HomeNewsLetters to the editor, May 26, 2011

Letters to the editor, May 26, 2011

Drop DROP or impeach City Council

As a Philly transplant for almost 14 years, I am having a problem understanding the city government.

I, apparently foolishly, assumed that the city elected officials worked for the people and not the other way around. How is continuing DROP even a City Council voting issue? What is the “debate”?

From what I hear and see, the people of Philadelphia want this cash grab idiocy to end NOW, as we saw in last week’s election. Our schools are getting a massive cut, yet these elected ransackers grab it up for their own pocket.

What the people demand of THEIR GOVERNMENT is what that government has no choice to do. It should NOT require debate, perusing, discussion or a vote by the City Council. It should have been terminated as soon as the people made their desire known.

If you are 18 or older, write City Hall today and tell them to drop DROP immediately. If the majority of voters tell them, they better do it. If not, impeach the City Council members and call for a new election. It’s YOUR city; take it back under YOUR control.

Hezakiah Levinson

Rhawnhurst

He’s praying for the soul of the atheist

The letter from a former Catholic who is now an atheist (May 5 edition) has caused me many mixed emotions: anger, sadness, sorrow and consternation. My sorrow is for the possible loss of his soul. I have prayed for him.

My anger is directed to his claim that conservative Catholics defend and make excuses for the bad priests. I have talked with many of those he described and have found that all have the same opinion — that they, and those who protected them, should be punished to the full extent of the law, including imprisonment for lengthy stays. My concern stems from the writer’s use of the word pedophilia twice, but never mentioned the word homosexual.

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice issued a report in 2004 that indicated that more than 75 percent of the credible accusations were against post-pubescent victims, according to the Boston Globe. In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.

I wonder if our atheist letter writer did anything to help our post-pubescent Boy Scouts when Philadelphia City Council canceled the Boy Scouts headquarters in favor of the homosexual agenda.

In the meantime, it is very perplexing trying to understand how the sins and criminal acts of others can make an atheist of a person that is not involved.

Paul D. Corbett

Lawndale

The hot line and other hot issues

The bottom line with the child abuse controversy, Catholic or non-Catholic, is that any adult who suspected abuse but neglected to call in an immediate report to the child abuse hot line, which is mandated by law in Pennsylvania for adults who interact with children, failed the abused by circumventing the law and making their own conclusions.

On another issue, I think it’s only fair that since Philadelphia police received a contract from the current mayor but their brothers and sisters at DHS have not, that the police should enforce littering, especially smokers, and parking in fire lanes, specifically at the shopping center at 7350 Oxford Ave., just below Bleigh. The budget crisis could easily be solved on those tickets alone.

Liam Tolen

Lawndale

A message to Arlene in outer space

Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s administration wants the unions to open up their contracts because of her excessive spending. If anyone’s contract should be reopened it is hers. Her base salary is about $7,000 a week. Last year’s bonus was $65,000 and this year’s is $100,000, an increase of $35,000. Even with her unpaid 20 furlough days (four weeks) at $7,000 a week, her net bonus still increases $7,000 more for this year, to $72,000.

For the past three years all she has done was bash the teachers, their union and individual teachers. She has hired a lot of people at salaries higher than those of the mayor and governor.

If she wants some of the lowest paid teachers in the state to take salary and/ or benefit cuts, all I can say is: Earth to Arlene.

David Krain

Rhawnhurst

Why are the few exempt from cuts?

I am a concerned taxpayer who has never used the public school system, nor have my five grown children for their children. What I would like to know is how is it that the budget has to cut programs that the children need, like art, music, school nurses and classroom aides, but the school across the street from where I live goes to sixth grade, has a principal and two vice principals. That school is Edwin Forrest. How come?

Ruth Maynes

Mayfair

Red tape has homeowner down in the dumps

I have been dealing with an issue from the city of Philadelphia regarding a trash refuse fee. In June 2010, I received a statement in the amount of $150. Not knowing what this fee was, I contacted Councilwoman Joan Krajewski’s office.

Bill Cox, who works for the councilwoman, researched the fee with the Streets Department and stated that it only applied to rental properties.

