Thursday, December 01, 2005

SHUfly

The SHUfly is finally here. After months of planning the campus shuttle has begun its runs.

Six months ago - the VLC sat down with Parking Services manager Ann Szipsky and wrote a survey that would go out to all students and faculty. With the results of that survey, we put together a proposal with routes and stops for a new campus shuttle.

The SHUfly is free for this initial week, and thereafter it will be 75 cents per ride. The service is cashless, so students will pay using Pirate's Gold (http://studentaffairs.shu.edu/campusid/piratesgold.html) which they can swipe from their IDs.

Stops include:
- Farinella Gate (Main Gate)
- Seton Pl. and Madison (Library Rotunda)
- Ward Pl. Gate
- Ward Pl. and Irvington Ave. (by Greco's)
- Irvington Ave. and Cottage Pl.
- Pathmark/Ora Manor
- Train Station (Back parking lot behind Bunny's near SOPAC)
- South Orange Ave. and Scotland Rd. (Village Hall)
- Scotland Rd. and Montrose Ave. (South Orange Towers)
- The Ring Building/St. Andrew's Seminary

On the weekends, the routes will include trips to the Livingston Mall and Maplewood Village.

If students use this service - there is the possibility of expanding routes, adding more buses, and adding new locations. It is a really easy and inexpensive way of getting around the village. I don't have a car and I used it to go to Pathmark yesterday and do grocery shopping - much better than walking.


Please utilize the SHUfly - it's a great service for all of us.

The schedule can be found online here:
http://parking.shu.edu/docs/shuflyschedule.pdf

BMO

The Blog is Back

Wow a lot has happened in the past year. Our little group registered over 800 students to vote on campus, we officially became the Village Liaison Committee (with a constitution and everything), we held a Board of Trustee debate on campus, and helped get a trustee elected.

We began working on our task force, which will address off-campus issues with neighbors. The task force has a 24 hour hotline and is compiling a list of off-campus students so that we know who to contact when there is a problem.

The VLC community subcommittee has become better organized through the efforts of Liaison Jenn Lackie. Students who violate university policy and who are required to perform community service will do so - in the South Orange community. Jenn is coordinating with the village government, the library, and residents to create projects for these students to complete in the village.

This year, Liaisons Erin Whitham and Jayson Harpster led a registration drive which registered an additional 400 students to vote.

Earlier in the semester, you may have seen several businesses painted blue showing off their Seton Hall pride. This was part of our Pirate Pride Campaign led by liaisons Mariel Lospinosa and Kim Stewart. That same weekend was University Day, and SHU celebrated its 150th birthday. There was a carnival, a barbeque on the green, and a parade up South Orange Ave. If you watched really closely you may have seen the Village Liaison Committee on one of the floats - the "Paint the Town Blue" float.

Our most recent project has been the SHUfly - a campus shuttle which I'll talk more about in a later post. The important thing to know about the SHUfly is that students originally asked Village Hall if the already running Jitney could make a stop at Seton Hall to pick up students. When this didn't happen, we decided to create our own. Six months later and it's up and running.

Anyway it's good to be back and hopefully there will be more news to come.

Brian O'Malley
Co-President
Village Liaison Committee

Saturday, October 30, 2004

District 12 Voting

South Orange District 12 Voters!!! In case you haven't heard the polling location for District 12 has been moved to the Beck Room of the Seton Hall University Library. There will be plenty of student volunteers, directory signs, and ample parking on that day. Come out and exercise your right to vote this Tuesday November 2nd. This goes for all 750 of the Seton Hall students who have registered to vote in South Orange.

See you at the polls!

Brian

Suffrage is the pivotal right.
* Susan B. Anthony

To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.
* Louis L'Amour

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

March on Village Hall

South Orange Alliance for Redevelopment (SOAR) will be hosting a "March on Village Hall" this Thursday October 28th at 6pm. SOAR is a group of citizens who are concerned with the lack of progress on redevelopment in the Village. The March will start behind Bunny's Restaurant at the future site of the South Orange Performing Arts Center (see earlier story below), move to the vacant Beifus lot, past the empty New Market grocery, and up South Orange Avenue to Village Hall. For more information on the March you can visit SOAR's website at http://southorangesoar.org/.

