Letters to the Editor

Feed the children

What a pleasure to read Mark Zimmaro’s report on President Biden’s visit to South Philly’s Philabundance on Martin Luther King Day (“Biden lends a helping hand at Philabundance,” Jan. 17). Not only did the president pay a visit, but he volunteered to help pack family meal kits. Bravo.

According to Zimmaro, this was Biden’s third visit to Philabundance since his inauguration. This time he was accompanied by newly elected Mayor Cherelle Parker and other dignitaries to celebrate the King Day of Service, Jan. 15.

We should all be aware of the real hunger crisis in our country, especially for children out of school for the summer. Am thinking this is one reason why Mayor Parker would like to see year-round school. It would not only give students extra academic attention but make sure they are fed at least two good meals per school day.

The very idea that more than 13 million American children experienced hunger in 2022 is beyond comprehension. We need to support and encourage organizations like Philabundance and Feeding America to end this condition.

President Biden truly deserves credit for his commitment to ending food insecurity in America. His example should inspire others to volunteer their efforts to reach that lifesaving goal.

Gloria C. Endres

Preserve access to nature

In response to the Jan. 10 op-ed, Build more sports fields for kids, it is ridiculous to assert, as the Fairmount Park Conservancy director Maura McCarthy does (Jan 13), that because “quality playing fields are in short supply in neighborhoods across the city,” South Philadelphia’s only natural area and the heritage trees there must be destroyed.

The Parks Dept., which made this devil’s deal with the Conservancy, has almost 200 football/soccer fields all across the city, and admits it has let most of them fall into neglect (go and see for yourself). These fields could be upgraded with resilient modern natural grass, which is safer and ultimately cheaper than artificial turf. Instead, the Conservancy would spend $100 million on ex-mayor Kenney’s vanity project, a 16-field sports complex best suited for rental to out-of-town leagues.

What the Conservancy is offering Philadelphia’s young athletes is distant fields made of plastic turf with its high injury rates, toxic both to players and to the environment. And if it’s “recyclable,” why is it rotting in piles all over the state? Because there are no recycling facilities.

We in South Philly stand to lose a vital ecological area, so soon after gaining access to it. All so that the Conservancy can take in millions in management fees to install a giant, toxic heat island lit up with 70-foot floodlights, surrounded by roads and parking lots, built on a natural floodplain — without a single Council hearing or vote on this or any part of the whole $256 million plan. Curious how that happened.

It’s time for the people to put a stop to this foolishness and demand quality sports facilities in our neighborhoods, and access to nature, too. We can have both and we deserve to have both.

Avigail Milder and Jairrus James

Save The Meadows

Beware artificial turf

In response to the Jan. 10 op-ed, Build more sports fields for kids, if we honestly cared for our children we would provide them with toxic-free playing spaces. If Maura McCarthy of the Fairmount Park Conservancy honestly wants that, then she is claiming that they have sourced toxin-free artificial turf for the FDR Park playing fields they want to build. 

So what is the name of the manufacturer and product? Is there a third-party lab report verifying their claims to be toxin-free? What are the exact chemical compounds that make this so-called “performance turf” so durable against extended play and inclement weather? If it was just coconut and walnut, wouldn’t it rot like any other pile of organic matter thrown on a compost heap? 

Experts on artificial turf agree. It all contains PFAS forever chemicals. Either the Conservancy is being hoodwinked by manufacturers or they are lying to us. 

Madelynn Katz

Highlight American-made products

During the last few years, our supporters have seen for themselves how much our efforts have benefited American workers and the businesses proudly listing on their labels that they are made or assembled in America.

Our efforts helped bring attention to the fact that America’s industries were being outsourced around the world while Americans lost jobs and their livelihoods.

Our efforts opened the eyes of the American people by asking them to look at labels and ask why these products aren’t made in America anymore.

Our efforts helped slow down the loss of additional companies considering a move overseas.

Our efforts helped American-based businesses see the benefit of maintaining and growing their product lines in the United States of America, where their customers live and need jobs.

Our efforts and our buying habits have left a lasting impression on manufacturers and investors who want to satisfy customers in search of products made in America.

Because support for the American-made label is so important, we always urge American-based businesses to highlight on their labels and packaging that the items are made or assembled in the United States of America.

We all know that well-presented labels help alert customers that the products they are looking at are made or assembled in America. If you, a family member or friend work for a business manufacturing in the USA, you are encouraged to highlight the fact that their products are made in America.

Thanks for your participation and for spreading the word about the efforts of the Buy American Made Campaign. Send your suggestions to Michael@AmerianWorkersRadio.com.

Michael Blichasz