Political signs aren’t equivalent

Pete Mazzaccaro, in his June 14 editorial “Party Lines Drawn on Suburban Lawns,” suggests a moral equivalency where none exists.

As one who has a “Hate Has No Home Here” sign on his lawn, I suppose my family’s motivation was similar to many others who posted that sign. We wanted to make clear that despite the outcome of the presidential election, we do not believe America as a whole is a place that hates and rejects Mexicans, the disabled, prisoners of war, women, judges, or the many other categories of human beings targeted for insult and vitriol by the victorious candidate.

Our signs are not an attack on anyone, just a defense of the values that have been trampled on by candidate and President Trump. But those who post the reactive “Love Lives Here” signs have already endorsed the opposite message through their support of Trump.

Are those sign posters truly as deplorable as the man they championed? If they applauded his venomous slogans of racism, xenophobia, misogyny and mendacity, then they certainly are. But even if they “merely” ignored or excused them, they cannot by posting their signs deny or erase the harm they did, and continue to do, by supporting a man who brays incivility, indecency and hate.

Stephen B. Heimann
Chestnut Hill


Grateful for Univest Bank

I recently received a notice from Univest Bank that my balance was $85 below normal due to many months of “dormancy fees” that I was completely unaware of.

I opened this account as a gesture of good faith when it arrived in the neighborhood as Valley Green Bank in 2002. I rarely use the account, but I have kept it open to support a local financial institution in the neighborhood. I was upset and felt ripped off when I saw the accumulation of $85 in fees, and stormed into the Mount Airy branch after calling ahead and venting my displeasure.

To my surprise the two women I dealt with were kind, professional and respectful of my loyal history to the bank. They apologized for the error, restored all of my funds, and committed to personally calling me next year to prevent the annual dormancy fee from rearing its ugly head again.

Thanks to Service Representative Colleen Rinear and a special thanks to Vice President and Branch Manager Dale Thistlethwaite for their exceptional customer service.

They have restored my faith in local banking and the world in general.

Dr. Linda Ziman
Mount Airy


A call for Wolf to follow climate accord

We, representatives of four Southeast Pennsylvania (out of 6000 national) progressive Indivisible “resistance” groups, deplore President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, endangering the health and future of pro- and anti-Trump constituents.

We thank Senator Bob Casey and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney for speaking out immediately to denounce this backward-thinking, destructive action. We call on Senator Pat Toomey to justify his support for the President.

We call on Governor Tom Wolf to join the governors of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, and the mayor of Washington, D.C.,  in the newly formed bipartisan United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that is pledging to uphold the tenets of the Paris Agreement in their states.

The President claims his decision is a boon to U.S. business and to coal mining specifically. Senator Toomey and the President both know that coal mining harms miners and pollutes the air and water. Major energy companies have been abandoning coal for years in favor of more profitable alternatives.

According to Daniel Doubet, executive director of Keystone Progress, “There are over 66,000 clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania, with the number increasing by 15 percent in the past two years.” CNN Money reports that there are only 51,000 coal mining jobs in the entire United States – down from 89,400 in 2011.

Leading the world in creating renewable jobs and technology is the way to make America great. Instead, President Trump – with Senator Toomey’s backing – is ceding global leadership to Beijing, India, and Europe.

George Stern, Indivisible NW Philly (geomstern@gmail.com)

Sam Quintal, East Falls and Beyond Indivisible

George Alexander, Delco PA Indivisible

Virginia Goldberg and Richard Kaplan, Environmental Action Committee of the Social Justice Group (Chestnut Hill and Springfield Twp., Montco)


The personal impact of Medicaid

As the debate about funding Medicaid escalates across the country, what often gets missed in the news reports, conversations, and vitriol is that Medicaid is not just about medical care. It’ s also pretty much the only funder of long-term services in this country for people with disabilities. In my experience, many people – including a lot of our own family and friends and neighbors who know and love our daughter, as well as some legislators , and probably most of the general public ­ aren’t aware of that fact, or if they are, don’ t really understand what it means.

So here’s a brief overview of what it means for us: Katie is 26 years old and needs 24/7 care and supervision. There is nothing she is able to do independently. Currently, she goes to a day program for five hours a day/five days a week, which is paid for through Medicaid. The rest of the time her father and I provide the care she needs.

She is on a waiting list for a slot on the Consolidated waiver, which in Pennsylvania is what pays for residential services, but that list is long, and if there are cuts to Medicaid (including going to block grants or capped funding) the list will get longer.

We are not trying to shirk our responsibility as her parents, but the hard fact is we are getting older, and at some point we will not be able to do this anymore. When that day comes, our daughter’ s life will be in the hands of the paid supports that only Medicaid provides.

If we want a society that cares for its most vulnerable citizens; it is incumbent upon all of just to ensure that Medicaid funding is secure now and in the future.

Katie Robertson
Mt. Airy

  • Gloria D

    re Yard Signs:
    Some have objected to yard signs with messages such as “Hate has no home here.” Some people feel that these signs are challenging them and sending hostile messages; these people need to see a psychiatrist
    because they apparently are suffering from paranoia.

    The signs have a very innocent intent of conveying acceptance and love. They are intended to reassure people who have darker skin, wear unusual clothing or are from various countries and religions
    that no one is going to demand that they leave this country and shoot them. That’s
    all. I find them to be comforting.

    • Robert Fox

      That’s terrific! Because no one, including our president, disagrees with anything you just said! The reality is that those signs are smug, self-righteous, and sanctimonious. They might as well say “Look at me! I’m virtuous!” Oh, and in the greatest irony, the signs are obviously hateful and angry as well.

      • John

        The venom and hate is palpable in your words. Your obvious support for Trump is not subtle. Nor is your equally obvious message that he is being treated unfairly by the liberal media. You should spend some time looking into which side of the arguement the worlds best and brightest scientists, thought leaders and Nobel prize winners are on.

        But you won’t… you will just respond with more hate, citing facts that are so selective and biased… perhaps you will prove me wrong and not respond…

        We don’t hate you, we pity you. Fortunatly we outnumber you… here at least.

        • Robert Fox

          I love how you completely dismiss my ability to evaluate the evidence with my own faculties, and instead tell me I’ll ignore it. The arrogance of the left has no bounds. As far as your pity for me, thanks, I guess. Dumb, ignorant, homophobic, racists like myself need all the pity we can get!

          • Phil McKraken

            Robert Fox, is that your real name or an alias? Do you live in Chestnut Hill?

      • John

        For the record though Robert, I do think the signs are a bit much. 🙂

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/protestprotest/ Darryl Hart

    There was a time when the Moral Majority painted U.S. politics in the stark colors of black and white. Many who disagreed with Jerry Falwell (Sr.) thought the religious right was guilty of theocracy and incapable of living with moral differences. Now comes Mr. Heimann who paints with the same color palette and imitates the right’s self-righteousness.

    Fundamentalism lives! Well done.