To the editor: 

It happened again! I ran into a former Kearny resident (a retired municipal employee) the other day, and the conversation suddenly turned into a Kearny-bashing. You know what I mean. “The town has really changed.” “This is not the Kearny where I grew up.” “These people don’t take pride in their town.” And my very favorite, “Does anyone speak English here anymore?”

I have absolutely no problem with anyone leaving their hometown for that home near the ocean, that cabin in the woods or simply to experience something new. What I find objectionable is the need to justify the relocation by badmouthing the place they once called home.

Has Kearny changed? Of course it has. Everything changes. Change is not necessarily bad. And the “old days” were not always as good as we remember them. Every era has its problems, which in hindsight always seem less serious than current issues. The most troublesome remarks are the not-so-veiled references to the changing demographics. However, Kearny has always been a refuge for immigrants — earlier from the British Isles and Western Europe and more recently from South America and Asia. Many ethnic groups have contributed to the spirit and character of this community. It’s one of the things I love most about living here.

I love this town. I feel safe, comfortable and happy here. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, I plan to live out my days in Kearny. So please, refrain from insulting my home! Just say, “Thank you and good luck,” as you leave, and we will wish you the same.

Barbara Cifelli-Sherry,


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