Philly Daily News Says ‘Nay’ On Reading, PA

1 Nov

Apparently a few dead bodies are a bad thing:

Morgan Quitno Press, a private research and publishing company specializing in state and city reference books, announced yesterday that Reading is the most dangerous city in Pennsylvania, and the 21st-worst for crime in America.

Philadelphia, where the soaring murder rate hit 332 for the year yesterday and where bleeding leads the TV news every night, was just 29th in the nation.

Reading Police Officer Scott Wertz was fatally shot last August, the second Reading cop to die in a shooting in the last two years.

Philadelphia was ‘just’ 29th in the nation. Way to go guys! Anyway, we continue:

“We’re in the exact same predicament as Philadelphia and other cities,” said Reading Police Chief William M. Heim. “We have too many guns in the city, too many people walking around with illegal guns. We have an influx of people doing drugs that came here from New York City primarily, and from Philadelphia. We send some [drugs] to you guys, too.”

Heim and Reading’s mayor, Tom McMahon, said that the industrial town has changed dramatically in the years since it was fictionally celebrated in books by native son John Updike beginning with “Rabbit, Run” in 1960.

Hmmm, guns eh? Whatever buddy, I have the right to buy 10 guns a month! Still, I feel like something’s missing from this article, some group of people that hasn’t yet been scapegoated enough:

There has been a high influx of Latinos – as much as 40 percent to 45 percent of the city now – and the older housing stock has become largely rental. Even many of the factory outlets that gave a temporary boost to Reading’s economy in the 1980s and ’90s have moved to the suburbs, and gangs including the Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings have moved in.

Whew! I was worried for a second that they might not mention to the xenophobic masses that a lot of Latinos live within the cozy confines of Reading. Now we can all point and blame someone else!

But surely the people are up in arms and have been doing something about all this mess:

“I got shot right here in ’92,” he said, pointing across the street with the finger scarred by the bullet, which also struck his leg. “It felt like a white veil came over me. At the moment, I couldn’t believe it happened.” When detectives questioned him, Feliciano did not give up the shooter, although he knew who it was. “I told them, ‘It’s in God’s hands’..

Yeah, not telling the cops who did it, that’s the ticket! You already got shot, but why deal with the hassle of a court date?

Still, I bet there is a turnaround, sort of like Philly, in certain parts of the city:

In some ways, Reading is a microcosm of Philadelphia – with its troubled blue-collar economy and growing drug trade, all under the sway of the state’s not-so-restrictive gun laws. But it lacks any positive developments like the Center City construction boom.

I know. The Goggle Works, Sovereign Center, 5th and Penn office building, and upcoming apartments/movie theater don’t count. What we need to see are some developments. Thing is, things just keep getting worse with crime, right? Who would want to build when things are just going down down down:

However, the city might not have ranked so high in the nationwide survey were it not for an abnormally high rate of killings in 2005: 23. Just 14 were on the books in 2004 and only eight so far in 2006, including the slaying of a police officer.

Meh. You’re just showing me FACTS. What are facts when I can make my opinion to be true. Murders may be way down, and 2005 could’ve just been an abberation, but I don’t FEEL like it is. Thus, it ain’t. Reading is the David Eckstein of cities; we don’t see the production in the stats, but it’s there goddamit!

I get that the city ain’t great. It ain’t even good right now. But it’s not burned out. It’s not past redemption. There are plenty of good people who work hard, love their families, and want good neighborhoods. There’s some historic hoods in the little city, and they’re not going to die just yet. Yes there are problems. But to just write off any improvement because of a ranking in Morgan Quinto is just ridiculous. It’s just not that black and white.

Beyond the jokes, beyond the reactionary prose and utterings of some, there is something worth saving. What’s needed? Well, I’d say that a good start would be more police (in varying crime units), a countywide property reassesment, a countywide coalition, new emphasis on quality of life issues and funding of said issues (parks, schools, mass transport, and simple but important stuff like adequate street lighting, trash upkeep, etc.), and a true understanding that so goes Reading, so goes the county.

