BPU was wrong
to reject wind power
The Board of Public Utilities decision to reject the Fishermen's Energy wind project off the New Jersey shoreline strikes me as counterproductive. Not only would the development of this energy source create jobs in an area that is economically depressed, it would help ward off massive outages in storms, which are only increasing in severity and frequency.
Political shenanigans aside, I question the wisdom of depending upon energy such as coal and gas, which harm our environment. Have we forgotten the delicacy of power grids that are already aged and overtaxed? Have we buried the memories of Sandy and snowstorm blackouts? For those fearing the sight of turbines, recall the total blackness in the wake of recent weather events. Power loss is not pretty.
Neighboring states have already boarded the bandwagon headed toward 21st century progress. While our state has historically lead the way in education, employment and quality of life, I am rapidly losing confidence in the viability of "Jersey Strong." We gain little strength when our citizens lack the safety provided by a steady paycheck and a dependable way to keep homes up and running.
Little Egg Harbor Township
There's a lot of discussion in Margate regarding my questions about the February 2011 public bids for Margate beach-tent advertising. It's my job to look after the interests of the city, and that's what I'm doing and will continue to do. My adversaries clearly don't want this issue investigated, and my position is simply let's see what happened and fix it so that we don't repeat the same mistake.
I'm proud of my first term as commissioner. We've maintained a flat tax rate two years in a row. We're one of the few towns that has actually had an increase in ratables. We've decreased our city debt by $1.5 million, and we're expecting a larger surplus at the end of this year than last year.
All one has to do is compare our 2011 audit and management letter to the 2012 audit and management letter to see how proper oversight by our accounting team and the governing body can improve the city's fiscal well-being.
a fair compromise
The adoptee-rights bill now before Gov. Chris Christie's differs dramatically from the recommendations in his conditional veto in 2011. Christie would have required adoptees to hire a confidential intermediary who would search for the named birth parent to ask permission for release of the birth certificate.
Most of us played "Mother, may I?" as children but have left that game behind. This would be demeaning for adoptees and potentially cruel for a birth mother who wants contact but whose son or daughter only wants the birth record.
The current bill would give adoptees access to their actual birth certificates. It would offer birth parents the right to name an intermediary of their choice on a contact-preference form filed with the state if they want their adult child to use one to communicate. This would involve less government intrusion into people's personal lives at less cost. It would replace the current irrelevant statute with a civil-rights law respecting adopted persons' ownership of their own vital statistics and birth parents' right to have a voice in the process.
show pipeline danger
State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, is doing a disservice to South Jersey residents outside his district with his unending strong-arm tactics to attempt to ram a Pine Barrens pipeline down our throats.
We have all seen natural gas explosions in recent weeks, including explosions of buildings in Ewing and New York City, and massive pipeline explosions in Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, California and Pennsylvania. Natural gas may come at a cheap price, but the industry's safety record is deplorable and makes nuclear power shine by comparison.
Why not direct the pipeline alongside the Atlantic City Expressway and the Garden State Parkway? Then when the inevitable explosion occurs, it will only destroy a road and not a beautiful pinelands landscape.
Raise state tax
on A.C. casinos
Regarding successful casino tax appeals in Atlantic City, which have resulted in significant tax increases not only for Atlantic City residents but for all of Atlantic County:
Mayor Don Guardian has stated that casino tax assessments are one of his top priorities. His goal is to have these assessments done on a "fairer" basis. I certainly commend his goal.
But unless I'm wrong, I haven't read of one casino executive offering to help rectify this situation even though the current system cannot continue without having devastating effects on Atlantic City and Atlantic County.
I find it truly disappointing that somehow these casino executives do not seem to realize that this situation will eventually have devastating effects for them as well. Or is it maybe they just don't care?
Why not have the state raise the 8 percent casino revenue tax rate, which is one of the lowest in the country? Casinos in Pennsylvania are paying a tax rate of 55 percent on slot revenue and 16 percent on table games, and yet they are still eager to open for business there.
Is there no end to the greediness of these casinos in Atlantic City and the disregard they have for the community in which they operate? When and what will it take to get them to step up to the plate?
BRUCE J. PEARSON