So today I get a sponsored post  in Facebook from the Cranford Democrats…nothing wrong with that.

Clark-Commons

But I thought it really odd that they would use their sponsored ad to tout their (and specifically Kevin Campbell’s)concern over traffic and stormwater runoff. Uh, little late for that.

If they were concerned, why didn’t they raise the concerns at the 2012 and 2013 Clark planning meetings before the project was approved?

The stormwater runoff, unless if affects the drainage on Raritan or Walnut, will be downstream of us, and with the Rahway widening a lot within Clark, will the increased impervious surface be significant enough to be a factor?

I’ll be interested in seeing how much worse the Raritan and Central intersection will be. The widening could help, and if done right it could provide better flow for the left turn signals. It will probably take us a little longer to get to ShopRite, but this also will cut a few trips to Linden, Watchung and Union to do shopping.

I will admit, I was a little disappointed to see all of the big evergreens bordering on Walnut go down. I was surprised that none would/could be saved. It’d be a plus if they plant more trees than your average shopping center, which they may since they also have that cesspool ornamental pond and a gazebo…

The tenants (with some restaurants I didn’t expect):

  • Whole Foods (which will include its own restaurant and pub)
  • Home Goods
  • L.A. Fitness
  • Panera Bread
  • Panda Express
  • Chipotle
  • Applebee’s
  • Noodles & Company
  • Smashburger
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Red Mango
  • Dress Barn
  • Carter’s
  • Oshkosh
  • Petco
  • Michael’s
  • Five Below
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods
  • Party City
  • Sleepy’s
  • Visionworks
  • Ulta
  • Torrid
  • Hallmark
  • Vitamin Shoppe
  • Verizon Wireless
  • PNC Bank

The way they’re slapping this thing up I would bet it is open before August.

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/02/see_the_27_stores_leased_for_clark_commons_shoppin.html

 

I missed the Oscars last night. Again.

And the reviews indicate that the three hours plus doing something that I already don’t remember was time better spent. And based on the ratings, more of the American public seems to agree with my stance.

I am holding out for better movies. Better Oscar nominees. And acceptance speeches that should only be amusing anecdotes or just “Thank you”. I will not rest until it is “rant free”.

If they meet my demands I will double my annual visits to the movie theater..to twice.

Happy New Year!

Last night I took the family for New Year’s Eve in Times Square for the first time.

And it was more fun than I expected; my expectations were not overly high, but it wasn’t that cold and the mood was bright.

But there was one thing that put a damper on things, and it took about 15-20 minutes for the mood to perk up after that, and that was the overtly political “2014 news montage”.

What a bad idea – a somber tone and bringing up all the fun things from MH370, Ferguson, and Eric Garner…sucked the life out of the crowd. It got quiet. A lame move by ABC to run it then.

WP_20150101_004But hey, overall it was fun, and we caught the 1:00 AM train back…arriving at home by 2:00 AM.

Happy New Year to all.

CP

In the past 60 years, the US went from ambitious projects to being completely unable to get even the most minor alteration to an existing structure approved.

The latest example. http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/senators_launch_effort_to_block_oil_pipeline_through_seven_nj_counties.html#incart_river

Someone thought it would be a good idea to bring Bakken oil field oil to the metro area by pipeline. What an idiot. With bi-partisan opposition to it, we will be protecting railroading, trucking, and barge piloting jobs as well as fire department haz mat jobs because it makes tons more sense to transport oil via rail truck and barge than it would by quiet pipeline.

Who cares that it is vastly more expensive to transport it that way? I mean besides Warren Buffett who owns a railroad or two? And maybe politicians who get contributions from rail, trucking and merchant marine companies?

But it’s way safer. Like that little explosion in Quebec a while back, those would be sort of rare, They even found most of the bodies, right?

Did I say I am for it? You didn’t read that. I think an idea that could bring economic benefit to an area should be heard, thought about, assessed and decided upon one way or the other. Knee jerk opposition (the town where I grew up did a big show with the town council about their opposition) is stupid, emotional, cheaply political and will do more harm in the long run.

We went from “we can build that” to “you didn’t build that” to “you can’t build that”. In 60 years.

Long ago townspeople would meet and there would always be a few local cranks who opposed everything and would give impassioned, egregiously misinformed, somewhat loony reasons that all should be opposed. They were listened to courteously, then the town ruled for what would make the most sense.

Those few local cranks are the ones who run things now.

The Star Ledger attended a press event where Customs Officials very coldly crushed an Austin Mini because it was “illegally” imported from the UK.

http://www.nj.com/ocean/index.ssf/2014/12/watch_as_feds_rip_apart_illegally_imported_british_car.html#incart_river

The buyer of the car, who according to the article paid for the vehicle, likely in good faith, will not be reimbursed.

Why do I find this annoying and wrong?

Well, first off, the vehicle was altered to get around the arbitrary rules that when legislated applied to cars 25 years and older, likely because out west cars don’t rust like they do here. Maybe it could have applied to cars 15 years and older which would have made sense for cars in states that have actual winters? (They should have let California just be California).

Second, rather then turn the car back at customs and send it back to the UK, they seize it and destroy it. They don’t insist it be parted out. There’s no fine. They take it and destroy it because someone altered it to get around the rules that don’t really make much sense anyway.

When the citizen does not break a law, but a regulation, and the government does not provide the citizen any opportunity to remedy, rectify, or appeal the government’s ruling, I have a problem with that. I don’t find that acceptable. And the government does this type of stuff all the time. They enjoy having this kind of power.

And this is where corruption and graft come from.

Think the buyer, who inexplicably wanted a British Mini in the first place, will do this again? Not this way. (Notice that was not a flat no.)

I have a question.

And sadly, since I didn’t attend the October 27th Raritan Valley Rail Coalition thingy, I didn’t get to ask it.

Some federal funding for the evening off-peak ride on Cranford’s NJ transit line has been rubber-stamped.

$910,000 in “congestion management” funds.

http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2014/11/nj_transit_gets_closer_to_funding_for_evening_tran.html#incart_river

And my question: What was the hole in the NJTransit budget that prevented the additional one seat evening trains and required this extra cash?

  • The rolling stock was purchased…was this for covering the interest on the bonds to finance them?
  • Additional engineer and conductor overtime for the workers stuck in High Bridge at 11PM?
  • Printing a bunch of those little orange folio schedules?

I’d like to know. If you have a link in the comments, let me know.

In the past year we have really cut down our trips to Linden to the bare minimum due to the red light cameras on 1 & 9. And with the new shopping center going up in Clark, our trips to Linden will be even less frequent.

So we were not upset that the red light camera pilot period was supposed to sunset later this year.

But we have the towns with them, and used to the money they throw off, not wanting to let them go. And covering themselves in the “Bu- bu- But it saves lives!” mantra.

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2014/11/linden_union_fighting_for_red-light_cameras_system_protect_public_municipal_leaders_claim.html#incart_river

But as one quickly googled US DOT study shows,

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/05049/

red light cameras essentially cause a trade off from right angle crashes to rear-end crashes…which makes sense to us, as we will stomp on the brakes at a hint of yellow in Linden.

There are other traffic safety devices that can be explored,

http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/alternatives

but do not generate anywhere near the cash, if any at all. Bu- Bu- But those too would save lives!

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