Columns/Opinions

Thu
19
Nov
News Staff's picture

Close the Schools

As daily COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Livingston, it is time to reassess how our children will complete the rest of school through the calendar year.

We fully understand the value of the in-person experience for students, and the burden it puts on working parents when their children stay home on weekdays. And we are glad that our students were able to spend some time physically in school these past few weeks and months. But New Jersey’s daily case counts are skyrocketing to levels higher than have ever been recorded. It is no longer safe for students and faculty to spend unnecessary time in classrooms.

 

 

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Thu
12
Nov
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The Second Wave Has Arrived

We have been warned for months that it would arrive this fall, even as cases continued to drop this summer. Now it is impossible to deny: the “second wave” of COVID-19 is here. In the past month, Livingston reported 146 new cases. New Jersey has reported more than 3,000 daily cases for the first time since early May, with Governor Phil Murphy saying two weeks ago that Essex County was the “biggest concern” in the state; on Tuesday, the county recorded the most cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The U.S. has now reported 10 million total COVID-19 cases since March, of which nearly 240,000 people have died. Eight months into the pandemic and we are still breaking records.

Thu
05
Nov
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Join a Committee

The Township Council will make appointments to Livingston’s many advisory committees at the township’s annual organizational meeting on New Year’s Day, and the Council hopes to attract new residents — and those who have not previously been active in the community — to serve on any of its many committees.

Thu
05
Nov
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A Positive Example

As we pass by Election Day without an official winner of the presidency, due to the influx of mail-in ballots as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the Donald Trump and Joe Biden rallies that took place at the Oval last Sunday.

Regardless of where one stands on the political spectrum, it is safe to say that, in recent years, there have been increasingly few people who fall in “the middle.” With so much strife in 2020, from the pandemic to social unrest, and countless other issues, it is hard to not have strong political opinions these days. As a result, our country feels as divided as it has been in decades. It can be hard to “look past” the politics of friends, families, and neighbors of late.

Thu
29
Oct
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A Safe and Spooky Halloween

As Governor Phil Murphy said earlier this month, Halloween is “on” in New Jersey, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But what “on” means should vary from household to household, depending on the level of comfort felt by each family as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Of course, Halloween matters most to our youngest residents, who, just like all of us, have been deprived of many things in 2020. They have missed out on months of in-person schooling and the socialization that comes along with it. They have missed recitals, sports, and play dates. They have missed visits from grandparents and vacation trips. So it makes sense to do what we can, within reason and safety, to give them as normal a Halloween as possible.

 

 

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Thu
22
Oct
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Get on the Bus

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents have gotten a head start on the 2020 General Election, and have been voting by mail for the past several weeks. We have been thrilled to see all of the photos circulating of the Livingston community casting their ballots. From first time voters to seasoned veterans of the process, it is inspiring to see everyone exercise their right to participate in this democratic institution.

While millions of the 6.2 million registered New Jersey voters have already cast their ballots, we know there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who have yet to do so.

To them, we simply say: What are you waiting for?

 

 

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Thu
15
Oct
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Endorsements in a Vote-By-Mail Year

It has been a strange year, for many reasons, so it should not surprise us when we have to make unexpected adjustments to our production schedule. Historically, the West Essex Tribune offers its endorsement of local candidates — specifically the Township Council and Board of Education races — in the final edition before Election Day. That was the plan for this year as well, even when it became clear that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our state’s elections would be done entirely by mail (those who show up to polling stations on Election Day may fill out provisional ballots).

Thu
08
Oct
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A Spike in Cases

Those keeping up-to-date on Livingston’s COVID-19 case tallies are undoubtedly aware of the recent spike that has been reported in town.

After staying relatively flat for several months, Livingston saw an additional 35 residents test positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks. Three cases have also been reported within the schools, which recently started reopening. It is worth mentioning that deaths have not risen at the same rate, with just two of 72 reported residents who have died as a result of the virus doing so since August 17, according to the township. This may be due to younger individuals contracting the virus, as well as improved treatment as we learn more about COVID-19.

The spike in cases should be a wake-up call for us. We may be able to do more than we could this past spring, but we are still dealing with a novel disease, and all the uncertainty that comes with it. Still, we know so much more about COVID-19 than we did six months ago.

 

Thu
01
Oct
News Staff's picture

Housing Ordinance

Housing Ordinance

Next week, the Livingston Township Council will continue a public hearing about a proposed ordinance to amend chapter 170 of the township code, establishing a new inclusionary development zone, designated “MU-2 Mixed-Use Overlay District.” The ordinance does not change the zoning, but rather provides a zoning overlay, an option, if the court approves it and it passes, that can be used to build both townhouses and a mixed-use building containing retail stores and apartments. It would also permit the township to settle an affordable housing obligation.

 

 

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Thu
01
Oct
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Familiar Photos

In this edition of the West Essex Tribune, you will find our fall high school sports section. Each year around this time, we highlight our student athletes and get excited for the upcoming season.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were not sure we would have a sports season at all, let alone a section in the paper devoted to it. So, we are beyond thrilled to see it, a few weeks later than usual and slightly different (photos had to be taken socially distant, so there will not be the large team shots we typically feature). In the coming weeks, we look forward to embracing our Lancer pride and covering live games for the first time since February.

 

 

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