are needed why?
There's nothing more that can be said or written about gun control that hasn't already been put forth. We all know assault weapons are killing machines meant to slaughter people in an expeditious manner. So who are owners of assault weapons going to shoot should the occasion (in their minds) arise? Intruders? Zombies after the apocalypse?
The real answer might tear at the very fabric of this country.
No reason to delay
•atural gas pipeline
As the French say, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
This could describe the stonewalling around the "Northeast Upgrade" natural gas pipeline in North Jersey.
The new 30-inch pipeline will be constructed on an existing right of way. It will replace a small-diameter, 60-year-old pipe. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved construction last May. Now, in an unprecedented move, FERC has rescinded approval. FERC cited concerns about a stone bridge (circa 1888), a stone chapel (circa 1895), 7.6 acres of woodland, and possible disturbance of Ramapough Lenape Nation burial grounds.
Native Americans have told me burial locations are not divulged. This prevents desecration and grave-robbing. "Why is the U.S. government interested in our burial grounds at this time?" I was asked. Can federal bureaucrats be trusted regarding Native American matters? History proves otherwise.
Crisscrossing America is a spider web-like network of 293,133 miles of natural gas gathering and transmission lines. Buried underground, they are nearly impossible to notice. It is laudable that energy companies replace older pipes before they rust out. I have been an advocate of using existing rights of way for new and replacement construction. The Keystone Pipeline is now being built parallel to existing installations, ending controversy over its routing.
With each gallon of imported petroleum replaced by domestic natural gas, our balance-of-trade payments to foreign countries are reduced. Those savings stay at home, strengthening our economy. Currently, 25 percent of all energy consumed in the United States comes from natural gas, and that number increases every year. The Northeast Upgrade's construction will mean $36.5 million from wages for 700 much-needed jobs. We citizens should insist that our elected officials push to have roadblocks removed and that the upgrade be done now. America needs the natural gas. It's the patriotic thing to do.
made the wrong call
Regarding the Dec. 30 editorial: "Banning beach fees/A bad idea":
This editorial was naive, unfair and prejudiced, as indicated by the last sentence, implying that anyone who is against beach fees is a shoobie from the north.
All the shore towns have a beach-tag bureaucracy of people all getting paid. It is a boondoggle. Shore towns exaggerate their beach expenses and then cry poverty.
More important, the beaches in Florida are free. In California, they are free. In other states, free. In Hawaii, they make public access every 100 yards, even cutting through estates. If other states can offer free beaches, why not New Jersey?
It is a shame that New Jersey allows such charges. This is a debacle that must end.
Sorry, it's too late
for gun-control laws
I'd like to ask gun-control advocates, do you know how many firearms there are in this country? We are an incredibly well-armed nation, the most well-armed in the world. There are nearly 89 guns per 100 people, and that's just the registered guns. Our country loves its guns.
Gun-control advocates love to bring up how other countries control their guns, but these other countries have had their laws on the books for years. They didn't give their citizens a chance to stockpile guns.
I am not against gun control. I just wonder how effective it could be now. Since the Sandy Hook shootings, gun sales have never been better. I feel gun control now will become nothing more than telling some well-armed lunatics with basements full of guns that they cannot get any more guns.
While critics can call politicians crooked, I wonder how many of these critics would turn down money from gun lobbyists.
It's a lost cause. I've been hearing the same calls for gun control for years. I feel we are about 64 years too late.
Social Security tax hike
hurts the middle class
Congress' latest actions to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff hurt the working people and the real middle class.
When Congress members decide on program spending cuts to deal with the national deficit, they ought to undo the damage they just imposed. They effectively provided a 2 percent tax increase by allowing the Social Security payroll-tax reduction, which had been in place for two years, to expire. This will further reduce paychecks at a time when working people need every single penny.
The whole focus in the media has been on the Bush tax cuts that were not extended for taxpayers making more than $400,000. The real tax increase was the one on working people who will lose 2 percent of their wages because of the expiration of the payroll-tax reduction.
Congress ought to come up with the spending cuts necessary to provide a tax cut equal to what workers had under the Social Security payroll-tax reduction. If not, we see once again that talk is cheap when it comes to politicians saying they are friends of the middle class.
Stop the targeted tax cuts for special interests that are in the fiscal cliff legislation and give back to the American working people who have already bailed out the banking and financial institutions that were supposed to be too big to fail.
DEBORAH K. SMARTH
Atlantic City doesn't need
a new spokesperson
Regarding the Jan. 3 story, "Atlantic City considers hiring 'voice' for public info":
Here they go again. City Council in Atlantic City wants to add another employee to the payroll when the city is already broke and borrowing millions. This is typical of this group.
The more I see from this City Council, the more I realize that Atlantic City government is about the politicians and not the people of the city. Council members want to avoid having to explain themselves and want to be able to defer questions to a spokesperson.
Please stop with this foolishness and try to run the city but not run it into the ground.
Civilian Police Academy
an impressive experience
I recently completed the Civilian Police Academy in Atlantic City.
I cannot tell you how impressed I was with all the members of the Police Department who were involved with the program. I had no idea of the caliber of these fine men and women. Every officer we met was educated, intelligent and conscientious. I wish every resident of this city would attend this wonderful program. I think it would make a tremendous difference in the perception of the Police Department.
I wish the politicians and so-called leaders of the city were half as bright and dedicated as these individuals.
I really wish the members of the Police Department were required to reside in the city. This city would be much better for it.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate, and I hope this program will continue. I will be sure to recommend it to people I know. Keep up the good work.