Letters to the Editor (March 13, 2013)

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!

Cath­er­ine Quinn


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.) 

Richard Iac­on­elli


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.

Jack Miller


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.

Bob Dawson

Fox Chase

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.

An­drea Wycoff

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.

Rickey Arce


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.

Bill Cole

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?

May­er Krain

Mod­ena Park

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.

Peter Di­Gi­useppe


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