HomeNewsLetters to the Editor: July 2, 2018

Letters to the Editor: July 2, 2018

Neighbors discuss Grant Avenue, the meaning of independence and being positive about your community.

Think before you criticize

When you post in neighborhood Facebook groups bashing the neighborhood in which you live, it’s damaging. Your negativity makes you look bad first and foremost, but it also gives the impression that the hard work of your police, Council representatives and most of all your hard-working volunteers who also live in your neighborhood, is inadequate and ineffective.

Every neighborhood in Philadelphia has hard-working, selfless, thankless volunteers. These seemingly small projects like historic markers along the commercial corridor, park cleanups and revitalization projects and family events are all the product of months and sometimes years of blood, sweat and tears of community volunteers. Every project big and small takes a great deal of planning, fundraising, and often lobbying city officials to come to fruition. These volunteers have jobs, families and lives just like you do and choose to dedicate their valuable free time to giving you a better place to live. Please think of them before you bash their work. They are your neighbors. They love where they live and they want you to love it, too.

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Do you have gripes about where you live? Get involved. Join your local civic association. Attend a cleanup. Become a committee person. Go to the Citizens Planning Institute. Form a Town Watch. Become a block captain. Start a nonprofit. Lobby City Council to pass a bill that’s in the best interest of the community you represent.

What we all need more than ever is volunteers. So to all the naysayers out there, here’s your chance to channel your energies into something productive. We sincerely need your help.

Tara Gontek


Meaning of independence

According to the dictionary, independence means, “Not subject to others, free.”

But has it gone too far? It comes across, that a person who says something offensive or wears offensive clothing, is on the national news, can lose their job and is no longer a part of society.

Yet, a person can purchase more than one weapon, have assault weapons and nothing happens. This whole thing comes across as having a double meaning. Don’t dare say anything that is offensive, but you can have an arsenal of weapons.

So much for the meaning of independence.

Marie Patton

Fox Chase

Great suggestion, Anna

There is a very old and wise adage that goes, “Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom.”

I recently found out just how true those words can be. This past November, while I was speaking to a group of senior students at Masterman High School, a bright young female student named Anna Vien Nguyen raised her hand and asked me why, with all the stringent regulations regarding the use of tobacco products, smoking is still permitted inside SEPTA bus shelters in the city. She told me she encountered the situation firsthand as a frequent SEPTA bus rider and was physically affected by people’s secondhand cigarette smoke in the bus shelters.

I told her that she raised a very important question and that I would investigate it further. Sure enough, Anna had smartly uncovered a smoking law loophole that neither SEPTA nor the city health department had previously considered. As a direct result of Anna’s question, I crafted a bill to prohibit smoking inside all SEPTA bus shelters in the city limits, protecting people from inhaling dangerous, secondhand smoke. My Council colleagues approved the bill unanimously, and Mayor Kenney recently signed it into law.

With smart, engaged young people like Anna Vien Nguyen waiting in the wings to lead our great city, Philadelphia’s future looks extremely bright.

Al Taubenberger

City Councilman

Put Boscov’s on Grant Ave.

In response to Susan Morris’ Letter to the Editor, “It’s time to fix Grant Ave.,” published on June 13.

As a longtime NE resident since 1963, I love reading the Northeast Times. Thank you for your existence and businesses who advertise to keep this newspaper going.

It’s time to fix Grant Avenue, near the abandoned building in the well-populated area on Grant Avenue at Academy Road. I would like to see a department store, preferably Boscov’s, replace that eyesore of vacant ground. We do not have a department store on the East side near Frankford Avenue. There is a lot of ground to accommodate Boscov’s, and it would help people seeking employment. There is an Aldi, credit union, beer distributor and bar/restaurant, among many, directly across from this eyesore on Grant Avenue.

Helene Nestel

Holme Circle

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