Students returned to classes at Fels and Northeast high schools last week to the good news that their schools had done the hard work and become safer. The two schools were taken off the state Education Department’s “persistently dangerous schools” list for this year.But two other Northeast Philly high schools — Frankford and Lincoln — continued to fail the safe schools test. For the seventh year running. Overall, six Philadelphia public schools are on the list this year, down from 12 the year before. What a shame that a third of them are in the Great Northeast.Schools make the list based on the last two years’ worth of data about dangerous incidents that result in arrest. These are defined as weapons possession or a violent crime, ranging from homicide to assault. Any child who attends one of these “persistently dangerous schools” has the option to enroll elsewhere.This may sound like just a bunch of number crunching, but as the old adage goes, you can only change what you can measure. And, as the state guidelines recognize, “some schools need to take serious steps in order to make their schools safer.”We couldn’t agree more. It’s time for Frankford and Lincoln to end the climate of danger at their schools.The place to start? Talk to their colleagues at Fels and Northeast about what they did to make their schools safer. Then, let everyone in the school community — students, parents, teachers and administrators — know that you expect a lot, and you mean business. Every child deserves to go to a school that is a safe place to learn. Frankford and Lincoln, do the hard work and get off the list. •• Send letters to: email@example.com
Here, kitty, kittyThis weekend, Forgotten Cats is having their Second Chance For Love, in the adoption center of PetSmart at 901 Old York Road in Abington. There will be many 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 DeNofaNormandyMayfair has turned into another Kensington This goes out to all of the dirtballs and lowlifes in Mayfair and outsiders: We, the hard-working, respectful homeowners of Mayfair, would like to keep our neighborhood clean. This means if you have an empty McDonald’s bag or Wawa trash, you don’t come to a stop sign and throw it out the window. If you have a child in your car who wears a diaper, you don’t pull over and change your kid and throw the dirty diaper in the curb. Did you ever think of taking a plastic bag in your car and using that for trash until you get home? Probably not, because a lot of people don’t know that great word that was huge for me growing up in Kensington — respect. Respect others and their property. It’s sad to say, many years ago Kensington was the same as Mayfair used to be, clean and well kept by respectful people. Unfortunately, Mayfair is what Kensington is today. For the parents of kids who ride around on the quads and dirt bikes that are illegal in the streets, when your kid is killed by people who don’t believe in stop signs or red lights, don’t say, “Oh, my kid was such a good kid.” They probably are, but the parent needs to say, “No, that’s illegal.” Also disturbing is when you go to the corner convenience store with your hard-earned green and watch the person in front of you buy Pampers on an ACCESS card. Hello, how mad can an honest and respectful person get? Jill Elms MayfairMr. Roofer, what were you thinking?Are you serious? Has this world gone crazy?What were you thinking when I called your office in distress due to a raccoon trapped in an open skylight in my bathroom, and you reacted immediately?What were you thinking when you gave me your cell phone number so I could call you as soon as Animal Control removed the raccoon?What were you thinking when you were at my door within half an hour after I called?What were you thinking when you evaluated and secured my skylight at no charge? Animal Control had arrived three and a half hours after I had called, and all that time I watched the raccoon slowly lose its fight for life. Animal Control told me I could have released the raccoon to freedom had I pulled the chain on the skylight. My animal rescuing soul was tortured.What were you thinking when you sent an angel to my door to comfort me? You see, Chris, the roofer, spent 45 minutes showing me that I had been ill-informed. Chris took the time to listen to me as to how the raccoon had lodged itself and proved to me that I had no recourse but to call the experts.I have been around for more years than I wish to mention, but I have never seen a company be there from start to finish in such a timely and compassionate way.What were they thinking when they didn’t even charge me for the house call or the counseling session?Thank you to Mike, Chuck, and Chris from P. Cooper Roofing. I will never forget your kindness when it counted.Marcia VeshnefskyRhawnhurstPost 754 has a place for military vetsRhawnhurst-Castor Post 754 is open to any veteran who would like to join the American Legion. Our membership is open to anyone who served in the military.Our post is the largest Legion post in Philadelphia. We have 776 members. Men or women who would like to join can call me anytime at 215-632-7781. Dues are $25 for the year 2013.William ColeCommander, Post 754Our politicians are full of hot airI must agree with Jerry Foglia’s letter in the Aug. 29 edition (It’s time to give Council the heave-ho).We limit the president of the United States to a four-year term with no guarantee of a second term. The same applies to many governors and mayors. Our legislators (i.e. councilpersons, representatives and senators) at the local, state and federal levels are not subject to any type of term limitations. The same people just keep getting elected over and over again.The longer these legislators remain in office the more power they accumulate and the more they feel “entitled” to do as they please, such as voting themselves pay raises, collecting DROP payouts, cost of living increases, etc.You or I cannot vote ourselves any of these, so what gives them the right to? This should remind everyone of the old adage, “power corrupts.”I have never once seen any elected official come to my Lawndale neighborhood and ask for my vote. My mother could not even get a response from state Rep. Mark