On Montville's Turf
This week's best comments from around the Patch universe.
The Montville Township Board of Education voted recently to cancel a late-January referendum vote regarding turfing the athletic field at Montville High School, after finding the tax impact would be greater than expected. Some of our readers thought it was the prudent choice, given the tough economy and Montville High's own woes—but not all.
Concerned Citizen writes:
Another time perhaps, but not when you've just laid off 37 custodians from the Montville school system.
But that argument was answered by Dr. Michael Duddy, who said:
To compare the field to the custodians is apples and oranges. The field would not replace the custodians. Books and other essentials will be used for custodial saved salary (ps, not that I'm in agreement with the outsource). Plus the custodians are a year-in, year out expense. This was a 5 year bond that is at its lowest in decades!"
User Lexih, who introduced himself or herself as a marching band member, said it's understandable that people want turf–but it's also difficult to justify given the steep cuts schools have had to make elsewhere:
Here's an idea for the football field conditions: instead of 'Turf the Valley,' 'Properly Irrigate the Valley.' I'm no engineer, but I know there are so many places around the field where sewers or drainage troughs could be dug to reduce the impact of precipitation. It won't be as good as turf, but it will improve safety conditions without costing a million dollars.
As Chatham Patch celebrated its one-year anniversary this week, some readers shared their views on the site's first year:
It's hard to believe that ChathamPatch is only a year old! Enjoy your vacation, you certainly deserve it. Happy New and Year 2!
Karen Swartz thanked founding editor Zach Subar for establishing the site in the community.
The year has certainly gone by quickly! Thanks to Zach for kicking off a great news sight and thanks to Laura for keeping it going. You're enthusiasm has made a good idea a reality.
An Idea Worth Shredding to Bits
We like when readers find Patch a useful place to get information, but we like it even better when they come here to share ideas. That's what reader Elaine Johnson did when she suggested:
Has the Borough looked into getting a shredder to enable the community to bring documents to the recycling depot? I know other communities offer this service and feel it would be a valuable addition.
Mayor V. Nelson Vaughan, III was quick to answer that Johnson had an interesting idea, and he'd look into it. Glad we could help keep the lines of communication flowing.
Here's what some readers from around the area had to say this week:
Morristown Patch columnist Denise Addis shared some of her favorite things about the town with readers this week, hoping to help bring about a little holiday cheer and appreciation for our surroundings. One of them was Hamilton Road, a squiggly S-shaped road with homes that share a single white picket fence a beautiful landscaping. Reader Joanne Olivier let Denise know she's not alone:
I too have always been a fan of Hamilton Road, but I thought I was the only one who noticed it. I covet the white Dutch Colonial. It used to have a dollhouse in the side porch window. Yes, the fence is great too. ...
To me the best thing about M'town is that it's directly connected by train to Manhattan.
State of Emergency? What's That?
Some of the snow's finally melted, and it's a bit easier to get around than it was, oh, say, Sunday and Monday.
Long Valley Patch (like other Patches) provided several stories about the snow, but one of our alert users noted we missed a useful detail when we told readers roads were still in hazardous Monday. Karen Glassman asked:
Exactly what does it mean when NJ declares a state of emergency? Does it just suggest staying off the roads but not require it? I thought there were travel restrictions. I guess it is not a good excuse to stay home from work.
Sorry we didn't get you an answer sooner, Karen. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management explains here that the declaration of a state of emergency allows the governor to speed state agency assistance to communities in need. It doesn't necessarily put travel restrictions in place, though local authorities may do so during a state of emergency.
Hope that helps!
Snow My Goodness
A lot of the comments Patch sites in the Morris, Sussex and Somerset areas got this week had to do with the snow. Readers from across several of the towns covered by Patch sent us their snow photos, and even a few videos. But after a week of dealing with the white stuff, perhaps Basking Ridge Patchreader Kenneth Feeney summed up the sentiment best:
Glad to be in Mexico. Hope somebody plows my driveway in BR!!!
That gallery of reader-submitted snow shots, by the way, includes contributions from Chatham, Montville, Basking Ridge, Hopatcong, Parsippany, Morristown and Morris Plains ... so far. Got your own snow photos to share? Hit up any of those links for instructions.
