Letters and Commentary

April 28, 2012
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Red Bank Named Third Best Small Town by Smithsonian Magazine

To The Editor:

It is a great honor for my hometown to receive this award. Red Bank is well deserving of this recognition and I am proud to reside in such a wonderful small town.
Senator Jennifer Beck, a Red Bank resident

I am proud to represent Red Bank as part of my district. I agree with Smithsonian Magazine in saying that Red Bank provides a wonderful model for small town renewal.
Asssemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini

With its vibrant downtown and many cultural attractions, it is clear that Red Bank is definitely one of the best small towns in New Jersey. I commend Red Bank on their great achievement and look forward to their continuing prosperity.
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

Be Kind To Animals

To The Editor:

Be Kind to Animals Week is May 6-12, and it’s the perfect time to encourage the children in your life to treat all beings with compassion. Teaching kids to have empathy for animals not only helps prevent cruelty, it also helps kids grow into responsible, caring citizens.

Here are some ways to teach kids kindness:

Model compassion. Speak kindly to your animal companions; walk your dog and play with your cat daily; ensure your animals have plenty of fresh water and nutritious food; and let them live indoors with the family.

Enjoy animal-friendly movies such as Bambi, Free Willy, Babe, and Finding Nemo and books such as Lassie Come Home, Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web, and Make Way for Ducklings.

Volunteer with your child at your local animal shelter to help care for homeless animals.

If mice or other “uninvited guests” turn up in your home, help them find their way out nonviolently.

Plant flowers and bushes for butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.

For more ideas, check out 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals: Fun and Easy Ways to Be a Kind Kid by Ingrid Newkirk (available at Amazon.com or your local library) and visit www.PETAKids.com.

Lindsay Pollard
The PETA Foundation, 501 Front Street,
Norfolk, VA 23510

AAA Clubs of New Jersey Statement on State Trooper Escorted Joy Ride

To The Editor:

The AAA Clubs of New Jersey are dismayed by recent news reports that two on-duty New Jersey State Troopers allowed public highways to be used as speedways for certain events. These reports, if accurate, indicate a complete disregard for the law and for the safety of motorists who law enforcement officials are sworn to protect.

The AAA Clubs of New Jersey have long advocated for motorist safety on New Jersey roadways and often partner with the New Jersey State Police and local law enforcement agencies on safety initiatives.  It is troubling when the lives of innocent people are put in jeopardy because a few law enforcement professionals view themselves as above the law.

We are encouraged that the Troopers in question have been suspended and that an investigation is ongoing.

The AAA Clubs of New Jersey

Red Bank is No. 3!

To The Editor:

Congratulations and a lot of long-distance love to my hometown, dear to my heart though I haven’t lived there for many years.

The rush of pride that I felt was overwhelming when yesterday’s May issue of Smithsonian Magazine arrived!

Who would have thought that Red Bank would have been voted No. 3 in the nation? Well, I would have thought it, knowing it as I do, and having attended Red Bank High School where I got what I found was a most excellent education for competing with the rest of the country in my chosen field.

(I knew) having been brought up by the beautiful Navesink/Shrewsbury rivers where the winter as well as the summer presented exciting water activities, including the National Gold Cup Races, and ice boating (which no one else I knew ever heard of).

It’s where neighborhoods were pleasant and friendly and well-kept.

It’s where everyone knew everyone else, more or less, and your friends were forever-friends, should you choose.

I chose to be, and still am close and in touch with some of my childhood friends (those still among the living)… even though we are in our dotage now, we were blessed with that Red Bank warmth which held us.

Generations of my family claimed the area as their home, and I’m happier than ever that they did!

Again, congratulations for being so recognized.

Jeanne van Dorn Mauk
DeLand, Florida

Violence Against Women Act

To The Editor:

This week, the U.S. Senate may not reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Since this bipartisan legislation first passed in 1994, it’s been reauthorized twice without a hitch. And it’s been tremendously successful in helping to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

So, it should be a no-brainer, right? Not to the Senate GOP, not in an election year, apparently.

Republicans are willing to throw away the entire law now that it helps protect lesbians, gay men, undocumented immigrants, and Native Americans. Do they believe acts of violence committed against these groups don’t matter as much?

The Senate’s voting on the Act any moment now, and we need to put pressure on the GOP to pass it.
Before the vote, stand with me for all victims of domestic violence – no matter who they are: Add your name in support of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Since this law passed, it has helped reduce the annual rate of domestic violence by an astounding 53 percent. The rate of women killed by an intimate partner has dropped 34 percent.

Its programs, including violence prevention programs, shelters and rape crisis centers, and funding for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes have made a world of difference in giving victims of violence a safe place to turn. It has without a doubt saved thousands of lives. And, Senate Republicans are ready to roll back all our progress.

This year’s act would make sure that LGBT Americans receive equal treatment for services, it would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to come forward as victims and provide temporary visas in certain cases, and let Native Americans on reservations go to tribal courts for abuse cases. With these additional protections, the GOP has promised to fight it every step of the way.

If Congress votes against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, all of these programs could grind to a halt, and the hundreds of thousands of women who rely on them will once again be left on their own.
Unfortunately, the GOP’s resistance is just another example of putting women’s health and well-being on the line in order to score a few cheap, political points with their base.

We can’t stand by and let them take away this critical legislation.

Before the Senate votes this week, add your name in support of protecting all victims of domestic and sexual violence, no matter who they are: my.democrats.org/Reauthorize-the-Violence-Against-Women-Act
And keep an eye on when they do vote – because we’ll be keeping the pressure on.

Thanks for your help,

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Flordia
Chair, Democratic National Committee

Three Safety Tips For Spring Fishing and Boating Season

To The Editor:

In many parts of the country, people are asking when did winter end and spring begin?

Anglers and boaters are taking advantage of the unusually warm weather, but some may be forgetting that cold waters still lurk beneath the keel. Here’s three easy safety tips from www.BoatUS.com/foundation that will help you get safely through the spring fishing and boating season.

1. Don’t allow the warm weather to let your guard down: The air temperatures may be downright balmy, but deceptively cold waters increase the risk of hypothermia even on a “T-shirt day.” Also remember there are fewer boats out on the water that could come to your aid. Bring extra layers or change of clothes and rain gear this time of year.

2. Plan on how to get back in the boat: If you accidentally went overboard, do you have a way to get back aboard? You may be surprised how hard this can be especially if you are alone or haven’t prepared for it. It could be as simple as having a rope with looped foot holds affixed to a cleat that can easily be grabbed from the water. The BoatUS Foundation also tested after-market boarding ladders for small jonboats, RIBs and larger center console boats. You can view these tests at www.youtube.com/user/BoatUSFoundation/videos. A hardcopy of the tests along with a ranking of the best ladders can also be found at www. BoatUS.com/foundation/boardingladders.

3. Refresh your memory: Take a boating safety course now from the comfort of your own home. The no-cost BoatUS Foundation Online Boating Safety course, which is designed so that you can stop and then continue at any time, includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as flares, shows the rules of the road, how to get help in an emergency, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out. It is available at www.BoatUS.org/onlinecourse.

Taking the course may also help you save money on boat insurance and meet your state’s requirements for boating safety education.

BoatUS Foundation
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304

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