Windsor-Hights Herald Opinions

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By Huck Fairman With warnings about the threats to the natural world and to human civilization coming from numerous sources, many local residents have been wondering what they can do, as individuals, and as members of a community. High school students, following Swedish Greta Thunberg’s example, have skipped school to strike, protesting the lack of […]

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B: Michele S. Byers Here’s a not-too-fun fact. Eight-five percent of New Jersey’s rivers are considered impaired, in large part because their banks are denuded of vegetation. Without trees, river banks erode, sediments and contaminants are washed into rivers, and waters become too warm for trout and other aquatic wildlife. Bare riverbanks and floodplains cannot […]

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By: Huck Fairman “It’s worse, much worse than you think.” This is how the book begins. David Wallace-Wells, journalist and author, wants to be very clear, in his new book, “The Uninhabitable Earth” -very clear that we have brought upon ourselves a new and threatening reality that none of us can escape. Yes, we can mitigate […]

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I recently retired after a higher education career in the Garden State, where soon it will be legal to get high from cannabis. I served as a National Education Association/New Jersey Education Association union officer. I know it is a good thing for civil rights and the economy to legalize. Perhaps my former employer, Brookdale […]

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By Huck Fairman A question many, if not most, New Jersey shore home owners have asked themselves. Following the arrival of our one-in-a-hundred years storm, superstorm Sandy, in October 2012, measurements of and predictions for, sea level rise along the Jersey shore are exceeding the global averages. While this is in part due to the […]

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Caroline Purdy of Cranbury has been named to the President’s Honor Roll at Oklahoma City University for the Fall 2018 semester. In order to be named to the honor roll, students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours while also maintaining a GPA of 3.9 or higher.  

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Kiana Best of East Windsor has been named to the Champlain College Dean’s List for the Fall 2018 semester. Best is majoring in Secondary Education -English. Students on the Dean’s List have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher during the semester. Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college […]

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To the Editor: I want to wish everyone a belated Happy and Healthy New Year. It is my honor and privilege to serve as Cranbury’s Mayor in 2019, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Township Committee, town staff and volunteers as we embark on an exciting 2019. 2019 is the […]

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Once upon a time, some Princeton parents had a dream: a great school, academically competitive with Princeton Public Schools but one that was unbound from big-school bureaucracy, and made for their children. They started Princeton Charter School. Beloved of its parents, students and teachers, it is now ranked one of the nation’s best. How about […]

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“Forests are the ‘lungs’ of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. The forests are also needed for mitigating extreme climatic fluctuations, holding the soil on the slopes, retaining the moisture in the ground, and controlling the equable flow of water in our streams.” -Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1935 Our 32nd president […]

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The holiday season’s here and it’s time for a tree. Do you go for a real tree or a fake? You may think that an artificial tree is the more environmentally responsible choice – after all, it spares a real tree and is reusable.  But a New Jersey-grown tree is the greenest choice, and it […]

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By Michele S. Byers Executive Director New Jersey Conservation Foundation In recent years, New Jersey’s vineyards and craft breweries have surged in popularity, with new brands popping up all over the Garden State. And hard cider is coming back as the next trend in locally-produced beverages. Made from tart apples and sometimes compared to champagne, […]

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In July, the Diamond Generating Corp. proposed a $1.5 billion project to build a gas power plant in the heart of the New Jersey Meadowlands in Hackensack. The New Jersey Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) took the first steps to approve this proposal, only to be met with pushback from environmentalists and residents of the […]

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To the editor: Each year at this time, Yes We CAN! Food Drives collects donated turkeys so those in our community who are less fortunate can share in the traditions of Thanksgiving. This year is different. Instead, we are collecting Thanksgiving “fixings” for the patrons of the free food pantries of Arm In Arm, located in […]

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A landmark report just released by the world’s leading climate scientists had sobering news for New Jersey, a state with hundreds of miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. The consequences of global warming – including sea level rise and weather extremes like droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires – are coming […]

