Help, police: Beef up safety at school zone
In reference to Mildred Koch’s letter about safe drivers, or lack thereof, in Northeast Philly (It’s time to really get tough on those dangerous drivers, Jan. 4 edition):
My daughter goes to Loesche School at Bustleton Avenue and Tomlinson Road. My wife and I are disgusted by the lack of respect shown to the crossing guards and the children, not only by some parents, but the people driving by.
They practically run over the crossing guards, roll through the stop signs and just act generally ignorant. The guard at the playground has been almost run over more times than I can count since school began!
Where is the respect not only for her, but also for the safety of our kids? PECO trucks, ambulances and PGW trucks all roll through at Gifford and Tomlinson, ignoring and endangering Miss Cathy and our kids.
There are no police monitoring this school at dismissal, and I, for one, do not want my daughter on the news as the child Miss Cathy lost her life throwing herself in front of to save from these distracted drivers.
We need help from the 7th district police. I’m looking at you!
Take action now before a child is injured
I am a local contractor and drive in many townships and all over Philadelphia. I cannot understand the blatant disregard of most drivers in Philadelphia’s flashing school zones. This is even more prominent on two-lane streets like Cottman Avenue, Knights Road and Academy Road.
In all the other townships I have been in, nearly everyone slows to no more than 20 mph in flashing school zones. Next time you go by the Arts Academy of Benjamin Rush, Fitzpatrick or Ryan, see how many drivers actually slow down for the flashing school zone lights.
What I have also noticed is that many of these violators should know better. They include SEPTA Connect buses, drivers with FOP and firefighter license plates and/or emblems, taxis and the like. The drivers that mostly slow for school zones are large trucks.
The other problem is lack of enforcement for this violation. When I went to driving school, some of the stiffest penalties were for speeding in a school zone and passing a school bus with flashing lights. What would it take to have a police car sitting in front of most schools during these times? The amount of revenue from fines would be extraordinary.
I have a feeling that it is going to take some innocent child getting hit or critically wounded before some action is taken. If cameras can be used for red light enforcement, then why can’t they be used for speed enforcement in school zones? What is a couple of extra minutes to your drive time to just slow down for the kids?!
For prescriptions, it’s freedom of choice
Regarding his letter, Don’t take your local pharmacy for granted, in the Dec. 14 edition: Mr. Jacobs of the Philadelphia Association of Retail Druggists doesn’t have “the people’s” best interests at heart. He doesn’t work for the people, he works for the PARD. He’s acting in their best interests. I don’t blame him for that; it’s his job.
In his original letter he wrote of local pharmacists “dedicated to making sure that all of a patient’s different medications work together…using internal checks…an individual’s medication history…”
Mr. Jacobs knows that identifying potential drug interactions with other drugs or foods or alcohol, or predicting an adverse reaction to one drug based on a previous reaction to a related drug, is completely automated. Local pharmacies do it; mail-order pharmacies do it.
“Some believe” that mail-order pharmacies are more expensive because they dispense more brand-name drugs? Any pharmacy will dispense a less-expensive drug unless the doctor requests otherwise. People need only look at their scripts, which have words like “brand necessary, do not substitute” or “dispense generics, unless otherwise stated,” and unless the doctor so states, they’ll get the generic.
Mr. Jacobs writes of allowing choice. People can already choose. My plan, for example: Up to a 100 days’ supply, roughly three months, by mail order for $5, or up to a one month’s supply locally for $5—another way of saying three months by mail order for $5 or locally for $15. My choice. (Mr. Jacobs wants a legitimate study that shows mail order is less expensive? There it is.)
If this legislation passes, does anyone think I’ll be able to get a three months’ supply from any pharmacy, mail-order or local, for $5 — or $15?
Insurance companies are not charities. They’re in business to make money. You increase their expenses, they’ll increase ours — higher premiums or co-pays, or both. The FTC says similar laws in Maryland raised consumers’ prices.
Howard J. Wilk
CRISIS AT THE ARCHDIOCESE:
A student’s appeal from the heart: Save St. Hubert!
I believe that St. Hubert should stay open because of all of the high schools I visited, I felt most at home there. I used to be dead set against St. Hubert, and was sure I wanted to attend Little Flower. My dad convinced me to consider it, because they had cross-country running, whereas Little Flower did not. After my shadow day, sports were the least of my reasons to go to St. Hubert.
There was a profound respect throughout the entire school for every teacher, student and staff member. There was a sense of family and a strong bond schoolwide. I was comfortable with all of the classes and teachers and could instantly see myself walking those halls every day. All of the girls seemed to enjoy their classes and were HAPPY to be there. That was the major difference between high schools I visited — the happiness. St. Hubert had a joy that was almost overwhelming. Of course, they found out that I was thinking about Little Flower. There were the expected groans of fake exasperation, but instead of bringing Little Flower down, the girls told me what a difficult decision it would prove to be.
There was no trash talk about other schools, which surprised me. The amount of respect they had for a rival school was amazing, since most high schools are very discouraging of one another.
