Letters to the editor: June 13, 2012

Show your Amer­ic­an pride for just a dol­lar
Dear North­east res­id­ents and all Phil­adelphi­ans:
Re­cently I traveled through parts of North­east Philly in­clud­ing Pine Val­ley and oth­er parts of Bustleton, Fox Chase, Park­wood and Frank­ford, as well as Brides­burg, Fishtown and Port Rich­mond, and as I was trav­el­ing, I no­ticed that more people chose sports teams’ flags over the Amer­ic­an flag.
I will say that in parts of Brides­burg, Port Rich­mond and the Frank­lin Mills area near Academy Road, there were some very nice dis­plays, but for the most part, Phil­lies, Eagles, Fly­ers and Six­ers flags were the thing.
Team flags cost about $10 to $20 each, and our coun­try flag can be picked up at a dol­lar store.
Come on, Philly, let’s show our sup­port for the vets, our men and wo­men still serving, our po­lice of­ficers and our fire­fight­ers, for without them all, things in this coun­try would be a lot dif­fer­ent. Just one dol­lar can go a long way in show­ing how much we care.
Fly­ing our team flag is a great thing, but noth­ing should trump the stars and stripes. Re­mem­ber, a dol­lar can show a lot of pride in our coun­try.
Jim Knot­well
Pine Val­ley

Knights in shin­ing cars help can­cer pa­tients
I have been a can­cer pa­tient at the Fox Chase Can­cer Cen­ter for the past year. An in­teg­ral part of the ex­per­i­ence is not dir­ectly re­lated to the treat­ment re­gime — it is the abil­ity to get to treat­ments.
Thanks to the Amer­ic­an Can­cer So­ci­ety’s Road to Re­cov­ery pro­gram, which provides rides to pa­tients that have dif­fi­culty get­ting to their treat­ments, I have been able to get to all of my ap­point­ments. The drivers are all vo­lun­teers. Un­for­tu­nately, there are many ride re­quests each month that are un­able to be ful­filled be­cause there are not enough drivers.
Al­though our fam­il­ies and friends are sup­port­ive, they are not al­ways avail­able to take us to the many ap­point­ments that our treat­ment en­tails. My ex­per­i­ence with these drivers is so ex­traordin­ary in terms of their com­pas­sion and com­mit­ment to provid­ing this ser­vice that is so vi­tal to our over­all abil­ity to deal with our ill­ness. Know­ing that total strangers are vo­lun­teer­ing their time, tak­ing us in their cars and shep­herd­ing us with such care is a mor­ale boost­er.
It is be­cause of my per­son­al ex­per­i­ence and see­ing how many pa­tients have be­nefited from this ser­vice that I am ap­peal­ing to the broad­er North­east com­munity to con­sider be­com­ing a vo­lun­teer driver for the Road to Re­cov­ery pro­gram. Drive as much or as little as you can. Every ride can make a dif­fer­ence for a loc­al can­cer pa­tient. Be­come a knight in a shin­ing car to a very grate­ful neigh­bor who needs your help as they deal with their ill­ness. For in­form­a­tion on how to vo­lun­teer, please con­tact Jam­ie Mc­Cann at 215-985-5359 or Jam­ie.Mc­Cann@can­cer.org.
If someone you know has can­cer and would like in­form­a­tion, day-to-day help, or emo­tion­al sup­port, please con­tact the Amer­ic­an Can­cer So­ci­ety at 1-800-227-2345, or vis­it can­cer.org.
Jean Setleis

PECO, please don’t kill me with your smart meter
PECO is in­stalling smart meters on homes in Phil­adelphia. They say it is to help people to un­der­stand how they use en­ergy.
But pri­or loc­a­tions that have had these meters in­stalled have re­jec­ted these smart meters be­cause of health risks and ill­nesses. In Sonoma County, Cal­if., doc­u­mented health con­cerns have ranged from loss of memory, dizzi­ness, naus­ea and in­som­nia, and many are con­cerned about long-term ra­di­ation ef­fects such as can­cer. I have con­tac­ted the state Pub­lic Util­ity Com­mis­sion (1-800-782-1110) and filed a com­plaint re­fus­ing to have the smart meter in­stalled. It is ad­vised to con­tact your state le­gis­lat­ors and City Coun­cil mem­bers, in­clud­ing all sev­en at-large mem­bers.
Most im­port­antly, people should call PECO at 1-855-741-9011 im­me­di­ately and re­fuse in­stall­a­tion, be­cause the World Health Or­gan­iz­a­tion con­siders Type B elec­tro­mag­net­ic ra­dio waves car­ci­no­gen­ic to people. An­oth­er study is the Sutro Tower in San Fran­cisco and its cor­rel­a­tion to child­hood can­cers, by Neil Cherry, Ph.D. Fi­nally, these meters will en­able PECO to de­term­ine when people are home and will even­tu­ally lead to pay­ing more for “peak hour us­age” when air con­di­tion­ing and heat­ing are needed. Please act.
Myles Gor­don

