Sunday, September 30, 2007
The "Trenton Democrats" are quite popular in campaign literature by the GOP. But, frankly, I'm a lot more concerned about the "Monmouth Democrats" and "Monmouth Republicans" where it involves my tax money.
While state lawmakers steal my tax money from afar, I do not believe I have a hope of curing that at the ballot box until I can find an elected official in Monmouth County who will stop robbing me of my pay check, as frequently as someone might go to an ATM.
Asking has not worked, apparently. In fact, the GOP seems quite upset that people here would like them to stop stealing their money for wasteful nonsense. I am not saying that Democrats would be much better, but there is the virtue of them not having a proven record of doing it for more than two decades. So where is all this reform I hear about?
I do not believe there is any reform in this GOP woodpile (as it is configured). Change is necessary for tax relief. The spotlight is on this ruling party now, and it cannot behave itself. It is not a trustworthy organization, in my opinion, because the "reform" rhetoric seems to be just that. As a Monmouth taxpayer, I do not believe I could do any worse with change than I am without it.
Candidates wanted for campaign features
Here it is: I have been writing about Democrats so much in the past week that I can barely keep up with it. I want to restate it very clearly: The Courier will not be reaching out to candidates for profiles. We have relatively few writers and many things to do. Campaign seasons are time when candidates interview for jobs with the public. If any candidate from either party wants a feature in the newspaper, they are obliged to pick up a phone and use it: 732-957-0070, ext. 6116.
This coming week is entirely taken, to the point where a few pages are already called for the following week's edition. While this is a 'first come, first serve' situation, I would personally like to see more Republican profiles. So call and leave a message and contact information for those interested.
A candidate's job is to get their point of view out there. There are publications who have the resources to go running around after elusive candidates, and The Courier is not one.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
This is really more of the same when it comes to campaigns: In this case, Republicans make a big deal about a Democratic PAC problem where there wasn't a problem (while some of Niemann's GOP PACs are still open). The circus act drama really gets old.
The GOP's 'spin meisters' got something else wrong...again.
How about a campaign about issues, and plans about how government isn't going to blow tax money on pie-in-the-sky programs? In the sheriff's race, how about a little talk about the budget and keeping people safe? I don't know, maybe that's just too out of the box.
Click on the headline to see the latest sideshow routine.
Jack Hill is a class candidate. He hasn't stooped to the level of throwing around nonsense. He's stayed focused on talking about what he is going to do for Monmouth County. Congrats to Jack.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Middletown Lions lend hand to Mississippi Katrina victims
By JIM PURCELL
In Middletown, the Lion’s Club is making a difference in the life of Mississippi residents by helping to rebuild the homes of some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Though the Katrina took place in September, 2005, the impacts of the storm were far-reaching and exist until this day.
“The Middletown Lion’s Club gave $5,000 to the Biloxi Lion’s Club,” said Al Siano, the public relations officer for the Middletown club.
According to Siano, the Middletown Lions conducted a fundraiser at Caraabba’s restaurant, Route 35 in the township, on Sunday, Sept. 16.
Siano said the group raised the funds and sent a delegation of Middletown Lions officers and members to the region.
The members included: Beverly Bova Scarano, Bill Bechtodlt and John Giordano. The three presented the check to the members of the Biloxi club on Monday, Sept. 24th during a brief ceremony.
“The Lions are 1.4 million members strong across the globe, in 194 countries. The group has a traditional focus on preventing blindness and serving the blind. However, the Lions are there to face the needs of society at-large, based upon the perils presented by natural catastrophes and the like,” Siano said.
During Hurricane Katrina, a category-5 storm, hit the Gulf Coast region, approximately 1,800 people were killed as a consequence to the storm. In addition, about $80 million of damage to business and residential concerns were visited upon the area. The storm, which gained worldwide attention, is considered to be the worst in U.S. history.
The Middletown Lions delegation departed New Jersey last weekend, and will be in the Gulf Coast region until about Oct. 6th. Siano said a press conference is scheduled for the Oct. 9th, at 7 p.m. at the New Jersey Blind Citizen’s Association, Burlington Avenue, in Leonardo.
For more information about the event, or to get more information about the Lions’ efforts to help Gulf Coast victims, call Siano at (732) 671-0589.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Mr. Larkin died on July 26 this year. He is a former soldier with the 513th and 517th parachute infantry regiments, respectively. He was a World War II veteran, who earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, as well as Purple Heart, Bonze Star, and French Liberation medals. Mr. Larkin took part in, among other actions, the Battle of the Bulge.
