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Category: Opinion & Reader Forum


Be polite when you park

Dear Editor:

I live on one of the main streets in Kearny and constantly see people who park their cars with no concern how they affect others who park on the same street. Some take up two spaces so others can’t park.

Then, there are others who have driveways but still park on the street, taking spots from residents who do not have driveways. The people with driveways will move their cars to the street as they see spots open up.

I am only asking for people to be more courteous when parking their cars. Maybe a resident-only parking law for residential areas could be used, as in other towns, between specific hours. That would help.

Cora Brown


Secrets in plain sight



This week’s column is one of my serendipitous ones. It concerns things we see often but never really notice, or if we do notice, never give a second thought.

Elsewhere in today’s Observer, there is an item about an auto accident last week at the corner of Woodland and Kearny Aves. Along with a light pole, a bollard was knocked off its base. Read more »

Frightening times for women worldwide

Millions of years ago, when the world was populated by dinosaurs and humans (such as we were at the time) domiciled in caves, males were hunters and females were nesters.

Or so we are told, anyway. Turn the pages of time to the present day and discover how we have slowly evolved: male and female species have tangled, negotiated and worked out an arrangement – more or less – for sharing responsibilities for local – and global – power. Read more »


Be wary of milk

Dear Editor:

A frequent bugaboo of the “fiscal cliff” debacle was the “milk cliff” – the threat of milk price doubling, if Congress failed to extend dairy subsidies. Parents were forgoing other necessities, because their children “had to have milk.”

Most industries would gladly give up their tax loopholes for that kind of product loyalty. But this one is totally undeserved.

Consumption of dairy products, laden with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs elevates the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when dietary flaws become lifelong addictions.

A study of 12,829 children by Harvard Medical School found that drinking cow’s milk leads to weight gain.

Several proteins in cow’s milk can thicken mucus secretions leading to respiratory problems in children.

Most African-Americans and Asian-Americans suffer from cramping and diarrhea because they lack the enzyme to digest lactose in cow’s milk.

The good news is that green leafy vegetables and legumes supply all the calcium and proteins touted in cow’s milk, without the excess calories and other yucky factors noted. Every supermarket offers a huge line of dairy-free milks, cheeses, and ice creams made from healthy nuts and grains.

This is why USDA’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, shunt dairy (and meat) off the recommended plate of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Cow’s milk is produced for bovine – not human babies. Let’s give our kids a healthy start!

Cory Baker


Kudos to Nutley FCA

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the Nutley High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes for sending us local veterans Christmas cards. It was a beautiful surprise for me to see the signatures of all those NHS athletes remembering my service. I served in the U.S Navy from 1966 to 1970; it is a distant memory even for me, but it’s wonderful to be recognized. I salute these students and their advisors.

Charles M. Nunzio



East Newark law is for the birds


For the record, I have no criminal record. As far as I recall. But I have criminal tendencies. And I just might act upon them. You have been warned.

Elsewhere in this week’s Observer is a news story by Ron Leir about the Borough of East Newark’s war against an alleged public health menace: the pigeon.

In its pseudo-wisdom, the Borough Council has introduced an ordinance that would make it illegal to feed these poor put-upon fowl. Apparently, some anti-pigeon person complained. And government being government, it was decided that only a new law would do. (As far as I am concerned, this country has too many laws already, but that is fodder for another column.)

The pigeon, also called a rock-dove, has been sharing this planet with humankind since pre-history and as far as I know none of the pestilences that have struck the earth has ever been associated with the bird.

Look in the Bible. The plagues that afflicted the Egyptians when they refused Moses’ call to free the Hebrews involved frogs, gnats, lice, flies and locusts. “And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs.”

Nowhere does it say, “I will smite thee with pigeons.”

Although East Newark cites the birds as a health hazard, a little internet research will show you there is an ongoing debate about that.

Among many pro-pigeon sites is that of the U.K.-based Pigeon Control Advisory Service, which notes: “The likelihood of a [wild] bird passing on a disease to a human being is so infinitesimally small that it is not even worth considering.”

I doubt that British pigeons are healthier than American ones.

You can, of course, find the opposing view. But I have never met anyone with a pigeon- related health problem. Have you? Has your doctor?

East Newark says that feeding the birds is actually harming them because “they lose their natural ability to scavenge and survive on their own.” Pish-tosh, says me. But perhaps I am wrong. When the pigeon-feeding ceases, East Newark could be filled with birds standing around on street corners wearing little “I am hungry” signs around their necks.

There will be a public hearing on the proposed ordinance. I hope the pigeon-haters are hooted down.

If East Newark persists in promoting pigeon prejudice, your correspondent just might start prowling its streets at night with bags of PigeonChow.

And I would refuse to pay the $1,200 fine, opting instead to languish in prison. I am sure they let you feed pigeons there. Remember The Birdman of Alcatraz?

— Karen Zautyk


Consider going vegan in 2013

Dear Editor:

This year’s developments have certainly vindicated those of us who care about our health, our environment, and our treatment of animals.

In January, first lady Michelle Obama unveiled revamped federal guidelines requiring school cafeterias to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium and animal fat.

In March, a study involving nearly 38,000 men and 84,000 women by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that one daily serving of meat is associated with a 13-20% increase in the risk of death from heart disease or cancer.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that prevalence of obesity among American adults will escalate to 42% by 2030, with a $550 billion increase in medical costs.

