Smokers, non-smokers

can share our beaches

Regarding the Aug. 23 story, "Smoking on the beach/Support for bans rises at S.J. shore":

I am a lifetime resident of Cape May County in a state that bans smoking in many public areas. Yes, smoking is bad for you, but it is legal.

I am a smoker, and I abide by the rules. At the beach, I use a clam shell as an ashtray and discard my butts in the trash can when I leave.

As far as the secondhand smoke, people don't need to sit within 10 feet of each other. We are outdoors.

I feel that beach etiquette should be enforced. This includes allowing 20 to 30 feet of space between you and the person you plop down next to. It also includes keeping the radio down so that you do not bother people near you who are trying to read a book or take a nap. Other rules of the beach, which are posted at most entrances - such as no littering, no dogs, etc. - are routinely broken.

There are miles and miles of beaches to enjoy, so please don't ruin it for the rest of us.


Ocean View

Stronger than storm?

No, we just got lucky

New Jersey's new motto, "We're stronger than the storm," is very naive.

Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call. Sandy came ashore as a post-tropical cyclone. Katrina and Hugo made landfall as Category 3 hurricanes, and Andrew made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.

Our governor's arrogance is evident in the motto he and his followers have adopted for our state. Let's face it, we were lucky.

If a future storm makes landfall on our coast as a true hurricane, the surge, wind and waves will leave most of us speechless in the face of the power of the Atlantic Ocean and Mother Nature. Arrogance will be a thing of the past.


Beesleys Point

Orthodoxy is no answer

for tackling racial issues

Fifty years after the March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call for the realization of America's founding ideals, we must recognize the difficult issues that often go unspoken.

These include the crisis of the decline of black marriage and the increase in black fatherlessness and the relation of these to poverty; the profiling of young black men; assaults on voting rights; white conservatives who hide their racism behind a thin veneer; white liberals who hide their racism behind hyper-political correctness; black conservatives and dissenters to a black agenda who are assaulted by a corrupt civil rights establishment, and an unwillingness to admit that social welfare programs meant to help poor communities, while sometimes necessary, often create cycles of hopelessness and dependency.

Black "leaders" who attack others for thinking differently than they do claim a slave/master-like right to the hearts and minds of an entire community. There is no one, set way to be a good black person, white person, man, woman or American. A loyalty plantation isn't a suitable substitute for the cotton one.

The sooner we recognize the importance of the emancipation of the mind, the closer we'll be to finding great solutions to our greatest problems.


North Wildwood

Veterans need help

finding good jobs

Regarding the Aug. 26 editorial, "Set-asides for veterans/What's the issue?":

On behalf of myself, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 16 and all veterans in Atlantic County, thank you for supporting set-asides for veterans. I also want to thank the writer of the Aug. 26 letter, "Republican freeholders block law to aid veterans."

Atlantic County has the second-highest unemployment rate in New Jersey and veteran unemployment is one of the highest demographics. This ordinance is a very welcome breath of fresh air for veterans.

At the Aug. 13 freeholder meeting, Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles said many of his deputies are veterans. For budgetary reasons, promotions and wage increases have been frozen. Many of his deputies have had to seek second and third jobs.

There are more than 300 student veterans attending Richard Stockton College and more than 100 at Atlantic Cape Community College. It is very difficult for these veterans, many of whom have families, to find meaningful employment.

The veterans in attendance were disappointed as freeholders seemed to be trying to verbally show support for veterans while fabricating excuses for not supporting this measure. I am reluctant to conclude that their motives are simply political, but that conclusion is difficult to ignore.

It is time for our elected officials to put aside party politics and become statesmen. Maybe it is true that if officials always do what is best for the people, they won't always get re-elected, but they will always be better people.



VFW District 16

Galloway Township