Methadone patients are trying to better themselves
This is in response to the article regarding the methadone clinic in the May 22 edition. While I understand the concerns of the businesses and residents in the area, they need to consider the other side of the coin as well. There are some points that they may not know.
They are worried that having a multitude of addicts going to a clinic will bring the neighborhood down. On the contrary, these addicts are sick people who are trying to better themselves by “kicking the habit.” I am a recovering addict with almost 10 years clean. I was fortunate enough to be able to get into rehab. Others may not have the money, insurance or other supports such as child care to be able to be an inpatient at a facility.
We already have many addicts in our neighborhoods, some of whom are so severe that they will do anything to support their habits, including theft and violence. I would rather those people who are actually trying to recover have a place that will assist them in their area.
I’m asking that those opposing this clinic please also consider the addict’s side before flattening their hopes of recovery. We must always stop and try to empathize with others, no matter how we may feel about them. Addicts are people too. They have a treatable illness. They are our fellow citizens, neighbors, friends and family. Don’t leave them without the help they so desperately need.
Protect children and traditional marriage
I want to thank both Heather Steinberg and Michael Alexander for responding to my letter that asked how people could support “gay marriage” when it came to the well-being of children. I want to thank Heather for telling me to “crawl under that homophobic rock you live under.” She proves my point that when you have no argument, call people names. In fact, I have no problem with gays living together. It’s the institution of marriage and children I find worthy of protection. For that, she says I need to “grow up.”
Mr. Alexander’s rambling letter invokes the Bible to support gay marriage. Hmmm. Run that by Pope Francis, who has said gay marriage “is a crime against children.” (I think he knows the Bible.) Mr. Alexander should know that many are against gay marriage because they see it as setting up a government war on religion, as many institutions will choose not to comply, and then be under regular government attack.
However, 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. Where in the debate is our concern for the rights and needs of children? Neither letter answered that concern. I doubt anyone can.
Volunteers needed to drive cancer patients
Many people in our community are battling cancer, and need help getting to treatment. In Philadelphia, the average number of new cancer cases is more than 8,000 each year. The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program provides rides to patients who have no way to get to their cancer treatment. While we have a group of passionate, dedicated, volunteer drivers for the Road to Recovery program, we still need more volunteers so we can meet more local requests for assistance. This will allow patients to get the treatment they need to get well.
As the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery coordinator at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, I am responsible for scheduling volunteers who drive cancer patients to their life-saving treatment. I know how grateful patients are to our volunteer drivers, which is why it saddens me that there are many ride requests each month that we are unable to fulfill due to an insufficient number of drivers. The cancer patients who request rides may not be able to get to their vital appointments, and this can create extra stress during an already difficult time. This is why we need your help.
I am sure there are many cancer survivors and families of survivors who will understand the need for this service. I hope that folks in Northeast Philadelphia who are available on weekday mornings or afternoons on a weekly or monthly basis will volunteer to help with this very valuable program. We will schedule you to help with rides when it is convenient for you. Drive as much or as little as you like.
Every ride can make a difference to a local patient. Volunteers often comment that this is a joy for them and a very powerful experience.
Having cancer is hard. Finding a ride to treatment shouldn’t be.
For information on how to volunteer, contact Jamie McCann at 215-985-5359 or Jamie.McCann@cancer.org. Or, if someone you know has cancer and would like information, day-to-day help or emotional support, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345, or visit cancer.org.
American Cancer Society Road to Recovery Volunteer Coordinator, Fox Chase Cancer Center
A heartfelt thank you
On behalf of the Bradley family, we would like to send a sincere thank you to the Philadelphia Fire Department for its heartfelt presence and support during our difficult time. Jim was a proud Philadelphia firefighter and would have been honored by the beautiful tribute that was dedicated to him. Please know that department members have a special guardian watching over all of them. Get home safely.
The Bradley Family
Please attend June 6 conservation meeting
One resident complained to me that she did not know why Hart Burial Yard was being cleaned up.
For more information, I would invite the public to attend the Friends of Poquessing Watershed monthly meeting on Thursday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m., in the conference room of Holy Family University’s Student Center, 9801 Frankford Ave.
The agenda includes the sixth John Hart status report and other conservation issues.
New, dues-paying members are always needed to represent the watershed public.
Membership open to all veterans
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 769 members.
Men or women who would like to join can call me anytime at 215-632-7781. Dues are $25 for the year 2013.