Although I do own a duplex, my mother lives in the first floor unit and I live in the second floor unit. He mailed out an exemption form for me to fill out stating that information and stated that the fee would be waived according to what was stated on the exemption form. I supplied the city with all the information needed and mailed it back immediately.

In January 2011 I received a Statement of Delinquent Refuse Collection Fees in the amount of $172.50. Now I ask you, why is it that honest, hard-working, taxpaying citizens of this city get punished for being HONEST?

Every year, the city sends me a bill for a license because my property is a duplex, and I pay it and have paid it since I’ve owned my property. So, because I pay this fee the city states that I have to pay the refuse fee, when clearly the exemption form states that if I provide proper information that a family member lives there, I would be exempted and the fee would be waived.

I would greatly appreciate if the Northeast Times would publish this to make taxpayers aware that the city is trying to extort money from honest property owners with this bogus fee.

Do you really think the city is getting all the license fees, unpaid taxes and utility bills from the absentee landlords that allow their properties to look like filthy war zones with broken-down vehicles in yards and driveways, with trash from one end of the property to the other? The Department of Licenses & Inspections has no clue how many unlicensed properties there are in this city.

I have copies of the paperwork that I have sent to the Streets Department, along with the copies to Bill Cox at Councilwoman Krajewski’s office.

By the way, as the weather gets nicer I would like to ask everyone to take a good look around the outside of their house. Cut your lawns, pick up trash, sweep up with a broom, and teach your kids to put trash in the trash can (not in the closest yard they’re walking next to).

It’s really not difficult to do, and let me say this applies to everyone — homeowners, renters, landlords, English speaking, along with non-English-speaking people. This is everyone’s responsibility.

Step up people, it only takes a few minutes to clean up the front of your house. Remember, it’s where your children play, it’s not a war zone or trash dump! If you drop it, pick it up, and if you’re walking your dog, pick up after it!

Donna Marie Taweel

Holmesburg

I respect cops, but not threats from their union boss

I would like to respond to a letter in last week’s Northeast Times entitled Police union boss: I’m not for sale.

When I read it I had to ask myself: Am I being threatened by the president of the FOP? Mr. McNesby stated, “You can either publicly apologize for your slur, or you can face the consequences.”

What would I apologize for? I agree that Mr. McNesby has the right, as do the members of the FOP, to endorse or back any candidate they want. My question was is Mr. McNesby selling his badge? If you read his threat to me, you will notice he never denied that the FOP had a fund-raiser in which, for a donation of $1,000, you would receive 15 FOP courtesy cards signed by Mr. McNesby.

Mr. McNesby must not have read that I respect all police officers for their service. I am sure that if you ask some of the police in the 15th district if they ever had a 7-year-old boy come up to them and say, “Thank you for protecting and serving us,” their response would be yes. That little boy is my son, and I have instilled that in him ever since he could speak.

I also will stop a police officer and thank him for his service. I have nothing but respect for our men and women in blue. Because of that, I can say that I NEVER sold any T-shirts when a fallen officer is tragically taken from us to “make a few bucks selling memorial T-shirts if an officer goes down.”

I don’t know where Mr. McNesby received his information, but I would appreciate it if he did not slander my name by attacking me for something I never did. This is false information he is accusing me of.

If you read my letter, you would have noticed that my concern was with the sale of FOP courtesy cards to donate money to Bobby Henon’s million-dollar campaign to run for City Council.

Mr. McNesby, I would also like to inform you that your childish comments by calling me “Stevie” was taken with a grain of salt.

Rather than attack me, please feel free to contact me on Facebook as you have before or you can visit me at 7246 Charles St. any time.

Steve Schmidt

Mayfair

Yo, commissioner, what have you done for the firefighters?

I am the wife of a retired firefighter, Anthony Perpetua, and I was absolutely appalled after I read about what has happened to Firefighter Jack Slivinski.

This young man tried to help our firefighters widows fund. So, he had his photo taken for a calendar. So what, commissioner? May I ask what you have done for our widows??

I can tell you that I have put thousands of hours in making and selling my rosaries at various craft shows, all for the survivors fund. I have raised thousands of dollars for them. This year, I am doing it for only the firefighters widows fund. My husband and I stand for long hours selling them. Again, what have you done??

