Bad jobs are rewarded
The murder rate and our real estate taxes went up. So what is the effect on Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Ramsey? The mayor is re-elected and the commissioner gets a huge raise.
I rarely see policemen on the street. They are usually at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) as arresting officers/witnesses or defendants.
As long as Nutter and Ramsey are in charge of this city, I will continue to invest my money in companies that make candles and teddy bears.
Clean up your patios
Dear friends and neighbors:
Remember the days when patios and porches were used for sitting? Now it seems the purpose of the patio is for storing trash and recycling buckets. This is a terrible neighborhood eyesore.
Please keep your trash behind your house until trash day.
Post 754 wants vets
Rhawnhurst-Castor Post 754 is open to any veteran who would like to join the American Legion. Our membership is open to anyone who served in the military.
Our post is the largest Legion post in Philadelphia. We have 750 members. Men or women who would like to join can call me anytime at 215-632-7781. Dues are $25 for the year 2012.
Commander, Post 754
Shopping center is sensitive to all faiths
As leasing and property managers of the Bustleton- Somerton Shopping Center since it was built almost 50 years ago, we seem to be the last ones to know about the letter-to- the-editor debate going on regarding our holiday decorations.We believe that our decorations are sensitive to many faiths and resolve to be sensitive in the future. In fact, the owners of the center are of different religious backgrounds.Since our office was never contacted directly, we never had an opportunity to respond to any concerns. Our phone number is clearly posted for a member of the public to call us any time.As a professional property management company that holds the prestigious AMO (Accredited Management Organization) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management, we welcome constructive criticism and public input.On behalf of the 29 owner-operated small businesses in the Bustleton-Somerton Shopping Center, we would like to wish everyone a safe and successful 2012!
Herbert Yentis & Co. Realtors
In praise of the Jews
Now that the holiday season is over, I would like to take this opportunity to say to our Jewish brothers and sisters how eternally grateful we Christians are that they gave us one of their own sons to guide and direct us. Thank you.
Until now, we have gotten so much and given so little to our Jewish brothers and sisters, that we must now show our solidarity with them in these trying times. So, may God bless and keep the Jews.
Politicians care only about their own power and wealth
Recent editions of the Northeast Times had letters written in by Richard Iaconelli and Arthur Gurmankin regarding Social Security. Both make very valid points but appear to have a party affiliation clouding their views. Fortunately, I do not have a party affiliation.
Mr. Gurmankin, I can assure you I share your opinion of the Bush/Cheney White House. In fact, I doubt if you can dislike them as much as I do. However, since the current administration had the information available that you alluded to, why would he opt to reduce contributions to a trust fund that was already seriously underfunded? My opinion is it was a political ploy trying to create a win/win situation.
President Obama’s approval rating was at an all-time low and he was desperate. He could not lower taxes, which would add to our out-of-control deficit. He did not want to reduce spending, which was the fiscally responsible move, since this might lower his approval rating even more. His ploy was to lower Social Security withholding. If he put more money in our pockets he would be a hero, and if the GOP rejected it he would make them the goat.
Please keep in mind neither Bush nor Obama really care about Social Security since they are not covered by it. Instead, they are under one of the most lucrative pension plans on the planet, covering only federal employees.
I am sure you both have noticed in all the talks regarding lowering the deficit the subject of their benefits has never been mentioned. The sad truth is neither party represents the people or what is right. Their only focus is staying in office and accumulating wealth and power.
Anthony Dello Russo Jr.
Blame other factors for closing Catholic schools
The Jan. 11 editorial It’s a sin correctly identifies a number of factors that have contributed to the closings of so many Catholic schools. But the most important factor was not mentioned. In fact, it is hardly discussed anywhere. It is how Catholics aren’t practicing their faith as well as they should be.
This problem started back in the 1960s with the “sexual revolution.” Vatican II changed the way Catholics think about morality and obedience to church teaching. More and more Catholics decided it was OK to use birth control and have abortions. In the past 20 or so years, people have been more focused on starting a career and making money, so they wait to get married or do not get married at all.
