Wednesday, October 31, 2007

13th District Dems are making some noise during well-run campaign has an entry that just came up about the 13th District Dems. No matter what the outcome of this year's fall classic, Lenny Inzerillo, Pat Walsh and Bob Brown deserve a ton of credit for running a great show. Also hats off to key staffers Pat O'Keefe and Matt Morehead.




Prepared by Det. Lt. Joseph C. Capriotti

On Tuesday October 30, 2007 at about 4:15PM Middletown Township Police Officers Anthony Bumbico and Sean Sweeney responded to Leonardville Road in the Leonardo section of the Township to investigate a report of a man going door to door soliciting donations for the San Diego fire victims.

The two officers located Michael J. Barich, age 37, from Washington Avenue, Leonardo on Leonardville Road. He told the officers he was raising money for the Red Cross to send to the fire victims in San Diego but the officers found no affiliation with him to any charitable organization. A record check on Barich revealed he was wanted for Contempt of Court by the Municipal Court of Monmouth Beach.

He was arrested by the officers on the outstanding warrant and additionally charged with Disorderly Conduct for his unlawful soliciting and disturbing residents. He was released after posting $100 bail.

The Middletown Township Police Department is cautioning residents about persons who may seek to use the tragic wild fires in California to solicit donations that may never get to the intended recipients. Anyone soliciting money or selling door-to-door in Middletown Township is required to have a Solicitors Permit from the Township. If unsure about the legitimacy of a solicitor, residents should contact the Police Department with a description of the solicitor or request information flyer about the charity from the solicitor with an address where a direct donation can be made.

Blogging woes in Barnegat

There is a Barnegat blogger who is having a problem with a local school board because she operates a blog. There is a segment of people who really hate blogs, but this takes an inappropriate problem way too far by impacting a blogger's life. This woman is operating a blog using her own name, with the idea of providing a forum for her community. It seems such a thing is somehow scorn-worthy in the minds of some, and it is not reasonable. Click on the headline and go there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scharfenberger, Nelsen: Not answering questions as usual

Middletown Township Public Information Officer Cindy Herrschaft and Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger have made it very clear in recent years that The Courier, all of its staff and every reporter, can only contact the mayor or any member of any appointed commission through Ms. Herrschaft. Not only has there been a total inability for the Middletown Committee to communicate effectively with at least this newspaper, but this broad brush policy this administration has put in place is nothing if not near-sighted.

While it is not the place of government to field political questions, a story being developed for this week about GOP campaign literature in town has not been answered by the mayor or his running mate, Ms. Tristan Nelsen, because both of these people are either elected or on a board. So once again, a great big excuse for not answering questions about issues. But at this point, there really isn't much of a need to state a policy: The Middletown Committee doesn't like answering questions that are hard and have established many procedures that emplace a near total inability for this newspaper to communicate with it.

That is their choice. The choice of the staff at The Courier is to keep asking questions, in the hope that one day one will be answered.

The format for tonight in Highlands

Format for the Candidate Panel

The format for the candidate panel will include these questions, with each of the five candidates being given 2 minutes to answer each question. The program is intended to run from 7-10 p.m., so not all questions may be asked for the sake of time and audience participation.

The last half hour of the event, questions will be taken from the audience, selected at random, read by me to the candidates. At that time, each candidate will have 2 minutes to answer each question. So, no question can be directed solely at one candidate. And, no audience member may directly ask questions to the candidates or ask more than one question.

1. How are you going to lower taxes in the borough of Highlands as an elected official should you win this term?
2. How are you going to help attract businesses to the borough?
3. How do you believe the Route 36 corridor should be used? Business or residential?
4. Is the Highlands Business Partnership working in the borough, what do you see as its role in reinvigorating the town?
5. The fire house has been an issue of debate in town for a few years. What is your plan to get the firefighters into their house during this term should you win office?
6. What is the most important thing about Highlands that should not change with progress?
7. Should a library be an issue in town? If so, how should it be funded?
8. What are you plans to improve municipal infrastructure, but more importantly how are you going to fund it?
9. Recreation in town is an important issue: Should there be improvements and, if so, how are you going to fund improvements?
10. Flooding remains to be an issue in town. What is your plan to alleviate flooding, and how are you going to fund it?
11. What do you believe is the most important issue in town?