Let’s get beyond the rhetoric and pointless debates about trash plans. Leave that stuff in the past, with the failed administration of past mayors. Mayor Tom McMahon isn’t perfect, by no means, but he brings a sensible approach to things, and seems to care deeply about the city and its residents. He also seems to have the ear of Governor Rendell, which certainly helps. He must be re-elected for anything to get rolling.

Now, I don’t live in the city, I live right outside it (I did live in Philadelphia while going to school, which was great). I have no money…I blog. For that reason, I can’t afford to move from where I currently live, let alone try and buy a place. However, when I do plan on buying, it’ll likely be in the city, or in West Reading. I just like the urban environment and walkability. I do spend a lot of time there, though. Still, those that live in the city have a special view of the city which I simply don’t, and I’d love to hear from you. But please, let’s not character assasinate. Unless it’s about David Eckstein. I really do hate that guy.


46 Responses to “Philly Daily News Says ‘Nay’ On Reading, PA”

  1. Sam December 15, 2006 at 3:36 pm #

    It’s obvious that you’re clearly a racist bastard in denial. Stop trying to cover it up. Just let your true colors show. You know what the problem is.

  2. disgusted February 11, 2007 at 12:10 am #

    Youuu nailed it Sam. This a$$hole’s writing disgusts me. This is why Reading is the way it is. It is plagued with institutional racism that loves to keep people of color down so whites can keep reaping the benefits of a white supremacist society. Jerkoff

  3. Chris February 11, 2007 at 1:03 am #


  4. mick February 16, 2007 at 8:04 pm #

    Reading, PA blows…Is there anything to do there except get drunk and get shot at by the 80%+ hispanic population?

  5. to mick March 9, 2007 at 3:13 pm #

    well i guess you should know huh?

  6. wildhispanic September 7, 2007 at 10:36 am #

    well da truth is dat reading is a wack and ghetto place to live but i agree wit sam u r a racist bastard and first of all we hispanics stick together thats why u afraid of da truth u racist asshole get ur facts straight before u say wat u gonna say i live in reading and let me tell u its da reallest city every 1 is straight foward if they got something 2 say about u theyll say it to ur face not like the wanna be ghetto suburbs u live in

    • Grumpster May 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      Egresh much speeks u

  7. Chris September 7, 2007 at 12:11 pm #

    You guys completely misunderstand the whole post. Whatever.

  8. MANY FACEZ November 9, 2007 at 5:09 am #


    *610* PA-ALL DAY



    theres a topic starter………

    by the way…. go to glenside, its a nice place to live =)

  9. wow January 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    You guys need to read more carefully. Chris is making fun of the people that would point the finger at a certain race or “group” of individuals as the cause of the problems in Reading. He is not being racist. He is in fact defending you. You guys are the reason why there is racism, because you automatically assume other people are being racist…wow.

  10. Chris January 10, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    Thanks man. I actually need to write an updated version of this post, seeing as the crime rate went down AGAIN this past year.

  11. tinkerbell August 29, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    If u r n school stay in school, if ur not go back QUICKLY! Then when u graduate reread what chris wrote & stop being assholes just looking 4 something 2 bitch about

  12. N@n!... November 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    D!z shit iz un b3liveable diz iz bunch of shit who evea rot3 diz shit bout reading so fuckin wat u cant hang wit uz so ya azz jusz wanna run ya lil ass mouth u got b3t u cant back it up stupid azz trick dont talk n no damm action so jump offf….

  13. N@n!... November 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    Ohhh n mick u got sumetin 2 say Say it wen people from da hood r around if u dont reading Then get the fuck out we get drunk so fuck it stupid dumm as motha fuka ya mouth iz like a hole bunch of blahh shit…u would not l@zt in diz bicth not 3ven fa an hour…SO BEND DOWN GET YA TOUNGE N STIKK IT IN YA ASSSSS

  14. Chris November 25, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    You really misunderstood the post. It’s actually sad.

