Letters to the editor Jan. 30, 2013

Just go after the tax dodgers, Mr. May­or
May­or Nut­ter con­tin­ues to cry that he does not have money for the schools and that our city is broken. He con­tin­ues to gouge the homeown­ers for taxes for three years. It’s the same old story: Tax the homeown­er.
Mr. Nut­ter should stop the tax abate­ments and go after the tax dodgers who owe the city mil­lions. Last year, I read our state made a bil­lion dol­lars from the casi­nos. Go after that money, Mr. May­or. Quit gou­ging the homeown­ers.
I could sug­gest where it’s pos­sible to get a few bucks. City Coun­cil does not need three months va­ca­tion. Cut it down to a month. Case closed.
Jerry Foglia

Edu­ca­tion for the mil­lion­aires
Dur­ing the past 15 years, Har­ris­burg has de­cided to change the pat­terns of edu­ca­tion in the state by al­low­ing charter schools, cre­at­ing cor­por­ate edu­ca­tion tax cred­its, etc., which takes money away from the tra­di­tion­al pub­lic schools.
If someone is look­ing to get an ad­vanced de­gree in edu­ca­tion, I thought that this might be a good top­ic for them: “Have the state’s edu­ca­tion policies made more pro­fi­cient stu­dents or more mil­lion­aires?”
May­er Krain
Mod­ena Park

A fire­fight­er’s dream blown up in smoke
It is a very sad day for more than 100 seni­or fire­fight­ers and es­pe­cially for my won­der­ful hus­band, Mike. Monday was the last night he would spend at his sta­tion, Lad­der 22, En­gine 55, at Front and Luzerne.
In 1976 at the young age of 22, he joined the Phil­adelphia Fire De­part­ment. After fire school he was sent to this sta­tion as a rook­ie. He gave his heart and soul and learned everything there was to learn about fire­fight­ing. He loved this sta­tion so much, he nev­er took an of­ficer’s test  be­cause he didn’t want to leave this fire­house of broth­er­hood.
As the years went by, he took every rook­ie who came through those doors un­der his wing and showed them the hon­or of fire­fight­ing. Thirty-sev­en years fight­ing fires, know­ing every street in the neigh­bor­hood, where every fire hy­drant was loc­ated, and know­ing the best routes to get to a fire faster. These were the things my hus­band gave up his life for, to pro­tect and help the people of the neigh­bor­hood.
Now the city of Phil­adelphia, Com­mis­sion­er Ay­ers, May­or Nut­ter and his cronies de­cide to have a mass trans­fer of seni­or fire­fight­ers!! Why? No one knows. Just something to get back at our fire­fight­ers be­cause they want a con­tract that they haven’t re­ceived in the past four years. This is the only city that has ever done this act of trans­fer­ring. They are des­troy­ing the act of broth­er­hood our fire­fight­ers have. More than 100 seni­or fire­fight­ers have been trans­ferred.
Thank you, com­mis­sion­er and may­or, for break­ing my hus­band’s dream and the dreams of many oth­er seni­or fire­fight­ers who thought they would re­tire from the sta­tion they loved!
Donna Galla­gh­er
Pine Val­ley

Cry­ing foul over let­ter from bas­ket­ball coach
In a let­ter to the ed­it­or in the Jan. 9 edi­tion, I was dis­ap­poin­ted the North­east Times chose to run the head­line of a let­ter from a par­ent across the en­tire page and in large print, thereby ap­pear­ing to give le­git­im­acy to the con­tent of the let­ter.
So in the spir­it of equal time I am re­quest­ing this cor­res­pond­ence be giv­en just as prom­in­ent a head­line across the top of the page. The head­er should pro­claim Little Flower coach runs a great pro­gram.
The tone of the Jan. 9 let­ter (Little Flower coach should get with pro­gram) seems to be that of a par­ent with an ax to grind. The writer at­tacks Mr. Buchter by stat­ing, “[he] is al­most blam­ing the girls for his dis­mal 5-16 re­cord and lack of coach­ing skills.”
The crit­ic also por­trays a no­tion Mr. Buchter was mak­ing com­ments for the en­tire sports pro­gram as the ath­let­ic dir­ect­or. The fact of the mat­ter is he was be­ing in­ter­viewed about the up­com­ing bas­ket­ball sea­son, as the coach of the bas­ket­ball team, NOT as ath­let­ic dir­ect­or, NOT about soft­ball and NOT about swim­ming. The state­ments he made were not re­flect­ive of any oth­er pro­gram at Little Flower, they were about bas­ket­ball.
I truly be­lieve when any stu­dent ath­lete who has ever ex­per­i­enced the spe­cial feel­ing that ex­ists at Little Flower re­flects back on their high school years, they will come to real­ize that Adam Buchter was a man of ex­traordin­ary char­ac­ter whose only con­cern was they had a place to play ball and ob­tain a great edu­ca­tion. Some of those ath­letes may not have played at an­oth­er school.
Mr. Buchter has de­voted way too many hours for thou­sands of kids at Little Flower to be de­pic­ted in such a neg­at­ive light. I for one be­lieve he does things the right way and runs a great bas­ket­ball pro­gram.
John Bates