There will be an intermission roughly half-way through the event, and questions will be placed in a box at the door by audience members.

Social Security: It's worth fighting for

Greg Bean has written a good piece about how New Jerseyans would, in many cases, leave if they could. What goes into this? Taxation, cost of living...a lot. But one thing that perked up my ears in his editorial was when he noted Social Security and said "if" it is around in the coming years. Mr. Bean's reference is an entirely logical and sensible sentiment. It makes sense. However, I absolutely believe that Social Security is the first national priority.

Social Security is the most important national priority and that is a program that is going to have to be fought for in the coming years.

Social Security is slowly coming into the cross hairs of Washington politicians, and sooner than not someone is going to bring up the long-term viability of this program in a very real way. But Social Security is not something that should be surrendered. Politicians, commentators and every kind of speculator regularly discuss what they believe to be "the most important thing" government does.

In my opinion, one of the few things I believe the Federal Government does of real lasting worth is Social Security. And if we let it go away, then that would be a mistake that generations after us would have to contend with.

Click on the headline to go to a very thoughtful piece by GM's Greg Bean.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Courier will be diving into election coverage

The Courier will be covering the polls on Election Day and reporting events as they occur in the Bayshore's 10 towns. Come to the Inside Clamdigger and the BayshoreNews blog for what is happening in various districts, beginning at 10 a.m. During the day, we'll be posting up-to-the-minute interviews with candidates and polling officials, as well as trying some exit polls. We'll also be sending photographers around to take photos from various election locales.

Last year went very well, so this year we'll be doing more with digital recording also, courtesy of YouTube. So be sure to stop by on Tues., Nov. 6.

News in from Financial intelligencer: Recession ahead

News from the Financial Intelligencer isn't good. But for those with an interest in the stock market or the economic picture, click on the headline and go there.

Check out what's happening in the NFL

The NFL is always going to be news in the Bayshore. The Giants are running hard after the Cowboys, while the Jets try and sort out several outstanding questions. Meanwhile, the de facto Super Bowl winning favorite will receive their anointing oil next week, following a clash between the so-far perfect Indianapolis Colts and the dynastic New England Patriots. The collision between the irresistable force versus the immovable object will take place in Indy next week, in a titanic clash of wills and training during what is bound to be the great gridiron contest of this regular season.

Click on the headline for the standings. Personally, I'm pulling for the Pats.

The APP has endorsed Hill and Choudhary

The APP has endorsed Jack Hill for sheriff and Amod CHoudhary for clerk.

Click on the headline and go there.

Red Sox are world champs

OK, so the Red Sox are the champions of baseball...again. Since the Sox being the two-time champions of baseball is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, I suppose it is time to stock up on extra water and bread.

Click on the headline and go to an AP report brought to you by YahooNews!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

County GOP is broken and a fresh look at board would help

The Monmouth County GOP is a dysfunctional organization right now. Between partisan appointments of unqualified people (e.g. Tobia); a skewed sense of priorities in choosing candidates (e.g. the Little controversy); ethical problems (e.g. some of Niemann's PACs are still open and functioning); and questionable people surrounding the center (e.g. Moretti, Malcolm Carton), I can't say that it is as healthy as it could be. Republican leaders in the county need to reform the political organization in place, to cut the every day corruption that is going on in Freehold.

Add to this the fact that Gibbons, Del Deo (Peter Carton) has all the bonding work for the county (a very conflicted individual out of Middletown who really is running a lot of the county GOP's political show these days), and the question of just what this party is doing comes to mind.

To the candidates: I do not know Mr. Cantor, but I think it is harsh to say he does not have enough experience to be a freeholder. I do believe there is a culture of dysfunction in the county GOP (the party and in the Hall of Records) that Mr. Cantor, someone who seems to be a straight shooter, would have to be fighting at the same time he was trying to pass laws to cut taxes. The Monmouth GOP is not the right organization today to be able to serve the needs of the residents and taxpayers of Monmouth County, in my opinion, because of those problems.

