Readers Still Talking About Obama, Menendez
Montville weighs in on democratic leadership.
Last week, our Comments of the Week feature noted that virtually no Morris, Somerset or Sussex Patch readers spoke up with kind words about President Barack Obama and Sen. Robert Menendez when we put out an open call for their opinions of the two Democrats. Montville Patch reader Dan Grant gave his own explanation for that:
Just catching up on MontvillePatch and wanted to add a counter-point. It isn't suprising that there are no pro-President Obama or even pro-Democratic comments in the area of Morris County. As a Democrat, you can't blame Republicans for pushing their view of the president if you are not going to have the spine to defend him and our party. The biggest problem with Democrats in Morris is a lack of conviction to say what ought to be said. In other words there is a major lack of spine generally among Democrats in Morris County to speak their mind and defend their positions. This president got handed the worst ecconomy in decades along with a Democratic Party that lost it's nerve. There are two years to go and we will see how it turns out but don't underestimate him.
That, of course, wasn't the only insight we heard from Patch readers in the Morris, Sussex and Somerset areas this week.
We're glad no one was hurt when the driver of a Suzuki XL7 drove into the storefront of a Tae Kwon Do business on Speedwell Avenue in Morristown on Dec. 8.
We're not quite sure why the vehicle made such a drastic turn ("There is a parking problem here," the driver said while being issued vehicle violations by police), but one of our Morristown Patch's commenters offered up his own explanation.
There are many parking garages around town now, (but) this person wanted to park as close as possible. Mission accomplished.
The Morristown High School girls field hockey team raised $2,053 in October for breast health awareness. The money was donated to the Julius A. Rippel Breast Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital. The senior girls along with their coach Diane DeSalvo presented the money to Eileen Heltzer, director of annual giving, Morristown Health Foundation. (See here for Charles' original announcement and a picture of the girls.)
Carmen LoPorto will be shooting a Public Service Announcment commercial for First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. The campaign is designed to get our kids away from computers, television, video games and get them moving by participating in outside and inside physical activities. Focusing on eating healthy and staying active.
(By the way, we're all for kids' health, but if they want to spend just a little time at the computer, say on Patch.com, we don't see a problem with that. But on the general announcement, we're definitely eager to learn more.)
Ken Lockwood Gorge. Also check out Conifer Pass Trail at Kay Environmental Center—great hike by the Black River.
We've previously heard the "crest of the hill on Route 24 from Chester coming into Long Valley" and "the overlook at the top of the trail leading from Lake George up to the old quarry"—all great choices. Got a question for your neighbors? Hit the "Q&A" link up in the navigation bar up top.
Departing Madison Patch Editor Rick Burchfield (don't worry—Rick's still on board with Patch; he's been promoted and will continue to help out with Madison) heard plenty of well-wishes when he wrote his fond farewell to readers. Among those offering congratulations was Pat Rowe, who told Rick:
We will miss you Rick. Not just because you did such a great job covering the community, but because you also became a part of it. Best of luck in your new position, and congratulations on the well deserved promotion.
We're grateful for the high praise. Rick started Madison Patch when the company had just a handful of local news sites; it's now serving more than 500 communities, and counting. New Madison editor Stuart Chirls took over the site this week, and he's already hard at work continuing the work Rick started.
When Chatham resident Laura Ali Nonnenmacher told readers in a letter to the editor that even as a former Chris Christie campaigner, she can't support the governor's stance on public education funding, she stirred up a bit of debate.
She said that in particular, Chatham schools Superintendent Jim O'Neil doesn't deserve to become the target of Christie's aggressive cost-cutting (among Christie's initiatives is a cap on school superintendent salaries). Laura told readers: "... I find myself so completely disgusted every time I read or watch what comes out of our governor's mouth when it comes to blanket overgeneralizations of anti-school budget and anti-public school expenses that apply to every school and every district without differentiation."
But reader "L22" was among those seeing it the governor's way:
Why do you think the school system will deteriorate if O'Neill leaves? I believe, like anonymous above, that there are numerous talented individuals who would do this job for within Christie's cap and do an excellent job. Hire a new superintendent for within the cap, and take the extra money that O'Neill would have made, and put it back into the schools—helping with the "steep escalating enrollment, deteriorating buildings, little state or federal aid."
It's a debate that's continuing statewide. To take part in it yourself, head on over to the letter and leave a comment.
Or ... head over to Parsippany Patch's Q&A with Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz, who has come under fire from Christie for his proposed contract extension, which exceeds the governor's proposed $175,000 salary cap for school administrators. Reader Hank Heller said he just hopes others in the school district get the same consideration as their bosses:
... And it is not just the Superintendent but the Business Manager's contract as well. This Board of Ed seems to take great care of those with whom they deal on an ongoing basis. It seems to me that they befriend their immediate employees and therefore look after their interests strongly, while treating the real heroes of the system, the teachers, custodians etc, as disposable servants.
Bridgewater Patch was one of the several Patch sites that asked readers "OK, So What SHOULD Be New Jersey's Nickname?" It turns out a surprising amount don't know just why New Jersey's called the Garden State (we'll have more information for you on that soon), so we asked readers for alternatives that make a bit more sense to them. Among the ones we heard were:
George Mushinski: The Taxes, Fees, Fines and Corruption State
Marc Blumberg: How about "The Tax-me State." The opposite also works: "The Money-Does-Buy-Happiness State. "Perhaps, "The Divide-and-Conquer State" in honor of municipal government. "The Corruption Corner" is self explanatory.
Lynn LoPorto: How about "New Jersey.....The Enjoyable State". Why are we so negative about the state we chose to live in? Why not think about some of the reasons we do live here?
Happy Birthday Basking Ridge Patch! I wish I could make it to the party!
I like it! A new switch on news and keeping everyone in town aware of what is going on..a great idea!