St. John's must obey the law
I am the block captain of my street, which is two blocks from St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church. I listen to neighbors' complaints about illegal parking, vomit, trash, party houses, lewd behavior, and noise. All are very real quality- of-life issues in Manayunk.
I happen to know one of the people who filed the complaint about the "noise" from St. John's bells. This complaint was not the first. Others in surrounding blocks near St. John's have also expressed chronic annoyance at the many and loud bells. (I include myself and family.)
The person who complained about St. John's is not a newcomer, but a homeowner and longtime resident who is actually awake at 7 a.m. to enjoy the mornings in Manayunk.
When do religious traditions impose on a community of diverse beliefs and practices? We are a country of diverse faith; would this neighborhood tolerate a daily amplified Islamic call to prayer? This is not about us and them, or then and now. It is not about silencing church bells; it is about the volume and number of bells. It is about all of us living together and respecting the quality of life of all.
If there is an ordinance for noise, then St. John's and any other place of worship should obey the ordinance.
Life sentences better for victims
Every time I read an article such as "Pa. executions are a rare occurrence" (Aug. 29), I am reminded that the death penalty is a false promise for families of homicide victims.
Though one of the basic needs of families is for the right person to be held accountable for his actions, the many years it takes to actually get to an execution further traumatizes already suffering families.
Only 1 percent of murderers are actually executed. That leaves 99 percent of families with no benefit from the tremendous time and attention sucked up by the death penalty.
There is an alternative. Permanent imprisonment preserves society from the most dangerous offenders and allows families to step away from the legal arena and focus on their own healing.
Let's put offenders in prison, scrap the death penalty, and reallocate the resources saved to meeting the real needs of murder victims' family members.
Family member of a murder victim
Why did no one stop Carl Greene?
Carl Greene should walk away from this city and the agency he ran with a ruthless hand, fear, and predatory indecencies to employees.
Greene came to Philly with a bad record, and the mayor who brought him knew this and never took any protective precautions for the employees at the Philadelphia Housing Authority. How could victims who took settlements or employees who just left not have tried to communicate the sad scenario to the PHA and the board? Or was the board just not listening?
The entire PHA board should be admonished and removed from service for allowing an agency so vital to the needy to run free and unchecked, because productivity, measured by new units built, was good.
To now sue this city is shameful.
Max M. Berger
Flu scare wasted thousands
As a physician trained in prevention and public health, I felt a need to express my views on your article on mandatory flu vaccines for health-care workers ("More health-care staff must get flu shots," Monday).
Scientifically, the flu is generally a self-limiting disease with no permanent aftereffects, and generally it is fatal to the elderly who are frail and who often have several underlying serious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention itself admits that the term flu death is fuzzy at best. This past season's swine flu experience was neither a global pandemic nor a national emergency. Formal investigations currently being conducted will prove that.
Conversely, huge sums of precious health-care dollars were wasted. The scaremongers and profiteers keep harking back to the era of 1918-20, when the Spanish flu killed millions worldwide. The year 2010 looks nothing like 1918 and never will.
Unfortunately, the medical profession has morphed into a huge for-profit business, especially in regions like Philadelphia.
In our region, many health-care workers are treated unethically by greedy health-care-industry executives. So, if we do require giving mandatory flu vaccine to health-care workers, how about immunizing our region's health-care workers against layoffs, low pay, eroding benefits, and poor and, yes, even unhealthy working conditions.
Richard A. Lippin