Drew Milliken a very special guy

The Chestnut Hill Local has been good enough to run photos in 2010 of homeless cats we rescued from the streets of North Philadelphia, so I want to let you know that there are wonderful people in our community like Drew Milliken, a realtor with Prudential Fox and Roach in Chestnut Hill.

Drew adopted two cats last year that I found in a terrible snowstorm. Many of you may remember Lily and Tioga since Lily had to have her infected eye removed. I am overwhelmed by Drew’s kind words in a recent letter: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for such good, affectionate, funny, loving characters. You changed not only their lives, but mine for so much the better.”

I reminded Drew that he is the special one for taking a deaf, partially blind cat that could not be separated from the cat that was too shy for him to even meet. (The cats were literally walking shoulder to shoulder as if one was guiding the other.)

The love that they all share could not occurred without Drew’s amazing and kind heart. It’s a wonderful, inspiring love story by which to start the new year.

Brenda Malinics
Flourtown

How about a hand?

On New Years’ Eve, I was unfortunate enough to find myself starting to drive home on Highland Avenue when I stopped to see why my car was pulling to the right. Low and behold, I had a flat tire.

I pulled past the Chestnut Hill Fire House and to the curb. I was parked there for about 10 minutes awaiting my tire to inflate with the device I had but the hole was too big, hence, I gave up and started to pull out the spare and jack.

As I was unloading the spare from my trunk a fire/rescue truck returned and was backing in. I asked the one medic/firefighter if I was in the way she kindly said “no, you are fine” and proceeded to assist her driver to back into the station. At that point, two other firefighters/medics saw me outside (they had no idea I was even there until the door opened) both men, almost simultaneously, said to me, “You can’t park there. You can’t change your tire there. You have to move…” I said back that I would but that I just had asked and was told I was OK there. Clearly I was not parking or planning on staying.

I tell the details of this story not because I was in any distress or had any real concern of what I needed to do in changing my tire. It was not dark. I was safely on the side of the road. There was no mother and child that needed to be saved. I am writing this because here it was, Chestnut Hill, New Years’ Eve, and not for one second did it dawn on these people who are public servants to ask, “Hey man, need a hand?” Instead I was asked to move and to “be calm” when I protested being asked to move my car, which was already on a jack.

There was absolutely nothing special about this except the really bad behavior of two men who supposedly work to help people and in fact are paid to assist those in need. At the very least a gesture of kindness or “ya OK?” could have been extended by those who are supposed to be in the nice part of Philadelphia.

Dane Menkin
Mt. Airy

Anti-cull protesters demand an apology

On Saturday, Dec. 4, I and other supporters of Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer (PAD) protested the annual deer killing In Fairmount Park. We believe sharpshooting and hunting are counterproductive, are psychologically harmful to the community and comprise an unjust assault on deer.

We were intimidated by a large presence of authorities called in to interrupt our vigil, and pressed to cut or protest short. We did so.

I have consulted with Mary Catherine Roper, an attorney for the Philadelphia office of the American Civil Liberties Union. Cutting off our protest was an illegal action on the part of the Philadelphia Police Department and Barry Bessler, chief of staff of the Fairmount Park Rangers.

In light of all of the above I have asked attorney Roper to assist me in setting forth PAD’s demands in compensation for the violation of our civil liberties:

1. A press conference with the Philadelphia Police, Barry Bessler and Michael DiBerardinis, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, for PAD to receive an apology for the events of Dec. 4.

2. A public forum with Fairmount Park Rangers, Bessler, DiBerardinis and the Philadelphia Police and PAD addressing the deer issue in the Wissahickon Valley at a Chestnut Hill location, with moderator.

This is a viable way for PAD to begin to be compensated for having our civil liberties violated, and it will serve as a long-overdue informational event. We have had 11 years of killing in the Wissahickon Valley with no public hearing to explain and debate the continued occurrence of deer control.

Thus far only the Chestnut Hill Local has responded, although the Philadelphia Inquirer and other local papers were informed. Animal rights and their advocates live in this community and have a vital role to play. We have been illegally silenced. We now ask to be heard.

Mary Ann Baron
Co-Founder, Philadelphia
Advocates for the Deer
Chestnut Hill