Night all!

Brian

Thursday, October 21, 2004

POSTPONED

Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts the Village Meeting sponsored by the Village Liaisons Committee has been postponed. Hopefully we will be able to hold it sometime in November. I'll keep everyone updated.

Brian

Friday, October 08, 2004

Village Meeting

Hey everyone,

As both a Seton Hall student and a resident of South Orange, I think it is important we keep the lines of communications open between those residents living behind Seton Hall's gates, and those living in South Orange proper.

To this end the Student Liaison's Committee has organized a town hall-type meeting between the Seton Hall community, citizens of South Orange, and the Village government. This meeting will take place at 8pm on Tuesday October 26th at the Presbyterian Church on the corner of Prospect St. and South Orange Ave.

I encourage everyone to attend, especially our 750 new residents and voting members of the community, as it will be a chance to meet you fellow Villagers and discuss with your local government your concerns about the issues facing you.

All are invited to attend and we are hoping for a great turnout.

Have a great night all!

Brian

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Magic Number

Good news all!!

Pending SHU administration approval ... WE'VE GOT THE VOTING BOOTH! Let me tell you how this all played out.

A few weeks back, a massive "coalition" made up of the Student Liaisons, SGA, Junior Class Council, Psi Sigma Phi fraternity, both College Dems and Republicans and many MANY others, set out to register this campus to vote. We weren't sure what numbers we were working with, but we had a goal in mind and we set to it. On September 8th, the day the incoming freshmen were picking up their laptops, we started the registration campaign. After 12 hours of tableing three hundred and sixty three freshmen had registered to vote. The coalition had started on the right track.

A few weeks later, the Student Liaisons under Sheena Collum, got 100 tee-shirts that said "Ask Me For a Voter Registration Form" for volunteers to wear and to revitalize the registration campaign. Let me tell you that every shirt was given out and there was a waiting list of almost another hundred wanting to volunteer.

We were told that the "magic number" of people that we had to register to have a voting booth on campus was about five hundred. So we got closer and closer to that five hundred, eventually reaching that goal.

UNTIL... 24 hours before the deadline - before the Board of Elections was going to meet to decide where to have the polling location - we got a call from the county telling us the official magic number was 750.

Wouldn't you know the coalition of student registrars mobilized that night and registered the addtional two hundred and fifty needed to reach our goal. The Board met the next day, sent a representative this week, and decided yesterday that - if the school administration was in agreement - there would be a polling location at 400 South Orange Ave in the Beck room of the Library.

Great job guys! And this is also good news for those outside our gates. Having the booth at Seton Hall offers ample parking, wheelchair access, and a centralized location.

Good news all around!

Thanks for reading,

Brian

Friday, September 17, 2004

Pirates in the Park

Hey everyone,

Just an event update. If you have some time tomorrow (Sat Sept 18th) Seton Hall and Main Street South Orange will be hosting "Pirates in the Park". It will be held from 6-11pm in Spiotta Park (which is on South Orange Ave about a block before you reach the train station, it's next to the Town Hall Deli - the one with the turtle statue in it) and there will be food, a free movie, and Big Wheels races. It should be a lot of fun! So if you're around from 6-11 tomorrow - definitely stop by.

Thanks,

Brian

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Show Me the Money

In this post: The South Orange Board of Trustees(BOT) has voted to compensate themselves. In a vote of four (Calabrese, Theroux, Taylor, and Steglitz) to three (Joyce, Rosen, Rosner) the BOT put to vote and passed the long debated issue of whether or not they should be paid a stipend for their services to the village. This measure - which has cause quite a stir in the village - will now go to the state to be voted on. If it passes in Trenton, it will go to the voters of South Orange next May when the municipal elections are held (along with the repassage of the Village Charter). This is certainly an important time for those of you at Seton Hall who have registered to vote at 400 South Orange Ave. You've been informed - now get out there and take a stance on this issue.

