Letters to the editor

Educate the children

How about the teacher negotiations make great strides toward the safety and education of the students. The “work to rule” action section seems like we are crowning a new king. I guess we are, and it’s the teachers. Work to rule looks like it offers less time to educate the children, which should be the concept. It seems like a ballplayer’s negotiation with the concept of “show me the money,” plus a kicker of less work. What’s next, we mail the lessons to the students?

Richard Donofry

East Torresdale

Respect due Columbus

Richard Iaconelli’s letter was factual and well written about Christopher Columbus and all the recent abuse the Italians are getting lately.

I wonder how many of us would be somewhere else if Columbus hadn’t discovered that the world wasn’t flat?

Richard must have some of that old Italian discoverer blood in him, too, because he discovered that too many people are becoming ignorant and stupid.

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Deter looters

In regard to the looting going on, I don’t understand why some stores are making it easy for looters by having pricey items stolen. Certain items like TVs, bullets, other electronics, etc. shouldn’t be kept out. One sample of each TV on walls and one sample of smaller desirable items under shatterproof glass. The rest should be kept in a locked storage room until sold. If possible, stores should have steel covers on windows and entrances at closing. The looters have it too easy with glass windows and entrances, along with pricey items, bullets, etc. just sitting out to be stolen.

Diane Horner

Rhawnhurst

Back to the swamp

You know when the Hollywood stars back in the 2016 election said that if Trump wins the election, they will all move to Canada. But they never did, because under Trump, the economy was so great, there was no reason to move.

But now, under a Biden win, I want to move to Canada, because under Biden, it’s back to the same Obama-era regulations and higher taxes again. That’s why Trump won the 2016 election, to get America out of the rut, but now we’re going backwards to the same old crap again.

If the nationwide shutdowns weren’t bad enough during the coronavirus, the economy is going to slide into a recession under Biden, because his plan is to shut down businesses even more and if the shutdowns won’t destroy businesses, his taxes will.

Under Trump’s four years, I saw more young adults, both blacks and Latinos, working more in Target, Walmart and Giant stores, as clerks and stock people, than I ever saw in the eight years of Obama’s presidency.

Ever since Trump won the election, the one-sided media vilified Trump, but never commenting on how the economy rebounded from the stagnant Obama era, by cutting Obama’s regulations and taxes.

And the embittered Democrats’ only goal was not to work with Trump to help the American people but to divide them. And the Democrats’ only one goal was to oust Trump from day one. That’s all they wanted for four years, and now they got it.

Let’s see if the same people who voted for Biden in 2020 feel the same way toward the economy and their welfare after four years of a Biden-Harris term.

And one last note, let’s see how brilliant the writers are for the late-night comedians, if they have any originality without Trump to pick on anymore.

Al Ulus

Somerton

Broken system

All agreed that Walter Wallace was a mentally ill man with a knife who was menacing police officers. His mother called 911 for an ambulance. Rather than reporting a mental illness crisis, the radio room reported it as a “domestic disturbance.” The police responded. This was the third call that day. There was supposed to be a behavioral health specialist embedded with the police in the dispatch center to evaluate the emergency call but they are there only certain hours. They would have been trained to evaluate and de-escalate a crisis situation. Police Commissioner Outlaw said that the trained officer “was not on duty.” There should be one there at all times since it is reported that 20% of 911 calls deal with mental health issues. In addition, there exists a Crisis Intervention Team of specially trained police who would have been called had the situation been properly designated as a mental health crisis and not a family dispute. Wallace’s wife told the police officers, “Stand down, officers, he’s manic bipolar.” She begged them not to shoot him. As he menacingly approached the police who were backing away to within 10 feet of them, 14 shots were fired by 2 police officers and he died. Some argue that he could have been shot in the leg, maybe even in the arm with the knife. The police did what they were trained to do. John McNesby of the FOP correctly said that the police officers were also traumatized. Had the officers been equipped with tasers, the fatality could have been avoided. It was reported that there was not enough money to provide tasers for every officer.

A “mentally ill” person is suffering from a brain disorder. It is a physical illness that the sufferer would pay any price to have removed. Imagine that you were being tormented by hallucinations (imaginary screaming voices) and delusions (the police are devils wanting to kill you). You are told to ”drop the knife” or “show me your hands.” When they do not immediately comply, it is not due to a lack of desire to cooperate. It is akin to being next to a revving jet engine and being asked to hear a whisper. Those unaware of what mental illness is may wrongly say, “He knows right from wrong.” A psychotic episode overpowers that.

The uninformed public often says, ”Lock them up.” That’s so cruel and unhelpful. A person in the grip of psychosis has lost touch with reality. It is as if a person breaks their leg, and the bone is sticking out and the injured person is told to walk to the hospital. The very organ that the police are appealing to is malfunctioning. Several times, city judges ordered mental health treatment for Mr. Wallace. It is claimed that one in four fatal police shootings involve adults with untreated mental illness. The whole system is broken.

Mel Flitter

Somerton

No to reparations

HR40, the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act,” is co-sponsored by Brendan Boyle in the House. A Senate version is co-sponsored by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr.

Was black slavery in America wrong? Yes. Are reparations due now for that? No.

And HR40 doesn’t even ask that question. HR40 assumes a payout will happen.

