Police officer never

hesitated at fire

We would like to thank Manalapan Police Officer Margaret Free-man for her quick response in extinguishing a dryer fire at our home. She was first on the scene and did not hesitate to enter the smoky basement and extinguish the fire. Without her quick response our home could have suffered more smoke damage. Thank you.

The Silvia family

Manalapan

Voters should say yes

to Marlboro school plan

O

n March 14, Marlboro residents should vote to approve the Board of Education’s plan to build an early childhood learning center and a second middle school.

Nobody, not even those who oppose the board’s plan, denies the fact that Marlboro’s K-8 school district is undergoing a significant increase in enrollment that experts project will continue in the next several years.

With portable classrooms already in use at all of the district’s elementary schools, it is obvious there is not enough room in the current facilities to educate all of Marlboro’s youngsters comfortably. If there were enough room, there wouldn’t be a need for trailers because no educator would choose to use such a facility if he didn’t have to.

The board’s plan to build two schools addresses several issues.

One, the middle school proposed for Nolan Road will give Marlboro a school in the northern section of the community. A significant amount of construction has occurred in this area in the past several years. With the construction of this school, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will be able to attend a school closer to their homes.

The construction of a second middle school will allow administrators to move sixth-graders out of the elementary schools, freeing some classroom space in those buildings.

In conjunction with the board’s proposal to build an early childhood learning center at Har-bor and Tennent roads, kindergartners will be removed from the elementary schools, thereby freeing additional space for first- through fifth-grade classes.

At $42 million, the construction will not be inexpensive. The board estimates that the owner of a home assessed at $250,000 will pay between $280 and $299 annually, probably for a period of 20 years, until the bonds are paid off.

That figure does not include the school district’s operating budget, which is also likely to in-crease on an annual basis.

Given New Jersey’s reliance on property taxes to fund the operation of our schools and the construction of new facilities, this is the system under which the Marlboro board must operate.

Support for food drive appreciated

A

s part of the Scouting for Food program sponsored by the Monmouth Council of Boy Scouts of America, Troop 258 of Howell collected more than 3,200 pounds of food for distribution through the township’s Youth and Family Services programs.

The troop collected enough canned and dried goods to supply 60 holiday baskets to deserving families. The troop also donated a gift certificate for the purchase of a holiday turkey with each basket.

The Scouting for Food program is important to the Scouts of Troop 258 because it is one way in which each Scout can pay back in a small way the community in which they live. It gives each Scout, no matter how old, time to understand that there are people in their own community who are less fortunate than themselves. It drives home the principle of Scouting’s "Do a Good Turn," and that it should be a way of life.

Troop 258’s involvement in the Scouting for Food program usually begins three weeks prior to Thanksgiving. The troop committee decides which housing developments will be asked for donations. Maps of each of the developments are broken down into sections of 20 homes. Each Scout is then assigned a particular section and given the donation bags and letters for distribution to the different homes.

This year we were able to distribute more than 1,600 donation bags. After the food bags are collected, they are brought to a central location and separated into food categories. The baskets are then made up at the next regular weekly troop meeting and turned over to the township’s services departments the next day.

The troop is fortunate in that it receives a generous monetary and material donation for the purchase of the gift certificates from its charter sponsor, Bilkays Trucking. All remaining money needed to purchase the gift certificates is taken from the troop treasury.

As Scoutmaster of Troop 258 and on behalf of the troop committee, Scouts, and Scout families, we wish to express our thanks to the communities of Howell — and especially to those families who called to help without solicitation — for their donations and assistance.

William Sanner

Scoutmaster, Troop 258

Howell