Smart meters: Danger! Warning! Caution!
Thanks, Myles Gordon, for last week’s letter to the editor that had information on smart meters and the numbers to call (Smart meters are a dumb idea).
PECO had threatened to shut me off if I didn’t take the meter. I called on the phone and asked for time until September to look into them a little bit more and was told if I didn’t make arrangements and an appointment to let the installer have access, my electric would be shut off 6/17.
That’s a real disgrace, because I have paid my bill on time for over 20 years and have a meter that works perfectly well. I made the appointment but told them to note that it was under duress.
Since then I have looked up what is happening around the country with these meters and everything you said is true and more. People are getting very sick from the electromagnetic radiation.
Information can be found at www.smartmetersmurder.com and you can find a list of the many health problems associated with them there.
PECO will correctly tell you that in 2008 something was signed saying there is no opt-out for Pennsylvania, but what they won’t tell you is that state Rep. Mike Reese has authored a bill to get that option for the citizens of Pennsylvania. It is HB 2188 and is presently waiting to be released for a vote on it.
State Rep. Robert Godshall chairs the committee that is reviewing it and his office has been very helpful to me. I sent my PECO shutoff notice to them as well as to state Sen. Mike Stack and am waiting to see how things play out.
These meters are extremely dangerous physically and practically, and we do have people in Harrisburg considering an opt-out for us. Let them know you don’t want these meters forced on you.
It was supposed to be The People’s panel
I applied for the next Parks & Recreation Commission term against 60 applications (last time, it was 180) to fill nine unpaid seats. The 60 will contest against the past nine approved incumbents for a chance to be selected by the mayor. If any succeed to office, they will meet quarterly with the six paid city bureaucrats supposed to examine policies in advance and recommend.
Fat chance. Look for the evidence.
What was supposed to be a citizens commission is now controlled by the Center City District and past Recreation Department supervisors. The only mandatory agenda was to pass a park sales ordinance written to override the Burholme Park Fox Chase Cancer Center case. Now City Council, in secret, will advise the mayor. One councilman and four at-large members will have no vote on commissioners.
That was the plan that the Parks Alliance created to support Mayor Nutter’s election. Now they whine how the mayor tricked them when he revoked his $8 million pledge. Whatever did they expect to happen when they played the insiders’ game?
I served 14 annual appointments to the Fairmount Park Citizens Advisory Council, with 21 others at regular meetings as public advocates to work with the commission directly. It was effective, and the Alliance was a special member, but it became hostile, and too greedy to cooperate with us. They foolishly destroyed the better institution, and gave all powers to the politicians after 167 years of independence.
Educating educators is the first lesson
For educators to state if you are not a veteran teacher your opinion is not worth listening to, is like telling constituents they should not vote in the upcoming presidential election because none of us have prior presidential experience on our resumes.
As taxpayers, we have a right to judge if our government is working as well as it should or needs to implement better quality control measures.
During an interview last month with Marty Moss-Coane, the host of WHYY’s Radio Times, Gov. Corbett shed some light on the statistics that teachers unions have been notoriously hiding from taxpayers. Current teacher evaluations practically guarantee satisfactory ratings! Under the current evaluation system, 99.1 percent of all teachers that get evaluated receive a satisfactory rating and 99.4 percent of all school administrators receive a satisfactory rating. Get your tenure and the only way you will ever get fired and be held accountable in the public school system is by getting caught in some high-profile scandal.
When there are mandatory budget cuts, layoffs are exclusively based upon seniority and have nothing to do with job performance. The governor addressed this issue during his interview and cited an example in Indiana that could happen in any public school district in Pennsylvania: The Teacher of the Year got fired because they were so far down the seniority ladder.
How do these archaic policies benefit children?
A very happy return
Last week, I left my pocketbook in a cart in the parking lot of the Target store near Bustleton and Cottman avenues. Of course, I thought it was gone forever, with the contents also never to be seen again. Two days later, I found out it had been turned in to Target with nothing missing.
Since no one could identify the person who turned it in, I just want to say THANK YOU to the honorable person who did the right thing, which isn’t always the easy thing. Too many bad people are out there, so it’s nice to know there are still some decent people among us. God bless you and may good karma come to you!
