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Northeast Times Letter Of The Week

I don’t know, guys. I think I’m calling BS on this one:

What’s happening to Somerton?

There are about four shopping centers in Somerton that have really turned around, but you could only appreciate that if you were Russian.

It seems to me that all the American stores have been shut down and taken over by Russian business owners who don’t seem to realize that they are in America and that American people need to understand what they are selling in their stores.

I even heard if you aren’t Russian, you aren’t able to work there. Plus, I don’t think any American people could stand to go in these stores. Something has got to give.

Yes, it’s possible people in Northeast Philly are going to start hating on Russian immigrants now, too. But I don’t know. This just seems a little over-the-top. Thoughts?

Letters to the editor Feb. 5, 2009 [Northeast Times]

Obama Presidency Means We Can Never Watch Old Movies Again

A letter on a crucial, crucial issue in today’s Daily News:

I HOPE CABLE TV and Channel 12 won’t broadcast the old movie “Imitation of Life” during the rest of January or February.

This is a special time for African-Americans, and we don’t need to be confronted with that movie. If anybody broadcasts this movie, I’ll consider it inappropriate and will make every effort to have their broadcasting license revoked.

I’m aware that the fans of “Imitation of Life” will have a “75/50″ celebration this year - the 75th anniversary of the Claudette Colbert original and the 50th anniversary of the Lana Turner remake. If you want to celebrate a 75/50, I suggest you celebrate the upcoming 75th birthday of Shirley MacLaine and the 50th anniversary of “Ask Any Girl,” one of Shirley’s first hits.

(Lady readers: I’m familiar with “Ask Any Girl,” and it is a blizzard of pumps. Yes, I know what pumps are.)

Tim Short, Bryn Mawr

Ahh, yes, the ever-popular 75/50 celebration that people can’t just get enough of! I do like that Mr. Short is going to make every effort to take away the broadcast licenses of the local PBS station and several cable channels, despite the lack of broadcasting license for him to be able to have revoked for the cable networks. But, hey, watch out WHYY and NJN!

A bit of explanation: Imitation of Life is a 1934 movie with a 1959 remake. Both films include a light-skinned black character attempting to pass as white. I’ve never seen either, but perhaps the films — like a lot of old movies — include now-offensive racial stereotypes. That’s my best guess.

So… yeah, I still have no idea. But I hope Mr. Short will also criticize any parents who show their children Dumbo next month, and I really don’t think he’s going to let any Film 101 class show Birth of a Nation.

Letters: An inappropriate moment for ‘Imitation of Life’ [Daily News]

Northeast Times Letters Bonanza!


Thanks to the holiday the Northeast Times is already out this week. Best part of Thanksgiving! Let’s take a look at the letters page, which opens with the headline above.

Dismayed by behavior of our city officials

I agree 100 percent with your editorial A city in crisis that was in the Nov. 13 edition of the Northeast Times.

I am very disappointed in Mayor Nutter and the way

I guarantee this will not be the closing of libraries or pools or whatever. It will be something stupid.

he had turned his back on the situation with Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. and his aide, Latrice Bryant.

Ding ding ding! I want you to know that I didn’t look ahead.

Pin thief deserves a lot of misery

I hate thieves! Recently, we found the perfect Charlie Brown pumpkin to place out front of our house. It was only there a few hours before it disappeared. Shortly after, someone stole the ghost ornament out front, also. How pathetic for someone to have to steal such things.

Recently, I attended a 100th birthday party for my dear neighbor at a lovely country club in Upper Dublin for my dear neighbor. It was a lovely affair with a small gathering of friends, neighbors and family.

My coat was placed in the coatroom there. I’ve had a beautiful heart pin on my coat that belonged to my sister Anna when she was alive. She passed away nine years ago after spending many years in St. John Neumann Nursing Home, where her husband had visited her every day.

At that time, their home in Port Richmond was broken into twice by dope fiends in the area. They stole everything of value, including my sister’s jewelry. A few mementos were left undiscovered, and that pin was one of them. I treasured it because I loved my sister so much.

At first I didn’t realize the pin was gone, but soon missed it. Someone took it off my coat in the coatroom, and that broke my heart. I hope that miserable vulture has nothing but misery because of their thievery of that treasure and anything else they may have stolen!

This is historic, people: Someone in the Northeast Times complaining about the suburbs! I’m way past the stage where I question why the NE Times prints any letter, but if you’re still there, this might be a good one to noodle on.