    • the best of the most important thing is May 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

      N@n! LOL! I just spit out my drink reading how you wrote. Thinking youre probably not a scientist, mathematician, English teacher, gas pumper, janitor, or even a burger flipper…

  15. Zack February 11, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    There is something worth saving?

    I lived in this city my whole life I’m 25 and I’m white.

    I would burn this city and every city in the tri-state area to the ground if I could.

  16. James February 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    I moved to Reading about 5 years ago.The center city has a ton of potential and as for the crime, its like any other metro area I have lived- some neighborhoods are great, some you just don’t get out of your car.Its just that simple
    The part that is sooo amazing is when you talk to people in the suburbs you find that the crime ( car thefts, break ins, vandalism, hold ups) is even worse in the suburbs!But you never read about it in the local paper.
    I guess the surbanites must think there’s an invisable wall around the city to protect them making them the easiest ” mark ” of all.
    And in the five years I have lived in the Big,Bad, City of Reading……….never been robbed, mugged, had my car broken into, shot at,or stabbed. But then I also don’t deal drugs, hang out in creepy parts of town, or hang with lowlife people- get the picture?

  17. NY till i die April 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    reading is pussy!!! NY till i die bytchez!!!

    • ReadingBorn April 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

      NY till I die you can suck a dick cause if you came around here saying that shit we’d fuck you up

      • Reading is 4 sux February 4, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

        Yeah – it’s not like Reading isn’t full of wannabes who couldn’t hack it in a real city!

  18. O.C July 28, 2009 at 4:08 am #

    I have read the original post and i have read the comments. I lived in Reading all my life. 26 years. Born in 82 . I lived on the Ave. for most of that . that would be (schuylkill ave.) for my entire life. Graduated from the HIGH ! ( Reading High School). Most out siders would say the city of reading is horrible, and the crime is out of control. But, most people fail to realize that the people of Reading counted on the outlets to bring money into reading. in the 80s and 90s and we cant forget how way back in the day Reading was known for its Rail roads. Lets face it every time the city of reading gets something going . Something happens to it and the city gets into a deppression. Just to comment on the racist shit! . about Hispanics fucking up the city . Let me just say this shit, Im Hispanic .Puerto Rican 100% BORICA. aND FOR ANY PERSON WHITE, BLACK , ASAIN OR OTHER WANTS TO COMMENT ABOUT HOW ONE RACE IS MESSING IT UP . TAKE A LONG LOOK AT THE CRIME IN THE PAST AND ACROSS THE NATION . No Race has the right to point a finger at another race. So lets STOP THAT BULL SHIT RIGHT NOW. I bet many people didnt know that there was a PEACE sign on the MOUNTAIN IN READING NEAR THE PAGODA ! it huge and can be seen from any where in the city . But we all forget the little shit. Dont we. Reading is having a hard time right now. EXTREMELY hard time ! with jobs and the POOR school system for the kids of reading. So lets everyone who reads the article or BLOG up top . pay attention closely of what is writing. he is not putting down reading. he is explaining shit. Facts figures and other things. and hes right the crime has gone down. And straight up if soem one shot my ass. i would dimed that mother fuvker out. ecspecialiy if i knew him . hte only way i wouldnt . if i was going to shot his ass back . later…

  19. Jorge Morales April 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I have lived in Reading only a few weeks, but just moved from Mexcico City and grew up in Columbus, Ohio and also lived in Tampa Bay Fl and a long part in Altoona (which may not be violent but is the ass hole of the world, and filled with addicts that buy drugs here in Reading and Philly) and the truth is Reading is not at all that bad. point is if you look for trouble you will get it no matter where you go, but bullets are not flying off the street here so people just need to quit bitching.