Hopatcong Patch reader Rich Cook used the "shout" feature on our front page (to use it yourself, just go to the front page and find the box that asks, "What do you have to say?") to praise the borough's quick response to the storm:
Wow! Hats off to all the DPW workers for the usual outstanding job they did on the roads. Look around to any of the other surrounding towns. They really earned their money on this one.Great Job guys.
And Another Hopatcong reader, Leon Hoffacker, offered some sober advice in connection with our warning, Remove Snow from Vehicles Before Driving or Risk Fines:
Obey snow storm laws as this is not you normal driving. My father-in-law worked as a road foreman for the state and died during a snowstorm.
A Jefferson Patch reader going by the username of "Jim Nasium" wasn't thrilled with the township's response to the snow—and in particular wanted to know why the Jefferson Rescue Squad Helped Clean Up New York's Snowy, Snowy Mess. But squad chief Kim Finnegan explained the effort from her view, and assured readers the township remained in good hands:
The Jefferson Township Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization that handles apporximatly 900 calls per year on the lake side of Jefferson Township, NJ. Though during the day we are tightly staffed, our calls all get answered. At night we are blessed enough to have large enough crews that we can split them into 2 if needed. Out of our 60 members, 90 pecent are EMTs, all are CPR and OSHA trained. When this "Rocket Scientist" approved this, the following was done, we verified the duty crew was riding, both nights staffed enough to split crews and then another group of officers put on standby if needed, we did not send more than 1 of our main officers out of town at the same time and we made sure that our office of emergency management was notified. When asked to do this for those of us that have been around a while, it is like paying forward and also remembering all of the emergency service that came to help us during the flood of 2000. We are always looking for input and volunteers, Please contact me if you would like to offer either.
Morris Township-Morris Plains Patch asked readers where the best spot in the community to sled would be. We got this great suggestion from Suzanne Dell'Orto:
The hill behind the Morris Plains Library is great for the little kids. One nice big and wide soft slope in the winter sun kept us nice and warm yesterday, and the slope is easy for little ones to get up with their sleds.
Suzanne also sent us this great shot to show us what she means.
Hoping For the Return of 'Ike'
"We've driven all over town several times, and have called St Huberts and various town police departments. No news so far."
Kind Words for the New Kid
It's always nice when one of our new sites gets a warm welcome, as was the case when reader Judith Woop used the "shout" feature on our front page to tell us:
This is a most informative newsletter and in such a great format. I am looking forward to remaining connected with all the local events. Judy
Thanks for the kind words, Judy. We hope to do you proud. (Again, to use the shout feature yourself, just go to the front page and find the box that asks, "What do you have to say?")
A Tough Call
On Bridgewater Patch, debate continued in the comments section of our story about a man who chased down a teen who was allegedly burglarizing his car. The car's owner got into an altercation with the teen, and badly hurt him in the fight that ensued. Some readers have said the man was justified; they say the teen asked for trouble when he allegedly went out to commit a crime. Others say the response was overly violent and damaging.
Jessica Lotito offered this comment this week:
Everyone commenting has the knowledge of hindsight - 20/20.
You don't know how you would have reacted - just because he chased someone down who had HIS property doesn't make this victim wrong. If he had chased down a person who stole a lady's purse he would have been hailed as a hero.
It ridiculous to think you are suggesting that this devastating tragedy is something that "he had coming to him." Think before you speak/type. Put yourself in the victim's shoes, or in the surviving family members' shoes.
Sharing Some Good News
Robbie H Pendleton was born Sep 21, 2010 to Hydie pendleton. The proud grandparents are Angel and Matt Johnston. Aunt is Donnamichelle Johnston, and the great grand parents are George and Martha Pendleton. The godparents are Mitch D Moony and Donnamichelle Johnston.
Congrats to the Johnstons and Pedletons! If you've got your own milestones, accomplishments, volunteer opportunities or other news to share, hit the "News" tab at the top of this page, and pick our our "Announcements" category. Then tell us what's going on in your life!