What my mom would say
I write this note on behalf of my recently deceased mother Una Delaney, who was a defender of the many iconic parks, buildings and neighborhoods that make Montclair unique, beautiful and a great place to live.
A particular favorite of my mom was the Lackawanna train station. She enjoyed the complex architecture and that type of grand municipal building that is no longer being done. With that in mind, she was strongly in favor of conserving the look and character of the existing structure. While supporting the conservation, she also thought that having a viable commercial use of the structure was the best way to preserve it.
On behalf of my mom, I would like to add my support to the development of the Lackawanna station as a supermarket that includes and maintains as much of the original structure as is feasible and definitely includes the train sheds. This will help maintain the unique character of the downtown area of Montclair and preserve architecture that cannot be reproduced and will otherwise be lost forever.
A plea to vote in the 2018 congressional election
We have Congressional elections coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Historically, the percentage of registered voters who actually vote in these off-year elections is abysmally low. One of the reasons often given for not voting is that there is no difference between the two parties. We have a fix for that this year. If you live in Montclair north of Watchung Avenue, you are almost certainly in the 11th Congressional District. Our current representative is Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, who is retiring this year after voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and racking up a 90 percent pro-Trump voting record.
The two candidates hoping to replace Frelinghuysen are democrat Mikie Sherrill and republican Jay Webber. Jay Webber has been in the NJ State Assembly for nine years. Mikie Sherrill is a former Navy helicopter pilot and former assistant federal prosecutor. They are very different.
Mikie Sherrill (mikiesherrill.com) is pro-choice; she knows that decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor, not the federal government. She supports Planned Parenthood and a woman’s access to birth control. She supports universal criminal background checks for gun buyers and a federal ban on assault weapons. She wants the federal government to honor its commitment to fund the Gateway Project. Mikie Sherrill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Jay Webber is supported by the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund. He has a 100 percent approval rating from NJ Right to Life and has voted at every opportunity to oppose a woman’s right to choose and to defund Planned Parenthood. He has a 93 percent rating from the NRA and has voted against almost all attempts to restrict access to assault weapons, yet his website (webberforcongress.com) says nothing about guns. In the “Jobs, Economic Prosperity and Tax Relief” section, there is nothing about the new republican tax law or Trump’s refusal to fund the Gateway Project.
The issues mentioned above are just a few that matter to me. The candidates differ on these and many others. So at least in this one race, we cannot say that there’s no difference between the two parties: In the 11th Congressional District, there is a chasm, and Mikie Sherrill is the candidate who will fight for our health, our safety, and New Jersey’s economic development.
Women drivers seem more courteous
My wife Renee and I usually take our daily walk from Highland Avenue down Braemore Road or Mountain Terrace crossing Upper Mountain — the sidewalks are in much better shape on the east side — and back up the other one. Crossing over and back on Upper Mountain is a challenge. Today we counted 13 cars before one stopped and the driver, as almost always, was a woman. At first we thought it was an aberration, but as we continued to observe it seems women are much more courteous than men.
Is it déjà vu all over again?
With all due respect for Yogi Berra’s Yogisms, but when you look at the most powerful person in the country and the people that emulate his “Ain’t I great,” attitude, I’m afraid that same cockiness, though not new, is coming back into vogue and into sports with vengeance. I worry about youth through high school sports especially.
On the highly impressible high school level, I pray that obnoxious way does not rub off on the athletes and coaches at my alma mater, Montclair High School.
The man I used to call Coach out of respect for his great history, former athletic director John Porcelli, would laughingly call me “old school.”
John is a perfect example of a positive role model. I’m sorry MHS lost him.
Some years back when living in Los Angeles I was asked if Marcus Allen was a top player in my opinion. I said absolutely. He then said, “I was wondering because he is never used in TV commercials.” I said that I believed at that time he was not considered “flashy enough.” He’d score a touchdown while knocking guys over en route, then he’d hand the ball back to the referee with no exaggerated celebration. All things considered, he was the perfect role model on and off the field.
Well I still believe that any player that needs to stand out from teammates with antics should, if I’m a fan of that team, go play somewhere else, no matter how skilled they are. It’s a team sport.
Young athletes please remember when you tell a player whose skill you admire how talented you believe he is, you should hear back a sincere thank you. If you hear something similar to “I know,” beware.
Again, I realize I’m old school and I hope that feeling never changes. Please don’t let the hot shots become your preferred way to be. Don’t give in to those ain’t I great guys—like Potus.
To 2018-19 Mountie athletes, please play fair and square with true Mountie pride.