Letters to the editor, Oct. 11
Deer sterilization can be effective
I am a professor at San Jose State doing research on urban deer management and am providing you with some links to information I have gathered.
Effectiveness and costs for non-lethal methods: deerfriendly.com/deer-population-control
I have been working for several years with a community in San Jose, where the sterilization program was so successful that we are currently opening fencing in an effort to encourage in-migration of new deer since the current herd seems headed to extinction. My paper: tinyurl.com/yc36r2bu.
The proposed 20 deer per square mile is low, even in a forest environment. A suburban environment can support 100 deer per square mile, the issue becomes how many deer do people want, but providing the public with “expert” opinion for these low levels will distort the debate: deerfriendly.com/deer-density
The historical deer density cited in the article of “five or seven deer per a square mile” is a serious distortion. That’s equivalent to the current deer population in the wild portions of the Dakota Badlands which are poor deer habitat. Current whitetail populations are about at where they were in pre-colonial times, although local densities may vary. I have published several peer reviewed papers on this topic with information summarized at: deerfriendly.com/decline-of-deer-populations.
PROF. G. KENT WEBB
San Jose, Calif.
Aubrey Lewis: great athlete, greater man
I just found out that Aubrey Lewis is to be honored at this Saturday’s Montclair High School football game. Sadly, health issues have kept me from attending the Mountie games the last few years. Though I have been “out of the loop” so to speak, I’d really like to convey to you how I’ve always felt about that fine man.
Aubrey had counseled me in many ways when I was young. All good advice and teachings. When I grew up there were some fun experiences with him, two of which I will mention now.
I used to work in New York. I’d take the path train from Hoboken to the World Trade Center. I’d ride the long escalator and leave the building. I worked just across the street. I get there early, get a cup of coffee and stand outside to drink it. Like clockwork, I’d see Aubrey leave the World Trade Center on his way way to the Woolworth offices. Also, like clockwork, he’d usually find the time to talk with me a bit, like I was someone worthy.
I’ll leave you with this. I was at a Mountie football game with my cousin and his young son, Mark. I pointed Aubrey out to them, young Mark’s eyes widened like saucers. He barely kept his eyes off Aubrey all game. I could tell Aubrey noticed that. When we were leaving the game Aubrey was talking to a few people, he saw us, walked away from his friends and stuck his hand out to shake mine and said something like “Great game huh Vin.” That was the Aubrey Lewis I always knew and loved partially for his insight and humanity.
The next day, Sunday, I received a phone call from young Mark excitedly telling me that the papers reported that Aubrey Lewis was named “Offensive Player of the Century.”
Honest, what a great memory, along with Aubrey’s thoughtful gesture to make a young boy’s day even more memorable and mine too.
Rest in peace, Aub, rest in peace. We all miss you.
Vote for Sen. Menendez
I am writing this letter to urge everyone opposed to President Donald Trump and the Trump agenda to make sure they vote for Bob Menendez for Senator in the upcoming election.
Real Clear Politics, a non partisan polling site has recently downgraded Senator Menedez's chances from "likely Democrat" to "leans Democrat." Menendez's opponent is Bob Hugin, a wealthy, former pharma executive who has already spent more than $15 million of his own money on his campaign and a super pac called Integrity NJ, focused on defeating the senator, has already raised over $2 million. This is an election the Democrats could lose.
If you are not aware, Bob Hugin has been an avid supporter of the President and served as a Republican delegate for New Jersey at the Republican national convention which nominated Mr. Trump. He was finance chairman for Trump's New Jersey campaign and donated $100,000 to a pro Trump super pac and more than $100,000 to the Republican National Committee after Trump became it's nominee. During a meeting with Pharma executives in January, Hugin was photographed seated at Trump's side.Mr. Hugin made his fortune as the chief executive at Celgene, a pharma company in Summit. Last year Celgene paid $280 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit claiming it had inappropriately promoted two of its drugs, Revlimid and Thalomid, to treat a range of cancers beyond what the Food and Drug Administration had approved. Celgene's list price for Revlimid has gone up 14.1 percent this year with a five month supply cost listing at $66,000. In addition, several generic drug companies have sued Celgene claiming they were denied access to the drug which would have allowed them to make cheaper copies (at lower cost to consumers).
