Silence is deafening
On hearing the news concerning Monsignor Lynn’s sentencing, my first thought was to turn to the Catholic Standard & Times and send a missile to them about my thoughts. However, that institution is history. My theory of sending a letter to the CST was to get the big guy’s attention, the chief of the diocese, Archbishop Chaput. I wonder why he, the shepherd of his flock, including his own priests, would be so silent during the trial of Monsignor Lynn and all days leading up to his sentencing.
The bishop is in charge of the diocese and is an extension of the pope in Rome — the head bishop. He, the bishop, is to tend to his flock, being pastoral, supportive, understanding and just. He might have pulled the wampum over many of the parishioners in the diocese as well as some of his priests, but his silence and inactivity around the Lynn debacle is disgraceful and doesn’t even come close to being just.
Hiding behind his collar, his bishop’s miter and staff is cowardly. He sat there day in and day out and pretended that the Lynn trial was so removed from his responsibility that I think at times he thought the trial was happening in some other state. Did he walk into a mess when he accepted the keys of the Philadelphia kingdom? Indeed. Did he attempt to try to support Lynn in any way, at any time, in any manner? NEVER.
Every priest, bishop, cardinal and yes, even the Holy Fathers through the ages knew this was happening and many closed their eyes to some of the vilest of acts and closed their ears to the screams of abuse as well as ways to stop the sickness.
How can those clergy, no matter what level of the hierarchical ladder they are standing on, sleep at night?
Stephen T. Ferry
Remember the names of Council’s tax hikers
An article in the July 4 edition of the Northeast Times identified the 12 City Council members who again voted to raise property taxes for a third consecutive increase, for an astounding $3.6 billion budget.
The latest of these increases to take effect in 2013 will no doubt be the final paralyzing blow to many of the responsible property owners in this city, which will hopefully be the deciding factor for the paralyzed among us to take up residency elsewhere.
Mayor Nutter has yet to explain why his dishonest tactics of so-called “temporary” property tax hikes have now become permanent.
Please remember the names of the Council members who voted for the tax increase — Darrell Clarke, Mark Squilla, Kenyatta Johnson, Curtis Jones, Bobby Henon, Jim Kenney, Wilson Goode Jr., Bill Greenlee, David Oh, Cindy Bass, Marian Tasco and Blondell Reynolds Brown — when it comes time to pull the lever in 2015.
The burden will be on the Northeast
Mayor Nutter wants a homestead exemption of $30,000 for each property under the new Actual Value Initiative (AVI).
The properties in the city valued near or below that $30,000 amount will get a great benefit from the homestead exemption. However, most of the homes in the Northeast will be paying a higher millage rate than we should, despite the homestead exemption, in order to allow the city to collect enough revenue.
Effort to save the ship needs a young push
Regarding your July 4 article about the SS United States, gold medal fever is in the air and growing more urgent as the Olympic Trials continue. U.S. athletes all over the country are competing to represent the United States in the upcoming London Summer Olympics. Isn’t it a pity that we don’t extend the same honor to exceptional ships that sail the Seven Seas?
If ever there was a performance that warranted a gold medal, it was the luxury liner the SS United States. She broke all world records on July 4, 1952, for in-service passenger liners when she crossed the North Atlantic Ocean to London in three days, 10 hours and 40 minutes — a record that’s never been beaten in more than 60 years!
Surely she’s earned a place of honor and respect for that world-famous run. But such is not her fate, according to the article in the Northeast Times. Instead, the dejected liner sits on the Delaware River awaiting an ignominious death on the scrap heap unless a few dedicated Americans can rouse enough interest in fellow Americans to save this gold-medal treasure.
It would seem that most adults have turned their backs to attempts to save the valiant ship. Perhaps the fund-raisers should turn to the children of America to begin a campaign similar to Alex’s Lemonade. Kids respond with their hearts and have the courage to try to make things better. Just look at the millions of dollars they’ve raised for cancer research. Imagine what they could do to try to save the United States liner. What a heroic story that would be.
Yo, Philly, ‘Welcome America’ was a real scream
The presentation of Philly’s Welcome America Independence Day was an embarrassment to all Philadelphians who were born in this great city and proud of its historical and cultural events and its beauty.
The music was horrible, as were the performers who jumped around the stage unbecoming of civilized people. I am appalled at the terrible image that was portrayed of our city. Shame on officials and sponsors for putting on a show with screaming vocalists and terrible music. The birthplace of our nation should be revered.
The fireworks that illuminated the night were beautiful. Boston and Manhattan’s celebration of Independence Day was top entertainment.
Who’s minding the weeds at Anne Frank?
I have been living in Bustleton my entire life, and overall it’s a beautiful area. People in my neighborhood take pride in their property, but when I drive on Clark Street and pass Anne Frank School, it looks abandoned.
The weeds in the curb are like a little forest and the grounds on the school are a disgrace! Driving past there the other day, I saw a lady spraying the weeds on the curb of the school across from her home! I don’t know how the people that live across from this school can stand looking at such an eyesore. It makes me sick just driving past it!
