For about 100 writers and poets the hard work is over — they have written their short stories, composed their poems, and submitted them for consideration in U.S. 1’s Summer Fiction issue, coming out on Wednesday, July 27.

For a handful of us at U.S. 1, that means the fun begins — reading all the submissions, looking for themes that might link them to others, and generally trying to squeeze as many as we can into that single publication.

For all the fun or work, we don’t often stop to think about the value of this annual event. One of our past contributors, who had work published in 2013 and 2014 (but not last year) submitted another short story this year. Along with it she made this observation:

“I am thankful for the opportunity offered by U.S. 1 to do this. The Summer Fiction initiative does wonders for our community of Princeton writers. I say this every time I submit something to the Summer Fiction issue, but it is really remarkable what a difference this makes.

“For the rest of the summer, writers stop one another in the street, and more than once have I found myself at Small World in deep conversation with a fellow writer whose name I did not know before reading the Summer Fiction issue. The Summer Fiction issue really helps make this community of writers a more tightly knit group — precisely the kind of initiative that makes for stronger writing.”

#b#To the Editor: Protecting Seniors#/b

Thank you Governor Christie and members of the legislature for signing Bill S157 to create the New Jersey Task Force on Abuse Against the Elderly and Disabled. The impact of abusive practices is financially and emotionally devastating. There is also a tremendous burden on the judicial and social services systems to rectify the injustices from such crimes although vast numbers of such crimes go unprosecuted. AARP concurs that the resources and experiences of a multi-disciplinary task force could develop policy proposals to save lives and livelihoods.

Bipartisan policy-making task forces are a proven strategy for the successful development of useful laws and regulations. This approach was successful in initiatives related to developing effective legislation regarding powers of attorney and guardianship jurisdiction. Unbiased, informed stakeholders provide valuable insights that can produce realistic, actionable policy proposals. This new law provides an opportunity to develop the measures we need; to strengthen the investigation and enforcement capabilities of the Office of Adult Protective Services; to alert financial institutions’ investigative agencies; to shine a light on potential instances of abuse and neglect based on warning signs; and to develop stricter safeguards that prevent family members and caretakers from exploiting elders.

AARP New Jersey looks forward to participating in this task force.

Dave Mollen

State President, AARP New Jersey

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