Why is Vineland
Regarding the Feb. 27 story, "Vineland council OKs smoking ban":
The ban includes not only cigarettes, but chewing tobacco, snuff and e-cigarettes. I think that burning organic matter is bad. But a ban on vapor devices confuses me.
They emit vapor, as we all do on cold days. They do not use tobacco.
If the city wants to stop nicotine use, it should also ban Nicorette gum and patches that contain nicotine. Or are city officials afraid of offending the pharmaceutical companies that make the gum and patches?
PATRICK D. PETERS
Friends cannot save
addicts from themselves
Regarding the Feb. 17 letter, "Sadly, friends of Hoffman let him down":
Having spent 25 years of my life abusing drugs and nearly as much time in recovery, I want to say that friends and family cannot stop an addict from using. Sometimes they can slow our descent. But if addicts truly want to use, they will continue to use regardless of the level of support they receive.
The disease of addiction wants us to use, it wants us dead, and it is far too powerful to be stopped by just friends and family. A person has to reach a point where he or she truly wants to stop, decides to be truly done with drugs and is ready to find a new way to live.
It is only through the grace of God and the fellowship of a 12-step program that I am a clean, responsible and productive member of society.
GARY GANT SR.
Director has improved
Regarding the Feb. 23 story, "Margate library boss pay tops rest":
I am disturbed that for some reason The Press doesn't believe that Jim Cahill, Margate's independent library director for 27 years, is worthy of making a high salary.
This story used fuzzy math comparisons to insinuate that Cahill is being overpaid. His salary is approved by a city-appointed board of directors. This is not a $150k patronage job on the bridge commission.
Margate's state-of-the-art library is not only a place to take out a book, DVD, or access the Internet. It is also a vital center of the community. Exhibits, film series, book discussions and senior programs help improve our quality of life.
Cahill was instrumental in developing the "one card, one community" program, which links the school's libraries to the municipal library. Every student has a library card.
In addition, the library had 22,000 visitors in 2013. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The sound of classical music makes for a relaxing experience. Outside, the library park is nicely maintained, featuring a water garden.
The library director should be applauded for his efforts to make the library a cornerstone of the community and not made out to be someone undeserving of his salary.
N.J. educators deserve
better from governors
For years the educators of this state have taken a beating from our governors.
Past governors have ignored their obligation to pay into pension funds. It is a requirement, not a suggestion. They have taken money from the funds to balance their budgets. They should be held accountable.
In his budget message, Gov. Chris Christie continued to threaten educators and public employees with cuts in pensions and benefits. He would rather do this than disturb those who make more than a million dollars a year by increasing their taxes. Christie argues that these people will move to another state if they have to pay higher taxes. The reason these folks are here is because they can make that kind of money in New Jersey. If they could make it somewhere else, they would be living there now. The governor wants to have access to them for political contributions and connections to power.
Why would anyone enter the teaching profession in this state? Would you spend a fortune getting the required degrees so that you can be vilified by this governor? Or take a job where you are paid less than you are worth, are considered lazy and are envied because you have a pension and medical benefits?
We need to get new leadership in this state. This includes those in the both the Senate and Assembly who support Christie's attitude and behavior. And Christie should resign.
on banning hoodies
Regarding Tonyaa Weathersbee's Feb. 19 column, "Black youths shouldn't have to cater to whites' fears":
This commentary suffered from faults that deserve to be addressed.
One, businesses that ban hoodies on their premises are operated not only by whites, but by blacks and the foreign-born as well.
Two, the ban on hoodies applies to everybody, not just those of one race.
Three, the number of hoodie wearers who have shot unarmed storekeepers is more than 50 times the number of storekeepers who have shot unarmed hoodie wearers. Bearing this in mind, it would seem the cautionary lectures should be directed at store owners.
Four, there is no evidence, though there are some imaginings, that a ban on hoodies might lead back to the days of Jim Crow.
Have readers report
Regarding the Feb. 24 editorial, "Trees and power lines/Be more aggressive":
This was right on the mark. An effort by the Board of Public Utilities to address the power outages we sustain after a storm is long overdue. Utilities' efforts to fix this situation seem too lax, to say the least.
In the past, The Press had a featured called "Pothole Patrol," where people reported problem spots. Here again, the road crews charged with fixing these things didn't have a clue where the worst problems were.
My suggestion is to have a "Branch Alert" program, where the public can report potential trouble spots with overhanging branches. Most people know where these trees are. It could help a lot.
Drought doesn't stop
Obama's golf game
One thing that you should admire about President Barack Obama is how strongly he holds his beliefs and how he applies them.
People in California are experiencing very difficult times with a drought. The severe lack of rain has meant that those who raise beef cattle are having a very difficult time keeping their herds alive with less water. Large areas in the state that grow much of the nation's fruits and vegetables are also affected. Reservoirs that are water sources for many people are drying up.
These people have been trying to get Obama to do more to solve these problems.
Obama has shown that he cannot become involved with these people and their problems. To prove his point, in a recent visit to California, he showed that he could not be coerced by them. He spent time on a golf course that is constantly watered to keep it green.