
He fol­lowed in his fath­er’s foot­steps, filled his boots, and I am sure that his fath­er, as heart­broken as he is, finds solace and com­fort in the fact that his son, like him, pro­tec­ted the city from the dangers of fire. Par­ents raise chil­dren with the in­ten­tion of “rais­ing the bar” so that their off­spring will be bet­ter, live more com­fort­ably, en­joy life longer and someday start the cycle of life for them. Danny en­joyed part of that vis­ion; the rest he will view from the safety of the clouds.
Hero­ism be­gins the day the uni­form is worn and only deep­ens as time passes. The soot and ashes nev­er soil the soul of a fire­fight­er but rather in­vig­or­ate them to push past the clouds of smoke to a place of safety for us in the com­munity.
May God be­stow on the fam­il­ies of these two men and all those who wear the uni­forms that pro­tect us and make our world safe a sense of peace to mend hearts that will ache and minds that will con­tinu­ally ques­tion, why?
Steph­en T. Ferry

Le­gis­lat­ive can­did­ate quits race
After much thought and de­lib­er­a­tion, I have come to the de­cision that I can­not con­tin­ue to run for state rep­res­ent­at­ive in the 170th dis­trict. The com­mit­ment re­quired to run a thor­ough cam­paign as well as the com­mit­ment to serve the pub­lic would be too much of a sac­ri­fice on my five young chil­dren.
Such an ob­lig­a­tion would also be too tax­ing on my busi­ness that my late fath­er and I built from the ground up. If I can­not give 100 per­cent to any goal or task, I would rather ac­cept the real­iz­a­tion and ad­dress it now.
I am honored that the Re­pub­lic­an Party se­lec­ted me as their can­did­ate. I am thank­ful for all of the sup­port and as­sist­ance that I have re­ceived from the ward lead­ers, the com­mit­tee people, my friends, my neigh­bors and my fam­ily.
Al­though I have with­drawn from the race, I will con­tin­ue to serve and sup­port our com­munity and I will con­tin­ue to coach the kids. Thank you.
George W. Weiss Jr.
Real es­tate broker

