Columns/Opinions

Thu
27
Aug
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All-Remote Learning

In the end, it appears we will end up where many expected us to start this new school year, after all.

Following Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement allowing all-remote learning to start the year for districts that can prove such a move is necessary, the Livingston Board of Education announced last week that the district will begin the 2020-21 school year doing just that. Livingston is not alone in this decision; according to Governor Murphy, as of Monday, 156 New Jersey school districts planned to start the year in all-remote fashion. The move is not surprising, as there is not a district in New Jersey that should have trouble justifying the risk schools pose in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We need look no further than Georgia’s schools to see how quickly the situation can unravel.

Thu
20
Aug
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To the Editor: We Must Do Better

Dear Editor:

In last week’s “To the Editor,” our campaign was misquoted [in a letter] and I would like to address this misquote. The campaign’s original statement was reviewed and we see how it could have been better expressed. The quote “this campaign looks to not only provide a relatively great education for most of our students.

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Thu
20
Aug
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Wear A Mask

This past Monday – five months into a pandemic the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetime – we were at a large, populated store in town (which we will decline to name) and saw something that took us aback.

There was a man, going about his shopping, walking through aisles, past people, reaching for items, without wearing a mask. This was not a case of a mask covering just his mouth, but not his nose (which we unfortunately see frequently), nor was the man holding his mask but not wearing it, thinking he has found a loophole of sorts to the mandate (yes, we have seen this too, believe it or not). No mask at all. A relic of a time that feels so long ago, February 2020.

Thu
13
Aug
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Back to School?

Last week, the Livingston Board of Education revealed its hybrid plan to return to school on a limited basis this fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Students who do not opt for the full remote learning option would spend roughly half their time at school and attend the other half of classes at home through remote learning.

This is a plan designed to appease everyone, but in practice, it leaves many involved disappointed at best, and worried for their safety at worst. Students and teachers will still risk exposure. Parents will still need to find child care for their children. The logistical and financial issues are boundless.

 

 

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Thu
06
Aug
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The Answer is Clear

As a community, Livingston generally agrees on most issues. We all tend to unite around the common good, and when we disagree, typically, we respect the fact that we are all trying to make the decisions we feel are best for the whole. Yet, if there is one issue where factions of our community feel genuinely opposed to one another, it is what to do with our schools. Do we send our children and faculty back in to schools during a COVID-19 pandemic when the virus is known to spread significantly easier indoors? Or do we keep everyone at home, continuing a remote learning plan that, at best, had its share of pros and cons? There are no easy answers, and opinions on how to proceed run the gamut.

Thu
30
Jul
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Conserve Water

Weeks of very hot weather, coupled with little rain, have taken their toll. Although we received some rain earlier this week, it’s not enough to make up for months of below-average precipitation.

Although, at the moment, our wells are still producing sufficient water to meet demand, this will soon change if we don’t get some significant rainfall. Officials hope to head off this scenario by asking residents to begin voluntarily conserving water, before greater restrictions have to be formally imposed.

Thu
30
Jul
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An Uncertain Plan

We are facing an unprecedented time in every facet of our lives due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes our schools, as districts struggle to plan for the upcoming academic year, which is nearly a month away.

Each day without an official strategy begs more questions. At the very least, we know full remote learning must be an option for families that wish to choose it. We have also heard of families potentially placing small groups of children together to be homeschooled for the year.

We understand the demand by parents and teachers for a concrete plan. The next few months for students, parents, teachers and administrators will all look very different based on what is decided, and all involved will need every possible day to prepare.

 

 

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Thu
23
Jul
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Don’t Give Up Now

As we enter month five since Livingston recorded its first COVID-19 case, and as we surpass 500 total cases (after repeatedly passing that threshold, then dropping back under it over the past few weeks as cases were recategorized into other towns), it appears that the township’s daily numbers have begun to taper off, at least for the time being. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent findings that there are roughly ten times as many cases of the virus in the United States as have been confirmed, that could mean as many as 5,000 Livingston residents have, or have had, COVID-19. That would be about one in every six people in town.

 

 

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Thu
16
Jul
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A Great Loss to Livingston

A Great Loss to Livingston

Although the lady retired from Livingston politics nearly 40 years ago, her name is still known and fondly remembered throughout town: Doris L. Beck, our first female mayor. This week, we bid farewell to the former mayor and Township Councilwoman, who passed away on Sunday, July 12, at the age of 91. Her relocation to Florida in retirement represented a loss to Livingston then; her passing now marks an even greater loss – and the end of an era.

Thu
09
Jul
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School in September

As we look past Livingston High School’s virtual and inperson graduations, it is time to turn our attention to the fall. Yes, our students have a couple of months of socially distanced summer fun to look forward to, but planning for school to return in September needs to begin now. In fact, officials have been hard at work for a while on it, but they just recently received some direction from the state Department of Education on what school will look like in the upcoming academic year.

It is safe to say that New Jersey, and the country and world overall, will still be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in two months. And these last four months have shown us that this virus can render even the best laid plans useless. So, we must, unfortunately, have varying courses of action ready to go for the fall.

 

 

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