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Union County College Proposes Sports Field on Cranford Campus: In Favor

Stephen Nacco, Ph.D., Ed.D
Stephen Nacco, Ph.D., Ed.D
Union County College has proposed building a soccer/lacrosse field and track on part of its Cranford campus. The plan has raised objections from neighbors to the college. In a two-part interview we hear from a representative of the college and a member of Cranford’s Environmental Commission. In this part, Dr. Stephen Nacco, Vice President Administrative Service and Executive Assistant to the President, presents the college’s views.

Listen to interview

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Michele April 14, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Oh and one more thing and I'll say it directly to Dr. Nacco. Where do YOU live? Can we put his sports field/track/lacrosse garbage in YOUR backyard? How about across the street from you?? Right. I didn't think so.
Jay April 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM
Ms. Weaver, before you so glibbly suggest demolishing Sperry Observatory, perhaps you should join the parade of thousands of annual visitors who come to view the night skies through the two largest telescopes in the northeast open to the public all year. Those telescopes are maintained, manned and opened to the public on Fridays by a army of volunteers from Amateur Astronomers Inc., one of the largest amateur astronomy clubs in the United States, which has made Sperry Observatory its home for almost 50 years - - ever since the funds to build it were given to the college in honor of one of its members. In addition to the public Friday nights, AAI offers its services to hundreds more each year through its off-site out-reach programs at Trailside, Sandy Hook, Jenny Jump State Forest and various schools and libraries. As the quality of STEM education in the US continues its free-fall decline, that building is quite a bit more than 'a lovely observatory.' Its an oasis of science in a desert of ignorance. How can we expect our young people to reach for the stars when they can no longer even see them?
Steve April 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Jay, I agree with much of what you say. And I have opposed the demolition of the observatory in past years, including enlisting the aid of one of its two original benefactors -- William Sperry Beinecke -- who is now close to reaching the century mark in age. By the way, the observatory was not "given to the college in honor of one of its members," as you wrote. The construction of the observatory was funded by the daughter and grandson of William Miller Sperry (1859-1927), after whom the observatory is named. It is my understanding that none of the family had any direct connection to the college. However, the Sperrys -- co-owners of the old Sperry & Hutchinson (S&H) Greenstamps concern -- were prominent residents and benefactors of Cranford at the turn of the last century. The father of William Miller Sperry was a fiery Southern "disunionist," who Abraham Lincoln had locked up for some time during the Civil War as a direct result of the suspension of habeas corpus. In any event, according to a story just posted on NJ.com and Patch, Union County College has "postponed" its current plans to build an athletic complex on its campus.
Calm April 24, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Did everyone see this article -- http://www.goleader.com/14apr17/02.pdf. Lets all remember the words of Freeholder Estrada and Jalloh at election time. Its easy for them to destroy this town. We need to make clear that we don't forget.

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