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daily dish

April  17

Talk Dirty Expiration Policy to Me

You really have to admire a transportation company that uses the word "life expectancy" on its home page. With a straight face, no less. An alert reader sends us the link to Decamp's current message to readers, with with note, "You gotta love the customer friendly tone."

THERE SEEMS TO BE A GREAT DEAL OF CONFUSION REGARDING THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF TICKETS, WHETHER THEY BE ONE-WAY, TEN TRIP, OR FORTY TRIP! THEREFORE, TO CLARIFY, THE FOLLOWING: ONE-WAY TICKETS HAVE A LIFE EXPECTANCY OF ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF PURCHASE (12 MONTHS); TEN TRIP TICKETS HAVE A THIRTY (30) DAY LIFE EXPECTANCY FROM DATE OF PURCHASE; AND THE FORTY (40) TRIP TICKET HAS A LIFE EXPECTANCY OF SIXTY (60) DAYS FROM DATE OF PURCHASE. THIS POLICY CHANGE WAS PUT INTO EFFECT IN MAY, 2004, AND THE COMPANY DOES NOT GENERALLY OFFER REFUNDS ON EXPIRED TICKETS. DECAMP'S TICKETING POLICY IS WELL WITHIN THE RANGES OF ALL THE OTHER CARRIERS IN THE NEW JERSEY AREA. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND CONTINUED COOPERATION. 

April 17, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (23)

daily dish

April  12

What Do You Consider Regular?
Gas_prices_41106

With gas prices up a dime in the last week, it's time for all the citizen journalists to pitch in and let everyone know where the cheap gas is. The Baristas will give you a jump start. (Hint: the cheap gas ain't at Valero, at Watchung and Park Street, where regular was $2.71 yesterday.) The Mobil at Bellevue and Broad (across from ShopRite) was selling regular at $2.59, as was the Exxon on Belleville Ave and Davey Street in Bloomfield (near the Bloomfield A&P). But the Exxon at Broad and Watchung in Bloomfield had it for $2.53.

As for the possibility of seeing lower gas prices again, you better ask your actuary.

The good news is experts say the price will go down, just not anytime soon.

"In our lifetime we will see gasoline prices go back down," says Ben Brockwell, a nationally recognized petroleum expert. "Right now we're in an upward spiral that's going to take us to $3 this summer. That number is already built into this market, unfortunately."

Brockwell is the Director of Data for the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey, an independent oil analyst company. He was in Madison for the Petroleum Marketers Convention.

April 12, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (83)

daily dish

April  10

So What's Wrong With Montclair?

Not sure what's more insulting to New Jersey: The fact that Johnny "Sack" marries off his oldest daughter and goes all the way to Long Island, for a reception at Leonard's of Great Neck?

Or that former NJ Governor Jim McGreevy decides to shack up with his sweetie in Plainfield, NJ? From the New York Post...

McGreevey - rumored to have gotten a hefty six-figure advance for his upcoming bio, "The Confession" - and O'Donnell have asked real-estate agents and homeowners to sign confidentiality agreements "They just want a big house, with some measure of privacy, in a town that will welcome and accept them, and not make a big deal," said one insider.

Jim, we've got plenty of big houses here, and we'd all welcome and accept you (although the privacy thing might be tricky...)

April 10, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (43)

daily dish

April   5

Wanted: Letters to The Editor

Want to do a good deed? Send the Montclair Times a letter. They need them. In fact, they have an editorial assistant soliciting them by trolling reading the Watercooler. Just don't send anything if you don't live in Montclair. Here's how a recent exchange played out...

From   Mary Anne Christiano

Sent  Monday, April 3, 2006 12:10 pm
Subject  did you find your dog yet?

Hi,
I saw your message on the Watercooler and was wondering if you found your dog yet? (I love animals so my heart went out to you).

I work as editorial assistant at The Montclair Times, so if you haven't found your dog and want to write a Letter to the Editor, we can do that for you.

You send the letter to me at: christiano@montclairtimes.com

Best,
Mary Anne

So Lisa, the lost dog owner, writes back...

GetattachmentaspxSent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 7:49 AM
To: christiano@montclairtimes.com
Subject: Lost dog

Hi and Thank you!

Our little dog has been missing since saturday, April 1.  She is a red, mini dachshund, female about 7 lbs.  She is very friendly and has tags with her phone number and address.  She should have been seen around the Bloomfield green, she certainly would have approached any person she saw. If anyone has seen her, or has her, please call us at 973 743-4333.  Thank
you.

I hope this is okay...feel free to change it if you think.

Thanks again for your help!!!

Sent  Tuesday, April 4, 2006 9:35 am
Subject  RE: Lost dog
Hi Lisa,

Please re-write and address it as: To the Editor, then I can pass it on and
we also need your address for our records (not to be published).

Sincerely,
Mary Anne Christiano/Editorial Assistant

Robert and Lisa send in an edited version, along with their address. Then, they get this in return...

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 2:58 pm
Subject  RE: RE: Lost dog
Hi Lisa,

When I read about your dog on the Watercooler, I assumed you were from Montclair. Unfortunately, we can't publish a Letter to the Editor unless it has some relevance to Montclair or if you are from Montclair.

Sorry about the confusion.

Good luck finding the dog.

