Hey Council, finalize a zoning code
As a Northeast resident, I find it more than a little distressing that Councilman Brian O’Neill and his colleagues down in City Hall seem unable to support a zoning code and stick with it.
As the sponsor of legislation to amend portions of the code dealing with commercial business districts, Councilman O’Neill is spearheading the effort to start chipping away at what he himself endorsed.
My question is simple: Why take more than five years of discussion and meetings at taxpayer expense to come to an agreement, vote on a plan and have it go into effect, only to go back less than six months later to start tearing it down?
As a mother, this would be like me cleaning my kitchen floor only to have 17 children run in with muddy feet as soon as I finished.
Reworking the code so soon tells me two things: that you haven’t learned the lessons of the last code, which was a 50-year abomination of special interests piled on top of one another, and that you are more interested in narrow changes that benefit only some, but leave the code more confusing and complex than you found it.
My message to Councilman O’Neill and his colleagues is this: You were given the resources and time to come up with a plan you could live with. Make a decision and live with it!
Making Rhawnhurst a better place to live
I would like to take a moment to point out the fine work Ken Klein is doing as head of the Rhawnhurst Eyes and Ears, a local block watch group.
Mr. Klein has headed the group for several years, and is always an enthusiastic and positive force in bringing neighbors together, sharing information and making Rhawnhurst a better place to live.
The Rhawnhurst community has seen an upsurge in crime in recent years, and many fearful people have withdrawn from civic life. Things won’t get better folks, unless more of us become “eyes and ears,” looking out for each other and our communities.
The next meeting of the Eyes and Ears is Thursday night, March 21, at 7 p.m., at the Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church, 7701 Loretto Ave. Councilman Brian O’Neill is scheduled to speak.
If you live in the area, show your support for both your community and Mr. Klein by attending this meeting. Learn things that can make your family safer. (Might be a good time to ask that property tax question, too.)
Helping to keep Rhawnhurst safe
Be aware everyone living in the Rhawnhurst section — there is a lot of crime in our area.
We have a block watch (Eyes & Ears) in our neighborhood that is trying to help keep this area as safe as possible.
We would like as many residents as possible to attend our meetings. We meet on the third Thursday of every month from 7 to 8 p.m. at the church at Loretto and Napfle avenues.
Most months we have speakers, i.e. district attorney, community police, state reps and others. We are trying to keep our neighbors as informed and diligent about the problems as possible.
Please help us to help you keep our residents up-to-date on all the problems.
He is a big fan of the Quaker Diner
Times change, and not always for the best. Do you ever long to have a quiet breakfast, lunch or dinner at a reasonably priced, friendly, hospitable neighborhood diner?
Most of us long for this situation.
A cultural mixture of old and young; well-behaved children and adults; good, solid, real food with homemade soup, salad and baked goods, not fast food junk; no assembly-line service with waiters and waitresses hustling you and extracting your food and drinks while you’re still eating.
Well, if this is your “cup of tea,” I recommend the Quaker Diner at 7241 Rising Sun Ave., just south of Cottman Avenue in Burholme.
An old-time neighborhood diner with great food, great service and friendly patrons all around. Try it, you’ll like it.
Great job by Engine 46 firefighters
On behalf of the residents of Carol Manor Apartments, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the firefighters of Engine 46 at Linden and Frankford avenues.
Several weeks ago, there was a serious fire at our building, damaging many units, some very extensively, but, thank God, no fatalities. The firefighters were not just quick to respond, but carried out their duty with great professionalism and courtesy to all of us.
We all know how dangerous their job is, but to see it firsthand left a lasting impression on us.
Our lives have all changed dramatically, but it’s a comfort to know they cared. May God bless them, keep them safe and appreciated by all.
Former resident of Carol Manor
How to defend self from gun violence
In response to the letter titled “Waiting for Congress to act on gun control,” I don’t agree that further enforcing gun control laws will further enable our society to be at less of a risk of mass shootings or gun violence in general.
The individuals behind the guns are human, whether or not they were mentally ill and on psychotropic drugs is uncontrollable.
What is controllable is individual action.
Taking responsibilities to protect ourselves and our families includes preparation for an attack from an intruder or external threat in all situations, whether that be at home or any other circumstance.
I understand that the average American wouldn’t stand up against an individual or group of individuals using an AR-15, yet in a life-or-death situation, a parent who loves their children would put themselves in harm’s way for their children, without hesitation.
I, as an Operation Enduring Freedom Marine Corps veteran, would undoubtedly place myself in harm’s way for our precious American citizens, as I have overseas on the battlefields of Afghanistan.
