Letters

Reader supports initiative to license illegals

Your opinion expressed in the March 16 editorial “A Solid ‘No Go’ to Licenses for Illegals” is going the wrong way down the street. Our state representative and voters should support state Assembly-man Joseph Vas’ initiative to license resident aliens who are not documented.

You begin your editorial with the off-point reference to national security and appeal to the emotions of your readers by raising the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

I have read and heard this over and over again in the context of the issue of illegal immigration despite the fact that everyone knows the terrorists who committed the attack on the World Trade Center came into this country without violating our immigration laws and secured driver’s licenses legally and without the use of fraudulent documents.

The 9/11 attack was a failure of our intelligence agencies and not the result of our immigration laws. Playing the security “card” defies reason.

You state in your editorial there are thousands of illegal immigrants in New Jersey. I have heard estimates as high as eight million to 12 million illegal residents in the United States today.

Readers might ask themselves how failing to document the identity of these residents, and creating an atmosphere which promotes deception of one’s identity contribute to our national security.

Logic dictates that encouraging illegal residents to document their identity, residence and employment cannot only assist national security but assist our federal government in the enforcement of our deportation laws.

This brings me to my second point, the enforcement of our deportation laws or lack thereof. Our immigration laws designed to keep out those who would cross our borders and reside here without proper permission or remove them once they are here is an obvious and miserable failure.

There are several reasons for this including and not limited to the welcoming of our great economy to those who are willing to take unskilled labor jobs our citizens are either overskilled for, do not desire or need to take; the underlying political sentiment that this country’s greatness was built by immigrants running away from political, economic and socially oppressive situations; the lack of political will of our federal government to allocate the resources necessary to exclude and deport eight to 12 million illegal residents; and finally the lack of resources to accomplish this goal even assuming the political will existed.

You state in your editorial there are thousands of illegal immigrants taking advantage of our schools, health care and social services. You might want to add one more to your list – taking advantage of our transportation system.

Who pays for the roads, the schools, the social services and the health care systems? We the citizens and legal residents of New Jersey support these systems with our tax dollars.

Aside from direct use taxes such as tolls and sales taxes, the only way to tax illegal residents is to document them and have them contribute to the tax base for the use of all of our government services.

This means allowing illegal aliens – many of whom have valid licenses in foreign countries – to be approved for driving licenses, pay the fees associated with the privilege of driving on our roads and maintaining the financial responsibilities to ensure the risk.

Illegal aliens who are honest, hardworking employed people should be documented to pay state income taxes, and federal income taxes, and have the benefits of government services.

We should stop letting the federal government pass the costs of supporting undocumented residents to the states when the federal government is un-willing or unable to enforce the immigration laws by excluding or deporting undocumented residents.

This is not about law and punishing those who break the law, but reality and good social policy. Assemblyman Vas should be applauded for his efforts to bring good government to New Jersey.

Dennis Kahn

North Brunswick

2006 New Egypt Relay for Life will continue fight against cancer

I am writing in hopes of sharing the wonderful experience I had last year working with my friends/neighbors in honoring a young woman who had lost her six-year battle with breast cancer. Everyone in our neighborhood came together when we discovered that Lauren Lindsay’s cancer came out of remission and began to spread to other major organs very quickly. Just a few months before, we thought Lauren had beaten the odds.

I had heard of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event held at the New Egypt High School and after some phone calls and research, decided that this could be something positive to do as a team, to honor Lauren, and to let the family know how much we care.

Chris and Cindy were recruited as my “co-captains” and in just a few short weeks we were feeling renewed strength and a sense of unity.

Up until the last day before the relay, we received calls from other people from surrounding neighborhoods wanting to get involved.

We cried together and rejoiced together. We raised over $6,000 with little effort. It was easy to ask friends and family members to write a small check for this worthwhile cause.

Another neighbor passed away before Thanksgiving. She walked as a survivor last year and was instrumental in creating a banner to proudly display the name and logo of our team, “Laurel Woods for Lauren.” She attended the “survivors luncheon” and proudly joined the other survivors as they officially began the first of many laps in this overnight relay walk around the football field. Thousands of luminerias lined the track honoring those that lost the fight and celebrating the lives of the survivors and their families.

While I was raking leaves yesterday, her husband stopped to say hello. We talked about how life was without his wife of 32 years. And though he feels he should have made her stop smoking years ago, his anger turned to love. Doug offered his assistance in this year’s Relay for Life. He knows he’s not alone and understands the need to raise awareness for early detection and diagnosis. This year’s relay will not bring Kathy back, but another life might be saved.

