Thursday, March 28, 2013
Let us know your feelings on the BOE's approach to the budget.
School board officials said that a late breaking deal brokered with health insurance carrier Cigna would allow the district to avoid the extreme budget measures it had been considering throughout March. The announcement didn’t bring relief for many parents and residents. The drawn-out process, several said, had been exhausting and heartbreaking. And knowing its resolution, it was something that the school board could and should have avoided altogether. “The last few weeks have been hell,” one parent said. “It should not have happened. You should have caught it earlier.” John Shanagher, president of the local teachers union the Bloomfield Education Association, said the month was a series of crises for him. “I feel like for the last few …
Monday, March 11, 2013
Following last week's report that Bloomfield schools may stand to lose 86 teacher jobs, readers have chimed in with suggestions.
During last week's special meeting of the Bloomfield School Board, Schools Superintendent Jason Bing said that he'd be willing to hear ideas from all quarters to keep the jobs of the 86 teachers that may have to be cut for the 2013-2014 budget. Via our comment system, Patch readers have already weighed in. We've collected some suggestions from the dozens of comments on the story below. Please vote on the suggestions, but also let us know if you have a more nuanced or involved reaction to the suggestions. Are they impractical or impossible? Are they great ideas? Let us know in the comments.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Mary Shaughnessy, a memeber of the Bloomfield Board of Education and Save Our Schools New Jersey, says cutting funding for at-risk students will hurt programs aimed at closing the achievement gap between low- and high-income students.
The following opinion piece was written by Mary Shaughnessy, a memeber of the Bloomfield Board of Education and Save Our Schools New Jersey. My name is Mary Shaughnessy and I am a member of the Bloomfield Board of Education and a member of Save Our Schools New Jersey. However, I also speak as a longtime Bloomfield taxpayer and the proud parent of two college-age daughters who thrived in Bloomfield’s highly diverse public school system, which is comprised roughly of one-third African American students, one-third Hispanic and one-third Caucasian, Asian American and other ethnic groups. Several of our 11 schools teach from 35 to 55 percent economically-disadvantaged or ESL-classified students. Consequently it is my job as a BOE member and …
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Check out the top stories in Bloomfield this week.
The Bloomfield Police reported a series of burglaries to vehicles and stolen automobiles during the past week in the township. Bloomfield playwright Nikkole Salter will have have her second play, “Carnaval,” produced at Luna Stage in West Orange beginning at the end of January. The past week has been no kinder to New Jersey residents suffering from the sniffles, cough and chills of the flu, state officials say, and has led to the death of a fourth state resident, according to an NJ.com report. Click on the link above to find where you can get your flu shot. There are three open seats on the Bloomfield Board of Education in this year's election. Candidates can now submit their petitions to run for a seat on the Board of Education. Each …
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Beth Cruz, of Bloomfield, criticizes how the township runs its animal shelter.
The following letter was submitted by Beth Cruz, Bloomfield resident and president and founder of Shelter Showcase, a volunteer rescue group in Ceder Knolls. There is much discussion lately on the future of the management of the Bloomfield shelter. Should the township continue to run the shelter as is? It seems this isn’t palatable to any of the players involved due to the many controversies and allegations of mismanagement, wrongful termination of employees and volunteers and much more. The Board of Health seems to be seriously interested in turning the shelter over to the Neighbor to Neighbor Network (NTNN), even without properly putting out a township bid. The mayor rightfully seems to have concerns about the NTNN running the …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Board of Education member Joseph Lopez sounds off against School Board President Mary Shaughnessy and the current board.
Editor's Note: The following was written by former Board of Education member Joseph Lopez. School Board President Mary Shaughnessy stated in regards to the 2011-2012 zero percent tax increase that, "It's kind of left our budget in tatters." It is important to remind our Bloomfield residents that Shaughnessy has forgotten that she is on the record voting "yes" for that budget. So, Shaughnessy can bury her head in the sand so as not to assume any responsibility, but she can't hide. That is not leadership; that is cowardice. The 2012-13 school budget was led by Shaughnessy, but I was the only board member who voted against it for several reasons. First, I thought the tax hikes were draining the pockets of an already struggling middle class…
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Female online gamers are getting targeted when they reveal their gender to competitors.
Trash-talking during a casual game of baseball is one thing. Batta-Batta-Swing! But sexually abusing somebody during a video game chat is another matter altogether. Abusive sexually-tainted taunts aimed at female players during online video games are more common and aggressive than ever before, according to Forbes.com. In these games, players can chat in real time with their opponents on the other side of the country or world while their avatars fight each other. The chatting technology is intended to enhance the gaming experience, but for some it is turning into real-life harassment. And it's mainly aimed at women, according to The New York Times. In an example this year that has sparked a national debate, gamer Miranda Pakozdi …
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Scientists have used police technology to create an image of the billionaire bondage fanatic in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Several weeks ago, Montclair Patch wrote about the frenzy surrounding New York Times bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey at Watchung Booksellers and elsewhere. The continued interest surrounding the steamy trilogy penned by British author E L James has been strong enough to keep us wondering what's next. Now that the movie rights have been sold to Universal Pictures and Focus Features, debates have broken out over who should play the main two characters capturing the imaginations of millions of readers around the world. A Montclair Patch poll on the issue already has garnered more than 1,100 votes. Montclair residents suggested everyone from Ryan Gosling to Matt Bomer for the part of billionaire bondage fanatic Christian Grey. And now, this …
Monday, June 4, 2012
The social-networking site is apparently mulling over the idea.
Facebook is developing technology that would allow those under the age of 13 to access the site under parental supervision, a move that could help bring in a sea of new users for revenue but that could also increase privacy concerns, according to a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal. The technology being tested would allow children's accounts to be tied to their parents' accounts so that parents would decide whom their children could "friend." New kid-friendly features also could allow Facebook and its partners to bill parents for games and other entertainment accessed by their kids. Currently Facebook bans those under the age of 13. But several studies show that many kids use Facebook despite the ban, often with their parents' …
Monday, November 7, 2011
According to an opinion piece in The New York Times, 31 countries have laws requiring citizens to participate in elections. Could that be the solution to low turnout here?
By some official projections, as few as 30 percent of registered voters may turn out for Tuesday's elections throughout New Jersey, when candidates for the state legislature, county freeholder as well as mayor and council in many localities will all be on the ballot. This despite the fact that the people who hold these offices have a major impact on state and local spending and taxation. Contrast that with the 90 percent or more who participate in Australia's elections, according to an article in Sunday's New York Times by William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "Our low turnout rate pushes American politics toward increased polarization," Galston writes. His proposed solution? Have the U.S. join 31 nations, …