Letters and Commentary

August 31, 2012
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Help Raise Funds for St. Jude’s by Dining Out

To the Editor:

I am the Hope Captain for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Chili’s Restaur­ant of Eatontown. Chili’s is proud to support the life­saving work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – finding cures and saving children with pediatric cancer and other deadly diseases. Our annual Create-A-Pepper campaign invites guests to design a custom pepper and make an individual donation to our friends at St. Jude.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, Chili’s is hosting a pancake breakfast from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 for this event and 100 percent of the profits raised are going to be donated to St. Jude.

The following day, (Mon­day, Sept. 24,) Chili’s will be donating 100 percent profit for the entire day to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I am trying to get the word out to as many people as possible so we can raise a significant amount of money for St. Jude. Anything that you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

Josh Gurian
Hope Captain,
Chili’s, Eatontown
(732) 770-9112


Let’s Help Our Homeless Vets By Opening Ft. Monmouth to Them

To the Editor:

As a senior citizen, I can well remember when our country was united, patriotic and openly acknowledged our dependency on God. Much blood was shed over the years to establish, protect, preserve and maintain our freedoms that today are now being chiseled away right under our nose.

If there were any group of people in this country who deserve to be treated with the highest respect and rewarded with the greatest benefits possible, it is our veterans who did the fighting for our freedoms. But the federal treatment they actually receive is criminal, shameful, embarrassing and disgraceful.

A large percentage of this nation’s homeless and unemployed are our vets. There should not be one veteran on that list! And here sits Ft. Monmouth – up for grabs – with all of its empty housing and supportive structures already in place – like a chapel for rebuilding and restoring injured spirit/souls plus a gym to offer rehabilitative services to those with lost or damaged limbs. It was just a few years ago that the officers’ quarters were upgraded and refurbished. I suppose those beautiful buildings will be bulldozed and replaced by some business for profit.

If our government can contribute to mosques being built overseas and liberally strengthen other countries known to be hostile to us, why can’t it take care of our own servicemen who suffered and died for our benefit? How can we repay those who make such a sacrifice for us?

Couldn’t our former Army base help our homeless vets and their families? What an opportunity – or is it our obligation – to show our appreciation to our veterans in this way.

Letter: Still Fighting for Alternative Redevelopment Plan in Middletown

Let’s do the right thing!

Charlotte Brodfuhrer,
Little Silver

Best Way to Celebrate Labor Day is with a Job

To the Editor:

As happens every year, Labor Day of 2012 gives us another opportunity to celebrate American workers whose unsurpassed contributions to our prosperity and way of life have made our nation the hope of the world.

Their unparalleled productivity, work ethic and ability to adapt and innovate have fueled the greatest industrial growth and technological advancements the world has ever seen.

Labor Day also gives us the opportunity to gratefully acknowledge a system of government that provides an opportunity for our workers and citizens in all walks of life to achieve their personal goals and dreams. The right of workers to organize and demand a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work is certainly one aspect of that system that we can all cherish and relate to, whether we are union members or not. It is all part of the American heritage that both encourages individuals to reach their full potential and allows groups of workers to unite in a common purpose.

Our celebrations this Labor Day continue to be tempered by one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history. Despite all our efforts, we are still contending with an unemployment rate in excess of 8 percent overall, and well into the double digits for members of the building and construction trades in New Jersey (30 and 40 percent in some trades).

At this late date, it seems futile to place the blame for this unfortunate state of affairs on either political party. It’s clear that both parties contributed to our current economic malaise by their negligence and stark partisanship. It’s even more certain that it will take strong bipartisan cooperation on the part of political parties, labor and management representatives, and all sectors of our society, if we ever hope to emerge from this economic quagmire.

If history is any indicator, over the short term a strong public works and infrastructure-spending program can serve to stabilize and reinvigorate local economies and employment figures, not only for building tradesmen but for thousands of workers in the many satellite industries that supply and benefit from major construction projects.

But history also shows that over the long-term we will need a strong recovery within the private sector to support, solidify and expand upon public sector spending programs. One will not work without the other.

Our building trades council is pleased to note a new spirit of political bipartisanship emerging in New Jersey over the past 18 months – led by the Republican Christie Administration and Demo­cratic legislative leaders Steve Sweeney and Sheila Oliver – that appears to be helping the private sector in our state turn the corner on the road back to economic growth and prosperity.

Letter: Stevenson Park Plans

To be sure, the road has been bumpy, often with two steps forward and one step back. But, progress is progress, no matter how slight, and we owe that in large measure to the courageous and bipartisan spirit being demonstrated by legislators in both parties who are putting New Jersey’s economic interests first.

Now, if we could only find a way to encourage and nurture similar cooperation and unified purpose at the federal level, Labor Day 2013 might find our nation on the way back to economic security and a more promising future for all segments of society. Is that too much to hope for?

William T. Mullen,
President, New Jersey State Building & Construction Trades Council

The New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council represents all 15 affiliated trade unions in the construction industry, 13 Local Building Trades Councils, 125 Local unions and over 150,000 rank and file members.


Affordable Care Act: An Important Advance for Women’s Health Care

To the Editor:

The Affordable Care Act is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. Finally, we are advancing toward the health care of our nation on a level with every other civilized nation in the world.

For the first time, basic preventive care will be covered without any out-of-pocket cost, including birth control, cancer screenings, well-women exams and screening for diabetes and high blood pressure.

Women will no longer have to pay more for health insurance than men. People will no longer be denied insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions like breast cancer or being the victim of domestic violence.

The American public isn’t interested in re-opening the fight over health care reform. The focus now needs to be on making sure people have access to affordable, quality health care, including states expanding Medicaid to include coverage for the women and families who need it most. Expanding Medicaid is a good health policy and good fiscal policy for states – there are no good reasons not to do it.

Politics shouldn’t interfere with access in our country to health care.

Charlotte Kruman, 


Two River Moments

Broad Street in Red Bank was prone to flooding during huge downpours. In this 1965 photograph, the street, between Canal Street and Peter’s Place, is an unintended swimming pool for kids and a place to wade for adults. The Steinbach’s in the background is now Garmany. This photograph is courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images.

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