Ho-Ho-Kus August 19, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 3 Borough pursues lightning warning system for fields by Jennifer Crusco The Ho-Ho-Kus Council is currently pursuing the purchase of a lightning warning system for North Field and Lloyd Road Field. The borough has applied for a $14,000 grant from the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund for this project. The governing body would provide a dollar for dollar cash match. Ho-Ho-Kus Borough Administrator Don Cirulli explained that the warning system would be similar to those used at golf courses to alert players of the presence of lightning in the area, and allow them to get to safety. The system would include a siren and/or lights that would be activated when there is the potential for a lightning strike. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research website, there are over three million lightning flashes worldwide each day. Charges are carried by water droplets and ice crystals, which are present in the clouds that precede a storm. Storms have a negative charge at the base and a positively charged region at the top. Air acts as an insulator and impedes the connection between these two regions, the website states. However, when the charge grows to intense for the air to restrain, an electrical impulse (a leader) extends downward in steps, resulting in the jagged form of a lightning bolt. A bolt can strike well before the first raindrop falls. The NCAR notes that lightning kills more people than tornadoes, floods, and other natural occurrences. Cars and buildings offer protection from storms. Anyone caught outdoors when a storm approaches should stay away from areas that attract lightning, including the tallest object in an area (such as a tree) or wire fences and metal pipes, since more people are killed by a high voltage current that reaches out from an object than from a direct strike. High places should also be avoided. If an individual finds that he or she is taller than anything else in the area, that person should crouch below the level of a natural feature, but should not lie flat. Bodies of water should be avoided during storms. The NCAR website also states that, even when lightning does not kill, the physical, neurological, and psychological effects can be long-lived. There are multiple vendors of lightning warning systems. Some include a solar option, and some automatically turn off irrigation systems or sensitive electronics when lightning approaches. Other New Jersey municipalities are installing, or have installed, warning systems. Franklin Lakes recently awarded a $25,320 contract to a Wisconsin firm. That borough’s system includes a lightning sensor, a lightning data receiver, fiber-optic cable, a tripod with mounting hardware, and software. The system monitors cloud, and cloud-to-ground lightning, includes a safeguard to prevent false alarms, a timer to control the hours of strobe light operation, and a safeguard to prevent false alarms. Franklin Lakes will be responsible for routine maintenance. Service for homebound available The Worth-Pinkham Memorial Library in Ho-Ho-Kus provides a delivery service for the elderly, homebound, or sick. A resident will be delivering books to borough residents on the first or third Thursday afternoon of each month. Books will be delivered after 2 p.m. Residents can decide which day they would like delivery. To receive books at home, call the library on the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday before delivery. A librarian will take name, address, phone number and book requests. Participants must have a current library card. The staff will assist residents in applying for one. Book requests will be filled as best as possible with the understanding that new and popular books may not be available when first requested. Delivery is one Thursday per month only. Requests must be made during library hours. Messages left on the answering machine will not be filled. There will be no late fees for overdue books with this service. Call (201) 445-8078. Library hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. The Worth Pinkham Memorial Library is located at 91 Warren Avenue in the Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus.