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Letters to the Editor

Northeast Philadelphia residents discuss Trinity Church Oxford, recycling options and “speaking American” in this week’s letters to the editor.

Preserve Trinity Parish House

There is much untold history regarding Trinity Church Oxford’s Parish House. It was built in 1928 at a cost of approximately $80,000. Its costs were defrayed by a legacy left by Louis E. Hellerman, who owned a farm on Kerper Street. The bequest left by Hellerman was combined with an account that had been set aside for the construction of the parish house. Its construction was a great achievement, especially since this took place on the heels of the Great Depression. The building was seen as one of the most important milestones of the rectorship of the Rev. Waldemar Jansen, who served from 1915–1947. Jansen was beloved by the congregation. He was so beloved that the parish later named the Parish House the Waldemar Jansen Memorial Building.

During the course of its life, the parish house served as the home of many church organizations and community groups such as the Burholme Horticultural Society, the Oxford Childcare Center and the Larry Gibbons Police Athletic League Center. So, when one thinks about this history, why would anyone want to demolish this building? Unfortunately, the leadership of Trinity Church Oxford sees this historically and architecturally unique building as expendable in its quest to solve its financial problems.

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This is contrary to their parish’s values. In 1952, church members protested what is now the Sunoco across the street from their beloved parish house. It’s ironic that the church now wants to demolish their parish house in favor of something they fought so hard to keep from coming into the neighborhood. In 1964, another notable rector, the Rev. Noble Smith, once boasted that the church had received a number of attractive offers for ground by developers, but he said that, “There is practically no chance of the historic site being given up and that this property has been the saving grace of the neighborhood.”

That is why it is so important that the Parish House at Trinity Oxford be preserved and protected. It is not only a piece of history for the parish, but it is a part of the neighborhood’s culture. Preservation, not another gas station.

Matt Jackson

Castor Gardens

We should boycott NFL games

NFL players say they have a First Amendment right to disrespect our flag, country, military and national anthem. They do not. Why don’t they pull their pants down and show their butts and claim that as a right?

I watched the World Series, and they sing the anthem, players standing respectfully, and they also sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch. Who are they to deny fellow Americans a moment of pride for our country? People should boycott NFL games. It’s our right!

Michael E. Hartey


Don’t say ‘speak American’

I’m 68 years old and I have lived in the U.S. since I was 2. I served in the military with honors. I’m very proud to be Puerto Rican and to be able to speak my language, Spanish. When I served in the military, I was doing it for equality and freedom for all people. My services were not for people to “Speak American.” It was for the equal treatment of humankind.

I read an article about a teacher telling some Latino students to speak American, stating, “Those men and women are fighting for you, so you can speak American.” No, they are not fighting for you to speak American. They are fighting for freedom and equality for everyone. It doesn’t have anything to do about speaking a language.

Thousands of Latinos are in the military, serving with pride. They are not fighting for the Latinos — they are fighting for everyone, no matter the color of the skin or language. Thousands of Latinos gave their lives in World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Korea. What is the problem with Latinos speaking their language? When was the last time someone said to the Chinese or Russians, speak American? Go to Chinatown, and tell the Chinese to do so. Or go to the Northeast and tell the Russians the same.

Be fair, and that teacher should be ashamed.

Carlos Perez Garcia


More recycling options

In response to Tom Waring’s article, “Keep Philadelphia Beautiful visits Holmesburg meeting,” published in the Oct. 18 edition of the Northeast Times:

A recent article says that Michelle Feldman of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful “encouraged recyclers to… place plastic bags, Styrofoam, food and liquids in the trash.”

However, the city’s streets department facility at State Road and Ashburner Street recycles residents’ Styrofoam and plastic bags such as grocery bags, newspaper sleeves and bags used by cleaners. They can also be recycled at places like the Acme Market at 8200 Roosevelt Blvd.

Please advise Ms. Feldman and your readership of these resources. Thanks in advance.

Anthony Moss

Bell’s Corner

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