Letters to the Editor: Feb. 1, 2017

Ex­ten­sion won’t fix ID mess

As Wash­ing­ton, D.C. is at­tempt­ing to bridge a deep par­tis­an di­vide, Pennsylvania is start­ing this year on a dif­fer­ent note as both sides of the aisle are united in fix­ing a prob­lem that has been creep­ing up on us for years. 

In a let­ter to the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cur­ity, Gov. Tom Wolf joined le­gis­lat­ive lead­ers from both parties in the Sen­ate and the House to make a com­mit­ment to put the state on the right track to com­ply with the fed­er­al REAL ID Act of 2005. The let­ter also re­ques­ted an ex­ten­sion to give the state time to com­ply. 

Thank­fully, DHS re­len­ted and gran­ted Pennsylvania an ex­ten­sion through June, but what was, and in many ways still is, at risk should not be un­der­stated. 

If the feds had not gran­ted the com­mon­wealth an ex­ten­sion, Pennsylvania driver’s li­censes and ID cards would not have been ac­cep­ted at up to 257 fed­er­al build­ings, nuc­le­ar power plants and mil­it­ary bases throughout the state, not to men­tion at count­less oth­er sim­il­ar sites throughout the coun­try.

By Janu­ary 2018, our state iden­ti­fic­a­tion would no longer be ac­cep­ted for do­mest­ic air travel. Sounds crazy? It is. But, un­less fur­ther ac­tion is taken, every Pennsylvani­an will need a pass­port to fly com­mer­cially, even from Phil­adelphia to Pitt­s­burgh.

The short ex­ten­sion gran­ted to us from DHS is great news, as it gives the Gen­er­al As­sembly time to ad­dress this im­pend­ing night­mare.

Sen. Kim Ward and I have already in­tro­duced identic­al le­gis­la­tion, H.B. 150 and S.B. 133, which would re­solve the un­der­ly­ing non­com­pli­ance is­sue and al­low PennDOT to work to­ward meet­ing the en­hanced se­cur­ity stand­ards.

I urge my col­leagues in the House and the Sen­ate not to cel­eb­rate about this ex­ten­sion for too long. Work still needs to be done to en­sure that Pennsylvania’s IDs will con­tin­ue to be ac­cep­ted and re­main se­cure from fraud.

Ed Neilson

State Rep­res­ent­at­ive, 174th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict

Ques­tions for Seth Wil­li­ams

Why did D.A. Seth Wil­li­ams take those highly ques­tion­able per­son­al gifts from some of those donors in the first place? 

Why didn’t he re­port them un­til re­cently?

Then he pur­chases an en­tire page to apo­lo­gize to the “People of Phil­adelphia” with an ad that is “paid and au­thor­ized by Seth Wil­li­ams Vic­tory Com­mit­tee.”

Who is pay­ing his huge eth­ics vi­ol­a­tion pen­al­ties?

How sin­cere can he really be?

May­er Krain

Mod­ena Park

Dredging cre­ates new jobs 

It was an­nounced that the funds needed to com­plete the Delaware River chan­nel deep­en­ing pro­ject had been se­cured.  This is fant­ast­ic news for Phil­adelphia and the sur­round­ing re­gions, as the pro­ject will en­sure loc­al ports re­main com­pet­it­ive in our glob­al­ized eco­nomy while sim­ul­tan­eously at­tract­ing new busi­ness op­por­tun­it­ies and well-pay­ing jobs.  

Dredging the Delaware has been a pro­ject I have been fo­cused on even be­fore I was elec­ted as a state rep­res­ent­at­ive and I would like to thank every­one in­volved in mak­ing it a real­ity. U.S. Sen. Bob Ca­sey and state Rep. Bill Keller in par­tic­u­lar played an in­teg­ral role and should be com­men­ded for their ef­forts.

As it stands now, about 80 per­cent of the chan­nel has already been deepened to 45 feet and these funds will al­low the re­main­ing sec­tions of the river to be deepened to that same level. This will al­low lar­ger ships and ships loaded with more cargo to sail the Delaware River now that the Panama Canal ex­pan­sion has been com­pleted. 

This pro­ject is cru­cial for the fu­ture of Phil­adelphia. Port cit­ies across the coun­try have been deep­en­ing their wa­ters to handle the ever-in­creas­ing size of cargo ships, and it is wise for Phil­adelphia to fol­low suit. 

His­tor­ic­ally, the Delaware River has been the eco­nom­ic lifeblood for Phil­adelphia, and this pro­ject will en­sure that leg­acy is pre­served and strengthened for years to come. 

Mike Driscoll

State Rep­res­ent­at­ive, 173rd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict

Please keep dogs on a leash

I have seen many dogs off their leash in play­grounds and school­yards, while people are on their cell phones, not pay­ing any at­ten­tion to their dogs. 

How do you know when your dog or dogs could at­tack oth­er dogs? I have already seen it. 

One more thing, get off your phone and clean up after.

An­drea De­Ber­ardinis


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