MRS. HUGHES AND THE COPS
Linda Wright Moore (column May 6), concerning Mrs. Renee Hughes' incident with the police, says there are Grand Canyon size holes in the story. The comment can be made by either party.
If we assume Mrs. Hughes' story is true, and the officer had a "problem," why would she reach for an earring that fell when supposedly a gun was pointed at her head. With a gun pointed at her head, I think the earring could not have been important; just being as still as a statue would have been the ideal thing to do.
What does Linda Wright Moore expect to gain by bringing up an act that the officer was acquitted of 23 years ago?
ANGELO E. MATTIA
Renee Caldwell Hughes' story (Linda Wright Moore's column, "A somebody's treated like dirt by cops" May 6) is bunk! There were no further charges by police because of who she is (wife of a legislator)!
Remember, some weeks ago, the mayor himself called the Roundhouse to have the wife of a U.S. Congressman released - and again, no further charges were forthcoming. See a pattern here?
Mrs. Moore, I hope you are not that naive. Let's face it, had it been you or I, we'd have been charged, booked and before the judge a long time ago!
HIRE FROM THE COMMUNITY
I am deeply saddened and appalled by the urban blight we continue to tolerate in this city. The 1990 Census revealed more than 15,000 boarded-up and abandoned housing units in Philadelphia (nearly a third are Philadelphia Housing Authority units).
Equally disturbing is the lack of economic opportunity for residents of neighborhoods where blight has taken its worst toll.
Under Section 3 of the HUD Act of 1968, cities are mandated to set percentages of low-income residents to be hired for federally-assisted housing construction jobs. In Philadelphia, that percentage is at 35. The Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) encourages community development corporations (CDCs) to insist that their contractors meet this percentage, but
because it is not a law, the office cannot enforce it.
So most, if not all, of the workers are brought in from outside the community, sometimes from outside the city. Money that could be reinvested into ailing neighborhoods leaves those neighborhoods as soon as these workers move to their next job. Neighborhoods may get a few more new housing units, but reap a fraction of the potential benefits of such development. Residents and public housing tenants watch with despair as millions of dollars create jobs right in front of their eyes - for others, not for them.
To be effective, housing developments in low-income communities must be linked with job opportunities for residents. Therefore, City Council must empower OHCD to truly enforce the minimum 35 percent target for neighborhood based employment.
Some organizations, like Norris Square Civic Association, have been able to hire a majority of neighborhood people for construction jobs. In the process, they have proven it can be done successfully. NSCA, committed to neighborhood-based employment, is making an impact in a community that suffers
from high unemployment, as well as serious housing deterioration.
Neighborhood-based employment is no panacea for Philadelphia's deeply rooted housing and unemployment problems. It is one small, yet vital step in the right direction. Hiring people to work on improving their own neighborhoods seems to be the very least we should be doing.
BYERS WITHOUT GLOVES
What a pleasure to see W. Russell G. Byers take off the gloves (May 5) - no more excuses for our streets and schools!
The Daily News would be well advised to encourage other columnists to wean off the "professional victim syndrome" and follow Mr. Byers's lead. We would all be the better for it.
ROBERT S. HURST
Russell Byers is to be commended for his courage to report on the hypocrisy of city and state political systems (May 5, "No more excuses for our streets and schools;" May 7, "Hello, pinstripe patronage heaven").
Byers speaks for citizens who do not want children sacrificed.
If political leaders are willing to nurture the young with libraries, improved schools, housing, safety and other essential services to ensure their physical and mental health, everything else will fall into place and need and cost of services will decrease as children grow into adults.
It is shameful that Mayor Rendell and Gov. Casey do not implement the requirements for a healthy society so thoughtfully addressed by Russell Byers.
Re your editorial, "Kent + 23" (May 4): So what?
Who gives a darn about something that occurred a quarter-century ago? For crying out loud, get out from behind your smoked-glass ivory tower, and let's talk about present and future!
By the way, has anyone ever educated you about the fact that the phrase ''Daily News Editorial Board" is 'French' for The Usual Garrulous Gang Of Gasbags?
PARROTS OF LIBERALISM
Yes, Ed Galing, you are right - I am sarcastic, cynical and even insulting toward anyone who has a different opinion from my own. There is a mitigating factor, however - I am following the example of the Daily News, They are no doubt flattered that I try to emulate their style, even in reverse.
Buy the paper and express opposition to the editorial policy by writing a few nasty Letters To The Editor, rather than not buy the paper at all. The News is dense in most things, but selling a newspaper is not one of them.
The News and the Inky have a monopoly of printed journalism in this city. Both are predictable in their editorial comment on any topic. Both these parrots of liberalism will agree that any reaction from readers, positive or negative, is more desirable financially than no reaction at all.
SHIFT OF FEDERAL JOBS IS DECRIED
Daniel A. DeVincentis' May 6 Guest Opinion, "Military deserts its workers," painted a broad picture of the hardships facing federal employees here. His warning that everyone will pay for the mistakes is well taken.
The Delaware Valley has a huge financial stake. About 18 percent of the total payroll of the Defense Personnel Support Center is earned by employees living in New Jersey; and 76 percent by Pennsylvanians, the lion's share, 53 percent, from Philadelphia.
Naturally, city wage tax is levied on this amount, but it doesn't stop there! Every employee who shops at lunchtime, eats at the restaurants, visits doctors, brings children here for day care or private schooling, and uses SEPTA is adding to the city's economy.
It is inconceivable that these jobs would be better placed in Cumberland County, where unemployment has been reported at 2.9 percent, than to have them remain in Philadelphia, where unemployment and underemployment have resulted in 20 percent of the population living below poverty level.
The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission would like to see the 1,200 employees in the center's clothing factory added to the already swollen roles of the unemployment compensation system. They still consider the jobs essential but think they could be performed at "great savings" in Central Pennsylvania.
This "saving" would push the city's teetering economy over the brink and place an enormous burden on the state coffers for unemployment compensation, welfare, medical assistance and other social programs, as well as the ripple effect on the local business community.
MARIANNE G. SMITH
It's time the Daily News conducted a survey to find out what professions citizens respect most and respect least.
This would help parents who want their children to enter an honorable, respected profession, while living a rewarding, profitable life.
Most parents would not want their child to enter a profession that is held in contempt.
GEORGE J. PRESTON