Goodnight!

Brian

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Rock the Vote Part II

Yeah so thanks to some amazing work by great people at Seton Hall, including the Student Government Association, Student Liaisons, the Junior Class Council and the Psi Sigma Phi fraternity, three hundred and sixty three students were registered to vote in the village today. 363!!! It was and outstanding job and I was honored to be part of it.

Thanks everybody for your hard work and dedication. Let's not stop there - we can register the whole campus! And to everyone who registered - make sure you get out there in November and next May and ROCK THE VOTE!!!

Goodnight,

Brian

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hold Your Horses

I read today that two wary villagers attempted to take a walk on the Seton Hall campus but were stopped at the gate by security and told "the university is closed for the holiday". First of all I would like it to be put out there that Securitas is an independent agency hired to secure Seton Hall and should not necessarily represent the mind set of those on the SHU campus. Heck even we have trouble getting on campus sometimes - especially with our cars. I'm just writing this so all know that Seton Hall is very open to all villagers who would like to roam campus and the fact that the "university is closed" does not mean that campus is closed. I hope the incident at the front gate today will not dissuade any residents of South Orange from coming to visit SHU's campus.


Thanks for being patient,

Brian

Sunday, September 05, 2004

You're Such a ReBL

Hey if anyone at SHU is interested in using the South Orange public library, you can go to the Seton Hall library and ask for a ReBL card. This card will not only allow you to utilize the S.O. library, but also many other Essex County libraries and libraries at other colleges in the state and metro area.

This is good because the S.O. library may have some things (fiction books, DVDs, etc) that our research library may not have.

Do yourself a favor and check it out!

Brian

SOPAC

If you happen to be on the other side of the train station, and you go to the parking lot behind Bunny's Restaurant - where you can often find free parking (Sat/Sun and after a certain hour I believe) - you will notice a chain link fence in one corner and signs with the acronym SOPAC on them. This is one day going to be our very own South Orange Performing Arts Center (hence SOPAC). This center will contain a large performing arts center as well as a movie theater. SHU students should definitely take an interest in SOPAC because the university donated $1 million to the project, which enabled the size of the performance center to be increased from 294 seats to 415 seats. Because of this Seton Hall will get preferred access to scheduling in SOPAC, which is always a good thing for our budding theater program.

Keep reading for more information - the groundbreaking is set for this week on the project.

Thanks,

Brian

Thursday, September 02, 2004

New Grocery in S.O.

So for everyone who doesn't already know, South Orange has been trying to redevelop the New Market property on South Orange Ave. adjacent to the train station into a new grocery store for a while now. It has been a cause of frustration for residents who are looking for something-anything to be put in the location. There is talk of several different chains or specialty stores moving into the spot, but anything would be better than a vacant space.

Anyway the project has been going on for about 2 years now with little improvement. And now, a new issue has arisen.

Last Wednesday, according to the News-Record, the South Orange Board of Trustees (BOT) called a special meeting regarding the redevelopment zone. Apparently there is a 10 foot wide strip of land between the property and the train line that belongs to NJ Transit. This strip of land had been included in the plans for the new supermarket and is needed as a buffer between the building and the tracks. That means the project can't go forth until this land is added to the redevelopment property. Here's the catch, it isn't yet know whether property owned by NJ Transit can be sold away.

Now why is it that in all the time they've been working on this project, neither the developers nor the village attorney Edwin Matthews realized this glitch?

Village Administrator John Gross was quoted as saying, "It's been determined that parcel does need to be put into the redevelopment zone" and that "It's just a technical issue that needs to be taken care of."

It seems the only member of the BOT to be vocally perturbed about this unnecessary mistake was Trustee Allan Rosen, who said "It seems to be the case forever and ever around here. Somebody goofed and they didn't check properly on all the property delineations with the New Market project. Why didn't they catch it a year and a half ago? Between all the high powered talents on all the sides, for the New Market people, our town planner, village engineer, the planning board attorney; this should have been caught a long time ago. I think it's terrible that it happened."