As the Trump administration is seeking to cut $107 million in Sandy relief money that has been previously awarded, reduced the state and local property tax deduction in the new tax law and tossed out a funding proposal for the Gateway Project, it is no small wonder Trump's poll numbers in New Jersey are low. To counter Trump's unpopularity here, Hugin touts himself as a "different kind of Republican." A closer look at his stand on the issues certainly belies that claim. If you believe money talks, Bob Hugin has loudly stated that he believes in Trump, and Trump's agenda and will be in lock step with the President.
While Menendez has been tarnished by the corruption trial against him and the senate censure he received, he has worked hard to win back the support of his Democratic colleagues in the state.
Cory Booker said of Menendez, "This is my indispensable partner in getting things done, so I'm am going to the mat for him. I don't care how many millions of dollars his opponent spends." Like Booker, Menendez supports traditional Democratic policies including gun law reform, Planned Parenthood and a woman's right to choose, sensible immigration reform and affordable health care (ACA). Further, he supports important local issues including the financing and construction of the Gateway Project and insuring the federal government makes good on it's commitment to help the Sandy victims.
It's time to be pragmatic. Let's not give Trump another vote in the Senate in Bob Hugin. Get out and vote and make sure to pull the lever for Senator Bob Menendez.
Ride the Senior Bus
For many years, the Township and Senior Citizen community invested a substantial amount of time and energy into trying to improve the Senior Bus shuttle service. In January 2017 with the approval of the Mayor and Town Council and the support of the senior community, Katie York, director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair, was successful with her efforts to outsource responsibility for the Senior Bus operation to EZRide.
EZRide offered the expertise of a professional transit organization, skilled drivers, a new modern air conditioned bus designated for Montclair, and a support staff to handle reservations and provide valuable data. To ensure that the seniors who rode the bus had a reliable feedback loop to the company the Senior Bus Roundtable was founded. The new Montclair Senior Bus began on March 1, 2017.
In the past 20 months (August 2018 being the latest for which statistics are available) EZRide has provided 6,101 trips throughout Montclair for its senior residents, a 326 percent increase since it beginning. The bus offers free, direct transportation from a rider's home to 22 different destinations in Montclair as well as grocery shopping at Brookdale ShopRite. It is not often that a bus receives fan mail but, in this case, a letter from a rider who calls the Senior Bus a "blessing" is not unusual with its expression of thanks.
For any Montclair senior who no longer drives, for any who suddenly find themselves without transportation to a doctor's appointment, a MILL class, a lecture at the library, friend to meet or anyone who just want to avoid traffic and parking hassles, the Montclair Senior Bus offers a free and reliable way to maintain an independent life. If you haven't done so yet, try riding the Senior Bus. Call EZRide at 201-939-4242 Ext.1 to make a reservation and enjoy the trip.
On behalf of the members of the Senior Bus Roundtable, I want to thank Mayor Jackson and the members of the Town Council who have understood that providing good transportation for Montclair Seniors is vital for our being able to age in place and to acknowledge Katie York who continues to work to improve the Senior Bus.
The writer is chair of the Montclair Senior Bus Roundtable.
Another great Tour de Montclair
Bike&Walk Montclair would like to thank all its friends, partners, sponsors, volunteers and riders for participating in a wonderful community event, the Tour de Montclair.
Oct. 7 was a pleasantly warm fall day for almost 500 participants to pedal through the four wards of Montclair at their own pace. Music and food greeted riders as they rode back to Crane Park to enjoy a celebratory community gathering.
Missed it?No worries, we’ll be back again next year for our 14th tour.
Many thanks to Montclair Local for their Sept. 27 story that helped us get the word out about our signature family ride.
The writer is on the board of directors for Bike&Walk Montclair