Local family thanks fire and rescue squads

My family and I would like to extend a sincere message of thanks to the Millstone Fire and Rescue and the Hope Fire and Rescue departments.

On Jan. 4, our family experienced a house fire which damaged much of our home.

It is so hard to put into words the feelings that you experience when something like this happens to you and your family.

It is emotional, traumatic and unsettling at the least. Watching the home burn that you and your husband personally built and raised a family in is such a feeling of hopelessness.

If it were not for the true professionalism, compassion and kindness of these very capable teams of firefighters, rescue workers and support teams, it would be extremely hard to accept what has happened and move on to restart our lives.

Sincere thanks from the bottom of our hearts.

Sue and Dan Lamb


Resident: Cost-sharing agreement’s out of balance

Here’s an easy way for the taxpayers of Freehold Township and Freehold Borough to reduce their property taxes by $120,000 each year:

Stop Upper Freehold Township from turning what was intended to be a cost-sharing agreement between the three towns into a subsidy that you’re paying to open Upper Freehold’s borders to the sprawl that has plagued so much of the rest of the state.

The Freehold Area Health Department (FAHD) is an office that provides shared health services to Upper Freehold, Freehold Township and Freehold Borough.

The agreement, which has existed for more than 20 years, is exactly the kind of consolidation that the state has urged towns to consider as a way to contain property taxes.

Sadly, the accelerated development of Upper Freehold in recent years has created an imbalance between who pays and who benefits, thanks to an increased workload of septic inspections, planning and zoning reviews, and other costs, most of which are directly attributable to sprawl.

Upper Freehold’s fair share of the cost to operate the FAHD is now approximately $175,000 — an amount that reflects Upper Freehold’s share of the office’s activities. Yet Upper Freehold currently contributes only $35,000 for FAHD services. A proposed increase, which has not yet been adopted, would raise Upper Freehold’s contribution to $55,000.

Even under this proposed increase, however, Upper Freehold would still pay $120,000 per year less than the cost of the services it consumes. That’s a $120,000 free ride for Upper Freehold, paid for by the other two towns that participate in the FAHD.

If Upper Freehold officials are hell-bent on abandoning the rural character of their township, which was once considered worthy of preserving, let them do it on the dime of their own property taxpayers (or better still the developers), but not on the backs of hard-working property taxpayers in Freehold Township and Freehold Borough.

Micah Rasmussen


Area resident gives governor-elect some questions to ponder

I would like to ask Gov. Jon Corzine three interesting questions: Would Sunday hours at the state motor commission facilities be immoral?I say no on account of one clear reason – the original Christian rest day was on Saturday, the old Bible Sabbath.

Who passed the first Sunday blue law? Constantine, the Roman Emperor, did in his edict of 321 A.D. that told everyone, except farmers, to rest on “the venerable day of the sun.”

What church council required Sunday observance and forbade Sabbath observance? The Council of Laodicea ordered Christians to work on the Sabbath and rest if possible on Sunday. (This council took place about 364 A.D.)

Think about it.

John P. Lewis


The Landau studio will remain on the tax rolls

I hope that by publication of this note, the Examiner will help the newly formed Jacob Landau Institute, a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation, in clarifying a point that concerns some residents of Roosevelt.

I have been asked if the Landau studio dome on Lake Drive will be taken off the tax rolls should it become the property of a nonprofit corporation in the future. Most emphatically not.

So far as I am aware, only religious institutions get the privilege of not being taxed on their property. Nonprofits are required to have 100 percent transparency. We file income tax returns every year, for example. We have to list who the larger donors are. We have to indicate if a large amount of funding comes from a single source/person to prove that the nonprofit is not inordinately benefiting a single person year after year. Once the required documents are filed, they are public information.

The question about loss of property on the tax roll has been raised to me a number of times. So let me make clear that during the periods of time that the Fund for Roosevelt owned farmland in Roosevelt, that institution also paid property taxes like any other property owner. Moreover, in the seven years since the Fund for Roosevelt was initiated, well over $100,000 of charges that would have been charged to the municipality in any other town were paid instead by the Fund for Roosevelt. The Fund for Roosevelt is also matching the municipal contribution to the current wetland reconstruction project. Moreover, Fund for Roosevelt contributors/members are donating their time to pay the municipal share of the wetland project cost via in-kind services.

Personally, I am acutely aware of the tax and service fee issue in the borough. I don’t think there is a director of the Landau Institute or a trustee of the Fund for Roosevelt who is not also fully aware of the situation. One of the reasons for establishing nonprofits is to find a non-tax source of funding (a source based on voluntary personal, institutional, and governmental donation) for local community needs such as farmland preservation, open space preservation, maintenance of ecology, historic preservation, preservation of landmarks, etc.

I am very proud that about one-third of the households of my fellow citizens have contributed to one or both of the nonprofits for which I have raised funds. Over time, the donations, on a single household basis, have ranged from baking some cookies to multiple checks totaling thousands of dollars. Every single one of those donations was important to the town’s future. If at any moment there is an excess of funds in one of the two nonprofits for which I have detailed knowledge, those funds are, have, and will be invested in one or more conservative, interest-bearing instruments.

To go into further detail, the Landau Institute and the Fund for Roosevelt are both fully staffed by volunteers at this time and always have been. The Fund has no outstanding debt. The Institute is just starting up operation. No person or group of people has ever received a salary or other compensation from either nonprofit. On the other hand, do not doubt that many people have worked, are working, and will continue to work very, very hard without compensation in all the town’s nonprofits! They give labor as a gift to their town.

Roosevelt is a generous town, an extraordinary town, and I take this opportunity to emphasize this fact and thank all the supporters of the PTA, the Nursery School, the First Aid Squad, the Roosevelt Art Project, Fund for Roosevelt, the Jacob Landau Institute, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, CARE, UNICEF, and many other causes which depend on support from our local folks.

I am always willing to answer questions concerning the organizations to which I donate my time in some titled capacity. I will do this on the phone or in person. My phone number is listed in the Roosevelt phone book as well as the Verizon Yellow Pages.

Rod Tulloss


January is Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, and some premature births and birth defects may be avoided with a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy. About 150,000 babies are born annually with a birth defect. Some 20 percent of infant deaths are caused by birth defects, the National Center for Health Statistics estimates.

The March of Dimes recommends several ways to start off the new year right and help give babies a healthy start. Take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily prior to conception to help reduce the chance of a birth defect of the brain or spine called neural tube defects (NTD). NTDs, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, occur in the first few weeks after conception, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking may make it harder to get pregnant and can increase the risk of premature birth.

Stop using alcohol and illegal drugs. They can cause lifelong health problems.

Check with your doctor before taking any medication, including herbal products. Maintain a healthy weight. Being very overweight or underweight can increase the risk of prematurity and birth defects.

Get a preconception checkup and ask your doctor how you can help give a baby nine months of pregnancy. Eat healthy by reducing caffeine and avoiding fish high in mercury, raw and undercooked meat, and unpasteurized juice and dairy products.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies, and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the Web site at www.marchofdimes.com or its Spanish language Web site at www.nacersano.org

Stacy Galasso

communications coordinator

March of Dimes New Jersey Chapter

Pine Brook