Town must stand up to Lackawanna developers

Dear Township Planning Board, I’ve been a resident of Montclair for 25 years. Please keep a few critical points in mind as you make your decision on the redevelopment of Lackawanna Plaza.

First: Montclair is a highly desirable community for developers. The town and our citizens should be in the position of strength when it comes to development; our needs and requirements should not be compromised. We have more to give the developers than they can ever provide to us.

Most developers only care about maximizing their profit. Anything that causes a developer to spend a few more dollars will be objected to as unrealistic and unfeasible as a start.

The shed structures are a unique feature of Montclair’s commuter history. Once gone we will be poorer for the loss and the box that will replace them will degrade the uniqueness of our community.

The 1980 development shows that the structures can be incorporated. The failure of that development is unrelated to the use of the shed structures in its design.

Your decision will impact our community for more than a few generations. This is a long-term decision.

There is plenty of evidence before you that this developer can and should incorporate the shed structures.

Call the developers bluff and send them back to the drawing board. Again, we are a desirable community. Should the developer say they’ll walk, let them. They or someone else will be back in short order.




Water trees in wilting heat

Montclair has new trees! They need your help.

Our beautiful green, tree lined streets have over 200, newly planted young trees in the ground between the sidewalk and the street.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that temperatures are rising and many of the trees appear to be wilting.

This is where we all come in. If you are fortunate enough to have a new tree in front of your house or business, please be civic minded and share some time and water with your new leafy friend. Get to know your tree, it could be there for a very long time and may even grow up with your children. Take a picture of you, your child and the tree or with your neighbor who is sharing the watering or a selfie with the tree you have adopted. Share your pictures with the Montclair Local and other social media to spread the word.

We are losing more trees than we can replace due to storm damage and EAB, Emerald Ash Borer, which is attacking all of our Ash Trees.

Watering is especially important this year to protect the trees we have already paid for and planted. Don’t forget, it will also add value to your property, make our town more attractive, provide habitat for birds and hundreds of critters as well as cool our city when it’s hot.

Sandra Chamberlin



‘Appalled’ by Edgemont House parking

I am appalled at how incompetent our township officials have been regarding the planning of the parking at Edgemont Field House. Failing to engage the users of the parking, as well as the neighbors, in planning discussions demonstrates a lack of regard for them.

A circular drive is one of the most difficult one for anyone to use. I have struggled for years using the one at the high school. I am sure the number of useable parking spaces is actually reduced. Drivers have difficulty getting into a curve and they use more space to get parked. I’ve experienced that at the high school.

Aesthetics seems to override practicality.

Why is the Valley Road entrance so important? Has any consideration been given to the Edgemont Road entrance? For families that is the more convenient entrance because it is nearer the playground. Also parking on Edgemont Road is generally easier than on Valley. Why not make that entrance inviting?

The Township supported the use of the field house by seniors. Why is it not now striving to make it accessible to seniors? It is time for township leaders to respect seniors as residents. It is time for them to get behind a plan for a senior center, offering appropriate parking that recognizes the physical needs of seniors who wish to engage in stimulating activities.
Mary Lee Jones


Gov’t must stop separating immigrant children, parents

It is tragic when children are separated from their parents even when the separation is caused by the death of a parent, but when families are escaping from frightening threats to migrate to another country, it is inexcusable.

Every religion honors the sacredness of family unity. I am one of many, many Americans who is horrified to learn that the leadership of my country is intentionally violating this principle for those seeking safety here after fleeing terror in their own country. “Give me your tired, your poor,” was basic to my instruction of what it is to be an American. We are a nation of immigrants, and our diversity is one of our strengths and joys.

The idea that such separation is supported by the Bible is a misinterpretation of the Bible. Jesus did not say we should do what the government says, no matter how misguided that government. Indeed Jesus, like every great moral leader, was full of compassion. Alas, he was killed by a government that objected to His objections.

I beg our national leaders and followers to stop separating children from their parents. Parenting is crucial for the healthy development of a new generation.

Pat kenschaft