On my way to St. Lucy's earlier this week, I got stopped at a traffic lite and chanced to see a little building being demolished not far from the Colonnade Apartments (in the background, below) to make way for another piece of the New Newark. Out of sight of this picture to the right was a bulldozer actively clearing the back of the site, probably to make way for more of the low-rise single-family townhouses or apartment buildings that are springing up all over Newark like dandelions on a lawn.
Some people regard the proliferation of dandelions as a bad thing, because they think of dandelions as weeds. But I see dandelions as cheery yellow wildflowers with, as I recently discovered thru a little Internet research, not just edible leaves for salads but also edible flowers and root! Check out this website about the health benefits of consuming dandelion leaves, flowers, and taproot, as vegetables or tea, by Steve ("The Wildman") Brill, who led tours of edible plants thru New York City parks for four years: http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Dandelion.html
I keep losing lettuce to rot. I buy a full head, which is much more than I alone can eat in a reasonable period, and lose most of it. But I've got a number of dandelion plants growing in my front yard, so maybe if I harvest just enuf for one meal at a time, I can make salad with free ingredients for half the year.
The car ahead of me in this picture had three political bumper stickers you can see in this foto, but not read. On the right was a sticker proclaiming the driver's pride in supporting Sharpe James for Mayor in 2002. On the left was one for James 2006 even tho Mayor James had removed himself from this year's contest a couple of weeks earlier. I think the middle one was a second 'James Team 2002' sticker.
My friend Gaetano in the Ironbound is very enthusiastic about the candidacy of the present frontrunner for mayor, Cory Booker, in part because he's young, in part because he is rumored to be gay. But Guy (short for "Gaetano", which is pronounced guy-táhn-o) sent me a link to an article in which Booker is said to be eager to find a way to cancel the Newark Arena, which is now well under construction. Is he insane?
The Newark Arena is a terrific project
that promises to do great good for Newark, in bringing tons of white people into Downtown at nite, whereupon they will discover that the fears they have had about Newark as a deathtrap of urban filth and crime are just crazy
Worse, Booker wants to give vouchers
to schoolkids to attend private
schools, in a program that would not only drain money away from the public schools but also worsen de facto segregation, in empowering middle-class white people more easily to send their kids to private schools that today only upper-income families can afford. We all know what race the bulk of upper-income people in this city, who are inclined to remove their kids from public schools, belong to. In actuality, many if not most of the people who would use vouchers already send their kids to private or parochial school, and the bulk of people who do not presently send their kids to private or parochial school would not receive enuf in vouchers to cover all the costs of a private education. That means that either they would have to come up with additional money they can scarce afford or forgo making use of vouchers that are actually intended for use only by people who have a lot more disposable income than the bulk of parents in this city have to spare. The effect? The people who are already, without vouchers, sending their kids to private schools will get a windfall at the expense of poor families who will have no choice but to continue to send their kids to public schools, but those schools will have been newly robbed of contributions by the rich, who will take thousands of dollars per student out of the public schools that they now pay in.
Even if a working family could, with some struggle, afford to send one
kid to private or parochial school with the help of a voucher that does not cover all the costs levied by that educational institution, how many poor, working-class, or lower-middle-class families can afford to send their two
, or more
children to private or parochial schools? unless vouchers were to cover all costs, which they most emphatically do not
If Booker continues to back those two hideous and unacceptable stances (canceling the Newark Arena and promoting vouchers as would subvert the public schools), I will feel compelled to vote against him
on May 9th.