#b#The Exotic Bells#/b#

Dan Aubrey’s June 29 piece on the carillon at the Princeton University Graduate College brought back memories of when I was working part-time with Arthur Bigelow, who was the carilloneur for quite a few years after World War II.

Officially Arthur was assistant professor of graphics and university bellmaster. He played the carillon only on weekends and for special occasions. I was working part time during the mid-1950s as an instructor of engineering drawing and reported to him.

He was a very interesting guy and very serious about the bells. He took me up the tower once but didn’t let me touch anything. The mechanical system for striking the bells was amazing, especially the way you used your hands. Aubrey’s story is a wonderful explanation of one of the university’s most exotic features.

Dick Snedeker

#b#Fund Transportation#/b#

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is pleased that the bill passed by the State Assembly on June 27 replenishes the Transportation Trust Fund.

It is imperative that we begin to invest in the repair and upgrades of our roads, bridges, tunnels, and other infrastructure as soon as possible. This is critical to our state’s economic health and to the safety of the thousands of drivers who use this infrastructure every day.

While the Chamber is always supportive of tax relief, which the Assembly bill provides with the reduction in the state sales tax and the retention of the retirement income exemption, these alone do not go far enough in helping revitalize New Jersey’s economy and making our state more competitive and affordable.

We strongly believe a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform New Jersey’s economy will be missed if the state Legislature does not enact the meaningful tax reform that was incorporated in the original omnibus bill.

Eliminating the estate tax, increasing the earned income tax credit, and restoring charitable allowance deductions, along with an increase in the retirement income exemption, should be enacted now. These reforms will allow New Jersey to more effectively retain and attract new business, new investment, and new jobs. The result will be more opportunity and an improved quality of life for everyone in our state.

Thomas Bracken

President and CEO, NJ Chamber of Commerce

#b#Tourism for Roads#/b#

The New Jersey Tourism Industry Association understands the urgent necessity of funding the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund. New Jersey’s tourism industry is dependent on roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure to secure the safe travel of our visitors.

We advocate for the elimination of the estate tax as our industry is comprised of many small, family owned and operated businesses who continue to invest in their businesses for the benefit of future generations. NJTIA urges our elected officials to pass legislation that funds the TTF and protects the fund from being used for any purpose other than transportation and infrastructure needs.

NJTIA is concerned that the proposed increase in gas tax will be detrimental to the tourism industry by causing visitors to choose to vacation elsewhere and increasing supply costs for many tourism businesses. For this reason, we believe that additional funding to promote the New Jersey tourism industry is necessary. NJTIA strongly believes that any legislation regarding the TTF protect funding for tourism within the hotel/motel occupancy tax.

NJTIA also requests that legislature consider balancing the outcomes of this legislation with additional funds from the existing hotel/motel Occupancy tax for the purpose of promoting tourism.

Vicki Clark

President, New Jersey Tourism Industry Association


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