Letters-June 17, 2004

Political yard

sale success
To the editor:
   Saturday, June 5, we held a yard sale to raise funds for Moveon.org, an organization dedicated to defeating George W. Bush in the 2004 election.
   Thanks to hundreds of people in the Delaware Valley, Princeton and Trenton, the sale raised over $3,700.
   This money, which might seem a mere drop in the bucket against the funds available to the wealthy Bush campaign, represents a great deal more to us than the dollars Moveon will use for voter registration drives, advertising and support for Democratic candidates in the November election. It represents what individuals can do to make a small difference in the American political process. Small differences can add up to a large one, and it is in that spirit we organized the yard sale and hope to encourage other like-minded citizens to do the same.
   The purpose of this letter is to thank the many, many people who helped with the sale. First, we thank Judith Bebout and John Ringel, who asked friends to contribute what they could toward a pledge of $1,000 they made to support Moveon PAC’s $50 million fund drive. Without their willingness to take the first step, we may not have been motivated to organize the sale.
   Next, we thank the many local businesses and artists, including those who wished to remain anonymous, who contributed artwork, baked goods, coffee and other items. They include: Ambience Home and Garden, Annelies van Dommelen, Beleniken Fine Art Gallery, Claudia Teller, Dolores Wesnak, Hrefna Jonsdottir Gallery, Lambertville Trading Company, Merle Citron, Peter Wallace Antiques, Race Street Café, Rick’s Restaurant, Sideways Café and Sojourner.
   Many friends and neighbors helped with the sale from setup to working the tables to disassembly. They include: Carl Vierow, Stockton; Dominick Mallozzi, Lambertville; Finola Lynch, Flemington; Jane Dennison, Lambertville; Jennifer Chase and Charlie Perelli, Solebury; Jodi Ringel and Andrew Hayes, Lambertville; Judith and John Ringel, Delaware Township; Kate and Lian Grow, Lambertville; Kristen and Jason Wylie, Hamilton Township; Lois Greeley, Plainsboro; Marianne Heery, Stockton; Mercedes Peres, Linden; Mikie Edwards, Lambertville; Pat Hart, Lambertville; Sergio Reyes Sheehan, Brooklyn; and Sue Hesse, Stockton.
   Thanks also to Mayor Dave Del Vecchio for his support.
   We were deeply moved by the many people who donated items, came out in the rain to contribute what they could to the cause and expressed their gratitude to us for organizing this fund-raiser. We were amazed by the number of e-mails we received from people who saw our fliers and by those who anonymously added to a growing pile of merchandise that appeared daily on our front porch.
   We were heartened by the comments we heard among our customers, which ranged from gratitude to anger: "We are so thankful to you for doing this;" "It’s about time the silent majority started talking again;" and "Thanks to people like you, I’m not going to sit back any longer and let the right wing sell this country to the highest bidder."
   This is a remarkable community — a microcosm of our great democracy. We’re blessed to have each other’s help in moving toward a saner, safer and more democratic society!

Carolyn Evans
Mary Sheehan

Residents should give

businesses a break
To the editor:
   Having lived in Lambertville for all 70 years of my life, I would publicly like to respond to the article "Lambertville mulls creation of shared loading zone," which appeared in The Beacon on June 10.
   If I read it correctly, a Mr. Francis was involved in an altercation with a delivery truck driver at or near Rick’s Restaurant that resulted in him receiving a parking complaint. (I question why he did not receive a stronger citation given the behavior he exhibited in this situation.) A second individual, John Woods, made the comment, "We’re very concerned about commercial intrusion on the street."
   I would like to say to Mr. Francis and Mr. Woods, and anyone else who may make a complaint about a similar problem elsewhere in the City of Lambertville, it is a real shame, in my eyes, that people like you have chosen to take up residence in this hamlet.
   Throughout the years when many more businesses made their home within our city’s limits, we never had problems with restaurants or stores receiving deliveries. We coped with the noise, exhaust fumes, etc. because the success of the business meant not only someone’s continued livelihood, but also that additional tax revenue was generated by this organization to the benefit of our city. The owners of Rick’s Restaurant are attempting to do the same thing in today’s often-challenging economy, and I would argue that you are limiting their ability to do so.
   I am disappointed that you have elected to pursue this matter with our governing body. I feel that you should let it rest, as there is nothing to resolve. If you were to exchange places with these business owners and/or the delivery drivers who service them, would you not attempt to make the quickest possible delivery exchange rather than inconvenience the neighbors who may a potential customers for your establishment?
   In conclusion, I would like to say to these individuals and others like them, "Get a life, put a smile on your face, grin and bear it, or move out to the boonies where you don’t have to deal with neighboring businesses!" I do not understand how you can relocate near a business and not understand that they must receive supplies or deliveries to remain in operation.
   Just remember, you had an opportunity to express your opinion on the matter, and now I am doing the same, as is an advantage we all share here in the "Good Ole US of A."

