Monday, June 23, 2008

Lake Livin' in the Summertime, part 1

Relaxing on the shores of Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire this week with the spousal family.

Today, we're relaxing indoors while it rains. Yesterday, we were hiding out in the basement until the tornado warning passed. Then we played D&D until we were forced to stop to eat dinner, then again until we were forced to let the young people go to sleep.

The older two cousins played with Andrew and me. The younger two cousins really wanted to help, so they got to roll my dice for me. I kept trying to get them to go away to do somethng else while I was reading the flavor text; I wasn't sure how my sister-in-law would appreciate her younger kid hearing me explain how the players entered the sweltering hall full of blistered, diseased corpses and zombies. "Now that Uncle Andrew touched the dead body, he needs to roll a saving throw!" Luckily, no nightmares ensued.

Never a dull moment!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Art All Night in Trenton

Tomorrow at 3 PM through Sunday at 3PM, there will be Art all Night in Trenton! It's an indoor-outdoor show, in a former factory building and Millyard Park in the Chambersburg section of Trenton.

I'll be out of town, unfortunately, or I'd love to visit. I heard from a volunteer at last year's event that it's a great time as well as a great show. There's Art! and Music! and Food! and it's All Night! What's not to love?

Go. Have fun. Enjoy art in the 'burg all night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stupidest quote of the week

In Our Fair State, stupid quotes are pretty much the norm. However, it's already Wednesday, and I haven't seen anything to compare with the sheer silliness of this one from Sunday's Times of Trenton:
"Reducing the zones would have our children pass through a (phalanx) of drug dealers every day," said (Trenton) school board Vice President Alexander Brown. "This would bring drug trafficking 800 feet closer to our schools. Some legislators believe the zones have placed a hardship on drug dealers. To me, I say 'tough.'"

Yep! That's it! Legislators want drug dealers to have an easier time. That's the reason they want to reduce the size of the drug-free school zones and increase the penalties! Because our legislators just love the drug dealers!!

Or, it could be that the law targets minorities in our cities (where nearly every street is in a zone), unfairly chokes our prisons with non-violent offenders who could go to rehab, and hits offenders with two punishments for the same crime. Truly, if you think the penalty zone has restricted the amount of drug dealing in our cities, you had better check your facts.

At least some more logical minds had a few reasonable things to say:
"The Legislature is trying to address discriminatory practices," said Trenton board member T. Missy Balmir, referring to the study. "I think we need to be careful before we take a stand on this issue. I would like more information on how our city is truly affected by drug-free zones."
According to the commission, 96 percent of people jailed for dealing drugs within the zones are black or Hispanic. The commission argued two years ago that drug- free zones do not hinder drug sales near schools.
"If 96 percent of the people incarcerated under the drug-free zone law are black or Hispanic -- groups that only make up 20 percent of our state's population -- it's not a fair system," said Roseanne Scotti, director of the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey.
"Plus, there is no evidence that drug-free zones hinder drug sales," Scotti said. "Basically, this law amounts to two different penalties being given for the same exact crime -- the only differences between the two penalties are geography and race."
"I think that's an economic drain for the state of New Jersey, among issues of fairness," said Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson- Coleman, D-Ewing, who has introduced a bill to keep the drug-free zones at 1,000 feet while giving judges more discretion in sentencing.
"Was the person dealing drugs to students? Was school even in session when they were arrested?" Watson-Coleman said. "The judge should be able to determine the impact on society, the appropriate remedy, and then sentence accordingly."

Imagine that- a judge being able to determine impact and a remedy. Um, dare I say?- to judge. Then maybe clearer-thinking heads will prevail.

No one is saying drug dealing is a good thing. What is being said is that it's time to revisit a failed drug policy- one of many in our country. Kudos to the legislators and school board members who took the time to find out the facts about the effectiveness of these policies. Hopefully they can come up with a more effective and maybe more logical plan of attack on those who would prey on our children.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Locally Grown 2008

Many of the farmer's markets in Central NJ are open or are opening soon! Susan Sprague Yeske gave us a rundown in a recent Trenton Times of many local markets. Here are the highlights, with some extra:

West Windsor Community Farmers Market -- Saturdays through October, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Vaughn Drive lot of Princeton Junction Train Station (southbound). (609) 577-5113
Lawrenceville Farmers Market -- Sundays June 8 through Oct. 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Lawrenceville Fuel, 16 Gordon Ave., Lawrenceville. (609) 206-0344
Hopewell Community Market -- Wednesdays through October, 2 to 7 p.m. near the train station, at Railroad Place off Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell Borough. (609) 466-8330.
Trenton Farmers Market -- Open year round; for the harvest season through October, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Located at 960 Spruce St., Lawrence. (609) 695-2998,
Sergeantsville Farmers Market -- Saturdays through September from 8:30 a.m. to noon on the township green on Route 604 Rosemont-Ringoes Road in Delaware Township. (609) 397-8768.
Liberty Village Premium Outlets Farmers Market -- Sundays through Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Liberty Village Shopping Center, off Route 12, Flemington. (908) 782-8550.
Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market -- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at Dvoor Farm on the Route 12 circle in Flemington through October.
Burlington County Farmers Market -- 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at the former Winner Farm at Hartford and Centerton roads, Moorestown. (609) 265-5020. June 14 through October.
Columbus Farmers Market -- Daily, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Route 206, one mile south of Columbus.
(609) 267-0400.
Montgomery Friends Farmers Market -- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from June 21 through Oct. 25 at the Village Shopper on Route 206, just north of Route 518.
Rutgers Gardens Farmers Markets -- Fridays 2 to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31 on the Rutgers Garden grounds on Ryders Lane in New Brunswick.
Franklin Township Farmer's Market -- Through Nov. 29, Sat. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at John's Plaza 720 Hamilton St. (Across from New Millenium Bank; Franklin Twp., Somerset County)
Bound Brook Farmers Market -- Sat. 9a.m.-2p.m. through October. At the NJ Transit Parking Lot on Main Street in Bound Brook.
West End Farmer's Market -- Every Thursday 12-6 p.m. June 5-December 4, Parking lot behind Jesse's Cafe & Catering at 139 Brighton Avenue in the West End Section of Long Branch
Freehold Farmers Market -- Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The American Hotel, 18 E. Main St., Freehold. (732) 946-9639. July to October.

Some of these, such as the Trenton Farmer's Market, have rules about only selling what you grow- but there's no guarantee for the rest. There are lots of "farmer's markets" and roadside stands where, if you look carefully, you can see the folks unloading fruit and veggies out of the same boxes they get at Shop-Rite! Be careful. Don't be afraid to ask where the produce is grown. If you want Jersey Fresh, speak up!

Buy local!

(crossposted from sfoodblog)