Crime report critic offers no proof

Regarding the article from the March 14 Local by R. Tyson Smith, “The Crime of the Crime Report,” I couldn’t disagree more strongly with his allegations of racism in the Crime Report section of the Local.

I’ve been reading the weekly crime report almost every week for 22 years and have seen numerous situations where the alleged criminal was described as white. True, there have been infinitely more occasions when the offender was described as black, but I can only reason that has to do with the reality of the situation.

What possible reason would the Town Watch people or the Local have for omitting the race of white offenders? Because it would make “us” look bad?

Mr. Smith’s assertions make no sense. Furthermore his insinuations that there is rampant crime committed by whites that is somehow omitted from the Local news reporting, based on no evidence is insulting and at the same time laughable.

He then proceeds with his rant with the injustice of the under-reporting of white collar crime to continue this conspiracy theory article. It’s surprising how someone who has a doctorate degree and teaches at an Ivy League university could espouse such faulty logic.

James Aleo

Chestnut Hill


A legendary barber retires

The barber pole at 8140 Germantown Ave. stands at parade rest. The sign on the door, hand-written by shop-owner Frank Salemno, announces that after 75 years on the job, he has retired. He thanks his customers. We are legion, and we return the thanks. I am one who has gone faithfully to Frank’s shop for decades, ranking myself about halfway up his list of haircuts per man.

I’m calculating: 6.5 visits each year – yeah, I get shaggy – times 48 years equals 312 “masterpieces” (enough brown-going-gray trimmings to stuff a sofa). The experience there was always worth the wait. And I got to brag that “I go to Frank.” An honored Marine. A Veteran of Iwo Jima. A story teller. A listener. A straight arrow. A man who loves his work and does it well. A man whose workplace was like an inclusive fraternity house, where instead of a secret handshake, he gave the initiated a slap on the back of the head. And then we went on our way, feeling good.

Frank, I was going to be the guy to buy you coffee next time. Well, now that you’re retired, you won’t have to stand for hours and hours. You can spend more time on your boat with your feet up, fishing, and remembering all your friends.

Horace “Pete” Deacon

East Falls


Time to recruit a barber?

Chestnut Hill has had two wonderful barber shops, Victor’s (now Angelo’s) and Frank Salemno’s. My understanding is that Frank has stopped coming to his barber shop, and there is nobody else to take his place.

Angelo told me that he hadn’t been able to find anybody to continue operating his barber shop.

Wouldn’t it make sense for the Business Association to start thinking of how to recruit a barber so we will be sure to have a barber shop in Chestnut Hill?


George Spaeth

Chestnut Hill


Courageous Yinka

I read the March 7 article “No ‘pity party’ for Yinka, always helping others – Courageous artist struggles to overcome depression” with interest as a mental health professional.

This remarkable young woman, Yinka Orafidiya does mention medication and psychotherapy as a treatment for depression, but one treatment option not discussed is ECT or electroconvulsive therapy (shocking, isn’t it?). This treatment is often used for refractory depression (and for suicidal depression) which does not respond to medication alone.

Medication that doesn’t help before ECT, often works well after ECT when the person is less depressed. I have seen hundreds of patients who have received ECT on an in-patient and out-patient basis and have seen dramatic results.

Anti-depressants can take up to 4-6 weeks to reach their optimum effect. Unfortunately, many people have very negative impressions of ECT due to movies like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” where ECT was used as a punishment and “Beautiful Mind” where they used insulin shock therapy. I give Ms. Orafidiya much credit for speaking publicly about her struggle with chronic depression.

Linda Cherkas, LSW

West Mt. Airy