Mikie Edwards

Thanks for support

in the primary
To the editor:
   I would like to say "thank you" to the voters of Lambertville and the Democratic Party for their support in the primary.
   As your incumbent councilman, I have a deep understanding of the concerns of my fellow citizens of our beautiful city. I have worked to preserve and improve the quality of life we all enjoy in the square mile on the Delaware River we all call home.
   With your continued support, together we will face the challengesahead and build on our past while protecting our future.

Steven Stegman
incumbent Democratic
candidate for
Lambertville City Council

Let’s work together

to meet our goals
To the editor:
   I would like to thank both the citizens of Lambertville and the Democratic Party for their support in the June 8 primary. Your encouraging phone calls and pledges of continuing support have been overwhelming.
   As I begin my campaign for a seat on the Lambertville City Council, I would like to reiterate my pledge of dedicated service to the citizens of Lambertville.
   My background as a business owner, member of the Lambertville Board of Fire Commissioners and Lambertville Sewerage Authority, along with my current term as sergeant-at-arms for the New Jersey Senate, have given me many years of firsthand experience in the administrative, financial and legal aspects of local government.
   I have, in fact, served the citizens of Lambertville for over 50 years. As a former chief and still-active member of the Lambertville Fire Department, I respond any time — day or night — the fire horn blows, to save and protect the lives and property of our citizens. As a member and former deputy coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management, I have spent countless hours planning how to keep our residents safe during heavy snow conditions, floods, hurricanes and other disasters.
   My role as secretary of the Lambertville Sewerage Authority and as former chairman and member of the Board of Fire Commissioners centers around fiscal responsibility — holding the line on unnecessary spending — and looking at all options before making the best decisions and purchases to benefit our citizens.
   I also am a senior citizen and I know how hard it is for seniors and others to make ends meet and keep up with increasing taxes while living on a fixed or low income. I applaud Mayor David Del Vecchio and the members of City Council for obtaining grant money and low-cost loans that enable the citizens of Lambertville to make needed repairs to their property. Without this assistance, many of our residents would still be living in substandard homes, with no way of financing the repair of leaking roofs, structural problems, or defective electrical, plumbing and heating systems. Worse, they might be forced to give up their homes and move from the area.
   Even with this help, we are all still faced with rising county and school taxes. Many of our young people are leaving the area because of the high cost of housing. Other issues such as the heavy truck traffic on our main roads and the need for improved street lighting and new sidewalks show that we still have a long way to go, but by working together, we will meet our goals and make Lambertville all it can be.
   Toward that end, I encourage you to call me if you have any concerns or suggestions that can be addressed by the city. I can be reached at 397-0515.
   Again, I want to thank everyone for their support of my candidacy. I know that with our continued efforts, we will be victorious in November.

Frank L. Kramer Jr.
Democratic candidate for
Lambertville City Council

River Road must

be made safer
To the editor:
   As a resident of Solebury and having lived on River Road for the past 27 years, I have witnessed the innumerable accidents that have occurred over these years. I agree with the letter of Lori Stagnitto that this has become intolerable.
   River Road is a winding and treacherous highway. There are many problems with the road as she pointed out. Over the years I have complained to Penn DOT about its failure to clear the roadside ditches so water might run off freely. In winter there are patches of ice on the road where snowmelts have collected and refrozen.
   The speed limit on the road is 40 mph. This is too fast for a heavily curved road. In addition, the speed limit signs are too far apart and there are no signs that might warn about the curves.
   Police enforcement of driving violations and stopping of drunken drivers is too inconsistent to be effective. I watch for parked police vehicles on my frequent trips up and down the road and have found more times than not that there are no police cars watching the traffic.
   As a retired physician, neighbors have frequently knocked on my door to ask me to check an accident that has occurred in my portion of the road.
   I would suggest that more police checks at irregular intervals, a lower speed limit, signs indicating frequent curves and better care of the ditches on River Road might aid in reducing the number of accidents and deaths.

M. Jay Goodkind, M.D.

Help Hunterdon

SPCA drive
To the editor:
   Summertime and the living is supposed to be easy … but not always for our animal friends at the Hunterdon County SPCA. I’m asking all of the kind people who have always been so generous over the years during my Thanksgiving Drive to help. Last year, during one of my visits during the summer, I realized that summertime, instead of fall, is actually one of the worst times for donations at the HCSPCA, where supplies run dangerously low. Please let’s try and bulk up their supplies to help them get through the summer.
   Since the SPCA in Milford is a no-kill shelter, they always have a full house of a variety of animals, including barnyard animals. As always, anything is welcome, but there is a wish list of items most needed:
   • bleach/disinfectant;
   • paper towels;
   • dish and laundry soap;
   • trash bags;
   • any dog, cat, puppy or kitten food;
   • kitty litter;
   • sturdy dog bones/toys;
   • clean towels;
   • dog biscuits;
   • washable dog beds;
   • money is always great;
   • a safe and loving home, too.
   Please drop off any supplies/donations to DeAnna’s, 18 S. Main St., Lambertville, or call (609) 397-8957. I will take donations up to the HCSPCA myself. Please be as generous as you can and have been in the past. Once again, thank you for your kindness in helping the animals.

Diana Paterra