Obama didn’t do enough to fight opioid epidemic

With the conclusion of President Obama’s tenure, his role in the nation’s opioid epidemic must be addressed. Yes, in his final days as president he became more vocal about the epidemic. However, this was too little, too late in the extreme. His words were in stark contrast to his record-setting pardoning and lessening of drug-dealer sentences, which included heroin dealers. To Americans who have witnessed a loved one succumb to opioid addiction, the characterization of a heroin dealer as a nonviolent criminal was nonsense.

Heroin and opioid addiction has destroyed countless families and killed thousands. Yet a war on cops seemed more appealing to President Obama than continuing to fight a war on drugs.

And the opioid casualty count only tells part of the story. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are addicted to heroin. Yet, heroin flows into the nation every day and is readily available on city and suburban street corners. This level of accessibility was reason enough for Obama to slow the porous borders.

Yes, as Obama said, a voice can change a room, but Americans now are left to wonder how his voice and the power of the presidency could have done more to thwart the epidemic that he has left behind.

Robert Cochran

Manahawkin

Blue line backing police might distress others

Painting a blue line down Central Avenue in Ocean City is not the best way to show support for law-enforcement personnel who are dedicated to serving and protecting all. The fact that the blue line is unlawful creates an opportunity for the city to look deeper into the matter of respect.

The blue line “movement” is closely associated with the Blue Lives Matter movement, which arose as a reaction to, and some would say against, the Black Lives Matter movement. Perception is of extreme importance in this issue. We need to be able to support police without further alienating, distressing and threatening the nearly 40 million African-Americans in the U.S. and the countless millions from all races and backgrounds who are allied with them in the quest of ensuring the civil rights of all Americans.

Let us show support for police by continuing to invest in opportunities for police and communities to come together as neighbors and friends. Handshakes and hellos create stronger positive ties than a painted line. Love is the only functional antidote to fear.

Jack Miller

Petersburg

Pinelands pipelines exist, unknown, without impact

I’m getting so very tired of hearing the same old anti-pipeline comments from the same anti-everything groups about the proposed pipeline along Route 49. Don’t they know that pipelines have existed for years in the pinelands already without any environmental impact?

One great example is the pipeline stretching 15 miles from Mays Landing to Tuckahoe along Route 50. It goes throughout the pinelands along similar wetlands and forests. Guess what — no one even knows it’s there. Where’s the impact?

The proposed pipeline would provide significant economic benefits without contaminating the environment. Don’t these people know the difference between natural gas versus liquid-oil pipelines?

I believe the anti-pipeline complainers have an agenda far different than what’s being presented to the public about the pinelands. It really is just a smokescreen for their hatred of the power plant that we need in Beesleys Point.

Regardless, we shouldn’t let the tyranny of the few stifle meaningful progress for area communities and citizens.

Harold Olson

Egg Harbor Township