Commander, Post 754
Now is the time to cut foreign aid
Who are the culprits who brought this deficit upon us?
1. An incompetent president who has no concern for the welfare of our country.
2. A timid Congress that has stolen the Social Security retirement fund and replaced it with IOUs. They should blend together and impeach this president.
3. The Federal Reserve that destroys the value of our dollar and provides less than 1 percent on our savings. They should be tarred and feathered and driven out of town.
4. The unions who always want more, even though the piggy bank is empty.
5. The middle class who refuses to sacrifice even for their children and grandchildren.
6. The senior citizens and the “poorest of the poor.” Who else can the above five place the blame?
The solution: Pull back on foreign aid except for our true vital interests.
We are all part of the problem, so dig into everyone’s pockets in a truly equal manner.
Liberals destroying America
Where has our nation gone, you ask.
Liberals and Democrats have been striving for decades to turn us into Europe. With this administration, it goes further.
We are almost a communist nation. A handful of atheists took away our Ten Commandments.
We have a president who is rude to the Jews, but bows to Muslims. He is involved in these recent scandals up to his eyeballs, with a media that cover and lie for him.
People, wake up and return America to her greatness. Do not allow the media and liberals to completely destroy her.
No more children for the Schaibles
A second child of the Schaibles has died. Bobby Hoof, Herbert Schaible’s attorney, described his client as “resolute.” That he is, and that’s the problem. He is firm in his resolve not to seek medical attention for his children when they are ill.
The Schaibles are a clear and present danger to their children.
If convicted, however else they may be punished, they need to lose custody of their children, and they must not be permitted to ever reproduce again. Ever.
Howard J. Wilk
An invite to Mater Dolorosa farewell
Mater Dolorosa, a beacon of faith in the Frankford area for more than 100 years, will be celebrating its farewell Mass on Sunday, June 30.
The festivities will begin with a procession of solidarity that will begin at 11 a.m.
At 11 a.m., parishioners and friends are asked to gather at Paul and Unity streets, the site of the original chapel and school. We will then proceed to Mater Dolorosa Church for our farewell Mass.
We are also asking that all parishioners and guests wear either a white ribbon on their right arm or a white ribbon corsage.
There will be a luncheon immediately after Mass.
RSVP is required. Please contact either one of us: Rose Flemming 215-535-1510 or Patrick Loftus 215-535-8597.
Raising U&O tax again is bad public policy
City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez has proposed Bill 130161 in Philadelphia City Council, which sets a split Use and Occupancy Tax rate at 1.76 percent—1.32 percent for the School District of Philadelphia and 0.44 percent for the city of Philadelphia. Council’s Finance Committee has voted in favor of the bill, and it could come for a vote before the full Council on June 6.
According to city Finance Director Rob Dubow, the bill would generate an estimated $70 million more in U & O tax revenues. The city and the schools would each get about $35 million.
There are two recurring themes to this stunning development. First, Philadelphia public schools are in desperate need of money again, this time about $310 million short of budget. Second, the U & O tax was raised last year by 19 percent to help the school district.
The School Reform Commission’s plan to fill this budget gap is three-fold: $60 million more in funds from the city, $120 million more from the commonwealth and $130 million in concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
With the commonwealth just two years removed from a $4 billion budget gap, and with revenues about a half-million dollars short this fiscal year, how warm and fuzzy a reception do you think the school district will receive in Harrisburg when it asks for an additional $120 million?
And does anyone believe the PFT will agree to $130 million in contract concessions?
We’re talking about pay cuts of up to 13 percent and an end to teachers’ seniority. PFT President Jerry Jordan has been quoted as saying “no” to both.
So, with the arrival of spring in Philadelphia comes another proposal to increase business taxes. And, shamefully, for the second straight year, office building tenants are singled out to carry the load.
Maybe we should consider changing the name of this great city to Taxadelphia, since passage of this bill would be the fifth city tax increase in the last four years, which totals more than $300 million.
Wouldn’t it make sense to see what happens with the commonwealth and the teachers’ union before hammering the business community again?
Now, to be fair, Bill 130161 contains an exemption to help some small businesses impacted by higher AVI assessments, and this deserves our support.
But to raise the U & O tax for the second consecutive year is just bad public policy and sends a chilling signal to business: You build it, and we’ll tax it to death.
Al Taubenberger has been president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce since 1991.