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Letters to the Editor – 6-28-2006

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To The Editor:In reference to the person from Middle Township who claims that when we speak about illegal immigrants, we only refer to the Mexicans. This is not so. Any person from another country who enters the United States illegally is an illegal immigrant.Our ancestors did not come to this country illegally. When they came, they had to have a sponsor who was responsible for them until they became citizens. They had to be in good health and they were only allowed to come according to the immigration status for each country at that time.They learned to speak English, as this is the language of our country. They spoke their previous country’s language only at home.Why is it so difficult for these illegal immigrants to understand this? I understand that living conditions are terrible in some other countries only because the dictators are corrupt. There is no reason for Mexico to be so poor. That country has oil and many other pluses, but only a few are getting wealthy. Why not take care of your citizens and then they would not have to cross over our borders illegally, take jobs away from our citizens, work for less and then think that they are entitled to take advantage of our social services, let alone our social security system.Senators and U.S. representatives should start taking care of their constituents. We are the people that they represent. They do not represent Mexico or any other Third World country.DOLORES A. MEHAN-GIORDANOStone HarborTo The Editor:I read with interest Al Campbell’s Compass Points column in the May 10 issue of the Herald regarding substance abuse education in the schools. He is absolutely correct to be skeptical regarding the likelihood of the Middle Township fifth graders to internalize and retain into adulthood of the lessons learned about substance abuse. Prevention research bears out Campbell’s insights.The D.A.R.E. program has been around for a long time and is moving in the right direction. Elementary school, even as early as third and fourth grades, is where substance abuse prevention needs to begin. The D.A.R.E. Program provides education on substance abuse as well a much needed interaction with positive role models, something that is lacking in many children’s lives.But the DA.R.E. program cannot do the job alone, it should be viewed as one piece of a comprehensive substance abuse prevention program.According to research in the field, the most successful substance abuse prevention is delivered in multiple doses, at various intervals, using multiple strategies. When prevention includes student assistance programs in schools workshops for parents, and a community component, the chance for long term success is increased. Children need a professional and confidential advocate if alcohol or substance abuse is a part of their everyday life in the home.Parents need information and skills. They are still the most important influence in their children’s lives, and often they are in a quandary about how to navigate through the difficult years of adolescence.Finally, communities need to accept responsibility for the quality of the environment in which our children are growing up.The social environment is increasingly proving to be a strong influence on children’s behavior. What children see in their neighborhoods, on television, in movies, and in adult behavior has a huge influence on their attitudes and behavior. The community needs to play a major role in changing social norms so that substance abuse becomes behavior that is seen as unacceptable to our children, just as tobacco use has come to be viewed as unhealthy and socially unacceptable by the vast majority.Cape Assist recently held two town meetings on the issue of childhood and underage drinking in Middle Township and invited all residents. Both meetings were sparsely attended.Parents, schools, businesses, and the community at large needs to be more concerned and committed to addressing the problem if we are to have any hope of changing our children’s attitudes toward drug and alcohol abuse.LYNNE D. KRUKOSKYExecutive Director, Cape AssistWildwoodTo The Editor:I don’t know anyone who views The Cape May County Herald as a paper with enlightened editorial judgment. The 14 June edition reflects this truth as well as any other. In addition to a worthy, but not most news worthy article about a good conservation effort (the first annual Bio-Blitz), the Herald added – as center space front page news – an article about a silly controversy regarding cocktails under cabanas on the Cape May Beach and another story about a lost and later found puppy. Then, almost hidden on page six is what appears to be a filler article with the headline “More than VX.”This non-descriptive headline, the article’s brevity, and its obscure location combine to underscore The Herald’s editorial ineptness. For this is an important story about the U.S. government’s intention to send the waste of VX nerve agent, mustard gas, and the dangerous Sarin nerve agent to a Salem County facility for treatment and dumping into the Delaware River. Think about that idea. Thousands of gallons of waste from toxic compounds dumped into an already threatened ecosystem – one that helps bring the world to Cape May County each summer while providing the public and millions of migrating birds with an important and nourishing food source.A more intelligent editorial choice would have had the VX story on the front page with a descriptive headline. The “found puppy” and “cocktails under cabanas” stories could have been placed on less prominent pages. With that space open, the Herald could have done some actual reporting by interviewing the appropriate officials and putting some meat on the skeleton of the story they ended up with. The story about the Bio-Blitz conservation effort – maybe without the huge front page photo of a toad – would have been a fine, related, counterbalance