Audubon Society works

to keep environment clean

It is nice to see that many folks are trying to keep the environment cleaner in spite of the still too many who persist in throwing trash out their car windows or dropping off bags in uninhabited places.

In 1990, the Atlantic Audubon Society spent months documenting trash heaps around Atlantic County with photos. A map of these sites was presented to the freeholders. It led to a major clean-up effort by the county to remove trash.

Subsequently, the Audubon Society joined a statewide effort to have New Jersey institute a road clean-up after seeing how well this worked in other states.

Since then, municipalities began allowing individuals and groups to clean stretches of road. State grants were used to reward nonprofit groups for their efforts. Atlantic Audubon began with state Route 52 from Somers Point to Ocean City, followed by sections of Great Creek Road in Galloway Township and Drosera Avenue in Hamilton Township. Participation in other clean-ups has also been part of our volunteer efforts.

We are definitely not just bird-watchers, but are concerned about our environment here in South Jersey.

EDGAR BRISTOW

Absecon

Edgar Bristow is a past president of the Atlantic Audubon Society.

Can halfway houses,

social gaming save A.C.?

Regarding the March 9 story, "Social gaming firms likely to practice in Atlantic City":

Social gaming companies such as Zinga, creators of Farmville, may become players in Atlantic City's new Internet gambling industry. So, with the economy in recovery, questionable online companies - industry lobbyists are opposing a plan by PokerStars to buy Atlantic Club - will be the next big thing to happen to Atlantic City?

On the same day, the story, "Old A.C. 'showhouse' gets second chance," says a former "Showhouse at the Shore" may become temporary housing for ex-prisoners transitioning back to society.

The house, built as a Casino Reinvestment Development Authority project, was sold to a Ventnor man for $603,000 at the height of the housing market and has since been neglected and needs a complete renovation.

We've been attempting for at least the last year to relocate both Sister Jean's kitchen and a drug rehabilitation center out of the Tourism District. So is this the ideal time to be talking about ex-prisoners and another halfway house? I must be missing something.

GARY STEIN

Mullica Township

Gary Stein is a Democratic primary candidate for state Assembly.

License-plate stickers

unfair to young drivers

New Jersey law requires that all drivers 21 and younger display a red reflector sticker at the top, left-hand corner of their front and rear license plates.

Although this law was passed with good intentions, it is now looked upon negatively. These reflectors give predators a big red sign indicating that the driver is 21 or younger. Young women, including mef, who are now beginning to drive do not feel safe.

It is an uneasy feeling to know that everyone on the road knows you are a vulnerable young driver. The stickers do not make young drivers feel safe. It is just like having a big red target on your back.

The state even charges drivers for the stickers at $4 each. So drivers are being forced to pay to be targeted by state officials as well as other drivers on the road. These stickers make young drivers nervous about driving because it is a nerve-wracking feeling to know that every driver and police officer on the road is watching and waiting to see a mistake made.

If you don't put the sticker on your license place, you can be fined. Police officers should be focusing on more important things. I don't think that with the aggravation this law causes there is any reason for it. All drivers should be treated equally.

NICOLE KELLY

Del Haven

Atlantic County jail

in disgraceful condition

I had the unfortunate experience of spending four days in the Atlantic County Justice Facility for a child support matter.

This is not even classified as a crime, but a family matter. Upon entry, I was subjected to a total strip search, all my personal belongings were taken, and I was locked in a dog pen for six hours.

After that I spent four days locked in a cell the size of a small bathroom for 23 hours a day with three other people. I had to sleep on a concrete floor that was flooded by leaking toilets. You cannot get any assistance from the officers on guard at all. They totally ignore their responsibilities to the people in the facility.

I understand this is not supposed to be a country club, but someone needs to look into how things are being run there.

The food is nothing I would give the stray cats in the backyard. The phone system doesn't work properly at all, and you can't make collect calls unless you prepay an account that they don't inform you of. My personal property - gold jewelry - went missing.

Once my support was paid, it took 12 hours to have someone take the time to do the paperwork to release me. It took less time for me to get a divorce in Superior Court.

Someone needs to investigate how this place is being run. The facility is a total disgrace. This is a very serious issue.

BRYAN WRIGHT

Galloway Township

Police escort safer

than unescorted cars

Regarding the March 12 story, "2 troopers forfeit jobs over celeb car escort":

Safety on the Garden State Parkway is a priority. The State Police who escorted several exotic sports cars south on the parkway did the correct procedure. My wife and I were traveling south on the parkway when I saw in my mirror a police car with lights flashing. I moved to the right lane and the line of sport cars went by the traffic without any problem.

A few days later, while traveling north on the parkway, I saw several exotic cars weaving in and out of traffic behind me without an escort. They passed me at what I thought was a very high speed and continued weaving in and out of traffic going north. To me that was unsafe, while the escort south was within reason.

Maybe the proper channels were not followed, but the result was much better than 20 or so sport cars weaving through traffic. I am very sorry the State Police troopers involved were fired.

CHARLES PILCHARD

Little Egg Harbor Township