The Humane Society exposed unconscionable atrocities among three pig producers in Oklahoma and a Pennsylvania egg farm. It’s little wonder that 7% of Americans consider themselves vegetarian or vegan and 28% are actively reducing their meat consumption, leading to a 12% U.S. drop since 2007.

We should all consider following suit for this New Year’s resolution. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine brings tons of recipes and other useful information.

Kenneth Miller



Working on school safety

Dear Editor: The tragic events that occurred in Newtown, Conn., the sadness that will continue for lifetimes and the personal, emotional trauma that will need to be treated by qualified professionals have touched America’s soul.

Frequently and justifiably, in the aftermath of such national tragedies, Americans respond and take meaningful efforts to eliminate the potential for similar acts.

Read more »

Coping with another senseless school shooting

There is nothing rational to explain this past Friday’s shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 young children and seven adults dead.

Since the shooter, Adam Lanza, killed himself, we will never know what led him to commit such a horrific deed.

“It’s just a tragedy beyond even understanding,” is the way Kearny Interim Superintendent of Schools Ron Bolandi put it. “It left me speechless. Kids, five and six years old, and staff, getting gunned down for no apparent reason is scary.”

President Barack Obama has vowed to use “whatever power this office holds” to keep children safer.

American history is replete with episodes of school violence dating from the 1700s, with what Wikipedia categorized as the “deadliest act of mass murder” taking place on May 18, 1927, when Andrew Kehoe, treasurer of a school in Bath, Mich., detonated dynamite in the school basement, killing 38 people, most of them children.

Is gun control the answer? Second Amendment advocates, like the National Rifle Association, argue that Americans have been given the right to bear arms. Others say nothing can justify putting automatic weapons into the hands of civilians.

Bolandi says, “The problem is bigger than our schools – it’s society – the U.S. is just a violent society. Kids see so much violence on TV and video games and they accept it.”

Asked if he felt gun control would make a difference, Bolandi said he’s been trained in weaponry as a hunter, but added that, “I don’t think anybody should have an assault weapon” without being required to undergo psychological screening.

“Since ’97, I’ve heard politicians say something should be done,” Bolandi said. “Let’s stop the talking and do something about it.”

Meanwhile, our prayers go out to the families who’ve lost loved ones in the Newtown massacre.

Students in Kearny public schools were offered this message by administrators and guidance staff this week: “The tragic events of Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., have touched all of us. Our hearts go out to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School who have lost so much through this senseless act and for all the children in the school who suffered through this extremely frightening experience.”

Kelly Lindenfelser, director of special services for the Kearny school district, advised parents to check with the National Mental Health Association for strategies on helping a child cope with tragic news such as the school shooting.

– Ron Leir


Kudos to Holiday In The Park sponsors

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Lyndhurst Board of Commissioners and the Lyndhurst Fire Department, I would like to publically thank and acknowledge the many generous sponsors who donated the funding to support our 2012 annual holiday festivity, and to everyone who participated to make our Holiday In The Park a successful event which was enjoyed by all.

Thank you, with best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year to all.

The sponsors were: Bogle Agency, Neglia Engineering, Di Maria & Di Maria, Phil Ciarco, Russo Developers, Porro, Wells, Janorski & Liebman, Smith Sondy, Inserra Shop Rite, Lyndhurst Auto Body, Frank’s Truck Center, Lyndhurst Italian American Club, Investors Bank, Lyndhurst Pastry, Jarvis Plumbing & Heating LLC, Mazur’s Bakery, Lyndhurst Diner, Prism Technology, J. Verona Electric, Lassoni Restaurante, John Sofia Jewelers, Knights of Columbus, N & A Arts, Montana, Kearny Federal Savings, Starbucks, Clifton; Dunkin’ Donuts, Lyndhurst ; Lyndhurst High School Choir, Lyndhurst Veterans’ Alliance, Tommy Heil and Girls’ holiday dance routine.

Robert Giangeruso

Mayor of Lyndhurst

. . . And a post-Sandy thank-you

Dear Editor:

As we know, the devastation of Superstorm Sandy affected 24 states, with it striking a tremendous blow to our state of N.J. and also to our hometown of Lyndhurst; especially to the residential homes and businesses damaged and flooded along the Passaic River area.

I would like to publicly acknowledge the determined will and efforts of those Lyndhurst residents and business owners who were directly affected with severe property damage and losses.

I also extend my appreciation and sincere thanks to all our first responders; OEM and the Lyndhurst Police Department, the Lyndhurst Fire Department, Lyndhurst Auxiliary Police, Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad, Community Emergency Response Team, Department of Public Works, Department of Parks and Recreation and our Health Department for their motivated humanity efforts in ensuring the safety, security and well-being of our residents.

My office will be contacting legislators for me to meet with a designated committee regarding future positive resources in regard to our township’s problematic flooding of the Passaic River.

In appreciation to residents, first responders, outside responders and volunteers coming together in a time of need, I am proud and grateful to be a member of this community.

Robert Giangeruso

Mayor of Lyndhurst

Help Wanted! Freelance Reporter

The Observer newspaper is looking for a part-time general assignment reporter who will cover hard news stories as well as take accompanying photographs. Candidates must have a flexible schedule that may include nights and weekends. They must also be able to follow strict deadlines – stories must be completed two days after the event or interview. Knowledge of AP style is preferred as is previous newspaper experience. Send a cover letter, resume with references and at least three clips to:

The Observer

531 Kearny Avenue Kearny, N.J. 07032

Attn: Robert Pezzolla

You may also e-mail jobs@theobserver.com.

No phone calls please.