#b#U.S. 1 Unfair to GOP#/b#

I was disturbed about the way your paper characterized GOP candidate for governor, Kim Guadagno, in your July 5 Between the Lines section. It was an attempt to classify the actions of Guadagno as similar to those of Governor Christie, with his many noted acts of bad behavior and harassment. You use as your sources a reader from Kingston and the current U.S. 1 arts editor.

Hopefully you will begin to fairly critique the Democratic candidate for governor Phil Murphy, as well. Murphy worked in executive positions for much of his 23 years at Goldman Sachs. Perhaps no other Wall Street firm epitomizes the kind of ruthless capitalism that Democrats in New Jersey and around the country have objected to for the last several decades. Yet, like Jon Corzine before him, Murphy is able to spread around that massive wealth that he has amassed at Goldman Sachs to obtain a large following of Democratic leaders in New Jersey and the liberal leaning media.

Murphy joined the Goldman Sachs management committee in 1999, which was responsible for the de-construction of Montana Power, an electric utility company that was coaxed by Goldman Sachs to turn into a brand new company prior to the dot.com crash in early 2000. This story ran on 60 minutes. Your readers should google “ Who killed Montana Power’’ for an eye opening account of the damage done by Goldman Sachs. Also, it is well documented that Goldman Sachs had an important role in the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, a crisis in which hundreds of millions of Americans lost billions of dollars in the stock and bond markets. Readers should read the Michael Lewis book “The Big Short” to get an accurate description of their culpability in the crisis.

Ira L. Marks CPA, CFP

Lawrenceville

Editor’s Note: The July 5 item in U.S. 1 referred to an article by Dan Aubrey in the January 15, 2014, issue titled “Defending the Arts Amid a Culture of Fear.”

#b#Summer Is for Fun, But Also For Learning#/b#

July 13 was National Summer Learning Day, sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to raise awareness about the importance of summer learning experiences. The NSLA notes that summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer, is “one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate.”

Many of us with sufficient means prevent summer learning loss in various ways: we enroll our children in summer enrichment programs or camps, take them on trips to new places where they learn history, geography, civics, and supervise their school-assigned summer reading. Unfortunately, many young people lack these options. Economic inequality, communities with limited resources, parents who work multiple jobs to make ends meet with little free time – these are just a few of the reasons that low-income young people do not enjoy the same opportunities.

At the Princeton-Blairstown Center, we are working with young people to combat summer learning loss. Each summer 500 students, primarily from Trenton and Newark, come to our 264-acre campus in Blairstown for our free, week-long Summer Bridge Program. They spend three hours a day engaged in hands-on literacy; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and project-based learning; an hour and a half in waterfront activities; and three hours a day working on their social-emotional skills through ropes and challenge course activities that focus on leadership, team-building, communication, and problem-solving skills.

To ensure that the learning continues back home, each student is sent home with a book of his or her choice from titles such as The Boy in the Black Suit, Bird, Seedfolks, The Lion Who Stole My Arm, The Color of My Words, Return to Sender, Thaw, Do Not Pass Go, Tall Story, and many more. Research indicates that the best predictor of summer loss or gain is if a child reads during the summer. Additionally, public library use among low-income children drops off when a library is more than six blocks from their home, compared with more than two miles for middle-class children. Most of the young people we serve in Trenton and Newark live more than six blocks from a library.

All young people deserve opportunities for enriching and stimulating summer experiences so that they start the school year ready to learn and compete on an even playing field. I urge everyone in our community to support evidenced-based, high-quality summer programs like ours that help to reduce summer learning loss. Our children’s futures depend on it.

Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D.

Board Chair, Princeton-Blairstown Center

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