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Letter to Editor: Use No Rainforest Wood for Boardwalk

Steven Fenichel of Ocean City writes that Ocean City should not even entertain the idea of using tropical hardwood

To the Editor,

The drumbeat has begun — déjà vu all over again, as the lust for rainforest wood by the boardwalk merchants has begun in earnest.

This time, instead of the Amazon, the proposed wood will come from an equally fragile and unsustainable rainforest in Guyana. Lipstick on a pig! Is it not time for our elected officials and administration to step to the plate and pass an ordinance, once and for all, never to use taxpayers’ money to purchase wood from endangered forests.

It is shocking that we will even entertain the notion of having a nonbinding referendum to let the public decide if the 1 percent of the citizens of Ocean City should have the 99 percent of us pay for the front decks on their boardwalk businesses.  Instead of the Amazon being plundered, this time the merchants’ sights are set on Guyana.

Former Councilman Ron Denny’s words best explain the mindset that can totally disregard the environmental and human rights issues: “The only issue that matters is Ocean City, not the world.”

Hello!

Every primary school student knows what is happening with greenhouse gases and global warming. Maybe Ocean City will be the only place on the planet that will not be affected. 

Never mind that in the past 20 years more than 1,600 defenders of the Amazon rainforest, including the American Catholic nun Dorothy Stang, have been murdered in cold blood for protecting what is left of the great forests. This should resonate in our community, which is well aware of the answer to: “What would Jesus say?”

Aside from the science and the morality of contributing to the destruction of rainforests with our taxpayers money, there is the issue of our “brand” name. What a public relations nightmare for Ocean City, and what another divisive and polarizing action this would be for our community.

This latest move by the boardwalk merchants can be motivated only by selfishness and ignorance. At what price the boardwalk, surely not the price of our soul! Shame, Shame Shame!

Steven Fenichel, M.D.,
Ocean City 

steve fenichel August 11, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Rutgers Chenistry Professor, Tom Nosker has taken plastic milk cartons from land fills and fiberglass from car bumpers in auto junk yards and has developed a structural grade recycled plastic which is probably the best product for not only the boardwalk's substructure but also the boardwalk decking. Fort Benning has used it to build bridges over which 80 ton Sherman tanks travel. What makes it the best choice is: 1.) Provides NJ jobs 2) Sales of it return Royalties to Rutgers University. 3.) fireproof 4.) friction coefficients can be incorporated that will prevent slipping on it when wet, 5.) able to simulate real wood appearance(even Ipe) 4.) can be chemically engineered so as not to absorb heat on the hottest summer days 5.) does not lead to land grabs by logging interests with the resultant murders of the indigenous peoples and forest defenders. The list of positives is beyond all other boardwalk options! Keeping this product off the table defies logic.It's time for our city to think outside the box and beyond wood. The axion link is: www.axionintl.com/about.html
steve fenichel August 11, 2012 at 03:54 AM
For Boardwalks and their substructure: http://www.axionintl.com/products-composite-bridges.html
john August 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Thank goodness Eleanor is busy writing on the Patch and not actually in a position to make important decisions since she is clearly very close minded. Stay home and write, lady.
JOSephine August 12, 2012 at 06:20 PM
PEOPLE ARE PROFITING FROM CLIMATE CHANGE, AL?? NO - PEOPLE LIKE THE KOCH BROTHERS WHO HAVE MADE BILLIONS FROM THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY ARE PROFITING AND SPREADING THE WORD THAT THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING - AND AL, THEY ARE MAKING FOOLS OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU, WHO ARE BUYING THEIR BS -BUT POSSIBLY YOU ARE USED TO THAT. THERE IS A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON WHO BUYS INTO THEIR BS - (NONE TOO BRIGHT FOLKS AT THAT.)
Sharon September 19, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I cannot speak for every primary school like you can but I can speak for the local one and you can be assured we are very busy teaching math, and language.

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