Letters to the editor

No to Woodhaven Road hotel

Many residents of Northeast Philadelphia are wary of a three-story extended-stay hotel construction project underway on Woodhaven Road in the heart of a respectable residential neighborhood.

Despite the Philadelphia Building Trades’ best efforts to engage in civil dialogue with project developer Posh Properties of Bethlehem and general contractor Speedwell  Construction of Manheim, both companies have ceased all communications with the Trades.

The nearby residents of this quiet neighborhood have fought this project for the past couple of years for fear that it will bring excessive traffic and undesirable characters to their safe residential neighborhood. The hotel operator, WoodSpring Suites, is known for low-end room rentals of $65 – $75 per night. Just last year, residents of Arnold City, Missouri asked their City Council to revoke all licenses and permits for a WoodSprings Suites operating there because the property was a “den of drug addicts, prostitutes and thieves,” according to one Arnold City resident who was quoted in a 2020 Labor Tribune article. The neighbors of the planned WoodSpring Suites in Northeast Philadelphia fear the same type of crime coming to their peaceful family community.

On behalf of its 50,000-plus members – many of whom live near the hotel site – the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council recently requested the immediate intervention of several elected officials to stop this controversial project from moving forward. Our city’s crime rate is near an all-time high. Far Northeast Philadelphia may be the city’s last safe haven in which to raise a family. A WoodSpring Suites – and the destructive criminal elements it will surely bring – will destroy this safe, family-oriented neighborhood. We cannot let that happen.

Brian Eddis

Business Agent, Philadelphia Building Trades

Thanks to Boyle staffer

My brother suddenly and recently passed away and being a Marine Corps veteran, our family wanted to make sure he was accorded military honors at his gravesite.

We could not locate his DD214, Military Record of Service, in a timely fashion as required by the military for verification purposes and schedule gravesite honors.

I immediately reached out to Congressman Boyle’s office explaining my situation and working within a very short timeframe, staff member Michele Lockman went above and beyond and was able to get our family my brother’s DD214 allowing him to receive a final tribute of respect and military service.

On behalf of myself, our entire family and friends, thank you Michele for all your understanding and all your efforts you put forward for our veteran.

Bill Seybold

Tacony

Give that cop a medal

It is amazing how many people can look at a video and see two different stories like the one in Columbus Ohio.

Some people see a white cop killing a young black female wielding a knife unnecessarily, even though the police were called for someone trying to kill others and chasing them down.

Others like myself see the cop saving lives by shooting and killing her.

I would give that police officer a medal for his instinct and actions in saving lives or injuries.

It is almost like some recent voting in Minnesota, remember the 1984 presidential election electoral voting, 49 states for Reagan, only Minnesota for Mondale.

Was Minnesota correct and everyone else wrong or vice versa?

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Way to go, Rapoport Pharmacy

Compliments to Rapoport Pharmacy, located at Bustleton and Tyson. Received both COVID vaccines there. They were courteous and accommodating.

Received shots both times at scheduled appointments. There were plenty of chairs available during short waiting time after shots were given. Many thanks.

Donald B. Stamm

Castor Gardens

Biden’s border crisis

Biden created the Southern border problem now he has to own. Under Trump they flew the media in first class. AOC wails at a fence and parking lot showing us how badly Trump was treating the illegal crossers. Biden signed one executive order that was slid under his pen and he didn’t know what it contained. It has come back to bite him and his associates.

Richard Donofry

East Torresdale

Meet with us, Martina

In March, Fair Districts PA embarked on a March toward Transparency campaign in which volunteers requested meetings with their own state representatives and senators in every district in Pennsylvania.

Most of our Pennsylvania legislators have been gracious. If they were too busy to meet themselves, they made sure that their constituents had the opportunity to meet with staff members. To date, many PA legislators have taken the time to listen to constituents share concerns about gerrymandered districts and splintered counties and municipalities. As a result of those meetings, many legislators agreed to sign on as co-sponsors of the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act (LACRA), House Bill 22 and Senate Bill 222. Other legislators asked for more information. Some have continued in email conversation with constituents. Some have elected not to co-sponsor and have provided their reasons. We are grateful to all these legislators for taking time to listen to their constituents.

