Are we all safe in Sochi?
Rob Harris from the Associated Press wrote an enlightening article in Sunday’s Inquirer titled “Olympic Games’ Safety a Challenge for Putin.” It could also be a nightmare for Putin, given the demeanor of his reaction to the bombings in Volgagrad. Thirty-four people perished in two separate attacks there recently and he appears to be threatened on a very personal level. Instead of anger and revulsion with the terrorists, he was shown in a helmet at a Sochi ice rink, smiling. Is this the way we’d expect the former head of the K.G.B. to be pictured following a violent attack on his citizens, so close to the winter Olympics site?
Prior to the start of the Olympics in Mexico City, the government officials locked up everyone considered a threat to the peace and held them for the duration of the games. And what is Putin doing after being served notice by the terrorists in such a horrific manner, he’s conducting a P.R. campaign in an apparent effort to conceal his fear. I honestly thought that there would be special secret police hunting down these vicious thugs at their compounds and hideouts, delivering a very special sort of justice, until they were thoroughly discouraged from their horrible acts. I am grossly disappointed with Mr. Putin.
It’s the same old PGW
Several years ago, after a typical frustrating experience with the Philadelphia Gas Works, the Northeast Times published the details of my experience.
I challenged the readers to identify a company which they felt was run worse than PGW. My challenge went unanswered. I confirmed my belief that PGW is, in fact, Philadelphia’s worst-run company.
Over the past several years, PGW reduced our budget payment from $71 per month, to $48 per month, then to $29 per month. Last month we were not billed. We received a bill for $290, and an immediate increase in our budget to $145 per month. PGW simply explained that there was a system error and our budget amount has been wrong for years. I believe that PGW workers may actually be incompetent enough to work for the Obama administration.
Joseph A. Breen
Let’s stop straw purchases
It is wonderful that a straw gun purchaser was identified and held accountable for buying a gun, which he then sold to a minor (NE Times, Dec. 11, p. 8).
The NE Times article report is a sad example of the reality that guns purchased to be distributed on the street are a major factor in gun violence. In fact, city statistics show that of the 316 homicides in Philadelphia in 2011, 85 percent were committed with guns, and all of the guns used were illegally possessed.
Those guns were initially purchased legally at a gun shop; many were then given or sold to persons prohibited from having them. Sixty-one percent were bought within 10 miles of the crime. We need to make sure that this criminal activity — straw purchasing — is prevented in the first place.
That is why Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based, multi-state gun violence prevention organization, is calling on gun dealers to sign a 10-point code of conduct that would reduce straw purchasing substantially. The voluntary code, available at www.heedinggodscall.org, was developed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Walmart (the nation’s largest gun dealer). It simply calls on gun shops to take all steps required by law, and a few additional ones, to identify potential illegal purchasers.
Rev. David W. Brown
Thank you for voting ‘no’
One Philly State representative voted “NO” to tax increases. Thank you, John Sabatina! The increase will affect gas prices to fill our cars, vehicle registration and driver’s licenses.
It also could affect products such as food and all goods that have to be transported on Pennsylvania roads. There has not been a worse time to raise “taxes” on us with the economy still struggling and people working twice as hard to make ends meet.
Sabatina is hyper-sensitive to this because his Northeast Philly district encompasses many dedicated blue- and white-collar citizens.