Major Ralph Waters, 88, passed away on May 2. He was a combat veteran of World War II, who took part in the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. Among other awards, he received the Purple Heart.
These troopers were good men, dedicated to their country and their families. In the end, they had lives that were exemplary. Deepest sympathy to their families.
Caption: Iron Mike is a statue celebrating the airborne spirit at Ft. Bragg, NC, home of the U.S. Army Airborne.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Among those who took part in the forum was Sen. Ellen Karcher, Assemblywoman Jen Beck and Assembly candidate Patricia Walsh.
CAPTION: Patricia Walsh
Monday, September 24, 2007
The APP has an editorial about the state-level bail out plan for mortgages. Watching this state's economy is like being unable to pull one's eyes away from a terrible car wreck. The closer one looks, the more horrified they become. Click on the headline and go there.
There is the story of a fine young man, from Jackson, who died while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. The APP story is a good one. Click on the headline and go there.
Caption: "Iron Mike" is a well-known statue at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Michael W. Mangan
Director of Communications
MONMOUTH COUNTY -- Judge John D'Amico and Mayor Stephen Schueler, Democratic candidates for freeholder, [on Sept. 19] clarified their position regarding Monmouth County Counsel Malcolm Carton. Despite Adam Puharic's incorrect assumptions and consistent with previous Democratic viewpoints, D'Amico and Schueler would not vote to re-appoint Carton for another term.
"Malcolm Carton may be a very capable attorney, but his relationship with members of the Monmouth County GOP has been too close for too long," said D'Amico. "Quite simply, it's time for him to go. The public shouldn't forget that Republicans began to break their ties with Carton, who is a GOP fundraiser, only after pressure from the Democrats and the Asbury Park Press coupled with the threat of a tight election year."
Both Democratic candidates agree that while there is nithing that can be done in the short term, gtiven his three-year term as county counsel, under a Democratic majority this would be his last term as Monmouth County counsel.
"Carton is the personification of pay-to-play. The Republicans claim to be the leaders on this issue, but the reality is that they have continued to employ Carton only because thousands upon thousands were deposited into their campaign war chests," said Schueler. "Reform in Monmouth County has been happening because of one person, Barbara McMorrow. The GOP can try all it wants to paint themselves as reformers, but the public knows that corruption over the past 20 years belongs to the GOP."
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The bumper sticker people, whose sense of enlightenment extends to what can be slapped on the back of a car and read inside a few seconds, are giving Columbia grief for the visit. I am sure Columbia will be fine. They are providing an incredible learning experience for the 500 students who will have the opportunity to ask questions of one of the most controversial leaders in the world.
This Iranian president says some very hateful, evil stuff. He's a bad guy, and maybe one of the worst on the planet. But he's also in charge of a country and, if one is studying international relations in a serious way (e.g. studying at Columbia) then there's got to be educational worth hearing this nonsense first-hand.
Dr. Coatsworth deserves a lot of credit for setting this up for the students. It's definitely better than popping in a DVD during class.
There is a great pull-out quote on Postscript 37 by Gelinas: "The real Greenspan legacy is that Americans nearly forgot about inflation." It's good. Greenspan's book is out there right now, by Penguin Press. In this age of the dumbest lawmakers ever on the planet, it is probably good reading for people wanting to talk about money and America, which virtually assures that anyone involved with government directly will not read it.
I haven't read it yet, but definitely will. Basically, most politicians today get their platforms from bumper stickers or get told what to say from angsty staffers fresh out of college and still living in their parents' basements. Yeah...and they're in charge of the economy via the governmental harassment they heap upon small business from their ivory towers the electorate mistakenly puts them in.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
A friend of mine and I were having a conversation about money last night; a good one. My big thing about this election is this should be the one where every candidate talks about how they are going to save money, and not add new burdens onto the budgets for the respective positions they are seeking.
This friend of mine said that, without solving the union problems in the state, there isn't going to be any real 'fixing' of anything. I responded that the place to begin is actually creating incentives to business, and drawing businesses back to the state, while stimulating the private sector that already exists here.
