Add LSP Community Gardens
The people of the Garden State — where our farmers are known to produce more than 100 fruits and vegetables — should not face food access and injustice.
When the New Jersey Economic Development Authority released the state’s first-ever food desert rankings earlier this year, it included a vast area of Jersey City, home to nearly 200,000 people.
As a dedicated volunteer at Rows for the Hungry, a Middlesex County program that grows and donates fresh produce for local distribution and teaches community members how to grow their own food, I see community gardens as a key element in solving the food insecurity crisis. The addition of new community gardens in Jersey City would help address food insecurity, and the Liberty State Park cleanup and renovation offers a unique opportunity to address the issue.
For some, community gardens are a lifeline for fresh food that would otherwise be unavailable due to meager incomes or living in food deserts. Community gardening also offers environmental benefits (reducing fossil fuel storage and shipment), health benefits (gardeners are more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables), social benefits (promoting community empowerment and participation), economic benefits (including inspiring a new generation to growing food) and more.
While food deserts and food insecurity will hopefully be a thing of the past, the many benefits of community gardening remain. I challenge our leaders to think boldly and include community gardens in the future of Liberty State Park.
Gina Kennedy, Rutgers Master Gardener, Sea Girt
Create varied recreation areas in LSP
As lifelong residents of Jersey City, Chris and I are aware of the benefits and challenges of urban living. We raised three children in the Greenville area of Jersey City and have lived downtown for over 20 years. As a probation officer who has served adults for almost 30 years, I have seen what happens when a person’s potential is not fulfilled. My time at St. Anthony High School also enabled me to help young people achieve their dreams.
That’s why I’ve been watching the Liberty State Park saga with great interest for a long time. As a cyclist, I use the park almost every day and love my time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, I am aware of the park’s problems with contamination and lack of more active areas for exercise.
I applaud the New Jersey Legislature for their vote signaling the need to both clean up the park and add what people want and need—without altering the great elements that already exist.
We need ball fields, a community garden, a recreation center, tennis, basketball and pickleball courts, an athletics practice and competition area, and a soccer stadium to give our youth and families the opportunity to excel and grow.
While some question why Liberty State Park can’t be our Central Park, I question why it can’t be like Bayonne Park, which continues to contribute to what has always been a place for all kinds of recreational activities. waste of time!
Coach Bob Hurley, Jersey City
The principals took great care of the students
I strongly disagree with your editorial “Raising Children Must Always Be Job One for JCPS” (Monday)., which stated “that no one in leadership positions really cared about children” (at the time of the state takeover).
I was the principal of Lincoln High School at the time of the “acquisition” and I can assure you that all of my fellow principals, both high school and elementary, cared deeply about their students and worked tirelessly to provide the best education possible the conditions under which we worked.
I challenge the editors to identify the specific people (educators and politicians) that the Jersey Journal editors have identified who “didn’t care” and provoked the “takeover.” The hardworking, caring professional educators of the day, both in the classroom and in the administrative offices of the school building, deserve no less.
In fairness, you do not reasonably need to charge all JCPS personnel for the offenses of those individuals you identified as causing the “takeover”.
John A. Pacifico, Retired Principal, Lincoln High School, JCPS
Goodbye Columbus, and goodbye
I lived in Jersey City for almost half a century before moving to Point Pleasant. I fondly remember the thriving Italian community that existed in Jersey City.
Without a doubt, Italians and Italian-Americans should be proud of our heritage, and we should do everything humanly possible to end the negative stereotypes held about those of us with Italian roots.
Yet every year we foolishly reinforce all of the negative stereotypes that have plagued Italians and Italian-Americans for the last century.
I consider myself a proud Italian. I have openly admonished Italians and Italian-Americans for acting unethically, and I have commended “paisani” for making valuable, positive contributions to the community. However, I vehemently disagree with the absurd notion of showing our pride on Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus is not a source of pride for the Italian people. In reality, Columbus is a source of shame and embarrassment for the Italian people around the world.
Christopher Columbus is not an Italian hero. Instead, Columbus was Spain’s very first conquistador, and if you think about it, he’s the “original gangster” in the “New World”.
For many years I have tried to convince people that we should no longer honor and honor Christopher Columbus. “Don Colombo” reinforces all the negative stereotypes of Italians. Just like the stereotypical Mafiosi boss we see in gangster movies, Columbus terrorized and preyed on the native population and European settlers for his own personal gain and to maintain control of his territory. Columbus introduced the slave trade to the western hemisphere. He was also a “pimp” who rewarded his “lieutenants” with pubescent, underage indigenous girls. Those who dared to defy the authority of “Don Colombo” were severely punished.
These factual accounts of “Don Colombo” are all very well documented. If we really want to end the negative stereotypes about Italians, then we have to start by getting rid of Columbus Day. We should not allow a “pimp”, murderer, slave trader and the “original gangster” in the western hemisphere to become the “poster child” of Italian heritage, culture and heritage.
Carminuccio Cosimo Palladino, Point Pleasant
Send letters to the editor and guest columns for The Jersey Journal to [email protected].