Letters to the Editor (May 8, 2013)

Leave the rats alone

I was in­sul­ted and dis­tressed to see the car­toon by Tom Stig­lich that you chose to use in the April 24 edi­tion of the North­east Times.

Rats are of­ten un­fairly por­trayed as evil, con­niv­ing, in­si­di­ous, dirty an­im­als when noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

I am an act­ive mem­ber of a pet rat res­cue loc­ated in North­east Phil­adelphia, and part of our work is edu­cat­ing people as to the true nature of these very mis­un­der­stood and very friendly little ro­dents, the do­mest­ic­ated ver­sion of which make won­der­fully af­fec­tion­ate pets.

To la­bel sav­ages like the Bo­ston bombers as rats caught in a trap is to un­fairly at­trib­ute to rats char­ac­ter­ist­ics that only hu­mans have and dis­play.

Did you know that lab rats show em­pathy for oth­er rats that are suf­fer­ing, even be­ing will­ing to give up their own food to help a starving rat? Re­cent stud­ies have proven this.

Did you know that the Black Death was not spread by rats after all, but by fleas and hu­mans who traveled fre­quently throughout Europe, thus spread­ing the dis­ease geo­graph­ic­ally? Re­cent find­ings in Europe have shown this as well.

Maybe the next time your car­toon­ist wants to il­lus­trate heart­less ter­ror­ists, he should just show them as hu­man be­ings. Rats (and oth­er an­im­als) do not cre­ate bombs to murder the in­no­cent, only hu­mans do that. Moth­er rats, un­like many hu­man moth­ers, will risk their lives without a second thought to save their ba­bies.

Brenda Matusow

Mem­ber of Philly Rat Res­cue

Floyd should do well

Shar­rif Floyd’s 40-yard dash time and ver­tic­al jump height aren’t all that im­press­ive, but all that counts is on-field per­form­ance in ac­tu­al games, as the Min­nesota Vik­ings un­der­stood when they draf­ted him.

Vince Lom­bardi un­der­stood this also. He was once asked how fast Paul Hornung ran the 40-yard dash. He answered, “What the hell dif­fer­ence does it make? He gets to the end zone, doesn’t he? Four­teen seconds, I don’t know.”

Howard J. Wilk

Pine Val­ley

He likes Chink’s bet­ter than Joe’s

I re­mem­ber back in the ’60s when my mom, dad, sis­ter and me went for a Sunday drive and were get­ting hungry, then my mom said, “Let’s go to Chink’s to get something to eat.”

Mom went in to or­der four sand­wiches, drinks, etc. and bought it to our car to eat. Their food was so good to eat, and we went back to get more.

Back then, Chink’s was just a name for the busi­ness own­er, and mom asked him where did he get his name, Chink? The kids in the neigh­bor­hood were call­ing him Chink be­cause of his slanty eyes, and that name stuck with him so he put his nick­name on his steak sand­wich shop.

While we were in­side, the place was spot­less, like new, and he had pride, un­like some res­taur­ants that were dirty.

Then an Asi­an girl from West Vir­gin­ia came in­to the neigh­bor­hood and saw the “Chink’s” sign and found this name of­fens­ive, and star­ted com­plain­ing.

Now, thanks to her, the sign was taken down on April 1.

What about oth­er name-call­ing, like white trash, re­tarded, honky, blacks call­ing each oth­er the N-word, Chin­atown, etc.?

This Chink’s sand­wich shop is part of the neigh­bor­hood his­tory since 1949 and is con­sidered a clas­sic. It’s really a shame!

If I had money, I would buy Joe’s Steak Shop and put the Chink’s sign back up.

Robert F. Schaf­fer


Obama spend­ing is out of con­trol

All through the last pres­id­en­tial elec­tion cam­paign we were con­stantly re­minded by the Obama camp that Mitt Rom­ney was in­stalling an el­ev­at­or in a home he was hav­ing built, even though it was with his own money and cer­tainly not a cam­paign is­sue.

The elec­tion is over, so let’s see how the Oba­mas are spend­ing your money as schools are be­ing closed, vi­tal ser­vices be­ing cut, etc. to help our eco­nomy.

The pres­id­ent goes golf­ing in Flor­ida with Ti­ger Woods for a week­end that costs over 1 mil­lion dol­lars while Michelle and com­pany go ski­ing, which prob­ably costs more.

The Obama daugh­ters are us­ing two jets to trans­port 12 friends and 25 secret ser­vice agents for trips to Mex­ico and then to Sun Val­ley for a ski va­ca­tion, all at tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense.

All this from the ones who griped about someone us­ing his own money to put an el­ev­at­or in his house. Do they think of the 50 schools be­ing closed in their home state while they are in­dul­ging?

Wake up people!

It’s only be­gin­ning as Barack and Michelle have till 2016 to spend as they please at your ex­pense while ask­ing you to tight­en your belts.

