A plea for Pumpkin
With 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 email@example.com 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.
Shame on Mark Cohen
The latest revelation that state Rep. Mark Cohen is once again atop the list of per diem recipients in the state House is hardly a surprise, but it’s a continuous outrage that should be a concern to all who care about how their tax dollars are spent.
According to ABC27 in Harrisburg, Rep. Cohen submitted a request for reimbursement totaling nearly $40,000 for the year 2011, tax-free. In essence, he drew two salaries. This is especially shameful, when one considers that the district that Mr. Cohen has represented for the past 40 years is one of the poorest. This is in part why almost 40 percent of the voters in the district voted against him, citing Mr. Cohen’s grotesque sense of entitlement and detachment.
With families throughout the commonwealth struggling to make ends meet in this tough economy, Mr. Cohen finds it acceptable to obtain per diems on holidays and Sundays, and even on days that the House is not in session. Unfazed by the natural criticism of his conduct, Mr. Cohen deems his actions to be legitimate, even declaring, “I may well be the hardest working state legislator.” There are a number of legislators that work hard, if not harder, but yet don’t partake in this abusive ritual.
But perhaps most vexing in this scandal is the fact that Mr. Cohen has ceded the moral ground and good government mantra to state Rep. Metcalfe (R-Butler), the chief architect of the voter suppression bill, who said the Philadelphia Democrat’s use of per diems is “abusive.” It’s an embarrassment to Philadelphia, and Mr. Cohen knows better and his constituents deserve better.
Numa St. Louis
Note: Mr. St. Louis challenged Rep. Cohen in the April 24 Democratic primary. He won 37 percent of the vote.
It’s time to give Council the heave-ho
I see that City Council people are up to their old tricks again.
They get three months vacation and cost-of-living increases for most of them, which some declined (very few). They did OK the budget by voting for more taxes for property owners. It’s the same old gang, same old voters. We did get six new members, but they’re starting to act like the old members.
We need a referendum this election. We voters have to stop Council members from spending a lifetime at their jobs. Our president is limited to eight years but City Council members are in for life.
This must not continue. The voters must stand together and vote for term limits for City Council — no more than two four-year terms. Council members are no better than our president, but they have it made. Free cars, gas, credit cards.
This November, let’s get a referendum. It’s do or die. They must go.
Jerry Foglia Sr.
Ali doesn’t deserve the Liberty Medal
Mayor Nutter, how can you give the Liberty Medal to a draft dodger? Muhammad Ali was never a Muslim until he got drafted, then he changed his name from Cassius Clay. The only fighting he did was in the ring to make money and be a champion. He is no better than Jane Fonda and other draft dodgers. What did he do for freedom as myself and other Vietnam veterans did in the 1960s?
Please do not discredit our vets from all wars by giving the Liberty Medal to a draft dodger. The only thing he defended was his title.
Charles Ihlenfeld Sr.
Don’t let your guard down — it can be costly!
I never thought I would be the victim of theft because I thought I was so careful!
I watched TV and listened to everything instructing viewers what precautions to take to avoid that from happening. Well, as you probably guess, I was wrong.
I was in a Deals store, practically empty, with my friend, each going our separate way. I shut my purse, placed it on the cart’s child seat with safety straps wrapped around it. I continued walking behind the cart, the purse directly in front of me. A “sweet young woman” approached me to ask an opinion on a tablecloth. I moved to the side of the cart to look, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw a movement, turning, and I knew immediately what happened.
In that split second, my purse was unsnapped and my wallet taken. A well-dressed man stood there. I yelled for him to return the wallet, which he denied having. As it turned out, he had passed it to a third thief and before you knew it, they were leaving the store. I followed them to get the license number. The plate was untraceable.
I called 911 then my bank, as my debit card was in my wallet. Thankfully, it was inactive. After I got an incident report number, I went home to call PennDOT (for my photo ID) and all the companies for my credit cards, medical cards, etc. I did not have my Social Security card or Medicare card on me. I leave them in a safe place at home.
After all the calls were made, I was concerned about ID theft, when one of the agents from the American Express fraud unit advised me to call one of the credit bureaus, and they in turn would notify the other two to red-flag my info in case an attempt was made to steal my ID. Will it work? I hope so. Most banks also offer a service for a small monthly fee to do the same as long as you feel it’s necessary.
Was I angry? Yes, at myself for being so trusting and letting my guard down. Am I angry at the thieves? No, I feel sorry that they make a living from hurting others in this way. Maybe one day, they will have an epiphany and develop a guilty conscience. Do you think so?
My preventative advice to you:
1. Call 911 and get an incident number. The credit companies want it.
2. Do not talk to strangers who ask for advice. Politely say you are in a hurry.
3. Photocopy all charge cards (front and back) along with other important papers you need to carry, and put them in a safe place. This saves time when you need to make your phone calls.
4. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. The store I was in was almost empty.
