Three cheers for the guy from Gifford
Since my family moved into our home two years ago, I have had the privilege of getting to know the recreation leader at Gifford Playground, Jeff George.
Jeff has had significant impact on not only Gifford Playground but the Somerton community as a whole. The passion for which he undertook his duties is a testament to his character and his desire to enhance the atmosphere at Gifford Playground.
Any time my neighbors and I on Burgess Street had an issue with the playground, Jeff diligently worked to address it. Jeff has helped curb the loitering and drug activity at Gifford Playground.
Under Jeff’s leadership the playground was significantly enhanced. He was central in the creation of the new playground, which has brought new life to Gifford. There were times that I would find broken bottles and drug paraphernalia in my yard, but with Jeff’s hard work of organizing cleanup days, this problem has drastically decreased.
His collaboration with state Rep. Brendan Boyle’s office and TD Bank allowed Gifford Playground to host the first outdoor movie night in Northeast Philadelphia. In fact, these three entities held a second successful movie night this past summer, creating a tradition for all of us to enjoy for years to come. Starting this week, Jeff will be moving on in his career after receiving a much-earned promotion.
On behalf of the community, I appreciate all he has done to make Somerton a better, safer place for our children to play. I wish Jeff the best in all future endeavors.
Somerton Civic Association
Eagles coach should fly away
What is insanity? Some say it is hereditary, that you get it from your children; but a more correct definition is expecting different results while engaging in repetitive action.
If this is not a diagnosis of Eagles owner Jeff Lurie by staying with Pandy Andy all these years, then he’s only concerned about the money, in which case he’s not endearing himself with the fans — and these are the fans who throw snowballs at Santa Claus. He should be listening to them, and they are saying “Fire Andy!” Wake up, Jeff, it’s not rocket science. We are football literate; you are not!
Some sportscasters have said that Reid is a good coach, but odds are that they’re not from Philadelphia. Maybe they think that he should have another chance — that would be the 14th; we think that he should have another chance in another city. We’ve seen too many of his stupid blunders, mostly at the goal line with the game at stake or enching key players like McNabb or DeSean Jackson in critical situations while they’re strong and able.
A strategic general here to win the war, he is not, and he continues proving this to us, year after relentless year, and saying the same thing each time: “I take full responsibility.” But what does that mean? What price is he paying? Is it not insanity to keep this big oaf after 13 years of failure and stupid elementary mistakes? Lurie and general manager Joe Banner better get with the program and notice what the rest of the NFL is doing. Get a new coach!
You have some good talent on this team and they desperately need a leader who can instill some discipline, direction and motivation in them; if Andy Reid were capable of this, his two sons would not be formerly incarcerated felons right now. Jon Gruden might take a call, but for heaven’s sake, and ours, call someone capable of giving us a winner!
The shame was misapplied
“Robbing Social Security?” That concern was expressed by Richard Iaconelli in his Northeast Times letter last week, It’s not a tax cut when you’re actually robbing Social Security.
Mr. Iaconelli’s laments appear often in the Times, yet I can’t recall a single one that cited or lamented anything shameful regarding George W. Bush’s raid on the Social Security trust fund in order to give tax breaks to millionaires — ten years of tax breaks!
Mr. Iaconelli wrote, “Shame on the media, Congress and especially shame on the president (Obama), for presenting this shell game (the extension of the payroll tax cut) as a tax cut.”
In the 2000 residential campaign, the media gave extensive coverage to President Bush’s promises “not to raid the Social Security trust fund.” I didn’t read any objections from Mr. Iaconelli when Bush failed to honor his promises. Neither Mr. Iaconelli or the media cried ldquo;shame” as Bush raided and spent a total of $1.37 trillion of the Social Security surplus during his eight years as president. In Bush’s last year, he spent $192.2 billion, which averages out to more than $526 million per day.
But Mr. Iaconelli and the right-wing media find it shameful that President Obama and the Congress, including the Republicans he shamed into submission, voted to assure that millions of American middle class families will not see their taxes raised in the beginning of 2012!
Since “shame” is the word, Mr. Iaconelli, then SHAME on you and the disingenuous conservatives who selectively castigate others for that which they themselves are guilty.
The holidays are still stirring up controversy
In response to Judy Brock’s letter in the Dec. 21 edition, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas: I doubt very much, Judy, that anyone has told you not to say these words for the rest of your life. We live in America, a country steeped in and founded upon religious tolerance and freedom of speech.
The real issue here, Judy, is what about the millions of folks who aren’t of your faith and don’t celebrate Christmas? Yes, there are millions! Jesus is not the reason for this season for me and many others. In my family it is a time to celebrate the festival of Hanukkah, to recall the miracle of a vessel of sealed oil that was found in the Temple. The oil was enough to last one day, but lasted for eight days. It was used to commemorate the victory of the Maccabees and rededication of the Temple.
In my home we gathered around the menorah as my niece lit the Hanukkah candles for the first time. We enjoyed the look in her eyes and her smile as we sang the blessing. Many also play the dreidel game. I laced my electric menorah in my front window for all to see and enjoy.
Why would you want to wish me or any other non-Christian a Merry Christmas when it is not our holiday? Christmas is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ. Again, this is not part of my religion.
