Township worker shows courtesy


I would like to compliment an employee of Montclair Township. My Christmas tree was picked up this past week. There were three ornaments left on the tree. This employee took the time to take them off and place them on my lawn. One of them was a memorable ornament. This ornament was created for the 125th anniversary of St. James Church on Valley Road in Upper Montclair. It was only created for this ceremony. It is very important to me and my family. I am very grateful for the courtesy. Glad to be a Montclair resident. Happy New Year and thank you.

Gabriella Bauer



Is it confidence or conceit?

Among the obvious reasons many people, including myself, enjoy the holiday season are stories that I really like seeing on most local news stations. It’s hard to keep a dry eye when they choose to highlight people who do the most wonderful things for others. Many of these kind folks choose to remain anonymous.

Though other good people are not ignored by the media during the rest of the year, I’d like to see the same level of exposure we see during the holiday season. I believe that highlighting these stories has become more important than ever before. These are the people we all should emulate in our own way.

Here’s why: Thanks to my mom I learned early in life, sometimes the hard way, the difference between a person who shows self confidence and one who is simply conceited.

Today many people have combined the two. They see both as confidence. I believe that some young people don’t even know what conceit is. It’s self praise. I’ve been known to call them “Ain’t I great” people. They come in all ages and all walks of life. They could be a student, a salesperson, an athlete, a coach, etc. Even “Potus,” yes the current president is a perfect example of conceit at it’s height.

Let’s please hear more about the wonderful giving people we should be teaching our children to emulate in 2018. Please teach then the difference between confidence and conceit. Please.

Vincent Tango



Debate on marijuana legalization

I read with interest Thomas Pluck’s response to my series of letters against legalization of recreational marijuana in the Dec. 7 issue of Montclair Local. I appreciate Mr. Pluck commending my service to law enforcement, however I disagree with many of his points/views, especially accusing the police by stating, “It is in law enforcement’s interest to keep the prison pipeline flowing because it keeps their budget full.”

That statement is far from the truth and displays disrespect for the hard-working men and women who put their lives on the line every time they strap their gun belts and report for duty.

I agree with your statement, “It is a different world and the drug war has ravaged communities across the United States.” But I disagree with your statement, “Turned our county courts into a profit generator on the backs of people suffering from addiction by turning them into criminals.” It has always been my outdated anecdotes from the 1970s that addiction should not be treated as a crime but instead as a sickness/disease and that an individual arrested for a crime because of his/her addiction should not be incarcerated but instead sentenced to a facility for rehabilitation.

Your statement “performing drug raids is glamorous” is a fallacy. Performing drug raids can be very dangerous for police officers. I know of police who have been seriously injured and in some cases killed. How glamorous is that?

I agree that pharmaceutical suppliers and some doctors have contributed to the serious opiate problem we are now facing, but I might add that legalizing recreational marijuana will also contribute to the opiate epidemic.

I agree I was “tough on crime” during my tenure as Montclair’s chief of police but always with the interest of the safety and welfare  of the community. In reference to Steve Cohen’s letter to the editor on Dec. 14, in speaking with a neurologist who wishes to remain anonymous, if you were to perform an MRI on an individual who had just smoked marijuana, depending on the strength of the THC chemical compound, it would show effects on their brain cells. I don’t profess any expert medical knowledge but it would seem to me this could be the reason for someone going into a delusional state of mind.

It is not my intention to get into a battle via “Letters to the Editor,” but instead to voice my professional opinion in hopes that my views will stimulate the minds of the citizens of Montclair to avoid the dangers as I see them in legalizing recreational marijuana.

In closing, to the remarks “so what is the problem” and “joining the 21st century,” the problem, sir, is that smoking, any type of smoking, is an addiction and detrimental to health and the environment. If my response offends either of you, I offer my apology.

Thomas Russo