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The vast majority of Americans are most concerned with receiving information that directly impacts their lives. Unfortunately in New Jersey, this has not always been the case. We are, in a sense, held hostage by our geography, situated between the country’s numbers one and five media markets. This has helped create a black hole in […]

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To the editor: This November election is not only about federal, state and county positions, but involves a seat on the West Windsor Township Council. Unlike the other races, the West Windsor town government is thankfully non-partisan. I feel very strongly that one of the candidates, Councilwoman Jyotika Bahree, embodies that spirit. She will continue […]

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To the editor: I am asking East Windsor residents to consider voting for me, Colleen Murphy, to the East Windsor Regional School District School Board on Tuesday, November 6. Starting in kindergarten at Perry L. Drew Elementary School and graduating from Hightstown High School in 2012, I am proud to have been a student in […]

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To the editor: I was proud to be a leader for building pressure and support for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed in 1987, which banned land based medium range nuclear weapons for the US and the then Soviet Union (USSR). Those weapons, which had begun being deployed first by the USSR and then […]

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The New Jersey Natural Lands Trust has 30,000 great reasons to celebrate its 50th anniversary! That’s how many acres were preserved since the Trust was created by the state Legislature in 1968. The Trust is an independent agency with a mission to preserve land in its natural state for public enjoyment and the protection of habitat […]

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To the editor: The Hickory Corner Branch of the Mercer County Library System could not get by with a lot of help from our Friends. The Friends of the Hickory Corner Library contribute over $11,000 each year to fund programming, provide new furniture and landscaping, purchase materials and supplies, not to mention funding the Summer […]

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To the editor: At any given moment, a person may require the need of their First Aid Squad. Once the call to 911 is made, it puts in operation the response of their local volunteer squad that is staffed by Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s). Upon arrival, the EMT’s will provide the highest level of medical […]

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An epidemic is sweeping across the globe, and it’s causing a myriad of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, falls, and poor mental health. The epidemic is physical inactivity … in other words, a sedentary lifestyle. A new study by the World Health Organization found that 28 percent of adults globally – some 1.4 […]

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To the editor: Recent polls show the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey is now a toss-up. As executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), I’ve had extensive experience with Sen. Bob Menendez and his senior aides. I’m writing to urge voters who care about gun violence prevention and international peace issues […]

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To the editor: It’s election time, and the League of Women Voters is compiling the responses of candidates – from Senate to local municipality and school board – for its online Voters’ Guide, www.VOTE411.org. Princeton, Lawrence, Montgomery, West Windsor, Plainsboro, South Brunswick and Hillsborough voters will be able to see their entire ballot on VOTE411 […]

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“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans.” These were the words […]

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If you are wondering whether fall will ever come, just take a look at the birds! At the Jersey shore, you may have noticed tiny sandpipers known as sanderlings pecking and scurrying along the water’s edge. They just spent their summer breeding in the Canadian arctic. Some are now following New Jersey’s coastline on their […]

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New Jersey is home to about 2500 native plants, and over one-third are considered rare! Some have always been rare – like the Stalked Woolgrass – which was just re-discovered by NJDEP State Botanist David Snyder along the Delaware River in Sussex County after not having been seen in over 100 years. Many others are […]

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To the editor: Labor Day means “a call to action,” a time to act for the midterms and get out the vote. And, time for New Jersey to protect our elections from corruption. But can New Jersey protect its citizens from “dark money” now that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has capitulated to the Koch […]

We will celebrate our sixth anniversary, together with Penn Medicine Princeton Health. This much-anticipated annual event includes over 20 fitness classes and demos, health screenings and information, kids’ classes and activities, and other fun events focused on fitness and health.