Primary elec­tion: Much ado about a lot
Last week, the Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled Pennsylvania Le­gis­lature un­veiled “Plan B” of a con­tro­ver­sial re­dis­trict­ing pro­pos­al. Ap­par­ently, when the state Su­preme Court re­jec­ted the first highly ger­ry­mandered re­dis­trict­ing plan and told the ar­chi­tects to go back to the draw­ing board, they still didn’t get the mes­sage.
North­east Phil­adelphia’s proud and long-es­tab­lished 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict still gets trans­planted to York County. What we once knew as our uni­fied North­east Phil­adelphia dis­trict would be sliced up in­to so many small pieces that we will lose our voice — our clout — in the Pennsylvania Le­gis­lature.
My Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent stated last week in this very news­pa­per that res­id­ents’ best chance to keep the 169th dis­trict in North­east Phil­adelphia was to send a Re­pub­lic­an to Har­ris­burg. Be­fore the ink dried on the news­print, his Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues in Har­ris­burg drew up a second plan that, if passed, would steal our dis­trict from us. Again.
With the threat of re­dis­trict­ing loom­ing over the state in two short years, we need to send to Har­ris­burg a new state rep­res­ent­at­ive who has the tough­ness, savvy, ex­per­i­ence and polit­ic­al con­nec­tions on both sides of the polit­ic­al aisle to keep the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict in North­east Phil­adelphia, where it be­longs. I am that can­did­ate. I re­spect­fully ask for your vote on Tues­day, April 24, so that, two years from now, we’ll be look­ing for­ward to the pros­per­ous fu­ture of the 169th dis­trict in­stead of lament­ing its past.
Ed Neilson
Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate
169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict
• • •
I’m re­minded today that or­gan­ized labor can help or break a can­did­ate as she or he runs for pub­lic of­fice. Yes, I put “she” first be­cause I still have a crush on Sarah Pal­in!
I have my own agenda re­gard­ing the sub­ject, but thank God I am not a can­did­ate. I sup­port a can­did­ate, Dav­id Kralle in the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive dis­trict, who will get his en­dorse­ments as will his op­pon­ent. Labor goes way back, long be­fore FDR’s New Deal. Yes, it con­tin­ues to serve us well in many areas. Gov. John Kasich deals with this in Ohio, per­haps to a fault, and we all know about Wis­con­sin.
Here in Phil­adelphia, 6th dis­trict Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on, long­time politico ad­viser for elec­tri­cians Loc­al 98, gets it. As we ne­go­ti­ate con­tracts, it makes sense in this eco­nomy to look at give­backs. Con­versely, there are small broth­er­hoods that are tak­ing it up the back side.
We ar­rive at our SEPTA stop know­ing that our eco­nomy has been go­ing south since the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion. Barack Obama, ac­cord­ing to Wiki­pe­dia, will be con­sidered one of our 10 best pres­id­ents of all time should he be re-elec­ted.
My cent­ral con­cern is for the dis­en­fran­chised, the un­em­ployed, those liv­ing at poverty level and those who lost their homes. I con­tin­ue to work each day for the home­less com­munity and or­gan­iz­a­tions such as the St. Vin­cent de­Paul So­ci­ety. To­geth­er if I may, in tan­dem with Dav­id Kralle and City Coun­cil­men Bobby Hen­on, Den­nis O’Bri­en, Bri­an O’Neill and Dav­id Oh, we will make this a much bet­ter place, not only in North­east Philly but throughout the city.
John T. Fritz
• • •
I’m a pub­lic school teach­er and it could not be clear­er that Har­ris­burg is fail­ing the people of Pennsylvania. While gas and oil com­pan­ies make mil­lions and mil­lions of dol­lars on Mar­cel­lus Shale, the fund­ing for edu­ca­tion is be­ing slashed. Har­ris­burg is play­ing polit­ics at our ex­pense. As state rep­res­ent­at­ive, I pledge to fight for com­mon sense in a place that doesn’t seem to have any.
My op­pon­ent is run­ning on his op­pos­i­tion to the pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic on Frank­ford Av­en­ue. As someone who was part of the com­munity in­volve­ment against that clin­ic, I com­mend him for tak­ing a pub­lic stand on a very pop­u­lar is­sue. However, I have to ques­tion his com­mit­ment to fol­low­ing through with this is­sue, since he has re­moved the pro­posed clin­ic site from his new dis­trict, a man­euver that is an­oth­er ex­ample of Har­ris­burg polit­ics at our ex­pense.
We don’t need someone rep­res­ent­ing us in Har­ris­burg who shows up when the cam­er­as are on. I’ve been in­volved in the North­east Phil­adelphia com­munity my whole life, be­cause it’s the right thing to do, not be­cause it gets my name in the pa­per. I’m proud of what I’ve done and honored that I have the sup­port of the Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice.
With your sup­port I’ll take my ex­per­i­ence in the classroom and in the com­munity to Har­ris­burg where I will stand up to the gov­ernor and fight for the North­east.
Daniel Collins
Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate
172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict
• • •
One of the key com­pon­ents for a suc­cess­ful neigh­bor­hood is com­munity in­volve­ment.
Com­munity in­volve­ment means work­ing to­geth­er for a bet­ter and con­stantly im­prov­ing neigh­bor­hood.
Join­ing with a neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation (work­ing on zon­ing is­sues) and Town Watch (help­ing pre­vent crime) or help­ing to keep the neigh­bor­hood clean by be­ing part of a cleanup day are im­port­ant steps to suc­cess.
I have been in­volved in com­munity ef­forts all my adult life. I per­son­ally know that civic as­so­ci­ations, Town Watches, and com­munity cleanups make the dif­fer­ence in the qual­ity of life for a neigh­bor­hood.
A good way to get in­volved in your com­munity is simply by vot­ing in the up­com­ing primary elec­tion on Tues­day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aside from mak­ing some im­port­ant de­cisions for a na­tion, state and city, you will be meet­ing some of your neigh­bor­hood’s most in­volved people, elec­tion board mem­bers and com­mit­tee people.
The Burholme Town Watch was ac­tu­ally star­ted on an elec­tion day; I know. I was there.
If you are vot­ing next Tues­day, I would be honored if you would con­sider vot­ing for me for state rep­res­ent­at­ive in the 172nd dis­trict by push­ing but­ton No. 16.
Get­ting in­volved in your neigh­bor­hood will make a pos­it­ive dif­fer­ence for all of us.
Al Tauben­ber­ger
Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate

Pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates be­ware
I would like to is­sue a warn­ing to any pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates plan­ning to cam­paign in Pennsylvania: Be very care­ful!
1. A cer­tain “judge” from Dauph­in County may try to sen­tence you to pris­on.
2. City Coun­cil may try to seize some of your cam­paign fund chest to pay for their badly run school sys­tem.
3. Mi­chael Nut­ter will get angry if you drink a soda and try to tax you.
4. Someone may send his min­ions to in­sult your spouses.
5. If you eat a soft pret­zel and a Philly cheesesteak, you will in­cur the wrath of Michelle Obama, who will try to close the es­tab­lish­ments that sold them to you.
6. You may be charged a cam­paign priv­ilege fee so the city can squander even more money.
7. If you set up a cam­paign headquar­ters, you may pay an out­land­ish real es­tate tax.
8. The Phil­adelphia In­quirer will vil­i­fy you and ac­cuse you of be­ing un­car­ing and un­feel­ing to­ward the poor.
9. The In­quirer will ri­dicule Mr. San­tor­um and Mr. Gin­grich for their Ro­man Cath­oli­cism.
10. Obama will sneer at you for as­so­ci­at­ing with people “who cling to their guns and their God.”
Who­ever wins, there may be thugs pos­ted at the polling places in Novem­ber to scare off your sup­port­ers. This will be done with the full ap­prov­al of U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Eric Hold­er.
Le­onard T. Roberts

Dog own­ers, bi­cyc­lists ru­in her walks in the park
The weath­er has been beau­ti­ful lately. I en­joy tak­ing walks in Pennypack Park, at Pine and Ver­ree roads. However, I have a few com­plaints.
I am an an­im­al lov­er but I see people let­ting their dogs run loose without leashes. I also see them let­ting their dogs do busi­ness without pick­ing up after them (es­pe­cially when poop bags are provided free of charge.)
Also, bike riders speed by ped­es­tri­ans without any warn­ings. I re­spect oth­er people’s prop­erty and wish these people would do the same.
Flo De­Souza

SEPTA bus stops have turned in­to trash dumps
Walk­ing my dog the oth­er day, I passed mul­tiple SEPTA bus stops along Academy Road and no­ticed the same prob­lem at all of them: A lot of trash on the ground and no trash can nearby. Shouldn’t SEPTA or the city be ob­lig­ated to put trash cans at stops, es­pe­cially stops with a bench?
I’ve seen people throw trash on the ground while stand­ing next to a trash can, so I know simply hav­ing a trash can there won’t stop the lit­ter­ing, but it should help some­what. Not all Phil­adelphi­ans are an­im­als. Also, it’d be nice if the po­lice would start hand­ing out cita­tions for lit­ter­ing.
Le­onard Dop­kin
West Tor­res­dale