Trustee Rosen would also like to see an investigation into why this problem even occurred.

I'm just waiting for the day when there will be something a little closer than Pathmark for those of us who walk around the village.

Possible candidates to fill the store building are Balducci's (a specialty store), Fairway, Kings, and A&P; although the developers are remaining tight-lipped about who they have decided on. Unfortunately the latter three choices, as is the case with many chain stores, would probably require more space than the 12,000 sq. feet that is available at the New Market site.

Keep reading over the next few weeks to see if this issue is resolved and some progress is made on the project.

Welcome back all new and incoming SHU students!

Brian

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Township of South Orange Village

So I wanted to write about a story I was just tipped off to concerning the village government, but I decided that I'd better explain our local government for those villagers who may not know how it works.

As you probably have noticed, the official name of South Orange has both the words "township" and "village" in it. The reason for this is because South Orange is neither a village or township, but rather it is a special charter municipality. Municipalities in New Jersey are divided into five forms - cities, boroughs, villages, towns, and townships - each form having characteristics that distinguish it from the others. But in 1950, NJ passed the Faulkner Act, which allowed municipalities to mix and match aspects of the different government forms to create their own type of local government. These were to become known as "special charters" and have to be approved by the state legislature. South Orange's special charter was approved in 1978. Since South Orange was incorporated as a village back in 1869, it decided to model its special charter after that form and use the title "village" in its name. Special charters have to be reapproved by the citizens and because of that you will see the Special Charter Review on the ballot every couple of years.

Our village government is made up of a six member Board of Trustees and a Village President (who is for all intensive purposes our mayor). The trustees are all elected to four year terms, with three trustees being electing every other year in the second week of May. They have the authority to pass ordinances and resolutions, levy taxes, zone village property, and appoint village officials. The President is allowed to vote only in the event of a tie. The board has six standing committees, with each trustee chairing one and serving on two other committees. The members of the Board of Trustees are:

Village President: William Calabrese
Trustee Patrick Joyce (Chair: Public Works; Member: Recreation, Finance)
Trustee Allan Rosen (Chair: Public Safety; Member: Legal, Finance)
Trustee Mark Rosner (Chair: Planning/Zoning; Member: Legal, Pub. Safety)
Trustee Stephen Steglitz (Chair: Finance; Member: Recreation, Pub. Works)
Trustee Arthur Taylor (Chair: Recreation; Member: Public Works)
Trustee Mary Theroux (Chair: Legal; Member: Pub. Safety, Planning/Zoning)

The day-to-day operations of the village are taken care of by Village Administrator John Gross. He develops the procedures and standards for the administration of South Orange. He assists with the preparation of the yearly budget. He also administers the village's programs and departments. But most importantly the Village Administrator serves as a liaison between the residents of South Orange and the village government.

The Village Clerk, Marjorie Smith, is the official secretary to the Board of Trustees and the Village of South Orange. It is her job to handle correspondence, prepare meeting agendas, and file and advertise ordinances, resolutions, and village meetings. She keeps charge of the municipal seal and often attests and seals village documents. Perhaps most importantly, the Village Clerk is the official for all village elections. She makes sure the proper forms are filled out, ballots are counted and elections are fair. If you are looking to register to vote, the Village Clerk is the person to see (and all you SHU residents have the right to register to vote in South Orange).

Other important names to know in the village are our Police Director, James Chelel, the Village Attorney, Edwin Matthews, and the Fire Chief, Jeff Markey.

If you have any questions or issues to address to the village, a good person to contact is Laura Harris. Ms. Harris is the Assistant to Village Administrator John Gross and she is very open to suggestions, comments and inquiries.

To reach any of our village officials by email, type their first initial followed by their last name at southorange.org (example Laura Harris would be lharris@southorange.org). The village has a website at www.southorange.org filled with tons of information about South Orange.

