Home News Letters to the Editor: December 3, 2014

Letters to the Editor: December 3, 2014

What happened to the Lower Northeast?

No geographical area in the city demonstrates better than the “Lower Northeast” section of Philadelphia of the systemic policy failures city officials year-after- year have enacted in this one-party town in an attempt to supposedly improve the quality of life for the majority of their hard working constituents.

The truth is poverty has dramatically increased to a staggering level of 62 percent in this community since 1999 and the city’s overall poverty rate in 2013 was 26.9 percent, the highest of any city with a population of more than 1 million.

Over the years, I have spoken to countless people while waiting for a SEPTA bus that was running late at intersections that are considered to be in the heart of the Lower Northeast either at Cottman and Frankford avenues, “Five-Points” Cottman and Rising Sun avenues or Cottman and Castor avenues and asked them if they were born and raised in Philadelphia?

Many times, they respond with an emphatic “Yes” to which I ask the follow-up question: “What neighborhood did you grow up in and what was it like?”

Often, two things occur when people describe the Northeast of old. Their eyes light up and their voices become energized and get distinctly louder. When they are done talking, I frequently find myself in disbelief of the adjectives they used to describe how beautiful the Lower Northeast once was in its heyday, and without question from a social-history point-of-view not too long ago championed the hope and pride of a thriving middle class.

Today taxes keep rising, yet the quality of life and city services continues to decline dramatically.

Jason Kaye


A place for 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 post is the largest Legion post in Philadelphia. We have 675 members. Men or women who would like to join can call 215–632–7781. Dues are $25 for the year.

William Cole

Commander, Post 754

Gratitude for MARC

I want to take this opportunity to recognize the Major Artery Revitalization Committee (MARC) and the elected officials responsible for the long overdue renovations to the Torresdale Avenue Commercial Corridor. Our school serves as a “gateway” to the avenue, and the new sidewalks, curbs, line striping and banners look fantastic.

This project has added true “curb appeal” to our school and was well received as we welcomed back 660 students this fall, including 175 new freshmen. On behalf of Saint Hubert High School, we would like to thank the MARC board for their tireless efforts in making this long awaited project a reality.

We also want to recognize U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, state Sen. Michael Stack, state Rep. Michael McGeehan and Councilman Bobby Henon for obtaining the funding for this project.

As a school community we are proud to partner with MARC and all of our elected officials in any project which advances our local community.

Francis A. Farrell

President, St. Hubert High School

Wishing Driscoll well

The City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are going through difficult times with tough issues and obstacles ahead. We are on a continued course in the wrong direction in many ways.

On Nov. 4, we in much of Northeast Philadelphia selected Mike Driscoll as our newly elected state representative.

I had campaigned long and hard against Mike while respecting him as a respectful and honorable man. I view Mike as a friend. More importantly, I congratulate Mike Driscoll on being elected to represent the people of the 173rd Legislative District.

I further give my support to Mike as he brings his passion and desire to deal with the many difficult issues.

Mike will represent us well as we move forward.

Mike Tomlinson


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