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Category: Opinion

We’ve Got Mail

To the Publisher:
I am writing this letter in total disgust.
Like many of you, I live on a tight budget, so tight at the end of the month, I don’t meet my obligations. On the morning of July 8, 2011, I was driving down Kearny Avenue when a man stepped out into a crosswalk. And I got stopped like many others that morning and got a $200 ticket for not stopping – clearly a trap by the Kearny Police Department.
I find the entrapment insulting to the people of Kearny. If our police department has nothing more to do than give the hard-working people of Kearny tickets that were clearly set-up, then, maybe they need to concentrate more on the honest side of ticketing, like wrongfully overnight parking, double-parking, meter parking, etc. But to set ridiculous traps is just the bottom of the barrel for police work.
Just maybe our police department is over-staffed – time to cut the fat and stop picking on the good citizens of Kearny.

Anthony Zullo

The voice of the turtle is heard in the land

By now, you likely have heard about the great turtle invasion at JFK Airport, but if you are in the dark, let me enlighten you.
Last week, a herd (flock? pack? pod?) of diamondback turtles caused flight delays when they crawled out of Jamaica Bay and crept across the runways, heading for nesting grounds on a beach on the other side.
On Wednesday alone, about 150 of the reptiles had to be retrieved from the tarmac and relocated by Port Authority workers, who rounded them up and eventually chauffeured them to the sands, where they (the turtles, not the PA workers) could lay their eggs. This apparently happens every summer.
My favorite description of the incident came from George Stephanopoulos, who called it a “sort of a slow-motion stampede.”
Personally, I am glad the PA is a quasi-autonomous agency, because if  Mayor Bloomberg had his way, I am certain he’d have ordered the creatures killed, as he did the Canada geese living near the airport. The geese reportedly will be served to the homeless. At least terrapin stew is not yet on the menu.
However, there is a bit more to this turtle saga.
Remember last week when told you about alien visitors living among us in human or animal form? I addressed the human-form variety, but not the other. I can now reveal that the turtles-heading-for-nests is just a cover story.
My sources tell me that what actually happened is this: A charter-flight UFO landed in the swamps near Jamaica Bay and all the passengers, disguised for their earthly visit as diamondbacks, got sick of waiting on line at customs and broke free, heading for the beach.
It’s understandable. Most of them were on 10-day discount packages (all-inclusive: meals, nest, turtle costume) and they didn’t want to waste time hanging around an airport.
These were just tourists, but other animal-form extraterrestrials have extended visas, or even permanent residency. Some have even become celebrities. Just about any night, you can see one on Craig Ferguson’s show: Secretariat. Trust me. The horse is an alien.
So is the rodent that lives on Donald Trump’s head.
And the Aflac duck.
And the little piggy that cries “Wee, wee, wee!” all the way home.
And Snuggle, the fabric-softener bear.
I’m sure you could name some others about which you have had suspicions.
Of course. What ordinary dog is smart enough to memorize a script? And in a foreign language, no less?
—Karen Zautyk

P.S. In response to last week’s column, a friend emailed me a story about UFOs being sighted the other day over central London. Her comment: “Hey, it looks like they got themselves a better travel agent!”

We’ve got mail

To the Publisher:
Who would have thunk? Meat and potatoes — basic staple of the American diet, now held responsible for our growing obesity epidemic.
A federally funded Harvard University analysis of data collected over 20 years from more than 120,000 Americans found that meat and potatoes were the main culprits in weight gain, while fruits, vegetables, and nuts prevented weight gain. The analysis was published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
So much for the meat industry’s claim of high-nutrient density for their product. It’s more like high weight density.
So, the next time the fast food clerk asks if “you want fries with that,” tell him to hold the greasy hamburger and give you a nice salad instead.

Kenneth Miller

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a jellyfish!

According to at least one witness, an Unidentified Flying Object was reported over South Kearny the afternoon of Friday, June 17.
I know this because I get a Google alert every time the word “Kearny” appears on the web, and the other day up popped a story headlined “Disc-Shaped UFO Over South Kearny, New Jersey.”
Also a link to something called www.ufodigest.com, wherein you can find the entire article along with a (much too fuzzy) photo of the “spacecraft.” Envision a de-tentacled jellyfish.
According to the website, the witness was at work (place of employment not mentioned) when he (she?) and a co-worker saw the object.
They had gone outside at about 1:30 p.m. to watch the approaching thunderstorm when a bolt of lightning illuminated the thing in the sky.
The witness took a photo as the UFO traveled from south to north.
We tried to find a Kearny police report on the sighting, but apparently the unidentified witness did not file one.
Which brings us to a question: Why the flip not?
I mean, if I saw a UFO hovering over town, even down in the meadows, I would call 911, wouldn’t you? Suppose the thing landed? It could tie up Turnpike traffic for hours. The police should get some warning. As should Newark Airport.
Do not misunderstand. I am not making mock. I firmly believe there are aliens among us, as I have noted in this space before. As documented in the “Men in Black” films, they are here as guests and assume human (or animal) form during their visits
Some are obvious: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Larry King. But the majority are relatively inconspicuous and go about their daily lives disturbing no one.
I feel sorry for many of them, because they are not as bright as we have been led to believe. Sure, their civilization managed to develop spaceships that travel faster than the speed of light, but that doesn’t mean the creatures driving the ships have high intelligence.
Their ships, like our autos, were created generations ago, and as with our autos, many of the beings now behind the wheel are complete idiots.
I suspect a lot of the aliens don’t even have driver’s licenses.
They certainly don’t know how to use the GPS. If they did, the UFOs would be seen over Vegas or Times Square or someplace else of interest.
Instead the sightings are always out in  the boondocks. The farmlands of Iowa. The deserts of Arizona. The swamps of South Kearny.
Poor aliens.