When my friends and I found out that St. Hubert’s was on the closing list, our hearts broke. Teachers came back from the meeting sobbing. Girls were in the bathrooms crying. Everyone was saddened. Even my friends that didn’t plan on ever going to Hubert were upset and angry. That the Archdiocese of Philadelphia can live with themselves after causing so much pain is crazy to me. Those girls are a family, and the self-appointed “blue ribbon committee” ripped them apart. They have their own little agenda to make money. They only looked at stats, and played God by “predicting” that the enrollment will drop. But it’s not too late yet. Hubert’s CAN be saved.
People just need to set aside small, stupid things like numbers and money, and instead see what matters. That is why I wrote this letter, in hopes that someone will read it and that someone will care.
Age 13, Grade: 8, St. Matthew School
We must appeal
As I waited for the archdiocese briefing on the Faith in the Future plan to begin, which occurred just a few hours before the official announcement, I glanced down at the packet of information that was handed out as you entered the room. Someone next to me said, “This is the only paper you really need.” It was the list of the affected schools.
As I looked at the list, I was shocked. While I expected massive closings throughout the archdiocese, I somehow thought that our neighborhood would be spared because we already endured recent closings and mergers that left us with only five grammar schools and without North Catholic. Surely, they would not do this to us again.
But there it was: St. Laurentius in Fishtown, St. George in Port Richmond and Pope John Paul II in Bridesburg. Our Lady of Consolation, Our Lady of Ransom and St. Hubert High School —all closed. Of course, the documents read “combined,” but the reality is they will be closed.
So, what should we do? First, there is going to be an appeals process. Thus far these closings are “recommendations.” They will be accepted by the archbishop unless there is an appeal.
In his statement describing the appeals process, Archbishop Chaput clearly stated that the appeal must articulate why the commission is wrong in its basis for the recommendation. In other words, a school community needs to show why they feel there is long-term viability for that school.
File an appeal if the commission is wrong in its conclusions. I would like to help in this regard in any way I can. If there are meetings among parents, teachers, pastors and/or administrators, please let me know and I will be glad to participate. I don’t want to pretend that any of this will be easy. It will not. But it may be worth a try.
In addition, for details about the plan and to get questions answered, please go to faithinthefuture.com. If your questions are not answered after consulting the site, please call any of my offices and we will get you answers.
This is all a sad development for our neighborhoods and our church. Many of us have already been through the pain and inconvenience of school closings and the transition that follows. If I can help in any way, please contact me at 215-425-0901, 215-744-3009 or 215-744-2600.
177th Legislative District
Transition must be smooth
The archdiocese has announced its plan to close or merge a number of schools in the Northeast, including St. George, Our Lady of Consolation, Our Lady of Ransom and St. Hubert.
Having grown up in St. Bartholomew’s parish and graduated from North Catholic High School, I have firsthand knowledge of the value of Catholic education to our city’s families and neighborhoods. Both of the schools I attended as a child have closed and I understand the emotional impact that the shuttering of these institutions has on the alumni, current students and surrounding community.
While the decision to close so many of our Catholic elementary and high schools is disheartening, it’s imperative that we focus on making the displaced students’ transition as seamless as possible moving forward and that the vacated buildings are utilized quickly, responsibly and in a manner consistent with the needs of the surrounding communities.
I will continue to work with the mayor and my Council colleagues to ensure that the challenges created by these closings are addressed and look forward to an open dialogue with the archdiocese as we move forward. An affordable, accessible and sustainable Catholic education system — one in which students, parents, teachers and administrators are each empowered to succeed — is in many ways essential to our city’s future.
Councilman, 6th District
Amid all the moaning and groaning about the Catholic school closings, one thing everyone seems to forget is that the Catholic population in Philadelphia simply does not support their churches and schools. My parish is Resurrection of Our Lord at Castor and Shelmire avenues, and only about 28 percent of the parishioners go to Mass and contribute to the church and school.
For all of you 72 percent who do nothing, please do not show outrage at the archdiocese. You are the ones responsible in a large part for the closings. Just because your children no longer attend schools, it doesn’t alleviate your obligation as a Catholic to support your church and school.
The Catholic school system is still vital to the educational process in Philadelphia and the suburbs. To all those who are grieving about the commission’s recommendations, please do not blame anybody but yourselves. By the apathy, lack of support and not putting your money where your mouth is, this has come to pass. Do not look past yourselves for this unfortunate situation.
The crises start at the top
Evolution, environmentalism, global warming. Sounds like dogmas of the Democratic Party. Or the Catholic Church. “Tolerance,” “respect all religions,” “dialogue.” Sounds like Barack Obama. Or the pope.
How’d this happen? Well, despite the good intentions of a pro-life message, Pope John Paul II embraced many of these liberal principles, which not only undermined the pro-life cause but added fuel to the pro-abortion, homosexual agenda. For the 27 years of his papacy these errors met no resistance and spread throughout the Church, its seminaries, its convents, and into the Catholic schools.
The results are Catholic school kids who are more concerned with “saving the Earth” than with “saving their souls.” They fear “global warming” but not the “fires of hell.” Earlier popes have cautioned that this sort of indifferentism would weaken the faith, ultimately resulting in the closing of our Catholic institutions.
If Catholics are serious about keeping the remaining schools and parishes open, one solution might be to stop ignoring and ridiculing the wisdom contained in the encyclicals written by popes before Vatican II. They warned us that by replacing traditional doctrines with novelties, the consequences would be the sorry state we find ourselves in.
Speak your mind …
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