If you’re reading this on Wednesday afternoon before the Obama-Romney debate and you’re thinking about skipping the debate, think again. Watch it. You’ll learn something about two of the men who want to lead the nation. If you’re reading this after the big debate and you didn’t watch it but could have, shame on you. You missed out, but you can catch the remaining two debates as well as the one set for the vice presidential hopefuls. All four showdowns will make for a great October.What a travesty, however, that Northeast Philadelphia voters apparently won’t get a chance to see a few other debates much closer to home. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Sen. Michael Stack and state Rep. John Taylor — entrenched politicians, all of them — are refusing to meet their challengers in the Nov. 6 general election, and that is bad news for voters.What are they hiding? By depriving voters of an opportunity to see the incumbents and their challengers on an equal footing in a public forum — Obama/Romney style — they are choosing to put political strategy ahead of their duty to the public. It’s the voters who lose.Rep. Schwartz and Sen. Stack, both Democrats, and Rep. Taylor, a Republican, have records to stand on and, presumably, to defend. Voters deserve an opportunity to size them up, in person, standing side by side with their challengers: Joe Rooney, Mike Tomlinson and William Dunbar, respectively.The incumbents should not get out of the debates simply by whining that they have no time. Congress, for instance, is on another long, undeserved recess (for campaign season).Voters, do not let the candidates off the hook.Send letters to the editor to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let the people decide on the death penaltyWith all the senseless killings in every major city in the United States, I believe we should have a referendum here in Pennsylvania, like Texas, to regularly use the death sentence.It costs $100,000 a year to pay for the perpetrator to live. Are we not allowed to punish the perpetrators? Must we reward them and let them live, when they extinguish another life?Edmund Burke, English statesman, said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing.”Mildred KochMayfairGet your free smoke detectorsOctober is Fire Prevention Month, and I want to inform the readers about the free smoke detectors available to them through the Fire Department. The firemen come to the house and install the alarms (they’re now screwed into the ceiling. They previously used adhesive strips, which didn’t work). The detectors never need a battery change and are good for 10 years. No one should be without smoke detectors.For information, call 215-686-1176.Rosemary CallaghanCastor Gardens’Tis the season to be helping the poor peopleThe holiday season is a natural time to open your hearts and wallets for others, but you don’t have to wait until November or December to begin giving. There are many young children living in Philadelphia County who desperately need our help now.More than 20 percent of children under the age of 6 are currently living in poverty throughout Pennsylvania. These disadvantaged kids are in need of everything from socks and underwear to basic school supplies.By getting into the giving spirit early this year, you can help ensure that a child shows up to school warm and with the tools she needs to learn every day.My colleagues and I at Shire Pharmaceuticals encourage everyone in Philadelphia County to join us in helping out Cradles to Crayons, an outstanding non-profit that distributes the necessities to children age 12 and younger through local partner agencies.Your donations will directly benefit local kids through organizations such as CHOP, Lutheran Children and Family Services, Maternity Care Coalition, People’s Emergency Center and the School District of Philadelphia.So summon the good will of the holiday season early by cleaning out your closet or starting a drive at your local school, sports league or community organization. Then join others with big hearts at Shire’s Big Give on Oct. 12 and 13 at Wilson Farm Park in the Chesterbrook Corporate Center in Wayne, Pa., or one of the drop-off sites located across the Greater Philadelphia region.Together we’ll harness the region’s generosity and fill a tractor trailer full of hope for thousands of children who will receive an early gift when they need it most.Visit www.shirebiggive.com for more information.Mike HayesMayfairSocks & underwear also help the poor The need for clothing remains a very basic human necessity. Many families in our community continue to struggle to support, provide for, and clothe their families in this challenging economic climate.In partnership with the local branch of the Needlework Guild of America (NGA), during the month of October, I am collecting new socks and underwear to be donated to local families and individuals. During this drive, we are only asking for socks and underwear. To make a donation of new socks or underwear, please drop them off at my district office at 19 South York Road in Hatboro.If anyone wants to make another type of new clothing donation, NGA has an active local branch that meets weekly at the Hatboro Baptist Church Annex located on North York Road. If you would like to donate, volunteer, or participate in the NGA, please call them at 267-240-6940 for more information.Rep. Thomas P. Murt152nd Legislative District
Port Richmond neighbors have voiced their longstanding concerns about underage drinking and drug use at the neighborhood park. Now, they have been promised they will start seeing results.
— A Somerton mom and dad are in trouble with the law after enrolling their daughter in a Lower Moreland school.
An upcoming fundraiser in memory of Lacey Gallagher will help fund a scholarship fund in her honor.