Stamp Out Hunger food drive this Saturday

I would like to remind all Montclair residents that Saturday, May 13, is the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. All donations will be going to the Human Needs Food Pantry on Label Street, with assistance for Toni’s Kitchen. All residents have to do is leave a bag of unexpired nonperishable goods at or in their mailbox and a carrier will pick it up. This is a great time to restock the pantry shelves before the winter months are upon us. As a letter carrier in this town for 20 years I look forward to this day and the opportunity to give back to the community. I am looking forward to working together with the community and making this a successful food drive.

Paul Cooke

Butler

The importance of strong sex education

I am a sexuality educator and author who has lived in Montclair for over 26 years, spending much of that time advocating for comprehensive sexuality education in our schools. In the 1990s, I was part of an advisory board that developed a new curriculum, which to my knowledge was never implemented. Over the years, I visited just about every elementary school and all three middle schools, talking about puberty and sexuality, and even ran evening programs for parents through the central office.

A number of years ago, I got tired of this piecemeal approach and tired of fighting. Now, I just continue to visit the fourth- and fifth-graders at the Charles H. Bullock school every year, as I have for the past 15 years, starting when my children attended the Rand School. But having a guest speaker come once a year to discuss puberty is not sound educational practice. Sexual health needs to be integrated throughout the curriculum. I have a great suggestion too. “Rights, Respect, Responsibility” is a newly published, comprehensive K-12 sexuality curriculum that meets the National Sexuality Education Standards, is inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and takes a positive approach to sexual health. I know the curriculum well because I am a co-author along with two other sexuality education professionals, one of whom, Dr. Elizabeth Schroeder, is also a Montclair parent. I am very proud of what we have created and would be thrilled if Montclair chose to adapt it even in part.

To be clear, I have no financial stake in 3Rs, as it is known, because it is available for free, to anyone who wants to use it. Advocates for Youth, the publisher, wants to make sure that high quality sexuality education resources are fully accessible to all school districts that want them. 3Rs is available on their website advocatesforyouth.org/3Rs-curriculum. I urge people to take a few minutes to check it out. And whether Montclair ends up using this or some other program, we can no longer continue to kick this can down the road. Our children’s emotional, physical and social wellbeing, not to mention academic success, are at stake.

Eva S. Goldfarb, Ph.D.

Montclair

Outsource garbage, recycling pickup to save money

So Mayor Robert Jackson and Councilwoman Renée Baskerville are unhappy at the pace in which another supermarket may ultimately take up residence at the former Pathmark site, with the mayor lamenting how the Pathmark was a “disgrace to Montclair and the community the past five years” per last week’s article in Montclair Local.

Here’s what I find disgraceful: that this mayor and council refuse to outsource our garbage/recycling pickup and continue to waste taxpayer money despite the fact that 95 percent of communities have gone this route to achieve cost savings with the same level of service provided. Further, with the trucks running during recycling drop-off days (Wednesday/Friday/Saturday), one wonders how much carbon pollution we are adding to the atmosphere on a weekly basis? Gray Russell, feel free to comment…

I envision, once the services are outsourced, having three large dumpsters take the place of idling trucks. These would be clearly marked “Cardboard/Mixed Paper/Commingled” so the residents can drop off as some of us currently do if we miss a pick-up. The vendor can then pick up the contents once a week at 219 North Fullerton Ave. with trucks that have the forklift prongs on each side, easily lifting/emptying the dumpsters.

It likely will never happen because this mayor/council are happy with the status quo and with the overburdened taxpayers continuing to pay the salaries, benefits, and pensions of town workers along with fuel and upkeep of the recycling trucks. It’s pure madness. One more thing I find disgraceful: with all the new luxury apartment developments that have gone up in the past few years that have added thousands of dollars of additional tax revenue to the rolls, not one cent has been returned to the taxpayers. It proves the point that at any level of government, the more money they have, the more they spend. I really wish Montclair residents would not pay their quarterly property tax payments that are due this week as maybe then we would grab the attention of our mayor/council and drive home to them how pissed off we are at the continual waste of our tax dollars on antiquated methods/processes. Wake up, mayor/council!

Ron Locascio

Montclair

Kudos to Montclair High SVPA’s ‘A Chorus Line’

My husband and I had a Broadway-in-Montclair treat last night at George Inness School, where the SVPA put on “A Chorus Line.” It was fabulous top to bottom: the band, the staging, the dancing, singing, and above all acting. How proud all the parents must be and how proud we should be of all the staff who encouraged such excellence.

Jane Susswein

Verona

Montclair History Center, you’ve lifted my spirit

Through Montclair Local, I would like to publicly thank the Montclair History Center for choosing to display my art in the Founder’s Room at the Crane House.

They held an opening there on Sunday, May 7, and the work is scheduled to remain on display through July. I’m thrilled!

I owe to much to the center’s Angelica and MSU’s Touri for their efforts to make this project a reality.

It couldn’t have gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for my loving niece Kim Nicastro Romola who handled my end of the preparations as health issues would have forced me to turn down the History Center’s generous offer. That would have been devastating to me.

So thank you, thank you, thank you to all involved.

Vincent Tango

Montclair