Monday, December 31, 2007

Some campaign issues from Sen. Clinton

For New Jersey Democrats who will be making a choice pretty soon about the national candidate for president, here is a piece of video, found at YouTube, to help with some positions by Sen. Clinton.

New Year's throughout the Garden State has some great listings for what's going on and when for New Year's Eve. Click on the headline to go there.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jets move toward booze ban

The Jets banned alcohol at the game today. Not a bad idea, but not exactly the normative tailgating experience. Click on the headline and go to

Caption: Not Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Giants make it a match during gridiron match-up

For updates on the Patriots-Giants game, click on the headline to go to

The Giants have posted the game of their season, and deserve a lot of credit for the way they are playing during the most celebrated "meaningless" game of the past 25 years.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

AP writes about how to earn money in blogging

Great article by AP about blogging. Click on the headline and go there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Something a little funny for Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A nice Christmas song remembering some special people

This was a really nice sentiment, brought by the folks over at YouTube.

Giants garner place in the post-season

The New York Giants have clinched a place in the playoffs. Their next opponent and last of the regular season will be the thus-far undefeated New England Patriots next week. This year's appearance in the post-season will mark the third time that Head Coach Tom Coughlin has brought the N.Y. Football Giants into the Playoffs.

While the usual course of events might mean Big Blue goes one and done, hopes are high that Eli and Co. go farther into the post-season this time.

Click on the headline and go there.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Towns reorganize after the new year

Click on the headline to go to an APP story about when area towns reorganize during 2008.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

PSE&G receives former journalism luminary

The Politicker (formerly PoliticsNJ) wrote about how Trenton GOP publicist Mike Jennings, among others, are losing their jobs. Jennings is going to PSE&G.

I vividly recall when Jennings got the GOP job. He was working for the Trenton Times a few years ago, as the Statehouse Bureau chief. I had referred a story over to Peter Callas, the managing editor of the Trenton Times, about a potential political conflict-of-interest matter involving at least one Monmouth legislator and the Aberdeen-Matawan Train Station situation. Mr. Callas, an editor of great repute in this state, referred the story over to Mr. Jennings.

I gave Jennings the readers' digest version of the story and, very motivated about "getting down to the tough questions with the GOP" after extensive interviews with the former Aberdeen manager, Mark Coren, he said he was going to head off to interview the legislator involved to get his side of the story.

Mr. Jennings had stated his firm conviction a story was there. He had accessed ELEC reports involved in the matter, official communications in the train station matter and had made at least one visit from Trenton to Aberdeen about this issue. My understanding was he had his facts.

Maybe I was confused when he said he was interviewing the legislator, and the 'interview' was a job interview (when he was going to ask those "tough questions"). But, a few weeks after Mr. Jennings was going to get the legislator's side of the story, it was announced on that Mr. Jennings was accepting a job as spokesman for the GOP Senate Caucus (where the legislator was a member). I can only think it was an amazing interview -- transformative.

For example, that interview transformed Mr. Jennings from a reporter with a lot of credibility with me, to someone with not a lot of it. The story got shelved, by and large, and Mr. Jennings got his job. I was acquainted with him during this process, and it is really interesting how, at the outset of the story he never said he was interviewing with the Senate GOP Caucus for a job (while doing a story about one of its members). You'd think it would have come up.

Merry Christmas to Mike Jennings and all the great people who have worked so hard to give Jersey the reputation it so richly deserves.

Click on the headline to go to the Politicker story with Mr. Jennings in it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gene Autry's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Gene Autry's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, brought to you by YouTube.

Mike Huckabee's Christmas message

Ex-Arkansas Gov. and GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's Christmas message.

Christmas message from Hillary Clinton

Here's a Christmas message from Democratic candidate for President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Season's Greeting From Ron Paul

Season's Greeting from GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul

Skate park fate: What's next?

Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio has posted about thge Atlantic Highlands Skate Park project on the blog at Click on the headline to go there.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


December 19, 2007

Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) 202-224-4744

As retailers increasingly promise to make donations upon purchase, legislation would make sure the money goes where it is promised

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced legislation to make sure that retailers’ charitable donation promises are kept.

