Letters to the Editor: May 2, 2012

Fire­fight­er Daniel Sweeney: 9-18-86 to 4-9-12
The en­tire Sweeney fam­ily wishes to ex­press our heart­felt thanks to all who reached out to us since the death of Dan and his su­per­visor, Lt. Robert Neary. The tre­mend­ous out­pour­ing of sup­port has helped us in these troub­ling times. Dav­id and Mari­an Sweeney sin­cerely ap­pre­ci­ate your pray­ers and gen­er­ous acts.
Con­tri­bu­tions in Dan’s name may be made to The Daniel Sweeney Me­mori­al Schol­ar­ship Fund, ac­cep­ted at any Po­lice and Fire Cred­it Uni­on or simply mailed to PFFCU (c/o the fund), 901 Arch St., Phil­adelphia, PA 19107 or Loc­al 22 Phil­adelphia Fire­fight­ers uni­on, 415 N. Fifth St., Phil­adelphia, PA 19123.
The fund is set up for de­serving chil­dren who wish to at­tend Bish­op McDe­vitt High School (Dan’s alma ma­ter) and any oth­er school.

Shame on city of­fi­cials for pre­tend­ing to care
To the fam­il­ies of fallen fire­fight­ers Bob Neary and Dan Sweeney, my deep­est con­dol­ences. This city has lost two true HER­OES!
To all the hy­po­crite politi­cians who paraded them­selves in­to the fu­ner­al ser­vices of these men, with your sad faces on, you should hang your heads in shame! What a dis­grace. Every one of you has stood by and watched while the may­or closed sev­en com­pan­ies and now rolling brown­outs. And for what? To save the city $3 mil­lion?
This city’s fire­fight­ers have been work­ing without a con­tract for close to three years. This is not a money is­sue, it is a dig­nity is­sue.
Po­lice and fire­fight­ers have al­ways stood side by side, yet the city deems it OK to den­ig­rate fire­fight­ers and treat them as second-class civil ser­vants. Des­pite these drastic cuts, the city still has ap­pealed what was sup­posed to be a “bind­ing agree­ment.”
How dare you show your faces at these ser­vices and act like you care. When you all get home from your posh city of­fices in your city tax­pay­er-provided cars, be sure to take a good, long, hard look in the mir­ror.
And when you lay yourselves down to sleep, be sure to get down on your knees and thank God there are still ded­ic­ated fire­fight­ers and para­med­ics wait­ing to re­spond to an emer­gency at your house. That is, if they’re not browned out.
Fran­cis M. Palmer

Thanks for help­ing me out
On Thursday morn­ing, April 19, I was in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent at the in­ter­sec­tion of Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue and Levick Street.
Be­fore the per­son who hit my van de­cided to leave the scene, he ap­proached me and punched me in the face as I was get­ting out of my van.
I want to ex­tend my sin­cere grat­it­ude to the neigh­bors, the em­ploy­ees and cus­tom­ers of the Wawa store, the men in the Su­per­i­or Mov­ing truck, as well as the Phil­adelphia Po­lice and Fire de­part­ments for their as­sist­ance. I was bleed­ing from my fore­head and my hand, and these won­der­ful people men­tioned above came to my aid with tow­els, band­ages and mor­al sup­port. I was taken by sur­prise by the man’s as­sault, but the sup­port I re­ceived that day means so much to me.
Thank you, all, for ex­tend­ing your care to me that morn­ing. I will al­ways re­mem­ber your kind­ness.
Joseph Keen­an

