The Need to Work on ‘Fragile’ Wastewater Treatment Systems
To the Editor:
Hurricane Sandy has intensified our concern about Governor Christie’s veto of Bill 575. This bill received bipartisan support and would have prevented the contaminated waste of hydraulic fracturing from entering New Jersey. Many of us contacted our governor to sign the bill. New Jersey is the nation’s most populated state and Sandy has shown us how fragile our waste treatment systems can be. A wastewater treatment plant disabled by the storm pumped 300 million gallons of raw sewage into Newark Bay. What if the radioactive carcinogenic waste from fracking happened to be at the plant at this time?
Senator Frank Lautenberg stated in a commentary on Nov. 23 that our outdated water infrastructure led to two treatment facilities breaking down, with millions of gallons of sewage leaking in the Newark Bay. The state Department of Environmental Protection advises against fishing and boating in the Hudson, Passaic, Raritan rivers and Newark, Sandy Hook, Raritan bays.
Learning how to deal with the contaminated waste of fracking is the biggest threat this process poses to water systems. Will the toxic waste, containing known carcinogens, (and whose composition is protected by exemptions to Safe Drinking Water Acts and SuperFund regulations) affect the drinking water of our children, livelihood of our fisherman and tourism of our famous N.J. shore? What if a storm damaged treatment plant had been accepting the byproducts from Pennsylvania’s industry?
Gov. Christie’s response to our calls stated the bill was “premature” in light of our “collective understanding of fracking” and we should continue to wait on the EPA impact study. We believe it is premature to move ahead until we have a more informed collective understanding. Should New Jersey be used as the guinea pig in this study?
We all drink water – this is not a partisan issue. We need to prevent the force of another storm from including a threat to our water.
Get Educated About Fracking
To the Editor:
This year I became aware of the process of “fracking,” whereby oil and gas are extracted from the earth through drilling. What I found disturbing was that the hazardous waste that results from fracking has been allowed to enter our state before we have the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) findings about the safety and health risks imposed on our innocent population!
I am not an alarmist and yet was surprised and disappointed that our governor vetoed the Fracking Waste Ban to keep this waste out of New Jersey, stating the bill was premature. Sandy’s destruction revealed how vulnerable our families and citizens would be if another storm compromised toxic waste treatment plants, contaminating our drinking water and creating tremendous health issues.
If we wait for the EPA Impact Report to make this critical decision, there could be irreversible harm experienced in the meantime. We cannot control Mother Nature’s disasters, but we can protect our state and loved ones through wise decisions and foresight!
I urge readers to educate themselves to the level they would feel confident that our elected officials are making choices that have our safety at the forefront of the voting process. I studied information I found through Food and Water Watch at www.foodandwaterwatch.org and then followed up with phone calls asking our assemblypersons to vote for the ban, A575/S253, and override Gov. Christie’s veto when this important bill returns to the legislature.
Help Families, Staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters with Storm Recovery
To the Editor:
I am sure that Thanksgiving had a special meaning to all of us in the Northeast this year.
My staff and I pray that you and your families are all safe and that those who lost so much are on the path to recovery.
The remnants of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent nor’easter took a toll on many of us. Approximately 10 percent of the Little Brothers and Sisters in our program and their families suffered catastrophic losses in the storm and an additional 10 percent had storm-related damages that will take time to recover from. It is ironic when being without power for a week or two makes you feel blessed.
If there is anything that we can do for you, or any help you can offer those in our BBBS family in need, please reach out to us. Together, we can all get through this difficult time and look forward to the new normal.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties
Day of Service Slated for Dec. 8 by Clean Ocean Action
To the Editor:
My thoughts are with you during this difficult post-storm time and I hope that you have weathered what Super Storm Sandy has wrought. Needless to say, a lot has happened since the storm and Clean Ocean Action has relocated to a temporary office in Atlantic Highlands (thanks to the generosity of Jersey Printing at 165B First Ave) since being evacuated from Sandy Hook.
Now that our office is back and running and our server is up, we are reaching out to see if you have specific needs for cleanups or other projects in your homes, businesses or neighborhoods. Clean Ocean Action is facilitating a NJ/NY day of service on Saturday, Dec. 8. The outpouring of volunteers has been amazing – now they just need projects to work on. The projects can be anything from small to large, from moving furniture, painting a room to larger town food drives or cleanups.
Please check out the details and register any projects at: www.fortheshore.org, where we invite you to register a project for Dec. 8. You can also head to www.cleanoceanaction.org and click on “For The Shore” or contact Tavia Danch, COA’s coordinator for this initiative: Clean Ocean Action at 732-872-0111.
Also, feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions. Your project will be posted on the map on thewww.fortheshore.org website and volunteers will click on your project to sign up for it.
For those who need garbage bags (donated by Ocean Conservancy), we will gladly get them to you or you can pick them up at our office – 165B First Avenue, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716.
Wishing you all the best for a speedy storm recovery.
Clean Ocean Action (COA)
Veterans Benefits Orientation Nov. 30 in Neptune
To the Editor:
I am working to get the word out regarding efforts by New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. We would like veterans in the community to know they are invited to a veterans orientation at the Monmouth County One-Stop Career Center, 60 Taylor Ave. in Neptune on Friday, Nov. 30, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Our veterans’ representatives, Victor Alvarado and Donald E. Alexander, will facilitate this session. There will also be speakers to cover such subjects as New Jersey veterans’ benefits, federal veterans’ benefits, Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits eligibility, resume review and other timely issues.
In addition, the state Department of Veteran’s Affairs will be on hand with its mobile medical unit to perform blood pressure screens, flu shots, light physicals for those that need it as well as register veterans for VA medical benefits. This service is subject to co-pay, depending on your priority group.
Please have your DD-214 and two forms of ID with you if interested in medical benefits. Should you need help in obtaining a copy of your DD-214 or job placement, a veterans’ representative will be able to assist you from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only.
Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the veterans section at 732-775-1566 to speak with John. H. Brown.
Brookdale Community College
Two River Moment
Mihm’s boatyard on the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth Beach is featured in this 1960 photograph. Today, there is the Channel Club Marina and the Channel Club Tower on the plot behind where Mihm’s was located.