Clearly it is time

to rethink LBI dunes

I read a shocking quote from the mayor of Long Beach Township in the aftermath of Sandy, to the effect that beach replenishment "worked." Really? He followed it up with a reckless suggestion that property owners who sustained damage should sue their neighbors who declined to sign easements for dunes. Never mind that there's no viable legal theory to justify that, or that it's arrogant, divisive and petty.

The idea that pumping a wall of sand onto our barrier islands is a sustainable, cost-effective method of preventing the catastrophe that we're enduring has been fully debunked by the facts. I suppose you can make the case that some beachfront homes were spared devastation. Small comfort to the folks on the bay side. Never mind that it's a one-shot remedy, and the places that were spared are now sitting ducks.

Was the investment worth it? Maybe to the tiny minority of people who benefited. But we now have an opportunity to rethink coastal engineering practically from scratch.

When the first round of beach replenishment came to Long Beach Island, and people saw how destructive, dangerous, ineffective, temporary and expensive it was and started complaining, they were resoundingly criticized. But now we're back to square one, and the utter folly of these projects is obvious. The folks who have a proprietary interest in the conversation can't insist that they own the debate any more.

The things that do actually protect life and property are things like stricter building codes (which do not cost the taxpayer a cent), better evacuation plans and community preparedness.

Obviously, the prevention of large scale devastation isn't a simple task. But it's clear coastal protection has to be retooled. The rebuilding requires a thought process that our short-sighted planners have heretofore lacked. To look around at billions of dollars worth of damage and call prior protection efforts a success is nothing less than stupid. That isn't the best we can do, and without an approach that acknowledges reality, this is bound to reoccur.

JOHN J. RYAN

Bass River

A.C. public works

doing a great job

I want to thank Atlantic City's Department of Public Works for doing such an excellent job picking up the debris generated by Hurricane Sandy. These workers deserve high praise for doing such a thankless job after this catastrophe.

After losing everything in their basements and refrigerators, not seeing the evidence of that loss out on the street for days is very good for the morale and health of all of our neighborhoods. Great job.

BARBARA MCDONNELL

Atlantic City

Those high A.C. dunes

protected my high-rise

Oh, what a storm. I live in a high-rise on the south end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Although I always thought it sad that the dunes obstructed the view of the ocean while sitting on a bench on the Boardwalk, I have been a proponent of them - and thank goodness they were there in my neighborhood. I watched these dunes hold back the water in front of my building, except in spots where ramps provided access to the beach.

Our condo manager, security and other dedicated employees stayed on the site through the storm and gave reassuring messages over the loudspeaker. Their continued presence was very much appreciated. And as I looked out my window, I saw Atlantic City police patrolling the streets and heard the sirens of the Atlantic City Fire Department responding to emergencies. When Comcast was working, I watched TV and saw Gov. Chris Christie take charge. What an absolutely stellar job all of the above people did.

One fly in the ointment ... I heard our mayor, Lorenzo Langford, speak on Nov. 2. He criticized the visit made by President Barack Obama and Christie to Brigantine and said he would have more harsh words directed at state officials in the days to come. In these devastating times, how ridiculous and immature of him to focus on his deteriorating relationship with state government. Let's set aside personal differences and get to the work of rebuilding and repairing and getting Atlantic City back to normal.

PENNY GELFAND

Atlantic City

We are proud of how

Ventnor handled storm

Say what you will about barricades, checkpoints, curfews and the presence of both local police and state troopers. Say what you will about Ventnor being the last barrier island city to allow its citizens to return. The leadership and caring that Mayor Mike Bagnell displayed was exemplary.

We chose to stay on the island during Hurricane Sandy. We saw our city in action during the storm and in the aftermath. We witnessed our firefighters coming out at the peak of high tide to escort a family back to their home when their car did not make it through the water during their attempted escape. In less than an hour after the end of the nightmare, we saw Ventnor Public Works trucks hauling debris and moving obstacles to safer areas. They never stopped all day, every day.

After we were powered up, we received bulletins via email detailing every decision and the rationale regarding the welfare and safety of the citizens and business owners. We didn't need to rely on TV or radio broadcasts (or sensationalism). The mayor's decision to keep Ventnor closed when all other towns opened was purely a safety-first decision. To witness the devastation, aftermath and cleanup was a privilege and quite humbling. We are proud of all those who protected us. We would live nowhere else.

FRANK CAVALLARO

FRANI CAVALLARO

Ventnor

A.C. casinos missed

good PR opportunity

Perhaps the casinos would have been allowed to open sooner if each one had offered 10 or 20 rooms for displaced residents for a couple of weeks?

They wouldn't have had to provide room/maid service, etc. The state could have provided food and water, etc.

Liability issues? Logistical issues? Maybe, but let the state determine that. If state officials decided it was a bad idea, oh well, you made the offer. It would have been great public relations.

ED BLEWITT

Erma

How can smart people

run a generator indoors?

In the aftermath of Sandy, I called my parents to ask where they kept their will. It seems they were running their generator in the attached garage all week, and, inexplicably, the carbon-monoxide detector kept going off.

For crying out loud. My folks are brilliant.

How is it possible that two intelligent people thought it would be a good idea to run a generator inside their home, albeit with the garage door open? And why is it so hard to convince them to drag that puppy out into the driveway?

I work in crisis intervention, and I have been running back and forth between the hospital I work for, the churches I serve, and my own home and community caring for everyone I bump into and bursting into tears at odd moments because I can't help my own darn parents.

So if you're driving down Hollyberry Lane and you hear a loud hum coming out of a home but do not see a generator, please ring the bell and give the wonderful couple who answer the door a piece of my mind. I don't want to serve as their executor just yet.

REV. JULIANN HENRY

Mays Landing

Dan Skeldon got

everything right

Living on the meadows in Northfield, I would like to compliment Dan Skeldon of Channel 40 news on his excellent coverage during Hurricane Sandy. His predictions were far more accurate than the National Weather Service or Weather Channel predictions.

He was the only source that we could find to predict the evening flood tide relative to the height of the morning flood tide. This was critical to us in determining just how bad it could be and how we should prepare. He turned out to be right on the money. Fortunately, we suffered no major damage in large part to his information.

Additionally, I feel that there should have been constant official broadcasts on our local public-access TV channel. We did not need to hear the Garden Club meeting schedule at that time. This resource should have been dedicated to emergency information only. Our emergency management officials should consider this in the future.

RICHARD LEVITT

Northfield