January 20, 2009
THANK YOU, Stu Bykofsky, for your column on the Mummers and B Love Strutters. My husband is a longtime Murray Comic and my sons are B Love Strutters and none are racists. I appreciate you defending the tradition. Pam Hershman, West Chester Stu, you're dead right regarding the editorial on the "racist" Mummers. Do you need to be a knucklehead to qualify for the board? This is one of the reasons I stopped reading the DN years ago. Bill Yurkow, Philadelphia Stu: What a surprise - the self-loathing idiots who preach tolerance are the most narrow-minded intolerant Kool-Aid drinkers, always playing the victim.
April 15, 2008
AS A LAWYER who has had the privilege of representing Joey Vento and Geno's Steaks for many years, most recently in his litigation with the City Commission on Human Relations, I am writing in response to your April 14 editorial. It is always interesting to see a newspaper taking a position opposed to the protections afforded by the First Amendment. You minimize the fact that the ordinance allows the government to violate a citizen's constitutional rights - it "may need tweaking" indeed.
December 21, 2007
I COMPLETELY agree with Joey Vento. My four grandparents came from Russia to New York's Lower East Side in the early 1900s and didn't speak a word of English. They learned. And they learned quickly in order to survive. And, regarding Vento's sign - what's the big deal? If customers can't speak English, how can they read it? Harry Jay Katz, Philadelphia When the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations was created in 1952, discrimination was rampant throughout the U.S. I imagine, at that time, the commission performed legitimate work to ensure that individuals weren't persecuted based on race and other factors.
August 25, 2011 |
"WE WERE business competitors but we were friends," Pat's King of Steaks owner Frank Olivieri Jr. said of Joey Vento yesterday. Vento, the philanthropic owner of Geno's Steaks, died Tuesday at 71. "He was the hardest working guy in cheesesteaks. He has a fabulous store over there," Olivieri said, blaming the media for the perception of an intense rivalry between the catty-cornered shops. Olivieri acknowledged that there was a more fierce competition when his father owned Pat's.
June 18, 2006 |
Wanna know what Joey Vento doesn't like? Whiners, that's what. The whiners who got corporal punishment taken out of schools. The whiners who call him a racist because there's a rebel flag tattoo on his forearm. The whiners who turn every last thing that happens in this country into a potential lawsuit. Go ahead - ask him what he thinks. Everyone else is. "I grew up where they called me every name in the book: Wop! Dago! Guinea! Midget! But come on! You've got to roll with the punches," says Vento, the 5-foot-5, 66-year-old impresario of Geno's Steaks.
January 6, 2009
GENO'S owner Joey Vento has a problem with aliens who jump the fence after his own immigrant family entered legally. When he appeared with comics in the Mummers Parade, he was cheered. Critics later claimed that his skit was racist and xenophobic, but he was spoofing the discrimination suit filed by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations over a cardboard sign in his steak shop that reads: "This is America. When ordering speak English. " The commission ended up dismissing the suit because you actually have to discriminate against someone - and they actually have to complain.
December 18, 2007
THE CITY'S Commission on Human Relations says it will take about two months to decide whether cheesesteak entrepreneur Joey Vento discriminates against customers who don't speak English. Two months? Two minutes would be more like it. This case is weak where it needs to be strong. There's no proof anyone was denied service because he failed to adhere to the sign on Vento's steak-shop window: "This is America. When ordering, please speak English. " Say what you will about the sign.
August 28, 2010 |
Medford Township Police Chief Anthony Canale denied Friday that there was any impropriety in having his officers make periodic vacation checks on the Shamong home of Joey Vento, owner of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia, who donated a motorcycle to the department. Canale's comments came as a result of recent stories in the Camden Courier-Post that raised questions about the department's relationship with Vento. Vento was on vacation in early March when Medford police performed regular checks of his home.
February 9, 2007 |
The highly charged dispute over the speak-English sign at Geno's Steaks is about to heat up. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations notified Geno's owner Joey Vento this week that it had found probable cause that his sign urging patrons to order in English is discriminatory. The next step is to schedule a hearing to settle the dispute or to escalate the charges against the owner of the South Philadelphia sandwich stand. Vento, who argues that the sign expresses opinions protected by the First Amendment, has enlisted the support of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, a conservative public-interest law firm in Atlanta that last year won a settlement for an Ohio bar owner who faced similar charges.
May 23, 2008 |
You've read it, heard it, tasted it, savored it, seen it in photo op action: Want a "classic" or "authentic" Philly cheesesteak? Gotta go with Cheez Whiz. Maybe it's time to melt that myth. True, Whiz is king at Pat's and Geno's, those legendary South Philly sites at Ninth and Passyunk. During the Pennsylvania primary, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert said their feud was fiercer than the Democrats' - and showed a sandwich dripping with Whiz. Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as Bill and Chelsea Clinton, ate at Pat's - and had Whiz.