And it’s not just that school is out — it’s all year round. Who is responsible to maintain this school grounds? Whoever it is, they’re not doing a good job. I hope next time I drive past there it’s cleaned up!
Vote ‘No’ on Bobby “pro-tax” Henon
Anyone who pays attention knows this City Hall is a mess. It’s not new. I have been voting in Philadelphia for 38 years. I have no memory of a one-term mayor, and the average span of a Council member is 30 years. Unless you can remember saying this city is getting better (I can’t), this is wrong.
We recently sent a new councilman (Bobby Henon) to City Hall, yet nothing has changed. Mr. Henon last month penned a letter (self-serving) to the Northeast Times bragging about going after deadbeats. He named four people who, combined, only owe $108,000. We are owed more than $500 million in back taxes, fines and penalties. Two of his targets did not even show up to the hearing.
Two weeks later in this paper (TV news has not mentioned City Council or the mayor’s activity in months), it comes out that he voted “yes” to a property tax increase. I called Bobby’s office to ask why, because he ran for office on helping the Northeast. Tax increases hurt us, Bobby! My answer from his aide was shocking. She told me, “He felt with what is going on and the options on the table with AVI and all, this was the best option.”
Are you kidding? He could have said no. Other Council members did. There are many other options, Bobby.
You could actually go after all the back-owed money. You could close half-empty schools. You could stop fraud and abuse. The staff for Council and Mayor Nutter’s office is fat. I haven’t heard a word about DROP since Nutter put his foot down about it while running for re-election last year. I have many more and I am just a regular guy with no political experience at all.
The Republicans call President Obama “the food stamp president.” This city caters to the poor and taxes to make up for it better than anyone. I remember when “career politicians” had a negative connotation. Let’s not hang that tag on Bobby Henon.
And just for the record, Bobby, I was the one who told your aide I was on a one-man mission to make you a one-term councilman. Fortunately, Damon Fisher (Taxes and Henon, July 11 Letters to the Editor) showed I’m not aloneJohn Snyder
Catholic schools help government save a bundle
In response to Edward Huber’s letter in the July 4 edition titled Keep your hands out of my pockets:
Parents of Catholic school children too pay taxes, yet they receive little or no benefit from the state in the education of their children. This is not an issue of separation of church and state, yet one of justice. School vouchers would benefit all parents regardless of religion who meet the economic criteria set by a Pennsylvania voucher program.
The parochial school system has saved the taxpayers millions of dollars over the past decades in the education of our children in this commonwealth. The success of our students who attended our Catholic schools over the years is a benefit that the state of Pennsylvania cannot afford to lose.
More than 40,000 children of Pennsylvania taxpayers are presently enrolled in our Catholic schools. If the state of Pennsylvania continues to take taxes out of the pockets of Catholic school parents, then it is only right that the state afford a school voucher system.
Charles J. Panepresso
• • •
The Catholic school system is not the only one benefiting from voucher use. There are other private and religious (Lutheran, Hebrew, Baptist, etc.) schools that would also benefit.
As to separation of church and state, yes, I agree our founding fathers never wanted any one religion to take precedent over all others. This way, all religions would be on equal footing as they are today.
But these same founders believed in God as evidenced by our Constitution and did not mean for this separation policy to encourage a Godless atheist nation.
When Catholic and other alternative schools are no longer viable, our government will have to educate all students and will probably be in both your pockets, Eddie.
• • •
I would like to remind Edward Huber that the amount of increase in his taxes from vouchers would be a lot less than they would be if children left Catholic school and went to public schools.
Don’t forget that Catholic parents are taxpayers, too. Now, can you imagine if all the Catholic schools shut down? The government would really be in your pockets. I don’t understand how our schools are imposing our religious will upon you.
John F. Rauchut
Still waiting for an answer
A letter writer in the July 11 edition asked why Major Nidal Hasan, the suspect in the Fort Hood army base shootings, is still alive.
Why indeed? I have posted this question on my Facebook page many times. Usually our attorney general has his Justice Department running around suing Americans at the request of his Muslim friends in CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), a front group here for the Muslim brotherhood, for protesting against more and more mosques being built here, or investigating a broken window at a mosque as a hate crime!
Murdering 13 American servicemen, on the other hand, is classified by Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama as, ready for this, workplace violence. Never mind that Nidal yelled “Allahu Akbar!” while allegedly murdering our young soldiers. Never mind that his business card said soldier of jihad on it. Never mind that his superiors knew he had spoken out against America and publicly professed violent Islamic rantings and had been poorly rated by his peers.
Clearly, our present administration is committed to helping further Islamic jihad in America. I am a little embarrassed to say this, but our military brass stated that keeping multiculturalism in the military is more important than pointing out Nidal murdered in the name of Islam! You know our country is in trouble now!
Why is the Islamic mass murderer Major Nidal still not tried, let alone alive? You tell me!
Speak your mind …
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