In­trigued by the case of the torn pa­pers
One of the high­lights of my week is read­ing the let­ters to the ed­it­or sec­tion of the North­east Times. As a res­id­ent of the Great North­east I see a lot of my own thoughts echoed in those rants and raves: The re­cycle po­lice only tick­et tax­pay­ers? Yeah, prob­ably. Res­id­ents get too many de­liv­ery menus in their doors? Totally. Some people don’t mow their lawns and it looks ugly? Ab­so­lutely. But let’s face it, most of these is­sues are just first-world com­plaints that pep­per an oth­er­wise mundane and cushy ex­ist­ence. So when I read John Murphy’s let­ter last week about the bags of shred­ded cop­ies of North­east Times, I couldn’t help but laugh.
As a res­id­ent of Bustleton, this com­plaint hit close to home. I have cleaned up this par­tic­u­lar mess on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions and be­lieve me, it is a job in it­self. I of­ten wondered how it keeps hap­pen­ing. I just ima­gine some lazy guy shred­ding pa­per for whatever reas­on and spill­ing a lot of it on his com­mute to wherever he is go­ing. The res­ult: a te­di­ous cleanup, es­pe­cially if it’s wet out.
However, the no­tion of a guy in­ten­tion­ally shred­ding cop­ies of the Times and ma­li­ciously leav­ing them to blow away in the wind is way more in­ter­est­ing than my bor­ing the­ory.
It’s the kind of situ­ation that makes you want to or­gan­ize a Town Watch and scan the crime scenes for evid­ence. I ima­gine neigh­bors spec­u­lat­ing about a blue-col­lar vil­lain whose sole ex­ist­ence is mak­ing life slightly more in­con­veni­ent for the work­ing class of the 19115 ZIP code.
I’m in­trigued by the concept of a guy so scorned by the Times that he is com­pelled to des­troy hun­dreds of cop­ies and dis­card them throughout Bustleton in some psy­cho­lo­gic­ally twis­ted way of “giv­ing back to the com­munity.” By com­par­is­on, this Bustleton Bag Shred­der would make the May­fair Tire Slash­er look like a hack.
So, this is either a case of bor­ing neg­lect and cleanup or this could be the be­gin­ning of an epic story of a neigh­bor­hood vs. van­dal­ism, or at the very least some in­ter­est­ing fod­der for the let­ters sec­tion of the Times. I only hope that the con­spir­acy the­ory is true. It’ll be worth the cleanup.
Mi­chael Kenny

Amer­ic­ans are armed to the teeth
The tra­di­tion­al reas­ons that Amer­ic­ans own fire­arms are sport, hunt­ing, tar­get shoot­ing and self-de­fense, either car­ried on our per­sons or in the home. Col­lect­ors also are a large seg­ment of the gun-own­ing pub­lic.
I learned to shoot from my fath­er, and hunted for about 30 years, off and on. In re­cent new stor­ies, gun shops are shown well-stocked with tac­tic­al rifles like the Bush­mas­ter and boxy auto­mat­ics like the Glock. No sign of bolt-ac­tion hunt­ing rifles or old-style six shoot­ers.
Auto­load­ers are not al­lowed by the Pennsylvania Game Com­mis­sion. I sup­pose the NRA could ar­gue that one needs a Bush­mas­ter AR15 with a 30-round clip in case one stumbles upon a whole herd of deer and wants to fill up their walk-in freez­er.
I find the cur­rent per­ceived need to be armed to the teeth some­what dis­turb­ing. Only the mil­it­ary and po­lice SWAT teams need these tac­tic­al weapons. As the tragedy in New­town, Conn. has shown, hav­ing these things around is of­ten a bad idea. I still can’t get my head around the fact that 20 first-graders were murdered by a kid who got one of these things from his mom’s stash. Go fig­ure.
Chris Mark