Shoppers this holiday season have seen plenty of promotions from retailers promising to make a donation to a particular charity upon purchase. However, this so-called “embedded giving” lacks transparency – in fact, some charities contacted recently by reporters were not even aware that they had been listed as recipients by retailers.

Menendez’s Protecting the Spirit of Giving Act would do the following:

· Require retailers to notify a charity if they intend to use the charity’s name or logo to sell or market a product or donate proceeds from a product;
· Ensure that charities consent to their name or logo being used to market a product;
· Provide consumers with additional information about how their money will benefit a designated charity, including the portion of the item’s price that will be passed on to the charity and if there is any maximum amount that a retailer will be providing a charity

“In this season of giving, so many consumers want to be charitable, are enthusiastic about retailers promising to donate and expect those donations to be made,” said Senator Menendez. “The retailers who fulfill their promises are to be commended – they are doing a noble deed. But all retailers have to know that charity should never be used solely as a sales pitch. When consumers open their wallets, they should have the comfort of knowing that their good intentions will be protected and that their donations will benefit the intended cause. Shining more sunlight on this practice will help us confirm that retailers are giving what they promise, and that’s the purpose of this bill.”

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is an original co-sponsor of the bill. Embedded giving was a topic discussed last week at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Financial Literacy for the Holiday Season.

# # #

Afshin Mohamadi
Press Secretary
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
For the latest news from Sen. Menendez, including video and audio updates, visit

Giuliani gets clean bill of health from St. Louis hospital

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was treated and released at a St. Louis hospital. Meanwhile, GOP contender Mitt Romney starts to close the distance with Giuliani. Click on the headline to go to a Daily News story about it by David Saltonstall.

Novak pens good column about Huckabee in NY Post

Robert Novak from the NY Post has a great piece today about "Baptists Split Over Huck," referring to ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister and many relious-minded people, including Judge Paul Pressler, have some issues with Huckabee.

Huckabee's "base" is going to be those who are involved with religion, and since he is a Baptist it is inevitable that those of Baptist faith (among others) are going to need to be supportive of him in order for him to do well on the Campaign Trail. The feeling from at least some mainstream Christians is that faith is thrown around too freely by politicians, many of whom use religion as a punchline rather than as a true statement of belief.

While I do not agree with many, or maybe even any, of Rev. Hackabee's political or policy choices, I do not believe (based on what I have read or seen about him thus far) that he is using religion in the same old way as many of his political brethren. I do feel he is being honest and forthright about his religious beliefs, which he freely admits colors his proposed policies.

Whether or not someone agrees or disagrees with Rev. Huckabees policies, I do not think he should be docked too heavily for at least being honest about how he came up with them.

Click on the headline to go to Mr. Novak's column, which is usually excellent and worth reading.

Records storage is offered to 53 municipalities

December 19 , 2007

Free space provided at Monmouth County Archives and Record Center

FREEHOLD – Clerk M. Claire French has announced a new way for Monmouth County municipalities to protect their most valuable historical records. Free storage space at the Monmouth County Archives and Records Center, Manalapan, is being offered to all 53 municipalities.

At a recent government records workshop, Ms. French said each town would be provided with up to 10 cubic feet of space to store their valuable historical records. Monmouth County Archives and Records Center is located at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan.

The space is made possible by a PARIS grant from the state Division of Archives and Records Management. The grant funded a program called MR-MARC, which is an acronym for Municipal Records at the Monmouth County Archives and Records Center. The grant enabled the county records center to expand its storage capacity through compact shelving.

“We were so pleased with the extra space,” Ms. French stated. “We want to share it with Monmouth’s municipalities, which often do not have the facilities for archival storage. Historical records stored by the County will be secure and the Archives staff will be able to retrieve them for researchers in the Jane Clayton Research Room.”

The Public Archives and Records Infrastructure Support (PARIS) grants are funded by fees collected by the County Clerk for recording documents such as deed and mortgages, and are used to improve records management at the county and local level.

The Borough of Rumson has already indicated it wants to be the first municipal participant in MR-MARC. Tom Rogers, borough clerk/administrator said Rumson became actively engaged in a review of the borough’s municipal and historical records four years ago. With the hiring of a part-time records management consultant/archivist, Elsalyn Palmisano of Long Branch, Rumson was able to identify materials for destruction and those for microfilming.

