Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2015

TBYN civic group is getting things done

If you live in Castor Gardens, Oxford Circle or the surrounding Northeast, Take Back Your Neighborhood (“TBYN”) led by Jared Solomon is your local civic group. We’ve been around for eight years and are now a full-fledged nonprofit organization. We invite you to join us and get involved.

TBYN is dedicated to keeping our streets clean and safe, improving our infrastructure, providing after-school programs for kids, bringing together the many diverse groups where we live, and addressing the quality-of-life issues we all see and hear.

We’re getting things done, too. Thanks to our partnership with local elected officials, businesses, and other private partners, Max Myers Rec Center is going to be refurbished, private security is working with beefed-up police patrols in higher-crime areas, complaints to 311 are addressed more quickly, a business association is growing and Spruance Elementary just got a new playground and murals thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles.

We also have after-school programs for kids who need something to do, and are partnering with local churches and groups like NORC for even more programs.

Our largest event is our annual Northeast Celebration, which last year drew over 1,000 visitors to Max Myers for a day filled with fun, food and education. This year we expect an even larger crowd on Saturday, Aug. 22.

But all these good works takes people - — neighbors like you — to volunteer a bit of your time and energy to make our neighborhood a better place to live. So come to our next meeting, on Monday, June 15, at 7 p.m. at Max Myers, 1601 Hellerman St. Come see who we are and what we do, complain about a problem on your street, or sign up to get involved.

Paul Kaplan

Castor Gardens

Football is dangerous for children and adults

What do you think of when children and adults are playing football? People getting touchdowns, tackling, interceptions or maybe even the Super Bowl? Sounds great, right? Wrong.

There has been a debate whether football is a threatening sport because of concussions, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and Alzheimer’s disease. Your child can develop these conditions from playing football. Parents, did you ever take the time to think about the physical impact that the sport can have on your child’s health? Football is too dangerous for both children and adults to play.

First of all, football is dangerous for children and adults because of CTE. CTE is a brain disease caused by repetitive concussions. The long-term effects of CTE include headaches, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers indicated that the younger children start playing football, the more concussions they have because their bodies and brains are not fully formed. Also, autopsies of many professional football players revealed CTE.

Secondly, football is still too dangerous no matter what helmet you wear. Helmets do a nice job protecting the exterior of the head and preventing deadly skull fractures. However, concussions occur within the cranium, when the brain bangs against the skull.

Lastly, football is dangerous because players today are bigger, stronger and faster. According to a recent study by Scripps Howard News Service, since 1985, the average weight of National Football League players has ballooned 10 percent to 248 pounds.

Furthermore, the reports of concussions and other severe trauma on the football field are starting to pile up even at the high school and college level.

Football is a very dangerous sport for both children and adults. Therefore, parents, do not let your child play football, this can change their life.

Lambert Thomas

Greenberg Elementary School, 7th Grade