I do not believe that either John D'Amico or Dave Schueler would have that problem, and after speaking with them I think they want to streamline government and look at the systems of government and see what can be done cheaper and more efficiently. Since I am a Monmouth taxpayer, I like that idea.

Both John D'Amico and Dave Schueler seem to be genuine people with real credentials.

I really believe that the long fix in Freehold is going to be revisiting policies and procedures (maybe all of them) to close the gaping loopholes that are currently in there where it involves the everyday business of doing gov't. D'Amico and Schueler want to lower taxes and will have the majority to do it; I pay taxes in Monmouth and want my taxes lowered: Simple enough.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weather.Com has a great fall foliage feature

A great fall foliage feature is at If you are interested in fall foliage, click on the headline and go there.

Former Highlands councilman dies

Former Highlands Councilman Herman Black passed away very recently. Deepest sympathy to the family. Click on the headline and go to the obituary in the APP.

Why the Middletown Committee and the town GOP is corrupt

The Middletown Committee is impure in some actions because it is inherently conflicted, subjugated to the will of one person: Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton.

Mr. Carton selects the candidates for office in the GOP, influences who is appointed on nearly all of the township boards and committees, and serves as a Middletown Water and Sewer commissioner (a paid post with benefits and even a retirement);and his firm is the bond counsel in town. By the way, Mr. Carton is in charge of the public finance arm of his company, and so Middletown is his client.

In addition, Mr. Carton represents developers in town on occasion, and his clients have not been known to have a hard time with the appointees that Mr. Carton has agreed to being on boards and commissions, or the elected people (whom Mr. Carton selected and controls their political careers). So, in Middletown, it is good to Mr. Carton's friend, because he controls a lot of what happens.

Here is the problem: The township of Middletown, the governing body, and the various boards and commissions should not exist to serve Mr. Carton. Instead, I think they should serve the taxpayers and residents of Middletown. Since Mr. Carton's opinion is far more important than any other opinion in town right now, I'm pretty sure that this should change.

Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger and his running mate may be good elected officials, but I do not think anyone will ever find out, since Mr. Carton is the boss, the guy who makes the decisions and the one who is really calling the shots in Middletown.

One of the criticisms I have had of Middletown is the amount of municipal bonding, and the more than $80 million it owes in debt. Debt is something that erodes the fiber of communities; like it has in Middletown. And the way to fix it is to stop running the credit card through the machine every 5 minutes. That idea is a lot easier to do when the most powerful political boss in town is not the chairman of the dominant political party.

This is why the Middletown Committee majority and the Middletown GOP is corrupt, and that is why the GOP should not hold office in town right now -- because it has a problem. Republicans in Middletown should take stock, fix their condition and try something else.

Change means something different, not more of the same

The New Jersey Legislature is currently filled with a breed of person known as the "career politician." I believe the notion of the "Trenton Democrats" misses the point. When the state was under Republican control, it was just as corrupt, just as much traveling in the wrong direction and absolutely as spend thrift as it is today.

Career politicians are the problem. People who do not work real jobs: They do not manufacture anything, grow anything, refine anything, produce anything or significantly contribute to society in any way. They make money and are important for its own sake. They simply live off peddling their influence and work to perpetuate influence as a way to just make a living (a very nice living no doubt). No good will come of people of that ilk, no matter what party they registered in. For anyone to believe that one career politician is better than another by virtue of registration is absurd.

In the "hallowed halls" of Trenton, the idea of partisanship fades. I was at a party at a N.J. legislator's house a few years ago (not from any Monmouth district). Amid the merriment, the legislator discussed how a prominent elected official in the Legislature from one party was the "errand boy" for a prominent elected official in the same house in the Legislature from another party. The two reportedly had a financial-business relationship that was "a lot more important to them than any party nonsense." I think this was the punchline for some joke or other.

So how can there be an adversarial system in place, as the "Republicans" and "Democrats" are supposed to be, when the Trenton Country Club's members start doing their "business" together, using the party system as the 'show' for the 'rubes? They cannot.