“In conjunction with Rumson’s centennial this year, our most treasured historical records were rediscovered and many will be deposited in the County Archives, such as microfilm of our town, minute books, ordinance books, newsletters, and photographs,” Rogers said. “We are very pleased that the County will be offering us this service and to know that our materials are being stored in the facility with the proper environmental conditions.”

Rumson will be delivering records to the Archives in March 2008, when MR-MARC goes operational.

County Archivist Gary D. Saretzky said, “I’m hopeful that many of Monmouth’s other 52 municipalities will take advantage of MR-MARC, so that researchers who come to the Archives to use county government records will also have access to local government records such as town minutes and vital statistics books, which are very valuable to family historians.”

Where feasible, Saretzky plans to digitize the records so they can be backed up and used on-line on the County’s Open Public Records Search (OPRS) system, which is viewable online at The original records, he said, will remain the property of the municipalities, and DARM will approve each transfer agreement.

Karl J. Niederer, director of the State Division of Archives and Records Management, hailed Monmouth County’s initiative.

“County Clerk Claire French’s offer to house the permanent records of all 53 municipalities in Monmouth exemplifies the kind of strong commitment to intergovernmental shared services that is the hallmark of my division’s PARIS Grants Program,” Niederer said. “Gov. Corzine consistently stresses the importance of shared services between local governments in controlling rising property taxes, and today Monmouth County is taking a significant step toward realizing that goal. The Monmouth County Archives is already one of the finest institutions of its kind.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mike Huckabee and where he stands

I disagree with Mike Huckabee on nearly every issue he has going. But I will say is that he lays out what is on his mind pretty well. In addition, his actual faith seems sincere, and his record of serving that faith is also present and clear. In many ways, this is refreshing. This is a long YouTube, but if a Republican is interested in finding out more about Gov. Huckabee, it's a good one.

Ron Paul makes his case Online -- and it's working

GOP Presidential Candidate Ron Paul and his Online revolution for Campaign 2008. He's raising a lot of money Online and fielding strong, grassroots organizations along the way. My choice for Prez? Nope. But he's making a case to the people, not hiding behind marketing and obviously getting his message out there.

Thanks to YouTube for making stuff like this possible.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anna Little's final comments as freeholder

Freeholder Comments December 18, 2007:
Hall of Records, Freehold, NJ 1:00 pm workshop meeting

I would like to take a moment to reflect upon the many rewardiing experiences that have enriched my life since becoming your Monmouth County Freeholder February 26, 2006. These experiences have not only offered me the opportunity to give back to Monmouth County, my home, but they have also contributed to my growth as an individual and as a
governmental representative, your elected office holder.

In 2006 my Freeholder Assignment was Finance. After suggesting 5% - 10% budget cuts, a goal of keeping budget increases below the rate of inflation, and convening a Budget Review Committee, I participated with fellow Freeholders and staff members in the open discussion of direct departmental budget cuts and the effect upon county departments and the tax levy.

Impressed with Rob Clifton’s commitment to developing a shared services department with a grant from the state of New Jersey, I was excited about taking part in a shared services round table armed with a list of shared services opportunities already existing in Monmouth County government. (See top ten list of examples) We investigated and later that year began using biodiesel fuel in county vehicles highlighting the potential cost savings, taking advantage of incentive grants from the state of New Jersey, and also benefitting the environment.

And the highlight of 2006 for me was hosting the Economic Development Summit on September 29. This exciting event brought together top business, government and civic officials to explore programs to preserve high-paying jobs and to attract new ones in Monmouty County. We heard from municipal and business leaders and individual citizens committed to preserving and enhancing our wonderful way of life.

Some have already spun off into discussions of their own regarding topics and issues raised at the Summit. Others have gained renewed enthusiasm for projects they had already initiated. I am very proud of all of these efforts.

In 2007 my Freeholder Assignment was changed to Administrative Services: (Belford Ferry, Brookdale Community College, Buildings and Grounds, Clerk-Board of Chosen Freeholders, County Administrator, County Counsel, Economic Development and Tourism, Information Services, Insurance Office, Personnel, Public Information, Reclamaton Center, Vocational Board of Education).

