Columns/Opinions

Thu
12
Mar
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Virus Anxiety

Though as of press time no Livingston residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the effects of the continuing nationwide spread of the virus are beginning to hit Livingston. Readers need look no further than the closest empty hand sanitizer shelf for proof.

There is much that is not yet known about this virus and, for the sake of our most vulnerable populations (while testing positive could result in minor symptoms for someone in excellent health, it may be fatal for the elderly or those with underlying health conditions), we should continue to take the proper precautions without outright panicking.

 

 

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Thu
05
Mar
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A Matter of Empathy

“The bottom line of local reporting, in its best form, is empathy.” - Iris Samuels, reporter, Kodiak Daily Mirror

“There is nothing like the prospect of running into a news source in the grocery store aisle to make you a stickler for accuracy and fairness.” - Kathy Kiely, professor, University of Missouri School of Journalism

These two quotes were pulled from a Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine feature about the future of journalism. They struck us as perfect encapsulations of what we do here at the West Essex Tribune, and what makes us so unique from any other publication.

 

 

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Thu
27
Feb
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Celebrating Retirements, History and Voting

At the end of this week, two respected Livingston police officers will leave the department. Effective March 1, Lieutenant Reese Riley will retire after 26 years of service, and Sergeant Deborah Shumaker will retire following 27 and half years in law enforcement.

Additional information on Lt. Riley and Sgt. Shumaker will be featured in next week’s edition of the West Essex Tribune, which will be sent to every household in town, but we wanted to briefly acknowledge them in this week’s paper before they exited the force and enjoyed some well-earned time off.

 

 

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Thu
20
Feb
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Pool Registration

Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner, and registration has opened for Livingston’s pools. The early bird registration will be open through April, at which point membership prices will increase. So anyone planning to take advantage of our pools this summer should sign up within the next few months.

 

 

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Thu
20
Feb
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Celebrating Our Town’s History

This week, the Tribune presents its bi-annual “Celebrate Livingston’s History” section. It is one of our most popular sections (in fact, last year’s edition just won a first place New Jersey Press Association award!), in part because it speaks to our township’s sense of community; no matter who we are, we live here, together, in Livingston, and we all share that common thread. Livingston is a large town with a population of nearly 30,000, but we are regularly surprised to discover just how small it can feel. This history-focused section reflects that.

 

 

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Thu
13
Feb
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A Fine-Free Library

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, February 14, the Livingston Library will join several other Essex County libraries in no longer charging fines for most overdue materials. We think this is a great way to encourage residents who have been missing out to return to our wonderful library and all the resources it provides our community.

According to library director Amy Babcock Landry, close to 2,200 Livingston accounts have each accrued more than ten dollars in fines, including 800 accounts classified as juvenile, in seventh grade or lower. Of those accounts, 436 were in use within the last year. The hope is that those hundreds of young readers will return if the worry of overdue fines is eliminated. Typically, fines most affect children and senior citizens, those likeliest to take advantage of the library’s vast array of services.

 

 

Thu
13
Feb
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A Well-Earned ‘Thank You’

This past Tuesday, the Livingston Fire Department held its annual inspection dinner. We at the West Essex Tribune would like to mark the occasion by taking a moment to thank our firefighters for keeping our community safe through another busy year.

To the 64 members of our volunteer fire department, thank you for answering nearly 1,200 calls in 2019, at all hours of the day, and in all types of weather.

Thank you for responding to every appliance fire, smoking car, gas leak, water emergency, and carbon monoxide alarm in this ever-expanding community.

 

 

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Thu
06
Feb
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Coronavirus Concerns

The threat of the coronavirus has left many in the community concerned for their safety. While there is a widespread outbreak in Wuhan, China, risk in the United States is currently considered low. As of press time, there have been no confirmed cases in New Jersey, though earlier this week Governor Phil Murphy announced a state coronavirus task force.

The coronavirus spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing. It can also spread through close personal contact, like shaking hands, as well as touching an object with the virus on it. Much is still unknown about it, though cases have ranged from symptoms similar to the common cold, to death in hundreds of individuals.

 

 

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Thu
06
Feb
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Past Time for a Plastics Ban

At the Monday, January 27, conference meeting of the Township Council, the Ad Hoc Plastic Committee discussed a proposed ordinance banning plastic bag use at Livingston businesses, as well as a list of additional regulations. The list included limiting the use of paper bags, Styrofoam, single use plastic utensils, plastic straws, and more. If it felt like déjà vu for those in attendance, that was because those same findings were presented to this same Council last October. In between, the state passed nothing at the end of 2019, which had been referenced as a reason the Council had held off on drafting a town ordinance last fall.

Thu
30
Jan
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A Tremendous Loss to Livingston – And the End of an Era

A Livingston legend died last week, and with his death, an era has ended. Charlie Schilling, Livingston’s Fire Chief for 36 years, and a firefighter for 59 years, died last Tuesday at the age of 98.

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