B.L. England gas plan
wastes an opportunity
Regarding the conversion of the B.L. England power plant to natural gas and the gas pipeline project:
New Jersey can do better than this.
The pipeline will not pass the smell test of its fast-tracking through the state Pinelands Commission. And importing "fracked" gas supports a process that is unsustainable environmentally and economically.
The costs of health effects and pollution are being kicked down the road, added to the tab owed by energy companies impacting our personal and planetary health.
Proponents of fracking talk about having solved our energy problems. What happened to natural gas being a "bridge fuel" to a clean-energy future? It seems greed has blown the bridge. Energy independence through fossil fuel is a self-destructive sales pitch that will keep us perilously dependent on one basket of rotten eggs.
New Jersey has all the tools needed to become self-sustaining in energy production. A diverse portfolio of energy from wind, photovoltaic, solar thermal, geothermal, biomass, bio-fuels, thorium, hydrogen, tidal power, etc., can begin right here. The best and brightest in our colleges, research facilities and progressive industries are developing technologies for producing energy and increasing the efficiency of its transmission, usage and storage. The B.L. England power plant could be part of a new-generation energy park, or a sad, polluting museum of fossil logic.
Come on, New Jersey, help build and cross that bridge to the post-petroleum age.
Gov. Chris Christie has announced he will not renominate New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens for a second, and tenured, term. Since the adoption of our present Constitution in 1948, that has happened only once before, when Christie failed to reappoint Justice John Wallace, the court's only African-American member, in 2010. As with Wallace, Hoens has earned a reputation as a serious and dedicated member of the court who, in the judgment of the legal community, has earned reappointment.
I do not know Hoens, she is not of my political party, and I have no personal interest in who sits on the court. But I believe the independence of the judiciary and its freedom from political influences are critically important to our system of governance. The people must always have confidence that judges will not make decisions based on the prevailing political winds. Since 1948, no other governor has failed to recognize this vitally important principle.
Failure to preserve judicial independence is a far more serious blow to our political system than we should be prepared to accept.
I write also from a personal perspective. Prior to the adoption of the current Constitution in 1948, the last time a sitting justice was not reappointed for political reasons was in 1947, when Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll failed to reappoint a fellow Republican with whom he disagreed. That justice was my grandfather, Joseph B. Perskie. Driscoll was wrong then, and Christie is wrong now.
STEVEN P. PERSKIE
Steven P. Perskie is a retired Superior Court judge.
Pit-bull attacks prove
breed is dangerous
Regarding the Aug. 12 letter, "Bystanders amazing after 'Dog Beach' attack":
This gentleman is lucky he had people nearby to help him. This is only the latest pit-bull attack. Do a search of pit bulls in The Press archives and you'll be amazed at the number of attack stories. Then search for poodle attacks.
Why was this pit bull allowed to run free at a social venue like "Dog Beach"? Is this owner clueless? I'm sure the owner will claim this dog is friendly. Obviously it is not.
Unfortunately, it seems we have to live with irresponsible pit-bull owners. I usually take my dog to run in the woods, because he has been attacked five times in two years by dogs in my neighborhood. Four of those dogs were pit bulls. When I do walk my dog around my home, I carry pepper spray.
The letter writer is too kind. He should have pressed charges against this owner. This dog should be put down for aggressive behavior. And our elected officials should adopt ordinances to control ownership of aggressive dogs.
Defenders of pit bulls say it is the owner who is the problem with aggressive dogs. Maybe so. These people often have low self-esteem and need an aggressive dog to boost their egos. If these same people owned a good-natured dog, would they turn it into a killer?
Little Egg Harbor Township
Noise pollution shows
•o respect for others
Regarding the Aug. 11 letter, "Thanks for letter against noise pollution":
The writer expressed feelings that I have had for many years now.
"Respect" seems to be a word lost on most of our society today, especially respect for the peace and quiet of the other person.
Why is it so loud at a ballgame? You can't even talk, let alone think, over the deafening din. Why does each player have to have his own music?
Why do drivers have such loud, Earth-shattering, disgusting noises coming from their vehicles? Are they that desperate for attention?
I salute the letter writer. She is my hero.
Little Egg Harbor Township
Support for Patriot Act
I am saddened that the media have found Edward Snowden guilty and apparently want him tried, convicted and imprisoned for life.
Snowden's whistle-blowing has not weakened America's security. In reality, America actually has no enemies to fear at all. Some say America is at risk from Middle Eastern terrorists. Think about that. For the past 3,000 years, people in the Middle East have dealt with their enemies by standing 50 feet from each other and throwing rocks back and forth.
Our country today is run by fear, and if the public really craves something to fear, we should be afraid of the Congress members who voted for the Patriot Act. Our representatives take an oath to uphold the Constitution. The Patriot Act is in direct opposition to the Constitution they swore to uphold.
I would like to know why the media have not said a word about the 220 representatives and 61 senators who decided to not live up to their oaths. I would love to see those 281 congressional pretenders in Russia seeking asylum along with Snowden.