Dr. Richard Dellinger, principal, Bethany Middle School:

On May 4, my wife and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary attending the Amity Bethany Middle School’s Spring Concert. This was the best concert we have ever experienced here in Bethany. We were listening to great music by the young musicians in the following order: orchestra, jazz band/orchestra, Charmettes/orchestra, chamber singers, Amity singers, Amity singers/orchestra and the concert band. There were 11 violin, four viola, two cello and one bass instrumentalists. This was unthinkable in the 1940s. The young musicians played beautifully with good sound and articulation with much attention to their conductors. The Bethany school and parents have much to be proud of the 127 instrumentalists and half the student body as vocalists. The audience became quiet just prior to the music beginnings and remained so throughout the performances, what a delight.

One must take one’s hat off to the following music directors as well as the students: Robert Fragione, band director; Brennan Orie, choral director; Lisa Serio, orchestra director. They did an outstanding job with the young musicians. We are so very fortunate to have directors with such talent. Again, I congratulate them for a job well done. We are looking forward to the future with much of the same.

— Richard B. Barnes Bethany

We join our friends and allies, and lovers of human rights, freedom, and democracy as Israel celebrates the 69th birthday of the re-establishment of the Jewish State. We share in the pride of their accomplishments in technology, medicine, cyber-security, and water technology that have benefited countries around the world. And despite, the claims of Shelly Altman, Israel has provided more water to the Palestinian residents than mandated by the Oslo accords, and a recent agreement in January between Israel and the PA was made to further improve water supply to Palestinian villages. Sadly, the Palestinian leadership has hesitated to work with Israel for several years to improve wastewater reclamation and water supply on the West Bank.

Without the protection of the Israel Defense Forces, and its presence in the territories, the Jewish State would be at peril to have rockets aimed at its civilians just as Hamas has done from Gaza, after the Israeli withdrawal from that territory. The history of terror and incitement to violence from the Palestinian political and clerical leadership is well known, and we salute the IDF in their humane efforts to provide security to Israel and protect human rights of all who live in the land.

— Arthur Seltzer, M.D. Woodbridge