Letters to the editor

Thanks to CLIP, 311, Solomon

I want to give a shout out to the folks at CLIP and 311 for responding quickly to a dumping situation at 1200 Elbridge St. The triangle is completely cleared and now being used to play basketball.

Thank you, too, to state Rep. Jared Solomon for his expeditious response to a crushed van and sidewalk stump on 6800 Kindred St.

I want to remind everyone to contact 311 when you see abandoned cars or anything that needs attention. It’s the only way to help our neighborhood.

Pam Baranackie

Castor Gardens

Reagan was a youngster

Remember when the Democrats were so concerned over Ronald Reagan’s age (elected at 69)?

Reagan wasn’t as old leaving office after his eight years (77) as Biden (78) and Sanders (79) will be if they entered office in January 2021.

Trump (74) is four to five years younger than both of them.

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Tribute to FDNY 9/11 heroes

They were into their routines in their homes away from home, trading barbs with each other, truly something to behold.

Maybe making a pot of coffee or sweeping up the floor, going over their equipment or scanning last night’s box scores.

They all love the camaraderie, it was what united them, so to brave the fire and smoke, then home to relive it again.

It’s incredibly amazing the risks that they imposed upon themselves while fighting with a ladder and a hose.

Each job that they encountered was “Different” they would say. In part that was the reason why they loved their work each day.

A feeling of excitement filled them when a comrade yelled “Another run!!” Adrenaline began flowing as the blaring sirens sung.

Sometimes it was a house, a car, a trash fire or false alarm, or maybe a “Pot of Meat” left on the stove too long.

But they knew each time they went out the door away from their second home, the big one could be waiting to challenge their every bone.

We can label them heroes, but they were only flesh and blood.

They didn’t do it for the money, it was their labor of love.

Don’t try to understand them because they were not quite sure, what drove them and push them up floor to smoky floor.

And I’m sure they could never have envisioned what faced them that sad day. It had to be hell’s decision to put them in harm’s way. And I know for certain if they were here but sadly they succumbed, they would say “You don’t have to call us heroes when you remember us.”

Thomas Wetten Sr.

Modena Park

Too polarized

Americans are becoming increasingly polarized. Discussing positions on issues leads to personal attacks rather than each calmly presenting evidence for their points of view. This failure leads to angry shouting, physical confrontations and even shootings in what has become a dialogue of the deaf. The prejudiced mind is like the human eye. The more light that is shined on it, the tighter it closes. People have fixed beliefs, and that bias allows only input that confirms those beliefs, ignoring any contrary evidence. Too often, a discussion ends when one party says, “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter.” Finding truth is a casualty of raging emotions rather than a rational exchange of viewpoints. There are claims that all types of gun sales are increasing. The frightening and dangerous gap between the two sides widens. The dangers of all this are frightening.

Mel Flitter

Somerton

Pennypack Pothole Park

As an avid cyclist, I have found it rather difficult to exercise and bike safely on these notorious streets that Philly has become. So many readers probably think to themselves, how ‘bout biking down the Pennypack Park bicycle trails. Yeah, OK, it’s obvious many Philadelphians have not ventured into our one-time awesome park. Potholes, down trees, poor water drainage, broken and unsafe rest benches and zero rest stops are the new wave here in Pennypack. So, as a former Republican committeeperson who one time used to have answers for these poor city services, my ability to serve my constituents’ complaints and voices today goes on deaf ears. Just like the good old days, Northeast Philly pays the highest taxes and gets the least city services returned on our investment. I used to love Philly and, especially, Pennypack Park. However, one political party has allowed (and I often feel that they enjoyed watching) our fine city to crumble under our lifetime. Bernard Samuel, re-elected in 1947, was the last Republican mayor. The party that took over promised change. Laugh out loud. What was it, 11 citizens shot in 11 consecutive days. No, Jimbo, unacceptable. The party has totally destroyed my and our city these past 70 years. People wonder why I have no choice but to try somewhere different. So, fix our bike path, stop shooting each other, clean up our streets. However, I doubt I’m going to stay another day, as Philly left me no choice.

P.S. I will send you a postcard.

Bill Heiser

Mayfair

Outside the window

With so much division in this country today, one thing that surely unifies multitudes of us now is the ongoing, agonizing heartbreak of separation from our loved ones in long-term care facilities.  We are devastated for those who have already lost their precious loved one to this horrible coronavirus. Yet, there is another killer at large stealing even more lives than the virus … isolation.

My mom resides in a wonderful nursing home in Montgomery County, with very excellent staff.  Even still with great care, nothing can compensate for the compassion, love, laughter, smiles and hugs from those of us who have been their lifeline, their heart, their reason to live. The bond that we have with our loved one is unbreakable. The love we share is the very beat of our hearts. Love makes the spirit soar, the soul alive and the mind vibrant. Love springs forth hope, and hope gives birth to perseverance in the darkest of nights while traveling the most excruciating journey of aging.

I used to visit Mom every night after work. Mom always lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw me coming. After we’d talk, laugh and hug, I’d tuck Mom into bed and she’d doze off with a peaceful smile on her face. Seeing that peaceful countenance let me know I could go home and rest easy. Since March 11, 2020, when the nursing home understandably needed to ban visitors, the emotional, psychological, and spiritual tornado began reeking its ugly havoc.  Relegated to a one-time-per-week window visit these last six months has felt like a prison sentence. Mom was a good sport in the beginning, but then I saw her dwindle over time. I do get to FaceTime Mom and call her on the phone when staff can help, but technology is hard for her to understand with cognitive impairment. I see her struggling and hear her cry, and I can’t help her. I do my best to encourage her, sing to her, hold up posters of love outside the window, but … I miss the light in her eyes. It’s just sheer torture.

There has to be a better way and there is. With the help of Mary Daniel, the woman who got a dishwasher job in a Florida nursing home so that she could see her husband, the state of Florida has passed the Essential Family Caregiver policy. This legislation was submitted in Pennsylvania on Aug. 24. Mary Daniel started the Facebook group Caregivers for Compromise — because isolation kills, too. We are desperate to hug our loved ones and hold their hands again. Our PA Caregivers for Compromise group will rally together on the PA Capitol steps Thursday, Sept. 17, at noon to fight for a safe, guided reunion with our loved ones. I hope that your readers will join us and bring signs of their loved ones in this fight for life.

What a stunning revelation it has been to learn that our own state Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, took her own mom out of a personal care home. The virus killed so many, and now isolation is finishing the job.  What does our Secretary of Health have against our precious elderly? So I say to Secretary Levine, as angry and as inconsolably grieved we all are, when one day you are elderly, struggling, diminished and gasping for that final breath, I wish for you a better Secretary of Health than you have been to us.

Rebecca S. Cordner

Oreland