Letters to the editor: Jan. 9, 2013 edition

A new year brings more fond memor­ies
With every new year, we hope for im­prove­ment, ful­filled prom­ises from our politi­cians, kinder weath­er and less vi­ol­ence. For me, the main thing is keep­ing my health stable and ad­just­ing to life in Pott­s­ville, Pa. I am liv­ing near fam­ily in an as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity try­ing hard not to miss Phil­adelphia, the city I love.
On New Year’s Day, we don’t see the Mum­mers Day Parade, and I’ve met people who have nev­er made the long trek go­ing 90 miles to Philly! It seems in­cred­ible to me. There prob­ably are Phil­adelphi­ans who have nev­er seen the Liberty Bell.
Last night I spoke with an eld­erly res­id­ent who lived most of her life in Phil­adelphia in the Fox Chase neigh­bor­hood. Her four chil­dren gradu­ated from North­east High School. As we re­min­isced about the Coun­try Club Diner cheese­cake, the re­gion­al rail and Know­lton Man­sion, the con­ver­sa­tion brought vivid im­ages. We laughed about Horn & Hardart’s, the light show at Wana­maker’s and the Gim­bels de­part­ment store at Cottman and Bustleton.
I cer­tainly didn’t think I’d ever meet any­one here that knew my neigh­bor­hood. She agreed with me that Phil­adelphia and es­pe­cially the North­east had so much to of­fer. Everything was at our fin­ger­tips.
Even though I can’t go home again, the love of the North­east will al­ways re­main. Have a happy new year and en­joy a cheesesteak!
Janice Jak­ubowitcz

Every­body should pay some prop­erty tax
May­or Nut­ter is try­ing to al­low homeown­ers of lower val­ued prop­er­ties not to pay or have greatly di­min­ished amounts of real es­tate taxes due to the homestead ex­emp­tion of $30,000.
Every­one should pay some real es­tate taxes, be­cause they are get­ting city ser­vices that in­clude po­lice, fire, trash re­mov­al and schools.
I think the vast ma­jor­ity of hard-work­ing people are get­ting tired of provid­ing tax dol­lars for people for ba­sics such as util­it­ies, food, hous­ing, med­ic­al, oth­er free items and dis­counts.
Those people con­tin­ue re­ceiv­ing handouts without any risks or cut­backs while work­ing people struggle through bad eco­nom­ic con­di­tions every day to main­tain their fam­ily’s status.
May­er Krain
Mod­ena Park

Fore­fath­ers up in arms over murder
It is shock­ing to real­ize our own city of “broth­erly love” had more than 300 hom­icides in 2012. Mean­while, the may­or stands by and ex­presses noth­ing but re­grets to fam­ily mem­bers.
Cer­tainly, com­mit­ting murder has be­come a way of life. You even won­der how many oth­er per­sons are in­jured, nev­er to be the same.
Re­cently, the NRA in­dic­ated that armed guards should pro­tect our schools. Nev­er once did they speak out against as­sault weapons be­ing sold on the mar­ket.
Without a doubt, when our fore­fath­ers gave us the right to bear arms they nev­er in­ten­ded for murder to be­come a life­style.
Mar­ie Pat­ton
Fox Chase

Smokers can help their health and wal­lets by quit­ting
The Amer­ic­an Lung As­so­ci­ation of the Mid-At­lantic wishes every­one a happy new year. As we ring in 2013, many of us will make new year’s res­ol­u­tions to im­prove our health and well-be­ing. People who re­solve to quit smoking this new year have the chance to in­crease the length and qual­ity of their lives.
Quit­ting works its ma­gic the minute an in­di­vidu­al makes the choice. In just 12 hours after an in­di­vidu­al quits, the car­bon monox­ide level in their blood drops to nor­mal. Fast for­ward to a year after quit­ting, and the risk of coron­ary heart dis­ease is half that of a smoker’s.
Today, smoking has be­come in­creas­ingly ex­pens­ive, with ci­gar­ette packs cost­ing up to $10 in some areas. A $5 pack per day adds up to $1,825 per year. Quit­ters save their lives and can save money for the fu­ture.
Quit­ting not only helps you, but also the loved ones and friends around you. Second­hand smoke af­fects every­one and is es­pe­cially dan­ger­ous to young chil­dren.
If your new year’s res­ol­u­tions in­clude quit­ting smoking, vis­it the How to Quit re­source on our Web site. For facts on smoking and more ways to stop it, vis­it the Stop Smoking page.
Deb Brown
Pres­id­ent and CEO, Amer­ic­an Lung As­so­ci­ation of the Mid-At­lantic
Little Flower coach should get with the pro­gram

