Republican freeholders

block law to aid veterans

The Republican majority on the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently refused to pass a veterans set-aside ordinance presented by Democratic Freeholders Colin Bell and Charles Garrett.

I am 26 years old and have many friends and classmates who have gone off to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq only to return to Atlantic County unemployed and with little health care. My friends who have returned from active duty should be embraced and thanked for putting their lives in harm's way, not treated like an annoyance just because they don't work for a large company that gives big campaign contributions.

It seems like a no-brainer that local small businesses should be encouraged to hire veterans in order to get county contracts. This set-aside would set a goal of awarding 5 percent of county contracts to firms owned by veterans or firms that hired veterans to do the work. That leaves 95 percent of the contracts to still be offered to the businesses that usually bid on them. But the Republican freeholders act as though they are reinventing the wheel if they pass this ordinance.

I have never been to a freeholder meeting before, but I plan on attending the one on Sept. 10 and encourage all veterans and their loved ones to attend as well. At that time, this issue will be voted on again, and I hope that the Republican freeholders decide to do what is right for our local heroes.

SHERRY TOUSSAINT

Galloway Township

Turn down volume

at A.C. beach bar

We have an apartment at the Ritz Condos on the Boardwalk very close to the new beach bar, Bungalow, that has been allowed to assault the neighborhood with very loud music night and day. During the afternoons, the beach resonates with a constant thump, thump, thump of the music, which can even be heard several blocks away in front of the Ocean Club. It is impossible to enjoy the beach peacefully. Residents also are forced to endure the same thumping until late at night.

There are rules for ordinary people prohibiting loud beach music, presumably because this disturbs people. But the powers that be seem to think it is perfectly OK for very large numbers of people to be disturbed every day for long periods by beach bars, all in the name of making Atlantic City a better place.

Would business really be deterred if the music were half as loud? People would still hear it from the Boardwalk and enjoy having a drink on the beach. No one wants to hurt businesses that promote Atlantic City, but this volume is not necessary.

BARBARA MITRANI

Atlantic City

Recall proponents

misguided in Ventnor

Recently, a small number of Ventnor residents sent out a citywide mailing in an attempt to gauge the feasibility of recalling Mayor Mike Bagnell. These citizens are members of groups called "We Love Ventnor" and "Ventnor Concerned Citizens." Well, I, too, am a resident of this city who both loves Ventnor and is concerned for its well-being.

After Hurricane Sandy hit this town hard, I took my love and concern for our city and joined a charitable organization that is working hard, each and every day, to rebuild and repair the devastation to homes and homeowners. My sole question to these other groups: What have you done to rebuild and repair the destruction to your neighbors' homes?

I have neither the time nor the inclination to interact with a group that purports to love and care for this wonderful city and then just sits back and complains. I suggest that they pick up a hammer or a broom and volunteer to be part of the solution.

FRANK X. CAVALLARO

Ventnor

Let's be tougher

on juvenile criminals

Regarding the three Oklahoma teenagers accused of killing an Australian baseball player for "fun":

This country needs to take a very hard look at what our justice system has turned into. There is no question that these teens all should be tried as adults, sentenced to death and then executed. We need to stop being politically correct.

Take a look around at the violence those under 18 are committing. I'm sure there are many who will agree that unless we do something now, then the violence will only escalate. We should stop considering the age of anyone committing violent crime. An eye for an eye will go a long way toward stopping these kinds of senseless crimes.

DAVID WESSEL

Galloway Township

A.C. residents must

fight gun violence

I am utterly disgusted. On an otherwise relaxing Sunday evening recently, I was forced to react to gunshots in front of my home. The shots followed a verbal argument that was notably loud and unfortunately not altogether uncommon in the neighborhood, although the area usually feels very safe.

Police responded quickly, but then were nowhere to be seen when similar arguments occurred about an hour later in the same vicinity of the original argument on Adriatic Avenue that apparently lead to the gunplay on my doorstep.

Whoever was involved is ignorant and cowardly and shows no respect for themselves or fellow humans. They have scared some of my good neighbors into talking about moving out. I am asking that everyone get involved to try and stop this nonsense. We cannot take these events lightly.

CRISMAN JESPERSEN

Atlantic City