Support for marriage

supports America

Regarding Kathleen Parker's Jan. 31 column, "Supporting marriage, gay and otherwise":

Parker has once again supported marriage in agreeing with the position of the Institute of American Values that it is in our best interest that all children have the security of parents committed through marriage with all its rights and responsibilities. The institution of marriage is in serious jeopardy in light of skyrocketing divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births in the United States.

The Heritage Foundation has expressed similar concerns, which is not surprising given the latest reports that 50 percent of all marriages in America end in divorce, and 41 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to unmarried mothers.

The family, centered on marriage, is the basic unit of society. Healthy marriages and families are the foundation of thriving communities.

It is imperative to recognize that marriage involves lifelong commitment and responsibility between men and women with such values instilled in their children.

Failure to actively promote the restoration of the institution of marriage and family in America can only result in worsening the current social and economic problems caused by its breakdown.

FRED LAURENZO

Little Egg Harbor Township

Rescue mission movie

can't help Atlantic City

Regarding the Jan. 31 story, "Homelessness film to be shot at Atlantic City shelter":

Mayor Lorenzo Langford has made a glorious public relations coup for Atlantic City. Some guy is going to make a movie right here in Atlantic City about a rich guy losing all his money here and winding up at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission - the Taj Mahal of all missions. And I suppose he'll find religion and be a hero to all the mission regulars.

This movie will keep the rich guys away and bring in more people for the mission's help. Instead of more casinos, we'll build more rescue missions. Hallelujah.

LEE VIETI

Margate

Gas price increases

are a national outrage

The price of gas went up 25 cents in one recent week. It seems the oil companies will use every excuse in the book to raise the price of oil and gas.

Why are our elected officials not speaking out against these high prices? We can talk about local issues, property taxes, unemployment, the economy, etc. But the price of oil and gasoline is what affects every family and business the most.

Exxon Mobil's profits are in the billions, paid for by the middle class. Are we, the American consumer, just pawns in the process?

WAYNE MELNIK

Galloway Township

Congress wastes money

by failing to take action

Senators and members of the House of Representatives always talk about fraud, waste and abuse. An incredible amount of waste is being generated because Congress will not do its job of writing a responsible budget that is good for the country and that the president will sign. Our representatives prefer to whine about each other.

Normal human beings worry about whether their work and their paychecks will be reduced or eliminated. Federal employees are no different. When people worry, they don't focus on their work. They commiserate with their co-workers. The result is waste. Multiply one to two hours of wasted time per day by the number of federal and contracted employees and by their average salary. That equals the money wasted by the inaction of Congress.

I ask members of Congress to stop wasting our money and to do their jobs so the rest of us can focus on doing ours.

I have equal wrath for the Democrats and the Republicans. I am a federal employee. I also pay federal, state, county and local taxes. I expect my Congress members to represent me well and not waste my money. Stop being whiny children and fix the problem.

RICHARD MENDELL

Ventnor

Preserving farmland

is of critical importance

Members of NJ Keep It Green were pleased to read recently Gov. Chris Christie's comments recognizing that the only way New Jersey will remain the Garden State is to work closely with our farmers to make sure we preserve our farmland.

However, unless the governor and Legislature take action this year, there will be no money left for preservation efforts. Officials need to act now to put a long-term source of sustainable preservation funding in place.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of New Jersey's farmland preservation program. The program reached a milestone last fall when the 200,000th acre of farmland was preserved, ensuring this land will remain in agriculture production for decades to come.

Locally, in Atlantic County, the program has led to the preservation of more than 5,000 acres of farmland.

Yet despite these accomplishments, New Jersey still needs to protect 350,000 more acres of farmland to maintain a viable agriculture industry.

We are fortunate to live in the Garden State, where we enjoy nutritious, locally grown food such as Jersey Fresh tomatoes, corn and peaches.

New Jersey's farms also fuel our economy. In 2011 the state's more than 10,000 farms generated $1.1 billion, says the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Not to mention that open space and farmland also help prevent flooding and can mitigate storm damage.

Christie clearly recognizes the importance of farmland preservation to New Jersey's agriculture industry and has promised to be a friend and ally.

To that end, NJ Keep It Green looks forward to working with him and his administration, along with the Legislature, to identify a bipartisan solution for sustainable preservation funding that will protect New Jersey's agricultural industry and the way of life so many of us have come to value.

TOM GILBERT

Chairman

NJ Keep It Green

Trenton