He believes a few unions (not all) are so impacting the state and other budgets to a degree that real economic progress can't happen because the upward-moving pension burden is too difficult for anything to overcome. It's a logical argument.
I have always favored the private sector approach because the economy is rooted there, and in New Jersey's case it is the element that is most pillaged, abused and taxed.
His take on this election was probably the one that was most likely: Nothing different, new or redeeming is going to happen this November. That's a cynical way to look at things, but voters in New Jersey have every reason in the world to be cynical.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
September 20, 2007
Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) 202-224-4744
DUBAI PURCHASE OF MAJOR STAKE IN NASDAQ DESERVES EXAMINATION, SAYS SEN. MENENDEZ
Menendez applauds NASDAQ for submitting to CFIUS process, calls for “vigorous and thorough” review
WASHINGTON – The Borse Dubai stock exchange, which is controlled by the Dubai government, is announcing today that it will purchase a major share in the NASDAQ exchange, as well as the London Stock Exchange.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, who was one of the first to raise concerns over the ill-fated Dubai ports deal last year, released the following statement:
“Certainly, the integrity of our financial markets is vital to our national stability and security, and it is wise to know everything we can about the controlling interests, particularly if foreign governments are involved. These are uncharted waters, and we must ensure that foreign government ownership does not have the potential to disrupt the market.
“NASDAQ has announced it will submit to the CFIUS review process – that is the right move, and I applaud them for undertaking it. The review must be vigorous and thorough, answering all lingering questions. The more information and understanding we have, the more we can be certain of the stability of our markets.”
# # #
I received an anonymous letter, posted out of the Kilmer post office on Sept. 10. I give very little credence to such things, and it was derisive where it involves parties. But something that was interesting was that the letter writer said they overheard a conversation in public, by a former county official, saying that Marc Acker was "going to be the next administrator for Monmouth County." According to these assertions, the posting was likely.
The person said that Birdsall Engineering is also likely to become a larger player in the future.
The assertions were speculative, as anonymous letter writers always have to be approached with fistfuls of salt, but I am going to look into some of the things they brought up in the letter. Whoever wrote this, thank you very much, but next time add a name and telephone number.
Courier will be interviewing Monmouth Democratic County Clerk candidate Amod Chadoury and Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder candidate John D'Amico the week after next. The newspaper has not not, as of yet, been contacted by any GOP candidates for Monmouth County freeholder. Thus far, Courier has interviewed the Republican candidates for clerk, Claire French, and sheriff, Kim Guadagno. In this upcoming edition, 13th District Assemblyman Sam Thompson.
Note to local candidates: Now is the time to arrange for campaign interviews. To arrange for interviews, call (732) 957-0070, ext. 6116. All interviews are conducted at Courier and original photography is taken by Courier.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Scott was an incredible member of our staff, one of the best natural writers I have had the pleasure to work with and has great dedication to whatever he is doing. Everyone here at Courier wishes Scott the very best of luck in his new endeavors.
*FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION*
/September 19, 2007/
POC: Patricia A. Walsh
Democrat for 13th District Assembly
Tel: (908) 601-1252/Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Walsh applauds Commissioner’s decision regarding Ocean Grove Pavilion*
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ): Democrat for 13th District
Assembly Patricia A. Walsh said yesterday that she supports the decision
made today to which strips the tax exempt status of the Ocean Grove
Pavilion because of it failure to comply with state and federal law.
“You can’t have it both ways” said Walsh “You can’t accept taxpayer funds from
outside the community and then say you won’t abide by the law of the land.” In a
decision made by the State Commissioner of Environmental Protection, Lisa Jackson
she declined to recertify the tax exempt status of the Boardwalk Pavilion.
Since 1989 the pavilion has enjoyed that status under the State’s Green Acres Program,
which is designed to encourage the use of privately owned land for public recreation.
In her letter to the association she stated “it is clear that the pavilion is not open to all
persons on an equal basis.”
Walsh stated” When the taxpayers fund open space, that is exactly how it should be
treated, as open space for all New Jersey resident’s.”She continued “ It boils down to a
question of fairness, just as the Camp Meeting Association values it’s neighbors, so must
they all be treated in the same way. Discrimination and prejudice, should have no place
especially in equal access to open space. ”
“I sincerely hope that the members of the Ocean Grove community will take a close look at
this decision and find some way to put an end to the conflict rather than commit to the
divisiveness of litigation.”
opened her own store after starting from the bottom. Through hard work and diligence, the woman became a success story not only at work but with her family, raising two sons with her husband (both of whom went on to graduate college here in New Jersey). Recently, she went back to her former homeland, and is collecting charitable donations to send back to Afghanistan to help rebuild a village there in the wake of the U.S. liberation of that country.
