LETTERS TO THE EDITOR for the week of 2/5/16


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Same old song and dance 
To the editor: 
Resolution 2016-42, although it is a conditional agreement, clearly gives Block 30 Lot 10-13 as an area to redevelop. I’m confused, that’s the people’s land.
Block 30 Lot 10-13 consists of the Borough Hall, police station, public works garage and firehouse. I don’t recall council asking us if it was ok to give our land away, sell it or otherwise allow a third party to redevelop for personal profit.
Additionally a presentation for a new Borough Hall, police station and firehouse at Block 30 Lot 4-6 also confuses me. I distinctly remember council members Denise Hansen, Steve Misiura, Larry Quattrone, Susan Bluth, Seth Kurs pushing against the building of a Borough Hall or police station. Susan Bluth said she wanted to renovate the current public works building, not build a new Borough Hall.
In 2013, a petition circulated with the full support of council members Denise Hansen, Steve Misiura, planning board members Fred Montferrat, Richard Pratt and many of the rest of council to prevent the building of a municipal complex downtown. The countless hours and money spent on designs and FEMA, the negotiations with the insurance company and engineers and they walked away leaving the residents to foot the bill.
I’m confused at how they can now flip-flop and consider this proposal. They were clear we don’t need a borough hall. They were clear we don’t need a police station so what happened, they don’t like their new digs anymore?
I supported a new fire truck because it was needed, but I don’t support a new firehouse because it’s not needed. There is nothing wrong with our firehouse. It has served this community for many years. At the current proposed location I can tell you unequivocally that a fire truck will not clear that door and make the turn onto Bank Street. Again I think this was more show and less informative.
I think it’s time to start looking at investigative tools that are at our disposal. Too many closed-door meetings, too many questions never answered, too much money needlessly being spent, too many inappropriate conflicts of interest, too many monopolies being established.
I don’t know if misconduct has or is taking place, but the way things are and have been conducted, I think it’s time to ask. 
Doug Mair 
Hightstown, N.J. 
Gov. Christie demonstrated 
why he’d be a good president 
To the editor: 
One Thursday, Jan. 28, during the TV debate, Gov. Chris Christie demonstrated why he would be a great president. Besides showing the ability to debate other notable politicians on a national stage, as governor he has done a terrific job when needed.
Whether it’s during a crisis, (such as hurricanes, blizzards or floods), or the everyday give and take of political ideas, he always has the best interest of the people of New Jersey in mind, and that is why he was elected.
As a public school American Studies teacher for many years, a USMC veteran, and the son of a union worker, I have some issues with him on some of his opinions, but I voted for him and support his desire to be the president of the United States. He is in line with my own ideological, religious, and political ideas and always has the best interests of the people in mind.
When asked what federal program he would cut from the budget, he said without any hesitation “Planned Parenthood.” He could have dodged that controversial subject, but he chose to give an honest answer and a very important one. I’m sure the liberal press will hammer him for it, but that is understandable in a country that lives by the concept of freedom of speech and press.
Understanding our democratic principles is important to Gov. Christie and he is up ront, consistent, aggressive when he needs to be, and a winner. He is also a man of his word and when he makes a commitment he lives up to it. He is pro-life, pro-marriage and lives up to vows he takes in when he makes them. One is his marriage vow and the other is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and of New Jersey. 
Walter F. Conner Sr. 
Hightstown, N.J. 
Hughes’ proposals could 
make a big difference 
To the editor: 
Congratualtions to County Executive Brian Hughes on the vision for Mercer County expressed in his State of the County address. Three of his proposals could make a big difference in helping improve the lives of our residents.
First, building a new passenger terminal for the Trenton-Mercer Airport would be a smart investment in our future and provide jobs. The $2 million per year already generated by the airport would help pay for this important project without burdening our taxpayers.
Second, renewing the “Mercer at Play” grant program would support new park and recreation programs all across the county. The first round of these grants provided funding for 20 successful projects that have improved our quality of life.
Finally, the focus on strengthening our workforce through education and training is one that we should all support. Improving educational outcomes is one of the most important strategies for our county’s future. We would need to ensure that appropriate educational opportunities are accessible to everyone in Mercer County, regardless of their background.
Our county cannot succeed when any of us are held back. 
Anthony S. Verrelli 
Vice chair 
Mercer County 
Improvement Authority 
Winter months are deadliest 
for residential structure fires 
To the editor: 
Here we sit, one month into 2016. According to the U.S. Fire Administration there have already been seven fire-related civilian deaths in New Jersey. In 2015, according to the same source, there were 55 civilian fire fatalities.
The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety released their official numbers for 2014 a few months ago. The toll was 81 civilian fire deaths. That totals 143 New Jersey residents. Men, women, children, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Despite all of this, some people still argue that we do not have a fire problem in New Jersey.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that 50 percent of all home heating fires, the second-leading cause for residential structure fires, occur between the months of December and February. This is the deadliest time of year for home fires and a good time to think about advancing fire protection in residential properties.
This past legislative session the governor had a chance to sign into law legislation that would have forced New Jersey to comply with the International Code Council’s minimum life safety code, which would require all newly constructed residential buildings to install fire sprinklers. The governor vetoed the bill and left the avenue open for the NJDCA to conduct a cost analysis of installing fire sprinklers in only new townhomes, but the New Jersey Senate did not accept his veto. This leaves residents of newly constructed homed just as, if not more, vulnerable to fire.
One year ago we saw just how dangerous new construction methods that reach for the sky with engineered wood trusses can be when not protected by an adequate fire sprinkler system for the risk associated with the structure. Edgewater was a case study in the need for more fire protection. Still, here we sit, one month into 2016 and very little has been achieved, advanced or acknowledged.
Please educate yourselves and your families on the dangers of fire, especially in the winter, and take some time to learn about residential fire sprinklers. 
David Kurasz 
Executive Director 
N.J. Fire Sprinkler Advisory BoardNorth Brunswick 
Drones perfect for 
delivering medicines 
To the editor: 
Being of a certain age I am not enamored of new technology. However, I was elated to hear that drones are now being used to deliver contraceptive supplies and other medicines to hard to reach locations in developing countries thanks to the United Nations Population Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
When I visited Madagascar, many roads were in horrible condition, some little more than deep, impassable ruts in the rainy season with mud up to the body of four-wheel drive vehicles. In one village, I spoke with a volunteer health worker who walked six hours one way every month to pick up contraceptive supplies.
The World Health Organization estimates that 225 million women around the world want to delay pregnancy, space their children, or have no children, but do not have access to contraceptive supplies. This too often leads to high rates of unplanned pregnancy and prevents women and girls from finishing school or finding employment. In many cases, this hinders them from lifting their families out of poverty.
What a wonderful use for drone technology, bringing health and hope to women who want to voluntarily plan their families! 
Bonnie Tillery 
Volunteer Population Issues Coordinator 
New Jersey Chapter Sierra Club 
Hamilton 

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