Letters to the editor

A nice windfall during the pandemic

The payment of time and a half to unknown “essential” employees is the Kenney administration’s continued rape of the Philadelphia taxpayer. Leaving the option to bosses of the department puts them in a precarious position of having to pick and choose. Being in that position makes the option easy. Just give it to everybody. This makes the boss’ job easy, and there will be no ramifications when they go back to work. If the Kenney administration doesn’t know who is essential, who does? Who’s running this sinking ship? Why not use the procedure that is in place when we have a major snowstorm. Considering Emperor Kenney is the big boss, he has to work with these people after the fact, so he will keep everyone happy, plus, he had all that soda tax money to spend.

Richard Donofry

East Torresdale

Great work by Friends of Pennypack Park

I have been a member of the Friends of Pennypack Park since 1988. It saddens me that the FOPP has to shut down because of lawsuits that were against the organization for events that it had no responsibility or control of happening.

The organization had done so many things in the park and in the Philadelphia community. The FOPP had cleanups to keep the park clean, planted thousands of trees, maintained and repaired trails, provided funding for the placement of benches throughout the park and tested the water of the creek.

The group championed many causes, such as support for other organizations and parks, such as Fox Chase Farm, Pennypack Reforestation Trust and the creation of Pennypack Trail. The group helped other Friends groups forming throughout the city. Members went to schools and educated students on subjects pertaining to the park and the environment. In environmental affairs, the FOPP informed people on the protection of, not just the Pennypack Creek, but other waterways with our inlet marking programs. We worked with the city with recycling, to educate the community, and manned a weekly dropoff location.

I am very proud of the people of this organization for all they have done for 30-plus years. 

Harvey Cantor

Somerton

Trump has failed us

“I don’t take responsibility at all … ” is a direct quote from Mr. Trump. We are all well aware of that, Mr. Trump. You never have and you never will. Instead of preparing America for COVID-19 in the months leading up to the outbreak, Trump minimized and downplayed its potential impact. He contradicted health officials and medical professionals about how to prepare for COVID-19, thereby confusing the public and spreading misinformation. He dissolved the White House Pandemic Response Team created by President Obama to deal with the Ebola virus that might have been able to play a more proactive role in handling this public health emergency.

When asked about its dissolution, Trump’s response, “I know nothing about it,” only further exposed his utter ignorance. Americans are now less safe and secure because of Trump’s failed leadership. Recently, Trump started taking this public health emergency seriously, but only after he bungled the administration’s initial response. Lost time has meant lost lives. The great Democratic president, Harry Truman, had a sign on his desk that read, “The buck stops here.” You will never see that sign on Mr. Trump’s desk.

Michael A. Podgorski

Fox Chase

UPS not a good fit on Red Lion Road

UPS, if you value the input of the local community, you will not build on Red Lion Road.

A traffic study can only prove, honestly, our roads in Somerton cannot handle tractor-trailers arriving at 350 bays, coming and going every day. As for the new employees, whom Councilman Brian O’Neill is very happy to see, they will have a terrible time getting to work. And the families that have been living in Somerton for many years will be moving out. There are brand-new homes being built on the Montgomery County side of the tract. Were these people told what was to go there, or did they get the same kind of nonsense we received from O’Neill?

There must be many more tracts of land in Philadelphia that are not encircled, mostly, by homes. I beg UPS to look somewhere else and not ruin our great community.

Pat Cantwell

Somerton

UPS proposal is for the birds

One aspect that gets frequently overlooked when talking about the economic rebirth of Philadelphia is the destruction of natural lands. Case in point is the upcoming UPS distribution center along Red Lion Road. After the golf course shut down almost 10 years ago, this site has beautifully morphed into one of the city’s last remaining grassland habitats. More than a hundred bird species have called it home at one point or another over the last few years. For example, Blue Grosbeaks raised their young there in 2018 for the first time in over 25 years. In light of reports of a massive decline in bird populations affecting most prominently grassland species, one wonders if there was not a more appropriate location available. Initiatives like the city’s 10-year urban forest plan are great, but how about not destroying natural lands in the first place? 

Holger Pflicke

South Philadelphia

We need to keep Friends of Pennypack Park

It is beyond incredulous to me that the Friends of Pennypack Park would be in the crosshairs of a lawsuit simply because of their name and involvement in keeping this awesome place the jewel that it is. If our local politicians don’t make it a priority to do what is necessary to keep the FOPP alive and well, it will tell us all we need to know about them, what many of us are already thinking anyhow.

Once again, whatever the concept of what is right or wrong in our contemporary times is out the window. A volunteer organization that has kept this wonderful park as clean as possible for quite some time will be no more. If something isn’t terribly wrong with this picture and it doesn’t get corrected ASAP, how can any of us have confidence in anything those who allegedly are in positions to “do the right thing” will come through for us.

Of course, there are a handful of lawyers who probably have never set foot in the park who have made out with this. During these challenging times we are now living in, it sure is refreshing to know there will be a case of “Coronas” thrown all over the entrance to the park as well as all kinds of trash laying around. Only in America could something like this happen.

Jim McCaffrey

Winchester Park