Instead of gas line,
approve wind farm
Regarding the debate over a proposed natural-gas pipeline through the pinelands:
The concept of using cleaner energy while creating more jobs is compelling. There is no doubt we need both, and the upcoming retirement of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Ocean County makes this even more important.
But putting a gas pipeline through the pinelands is dangerous and unnecessary. The Pinelands Commission rightly blocked the project.
A better plan would be to harness the power of offshore wind. A pilot project to erect turbines three miles off the Atlantic City coast was recently rejected by the Board of Public Utilities, despite an agreement between the company and the New Jersey Division of the Rate Counsel.
Offshore wind would make New Jersey a hub for a new industry, including a port in Paulsboro where windmill components would be assembled. This would bring many jobs to our state, in addition to providing clean energy.
The upside of cleaner energy sources and new jobs far outweighs the negative. Our elected officials should be supporting such projects.
'Noah' reminds us
to eat vegetables
Some have attacked the movie "Noah" as being "pro-animal" and unfaithful to the Bible. But the film is both pro-animal and faithful to the Bible, at least to the Book of Genesis, our source for the story of Noah.
Genesis 1:29 admonishes, "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit - to you it shall be for food." It is only after the flood, with fruits and vegetables no longer abundant, that humans get permission to eat animal flesh. Even then, the Bible stipulates that lives of only select animals may be taken and always with reverence and minimal cruelty. This is certainly a far cry from today's factory farms.
Regardless of how we may feel about this film's interpretation of the Bible, each of us can recreate the recommended diet of the Garden of Eden in our home by dropping animal products from our menuS.
Christie's language both
Gov. Chris Christie is back speaking on television and at press conferences. The most striking aspect of his re-emergence is the disparity between his vulgar and bombastic approach to members of the press corps and the smarmy sycophantic performance he gave in front of wealthy Republicans in Las Vegas.
Christie's nastiness toward the press showed a man unnerved. His buttering up of power brokers stood in contrast to the 1950s version of misogyny in a report written by Christie's lawyers about the Bridgegate scandal, which belittled Bridget Anne Kelly and used lascivious language in reference to her.
I am confident that the men of the Republican Jewish Coalition would never tolerate anyone speaking to or about their wives or daughters in such a cheap fashion.
It would be mortifying to be represented by Christie on the world stage.
NANCY M. JAMES
Millville can't afford
15th Street project
Regarding the March 28 story, "Millville split but OKs $2.5M for 15th St.":
The Millville City Commission voted 3-2 to award the bid for the 15th Street Public Works project. I and Commissioner Joseph Sooy voted against this project.
I appreciate that there is a need to provide safe facilities for our employees, but we must be fiscally responsible while doing so. After meeting with employees and engineers, I am convinced this project in its present form is not fiscally responsible and its scope is too large.
The past administration had already spent more than $3 million on this project. This new contract brings the price to $6.6 million.
We must look at how projects affect the city's tax rate and our citizens, who are already facing tax increases from the county and school board.
Future costs include a request for money for the Cumberland County College Arts building on High Street, money to keep seven police positions whose grant funding expires next year and payments on bonds issued by past administrations, which will nearly triple next year.
We must prioritize. Do we want to spend more for renovations on an already usable complex? Or do we want to consider the more pressing issues facing our city - crime and our deteriorating neighborhoods? Please attend commission meetings or contact the commissioners and voice your opinion on how your tax dollars should be spent.
LYNNE PORRECA COMPARI
A.C. needn't be
a food desert
I am an environmental planning major at Rutgers University, and I am concerned that Atlantic City is considered a food desert. The city lacks an outlet that provides fresh, healthy and affordable foods. Since many residents do not have cars, they often opt to purchase prepackaged foods and fast food. But fast-food restaurants and corner stores do not offer fresh produce. Relying on processed foods leads to health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
To change this, we must act as a community and become more aware of the food we are consuming. We should eat more fresh produce and fewer prepackaged foods filled with preservatives. We can utilize the community gardens in the summer and work toward creating a time bank that would allow residents to provide services for local farmers in exchange for fresh produce.
With these efforts, residents will become healthier and we will create a more community-oriented city.
Egg Harbor Township
N.J. must give adoptees
access to birth records
The New Jersey Senate and Assembly have passed a bill that would enable adult adoptees to receive a copy of their birth certificates. It awaits the governor's signature. I am not an adopted child, but I do understand the importance of family, roots, and medical history.
My in-laws have been dead for many years. My own mother passed away last year and my father has Alzheimer's disease. I have access to medical records for both parents and can understand how to protect myself from inherited maladies, or at least reduce my risks and those of my children. New Jersey adoptees do not have that ability. In the worst scenario, they cannot find blood relatives for organ matching, if needed.
Denying access to adoptees' birth records is a denial of identity and a denial of preventive care. But ultimately, it is the denial of equal rights under the law.
DIANE H. SPADOLA
Christie just another
Regarding the March 30 editorial, "Christie and pensions/Devious move":
Gov. Chris Christie unilaterally changed the formula for contributions to the pension system. How sneaky. I guess his fingers were crossed when he made the 2011 agreement to contribute the full amount if workers increased their contributions and retirees gave up cost-of-living increases. On future agreements it is advisable to be able to see both his hands.
There are 474,305 active members in state and local government pension plans who are being betrayed. The workers have always paid. State and local governments, not so much.
When Gov. Christie Whitman decided to let then-booming stock market returns in pension funds replace the state's contributions, the party began. The state did not collect pension contributions from local governments for many years.
Most pensions are not lavish. They are based on the salaries of nurses, teachers, police officers, workers who pick up trash, public health workers and others who have protected, educated and increased the well-being of residents.
The pension funds would not be underfunded if governors had honored their commitments. Christie continues a long tradition of double-crossing the workers.