Flood control project nearly done in A.C.

Regarding the May 7 letter, “Fix flooding A.C. road, don’t just rename it”:

The construction of the Baltic Avenue Canal project will be completed in June and this project is designed to address nuisance flooding throughout the area, including at the intersection of Connecticut and Melrose avenues.

This project deserves a little history. The Baltic Avenue Canal was built in the early 1900s to provide for storm water drainage for a 775-acre area from the Mississippi Avenue to the Inlet. The canal was controlled by timber flood gates that were destroyed in the early 1960s and never replaced.

The city has attracted over $10 million in grant funds to address this issue and both flood gates have been replaced with stainless steel sluice gates, new bulkheads installed, and two pumps have been installed to evacuate the canal. The canal is 9,700 feet long, over 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall and it can store more than 1.1 million cubic feet of storm water once the flood gates are operational.

It has taken time, but rest assured, you should start to see results in the next month or so.

Mayor Frank M. Gilliam Jr.

Atlantic City

Legal marijuana won’t advance social justice

Those who promote legalizing the recreational use of marijuana (pot) in New Jersey as a way to promote social justice are woefully misinformed.

Consider that in Colorado, the state with the longest period of legal recreational pot, since legalization in 2012 arrests of black youths for marijuana possession rose 58 percent and Latino youths 29 percent. There is no social justice in these statistics.

Do not be misled by arguments for legalizing pot that sound good but lack credibility. Legalizing pot in New Jersey would be harmful to both black and Latino youth. Moreover, it is black youth who statistics show will suffer the greatest. For those concerned about social justice, it makes no sense to support legalizing recreational pot in New Jersey.

I understand full well from a career in law enforcement the need for greater social and racial justice in the criminal system. There is much that can be done towards achieving that goal. Changes in pot laws advancing greater justice include issuing summonses rather than formal criminal complaints for pot possession of up to 50 grams, substantially reducing monetary penalties for first-time offenders diverted into probation, and making it easier to expunge records of conviction for youthful first-time offenders.

New Jersey should not be a guinea pig for the rest of the country when it comes to legalizing pot. This is especially so at a time when New Jerseyans are already suffering so greatly from the use and abuse of other drugs.

What is the rush?

Donald Charles

Ocean City

Ocean City Municipal Prosecutor

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