Time to stop tiptoeing around laws on ATVs

Posted: August 15, 2012

RE: JASON Nark and ATVs: 10175 Northeast Ave. is a very bad place for an ATV park. It's surrounded on three sides by homes and apartments. Across the street is George Washington High School. A much better place would be somewhere on the old Byberry State Hospital grounds. Or how about down by FDR Park, in South Philly? Lots of room there, down by I-95.

What bothers me most is that, even though you could build a riding park for these nitwits, they would still ride in the streets, disobeying traffic laws and scaring people. I believe that Ricky Gadson is right: a lot of these clowns like riding illegally. The laws ought to be stiffened with seizures (destroy them, like seized weapons) and heavy fines. (For juvenile delinquents, fine the parents heavily who bought the damn thing, and ban the teens them from having driver's licenses until at least 21. Making them do community service to repair the damage they've caused would help.)

Jim Kenney is all amped up over Chick-fil-A. Perhaps he should spend his time more productively by sponsoring legislation to ban sales of ATVs and dirt bikes in city limits. The dealers would scream bloody murder and might cause some loss of tax revenue, but that is offset by all the damage and accidents these outlaws cause. If the sales can't be outlawed, do what good Democrats do: tax the bejeezus out of them.

Here's another idea: Regulate the sales of them like cars. They would have to be registered with the state, and must have insurance and a valid driver's license. If handguns have to be registered, then so can dirt bikes and ATVs.

All it takes is some political courage and some prodding from the Daily News.

Keith A Barger


Affairs of the heart

I just saw the report about the Philadelphia Police Department's Internal Affairs unit, and Staff Inspector Bates being investigated for having sexual relations with two police officers inside his office during working hours at the Internal Affairs headquarters. It was also reported that this inspector is in charge of the Department's EEO Unit.

All I can do is wonder what is going on in the Police Department that would appoint a person with such a huge amount of poor judgement. I am also wondering if his supervisor will be held accountable for appointing him to that position.

All of these questions will most likely go unanswered because, according to the police commissioner, the staff at Internal Affairs is the one conducting the investigation. The workers are investigation their very bosses; I think we can all guess what the result of that investigation will be. Let me take a stab at it: I will bet that the Internal Affairs result will be that they could not prove the charges against Staff Insp. Bates.

Roberta Williams


Bain of his existence

Aside from the fact that it couldn't be more of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black when Mitt the flip-flopper has the gall to say that the Senate majority leader has " lost a lot of credibility," we have to admit that Senator Reid saying that he has a Bain Capital source which can prove that tax-cheat Romney didn't pay any taxes during those years is a very cunning move.

After all, Romney, what with all his evasive responses and constantly, unsuccessfully attempting to alter the dialogue, already had raised these suspicions about his cheating in the minds of many Americans anyway. And by bringing the issue up once more at this time, the senator not only reminds us citizens what an arrogant sense of entitlement Romney seems to believe he has, but by all of his phony denials and histrionics, the former Massachusetts governor has fallen right into the trap, and given just the hysterical response that Harry Reid was trying to elicit all along!

Job well-done, Senator.

Marc Golde

Merion Station

Crime against users

I would say that most of the people behind bars or on probation/parole for drug-related offenses are users. Even some who are convicted for "intent to deliver" are really users who are trying to use for free.

My problem with punishing drug users is that the punishment for a felony lasts for a lifetime. A person who is convicted for a felony or who pleads guilty to a felony has a life sentence whether they go to prison or not. I am in no way minimizing the negative impact that drugs have on a community or families. But the felony tag stays with a person even after they've served their time and/or walked off their probation/parole.

Felons cannot get school loans. Felons can be legally denied rental opportunities. Of course, felons have to check off "yes" when they apply for jobs. I'm just not so sure this is a fair sentence for someone who's carrying around an amount of whatever for personal use.

I think that there should be something like what is done for DUI cases. Have some sort of program that, when if a person completes the program and remains uninvolved with the courts for some period of time, the record is expunged.

Glenn Wilson

Support Center for Child & Family Well Being


Improve, not remove

Your editorial ("Where's the Fire?") asks why public-school advocates have their hair on fire about a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group suggesting a "portfolio model" of mixed public/private governance of schools, while our state Legislature is attempting to gain authority over charter schools - as if either of these options is good for public education.

Haven't we already experimented enough in Philadelphia with public-school choice, including charters, based on high-stakes testing, and often with disastrous results? Your own editorial suggests that school privatization threatens "equity and social justice for children in the poorest big city in the nation."

We must avoid creating unreliable multi-tiered systems that we cannot afford, and concentrate on improving not removing the public schools we have.

Gloria C. Endres


Byko in crosshairs

Re: Byko's "Undisputed: Cop killed man's best pal" column:

So, let me get this straight: Drunk homeless guy passes out on sidewalk and the police go there and in the process of trying to help the person his dog is killed.

Now Stu Bykofsky steps in and the story is the sober homeless guy's dog is shot and killed by police just because the dog barked.


Maybe Mr. Davis should concentrate more on getting a job and a house than getting drunk and losing his money and cellphone. Mr. Bykofsky should do a better job of writing an article based on facts instead of trying to insinuate that the police stole money and a phone off somebody.

Jim Crown


Stu Bykofsky's Aug. 13 article was a classic example of why so many Americans are so politically misinformed.

Comparing Mitt Romney's refusal to release tax returns with Barack Obama's not having relased his long-form birth certificate and academic records is ludicrous. All presidential candidates should be expected to show their tax returns. None, before Obama, has ever been asked to prove American citizenship or to release his college transcripts.

Of course, as everyone in the free world (except, evidently, Bykofsky) knows, Obama did release his long-form birth certificate. Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, indicating superior academic achievement, at the very least. It is up to Romney to prove that Harry Reid's statements about his tax returns are untrue. Only he can do so, and the American public has every right to question his secrecy.

Robert Leonardo

Long Neck, Del.

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