By Christopher Harper
As Philadelphia slouches toward its new normal, city residents face myriad issues from police protection to garbage removal to exploding fireworks on a continuing basis to downed trees to….
You get the drift. Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Chief Danielle Outlaw—no kidding—apologized to demonstrators who were tear-gassed while blocking an interstate highway.
The police have suspended the use of tear gas and pepper spray except when an officer faced an imminent threat of death!
At least the police union got it right. “We’re apologizing to protestors? Protestors?” said FOP Lodge President John McNesby. “To the officers out there, the message is be careful. Call us if you need us. No one has your back.”
Although the city did not fire or furlough any workers, garbage pickup has generally been one or two days late. Recycling has been changed to once every two weeks.
That’s unlikely to change, given an allegedly huge hole in the city budget. I know that my city income tax and real estate taxes didn’t decline during the pandemic. The tax on soda and other drinks goes on unabated.
But the city did use its “forward-looking approach” to an urban environment by eliminating laws against using fireworks in Philadelphia.
Since the first of the year, the city has had nearly 1,000 complaints about excessive noise from fireworks, but no prosecutions. With fewer police wanting to get into any confrontations over enforcing laws, it’s unlikely that the boom of summer evenings will dissipate anytime soon.
In Kensington, a poor neighborhood in North Philly, veterans with PTSD have complained vociferously about the nightly barrages of fireworks. See https://billypenn.com/2020/06/23/its-the-first-year-fireworks-are-legal-in-philly-and-cops-have-gotten-nearly-1000-complaints/
Then there is the massive number of trees downed a month ago during a severe storm. Dozens litter my neighborhood in Northwest Philly. Residents pushed the branches aside, but the downed trunks require cranes and chainsaws. Some people got so tired of the junk on the sidewalks they paid thousands of dollars to cut up the trees that are technically on city property.
It would be nice to consider a home outside of Philly, but the Democrat creeps in the suburbs have created significant increases in real estate taxes.
So I’ll just have to sit back and watch the Democrats destroy what remains of a once-proud place.
One final note: At least I was able to get a haircut this week!