This basketball program
Regarding the March 8 letter, "Behavior was atrocious at youth basketball game":
Two churches in Atlantic County run Upward Basketball programs for children. Our church has just completed its 11th season. Virtually every concern the letter writer mentioned was the opposite of what our program is all about. Upward is all about teaching character, having fun, teaching good sportsmanship, building up self-esteem and teaching who God is.
The Upward program downplays competition and seeks to make basketball a fun experience for the children. Each child gets equal playing time no matter what his or her skill level. Parents from both teams cheer when a basket is made and when a child makes a good play. Every child is introduced before each game and it is great to see their happy faces when they are recognized and run out onto the court.
Our program is open to both boys and girls in our area who are in grades one through eight. When they get older, some Upward participants do switch to the recreation league because they have greater skill and enjoy the competition. As we all know, sports is a big part of our society, and I'm thankful for the opportunity we have to have a positive impact on a child's sports experience.
better than foreign aid
Regarding the March 19 letter, "Why should I pay to raise your house?":
I would guess that this individual objects to fellow citizens being helped, but has no problem with his tax dollars being sent to a multitude of foreign countries as foreign aid.
Currently, the United State sends billions of dollars each year to other countries, some of which hate us with a passion.
There seems to be no objection to these giveaways, and we have those who would rebel at seeing their next-door neighbors receive some sort of assistance.
Not everyone who owns a home along the shoreline is wealthy. What a shame for some people to have a mindset such as the one indicated by this letter.
cheat N.J. taxpayers
Regarding Kevin Post's March 24 "Bottom Lines" column, "S.J. towns pay for, but don't benefit from, tax program":
A combined $1 billion in tax forgiveness has been given to the likes of Panasonic, Prudential and Campbell Soup. Yet, a plan to restore property tax rebates failed because officials couldn't come up with $800 million - for us.
Let's put our respective representatives to task and contact them.
a valuable asset
Regarding the March 24 story, "District debates on-duty vs. retired cops":
I was disappointed to read Galloway Township Mayor Don Purdy's negative comments regarding the use of retired police officers in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional high schools.
Retired officers have years of experience and training. Many were hostage negotiators, SWAT team members and practiced community and problem-solving policing. Policing is an art that is learned over time. What better employee to have than one who has seen it and done it all - experienced officers who can talk to people, understand their problems and find peaceful solutions?
We would all prefer the luxury of placing full-time officers in all our schools, but no municipality or school board can afford that today. I commend the GEHR district for placing qualified retired officers within the schools. The Galloway Police Department now has 48 officers, down from 74 in 2008. Galloway Police Chief Patrick Moran does an outstanding job within these limitations to maintain an acceptable level of service.
The district employs retired officers Richard Huenke, Ed Ottepka and Jim Wilcox. All have outstanding reputations. I would trust them with the safety of my children.
For the record, I served as a police officer for 35 years, hold a graduate degree from St. Joseph's University, graduated from the FBI National Academy and I am a New Jersey certified public manager. I am proud of all our retired police and firefighters.
WILLIAM J. McKNIGHT
Atlantic County Retired Police
and Firemen's Association
Atlantic City's casinos have taken a flawed approach in their dealings with livery companies.
Being in this business for more than 30 years, I have seen many limo companies grandly open and soon fail, leaving behind a string of debt to Atlantic County businesses. For the most part, their owners have cleverly protected themselves against personal liability and pocket the money their companies owe. To say these people are morally corrupt would be an understatement.
Legitimate limousine companies are good for the local economy. They hire qualified chauffeurs and maintenance personnel and spend money on services from local businesses.
Unfortunately, over the years, the casinos have driven down the price per mile far below the national average, making it increasingly difficult to operate a quality transportation service.
Last month, a casino operator with multiple Atlantic City properties conducted an online bidding process with the contract going to the lowest price per mile. History has proven that this type of business mentality is ignorant, reckless and typical of the way the city's casinos shoot themselves in the foot.
How can the "businessmen" who run our casinos not understand that operating a safe, solvent and quality livery service requires necessary overhead?
The answer is they do and have no issues with watering down our commerce by their greedy shortsightedness.
Quality businesses only do business with quality businesses.
JOSEPH A. JOHNSON
Bring sign down
by ignoring ads
Because those in charge made the bad decision to allow the electronic sign to be built on the beautiful Margate Causeway, we now have a first-class reminder of how greed can trump good sense.
One solution to bringing this eyesore down is to approach this problem in the language the owners understand - U.S. dollars. Do not patronize any of the establishments that advertise on it. When these advertisers see their advertising dollars are having no effect, the sign will become less relevant, and its demise would come in good time.