Letters to the Editor: March 8, 2017

Park needs improvement

I am saddened by the conditions that I observe in our beloved Northeast treasure, Pennypack Park. Upon entering the park from Rhawn Street, we drive or walk down the pathway that looks like a road in a third-world country. 

Using the main paved trail, you can see the toll that many years of neglect have taken. Downed trees are strewn everywhere beside the trail. I understand that many people like the natural feel of the park in its natural wooded state, but from my vantage point, I see neglect everywhere. 

I truly applaud the work of The Friends of Pennypack Park. However — the reality is that they can only do so much. They do not have the equipment or the finances to do what truly needs to be done to maintain the park in its brilliance.

Year after year, our elected officials allow the Fairmount Park budget to be cut. Can we demand that these public officials who pander and battle each other for our vote be held accountable to the people of Northeast Philadelphia? 

We have not had an advocate who truly cared for the Pennypack and Fairmount park systems since former state Sen. Jim Lloyd passed away.  

Do our politicians ever drive into the park and observe the conditions? Why is Northeast Philadelphia not receiving the funding to be the gem that it once was?

Maybe all of the involved politicos can have a meeting to not only discuss the situation but more importantly act on improving conditions of every aspect of the park.

They always want our vote. It is now time to make the politicians earn our vote.

Michael Graves

Winchester Park

Too expensive to shop here

Haven’t people gotten tired of Mayor Kenney’s propaganda about the soda tax?

He says Pepsi Co is a billion-dollar company that should be able to absorb the tax. But those numbers are world-wide numbers, not all from Philadelphia.  

He says it is only a quarter more for a 16-ounce bottle, but the tax makes a 2-liter bottle almost double.

Distributors and supermarkets say they are going to be laying off employees. Kenney says that is only a charade due to the upcoming court cases. If you are laid off, it is real.

He claims people who have stopped buying their groceries and soda outside the city will eventually stop.

But when you can save $2 for each cigarette pack, 2 percent on sales taxes and now the soda tax, is he sure?

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Cemetery destruction

I am disturbed and deeply saddened by the vile acts of destruction at Mount Carmel Cemetery, but heartened by the response of our communities — people of all faiths and backgrounds coming together to repair the damage, comfort once another and heal together. 

I represented Northeast Philadelphia in Congress for a decade — and the immediate and heartfelt response of this community is no surprise. 

As a Jew, I am touched by the kindness of all who have responded and am reassured by the willingness of so many people to stand up against this hateful act of anti-semitism. It makes clear that we, in Philadelphia will not tolerate hate.  

Sadly, acts of hate against the Jewish community have become more frequent recently across the country. 

Jewish cemeteries desecrated, bomb threats at dozens of Jewish schools and community centers, and more. 

This is not who we are as Americans. 

Now more than ever we must stand together against hate, continue the fight for equality and tolerance, and provide comfort to our friends in times of distress. 

Allyson Y. Schwartz

Former Congresswoman

Too much booze in PA

As of January, Gov. Wolf signed a bill to allow six-packs of beer to be sold freely throughout the state because he believes it improves customer convenience. 

We already have a crisis of excessive speeds on the Boulevard, along with drunken drivers, and now Wolf wants people to fill up with gas and beer — a one-stop driver convenience to pop open a can and drive. Brilliant.

Furthermore, Wolf’s legislation allows sporting venues to sell mixed drinks. It’s bad enough when you have beer-drunken football fans throw a snowball at Santa during a game, now you have fans liquored up on vodka and whiskey driving on I-95.Do we have any competent leaders?

Al Ulus

Somerton