Category Archives: Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s Your Town – Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2-1/17/12

Here is another edition of the It’s Your Town newsletter, it covers the January 17th, 2012 Middletown Township Committee meeting. As readers of the blog know from listening to audio clips posted last week, this meeting was very eventful.

A a late notice stating that the Township will not open the Swim & Tennis Club this year was posted to the Township’s website on Friday 13th, heading into the long Martin Luther King 3-day holiday weekend and apparently, from the sentiment of the members present at the meeting, they weren’t informed previously of the dire financial situation of the Swim Club, over two dozen people voiced their concerns to the Township Committee.

There were a few Swim Club members who questioned the expenses incurred by the Township on behalf of the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) in relation to those incurred to operate the Swim Club. They were told by Mayor Fiore and Township Attorney Brian Nelson, that the MAC was on the way towards profitability and that the utility expenses were down dramatically to only $30 to $40K per year! Attached to the newsletter are the actual figures for the past five years so you can determine for yourself what is accurate.

Regardless, when the Club closes, all Middletown residents will be responsible for repaying the original bond used to purchase the Club instead of the member fees stated in the Pool Club ordinance.

Read this edition of the newsletter ….Here

And if you would like to listen to the companion audio clips from the meeting, I have them below

Committee comments #1
Committee comments #2
What about the kids?
Tom Wilkens comments

As always, if you wish to subscribe to the newsletter and receive in your inbox send a request to

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Filed under Audio clips, Brian Nelson, Its Your Town, Martin Luther King Jr., Middletown Arts Center, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, Swim Club, Tony Fiore

Martin Luther King and Middletown Human Rights

It is sad that at a time when we are remembering the civil rights efforts of Martin Luther King the Middletown Township Committee has taken steps to dissolving the Middletown Human Rights Commission (MHRC).

At the 2012 reorganization meeting the Middletown township committee added no members to the MHRC, which had only six members of a required eleven. Instead, the committee actually removed two, leaving only four!

Mayor Fiore commented that there are vacancies because he knows of no one interested in MHRC appointment. That is untrue; I know of at least one man, Jim, who applied a year ago and never had any response. He assumes that they checked his voter registration and threw out his application when they saw he was a Democrat. A former MHRC member commented two years ago, as a reason for not seeking reappointment, “There have been township people who have expressed interest in joining the MHRC and who many months ago have even submitted to the Township Committee a form expressing their interest. Yet the Township Committee still has not done anything to fill any of the many vacancies.”

Almost none of our members were appointed because they had specifically applied for the MHRC. They were put on as neighbors of a mayor or from a general talent bank application. Often they did not even know what the MHRC was about when they came to us as new appointees.

The mayor’s comment that many people have left MHRC is also not true. In 2011 just one member left, due to serious family illness and another in December 2009 out of frustration with the township committee, In a letter to them he noted, “The MHRC is the oldest human rights commission in the state of NJ. If done properly, it can have a significant positive impact on the quality of life in Middletown, yet because of the attitude and inaction of the Township Committee, I feel that I have been wasting my time being a member of the MHRC. The Middletown Township Committee doesn’t seem to care about the existence of the MHRC.”

Dr. King said, “Darkness cannot drive our darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Carolyn Schwebel
Ex-chair, MHRC

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Filed under Carolyn Schwebel, Martin Luther King Jr., Middletown Human Rights Commission

Rush Holt: Libraries Offer 21st Century Skills

The following is from Congressman Rush Holt’s Newsletter

Yesterday, I joined the nation’s top library official, Susan Hildreth of the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to visit public and school libraries in Monroe, East Brunswick, and Princeton.

America’s libraries are more widely used today than at any other point in history, with more than three quarters of Americans having visited a library in the last year. Yet these are trying times for libraries.

Even as libraries have lost funding from towns, counties, and states, they have experienced a surge in demand due to the millions of Americans looking for jobs and finding them using library services. In fact, an IMLS survey found that 30 million Americans used a library to address career and employment needs in 2009. The demand is not just for computers, but also for qualified librarians who can offer guidance on how to set-up an e-mail account, use resume formats, and file an online job application or unemployment claim.

As Director Hildreth and I saw in our visits, New Jersey libraries are working hard. In Congress I have introduced the Workforce Investments through Local Libraries (WILL) Act to integrate libraries into our job training efforts. My bill has been endorsed by the American Library Association, and I am very hopeful that it will be passed into law as Congress works to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act later this year.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

At a time when inequality runs rampant and when so many across America are seeking work, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of equality, social justice, and economic opportunity resonates still after half a century. As Dr. King said in 1961:

“I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream—a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality. That is the dream.”

