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Letters to the Editor

Northeast Philadelphia residents write about wildlife, healthcare and historic preservation in this week’s letters to the editor.

We must respect wildlife

In response to Bob and Fran Reynolds’ Letter to the Editor, “Where are the birds?”

Readers Bob and Fran Reynolds of Morrell Park posted a letter asking what happened to all the birds they usually see at the boat ramp at Linden Avenue. I can propose some answers based on what is happening to birds in many other areas. It is the impact of too many people and the inability of these people to coexist with nature and to therefore get rid of everything they consider an inconvenience.

The pigeons are almost certainly being captured and sold to the various gun clubs as the despicable practice of live bird shoots continues to be allowed in Pennsylvania. The abuse and mistreatment the birds suffer prior to even being shot is devastating, as evidenced by the Shark drone video taken in May of this year (youtube.com/watch?v=40tnJpJue9Q). There are humane ways to control pigeon populations without resorting to this low level of torture and I urge everyone to contact their state legislators about this and be persistent.

Canada geese, which are native to all of North America, are also the victims of negative and false misinformation circulated to the public so that they will be on board with communities that contract with the USDA’s Wildlife Services killing agency to round them up and gas them. Whether this was done in this area or if this was done in surrounding areas and affected the numbers of geese in adjacent areas, I am not sure. Every disease is irrationally blamed on their droppings (which, according to the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and numerous avian biologists, are virtually harmless) and terroristic scares are made about geese and airplane safety (geese account for less than 1 percent of all animal-airplane incidents — to put this into perspective, almost 50 percent of actual air crashes are caused by pilot error and/or mechanical failure).

People are literally taught to hate waterfowl, and yet nothing looks more unnatural and depressing than a lake with no waterfowl on it. I am seeing more and more ponds and lakes with landscape modifications to make them unappealing to geese and ducks.

Smaller birds can be victims of diminishing habitat, window crashes, car mortality and the proliferation of feral cats. Since people are learning to disregard nature, they are not working to save and preserve it, and their children will not care, either. This is called by some experts “Nature Deficit Disorder.”

I am one of those working to help educate people and communities to respect and value wildlife and learn to live in harmony with it.

Arlene Steinberg


Healthcare is too expensive

I am 55 and my mother is 95. I cannot work and take care of mom. I need affordable healthcare. We are going broke paying for her Medicare supplement.

Everything was fine until 2014, when ACA didn’t pay the supplement for my $300 per-month plan and without notice just took approximately $7,000 in a lump sum out of my bank account in October 2014.

It really sent me into a depression and anxiety cycle. I now pay approximately $440 a month. The insurance companies, the malpractice insurance, doctors’ medical school tuition and all the other fingers in the pie are the problem.

It’s a joke that my mother has Medicare yet still has to pay over $300 per month for a supplement to her Medicare. My father served in two wars to have his loved ones treated like this? I don’t think so.

Marguerite Brombacher


Grateful for Solomon

On Oct. 13, the Philadelphia Historical Commission will vote on the Trinity Church Oxford’s building facing Rising Sun Avenue.

State Rep. Jared Solomon is in the forefront leading the way to preserve this building for the community. The building could become a focal point for the area with its 1930s-style architecture.

Solomon is having community meetings, bringing grants into this section and helping small businesses start and expand. And we cannot forget shoveling snow for those who cannot do this.

In all the decades I have lived in this section of Philadelphia, I have never come across any elected or, for that matter, non-elected person, do any of these things.

We should all be grateful that he is ours.

Laura Symczyk

Castor Gardens


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Letters to the Editor