Columns/Opinions

Thu
02
Jul
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Backyard Fireworks

It’s that time of year again: Fourth of July is just a few short days away, and the celebrating has already commenced for some, with plenty of grilling and chilling, and more than a few fireworks to celebrate our nation’s independence.

With most fireworks shows cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that many fireworks may now be purchased right down the street at area retailers, we are sure to see plenty of backyard displays during the evening hours in the coming days.

Non-aerial fireworks, including sparklers, poppers, and snappers (nothing that “explodes”), may now be legally sold in New Jersey, and it is a safe bet that some more heavy duty options will mysteriously find their way into a few backyards as well.

 

 

Thu
25
Jun
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Michael’s Musings

Michael’s Musings
Michael’s Musings

Returning to Society

It’s been a wild week.

Last Friday, for the first time since early March, I did my own grocery shopping. Later that day I went inperson to get coffee, and after that, ordered lunch and sat outside the restaurant to eat. On Father’s Day, my dad, brother and I went golfing. And on Monday, mercifully, I got a haircut for the first time in five months. Boy, did I need that haircut; I was not meant to have long hair, especially in the summer.

Thu
18
Jun
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Congratulations Graduates

Next week, Livingston High School’s Class of 2020 will attend their virtual graduation (a programming note: so as not to “spoil” the speeches for those who got their copy of the Tribune prior to the ceremony, our special graduation section will run in two weeks, on Thursday, July 2). In all likelihood, that cyber ceremony will be supplemented by a still-in-development inperson celebration a few weeks later.

Surely, none of these students expected their graduation to be quite like this as they’ve thought about the day through the years (if they did, we have some follow up questions). But this was the hand the Class of 2020 was dealt. And in no way does the strangeness of this moment minimize their amazing accomplishment, the capstone on an incredible education.

 

 

Thu
11
Jun
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Nursing Home Cases are Livingston Cases

There is a disturbing sentiment that some individuals choose to share when we report on the latest COVID-19 counts in town, which are simply the baseline facts, as reported by the township, county, and state. We share these verified numbers because it is our job to do so, and because residents have a right to know them.

Yet, some accuse us of trying to spread fear or misinformation by sharing them, which is, of course, untrue. Others accuse us of wanting to “tank the economy.” Mind you, this is the same economy the Tribune relies on to stay in business. But more than anything, we get complaints related to reporting – or not reporting – the long term care numbers associated with COVID-19.

 

 

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Thu
11
Jun
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Getting Creative with Outdoor Dining

Last week, Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey will soon move to stage two of its reopening plan, which includes in-person retail and outdoor dining, among other things. Township officials have already relaxed codes through the end of 2020 to maximize the outdoor seating and shopping for Livingston’s dining establishments and retail spaces, allowing them to utilize their sidewalks and parking lots, where applicable. This is great news for both our businesses, whose owners are excited to reopen, and our residents who are thrilled to return to their favorite local establishments.

Thu
04
Jun
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Small Signs of Normalcy

We are approaching the end of month three – the entirety of spring! – of staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are finally beginning to see our state gradually “open back up.” As Governor Phil Murphy continues to say on a daily basis, we are not out of the woods yet. We must continue to be cautious, wash our hands frequently, and practice social distancing, as well as following all other safety guidelines. But cases in our area have been on a downward trend for weeks, and hospitalizations have dropped at an even steadier rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidelines to say that the virus does not spread easily from contaminated surfaces and objects. So activities like a game of catch may not be far off.

Thu
28
May
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A Time to Be Careful

The National Safety Council, which usually designates April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, has moved its annual education campaign to this October because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the weather getting nicer, and school buildings closed for the remainder of the school year, we think now is a perfect time to remind both drivers and pedestrians about road safety. More and more residents are getting their exercise during the stay-at-home mandate by heading outdoors. We have seen a marked increase in the number of pedestrians and bicyclists on Livingston’s roads since the pandemic began.

We’re asking drivers to be aware of the increase in nonvehicular traffic, keep their eyes on the road, and put down their phones. Talking on a cell phone – even hands-free – or texting, or programming an in-vehicle “info-tainment” system, diverts your attention away from driving, with a huge potential for tragedy.

 

 

Thu
28
May
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Stimulating Charity

With the coronavirus pandemic having battered our economy, the federal government has been issuing Economic Impact Payments, colloquially known as stimulus checks. These payments, averaging $1,200 per person, are being made to taxpaying citizens through the Internal Revenue Service as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These payments have been a welcome boon to the many who have been hard hit by the virus-mandated shutdowns of “non-essential” businesses – and life in general.

We recently had a call from a generous reader who wondered what he might do with his stimulus check, which, he confessed, he didn’t really need. Being in sound shape financially, he said, he wished instead to donate his payment to “someone who could really use it.” We thought this was a lovely idea.

 

 

Thu
14
May
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Another Pandemic “Victim”

Last month, the Memorial Day Parade Committee made the sad decision to cancel Livingston’s annual parade. This week, the July Fourth Committee made a similar announcement, cancelling Livingston’s Independence Day festivities.

2020 has been a year like no other, and so many things have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fourth of July is just the latest celebration to fall “victim” to the virus and the regulations in place to combat its spread.

 

 

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Thu
14
May
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Talking It Out in Public

Two weeks ago, we applauded township, county and state officials for their transparency in reporting the facts and figures associated with COVID-19. While we ran out of space in that editorial, we would be remiss not to mention the transparent public discussions we have watched (online, via livestream) regarding our upcoming Board of Education and Township Council budgets.

Any television commercial will be first to tell you that right now, we are living in “challenging and uncertain times.” We have budgets that are due, but have no idea what the next year will look like, as this pandemic runs its course. Yet, all involved must make educated guesses and pass them on schedule in order to pay the bills.

 

 

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