Letters to the Editor: August 14, 2013

Post look­ing for vets

Rhawn­hurst-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 Amer­ic­an Le­gion post is the largest in Phil­adelphia. We have 719 mem­bers.

Men or wo­men who would like to join can call me any­time at 215-632-7781.

Wil­li­am Cole

Post Com­mand­er

Donate to St. Leo ap­peal

Dear pa­rish­ion­ers, friends and alums of St. Leo the Great, thank you for your pray­ers and sup­port. The arch­bish­op re­fused to meet with us so we were left with no al­tern­at­ive but to ap­peal to the Vat­ic­an. 

We have hired a can­on law­yer. If you are in­ter­ested in donat­ing to our leg­al fund, please email me at portkuv@aol.com or call me at 215-901-8052.

We will be at­tend­ing a ros­ary rally at the cathed­ral on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. We are ask­ing all of those af­fected by the re­cent mer­gers and clos­ing to par­ti­cip­ate.

Thank you again for all that you do for St. Leo. Please con­tin­ue to pray for our church. St. Leo the Great, pray for us.

Ann Mar­ie Kuvik


Mom wants dam down

This let­ter is in re­sponse to Fred Maurer, who seems to think that the dam in Pennypack should stay be­cause of the be­ne­fit it has to fish. 

Are you kid­ding me? Ba­sic­ally, what you are say­ing is that the dam and its fish are more im­port­ant than hu­man lives. 

I only have one ques­tion for you, Mr. Maurer, have you ever lost a child? Well, I did, and that dam is go­ing away one way or an­oth­er. I don’t care how long it takes. So I guess you will have to find fish some­where else. That dam is use­less.

Kim­berly Boyle

Bell’s Corner

Tear­ing down the dam will save lives

I was one of Brandon Boyle’s best friends, also the cre­at­or of the Face­book page “Pray For Brandon” and I’d like to give my in­put on the dam and bridge situ­ation at Pennypack. 

For starters, as a teen­ager who has lived in the area for many years, I can say that many teen­age in­di­vidu­als swim in those wa­ters. Even days after the in­cid­ent, people were still jump­ing off the bridge in­to the swift-mov­ing wa­ters. 

I know I am heart­broken after Brandon’s death, and I can’t ima­gine what the fam­ily is go­ing through dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. I also know I can’t see an­oth­er per­son go through this tragedy!

This also isn’t the first time someone passed away in these wa­ters. The dam is no longer serving any pur­pose to Pennypack Creek, so it should not be there if all it is go­ing to do is cause harm to oth­ers. 

We all strongly feel this dam needs to be re­moved and we won’t stop un­til something hap­pens!

Stav Chen 

Stafford, Va.

Dam is a killer

I am writ­ing in re­gard to the Penny­ack dam where my pre­cious neph­ew Brandon drowned. His death was com­pletely un­ne­ces­sary, an in­com­pre­hens­ible loss to our fam­ily.

Brandon was just 13 years of age and in the prime of his life. He was a young teen­age boy who found the creek just too ir­res­ist­ible not to take a swim.

My fam­ily has done some re­search on the Pennypack Creek and found that since 1994 there have been 16 deaths. This dam is a killer and it needs to be re­moved.

Do we have to wait un­til the city gets sued to pay at­ten­tion to this haz­ard­ous situ­ation? Can the of­fi­cials of Phil­adelphia just do the right thing and re­move this killer?

Please have com­pas­sion for the fam­il­ies of these need­less losses, and for the fam­il­ies that will have to go through such sor­row in the fu­ture. If this dam is not re­moved there will be oth­er griev­ing fam­il­ies. Please do something!

Lisa Loew

Boyn­ton Beach, Fla

Des­troy­ing dam won’t keep kids out of creek

OK, tear down the dam, wreck that sec­tion of the park do­ing it, but you will still have kids and adults jump­ing in­to the Pennypack and drown­ing.

After a storm, the creek moves like a freight train usu­ally two to three feet (if not more) high­er than nor­mal.

Some people can’t res­ist the tempta­tion to give it a try. Even on a nor­mal day, the creek bot­tom is full of branches and oth­er junk, either washed or de­lib­er­ately thrown in, that can snag you and drown you. Folks will just find an­oth­er spot to jump in. They do it now any­ways.

