Vandalism victim’s in a forgiving mood
On or around Feb. 4, I looked out of my home to see that my two vehicles had black spray paint on them.
To the person or persons who spray-painted the vehicles parked on Knorr Street in Mayfair, I want you to know that you are forgiven.
I want you to understand that your action is forgiven because you were not in your right mind. Please understand that all you think, ay and do will affect society as a whole, including yourself.
We all want to live in peace with one another, and I am asking you to please consider your heart before this action is taken again and to extend love to all of your brothers and sisters.
During this time, I had been grieving the death of my oldest brother, who was killed in a vehicle accident on the highway.
A big thank-you to Fantastic Collision Center in Levittown for removing the spray paint from both vehicles.
Will Perzel get a slap on the wrist?
Ex-state House Speaker John Perzel was originally charged with more than 80 criminal counts (mostly felonies) in Dauphin County.
He has some sort of a plea deal with the prosecution for only eight counts, to which he pleaded guilty about six months ago. So why hasn’t he been sentenced and put into prison?
I have only two questions: Is he, because of being a Pennsylvania Republican olitician, going to receive such a “light sentence” that we will all complain about it? Will ex-convict Pennsylvania Republican Tom Druce drive him to his next job?
Letter about kids’ lunches was hard to digest
According to Pat Dougherty of Mayfair, the Obama administration is “sending in thugs to take a child’s lunch away from him!” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 22 edition).
If that’s a characterization of new rules that change school-provided meals by adding more fruits and green vegetables and reducing the amount of salt and fat, the words speak for themselves.
We are also told that we are rapidly losing our liberty. How, exactly? At least Pat Dougherty hasn’t lost the liberty to get three letters harshly critical of the Obama administration published in the last five months in the Northeast Times. Still believe that no one remembers Obama from his school days or his wedding?
Pat Dougherty likes America the way it’s been for the last 236 years. I’m not sure what that means, because America hasn’t been any one way all those years. Eighty-nine years with slavery aren’t entirely likable. Nor am I unmitigatedly fond of the 189 years when many blacks, in fact if not always in law, couldn’t vote, or the 144 years when many women couldn’t vote, either.
Howard J. Wilk
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Did I miss something? What thugs? What lunches? It doesn’t take someone skinny or a college grad to see our country most definitely has an “obesity problem.”
Many people are not concerned or couldn’t care less about our children and their future, so government sometimes needs to step in.
As for keeping America as it was 236 years ago, I don’t know about you, Pat, but I like having no slaves, being able to vote, and not having a man dictate every aspect of my life.
Change the law so ‘retire’ really means ‘retire’
Our politicians are supposed to be working for the people who elected them to run our city, but I see all they are doing is working for themselves.
Six City Council members retired in January because they took more than $2 million in DROP money payments and around $100,000 in annual pensions for each member.
Greedy Councilwoman Marian Tasco decided she would retire for one day and come back the next day and go back to her old job after taking $478,057 for nothing.
The DROP program was created to take care of city workers, police department and fire department workers and to help departments plan for their retirement.
What would happen if 1,000 police officers, firefighters and city workers would pull a stunt like the one Councilwoman Tasco pulled? Why should she be able to retire one day and unretire the next and collect all that money? The law should be, when you retire, you are retired!
Council and the mayor should stop this money grab and start to work for the people of Philadelphia.
Our schools superintendent did a similar thing to our strapped school district by taking $905,000 and then she had to the gall to try to collect unemployment benefits.
Save Our Lady of Ransom
Regarding the schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that were not granted an appeal.
Our Lady of Ransom School truly is a gem. I recently left the school for another career opportunity. I was the sixth-grade teacher for the past two years. Having the chance to work at OLOR has really opened my eyes to the true definition of Catholic education. It is with a heavy heart I had to leave this school.
I felt so welcomed to be at this school. The experienced teachers along with the principal, Miss McGuirl, made this a positive place to work and teach. Being in the system for quite a few years made me come to appreciate all OLOR has to offer to the education of the children in this area. This school offers not only a top-notch education by experienced staff, but also the subjects of gym, art, computer, Spanish, library and music.
The children at this school are provided with numerous extracurricular activities with the support not only of the parish but of the parents as well. OLOR offers a teleconferencing honors math program that is home to five other schools as well. Closing this school would cause this neighborhood to lose this beacon on the Boulevard that has served as a “home” to many parishioners, staff, and families.
I am honored to have been part of this school community and can only hope that the archdiocese takes a closer look at what this school has to offer and the successful Catholic students that are welcomed and loved in this building.
Thank you, OLOR, for giving me the chance to be part of your community. All the best!
• • •
As a teacher at Our Lady of Ransom for 16 years, I retired in June 2010. I was gravely disheartened that this school, so close to my heart, is scheduled to close.
This school is state-of-the-art with technology, art, music, physical education, library, special reading programs, counseling services, honors math program, and most of all, dedicated teachers who focus on individual children’s needs.
