Letters to the editor: Oct. 31, 2012 edition

Amore and oth­er cats are up for grabs.

Pick a kitty this week­end
This week­end, For­got­ten Cats is hav­ing its Second Chance For Love, in the ad­op­tion cen­ter of PetS­mart at 901 Old York Road in Jen­k­in­town. There will be ad­or­able ad­opt­able cats and 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

Sup­port­ers don’t know the real Obama
To those of you who re­spon­ded in last week’s North­east Times to my let­ter to the ed­it­or pub­lished in the Oct. 10 edi­tion (Don’t fall for the scare tac­tics from the Obama cam­paign), thank you.
However, it sad­dens me that not one of you told me WHY you would vote for Obama. In­stead, you chose to bash Rom­ney based on a bunch of lies by Obama and his ad­min­is­tra­tion.
It just showed me and the gen­er­al pub­lic that not one of you really know the real Obama.
This, my friends, is what’s scary.
Di­ane Mc­Dow­ell

A bunch of twen­ties for one lucky deal­er
Con­grat­u­la­tions to the aux­il­i­ary at Aria Hos­pit­al Tor­res­dale for an­oth­er fant­ast­ic flea mar­ket. Rain or shine, it’s al­ways a pleas­ure to shop at this well or­gan­ized event.
Sat­urday, Oct. 13 was par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing. I picked up a 1950s-era table­cloth from a pile on the ground. Just as I was ask­ing the deal­er (Peg?) how much it cost, a cas­cade of $20 bills fell from in­side the table­cloth! So now the deal­er has about $1,000 she didn’t even know that she had. I have a vin­tage Christ­mas table­cloth and a “what would you do” type of story to tell.
Vikki Jupin

Photo of the bridge was miss­ing from story
In his Oct. 17 cov­er story Span of the cen­tur­ies, Wil­li­am Kenny did a fine job writ­ing about the his­tory of the Frank­ford Av­en­ue stone arch bridge that is more than 300 years old and still stand­ing. He de­scribed the reas­ons the his­tor­ic­al so­ci­ety and Fred Moore be­lieved the Pennsylvania State Mark­er should be placed at the bridge.
The cel­eb­ra­tion was well at­ten­ded and there were var­ied tables of in­form­a­tion about the his­tory of the area’s early mills and de­vel­op­ment with many maps and large pho­tos. Also, the Friends of Pennypack Park had tables of in­form­a­tion show­ing nat­ive ar­ti­facts and the nat­ur­al his­tory. Horse rides were avail­able for the chil­dren and sev­er­al lec­tures were tak­ing place dur­ing the day to fur­ther edu­cate the pub­lic about the ar­chi­tec­ture of the bridge and the his­tor­ic events of the area. The re-en­act­ors and the work­ing black­smith made his­tory come alive.
However, one of the stars of the show, the Frank­ford Av­en­ue Bridge, was not in sight in the photo on the front cov­er. For any­one not fa­mil­i­ar with the area, they might think that all the work and cel­eb­ra­tion went to the rail­road span that was shown in­stead. And, the photo of the state mark­er shows an empty street and a garbage truck.
I en­cour­age folks who were in at­tend­ance at the cel­eb­ra­tion to send in your best pho­tos of the bridge.
Cindy Masiejczyk
Fox Chase

A fifty-buck love let­ter from the city
I found one of the city’s $50 love let­ters in my mail­box for put­ting my trash out a few hours early. My guess is folks who main­tain their prop­erty and in­vest thou­sands to im­prove them are the easy tar­gets since the Sec­tion 8 dumps around here keep their trash cans either just in­side their yards by the walk or in the side al­ley that are not even part of the prop­erty they “rent.”
I won­der where these cham­pi­ons of city clean­li­ness are when those prop­er­ties have grass up to mid-calf half the time, have trash strewed all over, and nev­er shovel the walks in the winter.
Want to clean up Philly, City Hall? Do something about the drug deal­ers stand­ing on the corners, the packs of hu­man garbage as­sault­ing people for kicks, and the an­im­als — pack­ing heav­ier fire­power than the cops — who feel free to do home in­va­sions al­most daily. I am sick of the BS.
Heza­ki­ah Lev­in­son

