Schwartz: ‘A risk we cannot afford’
Northeast Philadelphia is a vibrant residential and commercial community. The presence of a proposed methadone clinic at the corner of Frankford Avenue and Decatur Street in Holmesburg threatens the community’s quality of life, economic development and public safety. It’s a risk we cannot afford.
For the last two years, I have stood with community members and elected officials in strongly opposing the proposal for a for-profit methadone clinic at this location. I am outraged that the Common Pleas Court sustained an appeal of a Zoning Board of Adjustment decision, clearing a path for The Healing Way to open the clinic.
We have a responsibility to ensure that treatment options are available for those suffering from addiction. However, The Healing Way’s operators have no medical credentials of any kind. Methadone clinics provide narcotics and can pose a health and safety threat if not administered by qualified professionals. Federal laws and regulations exist to protect our communities, and I am working closely with federal, state and local officials to ensure the full enforcement of all rules and regulations. Given the many concerns and potentially negative consequences associated with this project, we must pursue every option available to stop it from opening.
I’ve expressed my strong concerns and opposition to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and I will continue to call on them to prevent the clinic from opening.
I commend City Council Members Bobby Henon and Dennis O’Brien, State Reps. Kevin Boyle, Michael McGeehan and John Taylor, and State Sen. Mike Stack for their leadership, and I will continue working with them to ensure this clinic does not open. I would also like to thank the Mayfair and Holmesburg civic associations for mobilizing the community’s collective voice on this important matter.
U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-13th)
Obama, Sharpton and Jackson fueling racial fires
Zimmerman vs. the State for Trayvon Martin was definitely not an easy case.
A 17-year-old getting shot and the constant display of his grade school picture (I guess because they couldn’t come up with a more recent one) surely tugged on heart strings (myself included). So when the jury came back with a not guilty verdict, because the prosecution did not prove its case, it was quite shocking to much of America. From Mr. Obama on down, they crucified Zimmerman from the start without knowing all the facts. They all had something to say because all they could manage to see was a white-on-black crime and ran with it. They didn’t even get Zimmerman’s race correct. That didn’t seem to matter to any of them. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
So this case, which never should have become the circus it had become, went to trial. So now that it’s over and Zimmerman was found not guilty, people are still not happy. Now they are saying the justice system is guilty of racism because they followed the facts and not their hearts, and found a Hispanic-American not guilty for shooting a black American.
I really wish the media would get a clue that there is a lot of black-on-white crime also. But somehow we never hear about this in the mainstream media. I still don’t know why this country only sees racism as white-on-black crime. In reality, racism is alive and kicking the other way around as well. There will never be equality in this country until this fact is realized and dealt with.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and in this instance, President Obama, need to stop fueling the racial fires. Sharpton and Jackson claim they are continuing what Martin Luther King started in order to justify what they do. However, if they did their homework, this is not what Mr. King wanted for America. Even his own niece, Alveda King, said as much, and she is not happy with these individuals for using her uncle’s name on behalf of what they do.
MLK’s dream was not that all black Americans should get away with murder, and the rest of America should not have this dream. This is not what he meant by us being equal and surely was not his dream.
I can only hope when the dust clears from this tragedy and circus media, the people will see that even though they may not always agree with the legal system here in the United States (myself included), it still is the best system there is in the world. This is where the powers that be and media should be concentrating their energies and resources. They should be working on bringing this country together and not tearing it apart. Not until then can we truly be called the “United” States and actually mean it.
Stop complaining about Zimmerman verdict
As I look at a 5-year-old picture of smiling Trayvon Martin, I have to agree that the media and President Obama were as guilty of race-baiting as Al Sharpton.
I live in Florida part-time, have followed this case since its outset, and had never seen the 2-month-old picture of Trayvon Martin until the defense attorney showed it to the jury. Why not a 5-year-old picture of Zimmerman? The difference between a 12-year-old child and a normal 17-year-old is startling, as illustrated. Does this look like a son Obama might have? Do any pictures of 17-year-old blacks killed in his town of Chicago or any big cities fit the profile, and if so, why concentrate on this particular case and employ the Justice Department to investigate?
I’m sure it would be racist to say it’s all about votes. Most experts agree that this case should have never gone to trial, that both sides said they had a great jury, but a certain segment of our society will still protest and scream “racism” even though the trial they clamored for took place, but did not end to their satisfaction as the O.J. trial did, so they would be able to celebrate.
Shame on media’s coverage of Zimmerman case
I am very sad to see the divisions in this nation over the George Zimmerman trial. Attorney General Eric Holder says we need a good conversation about race, and I agree. Let’s start with some questions.
Why is the media obsessed over the sad death of Trayvon Martin, when in the days since Zimmerman shot him, about 12,000 blacks have been murdered in this country? Do they count? On the July 4 weekend, 74 people were shot in Chicago. Why don’t we know their names?
Why has the national media said nothing about the two black teens who allegedly shot and killed (white) Sherry West’s 13-month old child in a baby stroller in Georgia in March in a threat to rob her? Or the torture-rape-murder of (white) Chris Newsom and Channon Christian in Tennessee by four black teens in 2007?
Do white people not have sensitivities that need respect, too?
Why did prosecutor Angela Corey allegedly hide evidence, bypass a grand jury and charge Zimmerman with murder, despite objections by some Florida law enforcement officials, several of whom were then fired or demoted?
Why did the media (MSNBC) doctor the Zimmerman “911” call to make him appear a racist? Why didn’t Martin call 911? Why did the media constantly show photos of little-boy Trayvon, when he was now 17 years old and about 6 feet tall?
When Trayvon Martin was allegedly caught with stolen jewelry and burglary tools in his school, why wasn’t he arrested? He was also allegedly suspended for fighting and drug possession, but not given a proper intervention by the authorities. Why? He was a disaster waiting to happen. His death might have been avoided.
I know why. Read the book Until Proven Innocent by legal scholar Stuart Taylor. Seven years ago, we went through all this politically correct lying in the framing of the Duke lacrosse team by prosecutor Mike Nifong.
Sadly, with both our media and our politics, nothing has changed.
Obama’s comments heighten racial tension in America
A jury found George Zimmerman innocent of all charges relating to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin based on all the evidence presented in court. The jury found George Zimmerman innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt. This was not a racial trial. It was not a trial of black vs. white. It was a trial of evidence presented.
The African-American community is outraged with the outcome of this trial. They want to take this case to the U.S. Department of Justice. Last weekend’s events in 130 cities were organized for “Justice for Trayvon.” They are looking at this case through the lens of past discrimination.
I was shocked to hear President Obama state that, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” He also stated of having the experience of being followed while shopping in a department store or walking down a street and hearing car doors click lock as he passed.
I feel that hearing the president review the trial in such a manner on national television did nothing more than incite more [racism], and I do not recall any other presidents injecting their opinion on court cases.
Marian C. Borell
Stop expanding gun rights
Regarding the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, I grew up in a part of the city of Philadelphia where fistfights among men in their teens and 20s were fairly common. What was not common was for the loser of the fight to pull out a gun and end the life of the other young man.
Unfortunately, this decision underscores the growing trend of state governments expanding the legal rights of citizens to use their guns. This will only have more unnecessary and deadly consequences.
State Rep. Kevin Boyle