As a result, Catholics are not getting married and not having children as much as God wants. In many cases, Catholics choose not to send their children to Catholic school. They don’t go to church every week like they’re supposed to, so they’re not putting money in the collection baskets. It’s not a surprise that there aren’t enough children and funds to keep the same number of schools.
This decline in faith has also caused fewer men and women to think about becoming priests or nuns. When my parents went to Catholic school there were hardly any non-religious teachers. Today, Catholic schools have to spend a lot more money on teacher salaries.
The long-term solution to this crisis starts with the faithful. They need to follow church teaching, get married and be completely open to having children. Then, they need to send the children to Catholic school, take them to church each week and teach them to follow Catholic morals.
Michael L. Bane
• • •
I was dismayed by your response to the closing of Archdiocesan Catholic schools. While the priest scandal is brought into almost any topic, it is not a major factor in the school closings. Many factors going back decades led up to this warranted change.
The Catholic schools became dependent upon lay faculty as the number of religious teaching in Catholic schools declined dramatically over the years.
When I went to elementary school in the 1960s almost all of the faculty were religious. Over the last 50 years the opposite has occurred. There are multiple reasons for this decline, the most obvious of which is the decrease in the number of men and women entering religious life.
While due to many factors, it cannot be denied that there has been an increasing lack of interest by families to have at least one of their children enter religious life. Then there is the decision by several religious orders to move out of the classroom and find their “true” devotion out in the “real” world, usually in the area of social work.
The resulting dependence on lay faculty members led to increasing costs as wages and benefits rose. This in turn led to increases in the cost of tuition. Also, with only 25 percent or so of Catholics making their Sunday obligation, the collection that the parish church takes in to support their school has radically dropped.
Lastly, the demographics of having one or no children has drastically cut the numbers who attend a school that is now underfunded and has increased costs. This was a known outcome and its inevitability was anticipated years ago. Thankfully we have a shepherd who is willing to make the hard decisions before it gets any worse.
• • •
While you acknowledge the demographic changes — white Catholics moving to the suburbs and black Baptists moving into Philadelphia to replace them, the declining birth rate, loss of religious teachers, who accepted whatever pay given them, and schools built to teach two to five times their current enrollment — you choose to take a cheap shot at the supposed actions of a few deranged priests.
Under most civil laws, and many criminal laws, there is a two-year statute of limitations, for very good reasons. Memories become blurred, documents get lost and sometimes honest testimony just isn’t honest.
So we fire a revered head coach and president of a leading university for something they may have “heard” 10 years ago and who did the right thing of reporting it. Recently we sent the D.A. out to a retired 88-year-old cardinal who suffers from Alzheimer’s to take an affidavit of what he remembers of events 25 years ago.
Maybe all the accused priests are guilty, and maybe Jerry Sandusky is, along with Michael Jackson, but maybe they aren’t.
The Catholic Church educated a great number of people, saving the taxpayers billions of dollars over the last century.
Perhaps those priests were guilty, and maybe the “victims” are just angry people at something their parents did. Broke, alcoholic they surface to capitalize on a generous organization — “Let’s fix them or pay them to avoid a Joe Paterno scandal.”
We know that many fraudulent insurance claims and bogus civil cases are “settled” all the time rather than fought in court ecause sometimes it just makes economic sense to avoid the publicity and lawyers fees.
All these sex cases involve information that is five to 15 years old. Much of it is simply unreliable.
Joseph J. Murray
• • •
This letter is not intended to talk bad about anybody, just to show reality. Cardinal Justin Rigali picked a blue-ribbon commission that had nine well-off businessmen who in most of their work was to hire and lay off workers. Now, with this decision they are going to put 1,700 jobs in possible layoffs. These Catholic school teachers are wonderful people who work for low wages. They should be blessed for what they do — they should not lose their jobs.
As for the people who are struggling to send their children to Catholic schools, many moved close to a parish school so their children could walk to school. Now they are going to be burdened with trying to get their children to school farther away and having to buy new uniforms for them. Now I hear they are going to change the name of schools that are doing well and taking the authority away from pastors. I live in a parish that is doing well and have a wonderful pastor and great priests, and changing this would be a disaster.