Nut­ter “talks the talk” on guns
May­or Nut­ter said the NRA’s mes­sage “was an in­sult to the lives of those chil­dren” killed in New­town, Conn. Mi­chael sure can talk the talk. Does he have the cour­age to walk the walk that our de­fense­less school chil­dren walk every day? Does he have the cour­age to get rid of the armed se­cur­ity de­tail as­signed to pro­tect him? NO. He is not at all con­cerned with the “ pro­spects of shootouts” in City Hall, nor is he con­cerned about us­ing “pre­cious and de­clin­ing re­sources” when it comes to his per­son­al safety.
Buddy Schmidt

Man has be­come his own worst en­emy
After read­ing last week’s let­ter Gun rights are God’s will, I did a bit of re­search in­to the Holy Scrip­tures. I found the fol­low­ing weapons: Swords, dag­gers, slings for hurl­ing stones, bows for pro­pelling ar­rows and the jawbone of a don­key. Where in the Holy Scrip­tures does it men­tion as­sault rifles, etc?
What man has done over the ages is cre­ate more ways of killing his fel­low man. What next — downs­iz­ing nukes so each and every per­son has his own per­son­al nuc­le­ar device?
D.J. Camp­bell

Hil­lary needs to vis­it the no-spin zone
On the Benghazi hear­ing, with Mrs. Clin­ton testi­fy­ing: Yes, it does mat­ter, Mrs. Clin­ton, and it does make a dif­fer­ence.  It’s called ac­count­ab­il­ity and tak­ing re­spons­ib­il­ity for your ac­tions. Stop cov­er­ing up and mak­ing ex­cuses. Who are you pro­tect­ing? Just try telling the truth for once and stop spin­ning your an­swers. I’m get­ting dizzy already.
Re­mem­ber, there are fam­il­ies that lost their sons (and what have you) that de­serve an­swers, as you poin­ted out. These people de­serve the truth, not some run­around and a pool of cro­codile tears.
By the way, whatever happened to that in­fam­ous video that the pres­id­ent on down was blam­ing for why four of our men lost their lives? This went on for over two weeks, so I figured I would ask, since no one in that bogus hear­ing bothered to.
 I per­son­ally be­lieve if they want to get to the bot­tom of this whole thing and get to the “why,” they need to start ask­ing the right ques­tions and stop the sug­ar coat­ing. The Amer­ic­an people de­serve an­swers, as do the loved ones of those four men.
Di­ane Mc­Dow­ell

It’s not too late to win­ter­ize your car
The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weath­er. It’s not too late to have your vehicle checked, sav­ing you from the cost and hassle of un­ex­pec­ted emer­gency re­pairs when severe weath­er strikes.
 • Bat­tery: Keep the bat­tery con­nec­tions clean, tight and cor­ro­sion-free. Bat­ter­ies don’t al­ways give warn­ing signs be­fore they fail com­pletely, so it’s wise to re­place bat­ter­ies that are more than 3 years old.
• An­ti­freeze: An­ti­freeze (coolant) should be flushed and re­filled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a re­mind­er, do not add 100 per­cent an­ti­freeze, as full-strength an­ti­freeze ac­tu­ally has a lower freeze point than when it’s mixed with wa­ter.
• Brakes: Have the brakes checked. The brak­ing sys­tem is the vehicle’s most im­port­ant safety item and is key while driv­ing on icy or snow-covered roads.
• Tires: Check the tire tread depth and tire pres­sure. If snow and ice are a prob­lem in your area, con­sider spe­cial tires de­signed to grip slick roads. Dur­ing winter, tire pres­sure should be checked weekly as tires will lose pres­sure when tem­per­at­ures drop.
• Oil: Be di­li­gent about chan­ging the oil and fil­ter at re­com­men­ded in­ter­vals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Con­sider chan­ging to low-vis­cos­ity oil in winter, as it will flow more eas­ily between mov­ing parts when cold.
• Wiper blades: Cold weath­er can af­fect the life of wind­shield wipers. Wiper blades that are cracked or torn, or that chat­ter, streak and don’t prop­erly clean your wind­shield, should be changed. Check the wind­shield wash­er reser­voir in case it needs flu­id.
Be sure to keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full, as that de­creases the chances of mois­ture form­ing in the gas lines and pos­sibly freez­ing. If you’re due for a tun­eup, con­sider hav­ing it done, as winter weath­er mag­ni­fies ex­ist­ing prob­lems such as pings, hard starts, slug­gish per­form­ance or rough id­ling.
To help you drive smart and save money, vis­it www.car­care.org and check out the free di­git­al Car Care Guide.
Rich White
Ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or, Car Care Coun­cil, Beth­esda, Md.

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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