Atlantic City art projects

better than what was there

Regarding the May 23 story, "Local legislators question Atlantic City focus on art":

I think the art projects funded by the Atlantic City Alliance and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority have been a great addition to Atlantic City.

State Sen. Jim Whelan, says, "The question is: Is anybody asking for art?" I don't think so." I disagree. We should also ask what else was happening on these lots. Garbage, crime, more garbage?

I don't know what percentage of the ACA's and the CRDA's budgets these projects make up, or if even more lots could be transformed with the same money, but I am glad the CRDA and the alliance aren't sitting around waiting for someone to possibly develop these vacant properties.

Assemblyman John Amodeo, R-Atlantic, said, "Enough is enough with the arts …we're not the Smithsonian Institute." Oh please, no one has any illusions of this. Frankly that's not the point.

I agree with Amodeo that some installations may be taken down at some point, but how many properties have been sitting vacant or run down for five, 10, 20 years, waiting for development? Doing something with vacant lots is helping transform our city. Instead of properties looking like remnants of a bombed-out war zone, or a dump accumulating garbage, we have something pleasant, unique or green. Not every project will be to every person's taste, but it sure is better than what we had.

STEPHANIE S. MILLER

Atlantic City

Whelan, Amodeo right

on art projects in A.C.

Regarding the May 23 story, "Local legislators question Atlantic City focus on art":

Bravo, Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, and Assemblyman John Amodeo, R-Atlantic. The Atlantic City Alliance is wasting tons of money on these art projects that few people care about. No one is coming to Atlantic City to see a mural or some art project. Here is an idea: Spend money bringing events and festivals to Atlantic City, things that will bring massive numbers of people who will patronize local businesses, hotels and casinos.

It is time for the ACA to wake up. I have yet to see a commercial inviting people to Las Vegas for an art project or some sculptures.

Atlantic City has an ocean, a Boardwalk, Bader Field and Gardners Basin. These spots should be rocking all summer long. Change course now before it's too late.

WILLIAM HAMILTON

Atlantic City

Repeal laws penalizing

government retirees

The Social Security Fairness Act (HR1795), recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a call to Washington to right a wrong and seek justice.

The wrong, or the injustice, came about when President Ronald Reagan signed two bills that reduced Social Security benefits and placed an added financial burden on millions of retirees. These laws cut Social Security benefits by more than 66 percent for workers who spent some time in government jobs not covered by Social Security but also worked in jobs in which they paid Social Security taxes.

Imagine being born in this country, working in a job where you risked your life every day, or were a teacher preparing children for their future, a postal worker or a government employee just doing your job, and then finding yourself sitting in the Social Security office, as I did, and hearing that your Social Security benefits have been whittled to a mere pittance. At the same time, you see many others around you who, as the beneficiaries of liberal politicians, are receiving a great deal more than millions who worked hard their whole lives.

The National Fraternal Order of Police continues to fight against this injustice. Change can be attained for millions of Americans if Washington does the right thing.

BILL RIVERSON

Mays Landing

Urge officials to support

health care access for vets

If you want to actively support our living veterans, please contact your state legislators and ask them to vote yes on SCR142/ACR177, which urges the federal Department of Veteran Affairs to support the recommendations of the New Jersey Veterans Hospital Task Force.

The resolution, which is sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, speaks to the need to improve health care access for South Jersey veterans and recommends using existing local hospitals to provide services. As one 91-year-old veteran recently said to me, "Traveling to Philadelphia or Wilmington for health care has become a real burden, so I hope this resolution passes."

DR. VICKI D. LACHMAN

Avalon