It pays to have a thick skin. Reaction to last week’s cover story by Richard K. Rein on the Colin Carpi murder case began with two objections. One reader questioned the reference to Trenton and Newark in the very first paragraph of the 6,000-word article (see letter below).

The second — from a retired newspaper columnist — questioned the need for 6,000 words. He recalled the advice of an old editor working on one of his pieces who told him to “cut it in half. Readers will lose interest.” The writer’s advice to Rein: “Learn to edit yourself, be ruthless. Give yourself a word limit. You’d be surprised at how well you can tell the story in half the verbiage.”

After that one-two punch, Rein walked around the office looking a little glum. But within a few hours E-mails and phone calls started coming in, praising the work and offering suggestions for further reporting. Rein is thinking of a sequel (much shorter, and self-edited).

#b#Any Murder Horrific#/b#

‘A murder itself is a horrific crime that is supposed to happen in Trenton or Newark, but not in a town like Princeton.” Thanks for the heads-up in the Colin Carpi story that a murder is “supposed to happen” in my town and not yours.

Perhaps the point was that in small communities of wealth and privilege, people feel somehow protected from the dangers that also exist in urban communities. Perhaps that point could have been made without targeting a town in your readership area.

The idea that a murder is “supposed to happen” anywhere at all is horrific in itself.

Dee Dee Miles

Trenton

#b#Help for Retirees#/b#

Too many people aren’t saving enough to fund their own retirement. Only 5 percent of people who lack a workplace savings plan actually set up a plan on their own. If nothing is done, the staggering number of people retiring into poverty in the coming years will greatly increase the cost of government assistance programs and the burden on taxpayers. So waiting and watching is not a good option.

Fortunately a bi-partisan group of legislators are acting now. The Secure Choice Savings Program, a bill supported by AARP, is a simple solution: Make it easy for working people to save their own money for retirement by establishing a pooled system of Individual Retirement Accounts. Make it easy for employers by relieving them of the time, cost, and the liability of setting up their own plan. Secure Choice costs taxpayers nothing. Retirement plans will be administered by professional, private sector financial services firms.

Brian McGuire

Princeton

AARP New Jersey, Princeton Forrestal Village

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