Letters to the Editor: January 4, 2012

It’s time to really get tough on those dan­ger­ous drivers

On Fri­day, Dec. 16, a re­mark­able, in­dus­tri­ous wo­man, Sarah Gilmore, was struck and killed cross­ing Frank­ford Av­en­ue near Lans­ing Street at about 10 a.m.

The cen­ter lane of Frank­ford Av­en­ue at this point is des­ig­nated for turns. How could the driver of the car not have seen a per­son in the street ahead of her? How fast was she go­ing if she did see the ped­es­tri­an and could not stop in time? Was the driver on a cell phone?

In 2000, while wait­ing to make a left turn, in a white car with my turn sig­nal flash­ing, I was rear-ended by a car driv­en by a wo­man on a cell phone. I was in­jured and my car was totaled by a driver dis­trac­ted by a cell phone con­ser­va­tion.

I hope that the tele­phone re­cords of the driver of the car that killed Sarah Gilmore can be ac­cessed to find out wheth­er dis­trac­ted driv­ing was a factor in Sarah’s death.

North­east Phil­adelphia has too many people who drive fast and frantic­ally, on cell phones, as though they were re­spond­ing to an emer­gency.

Is there noth­ing the po­lice and the courts can do to dis­cour­age this high-risk be­ha­vi­or?

Mil­dred Koch


Jeanes doc­tor: Mer­ger story needs a drop of medi­cine

The art­icle by Tom War­ing, It’s a med­ic­al mir­acle, (Dec. 21 edi­tion), mis­rep­res­ents the back­ground of the mer­ger between Temple and Fox Chase Can­cer Cen­ter.

The lat­ter in­sti­tu­tion did try to ex­pand in sur­round­ing park land, but the mo­tiv­a­tion for the mer­ger was not about that.

Fox Chase was on the verge of bank­ruptcy with huge amounts of debt, and thus at­temp­ted to af­fil­i­ate with sev­er­al nearby health care sys­tems such as Aria and Geis­sing­er. Un­for­tu­nately for them, the land on which Fox Chase was built is owned by a Quaker trust es­tab­lished by Anna T. Jeanes, the founder of Jeanes Hos­pit­al, such that Fox Chase could not sell it­self to the highest bid­der, so to speak. They ac­tu­ally had no choice but to work things out with Temple, which now owns Jeanes Hos­pit­al.

The clin­ic­al ex­pan­sion of Fox Chase in­to Jeanes Hos­pit­al al­luded to in the art­icle in­volves areas cur­rently used by ad­min­is­tra­tion, etc. It will not en­croach on any areas cur­rently in use for pa­tient care at Jeanes. Fur­ther, we at Jeanes cur­rently provide high-qual­ity care in out­pa­tient dia­gnost­ic test­ing, ra­di­ology, breast care, uro­logy and sur­gery. These ser­vices may be in­teg­rated in the new part­ner­ship, but your art­icle in­dic­ated that the mer­ger would provide (these) ser­vices, sug­gest­ing they are not cur­rently avail­able at Jeanes.

As a phys­i­cian who has provided breast care to wo­men in our re­gion for over 20 years, mainly at Jeanes Hos­pit­al, I felt the need to of­fer a more ac­cur­ate pic­ture of the situ­ation.

Our med­ic­al staff looks for­ward to work­ing with our col­leagues “across the bridge” and will work hard to fa­cil­it­ate the part­ner­ship in every way that en­hances pa­tient care and fur­thers the mis­sion and vis­ion of our founder. Thank you for your at­ten­tion.

Mar­garet Levy, M.D.

Chair­wo­man, De­part­ment of Sur­gery  Jeanes Hos­pit­al

It’s not a tax cut when you’re ac­tu­ally rob­bing So­cial Se­cur­ity

The news me­dia warned us for weeks that those politi­cians in Wash­ing­ton were go­ing to deny us a “payroll tax cut” due to their bick­er­ing.

The so-called tax cut is a one-third re­duc­tion in your with­hold­ing for So­cial Se­cur­ity.

Funny, in past years this was not called a tax, it was called a con­tri­bu­tion. So now it’s a tax? And how is it deny­ing us any­thing, when the tax is simply go­ing back to the nor­mal So­cial Se­cur­ity rate?

Let’s get something clear. The So­cial Se­cur­ity fund is already dis­tressed, and at some point will not be able to pay out the full be­ne­fit.

So the politi­cians and their friends in the na­tion­al me­dia think it’s a good idea to re­duce in­com­ing funds? Show me that math.

This is a clas­sic ex­ample of why we are in a fin­an­cial mess. Every­body wants theirs now — gimme, gimme — and nobody is plan­ning for the fu­ture. We have many un­fun­ded fu­ture prom­ises and too little money to pay for them.

So why make things worse by short­ing So­cial Se­cur­ity?

Shame on the me­dia, Con­gress, and es­pe­cially shame on the pres­id­ent, for present­ing this shell game as a tax cut.

Richard Iac­on­elli


Speak your mind 

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