At Ken­Crest Prom, a good time was had by all
My wife, Maria, and I, had the pleas­ure of at­tend­ing the 10th An­nu­al Ken­Crest Prom for their cli­ents with spe­cial needs on Sat­urday, June 2. The Ken­Crest Prom was held the day after Up­per Mo­re­land High School’s seni­or prom, so the post-prom dec­or­a­tions were still in­tact and on dis­play.
Ken­Crest hos­ted the prom for their cli­ents who are adults with vari­ous types of dis­ab­il­it­ies.
The range of ages of the cli­ents who at­ten­ded the prom was from ap­prox­im­ately 17 to 81. Ken­Crest serves people with in­tel­lec­tu­al or de­vel­op­ment­al dis­ab­il­it­ies, and those with aut­ism
Ken­Crest has been serving this spe­cial pop­u­la­tion for more than 100 years and is the largest pro­vider of com­munity-based ser­vices and sup­ports in the re­gion.
The Ken­Crest prom was at­ten­ded by more than 350 cli­ents and their fam­ily mem­bers, care­givers, vo­lun­teers and friends.
Be­sides be­ing a great time for every­one who at­ten­ded, it was grat­i­fy­ing and up­lift­ing for my wife and I to see Ken­Crest’s cli­ents dressed up in their best out­fits, dan­cing, and en­joy­ing the mu­sic and each oth­er’s com­pany. For any cli­ents who needed a suit or a prom dress, Ken­Crest made cer­tain that there were hun­dreds of donated dresses and suits avail­able from which to choose.
The Up­per Mo­re­land School Board and Su­per­in­tend­ent Dr. Robert Mil­rod are to be com­men­ded for al­low­ing Ken­Crest to host the prom for their cli­ents at Up­per Mo­re­land High School. Thank you, and con­grat­u­la­tions to the Up­per Mo­re­land School Dis­trict for be­ing so sup­port­ive of in­di­vidu­als with dis­ab­il­it­ies.
It is un­for­tu­nate that your news­pa­per and oth­er news out­lets con­tin­ue to neg­lect cov­er­age of this event, year after year.
At a time when our dis­abled com­munity is suf­fer­ing fund­ing and pro­gram cuts, Ken­Crest cli­ents find reas­on to re­joice and cel­eb­rate their spe­cial dif­fer­ences. Per­haps in the fu­ture, your news­pa­per will find this event news­worthy. I know your read­ers cer­tainly would.
Rep. Thomas P. Murt
152nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict

CLIP gets an A+ from these read­ers
Re­gard­ing the let­ter to the ed­it­or from Ly­dia F. Sel­wood of Har­ris­on­burg, Va. (Shame on CLIP for go­ing too far, May 30 edi­tion):
The 4th Amend­ment of the Con­sti­tu­tion states in part:  “The right of the people to be se­cure in their per­sons, houses, … against un­reas­on­able searches and seizures, shall not be vi­ol­ated, and no War­rants shall is­sue, but upon prob­able cause, sup­por­ted by Oath or af­firm­a­tion, and par­tic­u­larly de­scrib­ing the place to be searched, and the per­sons or things to be seized.”
I don’t re­call any­one be­ing searched or seized, just pho­to­graphed. And wheth­er you real­ize it or not, ac­cord­ing to your defin­i­tions of “patrolling” and “pho­to­graph­ing,” Google Earth has already vi­ol­ated your rights and those of a good por­tion of the world by pho­to­graph­ing every street, house, build­ing, etc., on this plan­et for our view­ing pleas­ure on the In­ter­net.
Thank good­ness Ms. Sel­wood has moved from her former res­id­ence in big bad Phil­adelphia to nice sed­ate Har­ris­on­burg, Va. That area of the coun­try is a very nice loc­a­tion — nestled in the Shen­an­doah Val­ley, amidst the Blue Ridge Moun­tains. However, if you hap­pen to look at the reg­u­la­tions for your town of Har­ris­on­burg, Va., you will no­tice the fol­low­ing reg­u­la­tion (in part):
Tall Grass and Weeds. Whenev­er grass, weeds, brush or oth­er for­eign growth at­tains a height of fif­teen (15) inches or more, it shall be pre­sumed to threaten the health, safety and gen­er­al wel­fare of res­id­ents of the City.  ….cit­izens of the City can call the De­part­ment of Plan­ning et al. to re­port a “Tall Grass and Weeds” vi­ol­a­tion and the City will in­spect the prop­erty and, if ne­ces­sary, no­ti­fy the prop­erty own­er of the vi­ol­a­tion. Fail­ure to re­solve a “Tall Grass and Weeds” vi­ol­a­tion after be­ing no­ti­fied by the City shall res­ult in the City con­tract­ing to have the grass, weeds or oth­er growth re­moved. The prop­erty own­er will then be billed for all as­so­ci­ated costs. If the bill is not paid in thirty (30) days, the City Man­ager shall trans­mit the bill to the City Treas­ure, who shall in­clude the amount in the next reg­u­lar bill of the prop­erty own­er. To view de­tailed reg­u­la­tions … see the City Code Sec­tion 16-6-58, Weeds, etc., on lots….
There is also a reg­u­la­tion re­gard­ing re­mov­al of graf­fiti that is sim­il­ar in nature — that Har­ris­on­burg will take pic­tures of such graf­fiti and doc­u­ment un­til it is re­moved.
Ms. Sel­wood – you have been CLIPPED in Har­ris­on­burg, Va.
There is no es­cap­ing “Big Broth­er” or CLIP’s so-called Gestapo tac­tics in the world today. And CLIP is an equal op­por­tun­ity or­gan­iz­a­tion — I do not think they care if you are eld­erly, dis­abled or poor, or are rich and drive a Mer­cedes. All of these things do not give you the right to be a total slob and have dis­respect for those liv­ing around you — oth­er­wise known as your neigh­bors.
As a res­id­ent of North­east Phil­adelphia, who also lives with an eld­erly per­son — and I am sure no one would con­sider us rich or part of the 1 per­cent — we try to keep our prop­erty neat and clean. I too have no love for the “CLIP crim­in­als,” but these types of per­sons are in all as­pects of our so­ci­ety and gov­ern­ment.
As for your es­cape from Nazi Ger­many, I ap­plaud your suc­cess in this coun­try, but re­mem­ber that you are now in the United States, where even the neat and clean people, who hap­pen to live in very close prox­im­ity to their neigh­bors, have the right to de­fend them­selves against the vi­ol­at­ors of their own little corner of the neigh­bor­hood, town, city and plan­et.
En­joy Har­ris­on­burg, Va., and watch out for those Tall Grass and Weeds in­spect­ors who could be com­ing to your home too.
K. King

* * *

In re­sponse to the neg­at­ive let­ter about CLIP, I am a firm sup­port­er of this de­part­ment. Per­haps a few dec­ades ago, when opin­ion writer Ly­dia lived in Phil­adelphia, homeown­ers took pride in their “castle.” Un­for­tu­nately, today that is not al­ways the case. Neigh­bor­hoods are now plagued with Sec­tion 8, land­lords that couldn’t care less and homeown­ers who seem un­con­cerned with the ap­pear­ance of their home, where your neigh­bor has no prob­lem let­ting their lawns get over­grown, trash build up and let­ting their dogs’ poop pile up to col­lect flies.
This leaves the rest of us with what op­tions? Do you con­front your neigh­bor, like the man on Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue just a few months ago? We all know how that could end. In my mind, CLIP is as ne­ces­sary as the trash de­part­ment. Without them we would all be liv­ing in filth. I wel­come the patrolling as a cit­izen who cares for my prop­erty. Keep up the good work!
Mi­chael Ap­pen­zeller

Uni­ons de­serve cred­it
To the people who claim to know why our eco­nom­ic prob­lems are the fault of the Amer­ic­an labor move­ment, here is what those uni­on mem­bers did to this coun­try and to you and your de­pend­ents. Here is a small list of what they did with their blood and guts on the pick­et line. They did this for their coun­try and fam­ily and you:
1. Ne­go­ti­ated hours to work per day.
2. Ne­go­ti­ated days to work per week.
3. Ne­go­ti­ated wages.
4. Ne­go­ti­ated over­time wages.
5. Ne­go­ti­ated seni­or­ity — they don’t throw you out at 40 years old; you are pro­tec­ted.
6. Ne­go­ti­ated plant safety.
7. Ne­go­ti­ated health in­sur­ance.
8. Ne­go­ti­ated paid hol­i­days.
9. Ne­go­ti­ated week­ends off. Step back and think — you had no Sat­urdays and Sundays off un­til the uni­on came along.
By the way, this is a short list.
Jim McLaugh­lin

