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Senior Arts and Systems

Advocates for disabled, elderly, and victims of bullying

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Articles

February 4, 2012
Welcome anti bullying law in New Jersey
Now that the New Jersey new Anti-bullying Law, the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is in effect (September 1, 2010), many critics say it's too restrictive and too costly. Allowing a young person's life to be ruined by bullying is more costly. It's time the bullies pay and pay big!
The law was enacted in response to the suicide of Tyler Clementi who was only 18 years old and a Freshman at Rutger's University in 2010. His death was prompted when a thoughtless student shamed him by broadcasting a private encounter on the Internet. We lost a brilliant student and a promising musician.
Bullying comes in many forms, and not only in physical beatings. When a person tries to defame another's reputation and negate social contacts, that is bullying too. When people isolate someone because they think they can, that also is bullying. Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) a co-prime sponsor of the act, said. "Every year in New Jersey schools, thousands of children are humiliated, physically assaulted, and emotionally devastated by bullies. Some end up refusing to go to school because they can't handle another day of pain, many carry the scars into adulthood, and a few are pushed to take their own lives. We owe it to the victims and their parents to make this law work." Read more...
 
April 16, 2013
Greek's Playland: an oasis for the disabled in danger of closing
Many people may not have heard about Greek's Playland, but it has served as an
oasis of fun for the disabled community since 1972. It is located in Monroe
Township, New Jersey, and was built as a fully accessible recreation facility
well before the ADA was enacted. The facility can accommodate people even in
inclement weather. It has welcomed over 100,000 mentally and physically
challenged individuals.

At Greek's Playland, people who are disabled can
have full access to recreational pursuits, including bird watching, fishing,
basketball for the blind, miniature golf, a tire park, a Stone Museum,
refreshments, entertainment, gifts, and a lot more. Every year, they host a
Halloween Party and an October Fest, as well as a variety of other parties and
fundraisers, all at no cost! Organizations, such as PTA's, Boys and Girl Scouts,
Schools, Day Care facilities, and townships have benefited from outings and
events at Greek's Playland. The town of Spotswood, New Jersey held its 100th
anniversary celebration here, and when their budget fell short, Playland donated
$3,000 of their funds to make sure that the festivities would go on.

This was the dream of a man known as "The Greek," who wanted to find a way to give
back for the kindness shown to him by his foster mother and his successful
career as a landscaper. In fact, he made a promise to his foster mom that he
would always give back a large part of everything that he earned during his
lifetime. As an abandoned child, he felt blessed to be raised by his foster
mother, who also raised disabled children. This experience influenced the
direction of his life. Now, Greek's Playland is fully funded by Garden Falls, a
wedding and event facility that the Greek built on the attached land when he
could no longer work as a landscaper full time. He takes no salary for his
efforts, and puts everything earned from Garden Falls into Greek's Playland and
Stone Museum. However, Garden Falls is endanger of being unable to function
because a neighbor sued the township of Monroe because of music being played
after 10:PM, which he said is disturbing to him in spite of the fact that the
noise is monitored by a special machine not to go above the legal noise limit.
Sadly, he won his case in court, and it is now being appealed at the Middlesex
County Court. If the panel of judges rule against allowing Garden Falls to keep
operating, the disabled community may lose out on a lot of fun times that they
have come to count on and remember fondly. Greek's Playland, The Stone Museum,
and Garden Falls comprise 89 acres of former farmland. According to The Greek,
"There is no place like it in the world."  Read more...
 
Saving Terri Schiavo
By Audrey Ignatoff and Vickie Travis

At exactly 3:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 21, 2003, wild screams were heard in a quiet suburban town in central New Jersey and, simultaneously, in a quiet desert community in southern California. Two women were yelling, “We did it; we actually did it! We helped to save Terri Schiavo!” The two women were ourselves, Vickie Travis and Audrey Ignatoff, and we were exhilarated at having been part of the worldwide Internet effort to save the life of the disabled Florida woman whom a judge had sentenced to death by starvation and dehydration. We had just been listening to a live radio broadcast from the Florida Legislature at the moment when the final vote of the Florida Senate came in, concurring with the House to reinstate Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, which had been removed by court order six days before.  Read more...