Columns/Opinions

Thu
21
May
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Chrissy's Column

Now that spring is here, I've been on the hunt for a new purse. As pathetic as that sounds, it's a really big deal, as finding the Perfect Purse is, for me, on the same level as the Quest for the Holy Grail. The reason is that I'm extremely finicky about purses. I have had dozens of handbags over recent years, but most of them were purchased out of desperation and then abandoned after I realized I couldn't live with their shortcomings.

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Thu
14
May
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Apathy About the School Budget

Until recently, the public had been asked to approve the Board of Education's budget during an election held in April. We always thought it was strange that we were asked to vote on the school budget but not on the municipal or county spending plans. We reasoned that we had elected the offi cials to create the budgets and if we didn't like what they were doing, we could fail to re-elect them in the future. We now think that this reasoning was fl awed. There was a great deal of effort put into the passage of the school budget when it was subject to a vote. There were public hearings and there were loud, often contentious, discussions. Now that the public is no longer voting on the school district's spending plan, the attention seems to have diminished immeasurably and apathy seems to have taken over. There are no more budget task forces, made up of people who worked hard to disseminate the information about how our tax dollars were being spent.

Thu
07
May
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The Bent Angle

I never thought I would type these words, but my farm is consuming my life. I didn't set out to buy a farm. I am not the country type. I love the suburbs and I like the city. Fields and scarecrows were never my thing. In this case, my farmer friend suggested that I check one out. I didn't consult anyone. The opportunity presented itself, it was cheap, and voila! I have a farm. I guess I should mention now that I didn't purchase actual farm acreage at a real estate auction. Instead, I bought a virtual farm app for $6 on my iPad. Tomato, to-mah-to...
 
Thu
07
May
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Graduation Time

Thu
30
Apr
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Teach Your Children Well

This past weekend, a family on Shadowlawn Drive had a frightening experience that turned out just fine because their children were taught the appropriate response to the situation. Two children were playing in the front yard when a grey boxy vehicle, possibly a Jeep, pulled up to them. The children reported that the driver, a man, had offered them candy and that there was a woman in the back seat. Instead of accepting the treat, the youngsters ran into the house and did not talk to the strangers.

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Thu
23
Apr
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Earth Day – Every Day

Yesterday was the 45th annual Earth Day. In 1970, when the fi rst Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, America was described as "slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans; industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press; and air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. 'Environment' was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news."
 
Thu
16
Apr
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A Plea for Help

We urgently need the assistance of the mayor, Town Council and residents of Livingston to help us deal with the huge number of stray cats on our street, Sycamore Terrace. My neighbor at 22 Sycamore Terrace has provided some shelters for them and feeds them on a daily basis. I help her by contributing food every month. We are the only people in our neighborhood and the town who are providing humane treatment for these cats.
 
Thu
16
Apr
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A Dangerous Decision

Drug and alcohol use among teenagers was the topic of a survey recently administered to Livingston students in grades eight, ten and 12. We were surprised, and a bit appalled, when the results revealed that 69% of the students surveyed who used alcohol did so in someone's home, with or without permission. In an effort to address similar issues a few years back, the principals of Livingston public schools penned a joint letter to parents and guardians of students. Like the principals, we feel strongly compelled to acknowledge the very real issue of underage drinking and illegal drug use in the township. Just 34% of students took the survey, which leads all involved to believe that the results are a grossly low estimate of the true rate of substance abuse in the student population.
 
Thu
09
Apr
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Providing Fair Housing

New Jersey has had a confusing and convoluted method of dealing with the dearth of housing for its low- and moderateincome families. The Council on Affordable Housing, known by its acronym COAH, was created by the New Jersey Legislature in response to the Fair Housing Act of 1985 and a series of New Jersey Supreme Court rulings known as the Mount Laurel decisions. COAH is a government agency within the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs that is responsible for ensuring that all 566 New Jersey municipalities provide their fair share of low- and moderate-income housing. As of 2014, COAH defined a moderate income family of four in Essex County as earning $72,492 and a low income family as earning $45,307. Using these figures, COAH is supposed to define housing regions, estimate the needs for low- and moderate-income housing, allocate fair share numbers by municipality and review plans to fulfill these obligations.

Thu
02
Apr
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Think of Others at the Holidays

This weekend, most of us will be celebrating a holiday. Whether it's for Easter or Passover, families will be gathering together, and most will be enjoying festive meals. However, some will not have the good fortune of sumptuous fare. These are the folks who rely on food pantries to supplement their own cupboards.
 

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