Jim Laverty


Thank you for tak­ing the time to clean up

I live at Rising Sun Av­en­ue and Shelmire Street. When I look out my win­dow, I see the rail­road bank across Rising Sun Av­en­ue.

It looks like a dump for trash. It is a dis­grace.

I would like to thank the lady who lives on Oak­mont Street who came out and cleaned it up and put it in trash bags.

I did not get her name. It took her quite a few hours.

I don’t know who is re­spons­ible. I was told Amtrak. I also sent them a let­ter. Surely they could pay someone to clean this up.

It is like this every week.


Char­lotte Con­dran

Fox Chase

Chil­dren need a moth­er and fath­er

City Coun­cil has just passed a gay rights bill that now re­quires “gender neut­ral” bath­rooms as well as a host of be­ne­fits to the gay, bi­sexu­al and trans­gender com­munity. Will we soon have a man fol­low­ing your daugh­ter in­to the bath­room be­cause he feels like a gal today?

This is all part of the gov­ern­ment push to nor­mal­ize gay mar­riage. You see, we are all now ex­pec­ted to hurry up and evolve — cast aside 3,000 years of hu­man ex­per­i­ence, in or­der to en­sure this “civil right.”

Isn’t it funny, though, I nev­er hear any­thing about the civil rights of chil­dren. Does any­one think chil­dren prefer a life where they will nev­er know either a wo­man as a moth­er, or a man as a fath­er?

To be­lieve in gay mar­riage is to be­lieve that men and wo­men are merely in­ter­change­able parts. How fool­ish!

I have worked in so­cial ser­vices, and I can tell you that the great so­cial prob­lem of our time is the num­ber of chil­dren grow­ing up without fath­ers in their lives.

The black com­munity now has 70 per­cent of chil­dren born out­side mar­riage and raised by wo­men.

Men mat­ter. As does tra­di­tion­al mar­riage. What our gov­ern­ment lead­ers really need to do is lead the way to restor­ing — not re­de­fin­ing — tra­di­tion­al mar­riage as the most crit­ic­al in­sti­tu­tion in our so­ci­ety.

The next time someone asks why you are so nar­row-minded in op­pos­ing gay or trans­gender mar­riage, ask them: “Why are you so nar­row-minded when it comes to the well-be­ing of chil­dren?”

Richard Iac­on­elli


Meth­adone clin­ic ap­prov­al is a dis­grace

Where do the mem­bers of the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment reside?

One thing we can all be sure of is, they don’t live in the area of 7520 State Road, where they ap­proved a vari­ance for North­East Treat­ment Cen­ters to open a meth­adone clin­ic.

Lynette Brown-Sow, Car­ol Tin­ari, Sam Staten and Greg Pastore, what were you think­ing when you voted yes?

Would you have voted yes if you or your chil­dren lived close by and would be dir­ectly af­fected by this hor­rible de­cision?

Why are we con­stantly con­cerned about in­di­vidu­als who make a choice to in­volve them­selves in neg­at­ive be­ha­vi­or? When is so­ci­ety go­ing to re­ward all those people who do the right thing each and every day? Let’s open up a com­munity cen­ter for chil­dren and fam­il­ies who spend there en­tire life work­ing, pay­ing taxes, send­ing their chil­dren to school every day, be­ing ac­count­able and re­spons­ible as cit­izens, be­ing good neigh­bors and pos­it­ively con­trib­ut­ing to the bet­ter­ment not only for the com­munity in which they reside but the city as a whole.

Enough is enough. To all those who op­pose and right­fully so, don’t give up hope, con­tin­ue to stand up and fight for what’s right. Best of luck.

Steve Bren­nan

Bell’s Corner

Let’s clean up our neigh­bor­hoods

On April 13, sev­er­al of your neigh­bors cleaned up areas in North­east Phil­adelphia as part of Philly’s sixth An­nu­al Spring Cleanup.

Now it’s your turn. Grab a broom and dust­pan and sweep up the dirt and debris that has ac­cu­mu­lated in your drive­way, your curb and the street along your prop­erty.

In­clude your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. Teach them to clean up. They may ac­tu­ally like do­ing it.

You too, renters. This is your neigh­bor­hood, too.

If your neigh­bors are eld­erly or phys­ic­ally chal­lenged, please lend them a hand. All of us to­geth­er could make a big dif­fer­ence in our neigh­bor­hood. Thanks.

Mary Lou Klein


Amer­ic­an Le­gion is call­ing 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 Amer­ic­an Le­gion post is the largest in Phil­adelphia. We have about 750 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

Slow down on Academy Road

Does any­one re­mem­ber spring of 2011 when Tim Con­nors was hit by a car right out­side of Arch­bish­op Ry­an High School?

How about fel­low stu­dents? Par­ents? Do you re­mem­ber?