I was privileged to support the dock and roll program between Middletown train station and the Belford Ferry. Brookdale Community College accepted my proposals to consider revenue producing opportunities when designing their capital improvement projects, and Monmouth County educational institutions considered my suggestion to promote expansion of technology related curriculum into technology and business incubation in Monmouth County. The recent federal grant received at the Biotechnology vocational school is evidence of these efforts. Committees of professionals have been created within Monmouth County to evaluate and make recommendations regarding awards of contracts via the fair and open process. While no process can produce perfect results, these committees further professionalize government operations.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Keyport considers one-way road solution

The APP has a good piece about how Keyport is considering turning two of its main thoroughfares into one-way streets. Click on the headline and go there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Asbury teacher shows work at GCU

Asbury Pary High School art teacher Jean Johnson has a show going on at the Christina Geis Gallery at Georgian Court University, in Lakewood. It is a fine show, highlighting the use of acrylic on aluminum.

Ms. Johnson has been presenting her work for many years, and has showed her work in many area venues.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday lights at the PNC Bank Arts Center

The PNC Bank Arts Center is hosting its annual Holiday Light Spectacular, presented by Toyota, at its Holmdel location, off Exit 116 of the Garden State Parkway. Annually, the center's holiday lights bring tens of thousands of holiday celebrants into the area to see the hundreds of lighting displays that are illuminated at night. The show was inaugurated on Dec. 8. In all, more than one million lights were used to create the themed displays.

Romney speaks in broad brush about leadership

I looked for something that had more substance than an ad, but I couldn't find it.

Hillary speaks about what she would do

If elected, this is what Sen. Clinton says she would do during her first year in office.

Giuliani talks about healthcare reform

Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani talks about health care reform. Do I agree with his ideas? No. But it's a central issue and folks have a big choice coming in a few months.

Oprah teams up with Obama

Oprah and Sen. Obama in Iowa. There is more than a small amount of theater in politics these days. Click on the video for the YouTube clip.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Want good news about home values? None here

Home values and homeowner optimism? Not much. The AP has a story about it brought to you by YahooNews!

The housing market: Terrible. The future of the housing market: Well, there's optimism, I guess.

Presidential Election Quiz; Hillary group formed in Monmouth

I received a "Presidential Election Quiz" from a few folks. Click on the headline to go check it out.

But, personally, I didn't need a quiz to figure out who I was hoping would be our next president. While she's not always Ms. Popular with Conservative Republicans, I think only Hillary Rodham Clinton has the experience, responsibility and vision to do what it takes to put this country back on the right track.

There's a group that was started to help get Hillary elected in Monmouth County. Middletown Democrat Greg Gibadlo, a former freeholder candidate and president of the Bayshore Democratic Club, is involved.

Last night, I attended a meeting at the Ink Well, Second Street, Long Branch. The group is just getting put together but has some wonderful people involved. As the election season progresses, I am sure they will pick up a lot of momentum.

If anyone is interested in joining, give Greg a call at (732) 671-4181, or e-mail him at:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baseball scandal gets very big

I knew there was a reason I stopped watching baseball in 1994. The steroid scandal only leads me to believe I was dead right. Click on the headline to go to the AP story presented by YahooNews!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's this?! I guess turn-about taping isn't fair play

According to the AP, Jets head Coach Eric Mangini said Gang Green received permission to tape the Pats last year. Click on the headline and go to the AP.

New Yorker cartoons lampoon holidays

Here's a few New Yorker cartoons brought to life thanks to the great folks at YouTube. There's a holiday theme and you might just get a laugh out of it. blogger deals with Truth Squad issue

Kelly Heyboer from has a strong blog, with several posts discussing the whole Truth Squad issue going on in Manalapan. Click on the headline to go to her blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pats, Jets head coaches are still at odds after 'Spy-Gate'

When the thus-far undefeated Pats take on the again-rebuilding Jets this week, it will be many things -- but not a warm reunion for the two head coaches. Click on the headline and go to the story.