Cohen’s office in regard to the removal of a tree stump in front of our home. I myself could not get a decent response from U.S. Rep. Robert Brady’s office in regard to the plight of the Clark Veterans Cemetery; all I received was a form letter outlining the congressman’s accomplishments.This goes to show our elected officials do not care about the people. All they want to do is remain in office, talk a lot of hot air and continue to collect on all their freebies.We really need to come together and enact term limitations on all legislators at all levels.Joseph MurrayAppalled by bigotry toward gaysRegarding the letters by George Tomezsko and Michael L. Bane in last week’s edition (Same-sex marriages are anything but traditional):Your bigotry toward homosexuals is astounding and appalling. I’d be willing to bet you would’ve been (or maybe were) the type of person/s to oppose the use of the same water fountain for whites and blacks. Children brought up by homosexual couples are just as strong, independent and productive members of society as any brought up by heterosexuals.So you go ahead and “eat mor chikin” to support the bigotry and divisiveness that you so condone and support. Meanwhile we, “the left,” will continue the humanitarian efforts to fight for equality, justice, and tolerance.Continue to pray to your sky daddy in this imaginary, magical realm. And you can also keep your evil Bible, which you claim to get your morality from. People such as I will do the thinking for you.The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing — Edmund BurkeMichael AlexanderHolmesburgSame-sex marriages…who cares!In response to the two letters in last week’s edition regarding gay marriage, get over it. Why does your opinion not count? I would say because it does not affect you!I am a happily married man (to a woman). I do not see the relevance of fighting against same sex marriage. It is not your life, so why do you care?Michael Bane states, “the difference outweighs the similarities.” How does it? It is a union of two people that are devoted to each other. That is the same as a heterosexual marriage. It can create offspring. It is the 21st century, after all, and scientists have developed means to give women babies without a “natural” father.It’s amazing there is also this thing called adoption — maybe you’ve heard about it. If a woman and her spouse do not want children, why is that wrong? Many heterosexual couples do the same thing. In my eyes, that is great. If you realize you do not want children, why have them!It is America and you can have your opinion. However, your opinion does not matter and neither does mine. If two people want to get married, why does it matter if they are two men or two women? It should not. It reminds me of interracial marriages not being allowed because people did not want biracial children (check Kentucky and Louisiana as late as 2011).I think everyone needs to get over themselves. Please do not use religious beliefs, because any TRULY religious person would say it is not your place to judge another’s lifestyle, even if the Bible says it is wrong. There are many more important things to worry about than two people of the same sex getting married to each other.Meanwhile, it was funny seeing the nice list of Pat Dougherty in the same edition (Blame it on the Democrats).Yes, Democrats are bad, but Republicans are, too! I found it amusing that all the issues came from pre-1970. As the Democratic Party evolved, the party saw where they went astray (to an extent). But since we are doing fun facts, lets do some on Republicans:Ronald Reagan (“The Great One”) supported the Bob Jones University tax exemption even though it was a segregated school. He also said the Voting Rights Act of 1965 “humiliated” the South! Ha.George W. Bush would not even talk to the NAACP. Strom Thurmond (who changed to Republican as the parties changed) was a huge racist!Listen, people are bad. Both parties are terrible at times. The whole concept of party ideologies shifted in the 1960s. So every statement you made, most of those individuals would be Republican conservatives today. Pat, I do not know if you know that or not. My guess is no. Jerry GlanzmannCastor GardensLet he who is without sinMr. Plieninger wants to dismiss the criticisms of Dr. Sunil Niyogi as rank bigotry with the symptom of a belief in collective guilt. (Clergy-abuse letter missed the facts, Aug. 29 edition). This argument is spectacularly disingenuous considering the fact that his beloved Catholicism wouldn’t exist without the collective guilt of original sin.Wayne BambrickCastor GardensRomney, taxes and voter fraudEx-Gov. Romney, by providing only two years of tax returns, is obeying the law, only to the minimum required. If he is only paying a low percentage tax rate and the IRS doesn’t have any open liens against him (like ex-Superintendent Arlene Ackerman did) then he is paying the minimum taxes required by law.If Harry and Barry (Reid and Obama, respectively) want different outcomes, they should change the laws just like the Republicans recently did in Harrisburg with the voter ID law.Obviously, voter fraud and irregularities didn’t concern them as much in 2000, when an election in Northeast Philadelphia surrounding the handling of absentee ballots caused one of their own to win that election.Mayer KrainModena ParkA note from the Party City ladyTo my customers, I’m sorry that I did not say goodbye in person. For 17 years, I got to know you and your families in happy times and sad. Thank you for coming to the store to say hi. You became part of my daily life and I made wonderful friends. I don’t know your names, but I know your faces.My friends, God bless you and your families a life of good health and happiness. I’ll miss you! I had a good ride.Faith, from the Party City on Cottman AvenueSpeak your mind … Letters should be brief and must include the writer’s full name along with daytime and evening phone numbers for verification. E-mail letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directed by a Northern Liberties woman, WAMB (wind at my back), is just one of the many performances showcased in this year's Philly Fringe performing arts festival. WAMB shows again this weekend.