Let them eat at home

I’m in agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture’s ruling about restrictions on food programs to our schools.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why parents can’t be responsible for providing food for their children. Isn’t it basically a parent’s responsibility to provide clothing, nourishment and house for their kids?

I realize that some families have problems and require help, but this shouldn’t be a massive problem. But to charge taxpayers, especially in this economy, to pay en masse for these programs is ridiculous.

If people can’t provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for their children and they show proof of financial difficulties, then by all means we will feed your kids, but no one should have carte blanche to these giveaway programs.

Like our letter writer here, of all the government spending and waste, I believe “feeding children” is the one we really need to cut first.

How to solve parking problem

Rather than just increasing the parking fees at Center City parking meters, why not start enforcing parking violations on non-metered streets in residential areas throughout the city?

On any given day or night on my block, there are at least 10 or more cars parked on the wrong side of the street facing opposing traffic; two parked trucks when NO TRUCK PARKING ANYTIME is clearly posted; one car parked directly in front of the fire hydrant down the corner; another car parked beyond the stop sign up the corner; and sometimes, a car or two double-parked with no flashers on for hours at a time.

Why not have two police officers for an hour or two on each shift in each police district start ticketing these illegally parked vehicles? It’s a no-brainer — end the free-for-all illegal parking epidemic on our residential streets while increasing much-needed revenue.

I predict “ongoing free-for-all illegal parking epidemic” is number 86 in Phillymag’s December issue.

The Philadelphia Of Allan Felder Is No More, People

I’ve been trying to parse this letter to the editor from Friday’s Daily News for a while now with no luck.

I am not entirely convinced it is real. I now share my thoughts with you.

THERE WAS a time when Philadelphia was among the great cities, full of charm and class.

And that time was: 1640. I have on my desk the text of a letter to the editor to the Public Ledger in 1850 complaining about residents from other cities bashing Philadelphia (specifically, calling it “The Murder City”). As you can see, nothing is different in Philadelphia now.

Growing up, I thought I lived in a terrific city with endless possibilities, and I couldn’t wait to grow up and raise a family here. Ten years later, the only thing I can’t wait to do is leave this wretched city.

Ten years? Seriously, nothing major happened from 1998-2008 that seriously made the city worse, unless you count the election of John Street. Which, eh, isn’t really a reason to leave Philadelphia and certainly didn’t make this city any more wretched.

Every day, I read to see who was killed, robbed or victimized by the shameless criminals who find solace in harming others. I then move on to see what new budget cut is under way and think of all the dropouts and criminals that will emerge as a result.

Ohhh, so that’s you in the comments!

I wonder, though: How bad can it possibly be when the most horrible thing that’s happened to you so far is “My experience was not as good as it could have been, because all the news I specifically searched out was kinda sad.”

So far, so good. Typical media-influenced exaggeration of crime in a big American city. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for the attention paid to root causes. (Uhh, what reader cares about that?) Here’s where I start to think the letter is fake:

Paranoia sets in, and I frantically lock all my doors and windows, double-check the alarm and read online for new ways to protect against thieves. Instead of looking my best, I opt for a style that says “bargain” as opposed to designer labels, as not to propagate the idea that I can provide a “come up” for the next man.

I must leave Philadelphia because I cannot dress well enough!

I really need to find out the URL of that Lifehacker-type blog that’s about thief protection. Man, one can scarcely count the recent innovations in that field!

I find myself running to the car, to the house, in and out of stores, constantly looking around me. What has this city become if this is what its residents have to do to feel safe?

No one’s saying this city is Lovely Fun Time Paradise, a place I just made up. But as long as you’re relatively not stupid, you can stroll along the streets of even the toughest neighborhood without being disturbed. (And where exactly does this person live? Not West Kensington, I bet.)

Why should I have to limit my outside activity in fear of falling victim to the evils of the streets? Instead of saying, “Hi” to strangers in passing, I look at them, as well as my neighbors, with the same distrustful and cautious eye. Where is the brotherly love or sisterly affection in any of these actions?

How, exactly, is it the fault of Philadelphia or of criminals that this person is rude to her neighbors and strangers? Look, I don’t really greet strangers on the street — I’m sure I’d hate them — but somehow the level of violence in Philadelphia does not prevent me from saying hello to the people in my building or the man with the martini glass who sits out front of Louis Kahn’s house or the nice old woman who lives next to my parents in the Northeast or even the guy on the other side of my parents rowhome because none of them are out to harm me and I can’t believe I’m even arguing with this stupid letter to the editor on this hypercritical Philadelphia blog.

