Pleasantvile, Absecon Current | Opinion, Letters

Selection of a new Absecon police chief

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Tuesday, November 18, 2014 01:03 pm

From the Mayor's Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor's Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Under Absecon’s form of government, the mayor serves as head of the police department with powers that include the appointment, suspension or removal of all employees of the department, although appointment of the chief and other superior officers is with the advice and consent of city council.

This sweeping language may give the impression that the mayor acts as a kind of public safety czar, but that is not so. Recognizing that civilian mayors should not be making specific decisions affecting life and safety, both elsewhere in state law and through various court cases, it has been confirmed that the chief is alone responsible for the day-to-day performance of the department while still being accountable to the mayor for its efficiency and integrity as well as to city council under its investigative powers.

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Letter: Animal products are the real killers

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Written by Opinion Monday, October 13, 2014 09:12 am

Letter: Animal products are the real killers Letter: Animal products are the real killers To the editor:

Federal, state and municipal health authorities are working overtime and spending millions of dollars to stem the spread of Ebola, which has killed just one person here.

Where is the comparable effort to stem the spread of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases that kill 1.4 million Americans annually and are linked conclusively to excessive consumption of animal products? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that’s 23 times the number killed by all infectious diseases combined, including AIDS, hepatitis, blood poisoning and intestinal infections.

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Absecon Employee of the Third Quarter: Jessica Snyder

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Monday, September 29, 2014 12:04 pm

Every day, Jessica Snyder brings her intelligence, energy, initiative and interpersonal skills to her dual role as Absecon’s deputy tax assessor and deputy clerk. /Submitted Every day, Jessica Snyder brings her intelligence, energy, initiative and interpersonal skills to her dual role as Absecon’s deputy tax assessor and deputy clerk. /Submitted Anyone who thinks that government workers are goldbrickers who sit around talking to one another and drinking coffee all day has not yet encountered Jessica Snyder.Every day, Jessica brings her intelligence, energy, initiative and interpersonal skills to her dual role as Absecon’s Deputy Tax Assessor and Deputy Clerk.No one is indispensable, but in her short time as a city employee, Jessica has gotten pretty close.She has a knack for quietly stepping into a crisis situation and fixing the problem.For these reasons, I have selected Jessica as the city’s Employee of the Third Quarter, and I am pleased to personally present to Jessica a gift certificate to Home Depot in the amount of $100 as a token of appreciation for her efforts.

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Letter: Encourage consumption of healthier school lunches

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Written by Opinion Monday, September 08, 2014 01:10 pm

Letter: Encourage consumption of healthier school lunches Letter: Encourage consumption of healthier school lunches To the editor:

With the new school year, parents’ attention is turning to school lunches.

Traditionally, the USDA had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Children consumed animal fat and sugary drinks to the point where one-third have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws became lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

In recent years, several state legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and 64 percent of United States school districts now do.

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The challenges ahead

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Monday, August 04, 2014 01:07 pm

The Mayor's Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong The Mayor's Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong In case anyone may have noticed, this is the first column I have written over the last three weeks. I have not been on vacation. It may be a classic case of “writer’s block,” but I just could not fix on a particular topic to write about. I think that the bad news with which we have been inundated lately may have discouraged me. Whether it was the news of civilian deaths in the Middle East, the plane crash in the Ukraine, the endless petty bickering in Washington and Trenton or a combination thereof, I don’t know. To be perfectly honest though, I think what temporarily stopped the presses for me was the latest announcement of casino closings in Atlantic City and what it may mean for Absecon.

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The sands of time: the saga of our efforts to have the state dredge Absecon Creek

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Wednesday, June 25, 2014 09:19 am

The sands of time: the saga of our efforts to have the state dredge Absecon Creek The sands of time: the saga of our efforts to have the state dredge Absecon Creek Last May, I wrote a column about the impact of the Sandy-related siltation on the channel from Absecon Creek to the bay. It included a photo of a depth finder showing 14 inches of clearance in the channel two hours before dead low tide. I warned our local boaters to be careful of this navigational hazard. I advised that the city was in contact with state representatives about dredging the channel, and that Absecon Creek was scheduled for dredging sometime in mid-June. Since that time, I have spent countless hours on this problem, but to no avail as of yet. The problem remains, if not worse today. We have become accustomed to the chest-thumping of state officials who claim that we are “Jersey Strong” and “Stronger than the Storm.” Judge for yourself as I tell a story that has more twists and turns than Absecon Creek itself.

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Letter: Include meat industry in climate change discussion

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:00 pm

To the editor:

I am delighted that EPA has finally moved to abate the disastrous impacts of climate change by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But, given the adverse reaction from the coal industry, the agency should have issued parallel regulations on emissions from meat industry operations. Each state could then determine its own optimal strategy for curbing greenhouse gases.

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Going, going, gone

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:25 am

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong

Last Saturday, I stopped into the Serenity Boutique on New Jersey Avenue to buy my wife a Mother’s Day present. Although I knew that the owners had been struggling to hold on, I was still shocked to find them packing up their inventory and moving out. What a shame! I remember when the young couple who owned the store moved onto the Avenue about 2 years ago. They were excited about the location. They said that New Jersey Avenue had a special feel to it, a sense of community. They planned to hold special events to draw new customers to their store and to help revive a general interest in shopping along the Avenue. Well, they are gone now, and they are part of a larger migration. Earlier this year, Parker and Partners moved out, along with the British Connection. This morning as I drove to City Hall, I counted as many as eight to 10 vacant stores along a two block stretch of New Jersey Avenue. Of those businesses that remain, some show disturbing signs of financial stress.

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Letter: Ranchers are living on welfare

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:00 pm

To the editor:

It’s perversely ironic for rancher Cliven Bundy to excoriate poor people for collecting government subsidies, while ripping off the federal government of a million dollars in grazing fees. But, even if he were to pay up, Bundy and his fellow ranchers would still be living on government welfare.

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Protecting our children

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Monday, April 14, 2014 09:25 am

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Over the years, Absecon’s youth athletic programs have given our children the opportunity to experience the thrill of competition while also learning many valuable life skills under the supervision of dedicated coaches and other volunteers from our community. Although City government has maintained an excellent complex of recreational fields at Pitney Park, supervision of the day-to-day field conditions and control over access by organized teams has been left to the coaches associated with the Absecon Social and Athletic Club (ASAC) for baseball and soccer and the Absecon Blue Devils for football.

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