Letters to the Editor: May 16, 2012

It pays to be an ali­en
If an im­mig­rant is over 65, he can ap­ply for SSI and Medi­caid and get more than my mom gets for So­cial Se­cur­ity. She worked from 1944 to 2004, only get­ting $791 per month be­cause she was born be­fore 1924 and there is a Catch 22.
It is in­ter­est­ing that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment provides a single refugee with a monthly al­low­ance of $1,890, and each can also ob­tain an ad­di­tion­al $580 in so­cial as­sist­ance for a total of $2,470 a month.
This com­pares very well to a single pen­sion­er who, after con­trib­ut­ing to the growth and de­vel­op­ment of Amer­ica for 40 to 50 years, can only re­ceive a monthly max­im­um of $1.012 in old age pen­sion and guar­an­teed in­come sup­ple­ment.
Maybe our pen­sion­ers should ap­ply as refugees!
Con­sider send­ing this to all your Amer­ic­an friends, so we can all be ticked off and maybe get the refugees cut back to $1,012 and the pen­sion­ers up to $2,470 and en­joy some of the money we were forced to sub­mit to the gov­ern­ment over the last 40 or 50 or 60 years.
Please for­ward this to every Amer­ic­an to ex­pose what our elec­ted politi­cians, Nancy Pelosi in­cluded, have been do­ing over the past 11 years to the over­taxed Amer­ic­ans.
Send this to every Amer­ic­an tax­pay­er you know!
All older Amer­ic­ans must de­mand that any per­son who ac­tu­ally worked for their So­cial Se­cur­ity gets at least as much as an ali­en gets, if not more!
Wil­li­am Cole

Par­ents should ac­cept some of the blame
In re­sponse to the let­ter to the ed­it­or from Eileen Teti in the April 25 edi­tion (What’s the mat­ter with kids today?):
As a high school teach­er for 37 years, Navy vet­er­an of three years, fath­er of an op­to­met­rist and a graph­ic artist, and grand­fath­er of a law­yer and a veter­in­ari­an, I say, “Noth­ing.”
Ask me what’s wrong with the par­ents and I’ll have a lot to say.
If their kids are nasty, mean-spir­ited, hit oth­ers, lie, cheat, steal and in gen­er­al mis­be­have, my ques­tion is, where did they learn it? What’s wrong with the home?
Good kids come from good fam­il­ies. Good par­ents pro­duce good kids. Gran­ted that this is not al­ways true, but no gen­er­al rule is al­ways true, but it’s still a good ob­ser­va­tion.
As a par­ent and teach­er, I had a chance to ob­serve many, many chil­dren and found this to be true.
If your kid’s a bum and you want to find out why, you have only to look in the mir­ror.
Mat­thew J. Zeitlin
Academy Gar­dens

Food drive yiel­ded a bounty of kind­ness
Thank you to the many kind people throughout our com­munity who gen­er­ously donated to my re­cent food drive.
I am happy to re­port that our food drive was very suc­cess­ful and we com­pletely re-stocked two loc­al food cup­boards. More than 150 par­cels, boxes and bags of non-per­ish­able food items were donated.
Al­though our food drive has con­cluded, the loc­al need for food items con­tin­ues. Any­one who wants to con­trib­ute food items can do so at any time in my dis­trict of­fice in Hat­boro.
It is a great hon­or for me to rep­res­ent a dis­trict that is so gen­er­ous and caring to­ward our mem­bers who are less for­tu­nate.
Rep. Thomas P. Murt
152nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict

