Surely the biggest news in Basking Ridge this week was the Board of Education's acceptance of $420,000 raised by parents and other community members to reinstate full-day kindergarten to next fall's school program.
This impressive feat – accomplished in about four weeks — drew accolades from other parents and observers.
Reader TJ wrote this comment on a preview article, which discussed how a board subcommittee had given a favorable reception to the pending donation from the Bernards Township Public School Initiative:
"Wonderful news. The Hechts have put themselves out there and paved the way. Congratulations to all that worked on and contributed to this initiative!"
And LCB@home quoted Margaret Mead when she observed:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
But by last Wednesday and Thursday, that subject (at least for the moment) and many others, were buried under about 16 inches of snow that smothered a region where, as seventh grader Missy Krest put it, the grass hadn't been seen without snow for precisely a month and a day, when our first winter blizzard hit on Dec. 26.
As then, the township's road department pulled an all-nighter, and was out for almost two days straight, struggling with a snowstorm that just wouldn't quit.
Township road foreman Ed Then said on Thursday:
"The weathermen lied to us again. This was an awful deep 4 to 8 inches of snow," he said, referring to the predicted amount of snow for the latest storm.
"With all the snow we have, we're just running out of places to put it. It's just at the point where the road gets narrow," Then said.
Resident Corinne Montgomery noticed the road department's efforts, and said in an email to Patch:
"I want to commend the Bernards Township DPW and the County DPW for the amazing job they have done keeping the roads cleared, salted and safe for all drivers, school buses and residents. I am very impressed from the 12/26 snowstorm to the present. Excellent work!!"
Meanwhile, "n" posted a comment reminding people of the necessity for doing their own cleanup, for safety's sake:
"Four storms later & I'm surprised no officials have commented, but there are some things property owners should be aware about. With all the snow on the ground, if you have a fire hydrant on your property, take the time to clear the snow around it. A good rule of thumb is to have at least a full snow-shovel width cleared all away around the hydrant and clear the snow in front of the hydrant on the street to the curb, then towards the hydrant. If you don't care about your neighbors, at least care about yourself, it takes time to find the hydrant and clear the snow before a fire hose is even connected to it."
He continued, "Talking about common sense, because of the economy, people either don't have the time or the money or are just to lazy, don't shovel (or plow) the driveway. At least clear a path so if someone is responding to your property, they at least have a safe path shoveled out and make a path to a doorway for someone who may come to rescue you, either the police, fire, or first aid squad."
When all was said and done, the amount of precipitation in the latest storm was sufficient to set a record for January snowfall. A state climatologist said that the 30.9 inches of snow measured — so far — at Rutgers University in New Brunswick broke a 116-year-old previous record.
Well, we can't say it was a total loss. At least we received an amazing photo of township third-grader Kaitlyn Orr's snow sculpture of SpongeBob SquarePants.
Kaitlyn wasn't alone in loving all this snow. More than 600 members of the William Annin Middle School Ski Club, with four trips each January, had a perfect season for the freshest snow anyone could expect in New Jersey. The club is celebrating it's 30th anniversary — maybe.
"jw" commented on Friday:
"William Annin Ski Club is older than 30 years old. I was in the William Annin Junior High School Ski Club in 1978 and 1979! It just wasn't "WAMS". Some of my best memories from Annin were from the ski club. Glad to see it's still going strong."
Do you remember going to ski club with other middle schoolers before 1981? Did you (or your children) remember the fun times you had on ski slopes covered with all your school friends?
And what do you think of this weather?