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Letters to the Editor

Lots of good people out there

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It’s very easy to look at the news on TV or in the papers and get disillusioned whether you’re on the right or left. All we hear about are the knuckleheads in D.C., crime is up, moron passengers in the sky and angry drivers on our roads. But I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of good people around us every day. My wife and I just had an experience that convinced us of it.

I’ve been confined to a wheelchair for the past couple of years. We laid out a large portion of our savings last year to get a used wheelchair van to give me a little more independence. We had gone into Center City to empty out my office on Nov. 30, as it was my last day of work. We opened the side door of the van but the ramp wouldn’t go out because of the height of the curb. In repositioning the van, the side door banged the curb and jammed. The door wouldn’t close. There we were, 2 seniors getting ready to celebrate my retirement, and instead we were stranded, fearing that my expensive wheelchair would roll out the open door if we drove home.

Luckily, 4 young men, who clearly just finished working, came walking by and we asked them for help. They got down on the ground and pushed and pulled, pried with their tools and tried everything they could. After about a half-hour, they were finally able to force the door closed. We got home; I was able to get into my house using my old manual wheelchair, leaving my powerchair in the back of the van. Those 4 helpful strangers are nameless but are in our prayers just the same for helping us get home.

But finding helpful strangers didn’t end there. The next day, my wife went out in the van to our local dealership here in the NE. The shop manager there estimated months to get the parts to repair the door. He gave her the names of 2 neighborhood body shops. The first shop apologetically explained that they would have the same problem as the dealership. So, my wife went onto the next suggestion, Caliber Collision. They started to agree with the two previous estimates. My wife was frustrated and explained that this van has been my lifeline, that I just retired and just got the new powerchair. I know my wife well enough to know that there were tears in her eyes. The manager said he would try something. He got one of his shop guys, and together they worked on it for over an hour. I eventually got a call from my crying wife explaining that these strangers got it working and wouldn’t take a dime from her. They’re no longer strangers, they’re Jim Pfau & Lou Serianni.

So, I am writing this just to let any and all of you know that even though the news may look gloomy too often, the reality is that there are lots of good people out there. We’re not trying to call this a Christmas miracle; we just believe that in a 24-hour period we met 6 strangers [angels in our hearts] who couldn’t have been more helpful, and those strangers represent the vast majority of all of us if we just shut out the noise and look for the good in people.

Dennis and Grace Deissler


Wrong on police, sports bills

As a resident of the 170th district learning about voting and representation in school, I am interested in how my family is being represented by Martina White. I’ve followed the progression of HB 1561, protecting the confidentiality of student records and expanding mental health resources for students, and value Rep. White’s support of the bill. I’ve also become familiar with HB 1546 and how it prevents people from obtaining and distributing the personal information of police officers. Confidentiality is important in separating profession from person, but I do not share White’s support for the bill. I believe that as public officials, police officers should have their information available to the public for the sake of safety and accountability. Information like badge number and name have recently been used to hold officers accountable for wrongdoings and crimes committed while on duty. Making it illegal to obtain and share this information restricts people’s ability to defend themselves to armed officers.

I am also opposed to White’s support of HB 972, providing for sport activities in public institutions of higher education and public school to be designated male, female or coed. The individual acts of the bill appear to exclude nonbinary or transgender students and encourage bias and discrimination. Making certain students legally unable to participate in fun school

sports because their identity does not fit one of two specific labels is a disservice to the entire population the bill affects.

I hope our representative agrees with the importance of hearing from your community and continues to represent us effectively.

Kera McCarthy

Julia Masterman High School

A little understanding

Oct. 13’s editorial page really had me thinking how angry folks are now. Herb Sumsky is upset about vegetable gardens on lawns, for instance. Perhaps folks need these vegetable gardens to grow food for their families; better that than having to burden taxpayers with the food stamp system, right? Joe Gale is running for governor, but does not realize that it was Indigenous People’s Day that “replaced” Columbus Day, not Juneteenth, which by the way has been celebrated for quite a while now, on June 19, hence the name. As for re-writing history, I do not understand your point here. Re-writing history is not the same as not being taught history; case in point, I never heard of the massacre of Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” and the horrendous murders of innocent black and brown people that occurred until a few years ago. This happened on our own soil, so why not teach it? Mayer Krain, I have two children in public school, I get some of what you wrote. However, the PSSAs are not a fair and equitable way to see how our children do. I have a gifted daughter, and even though she does great on tests, I am not on board with her taking the PSSAs, as some schools that have more resources than others have the ability to provide teachers who know the subject matter. That means those students are at an advantage on how they score, versus students in schools that do not. For that reason, I see the sense in not using that as a gauge for entering these schools.

It would be nice if people could try to research the things they are worried about. Perhaps you may get a better understanding of some things, and be less upset.

I must say it was enlightening to read about Arlene Steinberg’s article on Halloween decorations; I will be more mindful of our fake spider webs. Mary G., I was not aware of those 2 new bills concerning renewable energy. Anthony, I also agree there is no room for trash and folks not taking care of properties and businesses. Folks can and should do better with that.

Eileen Teti

Castor Gardens

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