Wind in the forecast
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) and environmentalists recently spoke out about New Jersey's failing to get a head of the curve on wind energy. Despite the state Board of Public Utilitities' opposition to a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City, and delays by the Christie administration, it's a false argument that we have to protect the environment over jobs, or sacrifice the environment to create jobs. Offshore wind generation creates jobs while also providing the most clean, environmentally safe kind of energy possible. New Jersey could have been a national leader on this issue, given its miles and miles of shoreline. But we are falling faster and faster behind other states. It's time for Gov. Christie to heed Sweeney and Environment New Jersey officials.
Joe Hiles, Woodstown
Scolded for life
Many thanks to pediatrician Daniel Taylor for his informative work on children and toxic stress ("Lashing-out parents can stunt brains," Dec. 11). As a former teacher, I know teachers have great difficulty working with these children. Being berated, bullied, and spoken to harshly, the students don't respond appropriately when addressed in a positive manner. Their learned negativism is the way they, in turn, respond to adults and other children. Sad to say, they have trouble when corrected, reasoned with, or shown behavior that is acceptable and appropriate. This terrible problem is cyclical, but the pattern must be broken, and unfortunately many educators do not know how. It clearly has to begin in the home. If a successful program can be developed for parents, it should be mandatory for those at risk.
Bernice Sherman, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Given the link between harsh parenting and children's brain development, common sense suggests that similar findings may apply to children's experience in school, and that bullying, fear of failure, and harsh or insensitive teaching practices also can lead to toxic stress ("Lashing-out parents can stunt brains," Dec. 11). Additionally, homework can be a major source of day-to-day conflict between parents and children. We would do well to reexamine the impact of all stress in children's lives.
Linda Simonetti Odhner, Horsham, email@example.com
Take a number
Pennsylvanians have endured problems related to inadequate agency staffing to process a variety of important applications ("Poor prognosis for 'Corbettcare'," Dec. 17). Two years ago, between 90,000 and 100,000 children lost health insurance coverage because there were not enough staff in state offices to process renewals or first-time applications. The idea that we would consider placing more burdens on staff (requiring proof of job search and more), as has been proposed by Gov. Corbett, without a major increase in staff capacity, is a formula for failure and a cruel trick to play on people who simply need health care and the assurance that, if needed, they can be treated.
Shelly Yanoff, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Game in perspective
This month, I looked forward to the Army-Navy football game - as I have for 60 years. As a young boy, in fact, I remember being thrilled as the corps of cadets and midshipmen marched into Municipal Stadium. For many years, I thought I would like to become one. While that didn't work out, there's still the game every year. After this year's game, numerous articles in the sports sections bemoaned the fate of Army, its losing streak to Navy, and the impending fate of the Army coach. But I refused to feel sorry for them. Why? Setting football aside, I never forget that those young men and women cadets - when the going gets rough - are the ones who stand up and say, "Follow me." And I know they will continue to do so.