Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Does an increase in pedestrian vs. car accidents in Ridgewood, NJ surprise anyone?

Posted in distracted driving, driver safety, driving, hang up and drive, Life tagged , , , , at 7:47 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Ridgewood, New Jersey, an upscale NYC bedroom community, has recently experienced a huge increase in the number of pedestrian/car and bicycle/car collisions. I’m talking at least one accident involving a person and a car per month.  And in the last month, three that I can recall reading about.

Some of these accidents have occurred on dark, rainy nights. But many have occurred on sunny afternoons.

At least two of  these accidents have been fatal.  All  have caused pain and suffering.

My guess is that MANY of these accidents were caused by inattentive drivers.

What’s your guess?

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Learning About Life in Catholic School

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , at 4:52 pm by Elaine Petrowski

So…. today I get an email from my high school alumni group and decide to take a few minutes to poke around the St. Blabla site

to see how things have progressed in the umpteen years since I attended.

To my dismay, but not to my surprise, NOTHING seems to have changed.  But the stand-out is the dress code, emblematic of all that was 1965, with the possible exception of the mention of “multiple piercings.”

My favorite line: “Judgement (sic) concerning the appropriateness of any student’s attire rests with the administration.”

Such is, and was, the life of the teenage girl who attends(ed) this school.

Now I ask: If  “judgement concerning the appropriateness of any student’s attire rests with the administration” how and when do students develop their own judgment concerning appropriate attire?

This, in a nutshell,  was my experience attending a Catholic girl’s high school. “No need to think for yourselves. We’ll do it for you!”

Below,  if you are curious, is part of the CURRENT dress code,  which, if memory serves me,  is identical to the 1960’s.

“Students are required to adhere to the following dress code:

* Uniform skirt or uniform pants (when Permitted)
* Skirts are to be a presentable length for school. They may not be rolled up at the waist.
* The School shoes must be worn at all times-either the loafer or lace shoe, whichever you choose.
* Dark stockings are required; black, charcoal gray, navy tights or dark knee socks must be worn. Fish net and patterned stockings are not permitted. Students are to arrive, remain, and leave in the school uniform/dress code.

On days that uniforms are not required, it is expected that each student will select attire which will not call attention to her in a negative way. Judgement concerning the appropriateness of any student’s attire rests with the administration.

Students may not have visible body piercing (e.g. eyebrow, lips, nose, tongue, etc.) except for earrings, and no more than 2 pair of earrings may be worn at school (these earrings should be small in size.) No headwear is permitted in class. Only one neck-chain may be worn-and one ring on each hand.”

Is this still the way to go?

Do you think this teaches anything?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who cares where the U.S. deficit came from?

Posted in Liberty, Life tagged , , , , , , at 12:21 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Here’s an  article on where it all came from that, IMHO, puts the genesis of the deficit right where it belongs: with Bush administration  policies.

Nevertheless here’s the real  bottom line: It  really doesn’t matter where it started. We, the people, and by extension our representatives, need to stop arguing along DIVISIVE  party lines and start FIXING the problem,  for “the common good.”

The blame game gets us nowhere, fast.

Can we agree on that much?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Next Generation of Distracted Drivers Is Learning from You. That’s Right, You.

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:02 pm by Elaine Petrowski

texting and talking on a handheld or a handsfree cell phone is as or more dangerous than drivng drunk!

Texting and talking on a handheld or a handsfree cell phone is as, or more, dangerous than driving drunk!

Here’s a thought for all you moms and dads who still defend your habit of driving while talking on your cell phones or texting, despite the ever- growing body of  evidence that PROVES you are driving while impaired. (No matter  your self-proclaimed and non-existent superior, multi-tasking abilities.)

Your babies, toddlers, children and teens are watching your every move.  And as every parent knows, there’s no adage more true than “Monkey see, monkey do.”

Let’s fast forward.

One day in the not- too-distant future your darling 3’6″ seven-year old superhero will be your darling seventeen-year old, testosterone-fueled, completely invincible (at least to himself) 6’3″ superhero with a brand new driver’s license. Your golden boy or girl will be behind the wheel of a several- thousand-pound vehicle with cell phone or PED in hand… or NOT.

If nothing else can persuade you to put down that phone or PED and to lead your kids by your BEST example, the thought of your eventually-adolescent, hypocrisy-sniffing offspring doing exactly what you are doing today should chill your blood.

It does mine.

According to the United States Department of Transportation statistics, simply talking on the phone (handheld or NOT ) while driving is like driving legally drunk with a blood alcohol of .08.

Texting and driving makes you 23 times more likely to be in an accident that day.

Do you want your kids to drive with those odds?

Then don’t do it yourself.

Repeat after me:

I will not drink and drive.

I will not text and drive.

I will not phone and drive.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Watch the Conference on Distracted Driving Online Now

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:59 pm by Elaine Petrowski

The U.S. Department of Transportation thinks distracted driving ( texting, phoning and drinking)  is  enough of a problem to convene a two-day Distracted Driving SummitYou can listen to right now online.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Video Delivers a Powerful Message on Distracted Driving

Posted in Liberty, Life tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:47 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Join the movement...buy a bumper sticker!

Join the movement. Click on the icon in the right column to buy a bumper sticker!