Archbishop Chaput, I pray to God that this bombshell that has been thrown in your lap can be resolved and that people do not give up their faith as some have.
John F. Rauchut
Violence brings out the worst
From the editor’s desk
By John Scanlon
Mayor Nutter had it right to be fed up with, as he called them, the “idiots and assholes.”
He took some heat from the PC crowd for his choice of words a couple weeks ago when he testily reacted to a couple of high-profile crimes in the city. Hard to figure out why some people were in such a lather over the a-word. These are times when I’ll take the street-talk Nutter over the cocktail-party Nutter.
In fact, I thought he should have put the f-word in front of the a-word — far more emphatic, and certainly a far more soul-shaking reflection of his distress that this city is getting so nuts that a guy would dash out of his Juniata house and fire about 10 shots into a car occupied by seven teens feuding with his stepsons, killing three of them.
That was Jan. 10. If that episode defied comprehension, and it does, the mayor certainly didn’t anticipate the parade of idiots and assholes who have made headlines since, their crimes every bit as vile and savage as the Juniata incident that put Nutter in such a foul mood.
Kevin Kless’ young life ended on Jan. 14, snuffed by three goons who dashed from a car at Fourth and Chestnut and beat him senseless. Edward Schaefer’s life almost ended on Jan. 17, a similarly wicked beating near his Olney home, this one inflicted by some teen thugs. And last Friday night, two robbers shot and killed Tacony restaurant owner Xiang Huang — the merchant’s horrified wife and child just feet away — and fled with nothing.
Kless’ head rammed against a concrete wall. Schaefer’s face so battered and scabbed and swollen that you winced at the Daily News photo of the 64-year-old guy in his hospital bed. An immigrant Chinese family who’d hoped they’d find the American Dream in a small takeout restaurant at Longshore and Tulip.
All this heartbreak isn’t fate. And it’s not simply that bad things happen. It’s a heightened awareness that, more and more these days, any of us can cross paths with idiots and assholes, at any time, much like Neal Auricchio did when the Rangers hockey fan came to town for the Winter Classic game on Jan. 2 and had his face broken afterward by some clod from South Jersey with a criminal history of anger issues.
The cops and the TV news anchors and the headline writers like to call these crimes “senseless.” We are bewildered that life has lost its sanctity in the eyes of these thugs, but the more accurate reality comes down to one thing.
The criminal mind doesn’t pause to think about consequences. Which makes laws and punishment rather hollow deterrents.
So you and two buddies jump out of a car and punch and kick Kevin Kless to the edge of death, for no reason whatsoever, ignoring the pleas of his two distraught female friends, and then you get back in your car, a violent flash in the night. That fast, that careless. That inconsequential.
If you saw Edward Schaefer’s battered face during his news interviews, it was incredulous to hear him say that he holds no animosity against the two teens who’ve been accused of brutalizing him. His charity is remarkable. He’d have every reason to wonder why they’re such animals.
Or idiots and assholes.
Most gratifying during the past weekend was word that police had rounded up the three suspects sought in Kless’ slaying, including Steven Ferguson, a 20-year-old parking attendant from Fox Chase.
Police had spent the week appealing for help from anyone who may have seen the early-morning confrontation as Kless, 23, tried to hail a cab. However, because a lot of people won’t step up and do the right thing these days, it took a $20,000 reward to persuade a tipster to sell what he knew. Information confirmed what the investigation had come to put together. The cops also learned that Ferguson and his buds supposedly had been overheard bragging and joking about how they did a number on a guy in Old City.
Oooo, that’s not smart. Only idiots make that mistake.
The perfect script change to Kevin Kless’ tragic story would have had him pulling a handgun as these three tough guys charged him and blowing their butts clear to the steps of Independence Hall. Be like the attackers. Don’t worry about consequences.
If anything, the city would have fewer idiots and assholes. ••
John Scanlon is editor of the Northeast Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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