Well, maybe you need to be re­minded of this tra­gic ac­ci­dent each morn­ing when you’re speed­ing along Academy Road, go­ing over the 15 mph lim­it, in a hurry to drop your child off, or maybe you’re a stu­dent cross­ing over two lanes of traffic, cut­ting oth­er cars off be­cause you’re go­ing to be late?

I see this every single morn­ing on my way to work. Even the school buses leav­ing the school zoom right by me.

And no one takes no­tice that the END SCHOOL ZONE sign is a few yards from Comly Road.

Drivers think that they have the go-ahead long be­fore that sign ap­pears. I am dis­gus­ted by this be­ha­vi­or by some of these drivers. I’ve got them cut­ting me off, rid­ing my bump­er, all in a hurry to get to the school.

Obey the law.

I wish something could be done. I just hope there’s not an­oth­er tragedy or an ac­ci­dent due to a par­ent or stu­dent in a hurry. Would you rather get there late or dead?

Heath­er Stein­berg


I’ll spend every dime to fight crime

After his pres­id­ency, Harry S. Tru­man stated that, “If the people can’t trust their gov­ern­ment … the whole works will fall apart.”

Today, the state of af­fairs in Phil­adelphia is grim. For lack of demo­cracy, we have been led down a path to street vi­ol­ence, poverty, zero ac­count­ab­il­ity and no hope. Out­siders look down at us. We are made the butt of jokes and known as “Kil­ladelphia.” We are per­ceived as people con­tent with cor­rup­tion. However, after speak­ing to count­less voters on the cam­paign trail, and speak­ing as a fath­er of two small chil­dren, I know this not to be the case. The com­mon man is beaten down by cor­rup­tion. No one, ex­cept for the well-con­nec­ted and the polit­ic­al ar­is­to­cracy, is con­tent with cor­rup­tion. As my 6-year-old elo­quently stated over a meal, “Polit­ics is for the birds.” Well said.

Cor­rup­tion is not the dis­ease. It is the de­struct­ive symp­tom of one-party rule. In oth­er words, the voter is taken for gran­ted when the politi­cian be­lieves he will get the vote no mat­ter how cor­rupt he may be. So, the politi­cian be­lieves he will not be held ac­count­able, and acts with im­pun­ity. Now is the time for re­form. 

In a city where schools are clos­ing and crime is rampant, our of­fi­cials have failed to even audit the vari­ous agen­cies that are wast­ing our tax dol­lars. Moreover, it has taken the dis­trict at­tor­ney in­to his fourth year (an elec­tion year) to fi­nally make any ef­fort in com­bat­ing the rampant pub­lic cor­rup­tion in our city, with a new unit. What took him so long and how ser­i­ous could he be, as cor­rup­tion burns the city to the ground? As Nero plays the vi­ol­in, an­oth­er school is clos­ing, an­oth­er youth is murdered, an­oth­er fam­ily leaves and only the im­pov­er­ished are stuck in vi­ol­ent neigh­bor­hoods with fail­ing schools. The poor are not con­tent, and we have lost trust in pub­lic of­fi­cials. Now is the time for re­form.

The dis­trict at­tor­ney stated that there are no “spe­cif­ic tar­gets in mind” for this new unit. This is dif­fi­cult to be­lieve, as one only needs to read the news­pa­per to see there are count­less cor­rupt “tar­gets” re­por­ted daily. In fact, Seth Wil­li­ams need only look out his win­dow across the street to City Hall. Nero, where there is smoke, there is fire. The com­mon man sees the smoke, while our pub­lic of­fi­cials pre­tend there is no fire.

From the be­gin­ning, our cam­paign has called on the dis­trict at­tor­ney to in­vest­ig­ate and pro­sec­ute pub­lic cor­rup­tion. As dis­trict at­tor­ney, I will be­gin with the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice. I will elim­in­ate need­less po­s­i­tions such as the dir­ect­or of em­ploy­ee en­rich­ment, Wil­li­ams’ ex­cess­ive per­son­al se­cur­ity de­tail and any po­s­i­tion that is a title tied to a paycheck. We need to spend every dime on fight­ing crime, keep­ing schools open and lift­ing people out of poverty, not mak­ing politi­cians “look” good or help­ing the well con­nec­ted. Every dime wasted is a dime that is con­ver­ted in­to a bul­let used out on our streets. Un­der my lead­er­ship, the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice will ex­pand the in­vest­ig­a­tion and pro­sec­u­tion of pub­lic cor­rup­tion and I will not wait un­til the last year of my term to act.

It’s un­ac­cept­able that or­din­ary Phil­adelphi­ans are deal­ing with high crime, high­er taxes and shrink­ing fam­ily budgets, while our gov­ern­ment is not a good stew­ard of our money. Now is the time for re­form, be­cause “the works have fallen apart.”

Danny Al­varez

Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for dis­trict at­tor­ney

comments powered by Disqus