As I read about all of the Philadelphia music greats, I imagine what it was like during the days of Philadelphia International that my uncle, songwriter Allan Felder, loved so much. I wonder what it was like to live here when artistry and love existed.

Allan Felder? Really? Didn’t he write a ton of disco songs? Anyway, man, sometimes I imagine what it was like when my uncle — who once entered (and maybe won?) a John Kruk lookalike contest — lived in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia International Records was founded in 1971. Coincidentally, Frank Rizzo was elected mayor that year. WHAT A TIME OF LOVE IT WAS IN PHILADELPHIA!

As hard as I try, I can’t imagine this city, laden with crime, poverty, despair and negativity, ever being a city of hope or love. I’m not sure where the great Philadelphia went, but I am sure that when I’m done my doctorate, I’ll be looking for a better life, away from this Philadelphia.

And here is the exciting conclusion, where we find out that our writer is going for her doctorate. And, after bashing the city for several paragraphs, complains about the negativity. There is absolutely no way this letter is real. None. This is faker than a 100 million Northeast Times letters.

But How Patriotic Is Chase Utley?

A letter in this week’s Northeast Times:

Regarding your editorial last week, Curse of the Phillie, yes, I agree that Chase Utley should not have used the language he did at the Phillies celebration parade.

You were right when you said our children and grandchildren should not have had to hear that language. However, our children and grandchildren had to hear Barack Obama’s “mentor” say “It’s not God bless America, it’s God damn America.” I and my entire family took great offense to that. Something like that will remain in their minds forever, but I’m sure Chase Utley’s bad language will not last as long.

Oh, goodie, I guess we’re going to keep hearing about Rev. Wright forever and ever and ever now, aren’t we? I do commend this letter writer for the stretch she had to make to get anti-Obama material into a letter about the Phillies. And for having a family that is somehow traumatized by something they heard a preacher say on the teevee.

Man, it would have been awesome if Chase Utley got up at the parade and went, “World ‘GOD DAMN AMERICA’ Champions!”

Barack Obama, Noted Marxist

A hell of a letter in Friday’s Delco Times:

Barack Obama’s past associations have proven he does not possess the character and good judgment to be our 43rd president and commander in chief.

He started his political career in South Chicago, a hotbed for Marxism, and affiliating himself with the ACORN political party, a party with significant Marxist ties.

A party causing some of Wall Street’s problems we are confronted with today, forcing banks to loan money to unqualified borrowers…. Obama’s domestic agendas of wealth distribution are very much in line with Karl Marx’s 1848 Manifesto. [...]

A good example of how critical it is for a president and commander in chief to possess good character and judgment was Harry Truman, a non-elitist man who never went to an elitist college, in fact, a man who never went to college. Colleges cannot teach character nor good judgment.

Yes, how dare Barack Obama work hard all his life and attend Columbia and Harvard Law School! Why, he should be out skipping school instead!

Also awesome: “ACORN political party.”

Is Obama the correct choice for president? [Delco Times]

An Enlightening Daily News Letter

Eh, really, forget all that baseball BS. What was really in the minds of Philadelphians when the Phillies made the playoffs was this:

YESTERDAY, the Phightin’ Phils were trying to win a postseason game for the first time in 15 years.

But, more seriously, let’s put put present-day Philadelphia into proper perspective with this question: How horrible and pathetic has the City of Brotherly Love become when the number of playoff victories for the baseball team during a period of 15 years is three FEWER than the number of funerals for Philly police officers who were murdered in the line of duty in this year, 2008?

I wonder how our letter writer (John Leonard from Philadelphia) would deal with 1980. Yes, sadly, four police officers died in the line of duty. But the Phillies won seven playoff games and the World Series that year. Not horrible or pathetic at all!

Man, this really is putting baseball into its proper perspective.

Letters: Police killed vs. playoff wins [Daily News]

Local Elections Heating Up

It’s not just Sarah Palin’s visit that is heating up the election scene in Philadelphia this week. (I have no idea what “the election scene” means. But it sounds kind of catchy, so I’ll keep it.)

