I have lots of confidence
in Chief Dennis Brooks
I couldn't believe it when I read the Dec. 13 story, "Vote of no confidence in Atlantic City Fire Department's leaders cast."
I'm 94 and have been a part of the firefighter family most of my adult life. My husband, Charles, retired from the Bayonne Fire Department in 1970 at the rank of deputy chief. We then moved to Atlantic City to enjoy our retirement. Today, my grandson is a firefighter in the New York City Fire Department. Firefighting has been our family business.
Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks has been my neighbor for several years and has helped me in many ways. Every election he takes me to vote. He has always checked on me. Through many storms, he has always looked out for my safety. When the hurricane hit, he checked on me regularly, brought me food, and even offered me shelter in his home if needed.
I'm extremely disappointed in what the firefighters union did. Being part of the firefighter family means we stick together no matter what. I have a hard time believing Brooks doesn't care about his firefighters. He has always looked out for me and stated many times, "That's what firefighters do."
Margate must cut costs
and pass hiring freeze
I, along with many other taxpayers, am pleased that Margate Business Administrator Richard Deaney is moving forward with the suggestion to have the Public Works Department handle street-opening permits. The original plan, proposed by Commissioner Brenda Taube, was to create a new $130,000 (including benefits) project manager/engineer position.
As a sign of unity and resolve to hold the line on spending, the City Commission should reintroduce and adopt a resolution calling for a hiring freeze on all nonessential employees. Both Mayor Mike Becker and Commissioner Maury Blumberg have supported this in the past.
While holding the line on new hires is a good first step, there is so much more to do.
The city is now faced with many important financial decisions that will have a long-term impact. There is the repayment of the $3 million or so in emergency notes the city incurred as a result of the hurricane, rezoning of flood elevations for homeowners, utilization of Federal Emergency Management Agency restoration funds for City Hall and retrofitting Union Avenue School.
The good news is that Margate already has an incredible, highly experienced staff in each of its departments who work closely together for the best interests of the community. We all got to see this firsthand in the aftermath of Sandy.
Seek alternative ways
to stop gun violence
I've been thinking about practical ways to address the mass shootings and other random acts of violence committed with guns. It is tempting to cry for a ban on guns on one hand, or an increase in police in schools to defend children on the other. But let me put forth some suggestions that may be acceptable to a large majority of citizens:
Keep an eye out for young males who are beginning to exhibit paranoid behavior. Schizophrenia is a time bomb that typically kicks in between the early 20s and early 40s.
Do not overlook the behavior of youngsters who show the inability to feel sympathy for the suffering of other living creatures. This behavior could be due to abuse in the home, but it could also be, in whole or in part, caused by genetic factors.
Enforce current law. With telecommunications technology now sufficient and only getting better, pursue instant background checks with no exceptions.
Recognize that states have the authority to regulate the possession of military style weapons. It seems consistent with the introductory clause of the Second Amendment to allow state militias that would owe primary allegiance to their state and secondarily to the federal government, subject to its good behavior.
Unfortunately, the current thinking of our Supreme Court does not support my view. But what I am trying to advance is the basis of an understanding that could be supported by anyone who does not insist on total purity, even most National Rifle Association members and Brady Amendment supporters. Perhaps even an additional Supreme Court justice.
Future doesn't look good
for the Boardwalk casinos
Regarding the Jan. 7 story, "Revel may be rethinking no-smoking policy":
Revel was not going to have smoking; there would be no prizes or promotions; it was not going to cater to seniors - none of this and none of that. Now it may be changing course on the smoking.
Revel blew it initially. You don't get a second chance at a first impression. It keeps getting more and more financing, pushing the project further into debt. I'm not a casino expert, but hey, there is something wrong here folks.
A Dec. 22 story, "Marina proves the hotter spot for gambling in Atlantic City," said the three casinos in the Marina District produce 40 percent of all the revenue. That doesn't say much for the rest of the gang.
So the lure of the Boardwalk and ocean doesn't seem to be working. I don't think there is a promising outlook for the Boardwalk casinos. Caesars Atlantic City is probably No. 1, but it has slipped a lot lately. The tier levels for the Diamond Players have risen to unattainable levels for a lot of gamblers. Hope Caesars officials know what they are doing.
Maybe we should change the slogan again from "DO AC" to "Good luck, AC."