Students sometimes miss

the purpose of speeches

Regarding the May 14 letter, "This year, don't censor graduation speakers":

The writer doesn't want schools to review graduation speeches?

It would be nice if we could expect our student speakers to appropriately express the appreciation of the graduating class to parents, teachers, administration and the board of education and express their dreams for the future in a heartfelt goodbye as they stand with their classmates on graduation day. After all, they are speaking as a representative of the school.

Unfortunately, those days seem to have passed, as we have seen lately demonstrated by two disrespectful and disgruntled students who audaciously took the stage to degrade the education given to them at Mainland Regional High School. Obviously they thought the graduation was all about them and the public platform was theirs to spout off, no matter how inappropriately.

Do we want to chance a repeat of such disgraceful displays?



Open-space funding

is an important priority

Thank you to state Sens. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, Somerset, Christopher "Kip" Bateman, R-Somerset, Morris, and Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, for their bipartisan sponsorship of landmark legislation to establish a dedicated source of funding for open space, farmland and historic preservation programs in New Jersey.

The legislation will ensure that New Jersey's preservation legacy lives on and that the state will be able to continue its investments in keeping our drinking water clean, protecting our open space and wildlife habitat, and preserving our family farms and historic treasures.

New Jersey voters have long supported funding for open space, farmland and historic preservation, and Gov. Chris Christie and legislative leaders should ensure that New Jersey voters have the opportunity to decide whether to continue these efforts this November.

With all of the 2009 bond funds for preservation programs allocated, New Jersey is at risk of having decades of successful preservation efforts grind to a halt, jeopardizing critical lands that protect our water supply, guard against flood and storm damage, and generate billions of dollars in economic benefits.

We must act now before it is too late.



NJ Keep It Green


Great, now we can watch

television while driving

Well, it has happened. You can talk on the phone while you drive, text while you drive, and now television networks have an app for smart phones that lets you watch your favorite TV shows anywhere.

When they advertise this new app, they don't say "while you're driving." They say you can watch the news, "The View," or any of your favorite shows "anywhere."

But you and I know people now will be sitting in the front seat of their cars watching TV.

It is ludicrous and creates a potentially deadly situation. Nearly one out of five drivers admit to texting or surfing the Internet while driving - doing everything but watching the road. The roads are unsafe.


Atlantic City

Our 'free' beaches

aren't really free

What's the price of free beaches? Wildwood and North Wildwood recently increased parking meter fees. This year's reasoning is Hurricane Sandy. Previous year's reasons are irrelevant. If they want to take our money they will find the reasons. It's how governments operate. They hear the loose change rattling around in your pocket and they want it.

Most summer beachgoers are tourists who arrive in vehicles. They likely drove the quite expensive Garden State Parkway, fraught with toll plazas. They may have crossed toll bridges or rode a ferry that required a sizeable chunk of dough. Welcome to New Jersey.

If you travel to Florida you may be shocked by their definition of "free" - free roads, free bridge-crossings, and free parking in addition to free beaches.

In Wildwood, a quarter buys you seven and a half minutes of parking. That's $2 an hour. A day at the free beach could easily run $12.

What happens if it rains after you feed the meter? Do you get a refund? What happens if you miscalculate the family's intended stay in the sand? Maybe little Bobby gets too much sun. Here's how that works. In this state money flows in one direction - away from you. In order to get your money's worth, you'll need to be part mathematician, part meteorologist and part soothsayer.

It is clear that the word "free" is subject to interpretation.


Rio Grande

A.C. property taxes

are just wasted money

Our property taxes in Atlantic City are nothing but a joke. My check represents nothing but throwing money in the ocean. So every three months, I have to reserve and save money toward my "throwing-money-in-the-ocean fund."

Under normal circumstances, this money would be added to other checks toward the betterment of Atlantic City. But I still see potholes in the streets, boarded-up buildings, an empty airfield, no snow removal in front of stores along Atlantic Avenue. So where is my hard-earned money going? Probably into someone's pockets.

This is all this property-tax thing means to me, just a throwing-money-in-the-ocean fund. I'll just leave it up to the residents of Atlantic City to figure out that maybe their money is doing no more than mine. I strongly urge everyone to vote for Charles Garrett for mayor on June 4.


Atlantic City