The tax­pay­ers should see what they’re not get­ting
In re­sponse to Fran­cis Palmer’s let­ter to the ed­it­or in the May 2 edi­tion (Shame on city of­fi­cials for pre­tend­ing to care), talk about hit­ting the nail on the head!
These politi­cians sat around and watched the may­or gut the Fire De­part­ment through com­pany clos­ings (sev­en en­gine com­pan­ies and two lad­ders), brown­outs and no con­tract to save money, yet found $50 mil­lion for Dilworth Plaza, $20 mil­lion for Love Park and $15 mil­lion for the Ben Frank­lin Park­way. Then the may­or and City Coun­cil made a big show about get­ting back taxes from the own­er of the build­ing where Lt. Neary and Fire­fight­er Sweeney paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice for the cit­izens of Phil­adelphia, but the city couldn’t get Fire Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers to pay his back taxes un­til it be­came pub­lic know­ledge.
In not pay­ing his taxes, Ay­ers broke Fire De­part­ment policy — one of a few policies he broke, but one for which he was nev­er dis­cip­lined. A fire­fight­er who broke these policies would be dis­cip­lined im­me­di­ately.
Com­mis­sion­er Ay­ers is a hy­po­crite. He is al­ways say­ing how every house needs a smoke de­tect­or, and that it is not safe for a house not to have one. Yet he thinks it is safe to close a fire­house in your neigh­bor­hood three to four times a month but nev­er closes one in either his or the may­or’s neigh­bor­hood. Last I heard, a smoke de­tect­or nev­er pulled a per­son from their burn­ing home.
At a 9/11 me­mori­al last year, Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on, still cam­paign­ing for of­fice, was asked how he was go­ing to stop the brown­outs (one of his cam­paign prom­ises). He asked, “How much is the fire de­part­ment sav­ing on brown­outs?” He was told $3.8 mil­lion a year, to which he replied, “That’s chump change!”
Ap­par­ently, the chump doesn’t have the money be­cause the brown­outs are still go­ing on. All pub­lic of­fi­cials need to be re­minded again that their No. 1 job is pub­lic safety. If you are not go­ing to sup­port the fire de­part­ment when they need you, don’t use fu­ner­als and me­mori­als for your own be­ne­fit, mak­ing it look like you care. It is time for the pub­lic and the city to wake up and go and see what these elec­ted of­fi­cials are do­ing. For the taxes you are pay­ing, you are not re­ceiv­ing the cru­cial ser­vices that you are en­titled to.
Ant­oinette Wood

Ex-cop takes a shot  at FOP’s move north
In the past, I have nev­er had a prob­lem put­ting pen to pa­per. This time, I do. I am frus­trated and saddened that the Phil­adelphia Po­lice bar­gain­ing agency is mov­ing from a cent­rally loc­ated ad­dress to the Far North­east. This move will make it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for all mem­bers to par­ti­cip­ate in fu­ture bi­monthly meet­ings. As the years have rolled by, di­ver­si­fic­a­tion and in­clu­sion has be­come one of our greatest as­sets. We, who have either worked or are still work­ing for the de­part­ment, be­lieve that we are not white or black or yel­low or brown. WE ARE BLUE and that makes us one.
Also a move of this mag­nitude should have been voted on by our 14,500 act­ive and re­tired mem­bers, not the 175 that at­ten­ded the meet­ings. Be­ing cent­rally loc­ated also en­abled us to have im­me­di­ate ac­cess to our elec­ted of­fi­cials as well as our de­part­ment headquar­ters, where the com­mis­sion­er con­ducts busi­ness.
I am a life­time North­east Philly res­id­ent, which makes the re­lo­ca­tion an ad­vant­age to me. However, in 1974 when I joined the force, it was the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment, not the North­east Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment. I be­lieve that the in­clu­sion of ALL mem­bers in the de­cision-mak­ing pro­cess of the bar­gain­ing unit will be greatly hampered by this move.
Bobby Ed­dis
Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 pres­id­ent, 2002-07

PECO’s ‘smart meters’ are a dumb idea
At the April Great­er Bustleton Civic League meet­ing, a mem­ber brought a let­ter from PECO in­form­ing cus­tom­ers that they would be get­ting new meters that will “…help us provide more in­form­a­tion to help you un­der­stand how you use en­ergy…”
He also brought a great deal of in­form­a­tion about “smart meters,” al­though the let­ter nev­er men­tions that term. I did some In­ter­net search­ing and found that PECO is pur­posely not call­ing them “smart meters” be­cause of the con­tro­ver­sies they have stirred up else­where. So their plan is just not to call them smart so we won’t re­cog­nize that there may be prob­lems with them??
Across the coun­try, people are so op­posed that they have pro­tested and even been ar­res­ted; some jur­is­dic­tions have ruled that the in­stall­a­tions must be vol­un­tary, oth­ers are ban­ning them. Why this hos­til­ity? To be so smart, they push data out to the com­pany every 15 minutes, re­cord­ing very pre­cise us­age so that the com­pany can con­vince you to use more power at times that are cheap­er for the util­ity (such as run­ning your dish­wash­er be­fore you go to bed). 
The po­ten­tial prob­lems? The data bursts emit high levels of ra­dio­activ­ity, in ex­cess of items like cell phones — which have their own pub­lic re­la­tions is­sues. There is a very real ques­tion of pri­vacy that, today, simply can­not be over­looked. When you turn on your TV and lights, the meter will know you are home; turn everything off at noon and there is a good bet your house is va­cant.
It is great that we may be able to switch us­age to non-peak times and per­haps stop the need for build­ing ad­di­tion­al power plants. I’d like to save some money, too. But I need to be sure that I will not be one of the people who get severe phys­ic­al re­ac­tions when the meter sends that burst of ra­dio­activ­ity and/or that I won’t suf­fer ill ef­fects years from now be­cause my bed is near the meter and my body ab­sorbed ra­dio­activ­ity every night, four times an hour.
I need more than a pat-on-the-head re­as­sur­ance that my re­cords will not be hacked and a soph­ist­ic­ated burg­lar could max­im­ize the op­por­tun­ity to ran­sack my house be­cause I am ob­vi­ously out at the same time.
There is already one state rep­res­ent­at­ive try­ing to get some of these an­swers. Please call your state reps and get them on your side. These are un­safe un­til proved safe, and just chan­ging their name to keep us from ask­ing ques­tions isn’t so smart!
Maur­een Greene