Hopefully this post has enlightened you about our local government here in South Orange. Now I can go on to the numerous posts about the happenings in the village government.

If you have any question about this post, you can post a comment and I'll reply to you.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Brian

Thursday, August 26, 2004

What's New?

So since I haven't posted anything in a few days, I'm going to make this one count.

To start things off... I'm sure by now many of us have heard about South Orange native Zach Braff's new film "Garden State", but for those who haven't, let me explain. The "Scrubs" star, who was born and raised in the village, wrote and directed a movie about his home state. In the movie, the lead character Andrew Largeman (played by Braff) returns to his New Jersey home from Los Angeles following the death of his mother. He quickly finds that life was not the way he left it. Filmed in South Orange, Morristown, Cranford, Livingston, Wallington, and Roseland, the film also stars Natalie Portman, Jean Smart, and Ian Holm, and includes quite a bit of local humor and flair. A must see!

In other news, the South Orange Board of Trustees (BOT) - back in April - voted to appoint a Downtown Management Board (DMB) to hopefully bring life back to our downtown area. The DMB will include a member of the BOT, a member from Seton Hall, as well as representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, Main Street South Orange, the Planning Board, the Parking Authority, and two members from the at-large South Orange community. Hopefully they will be able to work on some of minor issues facing the downtown area and we will see great things coming from this committee.

For all you runners/walkers out there, there will be a 5k run/walk on September 18th to benefit the South Orange Domestic Violence Response Team. The run/walk, which is being put on by the Newstead Neighborhood Association, starts at 9:00 am and will begin and end at the South Mountain Annex, which is at 112 Glenview. The cost to participate is $8 before September 10th and $10 after that. For more information you can contact Helen DuBowy at h_dubowy@hotmail.com.

The South Orange Rescue Squad will now be working in tandem with EMTAC Corporation. EMTAC will providing the village with emergency medical services during the daytime hours of 6am-6pm and the rescue squad will continue to provide services from 6pm-6am. I am certain, however, that the rescue squad will appreciated the continued support of all villagers and those who volunteer for them. The South Orange Rescue Squad has been in operation for 50 years and with the help of dedicated volunteers, they will continue to provide services to our community for many years to come. Speaking as an emergency medical technician, I think volunteering for an ambulance squad can be a rewarding way to dedicate your time as well as being a great learning experience. I encourage all reading to think about joining. To volunteer for the squad or for more information, you can call 973-762-5647.

For all SHU students or villagers looking for a part time job that will benefit the community, the South Orange Police Department is looking for crossing guards. If you would like more information you can contact Sergeant Ed Heckel at 973-378-3000, ext. 7783.

Finally, to end my long and informative post, the local cable station, South Orange Cable TV, which is broadcast on channel 19, is looking for volunteers. I happen to know there are quite a few communications majors on campus and this may be a great way to get experience in your field. To get information about this opportunity you can contact Village Clerk Marge Smith at (973) 378-7715, ext. 1. And while on this topic, if there are any SHU students reading this who would be able to get Channel 19 for our on campus line up, please speak to whomever you have to and pull whatever strings are necessary to get us this station. FYI the Board of Trustees meetings as well as other village meetings are broadcast regularly on this station.

Well that's all the information I have for you today.

Have a great night and a wonderful tomorrow!

Brian

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Rock the Vote!!

With the national elections coming up this November and the South Orange Board of Trustees election next May, I think it is important I write about the issue of voting. There are an unbelievable number of people who - when asked why they didn't vote - have told me that they don't believe their vote mattered. Folks your vote matters a great deal! Your vote is the reason that America is America! This nation was founded by a few enlightened men sitting around a pub table who thought one night, "You know - it's not fair that our decisions are being made by representatives who live 3,000 miles and an ocean away." That was their thinking 228 years ago, and it still applies today. The founding fathers refused to be represented by a government they didn't vote for, and they fought for the right to elect their own government. Still there are millions of people who are being represented today- IN AMERICA - by people they didn't vote for, simply because they decided to be apathetic on election day.

