Letters and Commentary

January 25, 2013
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Obama’s 2nd Inaugural: ‘Message of Optimism’

To the Editor: 

I was honored to bear witness to President Obama’s 2nd inaugural address and moved by both his words and the weight of this historic event. The peaceful transition of power between administrations is one of the greatest achievements of our republic and the president’s inauguration is a proud moment for all Americans.

The president’s message of optimism was an inspiring example of what is right with our country. As the president mentioned, all generations of Americans have been tested by great moments of crisis of varying degrees, but it is America’s ability to reinvent itself that is the cornerstone of our democracy.

I was impressed that the president outlined several issues of importance to him personally and to the nation as a whole. Specifically, I was heartened that President Obama mentioned the need for an improved focus on equal rights, dignity and opportunity for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation.

It was also uplifting to hear an American president stand before the United States Capitol Building and proclaim his commitment to addressing issues like climate change, immigration reform, improving our economy, and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

President Obama’s inaugural address reflected the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans for stronger and more prosperous nation and I look forward to working with him for the next four years to achieve the goals he has set out.

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.
D-6th Congressional District


Support NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation on State Tax Form

To the Editor:

As you put the final touches on your New Jersey income tax return, remember you can direct a portion of your return to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Founda­tion by checking line 61 and designating the amount you’d like to contribute. The foundation oversees the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center in Holmdel.

As a not-for-profit organization, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Founda­tion relies on contributions from people to support its efforts to encourage and foster a thorough understanding of the Vietnam era including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects that affected the United States, and especially New Jersey.

Each year, more than 9,000 school children pass through the doors of the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center and visit the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. Private contributions enable the foundation to update displays, bring guest lecturers, exhibitions and educational programs to the museum and educational center and host several special events. As a result, the foundation has become a trusted resource for all New Jersey veterans.

A Closer Look At The Water Bill

Board Chairman Clark W. Martin asks everyone to consider directing a portion of their New Jersey income tax return to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Founda­tion. “This simple act has become one of our most significant funding sources. There is no more fitting time than while our nation’s service men and women are fighting overseas to support the ongoing education of our young people and to honor those who served during the Vietnam era, especially the 1,562 New Jerseyans who never returned home,” he says.

The Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at Exit 116. The museum and educational center are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information on the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, visit the website at www.njvvmf.org or call 732-335-0033.

Bill Linderman
Executive Director
New Jersey Vietnam Veteran Memorial Foundation,


A Call to Eliminate All Board Compensation in Middletown

To the Editor:

While every other board and commission in Middletown is 100 percent volunteer, the sewerage authority (TOMSA) board members are highly compensated – they receive salary, pension credit and health benefits. The board meets once a month for less than an hour.

When the sewerage authority was formed back in the 1960s, the board met between three and five times a week during the period when the sewer system was being designed. Today, the board’s effort is no greater than that of any other board in town, all the rest of whom volunteer their time.

Further, in the beginning TOMSA board members received only an annual stipend of $1,000. They did not receive pension or medical benefits, which are in violation of the township’s own ordinances that state that TOMSA board members shall receive no compensation other than salary.

There are five regular members and two alternates on the TOMSA board. Today, the annual salaries are $2,150 for the chairperson and $1,750 for other members. Health and pension benefits are worth tens of thousands more.

In 2009, in response to a new state law, the township committee passed Ordinance No. 2009-2967, which states: “the Township Committee of the Township of Middletown believes it is the best interest of the taxpayers of the Township to eliminate the receipt of pension and/or health benefits by part-time elected and appointed officials.”

That ordinance stripped pension and health benefits for new board appointees but allowed for the continuation of benefits for any board member currently receiving them.

Letter: Reflecting on the 'Ridge Road Run'

Thus, the township committee can save taxpayers a great deal of money by not reappointing TOMSA board members as terms expire. Yet the reappointments continue.

At Middletown’s annual organization meeting on Jan. 6, the township committee reappointed to five-year terms three members of the sewerage authority board whose current terms expire on Feb. 1.

The patronage needs to end. Residents should demand that the township committee pass an ordinance eliminating all compensation – salary and benefits – for all board members.

Eliminating TOMSA board perks would save Middletown property owners over $100,000 a year.

Linda Baum


Sponsors Sought for Kelleher Kids Triathlon

To the Editor:

On Sunday, June 2, 2013, we will be hosting the Fourth Annual Kids Triathlon for Bob Kelleher. Bob was a coach to many local children in several Rumson Recreation sports in addition to volunteering with the Rumson First Aid Squad. This unique event embodies the meaning of community. Two hundred and thirty area youth through age 14 gathered together last year to reach a common goal – to have fun while challenging themselves physically.

This year we expect even more participants as word spreads about this terrific event. The kids are excited about the physical challenge and are committed to helping raise funds for Rumson Recreation and the Rumson First Aid Squad.

Our friend Bob Kelleher set a wonderful example for the youth of this area. Celebrate with us in making this event truly spectacular!

We are seeking donations for this year’s event. The generosity of those who donate will be acknowledged in event publications and promotional materials. In addition, event organizers will work to ensure that signage and other promotional materials are appropriately displayed around the event grounds on the day of the event.

Those interested in becoming a sponsor may visit www.SplitSecondRacing.net/Sponsor to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

You can learn more about this event by visiting www.raceforum.com/kidstri. Your consideration of this request is very important to us and we hope we can count on your support.

Doug Rice
Race Director


Two River Moment


Baby, it’s cold outside! But in 1910 it was cold and snowy on Broad Street in Red Bank, looking toward the intersection of Front Street, as the man on the left appears to be making some type of delivery.

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