Northeast Times

Letters to the Editor (July 3, 2013)

Meth­adone clin­ics are bad news

I see that The Heal­ing Way meth­adone clin­ic has been gran­ted per­mis­sion to open. That’s not pro­gress.

I know that pre­scrip­tion drug ab­use is rampant in this coun­try, but build­ing more meth­adone clin­ics isn’t the an­swer. These places just pro­mote a dif­fer­ent kind of drug. I don’t think they really care about get­ting the ad­dict off of these drugs at all. Some people stay on meth­adone for years. That’s re­cov­ery? Now I am hear­ing the phrase “meth­adone main­ten­ance.” Are you kid­ding me? I don’t want to hear it, I really don’t. I have ac­tu­ally heard meth­adone be­ing com­pared to in­sulin. How in­sult­ing is that? Dia­bet­ics do not choose dia­betes. 

I don’t think meth­adone clin­ics have a good suc­cess rate for re­cov­ery. If 300 ad­dicts re­ceive meth­adone, how many are weaned off and able to lead pro­duct­ive lives? Who pays for this meth­adone? I’d also like to know if the same drug com­pany mak­ing the opi­ates also man­u­fac­tures meth­adone. That’s a win/win for the drug com­pan­ies. 

And, why do we have to be a so­ci­ety that “ac­cepts” everything? What now, meth­adone clin­ics are the way of the fu­ture? I am sorry, truly sorry, for people who get ad­dicted. But I’m not go­ing to ac­cept a meth­adone clin­ic be­ing built just to make it con­veni­ent for someone to go get this drug. That just makes it easi­er for the ad­dic­tion to con­tin­ue, in my opin­ion. 

Meth­adone is not a ma­gic po­tion that can make everything bet­ter. It’s an opi­ate too, not a cure. 

An­nette McWil­li­ams 

East Tor­res­dale

Thank you, Acme

I re­cently was chosen as a cus­tom­er of the month at the Acme store at 6600 Roosevelt Blvd.

What a pleas­ure. I re­ceived flowers and bags say­ing I am cus­tom­er of the month and a gift card. I want to thank every­one for this. The people in this Acme are all very nice people and may I just say, if you haven’t shopped there, try it. I’m sure you’ll be happy you did. 

Alma Hoff­man

West May­fair

La­bel re­cyc­ling bins

I just came home from run­ning er­rands and found the re­cycle bin against the front of the wall (it’s not mine) but I didn’t put out the re­cycle bins in the morn­ing on a trash day. The bin has no name and no ad­dress, and I think someone who’s im­ma­ture stole the bin from an­oth­er neigh­bor’s prop­erty and left it on our prop­erty. This is the second time this year, and I would like to re­mind every­one, please get a per­man­ent mark­er to put your last name and ad­dress on all the re­cycle bins so you can avoid los­ing your bins. This is the best way to be able to get your bins back. I hope that will help.

Robert F. Schaf­fer

Mill­brook

Most are des­cend­ants of im­mig­rants

“We are all im­mig­rants or des­cend­ants of im­mig­rants ex­cept Amer­ic­an In­di­ans (Nat­ive Amer­ic­ans).” – Frank­lin D. Roosevelt.

If people like Ms. Ad­els­ber­ger were around when her an­cest­ors be­came cit­izens, maybe she wouldn’t be here to pre­vent oth­er people from be­com­ing cit­izens. What ever happened to “e pluribus un­um”? Or are they just words that don’t mean any­thing any­more.

“Those who deny free­dom to oth­ers de­serve it not for them­selves and un­der a just God will not long re­tain it.” (Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln, 16th Pres­id­ent of the U.S., Re­pub­lic­an - Illinois)

John P. Mc­Greevy

Fox Chase

Save St. Leo the Great 

To the lead­ers of the Cath­ol­ic Church in Phil­adelphia, I real­ize it is dif­fi­cult to de­term­ine which par­ishes will be closed. None of us wants to wit­ness the downs­iz­ing of the Cath­ol­ic Church in Phil­adelphia and sur­round­ing area. There is so much his­tory and con­tin­ued great works that are be­ing done. However, giv­en the cur­rent factors, changes need to be made. I’m an ac­count­ant and former aud­it­or for the Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia. I un­der­stand the num­bers, few­er people par­ti­cip­at­ing, high­er costs, etc. However, the im­pact of clos­ing down a par­ish goes far bey­ond the num­bers. It af­fects the lives of the people in the com­munity now and in the fu­ture. That’s what makes these de­cisions ex­tremely dif­fi­cult.

