Letters to the Editor

Northeast residents discuss the Union League at Torresdale, candidates in the upcoming election and much more in this week’s letters to the editor.

We need cost savings

When I tried to save costs on my prescription medications by purchasing from a Canadian and an Israeli FDA-approved pharmacy, I was told that MasterCard and Visa refused to service any non-American pharmacy.

In other words, I can go to Walgreens or CVS for generic Nexium from Sweden, Israel or India or buy generic colitis medication produced in Italy using a MasterCard or Visa to pay for them. But if I try to buy medications direct from these countries, then these pharmacies are prevented from accepting MasterCard or Visa as payment. True, there currently are alternative payment methods, including American Express; but the ability of MasterCard and Visa to blackball an entire industry has the feeling of a collusive, corrupt, abusive monopolistic agreement with Big Pharma.

If MasterCard and Visa can refuse to service this entire industry, without legal intervention, then there is no assurance that they will not do the same with any other industry, such as clothing from India or China, leather from Italy, etc. If I went into a gas station driving a hybrid and was told that the gas companies had decided not to service my car because it saved on gas, or if you were driving a foreign car and were told they would not serve me as part of an action to save General Motors, I would be incensed at this similar example of abusive control.

American Express and PayPal have not become part of this collusive anti-consumer activity, so there is no governmental or medical basis for what MasterCard and Visa are doing — only the desire to further enrich the major pharmaceutical companies at the expense of American consumers. I have contacted my elected representatives and suggest that you do so, too.

Bruce P. Sloan

Bustleton

What budget surplus?

Where can I buy the smoke and mirrors the city uses for the calculation of the budget surplus? The gall they have in saying there is a surplus. It is embarrassing.

They have never come forward with the answers to the missing $33 million. They have taken the income from the soda tax and placed it in the general fund, which will be approximately $77 million (their calculations, probably closer to $66 million). Overtime is rampantly running over budget in most departments.

It’s a shame that we will never get a true accounting of the soda tax to see if the system really works. Since they have commingled the funds, we will have to go by their word just like this budget.

Richard Donofry

East Torresdale

Thanks, Union League

I must shout out kudos to the Union League at Torresdale for its fine reception given Thursday night to the neighbors of Torresdale. They opened their doors and gave us a reception that included beverages and food and a presentation about what they did to improve the property and to inform us how they are open to people to hold affairs at the country club.

Part of all the good news was the fact that they now own the property on Grant Avenue, beyond the golf course, and in the near future, those ugly buildings that once housed Northeast Auto Outlet will be gone, and a new building will be going up as a part of the golf course.

Thank you, Union League, so happy you are part of our neighborhood.

Keep up the good work.

Georgeanne Kruszewski

Torresdale

No injection sites

Safe injection sites, is there really such a place?

I can see it now — an addict dies after a safe injection. Guess what? The city gets sued and guess who pays for it? The hard-working class and seniors. The people who live paycheck to paycheck foot the bill.

Mayor Kenney, when are you going to help your faithful citizens? And I don’t mean adding a new tax like your wonderful soda tax that drives us to Bucks County to buy our soda, plus other necessities.

Rita Reiter

Bustleton

Do not hang up on me

I called Sen. Pat Toomey’s office to report that his email contact page was not working and to ask his position on Sen. McConnell’s statements on Social Security and Medicare being the main cause of the deficits.

I asked the person, quite courteously, how the tax cuts would address the deficits. I mentioned that the budget deficit increased by 17 percent this year. The response was, “I’m not going to teach you economics over the phone.” He then said have a nice day and hung up on me.

I took his response to be both disdainful and demeaning. It does not cost anything to be polite, Sen. Toomey, but perhaps you disagree.

James Quinn

Castor Gardens

Political ads are scary

Halloween is the time for spooks, and vampires causing a sense of fear. But isn’t it something to think our political candidates can also cause feelings of fright.

Their television ads are just filled with ugly attacks.

In a perfect world, the voters would hear only the good stuff.

However, since vampires like to suck blood, these ugly attacks will continue.

Marie Patton

Fox Chase

Boyle’s staff helpful

I just want to publicly thank Congressman Brendan Boyle and his staff for helping me with a recent Social Security check problem I was experiencing. His staff was courteous, professional and helpful.

A refreshing encounter in these crazy political times we find ourselves.

Pat Smith

Mayfair

Casey has a new low

Sen. Bob Casey decided to put an ad out about healthcare. As we all know, the Democrats have taken a stance on pre-existing conditions. It is a legitimate issue in healthcare. The ad that is being run is an ad about depriving a child with cancer healthcare because of it being a pre-existing condition.

