Letters to the Editor

Highland Park Planet welcomes letters to the editor. We will endeavor to publish all letters but reserve the right to be a responsible gatekeeper and not publish content that we deem inappropriate. We will also limit the number of letters we publish on any one topic. We encourage all letters be brief, to the point, and pertain to a current issue or event. Letters should addressed “To the Editor” and sent to phersh@highlandparkplanet.org. All letters must include the author’s name, his/her contact information, (phone or email belonging to the author, not to a surrogate), as well as an indication of the author’s connection to Highland Park (a resident or an individual with a role in the community, such as a business owner). We do not accept editorials or op-ed columns.

Recent Articles

Council Member Opposes Legalization of Recreational Marijuana, Supports Decriminalization


Letter to the Editor

October 5, 2018

As a member of the Highland Park Borough Council, and as the father of two adolescents, I am concerned about the likely legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey and the possibility of marijuana being sold in Highland Park. I support the bill that State Senator Ron Rice has sponsored that would remove criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana but would not create a system that would legalize marijuana in New Jersey. I understand that the New Jersey State Legislature is considering legalizing marijuana throughout the State with an opt-out provision for municipalities that want to ban marijuana sales. I am currently advocating passage of an ordinance that would prevent businesses in Highland Park from selling marijuana (medicinal and recreational) and marijuana paraphernalia due to the harm posed by marijuana and its active addictive ingredient, Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), and the risks legalization of marijuana poses to adolescents. In an April 2016 article, You Can’t Deny Marijuana Is Dangerous For Developing Minds, Dr. Diane McIntosh, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, explained that marijuana “is not benign and there’s a mountain of scientific evidence, compiled over nearly 30 years, to prove it poses serious risks, particularly for developing brains.” She points out that smoking marijuana produces cancer causing toxins and chronic lung disease, and may lower one’s IQ, cause brain cell damage, mental illness, and motor vehicle accidents. READ MORE

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Cimarusti, Pietrobono, Krieger praised as superb school board choices

To the Editor:

As a parent of two second graders in the Highland Park school district, and as a former education policy researcher, I enthusiastically endorse Darcie Cimarusti, Judy Pietrobono, and Mark Krieger for school board. Darcie Cimarusti is a tireless advocate, not just for Highland Park, but for all public schools across New Jersey. As an education policy professional, Darcie has a tremendous grasp on the big-picture issues affecting the way our children learn in public schools across the state and nation, and she is able to use that perspective and wisdom to provide thoughtful guidance and insight into the way our district functions. We are extremely fortunate to have someone as knowledgeable and committed to public education as Darcie. Judy Pietrobono has a long tradition of public service as a community librarian, while Mark Krieger also brings a wealth of experience as previous chair of the finance committee on the Highland Park Board of Education. READ MORE

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Letters extol compassion and hard work of Diegnan and Karabinchak


Diegnan working for constituents 24/7

Dear Editor:

I am proud to show my support for my friend Patrick Diegnan in his quest to be elected New Jersey State Senator for the 18th Legislative District.  Pat  is a husband, father, grandfather, native son of South Plainfield and born of Irish immigrants. He has lived in our area all his life, working as a small business owner while raising his two daughters with his wife Anita and now being able to enjoy his three granddaughters. I have heard him speak passionately many times about public service. He said that if anyone has a problem they shouldn’t hesitate to call his office and that he and his staff would go out of their way to help. He has always been supportive of any need I have had and helped resolve them quickly. READ MORE

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Councilman praises Asw. Pinkin for her stand on anti-Israel movement

Recently, Governor Christie signed into law a bipartisan bill that prohibits New Jersey state pension and annuity funds from being invested in companies that participate in the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and Israeli businesses. Kudos to 18th District Assembly Member Nancy Pinkin for standing up against baseless anti-Israel discrimination, and being a primary sponsor of this bill in the Assembly. —
Josh Fine
Borough of Highland Park READ MORE

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Former board member endorses Support Our Schools slate

To the Editor:

My name is David Copperman, resident of Highland Park since 1988 and former member of the Highland Park School Board from 2004 to 2010. I am writing to endorse the Highland Park Support Our Schools slate – Rob Magaziner, Sharice Richardson, and Ruth Beyer. They are great supporters of public education, and they recognize the remarkable diversity of our small community (and represent it to a degree themselves) and are motivated to build on it in our schools. Most importantly, I feel that they understand the nature of “school boarding” and will fill the role properly and positively. The board is responsible for open communications between the district and the community, under policies and procedures that are in place for clear guidance. READ MORE

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Attorney responds to Mayor’s letter about the sidewalks

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to the Community:

As the attorney who defeated HP in New Jersey Superior Court sidewalk litigation, I must correct the inaccuracies in the Mayor’s recent open letter. HP clearly lost the suit I brought against them.  The only reason the suit was eventually dismissed– with my consent– is that my clients had won an injunction and had achieved their goals: all summonses were rescinded, the ordinance was amended and the ruthless, mean spirited, unconstitutional issuance of punitive summonses ended.  Many residents have thanked me for defeating a municipal government that bullied blind people, a disabled 87 year old veteran, elderly women and hundreds of others, threatening them with $2,000 fines.   Typically, the “offense” penalized was living near a shade tree that ever-so-slightly raised sidewalk sections. The sidewalk replacement crusade has damaged and removed hundreds of these large shade trees.   Does the Mayor think the town looks better– and is “greener” — without these trees?  Further, numerous large trees whose roots were cut to accommodate sidewalk replacements fell during Sandy.  If additional large trees fall during the next big storm, and land on houses or people instead of power lines, will the Mayor take responsibility?   If the sidewalk replacement crusade was such an enlightened idea, why is HP the only town in NJ–and perhaps in the US–to implement an aggressive, punitive enforcement campaign like HP’s? READ MORE

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Resident supports NJ Sen. Barnes for condemning “BDS” movement

To the Editor of the Highland Park Planet

Senate Joint Resolution 81 (“SJR81”), which 18th District Senator Peter Barnes introduced in the New Jersey State Legislature on June 8, 2015, rightfully condemns the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (“BDS”) movement and its activities as being inherently antithetical and damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East, and for seeking to undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, being fulfilled in the State of Israel. SJR81 also condemns activities that contribute directly or indirectly to the denial, violation, or delegitimizing of any person’s academic freedom, including, but not limited to, promotion of academic boycotts against Israel by the BDS movement.  Further SJR81 provides that New Jersey opposes all forms of racism and hatred, including anti-Semitism, and opposes attempts to deny the legitimacy of Israel as a sovereign state.  Senator Peter Barnes’ condemnation of the BDS movement and increasing incidents of anti-Semitism should be applauded. Josh Fine

Council Member

Borough of Highland Park READ MORE

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