To The Editor:
I am writing in response to Christine Cote’s May 17 article about Dennis Township teacher Rachel Laird.
I would like to let your readers know what a wonderful teacher Laird is. My husband and I met Laird two years ago when she was our son’s first grade teacher. Laird is our daughter’s teacher. I am the room mother for Laird’s class and also volunteer in school on a weekly basis.
I can tell everyone Laird is a kind, caring, thoughtful teacher, and her students learn a lot. Laird has continued to teach her students and do her usual fun activities for her students as well as the parents every day throughout these accusations.
As I stated in a letter to the school dated June 16, 2005, Laird is an asset to the Dennis Township school.
KRISTINE AND PAUL GENTILINI
To The Editor:
Relativity? Make no mistake, there is a right and wrong. You can’t steal someone’s apple because you want it. Why did God give the Ten Commandments to Moses?
Whether it is the DaVinci Code or a little off-Broadway musical called “Mary, like a Virgin,” Catholicism and Christianity are progressively being persecuted by the enemies of morality.
The Bible teaches that eventually good will become bad. James Madison said, “We have staked the whole of our political institutions on the capacity of mankind to govern themselves according to the Ten Commandments,” so our forefathers knew the fallacy of turning from good to bad.
Take one example; years ago someone found in our Constitution the “right” to destroy God’s greatest gift to women, the ability to bear a child. We then rid ourselves of the responsibility for our own actions.
Today, that right includes full term abortions, and recently the right to “put down” our parents under the guise of mercy killing.
There goes responsibility of caring for those who raised us. Now the perfect can be dehydrated and starved to death because they use too much of our resources.
On an old tombstone is Kolby Cemetery, Essex, are the prophetic words:
“When pictures look alive, with movements free.
When Ships like fish swim beneath the sea,
When man outstripping birds, can soar the sky,
Then half the world deep drenched in blood shall die.”
Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economics decline.(Sound familiar?)
“There has either been a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
On Oct. 13, 1917, a miracle was performed before 70,000 people with a warning of future disaster.
It is time for Catholics, Christians and people of conscience to stop turning the other cheek and start praying – hard.
To The Editor:
On March 8, the N.J. Office of Smart Growth held a public hearing in Middle Township on the municipality’s plans for future growth and development – formerly called an Initial Plan Endorsement Petition. The 60 citizens who came to speak out against the plan are to be applauded.
A municipal Petition for Plan Endorsement is supposed to represent a blueprint for smart growth. It outlines the planning steps a town will take in order to have sustainable growth in areas where development makes sense and limit growth and protect land where preservation is appropriate.
Yet in Middle Township, officials are focusing solely on the growth side of this equation, rushing to designate huge areas across the township for major development projects that would allow as much impervious surface coverage, or asphalt, as one would expect to find in Hoboken.
The proposed high-density centers would allow vast clear-cutting and developments made up of 80 percent asphalt. The center boundaries overlay vast natural areas that represent state-designated threatened and endangered species habitat and wetlands. Indeed, much of the township’s remaining upland forest would be razed under the plan.
Officials are attempting to justify such urbanization by arguing that development will be discouraged elsewhere as a result of creating what amount to growth intensive community sacrifice zones. Yet in the absence of mechanisms to transfer or reduce growth potential out of the remaining, outlying environmentally-sensitive areas, this petition merely incites massive population growth that already stressed water-supplies, natural systems, and taxpayers may simply be unable to bear.
The petition and the growth plan it represents is in direct conflict with the township’s own master plan, which calls for down-zoning these critical lands from one to three and 10 acres.
Areas to be down-zoned were to also include the congressionally-authorized acquisition boundaries of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge – many of which, according to the petition, ought to be annexed for growth rather than preservation.
Although the master plan was passed by the planning board in 2003, the township committee and mayor summarily tabled it, keeping the long-outdated 1997 plan in place. This inaction gave developers more time to fight over the last scraps of critical green infrastructure, from aquifer recharge areas to scenic vistas and forests.
