Sunday, November 18, 2012
Politicians have to make tough—perhaps expensive—decisions and need to start taking action.
It’s been three weeks since Superstorm Sandy blew through New Jersey, and past time to begin figuring out how to minimize losses the next time. Some solutions involve building; some, doing the opposite. Just as the attacks of Sept. 11 brought talk of rebuilding, there have been vows to restore the shore back to Oct. 28, 2012, as if nothing had happened. That would be a huge and costly mistake. It is not politically correct to say that at least some of what was destroyed should not be rebuilt. But it’s the truth. Barrier islands are aptly named. They are supposed to serve as barriers for the shoreline. When a major storm like Sandy or Irene hits, they will take the brunt of it and provide some measure of protection for the mainland. They …
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Be sure to cast your vote as an unprecedented NJ election unfolds following historic storm.
There is an election on Tuesday. Who cares? Everyone should care. It's the big presidential balloting, comes around only once every four years. There's one U.S. Senate and all House seats up. Two statewide ballot questions. Three state Assembly seats, including one in District 26 that covers Parsippany and other parts of Morris County. County freeholders. mayors and council members. And, for the first time in a November, school board members—the majority of districts throughout the state pushed their school elections to November to eliminate the public vote on the budget. All of this is central to our democracy. And everyone should get out and vote. But it's the last thing on the minds of many people, and who can blame them. They're still …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
It's not even Halloween yet and some stores are already putting up Christmas decorations. Is it too soon to deck the halls or are you ready for the 2012 Holiday Season to begin?
It's an annual question for merchants and shoppers: How soon is too soon to deck the malls and shopping centers for the Christmas holiday season? Some stores have already begun the process. Christmas music, decorations and layaway ads can already been seen in the shopping aisle at local stores. Halloween decorations still dominate, but signs of Christmas are already creeping in. So what do you think? When is too early for the Christmas shopping season to begin? Do the decorations and Christmas ads entice you to buy early or make you grit your teeth and wish for more time before the holiday rush begins?
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Complaints skyrocket and agency charged with enforcing the law looks to public for a solution.
There are just two weeks until Election Day. Recent polls would indicate New Jersey has no real contests, which could save residents from those oh-so-annoying robocalls hawking this candidate or that one. But don't count on it. It seems like the political robocalls come no matter what. Just like the telemarketers. The difference is that political calls are permitted—of course, politicians passed the law—but traditional telemarketing isn't, at least not from companies with which a person has no business relationship. And commercial robocalls are altogether illegal unless a person has given permission to receive them. The most recent data from the Federal Trade Commission, charged with enforcing the law, show complaints ballooning—there …
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Data on bullying and breakfasts show schools still have a lot to do to help students.
Two separate groups released last week seemingly unrelated reports, both with wide-ranging implications for education and students. One, put out by the Advocates for Children of New Jersey, examined participation rates in school breakfast programs in New Jersey. The other, from the Department of Education, provided the first district counts of incidents of harassment and intimidation since the state's anti-bullying law took effect. The 2011-12 bullying statistics were included as part of the state's annual violence and vandalism report, and boosted the total number of reported incidents (weapons and drug and alcohol incidents are included as well) by more than 50 percent over 2010-11. Some of the results were surprising, and disturbing. …
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Letter to the editor asks for Township Committee to think again about paving gravel driveway between school and town hall.
To the Editor, We are Homestead Village residents writing in regards to the disastrous rerouting of Ridge buses through Homestead Village that began last spring a never ending discussion of traffic problems. We have attended both BOE and Bernards Township meetings, have asked many questions to only hear the same empty response — we are working on the problem. We have been patient. But our patience has run out and we are extremely angered that this dangerous situation has continued to go on into the new school year. We feel that we have been misled and strung along as a community for way too long. We are also increasingly disturbed by the thought that a blackout period instituted on South Finley each morning is a viable option to reduce car…
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Letter to Editor writer: 'Proposed solution seems like a band-aid on a wound that requires stitches.'
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
To the editor, As a resident of Homestead Village, I understand that I am biased toward finding a solution for the long-standing traffic issue at Ridge High School. A small, quiet neighborhood is no place to reroute 27 buses and the Board of Education seems to be in agreement and working towards implementing a solution within the confines of the school property. My concern is that any solution that is restricted to the existing school property is in no way sustainable given how quickly our community grows. The proposed solution of widening the health department driveway to allow for a left turn doesn’t seem sufficient to account for the hundreds of cars driving to and from the school or commuting through our town’s main throughway. In …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Recently-released state Board of Public Utilities report charges FirstEnergy affiliate with being more concerned with image during Irene.
JCP&L, since Hurricane Irene in August 2011, has said it has committed a lot of money and resources toward improving not only how the utility communicates with its customers, but also how it runs its business. The state Board of Public Utilities, however, handed down a verdict in a recent report that states the FirstEnergy affiliate first spent more energy trying to save face, according to a NJBIZ.com article. The article notes the BPU report cites JCP&L's initial two Irene press releases from Aug. 28 and Aug. 25, 2011, the latter three days before the storm actually hit New Jersey. JCP&L "gave no indication that restoration could take several days or longer. Advice to customers appeared to have secondary importance," according to the BPU …
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The latest data includes four years of income, insurance and job losses.
There was new evidence last week of the damage done by the recent recession. The U.S. Census Bureau released numerous new social, housing and economic estimates for larger geographic areas, including New Jersey's counties. And the results confirm the pain many are feeling. Median household income dropped again last year in Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Sussex counties. And it's been a steady decline in three of the four from 2008 to 2011. In Morris County, the typical household had $91,332 in income, down about $3,000 from 2010 and nearly 11 percent lower than the $102,147 median in 2008. Those changes are in real, inflation-adjusted dollars, so the impact is clear: Morris County households lost about $11,000 to save, invest and spend in …
Monday, September 17, 2012
Bedminster arts center says promotion by Brighton and Brighton Collectibles raised money for kids' arts programming.
Monday, September 17, 2012
To the Editor, During the months of June and July, Brighton together with its Brighton Collectibles store in the Bridgewater Commons Mall and its other retailers nationwide rallied in support of arts programming for kids. The promotion generated over $1 million. With this valuable mission in mind of giving America’s next generation of artists in communities across the country a bright future, Brighton selected The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, NJ as the local recipient organization for this wonderful win-win promotion. Brighton created a limited edition stylish silver Americana Bracelet with red, white and blue Swarovski crystal accents and offered it to their customers at a $48 retail price point, with 50 percent of each …