Letters to the editor: July 25, 2012

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.
Steph­en D’An­gelo
Fox Chase

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.
May­er Krain
Mod­ena Park

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.
Chris Hayes
Mod­ena Park

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.
Jean Civ­itillo
Holme Circle

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!
Michele Ziccardi

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.
Mari­anne Mis­nik

• • •

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!
Ron Kall

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: pronews@bsmphilly.com

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