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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• • •
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.
• • •
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.
• • •
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org