Without municipal support, lands the refuge had hoped to purchase from willing sellers will continue to be paved over. These lands are keystones that will either knit the refuge into an ecological whole, or fragment it for all time.
The township’s petition, like its zoning, represents a developer’s wish list. It is not a plan that protects and enhances residents’ quality of life, affordability, or even the smallest luxuries like salt-free drinking water. Officials would have us believe it is a blueprint for smart growth, to us it’s a blueprint for costly sprawl, traffic-jams, and endless seas of pavement.
Residents should be equally alarmed that the Office of Smart Growth chose to deem this petition complete when it lacks any substantive analysis as to how the proposed centers would comply with applicable environmental regulations, or how the proposed growth would be accommodated when ground water supplies are being drawn down faster then can be replenished.
In the absence of strong oversight from the state to ensure compliance with environmental protection requirements, municipal blueprints for sprawl will quickly move from the drawing board to our backyards.
To view the proposed centers visit our website: www.littoralsociety.org
(ED. NOTE: The author is conservation coordinator with the American Littoral Society, a national, membership-based coastal conservation organization based in Sandy Hook.)
To The Editor:
Dan McNeill’s May 31 letter tells me that he is so misinformed it makes me wonder if the only channel that he watches on television is Fox News.
The 9-11 Commission, chaired by the former Republican governor of New Jersey, Thomas Kean, found for a fact that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
When there was a bipartisan commission, which President George W. Bush opposed until he was pressured to form it, I will tend to take its word over that of the Karl Roves and Vice President Dick Cheneys of the world.
Second, Charles Duelfer, chief weapons searcher in Iraq reported to Bush that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. None, zero, zilch.
Do I agree that Saddam was a bad person? Yes. Do I agree that the Hussein’s reign should have been toppled? Yes. Should the U.S. have done it? No.
When President William Clinton found out that Hussein had tried to have former President George H.W. Bush assassinated, he did what he should have done, he bombed Iraq. It was a proportional response to a dastardly act.
Ahh, but there we come to the real reason that President George W. Bush went to war with Iraq. “He tried to kill my daddy, I’m going to make him pay”
If anyone cares to read the full, unbiased (the links McNeill sited are right-wing-funded groups) reports that I have used as my sources, can go to http://www.gpoaccess.gov/911/ for the 9-11 full report (page 86 about Saddam) and http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/ for the report about the lack of WMDs in Iraq.
Do not just take the word of the right-wing talkers (Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity et al). Do the research. You will see that we basically went to war for no other reason than to get revenge for someone trying to kill someone else’s daddy.
To The Editor:
On May 22, we attended the Middle Township Middle School concert. I would like to say what a great job all the kids did in light of the fact that it was cancelled from its original date, and some of its members had just come back from Florida that very day.
They did an outstanding job performing. I want to especially give thanks to Richard Sterling. My daughter has been under his direction for the last three years in band and I am proud that she has had that honor. She will truly miss seeing him every day, but he will most certainly always be remembered by her as one of the most positive influences in her life during her time at middle school.
He consistently puts out exceptional performances with his kids. Even when the school tried to dismantle his music program and give the children a hard time for trying to be dedicated to both their school work and their band program, he and the kids rose above it all and put on a performance that would take your breath away.
His dedication, his high expectations, his moral and social values and his love for the Lord are all things that show through. He clearly loves what he does and that love, along with respect, is returned to him by his dedicated students, evidenced by the fact that they keep coming back even after they have left the middle school to see and visit with him.
I would like to thank him for his never ending dedication and the hard work ethics he instills in his students. I hope Middle Township Middle School realizes what an extraordinary and valuable asset they have in Richard Sterling and continue to enable him to do what he does best.
DONNA A. DONAHUE
To The Editor:
It seems as though the Bay Gardens II section of North Cape May needs to be run by “professional property management.”
Whereas they would collect the yearly association dues and see to it that the common areas were properly cleaned up spring and fall with the in between cutting of the grasses.
At the present, there is only a treasurer and secretary as others have resigned; due to age and-or illness. This is a responsibility that no one seems to want to handle; after all they are paying taxes at the same time to live in the township and Lower does not want the overall responsibility either.
