We need a lower speed limit on Grove Street
I look forward to the time when we pedestrians will not have to worry about safety. I am disheartened, however, that the conversation always seems to be about changes needed to protect us from traffic and rarely about how we can and need to protect ourselves.
My wife and I try to take a walk each night after dinner and as the calendar creeps towards December those walks generally occur after dark. I was under the naive illusion on these walks that if I could see a car then the driver of the car must have an idea of my presence as well. It was not until, as a driver, I started to think as a pedestrian that I realized how foolish that assumption was.
Our after-dark walks now always include a flashlight and, when crossing a street or intersection, I wave it towards approaching cars in an to attempt to alert them of our presence. Once they have slowed down in response my signaling we feel safe to proceed to cross.
Am I convinced the this will keep us 100 percent safe? No, but I feel that the odds are drastically increased. We have adopted other measures as well to help keep us safe.
If DeCamp and NJ Transit do not yet have policies around promoting pedestrian self-safety they should be encouraged to create them. I’m guessing that a sizable number of pedestrians on our streets have recently exited from a bus or train and such measures could go a long way towards reducing accidents.
Organic vegetable garden open next Saturday
On Saturday, Dec. 2, I will open my garden to the public from 10 to 11 a.m. at 56 Gordonhurst Ave. For decades I have raised most of my family’s vegetables year round with no poisons, power machinery or commercial fertilizers.
That day you can see flourishing Chinese cabbage in two cold frames that provide fresh greens for stir-fries all winter long. Last winter I harvested three meals most weeks. With luck, you will also see flourishing collards, kale, and lettuce although the predators have been unusually naughty this year. You will certainly see many garlic plants to be harvested in June and some bags of leaves covering root crops to be harvested in winter.
In this Thanksgiving season, I feel deeply grateful for my garden and the joy, health, delicious food, and spiritual uplift that it brings to me.
Thank you from Freeholder Brendan Gill
The privilege of serving in public office is one of the highest honors in our nation, and one of my proudest professional achievements. I’ve committed my life to helping improve Essex County communities, and I’d like to thank our residents for allowing me to continue serving you as Essex County Freeholder At-Large.
With your help, we have been able to maintain our first-in-the-nation county parks system while continuing to strengthen Essex County’s environmental conservation efforts. It has long been a priority of mine to ensure that children and families utilizing Essex County’s parks have a safe and healthy environment to enjoy, which is why I successfully led the effort, with our community partners, to ban smoking in our county parks.
In continuing my work to put the safety of our residents first, I also spearheaded an effort to pass an ordinance that will help ensure Essex County procures the services of reputable weapons dealers who conduct their business in a socially responsible manner, fight the illegal trafficking of weapons into our state and continue to invest in smart gun technology. This legislation is one local step forward in helping ensure common sense gun safety.
Now more than ever we need strong, results oriented leadership in local government and I look forward to working together as we continue towards a brighter future for Essex County.
Thank you for your continued support.
Brendan W. Gill