Don't rely on media;
do your own research
Although complaints about the lack of unbiased information on presidential candidates in the media certainly have merit, they are no basis for casting an uneducated vote.
We continue to rely on the mass media to tell us what we should think about the candidates, when it would take only a 10-minute Google search to find factual information on the candidates. The 2012 candidates are very different people with very different beliefs.
If you are undecided, you either have no opinions on important issues, or you are under-informed. If it is the latter, you should take it upon yourself to become informed. Today's voters have an advantage over voters of the past. We have the World Wide Web at our fingertips.
Don't get buried in other people's opinions. Search for fact-checked information sources on the Web.
Remove dead gulls
from Route 52 bridge
The new Route 52 causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point has become a graveyard for some of our feathered friends - gulls that crash into the roadway.
Apparently wire is being installed along some of the railings to dissuade the gulls from perching there.
But I am perplexed by the seeming lack of interest in removing the carcasses of dead gulls. I have seen the same deceased winged nuisance in the same spot for long periods of time. It is an unpleasant sight and makes you wonder where pride in appearance has gone, as well as concerns about keeping things sanitary.
The fact that someone like me should have to write a letter like this is truly "for the birds."
RALPH GARY BRAUNER
can't handle the truth
In the movie "A Few Good Men," Jack Nicholson's character says, "You can't handle the truth." Apparently, this is why the president has his following.
Mitt Romney was criticized for stating that the attack in Libya were premeditated. This only stands to reason, since the rioters used rocket launchers, not the weapon of choice for a spontaneous attack. This was also confirmed by the president of Libya.
Next, Romney said there is a certain segment of our society that will not vote for him. Although his figures might be off, he stated that many of those receiving entitlements will vote for Barack Obama due to his stance on the redistribution of wealth.
Obama says an Internet movie sparked the recent riots in the Muslim countries and that his entitlement programs have no bearing on people voting for him. Apparently, the president has his head in the sand.
in Cape May County
Republican M. Susan Sheppard was elected to a council seat in Ocean City in 2008 and was elected a Cape May County freeholder in 2010. Now she is running for county surrogate.
That means that if she wins the election she would leave two terms of office unfinished. It may seem logical to ask what happens next - a run for state Senate? Sheppard needs to finish what she starts.
Republican freeholder candidate Leonard Desiderio serves the county in several capacities. He is a busy man, perhaps too busy. As chairman of the board of the South Jersey Economic Development District, he failed to supervise the staff properly in regard to the NextGen Research and Technology Park. That project was suppose to be completed in 2011, but is still unfinished. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, said funding problems could endanger NextGen. The SJEDD board fell down on the job, as did county freeholders.
On Election Day, we can change the future of our county by voting for Democrats Jeff Sutherland for surrogate and Walt Deegan for freeholder. Deegan brings years of management experience. Sutherland is a lawyer whose practice deals with all the aspects of the Surrogate's Office.
This election is an opportunity to make a difference. It is time to bring some change to the network that has existed in Cape May County government for too many years.
Plant native shrubs
to obscure fence
Regarding the Oct. 16 story, "Fencing on Lower Twp. road to stay, be landscaped":
I think the area should be viewed as an opportunity to plant native shrubs and trees, rather than the usual "landscaping plants," which are often non-native and usually not as beneficial to wildlife.
Guidance for the best plants to use could come from experts at the Nature Center of Cape May, the Cape May Bird Observatory, or New Jersey Audubon.
Imagine just how lovely that area could become when visited by birds and butterflies during their migration and by local birds throughout the year.
Once the plantings are mature, the eye will automatically be drawn to them and not to the fence beyond.
Job numbers show
economy is improving
Regarding the Oct. 13 letter, "Latest jobs data is nothing to cheer":
The data was the Bureau of Labor Statistics' report that unemployment had fallen from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent in September. Much to the apparent dismay of Mitt Romney's supporters, it seems that any good news turns into bad news for them.
To my way of thinking, a drop in unemployment is better than a rise. In fact, the BLS reports have shown a steady drop in unemployment from 9.8 percent in November 2010 to a level now on par with the rate when Barack Obama took office in January 2009 and was handed an economy that was melting down.
But instead of this news being greeted with cautious optimism, certain news organizations and Republican spinmeisters accused the administration of "cooking the books."
One of the more prominent accusers, Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, tweeted, "Unbelievable jobs numbers. These Chicago guys will do anything, can't debate, so change numbers." When pressed, Welch admitted he had not a shred of evidence to support the claim, after which he quit his job writing for Fortune magazine because of reaction to his irresponsible comments.
The bureau's methodology was also criticized. No matter that it is the very same methodology BLS used to report on unemployment when the rate was flirting with 10 percent.
In contrast to the letter writer's claim, the same report showed not that large numbers of folks had dropped out of the labor market, but that the civilian labor force rose by 418,000 in September. Total employment increased by 873,000, and 468,000 fewer people lost their jobs. The total number of unemployed people fell by 456,000.
This is not to say the numbers paint a rosy picture. Far too many people are still unemployed. But they do show a trend in the right direction. It is wrong to question this modest progress because it is not convenient to the challenger's campaign.