I, as well as every other veteran or active member of the armed forces, took an oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
This oath doesn’t end once an individual is no longer enlisted in the military, and that is something that I recognize, and many others like me should as well.
I have carried an M249 SAW, an M-16 (similar to the AR-15) and numerous other weapons throughout my deployment.
I understand the AR-15’s entire capabilities, proper maintenance and storage procedures, and the effects that the 5.56 Cal ammunition has on a human body.
I have also been extensively trained on how to deploy and coordinate a counter attack on an individual, or group of individuals wielding these powerful weapons.
The only way to defend one’s self from these weapons is to utilize weapons of the same or larger caliber.
In the end, the AR-15 is a defense tool designed for precision, and if it was more understood by the public, the public has a much better chance of defending themselves.
Post 754 is seeking new members
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 the city. We have 687 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
Another satisfied customer of Ike
I discovered New Father and Son Shoe Service, at Castor Avenue and Benner Street, a few years ago and assumed that the shop really was “new.”
I have been a satisfied customer ever since, and not just for shoe repair.
I once took a falling-apart leather axe cover to Ike, and he made me a new cover from scrap leather.
Another time, I took my hunting coat, and Ike made and sewed on a leather piece that I could use to pin on my hunting license without having to punch new holes into the coat every season.
A third time, I took a sofa throw-pillow, whose zipper would not stay shut, and Ike’s son sewed the pillow permanently shut.
It is my privilege to be an Ike & Son’s customer!
Blase A. Cinque
Teacher contract proposals outrageous
I respect teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan a lot. However, I can’t believe that he sat down with School District of Philadelphia management/School Reform Commission in February to negotiate a new contract that expires in August. He spent his members’ money on legal fees to hear their outrageous proposals.
These are people that gave management raises while reneging on two other unions’ contract raises. Who does the school district/SRC think they are, Mayor Nutter?
Intelligence, character and hard work go a long way
A recent newspaper article talked about employers hiring people with college degrees for jobs that really only require a high school diploma and common sense. Their thinking is to give preference to someone with a college degree simply because they see a surplus of college graduates and just tack on the requirement for no other reason. This is a stupid and shortsighted way of thinking. Why should people be penalized for acquiring skills and knowledge in some other way than spending four years inside XYZ University, whether it is by choice or not.
Anyone with a good general high school education and intelligence along with good character and work ethic can be trained to do just about anything and assimilate into just about any work culture. Many people without college degrees demonstrate excellent communication skills along with the ability to grow in a position and adapt to changes in technology when necessary.
Yet, the prevailing attitude of too many employers is to show more preference to someone who spent four years at a pseudo think tank playing beer pong at least four out of seven nights a week and demonstrating the true ability to rack up almost as much debt as a Kardashian on a shopping spree at Rodeo Drive.
What these non-thinking employers are not realizing is that college degrees are not what they used to be. In order to demonstrate good track records and keep government funding, colleges need to show on paper that a certain percentage of those admitted actually graduate. Many college degrees have been watered down to the point where college is more a social experience than an academic endeavor, and graduating is merely contingent upon the ability to sign the checks for the tuition bill. As one academic professional recently stated, “The main requirement for obtaining a college degree today is the ability to pay.” An excerpt from the article, “Why are we spending so much money on college?” which appeared in the Sept. 17, 2012, edition of Newsweek, reads: “At least a third of students gain no measurable skills during their four years in college. For the remainder who do, the gains are usually minimal. For many students, college is less about providing an education than a credential/certificate testifying that they are smart enough to get into college, conformist enough to go, and compliant enough to stay there for four years.” How hard is it to stay in a social environment for four years with no real responsibility, especially when someone else is paying the bills?
So the age-old argument employers use that college graduates make better workers and critical thinkers and are more skilled is a mere fallacy. What could possibly demonstrate more responsibility and intestinal fortitude than a young person getting up and going to work every morning? To want to hire someone with an accounting degree for a receptionist job is not only plain stupid but makes no business sense. It will eventually hurt their bottom line because that individual will never be happy in that position and will always be looking to move on. Whereas the young, bright, hard-working individual with the high school diploma will be more likely to view the opportunity as an entry-level position where they can prove their worth to the company and hopefully move up the ladder.
If employers continue to perpetuate this Neanderthal type of thinking, it will continue to contribute to the decline of the American economy and this country’s standard of living. A decline that reflects the seemingly declining IQs of many American employers.