Traffic can strand

Upper Twp. residents

Regarding the July 5 letter, "More parkway exits needed in Upper Twp.":

Recently, I had a medical appointment in Somers Point and could not find a way to get there.

Traffic was backed up on Route 9 going north for at least two and a half miles by people trying to make a right turn onto Roosevelt Boulevard into Ocean City. It was also backed up on every route that you could take through Upper Township trying to get to the Garden State Parkway bridge.

A full interchange at parkway Exit 20 in Seaville would have solved much of that traffic problem. If that interchange existed, those of us who needed to get onto the bridge or into Beesleys Point could have gotten onto the parkway at that interchange to head north.

I fully realize that the tourism industry is a big part of our economy, and I would like to see the state help us to keep this industry flourishing along with the everyday businesses of Upper Township. We desperately need that interchange.

I had to cancel and reschedule my medical appointment. Suppose I had been in an ambulance fighting for my life? Would I have made it to the hospital in time?

VERONICA SINGER

Seaville

Stop gas pipeline

through pinelands

South Jersey Gas is planning to put a 24-inch natural-gas pipeline through our country's first national reserve - the Pine Barrens - in order to fulfill the profit needs of its shareholders. This is a very dangerous step toward the destruction of the very core of New Jersey.

The coal-fired B.L. England power plant in Beesleys Point, which would be converted to natural gas, is a peak-demand generator of electricity, meaning it operates approximately 40 days a year when electricity demands are at the highest. The gas plant would run 24 hours, seven days a week. We do not need this plant. Alternative-energy sources such as wind and solar power could easily replace B.L. England.

The 22 miles of pipes will have to be joined in segments, creating a real risk of leakage, and the track record of pipeline monitoring is abysmal.

The Pinelands National Reserve is the largest body of open space on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard between Richmond, Va., and Boston and sits atop aquifers containing 17 trillion gallons of some of the purest water in the land. Profiteers are not the conscience of our society. We are the conscience. Stop this pipeline.

GEORGINA SHANLEY

Ocean City

Phrase 'N-word'

adds to slur's power

It is embarrassing when anyone refers to the "N-word." This is so childish as to be disgraceful. Since when are we so afraid to confront evil that we cannot even name it?

Every time this infantile utterance is printed or broadcast it adds power to the race-baiters and haters. Refusal to say the word does not diminish it or erase the history that it recalls.

Only by proclaiming the evil and bringing it to the light of day can we sap its power. But this effort should be led by a person with influence. If President Barack Obama wishes to establish a true legacy, he, as an African American, would be in the best position to lead the eradication of the racial tension that is illustrated and inflamed by this word.

PHILIP BLANCH

Egg Harbor Township

Leave murder trial

to the judge and jury

The Press was irresponsible in printing the July 4 letter, "Trayvon Martin fought for his life."

The letter writer makes assumptions she has no right to make unless she witnessed the altercation. Only two people know who attacked whom. One is dead; the other on trial. It is for a jury in a court of law to determine guilt or innocence based on the evidence, not personal opinion.

ROBERT F. THOMAS

Galloway Township

Summer residents

oblivious to Sandy

I had the misfortune to attend a gathering of summer residents over the holiday weekend. I was appalled at their complaints regarding the condition of their lawns, their lack of blooming flowers and their dead trees. They went on to say that their landscapers were lazy and charging them too much for their services.

Are these people kidding? Maybe The Press should run some pictures and stories of what it was like at the shore after Hurricane Sandy. Do they realize that some people still do not even have homes? Have they thought about the damage to the environment and the waterways?

I cannot believe that people can be so self-absorbed that a home without new flowers and a lawn that is not perfect are issues to complain about. Don't they have any idea of what it has taken to open roadways, repair boardwalks and provide shelter to people who have lost everything?

Do they really think that the hard-working landscapers, carpenters, plumbers, irrigation people, pool workers and electricians, not to mention emergency personnel, haven't worked tirelessly to make it possible for them to return to their second homes?

These people need a wake-up call. How about donating to destroyed schools, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Covenant House, or to the many others who are still trying to put clothes on their kids, feed their families and find new work? The storm has passed, and I wish we only had to worry about how the flowers are growing.

DIANA MEISCHKER

Mays Landing

Smigliani column

was a great reminder

It was with tremendous pleasure and a great deal of admiration that I read the July 4 Citizen Columnist piece by Marco Smigliani of Egg Harbor Township, "At age 10, America caught my eye and my heart."

I thank him, not only for sacrifices made while serving our country as a U.S. Marine, but for the ultimate sacrifice made by his family with the combat death of his uncle, also a Marine.

Too often, many of us forget how blessed we are to be American citizens, regardless of race, creed, political beliefs or where we may have come from. We are here, in America, and we have an obligation to be the best citizens we can be.

Thanks to Marco Smigliani for reminding us of our great good fortune in being American citizens.

S. HARVEY ROACH

Cold Spring

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