Christie right

to veto pig bill

Regarding the Sept. 30 editorial, "Cruelty to pigs/Puzzling veto":

There's nothing puzzling about this veto at all. In his veto statement, the governor correctly points out that the proper channel for the review of livestock-care protocols are the Department of Agriculture's existing Humane Treatment of Domestic Livestock standards. These standards, authorized by legislative action and prepared by the veterinary-care experts at the department since 2004, prescribe guidelines for the humane raising, keeping, care, treatment, marketing and sale of domestic livestock.

Given that these standards are already in place, the fact that we're even debating this issue in the New Jersey Legislature is what's truly puzzling. The pig operations that exist in New Jersey are small finishing operations that do not rely on gestation crates. In instances when these farmers do use these crates, they do so on a case-by-case basis for a short period to separate the sow for protection during pregnancy. Whenever these crates are used, they must be used in accordance with the aforesaid humane-care standards, and violations of the standards carry severe penalties.

If opponents of the use of gestation crates are so concerned about this practice in New Jersey, they should present evidence to support a ban before the veterinary-care experts at the Department of Agriculture during prescribed periodic reviews, not seek to bypass the duly authorized regulatory process with misguided stand-alone legislation.

RYCK SUYDAM

President

N.J. Farm Bureau

Trenton

New breakfast routine

serves students well

A child's health and nutrition are critical to achieving academic success, especially for students whose parents struggle to put food on the table. For years, Egg Harbor City schools served breakfast before school, even though the majority of our school families chose not to participate.

Then I read a report by Advocates for Children of New Jersey that said "breakfast after the bell" impacted student success by removing a major barrier to learning - hunger - and school districts that participated in breakfast programs were eligible to receive substantial federal funding to feed their hungry students. At the time, we were only feeding breakfast to 25 percent of our students who were eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.

I decided to explore the idea of serving breakfast in the classroom after the first bell rang. Would it cut into instructional time? What about cleanup? Would teachers embrace this new routine?

My fears were unfounded. Using a wellness grant, our food-service staff purchased the necessary items to begin. Food was delivered to homerooms; students chose their breakfast items and sat down to eat. It was so simple.

In September 2012, we implemented daily classroom breakfast throughout the district. It has become a regular part of our morning routine. Students enjoy their breakfast while teachers take attendance and collect lunch orders. In total, breakfast takes about eight minutes, from start to finish.

The district is reaping the benefits. I have seen a positive shift in the culture of my building and a drop in discipline problems. Mornings, which used to be chaotic, are calmer since students head to their homerooms eager to eat breakfast. I can't say that breakfast is completely responsible for these encouraging changes, but it has certainly contributed to them.

I hope this inspires other school leaders in South Jersey and beyond to embrace this approach to serving breakfast, recognizing that a hungry child struggles to concentrate and learn. It is a simple solution to a major barrier to learning.

JACK GRIFFITH

Principal

Egg Harbor City

Community School

Campaign donations

paid off on billboard

Regarding the Sept. 29 story, "Billboard company made political donations to EHT officials":

I believe that the lesson learned from the electronic billboard in Egg Harbor Township is that anything can be accomplished if you contribute to officials' political campaigns.

BOB LOWRY

Longport

Congress embarrasses

the entire country

In corporate America, repeated incompetence leads to termination of employment.

In Congress, it leads to a starting salary of $174,000 per year, long paid vacations and no accountability.

The current members of Congress have once again shown themselves to be scornful of and an embarrassment to every citizen of the United States.

Our government needs new energy, intelligent ideas and empathy. It is past time for a change - a single five-year term and done.

TERESA LITTLEY

Egg Harbor City

Invest the time

to train pit bulls

Regarding the Sept. 26 story, "Fighting Stereotypes/Tough reputation dogs pit bulls":

Any worthwhile endeavor requires time. We have two months invested in fostering an older female pit bull. Her family trusted her with us while they rent for a year in a place where no pit bull dogs are allowed. This dog does not belong in a cage and is finding a place in our family.

CHERYL ALLEN

Pomona

Obama has failed U.S.

at home and abroad

The events of the past year domestically and internationally have shown the pathetic failure of President Barack Obama and his policies.

It started with the big lie concerning the attack on our consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of our ambassador and three CIA employees. This lie, which was pushed solely for the president's re-election campaign, should result in his impeachment. The lie continues with the refusal of the president and Hillary Clinton to give testimony regarding the timeline of their communications during the attack.

The Internal Revenue Service scandals revealed that the nation's most intrusive agency was used for political purposes to suppress the rights of tea-party organizations seeking to raise funds against Obama's re-election.

Now we have the shutdown of our government and the coming raising of the national debt limit. Obama's refusal to negotiate with his own Congress over these serious domestic matters while he beats his chest over his attempts to negotiate with Iran's president over that country's nuclear bomb threat is the height of hypocrisy.

The past five years of his policies have seen the highest levels of unemployment, the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and loss of respect from the rest of the world's nations. History will show Obama to be the most divisive, socialistic, Muslim-leaning politician and biggest fraud ever to occupy the White House. May God help our country.

ROBERT READDING

Vineland