Arguments being used to favor it is existing precedent. West Germany paid reparations to Nazi victims in an agreement signed with Israel in 1952. Japan has paid reparations to, among others, Chinese used as slaves, tortured POWs and women forced into prostitution. USA paid reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been interned during WW2.

What is overlooked by proponents, it ignores the fact that these were payments to living victims. We are now over 150 years since the end of the Civil War. It should go without saying no former slaves, or masters, are still alive. By analogy, will the Japan and Germany of 2100 have to pay for WW2 war crimes?

Also, when looking at precedent, a more compatible example would be countries such as Brazil, Cuba and Haiti. Before attacking USA as evil, note that Brazilian and Cuban slavery began a century before it started in English American colonies and didn’t end until a full generation after the U.S. Civil War. In Haiti, slavery started even before Brazil. Slavery still exists in Haiti today. Neither country has paid any reparations to former slaves.

Assuming it’s paid … I’ll pass on how much … the next problem is who gets it? We’re then paying to descendants of slaves. Does every black American qualify? How many came here after slavery ended? And therefore came voluntarily? This would be especially true of a new immigrant. What would stop the subject coming up again a generation from now?

Who pays? Or more precisely, who shouldn’t? Is it fair to expect Native Americans to pay? Regardless of country of origin or race, what if your family came after 1865? No one related to that person owned slaves. And, as above, a new immigrant? Since African Americans also pay taxes … well, see the problem?

Lastly, look at who benefitted. Since this is a USA-only subject, we were originally an English colony. Will a bill be submitted to London? And the English didn’t just go to Africa, scoop up a bunch of people and ship them to America. They largely depended on other Africans to capture people to be sold into slavery. The whole western Africa coast is full of people equally complicit in the slave trade, well at least the descendants of slave traders.

Joe Jackson

Bustleton

Leaves, glorious leaves

It’s that time of year again … fall or autumn … whichever you choose to call the season. Isn’t it beautiful the way God paints the leaves of those majestic trees in all those gorgeous colors for us to enjoy? But do you want to know what I don’t enjoy? Cleaning up my neighbors’ leaves over and over and over again, after I have already spent considerable amount of time cleaning mine up (I mulch with my lawnmower). Why? Because they choose the easy way out and follow the guidelines set out by the Department of Streets who says people can rake the leaves into the streets for mechanical leaf collection (which isn’t until Nov. 30 for my area). So now those leaves are going to sit there for a whole month or until the wind blows those leaves onto other people’s property and then they, in turn, have to deal with it. Not fair by any means.

To further explain this according to Phila.Gov website: Rake leaves into the street by 7 a.m. on the collection day for your area; do not bag or pile the leaves; move your vehicle to an off-street parking location on your scheduled collection day, if possible. One of my neighbors up the street has raked/blown three big piles into the street and one of those huge piles is under a tree. From watching the history with this neighbor, doesn’t he wonder why the Dept. of Streets never collects his leaves? The truck cannot fit under this homeowner’s tree as the limbs are too low, so they do not get collected and end up blowing on everyone else’s property. You’d think he would realize this and move the leaves away from the tree. Overall, this mentality creates bad feelings in the neighborhood, especially if you live on any type of inclined road and keep getting to be the recipient of said neighbors’ leaves. And as I said, they are in piles and not against the curb. Bringing this situation to their attention was humorous to them as well as other neighbors in that area who do the same. They don’t care. You will now have to clean up for them and they don’t have to do anything else. Definitely not funny!

Does the city know or even care what harm this does to people/property? Here’s a list of activities and/or health issues affected by letting people rake/blow leaves (dry or wet) into streets for mechanical pickup:

• Joggers

• Parents pushing/jogging with baby strollers

• Bicyclists

• Walkers/dog walkers

• Horseback riders

• Handicapped/disabled people using canes, crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.

• Motorcyclists

• Various automobiles, trucks and other vehicles

• Leaves clog drains and runoffs (which a homeowner should keep clean and open if abutting their property)

• Keeps cars from parking on the streets properly near the curb, because they have to park farther out into the street because of the mounds of leaves, maybe even making the two-lane street into one and therefore, making it a traffic hazard

• The leaves cover up trash that someone can slip on as well, especially after a motor vehicle accident and the parts are not all cleaned up that can lead to damaging one’s own vehicle

• Your leaves raked/blown into the streets go onto other property owners’ land as well as onto the pavements/sidewalks, so in fact it is littering

• Adding to this list …  just because … clean up your pavements of errant grass, weeds and trash as well as the areas at the curb. Don’t you realize how this affects the view of where you live? Don’t you realize it cheapens the neighborhood and makes areas look in disrepair?

Now, exactly who is liable for slip and falls or vehicle accidents due to the leaves and following this guideline? Department of Streets? Homeowners? I think the city needs to change its rules about the collection of leaves, how and when it is done – be it done mechanically or via trash. It is sorely in need of updating.

Not handling leaf collection properly creates animosity in the neighborhood. If you have a neighbor who needs help, give them that help. If you have children, get them outside in the fresh air and show them how to properly respect and take care of the land on which they live and play. Teach them responsibility. Show them through your actions. Take care of your property and neighborhood. Bag your leaves to be picked up by trash collectors or compost them on your land. Please be aware of others and their properties during this season.

For further information or if you want to know exactly where I found some of these guidelines, see:

https://www.phila.gov/services/trash-recycling-city-upkeep/residential-trash-and-recycling/recycle-fall-leaves/.

Linda Spaeth

Fox Chase