Letters to the Editor: January 29, 2014

Three years ago, my son was ac­cep­ted in­to North­east High School’s Mag­net Pro­gram. I didn’t know what to ex­pect and was a bit ap­pre­hens­ive be­cause it is the biggest high school in the city, and I wor­ried that he would get lost in the shuffle. I sat in the aud­it­or­i­um at back to school night and listened to the prin­cip­al, Ms. Car­roll, talk about “her school” and “her kids.” She told us that we were wel­come to walk in­to “her school,” un­an­nounced and she would walk the halls with us. It was ap­par­ent to me that this wo­man had noth­ing to hide, no wor­ries that her school wouldn’t be run­ning up to par on any giv­en day. 

For the past two years, my son has been in­volved in the SPARC Pro­gram and he really loves it. Mrs. Kar­p­in­ski and Mr. Con­nelly have really spent a lot of time with the stu­dents to help them get all that they could out of the ex­per­i­ence. There are stu­dents that are in­ter­ested in aerospace, en­gin­eer­ing, med­ic­al fields, etc. This is one of the pro­grams that were on the chop­ping block. Even though this is a spe­cial pro­gram that has been around for a long time, it’s not the only pro­gram that needs to sur­vive. 

The school dis­trict has sep­ar­ate funds for sports pro­grams so they won’t be af­fected by the cuts. The mes­sage that they sent out the day they made the an­nounce­ment was this: “If you’re not in­to sports, your in­terests hold no value.” I am grate­ful that North­east has such a strong alumni who were will­ing to help out with SPARC, but no stu­dent in any school should have to be without the op­por­tun­ity to find their in­terest in an after-school activ­ity. Why should they be pun­ished be­cause they’re not ath­let­ic­ally in­clined?

Joseph De­Fe­lice, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee, says the city must reign in spend­ing. I agree whole-heartedly, but not only does City Coun­cil need to tight­en their reigns, but all fac­tions of gov­ern­ment need to fol­low suit. The money that our politi­cians waste on them­selves is out­rageous. They drive state-is­sued cars, get free gas and they don’t pay for in­sur­ance, but yet they hike up our gas prices.  

I don’t mind pitch­ing in but I be­lieve every­body should. City taxes are ba­sic­ally paid by the middle class. The wel­fare re­cip­i­ents pay very little, the big busi­nesses pay none (at least for 10 or 20 years with their tax abate­ments). 

I think there’s a big prob­lem here. Tight­en up your belt buckles, politi­cians. Cut out all of the pork from the city and state and I surely won’t feel bad about giv­ing on my end. But we all know that won’t hap­pen. All politi­cians are the same. When they’re get­ting in, it’s all about us and when they get in, it’s all about them. 

Jodi Mal­lon 


Ed­it­or’s Note: In Decem­ber of 2013, North­east High an­nounced there wasn’t enough money to con­tin­ue any non­s­ports ex­tra­cur­ricular activ­it­ies, such as the SPARC pro­gram. However, alumni raised funds to keep the pro­gram func­tion­al for the rest of the school year. 

Why op­pose Gos­pel of Grace Chris­ti­an School?

I found the re­cent art­icle con­cern­ing Gos­pel of Grace Chris­ti­an School to be mis­lead­ing. I sat in a meet­ing over a month ago when everything was dis­cussed amongst all parties. Fox Chase United Meth­od­ist did check with L&I and was told that use as a school was al­low­able. At the meet­ing, apo­lo­gies were made to the neigh­bors for not let­ting them know about it. It was be­lieved there was no need to do so, but later ac­know­ledged that no­tice should have been giv­en. Why keep bring­ing that up? 

Pas­tor Kel­ley ac­know­ledged that there would be no more than 30 stu­dents and the Meth­od­ist Church lead­er­ship af­firmed that the num­ber would be capped at 30. 

In the art­icle, it was con­ceded that the school parks a max­im­um of nine cars on the street each day. Fox Chase United Meth­od­ist Church front­age on Lo­ney Street alone ac­com­mod­ates 12 cars. Does the Fox Chase Homeown­ers As­so­ci­ation ob­ject to the church mak­ing use of park­ing in front of their build­ing? 

I’ve taught at GGCS since 2005. I’ve taught in their four dif­fer­ent loc­a­tions. Neigh­bors who got to know the school have loved it. Pas­tor Kel­ley util­izes the stu­dents to clean everything they walk past. Stu­dents are nev­er un­su­per­vised. In the oth­er loc­a­tions, there were above 100 stu­dents. None of those loc­a­tions were op­posed as is hap­pen­ing here. Any con­cerns were al­ways ad­dressed in a neigh­borly man­ner. 

The con­cerns of the as­so­ci­ation have been ad­dressed cour­teously. What real reas­on do they have to op­pose a small, private Chris­ti­an school? The Fox Chase United Meth­od­ist Church is able to util­ize their build­ing to edu­cate fu­ture lead­ers of Amer­ica with Chris­ti­an val­ues and high aca­dem­ic stand­ards. Isn’t that something our found­ing fath­ers would en­dorse? Why would any­one op­pose that? 

Doesn’t be­ing a neigh­bor work both ways? Fox Chase United Meth­od­ist has been a part of the neigh­bor­hood for over a cen­tury. How about re­cog­niz­ing that, and deal­ing with them in a neigh­borly fash­ion?

Frank Yost


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