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Archive for the ‘opinion’ Category

report_from_woodbridgeBy Mayor John McCormac

The “Summer of ‘09” looks to be the best ever in Woodbridge… which is why I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the great events and happenings coming to Woodbridge this summer.

Let’s start with Saturdays in downtown Woodbridge with the kick-off of the “bigger and better” open-air Farmer’s Market on Saturday, June 20, in the Town Hall parking lot on Main Street.  This season, the Farmer’s Market will feature more farm stands and vendors… cooking demonstrations by the chef’s at Wegmans… and dozens of special events for kids of all ages.  So, shop the Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and find out what “Woodbridge Fresh” is all about.

Wednesdays come alive with “Music on Main Street.”  Enjoy an assortment of free music on Main Street every Wednesday all summer long… from the Jack Goodman “Swing” Band… to the Tim Gillis Band… to the Woodbridge Community Choir… there’s a show for everyone.  And, return to the days of “classic cars” and “hot rods” when car enthusiasts from across the state start “Cruisin’ on Main Street” on Wednesdays in June, July and August.

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report_from_trentonBy Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski

The Obama administration deserves a lot of credit for the Federal Stimulus Program. This program not only gave a boost to the economy overall, but helped put many New Jerseyans to work making much needed improvements to our transportation infrastructure.  Unfortunately though, the bulk of that money has been designated for projects that do not satisfy local county and municipal needs.

Recently the Assembly Budget Committee considered the year’s proposed spending for the Department of Transportation and NJ Transit.  The good news is that the budget will now contain an additional $50 million to help counties and municipalities in the state pay for transportation improvements.

This much-needed infusion is a result of an effort I spearheaded with Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. and state Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts – talks spurred by my discussions with mayors and freeholders afraid that federal stimulus money was not going to filter down to key infrastructure projects in local communities.

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Voice of the People by James J. DevineBy James Devine

I intended to title this article, ‘The Anointed One,’ but a typo offered a much smarter name to go identify with the GOP establishment’s purpose behind its intended coronation.

I thought the argument of inevitability was ridiculous when Hillary Clinton used it in the early primaries last year. It is no less of a fraud when applied to the Bush-appointed media darling whose cloak of lovability dissolved once he bathed in the pool of political opportunism, which leads to a question: When did Chris Christie become the only Republican who can beat Jon Corzine?

It appears that Chris Todd Christie may not be able to beat Steve Lonegan in a GOP primary, which should be unsurprising given the popularity of liberal Republicans these days.

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 letter-to-the-editorBy Christopher Kosseff and Theresa Miskimen 

If you are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety, aren’t sleeping or eating well, and are worried over how the economic meltdown may be impacting you and your family, you may benefit from the local support groups conducted by mental health organizations throughout the state. 

Professionally-run support groups can play a huge role in helping us feel better physically and about how to cope with our immediate situation.  Support groups are designed to accomplish this by teaching relaxation techniques and by helping you establish a plan of action to manage better through a difficult period.  

Support groups are free and you can attend these group sessions anonymously if you wish; no registration is required.  While it may be difficult to accept, there is no stigma attached to attending.  In fact, one of the immediate benefits is that we learn that we are not alone, that so many others are facing similar circumstances.  

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 devineBy James J. Devine

Divorce and adultery are severe threats to the institution of marriage, as well as to the ‘nuclear family’ we once believed was ‘normal’ in America.

A group based in New Jersey called the National Organization for Marriage is not paying any attention to those problems however, because in politics as in marketing, sex sells.

I find nothing in anyone’s agenda about restricting or prohibiting homosexual conduct and that raises a number of questions.

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 letter-to-the-editorOn the evening of Friday, June 12, volunteers from the American Cancer Society will be joining forces with residents of Clark and surrounding communities in reach of a goal that is common to nearly everyone: the goal is to eliminate the human suffering that is caused by cancer. Relay For Life of Clark is a 14-hour event that will take place at Arthur L. Johnson High School, beginning at 6 p.m. and will continue throughout the night, ending at 8 a.m. 

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature event. It is an overnight celebration of hope and survivorship. Teams camp out and take turns walking a track throughout the night, in honor of those who have fought cancer and in memory of those who are no longer with us.  Last year, more than 4,600 communities held Relay For Life events, raising $375 million. Funds raised through Relay For Life support the lifesaving work of the American Cancer Society through research, education, advocacy and patient – family services. 

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 Inside_the_StatehouseBy Assemblyman Joseph Vas

Six years ago when I ran for the Assembly, one of my objectives was to strengthen our public schools. For years, the Legislature sought a solution to the oft-controversial process of allocating state tax dollars to New Jersey’s 616 school districts. Whereas our State Constitution mandates a “thorough and efficient” education for all public school students, our goal must be to ensure that all students are adequately educated and prepared for the workforce. 

Until recently, New Jersey had systematically allocated state aid to two groupings—the 31 “Abbott” school districts and the 585 “non-Abbott” school districts. The Abbott designation arose from a 1990 State Supreme Court ruling that held certain school districts with high concentrations of poor residents and relatively low property value were entitled to special state aid. Abbott districts received about half of all state aid while educating only one-quarter of all public school students.  

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