Romney sees the real problem in Philadelphia
How much money did the city spend to bring the Barnes Museum to Philadelphia to supposedly give our town a shot of class and new prestige?
Then Mitt Romney comes to a West Philadelphia charter school, and Mayor Nutter and District Attorney Williams are outside the building whooping and razzing up a crowd like they were street thugs.
I guess it’s important to defend a public school system that has more that 5,000 assaults a year, and was left broke when Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman skipped town with a $900,000 payoff and taxpayers and the school district got stuck with a $94 million deficit.
Romney interacted with Kenny Gamble, and seemed to enjoy himself with the minority students. That’s a good thing. If Romney becomes president, it would be nice to see urban education as a priority.
The image of the defiant mayor made the news, and was a national embarrassment. (Erase that Barnes gloss.) All that was missing was Nutter’s hoodie.
Disproportionate taxes are Goode for nothing
Supporters of the Actual Value Initiative, primarily City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr., have been pointing out that about half the city’s homeowners, mainly lower income residents who are paying a disproportionate share under the current system, would get a tax break.
Let me see, I live in a row house in the ZIP code 19154 area and pay over $2,100 a year. The two homes I grew up in — on the 2100 block of S. 60th St., which has a property tax of $374.26 a year, and on the 6000 block of Allman St., which has a property tax of $316.92 a year — my guess is that those two addresses would be an example of Councilman Wilson Goode’s “mainly lower income residents who are paying a disproportionate share under the current system.” Let’s compare: For $2152.01, $374.26 and $316.92, you get police, fire/rescue (slightly downsized fire), trash pickup, snow plowing, school’s, recreation/community centers, libraries, day care, smoke alarms, home repair services, etc., etc.
Would someone other than Wilson Goode Jr. explain to me how two of the three row homes above get classified in “Wilson Goode Jr. speak” as “disproportionately” taxed? Give me a break! That’s an average of $28.75 a month for all the above services. Those same services average $179.33 a month for my row house. Go figure!!
I suggest staying busy on those phone calls and e-mails to your elected “representatives” to voice your displeasure about your “disproportionate share” of the burden!! You can search any address in the city on the Office of Property Management (formerly BRT) site if you want to do your own comparisons. I am a disproportionately taxed homeowner.
Henon’s answer is no solution at all
Regarding City Councilman Bobby Henon’s answer to L&I’s problems: Great idea, Bobby, let’s hire more do-nothing city employees.
A news reporter finds that a woman has complained for two years about a wall that is about to fall from the abandoned home next door onto her house and nothing is done. The news reporter contacts L&I and the next day the problem is fixed. We don’t need new employees, unless we are replacing the old ones who are failing to do any work in their cushy, overpaid, over-holidayed and DROP-program-enrolled jobs! Next Bobby is going to propose we hire more property-tax delinquent agents to NOT collect even more back taxes!
Look for the strong union label
Thank you to Jim McLaughlin for his well-written, succinct letter about the history and benefits of unions (Unions deserve credit, June 13 edition).
I often hear complaints about unions and hear people ask, “what have unions done for me?”
Well, read that list or ask a union member. Be grateful that unions exist to fight for your working rights.
Among other things, unions protect the greater good of the workers as a whole, not just the individual. It’s about working families — it’s not just about you. If your company does not have a union, or if you are not eligible for regular union membership, visit Working America at http://www.workingamerica.org and you can join that union.
Working America is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and is great for people who are not eligible for union membership through their employers, or simply can’t join regular unions (for whatever reason). You can also call their Philadelphia regional office (if you don’t have Internet access) at 1-610-940-5848.
Readers are vouching for and against vouchers
Opposition is unwarranted
The bias against vouchers displayed in your June 6 editorial (Say no to vouchers) is echoed by your misleading front page banner — With their school’s future assured, St. Hubert students push for tuition aid from taxpayers
Do you mean to say that public school students do not receive tuition aid from taxpayers? Of course they do, and in amounts several times greater than what taxpayers would have to pay for the vouchers that would effectively keep private school students off the public school rolls.
