The Grow Monmouth Initiative
To The Editor:
Today more than ever before, Monmouth County is helping businesses survive and prosper. Last year’s reorganization of the Department of Economic Development has positioned the county to focus its resources to help business like never before. For example, the Department of Economic Development is now able to focus exclusively on the new Grow Monmouth initiative. Grow Monmouth is a long-term, communitywide program with a singular goal – to ensure the economic health of Monmouth County.
With partners in municipal government, academia and business, an advisory committee was established that will meet regularly to discuss the available tools to assist businesses. Members also will engage in discussions about shared challenges, such as how to update zoning laws that oftentimes inhibit business development or growth.
The purpose of these meetings is to share ideas and find ways to make it easier for businesses to get up and running. The less complicated municipalities make it for businesses, the faster we will spur much-needed job development.
The initial meeting of the Grow Monmouth Advisory Committee was held last week at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan. It was a huge success with participants from every corner of the county.
At the meeting, the county’s Grow Monmouth team and staff from the county’s Division of Planning unveiled a Business Analyst Tool that uses Geographic Information System (GIS)-based technology that provides detailed demographic information such as population, gender, age and income of potential customers.
Using this tool, a business contemplating a particular location can find out in a 10-, 20- or 50-mile radius who its potential customers will be. It also lets the prospective business know about other businesses in that radius and various market information such as sales volumes.
The Business Analyst Tool also can empower municipalities seeking to bring in specific types of businesses by doing the market and demographic work first and then making a pitch to potential businesses. This and other business tools are all free. Contact the Department of Economic Development at 732-431-7470, or learn more at www.visitmonmouth.com.
To help residents who are out of work and in need of improving their job skills, the Division of Workforce Development, located in Eatontown, received more than $5 million in federal grants last year to carry out its mission. The same grant is expected this year.
The division, which works under the guidance of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB), works closely with businesses and holds career workshops, job fairs, assist businesses with their hiring, retrains workers and performs an array of other employment services.
Supporting many of the services the county offers is the Planning Division, which is now under the Department of Public Works and Engineering. The county is fortunate to have one of the best Planning Divisions in the state, and they get involved in everything from land use planning to community development projects.
In addition to housing the GIS equipment that generates various maps for the Grow Monmouth initiative, the Planning Division includes environmental and long-range planning, solid waste and recycling, and transportation planning. It also prepares, analyzes and disseminates demographic, economic, and land-use data for municipalities, businesses, hospitals, universities, nonprofits and other organizations.
The Planning Division is working on a comprehensive regional strategic development plan for Monmouth County that identifies areas for future growth and preservation. It also is preparing a county road plan, an energy action plan, a new transit map and a composite zone map. The information generated by the Planning Division is helpful and available to the public.
Finally, the Office of Shared Services is launching a newsletter called the Shared Services Spotlight, which will keep shared services partners informed of new opportunities in the area of shared services. Sharing services is the best and most immediate way towns can save money.
Thomas A. Arnone
Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
To The Editor:
As if there weren’t already enough reasons not to eat meat, researchers have found high levels of MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staph bacterium, in pork sold in supermarkets in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. The bacterium, which can cause skin infections and serious illnesses, was found in pork from conventionally-raised pigs as well as pork from pigs who weren’t given antibiotics. MRSA has also been found in supermarket beef, chicken, and turkey.
Much like salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, and E. coli, MRSA thrives on filthy overcrowded factory farms, where tens of thousands of animals are packed in damp, dark sheds that stink of urine and feces. A Belgian survey showed that MRSA has been found in 68 percent of the pig farms in that country.
It’s not unusual for animal-borne pathogens to mutate and sicken humans. If you want to reduce your risk for MRSA and other superbugs—and for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes—trade in your hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken sandwiches for healthy, great-tasting vegan foods. For recipes and product suggestions, see www.PETA.org.
The PETA Foundation
Changing the Game
To The Editor:
To The Editor:
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Central New Jersey Chapter, once again teams with HiTOPS, the Princeton-based organization promoting adolescent health and well-being, to present the Eighth Annual NJ GSA Forum on Saturday, February 4th 2012, a conference for Gay-Straight Alliances. Pat Griffin, Director of The GLSEN Sports Project: Changing the Game will be the keynote speaker and will be joined by LGBT and ally student and alumni athletes to enhance safe and respectful sports in schools.
Students, advisors, and all supporters are invited to attend and encouraged to bring ally athletes to join in the event. The Forum will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at Long Branch High School, 404 Indiana Avenue, Long Branch, New Jersey. Registration (fees apply), exhibits, networking and a light breakfast will open at 9:00 am and the formal program takes place from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Further information about the Forum can be found by contacting email@example.com, by calling 609-448-5215, or visiting www.njgsaforum.com .
In addition to providing strategies for addressing homophobia and transphobia in school-based athletic and physical education programs, the Forum will offer the ever-popular workshops on coming out, knowing your rights, being an ally, dynamic activities for Gay Straight Alliances to foster respectful school climate and more. This year’s workshops include Time Out for Respect: Making School Sports Teams and Gym Class Great and Scholarship Strategies: Finding and Winning the Money You Need. Carol Watchler, GLSEN Central Jersey co-chair says that “students can expect to take home a wealth of ideas for strengthening their Gay Straight Alliances and generating respectful environments for everybody regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or gender expression.”
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for ALL students. GLSEN strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. HiTOPS is a 501(c)3 organization located in Mercer County, New Jersey whose mission is to promote adolescent health and well-being. HiTOPS helps adolescents clarify their values and make responsible decisions regarding their health and actions, and gives parents, teachers and caregivers of adolescents the tools they need to best support and guide the young people they nurture.
Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Moral and Immoral
To The Editor:
An Open letter to the legislators of New Jersey
I write to implore you to understand that passing legislation that legalizes homosexual marriage is not without consequence.I know that many say it will not affect those who disagree. Nothing could be further from the truth.1. If passed you will be pitting the state of NJ against almost half of the people of New Jersey as to what is moral or immoral. This, just to placate 3 percent of the citizens.
2. The homosexual community will not stop here. They want to squash all those who would call their behavior immoral. They will next push for laws such as Canada has, which prosecute (and persecute) those who publicly speak against them. Or, they will demand the public schools teach the goodness and rightness of homosexuality contrary to that fifty percent who disagree, as California now does. They would love to see what Sweden has done on their behalf, not only with even more aggressive education initiatives than California, but by putting a pastor in jail for three weeks for teaching what the Bible (God) says about homosexuality.
3. You will be pitting the eons old morality taught by parents and grandparents against what the state says is moral. How do we teach respect for the government when it strikes at the very essence of the family’s duty to teach morality to their children by saying those parents and grandparents are immoral in what they teach?
4. Some justify this as merely a “civil rights” issue as if that means it is not a moral judgment. It is. It is an ethical judgment that determines what a “right” is or not. Our Constitution says our rights are derived from God. Thus it is a moral matter. Do not be bamboozled or mislead by those who assert the contrary. We do not give rights to do those things which are immoral.
5. As the magistrate, you are, as St. Paul writes, a “minister of God” who is to praise the good and punish that which is evil. Of course, defining what is good and evil is not yours to do but belongs to God alone. You will one day stand before Him to give account.
I hope you seriously consider the consequences of this move to approve and establish what God calls an abomination, as well as the turmoil you will bring to families who believe the contrary.
John C. Hendrickson