The problem: Congressman Lou Barletta’s grandchild has cancer. Sen. Casey knew this because Lou Barletta tod him. Now, if Congressman Barletta’s grandchild didn’t have cancer or Sen. Casey didn’t know his grandchild had cancer, it’s a good issue ad. Healthcare is a big issue in this country and an issue politicians from both sides need to address.

To have the knowledge that Sen. Bob Casey had and to run this type of ad is cruel and truly wrong. I consider it an attack on Congressman Barletta’s family, not Congressman Barletta. There is a line in politics, and Sen. Casey, in my opinion, crossed it. Everyone wants to win but to stoop that low is wrong and shows the character of Sen. Bob Casey.

David Lee

Chalfont

Joe will be like Mike

I join thousands of other Philadelphians in mourning the passing of state Rep. Mike O’Brien. Mike was ferocious in his defense of his constituents and was always on the right side of the issues that mattered to the people he represented.

Not long before his untimely death, Rep. O’Brien endorsed Joe Hohenstein for state representative in Northeast Philadelphia’s important 177th Legislative District. Joe was grateful and gracious in accepting Mike’s prized endorsement.

On the other side of the race, longtime Democrat-turned-Republican Patty-Pat Kozlowski showed zero class when she left Mike O’Brien a nasty voicemail in protest of not receiving Mike’s endorsement. Kozlowski shouldn’t have been surprised. Mike O’Brien never had time for opportunistic hypocrites like Kozlowski, who was apparently a Democrat in name only and whose record of accomplishment could be written on a Post-It note.

Joe Hohenstein will emulate Mike O’Brien in being a fierce defender of his community and a fearless representative for us in Harrisburg.

Timothy J. Savage Jr.

23rd Ward Democratic Leader

Supporting Wagner

Pennsylvania needs people with courage and extraordinary leadership skills to address our problems and stop “kicking the can down the road.” Without reservation, I recommend Scott Wagner for governor.

When I heard that Mr. Wagner won an historic write-in vote in a special election for state Senate in York County in 2014, I knew this was no ordinary man. Soon after that, Sen. Wagner appeared on my public access program Speak Out. He is passionate about fighting for the common man and standing up to special interests in Harrisburg that have fought against reforms that we desperately need to stay solvent and boost our economy.

Scott Wagner is a self-made man who built a business from nothing but his own intellect, blood, sweat and tears. He observed throughout his successful career how Harrisburg obstructs entrepreneurship through over-taxation and over-regulation.

Scott’s record of leadership in the Senate is extraordinary. He is a once-in-a-generation candidate, and will be a great governor.

Lois Kaneshiki

Blair Township

It is time for Murt to go

I have resided in the 152nd Legislative District for the last eight years, and I have become increasingly dissatisfied with Mr. Murt’s level of engagement with our community surrounding meaningful and important issues. I feel that, at best, he is slow and reluctant to act decisively on legislation or at least engage in conversation or debate related to complex platforms such as reproductive rights or the ownership of private firearms.

A longstanding civil servant, he appears frequently in our community to support uncontroversial initiatives such as honoring deceased service members with street namings or sponsoring Little League teams. While these efforts are important and build pride in our community, I feel that they also mask his lack of efficacy and even evasiveness on tougher decisions and dialogue surrounding controversial but important issues that matter to and directly affect voters.

Daryl Boling, on the contrary, has not avoided tough topics and has provided clear plans to address these controversial issues. He is not a career politician and has found common ground among liberals and conservatives alike. He values women and supports the choices we make for ourselves and our families. He also endorses sensible gun ownership that does not restrict anyone’s constitutional rights. He has run a campaign built on creating discussions between those of us who were unable to see eye to eye in the past, and has candidly valued our feedback while also clarifying his own stance.

Tom Murt is a product of a different, less decisive time, and no longer provides active and relevant representation for the 152nd district. It is time for change in our community, and this is why I support Daryl Boling’s campaign.

Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt

Huntingdon Valley

Murt helps vulnerable

Thank you to Rep. Thomas Murt for his recent testimony to the House Appropriations Committee. Rep Murt called for the commonwealth to restore the small grant it has given annually to the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance to help families who struggle with Tourette syndrome.

Murt also called for increased investments in funding for adults with special needs, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities and for mental health.

Of the 253 state representatives and senators in Harrisburg, Rep. Murt was the only one who offered testimony in support of human services in recent budget hearings.

Thank you to Rep. Murt for his devotion to helping Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens.

Deirdre Barnes

Willow Grove