I have been for­tu­nate to be part of the Cath­ol­ic com­munity in Phil­adelphia throughout my life and am grate­ful for count­less ex­per­i­ences.  I grew up in North­east Phil­adelphia in St. Mat­thew Par­ish, at­ten­ded Fath­er Judge High School, La Salle Uni­versity for my ac­count­ing de­gree and Vil­lan­ova Uni­versity for my MBA.

When I was young­er, I would go to dif­fer­ent par­ishes and par­ti­cip­ate in vari­ous church events. I con­tin­ue to par­ti­cip­ate in oth­er par­ishes be­sides St. Philip Neri, where I’m now re­gistered. In re­cent years, I’ve at­ten­ded Mass and church events in Ply­mouth Meet­ing, Con­sho­hock­en, Nor­ris­town, An­dorra and Cen­ter City. I’ve also been in­volved in St. Leo the Great Par­ish in Ta­cony, which in­cludes at­tend­ing Mass and vo­lun­teer­ing for the activ­it­ies there. This has al­lowed me to see the good things that are be­ing done at St. Leo’s, which have been done for the last 130 years, and I hope will con­tin­ue for an­oth­er 130 years.

The people of St. Leo’s are proud of their par­ish, which is a corner­stone in North­east Phil­adelphia. St. Leo’s has an act­ive com­munity and is fin­an­cially solvent. It is loc­ated in one of the old­est sec­tions of North­east Phil­adelphia, which in time should be re­vital­ized.  Part of what makes this area his­tor­ic is its beau­ti­ful build­ings. St. Leo’s Church should not be viewed as a li­ab­il­ity be­cause of its age, but held as a gem, which I hope will be stand­ing in­tact for years to come. To close St. Leo’s will be dev­ast­at­ing to Ta­cony. I hope that this par­ish will be al­lowed to con­tin­ue for the people who live there now and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, when the Ta­cony sec­tion re­sur­ges.

The people of North­east Phil­adelphia un­der­stand the sig­ni­fic­ance of St. Leo’s, and it would be tra­gic to see its end­ing. Those who I’ve spoken with in the area as well as my­self do not un­der­stand the reas­on­ing for clos­ing St. Leo. Why should this par­ish lose its build­ings, its as­sets and its name?      

Please listen to the people of St. Leo’s and con­sider al­low­ing this par­ish to re­main open. This should not be the chal­lenge, for those who have re­mained faith­ful, which res­ults in them leav­ing the Cath­ol­ic Church. The pa­rish­ion­ers of St. Leo have sup­por­ted their church over the years. I pray that the Church does not aban­don these people now. As you ree­valu­ate this de­cision, I put faith in the Holy Spir­it to provide you wis­dom.

I greatly ap­pre­ci­ate your time in read­ing my let­ter, and re­con­sid­er­ing the fate of St. Leo the Great Par­ish.

Ger­ald J. Dieck­haus Jr.

Ply­mouth Meet­ing

Gay par­ents can raise good kids

Mr. Iac­on­elli, I did not read your ori­gin­al let­ter nor the re­sponse let­ters. However, I did read your re­tort to Heath­er Stein­berg and Mi­chael Al­ex­an­der. You claim that they had no ar­gu­ment and re­sor­ted to call­ing names. I am here to an­swer your ques­tion, “How could you sup­port ‘gay mar­riage’ when it comes to the well be­ing of chil­dren.”

Stud­ies have demon­strated that chil­dren’s well-be­ing is af­fected much more by their re­la­tion­ships with their par­ents, their par­ents’ sense of com­pet­ence and se­cur­ity, and the pres­ence of so­cial and eco­nom­ic sup­port for the fam­ily than by the gender or the sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion of their par­ents.

You said, “My point was simple. A girl reach­ing pu­berty does not want a gay man as her moth­er. No boy reach­ing man­hood prefers to be in­struc­ted by a les­bi­an dad.” 

You show your true col­ors right there. In­stead of lash­ing out at those who re­spond to your let­ter simply by call­ing you out on your pre­ju­dice, why don’t you ask some chil­dren of gay and les­bi­an couples how they feel. And feel free to write an­oth­er let­ter stat­ing that I called you pre­ju­diced, too. Your con­cern is un­foun­ded and your ac­cus­a­tions mis­in­formed, so if the shoe fits…. 

