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From the Publisher~Art Hall 1/18/2006

By Rick Racela

Mr. Van Drew–Use Your Influence
I read with great interest that Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew is interested in keeping our B. L. England power plant in Beesleys Point from closing because it is “critical for the economy of Upper Township and the rest of my district.” 
Mr. Van Drew is correct.  We need the power, we need the jobs, and the electricity will be generated somewhere, so why not here?  As I reported in an earlier column sometime back, the owners of the plant told me they cannot work with our Department of Environmental Protection. 
Further, industry experts told me that power plant operators love to have plants in places like here, where there is a high demand close at hand. 
The industry is opting to create the power elsewhere and import it, even though that is not the most economical way.  None of this makes any environmental or economic sense.  The ineptitude of our DEP to balance our need for power with our need to maintain a clean environment is about to bring about a regrettable loss of 130 jobs and $6.3 million in tax revenue.
I encourage Mr. Van Drew to use his influence in Trenton to prevent this disaster.
Art Hall, publisher
From the Publisher’s Wife
Things Stored Away?
There it was, shiny and clean on the shelf in the antique store – pristine in fact, bearing no greasy residue of ever having been used.  It was a prize for me-a waffle iron of the type that the waffle maker in our house swears makes the best waffles available.  He should know because he has two others just like it, except that one of them has a broken leg.  Also, there is a big old maker of the four section variety, plus a brand new round one. 
Now for most people four waffle irons should be more than sufficient, but in our house we get very serious about this lowly breakfast food which many people prepare by popping an Eggo into the toaster.
Waffle making is a science studied every Saturday morning as it is the time when all the children, grandchildren and frequently friends gather at 8:30 (well o.k., it is really 9 or when the late sleepers clock in) to enjoy breakfast together.  One waffle maker would never supply the diners fast enough.  We would be cooking breakfast all the way through lunchtime.
So, I was thinking about that chrome-plated beauty of an iron and how I could replace its disreputable twin at home, the one with the broken leg.  Twenty-five dollars seemed reasonable enough (don’t forget its antique value) for a never-been-used iron of the 1950’s variety – in its original box!  Never again would it look so good.
In fact the next day being Saturday, it was put to hard use as the appliance it was meant to be.  No more shiny chrome-no more box-no more grease-free surface-it is now smack in the middle of life and usefulness.
Now the moral of this long essay on waffle irons is this:  Do you have any wedding presents stored away still in their original boxes?  If you do, get them out and enjoy them-make them dirty-get them all scratched up.  Taking my own advice, I have just taken the pads off our dining table which I have kept padded and swathed in white table cloths for as long as we have had the table.  Whom am I saving it for?  If we and our family can’t enjoy its beauty and risk the inevitable marring of its mirror surface, will someone 50 years from now, when it is in an antique store somewhere wonder “how did they keep it so well?”
Is that why I covered it all these years?  And now that my steam is up, I say to our daughters, Anna-Faith, Meredith and Celeste, who have beautiful wedding china virtually unused because I have always insisted that it should never go into the dishwasher-get it out; use it; chip it up; put it in the dishwasher!!  Enjoy your things; put them smack in the middle of life and usefulness.
 
Patricia Hall

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