Bolger kids hold innovative computer class

Fifth graders at Bolger School, in Keansburg, are doing something fresh and innovative in computer learning. Click on the headline and go to the APP story about it today.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Comedian Jeff Dunham's political sature

Comedian Jeff Dunham has a comedy act called "Achmed the Dead Terrorist." It's definitely intended for an adult audience, but this is a popular YouTube feature, though maybe not so much "Christmas-like."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dems hold holiday get-together at Shore Casino

Captions: (Top) Matawan Mayor Mary Aufseeser and Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery. (Second from Top) Middletown Democratic Chairman Joseph Caliendo and Middletown Democrat Michael Morris. (Third Down) Hazlet Township Mayor Jimmy DiNardo and Middletown Democrat Chuck Fallon. (Bottom) Middletown Committeeman Patrick Short and his wife, Lucy.

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS (Monmouth County, New Jersey) -- Monmouth County Democrats gathered for the annual Democratic Christmas Party, hosted by Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery, on Sun., Dec. 9.

In all, about 400 Democrats around the county traveled to the Shore Casino, in the Atlantic Highlands Harbor, to take part in the event.

The list of Democratic dignitaries was long and included, among others: Freeholder Barbara McMorrow, Matawan Mayor Mary Aufseeser, Atlantic Highlands Mayor Peter Donoghue, Hazlet Mayor James "Jimmy" Diardo, Middletown Township Committeemen Patrick Short, Middletown Towship Committeeman-Elect Sean Byrnes, Hazlet Committeeman Joseph Belasco, Matawan Committeeman Joseph "Bud" Mullaney and Atlantic Highlands Councilman Roy Dellosso.

"It is wonderful to get an opportunity to get together with so many hard-working and dedicated Democrats for the holidays," Scudiery said. He credited party leaders for their efforts not only during election time, but throughout the year.

Middletown Democratic Chairman Joseph Caliendo said this year was very important for Democrats specifically, but generally for Monmouth County residents. "I think the Democratic Party provides Monmouth County residents an opportunity other than just going the same course all the time. Chairman Scudiery deserves so much credit for his tireless efforts on behalf of not only one political party, but really this county's residents," Caliendo said.

Hazlet Township Board of Education President Glenn Mason said politics is a part of community life, but not the point of public service. "Whether it concerns Republicans or Democrats, I think the most important thing that any elected official can bring to the table is an earnest desire to serve the residents of their area," he said.

Long Branch Democrat Lorenzo W. Dangler explained that the point of democracy is to give residents a voice. "I think it is pretty clear that Monmouth residents today have more options, and more options they are using, than ever before," Dangler noted.

Belasco said that Scudiery has served as an example for him as a public office holder. "Victor Scudiery has run the Democratic Party in an honorable way that has, in my opinion, been welcoming of initiative and comment from within it and even outside of it," Belasco said. "People are looking for transparency in government, and that is exactly the kind of government that Mr. Scudiery advocates, instead of government that is either closed or conducted outside of public view."

Middletown Democrat Michael Morris said he has worked on "too many campaigns to count in Middletown." The Township Committee, once considered unapproachable by Democratic candidates, has seen the election of two Democrats in successive years: Short during last year's election, and Byrnes during this year's. "It gives Democrats a shot in the arm to see good candidates from the party finally getting elected in the township," he said.

Mullaney said that it is particularly appropriate that Democrats get together during the holidays after a long, tiresome election season. "I think it is great that Chairman Scudiery throws this event. It is really great and it was very well attended this year," he said.

Scudiery especially thanked members of the Monmouth County Democratic Organization, who helped to coordinate the successful holiday event.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pezzano becomes worshipful master at Keyport lodge

Captions: Top: Joseph and Kelly Pezzano at the dinner before the installment ceremony at Caesarea Lodge No. 64, in Keyport, on Saturday. Bottom: Past Master Don Porter and Keyport Mayor Rob Bergen himself a master mason, before the event.

KEYPORT (Monmouth County, NJ) -- Caesarea Lodge No. 64, Free and Accepted Masons, conducted its annual Installation of Officers on Sat., Dec. 8.

During 2008, Middletown resident Joseph W. Pezzano was elected to serve as the lodge's worshipful master. He succeeds Timothy Tuohy, Hazlet, at the post.

