The Perzel case was politically motivatedIn the conclusion of the film Judgment at Nuremberg, Ernst Janning, played by Burt Lancaster, is a former judge under the Nazi regime who admits he made his “life excrement” because he followed the powers of Nazi Germany. He states “that he never knew it would come to that,” meaning, of course, the atrocities.Spencer Tracy, in a memorable retort, responds that he knew “it would come to that, the first time he sentenced a man whom he knew to be innocent.”Dauphin County Common Pleas Court “Judge” Richard Lewis should watch this compelling film and heed its warning.I have known, watched and admired all John Perzel did for the community and noted how well he was liked by our senior citizens. The plea he made I am sure came with much consideration for not only himself but his wife and children.I have always believed these charges were politically oriented, but now sentence has been passed by this wretched, cheap, charlatan and lackey who is no more than a sycophantic lapdog seeking crumbs from the table of a false idol. This detestable cretin is not qualified to sentence a 5-year-old to a “time out.” He too will be judged one day. We can only hope that sentence will be most severe.Leonard T. RobertsMayfair
How many of you would like to run into a burning building and risk your life to try to save the structure or more importantly, people inside the structure? Odds are, not many of you raised your hands.Thankfully, enough men and women in Philadelphia are brave enough to put everything on the line as members of the Philadelphia Fire Department. Sadly, though, those courageous heroes — every uniformed member of the department — are essentially getting kicked in the teeth by short-sighted, heartless, pig-headed city officials who care more about their egos and saving money than saving lives — a point highlighted by firefighters’ family members at a rally in Burholme last week.By resorting to temporarily closing fire stations throughout the city — a procedure called “brownouts” — fire officials, particularly Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, are putting citizens in jeopardy. They’re banking on the hope and possibility — and yes, perhaps the probability — that nobody will ever die as a result of reduced manpower and slowed response time resulting from brownouts, but they are playing Russian roulette. They’re literally playing with fire, and shame on them.Some day their luck is going to run out. When somebody dies because the short-staffed, ill-equipped fire department cannot get to the scene of a fire in time, there will be hell to pay in Philadelphia. And in this city of 1.5 million people, that is likely to happen. If fire officials think that’s OK, it’s time to get new fire officials.Send letters to the editor to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Was John M. Perzel, the once mighty state representative from Lexington Park, really representative of the 62,000 or so residents of his 172nd Legislative District? You’d better hope not. After all, most of those people are not crooks.Mr. Perzel, who in exactly two weeks will head to prison following sentencing for public corruption, was not representative of the good folks in his district or the Northeast as a whole.By using taxpayer money to advance his political career, Mr. Perzel disgraced himself, his friends, his family, his once-good name and worst of all, the cause of public service. In the end, he proved to friends and foes alike that he was just another self-serving, power-hungry egomaniac who got by with a lot of help from his charm, personality and just plain dumb luck.Yes, Rep. Perzel did some good things for the people of his district during his 32 years in office, but that was his job — to help them. But boy, did he let the people down. He should have resigned before losing an audacious bid for re-election in 2010, but again, his ego got the best of him. His soiled name remained on the walls of a community center in Mayfair far longer than it should have.John Perzel pleaded guilty to just eight of the 82 counts that prosecutors lodged against him in 2009. What happened to the other 74 counts? Why did they magically disappear in his plea bargain? Why didn’t the prosecution decline a plea bargain and try him on all counts? Was the evidence in those 74 dropped counts so flimsy?Perhaps the public will never find out, but at least Northeast Philadelphia’s infamous crook will have some plenty of down time in which to ponder his behavior. ••Send letters to: email@example.com
Free water ice day should melt awayI want to thank Rita’s water ice for their annual free water ice giveaway on the first day of spring. But could we please stop this tradition here in the Northeast?I’m tired of seeing the critters crawl out of the woodwork for essentially a free dollar. It drives me crazy watching these people treat the Northeast like their toilet. They throw their trash wherever they want, disrespect everyone and everything they come in contact with and basically ruin a nice gesture.Feel free to open a Rita’s in Kensington, Logan and North Philadelphia and continue this practice, but please end it in the Northeast.Jay BosakPine Valley
