Letters and Commentary

March 2, 2012
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Struggle for LBGTQ Rights Exhibit at Brookdale

To the Editor;


During the week of February 13 through 17, the NJ Legislature voted on the question of same-sex marriage. The legislation passed in the State Assembly and the State Senate but was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.

The Legislature now has until January, 2014 to overturn the Governor’s veto by a two-thirds majority vote.

To coincide with the consideration of this issue, the Bankier Library at Brookdale Community College has announced the opening of an exhibition entitled “We Are Not Free Until We Are All Free”: the Struggle for LBGTQ Rights.

The exhibit highlights the history and accomplishments of lesbians, bisexuals, gays, and those who are transgendered or questioning their sexual identity. Our aim is to inform the community about current issues and to educate students about library and campus resources.

In addition to brief biographies of famous people, the display includes articles about same-sex marriage, the repeal of the U.S. military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, and a video of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising when the modern gay rights movement took root. A timeline illustrates the history of the movement and chronicles the many legal challenges to discrimination.  Posters, handouts and books from the Bankier Library showcase campus resources.

The exhibit also features information provided about the campus Ally program and lists the staff who have volunteered and been trained to serve as resources for students in need of support with sexual identity issues.

A Comments book provides an opportunity for viewers to give feedback on the exhibit.

The exhibit is mounted in the library’s atrium area and will run throughout the Spring semester.  Members of the general public as well as the Brookdale College community are invited to attend.

The exhibit can be visited during normal library opening hours which are: Monday – Thursday, 7:15 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday, 7:15 – 7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For further information contact:

Jan Boyarin Blundell

Library Display Coordinator

Brookdale Community College




Searching For Descendants


To The Editor:


I’m searching for descendants of


Veronica aka Vera (nee Lunny) born 1898

Annie (nee Lunny) born 1896

Mary C. (aka Kitty) (nee Lunny) born 1892

The girls all lived in Mullylogan, Enniskillen, Ireland, and were listed in the 1901 Irish Census. They emigrated to the USA and settled in Red Bank, NJ.  I am

the grandson of their brother, John Francis Lunny, who visited them in 1972.

Do any of your readers remember them?  They were devout Roman Catholics and will have been regular attenders at Mass.


David Heathcote

Nottingham, England




Christie Propaganda?


To The Editor:


Governor Christie’s office has, over the last two years in office, used

taxpayer money to produce pro-Christie propaganda videos that are usually

released right before a major speech, event, or announcement (all of these

videos can be viewed at Christie’s official YouTube channel “GovChristie”).

On Feb. 21, 2012, his office released a video entitled “Governor Chris

Christie: Fighting the Fights Worth Fighting.”


In the video he states that “If we can give you some economic relief to help

support families, if we can make our education system better for everyone…then

we’re going towards a place we can be proud of…I’m going to fight for the

things worth fighting for. My mother used to tell me all the time: Christopher

be yourself because if you are then you’re not going to have to worry tomorrow

about remembering who you pretended to be yesterday…What you see is what you get.”

Governor Christie has used my taxpayer dollars for causes I don’t believe in,

and to make matters worse, actually included my image in his most recent video

(from a town hall I attended one month ago) without my consent. I don’t believe

in giving tax breaks to millionaires, denigrating our public school teachers,

and vetoing marriage equality and I certainly wouldn’t condone my appearance in

videos that support these policies. The irony behind this video is that as

Christie talks about being “who you really are” he makes me out to be someone

I’m not. It’s time Governor Christie began to use his own campaign money to

produce and publicize these videos, not use the hard-earned taxpayer dollars

from the people of New Jersey.


Zachary Israel

Franklin Park


Women Won’t Be Fooled


To The Editor:


Women unite! Unite before all of our hard-won rights are taken from us. A horrifying sight was the panel of ***ITALSall**ENDTALS men chosen by our highest body of government to decide the future of women’s right to proper health care.

Our now-savvy women’s electorate will not be fooled into thinking that women’s health care is a religious issue! Each woman has the power to vote for representatives who are forthright in support of them!


