September 3, 2009


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The Chestnut Hill Local
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Don’t let PPA get you down

Some suggestions for Joel Hoffmann (Regarding “It’s time to milk the PPA dry,” Aug. 27)

1. If you must drive and park around the city, pick up a SmartCard at the Chestnut Hill Business Association. These prepaid cards work all over the City of Philadelphia, including Chestnut Hill (where the cards allow you more time than in town for each $.25). No more digging for quarters.

2. If a meter is expired, one minute or 12 hours, assume you will get a ticket. If this happens, though, remember you have bought that spot for the day.  So sometimes, it’s cheaper to “buy” a ticket rather than park at an expensive garage. If you live where you will be parking often (and can document it with water bill and car insurance), you are eligible for an annually renewed resident parking permit available at the PPA offices on Market Street near 30th Street Station.  You can stay in the same spot near your house for a whole year if you like.

3. Get familiar with SEPTA. It is so relaxing and convenient.  And if you live near Chestnut Hill, you can catch a nap coming back from the city and not worry — both R7 and R8 end of the line stops are just off the Avenue.

From what I understand, the thinking behind the increased on-street parking costs is, just as you wrote, to spur turnover in shopping districts like Walnut Street.  That makes sense. Many loading zone spots — which are available to anyone for free, just stick to 20 minutes or you will be towed — have popped up, too, which is great for in and out errands. Same concept of keeping everyone moving.

Yes, a lot of people hate PPA. It’s mentally exhausting to have them upset you.  All you can do is follow the rules or use alternative transportation (train, bus, bike or foot).

Pam Thistle
Chestnut Hill


Put out by ‘intrusion’

I think neighbors might be interested to know that MacFarland Tree and Landscaping Co., in my experience, does not ask your permission to be on your property when they are working on the property next door. I came home on July 24 to find two MacFarland men in my fenced-in back yard and one man in the tree next door letting cut branches fall onto my property. They said they were almost done and would clean up.

I had contact with two company higher-ups who said they were sorry and would put a note in my neighbor’s file that I should be asked permission in the future. Shouldn’t asking permission be standard company policy? They also said they would repair or replace any damaged plants. What got damaged were all the herbaceous plants in the area.

Before they came, I had day lilies blooming, berries on the wild strawberries, lots of lunaria (“silver dollar”) seedpods and self-seeded corydalis. After, there were no lilies, seedpods or berries and some of the corydalis. New shoots on my clethra were broken. How do you replace or repair my lost pleasure in my garden? I suggested they send me a nursery gift certificate for whatever amount they thought suitable. I have not heard from them. Apparently, permanent damage is required if trespassing, and the destruction it causes, is to be compensated for. 

Julie Reich
Chestnut Hill


Tell us your MALT story

I often hear wonderful stories from many of you about how MALT made a difference to your life. From the mom who finally got her turn to “Row the Schuylkill” to the young woman who teaches “Ladies Start Your Engines” and now has a business doing this work for car dealers and scouts,

MALT teachers and students have experiences that actually change their paths through life.

Being a witness to these wonderful events small and large is the true joy of working here at the Learning Tree for my staff and me. We want to do a better job of sharing these fun stories. If anyone has an experience that they would like to share, please use the “Tell Jonna” button on our Web site and do so. Or you may mail or fax it in. I would like it to be written so I can document this for us all and share it with the local papers, and maybe we can even do a video of the stories to share with all. I consider MALT a blessing for our community, and I think everyone should know why.

Jonna Naylor
Mount Airy Learning Tree


Not impressed by Hoeffel

I was disappointed to read last week that Montgomery County career politician Joe Hoeffel commissioned a poll to determine whether he’ll run for Pennsylvania governor in 2010.

What saddened me was not that Commissioner Hoeffel may run for Governor, but that he needed a poll to tell him whether or not he should run.

Maybe I’m naïve, but shouldn’t people seek elected office because they genuinely believe they are the best person for job?