to the hard environmental news of military chemical waste dumps in the Delaware.Why not ask the important questions about an issue that can have grave implication for our region? I suspect that the Herald editors may have seen the story as less relevant to Cape May County because the discharge facility is in Salem County. If so, they dismiss the obvious truth: effluent doesn’t respect county lines.Dumping waste into the river in Salem County will eventually have its impact in Cape May County. We need good, responsible journalists, backed by wise editors, to track these stories and keep the public informed. Whether a puppy gets found or they serve cocktails under cabanas on the Cape May Beach is not where the community’s focus should lay. Good editors understand this truth.ARTHUR J. MONTANAOcean CityTo The Editor:Jeepers, creepers. What is happening in Old Cape May by the sea? Seems like the pros and cons are having what could turn into an uncivilized war. Some people don’t seem to understand that all residents of Cape May City are entitled to equally voice and vote, even though they are “not taxpayers.”Tsk-tsk, it’s a shame that some people like Rambling Wright either have forgotten their history or civic lesson or were never instructed in these matters. When city and state governments start to act like our benevolent congress and hide things, conniving in backrooms to keep the truth from its citizens. All these citizens are not only entitled but guaranteed under federal laws to voice their opinions.That also includes people like Mrs. Miller. Some people seem to forget that is how our country came about and what are troops are now fighting to protect. We didn’t like what the British were doing and “Fired the shot heard around the world.”Well, seems like some of us are using our God- given and legal right to voice our opinion on things such as what or who are taxpayers? The way I see it, there are at least two kinds: Those who pay taxes directly and those who pay taxes indirectly. The following is a short lesson in cost accounting.When a business entrepreneur figures out the cost of the product or services that they are providing, they include something called overhead. Overhead for the uneducated or the forgetful includes all of the taxes paid by such businesses.Now when a customer pays for any product or services, they are also paying for the provider’s taxes. I would like to take an educated guess that at least half of the merchants on the mall, rent or lease their property. Therefore they are also indirect taxpayers.While we are on the subject of taxes, what happened to the Taxpayers Association of Cape May City? We haven’t heard a word or a whimper about the $7-million issue for the mall. Why the silence? Could it be that all taxpayers are only business people? How about a new convention center and $20 million more for this project?Don’t city council and the business people realize that we live on an island that is about three miles long and one mile wide? Where are they going to put the hotels and parking necessary to sustain patronage from this new $20-million center? Can the city government not look slightly to the north and see the boondoggle in Wildwood.Their convention center will be a mill stone around the necks of taxpayers for the next three or four generations. Do you want the same thing to happen in Cape May? Last, but not least, the answer to why tourists are not spending money in Cape May. We received a letter from an extended family from Pennsylvania. Here is what they had to say. “We are going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina again this summer. We miss the Jersey Shore but it just got too expensive. We miss you dearly and still hope to visit you again maybe on a fall weekend.”It is a known fact that people can take a trip to Disney World or a trip to the Caribbean for less money than a trip to the Jersey Shore. Business eople of South Jersey look to yourselves before blaming the “untaxpayers.”JOHN L. SEUBEERTCape MayTo The EditorOn June 7, you published an article entitled “Pro Property Managers Are Needed.” The good news is that such managers are and have been on duty in Bay Gardens II section of North Cape May. The better news is that these managers are working effectively as volunteers at no cost to the members of the Home Owners’ Association.The letter writer should know this, but chooses to believe that somehow paying strangers would produce what she desires. There are over 90 members of the association who are pleased enough with their managers that they reappointed them last year at the annual meeting the letter writer choose not to attend.She has unreasonable expectations as to what this group should do to satisfy her. There are limited powers and responsibilities assigned to the association by the State of New Jersey and by Lower Township. The function of the association is to pay taxes on undeveloped land to maintain Insurance coverage, to cut the grass up to the tree line, and to see that all members adhere to the land use they accepted when they bought their property.The association is not empowered to correct traffic control problems described by the letter writer as a problem with a stop sign. The association is not a referee for neighbor to neighbor disagreements, etc. We are also prohibited from interfering with nature in the wetlands, such as the drainage pond cited by the letter writer and downed trees in the land. That was designated as land to be left undisturbed.I would suggest to any party interested party including the letter writer, that any questions or concerns about the function of the Home Owners’ Association can be resolved by contacting any of the board members of the association, including the answer to “where does the money go?” The details of the budget are available at each of the regular meetings of the association, again which our letter writer chooses not to attend.GEORGE VAUGHNNorth Cape May

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