Letters and Commentary

June 28, 2013
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Lautenberg Remembered as ‘Tireless Defender’ NJ Coastline

To the Editor:

Services were held recently for Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a great ocean champion and long-time friend of Clean Ocean Action.

For nearly 30 years, I have had the joy, pleasure and honor of working with Sen. Lautenberg. He tirelessly defended our coastal heritage and the deep blue. He has been the sage voice and warrior for the environment.  Everyone who enjoys a day at the beach, catching a wave, reeling in a big fish, or sipping a cool drink of water, can thank Sen. Lautenberg. Indeed, everyone who takes a deep breath of clean air is a beneficiary of Sen. Lautenberg’s work: The Green Godfather of the United States Senate.

Sen. Lautenberg took office when the waters off the NY/NJ coasts were the ocean-dumping capital of the world. Our beaches were trashed and ocean waters were plagued with pollution. He led the U.S. Senate in passing several federal laws, including:

• Ocean Dumping Ban Act, which ended ocean dumping of municipal and industrial waste,

• Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act, which made it illegal to dump plastics in the ocean,

• New York/New Jersey Bight Restoration Plan, which mandated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create a plan to restore the waters off the N.Y. and N.J. coasts,

• BEACH Act (Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act), which sets national standards to ensure waters are safe for swimming,

• Medical Waste Tracking Act, which required tracking of certain medical wastes including syringes,

• Oil Spill Protection Act, which required a double-hull protective layer on newly constructed ships in response to devastating oil spills and

• Rising Ocean Acidification, which required the government to study and abate ocean acidification.

In addition, for decades he led the national fight to stop offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.  In response to the BP oil spill, Sen. Lautenberg said, “Oil drilling is a clear and present danger to our health, our environment, and our economy.”

Sen. Lautenberg worked to continue funding for programs that celebrate the resources of the ocean and improved water quality for today and future generations. His commitment to clean ocean economies and those whose livelihoods depend upon them was unwavering.  He was vigilant about ensuring that “a day at the beach should never turn into a day at the doctor’s office.”

Memories are many – press conferences on the boardwalk defending water quality or battling Big Oil, joining citizens cleaning up litter on the beaches, listening and talking with the small and the tall about their treasured stories of the shore, and at committee hearings firmly challenging those who would harm the environment. These and many more reflect a true blue man of the people, and a believer in the power and importance of a clean and healthy environment.

As we move forward, we will continue to fight to protect the ocean that he championed. We will work to honor his extraordinary achievements with the designation of the Clean Ocean Zone, and will preserve his record of environmental accomplishments.

Cindy Zipf
Executive Director
Clean Ocean Action


Local Gardeners Asked to Help Neighbors at Lunch Break

To the Editor:

Lunch Break is calling on local gardeners to help contribute to our healthy eating commitment!

As the growing season continues and you have extra fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, or flowers, we welcome your donations to our Tuesday morning Community Gardener’s Market. Last year’s market was a huge success. Clients were invited to take home fresh produce. We shared recipes and discovered new things to try. Like last year, this year’s market will take place between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday in July, August and September.

The market will be located inside Lunch Break at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd. in Red Bank. Please drop off your donations on Mondays, if possible, otherwise they can be delivered Tuesday mornings.

If you have questions about this program, please call 732-747-8577. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated by many.

Lunch Break can also be reached at info@lunchbreak.org, found on www.lunch break.org, and followed on Facebook.

Looking forward to a great summer!

Gwendolyn O. Love
Executive Director
Lunch Break, Red Bank


Proposed Walgreens Will be Detrimental to Neighborhood

To the Editor:

I write with reference to the planning application recently submitted by Mark Development LLC to build and operate a 14,000-plus square-foot Walgreens mega-pharmacy on the site of the former Rassas’ car dealership at the intersection of Broad Street and Maple Avenue near Newman Springs Road.

The proposed Walgreens will not only be enormous, it will also have a drive-through and be open virtually 24 hours per day. The proposed development on that site will cause severe detriment to the quality of lives for our neighborhood.

I am sure all readers will ascribe to the fact that choosing a location to buy a home is one of the most deliberated and emotionally charged decisions we make during our lives. Those more eloquent than I will, in the coming weeks, speak at great length and with great passion as to unique charm of our neighborhood. If Mark Development LLC is successful in gaining approval to proceed with this development as described in their application, the quality and peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhood, which includes the streets along the border of Red Bank and Little Silver to the east of Rassas between Rumson Place and Pinckey Road will suffer severe and deleterious consequences.

Mark Development LLC and Walgreens will no doubt, in order to support their application, present expert testimony stating that traffic flow (both vehicular and pedestrian) will not adversely impact the quality of life in our neighborhood or add problems to an already problematic intersection. However, ask any resident: when there’s an accident at the intersection at issue or there is a large public event in Red Bank, numerous drivers and pedestrians appear on our streets seeking a shortcut through our neighborhood.

If the proposed Walgreens is allowed to happen, our neighborhood will endure constant traffic, as patrons of the mega-pharmacy seek to find an alternative route, avoiding the traffic nightmare of Broad Street at that intersection. Gone will be the days of our children riding bicycles in the quiet streets, while neighbors walk their dogs and greet other neighbors.

Instead, we will be left to lament the passing of the tranquility that enchantedly drew us to our neighborhood.

I would take this opportunity to importune of the following parties to take our sentiments and thoughts under advisement:


1) Mr. Rassas – Many of the denizens of the immediate area are your customers, some multigenerational and who have supported your business for over eight decades. I have personally heard nothing but respect and admiration for the way you have conducted your business being always mindful and respectful of your neighbors. Unfor­tunately, the sentiment toward the Rassas’ legacy is at risk of being tainted, in light of said developments.


2) Red Bank Planning Board – With regard to the application of Mark Development LLC, I sincerely hope that the spirit of the zoning laws is not overlooked in favor of a solely technical/literal interpretation. From my own current experience in seeking a variance, I am keenly aware that the Little Silver’s zoning laws uphold a civic duty to the protect the interest of immediate neighbors in relation to the applicant.


Finally, I would like to thank Little Silver’s Mayor Bob Neff, who has committed the support of his entire team to ensure our voice and ultimate quality of life are not lost in this application. I have every faith that we can enjoy the same from Mayor Pasquale Menna and the Red Bank Planning Board in discharging their duties with consideration and probity.

Neil Houston
Little Silver


Two River Moment


The bridge between Highlands and Sea Bright has serviced travelers with several different versions. This photo from the early 1900s, shows a swing-style bridge that carried vehicle and railroad traffic. The latest version was dedicated in May 2012 in memory of Capt. Joseph Azzolina.

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