Letters to the editor

Kenney the jokester

Did you hear the one about Kenney and the AARP?

Mayor Kenney and AARP want to team up and create a “long-term, age-friendly, livable city – a community that is safe and secure for all to enhance the well-being of city residents.”

That’s a good one, Kenney. A side-splitting, knee-slapping barrel of laughs. You should be a stand-up comic and give up your day job.

Just imagine what senior citizens have already witnessed in Kenney’s livable city by just looking out their windows these past couple of months:

Protesters torching our city and looting our businesses.

Taking down the Rizzo and Columbus statues.

Defunding the police force while the criminals and looters are set free by Krasner.

According to Kenney, there’s nothing cleaner and safer for his residents than the stench of uncollected trash as well as the homicides, murders and gun violence running rampant throughout the city.

What’s Kenney’s idea for the city’s new slogan: Live in Philly and have fun while you play,

while dozens of murders happen every day.

Al Ulus

Somerton

Send in the troops

If a situation ever occurs like the end of May, send in the troops. Kenney and Outlaw showed that they are incapable of handling outright acts of public defiance. They gave the police on the street no guidance or assistance, which led to greater defiance. Of course Kenney and Krasner don’t want federal assistance, because people might get arrested and actually charged. Portland and Seattle looked like third-world countries at times. I’m waiting to see an infomercial to assist them. This goes right along with Kenney’s idea that Trump is picking on Democratic cities. You go where the problems are, and the problems are in the weakly led Democratic states and cities.

Richard Donofry

East Torresdale

What defunding the police means

When Reagan defunded social services in the 1980s, like Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry, such facilities were forced to close and the resulting burden was expected to be handled by police. So the police needed more funding. After the crack epidemic swept urban areas in the 1990s, the police again called for more funding. After 9/11, the police were provided with more funding so they could beef up their stores of equipment, intended for dealing with terrorist attacks – equipment now being used against the very taxpayers who paid for it. When a police officer makes an egregious mistake, they get desk duty or are required to attend training, all paid with taxpayer money. If a criminal lawsuit against a police officer is filed, his or her defense is paid for with taxpayer dollars, and if the plaintiff wins such a lawsuit, the city or local municipality must pay yet again with taxpayer money. Plaintiffs cannot normally file a civil lawsuit against a police officer because of the doctrine of Qualified Immunity. Philadelphia Police cadets are paid to be trained to the tune of $50,000 per year of taxpayer money. Police officers as individuals are never subject to any personal accountability, other than perhaps they are fired in the most extreme circumstances. Who has been left holding the bag, time and again, year after year? Taxpayers. We pay soup to nuts. If there is no mechanism developed for making police officers individually accountable, they will continue to abuse taxpayer money, free of consequence. Defunding the police is not about getting rid of the police. Defunding the police is about reimagining a system that we have accepted for far too long that has allowed individual police officers to abuse the money and the goodwill of taxpayers. If the police continue to abuse their power as they have done for years, they should hardly be surprised when taxpayers crack down on them.

Michael A. Podgorski

Fox Chase

Good deeds by motorcycle clubs

I would like to thank every biker who came out to Northeast Philadelphia on July 9 to support the Philadelphia Police, FOP and the entire law enforcement community. The motorcycle clubs in attendance included Centurions, Warriors’ Watch Riders, Stars and Stripes, Bars and Pipes, HellRaisers, Nam Knights and Knights of the Inferno.

The motorcycle clubs do more than just ride, they donate time, energy and give back to the community. They raise money for veterans and first responders as well as many other good causes. They also attend funerals for fallen heroes, collect new toys for Toys for Tots, ride and march in the Veterans Day, Memorial Day and 4th of July parades.

The Northeast-based Stars and Stripes, Bars and Pipes Charlie Chapter is a nonprofit supporting the veterans, military, first responders and their families. If you are interested in joining this club, you do not need to own or ride a motorcycle or be a veteran. For more information regarding joining this local chapter, call 267-296-5051 or email Starsstripesbarspipes@gmail.com.

Gary Grisafi

Burholme

Libraries cash starved

The  Free Library of Philadelphia has suffered from chronic budget cuts. This suffering has occurred during every mayor’s tenure since the Rendell administration. Mayor Nutter cut the Free Library budget by one-quarter, as a stark example. Most recently, an 18% budget cut led to staff layoffs and material cuts. As much as it is disheartening to see libraries closed, it is equally important to identify why this may be so.

James Quinn

Castor Gardens

Speed cameras a cash cow for city

Beware. The eight speeding cameras installed along Roosevelt Blvd. begin issuing tickets as of Aug. 1. Fines range from $100 to $150.

I wonder how the city will account for drivers who merely try to get away from tailgaters, leaking trucks or people with loads tied badly on their roofs?

Some have already gotten warning notices for driving 56-58 mph on an empty stretch of road, mid-morning. Absurd. Instead, how about ticketing the fools who blast their car stereos at ungodly levels?

Maybe the city doesn’t care. I suspect this will be a “cash cow” for a badly managed city, now hungry for revenue. (Gotta fix those ransacked police cars.)

Nevertheless, how much more money do they have to gouge out of decent NE people who pay their property taxes and utility bills, and who demand so little back in services?

I suggest that the speeding threshold be raised to at least 60 mph. Fines are too high; set them at $50 to $100.

Why punish citizens arbitrarily? We all want a safer Blvd., but why not see if a less-painful level of enforcement deters speeding.

If you need more revenue — aggressively ticket radio blasters, illegal loads and tailgaters. They are a safety hazard, too.

Please complain to the mayor and your Council members. If you wish, send them this letter.

Richard Iaconelli

Rhawnhurst