Sick leave bill would harm small business owners

If enacted, City Council Bill 080474, the Sick Leave Bill, would have detrimental effects on Philadelphia restaurants, other small businesses and their employees

On the surface, this legislation sounds great – give employees seven days of paid sick leave that they can use when they really need them.  Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth!

Firstly, to make up for the cost of these guaranteed sick days, restaurant owners will have to decrease pay for hourly workers or expect more hours out of salaried employees.  I know my employees would rather be paid more rather than have paid sick days that more responsible employees will never use.

Secondly, my general manager reports to me that 50 percent of all employee health related call outs are because the employee has stayed out too late the previous night partying.  I am not passing judgment on these employees.  What they do on their own time is up to them.  I am simply suggesting that less responsible employees will use up all seven of the sick days every year while the other more responsible employees will have to pick up their shifts and cover for them, while experiencing pay decreases to cover the cost.

I am not your usual small business owner that opposes all legislation that will hurt our bottom line.  I have strongly supported minimum wage increases, no smoking in restaurants and guaranteed health care coverage.  This issue is different.  It will help a small group of employees who work for unreasonable small business owners that don’t provide sick leave when necessary while hurting a majority of the employees that don’t work for one of these unreasonable bosses.

Instead of forcing paid sick leave, why not enact legislation that forces business owners to provide unpaid sick leave when an employee really needs it?  No one should be fired because they need time off for health reasons, just as no one should be rewarded for staying out too late and drinking heavily the night before they are expected to work.

Proponents of this legislation do not understand the nature of the restaurant business. I gladly supply five paid sick days per year to my real estate staff but none of them have ever used all five days

An across-the-board requirement does not make sense.  I hope you will join me in opposing Bill 080474 before damage is done to our industry.

Ken Weinstein Owner
Trolley Car Diner, Mt. Airy
Trolley Car Café, East Falls

Nothing beats living here

What a delight!  Nothing beats living in this neighborhood. I spent Saturday June 4, peeking in neighbor’s back yards, and boy was it fun!  I was on the Mt Airy Learning Tree’s Hidden Garden Tour 2011.

I thank the record number of attendees for supporting MALT via this annual event. It was spectacular thanks to the efforts of all the talented gardeners and the innovations of Eric Sternfels – our tour organizer this year.  Eric added all sorts of fun new flair to our long time event.

For the first time we had a sponsor – The Secret Garden in Roxborough. Thanks for assisting us with a broader promotion to spread the word about this great community building event.

The MALT staff gets a pat on the back for putting together a snazzier booklet and map than ever. And Eric lined up 13 fantastic gardens – granted you could do it in eight stops as some were clustered together. It had so much variety I was rolling in it!  Some were amazing plant gardens, and others were beautiful space gardens and some had cool water features. All were unique to our stunning community!  It was a blast.

I also need to tell gardeners who allowed over 120 neighbors to meander through their yards how much we all loved it!  Thank you for your willingness to share your oasis.  We also recognize and appreciate the knowledge, vision, sweat and time you gave both in advance to prepare and on Saturday as we all flowed past you.

From all the stories I heard, I can tell you that not only did you touch us, but it seems in the end we touched you as well! Thanks for letting me know later that evening how much you all enjoyed having us and how much fun it was to get all the positive feedback on your hard work!  I tell you – are we lucky or what?  Nothing beats living in this community.

Jonna Naylor
MALT Executive Director

Chestnut Hill Hospital thanks Cosimo’s Pizza

Chestnut Hill Hospital (CHH) extends a heart-felt thank you to Cosimo’s Pizza owner Enzo Mandaran and the whole team at Cosimo’s. Partnerships like the one we most recently engaged in with Cosimo’s Pizza are what make Chestnut Hill a special place to operate a business – businesses that truly serve our community

Recently, hospital employees exceeded expectations by surpassing prior year participation in the hospital’s employee satisfaction survey. As an incentive to take part in the survey, a pizza party was offered to the entire hospital staff if participation was better than in 2010. Not only did employees achieve the goal for the pizza party, they increased participation by more than 15 percent.

Now, we had to keep our end of the agreement and figure out how to conduct a pizza party for 700 busy staff members on different shifts and at different locations. That’s when John Scanlon, our CMO, gave Enzo Mandarano a call. The call started a collaboration that would lead to the successful delivery of 250 hot pizzas. They delivered to eight off-site offices including our GYN practice and Women’s Center located in Blue Bell.

Cosimo’s staff stayed after closing on a Friday night to have pies ready for the hospital’s night shift. Enzo Mandarano went above and beyond to accommodate our requests and make our Pizza Party a success.

Along with our pizza, we celebrated success with our survey results that showed improvements in many areas including employees’ “Overall satisfaction” (up 5 percent).

On behalf of all the CHH employees and physicians I want to say thank you for your delicious pizza, your considerate staff, your commitment to quality and – most importantly–being our community partner.

Brooks Turkel,
Chief Executive Officer
Chestnut Hill Hospital

John Scanlon, DPM
Chief Medical Officer
Chestnut Hill Hospital

Walk for Epilepsy

My sister Andrea had epilepsy most of her life.  About five years ago I got involved with a great organization that helps people with epilepsy/seizure disorder and their families to enhance their quality of life.  The foundation provides free educational programs, referral services, and a summer camp for children.

The camp is a wonderful experience for children with epilepsy who are not able to attend most traditional camps. The enjoyment the kids get from the camp is truly amazing.

I would like to thank all of you who have either joined us for the walk or contributed to this worthy organization over the past few years.  Your dollars and support really make a difference.

Like all non-profits, the Epilepsy Foundation  Eastern PA relies on grants from the state and contributions from individuals and businesses. Due to the continued challenging economic conditions, reduced funding from the state puts many of the programs at risk. This makes it more important than ever for those involved with the organization to reach out to our friends for support.

Each year, the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern PA holds a five mile walk (Summer Stroll) in Valley Green to raise money and awareness. Abby and I started a team in memory of my sister in 2008 in order to support the foundation and remember Andrea who took many walks on this trail. This year the stroll will take place on Saturday June 18.  Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the stroll follows at 9 a.m.. Last year through all your generous support we raised close to $2,500.  This year we want to break that mark and need your support.

For more information on the walk and the Epilepsy Foundation, visit

– Paul Keehn Erdenheim