Bustleton civic group needs new blood
I am a lifelong res­id­ent of Bustleton and mem­ber of the Great­er Bustleton Civic League. Over the years the civic league seems to have be­come less and less in­volved with the neigh­bor­hood.
I real­ize that it’s a vo­lun­teer or­gan­iz­a­tion, but I would like to stay bet­ter in­formed of all the new de­vel­op­ments that are be­ing con­sidered for the 19115 area. I’m glad to hear there is fi­nally some new blood get­ting in­volved and some new of­ficers that are run­ning that could pos­sibly change some old stale ways of the Civic League.
El­len Dwyer

Help your com­munity — join a civic group
Henry Ford once said, “Com­ing to­geth­er is a be­gin­ning; keep­ing to­geth­er is pro­gress; work­ing to­geth­er is suc­cess.”
As a board mem­ber of the Somer­ton Civic As­so­ci­ation, it is dis­heart­en­ing to see 30 in­di­vidu­als out of the thou­sands who live in Somer­ton at­tend our monthly meet­ings. These meet­ings take place on the second Tues­day of each month (ex­cept Ju­ly and Au­gust) at the Walk­er Lodge on Southamp­ton Road at 7:30 p.m. Our meet­ings al­low the civic mem­ber­ship to get to­geth­er, work to­geth­er and strive to keep Somer­ton a thriv­ing com­munity.
Quite of­ten, res­id­ents and busi­ness own­ers will come in front of the Somer­ton Civic mem­ber­ship seek­ing a zon­ing vari­ance either to their home or busi­ness, and of­ten the neigh­bors who are most im­pacted are not present.
The civic meet­ings al­low the Somer­ton com­munity to gath­er and hear from your loc­al elec­ted of­fi­cials, vari­ous speak­ers and dis­cuss ways to im­prove Somer­ton, wheth­er through beau­ti­fic­a­tion or oth­er worthy civic en­deavors. Somer­ton is a strong neigh­bor­hood with tight knit school com­munit­ies and top-flight ath­let­ic or­gan­iz­a­tions.
It is time that those in­di­vidu­als who em­power these in­sti­tu­tions to thrive step for­ward, pay the $5 yearly mem­ber­ship fee and join the Somer­ton Civic As­so­ci­ation to keep the civic group strong, have your voice heard and con­tin­ue to im­prove this out­stand­ing com­munity. I also im­plore my neigh­bors and fel­low Somer­ton res­id­ents to take part in the Somer­ton Civic As­so­ci­ation. To join please e-mail scanews1@gmail.com
Seth Ka­plan
Zon­ing chair­man
Somer­ton Civic As­so­ci­ation

Column on neigh­bors was on tar­get
Stew­art Ber­ger’s column Love thy neigh­bor, or at least get along in your Sunday edi­tion May 13 cer­tainly hit the nail on the head as far as I am con­cerned, and it brought back many un­pleas­ant ex­per­i­ences liv­ing in Park­wood.
I have been liv­ing in this sec­tion for over 30 years, and had a neigh­bor that was bey­ond de­scrip­tion on the street where I pre­vi­ously lived. Not only did he sell drugs and re­ceive stolen prop­erty, his son ter­ror­ized the whole block along with the oth­er kids whose par­ents were too afraid to pull their sons away.
He also had a nasty habit of do­ing home re­mod­el­ing at all hours of the night, which meant ham­mer­ing nails in­to dry­wall and cut­ting wood frames.
This can be ex­tremely an­noy­ing if you are try­ing to sleep and get up for work the fol­low­ing day. The neigh­bor on the oth­er side of him was too afraid to say any­thing, and his sons played with him, so it was up to me to con­front him and call the po­lice on him on at least sev­er­al oc­ca­sions.
Need­less to say, I was tired of wait­ing for the po­lice to ar­rest him, so even­tu­ally I moved away. Shortly after I moved, the son was ar­res­ted and the fath­er died. So at least justice was served. On re­flec­tion, I should have taken him to court be­fore I moved, but I was not sure how the sys­tem worked.
When I had no car, I had people try to use my drive­way, as if it was their right to do so, since they figured it was an ex­tra park­ing space. I also had to put up with kid hangouts and bas­ket­ball poles, which meant noise and van­dal­ism at all hours of the night.
The prob­lem today is the kind of people that are liv­ing in the city, a new gen­er­a­tion that thinks they can do whatever they want to do and not worry about if it af­fects their neigh­bors. This is why people do not want to buy row homes in Phil­adelphia. It is also why neigh­bor dis­putes are on the rise in the city.
Stew­art Ber­ger’s idea of a neigh­bor­hood court is not a bad one, but it should be ad­min­istered by a judge, and the com­plaint should be filed, with a court date the next time the trouble oc­curs again.
Wil­li­am A. Scic­chitano