No one that is part of the problem can ever be a part of any solutions. The purpose of elected office should not be to perpetuate a useless class of person whose only skill is to be well-polished in public and pointless legislatively. This kind of person is prone to becoming corrupt, because their skill set is more suited to hair care and less to the business of the public.

There are legislators, some Democrat and some Republican, who deserve a round-trip ticket back to Trenton. But most do not. Buying into some yarn that one party is going to do so much more than another is more than naive at this part of the game. Change means new faces: people coming out of the private sector or successful careers not involved with politics, and then them putting their shoulder to the grindstone on doing the work of the people.

Career politicians have killed this county, this state and this nation's economy. The only financial issues that have prospered under this kind of leadership are personal ones, linked to the politicians involved. Change means something different, and not more of the same.

Voting the way that any newspaper, TV program, partisan pamphlet or personality tells you to, simply because they 'say so' is not going to help anything. If someone told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? Use your head, and maybe a little bit of your gut. If it makes sense, it usually is, and if it doesn't really, then it doesn't.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Suspicious person reported in the vicinity of Eerie Dr., in MT

A suspicious person has been reported in the vicinity of Eerie Drive, between Harmony and Palmer roads. The person, a 30ish man with sandy blonde hair driving a reportedly dark green Mustang, attempted to summon a child. Reportedly, the man was seeking directions, when the child turned away to call for parents the man reportedly drove off.

Police were summoned by the child's parents. The name of the child and the parents will not be used in this report, but they did call me and are very concerned. Police searched the area for the suspicious vehicle and/or driver without result.

So keep your eyes peeled Middletown. One of the parents of the child said it is possible that the man was honestly seeking directions, but the nature of the man's hurried departure left them more than a little distressed. The event happened at about 6 p.m. this evening.

GM writes piece about Shadow Lake dredge project

GM Staffer Jamie Romm has written a nice piece about the Shadow Lake dredging project, discussed at the Middletown Committee.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Found a new "Rasta" site

Click on the headline. Found a new "Rasta" site (or just an old one that has yet to be filled in). More of a litany about peoples' children, families, and outright lies to come? I think there has been quite enough of this garbage.

Argentinian tea may reduce cholesterol

Here's a bit of a health tip: Argentinian tea just might save you life...or at least cut your cholesterol. Click on the headline and go there.

APP pens piece about Bid Rig defendants

Operation Bid Rig was one of those defining moments in the area, if not the state. The APP has a great editorial about that today. Click on the headline and go there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DeNicola pens piece about 'Third Age' for GM News

Linda DeNicola is a very talented correspondent who writes for Greater Media Newspapers. She has penned a very nice piece about a Brookdale Community College program, in Lincroft. Click on the headline and go there.

Tony Palughi gets some time

The APP is reporting that Operation Bid Rig defendant Tony Palughi, formerly head of Monmouth County bridges, has been sentenced to some hard time in federal prison. Click on the headline and go there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Monmouth County: Home of the boondoggle project

In Monmouth County, the public discourse about tax money has become something that has turned vicious. Monmouth County is a place where corruption has hidden behind the pleasantries of so many stale chicken dinners, and where well-tailored politicians have concentrated far more on their hair than on saving taxpayers' money.

In Monmouth, it is enough to be from the right social circle to get a fat no-bid contract, and where the lowest bidder is rarely chosen. This is why taxation has grown to the degree it has; and why seniors and business people have to vote with their feet. Between boondoggle projects (often embarked upon only for the purpose of generating professional fees for partisan attorneys) and everyday pilfering of the coffers, this county is a study in economic dysfunction.

The Asbury Park Press has done some incredibly brave work, in its Club Monmouth and other series, which has put a dent in the infrastructure of partisan crookedness. Without this work, Monmouth would still be an open sewer of corruption. Yet, the core of the corruption remains, which are the influential politico professionals who occupy the positions of paid (town and county) professionals/elected officials/party leaders, very often all at the same time.

Perhaps the worst thing that can be done to these people is to speak about them in public, in print or Online, which is what myself and some others have done. Is there retaliation for this? Yes.