Read­ers give high marks to city’s CLIP pro­gram
I strongly dis­agree with Dee Mai­aletti’s let­ter in the March 28 edi­tion of the North­east Times (Yo, CLIP, just who do you think you are?)
She mis­rep­res­en­ted CLIP as an in­trus­ive, Big Broth­er-type or­gan­iz­a­tion that has no place in our neigh­bor­hoods, and that it should ad­dress crim­in­al is­sues in­stead of prop­erty is­sues.
CLIP is part of the city’s De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions. It is not a di­vi­sion of the Po­lice De­part­ment. As part of L&I, it is re­spons­ible for see­ing that homes and prop­er­ties are main­tained prop­erly and in ac­cord­ance with the law.
It is not ri­dicu­lous that CLIP is­sues fines for dog fe­ces on lawns, high grass, or garbage in back­yards, as Dee states; a clean, at­tract­ive en­vir­on­ment is an im­port­ant health and qual­ity-of-life is­sue, and I cer­tainly do not want to look at such ugli­ness in my neigh­bor­hood. CLIP is a valu­able or­gan­iz­a­tion, es­pe­cially in a so­ci­ety where some people neg­lect to think of how their ac­tions af­fect their neigh­bors.
I re­cently called CLIP about the dis­gust­ing graf­fiti that is in­creas­ing on the tree trunks in a part of Pennypack Park and swastikas that were sprayed on the tree trunks.
CLIP sent someone out in a couple days, power-washed about 20 trees and re­moved the swastikas. The staff mem­ber did an ex­cel­lent job and com­men­ted that CLIP is un­der­staffed.
We need more of what CLIP does, not less. Now I can en­joy a sec­tion of Pennypack Park without much of the ugly graf­fiti that was there be­fore CLIP came. Keep up the good work, staff mem­bers of CLIP.
Dav­id Ad­el­man
• • •
Ap­par­ently Dee Mai­aletti thinks it is ri­dicu­lous to re­ceive fines for not hav­ing her lawn cut in a timely man­ner, for hav­ing trash in her back­yard, or for not im­me­di­ately pick­ing up after her pets. As a homeown­er, I totally dis­agree with her state­ment.
Lawns should be cut in a timely fash­ion. We should not have trash in our yards, un­less it is in a trash can. We should also be clean­ing up the fe­ces that our an­im­als leave on our prop­erty.
Com­munity Life Im­prove­ment Pro­gram (CLIP) was cre­ated to max­im­ize ef­fect­ive­ness and ef­fi­ciency by cre­at­ing part­ner­ships with res­id­ents and busi­nesses to foster clean and sus­tain­able com­munit­ies. By re­port­ing these of­fenses to this agency, it min­im­izes the pos­sib­il­ity of al­ter­ca­tions between neigh­bors. It al­lows a third party to “me­di­ate” the is­sue.
CLIP em­ploy­ees usu­ally come out to take pic­tures after a neigh­bor re­ports the of­fense, and they are giv­en a no­tice to com­ply or fix the is­sue be­fore they are fined. I be­lieve the pro­cess is fair. Ex­cep­tions should be made for seni­ors and those that may be dis­abled, but not for able-bod­ied adults.
Un­for­tu­nately, I had to re­port a few neigh­bors on sev­er­al oc­ca­sions in 2009-10 for the of­fenses you men­tioned above, and I was pleased with res­ults that came after the re­port­ing of the prob­lems.
Dee also men­tioned that CLIP em­ploy­ees should be do­ing something con­struct­ive like com­bat­ing van­dal­ism, ab­sent­ee land­lords and Sec­tion 8 hous­ing. CLIP com­bats van­dal­ism through their Phil­adelphia Anti-Graf­fiti Net­work that as­sists prop­erty own­ers with free graf­fiti re­mov­al ser­vices on their re­spect­ive prop­er­ties.
CLIP cita­tions make it easi­er to fight ab­sent­ee land­lords. Many homes that CLIP em­ploy­ees write cita­tions for are prop­er­ties with ab­sent­ee land­lords. The cita­tions be­come doc­u­ments that can be used against ab­sent­ee land­lords in the court of law at some point in the fu­ture.
Please try to read more in­to the Com­munity Life Im­prove­ment Pro­gram be­fore you con­tin­ue to make neg­at­ive state­ments in a pub­lic for­um.
Jeff George
• • •
For once a city of Phil­adelphia-sponsored or­gan­iz­a­tion is do­ing its job and someone is ac­tu­ally com­plain­ing about it? Yes, North­east Phil­adelphia has plenty of drug deal­ers, ab­sent­ee land­lords, Sec­tion 8 hous­ing and re­cently an over­abund­ance of van­dals, es­pe­cially those that en­joy tire-slash­ing and spray-paint­ing cars. I, too, live with it all. That is why we have the po­lice, city of­fi­cials and Town Watches.
From the de­scrip­tion in the let­ter from Ms. Mai­aletti, it sounds like CLIP was try­ing to do their job by doc­u­ment­ing a pos­sible com­plaint from res­id­ents in her area of North­east Phil­adelphia that either do not think of mow­ing their lawn, have trash not prop­erly ten­ded to in their back­yards or front patios (many times in trash cans without lids) and not pick­ing up after their dogs.
All of these little im­per­fec­tions in con­di­tions bring mice, or worse, rats, all sorts of bugs, squir­rels, rab­bits, pi­geons and a whole host of oth­er un­wel­come an­im­als, and in the sum­mer — mos­qui­toes; and let’s not for­get the won­der­ful aroma of trash and dog fe­ces.
How do I know about these im­per­fect con­di­tions? Well, wel­come to the world of my neigh­bor­hood. I can hardly wait for the won­der­ful aromas and bugs of the sum­mer­time.
Per­haps in­stead of watch­ing CLIP do its job, Ms. Mai­aletti would like to vo­lun­teer for a Town Watch and look out for van­dals who come to vis­it our cars in middle of the night; I am sure they would wel­come her with open arms.
K. King
• • •
Ap­par­ently, CLIP re­ceived a com­plaint by one of your neigh­bors about the prop­er­ties you men­tioned, or they would not have been there. If it wasn’t for CLIP to en­force the law, these dirt­balls who own and rent prop­er­ties would con­tin­ue to ru­in our neigh­bor­hoods.
Do you en­joy com­ing out of your home and look­ing at trash and un­kempt lawns and homes, or don’t you care? Maybe if you and your neigh­bors offered to help these people, CLIP wouldn’t have to come out and is­sue fines or clean up.
I’m happy to see our tax dol­lars work­ing for the people. I’d like to see more of CLIP on our neigh­bor­hood streets. When we care about the up­keep of our prop­er­ties, we are be­ing good neigh­bors. After all, our neigh­bors are the ones that see our homes, and when they look around, I’m sure they would like to see a clean and beau­ti­ful street (if they care). I know I do.
Rose Nicoletti

Speak your mind  …
Let­ters to the ed­it­or should be 300 words or less. Short let­ters have a bet­ter chance of get­ting pub­lished. Let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing and must in­clude the writer’s full name along with day­time and even­ing phone num­bers for veri­fic­a­tion. 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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