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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Glück at Monmouth U April 24
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ  – The 2013-2014 Visiting Writers Series closes with a very special reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Glück... Read More...
Freeholders Proclaim 2014 ‘Library Week’ in Monmouth County
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recognizes the importance of the library system and has declared the week of April... Read More...
IMAGE Union Beach Church Recipient of Make a Difference Day Award
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Elijah Rodriguez (second from left) at Make a Difference Day National Award Ceremony  UNION BEACH, NJ - Gateway Church of Christ is the... Read More...
How Most of America’s Food is Controlled by a Few Corporations
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
LINCROFT, NJ – How 80 per cent of America’s food production has become dominated by a few corporate food processors will be explored by Patty... Read More...
Local Students Win Awards at Heritage National Music Festival
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
TINTON FALLS, N.J. –  The Upper School Chorus, Show Choir and Orchestra at Ranney School,  under the direction of instructors Tess... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE COMMON CORE Can Deliver Rigor to US Schools If It's not an Iron-Clad Mandate
by wjoreilly
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
  Make way for the Common Core, coming soon to a public school near you. Some are thrilled, others bored, and still others terrified of the... Read More...
IMAGE April Love – and April Fool
by Woody Zimmerman
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
(Edited from an article of April 2004) At our house April 1st is a favorite date for more than the usual silly reasons of practical jokes and... Read More...
IMAGE Ospreys Return this Spring To Raise A Family
by Joe Reynolds
Monday, 14 April 2014
For the past dozen years or more, during the first full week of April, I have celebrated the return of spring to Sandy Hook Bay and Raritan Bay with... Read More...
IMAGE Getting Into That "Highly Selective American College": Get Involved in Your World...NOW!
by wjoreilly
Monday, 14 April 2014
These are the schools your parents want you to get into, your friends want to get into--you may even want to get into one of them yourself. They run... Read More...
IMAGE Mayoral Candidate Avery Grant’s Pioneering Vision for Long Branch: “A Community.”
by Dennis
Sunday, 13 April 2014
When retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Avery Grant, a veteran of the Vietnam War, first moved to Long Branch, he was taken not only by its natural... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Mon Apr 21 @ 3:00PM -
Middletown 350 Genealogy Poster Project
Mon Apr 21 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Meeting
Wed Apr 23 @ 9:30AM - 10:50AM
Story Time
Thu Apr 24 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Thu Apr 24 @ 3:15PM - 04:30PM
Children's Programs

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.