5. Perhaps not keeping credit cards in your wallet would help.
These thieves know the window of time they have before charges are closed. They are that good. I lost $60 in cash and almost $2,000 on charges. Don’t let this happen to you!
Finally, to the lady in line who offered me money to help, God bless you and thank you. To the 8th Police District officer who took the report, thank you, also.
Hating gays is not the Christian way
I applaud City Councilman Jim Kenney for standing up for his beliefs instead of bowing to the fanatics out there! Mr. Kenney, it’s about time politicians speak out for what they feel in their heart instead of caving to a few votes. I am a religious person — Baptist, if you must know. I was raised with a belief in God and Jesus. A God that created ALL people. A God that does not discriminate. A God that loves all of His people.
We are all born into sin. None of us is perfect. Fortunately, we have Jesus to help with the forgiveness of our sins. I do not believe that being gay is any more a sin than loving my neighbor, my sister, my child. I believe my God wants us to love and be loved. And I’m sure He would be happy that two of His people found love and wanted to commit to a monogamous relationship.
It wasn’t too long ago people were against whites marrying blacks, or even Italians marrying Irish. Catholics dared not marry a Protestant back in the day. Well, today is a new day and those things are now accepted, are they not? That’s a good thing, too. As one Baptist who married a Catholic, I’m glad times have changed.
It is a shame that Mr. Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, cares to spend millions of his money protesting against gay marriage. That money could do so much good trying to fight cancer or heart disease. I was raised that being Christian meant loving everyone, not just the ones I agreed with.
It’s a shame so many people want to spend their energies and money on hate and discrimination. My mother would say “that’s not being a good Christian.”
Clergy-abuse letter missed the facts
In the Aug. 8 edition, the Northeast Times ran a letter by Dr. Sunil Niyogi, a former assistant professor of pharmacology at Thomas Jefferson University, giving air to the noxious fumes of a poisonous anti-Catholicism (An important lesson from the clergy abuse). He presents symptoms of cognitive distortion so severe that perhaps even the traditional prescription, a dose of reality, may have no effect.
Monsignor Lynn was acquitted of conspiracy; on the two charges of child endangerment, he was acquitted of one of them and found guilty of the other. Dr. Niyogi succumbs to hallucinations when he suggests that Monsignor Lynn “followed President Nixon’s concealment tactics in the Watergate break-in episode.”
When he is not condemning wholesale the Catholic hierarchy “through the ages,” Dr. Niyogi is attacking priests: “Now, the collar of the priests is imprinted with pedophilic stars.” But, it is Dr. Niyogi’s mind that is imprinted — with rank bigotry and its telltale symptom: the belief in collective guilt.
Dr. Niyogi is in the grip of an anti-Catholic delirium so outlandish that he even goes so far as to fling a moral teaching of the Bhagavad Gita at priests. Next time, he should try something a little less exotic, like getting his facts straight.
Director of Policy Studies
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
An appreciation of Ed Kelly
By Don Brennan
It was 1978 or 1979 when I first encountered Edward T. Kelly. I was fresh out of Temple University, wearing my journalism degree on my sleeve, ready to set rivers on fire, and here was Ed Kelly literally running around the main banquet room at the Doral Caterers in Rhawnhurst with me in hot pursuit.
Well, I was trying to catch up to him anyway.
“Rizzo’s coming! Rizzo’s coming, kid!” he said, frantically placing materials on each table in the hall shortly before a Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce luncheon at which former Mayor Frank L. Rizzo had scheduled a last-minute appearance.
“Got a lot to do today,” he said, breathlessly. “Got no time to talk to you today.”
Weekly newspaper reporters — especially in the days when the dailies were king — are very familiar with rejection. However, Ed Kelly promised me an interview at a later date.
“Stick around for lunch, kid,” he said. “You know Rizzo, he’s always entertaining.”
I don’t remember much about the lunch, but Ed Kelly was as good as his word. We met a few days later, and thus began a friendship that lasted more than 30 years until his death Aug. 20 at age 86.
In his heyday, Ed Kelly might have been the greatest promoter of his time. But frankly, he rarely spoke to me about himself. It was through others that I learned about his personal successes and his undying love for his family.
He literally devoted much of his adult life to the Pennypack Park Music Festival, and once a cause worked its way into his heart, look out: He would not give up until he got your attention.
During my almost 28 years at the News Gleaner newspapers, Ed Kelly planted himself in my office on numerous occasions on behalf of projects that benefited others or for people who needed help. He was so passionate about some things, he would break down and cry.
He grew up in the teeth of the Depression, and like so many others from that era, he never forgot how lucky he was to have survived.
Every now and then, you come across someone like Ed Kelly, and you’re better because of it.
Heaven, beware: Tell the angels to tune their trumpets. You’ve got a music festival coming your way.
Don Brennan was executive editor of the News Gleaner newspapers from 1978 to 2006.
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