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The Record: Letters, Saturday, Sept. 24

September 24, 2016

Paterson’s potential

centers on the falls

The Organic Act, which established the national park system in America, has been effective in preserving and promoting our natural treasures. Recently, we celebrated the centennial of what has been dubbed our county’s “best idea” and I couldn’t help but reflect on the future of the Great Falls in Paterson.

Thanks to the diligence and persistence of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, and Leonard Zax, our 77-foot high waterfall received its rightful recognition as a national park. The prominent role that the falls played in the past must be leveraged to improve Paterson’s prospects for the future.

Paterson’s brand must be identified with the Great Falls. Therefore, every effort must be made to enhance its appeal as an attraction for families.

My family and I visited Mount Rushmore in South Dakota this summer and came away mightily impressed. Besides the allure of the monument, the site includes a restaurant, an ice creamery and an amphitheater. The aforementioned accouterments must be emulated at our park to ensure that it becomes a more enticing tourist destination.

We must keep pushing to make Paterson the permanent home of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, an annex of the Negro League Baseball Museum and the Inventors’ Hall of Fame. The “Halls by the Falls” movement would also be a boon to our national park.

Raising our brand awareness will help us raise revenue and Paterson’s profile. Focusing on the falls has the potential to ignite our economic engine like it did in 1791.

Farhanna Sayegh

Paterson, Sept. 22

The writer is the wife of Paterson Councilman Andre Sayegh.

Catholic ‘ego’

creates problems

Regarding “Catholic religion stresses forgiveness” (Your Views, Sept. 20):

As this letter shows, Catholic ego continues to create problems. The writer feels that all he need do to settle the Paramus Catholic mess is to inform us (for we obviously don’t know) that the church has the right to fire anyone who “violates” its doctrine; no more need be said. But Catholicism no longer has the insurmountable power it once had to crack down on dissidents as it has done dating back to the Inquisition.

That this is changing may be seen in the quiet work of Pope Francis, who tried to give all Paramus-like thinkers a lesson when he said of homosexuality (a church sin): “Who am I to judge?” (And if not the pope, who?)

Recently, he has written a letter that states that the doctrine declaring anyone who marries twice is sinful must be changed: The perpetrator is wrong, but need not be banished. The church seems to be on its way, while retaining the doctrines to satisfy conservative Catholics, to remove the condemnation and punishment. Gays should not marry, but this is merely a “should” and not a “must.”

One must quarrel, too, with the writer’s claim that his church “stresses forgiveness.” Certainly the teacher fired at Paramus Catholic would find it hard to agree. History has shown that at its most extreme, Catholicism has been repressive and unforgiving, severely punishing even the slightest disagreement with its dicta.

The pope would seem to be trying to change that, but neither Paramus Catholic nor the letter writer seems to agree.

Richard Lettis

Ramsey, Sept. 20

*

Several people have expressed the view that if people work for a Catholic institution they should know that they can be fired for not abiding by the church tenets. Unfortunately, when the faculty signs a paper that they will abide by the tenets, the diocese does not spell out the beliefs of the church.

There are many teachers who are teaching at Catholic schools who are not Catholic. To be fair, the diocese needs to state its beliefs and be vocal as to which tenets would get a teacher fired.

The church is against such things as cohabitation, a second marriage if the first one is not annulled, birth control and self-gratification. As long as a teacher lies about behaviors, will the church look the other way?

It is sad that the church believes such behaviors would have an effect on a teacher’s ability to teach math or English.

Mary Jo Dervos

Glen Rock, Sept. 22

Governor is now

an embarrassment

So, it looks like Governor Christie may have been actually telling the truth when he pronounced at a press conference in 2013 that he was the guy moving the cones.

Christie has put self-ambition before the people he is sworn to serve. Let him continue to seek the spotlight as Donald Trump’s surrogate. Or play sports’ talk radio host on the “Boomer & Carton” show.

But don’t do it on New Jersey’s dime. The governor has cost us enough with his campaign security details and faux Bridgegate investigation. Christie needs to resign now. He is an embarrassment to our state.

Gary McDonald

River Vale, Sept. 21

Criticized teachers

still working hard

Regarding “On talk radio, Christie avoids one key topic” (Page A-7, Sept. 21):

My comment is brief and to the point. After having been denigrated for many years by Governor Christie, New Jersey teachers go to work every day with their heads high while the governor goes to work in shame.

Fausto Lucignani

Clifton, Sept. 21

DEA plant ban

is premature

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency is overstepping its authority in planning to ban the plant kratom as of Sept. 30.

That would make it a Schedule 1 substance and effectively halt significant drug research now being done at Columbia University and other labs and academic institutions.

Kratom is a plant that is presently used legally in the United States. It is consumed in teas to ease pain and depression and is being studied as an alternative to many highly-addictive opioids. Input from the public and scientists has not been sought and there seems to be a big rush to take this action.

Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., are urging the DEA and the Office of Management and Budget to delay the ban and allow for public and scientific input. This would be appropriate.

The government is always talking about personal freedom and also the desire to further America’s scientific endeavors. By taking this action, research will be hindered and many Americans will be in danger of prosecution for using this leaf for daily pain relief.

The DEA should delay this action until further study can be done.

Leslie A. Kruegel

Oradell, Sept. 22

New Jersey

gun laws unfair

For many years my family lived in New Jersey, but we then moved to New York because of the lower home prices in Orange County. Now we are retired and have decided to downsize. We considered New Jersey again as a nice place to retire.

But I did some research and discovered New Jersey denies me my constitutional right to carry a firearm for self-protection.

With all that is going on today, this has become almost a necessity for me and my wife.

New York was tough enough to acquire a full-carry license, but according to the New Jersey Federation of Sportsman, acquiring one is virtually impossible in New Jersey for regular citizens, even though the federal government and armed services deemed me worthy of a “secret clearance” while serving this country during the Vietnam era.

I am perplexed as to why the citizens of New Jersey permit this atrocity to continue, that is, the total denial of a very basic right to be able to protect family, friends and strangers if needed.

Joseph L. Sexton

Monroe, N.Y., Sept. 22