Earned Income Tax Credit Offers Support to Working Families

One of America’s most important anti-poverty programs is also among the least recognized: the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. In 2010 alone, the EITC lifted 5.4 million people, including 3 million children, above the poverty line.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit – that is, when the size of the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, a taxpayer receives the excess as a refund. It originated in the 1970s as a compromise between Democrats and Republicans who had differing views about the best way to fight poverty. Democrats had long supported lifting families out of poverty through the enactment of a strong minimum wage; Republicans had long argued that a high minimum wage would lead employers to hire fewer people.

The EITC provided financial support to working families, as Democrats desired, while avoiding any wage distortions in the labor market that Republicans feared. Presidents from both political parties have embraced and expanded the EITC for more than three decades.

Yet this tradition of bipartisan support has fractured in recent years. Republicans have increasingly attacked as “lucky duckies” the low-income families whose tax burdens are greatly reduced or eliminated by the EITC. Meanwhile, as the minimum wage has stagnated and our economy has faltered, the EITC has been forced to bear more and more of the burden of combating poverty – yet its increased importance has not been matched by increases in the tax credit’s size. Congress and the states should do more to support working families.

The IRS offers further details about the EITC, and a tool to help determine whether you are eligible, on its website.


Rush Holt
Member of Congress

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Filed under Congressman Rush Holt, Earned Income Tax Credit, Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Martin Luther King Jr., Newsletter, Workforce Investments through Local Libraries (WILL) Act

Mtown News Flash 1-13-12

Municipal Offices Closed Mon, January 16
Municipal offices are closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Traffic Advisory – Middletown Lincroft Road Closure Jan 18-19
Middletown-Lincroft Rd will be closed between Sunnyside Rd. and West Front St. on Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Follow posted detour or plan alternate route.
Free Rabies Clinic for Dogs
Saturday, January 21

The Middletown Health Department will hold a free rabies clinic for dogs on Saturday, January 21st at the Belford Engine Fire Company located at 739 Main St., Belford, NJ 07718. The clinic will run from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. All dog licenses must be renewed by January 31, 2012 as late fees start as of February 1st. Residents can obtain a license during the clinic if they have not done so yet. For more information, please contact Animal Control at 732-615-2097.
Police Report Armed Robbery at Quick Stop Convenience Store
On January 12, 2012 at approximately 10:00pm police responded to an armed robbery at the Quick Stop Convenience Store located at #58 Leonard Avenue in the Leonardo section of Middletown. Police say a male subject approximately 6’00 tall, 175 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, a black mask and blue surgical gloves entered the store and approached the cashier. The suspect pulled a knife out of his clothing and demanded money. The suspect then fled the store and was last seen running towards Kunkel Park and the Henry Hudson Trail. Police request anyone with information contact the Middletown Police Department at (732) 615-2100 or Detective Laurence Schachtel at (732) 615-2062.
Christmas Tree Collection Continues
Residents with private garbage collection: Click here for schedule.
Residents within the garbage district: Put trees curbside the second day of any collection week.
Residents can also bring trees to the Recycling Center, 52 Kanes Lane, free of charge. Call Recycling at 732-615-2008 for more information.
Seasonal Job Expo Coming Feb 4
Middletown’s 2012 Seasonal Job Expo will be held on Saturday, Feb 4th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo, NJ 07737. The township is seeking summer recreation supervisors, counselors and leaders, lifeguards, camp counselors, sports camp instructors and park maintenance workers. Seasonal employees must be 16 years old for recreation programs and 18 years old for Public Works and Park Maintenance positions. Employment runs from May through September and varies depending on the seasonal program. The salary range is $7.25 to $15 per hour depending on the position and experience. Call 732-615-2260 for more information. Download application
Winter Recreation
Poricy Park January & February Camps and Programs
Middletown Arts Center Winter Classes and Programs
Middletown Senior Center
Special Events

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Filed under holiday closing, Martin Luther King Jr., Middletown NJ, newsflash, rabies clinic, recycling and garbage

>NJPP Monday Minute 1/17/11: To make real the promises of democracy…

Today, the nation pauses to honor the life and work of a true American hero, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Because Dr. King practiced the non-violence that he preached when he protested poverty and injustice, his ideas carry a special resonance for many of us today. We will hear Dr. King’s best-known line, “I have a dream” many times today, and we will gladly rejoice in those words and be uplifted by their aspiration.