Richard Beebe

Ta­cony

We must con­tin­ue to teach les­sons of Holo­caust

It was with re­gret that I read Mike Zecca’s let­ter (“Boyle and Wil­li­ams pan­der­ing for votes”). Mr. Zecca’s im­plic­a­tion that the le­gis­la­tion I’ve in­tro­duced (House Bill 176) to pro­mote the teach­ing of gen­o­cide edu­ca­tion across the com­mon­wealth is an at­tempt to use the Holo­caust to curry fa­vor with cer­tain por­tions of my con­stitu­ency is dis­ap­point­ing and com­pletely misses the point of the ini­ti­at­ive.

There is cur­rently no statewide re­quire­ment that Holo­caust or gen­o­cide edu­ca­tion be in­cluded in a school dis­trict’s cur­riculum. While some in­di­vidu­al school dis­tricts, in­clud­ing Phil­adelphia, do provide Holo­caust or gen­o­cide edu­ca­tion in their cur­riculums, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of dis­tricts across Pennsylvania do not. This means that both the Holo­caust and oth­er in­stances of gen­o­cide can be taught or ig­nored at the dis­cre­tion of in­di­vidu­al school dis­trict ad­min­is­trat­ors.

If passed, HB176 would provide for the age-ap­pro­pri­ate teach­ing of a vari­ety of ex­amples of gen­o­cide, as well as the so­cial and polit­ic­al con­di­tions that are of­ten pre­curs­ors to such at­ro­cit­ies. These are les­sons that not only re­count the his­tory of gen­o­cides world­wide, but teach stu­dents the im­port­ance of civic en­gage­ment and per­son­al re­spons­ib­il­ity as a means of fight­ing in­tol­er­ance that can lead to acts of gen­o­cide if left un­checked. Giv­en the uni­ver­sal de­sire for a great­er ap­pre­ci­ation of his­tory and civic in­volve­ment among our young people, I hardly think these les­sons would be out of place in our classrooms.

In re­sponse to Mr. Zecca’s con­cern over the teach­ing of math and sci­ence in our schools, I would point out that our state core cur­riculum does cur­rently provide re­quire­ments for both sub­jects. Moreover, I agree that we need more re­sources put to­ward the pro­mo­tion of math and sci­ence statewide, which is why I’ve op­posed every budget that has cut a single penny from ba­sic edu­ca­tion since the day I took of­fice. Im­prove­ments in these core sub­jects can­not come by slash­ing edu­ca­tion budgets and lay­ing off thou­sands of teach­ers across the state. We need to give our schools the re­sources to of­fer the best pos­sible edu­ca­tion to every stu­dent who walks through their doors, and I think restor­ing the $1 bil­lion in ba­sic edu­ca­tion cuts that Gov. Corbett signed in­to law since 2011 would be a great place to start in or­der to real­ize these goals.

As a long­time sup­port­er of the Holo­caust Aware­ness Mu­seum at the Klein JCC, and in speak­ing with com­munity lead­ers and con­stitu­ents about HB176, I’ve re­ceived over­whelm­ingly pos­it­ive feed­back over the last few months. With sev­er­al dozen mem­bers of both parties in the House and Sen­ate co­spon­sor­ing this le­gis­la­tion, the base of sup­port for this bill has crossed geo­graph­ic and party lines. At a time when there is so much that sep­ar­ates many of us polit­ic­ally, it has been re­fresh­ing to see such a broad co­ali­tion of sup­port for what I be­lieve to be a very reas­on­able meas­ure to en­sure ma­jor his­tor­ic­al events with world­wide im­plic­a­tions are not ab­sent from our classrooms.

Even in our present day, acts of gen­o­cide con­tin­ue to per­sist around the world, af­fect­ing people from every coun­try, in­clud­ing the United States. The num­bers of gen­o­cide sur­viv­ors, in­clud­ing Holo­caust sur­viv­ors, cur­rently liv­ing in our com­munity is a liv­ing test­a­ment to this fact. It is im­port­ant that we do all we can to make sure that the les­sons their stor­ies provide are passed on to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, so that we can con­tin­ue to learn from their ex­per­i­ences. It has been said those who for­get his­tory are doomed to re­peat it, and this ax­iom is one that should be re­membered by both stu­dents and the pub­lic alike.

Brendan F. Boyle is the state rep­res­ent­at­ive for the 170th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict in North­east Phil­adelphia and Mont­gomery County. He was elec­ted in 2008 and is serving his third term in of­fice. He is a can­did­ate for the Pennsylvania 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

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