She will be revealing details of her recent trip back to Afghanistan, talk candidly about the consequences of terror and life the way it was under the Taliban, according to her observations and testimonials from her family in her former homeland.
One of the most dynamic elements of this, for me, is the women's rights issue under the Taliban, and the lengths taken to suppress the voices of Afghani women.
I will be doing the photography on the story, with the words being done by Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Here's another log for the fire: U.S. home foreclosures are soaring. Click on the headline to go to the AP story.
My take on it, though: There is business and economics, and then there is everything that is not business and economics. In an ideal environment, there would be a balance between the two. In a less than ideal environment, then those things that do not have anything to do with business and economics would encroach on business. But in the environment this state, and even this nation, is experiencing, it seems that nothing actually has anything to do with sound business or economics. Everything has something to do with everything that has nothing to do with economics, and no one -- no party or group and no individual -- is saying anything that will actually repair the economy of this country.
At the end of the day, it was a big fine and a couple draft picks got hit. That was appropriate Click on the headline and go there.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
So there have been some really interesting choices by scientists involved with breeding fish. This situation involves salmon and trout. But there is talk, in the AP article, about including paddlefish and sturgeon. It's a little creepy, in my opinion, but it's also new. Click on the headline and go there.
Friday, September 14, 2007
New Jersey has nowhere that experts say is a good place to retire. New Jersey is ranked nearly last as a small business destination. And, we know from the headlines we have a lot of bad guys in government. The good news is...we're only middle of the pack bad when it comes to a state unemployment rate. Well, that's enough good news for one day.
Here's a great list for you: CNN-Money ranked each state in the U.S. for being business friendly. There were 51 possible places (they included Washington DC). Well, if it wasn't for Washington DC, New Jersey would be the 51st worst place to operate a small business. As it stands, though, we own the 50 rank. Click on the headline to check out where it's happening in small business.
Now for the big question: According to CNN-Money's Web site, where are the best places in New Jersey to retire? Answer: Nowhere.
Click on the headline and see for yourself. I have to say I am really pretty impressed by this Web site.
The CNN-Money Web site has the 100 best places to live in the United States. Some area notables are Marlboro (at #33) and Sayreville (at #47). I hear a lot about Middletown being on the "Top 100" list, but didn't see it there. Click on the headline and browse what they have up.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
There are many venues where I see the work of local artists promoted, and all of them very worthy. But Nance Ciasa, who owns and operates Atlantic Artisans, is actually incredibly insightful and this area is very fortunate to have her promoting artists. She really knows what she's doing and fuses a lot of knowledge with love of the area.
Caption: In this shot are a few of the pieces Nance has in her shop, unrelated to the opening announced above.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Click on the headline to get Rutgers football tickets. This program has really become something in the last few years and Head Coach Greg Schiano deserves a lot of credit.
Caption: A shot of the goal post during the Jets' home opener at the Meadowlands.
For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2007
$2 million is available for land
purchases and park improvements
FREEHOLD – The deadline is rapidly approaching for municipalities to apply for the 2007 Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant Program. This competitive grant program makes $2 million available for local open space purchases and park improvement projects.
The deadline for filing an application is Sept. 19.
“I encourage all of our municipalities to submit their plans for open space acquisitions or park improvements,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Park System. “This is a wonderful opportunity for towns to participate in a program that shares the costs of improving their local parks or acquiring more open space.”
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is soliciting applications in this fifth year of the program. All 53
The deadline for submitting a grant application is Sept. 19, and only complete applications will be considered for funding. Awards will be announced in December.
“Quality parks and open space contribute to the quality of life enjoyed by all
Further information on the grant program can be found at the Monmouth County Park System’s Web site at www.monmouthcountyparks.com
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Courier's Alyssa Passeggio is reporting on what is happening with the Highlands Bridge in the upcoming edition of the newspaper. Alyssa has really gone to the next level in covering the bridge issue and deserves a lot of credit for her work on that storyline.