Now not to overload you with numbers, but I love stats, and I think statistics might shed some light on the problem that voter apathy is becoming in America. So here's some numbers:

- Out of 205,815,000 people eligible to vote in the United States during the 2000 election, only 105,586,274 turned out to vote. That is just a few more than half of the eligible voting population. HALF!!

- The age group of 18-24 year olds, to which most of us SHU students belong, makes up about a third of the U.S. population. Now get this, only about 25% of 18-24 year olds actually get out to vote. That means that our vote was only 8% of all the votes counted, WHEN IT COULD HAVE MADE UP A THIRD OF THE VOTES COUNTED. Now a lot of people in the 18-24 y/o bracket feel the government doesn't pay enough attention to our issues and to our concerns. Well can you blame them? Politicians make careers of appealing to their voters... if we make up only 8% of the vote - why should they be concerned with us? I'LL TELL YOU WHY! We could make up a third of the total vote. If we all got out and voted we could make up a third of the voting population and then you can bet your last dollar that our elected officials would be listening to us.

- Finally - and in the land of the free, the land of democracy and liberty, this is quite the embarrassing statistic - the countries of Australia, Tanzania, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Nicaragua, Iceland, and virtually every other nation in the world have a higher voter turnout than the United States. In fact the only countries where there are lower voter turnouts than here are Bulgaria, El Salvador, Guatemala, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. We are the nation that started it all and yet we have the SIXTH lowest voter turnout in the world.

But it isn't hopeless. There is something we can do about this growing problem. GET OUT AND VOTE. I'm tired of people telling me that their vote doesn't matter.

- In 1868, ONE VOTE was the deciding factor in keeping the impeached President Andrew Johnson in office.

- In 1876, ONE VOTE elected Rutherford B. Hayes President of the United States

- More recently, just 537 votes - less than half the number of people in this year's graduating class - decided the outcome of the highly contested 2000 Presidential election.

Guys yes your vote counts because EVERY VOTE COUNTS. I would love to gather together all the people who think their vote doesn't count... we wouldn't be able to fit you in 10 football stadiums. Now THAT'S a powerful lobby.

Decisions are made by those who show up!

It's as simple as that.

I hope you will be inspired in this election year to register yourself and get out there to vote. Voter registration forms are available all the time at the South Orange Municipal Clerk's office in Village Hall. More importantly, if you live on the Seton Hall campus you ARE a South Orange resident and you have a right to register and to vote here. Hopefully we will be able to get some forms on campus this year and get a everyone registered who wants to be.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Rock the Vote!!!

Brian

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Real Story

Ok... so there have been lot's of rumors going around the past week about the biggest story in NJ right now - the resignation of Governor James McGreevey. I thought since we'll have a lot of SHU students returning to South Orange from all over the country, I might as well post what I've read to be true so that everyone can read the real story.

Last Thursday, August 12th, Governor Jim McGreevey announced that he had an extra-marital affair with one of his male aides, and that he is, in fact, a gay American. He went on further to announce that because of the pain this has caused his family and staff, he has chosen to resign the governorship effective November 15th of this year.

This has caused some turmoil over the past week in both parties because if the governor leaves office later than September 2nd, then the state cannot hold a special election in November to replace him. Now since the NJ Constitution does not provide for a lieutenant governor, this means McGreevey's position would go to the Senate President/state senator of District 27 (which South Orange is a part of) Democrat Richard Codey. While obviously the Republicans in the state are opposed to this, surprisingly even the Democrats have come out asking for McGreevey to step down before the 2nd, hoping to run a stronger candidate like Jon Corzine for their party. McGreevey has stayed strong in his decision to stay until November 15th, saying that Drumthwacket (the governor's residence) has become his family's home, and that they will have to search for a new place to live.

On Wednesday of this week, after speaking individually with McGreevey, both Senator Jon Corzine (the Democratic hopeful for the governorship) and Congressman Robert Menendez (who would have been drafted to fill Corzine's Senate seat) have announced that they support Governor McGreevey's decision to remain in office until November 15th.