They really need a new travel agent.

— Karen Zautyk

We’ve Got Mail

To the Publisher:
Dusty, the California “cat burglar” that has become famous for stealing more than 600 items from neighbors’ yards [see photo], may be the cutest “criminal” alive, but I encourage readers to keep their kitties out of trouble by keeping them indoors and allowing them outdoors only on a leash or in a fenced-in area, under supervision.
While Dusty’s neighbors seem to adore him and his kleptomaniac tendencies, not everyone is as gracious toward felines who frequent their property. Some cats have even been shot or poisoned by people who don’t want them in their yards or who get their kicks from abusing animals.
Other cats that are allowed to roam have become the victims of thieves themselves—stolen by dogfighters who use them as bait, or by “bunchers” who sell them to laboratories. And even the craftiest feline is defenseless against traffic and extreme weather.
For tips on keeping even the cleverest cat content indoors, visit www.PETA.org.

Lindsay Pollard-Post
The PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va.

Must everything have a price tag?

This Sept. 11, one decade since the Twin Towers terror attack that killed 2,752 people, the World Trade Center Memorial will open at last at Ground Zero. On 9/11, only family members of the victims will have access, but the general public can start visiting on Sept. 12.
(Note: While construction continues at Ground Zero, Memorial visitors must make a reservation and obtain a pass.)
The Memorial is the above-ground portion of what is to be the city’s and the nation’s tribute to the dead. It will comprise reflecting pools marking the footprints of the towers, a garden of foliage and the names of the victims, and admission will be free.
Next year, however, when the World Trade Center Museum, located under the Memorial, opens, it could require a $25 admission fee, the New York City Council was told last week by the people who will operate it.
Twenty-five dollars? To visit what is basically a battleground — the place where the United States was attacked by a plague of cowards? To what is also the closest thing to a cemetery the WTC has?
There is no admission fee to Arlington or Gettysburg or the beaches at Normandy. Charging a fee should be unthinkable.
Read more »

We’ve Got Mail

To the Publisher:
USDA’s new MyPlate dietary logo illustrates graphically the shrinking role of meat and dairy products in our national diet. It replaces meat with a tofu loaf, and shunts dairy off the plate.
The new logo provides a fitting conclusion to a 30-year record of the Dietary Guidelines recommending replacement of animal products and other fatty foods in our diet with vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains (see www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines).
The recommendations reflect widespread concern with the growing epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other killer diseases.
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You mean there’s a treatment for stupid?

At press time (the story changes hourly), latest news in the Anthony Weiner saga was that the New York congressman was taking a leave of absence to “go into treatment.”
For what?  It appears that the man’s primary problem is abject stupidity.
What individual in his position sends borderline (or more precisely below the border) porn shots and sext messages to complete strangers over the Internet –and presumes that no one is going to find out?
Absolutely nothing on the Net is secret. Someone can always find some way to get whatever info they want. And, as we have oft been told, cyberspace is forever. Nothing, once sent into it, ever completely disappears.
After word of the first photos surfaced, Weiner stood in front of the press and denied, denied, denied. Along with insulting certain members of the media. The arrogance was adolescent.
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We’ve Got Mail

To the Publisher:
I’m writing in to try and understand the use of the “yield to pedestrian” signs that Kearny has placed on Kearny Ave., since no one pays them any heed.
Unfortunately in March, I was struck by a car on the corner of Liberty and Kearny Ave. while crossing in the crosswalk and a few weeks after that, from what I’ve heard, a meter reader was also struck out by the public library. Soon after the yield to pedestrian signs went up on non-traffic light corners. Now that’s all well and good but what’s the point if no one pays them any mind?
A month and a half ago I was crossing Kearny Ave. on the corner of Bergen Ave. when another vehicle making a left turn almost plowed into me again cause they’re not paying attention to pedestrians. Two weeks ago on the same corner of Liberty and Kearny Avenue a car full of young women also almost ran into me as I was crossing the street.
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News reports from around the globe

Photo courtesy Sussex Police

While local news stations were busy reporting on Anthony Weiner’s weiner (how can you NOT know if a crotch shot is of YOUR crotch?) and Gov. Christie’s Coptergate, other intriguing things were happening in the world. For instance:
Police in Hampshire, England, were alerted to reports of an “escaped tiger” – a white tiger, at that – lounging in the grass at a golf course.
The cops evacuated the course and a nearby cricket ground and scrambled a helicopter, snipers and exotic-animal specialists.  The truth was discovered when a thermal-imaging camera in a copter failed to register any heat from the beast’s body. It turned out to be a stuffed toy.
Read more »