TV stars haven't earned

flags flown at half-mast

Gov. Chris Christie ordered the American flag flown at half-mast to mourn the passing of actor James Gandolfini. A nice gesture, but it takes away from why we, as Americans, fly the flag at half-mast.

Flag protocol gives the governor the right to do this, but honoring a television personality belittles this practice.

The American flag, a symbol of our freedom and our nation, should be flown at half-mast on days such as Memorial Day (and even then for just half a day) or Pearl Harbor day or on the death of a service member who lost his or her life in active duty. It is also flown at half-mast when a member of Congress or the Supreme Court dies.

But an actor famous for "The Sopranos"? Why not for Jean Stapleton, who portrayed Edith Bunker on "All in the Family" or Gary Goldberg who created "Family Ties"?

I don't think so. We Americans should not diminish the recognition we give someone who has served our country by flying our flag at half-mast merely because of television fame.

JIM McELDERRY

Ocean City

Have contingency plans

for graduation ceremonies

Regarding the recent alleged graduation ceremony at Absegami High School. I am not going to classify it as "a day in infamy," but it came close.

The class of 2012 from Absegami had a hail storm during its graduation ceremonys. Provisions should have been made then for future graduations.

To be fair, the school did get in touch with graduates and had another graduation ceremony later. I was told about 30 graduates were there.

The school should make allowances for any type of event that could disrupt the ceremony. If there is any hint of foul weather, the graduation should be moved indoors. If there is not enough room at Absegami, other facilities are available, such as Richard Stockton College or possibly Boardwalk Hall.

Don't let this happen again.

I asked one of the Absegami graduates what he thought of the debacle. "It's stupid" was his reply. I think that sums up the entire situation.

JIM MUNROE

Galloway Township

Parkway work decisions

are baffling, maddening

Regarding the June 26 story, "Contract awarded for parkway exits":

So, the fix is in. Despite all the voices of reason from people who live and work in this area, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is proceeding with its misguided Garden State Parkway "upgrades."

The contracts have been let for exits 41 and 44, but the authority is still "considering" the issue of exit 40 at Route 30. Someone in our area has worked behind the scenes to drive this ridiculous $50 million expenditure.

I'm not sure which is more outrageous, that they haven't given an honest account of their reasons or that our representatives haven't been able to expose and revise this project. Pomona Road over Route 30? Really? Don't even get me started about the new $30 million State Police barracks and the access restrictions. Yet the barracks at the Frank S. Farley plaza on the Atlantic City Expressay doesn't restrict access.

Then we wonder why citizens are cynical about government.

PATRICK McKOY

Mays Landing

Immigration solution:

Make Mexico a state

President Barack Obama is missing an opportunity for immigration reform. Since we are already supplying benefits to many illegal immigrants who have crossed our southern border, why not attempt to make Mexico our 51st state?

I believe the Mexican population would be in favor of joining the United States in order to receive the benefits this government is so eager to distribute.

Just think of the money we would save by not having to build a larger border fence and increase the border patrol. Jails and courts would not be inundated with illegal immigrants. These resources could then be utilized to protect our northern border.

Congress would have time to work on other programs that would once again turn America into a first-rate country.

THEODORE HESSER

Mays Landing

How does shared manager

benefit Galloway Twp.?

Regarding the June 24 story, "Galloway and Absecon may share official":

I'm left wondering how sharing Township Manager Arch Liston with Absecon is good for Galloway.

The story says Liston will spend one-third of his time working for Absecon in exchange for Absecon paying one-third of his salary. Nothing against the good people of Absecon, but where is the benefit to the taxpayers in Galloway? If Absecon pays one-third of Liston's $115,000 salary, it works out to just more than $38,000. The "savings" of $38,000 is pretty much negated by the loss of one-third of Liston's time in Galloway.

So I'm asking as a taxpayer and homeowner, how is this good for Galloway?

DANIEL CAREW

Galloway Township