Another Kiosk tale

A month ago I was meeting friends to have lunch at the French Bakery, so I used the Hilltop Parking lot. Money was inserted in the machine to cover one hour, but then I realized that more time would be needed. So two minutes later more money was inserted to extend the time to 1-1/2 hours.

Both tickets were placed on my dashboard. But each ticket showed the individual expire time, not the total. A parking meter, of course, would have combined the time. I continued with my lunch plans and had a delightful time.

Upon returning to my car before the extended expire time, I was greeted with a $26 ticket. The ticket showed it was written 10 minutes before the extended expire time.

Feeling I had been wronged, I followed the instructions to contest the ticket. A phone call assured me that the issue would be reviewed. Copies of the ticket and the kiosk stubs were sent to the City of Philadelphia BAA with a letter of explanation.

I have just received a letter from the Hearing Examiner of the City of Philadelphia Parking Violation Branch stating that my ticket has been dismissed. My time and effort proved worthwhile, and the system although a bother, worked.

It’s a shame that these kiosks are so user unfriendly.

Ann Hunter

Blue Bell


Narrow views start while young

When I was at school, an outside guest gave a lecture during a 40 minute time period. A student came in at the back of the classroom for the last five minutes of the presentation. When the question and answer period started, that student stated that he disagreed with everything the speaker had said.

Is the concept of intellectual integrity ever raised in the field of education? It frequently seems that students are taught what to think, not sound thinking skills. In a political discussion, I often hear someone joke about the opposition’s position, call them stupid, or a racist, without ever having a meaningful discussion. In another attempt to dodge real analysis of the facts, a person will give a quick opinion and then tell everyone how smart he is. Learning how to win an argument is not consistent with intellectual integrity.

The current polarization in our political process may have its roots in allowing students to rely on intuitive thought. Immediately thinking that the other guy is an extremist nullifies any attempt at deductive reasoning.

As a minimum, students should be taught how to verify facts, not to cherry-pick statistics that support their position, not to exaggerate the opposite opinion, to understand details while avoiding labels, that events have multiple causes, and that a good short-term action may not be right for the long run.

Throughout history, students have been taught what to think which makes it difficult for them to accept new ideas and reach proper solutions.

Glenn Watkins

Chestnut Hill


‘Raucous guffaws’ at hilarious article

My husband came up the stairs. He heard my raucous guffaws all the way on the first floor.

“What are you laughing at?” he asked.

“Oh, Mike Todd has done it again!” (“Living with a werewolf is a nightmare,” March 28)

“Oh, good. I’ll look forward to it. ”

Our scintillating conversation continued as my giggles and chortles got louder and louder. As soon as he’s done reading it, I’ll be sure it goes to my daughter in Pittsburgh. All of it was Mike’s usual knee-slapping quality, but two parts made me especially undignified — “I tried to flex hard enough to shred my pants and shirt into tatters, but my face just turned red instead of Incredible-Hulk green.” Had I been drinking anything, it would have come out my nose; that’s how hard I laughed.

And then Mike’s celebrating his 365th consecutive terrible night’s sleep … oh, and the way Zack, his son, wakes up. Yes, yes.

My granddaughters double-team the effort to create bags under their parents’ eyes, and are quite effective. Your column should cheer them up. Fatigue loves company.

Thank you, as always!

Janet Mather

Chestnut Hill

Chestnut Hill is welcoming to all

I admire the choices you make in the Local Life section. When I was a corporate editor, I always tried to emulate the work you do at the Local. I would always look closely at the stories and photos that I was publishing to be sure that different voices were being presented and that I was being inclusive of all of our communities.

I believe that Chestnut Hill has often been perceived as a white, wealthy and exclusive community. You have always made sure there are stories about people of all races, religions and walks of life represented in the Local. In other words, you have always been inclusive.

I don’t know whether you think about this or if it’s just sewn into your moral fiber. But when people open the Local, they see that the community at least tries to be welcoming to all. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Mt. Airy … but I have a deep appreciation for diversity, and I couldn’t live or be part of something that isn’t diverse.

Carole Verona

Freelance writer

Lafayette Hill

‘Irish Philadelphia’ article ‘wonderful’

You did a wonderful, comprehensive job in writing up information about the Irish in Chestnut Hill (March 21 issue) and in alluding to much of the historical material I have presented in my pictorial history, “Irish Philadelphia,” published in the Images of America Series.

I know that Jane Duffin, the editor of the Irish Edition, was really happy to see her mother and father’s wedding photo reproduced so artfully in the paper. One thing that was not quite accurate is that Lois Duffin is Jane Duffin’s sister-in-law. Lois Duffin owns and operates the orchid business with Jim Duffin, her husband who is Jane Duffin’s brother.

I think the information you provided to your local readers will surprise many since the Irish are so mainstream now in so many businesses and the professions and as a presence in your local boards and charities. It was not always so, and the Irish as an ethnic group have risen to the top in almost every part of American life.

Also, I want to thank you for identifying the St. Joseph Sister, M. Anita MacDonald, who was president of Chestnut Hill College. I had difficulty finding out her name when I was writing the book.

Again thank you for this wonderful tribute to the local Irish. I know Jim McGill (some at the Irish Center call him the “Mayor of Chestnut Hill”) is very pleased with the article and your mention of him and his favorite spot in the world, the Irish Center, aka the Commodore John Barry Club.

Marita J. Krivda

East Oak Lane