I have no Christmas tree (yes Judy, that IS what it is, you are correct!), no Christmas decorations, I do not attend church, there is no ham on my dinner table, no lights around my home, no religious figures on my lawn.
I don’t want to receive Christmas cards, remember — it’s not my holiday. Would you like to receive cards wishing you a Happy Hanukkah? Would you enjoy having me wish you a Happy Hanukkah? I think not, not from the tone of your letter.
I enjoy sharing the Christmas festivities with my Christian friends. I do wish them a Merry Christmas. Unless you are sure what holiday someone celebrates, “Happy Holiday” is never wrong. I would much rather hear that than “Merry Christmas.” Remember, not my holiday! The American way of life will not be diminished by saying the right words to the right people. Bigotry, intolerance, ignorance, and anti-Semitism are nothing to be proud of.
Judy, I hope that you and your family had a Merry Christmas. A Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrated the joy of the Festival of Lights, and a Happy Kwanzaa to those who took part in that holiday.
To all, I wish a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year. May understanding and tolerance be a part of your new year’s resolutions.
• • •
I also am a resident of the area surrounding the Bustleton-Somerton Shopping Center like Mr. Howard Hall, and take issue with his letter in the Dec. 28 edition (Why no Christian symbols at shopping center?)
First, if you saw these decorations, there were also trees, candles and candy canes along with the Star of David displayed. If he knew anything about Christian symbolism, the evergreen tree represents everlasting life, the candle represents the Christian idea of Jesus as the light of the world, and even the candy cane is used to symbolize Jesus’ purity (white) and sacrifice (red); even the peppermint flavor is symbolic of the gift of spice given to royalty in ancient times.
These traditions were founded through the ages as people sought to celebrate the holiday with symbols that were familiar to them. Our church gives out candy canes every year on Christmas. Perhaps Mr. Hall should do some research on Christian symbolism.
I am so very tired of hearing so-called Christians bemoan that no one wishes “Merry Christmas” anymore and that this season is too commercialized. Small businesses in neighborhood shopping centers bring workers and revenues to these local areas.
Additionally, we live in a pluralistic society, founded on principles of freedom of religious expression for all, not just for one particular group.
I, for one, appreciate the way the Bustleton-Somerton Shopping Center was decorated. When I see their decorations go up every year I know the holiday season is beginning, and I will continue to shop there as I always have.
• • •
Mr. Howard Hall, what have we here? Yet another example of Christians attempting to shove their religion down others’ throats? Perhaps the owner/s of the shopping center is/are Jewish. One might jump to that logical conclusion given the displays and the predominance of Jewish worship in that particular neighborhood. I’m certain he’s not displaying a pentacle (Wicca), pentagram (Satanism), star and crescent (Islam), torii (Shinto), yin and yang (Taoism), or the adopted scarlet ‘A’ for we atheists.
Nope. It’s once again the Christians getting up in arms because not everyone shares their/your beliefs. If I came to your house during the holiday season (or any time, for that matter), should I feel discriminated against because you have a cross on your wall? Never mind that your decorations most likely consist of snowmen, Santa, reindeer, an evergreen (or simulated evergreen) tree, wreath and string lights which have nothing to do with your religion, but adopted from various “pagan” religions or children’s cartoons.
Stop forcing your fairy tales on others. You’re a Christian, and good for you. You’re free to worship as you please, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights, happiness and/or safety of others. Get over it. Do as you say in your letter and shop somewhere else. But to call for some Christian boycott of a business because they don’t share your view is absurd.
Crawl away from the Dark Ages and come over to the Age of Enlightenment. We have cookies. Peace and a happy and safe new year.
New liquor law is good for business
Pennsylvania is in good spirits. Craft breweries are becoming popular destinations for beer drinkers to visit, sample and purchase products, and Pennsylvania is home to some very well-recognized, award-winning and growing microbreweries.
Pennsylvania’s two microdistilleries — one of which is located right here in Northeast Philadelphia — will now be given the same opportunities to succeed. Philadelphia Distilling LLC, located on McNulty Road, is the first craft distillery in Pennsylvania since Prohibition and the first microdistillery in the state. It is the proud maker of award-winning products such as Blue Coat Gin and Penn 1681 Vodka, both of which have won numerous accolades worldwide.
Act 113 of 2010, which was just signed into law, will give the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) authorization to issue limited distillery licenses to small distilleries like Philadelphia Distilling LLC. The licenses would give these distilleries permission to allow for tastings and sales by the glass and by the bottle at their facilities and to sell their products at two satellite facilities with the PLCB’s approval.
Expanding the liquor regulations to allow tastings and outside sales of its products will help generate business, increase visits, maintain jobs and help this local company grow its brand and create more jobs.
During these difficult economic times, we need to do all we can to support the small local companies that are trying to grow their business in our commonwealth. This new law will help a small industry grow and thrive.
State Sen. Mike Stack (D-5th dist.)
Speak your mind …
Letters should be 300 words or less. Short letters have a better chance of getting published. All letters are subject to editing and MUST include the writer’s full name along with daytime and evening phone numbers for verification purposes. 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