It’s not nice to pick on our city work­ers
After read­ing Ron Kall’s let­ter Our city work­ers don’t have it so bad (Oct. 17 edi­tion), I could not just let it go. Ron Kall seems to have a bone to pick with city work­ers.
Here are some true facts. I was a fire­fight­er for more than 40 years, and yes, I col­lec­ted DROP. But people do not un­der­stand how the DROP pro­gram works.
My last four years in the Fire De­part­ment, I froze my pen­sion, which means that when I joined the DROP, my pen­sion ac­cu­mu­la­tion stopped. That means my pen­sion will nev­er in­crease the rest of my life (no cost of liv­ing). When my four years were com­pleted, the city did not give me one dime, the money I re­ceived from the DROP was my pen­sion check be­ing held by the city Board of Pen­sions.
What I re­ceived was my ac­cu­mu­lated pen­sion money that I let the city hold plus some in­terest. When I star­ted with the fire de­part­ment, my salary was $5,056 per year and I had to buy all my gear, fire clothes and dress uni­form.
Over the years we gave up salary in­creases to get med­ic­al cov­er­age, cloth­ing al­low­ance and re­duced hours.
When I was hired we worked a 48-hour week, and today they still work a 42-hour week. As far as hol­i­days go, we do get paid for them at the end of the year, but we do not get them off, in­clud­ing Christ­mas, Thanks­giv­ing, East­er, etc. — which I guess you did and cel­eb­rated with your fam­ily.
Re­tired fire­fight­er Robert F. Burns

• • •

I don’t think Ron Kall has a clue. You neg­lected to say if you have gone five years without even a cost-of-liv­ing raise like the city’s blue-col­lar work­ers have had to do. Do you like hav­ing your trash picked up every week, your wa­ter flow­ing each time you turn on the faucet, your street lights on to light your way each night, etc.? These are provided by the city work­ers that have gone without a new con­tract for over five years.
Would you like to pick up the trash or dig ditches in all kinds of weath­er, or bet­ter yet, would you like to climb in­to a trash truck full of mag­gots and roaches or a sewage truck filled with pro­cessed hu­man waste like the mech­an­ics and help­ers have to do every day so you can have all these ser­vices provided to you at the same rate of pay as in 2007?
As for the DROP pro­gram, do you even have a clue as to how it works?
The av­er­age city work­er goes in­to the DROP and then, the amount he would have re­ceived if he had re­tired, each week is put in­to a sav­ings fund that makes a small amount of in­terest like your sav­ings ac­count, if you even have one, for which the em­ploy­ee stays on work­ing for up to four years. That, in turn, provides you with the ser­vices men­tioned above.
When the four years are com­pleted the em­ploy­ee MUST re­tire and can­not come back to work like some City Coun­cil mem­bers did. Yes, you’re right that the em­ploy­ee takes home a lump sum of money for this up-to four-year com­mit­ment, but by do­ing so, that em­ploy­ee has giv­en up 8 per­cent of his re­tire­ment, which he or she could have col­lec­ted for life.
There’s a say­ing: “Walk a mile in my shoes be­fore mak­ing a judg­ment on me.”
Harry Par­fitt Jr.
Lex­ing­ton Park

Thumbs up for Al Tauben­ber­ger
As a former pres­id­ent of the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation and former board mem­ber of the Holy Ter­rors Youth Or­gan­iz­a­tion, I know firsthand the chal­lenges and op­por­tun­it­ies in many of the com­munit­ies in the North­east.
To meet the chal­lenges and cap­it­al­ize on the op­por­tun­it­ies, there is no doubt in my mind that Al Tauben­ber­ger is the best choice to rep­res­ent the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict in the state House in Har­ris­burg.
I have known and worked closely with Al for many years. As pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce, he has grown that or­gan­iz­a­tion in size and in­flu­ence. He has been tire­less in his sup­port for small busi­nesses all over the dis­trict, and his vo­lun­teer work as a Burhome civic lead­er and Town Watch of­fi­cial is well known and re­spec­ted among his peers.
Dur­ing my work with the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil, Al and I of­ten col­lab­or­ated on ap­proaches to pub­lic safety and cit­izen aware­ness. I found him to be thought­ful and thor­ough at all times.
I am vot­ing for Al Tauben­ber­ger on Nov. 6, and I re­spect­fully urge you and your fam­ily to do the same.
Scott Cum­mings