In the Northeast Times, there’s a letter to the editor about the tight Matt Taubenberger-Brendan Boyle state house race:

On a recent Saturday night, I was home with my family when a car came up my street and stopped in front of my home. As we were not expecting company, we guessed they were looking for an address and would move on. Our street is very quiet with little traffic, and when the car did not move my daughter looked outside. What she saw shocked her and my whole family.

A man ran onto our lawn and stole the sign placed there supporting Brendan Boyle for Pennsylvania state representative. The man then jumped back into the car and sped away. No one bothered the opponent’s sign on a lawn two doors away, leading me to believe that this was not a juvenile prank. The next morning I noticed several Brendan Boyle signs missing from my neighborhood. I have heard that more than 50 signs were taken that weekend.

My family and I are disappointed to think that Brendan Boyle’s opponent’s staff or volunteers would behave as if this was a contest for junior high school class president and not Pennsylvania representative. We will replace the sign, and hopefully the public’s knowledge of these actions will discourage any further childish actions from these individuals.

Stealing signs! Sigh. That would shock my whole family, too. What is happening to Philadelphia?

The letters page also has this headline:

Yes. Yes, they do.

Black, White And Dead Behind The Eyes

Okay, the Northeast Times is just baiting, now. First off, there’s a letter in this week’s edition titled, “Stop the injustice against the MOVE 9!” Right. Then, there’s this:

The debate continues, in black and white

In response to Melissa S. Tulin’s letter in the July 3 edition (She’s tired of the stereotypes), I suggest that she comprehend what my original letter stated before she claims others are racist simply because they disagree with her.

This way of thinking is exactly what I was talking about. Once again, African-Americans claim that they want to be “judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin,” when reality proves otherwise.

You state that some studies suggest that white women are the main beneficiaries of affirmative action, but you somehow omit the fact that on the whole, they outscore the African-American applicants.

Secondly, you correctly state the fact that unemployment is higher among black people, but you never mention why. Statistically, blacks score lower than others and a higher percentage are incarcerated. If you were an employer, who would you hire? Lastly, as a whole, crime and the quality of life is negatively affected when African-Americans move in. If you need proof, ride throughout the city and tell me different.

Yep. And when you let white people write letters to the editor, you get the stupidest argument styles possible. If you need proof… etc., etc.

Letters to the Editor 6.24.08 [Northeast Times]

Letter Writer: Teens Are Ugly Opium Eaters


Did you guys read the current issue of the Northeast Times yet? If you didn’t, you missed this letter, possibly the best one the paper has ever printed. (And it is really a tough contest.)

Sick and tired of the teens in Fox Chase

I am writing in response to Miss Sondra Lorino’s letter last week (Memo to bike-seat thief: You’re a coward). Frankly, I think it is utterly ridiculous that these hoodlums stole an innocent girl’s bike seat. I myself am sick and tired of the teenagers in this neighborhood. Last week I was walking my beloved Boston terrier Otto though the path at Burholme Park, when he cut his paw open on a broken beer bottle left by ignorant teens. It’s bad enough they’re hurting the neighborhood, but now small children and animals? Luckily my dog was OK, but who’s going to pay the vet bill? Maybe next time instead of buying a case of Zima or whatever they’re drinking these days, they can reimburse me for Otto’s left paw.

I also noticed Ms. Lorino’s concern about the recreation center. This too makes me very angry. It’s a recreation center meant for the youth, but it’s filled with teenagers and drugs. It’s beginning to remind me of an opium den in Taiwan. It’s occupied with ugly-looking teens and little kids using playground equipment. Does this make any sense? You tell me!

Who’s here to stop all these? Fox Chase Town Watch? Where are they? We would be better off having a blind version of the A-Team minus Face and Mr. T. Sure, I do see them patrolling, and they do help out a lot, but we need more. We need to reinforce the curfew laws. I see kids no older than 14 running around the neighborhood at 4 in the morning all souped up on God-knows-what. They’re out there throwing pennies and apples at people. Also I see the young girls walking around drunk with grown men. Where are the parents? Remember, the world revolves around action and responsibility.

Ahh, yes, the ol’ “blind version of the A-Team minus Face and Mr. T” reference. And I think it’s silly this letter writer doesn’t get why the young girls are walking around with grown men: As he proved in his previous paragraph, teenagers nowadays are ugly. Plus grown men can get something better than Zima, which not even teenagers drink anymore.

With apologies to Vogt Playground, which isn’t even in Fox Chase. Eh.