Letters to the Editor

Stop feeding the birds

After witnessing a pack of rats eating bread left on the sidewalk, I felt compelled to write in. I understand it may be a “tradition” and seem like a kind act for birds but there are a number of negative consequences for your neighborhood and the environment. Before you feed the birds (and stray cats) please consider:

• Nutritional imbalance: Stale bread lacks the nutritional content that wild birds need for a balanced diet. Feeding them primarily with bread can lead to malnutrition and health issues, affecting their overall population.

• Dependency on human food: Feeding birds with human food, especially processed bread, can create dependency. Birds may become reliant on handouts, disrupting their natural foraging behaviors and impacting their ability to find suitable, nutritionally diverse food in the wild.

• Overpopulation issues: Providing abundant, easily accessible food can lead to overpopulation of certain bird species. This imbalance can affect the ecosystem, leading to increased competition for resources, territorial conflicts and potential declines in other bird populations.

• Spread of diseases: Crowded feeding areas, such as those where people toss stale bread, can facilitate the spread of diseases among birds. Fecal contamination in these areas can contribute to the transmission of pathogens that harm bird populations.

• Pest attraction: Leftover bread on streets attracts not only birds but also rodents and pests. This can lead to hygiene issues and create an unsanitary environment, posing health risks to both wildlife and humans.

• Environmental pollution: Uneaten bread left in public spaces contributes to environmental pollution. It can attract pests, create unsightly messes and negatively impact water bodies if discarded near aquatic environments.

• Interference with natural behaviors: Feeding birds with stale bread may disrupt their natural behaviors, such as foraging, hunting and migration patterns. This interference can have cascading effects on the ecological balance of local bird populations.

Let’s keep our streets clear of trash and food.

Chris McLendon

Right man at right time

Was so grateful to read Mark Zimmaro’s report on the promotion by Mayor-Elect Cherelle Parker of Chief of School Safety Kevin Bethel to become our next police commissioner (“Philly has a new police commissioner,” Nov. 29). Bethel’s new position happens at a time of crisis in public safety in Philadelphia. His decades of policing experience could not come at a better time.

As Zimmaro reports, Bethel brings a strong background in police work including working with juveniles. He has received strong words of support from office holders like City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson as well as the Board of Education. The latter especially praised him for school initiatives like the Safe Pathways Program among others.

The thing that especially reassures me, as a lifelong Philadelphian, is Bethel’s long history of success and creativity in a variety of law enforcement and community areas. We surely need such an experienced and dedicated person to lead this challenging city department. Many thanks to Mayor-Elect Parker for choosing Kevin Bethel for our next police commissioner. It gives us hope.

Gloria C. Endres

High hopes for new police commissioner

We are currently experiencing and are being exposed to violence in our communities. A low sense of community safety, unsupervised access to guns and involvement in risky community behaviors such as drug dealing, carjackings, robberies. Even with most states in America having legal use of cannabis. This is all contributing to youths’ involvement in gun carrying and gun violence.

Mass shootings happening time and time again. Most residents of Philadelphia will agree that all this violence is outrageously dreadful. The new Philadelphia police commissioner, Kevin Bethel, has to confidently and firmly use all the manpower and old-school tactics to lower crime and gun violence rates.

With Commissioner Bethel’s experience of being Philadelphia’s school district chief of school safety, his knowledge from that should be transferred over to the Police Department. Philadelphia is a beloved city but it is far from being the safest city in the United States of America.

Bethel has a great deal of police work to do for real change making. In 2024 I hope real change comes for Philadelphia in the decreasing of crimes and violence. Commissioner Kevin Bethel and Mayor-Elect Cherelle Parker are hopefully the answer for solving this crisis.

Alim Howell

Look for the label

Thanks to everyone promoting the importance of supporting local businesses and the American workers they employ. Each of us has seen that shopping in America has changed in recent years. Many people prefer to shop at local brick and mortar stores where they can see the items before they make a purchase. Some consumers shop for a portion of their needs on the internet and have the items delivered to them. However you choose to shop, seek out items made and assembled in America, where we know workers are employed from the point of production to the point of sale.

Supporters of the Buy American Made Campaign are urging all Americans to promote December as National Small Business Month. As often as possible, look for the Made in America label that we know reflects the workmanship and livelihoods of our fellow Americans who represent our families, friends and neighbors.

In the last 35 years, as the global economy grew, the American people have seen that foreign merchandisers are working hard to have the products they represent available everywhere Americans shop. Our goal is to restore more industries in the United States and return to no less than a 50-50 balance of products made in America available for sale everywhere Americans shop.  

We can all see that it is mainly up to America’s consumers to lead the way to support American workers, which is very important so we can see more American-made items returning to store shelves. Thanks for your participation.

Kindly welcome your family and friends to visit our Internet site, AmericanWorkersRadio.com, which is also linked to our December effort, NationalSmallBusinessMonth.com. Your comments and suggestion are always welcome. Email Michael@AmericanWorkersRadio.com.

Michael Blichasz