Letters to the editor Jan. 23, 2013

Get rid of the mor­ons on City Coun­cil
Are you kid­ding me? To Coun­cil­man Den­nis O’Bri­en, who is quoted in last week’s cov­er story on prop­erty taxes as say­ing, “There are no free rides. I be­lieve every prop­erty own­er has to pay in” in re­gard to the blatant rob­bery of its cit­izens in the form of a ma­jor prop­erty tax hike:
You, sir, are an idi­ot. We are pay­ing way too much taxes as it is, due to the in­com­pet­ent and waste­ful fools in City Hall. With the re­cent fed­er­al tax hike caus­ing people to struggle even more, you be­lieve we need to pay more. How in the hell is our eco­nomy sup­posed to im­prove if the cit­izens have less to spend? Looks like an­oth­er 1776 is in or­der, but the gov­ern­ment and greedy cor­por­a­tions are work­ing us so hard for little pay, who has the time and en­ergy to do any­thing? This coun­try and es­pe­cially this city are go­ing to hell fast.
All of City Coun­cil must go! They are over­paid, clue­less mor­ons that do not really care for the people they are sup­posed to serve. If they stopped play­ing polit­ics and stopped be­ing so waste­ful, there would be no need to raise our already too high taxes.
Tim Ro­gers

Tax re­form is the great equal­izer
You made some very co­gent points in your ed­it­or­i­al last week about the city need­ing to be more ef­fi­cient in col­lect­ing taxes and run­ning its de­part­ments (A mes­sage for City Hall). However, the neg­at­ive tone gave the im­pres­sion you were against the prop­erty tax re­form the city is ini­ti­at­ing.
I think this is one of the most re­fresh­ing things this city has ever done. For the first time, prop­erty taxes will be based on the ac­tu­al value of real es­tate. Yes, some who have been un­der-as­sessed will have to pay much more, but that is only fair, and the city is mak­ing ef­forts (even in the state le­gis­lature) to make that trans­ition easi­er. If your in­terest is mainly North­east Phil­adelphia, I un­der­stand that taxes may ac­tu­ally be lower for some sec­tions.
It is time to ap­plaud the may­or and those for­ward-think­ing Coun­cil people for com­ing up with the first fair meth­od of as­sess­ing prop­erty.
Ed­ward S. Marks
Winchester Park

En­gine 38’s re­open­ing was long over­due
In what should have been a red-let­ter day for the res­id­ents of Ta­cony, the May­or Nut­ter/Fire Com­mis­sion­er Ay­ers re­gime proved once again their cold and cal­lous down­grad­ing of fire/EMS pro­tec­tion to the pub­lic.
At a neigh­bor­hood meet­ing with the com­munity in early 2006 at­ten­ded by the cap­tain of En­gine 38, my­self and many off-duty mem­bers of the com­pany, the newly ap­poin­ted deputy com­mis­sion­er of staff ser­vices told the res­id­ents of Ta­cony that they would not lose a day of pro­tec­tion from the clos­ing of En­gine 38’s fire­house.
Sur­prise! In all the many months (and years) that PennDOT made it clear to the city that the I-95 im­prove­ment pro­ject re­quired the ground that the sta­tion sat on, the city lead­ers should have star­ted con­struc­tion of the new fire­house to as­sure a seam­less line of fire/EMS cov­er­age to that neigh­bor­hood. But, no! Not these two om­ni­po­tent per­son­al­it­ies.
So in Feb­ru­ary 2009, the sta­tion on Long­shore Av­en­ue was shut down and the com­pany re­lo­cated to Brides­burg, ren­der­ing them totally use­less to pro­tect­ing their loc­al dis­trict.
About 18 months later and real­iz­ing that their ex­ist­ence at a re­mote site was sense­less, the com­pany was de­ac­tiv­ated un­til just re­cently.
On Jan. 8 this year, Mi­chael Nut­ter and Lloyd Ay­ers put on their bright faces and pretty clothes and took full ad­vant­age of the photo op­por­tun­ity to “bring this brand new fire­house to the people of Ta­cony.”
This city “lead­er­ship” (if you care to call them that) knew all along that they were shut­ting this com­pany down and now act as if we “owe” them something.
In my opin­ion, what they fully de­serve is noth­ing but con­tempt from the com­munity that they stabbed in the back with their broken prom­ise.
Many mem­bers of my fam­ily live in Ta­cony and May­fair and I’m furi­ous that this ad­min­is­tra­tion went al­most four years without prop­er cov­er­age in this area.
I’m sure that they are im­mune to cri­ti­cism, as they’ve already proved, but the tax­pay­ing pub­lic should ex­er­cise their right to blast this city ad­min­is­tra­tion for fail­ing us once again.
To the newly as­signed per­son­nel of En­gine 38: Wel­come back. You’ve been gone too long!
Larry Shel­len­ber­ger
Lieu­ten­ant (Re­tired)
Phil­adelphia Fire De­part­ment

Dis­turb­ing car­toon ex­cluded Is­rael
I am ap­palled at the dis­gust­ing polit­ic­al car­toon on your opin­ion page in the Jan. 9 edi­tion. Why do you identi­fy the West Bank, and ig­nore the coun­try of Is­rael? Don’t give me the ex­cuse that Is­rael is a very small coun­try and that there wasn’t any room to identi­fy it.
Don’t stoop to the level of the Middle East­ern coun­tries that re­fuse to re­cog­nize Is­rael as a le­git­im­ate coun­try, the Jew­ish home­land, and a great, re­li­able ally to the USA!
Gail Schwartz
Ed­it­or’s note: Tom Stig­lich’s car­toon in­cluded the Is­raeli cit­ies of Haifa and Jer­u­s­alem.

The un­kind­est cuts of all
This let­ter is ad­dressed to the in­di­vidu­al who has been lit­ter­ing some streets in the 19115 ZIP code area.
This per­son goes to a lot of trouble to cut pages of the North­east Times in­to small pieces. They then place these in­to an open plastic bag onto the street and al­low the wind and the traffic to dis­trib­ute thou­sands of the pieces in every dir­ec­tion, mak­ing it al­most im­possible to clean up.
I’m as­sum­ing this per­son reads the Times be­fore shred­ding it and will real­ize that what they are do­ing is a little weird.
I hope you get the treat­ment and ther­apy you need and fun­nel your en­ergy in­to something more con­struct­ive. Good luck.
John Murphy

A sizz­ling, sim­mer­ing gun con­trol de­bate:

A pun­dit’s pre­dic­tions
1) The Con­gress will not pass the pres­id­ent’s bill to mit­ig­ate gun vi­ol­ence.
2) The pres­id­ent likely will use the ex­ec­ut­ive or­der to im­ple­ment all or some of the bill’s pro­vi­sions.
3) The NRA and the rad­ic­al right will call for the pres­id­ent’s im­peach­ment, re­volu­tion and oth­er nut-job tac­tics.
4) Most or all Re­pub­lic­an House mem­bers and a few gut­less Demo­crats will con­tin­ue to pimp for the NRA and the gun in­dustry in the name of everything but sav­ing lives.
4) Con­sequently, in re­ac­tion to the pub­lic out­rage it pre­cip­it­ates, spe­cific­ally in an at­tempt to avoid a Demo­crat­ic land­slide in 2014 and its con­trol of both the House and Sen­ate, Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled state le­gis­latures will pass elec­tion laws fur­ther strength­en­ing the cur­rent ef­fects of ger­ry­man­der­ing as a way to guar­an­tee Re­pub­lic­an wins EVEN WHEN THEY LOSE THE POP­U­LAR VOTES.
5) A pub­lic firestorm will en­sue, mak­ing Oc­cupy Wall Street look like a candle­light din­ner for two.
6) The Re­pub­lic­an Party as presently con­figured will cease to ex­ist.
7)  Re­pub­lic­ans who cas­tig­ate Chris Christie for his “speak­ing truth to (their ab­use of) power” will res­ult in his bolt­ing from the party and be­com­ing an in­de­pend­ent, thus en­abling a bi­par­tis­an tick­et of Hil­lary Clin­ton and Chris Christie to win the White House in 2016.
Ar­thur Gur­mankin