Yearly dues were lowered instead of increased to go with rising costs, which in my estimation was wrong.
Although yearly dues have been collected the overall management in many eyes of homeowners has been poor.
The common areas are in deep neglect with fallen trees and dead debris that cause foul odors. Grass is only cut the width of a 36-inch mower and that is it. Many trees are dead and hollow, and tower 30 feet into the air. There are also dead branches and bushes which need to be removed.
In order to view a stop sign and move down the street with your vehicle I have had to take my tree cutters to reach the great heights to allow visual of the stop sign and “move ability.”
One of the common areas off Fire Lane and Heron Way is an overgrowth greater than eight feet tall. This area would look much better if the undergrowth were cut and the trees allowed to grow and air to circulate.
At the same time this same area was used by Brodesser to place work trailers. In speaking with many people, it was not cleaned up properly. If this were cleared and cleaned it could be a presentable place for common area such as a small park with natural walkways and benches.
This area backs many homes that I am sure would love to see much of it cut down so that fresh air could be had as well as sun light.
Additionaly, at the end of Tern and Osprey is a small drainage pond that is not fenced in and small children could fall into it.
A piece of equipment, called a bush hog, is what is needed to go in and clean out these areas for a more presentable appearance of Bay Gardens II.
Where does the money go that is or has been collected? That is a good question as it surely has not been spent in the area in which we live.
I am sure if this type of a job were done once and continually kept up on a yearly basis it would be nice area.
LYNNE J. KERESTY-HERITAGE
North Cape May
To The Editor:
As a visitor to the Wildwoods for many years, I have recently observed that lights are no longer shining as brightly. Most certainly the Wildwoods needed a bit of sprucing up but the current trends should have every business owner and lifelong tourist very concerned.
Year after year, we have all heard of the endless promises of future prosperity and economic development. The promises of Wildwood as a return to an economic boom town are just around the corner if we once again believe the local officials. Seems to me we have heard this all before.
For anyone who has been paying attention, we all know that the bad ideas of the past have resulted in nothing more than economic and financial fiascos. The Holly Beach Station plan destroyed a wonderful business district on Pacific Avenue.
Now they are back with the wrecking ball and another bad plan, this time to embrace the “condo craze” that is sweeping the island. Our local leaders, hand in hand with developers, have let this latest plan run completely out of control leaving a devastating path of destruction to the very fabric of the community. Those who love the Wildwoods are left standing in disbelief as one landmark after another is turned to rubble.
Our very best lifelong business owners and property owners are being driven from the Wildwoods by the outrageous increases in property tax acessments all being fueled by the “condo craze.”
The willing participants in this dastardly deed are the Cape May County Tax Board which, along with local officials, gleefully hides its cavalier attitude behind the banner of change and how we should all look forward and not back.
I think we have all heard this before. They have no respect for the folks who have built the Wildwoods into a national destination with returning families generation after generation.
The officials of the Wildwoods are betraying the citizens who have elected them along with the loyal tourists who love the island. The officials at best have their heads in the sand and are out of touch with reality. We should all be alarmed as the uniqueness of the Wildwoods is under attack:
Â¥ The fabulous heritage of the ’50’s architecture is being destroyed at a breath taking fever pitch.
Â¥ Boring cookie-cutter, look-alike condos are being built at a rate that exceeds demand.
Â¥ The Boardwalk, what’s left of it, has been left to deteriorate, looking shabby, less vibrant, with only a few key businesses to hold it together.
Â¥ For sale signs everywhere.
The entire community of the Wildwoods must take a stand now before it’s too late. It’s time to tell the local officials we have had enough. Enough bad plans.
It’s time for the local officials to answer the hard questions. What is the long-range plan for the Wildwoods? The fact is there is none. The lack of leadership, bad decision making, and lack of accountability to the citizens is a formula for failure once again, this time on a grand scale. The end result will turn the “Wildwoods” into the “Deadwoods.”
ROBERT A. MOCK
Turtle Creek, Pa.
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