Be aware of signs of teen drug abuse

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arch 19-25 is National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week. Some common household products can be very dangerous to your child’s health and well-being. Please take time to look around your home to make sure that your children don’t have access to poisonous products.

Inhalants are products such as glue, paint, and correction fluid; and can be used by adolescents to get high. Inhalants are the third most abused substances used by 14-year-olds. The other substances are alcohol and tobacco. Abuse can cause brain damage, damage to vital organs, and tragically, death. Some of the warning signs are: chemical breath; a drunken, dazed appearance, nausea; sores around the mouth; loss of appetite; anxiety or irritability; paint or stains on the body or clothing; and red, runny eyes and nose. Chronic users are anxious, easily excited, irritable, and restless. Symptoms of withdrawal are: hand tremors, headaches, nervousness, and sweating.

Parents, please help get the word out to other parents and kids, that poisons and inhalants are dangerous. If you have any questions about inhalant abuse, please call the Drug Alliance at (732) 530-2781.

John C. Austin

Director

Red Bank Alliance for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Place to skate is in everyone’s interest

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am the very proud mother of one of the skateboarders pictured in your recent feature articles about the proposed ban in Red Bank. Please allow an indulgent moment to describe this fine young man.

He is a sophomore at Red Bank Regional High School and has been on the honor roll for the last 11 years. He holds a job where he is respected by his employers and well-liked by their customers. Half his earnings are spent in the businesses of our great town.

He and his friends are polite, well-mannered and respectable citizens. Their hair may be a strange color and their clothes may look odd; however, my parents felt the same about me. Most kids their age do think they own the world, and yet these kids have a healthy tolerance and understanding for all the differences in our society.

I support my son’s dream of becoming a professional skateboarder with a chance to travel and experience the thrill of competition. Let’s allow these kids to practice their chosen sport without harassment and fear.

Respect for private property in our town is crucial (my son has come to realize this) in keeping it such a great place to live, work and play. Providing our kids with a place to skate is in everyone’s interest.

Jane Gerstler

Red Bank

Diallo verdict an American disgrace

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sat in the car, shocked but not surprised, after hearing that the four white police officers who fired 41 bullets at Amadou Diallo were acquitted. This verdict is a travesty, as have been so many others. It brings shame on the New York City police force and the American legal system.

This case is about nothing, if not about race and class. When Amadou Diallo fell in a hail of police bullets, with him died the last illusion of justice, and what may well be the last hope for racial reconciliation in this country.

What began as a personal tragedy for the Diallo family has now become a tragedy of enormous proportions, and a national disgrace.

Margaret Rice Moir

Fair Haven

Thanks for having a heart to help kids

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letter of thanks to all at The Hub who helped promote our "Have a Heart for Red Bank Kids," a reception and art auction held on Feb. 13 at the Chetkin Gallery in Red Bank to assist the Red Bank Education Foundation in the purchase of lab equipment for the Red Bank Middle School. All those who either donated artwork or other services, plus all those who either attended or sent donations, played a vital part in the success of the event, and we thank you and your staff for promoting our endeavors.

Lee P. Klem

Member of the board

Red Bank Education

Foundation

Thanks, say Red Bank soccer mom (and dad)

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e would like to send a big thank you to all of the soccer coaches that helped make the Red Bank Recreation indoor soccer program a success. Our children really enjoyed the program!

A special thank you to Dave Callahan who made sure "Soccer Sundays" ran smoothly, and for the countless hours he spent at the Middle School gym!

The Tomaino Family

Red Bank

Skaters are a part of streetscape

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would first like to thank and applaud The Hub for its view on the proposed skateboarding ban in Red Bank. I agree that Red Bank has spent a lot on crafting its image and it should spend a little on its own kids.

I know that a lot of people in the area agree with this view, but don’t want to be seen as rebellious because skateboarding is looked down on by many (who don’t really understand the sport). I spend a lot of time in Red Bank and most of the skateboarders I see have been courteous and often stop when people walk by to avoid hurting anyone. These kids are as much a part of the streetscape of Red Bank as the lovely renovations in the downtown area.

There are many other less prosperous towns in the country which have set up skate parks for their kids. I think that "liability" is just an excuse to avoid dealing with the issue. Why not do a study and see how others have dealt with this?

I agree that safety is important and that kids shouldn’t be skateboarding on private property, but why should they have to leave their town to skate? They are keeping busy, having fun and are close to home. Why wouldn’t we want to invest in an area in town where this can continue?

I have often sat and watched the skateboarders do their tricks and have been extremely impressed by their agility and control. I think that skateboarding should be given the same credence as any other mainstream sport.

When I think about Red Bank being called the "hippest town" in New Jersey, I always think that, in part, it is because Red Bank has allowed its community to express its creativity in innovative and alternative ways. That is what makes it hip, not just the antique stores, Victorian lighting or chic holiday decorations.

I think the skateboarding kids are symbolic of what makes Red Bank hip. Outlawing them without some other accommodation makes me think that Red Bank has swallowed its own hype and has lost its sense of purpose. Borough families, many of whom have kids who skateboard, have helped to create and maintain your image, Red Bank. You, the town, should feel obligated to spend a little to cater to them and their kids.

Vera Sansone

Fair Haven

Let us hear from you. . .

If you have something to say, The Hub wants to hear from you.

Whether it be in response to something you read in The Hub or an issue that concerns you, send us a letter for publication.

Letters to the editor will be published weekly on the editorial page. All letters should be typed or neatly printed and must include a daytime telephone number, at which the writer may be reached for verification. Letters should be as concise as possible.

The Hub

reserves the right to edit all letters for grammar, spelling, length and questionable content.

Because this is your newspaper, The Hub urges you to get involved. Keep us informed of your feelings and concerns so we can keep you better informed of the events that affect your life.

Letters may be mailed to: Letters to the Editor, The Hub, 80 Broad St., Suite 12, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Letters also may be faxed to (732) 345-7471. E-mail The Hub at hubeditor@gmnews.com. E-mail letters must include phone numbers for confirmation. No anonymous letters will be printed.

Skateboarding — it’s about freedom

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anning skating in Red Bank is yet another example of legislation that turns average citizens into criminals. If skateboarding has become such a pervasive problem in Red Bank, then why not address the problem in terms of loitering.

Skateboarders often spend hours at a particular spot, such as a curb or a step, which challenges their abilities. Such activities should not be considered illegal provided it is public property and it is not presenting a safety hazard to pedestrians. If for any reason such skaters become a problem, they should be treated as loiterers. This leaves the borough streets available to those skaters who have the common sense not to become a nuisance.

Skating is sport, a form of transportation and a social activity, which only requires a skateboard and skill. It requires no lift ticket, monthly fee or license, and thus it is a sport based on freedom. If Red Bank bans skating, it will be yet another piece of legislation that chips away not only at the freedom of skaters but the freedoms on which this country was founded. If we continue to create such ridiculous legislation, we will find ourselves living in a police state.

Kevin Welch

Sea Bright