Northeast Times

Story Archive August 29 2012

Editorial: Do the math

When Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. delivered an opinion earlier this month upholding  Pennsylvania’s new Voter Identification law, he must have forgotten to look at the calendar.Even the most simple math shows that there is not enough time for everyone who needs a photo ID to get one before the Nov. 6 election. PennDOT’s driver’s license centers will begin issuing those photo IDs this Monday. When you factor in the number of days those centers will be closed for holidays, you’ll see that only 57 days remain for a voter with no photo ID to get one. There are 71 driver’s license centers in the state, and most are only open five days a week, though some are open for six days. For argument’s sake, we’ll say they are all open for six days, and they all operate for 7 ¾ hours.And, because we believe in giving the benefit of the doubt, we’ll suppose  that PennDOT will assign one person in each center to handle only these photo IDs, though there has been no such announcement as the agency figures out how to proceed.All of this adds up to a total 31,264 hours these potential voters have to get their IDs before Election Day. The state has estimated that there are 750,000 people who are without photo IDs, and right now ineligible to vote.If you do the math, you’ll see that each person would have to get in and out of a PennDOT center in 2.5 minutes, if all 750,000 people showed up to get their photo IDs. It’s simply not possible.The state Supreme Court should delay implementation of the new law until the next election cycle. Let’s wait and do this right.Send letters to:

Letters to the editor: August 22, 2012

Those cameras are nothing to smile aboutI was very surprised to see an editorial last week praising these red light cameras (Let there be light).Suggesting that cameras be put on every corner is absurd. Next, someone will suggest putting one outside of every house, to prevent crime, of course. And after that, someone will suggest putting them in every house, because many crimes do happen inside the homes, and we want to be safe, don’t we? I don’t think so.Our founding fathers said things like, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” That was Ben Franklin.Patrick Henry got more to the point: “Give me liberty, or give me death.”A more contemporary quote that would fit here is from Dwight Eisenhower: “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking … is freedom.”May I add you won’t have to worry about looking before you cross the street, and you won’t have to worry about watching your children either. Is that really what anyone wants?Turning America into more of a surveillance society than it already is, is not the answer. Placing law enforcement into the hands of private companies that make money off it is a bad idea. Tweaking the yellow lights just a little bit could bring in millions more for the city and the company operating the program to split. Once they figure that out, the traffic lights on the Boulevard will be operating like strobe lights and the accidents will be up again. Do you really think they are concerned about your safety?You got to be kidding; it is all about money and control. These red-light cameras are a horrendous idea for the people of Philadelphia or anywhere in America. Time will tell.Frank YostRhawnhurstVoter ID is stirring our readers’ hornet’s nest And so it appears that Republicans are about to steal another presidential election, at least the second one in the last 12 years, and if that happens it will have been made possible, to one degree or another, by Republicans in high offices and in the American judicial system!Think not? In the year 2000, Jeb Bush, the then-Republican governor of Florida, was responsible for purging 173,000 voters from the Florida rolls; vote recounts precipitated by the so-called “butterfly” ballots — the ones with the hanging chads — were stopped by Florida’s then-secretary of state, Katherine Harris. As Florida’s secretary of state AND co-chair of George Bush’s Florida election efforts, Republican Harris was ultimately central to Bush’s election to the presidency, certifying that he had defeated Democrat Al Gore in the popular vote.Harris’ order to halt the recounts was upheld in the state circuit court, and though subsequently overturned on appeal by the Florida Supreme Court, that decision was reversed by the United States Supreme Court. One Republican justice, Clarence Thomas, cast what could arguably be construed as the deciding vote giving George W. Bush the election. And Mrs. Clarence Thomas, it should be noted, was a member of the Bush transition team.Slam dunk!With the assistance of George W. Bush’s brother, a Republican governor, and that of a Republican Florida secretary of state, and Republican justices, Bush beat Al Gore in Florida by a mere 537 votes — and that made Bush our king.As of Aug. 15, by virtue of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s Voter ID law, upheld by yet another Republican judge, the state of Pennsylvania is poised to steal the upcoming presidential election by disenfranchising possibly a million Pennsylvania voters “coincidentally” comprised of a similar disenfranchised demographic as in Florida in the year 2000. George Santayana told us about this kind of stuff: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”Arthur GurmankinBustleton

Letters to the editor: August 29, 2012

A plea for PumpkinWith summer ending, everyone goes on their final vacations — the last attempt of luxury before the warm weather is gone for another year. Unfortunately, some people would rather focus only on themselves, rather than the ones under their care. Being in rescue, I see so many pets being abandoned in shelters or the streets by people leaving for vacation. People can come back home, but their dogs or cats never will again.Pumpkin, a sweet orange tabby, is a victim of this cruel neglect, as she and her two kittens were found starving on the streets just a few weeks ago.Pumpkin’s kittens were adopted, but their lonely mother sits in a crate, still waiting and wishing for love again. If anyone can help give (or foster) this sweet and gentle girl a true home, please contact her caretaker, Janice, at or by calling 267-269-4040. So if you need to go away for a while, please have plans for your pets before you leave. There are always family, friends and boarding services to watch over your fur-baby. This way, you can both come back home, together. Please, don’t let your pets wind up like the others — forgotten — like poor Pumpkin.Gina DeNofaNormandy

Remembering Michael: A father’s first year without his son

Michael Strange, 25, was killed August 6, 2011, while on his third tour in Afghanistan. Strange, whose father, Charlie, works for SugarHouse casino, will be honored with a memorial statue on the casino’s grounds.

Philly311: connection to City Hall stronger than ever

With the help of its mobile app and the Neighborhood Association Liaison training program, Philly311 is dedicated to bridging the gap between residents and government service.

Adorn offers unique jewelry and community support

Adorn, a jewelry shop on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, supports other local businesses and rents space to community groups and classes. Owner Sarah Lewis also creates one-of-a-kind jewelry.