Art Helps and You Can Help the Arts
To the Editor:
In the month since Hurricane Sandy wreaked such devastation throughout our community in Monmouth County, New Jersey and New York we’ve seen amazing support from friends, neighbors and those far away.
With the difficult job of cleaning up and restoring homes and businesses, please know that the arts are here when you need respite from the hard work, when you want to come together as a community, and when you need to feel like things are getting back to normal. Art Helps.
Many Monmouth County artists (famous and not) and arts organizations have jumped right in to use their talents and skills to help as well. Two River Theater’s lobby became a community recharging station for both people and electronics; Middletown Arts Center gave respite to out-of-school students (and their parents) with a place for creative activities; Belmar Arts Council suspended its activities to pitch in with the immediate cleanup, while the town used its Arts Center as a disaster relief station; Atlantic Highlands Arts Council quickly changed an upcoming concert into a benefit for the town; and many local musicians and arts councils planned benefits for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
At Monmouth Arts we opened our office to those without heat, light and Internet. We compiled information on resources for artists, arts groups and businesses and reached out to assess how the hurricane had impacted them. We were able to connect artists whose studios or instruments were damaged or destroyed with offers of temporary space and donations.
All of the actions in the last few weeks have been extraordinary, and make a huge impact on our area. The arts will continue to enrich our community in Monmouth County year round and touch the lives of almost every resident. As life returns to normal we know that once again Monmouth County artists and arts organizations will make a huge impact on the recovery of our area and our spirits.
Our hearts go out to all those who lost so much during Hurricane Sandy. We know that many of you have made extra donations to relief efforts, but if you are one of the fortunate ones who can make a gift to Monmouth Arts, your gift will ensure that the arts that make our county such a great place to live will remain a part of our community as we all rebuild. Remember Art Helps.
Mary Eileen Fouratt
Monmouth Arts Council
Hydraulic Fracturing, Environmental Toxins and Autism
To the Editor:
I am writing on behalf of the autism community. I am the president of Impact Oasis, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create meaningful work and peaceful residences for adults with autism by establishing environmentally exemplary local sustainable farms.
The leading theory on the cause of autism is that it is a combination of 6-7 genes plus an unknown environmental trigger. Until we know what that “trigger” is, we are dedicated to removing toxins from our lives.
Hydraulic fracturing unquestionably produces toxic waste. It is foolish to create a poison without first knowing how it can be safely discarded or stored.
Natural disasters, such as the recent tsunami in Japan and Super Storm Sandy, have shown us that accidental release of toxic material into the environment can and does happen. Toxic waste has a long-term effect on public health that invariably will cost significantly more than the money gained from the original project.
The cost of having an autistic child is enormous. The devastating effects of the disability often result in the need for lifelong assistance. The number of autistic individuals in New Jersey is staggering; the future cost of their care will also be staggering. We cannot afford to add more toxins to our land (and thus food), water and air that may contribute to a further increase in developmental disabilities in our children.
Please contact our Republican minority leaders in the New Jersey State Assembly and ask them to vote to override Gov. Christie’s veto of Bill 575 which would ban fracking waste from entering our state.
Protecting Our Waterways from Contaminated Waste
To the Editor:
Carl Sagan said, “We have arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for awhile, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
New Jersey moves closer to combustion with the Governor’s veto of Bill 575 as discussed in the (Nov. 30 letter in The Two River Times™) wherein the writer referenced Christie’s claim that the bill was premature.
The Governor’s second veto rationale was confusing: The advice of the Office of the Attorney General suggesting the bill would not withstand a challenge under the dormant commerce clause.
The clause includes an exemption to recognize the state’s health and public safety powers to protect its citizens. Was the governor not aware of the lengthy written draft on the bill’s legal standing provided by the Office of Legislature? Yet, no written opinion is available to review the substance of the advice coming from the AG’s office.
The failure to recognize the prior study and the casualness of the advice of the Attorney General’s Office is unacceptable.
This bill should be enacted despite any perceived vulnerability and let the courts do their work.
There are no “perceived” vulnerabilities in what storms like Sandy are capable of doing to treatment plants.
Return Bill 575 for an override vote. All the original signatories should say YES once again to protect our waters from the contaminated wastes of fracking.
Come to the Dec. 14 Chhange Ribbon Cutting
To the Editor:
The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College would like to invite the community to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new center. Please join us at the 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14 event when we will formally celebrate the center’s new home adjacent to the Bankier Library on the Lincroft main campus.
The ribbon-cutting Ceremony also features the art exhibit, Recovering Memory: The Art of Claire Boren. Claire, who was a hidden child during the Holocaust, had repressed most of her memories of the war. These memories began to emerge through her abstract art and resurfaced in almost every project. This exhibit will be on display through Dec. 17.
The new Chhange Center adds major enhancements to its existing resources with an exhibit space, a smart classroom, a videoconferencing center and the only Holocaust/genocide archives in New Jersey. Chhange will not only be able to host many more classes in its new facility, but with technology that includes videoconferencing, survivors, educators and scholars can visit classrooms across the state and the nation from Chhange’s classroom.
Save the date, Dec. 14, to join us. For more information, visit www.chhange.org/. To reserve a group visit, please call 732 224-1889.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Executive Director, Chhange
Brookdale Community College
Two River Moment
If this winter is anything like last winter, there is no chance of repeating a familiar scene on the Navesink River. Ice boating is a favorite winter pastime in the Two River area and has been for a long time as evidenced by this vintage photo, year unknown, with an ice boater skimming along the Navesink with the old Oceanic Bridge in the background.