Cameras, not fire towers

Anyone aware of the world wide wildfires, the latest in Australia, should be asking this vital question: What is New Jersey prepared to do to ensure our safety?

For two years residents, and local government officials, have been asking the state for updated technology to monitor for the all too frequent forest fires in the pinelands. Gov. Phil Murphy has asked both the unresponsive DEP and Homeland Security to address this problem.

Statistically, 99% of New Jersey’s forest fires are started by humans, the remaining 1% caused by lightning. Alarmingly, arsonists are to blame for half of these. Wouldn’t it be prudent to have the means to observe these criminals and have the evidence to prosecute?

Colin McLaughlin and his Advanced Forest Solutions Co. were paid to clear cut around the fire tower in Bass River State Forest. How did the residents benefit? An adjacent land owner has put their house up for sale. Bass River State Park is rerouting visitors around the destruction.

We are left with a 90 year old tower and stump-filled acreage. The arguments for or against are now moot. No new camera monitoring, only Band-Aids where we needed action.

Riki Losiewicz

Little Egg Harbor

A.C. still needs fixing

Regarding the recent story, “Sense of urgency needed to fix Atlantic City, says Hard Rock’s top executive”:

I finally heard a casino executive agree with me. I’ve been voicing my dissatisfaction with Atlantic City’s progress for years. The casinos have been here more than 30 years, the state overseers for more than 10 years.

There should be activities for the elderly and the young. The monies that should’ve been spent here have been distributed throughout other parts of this state.

I grew up here before casinos, when the city was called “The Playground of the World.” We had theaters, pier entertainments, beaches. It’s a shame that what made the city a “destination” has also diminished. The people who protect us don’t live here. The small taxpayers are left to absorb high property taxes.

Venice Park bridges are structurally unsound and in need of replacement, not repair. Streets still flood that could and should have been dealt with when money flowed in like the tide.

I agree with Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen. He’s been here two years and sees the city isn’t headed in the right direction.

We have The Walk. The lighting at night is terrible, especially in the fall and winter when it gets dark early. We have North Jersey outsiders infiltrating neighborhoods and trying to deceive residents. They, along with some casinos, want to change our mayor/council to a council/manager model. Don’t fall for it. We were duped before with promises.

Most of us were dealt a bad hand with Superstorm Sandy but we kept the faith and paid our fair share. State legislators should pass a city wage tax on people who don’t wish to live here.

Let’s give the new mayor and council a chance. Don’t listen to Bob McDevitt. Come to council meetings and voice your demands. As I said years ago, “Don’t DO AC, fix AC.”

Alma Johnson

Atlantic City

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