If there is an epicenter for county corruption, it is my opinion that Middletown is directly at the heart of it. Where many communities are trying to fight the tide of taxation, this place finds new and more expensive municipal projects to build. Very often, the multi-million-dollar projects constructed in that town do not earn back the revenue that is invested into them by taxpayers (through the Township Committee) and leaves the question of why they were ever built begging to be asked. Sometimes the answer is community related, and sometimes it's not.

More than occasionally, the best way to answer why a project is being built is to examine who is being paid for the project itself. The purpose to community projects should be the end (the building, the park, the roadway). To believe that a project, and the money it takes to see it through, is the end itself is counter-intuitive. Why would any governing body seek to build a useless building? The most obvious answer is usually the best one, in my book. The answer is: The Money.

This practice has just gotten far too out of hand and the tipping point has arrived. It has become too expensive for the average taxpayer to afford routine corruption. Monmouth can do better, and so can Middletown. "Quality of life" is always brought up, but it is reasonable that if any governing body or government is given an endless blank check there is no end to things that could be built -- adding to "quality of life."

In my opinion, Monmouth County has received the leadership it has voted for in the past, because it's been more preoccupied with the way politicians have part their hair and less about the way they have delivered government in this county.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The best American cities for jobs

Click on the headline to see the best American cities for jobs. With a population that is more and more mobile, and with New Jersey taxes rising upward and upward, you never know when you might need to know.

Found an interesting conservative site

I found a really interesting site on the Web. It's not exactly my idea of politics or government, but it makes a statement and it's interesting enough.

Click on the headline and go there.


October 19, 2007

Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) 202-224-4744
Ken Lundberg ( Martinez ) (202)228-5957

Menendez asks Rutgers fans to suggest best way to enjoy fresh Tampa strawberries; he had wagered New Jersey saltwater taffy and cranberries

WASHINGTON – Last night in Piscataway, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team defeated the #2 University of South Florida Bulls , 30-27. With the outcome, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) won a wager on the game with fellow Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) – Menendez will receive a first batch of fresh Tampa strawberries. Sen. Menendez had put New Jersey saltwater taffy and cranberries on the line.

“It was definitely a scarlet night,” said Senator Menendez. “Coach Schiano and the boys once again have our spirits sky high after another big win – the whole state is proud of our team. I do congratulate South Florida on what has been and I’m sure will continue to be a terrific season.

“I’ve been thinking of the best way to enjoy the fresh Tampa strawberries. With breakfast? For dessert? Maybe as part of a New Jersey fruit salad? If any Rutgers fans out there have suggestions, I would love for them to send them to my office. Really, my only regret for Sen. Martinez is that he won’t be able to sample our state’s famous saltwater taffy or ripe cranberries – he’ll have to come up and visit us in New Jersey to get a taste for himself.”

“It was a tough and well-played game. Fortunately, this is just minor set-back for the Bulls,” Senator Martinez said. “To help remind Senator Menendez that Florida is the sweetest place to live, visit, and play sports, I’m giving him the first batch of strawberries from my great state.”

The first batch of fresh Tampa strawberries will likely be ready for delivery to Sen. Menendez next month.

# # #

Afshin Mohamadi
Press Secretary
Senator Robert Menendez
For the latest news from Sen. Menendez, including video and audio updates, visit

Solomeno receives Fullbright Scholarship

For those who are or have been involved with Bayshore politics, here's a quick update on a young man who is making a name for himself.

Former Union Beach and Hazlet campaign manager Vincent Solomeno has garnered a Fullbright Scholarship and is currently studying at the University of Amsterdam. He is majoring in European studies and working on his Master's degree.

Best of luck to him.

Bayshore Courier is Online at blog site!

The Courier is Online at As everyone know, our main site was hacked and so the great folks at our Editorial Department (Alyssa Passeggio Chris Blaszczyk and Somdatta Sengupta) have adapted and, while our site is getting worked on, getting the news up and out.

Good job!

Inzerillo comes out about bonding


October 18, 2007

FROM: Scott Shanley
SDS Media Relations
Tel: 732.925.8386

POC: Lenny Inzerillo
Democrat for 13th District Senate
Tel: 732.673.2989


Web site:

Inzerillo Says "No" to Bonding in Middletown

Candidate to search for alternative methods to fund projects

MIDDLETOWN - Democrat for 13th District Senate Lenny Inzerillo recently stated that Middletown officials need to practice more precaution when dealing with tax money.

