Letters and Commentary

June 7, 2013
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Thanks to the NJ National Guard for Sandy Assistance

To the Editor:

Those of us who were on the front lines against Super Storm Sandy know how much our brave soldiers and airmen of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard helped to save lives, and entire communities.

Our troops were immediately deployed and stayed on the ground with us for several months. They provided reassurance, lifesaving rescue efforts, fed and sheltered displaced residents, and secured our communities.

From Sea Bright to Union Beach – and all the surrounding towns – I don’t believe there is a resident who wasn’t touched by the efforts of these brave and dedicated men and women.

At a recent budget hearing, Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, the head of the New Jersey National Guard, provided jaw-dropping statistics that showed the statewide impact of the guard’s response to Sandy:

• 2,300 soldiers and airmen deployed.

• 175 missions over from Cape May to Warren counties.

• Logged the equivalent of 37,250 workdays.

• Rescued 7,000 people and their pets.

• Sheltered 2,500 displaced residents.

• Delivered 25,000 meals.

Everyone who is part of those statistics knows what a huge difference our military members made from a psychological and practical standpoint in overcoming this unimaginable natural disaster.

On behalf of the communities I represent, which include some of the hardest hit by Sandy, I want to publicly acknowledge and thank the members of the New Jersey National Guard who made such a difference in our communities.

Declan O’Scanlon
Assembly Republican Budget Officer
13th Legislative District


Beck Disappointed Over FEMA Rejection of Aid for Ocean Grove Boardwalk 

To the Editor:

FEMA’s rejection of an appeal of its earlier decision for aid to rebuild the Ocean Grove boardwalk couldn’t have come at a worse time.

On the heels of the Memorial Day weekend, all the local shore towns have hopes of a prosperous summer, while Ocean Grove was just hoping to rebuild their historic boardwalk. There is no way the association can afford to rebuild on their own – no town could – and this is precisely why organizations like FEMA exist. This prejudicial decision is singling out one historic town that has been a landmark on the Jersey Shore for nearly a century.

The Spirit of Shrewsbury

I sent a letter to FEMA officials on Jan. 30 stating that the Ocean Grove boardwalk has been recognized as public property and dedicated as a public roadway since at least 1908 when a Monmouth County court ruling exempted it from taxation because of the boardwalk’s previous designation as a “public highway.” The boardwalk, which provides access to communities both north and south of Ocean Grove, has also been clearly recognized in court rulings as a public facility. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association also maintains the boardwalk while providing full public access and year-round emergency services to the residents of Ocean Grove and neighboring towns.

This is terrible news for Ocean Grove and its neighboring towns. FEMA’s decision is not only shortsighted but its negative repercussions cannot be fully evaluated at this point.

What is certain is that the denial of funding will hurt the economy of Ocean Grove and of surrounding towns.

Sen. Jennifer Beck,
11th Legislative District


‘Stayin’ Alive’ with CPR Can Mean the Difference Between Life and Death

To the Editor:

Like most children of the ‘70s, I know the Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive by heart. Visions of disco balls, bellbottom pants and John Travolta play in my head as soon as that unmistakable beat comes on. However, I never imagined a catchy tune of my youth could one day help save my life.

In 2008, at the age of 49, I collapsed on the side of the road suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. While the adults around me called 9-1-1 for help, it was a high school sophomore who jumped into action, starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The student had been trained in CPR at school. By understanding the mechanics of CPR and how to push down on a chest during a crisis situation, that young man helped keep me alive until paramedics arrived. I, along with my four children, will be forever grateful for that lesson taught of CPR.

I hope that every student in New Jersey be required to learn and practice the mechanics of CPR. Although I hope it is a lesson never put into action, it’s important that our youth be prepared to act in an emergency situation.

The Spirit of Shrewsbury

June 1-7 is CPR/AED Awareness Week and there is no better time to learn CPR. While I encourage everyone to become fully certified, hands-only CPR has been proven to save lives, according to the American Heart Association.

If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival, and Stayin’ Alive has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.

To learn more about hands-only CPR, visit www.heart.org/HandsOnlyCPR.

Laurie Heavener Stanhope,
American Heart Association Volunteer


Sen. Lautenberg: Champion of Animal Rights

To the Editor:

With the passing of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, America’s animals – and those of us who care about them – have lost a friend and defender.

In the most recently competed session, the 112th Congress alone, Sen. Lautenberg came to the defense of egg-laying hens denied even minimal space, voted to limit subsidies for wealthy industrialized factory farms, supported penalties for animal-fighting spectators, opposed legislation to benefit hunters at the expense of wildlife, and sought funding for enforcement of existing animal protection laws. His fervent and stirring dedication to helping animals will be greatly missed.

In memory of Sen. Lautenberg, let us work to keep his respect for animals alive by practicing kindness every day by rebuffing cruelty at our dinner tables, clothing stores, entertainment venues, and wherever else it is found.

For more information about ways to protect animals against suffering, visit www.PETA.org.

Jeff Mackey
The PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va.



Two River Moment


The Two River area is no stranger to buildings being elevated or moved from one location to another. This 1946 photograph is of a work crew and the Scudder house that was raised and floated down the Shrewsbury River. The building was relocated and became the clubhouse for the Rumson Country Club.

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