2019 Family Living



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Windsor-Hights Herald Opinions

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New Jersey’s wildflower meadows are spectacular this month! “Meadows are beautiful, they’re vibrant and they host diverse wildlife,” said wildflower expert Tama Matsuoka Wong of Flemington, who has two meadows on her property. “The plants are changing all season … every two weeks you get new plants. I don’t think you can match nature. It’s […]

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One of the state’s newest science classrooms is uniquely suited for water testing and studying plankton under a microscope. But you’ll need a life vest! This spring, the “Study Hull,” a 40-foot pontoon boat outfitted with a laboratory, was launched by the nonprofit Lake Hopatcong Foundation after years of planning. The custom-made floating classroom cruises […]

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You’re looking up at the night sky when – whoosh! – a brilliant streak of light whizzes past so quickly you almost miss it. Some shooting stars contain ancient stardust, far older than our young solar system – tiny diamonds manufactured deep within an exploding star somewhere in our Milky Way galaxy over 10 billion […]

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How many times have you bent down to check out a mushroom, only to be told, “Stop! It may be poisonous!” New Jersey has several poisonous mushrooms … and it goes without saying that you shouldn’t eat anything growing in the wild (including plant leaves, roots and berries) unless you know what you’re doing. But […]

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To the editor: Less than four months remain before one of the most consequential elections of our time, and New Jersey is one of five states that still vote on unauditable paperless direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. The U.S. intelligence community has stated that these electronic voting machines are a threat to our national security. […]

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During summer heat waves, you know your body will be hot and sluggish.  But did you know that your brain is affected by the heat too? Two new studies show how heat waves and temperature spikes – which are expected to become more frequent due to climate change – are impacting our lives in surprising ways. […]

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What do Wharton State Forest in the Pine Barrens, Jesse Allen Park in Newark, Camden Waterfront Park, theGreat Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Island Beach State Park and Paterson’s Great Falls National Historic Park have in common? These parks and natural areas – and many more throughout this state we’re in – have all benefited from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 52-year-old federal program to create and improve public parks, recreation areas, […]

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In 1974, reptile researcher Robert Zappalorti captured a female bog turtle in a Sussex County swamp. In keeping with protocols, he marked the turtle by cutting tiny identifying notches on the edge of her shell. After snapping her photo – which became the cover of his guidebook – Zappalorti released the turtle back into the […]

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In the musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” a mysterious Venus flytrap in a florist shop reveals its appetite for human flesh and blood. Fortunately, there’s no real-life equivalent of Audrey, the diabolical, man-eating plant. But there are many carnivorous plants that trap and digest animal prey – mostly insects – and some of them are found […]

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New Jersey may be the nation’s most densely populated state, but how many of its citizens know the Pine Barrens? The Pine Barrens wilderness includes more than a million acres of pine forests, rivers and streams … with few roads, cars or developments. It’s a place with a unique plants and animals, fascinating history and […]

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Have you seen unusual groups of joggers and runners breaking stride to pick up litter from the ground? They’re “ploggers,” part of a fitness trend that migrated to the United States from Sweden. “Plogging” combines the Swedish term “plocka upp” – meaning to pick up – with jogging. Ploggers are an increasingly common sight in […]

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To the editor: The YMCA of Hightstown and East Windsor will be closing its doors for good on June 29. It will be the last day of day care and preschool for my grandchildren, Jack and Eugenia Sanchez. I want to thank all of the wonderful teachers, staff and caregivers for taking such good care […]

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For many New Jerseyans, it wouldn’t be summer without blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, and many varieties of melon and squash, all grown in this state we’re in. And we have dozens of unfamiliar, native pollinating insects to thank! The production of most fruits, seeds, and nuts requires insect pollinators, who transfer pollen from the male anthers […]

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How can you tell if an ecosystem is healthy? Take a look at the plants and animals living there. In New Jersey – especially the southern counties – one sign of healthy forested wetlands and headwater streams is the presence of the evergreen lily known as swamp pink (Helonias bullata). The plants produce a beautiful […]

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A dozen years ago, wildlife experts were sure that the fisher – a member of the weasel family – was long gone from New Jersey. But a biologist using a motion-triggered camera proved them wrong. Believing fishers were back, the late Charlie Kontos, an adjunct professor and Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers, set up a camera […]