Ju­li­ann Pinto


No reas­on to cel­eb­rate loc­al Play­mate

Please al­low me to re­spond to the “Girl Next Door” art­icle that ap­peared in the Ju­ly 17 edi­tion of the North­east Times, writ­ten by Ed Mor­rone. The nar­rat­ive de­tailed the ex­cite­ment of a loc­al wo­man who was named Play­boy magazine’s “Play­mate of the Month” in its Au­gust 2013 edi­tion. I have been a read­er of the Times for many years, and I can­not let this story pass without some re­but­tal. For­give the me­di­ev­al, prudish tone, be­cause I do not share the writer’s or the sub­ject’s glee about this situ­ation.

The front-page art­icle about this very beau­ti­ful, and hope­fully na­ive, young wo­man’s ven­ture in­to the Play­boy world failed to men­tion that she is now an in­teg­ral part of Amer­ica’s in­sa­ti­able, per­ver­ted and ever-bur­geon­ing sex in­dustry. 

Let’s hope that she will, in the fu­ture, re­con­sider her present-day de­cision, look back and re­gret any phys­ic­al and mor­al dam­age she may have caused her­self, her fam­ily and any­one else. Des­pite her con­tem­por­ary eu­phor­ia, sub­sequent guilt of such ac­tions may be dif­fi­cult to sup­press.

In the mean­time, she can bask in the false glow of her tem­por­ary, car­nal fame, be­stowed on her by the Play­boy cru­sade. She is, however, throw­ing away her beauty, tal­ent, heart and soul to a false prom­ise — to a de­praved move­ment that is doomed to fail and will, one day, crash, burn, and ul­ti­mately im­plode.

Joe Cooney

Fox Chase

Bar­tender to play­mate: an in­spir­ing path 

I think the North­east Times’ story on Val Keil, Play­boy’s Miss Au­gust 2013, was well writ­ten and ap­pro­pri­ate to pub­lish. The North­east Times ac­know­ledges suc­cess­ful and in­spir­ing stor­ies all the time, and I don’t think Miss Keil’s story should be passed up be­cause of her break in­to Play­boy magazine.

I think the real pur­pose of the art­icle, and what let­ter writer Cath­er­ine Mor­ris­on missed, was that Val Keil was a hard-work­ing bar­tender try­ing to get that big break, and when a chance came along, she took it. Not only did she take the chance, she suc­ceeded. Many people, these days, are afraid to take chances, and beat them­selves up when they pass them by. Oth­ers think that suc­cess should be be­stowed upon them with little to no ef­fort. Keil should be com­men­ded for her suc­cess.

Read­ing the art­icle, “The Girl Next Door,” in­spired me, ac­tu­ally. It proved that the dream is out there if you’re per­sist­ent and you go for it. It also told me that any­body, wheth­er it’s a res­taur­ant host­ess, a garbage man or cus­todi­an could bet­ter them­selves with the prop­er re­sources, de­term­in­a­tion and tal­ent. One hears thou­sands of “no’s” be­fore he/she hears that one “yes” in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dustry. 

If someone from our area launches to the ranks of star­dom, even for 15 seconds, the North­east Times should ac­know­ledge it. It lets the rest of us dream­ers know that a bet­ter life is pos­sible.

Tom Crank­shaw


Zi­m­mer­man ver­dict was an easy call 

I am writ­ing in re­sponse to Miri­am Lev­in­son’s let­ter con­cern­ing the Trayvon Mar­tin case (Zi­m­mer­man ra­cially pro­filed Trayvon, Aug. 7, 2013).

I re­spect her right to ex­press her opin­ion, however mis­guided. But I be­lieve all those who are out­raged by the ver­dict are de­lu­sion­al.

I watched every tele­vised mo­ment of the Zi­m­mer­man tri­al — without bi­as — and I can say that every proven fact, every piece of forensic evid­ence cor­rob­or­ated Zi­m­mer­man’s story and ul­ti­mately ex­on­er­ated him.

It wasn’t even close.

The pro­sec­u­tion’s own wit­nesses ac­tu­ally helped the de­fense, in­clud­ing the de­tect­ive who ori­gin­ally wanted to charge Zi­m­mer­man with man­slaughter.

Re­mem­ber, the de­fense didn’t have to prove a thing — it’s the pro­sec­utor who had to prove ma­li­cious in­tent for second-de­gree murder. They couldn’t even prove man­slaughter.

On the oth­er hand, the de­fense ac­tu­ally proved self-de­fense bey­ond a reas­on­able doubt. That’s why it’s so troub­ling to me see­ing so many people around the coun­try com­pletely re­ject fact and reas­on in fa­vor of pure emo­tion­al­ism.