Among other dignitaries at the event was Keyport Mayor Robert Bergen, who is also a master mason.

Pezzano is employed as a police lieutenant by the Keansburg Police Department. He became a mason in 2002, and this is his sixth year at the Caesarea Lodge, Osborn Street. "I am looking forward to this being a great year for the lodge. I am especially looking forward to being involved in the community of Keyport," Pezzano said.

At the installment, Pezzano was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, and his three sons: Joseph, Nicholas and Michael Angelo, among others.

In addition, other officers for 2008 were appointed: Brian Hetsko, senior warden; Walter Davis, junior warden; Martin Spracht, treasurer; Robert Poling, secretary and historian; William Franklin, proxy to the Grand Lodge and senior deacon; Gilbert Maymon, chaplain and organist; Scott Young, junior deacon; Robert Fanning, senior master of ceremonies; Kevin Miller, junior master of ceremonies; Robert Stone, senior steward; Richard Pyburn, junior steward; and Welton Assis, tyler.

Donald Porter is a former master of the lodge, who said, "I do look forward to the traditions being passed during the installment ceremony every year."

The Caesera lodge was constituted in 1865 and meets the first and third Mondays of the month. For additional information, call (732) 739-2212, or go to the Web site at:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Naples is adding new twist to Christmas tradition

According to Reuters-UK, Christmas in Naples has a new twist this year, as merchants sell figurines that add U.S. presidential contenders to the Nativity Scene. Odd but true.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Courier would help with debate if candidates wanted it

There is an election for mayor yet to be settled in Matawan. If any candidates or parties are interested in Courier assisting in holding a forum, or other similar event, please feel free to contact the newspaper's senior reporter, Alyssa Passeggio, for more information.

Call (732) 957-0070 for more information, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Nationally, Hispanics starting to lean toward Dems

According to a posting on YahooNews!, Hispanic Americans are starting to become more interested in the Democratic Party after some GOP leanings in recent years.

Click on the headline and go there.


December 6, 2007

Afshin Mohamadi 202.224.4744


Earlier this year, Sen. Menendez introduced S.1137, to reduce teen pregnancies through education and information programs

Washington, D.C. – A study by the National Center for Health Statistics released yesterday revealed that teen birth rates have risen in the past couple of years after a decade of decline. Among young girls between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age, the birth rate rose by 3 percent between 2005 and 2006. The statistics are especially troubling because for over more than a decade the teen birth rates had declined significantly by 34 percent.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), an advocate for the prevention of teen pregnancies, has introduced the Teen Pregnancy, Prevention, Responsibility and Opportunity Act (S.1137) earlier this year to curb the incidence of unwanted pregnancies through comprehensive education and information programs, positive activities and engaging role models both in and out of schools.

“Our role as a community is to provide opportunity and education for our young people and to ensure that they are making healthy decisions about their lives, so that they can ultimately succeed,” said Menendez. “This study is yet again more evidence that abstinence-only education isn’t working. My teen pregnancy prevention bill creates a comprehensive approach to fighting teen pregnancy and giving young people the support they need to make informed decisions.”

This bill will help prevent teen pregnancy by:

Creating a new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grant
The new teen pregnancy prevention grant program will be available for local educational agencies, state and local public health agencies, and non-profits to provide information that is age-appropriate, factually and medically accurate and complete, and scientifically-based.

Increasing Funding For After School Programs
1. 21st Century Community Learning Centers: These programs expand academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing schools.
2. GEAR-UP: This program is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
3. Trio: This program includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
4. Carol White: This program provides funds for local educational agencies (LEAs) to initiate, expand, and improve physical education programs and assist LEAs in meeting State standards for physical education.

Establishing a Demonstration Project
The 5-year demonstration project would be available for schools, non-profits, consortiums, and community organizations to encourage creative new programs to supplement teen pregnancy prevention education programs in school or after school.


Bean publishes editorial about Truth Squad

Da Truth Squad is a Manalapan blogger in trouble. Manalapan's governing body wants to go after this blogger using public tax money. There's some controversy about it, and Greater Media Executive Editor Greg Bean has penned a piece about it in the recent edition of Greater Media's newspapers.

Click on the headline to go there.

