The biggest threat to the integrity of Rutgers University has nothing to do with its basketball program. The most shameful scandal involving the university isn’t whether its president, Robert Barchi, did or did not look at a video or properly vet a new athletic director. Rutgers is in deep trouble because the governor of the state, abetted by political bosses, is out to seek revenge.
So we begin. I will be writing about issues that concerned me for most of my career at The Star-Ledger. Public education. It’s in trouble. Elementary and secondary schools are underfunded and, along with their teachers, under vicious attack. Demagogues and billionaires—sometimes, demagogic billionaires—and their friends in politics simply do not get public education. They do not see what it has done for the nation, how it created the unum out of the pluribus. The privatizers want to put public education on the market, for sale to the highest bidder.
Joe Collins stares out the window of his hospital room and thinks about good-byes. “I don’t like good-byes,’’ he says. “Good-byes are tough. This last one was very tough.’’
The “last one” was his most recent good-bye to Guatemala. To the hundreds, maybe thousands, thousands of men and women and children this unlikely humanitarian from Morristown has helped for more than a decade.