Blog for Highland Park

Welcome to the Blog for Highland Park, a weblog chronicling events in Highland Park, NJ from an alternative perspective to the often one-sided slant of the official borough newsletter.

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Location: Highland Park, New Jersey, United States

I am a freelance writer and community activist who has worked on many progressive and Democratic political campaigns over the last 25 plus years and a lifelong resident of Highland Park, NJ. I have a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University, an MA in Middle East Studies from Harvard University, and an MEd in English Education from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. An enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I have just completed Swinburne University Astronomy Online's Graduate Certificate of Science in astronomy and am pursuing a Masters of Science in astronomy at Swinburne. I am also an actress with experience in theatre and film and have written a full length play. I am currently working full time on a book "The Little Planet That Would Not Die: Pluto's Story."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Help Me Fundraise for Obama Environment Event

Following the example of John Edwards, my first choice in the upcoming presidential election, I am supporting the Obama/Biden ticket as this country's best choice for real change in economic policy, health care, foreign policy, and environmental issues.

Having spent two decades as an environmental activist, I am especially concerned with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as her promotion of aerial hunting of wolves and polar bears. These positions clearly illustrate she is on the wrong track when it comes to making the hard choices in fighting global climate change and habitat loss as well as cleaning up our air, land, and water.

My experience as an environmental leader includes 11 years on the Highland Park Environmental Commission, nearly three years as a gubernatorial appointee on the state Natural Areas Council, membership in the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), the New Jersey Environmental Lobby, and Environment New Jersey. In 2005, I took part in ANJEC's inaugural Environmental Leadership Training Program, and in 2007, I completed the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Environmental Stewardship class, a six-month program.

I've done these things because of a genuine love of nature and our environment and growing concern that we are not making the changes necessary to reverse the impact of 150+ years of environmental abuse through greenhouse gas emissions. It's scary to remember President Carter talking in the late '70s about how we need to switch to renewable energy sources; to remember Time magazine declaring Earth as "Planet of the Year" in 1988, the hottest year then to date, the one of the garbage barge and hospital waste washing up on our beaches; to remember 1998, trumping its predecessor of ten years as the hottest year on record.

In all this time, we've seen talk but the only action that happened was steps in the wrong direction. Not only did we lose 30 years in which we could have made a difference; during that time, we saw climate change accelerate with terrifying rapidity.

Yet we have to assume the world has not reached that crucial "tipping point" after which the damage we will have inflicted will be too great to undo.

That is why I am asking all who are concerned about the environment to please consider helping me raise enough money to co-host a fundraiser titled "Obama for the Environment," which will be held on Monday, October 6 at the George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ (near the corner of Livingston Avenue and George Street). Support Obama/Biden and hear presentations from environmental leaders such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (named by Time magazine as one of the Heroes for the Planet) and Dr. Michael Oppenheimer (member of
the Nobel Prize Winning Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change). The presentations will begin at approximately 8 PM. The minimum contribution to attend is $100. For those interested, there will be a pre-reception at 7 PM; participation in the pre-reception requires a minimum contribution of $500. Donations can be made by check or credit card. If you're writing out a check, make it out to "Obama for
America" and mail it to c/o Joshua Haimson, 325 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park, NJ 08904. If you choose to use a credit card, go to

to make the donation. After making a pledge, please click on "Fulfill your pledge" and make your donation on-line. If anyone has questions about donation procedures, please email Joshua at or call him at 732-740-1238.

If you do decide to donate, either by check or credit card and feel so inclined, please note that your donation was solicited by me, Laurel Kornfeld. You will get full credit for your donation and will also help me raise the minimum of $1,000, which I seek to do in order to qualify as a co-host of this event.

This event is a joint effort by many people, but I have a strong attachment to it, due to my intense environmental concerns, that makes it feel like "my baby." Thank you in advance to anyone who lends support. If there are any questions, I can be reached at, at (732) 985-6878 or at (908) 208-2531.