I think this is a very difficult day to quantify, and I think it means something to each individual. For me, it was a very tough time that had a lot of humanity mixed in with the terrible nature of the events. When 9/11 happened, people paused from their routines and the day-to-day and were forced to examine their lives and the world around them.
'Community' took on new meaning, or maybe an old meaning. I wish everyone the comfort they need today. For Americans, and especially people in our area, I don't think there will ever be a problem with remembering 9/11...the harder chore would be forgetting.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I can understand commuting to work, or even school. But I don't think that commuting from a parking lot to a game is a concept that is universally OK. Thankfully, as a New England Patriots fan, this is not a problem that I will have to personally encounter except a few times a year. And it is a shame: But there should be parking in any stadium that hosts a National Football League team.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Jets fans were walking away from their home opener by the beginning of the 4th Quarter. They had booed their starter (from at least from the 300 level) and a guy on the bottom of the escalator was trying to give away his #10 Chad Pennington Jets jersey. More than anything else, it was sad.
At the outset of the game, there was so much hope in the air it was fun (even if it was the Jets). But as the 4th Quarter ticked by, the Jets fan in the seat next to me asked me, "Why do I come here?"
I responded that the Jets are a great franchise and they could rally today. He insisted that was the worst kind of advice: "I'm getting sympathy from a Pats fan. That's too much." Sorry for being upbeat. But at that point they were only down by two touchdowns and anything can happen.
I stuck around until the final whistle, headed to the parking deck, and had a pretty smooth ride out (a lot of people were already gone). You know, it's early in the season: Pennington can be one of the greats. And, really, all the Jets dealt with today was one loss to a very strong division rival that was expected to win anyway. There are 15 more chances to get to the playoffs and, really, the Jets are a great team.
On the way out, a Jets fan said, "Oh yeah, here's a Pats fan, that must be hard: They beat everyone! What about Manning and the Colts? How did they do with them?" I said back, "Not as well last time as they will next time."
You know, a little bit of that from Jets fans might make the season a little more fun. Hey, it's a game; a great game, but a game. But, I will say, maybe a quarterback controversy wouldn't be out of line in Jetville.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Wall said he is leaving his position to explore other opportunities. During his tenure in the borough, he was known to have begun substantial work on the town's redevelopment, and the desalination process. Wall had a clear public safety priority, though he also oversaw the largest road construction project in the borough in recent years. Wall will be staying on for the near future, as a consultant to the town during the transition.
The acting borough manager is Thomas Cusick, who serves as the borough clerk. Read more about this in the upcoming edition of The Courier.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Usually in local government reporting on the local level everything has been done before. Well, I don't think this has. There is real value here for readers.
Click on the headline and go there.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Story and photos by ALYSSA PASSEGGIO
The burn victim of the boat fire in Leonardo State Marina, Middletown, was pulled to safety by a “good Samaritan” on Wednesday, Sept. 5, according to Andy Spears, the public information officer for the Middletown Township Fire Department.
According to Spears, the 48-year-old man had first- and second-degree burns over 25 percent of his body when he was flown to St. Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston, Spears said.
Middletown dispatchers received a phone call about a boat fire with possible injuries around 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. Community Fire Company and Brevent Park Company responded to the fire, as well as all Middletown first aid squads, he said.
The Bayliner 26-foot Cabin Cruiser boat suffered “major damage” to its interior living portion, according to Spears. The boat was in the dock and surrounded by other vessels when the fire was discovered, but no other boats were damaged.
An investigation is being handled by the State Police Marina Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Middletown fire marshal and possibly the Monmouth County fire marshal, Spears said.
Dual-office holding should either be permissible to all or not allowed for all. This grandfathering nonsense is just that. Click on the headline and go to the APP article.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
As a New Jerseyan, I have to ask: Will McGreevey ever go away and stop haunting politics? As a person, I do not have an opinion of him. But as a public figure/former state official: Worst governor in the history of the state, and big shady guy.
It is politicians like McGreevey that turned this state over to people like former Sen. John Lynch. Why McGreevey is news is beyond me, but maybe one day (like "John from Cinncinati" on HBO) he will just go away.
Monday, September 03, 2007
In my experience in the borough, rumors abound and often without result. Generally, Keansburg politics is highly charged. In this case, there was some issue about communication during a recent vacation by Mr. Wall. What level of discussion will be involved at the meeting is strictly speculative at this point, and I haven't heard any word one way or the other.