Reinstate this young man to his rescue unit. Thank God we have this brave young man to do this job. To reprimand him is just terrible. Is it because he is white? If a black firefighter did this, what would you have done? I am sorry to sound racial, but what are you about?

I read the stories about an accident involving two fire trucks and the fireman in charge being demoted yet they had the green light? Isn’t the demotion racial? You are discriminating against them, and you should be held accountable. Also, the officer who was demoted after the accident should be reinstated to his previous duties. I INSIST on it.

You should be commending our firefighters on their jobs about when they are severely injured with their fingers melted together. I am speaking about a high-rise fire, when they tried to save a retired police officer, saw him burning in his wheelchair, and they desperately tried to save him. All three burned so badly. We don’t hear about that.

What do you say to them? Are they up for an award? Or maybe you were too busy trying to stop people from helping our widows. I don’t know how you sleep at night. Doesn’t your conscience bother you?

You are only in your job because of Mayor Nutter. The morale of the Fire Department is at an all-time low.

I will keep letters going until I hear from you personally. At my next craft show I intend to have petitions to have these brave firefighters back on their jobs.

It is a time for a change in the fire department, and the change will be a new commissioner.

Kathleen Perpetua

Holme Circle

The fact is, there’s no place like home care

This month, the Pennsylvania Homecare Association has arranged for those of us who provide care to meet with our legislators in Harrisburg. The purpose of these meetings is to explain the financial, physical and mental benefits of home care.

Pennsylvanians are entitled to nursing home care, at a cost of about $58,000 per person to Medicaid. Pennsylvanians are not entitled to in-home care, which has a price tag of about $22,000 per person. Nearly 75 percent of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expenses go to institutionalized care. As a resident of Pennsylvania, a senior citizen and a home care provider, this concerns me.

Recently, Community Care of the Northeast took care of an elderly couple in their two-story home in Mayfair. Mom is 86 and dad is 88. The wife was originally hospitalized for a urinary tract infection that led to an infection that encased her whole body, causing her to have a stroke. Also, she developed a condition called “c.diff,” which is an infective colitis often occurring after the use of wide-spectrum antibiotics. Eventually she was placed in a rehabilitation facility.

The son came home to assist with mom’s care and was concerned by her increased confusion and weakness. Mom might have to be placed in a long-term nursing facility. I was called in to evaluate the situation and asked to recommend other options of care, including home care.

My first concern was her sudden intellectual decline in regard to her speech and decreased physical mobility. The rehab center provided her with physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy — but the light in her eyes had gone out. She showed no interest in improving her health.

The family was concerned and needed to know if bringing her home would help. Mom seemed defeated by the idea of a nursing home. I explained that by bringing her home to familiar surroundings she might be stimulated and begin improving. Mom seemed excited when her family spoke to her about the plan, and she agreed to cooperate.

The discharge was planned. We brought in our trained direct care workers who assisted with meals, toiletry, bathing and exercise. The Medicare services followed and the skilled nurse, physical therapist and occupational therapist worked with us to provide the total care needed.

When Mom arrived home we met her at the front door. Her home was set up to provide care on the first floor. Initially, the direct care workers stayed around the clock, with assistance hours decreasing as Mom became stronger. During our stay the direct care workers observed that Dad was becoming weak. The family was alerted and he was hospitalized with stomach ulcers.

Mom and Dad are now at home, and both are functioning independently. Our nursing staff continues to visit as needed. When a physical problem arises we evaluate and make recommendations.

Mom is back to quilting and using her computer. Mom and Dad are functioning as a team once again with minimal assist from the family and community care. They have more time together, living safely and independently at home.

This story and many more are being told to our legislators in Harrisburg to alert them to the changes required to keep families together. Please encourage your state representatives and senators to support House Bill HB210 and Senate Bill SB639.

Community Care Center of the Northeast was established in 1985 and is a non-profit, state-licensed home care agency dedicated to lifelong independence.

For more information, call me at 215–335–4416.

Jean E. Langenbach

Administrator

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