Letters to the Editor: April 13, 2016

A watch on Williams

In declining to bring charges against football player Shady McCoy, District Attorney Seth Williams said, “It is our job to charge the right people and only charge them with the right crimes. I am very satisfied that we did the right thing.”

Obviously, Williams doesn’t know what goes on in his office.

I was recently the jury foreman on a criminal case that should never have been brought to trial once the DA’s office obtained all the facts.

The case was from 2012. The DA’s case was so bad that they “piled on” with a 2015 case against the defendant that had no real bearing on the 2012 case.

The jury, based upon the facts and the law, had to find the defendant “not guilty” to correct the “wrongful” prosecution by the DA’s office.

The City of Philadelphia must really take a hard look at this DA due to the way he disciplined his prosecutors for Porngate, the picking up the mantle in the all black politicians cases and now with the Shady McCoy case.

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Crack down on DROP

I know this is beating to death a dead horse. The DROP program was designed for uniform city employees.

My contention is the City Charter does not permit an elected official to resign and then return the next day to reclaim their elected position.

The bottom line problem is there is not a law firm in the Delaware Valley that will step on to the plate since they are trying for lucrative contracts from the very same officials in question.

Remember honesty and integrity?

Anthony Dello Russo

Fox Chase

U.S. not job friendly

The U.S. subsidizes jobs leaving the U.S. in the treaties and laws we pass: Overseas Private Investment Act, TPP, NAFTA, etc. Wake up!

Marvin Lewis

Holme Circle

Soda tax will only hurt hardworking taxpayers

Philadelphia’s push for a soda tax for the funding of free universal Pre-K has a much deeper objective; and it’s not about giving kids an early leg-up in life so they have a better chance at success. It is a carefully scripted plan by a political party to preserve and grow its voter base by any means possible at the expense of the poor and hardworking taxpayers.

As Philadelphia has been designated a sanctuary city, it tells illegal immigrants as well as the poorest people in the city, many of whom can’t even take care of themselves, go ahead and have as many kids as you want because we have you covered with free pre-K.

Instead of trying to educate and help prevent people from making poor life decisions, the city enables their poor judgment which all but ensures they will remain in poverty. In this way, city government not only creates a reason to make the program bigger with an ever-increasing bureaucracy that will always need more money to perpetuate itself, it creates new generations of voters who will be ever so grateful to the political party who promises to cover their poor judgment with taxpayer dollars.

And who is naive enough to believe a soda tax will cover the cost for this new entitlement?

If the tax is implemented, people will stop drinking as much soda or many will go just outside the city to buy their beverages. Then the city will say they miscalculated how much money they will need and look to tax something else.

Their actions as always are predictable and sophomoric. Another pathetic move by a political party who has been running Philadelphia for over 60 years and continuously tries to maintain and grow its power and base by literally paying people scraps to stay poor.

Peter DiGiuseppe

Rhawnhurst

Time for Cohen to step aside

I am a lifelong Northeast resident and cannot believe the current state of my neighborhood. There are piles of trash everywhere, the streets (even large ones like Cottman Ave. and Bustleton Ave.) are dingy looking and poorly lit. The saddest part is that I don’t even feel safe walking the streets that I’ve spent my life. It is almost as if over the past 20 years, all the energy has been sucked out of my once bustling, vibrant neighborhood.

I am left with so many questions. Why aren’t the streets and sidewalks repaved? Why aren’t new street lights installed when old ones break? How are there so many vacant/abandoned homes? Most importantly, where are our politicians?

Mark Cohen is my state representative and has been for over 40 years. I’ve received birthday cards from him most years, but haven’t seen anything in terms of meaningful progress for the neighborhood during his tenure. I go to visit friends and family in South Philly, West Philly, or Center City and feel as if I’m in a completely different city, a more well-kept, cleaner, safer city. Mr. Cohen, I’d like to thank you for your service to the neighborhood, but now is time to step aside and allow someone competent and capable to lead our neighborhood to a brighter future, instead of the dreary present that you’ve led us to.

Bruce Edelman

Castor Gardens

Solomon is the better choice

I recently hosted a community meeting in my home on behalf of community leader and Democratic state representative candidate, Jared Solomon, I’d spent time volunteering for Mr. Solomon’s campaign by calling neighbors, knocking doors and attending campaign events, but my experience hosting Jared and our neighbors was amazing. I had been to Jared’s events before, but seeing 30-plus neighbors show up to my own home to speak with Jared Solomon was truly heartwarming. The conversations were meaningful and insightful, covering such topics as health care, education and crime. On top of the great conversation, what struck me most was the diverse group that Jared drew to my home that ranged from fresh-faced 18-year-old voters to veterans of democracy who have been voting for decades.