My friend Deborah posted  a video clip, One Bad Decision, on her facebook page today. The kid in the clip is a friend of one of  her sons.

They all live near here.The police officers, EMTs, nurses and surgeons are local. So is the video production company.

But the message is UNIVERSAL and so important to us all in this age  of ever more “distracted drivers.”

Yeah, it’s painful to watch.

And yes, you’ve likely heard it before.

But watch it anyway.

And then pass it on.

Send it to everyone you know.

Even if you think they know better.

Oh, and grab a box of tissues.

Repeat after me: I will not drink and drive. I will not text and drive. I will not phone and drive.

one bad decision

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Recycle Your Old Shoes-Unless They Add Chocolate, This Can’t Get Any Better

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, sustainability, useful information tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:30 am by Elaine Petrowski

Here’s a great way to clear out some closet space with a clear conscience, do a good deed and get a receipt for your income taxes in the process.

You all have them. Those several pairs of  shoes you never wear… but can’t bring yourself to throw out?

The fashion faux pas shoes. The  gee-when-did-my-feet-grow shoes? And those cool cross-trainers that gave you dime-sized blisters both times you wore them.

New shoes. (Courtesy of soles4souls.org)

New shoes. (Courtesy of soles4souls.org)

Some of the shoes Soles4Souls.org has collected went to tsunami survivors and to those who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. Others go to the homeless, or to shelters for battered women, or to hospitals. Way better then going to waste in the landfill.

And Soles4Souls will happily accept not just your shoes, but the gently-used shoes and boots your toddlers have outgrown, your teenager will no longer leave the house in, or that just plain hurt your  husband’s feet.

Click here for your closest Soles4Souls drop-box location.

Quick, easy, painless sustainability and recycling. By my reckoning, unless you add chocolate to this deal, it just doesn’t get any better.

See an earlier, related post on sustainability.

And then do a good deed for your shoe-aholic friends by passing this post onto them.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Four Great Reasons to Garden

Posted in gardening, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , at 12:39 pm by Elaine Petrowski

While we were gone.

While we were gone.

” A garden is a thing of beauty… and a job forever. ” So proclaims  the pretty little needlepoint pillow one of my dearest friends crafted as a gift for me.

Sometimes … like after the pounding rains that washed my lettuce seeds far out into the Jersey Meadowlands somewhere; that insatiable  ground hog, who stretched to enormous heights to eat every last one of the moonflower buds; the endless mosquito bites and poison ivy; a tomato blight that splotched, and ultimately ruined,  all of the lovely green orbs… I wonder… why am I doing this?

But then comes a morning, like one just passed, when everywhere I look presents a natural wonder, a trick of light, some small delight.

Sometimes, especially in a garden, one picture is worth a thousand words.

And so I share with you four great reasons to keep at it.

Enjoy.

Please leave a note about your garden/gardening. Or send a picture of some garden delight to share here… write4@att.net.

Early morning visitor

Early morning visitor

I "heart" gardening.

I "heart" gardening.

All the zinnias are pink this year!

All the zinnias are pink this year!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Last FREE Weekend at National Parks This Summer

Posted in fun, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, useful information tagged , , , , at 10:30 am by Elaine Petrowski

Looking for something family and budget-friendly to do this weekend? National Parks across the nation are  once again offering FREE  admission on August 15 and 16. This is your last chance to take advantage of the fee-free weekend program this summer.

“The entrance fees being waived at the 147 sites that usually charge for admission range from $3 to $25.( The 244 other parks do not charge entrance fees.) The waiver does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions.”

For full story click HERE.

Look for a park HERE.  If you drill down on this page, you can find specials that save even more money at some of the parks.

Amtrak makes the point that some of the parks ( in NYC, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Arlington, VA) are even accessible by train.  Click here for a list of the parks you can reach via train.

morr-ImageF.00003

Morristown National Park

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Healthcare Reform Bill Agony– the Democratic Process at Work?

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:00 am by Elaine Petrowski

I’m getting really cranky with all of the talk — or should I say conjecture, misinformation and fear-mongering, lobbying, pandering etc. — that’s going on around the issue of health care reform.

Got an email  today from (I’m assuming)  a well-intentioned friend. The You Tube video it led me to pointed out, among other things, that “someone sitting behind a desk  in Washington will soon decide if  your mother or grandmother can get medical treatment for Alzhiemer’s.”

Call me crazy, but to me this infers that potentially important decisions about my future medical care options will be decided by a panel of non-medically trained Washingtonians who are probably in a hurry to leave town for vacation.

(Supreme irony??? )

NOTE to  REP. SCOTT GARRETT (R,NJ); FRANK LAUTENBERG (D,NJ), ROBERT MENEDEZ (D, NJ), et al: How about all you hard-working representatives and senators do the job you were elected (in some cases, not by me) to do —  represent me!

And here’s how I’d like you to do that:

WORK TOGETHER (Do any of you recall attending kindergarten …where you were supposed to have learned  this? ) to author a bill that actually helps the American people improve their quality of life and the quality of their health care.

Quit pandering to special interests.  And don’t use fear.  Or  bait me with half truths, outright lies or with statements that twist the intent of the reform into pretzels.

JUST GET TO WORK AND FINISH a bill.

And then VOTE on it.

And don’t take your damn vacation until you do your damn job!

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