Our federal state of emergency

Very few, if any, of the claims of a national security emergency at our borders with Mexico appear to be true; at least not urgent enough to pull President Donald Trump away from the omelet bar at his golf resort.

We have Mr. Trump's story about all this, as well as the counter-claims from his Democratic opponents that there is no valid emergency.

What is needed is a neutral, tripartite commission, consisting of a third each of representatives of the opposing points of view and another third of the commission represented by independent, well-informed and politically-neutral participants.

The neutral, independent members of this investigative body should consist entirely of U.S. citizens, so that there can be no complaints of foreign influence or bias in their findings.
All members will actively participate in determining whether the situation at our southern border falls into the category of a genuine national emergency, and whether the measures of controlling this border, both proposed and those carried out to date are valid responses to the actual situation.

This commission must be charged with delivering a report of their findings to be released to the American people within a set period of time, not to exceed 90 days from their start date.

The commission as a whole should be allowed access to whatever data and documents they require, such as the actual number of individuals illegally entering our country and for what reasons, as compared to other time periods.

They should also be able to have enough information regarding the relative amounts of illegal drugs and other contraband reaching our country over our land borders versus through other available points of international access, e.g: port facilities and airports.
This has become too much a situation where we appear to have pandering to a political base and the holding of an entire nation hostage by threats of government shutdown by our executive branch, to the detriment of our economy and a large sector of our citizenry. These actions of our executive branch are not part of a normal, healthy political process and shouldn't be tolerated by the public any longer.

Let's have an objective, neutral mediated conversation over this question of national emergency or not and agree on the most appropriate response.

Let's see what comes out of this conversation, and whether the American people can be informed of the facts and get to know not only the players, but also their guiding principles and whose interests they represent.




A great performance by MHS SVPA

To all the Montclair High School students and faculty involved in the School of Visual and Performing Arts production of “Ordinary People” last month, all I can say is…”Bravo!”
One month after the performance (as they say in show-business… better late than never) I am still struck by how moving and talented the entire cast was, bringing such gravitas and poignant emotion to a play in which characters demonstrated such depth and pain. The sets were masterfully constructed, and the tech crew did a top-notch job with transitions that I know can be hard to pull off.

Congratulations to everyone involved on a great show.




Traffic, pedestrian safety must be priority

I hope that others will join me in writing or phoning our governor to reinstate the safety inspections ended by his predecessor. We believe our family has been twice the victim of unsafe cars. We read an article saying that New Jersey emissions inspectors are frustrated by their inability to have any effect on obviously unsafe cars.

Locally, we wish that breathalyzer tests were more routine. When my husband was hit in the back when stopped for a red light and the driver claimed that it was due to the brakes failing, no test was given to see if he had been drinking. That should be routine in such accidents.

Last year two pedestrians died from traffic accidents in Montclair. We are frustrated by the lack of pedestrian safety.

“Look both ways before crossing” we were taught as children, but we see people just flicking the alert lights and assuming that cars can and will stop for them.

I also believe believe that Montclair’s committees about traffic and pedestrian safety should be more active and visible.




A wonderful revelation

If you enjoy television as much as I do, you must be thinking along with me “it’s wonderful, why did no one come up with this before.” I’m talking about the new trend for many television shows of all kinds to creatively use voice overs. Now the blind can not only hear the actors but they can also hear a voice briefly describing what they can’t see.

Just pick a show, close your eyes and listen for awhile and you will fully realize how wonderful this new approach to TV is. If you are anything like me you’ll probably shed a tear just fully realizing what a great and long overdue wonderful aid to the blind really is.




MPD presence necessary for pedestrian safety

On a walk downtown, late afternoon Tuesday, I witnessed an egregious traffic safety violation on South Fullerton Avenue near the corner of Bloomfield Avenue.

The construction on Bloomfield Avenue has eastbound traffic narrowed to one lane. Drivers on Bloomfield Avenue had completely blocked the intersection, preventing cars on South Fullerton Avenue from entering it. Horns blaring all around, traffic on South Fullerton Avenue at a dead stop.

A driver in a silver sedan, three to four cars back on South Fullerton Avenue, took matters into his own hands. He pulled out of traffic, drove down to Bloomfield Avenue in the oncoming lane, made an illegal left onto Church Street and very nearly hit two young women who were about to cross Church Street toward Anthropologie. The car then sped away on Church Street and I am only sorry I didn't get the license plate.

Police presence at that intersection would certainly have made a difference in that driver's behavior, or at the very least, caught him in the act. It seems that police should be assigned during the construction, especially at peak times, to facilitate traffic flow and ensure the safety of pedestrians.