OLOR has a mission statement that is truly put in practice. Many students graduating from Ransom have scholarships to Catholic high schools, and high school teachers have written or told us that Ransom students are behaved, respectful and top in academics.
The Middle States Commission, which reviewed our school, was in awe that all criteria of their standards were met or exceeded at Ransom. I could remember them saying they didn’t want to leave because they experienced a beautiful environment.
I know everyone affiliated with Ransom over the years would agree with me — SAVE RANSOM — the best school in Northeast Philly!
As a teacher, Tony Danza’s school days are behind him
By John Scanlon
It wasn’t supposed to be, but the setup for the news conference was rather humorous. There stood a quartet of officials and a state lawmaker at a microphone to bemoan cuts in state aid for Philly’s public schools, and even Tony Danza had something to say.
You need some powerhouse at these press conferences, someone who has been in the trenches, to convey how education is being hurt. So who better than a former sitcom star who taught at Northeast High School a couple years ago as fodder for a reality TV show?
Tony Danza’s your man. And there he was on Feb. 23, shoulder to shoulder with state Sen. Mike Stack and three powerbrokers in local education, all of them positioned strategically in front of school district headquarters, and Tony Danza’s telling it like it is.
He’s disheartened by inadequate state funding.
It only hurts the kids.
“At Northeast High,” he said, summoning the setting for his reality series more than a year ago on cable’s A&E network, “we lost shop teachers, art teachers. That sends a message to the kids that they really don’t matter.”
Thank you, Mr. Danza, for those insights. Please have a seat.
I heard a radio snippet of the press conference and saw photos on local Internet news sites. The Times didn’t cover it. Not that we’re being sanctimonious, it’s just that the whole thing smelled more like a photo opp than a legit news story, because in these grave times when the School District of Philadelphia is juggling the need to slash a $39 million deficit by June with the subtleties of saving academic programs, what makes Tony Danza the voice of pain and suffering in Philly’s classrooms?
Somehow a long-ago college degree in history education and seven or eight episodes of a reality show called Teach have become his certificate. But Danza wasn’t a worthy centerpiece of that press conference, not when there are hundreds of teachers who have been in those Philly classrooms day after day, year after year, standing up to the obstacles and hardships while imbuing kids with the joy of learning — teachers who could have conveyed those rigors quite eloquently at a microphone, and yet they’re home watching Tony Danza on the 6 o’clock news tell everyone how tough their jobs are.
The fact is that almost two years have passed since Danza’s reality experience in that Northeast High classroom. His reality series came and his reality series went. It was a reciprocal partnership — the school district got $3,500 an episode and a $25,000 contribution to Northeast High; A&E got a classroom and put Danza’s image on an interactive Teach web site, a glitzy bit of technology with a shopping link that peddled the official Teach coffee mug: Show you are a true Tony fan with this exclusive jumbo mug!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that our relationship with the A&E public-relations gal went south at some point around that time. She kept pushing schmaltzy stories about Danza’s wonderful concept for the show, about how he viewed teaching 25 sophomores in an English class at Northeast High as the biggest challenge of his life. We kept pushing a valid story of why a sitcom actor wanted to make a soundstage of a classroom for an entire school year, especially a classroom in a beleaguered urban district where every second of instruction is vital.
That’s not what the A&E public-relations gal had in mind. Forget PR. Stonewalling suddenly became her specialty. A&E was in full control. Even Northeast High principal Linda Carroll became elusive, willing to praise Danza’s teaching technique but not so willing to discuss whether show-biz and education were a good combo in the classroom. You’d have thought we were asking if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was enriching uranium.
Now this isn’t to diminish Danza’s sitcom chops. The dude was on fire in the ’80s, with the TV sitcoms Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, and he does seem a nice enough guy. Even if Teach eventually wheezed to its conclusion, deflated somewhat by an audience that gradually played hooky over the ensuing weeks, the reality series earned some decent press reviews.
I admittedly peeked at it a couple times. I tuned in for the very first time when Danza was on a crying jag, and I figured, my God, he must’ve been roughed up or maybe even locked in the janitorial closet and principal Carroll had to let him out, but I was relieved to learn that Tony was just having a rookie’s crisis of confidence.
That doesn’t mean Danza has paid his dues as a teacher. It simply means good melodrama for a TV show. It is nice that he keeps in touch with the school, as he did by hosting a fund-raising talent show at Northeast High on the day of that press conference, but Tony Danza has become like the mother-in-law who arrives for Christmas and is still around on Groundhog Day.
He has no street cred to be part of a press conference pulled together to rap Gov. Tom Corbett’s school-funding policies. He has no resume to weigh in on tough times for Philly’s public schools.
That’s the province of a teacher, not an actor. ••
John Scanlon is editor of the Northeast Times. He can be reached at email@example.com
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