Letters and Commentary

August 17, 2012
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Downey Side to Hold Free Adoption Orientation Seminars

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, Aug. 21 and Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Downey Side will hold free orientation seminars in the Point Pleasant Beach office, located at 420 Richmond Ave. Downey Side is a nonsectarian, non-profit agency. Both couples and single parents are encouraged to attend.

Downey Side … families for youth, whose mission is to place America’s waiting children, is reaching out for individuals and families interested in changing the lives of children through the power of permanency, continuous support and guidance. The agency seeks to recruit parents who have room in their hearts and their homes to adopt a child or a sibling group. Most importantly, the children deserve family commitment.

If you are interested in learning more about adopting older children, you can contact our office at 732-295-5600 to RSVP and attend one of our orientation seminars or to set up a private appointment with a family life advocate.

Colleen Converse
Downey Side,
Point Pleasant Beach

Nat’l Park Service Must Be Transparent on Future of Sandy Hook

To the Editor:

One and a half years have passed since the National Park Service last held General Management Planning (GMP) meetings concerning the future of Sandy Hook, which produced nothing, except criticism from the public for the three-day, secret/closed meeting conducted at National Park Headquarters at Ft. Hancock. What was discussed and/or decided at this secret meeting was never revealed by the NPS.

When pressured by the news media and the public, the NPS said they would issue guidance and a report on the secret proceedings in August of 2011. This never happened! Surprise – business as usual for the NPS.

However, according to John Warren, the NPS Public Information Officer for Gateway National Recreation Area, the results of the secret/closed three-day meeting held in January 2011, were “integrated into all the other comments” received from the prior GMP meetings.

I have to hand it to the NPS, I could not conceive of a better ploy to conceal what was the outcome of the secret meeting. It was reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter.” Doing so made it virtually impossible to discern the Government/NPS views from the public’s comments/recommendations.

Commentary: An Absurd Diatribe

Despite the current round of GMP meetings, the National Park Service continues to ignore what may be the most important aspect of the excess buildings at Gateway National Recreation Area, particularly those here at Ft. Hancock at Sandy Hook. The Government program for out-leasing excess government buildings to private entities, especially commercial businesses, for the purpose of the government receiving rent, conflicts with existing law and National Park Service regulations. Under NPS statutes and implementing regulations, the only commercial ventures allowed on National Park land are those that enhance the recreational experience of park patrons.

This legal conflict concerning the use of the public’s National Park property cannot be ignored. It must be addressed, and resolved, prior to proceeding with any such future program involving National Park property.

As for the DOI announced establishment of Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee, how will it impact the GMP for Sandy Hook Unit, if at all?

Please note: White House approval of said committee does not make it the law of the land. The White House cannot even get a budget passed, so why should White House backing of said committee have any real import/prominent role in formulating plans for Ft. Hancock? The legal conflict still exists.

I look forward to seeing the NPS solve this dilemma.

Peter P. O’Such, Jr.
Fair Haven

5K Race to Combat Prejudice Slated for Aug. 26

To the Editor:

The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College invites runners and walkers of all ages and athletic abilities to participate in the Inaugural 5K Challenge for (Chhange) Run/Walk at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

The event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 26, with race registration beginning at 7 a.m. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. Awards will be presented at 9:45 a.m.

Award categories include the overall top three male and female runners and also medals for the top three male-female runners in each age group. Great goodie bags, T-shirts, live music, refreshments and random drawings will add to the festivities.

The race will end outside the new (Chhange) facility adjacent to Brookdale’s main Bankier Library.  The location will house a dedicated exhibit, research center, library, archives and a “smart classroom” including a video conferencing center.

Coming Together to Prevent Suicide

Local Holocaust survivors will be present at the awards and dedication ceremonies where they will symbolically pass their history into the future.

Each year, statewide, (Chhange) educates over 15,000 students, teachers and community members. Proceeds from the race will enable (Chhange) to provide the proactive tools to continue combating hate, bullying and all forms of prejudice.

For more information and/or to register, go to www.chhange.org or call us at 732-224-2074. Registrations can also be made at www.JSRC.org or www.bestrace.com.

The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange),
Brookdale Community College,

Let Us Respect Our Sikh Neighbors and Show Solidarity Following Wisconsin Attack

To the Editor,

In the wake of the tragic attack at the Sikh Gurudwara in Wisconsin, as members of the Board of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought, we would like to state publicly our warm embrace and friendship with our Sikh neighbors.

We affirm and give thanks for our Sikh neighbors as fellow citizens – and as fellow religious seekers and practitioners – in a nation dedicated to creating a more perfect union through constitutional guarantees including religious freedom. It is important to us that a clear message of welcome and inclusion be sent to people of all faiths.

We stand with our Sikh neighbors in solidarity and will actively counter any disrespect directed at their Gurudwaras, homes, businesses or schools.

Now is the time to build bridges with our Sikh neighbors and to cross those bridges with the hand of fellowship extended.

We will only strengthen our wonderfully diverse communities in the process.

On behalf of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought,

Elizabeth B. Congdon
Stevi Lischin


Two River Moments

During the 1920s it was not uncommon for people to swim in the Navesink River as these bathers are doing at what is now Victory Park in Rumson. This image is courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images.

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