Sadly, our legislator, Rep. Martina White (170th Legislative District) has not answered our many requests to meet and discuss this important legislation. We contacted her office numerous times. When we offered to meet with a member of her staff, we were ignored. When we offered to wait until April or even May, we received no response.

Our legislative districts will be redrawn this year. Before that happens, we want the opportunity to explain why we need new rules to ensure fair maps. This issue is critically important and we want our legislators to represent us and be open to discussion. We don’t want our maps to be gerrymandered again by either major political party.

Christine Moretti

Somerton

Fairness bill not fair

Rep. White’s “fairness” bill aims to legislate against an issue that doesn’t exist. “GOP lawmakers across the country have been unable to identify local examples in which trans participation in sports resulted in competitive disadvantages” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/15/21).

Two percent of American high school students are transgender (NPR report, 3/30/20). Not all are male who identify as female. Fewer play recreational sports. Fewer still want to play competitive sports. And even fewer have the skill to do so, despite being born male.

So is the real purpose of this bill to discriminate against an entire biological group of people to “protect” a few girls statewide from “unfair” competition? Or is it to stoke fear and bias among their parents to get more votes?

One party has repeatedly used this tactic to satisfy their “base” to maintain power. They raise unfounded fears of a “them” who are a threat to “us”: immigrants, scientists, “the Left,” LGBTQ people, Democratic voters, even those of us who wear masks in the midst of a pandemic.

In the 1970s, as a student member of an advisory council to Temple’s president, I voted for the proposed Title IX act that became law, and perhaps helped give the five women sponsors of this bill the athletic opportunities they had in school.

Rep. White has done good things for our district, but this bill is not one of them. Her own leadership in Harrisburg is showing little support for it. Our representatives should work for the common good, not their own self-interest.

Paul Kaplan

Morrell Park

Boys need sports

Our society has really been bothered by the issue of transgendered men in women’s sports — as indicated in many recent NE Times letters.

Girls don’t want to be elbowed aside by a bigger male body, nor do they wish to share locker space with one. I’m sure the policy of trans men in women’s sports will soon be ended by angry mothers.

Nevertheless, women who are so protective of women’s sports show no concern for the damage done to boys with Title IX law that demanded sports spending parity and reduced boys sports opportunities.

We have an ongoing societal nightmare in boys living without fathers. When a girl doesn’t have a dad, it’s a problem; when a boy has no dad — it’s a crisis. Can we not see this in the violence on our streets?

Instead we are lectured about “toxic masculinity” and TV portrays men in families as fools. Even the Boy Scouts has been politicized.

Boys need sports more — can we even say that? Boys need the lessons of competition without violence, and the guidance of men who demand responsibility, and give respect.

Where are the women who complain “unfair” when boys are forced to wrestle with girls who join boys teams? If a boy lets up and loses to a girl, he’s humiliated. If he hurts the girl, he is a bully.

We are decidedly an anti-boy culture now, and we ignore the many issues boys have — without fathers, without “manly” jobs and without respect as the once head of household — the very term now denigrated.

I wish more women also stood up for boys. But mostly, they do not — sadly, not even for their own sons.

Richard Iaconelli

Rhawnhurst

Bill is unnecessary

I was an athletic trainer in both high school and college for men’s and women’s sports. The female athletes that I met were strong, fearless and competitive. Extremely fierce. I believe that they would take the challenges of facing someone a little faster and possibly stronger head on and with glee.

To me, the state bill prohibiting biological males from competing in female sports is just a typical homophobic Republican excuse to exclude people who are different. Just like when they lose an election, they come up with laws to make it harder for people to vote.

David Chester

Bustleton