Art won't save A.C.,

but boxing might

Regarding the May 10 editorial, "Saving Atlantic City/Sculpture won't do it":

I say, welcome to the club. Last August, I was incredulous when Assemblyman Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, wrote the column, "Use arts as economic tool." He was focused on Atlantic City and wrote about art, jobs and the multiplier effect on employment: "By working with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Atlantic City Alliance, and supporting local artists, I am very confident we can increase this number."

The CRDA and the Atlantic City Alliance are planning to spend $12 million on this sculpture garden.

These days, $12 million is almost enough dough to buy either Trump Plaza or Atlantic Club. I suggest the two alphabet organizations forget sculpture and purchase a casino. Then find a buyer willing to turn the property into a boxing hall of fame and Olympic training facility. By eliminating one casino, you would help the others. And boxing is an Atlantic City tradition.

Pick up the phone and call rapper 50 Cent. He recently made $60 million investing in vitamin water. Now he's promoting boxers.

Great art belongs in Philadelphia and New York. Atlantic City and boxing- it's worked before.


Mullica Township

Gary Stein is a Democratic primary candidate for state Assembly.

'Hopeline' counseling

can help prevent suicides

Suicide is often called a permanent "solution" to a temporary problem. People struggling with depression or hopelessness often cannot imagine a brighter future. Sometimes suicidal behaviors are triggered by events or challenges that overwhelm a person. To continue supporting New Jersey residents who are facing these challenges, the Christie administration launched its first statewide, suicide prevention hotline.

NJHOPELINE (855-654-6735), available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, provides live, trained, New Jersey-based professionals to assist with confidential counseling and referrals to appropriate lifesaving treatment. Callers will never be routed to an automated system. Just one week after it started, the hotline had already received nearly 300 calls.

While New Jersey has the second-lowest suicide rate in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate for adults ages 35 to 64 has increased by 31 percent from 1999 to 2010. Suicide also ranks as a leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 behind accidents and homicides.

So it is important for those who are feeling alone, desperate or in distress to have a safe outlet, someone they can connect with who can listen and provide professional counsel.


Assistant Commissioner

Division of Mental Health

and Addiction Services

N.J. Department of Human Services


A president needs more

than a trim waistline

It looks as if the Republican Party, the party of bad ideas, is building a slim and trim candidate to run against Democrats, the party of no ideas, in 2016.

Gov. Chris Christie wants desperately to be our next president. In his mind, the only thing standing in his way is his weight. Are we going to be asked to vote for a man who lacks the willpower to simply eat less? He has taken the easy way out with his lap-band surgery.

He should look at our current president. He is the proper weight for his height and is pleasing to look at, yet, in my estimation, he is possibly the worst president we have ever had.

It is not your physical appearance that gets you elected. It is your actions that voters judge.

We need someone like John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a man with ideas and vision, and I don't see that man.