County offers U.S. passport application processing

December 4, 2007

County Clerk’s office can make it easier to get passports

FREEHOLD – With just weeks to go before the busy holiday travel season and upgraded international travel identification restrictions take effect, Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French is reminding residents that the Monmouth County Passport Office is available to help residents get their travel documents in order.

“The County Passport Office is here to help,” French said. “Residents who don’t have a U.S. passport should consider applying for their passport now. You never know when you may have to travel on short notice. Residents with U.S. passports should check the expiration date and start the renewal process about two months ahead of time.”

The County Clerk’s Passport Office advises people to apply for passports early, well before their planned departure date. “Our office has been very successful in processing passport applications and getting them back from the passport issuing agency – the U.S. Department of State,” French said. “Our hope is to help people avoid passport-related complications with their travel plans.”

Travel identification requirements will become more stringent on Jan. 30, 2008, with return from all foreign destinations requiring a U.S. passport. This includes travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

The County Clerk’s Passport Office staff can also troubleshoot problems with passport applications that have already been filed; those whose valid passport has been lost or stolen, or whose most recent passport was issued when the applicant was under 16 years of age.

Those interested in obtaining a passport need to show proof of U.S. citizenship, such as an original birth certificate or original naturalization certificate, as well as proof of identity such as a current driver’s license or official military identification card. Passport applications for children require additional documentation.

Passport applications are accepted Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Monmouth County Clerk’s Passport Office is located in the Market Yard in Freehold. For more information, call the Monmouth County Clerk’s office at (732) 431-7353 or visit the County’s Web site at

UCLA says we're going to avert recession

Some experts at UCLA thinks the U.S. is going to dodge the recession bullet. Let's hope for the best, though expect the ordinary (which is the worst possible economic news from Washington).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Keyport holds holiday happening

Keyport is holding a candlelight holiday event. The borough is a great backdrop for the season, and there's always something family friendly and community oriented on the schedule there. Click on the headline and go to the APP story.

Snow on the way for white Holiday Season?

According to, there's snow in the forecast. Hopefully, salt trucks are getting ready to spread holiday cheer afterward.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Public databases for everyday use by citizens has a great resource for people. Click on the headline and go to a public data bases feature I found on the Web site.

Sports betting for charity in the Bayshore

A hobby for many is the NFL. The APP is reporting about how one sports bet turned out helping others in a very constructive way. Click on the headline and go there.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

North Jersey Chapter has new home

The North Jersey Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association has a new meeting place, at American Legion Post No. 324, Brower Street and Amboy Avenue, in Edison.

Association membership is open to all former active duty paratroopers who served on jump status in airborne units. The North Jersey Chapter is one of the most active in the United States, with 321 members.

The US Army Airborne was founded in the 501st Parachute Battalion in October, 1940, with the cadre selected from the ranks of the illustrious Test Platoon. This early unit fostered mass paratrooper training at Fort Benning, Ga. and also provided the foundation for aiirborne units that followed.

For more information about the chapter, contact Chairman John Carlson at, or Trustee Blair Rush at

Caption: "Iron Mike" commemorates the spirit of the Airborne soldier at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, the "Home of the Airborne." Iron Mike depicts a World War II trooper.

Small presses hold Saturday Manhattan event

There was a great writers event in Manhattan yesterday, on 6th Avenue at the historic Mechanics and Tradesmen Building. A small press fair brought out a big crowd to look at some of the best happening in books today.

There was a perspective there for everyone, from New Age to Feminist. I thought the work from History Publishing LLC. was interesting. They have a new book out from an FBI analyst that give new insights into the War on Terror. I spoke to HPC owner Don Bracken, who talked a little about the extensive work that goes into his company's work.

Soft Skull Press was present at the event. Soft Skull Press is well known as a quality publishing house that presents the latest and greatest in literary fiction these days. Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz and Shappy Seasholtz were there representing their company.

A particularly good exhibit was presented by the National Writers Union, which was holding a petition drive following a recent Federal Court decision quashing the rights of freelance writers. Call (212) 254-0279 to find out more about the decision, or E-mail them at

Captions: 3rd from bottom: Don Bracken from the History Publishing Company, Palisades, NY. Bottom: Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz and Shappy Seasholtz from Soft Skull Press, Manhattan, NY.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Blue Jersey is hostng Talk Radio

Blue Jersey has a Talk Radio feature. Click on the headline to go there.

