Letters to the Editor: April 12, 2017

White opposes newspaper ban

At a time when the free community newspaper is threatened by online media and shrinking advertising revenue, along comes House Bill 685 to deliver a death blow to the newspapers that are so much a part of our neighborhoods’ character. Rep. Angel Cruz has proposed House Bill 685, which would make it a summary offense to deposit unsolicited or advertising materials on a property within Philadelphia. That would include the weekly advertising bundles we depend on for weekly coupons, and free newspapers like the Northeast Times.

As one of the best community newspapers in Philadelphia, it has survived where so many others have failed because it captures the pulse of the Northeast — from high school sports to local issues — in a way our daily newspapers cannot. It arrives at our doorsteps each week for free. Supporters of House Bill 685 claim these unsolicited materials are an environmental hindrance. In short, they are worried about littering.

These informative newspapers are not litter.

I remind the supporters of House Bill 685 that community newspapers and advertisements fuel our local economy. At a time when it is so important to shop locally, these publications provide a showcase for the local businesses that supply local jobs and form the local tax base. They link “mom-and-pop” shops to their community base.

On a social level, our free community newspapers provide us the news on our Scout troops, senior centers, sports teams and churches, and link us into our civic groups and police districts. At the most basic level, they capture our shared experiences. These newspapers link us as neighbors.

I will work hard against this legislation, and I will lobby my colleagues to vote against it if it should come up for a vote.

State Rep. Martina White

170th Legislative District

Boyle backs paper deliveries

Thank you to the dozens of residents who have called my office and defended the Northeast Times in response to recently introduced legislation that would effectively halt the newspaper’s distribution.

There is no better publication that highlights our local news, praises our local heroes and serves as our witness to threats against public safety. As an elected official, I rely on the Northeast Times not only to publicize the local events my office hosts, but also to offer balanced coverage of the work my colleagues and I are doing in Harrisburg, so that my constituents can provide me with useful, informed feedback. I will support the existence of community papers like the Northeast Times in Harrisburg.

State Rep. Kevin J. Boyle

172nd Legislative District

Suicide can be preventable

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college and university students, and amongst our veterans — every 65 minutes a veteran will take his or her life. Sadly, suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death. Learning to recognize the signs of suicide can literally save a life.

On Thursday, April 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the community room at Upper Moreland Free Public Library, I will be hosting a one- to two-hour training program for suicide prevention, designed to teach both lay and professional people the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. The program is called QPR, an acronym for Question — Persuade — Refer.

Class space is limited but is still open, so please call my office at 215–674–3755 for further information and to reserve your class space. Be a force of change, take this class, and bring this life-saving gift to your family, school, church or community group.

Rep. Thomas P. Murt

152nd Legislative District

Keep an eye on PGW, PPA

Philadelphians’ two favorite entities are requesting a raise in their rates.

The Philadelphia Paring Authority wants a parking meter raise that will go to the School District of Philadelphia. Really?

When ex-con John Perzel took it over, he claimed that $45 million a year will go to the school district.

Under Mayor Michael Nutter, they received a raise in rates and less money went to the school district.

Do they need more money for Vince Fenerty’s pension, comp time and others who make more than they should?

The other is Philadelphia Gas Works. You know, for the executives who receive large bonuses to stay on if the company was going to be sold.

I hope the people who control what Philadelphians pay don’t fall for the same garbage again.

Mayer Krain

Modena Park