Letters to the editor: Jan. 23, 2020
Enforcement could help fill coffers
Like many towns across New Jersey, Montclair has its budgetary woes. Here are a couple of ideas to help fill the coffers:
Pass a law making it illegal to go over the posted speed limit in a motor vehicle. Then ticket and fine anyone violating that law.
Also, pass a law making it illegal to use a commercial leaf blower between, say, Jan. 1 and March 1. Then ticket and fine anyone violating that law.
In addition to the added revenue, such laws would lessen air and noise pollution, make pedestrians and cyclists safer, and help keep Montclair a pleasant place to live.
Thanks to Mernin, Harris for their work
I wanted to extend my thanks to Ms. Anne Mernin and Mr. James Harris for all of their hard work and dedication to the children of our district over many years.
I was so saddened to hear of the anonymous attack on Ms. Mernin’s character and the rush to judgement of Mr. Harris after a lifetime of service.
While I condemn what Mr. Harris said, he admitted his wrong and apologized. Shouldn’t this begin a process of dialogue and healing?
Both Ms. Mernin and Mr. Harris have given countless hours of their time and energy on behalf of our schools and deserve better than this. It takes an army of volunteers to make a town great. It is worth reflecting on how we treat our volunteers lest we have none to complain about. Their departures are truly our loss.
Encourage dialogue before we attack others
James Harris is an honorable man; he always has been. He does not deserve to be castigated for speaking out on his views.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s James and I served on the Montclair Civil Rights Commission. The commission worked diligently implementing a very successful town-wide ”Conversations On Race “ program. James was instrumental in the success of the program.
Small group settings were scheduled where conversations were held on racial views.
People spoke their mind and the dialogue was honest and frank. We were able to hear and discuss opinions from a variety of residents. We did not always agree and yet, no one was rebuked. We understood that our most important communication skill was “listening”
Furthermore, James has dedicated a major part of his adult life as a constant worker advancing the Montclair and statewide issues of the NAACP.
Let us all take time to listen before we berate.
Dr. King and the Citizen Police Academy
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a national hero, not a criminal, as was insinuated by Ms. Kirsten Levingston, in the Jan. 16 Welcome to Montclair column (“Kumba-bye? Why not open up the Citizen Police Academy?,” page 20).
I believe Ms. Levingston using Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (or any one’s name), as an example for a person as a criminal with an arrest record, who would not be eligible to participate in a Citizen Police Academy was an insult to Dr. King and all the many other freedom fighters who died and were arrested in sit ins and marches for African Americans to achieve equality for civil rights and the right to vote in these United States of America. Before the passage of the 1960s Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other people died, were arrested and marched for, blacks did not have the same civil rights and voting rights as whites in the United States of America.
Therefore, for Ms. Levingston to insinuate that “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whom we celebrate this weekend, would not have been able to participate,” in a Citizen Police Academy, is an offense to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to the 1960s civil rights movement where many people died, were arrested and marched, so that all Americans could have the same freedoms in these United States of America.