Columns/Opinions

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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Thu
04
Apr
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Take Yourself Out to a Ball Game

There may still be a bit of a chill in the air, but spring has arrived, as evidenced by Livingston’s baseball and softball fields finally being put to good use.

Two weekends ago, members of the Livingston Police Department joined the Livingston Lancers high school baseball team for the third annual Blue/Green Shield game. The mixedteam softball game pairs players with officers to create a lasting bond between the two groups of individuals. Throughout the season, each player will display his officer’s badge number on his helmet, while the officers will have pins on their uniforms with their players’ numbers. The pairs aim to keep in touch, and police officers are expected to be a presence at games all season long.

 

 

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Thu
28
Mar
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Standing with New Zealand

No, this is not a rerun, though we’ve written these words too many times. After Parkland, after the Capital Gazette, after Pittsburgh, all just last year alone.And now after the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand earlier this month.

Last Saturday, March 23, about 100 people gathered at the Knights of Columbus building on Eisenhower Parkway where Jamiah Masjid Livingston held a service and prayer session for the 50 people killed and 50 more injured in two terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

 

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Thu
28
Mar
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National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Tomorrow, Friday, March 29, is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The day was designated by Presidential proclamation in 2017 to honor all military personnel who served during the Vietnam era, regardless of where they served. March 29 was chosen in commemoration of the formal withdrawal of U.S. combat and combat support troops from Vietnam on March 29, 1973.

Finally, more than 40 years after the Paris Agreement of 1973 and the fall of Saigon in 1975, the veterans of the Vietnam conflict are getting the recognition they deserve. Some 500,000 men and women served; 58,000 did not return home. Those who did return came home to a divided nation that did not always support them – and sometimes even vilified them.

 

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Thu
21
Mar
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National Leader in Renewable Energy

Last week, we applauded the Township Council for following through on several sustainability initiatives in town, and now that we have more information about the results of their energy aggregation search we must again take a moment to reflect on the great news.

We had hoped for an uptick in the use of renewable energy and some savings for our residents. We certainly did not expect to hear that the nearly three quarters of the town using Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) as their energy provider will now utilize 100 percent renewable energy, with the other quarter of residents with Jersey Central Power and Light (JCPL) nearly doubling the state’s sustainability requirements. In all, roughly 83 percent of Livingston’s energy will now come from wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy, as opposed to sources like coal and oil that are harmful to the environment.

 

 

Thu
21
Mar
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One Time Slot, Two Speakers

Next Thursday evening, many Livingston parents will listen to an engaging talk about how to better support their children. The only question is which of two talks will they be attending? Two separate speakers will each hold presentations simultaneously next week, with both directed to parents about helping their children.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, Dianne Grossman will speak at the Senior, Youth and Leisure Services building, 204 Hillside Avenue. She is the mother of Mallory Grossman, a 12-year-old girl from Rockaway Township who was bullied by her peers and took her own life nearly two years ago. Since then Dianne has founded “Mallory’s Army” to combat bullying in schools, and her discussion will focus on encouraging families to avoid the “not my child syndrome,” the false belief that they are immune to the unthinkable happening.

 

 

Thu
14
Mar
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Sunshine Week

This week, March 10 through 16, is Sunshine Week, an annual national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government and access to public information. Just by reading this editorial, you’re helping us celebrate.

Sunshine Week is a non-partisan initiative celebrated annually in mid-March since 2005, coinciding with James Madison’s March 16 birthday. The week shines a spotlight on transparency and is a celebration of the freedom of information United States citizens are entitled to receive. Sunshine Week helps ensure we continue to maintain this crucial right, which helps hold those in power in check.

 

 

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Thu
14
Mar
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Street Patrols

This past week, the Livingston Police Department performed radar and traffic safety enforcement on Falcon Road, North Hillside Avenue, Hillside Avenue, East McClellan Avenue, and Sycamore Avenue. We know this because they told us about these watches, and asked us to write about the patrols in the Tribune, to share the information with residents.

The goal, as Chief Gary Marshuetz let us know, is to get people thinking about how they are driving on local roads, and to make sure they arrive at their destinations safely. Just by alerting residents of the streets to be patrolled, the police department is showcasing some spots in town that are seen as “problem areas” for both traffic and speeding violations.

 

 

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Thu
07
Mar
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Farewell to an Institution

This week, Pastor Peter C. Picos of Northfield Baptist Church has announced the sad news that the congregation has decided to sell the church building, and the church will cease most operations once the building is sold.

This will be a huge loss, not just to its members, but to the entire community. Northfield Baptist Church has been closely entwined with Livingston’s history since the town’s earliest days, and its founding dates back to before the seven hamlets it served were incorporated into a single township in 1813.

 

 

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