Letters-Jan. 19, 2006

Heart Walk

had support
To the editor:
   Thank you, Hunterdon County!
   As a Hunterdon County business executive and chairman of the fall American Heart Association Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk, I want to thank the businesses, community organizations and residents of Hunterdon County for the great support provided to Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk.
   Featuring the theme, "Walk. Change tomorrow. Today," the Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk theme encouraged everyone to make exercise a regular activity of daily life. We also brought attention to Go Red For Women, the American Heart Association’s national movement to raise awareness cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women and the number one health threat facing women today.
   People from all walks of life stepped out and helped to raise a record $310,000 to help fund research, community programs and education to help save lives the lives of our loved ones, family members, friends and coworkers. Thanks to events like Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk, the American Heart Association is funding nearly $6 million in heart and stroke research throughout the Garden State.
   The success of Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk would not have been possible without the support provided by volunteers, sponsors and teams.
   I want to recognize the special contributions to Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk by national presenting sponsor Subway; tri-state presenting sponsor Oxford Health Plans, LLC, a United Healthcare Company; local presenting sponsor Astra Zeneca; silver level sponsor Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company; and official media sponsors News 12 New Jersey, WCTC 1450 AM, Magic 98.3 FM WMGQ and Patriot Media.
   "Walk. Change tomorrow Today." Make exercise a regular part of your life and be sure to wear red Friday, Feb. 3, the third annual American Heart Association National Wear Red Day for Women.
   Wear something red to bring attention to the number one killer of women — cardiovascular disease.
   For more information about heart disease, stroke, exercise, the Go Red For Women movement or Heart Walk, visit www.americanheart.org or call (800) AHA-USA1.
   To learn more about National Wear Red Day for women or to obtain a "Wear Red Day" kit, call the American Heart Association in New Jersey at (732) 821-2610.

Gene McCarthy
2005 American Heart Association
Hunterdon-Somerset County Heart Walk
first senior vice president
Yardville National Bank

Kudos for

Second Saturdays
To the editor:
   Congratulations to Brian Hanck of ARTisZEN ARTS, Lonn Braender of BOI’S Gallery and Joel Roberts of Mechanic Street Mugs and their committee for the terrific success of Second Saturdays in New Hope.
   The cold, wet inclement weather and a brief power outage failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd that attended the inaugural event.
   It was great to see Mechanic, Bridge, Main streets and Stockton Avenue bustling with people on a Saturday night. The mood inside the 14 galleries was jovial and spirited as the gallery hoppers enjoyed refreshments while discussing the beautiful and creative works of the varied artists.
   Brian mentioned he hopes to include more galleries, restaurants and shops as the Second Saturday events progress.
   We ended our evening with a great dinner in New Hope.
   Bravo, Brian! It was the first, I hope, of many successful Second Saturdays in New Hope.

Chuck Tarr
New Hope

West Amwell

thanks board
To the editor:
   January serves as New Jersey’s fifth annual School Board Recognition Month.
   We would like to take this opportunity to recognize our school board members for their hundreds of hours of volunteer work on behalf of West Amwell Township students.
   The current board members are Patricia Barrett, Kimberly Bogdan, Christopher Castellano, John Dupuis, Joey Michalchuk, Tom Reischman, Ken Sullivan and Rob Tomenchok.
   This dedicated group of people is charged with making policies and important decisions affecting curriculum, finance and staffing. In a school as small as ours, they are frequently called upon to assist with any task that needs an extra pair of hands.
   We feel so fortunate to work with a team that is so dedicated to providing our students with an excellent education. Our thanks are small compared to their contributions.

Dr. Todd A. Fay
West Amwell School
Cynthia H. Magill
West Amwell Board of Education

Concerns about

To the editor:
   Bernie Meader’s letter last week contained a misleading comment that I want to correct.
   I was unable to inform the West Amwell Township Committee of my concerns about the Open Space Committee because the pertinent issues did not begin to come to light until October 2004, several weeks after I left the Open Space Committee and was appointed to the Township Committee.
   For example, in early October 2004, as the Township Committee considered designating the Sourland Ridge as a Special Resource Area, former Open Space Committee co-chair Jamie Kamph informed myself and other Township Committee members a Green Acres official had said the designation would harm West Amwell’s ability to get open space funding.
   The next day, the Green Acres official sent an e-mail, which committee co-chairman Hal Shute forwarded to Township Committee members, revealing the conversation had never taken place.
   There has never been an explanation, much less an apology, from Ms. Kamph. Indeed, when I brought the matter up at the Jan. 4, 2006, Township Committee meeting in Ms. Kamph’s presence, her response was the proverbial "barnyard expletive," whereupon she left the meeting. Such behavior betrays disrespect for the public process, the people’s business and the Township Committee. It would all be unbelievable if it hadn’t been part of a recorded proceeding.
   Also in October 2004, when I asked during a Township Committee meeting about progress toward retiring the remaining development units on the Fulper family GDP, Mr. Shute responded that "something is in the works."
   Nothing else was heard until the question arose again in spring 2005 when the Township Committee learned discussions had been taking place for some time, but not in a way that helped the township meet its obligations under the GDP.
   Those attending a fateful May 2005 Township Committee meeting also heard Mr. Shute say, in essence, retiring those remaining development units was never a realistic option, a statement at odds with the understanding little more than a year prior of the GDP subcommittee and testimony during a public hearing before the Planning Board and Township Committee.
   Also last spring, there was a published comment the Township Committee was "alienating" the Open Space Committee. This indicated a lack of understanding about who works for whom in West Amwell, and it is an attitude that was on public display during much of 2005 and at an Open Space Committee meeting I attended this past December, shortly before I was sworn in as a Township Committee member.

Ron Shapella
Township Committee member
West Amwell Township