The law is all we have.

If we trash it, the mob will take over, like it did in the cir­cus lead­ing up to the tri­al.

But for the pres­sure from Jesse Jack­son, Al Sharpton and the New Black Pan­thers (yes, the same Black Pan­thers who vi­ol­ated voters’ rights in Philly in ’08), there would not have been a tri­al.

It wasn’t ra­cism on the part of the San­ford po­lice, but the real­iz­a­tion that there was simply not enough evid­ence to charge Zi­m­mer­man with murder.

If Ms. Lev­in­son could ask, “Who threw the first punch?” it shows me she clearly didn’t see the same tri­al I did.

Fol­low­ing someone is not il­leg­al, as­sault is. I sug­gest to her and any­one who feels angry about the ver­dict to go back and give it a second look — without the hys­teria.

Jay Pol­is


Holo­caust edu­ca­tion needed in schools

I must take great ex­cep­tion with the let­ter to the ed­it­or from Le­onard T. Roberts of May­fair. He reas­ons that the bill in Har­ris­burg is one that pays too much at­ten­tion to the Jew­ish vic­tims of the Holo­caust, and its pur­pose is not really needed since text­books men­tion “Hitler, the Jews and the ‘Fi­nal Solu­tion,’ ” and that teach­ers have the re­spons­ib­il­ity of talk­ing about these events to help stu­dents un­der­stand the present and the role of hate in his­tory. He in­sinu­ates that this le­gis­la­tion would give spe­cial at­ten­tion to one group over oth­er groups. 

The present edu­ca­tion­al need is not to just teach about the Holo­caust but also to help stu­dents un­der­stand what hap­pens when hatred runs amok and be­comes state-sponsored evil. This has happened nu­mer­ous times since the Holo­caust and con­tin­ues to dev­ast­ate the lives of or­din­ary people around the world. Ex­amples that come to mind are the killing fields of Cam­bod­ia and at­ro­cit­ies in Croa­tia and Dar­fur, to men­tion just a few. Just as im­port­ant, stu­dents should learn about how dis­tor­ted pro­pa­ganda shapes people’s judg­ments and how mob psy­cho­logy can be dan­ger­ous. Ad­di­tion­ally, in our mod­ern world, stu­dents need to see how bul­ly­ing can lend it­self to be­come more ser­i­ous neg­at­ive be­ha­vi­ors. The Holo­caust provides op­por­tun­it­ies for stu­dents to learn about how in­di­vidu­al de­cisions im­pact the com­munity and the world at large. Ad­di­tion­ally, one of the great les­sons re­gard­ing learn­ing about the Holo­caust is for stu­dents to learn about com­pas­sion and un­der­stand­ing for, and of, all people. 

Some sec­ond­ary teach­ers may provide a glimpse about the Holo­caust and oth­er ex­amples of hatred that have oc­curred. Most teach­ers do not. Les­sons about the Holo­caust and oth­er at­ro­cit­ies are more likely to take place in south­east­ern Pennsylvania, where there are more edu­cat­ors who have had sig­ni­fic­ant con­tact with people who have lived through these events. It is less likely that such in­struc­tion takes place in oth­er areas around the state that are less di­ver­si­fied.

Man­dat­ing the teach­ing about these at­ro­cit­ies and their im­plic­a­tion, in­clud­ing the Holo­caust, is the only way for all of our stu­dents to learn to make more in­formed judg­ments and be­come bet­ter cit­izens. The edu­ca­tion­al needs of stu­dents throughout Pennsylvania de­mand that this le­gis­la­tion pro­mote man­dated in­struc­tion re­gard­ing the Holo­caust and oth­er at­ro­cit­ies.

Don­ald Wit­ten­berg

Pine Val­ley

Read­ers write po­etry

Stick to the middle 

My grand­fath­er was a poet,

My grand­moth­er was a teach­er,

There is none of them yet,

But I love them ar­dent, tender.

There is a por­trait on the wall,

Both sit­ting in em­brace,

Stick to the middle, they smile,

Talk­ing be­side face to face.

As­pir­ing to ful­fill their pre­cept,

I stick without shy­ing on week-days,

I try to work without hurt

To every­body, me and neigh­bors.  

Moy­sey Barash

(Trans­lated from Rus­si­an by his wife, Mar­im Barash)                            


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