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Look around and you’ll see plastic bags everywhere: tumbling along roads, washed up on beaches, caught in tree branches, and clogging rivers, streams and storm drains. In 2017, volunteers for Clean Ocean Action collected more than 9,000 plastic bags during their spring and fall “Beach Sweeps” up and down the Jersey shore. In April, volunteers […]

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Bluebirds have been a symbol of happiness for thousands of years and across many cultures. With their brilliant blue plumage and flash of red on the breast, these year-round New Jersey residents are breathtaking. But the last century hasn’t been the happiest time for these small thrushes, which historically nested in hollow tree cavities. The […]

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Along New Jersey State Highway 72 in New Lisbon, just around the bend from Brendan Byrne State Forest, is a publicly-accessible forest fire observation tower. The view is stunning: one can see the vast expanse of our Pine Barrens, a sea of green extending in every direction. At first glance, the forests may all look […]

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After a great deal of thought, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association has changed its name to The Watershed Institute. The change was approved by our Board of Trustees in March as part of a new strategic plan and was announced at our Annual Meeting on April 23. There are several reasons for the name change. […]

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Clean energy like solar and wind got a huge boost last week with the passage of a new clean energy bill. The clean energy bill was passed by the state Senate and Assembly in Trenton. Once Governor Phil Murphy signs it into law, this state we’re in will join New York and California in leading the nation in clean energy. The bill will also put New Jersey […]

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Grant Harris took a bold step last week when he preserved nearly 375 acres of grasslands surrounding his famous Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove Township, the oldest weekly professional rodeo in the United States and the only one in New Jersey. Preserving the land where his horses and cattle graze allows him to continue a five-generation family […]

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Step outside at night and gaze up at the sky. Do you see a dim orangey glow? If so, you’re experiencing the modern problem of light pollution. Our multitude of outdoor lights – streetlights, home lighting, stores, illuminated signs and more – obscure the magnificent dome of constellations and planets that have inspired a sense […]

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Imagine a 500-acre island oasis for birds and wildlife, and an urban nature education center, in the Delaware River between Camden and Philadelphia. Fifteen years ago, an improbable alliance formed.  Petty’s Island’s owner, the CITGO Petroleum Corporation, teamed up with environmentalists from across New Jersey and local urban residents to preserve the island. The battle to […]

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In spite of another snowstorm on the first day of spring, it’s impossible to ignore that spring is here. And lots of snow-weary New Jerseyans will be heading outdoors to explore new places. Where to go? You could visit state and national parks. But how about following a different path? Check out the county parks […]

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It’s a beautiful day and you’ve got some free time. Will you spend it outdoors in nature or hanging out with your friends? Don’t answer – it’s a trick question! You don’t have to choose. It turns out that being social is one of the best ways to enjoy nature. A recent study, “The Nature […]

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The bare Forsythia bushes next to my house have started to be speckled with small yellow buds, while not far away a daffodil sprout has pushed away the grains of topsoil as it reaches for the sun. The magic of spring starts to make its appearance as the earth rotates to the position that gives […]

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Trash seems to be an inevitable part of life in our modern culture. But is it possible to reduce your garbage by half? How about 75 percent … or even all of it? New Jersey has always been in the forefront of trash reduction. In April 1987, this state we’re in became the first in […]

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I don’t remember the date in the early ’50s, that as part of a U.S. Army team I drove a battle-ready tank off the ramp of a taxiing aircraft in an experimental touch-and-go operation. While that event did have some future significance, it was not as significant as the place where it occurred. We touched […]

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Record-breaking warm temperatures may be welcome to humans, but for wildlife it’s still winter. Late February and early March are great for wildlife watching in New Jersey, especially along the coast. Winter migrants from the north are still here, and longer daylight means more sightings of seals and birds that haven’t yet returned to their […]

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Forrest Gump claimed life is like a box of chocolates, and a healthy forest is like a layer cake. At the bottom of the cake is the “understory” layer, with seedlings, saplings, woody shrubs and other plants. Next up is the “mid-story,” with taller young trees and larger shrubs. The “canopy,” with the oldest, largest […]