Columns/Opinions

Thu
09
May
News Staff's picture

A Listening Council

At the Monday, May 6, regular meeting of the Township Council, an ordinance was passed to allow a conditional use of block 6300 in the Coventry section of town, which will permit an assisted living facility to be built on the property if it is approved by the Planning Board.

The hearing had been left open on the agenda for five consecutive meetings, several months’ time, as residents living in the area have expressed concern about adding vehicles to an area with existing traffic problems, among other issues. The Council, citing obligations to fulfill affordable housing requirements and provide options for a growing aging population, were always likely to move forward with this ordinance. But they did not rush this decision through, and we applaud them for it.

 

 

Thu
02
May
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Support the Parade

Somehow, it’s already May, and the Memorial Day Parade is right around the corner on Monday, May 27. Over the next few weeks the township will be collecting money to fund the upcoming parade, and we encourage our residents to offer their support.

Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that conflict. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all of our nation’s wars. Volunteers would place American flags on the graves of veterans, hence the name Decoration Day.

 

 

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Thu
02
May
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Out on the River

This past Monday, a member of the Tribune staff joined Richard Cornell, chairman of Livingston’s Trails and Greenways committee, on a two-hour canoe ride up and down the township’s section of the Passaic River. It was a crisp, sunshiny morning and the leisurely paddle offered a unique snapshot of town.

We passed under the Route 10 and Mt. Pleasant Avenue bridges, past rows of houses and offices, and even glided right by the Cedar Hill Country Club golf course during the annual PBA golf outing. We started our journey behind the Brandon Tevlin Fields off Okner Parkway, made our way to the canoe launch a few miles down the river on South Orange Avenue, and paddled our way back. We saw trees in bloom, deer at play, and heard plenty of birds chirping.

 

 

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Thu
25
Apr
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Plant a Tree

Tomorrow, April 26, is Arbor Day, and township officials will again recognize the holiday by planting a tree, specifically a weeping cherry tree, near the gazebo at the Oval in the morning.

On Arbor Day, people are encouraged to plant trees. The tradition dates back centuries, though the first United States Arbor Day was held in 1872 in Nebraska; one million trees were reportedly planted that day. It has since grown to become a nationally observed holiday with millions of trees expected to be planted nationwide (and many more worldwide) each year.

 

 

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Thu
25
Apr
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Wear a Helmet

With the nice weather finally arriving, it is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, and there are few better ways to do so than riding a bicycle. Many people, however, do not take proper safety precautions, including adhering to helmet safety standards.

Every year in the United States, more than 500,000 people end up in the emergency department with injuries resulting from bicycle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2015, 818 of them did not survive. More children between ages five to 14 visit the ER every year for bike-related injuries than any other sport. Some of those children die, typically from head injuries. Many of these injuries can be avoided or reduced by simply wearing a helmet.

 

 

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Thu
18
Apr
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Make the Most of Earth Day

With Earth Day less than a week away on Monday, April 22, and the topics of sustainability and climate change as prevalent as ever, let us take a moment to reflect on the gains we have made over the last nearly five decades to accelerate environmental progress, and all we still have yet to accomplish.

Celebrated around the globe, Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day to provide education about, and demonstrate support for, environmental issues. When it comes to recognizing the need to care for our planet, humans have come a long way, but there’s still much more to be done.

 

 

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Thu
18
Apr
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A Troubling Trend

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released last week, New Jersey preschoolers have the highest autism rate in the country. The rate among children has tripled in a generation, with one in 35 New Jersey children being diagnosed with autism by age four, based on the most recent surveys.

In 1992, the autism rate was at one percent. Nearly a decade ago, in 2010, it was at three percent. According to the study, the rate jumped another 43 percent from then to 2014. One in 23 4-year-old boys in the state is now diagnosed with autism (boys are three-and-a-half times as likely to be diagnosed, according to the study).

 

 

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Thu
11
Apr
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Read the Budget

Inside this edition of the Tribune, you will find the entire township budget for the upcoming year. It is published annually in this paper in advance of the public hearing, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22, at Town Hall.

We applaud the township’s decision to continue to publish the budget in its entirety. Maybe everyone does not read it all (though we highly recommend doing so), but we are certain there are some who do. And even those who don’t can take solace in the fact that it is there to read if they so choose.

 

 

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Thu
11
Apr
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The Texts Can Wait

We’ve all done it. We’re in the middle of a long drive and our phone won’t stop buzzing. Or we’re waiting for an important call and it comes as soon as we get on the highway. Or perhaps we just need to select that one perfect driving song and we didn’t want to wait for the next red light. So, for a brief moment, we focus on our phones instead of focusing on driving our cars.

With technology as advanced as it is, our vehicles are full of distractions, pulling our eyes from the road while we steer several tons of metal down streets at high rates of speed. In a vacuum, it sounds insane to ever devote anything less than 100 percent of our focus on that task. In the moment though, it is all too easy to become distracted. Most of us can count ourselves fortunate that we haven’t paid a terrible price for these momentary slip ups, that all we have to show for them is a ticket, if even that. Many, however, are not so lucky.

 

 

Thu
04
Apr
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Pausing the Straws

At last week’s Township Council meeting, nine-yearold Mahi Khanna stood up and spoke about a matter that was of clear importance to her: straws. Specifically, she requested that the Council ban plastic straws at restaurants and eateries in Livingston. In their place could be straws made of paper, metal, or none at all.

Mahi did her homework before addressing the Council. According to a study done earlier this year, she said, as many as eight billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, contributing to the eight million tons of plastic that flow into the ocean annually. Of all the plastic products we use every day, including an estimated 500 million straws in the United States alone, less than nine percent of it ends up recycled.

 

 

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