CU Reporter May 2002

Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Wheaton Village Crafts Building, Millville 7:30 p.m.

Guest Speaker: 
Tentatively we are planning to have a presentation on Smart Growth. There will be an e-mail sent to our hotline recipients. If you are not on our e-mail hotline please contact in the subject line write; “add me to CU’s hotline” (or some identifying information so we don’t toss your mail as unknown). Also we will notify the press in an effort to get the word out.

rainbowMarch Meeting – An hour before our March meeting we held a press conference where we presented our position on open space preservation. Four different media representatives covered the meeting and about 60 members attended the event. We have continued to present portions of this stance to Millville City Commission and the County Freeholders. The Freeholders amended their resolution to make it clear that they wish to have a dialogue with non profits and state agencies that protect / preserve open space. Millville City Commission also stated that their main interest is dialogue and planning vs. the moratorium requested in their resolution.

A presentation by guest speaker Ms. Lisa Solberg, Biological Technician, Endangered Species,US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, NJ Field Office was well received by the membership in the second portion of the meeting

South Jersey Cultural Alliance Awards – Citizen United members once again prove their commitment to the region. The Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission honored members Tricia Dufford and Jane Morton Galetto, by selecting them to receive a South Jersey Cultural Alliance Encore Award. The Commission noted: “Thank you for your tireless efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the Maurice River and Cumberland County. Thank you for inspiring our youth to pursue an education in art with the Connie Jost Memorial Scholarship. Thank you for honoring the place we call home in the New Jersey Network documentary Bayshore Artists – Celebrating Our Sense of Place.”

Also honored by the South Jersey Cultural Alliance were members Laura Johnson for her extensive work with the Bayshore Discovery Project and Congressman Frank LoBiondo for his contributions to the arts. Frank’s award was a Standing Ovation Award which is one of two leadership awards given at the ceremony, and he was selected for his strong commitment to the cultural heritage of Southern New Jersey. He was also cited for a number of projects in which he collaborated with CU.

Millville’s Mayor Jim Quinn received an award for his work with the Levoy Theater, a project that reflects the need to revitalize downtown areas. Congratulations to all the winners.

Our quarterly membership donation letters were mailed and well received. Members continue to support the activities and mission of Citizens United.

E-mail Hotline – Presently over 200 people receive our e-mail updates. If you are not on the list please e-mail us at to be added. We also have nearly 80 teachers on our Down Jersey: Celebrating Our Sense of Place Teacher’s Curriculum e-mail updates. Soon we shall be adding a large number of teachers who have recently replied to a mailing that our Educational Director Christine Raabe distributed.

Numerous development proposals are beginning to accumulate for our region. A number of them are reported to be housing developments exceeding 500 units. Apparently Southern New Jersey has been discovered similar to areas north of us. Some of these projects we will evaluate for potential environmental impacts, especially if they are in the areas we have traditionally sought to protect. Some will be outside of our traditional areas of influence and we may decline comment. We share the frustrations of residents who hope that the Delaware Bayshore communities will retain their rural character. Decisions to enter the fray will be difficult and will involve the membership and board of trustees. In any event we continue to be contacted for advice particularly when these proposals are reviewed at land use development boards. This is an appropriate time to remind all our supporters and kindred spirits that we are an organization of citizens united and as such primarily foster networking among parties with like goals. One excellent example is the network of folks that we put in touch with one another from Pittsgrove during their township’s master plan process. If individuals contact us we can act as a catalyst in connecting them to each other to give them a “united voice.” Our e-mail hotline offers us the ability to reach many of you quickly in times of need – so please check for timely announcements.

The Down Jersey: Celebrating Our Sense of Place Teacher’s Curriculum workshops have been going very well. On April 12, 2002 the Scotland Run Nature Center on the Upper Maurice River hosted a workshop. As usual Christine Raabe did a super job of generating enthusiam for the curriculum. One attendee, Betty Reinhart, has been having a Down Jersey theme year; this is her second workshop. We feel honored to have her attend. Additionally Millville teacher/ freeholder Jeff Trout made a presentation on Cumberland County’s efforts to educate citizens about the natural wonders of our county. Hopewell Crest School held a workshop on March 26 and some Pittsgrove teachers attended. The Pittsgrove teachers had a theme week after a previous workshop attendee, Betsy Perlstein, brought back a teachers’ kit. We are also working on a poster for the schools to receive this fall which will remind teachers that they can add to lesson plans and suggest or review field trips.

Cumberland County is planning to develop a Martin Festival highlighting the fall Martin migration.

Bird Brain Dancers fly in on fast feet. This NYC based dance troop has traveled the United States interpreting the migration of various species. This fall their tour will follow the osprey migration. They have asked us to present some natural history interpretation when the osprey begin their fall migration. We have met with Jennifer Monson, the company’s creator and choreographer, who has described their contact improvisational dance style to President Galetto. The dancers have performed at an impressive variety of venues when following whales’ migrations: Santa Cruz’s Museum of Natural History, performing arts high schools, Sesame Street, National Park British Columbia, Oregon’s Coastal Aquarium, Pt. Reyes National Seashore and more. Jennifer has received an enormous number of accolades for her contributions as an artist since her graduation from Sarah Lawrence College in 1983. She has also received a number of National Endowment for the Arts choreographer fellowships, and many other performing arts grants and awards.

CU on the River!