Story Archive November 21 2012

Panther pride

Samuel Fels High School athletic director Mark Heimerdinger has a saying he likes to use when describing the sports foundation he has been attempting to build from the ground up.

Editorial: Thank you

Thanksgiving is the time for togetherness, peace and good will. It’s the perfect time for us to count our blessings.What might our local and national movers and shakers share with their families and friends as they prepare to dig in to their turkeys on Thursday? Here are our best guesses:Big Bird: I’m thankful that Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama.Barack Obama: I’m thankful that Mitt Romney is Mitt Romney.Mitt Romney: I’m thankful that Ann and I and our boys have tens of millions of dollars as a consolation prize.Karl Rove: I’m not thankful for anything.Hillary Clinton: I’m thankful that I’m getting the heck out of Dodge.Bill Clinton: I’m thankful that Hillary’s going to keep an eye on me while we plot our return to the White House in four years.Chris Christie: I’m thankful for all this food.Andy Reid: I’m thankful that the Eagles’ birdbrains have kept me as coach merely because they love to lose.Hostess Brands corporate executives: We’re thankful that we got our humongous bonuses before we decided to shut our business.Michael Nutter: I’m thankful that I made it through another year running a city whose voters love to keep the same party in power, decade after decade after decade.Any Republican who’s thinking of running for mayor of Philadelphia: I’m thankful to have a day job to fall back on because I know I have no prayer of getting elected mayor.Al Taubenberger: I’m thankful that after losing races for Congress, mayor, City Council and state representative, I finally realize it’s time to stop running for public office.Send letters to:

PGW ordered to pay $500,000 in explosion settlement

The Philadelphia Gas Works will pay a $500,000 penalty to settle a 334-count state complaint stemming from a 2011 fatal explosion in Tacony.

Could there be a Saint Rudolph of Port Richmond?

Friends and family of Rudolph “Rudy” Price are making the first steps to beatify the former Port Richmond man, though the process could take decades.