Charlotte Kruman



If Pets Had Thumbs

To The Editor:

March 3 is “If Pets Had Thumbs Day,” and one thing is certain: If cats had thumbs, they’d be pointing them down at people who put their cats through the lifelong trauma of declawing.

Declawing is a painful mutilation that involves severing not just a cat’s nails, but whole phalanges (up to the first joint), including bones, ligaments, and tendons. Depriving cats of these necessary and important body parts can cause personality changes (some cats become depressed, withdrawn, fearful, or refuse to use their litter boxes), difficulty balancing and walking, and chronic back and joint pain as the cat’s shoulder, leg, and back muscles weaken.

Cats may not have thumbs, but they deserve to keep all the digits they were born with. Claws, couches, and curtains can coexist peacefully if you trim the tips off cats’ claws weekly, provide plenty of scratching posts, and cover furniture with contact paper or another slippery material temporarily, if needed. To learn more about how to save your cat’s claws and your furniture, check out 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You by Ingrid Newkirk (available on Amazon.com) and visit www.PETA.org.

Lindsay Pollard-Post

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.


A Few Simple Rules


To The Editor:


The recent writers bewailing tickets received for going through red lights simply need to remember a few simple rules:

Yellow means clear the intersection; do not enter it.

Red means stop; do not enter the intersection.

Make a full stop before turning right on red.


Carolyn Schwebel




 “Judge Not…”


To The Editor:


In response to the letter from James Harris Sr. in your February 17 issue, I would like to say that his criticism of the homosexual way of life is not backed by any straight (sorry) facts, and the Bible also tells us “Judge not…”

Many, if not most homosexuals, are gifted in one or more of the arts. We admire and revere their work throughout our lives, without knowing the private life of  the creators.  If you knew a given artist was homosexual, would you automatically criticize his work in a negative way?

There is scientific proof that this tendency–this way of life– is born in them; they do not choose it. Most of them are very happy and self-confident, once they can jump the hurdle of the critics and self-righteous bigots.  Please do not go literally by the words in a book that has been re-written many times by a variety of people or groups.  None of it is first-hand, and may well be misquoted.

Jeanne vanDorn

Born and bred in Red Bank

DeLand, Fla.


President’s Budget Cuts A Threat To The Ocean


To The Editor

Earlier this week, President Obama released his proposed budget for 2013 wherein he eliminates three programs vital to a clean ocean, swimmable beaches, and the marine ecosystem of New York and New Jersey.

First, the EPA Beach Program – on which all coastal states rely for protecting beachgoer health – would be cut entirely.  This program funds research on swimmer safety, actual beach testing, and advisory notices.  If you’ve ever gone to the beach only to find it closed (often after heavy rains), this program has protected your health.  If your township has ever found and fixed leaky sewers fouling your local waterways, this program has likely helped you.

Second, the President proposes closing the James J. Howard Marine Science NOAA Lab at Sandy Hook, months after recognizing the Lab for its 50 years of service and after having invested in Lab programs that make it one of the top, most state of the art facilities in the nation for ocean acidification and marine ecosystem research.  The Lab is the only ocean research center downstream of the most densely populated urbanized region in the country—the waters between New York and New Jersey.   Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th) have sent a letter to the White House urging President Obama to reconsider his decision to close the NOAA Lab, and Clean Ocean Action agrees.

Third, the President is cutting all funding to the Prescott Grant Program which provides needed funding for recovery and treatment of stranded marine mammals and sea turtles.  The New Jersey Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, NJ, which covers strandings throughout New Jersey, relies heavily on this Grant Program to keep its doors open.

Given last year’s release of the National Ocean Policy and the President’s conclusion that coastal “communities and the Nation rely on healthy and resilient ocean and coastal ecosystems” – it is inconceivable that these program cuts would be the first actions on the list to, as the President noted “support sustainable, safe, secure, and productive … uses of the ocean,” and to “foster a public understanding of the value of the ocean.”

If you like to swim and not get sick, want to see more science and more education on the ocean, or are concerned for our ocean’s marine mammals and turtles, stand with us to fight these actions.  To find out how, visit CleanOceanAction.org.

Cindy Zipf

Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action




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