War has be­come the Amer­ic­an way
Me­mori­al Day has been set aside to hon­or those who have died and served in war. To date, our na­tion has been in­volved in six dif­fer­ent wars. Mind you, six dif­fer­ent wars count­ing World War II, which nev­er did end wars.
Our troops have come home with broken bod­ies and broken spir­its, while oth­ers came home in a coffin. Fur­ther­more, our na­tion has spent bil­lions of dol­lars on war. It is to the point that in­stead of say­ing “one na­tion un­der God” when we pledge al­le­gi­ance to the flag, we should say “One na­tion in­volved in war.”
Mar­ie Pat­ton
Fox Chase

Mitt Rom­ney is out of touch with real­ity
If the Demo­crats are the tax and spend party, the Re­pub­lic­ans are the don’t tax and spend party. The gov­ern­ment just can’t take in less and spend more without go­ing in­to debt.
Un­der George W. Bush, the debt lim­it was raised sev­en times, a total of $5.7 tril­lion dol­lars, and un­der Re­agan in the 1980s, it was raised 18 times, a total of $1.8 tril­lion. Oth­er than Tru­man, it was raised un­der every pres­id­ent.  Both parties lie and dis­tort, as can be veri­fied at the non-par­tis­an FactCheck.org.
Mitt Rom­ney has urged young Amer­ic­ans “with bleak job pro­spects” to “take risks” and bor­row money from their par­ents or start a busi­ness. This year he es­tim­ates that he will pay only a 15.4 per­cent tax rate on in­come of $20.9 mil­lion, less than half the tax rate for that in­come level.
My wife was only able to at­tend col­lege by earn­ing two schol­ar­ships: one pay­ing tu­ition and the oth­er fees and books. From her fresh­man year on, she walked over a mile to school to save money, worked in the dean’s of­fice for $1 an hour and was a phys­ics lab in­struct­or for $2 an hour, us­ing that money to help sup­port her par­ents
I earned a par­tial schol­ar­ship, set pins in the uni­versity bowl­ing al­ley for 50 cents an hour, de­livered mail dur­ing the Christ­mas rush, and had to quit school for two years after my fath­er died to work and sup­port my moth­er, sav­ing every spare penny so that I could re­turn to fi­nally gradu­ate.
Rom­ney is clue­less about the plight of the av­er­age Amer­ic­an.
Mel Flit­ter

Thank God for our nuns
I think it is not an over­state­ment to say that the priests and the high­er-ups of the Cath­ol­ic Church have con­sti­tuted a crim­in­al or­gan­iz­a­tion for dec­ades, if not cen­tur­ies.
The daily testi­mony leaves little doubt that justice has been, and prob­ably still is, ob­struc­ted for the pro­tec­tion of child mo­lesters and oth­er mis­fits of so­ci­ety.
And while the pope, him­self ac­cused of pro­tect­ing two sem­in­ari­ans ac­cused of child mo­lest­ing, has re­mained vir­tu­ally si­lent and has now chosen a most bizarre con­dem­na­tion of our nuns.
The church has em­bar­rassed its mem­bers bey­ond de­scrip­tion and left us with pride in al­most noth­ing.
The one ex­cep­tion for me has been the pre­cious re­col­lec­tions of the sis­ters who edu­cated me, nur­tured me, and in­stilled a love of God in me. Their in­flu­ence alone re­mains my in­spir­a­tion for re­tain­ing faith in the church in heav­en, as the church on Earth lies in ru­in.
The reas­on for the pope’s out­rageous be­ha­vi­or may lie in the per­petu­al stupor in which I be­lieve he ex­ists. But even that is not reas­on enough for the church to have al­lowed this un­con­scion­able in­sult.
Thank you, sis­ters. You alone re­main my reas­on for be­liev­ing in God and an etern­al life.
Joseph A. Breen
Fox Chase

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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