Regarding the Feb. 25 editorial, "Sandy's summer threat/Submerged debris":
I applaud The Press for addressing this very serious problem that boaters must be aware of.
But the editorial included this: "Careful skippers know to keep an eye out for debris - but New Jersey's waterways aren't known for having a preponderance of careful, experienced boaters. So many tourists act like dangerous yahoos on the water - look for one of them to be the first to sink a boat by running into an old section of piling."
That statement offends me as a boater and local resident, and it will certainly offend the thousands of out-of-state boating enthusiasts who annually spend hundreds of millions of dollars in New Jersey.
It's probably going to be a tough summer already for the boating industry because of gas prices and the economy, To insult our tourists with statements such as this is just not called for.
Tax write-off proposed
for victims of Sandy
With flood insurance, homeowners are entitled to recover the depreciation taken on their primary residences.
But when it comes to personal property - the contents of a home - depreciation is not recoverable. This costs people thousands of dollars when they have to replace couches, TVs and appliances. These items are paid for on an actual cash value basis, after depreciation is taken based on the age and condition.
Homeowners insurance offers the option of buying a replacement-cost policy. With such a policy, you are first paid on an actual cash value basis. Then you have 180 days to produce receipts, cancelled checks or credit card statements showing what you paid to replace the items. Then carriers release the "holdback" recoverable depreciation to cover the difference between ACV and the replacement cost.
But with flood policies, replacement cost for personal property is not an option.
I would like to propose that flood victims be eligible for a tax write-off for the amount of this non-recoverable depreciation, provided they can produce the same receipts for the Internal Revenue Service or the state.
Homeowners should be allowed to write off the depreciation amounts they were forced to eat. As a direct result of the flood loss, many people were forced to replace everything, yet they are only being partially reimbursed.
Rick Lascheid is a licensed public insurance adjuster.
To change New Jersey,
Democrats are angry with Gov. Chris Christie because he vetoed the 2012 same-sex marriage law and this year's bill to increase in the minimum wage. A women's group calls the Christie agenda on women and family issues "appalling."
The minimum-wage question is the subject of a proposed constitutional amendment. I don't take lightly any change to the state Constitution. And veto overrides are rare in New Jersey. However, there is one simple answer to effect progressive change in New Jersey. The answer is to replace Christie in November.
I know Christie's popularity is at its highest. I know he seems to have re-election in the bag. But, for the life of me, I do not see why. Face the facts, folks. Other than the "Godfather"-style rhetoric, what exactly has Christie done?
New Jersey's unemployment remains above 9 percent, the fourth highest in the nation. He has been in office for more than three years now, and have your taxes gone down?
Christie has done nothing but drive a wedge between the public and the state's civil servants and teachers. Tax revenue continues to be short with budgets based on overinflated projections. Like many other Republican plans, Christie's continue to give to the rich while taking more from the lower and middle class.
So in November, there's a way to make real positive change for New Jersey. It's time for Christie to go. Put a Democrat in the Governor's Office and make real change for New Jersey.
KARL M. FRANK III
Use foreign aid funds
to rebuild America
Since our country is in a financial shambles we should withhold 10 percent of the aid we give to other countries and use it to rebuild our own country. When our United States is without debt, then we can help others.
This money should have its own line in the budget and should be used for infrastructure replacement including roads, bridges, rail and other means of mass transportation. Several areas should be addressed simultaneously to provide jobs across different regions.
CEOs of large private companies who once looked at areas in need and imagined how they could grow their company by meeting those needs have abandoned this idea, seeing easy profits from foreign production instead. The politicians in Congress complain about the national debt without realizing that unemployment checks only add to that debt.
Wage earners paying taxes and spending for family needs is a means to lower that debt.
It's time for Congress to consider the American people and our problems. We have already proven that we can't fix all the world's problems. Let's start with ours.
Also, it's time the superwealthy realized they have had a pretty good run and accept returning to the previous higher tax rate while investing in the resurging American economy.
It's time for all of us to enter the fight to rebuild America.