Sincerely,
Mary Anne

Meanwhile, Lisa tells us Scooty is still missing; if you see, him, comment here, or write us at tips.

April 5, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (88)

daily dish

April   4

Trader Joe Says No, No and No

Trader_joes02_1With so many new stores coming to Baristaville, readers have been salivating asking about the prospect of Trader Joe's setting up shop here. So we called TJ's corporate offices in California and asked what our chances are of being able to buy Cuban Mojito Simmer Sauce, wasabi cashews, or Two Buck Chuck anytime soon.

"No, nope, and no way," we were told by Tara. a chirpy PR type. “Montclair is not in our two year plan. (Could it be our lousy ranking in the best places to live in NJ?). I can't divulge to you how our marketing people decide on our store locations."  "Wooing  is not part of the process -- so even if 500 of your readers wrote us letters to ask for a store, it wouldn’t influence our decision"  But, but, you're wrong, I sputtered. Yeah, well thanks, and have a nice day.

Meanwhile, the closest TJ's is in Wayne  - or for NY commuters, a new one on 14th Street just opened.

April 4, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (58)

daily dish

April   2

What Price Quaintness?

Gas_lamp_gr

Apparently a lot. According to the Ledger today, Glen Ridge paid a quarter of a million dollars last year for the natural gas to fuel the town's historic gas lamps.

Today, the flickering lights cost $35.31 a year for every man, woman and child in this small sliver of a town with 7,123 people. In 1999, the little flames cost $90,490 to run. Last year, it was $251,544, and so far this year, the cost is running 17 percent ahead of just a year ago.

Although the gas lamps bathe the town in a lovely 19th century glow, and also provide a handy logo, they're not much for lighting things up - as anyone who's tried to drive or walk or look up house numbers in Glen Ridge at night will tell you.

There are no easy solutions, like switching to electric lights, because electric polls are behind the houses in Glen Ridge, and the town would need to get easements to run electricity from the back of houses out to the streets. (Hmmm. Eminent domain?) One idea being looked into is a $225 per lamp sensor to turn the lights off during the day. It would cost $150,000 to outfit all the gas lamps in town with these sensors. Sounds like a lot, but we bet the town's gazebo-loving fundraisers could manage that in just a couple of Sunday teas. (Picture above, from the town website, of the gas burning at dusk.)

April 2, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (41)

daily dish

March  13

It's Never Too Early To Obsess About Your Kids

Think Manhattanites are the only ones who go to extremes when it comes to their kids' educations? Think again. According to today's Ledger, parents are flocking to SAT tutoring mills to make sure their kids are prepared for standardized tests in elementary school.

Through tutoring companies and local classes like the one at Raritan Valley, they are spending $100 and up to give their children a head start on the tests, even for kids as young as 8 and 9 years old.

Although the state tests do not determine whether a child moves up a grade, and they don't carry the obvious weight of the SATs, many parents say it's important to get their kids on the right track as early as possible.

Today, meanwhile, is the first day of registration for new 2006-2007 students in Montclair. That means a lot of nervous parents trying to get their kids into Harvard or Yale, um, Watchung or Northeast. Question from a Glen Ridge parent: is Nishuane the equivalent of Rutgers?

March 13, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (69)

daily dish

March   7

Better Than An Oscar

Thumbtomoprahjump1Hollywood’s really fun trophy ceremony, The 26th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards, has announced Tom Cruise as the winner of the Most Tiresome Tabloid Target of 2005 – a new award category saluting the celebs we’re all sick and tired of.

Former Glen Ridger Cruise, nominated twice in this new category, has evidently become even more annoying than The Simpsons (sisters!),  Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears. He didn’t win it for his anti-psychiatry rant, but for his bizarre behavior with all things related to Katie Holmes, including that ya gotta see it to believe it couch jumping scene with Oprah. It’s the first RAZZIE ever awarded for off-screen behavior.

Meanwhile, Phil Read scooped us again with this feature on Cruise’s former home on Washington Street, and the block’s other famous alum. They include hymn writer William Bradbury who penned the music for the catchy Sunday School favorite “Jesus Loves Me”, and Barista Buddy Neil Baldwin, the scribe behind several books, including the not so catchy “Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production Of Hate”.

March 7, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (6)

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February  27

Bad Mom Trading Card Number 867

Anyone else oversleep?

Yes, we know: Bloomfield went back to school last Tuesday, and Montclair last Thursday. But today's the beginning of reality in Glen Ridge. The alarm clock in the Barista household did go off. It's just that the dream we were having was more interesting.

(With apologies to Roz Chast.)

February 27, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (2)

daily dish

February  19

You Can Go Home Again (But You Might Get Lost)
Signage

From reader Jim Lipner:

I am a Queens-born, Jersey-raised, long-time Manhattanite now moving back to Jersey (Montclair, Baristaville) with my new family. Many of my New Yorker friends complain about road signage in Jersey. I can't imagine what their beef is - see how easy it is to find the Parkway North from Grove Street heading north coming up to the corner of Van Houten in Clifton! I never found out which way was correct. (Perhaps Clifton is not technically in Baristaville, but I figure this signage would confuse/irk north-heading Baristavillians.)

Jim, we do this on purpose. To get rid of outsiders. Don't worry. You'll have the entire road system memorized within months, and will never have to consult a sign again.

February 19, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink | Comments (22)

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