Letters to the Editor (June 5, 2013)

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.

Tamara Knorr

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.

Richard Iac­on­elli

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.

El­len Her­rmann
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.

Fred Maurer

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.

Wil­li­am Cole
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.

John Dougherty

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.

Pat Dougherty

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
Pine Val­ley

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.

Rose Flem­ming

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.


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