Other NJ News

Rep. Lance Answers Questions on Trump's Border Wall, Education and the Free Press

07302822c0eb96dd8aa4_lance_for_fri.jpg
Rep. Leonard Lance speaking this week at his Town Hall at Raritan Valley Community College this week. Credits: Curtis Leeds
07302822c0eb96dd8aa4_lance_for_fri.jpg

Editor’s note: This is the third in our series reporting on Rep. Leonard Lance’s Town Hall, which he held Wednesday evening at Raritan Valley Community College. The first installment reported on the protestors outside of the Town Hall, and Lance’s responses to questions about the Affordable Care Act and funding Planned Parenthood. The second installment covered the issues of Russia, possible impeachment and the environment.

BRANCHBURG, NJ – The crowd at Lance’s Town hall gathering at RVCC this week asked questions on a broad array of topics with implications internationally, nationally and locally. Questioners were selected by lottery and Lance stated that he had not seen any of the questions in advance of the program.

One questioner asked if Lance would sign a bill that would allocate funds for Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, regardless of who might reimburse the cost later.

Sign Up for E-News

“I have toured the southern border. I’ve been south of San Diego, south of Tucson Arizona ... and the Rio Grande Valley,” Lance answered.

“I do not believe it is necessary to have a wall ... based upon my having been there. I do think we should beef up security and that may mean a better wall or a better fence in certain” areas.

“I do not believe a wall (is needed) throughout the whole southern border, particularly in Arizona,” he stated. “The terrain there is incredibly rough.

“Regarding the payment, I think $20 billion is far too much ... and I would like to see a concrete proposal precisely where the administration believes the border needs to be secured better and a concrete proposal on its funding.”

Ginny MacGonagle of Bethlehem Township asked about Lance’s observations that Trump’s travel ban was “rushed and poorly implemented” and his statement that “it’s Congress’ role to amend our immigration laws,” which she said suggested that “the President may have overstepped his power.

“Will you publically condemn the President’s discriminatory travel ban?” MacGonagle asked, “and promise that you will not do the President’s bidding by passing any legislation that discriminates who can and cannot come into our country based on religion or country of origin?”

“I was the first Republican in New Jersey to criticize the initial executive order,” Lance answered about Trump's travel ban. “I certainly don’t think it should have applied to green card holders and certainly we should permit into this country brave residents of Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries who have served as translators and interpreters for our forces.”

Lance said he hopes Trump’s revised executive order “will be much more narrowly tailored and if I don’t like all of its provisions I will certainly say so ... I favor letting refugees into this country so long as they are fully vetted.”

Lambertville resident Kelly Kappler, a “proud product of the Montgomery school district,” said she came from a long line of teachers.

“My grandmother was a first generation American and a science teacher,” Kappler told the Congressman. Her mother and two aunts are also educators, she said.

“The Choices in Education Act, HR610, which is currently in committee, would change federal education funding,” Kappler told Lance. The act would distribute block grants to states and allow them to “distribute a portion of the funds to parents who enroll their children in private schools or home school their children," she said.

That would funnel “money away from already strapped public school systems,” Kappler said, to other schools “not held to the same level of accountability,” and she wanted to know how Lance might vote on that measure.

Lance, a Clinton Township resident, said he is a “proud graduate of the public schools in New Jersey.” He noted his graduation from the now-defunct Glen Gardner grade school. Lance recalled that the Glen Gardner school had “one teacher for kindergarten and first grade, another teacher for second and third grade, another for fourth and fifth, another for sixth and seventh and the principal taught eighth.”

“And I’m a proud graduate of North Hunterdon Regional High School,” Lance said. “I am a proud supporter of the public schools.”

Lance said he wasn’t familiar with the bill Kappler referenced, “However, I do not favor significant  funneling of money away from the public schools.”

Lance noted he was “honored” to have been endorsed by the state teachers union before the fall election.

“I fought for teachers when I was in the state legislature,” he said, “including protecting pensions for public employees.” He said he would continue to work for teacher organizations in the state and the NEA in Washington.

“I hope we that can continue to have strong public schools, as one of the bulwarks of our democracy,” Lance told Kappler.

Annette Cordasco-Longo of Bridgewater was the last questioner of the evening. She told Lance that Trump denigrated the country, its intelligence agencies and its free press during the campaign.

“I am troubled to hear the president of our country say complete falsehoods and accuse the free press of ‘fake news’ ... I haven’t seen the Republicans push back against this behavior,” Cordasco-Longo said.

She asked how Lance would mobilize Republicans to push back against Trump’s statements.

“I favor a free and unfettered press,” answered Lance. He promised he’d speak what he believes to be the truth “when the President misstates.”

“The Republicans need to push back when he is not honest,” Cordasco-Longo answered, which prompted the crowd to chant, “Push back, push back.”

Lance promised to state his point of view when he disagrees with the President, and promised to continue the dialogue with his constituents.

Because of the interest in Wednesday's Town Hall, Lance added a second event. That will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, also in RVCC’s Nash Theater.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Honoring Sacrifice and Service on Memorial Day

May 25, 2018

On Monday, May 28, 2018, our Nation celebrates our most solemn event, Memorial Day.  In Berkeley Heights tradition, we will honor those who sacrificed themselves so that we may continue to live in the greatest country on earth.  I invite all residents to join us for the parade festivities and, most importantly, gather at our Veteran’s Park for a brief ceremony.

America has ...

Logic and Sensible Spending Take Priority

Logic.  It's what people use when endeavoring to complete things in the most sensible order.  Everyone knows that "logic" means sequencing events in a formulaic, predictable manner.  We learned this at a young age, as we observed Star Trek on TV and came to understand why Captain James T. Kirk relied on Spock as his first officer because his strategic plans were ...

I will draw on my experience to deliver a great future for Berkeley Heights

I am impressed with the day-to-day leadership of our Mayor and Town Council and I hope to help them continue to do great work. As I have been doing my research since deciding to run for a seat on our Town Council, I have learned a few things about all the work that has been happening in recent years.  For example, while plans for the Stratton House development were recently announced, our ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Union County College President Received Prestigious Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

May 26, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin was one of 35 college presidents from throughout the nation to receive a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during PTK Catalyst 2018, the Society’s annual convention, in Kansas City, Missouri, held from April 19-21.

The award honors college presidents who have demonstrated ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

The New Providence 2018 Memorial Day Parade Begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 28

The Borough of New Providence and American Legion Post #433 invite all to attend this year’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, 2018.   The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine, at Springfield and Central avenues. Post 433 and the New Providence Community Activities Department have co-sponsored the town’s Memorial Day Parade for more than 65 years. The parade, ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Cycling Champ Laura Van Gilder Returns to Somerville Memorial Day to Defend Race Title

May 26, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Laura Van Gilder, 54-year-old cycling champion from Cresco, Pa., will return to defend her title at the 75th annual Tour of Somerville on Memorial Day, attempting an unprecedented fifth win in the 25-mile women's race, just one of several races that begin at 10:30 a.m..

The Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, often referred to as the Kentucky Derby of ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_69a5db118db45d8f5de0_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

Carousel_image_c9562615f730fddb6122_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_9eff927f48bc74910214_committee

Fri, June 1, 6:00 PM

Senior Center of the Chathams, , Chatham Township

Senior Center of the Chathams Glorious Garden ...

Food & Drink Home & Garden

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...