May­fair is a force to be reckoned with
This let­ter is to in­vite you to a stock­hold­er’s meet­ing. What’s that you say? You don’t own any stock? I beg to dif­fer. You live in May­fair, cor­rect? Work here? You own or rent a home? Your chil­dren go to school here? They play sports here? Then you own stock in the neigh­bor­hood of May­fair.
Gran­ted, it’s not as fancy as Apple stock or Berkshire Hath­away shares, but it’s yours. You de­cided to in­vest in a com­munity neigh­bor­hood the minute you set down roots here.
Like many Wall Street com­pan­ies, in­vestors in this neigh­bor­hood have seen volat­il­ity and change in re­cent years. Many op­ted to leave. But I’m here to tell you there is a core group of in­di­vidu­als work­ing to make sure that our shares re­main sol­id. Per­haps you heard us at some point yelling about something? We have a tend­ency to be a little vo­cal and re­pet­it­ive, but that’s be­cause we are hop­ing that you are listen­ing and would like to help.
We don’t live here to be in the “trendy” neigh­bor­hoods. We live here be­cause many of our fam­il­ies are here — our par­ents, and in some cases, our grand­par­ents. We live here be­cause most of us want a small yard and a park­ing space to call our own. We live here be­cause the houses are nice and roomy enough for sev­er­al kids (if that is our choice) and if not, those ex­tra rooms come in handy for vis­it­ors, hob­bies and home of­fices. We live here be­cause we are not defined by our ZIP code.
We are, some say, 20 minutes from Cen­ter City. I say it’s more like 10 (I can get to the air­port in 20 minutes with no traffic, slow­pokes!). May­fair is so close to na­tion­ally renowned res­taur­ants, en­ter­tain­ment, cul­ture and world-class art, but far enough re­moved that if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while, you can.
Some of you have left for whatever reas­ons, and that’s fine with us. You made the best de­cision for you and your fam­ily. However, you don’t need to con­tin­ue to vent your far-re­moved frus­tra­tions by telling us that we are trapped, stu­pid for not leav­ing, and that the neigh­bor­hood is go­ing down. That may be your per­cep­tion; it isn’t ne­ces­sar­ily ours. You made your choices. We make ours.
We at the May­fair CDC, the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation, the May­fair Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation and the May­fair Town Watch are com­mit­ted to this neigh­bor­hood and the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods of Ta­cony, Holmes­burg and Wissi­nom­ing. We are or­gan­ized and con­stantly on the move with new ideas. We are a force to be reckoned with, we are pre­pared to fight for this neigh­bor­hood, and we are LOUD. There are GREAT things go­ing on. You just have to WANT to see them.
Mia Hylan
As­sist­ant sec­ret­ary
May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation

Yo, tax­man — it works both ways
Fail­ure to pay cur­rent taxes when due shall be con­sidered a de­fault of this agree­ment!!
What is it called if there is a fail­ure to mail the bill to pay the taxes? This is the second month I have not re­ceived a bill to pay taxes that star­ted with an am­nesty that the city failed to count in the pay­off.
When I called they say it was mailed on the 17th of the month and it is not their fault I did not re­ceive it. So whose fault is it if I don’t pay it? My de­fault!
Fran Kam­in­sky
Castor Gar­dens

