Lots of R.I.P’s lately.

If you read in the archives, you may deduce that I have next to no love for the Newark Star-Ledger.

From sports writers that make you question why they are employed (I’m lookin’ at you, Politi), articles swiped from other papers and retyped by interns, ludicrous editorials, and little coverage of anything in depth, it has not been surprising that it has been in a years-long tailspin.

And now the parent company, swirling the bowl with the SL, pulled the plug on the over 125 year-old Cranford Chronicle. May 29 was the last issue.

We were one of the dozens of subscribers that would take the 6 minutes per week to look through at the smattering of articles that were often repeated in the Suburban News. And the same ads week after week for same painters and power-washers.

Print is a dying medium. That’s undeniable. But gutting the content and making it meaningless hastens it. The renewal slip came last year and I still filled it out but I did ask myself ‘why should I bother? It barely has anything.’

But since 1888, we had something.

But Advanced Media made a choice to neglect it. Shriveling down to nothing in the process.

I am confident we will say the same thing about the Star-Ledger sooner than you think.

And no, I don’t feel badly about that. They’re doing it to themselves.

On the hopeful side, maybe it boosts Patch (http://patch.com/new-jersey/cranford), TAP (https://www.tapinto.net/towns/cranford), and the Westfield Leader. (http://www.goleader.com)

I am not happy about this.

Chalk it up to the fear of litigation, I suppose.

So this week without any fanfare, our 250+ year old Pepperidge tree here in town was cut down. Right before Arbor Day.

It was a landmark.

It was historic.

Yes, it was rotting and had some issues. It could have been pruned, cabled and had a stockade fence around it for all I cared.

And if a storm brought it down, then so be it.

This was not handled well.

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/04/old_peppy_comes_down_in_cranford.html#incart_river

For the past several years Cranford had an anonymous message board where the greatest benefit would be to find out why there was police or fire department activity that you passed on your way home.

Besides those explanations, it would often contain a lot of vitriol, rants, and posts from users (how many there truly were was hard to tell since everyone posted as “Guest”) who were pretty obviously off the deep end.

A virtual rubber room where one in 100 posts had some value.

Well, cranfordtalk.org has been down since January. And I think it’s not coming back.

I don’t think it’s that big a loss.

What other options are there?

http://www.nj.com/cranford-nj/ or http://www.nj.com/forums/cranford/ or http://www.nj.com/onthetown/westfieldcranford/

They look old (like Hurricane Irene old) and as messily designed as the rest of nj.com.

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/cranford-nj Rarely used, annoying popups.

No Yahoo groups that I could find, no Google groups.

Is there a place I am missing?

From NJ Family Magazine:

Interestingly, Westfield is singled out for praise as a mid-size town (http://www.njfamily.com/Westfield/) and New Providence gets ranked ahead of us in Union County….

However, Cranford gets some notice as a Top Commuter town as well (The commute from New Providence isn’t that great.)

Rank Town County Population
1 Pennington Mercer 2,587
2 Oradell Bergen 8,128
3 Mendham Twp. Morris 5,899
4 Frelinghuysen Warren 2,204
5 Closter Bergen 8,545
6 Harrington Park Bergen 4,751
7 Mendham Boro. Morris 5,020
8 New Providence Union 12,332
9 Chatham Boro. Morris 9,039
10 Demarest Bergen 4,947
11 Mountain Lakes Morris 4,269
12 Milltown Middlesex 6,996
13 North Caldwell Essex 6,557
14 Denville Morris 16,872
15 Hopewell Boro. Mercer 1,920
16 Northvale Bergen 4,746
17 Englishtown Monmouth 1,948
18 Old Tappan Bergen 5,874
19 Essex Fells Essex 2,119
20 Clinton town Hunterdon 2,696
21 Cresskill Bergen 8,710
22 Glen Rock Bergen 11,838
23 Cranford Union 23,293
24 Spring Lake Heights Monmouth 4,689
25 Norwood Bergen 5,797

http://www.njfamily.com/New-Jerseys-Best-Towns-for-Families-2015

the towns highest on the list with NJ Transit rush hour travel times of less than 50 minutes.

Town Commute Time (in minutes) Overall Rank
Oradell 46 2
Glen Rock 41 22
Cranford 47 23
River Edge 37 27
Summit 41 60
Fair Lawn 37 86
Rutherford 28 130
Millburn 35 160
Union Twp. 37 166
Glen Ridge 35 199
Roselle Park 41 227
Montclair 38 242
Garwood 49 257
Wood-Ridge 31 280
Maplewood 31 292

Municipalities with NJ Transit trains with rush hour travel times of under 50 minutes.

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

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