Asbury Park wins in an epic match-up against Titans

The young men who are playing for Keansburg's Titan Football Team have done themselves, their school and their town proud by their fight to win the state championships. Every member of the team and the coaching staff deserve much credit, and this is reflected distinctly upon the entire school.

The Titans may have lost to Asbury Park this day, but their fight was valiant and they should remember this season and this game with great pride.

Congratulations, gentlemen. You have had a great season.
Click on the headline to go to the story.

Today in history, according to is a great site, with good information that has strong educational value. They have a great "Today in History" section. Click on the headline and go there.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Matawan will go to polls again to choose new mayor

The match-up between Matawan Mayor Mary Aufseeser and her Republican rival, Councilman Paul Buccellato, continues. Matawan voters will again go to the polls to choose a new mayor. Click on the headline to go to the APP story.

Caption: Mayor Mary Aufseeser

Rutgers falls short after offensive spark

The Rutgers' Scarlet Knights received a tough loss. Let's remember these young men have done a lot to bring a weak program farther than it was. Head Coach Greg Schiano deserves a lot of credit. Nevertheless, a tough loss is a tough one none the less.

Click on the headline to go there.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gov. Corzine puts plans for stadium expansion on hold

Busch Stadium is the home of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. According to, Gov. Corzine is putting plans to enlarge the arena on hold. I don't know why, as this is one of the things that actually brings in revenue to the state. But that is the way it is for now, I guess.

Click on the headline and go to the story.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's all tied up in Matawan

According to the APP, the mayoral election is all tied up in Matawan following a recount of the recent General Election results. A special election is likely to be held within 45 days, which will probably decide this photo finish once and for all. Click on the headline to go to the APP story.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

State issues police new guidelines about immigration

The deputy chief of police in Newark wrongly asked two journalists about their immigration status after the two reported a body in the Ironbound section of the city. The N.J. attorney general has issued guidelines that have ramifications statewide. Click on the headline to go to the story about this.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Matawan: One of the best places in U.S. to raise kids

According to BusinessWeek, Matawan, New Jersey is the 12th best place in the United States to raise kids. Congratulations to everyone over there, especially the kids. Click on the headline to go there.

Method authors piece about state fiscal crunch in APP

The APP's Jason Method has put together a nice article about state taxation and the fiscal crunch the government is under. I think something that is missing out of the discussion is that government, especially government in New Jersey, has simply over-stepped its bounds in many areas that government, in the United States anyway, was never supposed to do. Consequently, it costs too much, doesn't deliver enough and is barely competent, in general.

Especially in New Jersey, many see government as having some universal role in the lives of business and people -- it doesn't. Government has grown large on the fears, laziness, misunderstanding and apathy of the electorate.

The residents of the state of New Jersey have been overtaxed and overburdened for too long. Any solution to the current fiscal crisis does not include increased taxes. The tipping point was some time ago, in my opinion. The state needs to make do, get smaller and be less present -- not more. And the notion of taxpayers feeding into this nonsense is patently out of line. Governments in the U.S. are supposed to exist to support the citizenry, and catering to the idea that government is some large child needing more time and energy than it is already consuming is out of line, in my view.

Time for mass lay-offs in Trenton and around the state. Time for belt tightening to politicians (maybe a reduction in paychecks for every state office holder, since this is their failure), time for a lot of things -- but not increased taxes.

That's my take on it anyway. But, click on the headline to go to the story. It's a good one.

Bean pens piece on hunting in Coda

I genuinely liked an editorial by Greater Media Executive Editor Greg Bean about hunting. He has a perspective about hunting that is insightful, and of worth to the public argument about it. Click on the headline to go there.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Aberdeen Twp. revaluation explained

Click on the headline and go to the Matawan-Anerdeen Observer. The site is run by anonymous blogger "John Paul Jones," and it has a good story about the upcoming revaluation in Aberdeen.

Caption: The holiday light houses featured to the left will not be part of the revaluation. But in this state I am sure that is not far away.