"The amount of bonding that has been done in the township in the past several years has been outrageous," he said. "We need to put an end to borrowing money in order to finally bring some relief to the taxpayers of this area."

Inzerillo said he was particularly upset with the construction of the Middletown Arts Center, and more recently, plans to bond nearly $4 million to dredge Shadow Lake.

"The governing body originally said that the arts center wouldn't bring about any additional costs to taxpayers," he said, "and then they wound up bonding almost $9 million for it. Now they're considering bonding even more money for the Shadow Lake project. There's certainly a better way to go about these things."

Inzerillo said that he plans to search for grants and other money-saving methods to assist the funding of all future township projects. He said that while many of these projects are important, it is perhaps even more crucial to prevent taxes from being raised.

"The Township Committee always speaks about applying for various grants but those results are never seen," he said. "Constantly bonding is just not the answer. It is only going to further burden the residents of this township."

The candidate added that the certainly recognizes the severity of the current living situation for Shadow Lake Village residents.

"I can imagine that it must be unpleasant to live near the lake due to the odors," he said, " and hopefully these people are relieved of that as soon as possible. However, if elected to the Senate, I will search for other ways to fund these projects without taking more money from the wallets of taxpayers."


Scott Shanley
SDS Media Relations
Tel: 732.925.8386

CAPTION: Lenny Inzerillo and his wife, Renee, at a recent Middletown event.

Shanley, O'Keefe are on Campaign Trail

There are two guys who are doing something special in the current political campaigns this year: (bottom left) Scott Shanley, former Courier staffer, and Patrick O'Keefe, a young member of the Middletown Democratic Party.

For Scott, he has crossed over from news to public relations and is working with the local Middletown campaign, as well as the Inzerillo campaign for state Senate. Congrats to Mr. Shanley.

Meanwhile, an energetic young person, Pat O'Keefe is heading up his first campaign as manager this year. Patrick is the campaign manager for Inzerillo for Senate 2007. Patrick is a union electrician who has worked for many years in the Democratic Party. He certainly gives his best and best of luck to him.

County farmland preservation update

For Immediate Release:

October 18, 2007

Holmdel nursery is Monmouth County’s newest addition to Farmland Preservation Program

HOLMDEL – Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry announced today that the F&F Nurseries property on Roberts Road is the latest entry into the Farmland Preservation Program through a partnership effort among Holmdel Township, Monmouth County and the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC).

“Each piece of land we preserve helps protect the quality of life in Monmouth County, now and in the future,” Freeholder Burry said. “We’re proud that 20 percent of all of Monmouth County’s land is permanently preserved and we are committed to continuing to build on that record of success through many more cooperative efforts such as this one.”

The F&F Nurseries site is owned by Holmdel Township, which purchased the property in January 2005. Earlier this week, the township sold the development rights to Monmouth County to preserve 60 acres under the Farmland Preservation Program. The SADC provided cost-sharing assistance under its Planning Incentive Grant program.

“Municipalities have much at stake in the race to preserve farmland, not only in protecting their agricultural land base, but by preventing further development and the negative tax impacts that go along with it,” said Susan E. Craft, executive director of the SADC, which administers the state Farmland Preservation Program. “We applaud Holmdel for taking the lead in purchasing this property for preservation and we are pleased to be a partner in helping to ensure this land will continue to contribute to the quality of life and agriculture of Monmouth County for generations to come.”

“F&F Nurseries is a wonderful addition to our farmland preservation program,” Holmdel Mayor Serena DiMaso said. “Its central location will ensure that future generations will forever enjoy the history of Holmdel. We thank SADC and the County, along with the other funding agencies for helping to make this purchase and preservation of open space a reality.”

Holmdel purchased the F&F Nursery property from F&F Nurseries Inc., which continues to operate the nursery through a leasing arrangement with the township. Holmdel is preserving another 25 acres of the property along the stream corridor under the Green Acres Program and will retain approximately six additional acres for municipal purposes.