  20. Andrew August 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    I just had my car stolen in Reading. I have spent, maybe a week total in the city, in my life. I have lived in Philly and I live in Baltimore now and every city is shit. Why are people such scum. Seriously, all the people living in these cities that are proud of their city and want to proclaim how bad their city is; you are scum. You are a plague on this planet. I would love to hear someone try to prove me wrong but I really think you won’t be able to. Die scum bags die. Much Love

  21. ben January 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    once u get past the economical issues that a rust belt town has to deal with you find that the people fueling the problems are the latinos. Politicians don’t want to focus on fixing the problem which would b removing the illegals from their community and country because they don’t want to lose the vote of legal latino citizens. Nor on a higher level due they want to offend an important ally like mexico. But people need to stand up for what’s right and remove these illegals from our neighborhoods so we can develop a plan to rebuild our communities into places that american citzens can live safely and prosper. Until we put politics aside and address the real issues that many our neighborhoods are facing, more and more communities will end up on the most dangerous places to live in america. I hope that makes the latino community proud.

  22. chris January 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    starting off teh new year with racism. yay

  23. Orange Juice. of reading January 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    TO (STUPID ASS BEN, ) First off , to single out ONe race of people is wrong the mexican ppl are a proud race there country is poorly run and the people only want to work NO matter what! They risk there VERY LIFES to get to this COUNTRY and to LIVE the SO called AMERICAN DREAM that every Race came here for. I Am Puerto Rican by Birth . Born here in the U.S thankfuly my country is a territory of the U.S . I find when you try to single out One Hispanic race you attack us all. @ BEN, your pathatic and narraow minded to place all the BLAME on one race. ANd to keep to my Ghetto side of my up bringing. YOUR A FUCKING DICK AND IF U SAID THOSE STUPID ASS COMMENTS AROUND ME FACE TO FACE. I WOULD WHIP YOUR RACIST ASS! . Now, if you really want to blame anyone you should start to look at how the city is ran. shady back deals for developers . Poor school district . Lack of jobs. The problem is this CITY is stuck in the past. OLD ass people running this city . LAck of vision for the future . we need to reconnect the city with are neighboring countys and bigger counter parts . LIke Philly and pittsburg. harrisburg. we need to bring back shopping to this area and not just WAL-Mart. Back to Local shops we need to bring back what i grow up with when i was younger. So to stupid ass BEN. think be for you WRITE DICK .

    • ben January 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

      Would of been interested in listening to your points of view until u said so?ethimg stupid like u would whip my ass. I myself is from what I like to consider a working class neighborhood and not a ghetto. I could say stupid retalitory comments but that does nothing cause were not face to face. Your puerto rican which makes u a legal american citizen which means your problems are of those of the american people. Illegal immigrants are the lower class of their respective countries. We don’t need more low lifes we have enough home grown loser that our government supports. Respectful immigrants come to america through the proper process. Those who come illegaly should b arrested and deported.

  24. ben January 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    The problem is the illegal immigrants. No racisms just plain hard truth. Look to mexico, that country is plauged by crime and violence. Look at your neighborhood full oc crime and violence. What is the make up of mexico and reading. That’s not racism, that is realism.

  25. Orange Juice. of reading January 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    First off theres not that many Mexicans its about even with puertio rican . and other latin races. ANd the problem HERE in this city ISnt Immigrants its LACK OF FUCKING JOBS. Maybe in California they have issues but no here. get your facts straight . What the U.S and are neighbors in the NORth should do is HELPs are neighbor in the south Mexico as much as possible and build its economy so the mexican ppl wouldnt want to leave there country. But NO instead the U.S wants to cross the ocean and POLICE the other side of the damn WORLD. AND BEN, if u Single out one race and place blame on that specific race and leave out all the other illegal immigrants then YES that means your RACIst to mexicans. So pay attention .