Letters to the editor: Nov. 21, 2012 edition

Filthadelphia offers trash and cash pickupIf the city of Philadelphia were really interested in cleaning up, they would have alerted the citizens of their intent to write fines for putting trash out before 7 p.m. on the previous day.The city has angered the residents and muddied the waters by dragging down our opinion of this city. I have received two fines — the second came before the first one arrived. Seriously!Obviously, the city of Philadelphia is in need of money and will use any means, fair or not, to get it. I would be happy to give the city a loan but cannot, since I am a low-income resident who pays her taxes and VOTES!I hope the city will take my suggestion and warn the citizens of the law before issuing fines, just as it did with the red-light cameras installed at intersections.Marcia VeshnefskyRhawnhurstFor the love of liberalsLiberals love millionaires who kick, throw or bounce a ball.Liberals love millionaires who pretend to be someone else in movies.Liberals love millionaires who play guitar, sing or dance.Liberals love millionaires who talk on late-night TV.Liberals love millionaires who control our lives in government. This includes Mr. Obama.Liberals hate millionaires who create jobs.Pat DoughertyMayfairLead paint law will hurt middle-class landlordsThe new lead-based paint law (Bill 10011-A) goes into effect Dec. 21.The law states that all leases signed after Dec. 21 with the intent of children age 6 or younger who are going to reside in a unit built before 1978 must have a lead dust wipe test conducted by a certified technician prior to moving in. This ordinance was crafted by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, passed by City Council and signed into law by Mayor Nutter on Dec. 21, 2011.Young children must be protected from the hazards of lead paint, but 99 percent of the landlords in this city were not responsible for putting lead into the paint nor using lead paint in their units. This plan is going to punish and bury many middle-class landlords who invested in good faith in real estate with a drastically different set of rules. Now they are stuck. We need more balance in the law between all parties involved.One of the major objections I have in this law is why at the 11th hour Councilwoman Reynolds Brown put in an amendment excluding all dwelling units owned or subsidized by the Philadelphia Housing Authority or privately owned but currently leased under the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). Don’t all children deserve the same protection from lead paint? The Constitution mandates equal protection.If I were advising PHA, as a risk management strategy I would follow the rules of the private sector. Federal law states if there is a difference between federal, state or local regulations, the more stringent requirements must be observed in any jurisdiction.Can you imagine PHA going before a judge in a lawsuit over a tenant’s lead paint issue and testifying that PHA is exempt under the law according to City Council and the mayor? A dust wipe test done by a state certified technician with the results analyzed by an EPA approved lab wouldn’t be a more stringent test than a visual inspection done by PHA employees?Tom Kline, a catastrophic-injury attorney, would salivate at the thought. I implore City Council to institute changes to level the playing field as to not create panic and disinvestment in Philadelphia in this critical economic climate.Christopher ArturRealtorThose black prophets should lose their non-profit statusThe Black Clergy of our city endorsed President Obama for re-election. This is against the Constitution. No one from any church, nor ministers, priests, etc., are permitted to endorse any candidate for office, or they can lose their non-profit status.The Black Clergy are well known for endorsing black candidates. They are biased and must not continue to do this.It’s OK to tell your congregation it’s their duty to vote, and not tell them who to vote for. I think they should lose their non-profit status anyway.Jerry Foglia Sr.RhawnhurstWhy I voted for ObamaI hope I don’t run out of paper! For starters, the latest employment figures are the best in years. Employment is up, unemployment is down. And contrary to nasty rumors, Obama did NOT cook the books.News reports tell us that public confidence in the marketplace has increased significantly. Ordinary citizens are optimistic enough to start buying again.The stock market is going through the financial roof. Apparently investors are reaping the benefits, and perhaps you are one of them.After the terrible damage from Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Obama made a huge impression on the nation because he immediately cut through a lot of red tape to get desperately needed aid to those who were suffering. Even the Republican governor of New Jersey publicly praised the president for his actions.Obama’s humanity and concern for individual citizens was shown as he hugged and comforted those who were breaking down. This was NOT a photo op. It was for real, from a real human being.The president is ending those long wars we have been trapped in. Many of our military men and women are returning to their loved ones, some of them surprising their children in touching reunions.He has promised to hunt down those who wish only to harm our nation, and he will keep his promise, as he has done previously. The auto industry, which was going down the toilet along with thousands of jobs, is now robust, and people are buying new cars like, well, hotcakes.And oh yeah, he has a great singing voice and is a cool dancer!Oops, I’m running out of paper.Edward HuberBurholmePaying the piper in political utopiaGeorge Tomezsko complains (America needs three separate nations, Nov. 14 letters) about socialism in America and suggests the Southern and Midwestern states split off and become their own country. (Presumably he means to include the solidly GOP western states that form an inverted U from Arizona to Texas.) Excellent idea! Those people are the worst socialists of all. The red states have been sponging off the blue states for years. Why do you think they’re called the red states?Of the 24 states that went to Romney, 23 get back more from the federal government than they put in. Of the 26 states that went for Obama, 16 get back less than they put in (nine more, Rhode Island even). We’re being ripped off by farm subsidies to largely Republican voters.Conservative Republican U.S. Rep. and sometime-Swiss-citizenship applicant Michele Bachmann and her family alone got $260,000 between 1995 and 2008. Even the tobacco farmers get subsidized, last year to the tune of $191 million!To irrigate the arid West, the mostly red conservative Republicans there have, since 1902, directly paid for only 15 percent of their water; American taxpayers as a whole have subsidized the other 85 percent.However will Mr. Tomezsko’s utopia pay its own way? Maybe it can return to the good old days, circa 1953, when Eisenhower, a Republican, was president, and the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress — and the top marginal income tax rate was 92 percent! Howard J. WilkBustletonLet them eat sweet cake at the tea partyNow that the presidential election is over, may the phrase “tea party” be thrown out of the political atmosphere? When teas are served, there is pleasant chat and cakes to be enjoyed. Obviously, the campaign ads did not remotely touch on this idealism.This “tea party” was filled with poison. Even the ads cost millions of dollars, which certainly could have been put to better use.Hopefully, the House and the Senate and the president will start doing what is right for the people. Let them begin by serving tea with honey and sweet cakes.Marie PattonFox ChaseCandidate says he was honored to runDear Northeast Philadelphia neighbors:From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for your generous support over the past 10 months as I campaigned to be your next state representative. Words cannot express how much your encouragement and dedication has meant to me. While we were unsuccessful in the election, together we discussed the issues that matter most to Northeast Philadelphia.As I campaigned door to door, you opened your lives to me at your doorsteps. You told me about the issues that you face in your neighborhoods. We ran with the endorsement of the Philadelphia firefighters, who tasked me with challenging Mayor Nutter to honor their contract.We ran with the support of numerous civic and athletic association leaders who wanted me to continue the support they have come to know from their legislators. I’m proud to have advanced those issues and many more.This election confirmed my belief that the people of Philadelphia are worth fighting for. I am not going anywhere, because this is our city and someone needs to stand up to the good old boys network that has destroyed its spirit. I promise to never lose this dedication, and together we will do great things for the future of our city.It was the honor of a lifetime to serve as one of your candidates for state representative — one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Again, thank you and God bless.Dave KralleFormer Republican candidate, 169th Legislative District

Improved Ryan squad set for Turkey Day clash with G.W.

Thanksgiving football fans attending the showdown between Archbishop Ryan and host George Washington will probably recognize the uniforms on the field during this 36th annual contest.

Judge looks to keep Lincoln rivalry one-sided

The Abraham Lincoln Railsplitters and Father Judge Crusaders both have losing records, but one of them will have a happy Thanksgiving.

Creating a cause to be thankful for

The father of a fallen Philly serviceman is working to create a support system for other grieving veterans’ families.

Public League champs set their sights on Fels

When the Samuel Fels Panthers meet the Frankford Pioneers on Thanksgiving Day, prognosticators would probably feel very confident in predicting a winner.

Fishtown neighbors get a zoning earful

The group's latest meeting helped clarify neighbors' concerns regarding the city's zoning changes.