Letters to the Editor: May 10, 2017

Harrisburg must act now

Pennsylvania is currently facing down a deadline, one that should never have been an issue in the first place, with consequences that could potentially impact thousands of residents in this commonwealth.

The Department of Homeland Security granted Pennsylvania an extension through June 6 to give the state time to comply with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, which Congress passed after the 2001 terror attacks.

If Harrisburg doesn’t act by June 6, Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and ID cards will not be accepted at up to 257 federal buildings, nuclear power plants and military bases throughout the state, not to mention at countless other similar sites throughout the country. By January 2018, every Pennsylvanian will need a passport to fly commercially, even from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

The extension granted to us in January from DHS was welcomed news, as it gave us time to resolve the underlying noncompliance issue. However, in typical Harrisburg fashion, the General Assembly has dragged its feet and now we face a quickly ticking clock before this nightmare starts to affect our citizens. Sen. Kim Ward and I have already introduced legislation, H.B. 150 and S.B. 133, which would put the state on the path to addressing this situation. The bills, which are currently awaiting consideration from the House Transportation Committee and the House State Government Committee, respectfully, are the first step to resolving this mess. But they must be passed and signed into law before the state Transportation Department can start to work toward meeting the enhanced security standards. Right now, the General Assembly has seven session days until the deadline. I urge all Pennsylvanians to call their elected officials to demand action on this important legislation to ensure that Pennsylvania’s IDs will continue to be accepted and remain secure from fraud.

Ed Neilson

State Representative, 174th Legislative District

Northeast Times is not litter

In response to Gregg J. Tyndall’s letter, “Deliveries are legal litter,” published on April 26:

While I agree that no one likes litter, I believe Mr. Tyndall’s opinions are misguided and certainly misdirected. Misdirected because his frustration should not be with the free delivery of the Northeast Times, but with his neighbors who do not even bother to bend over to pick up the paper (let alone read).

Misguided because comparing the Northeast Times to litter is disturbing, particularly since knowledge is key and there is always something to learn reading the Northeast Times, be it a new recipe, something new about your government, community or your neighborhood.

Please, Mr. Tyndall, direct your outrage to the real litter in our Great Northeast, people not bending over to pick up or sweep their trash — not the free Northeast Times.

Frances McCaffery-Breen

Somerton

To my mom, with love

The small clumsy cottage

Washed eyes with smoke,

Along the frozen village

Cock’s crowing all awoke.

There’s no pleasure stronger,

Than to lie in the morning

On the heating Russian stove

With a sheepskin coat over.

Mother throws burning logs

With a poker in the stove,

Then she puts growing rolls

With a wooden great shovel.

A small mug of new milk

Mother brings me with bread,

I soar under sky of silk

With the broken off end.

I cannot all that forget

And will always remember,

How mom made me glad

In the frozen December.

M. Barash

Happy Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day poem is dedicated to all the hard-working women in Philly:

When does a mother know that she’s a mother?

When she can no longer see her feet or when she pulls back the covers and watches you as you sleep.

When does a mother know that she’s a mother?

It’s when God said stand still and listen to two hearts while they beat.

That’s when a mother knows she is a mother, because the sound is oh so sweet.

Lenny Jaynes

Frankford