  26. Orange Juice. of reading January 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    So, Ben. you say im a Legal imigrant because im puertio rican. thats funny and you also say your from respectful working class neighbor hood. Man, you truly represent the UGLY side of this country. First off i was born here. i consider myself and so does the goverment to be American First . and then im puertio rican by blood second. I grew up in a the so called “ghetto” neghborhoods. and there were HARD WORKING CLASS people there including Illegal immigrants and familys that worked damn hard to stay in those houses in My Ghetto neighborhood. Damn , its 2011 and we still have people pionting fingers at other races and saying it s your fault that are nations this way . PATHATIC. congrats BEN for keeping the OLD FUCKED up ways ALIVE.

    • ben January 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      Yelling racism is a way to divert attention from the real problems. Didn’t say I ws from whatever type of neighborhood u described, but I’m from a community that other people referred to as a fucking ghetto butwhat I refer to it as a working class community. Minorities, immigrants, lowincome housing single moms are all apart of my community. But I take pride in it and refer to it as my neighborhood not a fucking ghetto. I do what I can for my community. Illegal immigrants take jobs from local workers then send their money back to mexico or whatever country of origin. And yes it is a problem here. Just last week a vaan fullof hondurans got stopped on way to pittsburgh to wrk on a federal job for sub standard wages. Those 11 illegals were poised to take jobs away from local workers. Those jobs are american jobs for american workers. It isn’t americas responsibility to create jobs for mexico.

    • ben January 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

      Don’t think that I don’t realize that theirs not a lot of white people that are scum also. Along with blacks. Only know 1 asian and he’s the biggest piece of shit of all. But look at statics when it comes to minorities legal or illegal and crime. In another article ranking the 10 most dangerous cities in america, they are the only 10 cities in america with a black population above 30% that’s truth. Not racism.

  27. chris January 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    i’m a city resident, and work in the city with its poor citizens (plus the county’s poorer residents). The major problem is the absolute dearth of jobs and education. People are simply not able to find jobs for which they are qualified. Sure, there are some jobs available to those with degrees, but the unemployment rate of those with less than that is simply out of this world.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with where one’s ancestors originally lived.

    And, fwiw, the undocumented persons who I meet are some of the most law-abiding, family-oriented people in this city.

  28. chris January 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    BTW, Hondurans are from Honduras, not Mexico. You seem to be conflating the two and lumping any Latino into the category of ‘Mexican’.

    • ben January 1, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

      The over all topic of my posts has to do with the illegal latino population. I made specific references to mexico cause they ony applied to mexicos lack of ability to create jobs. As you may be well aware, many latin american countries in south america are growing their economies and are on the verge of becoming major global players. He stated that mexicans come for jobs and he implied they wouldn’t come if america helped grow mexicos economy. America needs to worry about creating good paying american jobs for local workers. Like you said, READINGS biggest problem is lack of jobs especially good paying jobs. We need to create jobs for the citizens of our country before we worry abou creating jobs for illegals in their home countries. I look forward to the day that america has enough good paying jobs that we can welcome all of the people who want to immigrate to america through the legal process. I will never support the rights of an illegal immigrant for they are criminals. Not good family people. They broke the law to get here. Just like I would not support an american citizen that has no regard for the law.

  29. orange juice of reading January 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Ok. So your not just singling out one race. Ok ben I have gain some what respect for ya. Look statics shows all colors do stupid shit.

  30. chris January 2, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    undocumented people are not the problem and are being scapegoated.

  31. orange juice of reading January 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I agree and also disagree Ben. I agree the U.S needs to focus on creating jobs here first before helping any other countrys. And Reading needs to help it self by creating well paying jobs and focus on getting the kids to stay in school. But by promoting the subject that lantinos are the problem is creating more stress to the already screwed city. I mean let’s be honset the inner city of reading is mostly dominated by puertio rican , dominican , mexican hispanic race the other latin countrys account for very few. And then we have african americans and white. And that’s in the inner city I’m talking about. “INNER”. Now if u look at the suburbs part like. Wyomissing, a little of mulenberg, shilington. Those parts are mostly white and very few other races. The point I’m trying to make is you CANNOT SINGLE OUT ONE RACE AND SAY THERE THE PROBLEM. Like the old saying goes a FEW fucked up apples don’t account for the whole lot. The illegal ppl that are here should get jobs and should pay some sort of taxs so they contribute to the city. And by them working that should earn them citizens ship. Now does that seem unfair YES. But we are spending millions on trying to get them out. So why not use the ppl to give the country and reading money.

