Park and Recreation Month: The Perfect Time to Clean Up
To the Editor:
July is Park and Recreation Month. Why not celebrate by helping to keep our parks and beaches clean?
Parks, including playgrounds, rivers and beaches are important to our environment and to our physical and mental health. Everyone needs a beautiful, safe and clean place where they can relax or play.
It is important to recognize the health benefits for adults and for children. It has been stated by the National Recreation and Park Association that playing in parks actually help children maintain healthy bones and muscles and improves self-esteem.
Furthermore, it is very important today that we teach and encourage our youth to get involved in keeping our parks and beaches clean starting at a young age. This will help our Monmouth County youth develop a lifelong commitment to support our parks and protect our natural environment.
The preservation of our county parks can only be further enhanced by residents who willingly volunteer to assist our hardworking county parks and recreation department employees in their efforts to maintain them.
Monmouth County and its residents have been extremely fortunate to have Freeholder Lillian Burry who has served and continues to serve as the liaison to the Department of Parks and Recreation. She has always taken a personal interest in the preservation of the beautiful condition of our county parks and takes great pride in doing so.
Keeping this in mind, we each have a responsibility to set an example for others, especially family, co-workers, friends, and children by using trash and/or recycling receptacles and not littering. Perhaps make an effort to always have a litter bag in your car and if you see litter – why not pick it up? The Board of Chosen Freeholders appreciates each and every one of our residents who help to keep our parks and beaches clean. If we continue to work together, we can continue to enjoy the quality of life we as Monmouth County residents have all come to know and appreciate.
Just a reminder, July is also the month of the Monmouth County Fair. Another grand county event spearheaded by Lillian Burry, freeholder and liaison to the Parks and Recreation Department. This year the fair will run from July 24 through July 28. The dates and times will be Wednesday through Saturday from 5 – 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. As in previous years, the Monmouth County Fair will be held at the East Freehold Show grounds located on Kozloski Road in Freehold. The cost of admission is $7 and children 12 and under can enjoy admission for free.
There is still time to showcase your specialty for any crafter, artist or vendor who has not yet signed up by clicking on the following link: Visit our vendor information page. Either way, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites you to come out and be part of a very enjoyable fun experience for the entire family.
Lastly and looking ahead, the Second Annual “Made in Monmouth” event is scheduled to be held Saturday, Sept. 24, at Monmouth University, West Long Branch. There are currently 100 vendors registered, and these vendors make a wide variety of consumer products including custom furniture, cabinetry and stained glass, as well as fashion accessories, many different types of jewelry, cakes, pretzels, wine, chocolates and products for children and pets. All of these products are
made right here in Monmouth County. The event is free to both vendors and the public. The Board of Chosen Freeholders invites you to call our Department of Economic Development at 732-431-7470 if you make a product in Monmouth County. Made in Monmouth is a wonderful way for residents to see the quality and creativity of the products made locally.
Thomas A. Arnone
Director, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
There Should Be a Count Basie Day in Red Bank
To the Editor:
Yet another anniversary of the birth of William “Count” Basie is hard upon us.
It strikes me as very odd that we, the greater Red Bank community, have not found a way to declare Aug. 21 Count Basie Day and commemorate the date each year with a musical celebration in his honor. It would seem to be a real rallying point for the town, a means of bringing us together, to remember one of the great contributors to a true American art form – jazz.
So many possible players in that symphony in Basie’s honor come readily to mind: Our fabulous restaurant industry; two outstanding theaters, The Two River Theater and, of course, The Basie; the Jazz Arts Foundation; the CBA Jazz Band; Joe Muccioli; WBGO, probably the last radio station in the nation devoted to jazz; New Jersey Transit; to name a few. Certainly, there are many more pieces that could be included. And place the concert in our beautiful waterfront community. Seems like a no-brainer!
Opportunity to do Good for a Population at Risk
To the Editor:
In this time of political haggling in Washington, I want to call out an opportunity for our elected officials from across the aisle to come together and do some good for a population increasingly at risk – and at the same time to applaud our leadership in New Jersey for doing just that.
There are about 120,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S., including several thousand in New Jersey. The majority are now over the age of 75, live alone and face economic challenges. These survivors are a crucial link to the past, who deserve to age with dignity – especially after the horrors they suffered. As one 89 year-old Holocaust survivor served by Jewish Family & Children’s’ Service of Monmouth County said recently: “I am old … and now everything is getting harder.”
There are two relevant pieces of legislation right now designed to provide needed assistance to this population, and to enable as many as possible to remain in their homes for as long as possible, living with greater autonomy and dignity while avoiding institutionalization.
The RUSH Act, currently before Congress, designates Holocaust survivors under the definition of “greatest social need” in the Older Americans Act, prioritizing services to these most vulnerable older Americans. We urge support of this measure – and this will be a great way for members of Congress, regardless of political affiliation, to demonstrate their support for those with severe needs in our society.
I also want to applaud Gov. Christie and the state legislature for including funding for the state’s Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program in the FY 2013-14 State Budget. Thanks to this provision, our state has ensured that critical services (i.e. home health care, meals, transportation to medical appointments, case management, and counseling services) will continue to be provided to an aging and increasingly frail group of N.J. residents who have been through the most tragic of ordeals, but today find it even more difficult to tend to their own needs.
We realize that these are difficult economic times for New Jersey, and budget choices are not always easy. We especially want to thank our local elected officials. In the words of Toby Shylit Mack, the federation’s community relations chair, “Senators Joseph Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck have a long history of meeting with and responding to the needs of the Jewish community. Their recent efforts in helping to provide funds for the urgent needs of aging Holocaust survivors will ensure that this vulnerable population receives critical services.”
As director of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, I am conscious every day of the generosity of our local community in meeting the needs of our more vulnerable citizens – whether Holocaust survivors, those affected by Hurricane Sandy or our neighbors who just need a helping hand on occasion. I want to acknowledge all of those who step up to do mitzvot, perform good deeds, in our community to help improve the quality of life for everyone in Monmouth County.
This week on Tuesday ( July 16) was the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av – traditionally a day in our people’s history where very bad things have happened – from the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1942 to the approval of the Nazi Final Solution, which lead to the murder of 6 million Jews, and millions of others throughout Europe. The day is spent by many lamenting such persecution and recalling these tragedies.
I write this letter because this year, during this week, we have an opportunity to address one of the tragedies connected to the 9th of Av … to celebrate some light in the darkness and to bring relief to a particular segment of our local community in need. Let’s not miss this chance.
Jewish Federation of Monmouth County
Two River Moment
This is on Broad Street, Red Bank, near the corner of Mechanic Street, in 1917, apparently not long after the United States’ formal entry on April 6, 1917, into World War 1.