We all know someone whose life has been radically changed by this dreadful disease, and have been given another chance to smell the roses. Please consider becoming a volunteer, team captain or a donor this year. You will receive plenty of support and guidance from the American Cancer Society and this district’s chairpersons.

Draw strength from each other, hear inspiring stories of hope, honor those no longer here, and celebrate life. This year’s theme is “Celebrations.” You can get more information and register online at www.acsevents.org

/relay/nj/newegypt. Please give me a call if you have any questions, (609) 758-7997, or e-mail me at prwpin@aol.com.

Paula Haemmerle

New Egypt Relay for Life

Team Recruitment Chair

Plumsted

Senator: School funding must be addressed in Trenton

In classrooms and school districts across New Jersey springtime heralds a period of anticipation and high anxiety as students sit down to tackle standardized tests and taxpayers weigh in on school budgets that make up an ever-increasing portion of our tax burden. For New Jersey public schools springtime is the season for truth and consequences, the intersection of results and expenditures.

Frustratingly, for those of us who care deeply about New Jersey’s children, the challenge to deliver and fund a quality education for all children in every classroom is a chronic, year-round concern. Adequate funding, appropriately spent is critical to the success of our public schools, yet lopsided aid squeezes the middle class and threatens to undercut the great strides we’ve made in public education.

For struggling suburban districts it is abundantly evident that the Legislature must tackle the school funding formula. Moreover, it is clear that we can no longer abrogate our authority to the courts, and New Jersey must statutorily provide our suburban districts with the stable funding they need to best serve our children.

I am thrilled to see that my colleague Sen. Joseph Kyrillos is poised to tackle this critical issue. On the heels of our successful collaboration to create the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority, I respectfully offer my assistance to work with Sen. Kyrillos to properly address our school funding dilemma.

In the coming months, as legislators on both side of the aisle grapple to fashion a complete overhaul of the state’s school funding scheme, it is critical that we continue to push for performance and accountability where our public dollars are being spent. We can no longer afford to throw good money after bad with results and expenditures veering off on divergent paths. This spring, just as our children sit down to their tasks with sharpened pencils, we in the Legislature must roll up our sleeves, sharpen our resolve and get this job done.

Ellen Karcher

state senator

12th Legislative District

Marlboro

Make sure child’s car has up-to-date safety devices

In January, my phone rang and it was my 18-year-old daughter who had just left for school. “Mom, I crashed the car; come quick.” She was just up the street from my house on Locust Avenue in Howell. I got her dad, and when we went outside we could hear the horn going off and on, off and on. Not a comfortable feeling.

She, like dozens of others that day, fell victim to “black ice” that came out of nowhere. I do know that a Mr. Hilde-brandt and other neighbors came to Krista’s rescue.

One cut the cables, another gave her a warm jacket and soothed her until we got there. I just want to thank the Good Samaritans for being there for her. You really helped her calm down.

This is my message to parents who think the kids should drive an old clunker when they get their license: Don’t do it. If you could see the picture of what my kid had to climb out of with the airbags and the traction control and only have a few scratches and bruises, you would be shocked. All that safety stuff saved her young life. The tree she hit did not move. Thank God no one else was on the road.

We didn’t buy cars when they turned 16 because we couldn’t swing it. We shared mom’s and dad’s cars. It was worth listening to the whining and inconvenience of scheduling car use among the four of us. Put off the need for their immediate gratification and think of long-term safety instead.

Kathy Kohan

Howell

Writer lends support to Morvay, Krakower, Spielman

On April 18 the voters in Jackson will be offered a very clear choice of candidates to fill three positions on the Board of Education.

The choice will be between two men who only attack our system and never ever praise our children, even when the children win academic, civic, athletic and artistic awards. These two men always attack and berate, but never offer new ideas for the improvement of the district.

My wife and I, as well as our neighbors, will vote for Marvin Krakower, John Morvay and Marty Spielman.

These three gentlemen represent a wealth of experience in education, athletics and finance.

They are bright, honest and selfless in their dedication to the children of the district. They also have a deep concern for the taxpayers in Jackson.

Therefore, they are part of the progress that we can quantify and qualify in our schools. They understand our district and can be trusted to do the right thing.

Please support Marvin, Marty and John. They will continue improving our school system without any partisan political motivation.

Gus Acevedo

Jackson