  32. READING MAN January 8, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    I’ve read ALL these posts and must say that Ben and OJ seem to finally both have the “bigger picture” in mind. That is GOOD. It goes without saying that there are a lot of problems in our city, but I don’t think it can be blamed on anyone other than ourselves and the city right now!! This City needs to make a DRASTIC movement, a progressive and sustained one. It does nobody any good in labeling or scapegoating any particular race. We are ALL READING(-Illegals), whether we like it or not now. The CITY needs to get a grip on itself, what it’s become, and rebuild. We need to all come together as one and help each other out. I completely realize that it sounds like “wishful thinking” but I have lived in Reading my entire life and love this city. I don’t give a rat’s ass if there’s a Caucasian, Hispanic, Black, Goat or Sheep doing a crime on my block, but i’ll be damned if they don’t know who I am before that attempted crime is done! They’ll surely know before Johnny Law comes, that’s for sure. That is not my point though… There is no place for crime on our streets. We need to take back these streets, all streets, and make Reading a community again. Reading, PA was built on the grounds that we would always honor what is just, and right: Regardless of race or creed. We need to stop devoting our time to fighting amongst one another, and instead rebuild this city to something we can ALL be proud of.


  33. Phantom June 17, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    Wall Stret finance and International Bankers based in London(The Rothchilds 57 %US Federal Reserve)got this country into wars,and destroyed the Industrial Base of the USA.This has effected old factory towns like Reading.But Reading started to go down in the late 60’s with the election of a little English madman named Victor Yarnell.He literally tor the city down and ran out EXISTING busnines and theaters!.He even wanted to tear down the Pagoda!Than the fools at City Hall closed off Penn Square for twenty years!The taxes kepted going up,and in the 90’s Paul Angstadt who didnt really live here played wih the city.He gave up the awful Parking Authority and Water Authority so the city lost control.The slum lords from the suburbs did the rest,along with Gingrich who cut the poor in 90’s.But what makes Rading so sad is the lack of community spirit,and unfriendliness.I’ve lived here all my lifevand all my friends are not natives!Ther are worse places,but Rreading is living death.

  34. expatriot January 18, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    I was born and raised in Reading, I couldn’t wait to graduate high school and get the hell out. The only reason I visit that shithole is because I still have family dumb enough to remain there.

    If there is an actual God, he would open the earth and swallow Reading whole and just start over.

  35. Tori Oberin June 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Reading has the nastiest unfriendly people Ive ever encountered!!!!!

  36. Chris January 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    This guys am idiot. The states not-so-restrictive gun laws??? The state of PA uses their own background check system called PICS as opposed to the federal one, NICS. PA’s check system is more thorough than the Feds. Check your facts moron. If it were’nt for the legal cocealed carry population, there would be a much higher crime rate. The drug trade has been strong here since before prohibition and its not just the Latino community that are causing the crime on murder rate, although, they do cause most of it. That is only because the Latino population is greater than all others combined in reading. I’d like to see actual percentage per race. I’m pretty sure that if 80% were Greek, then the majority of crimes would be created be the Greeks, you get it? Like I said, this guys an idiot! Go educate yourself!

  37. Ryan February 11, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    The Jewish Mafia ran Reading better than the (very) corrupt politicians do today. Some the comments in this thread SCREAM Reading…Look at these comments..10% of them know what the hell they are talking about, the rest of you are uneducated idiots and guess what? YOU ARE THE FUCKING CITY!!!!! If you live in Reading then you are Reading, you are the scummy criminal element that you yourselves are bitching about. Get out there and DO something about it. I dont give a fuck what color you are, go volunteer at a shelter, help the homeless, do something to better yourself and the city.

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