Letters to the Editor: Aug. 16

Let ads replace soda tax

It is understandable as to why the City of Philadelphia would impose a so-called soda tax on consumers — all government entities require revenue.

However, it is equally understandable as to why such intense objections to that tax exists … particularly when a bit of creativity could provide other alternatives. And, whatever such creative-revenue alternatives might do to eliminate and/or mitigate the adverse impact on consumers, distributors and manufacturers, would be politically savvy and pragmatically welcomed.

For example, how many trash trucks are moving and highly visible along city streets at any hour of any work day? What if those vehicles displayed, on both of their sides, a large, bright colored advertisement for various “soda”/sugar beverages — advertisements paid for by their manufacturers and distributors?

Paid advertisements — moving billboards of sorts — viewed on virtually every city street for portions of every business day of every year, year-after-year-after-year. What might that be worth to the advertisers? And what might such an endeavor take away from the burden of the tax-payer, the distributor and the retailer?

Let’s go to school on this concept — in a literal way.

How about this as a morning and end-of-school day announcement from the principal’s office public address system? “Good morning students and staff, this morning’s announcements are brought to you by (i.e.) The American Dairy Council reminding you to eat healthy foods and, of course, to drink your milk!”

It’s not as if our kids aren’t already bombarded with TV and online advertising, so why not advertise a non-controversial product in and around school buildings, and apply the revenue toward the type of services the soda tax now subsidizes?

While I have no educated guess as to what kind of revenue such initiatives could bring, whatever they might generate would be a welcomed addition to some, and a welcomed subtraction-of-a-burden to others. Win-win alternatives.

Arthur Gurmankin


Spanish is very beautiful

Why do some people have a problem when Latinos speak their language? I don’t see anyone telling the Chinese, Russians, Indians, French or any other ethnic group to stop using their language.

Spanish is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. I believe it is probably the most spoken other than English. And it is growing.

Carlos Perez


Illegal aliens are criminals

Our illustrious mayor has not only thumbed his nose at U.S. immigration laws by making Philadelphia a destination point, but a welcoming center for illegal aliens. Yes, they are illegal aliens — not “undocumented immigrants.” They are not Philadelphians and they are by U.S. law, criminals. They illegally snuck into the country. The plan to issue them ID cards is also against state law since a Social Security card is required to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license or state ID. Making up a Philadelphia ID is playing president of the sovereign nation of Philadelphia. We are, in fact, within the United States and inside the state of Pennsylvania and just like everyone else, answerable to the laws. I think Councilwoman Sanchez, who proposed giving illegals these cards, should brush up on federal and state laws as well.

The mayor claims that with these cards, illegals will be more inclined to report crimes and get involved. Most people born here don’t want to be involved. Philadelphia remains the third-poorest city in the U.S., and this mayor wants to open the door and hand over perks and benefits to people who don’t belong here, don’t pay taxes and should have immigration called on them.

Hezakiah Levinson


Clean up Burholme Park

I walk my dog regularly in Burholme Park and see the important role the park plays in the life and activities of the Northeast Optimists and its various sport teams.

My regular walks also make it obvious that Burholme Park could use general cleanups on a regular basis. This leads me to the thought that it would be a great gesture for the NEO to schedule cleanup days for Burholme Park similar to what the Friends of Pennypack Park do, for example.

In my opinion, this would serve multiple benefits — Burholme Park’s improved appearance, a sign of appreciation by the NEO, and the youth would be exposed to a lesson of community service and civic pride.

Doris Simon

Fox Chase