#b#Support Free Speech#/b#

Sony Pictures opened the controversial comedy “The Interview” on 200 to 300 independent screens on Christmas Day. This came after an open letter to Sony from Art House Convergence Director Russ Collins and a petition signed by more than 500 independent and art house theaters calling for the release of the film.

Renew Theaters [which operates the Garden Theater on Nassau Street in Princeton] signed this petition and supports the showing of the film. While we did not open the film on Christmas Day, we stand in strong support of those theaters that did. We also are planning special one-night screenings of “The Interview” in January.

Here is a section of the petition presented to Sony showing the support of civil liberties:

“We stand in solidarity with Sony and offer our support to them in defense of artistic integrity and personal freedoms; freedoms which represent our nation’s great ability to effect change and embrace diversity of opinion.

“We understand there are risks involved in screening ‘The Interview.’ We will communicate these risks as clearly as we can to our employees and customers and allow them to make their own decisions, as is the right of every American. Understanding those risks, the undersigned, independent cinema owners and operators of America under the banner of the Art House Convergence, do hereby agree to support Sony and to support theatrical engagements of ‘The Interview.’

John Toner

Executive Director

#b#Grateful for ABLE#/b#

When your child or loved one has an intellectual or developmental disability, you spend a lot of time worrying about the future. That is why I was very grateful that Congress passed and the President recently signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act also known as the ABLE Act. This legislation will allow individuals and families to save for long-term needs without jeopardizing an individual’s eligibility for critical federal entitlement programs like Medicaid. ABLE accounts will be set up similarly to 529 accounts that many families use to save for a child’s college education. The tax-advantaged savings accounts made possible by the ABLE Act can be used to pay toward a variety of needs including transportation, housing, employment support and assistive technology.

My daughter Annika, who has developmental disabilities, is a pre-teen now, but before I turn around she will be an adult. It gives me peace of mind to know that in the near future ABLE accounts will be among the planning tools and resources at my disposal for Annika’s future.

As board president for the Arc of New Jersey, I know many other excited families who are eager to utilize these accounts. A lot of hard work over the course of many years went into making the ABLE Act a reality. I want to thank the members of the New Jersey congressional delegation who sponsored and supported the bill and President Obama for signing it.

Robert Hage


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