Monday, June 29, 2009

Parade Or Disruption?

In its wisdom, the township has decided to disenfranchise a large part of the community by insisting on holding the Independence Day Parade on the morning of July 4th, when a substantial number of residents will be attending synagogue services.

What's worse is that the parade route will pass three synagogues on its route. The synagogues, in an effort not to seem unpatriotic, have acquiesced to the parade passing their buildings during services. Had the synagogues complained, they would have been lambasted by those from "the other half" of the community. So they did the only thing they could possibly do and agreed under duress.
At a council meeting back on March 17th, Mayor Feit and Barbara Toffler suggested moving the parade to Friday whenever the 4th falls out on Saturday and to Monday whenever the 4th falls out on Sunday. This idea was shot down.
Seems that the last time July 4th was on Saturday, there was only one shul on the route (two have since been built) and the parade detoured to Palisade Avenue to bypass the shul. Another time, the route was reversed.
Now, the organizers want to enforce a "quiet zone" around the synagogues. Good luck with that. Even the mayor feels that is an impossible endeavor.
So what can be done?
Suggestion 1: Change the parade's date (It's not unpatriotic; Englewood moved their fireworks and music show to Thursday night).
OR Suggestion 2: Hold the parade in the afternoon when the synagogue services have concluded.
OR Suggestion 3: Change the route so it doesn't pass (and disturb) three synagogues that will be in middle of services at the time of the parade.
By the way, does anybody else see the irony in holding a United States Independence Day parade on a street named for a lady who was Queen of England in the 1700s, when the colonies were still ruled by the British?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Here Comes The Sun, There Goes Our Money

Here's Teaneck's latest dumb idea. The township will install solar panels atop the Rodda Center and Fire Station 3 this fall in an effort to save energy costs and promote conservation.
The town will spend $615,000 to save $9,200 a year. In just 69 years, they'll recoup the investment. What a great idea!
Teaneck can get back its investment faster by selling Solar Renewable Energy Certificates to state public utilities. The town estimates about $30,000 a year in income, but based on the state's data the price of these certificates varies greatly and fluctuates monthly. Last month, some went for as low as $170, which would reduce Teaneck's annual income to less than $13,000 a year.
Even if we use Teaneck's figure of $39,200 in annual income and savings, it would still take about 16 years to get back the initial investment. And that's not counting any annual maintenance or replacement costs.
I've tried to determine the life span of these solar panels, but the best I could find was a very general 15 to 25 years.
Some may argue that about half the money will come from a state grant or federal stimulus funds. So what? That's still taxpayer money and it's still a waste!