Letters to the editor, April 11
The dangers of using pesticides in your garden
We, the 51 members of the Edgemont Roots & Shoots Club, are writing to remind everyone of the dangers of using pesticides in your garden.
Pesticides are very dangerous because they affect our whole environment. When it rains, the chemicals wash into all of the drains and go into the rivers, lakes, and oceans. Eventually, the chemicals get into the food chain and your plate. Also, they affect the pollinators and other animals.
In conclusion, Edgemont Roots & Shoots Club members would really appreciate if you take into consideration when enjoying your garden this spring.
EDGEMONT ROOTS & SHOOTS CLUB MEMBERS
Edgemont School First through Fifth Graders
Appeal to New Jersey Pension Fund
I am a New Jersey resident concerned about climate change. I have been trying to invest in companies that are helping the environment, and not in those companies that are doing harm. I would like to call upon the New Jersey Pension Fund to help combat climate change.
The New Jersey Pension Fund still invests in companies that produce fossil fuels.This is dangerous to its beneficiaries. The extraction of fossil fuel puts large amounts of CO2 and Methane into our air. This creates rising temperatures and rising sea levels that will cause costly, harmful disruptions, specifically for New Jersey residents.
Many Fund managers around the world agree the tide is changing, no pun intended, and they are investing instead in renewable energy. Renewables are good for the planet and the pocketbooks. In 2018 the Energy Sector was the worst performing Sector in the Standard and Poor’s 500. As of early 2019, more than a 1000 institutions, managing holdings of $8 trillion are divesting their portfolios of fossil fuels.
I prevail upon the New Jersey Pension Fund Manager and other government and union Fund managers to divest from fossil fuel investments. It is the responsible thing to do for its beneficiaries and the world at large.
Use school surplus to refund taxpayers
The Montclair school system is asking a two percent increase in municipal taxes in order to offset its budget proposal. I have been a Montclair resident for 39 years and every year we have been facing the same old song: "We need more money. Let's raise taxes”
The request is coming on the hill of an internal audit that determined Montclair school system has a $1.3 million surplus.
So instead of saving the money for next year or even better, giving the money back to the overburden taxpayers, the Board of Education is coming up with an interesting way to use up the extra money: adding more programs to the school such as starting classes on climate changes and so on.
To add more insult to the injury we need to address the overwhelming extra administrative staff the school has. I have never seen so many principals, vice principals, assistants to the principals and to the vice principals, and assistants to the assistants as in the Montclair school system.
Enough is enough. The Montclair residents' cash drawer is dry.
AURORA DE JULIIS
Ban Leaf Blowers
I agree with Bob Henke’s dislike of leaf blowers expressed in last week’s Montclair Local, if not his enthusiasm for race tracks.
How sad that they interrupt the beauty of incipient spring. I raise my family’s vegetables and care for my property with no power machinery, and enjoy it very much – except when a leaf blower, or more than one, interrupts the beauty of Montclair. Let’s ban them.
Their use is based on two falsehoods: that they save money and time. However, towns that have banned them have not had a rise in landscaping prices. They do not save money. I rake at least as fast as the landscapers blow. They do not save time.
Surveys indicate that among workers using leaf blowers while wearing ear plugs about half have perceptible hearing loss and about a 10th go deaf altogether. People take such jobs because they don’t have options; forcing them to use leaf blowers is cruel to the defenseless. They clearly cause suffering for those with allergies as they blow dust and pollen around.
Please, township council, ban leaf blowers altogether. Their use is based on false assumptions, and they do lots of damage.
Unfriendly parking situation for visitor
I came in from Harrisburg, Pa. to attend the College Women’s Club of Montclair book sale on Thursday, April 4. It's to benefit college scholarships for needy women. The only parking available was metered and I used my bank card to pay, highly annoyed that there was a three-hour limit. I routinely spend more than three hours at these sales. So I went out during the sale to feed the meter again.
Unfortunately later I had to stand in line with my books at the check-out. Ahead of me were people buying thousands of small paperback books and it was taking forever for them to get tallied. Because the organizers stupidly had the trade paperbacks individually priced. They had to look inside each one. I didn't make it to the meter on time and got a $30 parking ticket. Other attendees were getting tickets because three hours is not enough.
Why the three-hour limit? It seems deliberately predatory. Other things about the situation were just wrong. Loading was difficult because excessive permit parking was blocking access areas. They even had a permit parking space carved out on an access ramp. The white van parked on the ramp prevented the use of carts to transport books to the parking lot. So to load my car I had to drive my vehicle completely around the block in heavy traffic even though I was parked in the adjacent lot. And with no left-turn signal at the traffic light, it was nearly impossible to make the turn. All this time I'm worried that my books sitting outside the building could be stolen.Nobody was watching them. And books routinely get stolen at these events. And what if it had been raining?
People had to carry heavy books up steps. I'm a senior with a physical disability. Making this difficult for me.There were no signs for the sale on any street or in any lot. And no warnings from the organizers before the sale as to the difficult parking and loading situation. It was a disorganized mess at an improper location.
I tried to complain to city government about the ticket and it's impossible to reach a single city official. None of them answer their phones. The parking authority said just contest it. But I'm not driving back to Montclair for anything ever again. Because I spent $400 at a charity event and got kicked in the pants on my way out. The ethical thing would be to have validated parking at this event. But ethical behavior seems to be rare in New Jersey.
The Boys of Summer are back
It’s baseball season with football season close behind. I’ve been a Yankee fan since I was a boy. A giant football fan too. While a grammar school student at Nishuane School, a friend of my classmate Joe Miele’s family had great season tickets to Yankee Stadium. Once they invited me to a game, ground level seats near the Yankee dugout.
When we saw Yankee great #7 Mickey Mantle standing behind the plate playing catch, not warming the pitcher up, while the catcher was strapping on his shin pads and chest protector. We rushed over to just behind the backstop.
I was so excited, I began to yell, “Mickey, Mickey, hi Mickey, hi hi Mickey.” No reaction from him standing around 15 feet away. All he needed to do was turn to us, wave and say “hi boys.” I would have become a Mantle fan for life.
In spite of that disappointment I’ve remained a loyal Yankee fan.
Years later while I was working part-time at a clothing store in Paramus Park Mall, soon after the football draft ended and my Giants selected a quarterback named Sibs or Simson from a college I never heard. Then a tall young guy a “towhead” walked into our store. My co-worker Steve whispered, “I think that’s the new Giants quarterback Phil Simms.” As I remember it, he hadn’t played in his fist game yet.
After he looked at some leather jackets, the three of us stood and talked. We told him that we go to the bar the “front row’ to watch Monday night football with some Giants players.
When he left the store Steve said, “Nice guy, I hope he does well.” I agreed. Years later I spoke with Phil at a Montclair High School vs Don Bosco Prep football game at Bosco’s Field. Phil was there with his son Chris to watch his other son, Mat, the Don Bosco quarterback.
I talked about that day way back when. I ended by saying jokingly, you were a nervous young man. He and Chris laughed and Phil said, “That was a long time ago.” I said yeah it was and we laughed. I wish I had ended it by telling Phil I was pulling for him from that day forward. I’m sure Steve was too. He made us want to wish him well. I don’t like “show boats” that I call “ain’t I great” people no matter their level of talent.