Don’t blame preservationists for Lackawanna hold up

In a town like Montclair that is characterized by its fine old buildings, its long standing neighborhoods and its unique social fabric, its only logical that due attention is given to preserving Montclair for what it is. Don’t blame preservationists for holding up redevelopment if not enough importance is being given to preserving the towns fine old buildings.

The decision makers of redevelopment have a duty in maintaining the Montclair’s historic character because its what maintains the real estate values and protects property owner’s investments in the residential neighborhoods. Montclair’s major real estate worth is indisputably its vast inventory of vintage residential properties. Preservation of the fine old existing streetscapes is a vital factor in maintaining real estate values. It attracts newcomers to invest in maintaining the fine old houses and neighborhoods.

Preserving the neighborhoods’ buildings, especially the landmarks, means maintaining real estate values in actual indisputable statistics. This patrimony of historic buildings, is what gives Montclair its attractive trademark. Preservation maintains the town’s character and standards of quality. Its also considered a way to prevent suburban sprawl from harming a town’s desirable character.

Montclair has a diverse, rich and unique social fabric that must me maintained to order to preserve the character as well. The Fourth Ward’s valuable Black history landmarks are disappearing and cannot afford to lose any more because of their significant social legacy.

The Lackawanna Station is also a valuable fourth ward landmark that must not be lost to redevelopment. Preserving the valuable train station landmark is important for the value of Montclair center as well as the whole town. Preserving the landmarks could be considered a sentimental option but its significance in today’s world is reflected in economic return.


Essex Fells


End the abuse of children on our border

Like millions of other Americans, I watched in horror as thousands of children, hundreds under age five, have been separated from their families at the United States border, expressly to terrorize families seeking asylum in our country, a fully legal right, so that others will no longer see the United States as a refuge and will not even attempt to come.

As federal courts demanded reunification of these families, we are witnessing the utter lack of planning and total incompetence and indifference to the welfare of these children, who are returning with evident signs of neglect and deep psychological trauma.

As a grandmother, and a retired psychotherapist in community mental health, I am heartbroken that the United States government itself is inflicting these outrages on children. For many years, I worked in the South Bronx with parents who were suspected of neglect or abuse, trying to help them resolve their problems. Never did I dream that I would see official neglect and abuse on such a scale.

But the United States is not alone in official child maltreatment. As a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, I have become aware of the maltreatment of Palestinian children in detention in Israel. These children are detained and prosecuted in military courts. In detention, they experience physical violence, blindfolding, verbal abuse, humiliation , intimidation, interrogation without right to an attorney, and nearly half are taken from their homes in the middle of the night. There is now a resolution in the U.S. Congress, HR 4391, endorsed by 30 members of Congress (all democrats), to ensure that United States taxpayer funds will not be used to support human rights violations against Palestinian children. None of the 30 are from NJ. In November, let’s elect representatives who will stand up for children, at home and abroad.

Bella August