We at NJPP would like to invite you to be inspired even further by spending 15 minutes listening to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in its entirety, as it was delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. more than 47 years ago.

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Filed under equal rights, I have a dream, Martin Luther King Jr., Monday Minute, n, New Jersey Policy Perspective, Washington DC

>APP Editorial: Beck’s rally not about honor

>The following editorial is from today’s edition of the Asbury Park Press. A simple Amen is all that needs to be said.

It’s hard to guess exactly what Glenn Beck is thinking today in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, on the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech.

Is his “Restoration of Honor” rally a way to honor America’s military, or is it rather, as Beck originally put it, a matter of “reclaiming the civil rights movement” — which begs the question: From whom does he intend to take it back, and whom would he like to see get it?

There is no shortage of angry, doughy, white guys in this country who feel shortchanged and cheated and, rather than looking in the mirror, prefer to blame every failure and setback in their lives on those with more melanin than their own pasty selves.

Beck may be a fool — a man who believes that President Barack Obama has a deep-seated hatred of white people, a man who, 30 years late, hears Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and can’t tell the difference between a patriotic protest song and anti-American propaganda, a man who never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like — but he’s not stupid. He’s got red meat to hand out to the crowds.

But most Americans know he’s a clown. What Beck carries in his heart is no dream. It’s a nightmare.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Glenn Beck, Linclon Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr., Washington DC

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Where is America’s voice?

RiseUp Founder & Publisher: Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D. has another poignant and thoughtful publisher’s note in this weeks edition of her publication.

For the 45 anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech she asks “Where is Americas’ Voice?”.

Hopefully last night’s speech by Barack Obama may have answered her question.

” Where is America’s voice? At critical points in the history of this country, it has, more often than not been resoundingly clear. But, today, it is garbled at best.

While one or more leaders may help define America’s voice, clarify it, and epitomize it with their actions, the voice itself goes beyond a personality or the vocalization of precepts and principles and specific initiatives. The presence and power of America’s voice characterizes ages, codifies eras, creates the culture, and more often than not, foretells the nature of a future society.

We have only to recall a few critical periods in America’s history and the personalities that led us through them—from the Declaration of Independence to the end of the Cold War — to be poignantly, and sometimes painfully, reminded of the great void that exists today.

Where is America’s voice? And if you are able to hear some muffled musings, what is it saying? Are you clear about where we are headed domestically or globally?

Through the work and words of the founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution — John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others — America gained its voice and its course through the end of the eighteenth century was clear.

Throughout the nineteenth century, America’s voice defined the periods from the establishment of the institution of slavery to the Civil War that ended it; the Jim Crow era that began after that war and lingered into the twentieth century until the Civil Rights Movement that fought to end it.

During these various and disparate epoch-making times America’s voice was — for better or worse — represented by Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Strom Thurmond, Lester Maddox, George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., among others.

In between those times, World War I was fought to make the world safe for democracy. That was followed by what has been dubbed as the Gilded Age where the rich got richer, the poor poorer. America roared in the twenties, crashed economically in the early thirties, and joined the world to defeat fascism in the forties. And we lived and breathed the Cold War and its remnants for the next nearly fifty years.

We all know these seminal historical events and the leaders that brought us through them: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

During any of these periods, America’s voice was very discernible if not always strong. The times seem more definable, the voice clearer, even while we lived them.

Where is America’s voice today? Where are the political and philosophical giants that represent us?

With the current war on terrorism, one might say that America’s voice is still one that proclaims democracy and individual freedom as paramount at home and abroad. But that voice seems muffled by all the static and noise that has emerged around the reasons for the preemptive strike against Iraq.

Where is America’s voice? What is it saying to us here at home? What is the message conveyed abroad?

As Dr. King stepped to the podium to give his “I Have a Dream” speech, he was introduced to the crowd gathered along the reflecting pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial as the “moral leader” of our nation. After the speech, commentators called him the “voice of America’s conscience.” He was for that seminal period in America’s history.

There is no one leader — no one person — that today can be called the voice of America’s conscience.

More importantly, who are the leaders that will help America find its voice? It is not just left to the historians. We can shape it if we dare. Or we can sit idly by, and watch as we stumble into the future.”

 To check out this past weeks edition of RiseUp magazine and read the feature article about Martin Luther King Jr., click on the headline

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Filed under Barack Obama, Janice S. Ellis, Martin Luther King Jr., RiseUp magazine