Your distortion of this common sense observation is supposedly justified by your spurious claim that school choice violates the Constitutional separation of church and state. The vouchers are intended for the education of the student. If the child or parents choose to obtain that education at a religious institution of their choice, then the state has imposed no obligation on anyone to support a particular religion. As long as the choice remains with the family, and not the state, then the Constitutional separation remains intact.
And that’s why we have had no problem with the GI Bill of Rights, or Pell Grants, being used to obtain an education at religious institutions. There is no valid reason why primary school education should be treated differently from adult education. Your editorial offers no coherent rationale for perpetuating this difference.
• • •
Years ago, as a former victim of the Philadelphia Public Fool system, I would have agreed with all the words in this editorial. Now, after learning the truth on my own, I can say this article makes less sense than someone stumbling out of a bar at closing time.
Yes, I also applaud the St. Hubert’s girls. Their parents were forced to pay for the inept public schools that they could have attended for “free.” Now the girls are trying to get their money back so they can more freely choose the best school. This process has been labeled the “voucher” system.
Contrary to the common urban legend publicized by the likes of the Northeast Times, the U.S. Constitution says nothing about “separation of Church and State.” After three clicks on the computer, I have discovered that the 1st Amendment actually says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Establishment of religion means that Congress could not wake up one day and, for example, declare the Church of England as the official church of America. Also, come to think of it, it seems that the public school system is violating the 1st Amendment by impeding the girls’ financial ability to freely exercise their religion by attending St. Hubert’s.
Wait, there’s more. After a few more clicks on the computer, I have now discovered that the public school system or “free education” is one of the 10 planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto! OK, so not only are public schools potentially violating the 1st Amendment, they are wholly endorsed by the founding fathers of atheistic Communism.
Finally, why would the editor say that the girls’ parents, as taxpayers, demand that the Philadelphia public schools provide better service? They already have a school that provides better service: St. Hubert’s. What the parents really should be demanding is that the public schools keep their grubby hands off of their paychecks!
Let the market decide
We cheered along with the Bambies for their success — the pure spirit of youthful tenacity — keeping St. Hubert’s out of the clutches of church fathers intent on selling out the faithful to provide a cadre of “We didn’t do it and we’ll never do it again” pervert priests legal defense. Now the Bambies expect state vouchers.
We were taught if we leave capitalism alone, competition in the free market will sort out everything, and that only the best will rise. But everyone has a favorite piece of public art so eye-watering unlovely the artist couldn’t sell it to private collectors.
Taxpayers funded a bottle of urine with a crucifix inside and an elephant-dung Madonna, and aren’t we still smarting over that “We’re too big to fail” caper pulled by banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses and automobile corporations?
Market forces should also apply to private schools. A father who enrolled his son at Devon Prep because he thinks the boy is too smart for Springfield High is letting his wallet determine a better education, until that man applies for a $600 taxpayer voucher toward the bus that’ll haul his son there.
The University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university with a million-dollar-plus president, is somehow “non-profit.” Temple got wise to a loophole broad enough to drive a crosstown bus through. And the NFL pocketed $26 million last year and is also — yep, non-profit. You got the legal team to file the paperwork, you got the exemption.
If I can get a note from my spiritual leader (anyone wearing an outlandish hat as a proclamation of piety) stating I can no longer eat M&Ms and must have Godiva Chocolates brought to my door, will I qualify?
In Emerson’s essay Gifts, the poet-preacher concluded: “It is not in the office of man to receive, we wish to be self-sustained. Accepting charity invades our independence.”
State vouchers may be a tactical win for religious schools, but the critical loss of freedom to instill tenets of your faith is strategic and, quite likely, irreversible.
Yo, Al, how do you feel?
“I have always supported school vouchers, and when elected to the legislature this fall, I will join the fight to expand school choice in Philadelphia. Frankly, there is no other choice and the facts bear this out.”
Is that the same Al Taubenberger that came to the PFT membership when he ran for mayor in 2007 and praised the public school system? Is that the same Taubenberger whose wife was a teacher in the school district?
Yo, Al, when did you say that to the PFT membership — when you sought out our endorsement?
Al, you will not be elected to the legislature because you do nothing but waste our time and lose election after election.
My suggestion is for you to contact the Guinness Book of World Records and see how many more elections you must lose to set a new record.
Speak your mind …
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