Absecon has a duty
to help Visions residents
Regarding the Dec. 19 story, "Absecon complex must stay senior-only":
As residents of the failed Visions project in Absecon, we are deeply disappointed in the Zoning Board's decision not to approve AB Vision's application to lift the age restriction. Doing so would have been the first step in creating a new beginning for a project that could be a community asset rather than an eyesore.
What was once envisioned as a thriving active adult community has become a nightmare for its handful of homeowners and for the city. With the few number of units completed and occupied, the association cannot afford to operate the common elements, including the clubhouse, maintain landscaping, lighting and open space and do routine maintenance.
We live in a development that has no future, and one that is simply not viable. We are unable to sell our homes, finance or refinance our homes, and we have suffered emotional stress and severe financial loss with no relief in sight.
AB Visions, which now owns the unfinished portion of our development, has developed a thoughtful plan for Visions that is fair and equitable, would enable the development to start up again and be completed, and would give us an opportunity to move on if we chose to do so.
The city has proposed nothing. It has offered the handful of residents at Visions no relief. We pay our taxes, and we are entitled to look to Absecon leadership for a plan to remedy this failed development.
Doing nothing is not an option. Absecon has a responsibility to us and to its taxpayers to acknowledge the failure of this project and act accordingly. The Zoning Board failed to live up to that responsibility.
Most heroin in U.S.
made in South America
Regarding the Jan. 4 letter, "Eradicate poppy fields and bring troops home":
While I completely agree that the nation's troops should come home from Afghanistan, the letter writer has unfortunately fallen victim to drug war propaganda and fallacies.
The U.S. does not receive the bulk of its heroin from Afghanistan or Turkey. Nowhere is this more true than the East Coast, where most, if not all, of the illegal drug is imported from South America.
South American drug lords expanded their cocaine businesses to include heroin in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They then flooded the region with their new heroin, using their already existing smuggling routes and connections. The 1990s not only saw an increase in the availability and purity of heroin, but along with the "heroin chic" image, the drug's demographics changed greatly.
The new heroin coming from South America was potent, and traffickers diluted the drug less, which opened up the ingestion options of snorting and smoking.
This attracted a new clientele of users, mostly young and suburban, who might have been scared off by the use and stigma of needles in the past.
Today's increase in heroin use also comes directly from the prescription-pill epidemic, which has hit the younger generations most significantly. As opiate pill users gain tolerance and start emptying their wallets, they soon realize that heroin is more efficient and cheaper than the prescription pain relievers. Almost inevitably, opiate pill abusers "graduate" to heroin.
While there is some political juice in blaming a hostile nation as our sole supplier of heroin, it just isn't true.
WILLIAM T. OWENS
U.S. props up
•ew Iraqi dictator
As the people of Syria fight to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, the people of Iraq are preparing to overthrow Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Both Assad and al-Maliki are supported by Iran. However, al-Maliki also has the support of the Obama administration.
In spite of al-Maliki's continued aid to the al-Assad regime, the Obama administration lacks the courage to admit what a mistake it is making by continuing financial support and arming the new dictator.
Since the exit of U.S. troops, al-Maliki has arrested opponents and their staffs, released a Hezbollah terrorist convicted of murdering five Americans, and appointed himself as head of every security ministry. Instead of sharing power with the Sunnis and Kurds, he has consolidated power just like Saddam Hussein.
But U.S. support for this tyrant has never wavered. Al-Maliki plans to enslave his own people, but nobody is gearing up to attack Iraq.
Despite the oil wealth since the end of the war, the people of Baghdad have two hours of electricity a day and no basic services such as sewage or running water.The politicians, of course, live well in the Green Zone.
Meanwhile, al-Maliki couldn't possibly get any closer to Iran. The worst is yet to come .