Is Tom Corbett out of his mind? Does he think women are incapable of tending to their own body business? Does the “moderate” governor of Pennsylvania actually think women should be forced to undergo an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before having an abortion? Does he realize that women outnumber men? Does he have a clue? Does he think he lives on another planet?The former state attorney general is taking plenty of heat from plenty of level-headed people for defending legislation dubbed the Women’s Right to Know Act that would treat pregnant women like imbeciles.For pregnant women who know there is no need to look at a monitor while getting their mandatory ultrasound and have no desire to do so, Mr. Corbett offers this friendly, fatherly advice: “You just have to close your eyes.”Oh, how nice. That’s the only choice women deserve, according to the paternalistic governor.Abortion rights in the year 2012 are under attack by far-right politicians, mostly men, who, like Mr. Corbett, can never get pregnant but treat women with utter contempt and thumb their nose at the right to abortion, which became settled law with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.Attention, all women who cherish their privacy and all men who respect women: Let Tom Corbett know how you feel. Call him at 1-717-787-2500 and send him a message at www.facebook.com/Gov.TomCorbettTell him — and Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum and other “limited government” proponents — to stay the hell out of your bedrooms and doctor’s offices. ••
Where, oh where, is the doggie park? NowhereIn response to the letter in last week’s edition concerning the dog park at Lawncrest (Our beloved doggie park is not so beloved anymore):I am the supervisor at Lawncrest Recreation Center. First, let me say there is no doggie park on this site. Over the course of several years with the decline of a baseball program, a number of dog owners and their dogs “squatted” on the fenced little league field and proclaimed it a dog park. Nothing was ever done officially by the city to dedicate the area to dogs and their owners. With the resurgence of the baseball program under the vibrant Lawncrest Lions, it has necessitated a change. It is a baseball field once again!More to the point, several months ago I received a call from a woman who identified herself as African-American. She explained to me about a woman who said the doggie park was hers and no one of color could use it. She asked what could be done about the intimidation and discrimination. I suggested she could call the police or the mayor’s office on human relations, and I would see what I could do about the issue as well. Since I heard nothing more about it, I thought the problem had been resolved.Jim Ritvalsky
A majority of the American people tend to sit on their hands every election day. The number of non-voters is staggering and pathetic; perhaps some day they will wake up and exercise their duty faithfully and diligently. The people who do vote, however, should be limited to one vote per person. After all, “one man, one vote” is in the Constitution.
No apology is needed for this CatholicRegarding the letter in the Feb. 29 edition from deacon John Hynes (Apologize or paper goes in the bird cage): I feel the Northeast Times has always presented both sides of current issues in a fair manner. Your editorial about the late Cardinal Bevilacqua did not offend me.It is time for Catholics to open their eyes. The church has hid the truth on many moral and financial facts. What I see going on now within the church is heartbreaking.The officials who were responsible for withholding information about the sexual abuse should step forward. Monsignor William Lynn is being used as a scapegoat. He did what he was told to do. Most scandals do have a scapegoat — history has taught us that.As for the ongoing trial, it seems the judge and district attorney all have higher political ambitions.I will continue to read and value the opinions presented in the Northeast Times. We are all capable of drawing our own decisions.The deacon does not speak for this Catholic. His threat of a financial backlash for the editorial is sad. This world has seen enough bias, discrimination and hate. Let the truth speak for itself. Let God be the final judge. Thank you for having the courage to place the editorial in your paper.Lynda GeorgeOxford Circle
Vandalism victim’s in a forgiving mood
A state law designed to crack down on DWS — driving while stupid — that goes into effect Thursday shows just how tone-deaf members of the Pennsylvania Legislature really are.