The election is over;
Can we please move on?
It's been over a month since the presidential election, yet many Republicans are still in full negative campaign mode.
Mitt Romney groused about Barack Obama's "gifts" to his followers. Sean Hannity defends those nasty, untrue Swiftboat ads from 2004 as he tries to discredit John Kerry. Fox News pettily snipes over the final vote counts. Some letter writers to The Press moan over impending fiscal disaster, as if Republican obstinacy to a solution never existed.
Folks, the president won. We voters have spoken. This is a democracy in which our citizens are the deciders about the direction our leaders take us. Naysaying and hand-wringing cannot change anything now.
Who can forget the outrageous 2000 election results, when a political ruling by five Supreme Court justices, not the voters, decided the presidency? That decision helped set the stage for our present hyperpartisanship.
So, please, turn off Fox News, read The Press and just chill.
There's an easy way
to make traffic lights safer
The growing anxiety over New Jersey's red-light camera program brings to mind my visit to the Soviet Union in 1984.
Moscow had a traffic light system that could reduce our rear-end collisions at intersections with cameras.
The three-light system was identical to ours, with one extra feature: Just as our yellow lights warn of a coming red light, they also had a warning for upcoming yellow lights. A green light would blink three or four times before changing to yellow.
This allows drivers to make a smooth stop into a yellow signal. Relatively inexpensive, with just an electric switching relay and microchip circuit, this modification would cost just $25 or so (plus installation) at each intersection.
Of course, this assumes a serious concern for accident prevention, instead of just for ticket revenues.
WATER S. ANDARIESE
blamed on toxins
In a May 16, 1994, New York Times article, "2 Boys, a Debt, a Gun, a Victim: The Face of Violence," former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Gil Garcetti was quoted as saying that youngsters, as never before and across racial, class and geographical boundaries, were committing the most horrendous crimes imaginable without a second thought.
The only variable that could have brought about such a result is the enormous increase in exposure to toxic materials. Research into the connection between criminal behavior and toxins is solid. Dr. Herbert Needleman of the University of Pittsburgh was able to predict antisocial behavior in juveniles based upon the amount of lead in their blood. Dr. Jack Nation of Texas A&M showed the connection between toxins and damaging addictive behavior.
Yes, there are other factors, and they need to be addressed. But unless we face the prime cause - exposure to toxins in our air, water and food - the problem of senseless violence will remain with us.
Why? Because the process that allows children to govern behavior is impaired by toxins that confound the very mechanisms that make control possible.
I suggest the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office take the lead and look into the connection between horrendous criminal behavior and toxicity.
as parkway is expanded
In a Dec. 9 editorial, The New York Times warned of the dire neglect of the national infrastructure on which we all depend.
There are now, for example, 70,000 structurally deficient bridges. One of these, in Paulsboro, built in 1873, collapsed in 2009 and again just last week. Six cars plunged into a creek. One tank car carried dangerous vinyl chloride, which escaped to pollute air and water.
Surely this is a monumental public neglect of public safety.
Meanwhile, we are spending vast amounts of public capital on another privileged segment of our infrastructure. From Toms River south, the Garden State Parkway is getting extra lanes, whether these are needed or wanted by a majority of the public. Bulldozers are already at work south of the Mullica River. It seems that those responsible for the parkway have a very high AQ (Arrogance Quotient). They believe that they know best what is good for the rest of us.
The self-confidence of these officials would be hilarious, were it not so counter to the fundamental principles on which our country was built.
HELLA G. LACY
Stock exchange column
showed market's confusion
Regarding Amy Butte's Dec. 6 column, "Our stock markets have lost their way":
After reading this analysis by Butte, former chief financial officer of the New York Stock Exchange, I am convinced that anyone who is not confused by all these stock options doesn't really know what's going on.
CHARLES D. KING
Governor, show support
for Atlantic City tourism
Gov. Chris Christie should come back to Atlantic City. We need his help.
We have been devastated, but not from Sandy as much as from the negative publicity that followed the storm.
Christie must help get us back in business. There are few people in the streets or the casinos. Worse, there is a communications divide between the mainland and the islands. Many of those who live on the mainland have avoided even going to the island since the hurricane.
But Atlantic City was and is the engine of New Jersey's economy. Many of those who live on the mainland - and throughout the state - depend on this city's income for their survival, directly or indirectly.
The revitalization of Atlantic City was supposed to be Christie's shining moment, but some squabbling and petty politics now threaten to cause him to turn his back on our beautiful city.
Don't let this happen. That would the bane of his career and the loss of our livelihoods, citizens of New Jersey.
JOEL S. FOGEL