Fail­ure to edu­cate, or a de­sire to hit the jack­pot?
Once upon a time, long ago in a faraway land, there ex­is­ted such a thing as par­ent­al re­spons­ib­il­ity. It was this that en­abled chil­dren to learn to be re­spons­ible and one day be­come re­spons­ible adults.
But like the di­no­saurs, 8-track tapes and soon to be in­can­des­cent light bulb, par­ent­al re­spons­ib­il­ity is be­com­ing ex­tinct.
There is no finer an ex­ample of this than a re­cent suit filed by a moth­er against the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia and an hon­est, hard-work­ing, middle school teach­er. The suit filed against the teach­er and dis­trict was fail­ure to edu­cate her child.
The story goes like this:  The child cut class more than 50 times dur­ing the school year. Dur­ing this time, phone calls were made by the dis­trict to the child’s house to in­quire about the ab­sences. The calls went un­answered. Tru­ant of­ficers were sent to the house. The door went un­answered. But now this pseudo-par­ent is claim­ing that the Phil­adelphia School Dis­trict did not do enough to en­sure the edu­ca­tion of her child. Now maybe I’m hal­lu­cin­at­ing here, but long ago and far away I re­mem­ber par­ents had the re­spons­ib­il­ity to get their chil­dren out the door to school.
So at a time when city of­fi­cials are con­tem­plat­ing the re­as­sess­ment of prop­erty val­ues in or­der to raise more money for the school dis­trict, what does this claim of “fail­ure to edu­cate” mean to the tax­pay­ers in Phil­adelphia?
How about an out-of-court set­tle­ment by the dis­trict of $130,000 to the par­ent of the fu­ture pub­lic-as­sist­ance re­cip­i­ent?
And don’t for­get ap­prox­im­ately $120,000 to the at­tor­ney who was said to be smil­ing from ear to ear as he ex­ited the build­ing with his beau­ti­ful young as­sist­ant. Did I men­tion that they ex­ited in­to a cab that was paid for by the school dis­trict and was parked out­side the build­ing dur­ing the whole four-hour meet­ing?
It seems that now, in ad­di­tion to provid­ing break­fast, din­ner and week­end meal pro­grams, the school dis­trict, not the par­ents, is re­spons­ible for mak­ing sure kids go to school when they leave the house in the morn­ing.
Maybe soon the tax­pay­ers in Phil­adelphia will foot the bill to have people sent by the school dis­trict to breast-feed ba­bies in the city to en­sure they have an early ad­vant­age when they get to school.
By the way, a second law­suit of the same nature as the one above is in the works. Ap­par­ently, an­oth­er moth­er has seen the lot­tery jack­pot and wants to play the same tick­et.
Peter L. Di­Gi­useppe

Plan to close the pub­lic schools earns a big fat F
I know there have not been many art­icles writ­ten yet, but word is there are go­ing to be ap­prox­im­ately 40 pub­lic school clos­ures at the end of this year. Why? Lack of fund­ing. Where will these stu­dents go? Prob­ably to already over­crowded classrooms.
Do you know what the school dis­trict would like to do? They want to elim­in­ate the bound­ar­ies that are in place so that a stu­dent any­where in the city can go any­where they would like to. Now, they are sup­posed to give “pref­er­ence” to neigh­bor­hood chil­dren. Ob­vi­ously, that is not go­ing to hap­pen uni­lat­er­ally.
My prob­lem is this: If you live in a nice neigh­bor­hood and pay a much high­er prop­erty tax rate, how is that fair? It’s not. If that hap­pens, I would urge any­one that lives in the nicer neigh­bor­hoods to ser­i­ously con­sider talk­ing to their City Coun­cil mem­ber to con­vince the city to lower prop­erty taxes.
The school dis­trict is so messed up with try­ing to turn everything in­to charter schools (which do not work) that it is for­get­ting the point of school. It is not about agen­das, it’s about edu­cat­ing.
Over­crowded classrooms, non-sup­port­ive ad­min­is­tra­tion and al­low­ing cer­tain par­ents to work the sys­tem are big causes of the fail­ures in the classrooms. Also, where are all of these teach­ers go­ing to go? And could this just be an­oth­er ploy by the school dis­trict to try to scare teach­ers? It may be.
Jerry Glan­zmann
Castor Gar­dens

Pick a kitty this week­end
This week­end, For­got­ten Cats is hav­ing its Second Chance For Love, in the ad­op­tion cen­ter of the PetS­mart at 901 Old York Road in Abing­ton.
There will be ad­or­able ad­opt­able cats and many kit­tens! The kit­ties are vet­ted, neutered and ready for a fam­ily of their own to take them home.
What bet­ter way to ex­press love than to ad­opt a little one that truly needs you? Please come and vis­it this week­end. Someone is wait­ing for you!
Gina De­N­ofa

Speak your mind  …
The North­east Times wel­comes let­ters to the ed­it­or. They 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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