I don’t want our next governor to be someone who ran because a poll told them it might be a good idea. If Commissioner Hoeffel truly believed he was the best person for the job, he would have declared his candidacy already instead of wasting his supporter’s money on a poll. Instead, like every other career politician in Pennsylvania, Commissioner Hoeffel prefers to first test the political-waters before leaping from one taxpayer job to another.   

In times such as these, when our state’s budget isn’t passed and unemployment increases every month, do we really want our next Governor to be someone who needs to conduct a poll before making a decision…I think not.  

John Thacher


Misplaced outrage

I can’t believe the way people have been carrying on about the Eagles’ signing of Michael Vick. I won’t excuse what the man did, but people commit atrocities worse than this in cities around the country — including Philadelphia — on a daily basis, and no one lifts a pen (or taps a keyboard) in protest. Where’s the outrage over the hundreds who needlessly lose their lives in this city every year?

Vick is a product of a violent place, where the frequent killing of young people is just a fact of life. But we shrug off the near daily slayings of young minorities and get riled up over animals. Am I the only one who sees the problem here?

You can condemn people like Vick; you can put him back in prison, but it won’t mean a thing.

Many of the athletes we’re so eager to put on a pedestal come from American neighborhoods with conditions that would be shocking in Iraq. We should not be surprised when they don’t immediately conform to the cultural standards the rest of us consider normal.

This failure to grasp realities different from our own does nothing but perpetuate that which we abhor so vehemently. And the language with which those have wished Vick harm in this paper betrays a savagery and callousness that’s not far off from that which they hope to condemn.

John Russo

‘Very sick, twisted and degenerate’

I am glad to see all the letters in the Local denouncing the Eagles’ decision to hire Michael Vick. I saw on the news Thursday night that most of the Eagles’ fans in the stadium gave Michael Vick a standing ovation when he came into the game. Apparently these people think the only thing that counts in life is being able to carry a football into the end zone. They have a “tortured” sense of priorities, pardon the expression.

Anyone who could do what Vick did for six years is a very sick, twisted and degenerate individual, and Andy Reid and Jeffrey Lurie have now stooped to his below-gutter level. As far as the Eagles’ fans are concerned, most of them would cheer Hitler if he could score touchdowns. Just wait till they turn on Vick when he, like Donovan McNabb, starts overthrowing his pass receivers.

Mike Grello


Fans deserve a ‘sicko like Vick’

I always like Jim Harris’ articles. He has a terrific sense of humor with a bite, but his article this week (“Vick-tory at any cost, insist brain-dead radio callers”) is even better than usual. I agree with him that compared to Michael Vick, Pete Rose, who merely bet on sporting events, looks like an angel. As far as I know, Pete Rose never strangled, drowned or beat anyone to death.

I also liked Jim’s comment that the Eagles are the only team that needs a courtroom inside the stadium to take care of all the idiots who get drunk and start beating up people during the games. I have a friend whose 8-year-old son was mercilessly harassed and even threatened by drunk fans during a Giants’ game last year for the “crime” of wearing an Eli Manning jersey. These “fans” deserve a sicko like Michael Vick.

Pam Stiles


Eagles fan no more

Having read some of the recent editorials in the Chestnut Hill Local regarding the hiring of Michael Vick by the Eagles, I was prompted to send my own comments to the Eagles Web site, and I hope others will do the same.

The Eagles’ managers and owners have made an irresponsible decision in hiring Michael Vick. (I do not fault the other players, most of whom did not have the final word on hiring Vick, but now have to live with this pathetic choice.) Yes, he did his time, but are the Philadelphia Eagles so desperate that they have to hire an ex-con/ former animal torturer? This has to be the worst public relations move ever made by a national team.

I was a big Eagles fan for many years, and now find myself in the reluctant, but necessary position of no longer being able to support the Eagles. I feel Michael Vick should dedicate himself to public service outside of the sports arena, and should have no place on any football team. Until he is gone, my NFL days are over.

M. G. Phipps