Flooded motels

should stay closed

Regarding the Dec. 1 story, "Fewer rooms for the poor":

The story on the flooding of the motels along the Black Horse Pike in the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township should have been headlined, "Fewer rooms for Atlantic County's drug dealers, registered sex offenders, convicted felons, hookers and serial killers."

The closing of these motels may be the only blessing to come out of Hurricane Sandy. For years, West Atlantic City residents have begged the township to shut down these crime-ridden motels.

These motels have been flooded more than 20 times in the past five years, yet the Atlantic County Health Department allows them to stay open. We have provided the Health Department with photos of the saltwater in the rooms after floods. The response has been zero.

How many families and how many children who reside year-round in these motels (in violation of zoning laws) will be allowed to breath in hazardous mold before the Health Department acts?

Many of these motels have foundations that are collapsing and roofs that are leaking. Where is the building inspector? How many times does saltwater have to hit the electric sockets and wires before the fire marshal says enough?

The biggest crime of Hurricane Sandy would be to allow these motels to reopen. Enough is enough. If these motels were closed, the crime rate in Egg Harbor Township would drop dramatically. Calls to the Fire Department would substantially decrease. And the revitalization of one of South Jersey's most beautiful areas would begin.

RICHARD BLACK

President

West Atlantic City

Civic Association

West Atlantic City

Drivers licenses

too easy to get

There have been many articles reporting statistics on teen fatalities from unsafe driving, but state offcials have missed the cause of these fatal car crashes.

Any parent who has taken a teenager for a driving test can tell you these children need more than a 10-minute assessment of their skills before they are handed a license.

Make the driving test more difficult. Testing for parallel parking and K-turns is not sufficient.

Does a red square on a license plate (that gets ripped off in the school parking lot) ensure safety?

Limiting the number of children in a car with new drivers is a good idea, but who enforces it? Put a police car in the parking lot of any high school at the close of the school day, have officers pull over teenage drivers to check their ages, and you will find plenty of violations.

Parents need to enforce these rules as well. Remove your children's driving privileges if they are caught breaking the rules. Coaches and teachers at after-school activities should be observant as to how many students are getting into one car. We all need to enforce the driving rules we already have in place, not keep coming up with new ones.

IRENE WUNDERLICH

Mays Landing

Trickle-up works

better for America

Incentives that spread the wealth and purchasing power around make good economic sense. As we move down the economic ladder, consumption rates increase. Individuals use greater and greater portions of their income to purchase goods and services.

So flattening out our nation's highly skewed wealth curve, putting more money into the hands of middle-income and poorer folks, is good for business. As demand for stuff increases, large and small businesses expand, more startups are created, more employees are hired, profits and wages both increase, more tax revenue is generated and the economy flourishes.

Furthermore, when we consider the demand side of the economic equation, it is also good for business to raise marginal tax rates for wealthier folks - say those with family incomes of more than $500,000 - and corporations, as well as raising capital gains tax rates.

When it comes to economics, trickle-up policies sure beat trickle-down policies. It's the wealth curve, stupid. When too much money flows to the top, when wealth and purchasing power are not distributed more equitably, the economy suffers. Anyone who tells you differently slept through Economics 101 or knows the truth but is just pulling your leg, most likely for personal gain.

We're not talking rocket science, just plain old common sense economics where overall satisfaction is maximized for the good of all citizens and for the good of America.

LAWRENCE UNIGLICHT

Galloway Township

Stillbirth Alliance

thanks Van Drew

I recently took over as treasurer of the local chapter of the International Stillbirth Alliance and wrote a letter on our organization to Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May.

I received a beautiful letter in return and then a copy of legislation Van Drew planned to introduce to designate October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month in New Jersey.

I am very grateful to the senator. If you know anyone who has lost a child to stillbirth, as I did, then you know why this organization and the fight to increase awareness means so much to us.

We often hear when a public official does something wrong, but I wanted to point out something positive. Van Drew is a Democrat and I am a Republican, and this has taught me something else.

Maybe we need to forget titles and labels and see what each of us can do for our country. Just look beyond everything and see what really can be accomplished.

TINA FERRY

Clermont

Boycott Israel

over settlements

Israel suffered a crushing defeat when the United Nations General Assembly voted to accept Palestine as an observer state. Israel responded by announcing the building of 3,000 new settlements on Palestinian territory. This will end any chances of a peace deal because these settlements will separate three major cities and make a viable Palestinian state impossible.

There is no chance the U.S. government would do anything to offend Israel, since our politicians are dominated by the domestic Israeli lobby. But private citizens disgusted with the 45-year-long occupation and oppression of the Palestinians by Israel can and should do something. And that is to boycott anything the Israelis sell in this country.

Thousands of Europeans have made a decision to do just that. Americans should follow their lead. A boycott helped change apartheid in South Africa while the U.S. government did nothing. It could work again.

MAC McCARTHY

Ocean City