LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, SEPT. 21
To residents concerned about pedestrian safety
On Tuesday Oct. 3, at 7 p.m., the Montclair Town Council will discuss a resolution to lower the speed limit on Grove Street to 30 miles per hour.
The Council has already approved an ordinance to widen the median on Grove Street, which will cause motorists to slow down. These two moves are the first steps to make drivers slow down and let pedestrians cross Grove without taking their life in their hands.
In the first half of 2017, 21 pedestrians were hit and sent to the hospital by vehicles on Montclair roadways. Grove Street had the most pedestrian crashes in town, including one fatality. Typically, Bloomfield Avenue is the most dangerous street in Montclair, but this year, Grove Street has had twice as many pedestrian crashes as Bloomfield Avenue.
The Montclair Pedestrian Safety Committee is asking all interested residents to attend the Town Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m., at 205 Claremont Ave., to give your support. They need to hear from our citizens who are upset about the rampant speeding on Grove. If you can’t come, please email the Mayor and the Council members with your support.
The writer is the chair of the township’s Pedestrian Safety Committee
Preserve national parks and our planet
In May, 1818, immediate past president James Madison gave a speech pleading for people to preserve other animals and plants. He was worried about soil erosion, the wanton cutting down of trees, and Thomas Malthus’ warnings about unchecked population growth resulting in disease and famine. Madison warned his audience of more than 30 wealthy landowners that if the balance of nature is broken, nature may not be able to restore itself. His speech was published in a pamphlet that circulated widely in the United States and somewhat less so in Europe.
How appropriate and serious his warnings are two centuries later. Nature has not been able to adjust to human spewing into the atmosphere and climate change is upon us with a vengeance in recent weeks. The population explosion is indeed causing disease, famine and many refugees.
This week a proposal has been made within the national budget to greatly curtail the national parks and forests that preserve trees, animals, and native plants. Planned Parenthood remains under attack. It is important that Montclairians write to or call Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and either Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen or Donald Payne Jr. and tell them to preserve all national parks and forests and continue to support Planned Parenthood.
Personally, I want very much for the human species to continue (even though I won’t for much longer on this planet myself). For that to happen, we must preserve many plants and other animals and ensure that more humans are born only when they are wanted. I hope the most powerful country in the world will come to its senses and help preserve humankind.
(Incidentally, I read the first paragraph’s information in a fascinating book “Founding Gardeners” by Andrea Wulf, which I will return to the Montclair Public Library later this month. I highly recommend buying or borrowing it. It tells in detail of the gardening and environmental efforts of our first four presidents.)
Great living in Montclair
I lived in West Orange for 11 years, after which I moved into The Siena in Montclair. Initially I thought that I wanted to live in NYC; I had met with Realtors to see condos close to the Lincoln Tunnel. My office is in Clifton, so I felt that the reverse commute would be easy and I’d also enjoy the perks of living in NYC. However, after learning from many people that the reverse commute in/out of NYC would hardly be a walk in the park, I ultimately decided to move into The Siena in Montclair instead. I greatly value a short commute to and from work, so decided that this was the best move. And what a great decision it has been!
The Siena has been a great place to live. Having never lived in a condo before, I thoroughly enjoy the world of perks that I had never experienced before — underground parking, the gym and Starbucks in the building, a concierge, a porter, and a candy store — it regularly occurs to me that it doesn’t get much better than this! To top it all off, The Siena residents are all “pretty cool” and I have made many friends here.
Now a four-year Montclair veteran, I couldn’t be happier and can hardly imagine living without all of the amenities that I have gotten so accustomed to and love. Whole Foods, CVS, and dozens of shops, bars, and restaurants all within walking distance have changed my mind about needing to live in the city in order to enjoy those benefits. Also, with the direct trains going straight into NY Penn Station, my girlfriend and I have made it a point to go in on a regular basis. Basically, living in Montclair truly gives me the best of both worlds!
Since living here, I have noticed the town moving in a more upscale direction. House prices have been increasing, the shops are getting classier and the restaurants are getting better and better. Also, the new solar powered hands-free garbage cans look nice and work well, and the all new parking meters, public flower arrangements, and town signs give the area an even more inviting and trendy appearance.
So to sum it up for all who are reading this, live in Montclair, and agree that this is a great place to live — let’s all contribute together to keep the town moving in this positive direction and make it even better so we can continue to call Montclair HOME!
Sending the geese on their way
Last week’s article “Taking a Gander” (Sept. 21, page A-2) brought up an issue that needs addressing in Montclair. In 2007, the Township, after failing to use effective means to control the population of Canada geese, obtained a permit from the federal government to round up and exterminate 80 geese by gassing. There was a local outcry. Then, over the next 10 years, the Township contracted with two different NJ companies to whom thousands of dollars were paid for services to control the geese population by hazing the geese and addling their eggs. The result was another roundup at the end of June and the gassing again of geese.
As long as Edgemont and Yantacaw Brook parks remain perfect habitats for geese, there will be geese making their homes in these parks. To achieve an effective, humane solution that will have the long-term effect of minimizing the nuisance issues related to the geese and ending the waste of tax dollars, the focus must be on habitat modification so the parks do not meet the natural needs of the geese.
I urge all residents to keep an eye on this issue and to please support the changes that need to be made to include Montclair in the group of localities who have chosen to respect life.
The house that women ‘built’
As the new president of the Montclair Women’s Club, 82 Union St., I want to say how proud I am of what we have accomplished and are still accomplishing. Our Women’s Club was founded in 1915, and the clubhouse was commissioned and funded by the members. After several years of financial stress, the building has been saved and is now on the Montclair Historic Register.
Our board is active, committed and responsive to the community. Some of our projects this year will be Opioid Addiction Awareness and Prevent Child Abuse NJ.
One of our important, ongoing contributions to the community is our programming — daytime and nighttime events — at a very low cost of $5 for nonmembers; free for members.
Upcoming events include:
Oct. 6., 12:30 p.m. Opening Luncheon, with a performance by Mia Riker-Norrie, founder of Opera Theater of Montclair
Oct. 20, 1:30 p.m. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, 19th-century American composer
Nov. 3, 1:30 p.m. World War II and research for the book “Shot Down over Italy”
Nov. 14, 7 p.m. Women in Transition: Financial Strategies
For more information, visit montclairwomensclub.org
The building needs a new roof, and membership and/or tax-deductible donations will help to maintain this “house that women built” and are still “building.”
We hope to see you at events ... and perhaps as members.