Little Flower coach should get with the pro­gram
I want to ex­press my dis­ap­point­ment re­gard­ing com­ments made by Little Flower’s (LF) ath­let­ic dir­ect­or about its sports pro­gram in the Dec. 12 edi­tion.
I am a par­ent of a stu­dent-ath­lete at LF and I strongly dis­agree with Little Flower coach Adam Buchter’s sug­ges­tion that ath­let­ics are not a big factor for pro­spect­ive stu­dents. I won­der how the stu­dent-ath­letes them­selves, es­pe­cially the bas­ket­ball play­ers, feel about the way their coach/ath­let­ic dir­ect­or de­scribes them.
I agree that the school is rich in his­tory and girls go there be­cause of past fam­ily mem­bers, but one would think that there are oth­er reas­ons as well, cer­tainly aca­dem­ics, but also art, mu­sic, school spir­it, and yes — ath­let­ics.
It seems that Mr. Buchter is al­most blam­ing the girls for his dis­mal 5-16 re­cord and lack of coach­ing skills, as he states: “Kids choose LF for aca­dem­ics, so es­sen­tially kids just come in and try out for sports.”
What a safe state­ment! Of course aca­dem­ics are first, but all of the arch­dioces­an schools have ex­cel­lent aca­dem­ic pro­grams. Their sports, arts and mu­sic pro­grams are what dif­fer­en­ti­ate them. My daugh­ter chose LF primar­ily be­cause of the soc­cer pro­gram.
The night LF beat Arch­bish­op Ry­an for the cham­pi­on­ship, the win­ning spir­it that the LF girls and their sup­port­ers dis­played on the field that night stayed in her mind so much that she didn’t even vis­it an­oth­er school. Just last sea­son, an LF swim­mer went to the state cham­pi­on­ships for the first time in LF’s his­tory. I’ll bet Mr. Buchter is happy this girl “just came in and tried out for swim­ming.”
If it were just the bas­ket­ball coach mak­ing that state­ment, that would be one thing, but he is the ath­let­ic dir­ect­or! He doesn’t seem to have a clue about the caliber of the stu­dent-ath­letes that at­tend his own school.
In this day and age, with col­lege costs grow­ing at an astound­ing rate, par­ents are look­ing for every edge they can get to get some kind of money for col­lege. Ath­let­ics is a very big thing for girls any­more. Little Flower already has the aca­dem­ics; it may want to really take a good look at the sports pro­gram.
There are already some very good stu­dent-ath­letes at­tend­ing. LF should want to at­tract more. I think that the ath­let­ic dir­ect­or should get with the pro­gram.
Donna Wis­niewski
Winchester Park

Stop pam­per­ing the Eagles hot dogs
I hate to say “I told you so,” but I did and I’m cer­tainly not gloat­ing but I am dis­ap­poin­ted.
On Dec. 30 I watched an­oth­er em­bar­rass­ment from an Eagles team that was laugh­able. Be­fore last sea­son began, you prin­ted my let­ter in which I said Mi­chael Vick and De­Sean Jack­son’s style of play in­vited in­jury and they prob­ably couldn’t play a full sea­son, and the team prob­ably wouldn’t make the play­offs.
Donovan McNabb cam­paigned for Mi­chael Vick’s ac­quis­i­tion, and Mi­chael in turn said just to give De­Sean the money. Once again the team put all their eggs in one bas­ket and gave them su­per­star salar­ies. Mean­while, team own­er Jeff Lurie said eight wins and eight losses would be un­ac­cept­able, so they gave him four wins and 12 losses.
Where is the Eagles’ brain trust if or­din­ary fans seem to know more than them? When Jack­son said he didn’t give it his all be­cause he didn’t want to get hurt be­fore he got the big bucks, his char­ac­ter was ex­posed. They should have got­ten rid of him.
Vick brags that he’s not a backup, but he has fumbles and in­ter­cep­tions to match his TDs.
Quit pam­per­ing these hot dogs and get some team play­ers and give them the money after they’re proved them­selves, and maybe we’ll end up with a win­ning team for a change. Go EAGLES!
Jim Laverty
Deer­field Beach, Fla.

More guns are not the an­swer
Re­gard­ing Ken Patkin’s let­ter last week: Mr. Patkin, your  solu­tions on how to avoid an­oth­er slaughter are unique, to say the least. Let me of­fer some al­tern­ate ideas.
First, we could re­cruit all dis­charged ser­vice­men to act as guards. This saves us the ex­pense of weapons train­ing and mil­it­ary style in­doc­trin­a­tion. We could then buy used tanks and ar­mored troop car­ri­ers from the mil­it­ary to trans­port our chil­dren to a se­cure un­dis­closed loc­a­tion.
We could then ferry them in­to the school us­ing bul­let­proof vehicles such as those used by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials mak­ing pub­lic ap­pear­ances.
Once in­side they could enter their classrooms, which are pro­tec­ted by a time lock con­trolled bank vault door.
All this para­noid be­ha­vi­or should make our chil­dren and their par­ents feel very se­cure. And just in case a child needs to use the re­stroom I’m sure they can wait for the time lock to open.
If you think I am cri­ti­ciz­ing your ideas of how to pro­tect us, you are 100 per­cent cor­rect. The only thing we must pro­tect ourselves from are people like you, who would turn our schools in­to armed camps.
You ac­tu­ally think we would be proud of your solu­tion to end vi­ol­ence? I would think that reas­on­able people would be dis­gus­ted rather than proud. Let’s try to come up with solu­tions that don’t use more vi­ol­ence to pre­vent vi­ol­ence and don’t train our chil­dren that more guns are the an­swer to our prob­lems.
Joe Oren­stein

What Groucho might say about guns
To Lt. Wil­li­am J. Lawl­er II, sol­dier, edu­cat­or and gun own­er, re­gard­ing your let­ter in the Dec. 26 edi­tion:
After I read all your rants on guns (it took a while), I didn’t know wheth­er to laugh or cry, so I de­cided what else can I do but laugh? So I found a Groucho Marx song I think is ap­pro­pri­ate for you, from Horse Feath­ers, where Quincy Adams Wag­staff (Groucho) sings (with my slight al­ter­a­tions):

I don’t know what you have to say
It makes no dif­fer­ence any­way

I’ll make the Con­sti­tu­tion bend my way
My gun defines my life, so hey

My cold dead hands hold tight my gun
You try to take it, bet­ter run
You have no right to spoil my fun

Some kids got shot? So what? Go moan and whine
My gun’s not yours, it’s mine

Don’t ask that God sup­port your “right”
Ed Huber tried to talk to him last night.
But God was busy …
Ed Huber

Post 754 is 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 post is the largest Le­gion post in Phil­adelphia. We have about 700 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 Cole
Com­mand­er, Post 754

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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