Thumbs down for Al Tauben­ber­ger
Stop the presses!! Al Tauben­ber­ger is run­ning for of­fice AGAIN! This is the fifth time in the last 10 years he’s run­ning. The guy is a per­en­ni­al can­did­ate. He runs for everything: Con­gress, may­or, City Coun­cil, and now state rep­res­ent­at­ive. Seems like his only job is to run for of­fice. His real job is sup­posed to be run­ning the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce.
For all the times Al has run for of­fice I’ve nev­er heard him once of­fer a new idea. Pub­lic ser­vice is sup­posed to be about help­ing people, not just get­ting your pic­ture in the pa­per. The only thing worse than a ca­reer politi­cian is a ca­reer failed politi­cian.
Ann Daly

Pres­id­en­tial polit­ics is like high school
You don’t need to be a psych­ic to de­term­ine who will win the elec­tion in Novem­ber. Barack Obama is a cha­ris­mat­ic, likable and off-the-charts orator when he is en­er­giz­ing his base from the pul­pit. He will not be denied a second term as pres­id­ent.
Even though the job that Barack Obama and Mitt Rom­ney are vy­ing for is lead­er of the free world, at the end of the day, as it did in high school, it comes down to a pop­ular­ity con­test. Who won the de­bates is cer­tainly not the de­cid­ing factor. What is more im­port­ant to the vot­ing masses is which guy would be cool­er to hang out with and whose party would they prefer to be a mem­ber?
Both pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates are in­tel­li­gent guys that have at­tained a level of suc­cess that proves they are cap­able of mak­ing wise de­cisions when the stakes are high, and their schol­ast­ic achieve­ments speak for them­selves.
Mitt Rom­ney gradu­ated cum laude from Har­vard Law School and Har­vard Busi­ness School; re­ceiv­ing his law de­gree and MBA sim­ul­tan­eously in 1975, ac­cord­ing to www.cn­bcfix.com.
Pres­id­ent Obama was elec­ted as the first Afric­an-Amer­ic­an ed­it­or of the Har­vard Law Re­view, and he gradu­ated from Har­vard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1991, ac­cord­ing to www.bio­graphy.com.
The catch phrases that have sealed the deal for the pres­id­ent: Hope, Change and in 2012, For­ward. Un­for­tu­nately, for us, more rhet­or­ic than sub­stance.
It’s a dis­grace to the of­fice that Obama con­tin­ues to name-drop George W. Bush as a talk­ing point in his 2012 cam­paign, as he did dur­ing his re­cent 60 Minutes in­ter­view; yet he is the last per­son to have held the of­fice. That makes as much sense as the in­cum­bent class pres­id­ent in high school, pla­cing the brunt of the blame on the former school pres­id­ent, who is off at­tend­ing col­lege in an­oth­er state. Where is the ac­count­ab­il­ity on the eco­nomy? A re­cov­ery? Really?
Ac­cord­ing to nces.ed.gov, dur­ing the 2012-13 school year, col­leges and uni­versit­ies are ex­pec­ted to award 937,000 as­so­ci­ate’s de­grees; 1.8 mil­lion bach­el­or’s de­grees; 756,000 mas­ter’s de­grees; and 174,000 doc­tor­ate de­grees.
The Labor De­part­ment’s ini­tial cal­cu­la­tions in­dic­ate U.S. em­ploy­ers ad­ded 114,000 jobs in Septem­ber. This tep­id job cre­ation pace doesn’t even keep up with re­cent col­lege gradu­ates en­ter­ing in­to the job mar­ket.
Pres­id­ent Obama is kick­ing the coun­try’s $16 tril­lion debt down the road and for­cing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to suf­fer an enorm­ous bur­den as a res­ult of his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s policy fail­ures.
You don’t have to be a pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate to know that the best per­son for the job is not al­ways the one who gets hired. At any high school, the busi­ness nerd would be the bet­ter choice for class pres­id­ent as op­posed to the self-ab­sorbed jock, who ends up win­ning the elec­tion.
Jason Kaye

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