I guess the whole city owes South Philly a thank you — Because, when the Safe Injection Site was going to open in your neighborhood you got the attention of the news media, City Council and all the residents. I like your strength because you stand behind “we don’t want it here or, for that matter, nowhere in our city.” Last year, just around this time, Hilton Street, in Kensington, was almost the first site. It would have been right behind the K&A El stop, and right by a children’s daycare facility. Most must have thought Kensington was the right location except for the neighborhoods it surrounded. We had petitions out in as many local businesses as we could and presented them at the first meeting at Heitzman Rec, which was packed with local residents. Just like you, we were told by the safe injection people they apologized for not having more community meetings prior to the facility opening. They weren’t there to inform anyone about what they wanted to do but it leaked out, and they needed to stand in front of everyone because they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar before that facility was opened. We all sat there and tried to understand how they felt this would be a good thing and deter drug addiction. Weren’t they playing devil’s advocate? I thought so. Can any of us absorb what they are saying about a safe injection site? I just can’t. How does someone buy illegal drugs, take them to this facility and be shown how to inject them properly, have Narcan on hand in case they overdose and not consider yourself an enabler? How are you helping addicts? Having counselors on staff to talk to people about the bad effects of drugs after you just helped them get high, how can you rationalize that makes sense? I don’t think any of us can. What we see is more drug dealers coming in, more crime, and our youth getting mixed-up ideas. We tell them to say NO to drugs, but you say, come here and we will show you the right way to do drugs. That’s just outright CRAZY! How much money are you all making from this? You can’t have a medical staff, counselors and yourselves not making money. This is a disgrace. This money should be put into having better facilities, more beds and longer rehabilitation time instead of enabling drug use in this city or, for that matter, anywhere. You all need to go back to the drawing board ‘cause this idea that you are presenting isn’t sitting right here in Philly.
We need to continue the donations — Over the Christmas holidays, through the fine efforts of Joan, who works at Hecker’s Deli aka Gussie’s, located at 2620 E. Venango St., set up a box for donations for all the four-legged angels waiting for their forever home at the SPCA on Erie Avenue. Hecker’s was overwhelmed at the response it received. So many carloads of things were taken to the shelter, and the SPCA was so very grateful. Well, they are doing it again. All donations are being accepted from now through Friday, April 10. It’s a great time while you are spring cleaning and have blankets, sheets or towels you don’t know what to do with, bag them up and drop off for the animals. Personally, I would go to the dollar store and pick up cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, mops, brooms, sponges and always find stuff in their animal aisle, from food, leashes, toys, even grooming supplies. Other things that are needed are old newspapers, plastic shopping bags and paper towels. Hecker’s has a flier in its store, and I am running the ad in the Star as to what you can drop off. Everything will be deeply appreciated. Please remember to adopt, don’t shop. Save a life, you will forever be blessed with unconditional love.
Have you got your tickets yet? Port Richmond Tigers will be hosting its Mystery Bingo on March 29 at St. George, located at Edgemont and Venango streets. The doors open at 1 p.m. And bingo starts at 2 p.m. If you buy your tickets by March 6, they are only $25. After that, they are $30. It includes a nice lunch spread and plenty of games, Chinese auction and 50/50s. It’s a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon with your friends and family. It’s a big fundraiser for the Tigers organization, which believes getting kids involved in sports not only gets them exercise, but builds self-esteem and teaches them values they carry into adulthood. Stop at the clubhouse at Chatham and Ann or call head honcho Tommy Mack at 215-275-8838.