Keep an eye on our rights
To com­ment on the re­cent at­ro­cit­ies and the out­rage against cer­tain fire­arms, I must re­mind the read­ers that the U.S. is one of the lead­ing arms deal­ers in the world and there­fore re­spons­ible for the deaths and maim­ing of more chil­dren than you want to see.
A close view of a hom­icide is re­puls­ive. The politi­cians will blow smoke for ex­pedi­ency over this is­sue. They can le­gis­late, but you have to face the fact we live in a dan­ger­ous world.
Re­mem­ber the Ma­chiavel­lians whose lies led to the deaths of thou­sands of Amer­ic­ans and these trait­ors were not held ac­count­able? Where is the out­rage?
The Na­tion­al De­fense Au­thor­iz­a­tion Act al­lows the U.S. mil­it­ary to ar­rest any­one without due pro­cess and re­main in­def­in­itely in­car­cer­ated.
What happened to the Con­sti­tu­tion? If we ig­nore our rights, one by one they may go away.
John McHugh
Mod­ena Park

Gun rights are God’s will
It seems to me that most of the writers of let­ters to the ed­it­ors for­got what gun rights means.
Rights come from God and can’t be taken away ex­cept by force. The Pennsylvania Con­sti­tu­tion is more fa­vor­able of gun rights, as Sec­tion 21 states: “The rights of cit­izens to use guns in de­fense of them­selves or the com­mon­wealth shall not be ques­tioned.”
It seems most cit­izens of the com­mon­wealth for­got this. As Thomas Jef­fer­son stated, “The strongest reas­on for the people to re­tain their right to keep and bear arms is, as a last re­sort, to pro­tect them­selves against tyranny in gov­ern­ment.”
George Wash­ing­ton nev­er tried to ban guns after the Whis­key Re­bel­lion. He ac­tu­ally pardoned the rebels.
Please re­mem­ber all fed­er­al gun laws vi­ol­ate the 2nd amend­ment and all state gun laws vi­ol­ate Sec­tion 21.
Jason Hen­core

His na­tion­al night­mare
After this year’s elec­tion and all the gun vi­ol­ence go­ing on I am more cer­tain than ever that we have way too much gov­ern­ment.
All I hear about are gun laws (we have about 20,000 now). Have we stopped il­leg­al drugs and il­leg­al ali­ens? Was pro­hib­i­tion suc­cess­ful? This is a snow job to make it seem like they’re do­ing something.
While gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials are pro­tec­ted by heav­ily armed se­cur­ity, will we be left help­less. This is the first step to­ward so­cial­ism. All the while, our politi­cians get pay raise after pay raise and all of them point the fin­ger at the oth­er guy.
My God, they can­not bal­ance a check­book, but we must. All that time to fix the fisc­al cliff fiasco. Four years of ser­vice in polit­ics, a pen­sion, free med­ic­al and they stuff Obama­care down our nose. Those is harm’s way in the ser­vice of our coun­try after 20 years get 50 per­cent pen­sion.
I hope this is a bad dream and I will wake soon.
John Mc­Call

The mad­ness just goes on
We con­tin­ue our angst about guns, and politi­cians run to the cam­er­as with new pro­pos­als to ban rifles, clips or am­muni­tion. But we don’t talk about the oth­er “am­muni­tion.”
 I no­ticed last week that ul­tra-vi­ol­ent movies such as Django Un­chained and Texas Chain­saw in 3-D, con­tin­ue to pack in the audi­ences. Pop mu­sic con­tin­ues its as­sault on the ears with vi­ol­ent mu­sic blas­ted from our boom boxes on wheels.
 Our pro foot­ball play­off stars are still preen­ing and pos­tur­ing after hard hits — and rub­bing the op­pon­ents’ noses in the dirt after touch­downs. Our weekly TV shows con­tin­ue to mock and ri­dicule people who are fat or just can’t sing in tune.
The me­dia laugh at re­li­gious people, push gay-mar­riage, and mock male-led fam­il­ies, as even man­li­ness is seen as a prob­lem.
We con­tinu­ally push fe­male achieve­ment, at the ex­pense of boys, and we feed boys vi­ol­ent video games to sat­is­fy them in their co­coons of re­sent­ment. All this is am­muni­tion, too. And our bab­bling politi­cians think there is no con­sequence?
The cul­ture we have made is our prob­lem. Yet, we con­tin­ue to light the fuse — and won­der why we have ex­plo­sions.
Richard Iac­on­elli

Speak your mind  …
Let­ters should be 300 words or less. Short let­ters have a bet­ter chance of get­ting pub­lished. All let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing and MUST in­clude the writer’s full name along with day­time and even­ing phone num­bers for veri­fic­a­tion pur­poses. An­onym­ous or il­legible let­ters will NOT be pub­lished. Mail to: Let­ters to the Ed­it­or, North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053. E-mail: pronews@bsmphilly.com

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