May 3, 2013
Posted by Cranford Pundit under Corruption? Here? Leave a Comment
In Union County politics, and with all its backroom deals and questionable finances, Charlotte DeFilippo was a big deal.
As head of the Union County Improvement Authority, DeFilippo wielded a lot of power.
And at the UCIA, there are plenty of things to keep an investigative reporter busy there for years. There were some costly projects, drawn out processes over empty lots, and a lot of people you wouldn’t think would become wealthy, becoming wealthy.
But she’s moving on. That should be enough to keep those sniffing around from pursuing anything further.
And no, it doesn’t mean that we’re moving to a clear new day in Union County.
March 23, 2013
Posted by Cranford Pundit under Cranford 1 Comment
A surprising sight as you head up Walnut Avenue towards downtown is that there are three houses for sale in the long block between Blake and Lincoln.
So it looks like an exodus out of Cranford is about to happen. The more likely conclusion is coincidence.
At the moment, there are 124 houses for sale in Cranford. (Zillow and Trulia.com)
According to Neighborhood Scout, http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nj/cranford/#data there are (after doing a minimum of math) 6,587 single family homes in the township.
So 124 homes is about 2 percent.
So, despite 4 “storms of the century” in the past 6 years (2007 Tax Day, Irene, Halloween Snow, and Sandy), an awful lot of households are staying put.
March 16, 2013
Posted by Cranford Pundit under Uncategorized Leave a Comment
As I understand it, Helmut Kohl was a big proponent of one European currency as a step to unify the countries and reduce the chances for future war within Europe.
Too bad he is likely to be proven wrong.
But if there were more controls against free-riding and profligate spending, or better checks against government perpetrated fraud in order to gain admission, they may have pulled it off. It’s one thing to have the euro zone more tightly connected economically. It’s another to have a wholesale extraction of wealth from the producer countries to the non-producing countries. Too bad it’s the latter now.
But with multiple governments teetering on bankruptcy, including Cyprus, the masters are taking a bold step on the poor saps that were foolish enough to actually place their funds in Cypriot banks.
Confiscating up to 10% of bank deposits is a very scary move which may accelerate the slide to doom for the Euro. And it ought to be doomed.
It will be interesting to see what depositors do…do they wait for “no really, this is the last time we do this, honest”?
I know what I would do..not give them a second chance.
March 11, 2013
Posted by Cranford Pundit under Uncategorized Leave a Comment
These I found to be really good…in fact, some of these would have helped me a lot back in school:
These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.
- You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
- You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.
- Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
- Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
- Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
- What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
- Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
- Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
- When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
- Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
- Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
- Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
- Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
- Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
- If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
- What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
- No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
- You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
- Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
- Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
- You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
- What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
Shamelessly pilfered from http://aerogrammestudio.com/2013/03/07/pixars-22-rules-of-storytelling/
February 24, 2013
Whew. Making it through another year.
Been a very tough week over here in CP-land. A tragedy in the family which you wouldn’t think would happen in the age of sophisticated medicine.
We will move on. But as we do so, there will be some pain involved.
But I know I will not turn to movies for escapism. Didn’t see any nominated nor making any plan to. Watching the Oscars for me is like watching a high school lunchtable award themselves for being the coolest diners. And it is so uninteresting and joyless that I can’t even make any time to sit in the back and mock. It’s the best insult: I have better things to do.
December 26, 2012
Totally forgot to wish all who celebrate it a Merry Christmas.
Well, Happy New Year everyone.
I have not spent the time necessary to come up with mildly amusing (at best) predictions for 2013.
So, no prediction on the future of Chief Mason.
No prediction on the new government coming in.
No prediction on the economy (well, one, and it is not good).
No prediction on a hurricane hitting NJ. (well, okay, prediction is none for next year, statistically, we’re not due).
I will predict that we will be busy and distracted next year, and that I will do my best to enjoy family and friends.
I hope you do so also.
And all the best to you and yours.
December 15, 2012
Posted by Cranford Pundit under General 1 Comment
Yesterday’s shooting at an elementary school in CT is shocking and heartbreaking. The pain inflicted on these families is unfathomable.
But while many Facebook friends are screaming for “more gun control!”, I think many people are focusing on the wrong common demoninator here.
We can’t ban evil. As long as any gun exists and is at all accessible to someone evil…all the gun control laws will do is remove the apprehension that someone will be armed and stop them.
We can’t easily stop the 24 hour news cycle, where evil people can almost instantly become household names, and be remembered for years. Which is one of their goals.
But what we can do is look at the almost completely dismantled mental health system in this country…it is an uncomfortable topic, but we all pay too high a price for the fact that the mental health infrastructure (or lack thereof, rather) is impacting our daily lives at unbelievable levels. It does more to instill fear of rampages in malls, schools and offices than al Qaeda ever could. Or that we don’t let our children play outside unsupervised.
With today’s technology, there is a much greater opportunity to work with the mentally ill…opportunities to find ways to prevent these people from “going off their meds”, or look at mental hospitals in a whole new way that is more effective for the community and the patient.
This is a better debate and focus to have. Getting rid of guns will not do it. Getting rid of CNN will not do it. Getting this country to lose it’s reluctance to deal with mental health issues in a rational way will do some of it.
But as long as evil exists, it will continue in some form or another.