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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Oceanic Bridge Maintenance Work to Begin Monday, Feb. 2
Friday, 30 January 2015
Photo: Oceanic Bridge. credit: goboatingnj.org   MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Oceanic Bridge (S-31) over the NavesinkRiver will undergo repair work to the structural steel and concrete deck beginning on or about 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 2. To complete the... Read More...
IMAGE Brookdale Board Approves 3.4 Percent Tuition Increase
Friday, 30 January 2015
LINCROFT, NJ – The Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees voted on Jan. 29 to approve a 3.4 percent tuition increase at the college for the 2015-16 school year. For a full-time student taking 30 credits per year, the change would mean an... Read More...
IMAGE Attempted Abduction of 11-Year-Old Girl in Highlands
Friday, 30 January 2015
IMAGE: Google Street View. HIGHLANDS, NJ - A Highlands mother reports that her daughter was approached by an older man in a black SUV in the vicinity of Welsh Farms on Bay Avenue in the borough this afternoon around 3:15 p.m. The girl was asked to... Read More...
AAA Reminds Motorists: Be the Ref of the Party - Designate a Driver
Friday, 30 January 2015
Hamilton, NJ – This Sunday, Super Bowl XLIX will kick off in Arizona, but closer to home, people will gather to watch the game with family and friends. AAA urges fans to prepare for the big game by designating a sober driver or arranging for... Read More...
IMAGE MC Park System Offers 2015 Trails Team Training
Friday, 30 January 2015
PHOTO: The Monmouth County Park System’s Volunteer Trails Team in action.  LINCROFT, NJ — Love the Monmouth County Park System’s 130+ miles of trails and interested in becoming part of the Park System’s Trails Team? Head to the... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Observations on a MLK Celebration
by George Hancock-Stefan
Friday, 30 January 2015
On Monday, January 19, 2015 I went to a service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. I went for multiple reasons. I went to honor a great American and... Read More...
IMAGE Worst Storm Ever? (What’s up widat?)
by Woody Zimmerman
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Somehow – no doubt largely due to the vigilance and timely warnings supplied by our political and media guardians – we have managed to survive... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Into The Woods
by David Prown
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
I saw the Broadway version of "Into the Woods" in the 80's with Bernadette Peters just a few days after I saw "Les Miserables" with the original... Read More...
IMAGE Protest This Super Bowl Commercial
by Anne Mikolay
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Sunday, February 1, the New England Patriots will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in NFL Super Bowl XLIX. Football fans will tune in to see the... Read More...
IMAGE What’s that Flock in the Bay?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 25 January 2015
This was a week of counting wintering water-birds. The other day I looked out onto New York Harbor and saw a large raft of diving ducks. I counted at... Read More...

anne_mikolay_2012_120“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still,” said President Obama in his second inaugural address.

Apparently, the real “star” of the 57th Presidential Inauguration was Michelle Obama. The American public, forever enamored with pomp and circumstance and “all the pretty people,” were predictably focused on Mrs. Obama's attire and new hairstyle. Just this once I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and jump on the bandwagon in praise of Michelle Obama.

It must be extremely difficult to live life in a fish bowl, but Mrs. Obama consistently handles it well, and the festivities of the 57th Presidential Inauguration were no exception. Our First Lady and her daughters were well dressed, stylish, composed. In her red inaugural gown (created by young designer Jason Wu), Mrs. Obama personified grace and represented the United States with dignity. And for the record, 74% of those polled by essence.com voted in favor of Michelle Obama's bangs.

That being said, I do not comprehend society's “beautiful people” preoccupation, that same fascination that once transformed Jacqueline Kennedy into the Queen of Camelot or Lady Diana Spencer into the Peoples' Princess. While I admired Princess Diana (Mrs.Kennedy was before my time), and detect similar poise in Michelle Obama, I never once forgot that Princess Diana was human - as is Mrs. Obama - not a paper doll or stiff fashion mannequin. If Mrs. Obama wants to sport bright purple gloves, wear bangs, or roll her eyes at House Speaker John Boehner, she should be free to do so without setting the internet on fire. (Quite interesting that Mrs. Obama was unfavorably criticized for her reaction to Boehner without the benefit of audio of Boehner's comments.) Reaction to fashion and celebrity is commonplace, but no matter how blurred the line between celebrity and politics, we still should not judge a book by its cover. Nobody is perfect. Nobody. We've placed the presidential fish bowl on a mighty high pedestal indeed.

We move forward now into President Obama's second term. Mrs. Obama's red inaugural gown will be retired to the Smithsonian. She'll rise tomorrow, comb out her bangs, pull on her J.Crew gloves and put one foot in front of the other - like the rest of us.