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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Compass by Al Campbell 12/28/2005

By Al Campbell

Whatever happened to affordable housing? It was here and then, poof, just like that it left. What’s a working family to do? No one has answers. Big money people and poor folks both need a roof over their heads, but all seem equally baffled how to make it happen.
People gripe, but nothing seems to change.
Maybe exporting poor people, who need affordable $160,000 homes,  to Montana or the Yukon would make things right here. It would cleanly get them out of the way. No more muss or fuss trying to house young families with little kids in motel rooms for over 30 days. No more non-paying kids in schools. Just clear ’em out of here. Make more room for rich folks with pockets full of loot.
That way, all those shiny new stores could be staffed by millionaire cashiers who live in Cape May County’s “affordable” McMansions.
Was there really a gas shortage, or was it just a clever way to jack up prices?
Ah, yes, how could I forget the devastation wrought by hurricanes? Virtually before the storm died away into a weakened rain squall, pump prices were up in the stratosphere. Come on, somebody. Level with us. That gas was in the pipeline long before the hurricanes hit, then who was it, the boogey man who jacked up prices?
Why is it that municipalities (i.e. we taxpayers) must pay state government permit fees to get government projects approved? Isn’t this all one big bureaucratic bedroom called New Jersey?
Fees that local governments are forced to pay for fees to agencies, like D.E.P. make our tax weight heavier to bear all the time. Will 2006 be the year when things get better for us?
Who knows?
If the No Child Left Behind Law, nemesis of school administrators and teachers throughout the land, were put on the ballot would it be defeated? Did any teacher have a part in drafting that legislation? If so, was that teacher aware of the havoc and grief that law would impose upon teachers and students?
How many gray heads would still be in school if N.C.L.B. had been around in the 1940s and 1950s? I’d likely be retiring as Middle Township High School’s oldest senior, if I would ever have gotten that far.
How many police officers have busted kids for not wearing bike helmets?
How many police officers have issued tickets for drivers who, on rainy days, don’t turn on headlights?
How many tickets were issued, or will be issued in 2006, for cell phone users as they whiz down the highway? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.
These are the types of mysteries that would keep Agatha Christie up all night trying to solve.
Why do some people think witty telephone answering machine messages are cute? Why must they read poetry or sing songs? Is it a way to fight obnoxious telemarketers? It bugs me, being on the receiving end, and there’s no way to learn an answer.
Why do you have to pay extra for EZ Pass when it’s cheaper to toss coins into a parkway toll bin? Why did they get rid of tokens?
When did it dawn on county emergency planning officials that there were no hurricane shelters here? These are local folks who’ve been around for decades. They all know what storms can do and the havoc they can bring.
So why are we entering 2006 with no hurricane shelters for our people? Goodness knows there are millions of surplus bucks in the county budget. What are they going to spend it on? Maybe on reconstruction when many are dead and towns are in run.
Why are people dead set against wind turbines, yet those same people demand more electricity all the time? They hated nuclear power. They loathe solar power, so what’s the answer?
Why does everybody want “things” somewhere else, and “Not In My Backyard (N.I.M.B.Y.)?” Into whose backyard should “stuff” go?
Will we learn answers to any of these questions in the next 365 days?
Will the person asking these questions quit nagging and get a real job?
Which way is Montana? Are we there yet?

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