Jared’s ability to bring together people of all ages in our diverse community is what we need to move forward in a positive direction, something that I have not seen from our current state representative. Jared is a man who can gather a coalition of all neighbors to make real change in our neighborhood and change the current status quo from lethargic to energetic, from do-nothing to do-it-all. I will be voting for Jared Solomon on election day and my entire family will be joining me. Northeast Philadelphia, don’t you think you deserve a State Representative who will work tirelessly and selflessly for you?

Rosemary A. Jackson

Oxford Circle

White follows Trump model

In the March 30 issue of the Philadelphia Metro, Rep. Martina White said, “It’s aggravating when people try to distract from the real issues.” I agree, but context is required. White is talking about backlash against her bill, HB 1885, which she explains will “counter unlawful sanctuary cities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

White received criticism characterizing her as a bigot. I don’t believe she is. I do believe she’s a politician trying to use anxiety to drum up votes. White used information from the organization FAIR to justify her legislation. The Southern Poverty Law Center has critiqued FAIR for using scare tactics. “Its lobbying and legal efforts…are based on fomenting fear, on exploiting racial tensions and economic anxieties to convince people that they had better not let any more ‘aliens’ into their country.”

I’m no defender of illegal immigration. I simply dislike my representative trying to “distract from the real issues” facing our community. The Wall Street Journal explained that when the spike in illegal immigration occurred, “FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined 48 percent — which included falling rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder.

It’s obvious Rep. White is trying to follow the Trump model to electoral success. Instead, she should focus on raising the minimum wage, passing a tax on drilling, or finding sustainable revenue to close our structural deficit. Pennsylvania is facing real challenges. We need legislators who are working toward solutions and not posturing to win elections..

Matt Darragh

Candidate for State Representative

170th Legislative District

Bernie’s plans will be costly

According to Bernie Sanders, he wants to provide free education and free healthcare to the American people by copying the European model. What the American people don’t understand is that Bernie’s concept of “free” will cost Americans in higher taxes.

His plan is to raise $20 trillion in new tax hikes that range from taxes on Social Security, income tax and a payroll tax (meaning more taken out of your hard-earned paycheck).

As of Feb. 1, the U.S. national debt reached a record $19 trillion (that’s an equivalent of $60,000 for every American).

And worst of all, Bernie plans an overall tax rate of more than 50 percent. Now, take the country Denmark as an example. According to an acquaintance of mine who lives in Denmark and works as a school teacher, they pay 80 percent of their earnings for free education and free healthcare. Well, according to Bernie, he wants a flat rate of 50 percent. That means for every paycheck, half is taken out for taxes to pay for his free education and healthcare.

Can Americans really expect to give up half their earnings for Bernie’s utopian society. Also, the example in France some years ago, when students marched in protest because they did not have jobs available for them when they graduated. Sure, they got a free education. But when they graduated, there were no jobs for them in the marketplace. But Bernie and his Democrats don’t envision that when they offer such great catch phrases as “free.”

How ironic that, for the two Democrats, Wolf and Bernie, their plan for a free education system is not so free. It comes with a price.

Just like France, just like Greece, and soon enough the United States, “free” anything by heavily taxing the working class is not the ideal plan. When there are no jobs available. Bernie’s free money comes from our paychecks, if we are still lucky to get one.

Al Ulus

Somerton

Cohen is doing a great job

State Rep. Mark Cohen has been quietly helping constituents without fanfare, such as having holes in the street filled in on Longshore Avenue, stop signs put up and helping individual people with their problems.

This neighborhood is doing well, and will continue in the future with the continued help of Mark Cohen.

Alice Getzes

Rhawnhurst

Putting trust in Sabatina

Recently we received a campaign flier from Friends of Kevin Boyle that stated that “Sabatina voted for fracking without taxing,” “Sabatina was the only Philadelphia House Democrat who voted to let the oil and gas companies drill and frack tax free,” and “When Philadelphia’s public schools asked for help, John Sabatina turned his back.”

John Sabatina, Jr. did vote “No” on the bill that would impose a tax on fracking when it was presented for a vote in the state House of Representatives. But so did Kevin Boyle — a fact that’s never mentioned in the flier. Most Democrats voted against the bill; they believed the tax imposed on the fracking industry was too low and that the legislation would strip municipal officials of the authority to regulate drilling.

Boyle has put his own special interests before the needs of students and working families by taking nearly $30,000 of his taxpayer-funded salary during the current State budget crisis, while schools, universities, and domestic violence shelters had to wait for state funding. Sabatina has not accepted a paycheck since the budget standoff began last July 1. John Sabatina Jr. is a state senator we can trust to work hard for all of us.

Bruce and Sharon Gerber

Holme Circle