On the other side of this story: Golan Cipel, the former McGreevey aide and Homeland Security director, who is believed to be the man with whom the governor had an affair, has returned to his native Israel to reconnect with family and friends. He is insisting that he is not a homosexual and denies that he tried to extort the governor - although it was his $50 million sexual harassment lawsuit that pressured the governor into resigning. Cipel's lawsuit alleges that the governor sexually harassed Cipel - who at the time was an aide - and then tried to silence him by promoting him to be the director of NJ's Homeland Security Department.

I guess only time will tell how this story will play out. I think it took a lot of courage for Governor McGreevey to step down from power - although I would like to see him stay in politics and maybe run for office in the future. As for Mr. Cipel, it is pretty cowardly to make such a claim and then duck out of the country like that.
Hmm. Slick.

Anyway just wanted to put information out there for all current and returning South Orange residents.

Adios!

Brian

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Joys of Traveling

So I have to admit... before I moved to South Orange a year ago, I wasn't much of a public transportation guy. Having lived in North Jersey my whole life, my car was like my second home. There weren't really any train stations in close distance to my home and to tell you the truth one of the major reasons for my avoidance of mass transit was the "legends" that I'd heard from others - you know, the passed on tales of missing children and stolen handbags. But then I came to South Orange and at the bottom of the hill leading from where I live is the South Orange train station. I have to tell you - I was instantly hooked. For only a few dollars and a twenty minute train ride I can be in the greatest city in the world. And most importantly - at least in the minds of us New Jerseyans - I DON'T HAVE TO PARK!

Anyway the purpose of this post is to inform all Seton Hall students that NJ Transit has worked out a deal with SHU and six other NJ colleges so that students can ride for free! By showing your school ID, from September 8th - 15th, you can ride any NJ Transit bus or train free of charge. I encourage everybody to take advantage of this, if for no other reason than that you won't have to find a place to park those pesky cars for a week. Go out and enjoy yourselves without having to find a parking spot or pay for gas. And while you're waiting for the train, check out all that the beautiful Sloan Street neighborhood has to offer, whether it's getting coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, grabbing an ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or going to dinner at (my favorite) the Gaslight Brewery.

In national travel news, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) got to experiece firsthand the joys of air travel in post 9/11 America. The senator was stopped at the checkpoint of Boston's Logan Airport because his name had mistakenly been put on Homeland Security's No-Fly list. He was detained for several hours until after many phone calls he was cleared to fly. Now as funny as it is that anyone in Massachusetts would not know who Ted Kennedy is, I have to admit I can feel for his traveling woes. Last December when I left for a week in London, I was also stopped and questioned by TSA and airport security. Apparently the reason for this was because I have the same name as my father, who passed away almost nine years ago. When their computers picked up that the deceased Brian O'Malley was flying to London, they immediately blocked me from passing through the checkpoint (it apparently didn't matter that we have different middle initials, and that he was thirty six years older than me). Anyway after a brief interview with the authorities, I was cleared to fly and enjoyed the rest of my vacation. I don't think we take time often enough to consider how many personal freedoms we sacrifice in order for us to be free. Sounds like an oxy-moron doesn't it?

Just some food for thought. Anyway that's my spiel.
Keep traveling and enjoying life!

Brian

Welcome

Hey Everybody,

My name is Brian O'Malley and I'm an upcoming Sophomore at Seton Hall University. I moved to South Orange a year ago and have been discovering new things about it ever since. I was inspired to write this weblog by reading the blogs of fellow villagers Tracey Randinelli and Trustee Mark Rosner. I think it's important that there be constant communication among all villagers as well as updates of local information. It is because of this that I have decided to write, "South Orange: A Student's Perspective" so that information can be put out there from a different point of view. I hope to continue truthfully reporting what I find out about the village, just like those before me have done. I hope everyone who reads this enjoys my blog and learns something new about the wonderful village that we live in!

Thanks,

Brian