Coun­cil­man: Hear­ing set on prop­er­ties
Next Wed­nes­day, June 20, at 10 a.m. in City Hall, the com­mit­tees on Li­censes and In­spec­tions and Pub­lic Safety will hold a joint hear­ing to dis­cuss the is­sue of neg­li­gent land­lords, prob­lem prop­er­ties and their ef­fects on the sur­round­ing com­munity. To learn more about the pur­pose of this hear­ing, check out the res­ol­u­tion that I in­tro­duced earli­er this year (www.bobby­hen­on.com). It was passed by City Coun­cil on March 15.
Last Fri­day, sub­poen­as were is­sued to com­pel the fol­low­ing prop­erty own­ers to par­ti­cip­ate in the hear­ing: Ed­win Bass, James Walsh, Wal­ter Ulatowski and Ray­mond Ho­ge­land.
To­geth­er, these prop­erty own­ers own 152 prop­er­ties in the North­east; are sus­pec­ted of ow­ing $108,384 in de­lin­quent real es­tate tax; and have re­ceived nearly 750 prop­erty vi­ol­a­tions. Over 330 calls from the com­munity have been made on is­sues re­lat­ing to these prop­er­ties.
If these in­di­vidu­als fail to ap­pear on June 20 at 10 a.m., City Coun­cil will take the steps ne­ces­sary to en­force the sub­poen­as in court. It is un­usu­al for City Coun­cil to use its sub­poena power to com­pel wit­nesses to par­ti­cip­ate in Coun­cil hear­ings, but the time has come for ag­gress­ive ac­tion.
This is just one of many steps I am tak­ing in part­ner­ship with my col­leagues to ad­dress some of the qual­ity-of-life is­sues fa­cing the city of Phil­adelphia. I an­ti­cip­ate that there will be more hear­ings this fall, and I have already in­tro­duced le­gis­la­tion to deal with prob­lem prop­er­ties and prob­lem prop­erty own­ers. In ad­di­tion, I am go­ing to con­tin­ue to un­veil oth­er in­nov­at­ive, new pro­grams and le­gis­la­tion to ad­dress these qual­ity of life is­sues. Stay tuned at www.bobby­hen­on.com.
For more in­form­a­tion about this hear­ing or to share your thoughts, give me a call at 215-686-3444 or send me an e-mail at bobby@bobby­hen­on.com
I look for­ward to con­tinu­ing to fight for our neigh­bor­hoods.
Bobby Hen­on
Coun­cil­man, 6th dis­trict

Sens­it­iv­ity needed  on debris story
The net­work news broad­casts lately have been por­tray­ing the debris from the 2011 tsunami that has slowly made its way across the North Pa­cific as an en­vir­on­ment­al pol­lu­tion is­sue.
There is an im­pli­cit ele­ment of blame in the pro­nounce­ments of loc­al “en­vir­on­ment­al­ists” re­gard­ing what has washed up on the beaches of Alaska.
To me, this debris is the con­sequence of a hu­man dis­aster that most Amer­ic­ans simply can­not grasp, or has yet to pen­et­rate most people’s men­tal smokescreen of gos­sip and “real­ity” shows.
The stuff on the beach should be treated with care and re­spect, like the debris from a plane crash that has res­ul­ted in a great loss of life.
To see such a lack of sens­it­iv­ity the day after Me­mori­al Day is a re­mind­er of the fail­ings of this coun­try’s deal­ings with the Ja­pan­ese over the last cen­tury or so.
If I had lost my home and fam­ily in last year’s tsunami, I might find our me­dia’s hand­ling of these re­mains in poor taste.
Chris Mark

Mr. A. art­icle brought back memor­ies
I just read last week’s art­icle by Wil­li­am Kenny on FitzPatrick gym teach­er Rich Al­lo­way (The gi­ant of gym class). He taught me al­most 40 years ago, (1972-76) at FitzPatrick and he is teach­ing my grand­son there today.
I am not sure if he was my first gym teach­er at FitzPatrick, but he is the only one I re­mem­ber. He was my first
gym­nast­ic coach. I was sur­prised and happy to hear that he was still there when my grand­son came home and told me that his gym teach­er’s name was Mr. A. I knew it was him.
Now, know­ing that he is re­tir­ing, I plan on stop­ping up after my grand­son’s end-of-year activ­it­ies. Thanks so much for shar­ing this story; it brought back many happy memor­ies for me.
Colleen Guld

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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