F&F Nurseries is a wholesale grower of flowering trees, shade trees, evergreens and shrubs. John H. Flemer, president of F&F Nurseries Inc., said his family’s roots in the nursery business date back to 1882 when his great-grandfather first established a nursery operation with a partner in Roselle. His father, Albert Flemer Sr., purchased the Holmdel property in 1954.

F&F Nurseries, now under the leadership of Flemer and his brother, Albert B. Flemer Jr., who is vice president, has operated at the Holmdel site since 1954 and also has a location in Marlboro.

“Our father would have been pleased to know that the farmland he purchased more than 50 years ago is being preserved and will remain a farm forever,” Flemer said.

A total of 132 farms covering 10,740 acres have been preserved in Monmouth County.

# # #

Moscuzza Debates "Great Race" Proceeds


October 18, 2007

FROM: Scott Shanley
SDS Media Relations
Tel: 732.925.8386

POC: Janet Moscuzza
Democrat for Middletown Township Committee
Tel: 732.671.7248

Moscuzza Debates "Great Race" Proceeds

Committee Candidates says PTO are worthy beneficiaries

Democrat for Middletown Township Committee Janet Moscuzza recently said proceeds from the township's "Great Race" should be awarded to the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

"I had heard some mention that the proceeds from this race would be going to the schools," she said, "but I suggested that it should go to the PTO because it is much more difficult for them to raise funds."

Moscuzza said the race is comprised of a competitive 5K race in addition to a 1K race and 2K walk/run. The event moves through flat residential areas and is staffed with professional timing and finish line management.

Moscuzza, who is a retired educator with over 30 years of experience working in various school systems, said she has been involved with two separate parent-teacher organizations in the past. According to her, both groups found that it was not easy to come up the funds deemed necessary to host various events throughout the school year.

"Fundraising was always a great deal of work because of the limited volunteers," she said. "It would be just be a very kind gesture if the proceeds of 'The Great Race' could go to a cause that it just as worthy as any other."

This year's race will be held on Saturday, October 20 beginning at 12 p.m. at Middletown High School South on Nut Swamp Road. Cash awards will additionally be awarded to the top male and female finishers.


Scott Shanley
SDS Media Relations
Tel: 732.925.8386

Cool Video of the Day

Thursday, October 18, 2007
CONTACT: Ken Lundberg ( Martinez ) (202)228-5957
Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) (202)224-4744



WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today struck a friendly wager on the outcome of tonight’s big football game between the University of South Florida Bulls (ranked #2 in the nation) and the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights. Senator Martinez is wagering a first batch of fresh Tampa strawberries and Senator Menendez has anted up New Jersey saltwater taffy and cranberries.

Martinez said: “Yet again, another Florida team is on the cusp of a national title. The #2 Bulls will rollover the Scarlet Knights to easily win this game. I am confident Coach Leavitt will lead this team to victory. I look forward to a great game but also a humbling result for Rutgers .”

Sen. Bob Menendez said: “By the time the clock shows all zeros tonight, Sen. Martinez is going to be seeing scarlet. I have faith in Coach Schiano and the boys to give us some more magic against the #2 team in the country. I can taste those strawberries already.”


For the latest news from Sen. Menendez, including video and audio updates, visit

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's going to be a bulldog Halloween in the Beach

Winston and Baxter live in Union Beach. They are both Old English bulldogs, who happen to be getting ready for Halloween.

Blue Mass held in Highlands

A Blue Mass was held in Highlands, commemorating the wonderful services of our police departments. The APP has a wonderful story. Click in the headline and got there.

Listing of NYC bookstores could help in planning trip

I found a great reference for New York City book stores. I wish I had it a few days ago when I was down by the Avenue of the Americas, killing some time before class, in Manhattan. There are a lot of attractions I didn't know were there and so a well planned out day trip can marry function to form.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

U.S. home construction falls to 14-year low

U.S. home construction falls to a new low; consumer confidence is down. What's new these days? The economy is going nowhere fast.

Click on the headline and go to the AP report presented by YahooNews.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Courier would sponsor Women's League event in AH

After being approached by the Atlantic Highlands Republican candidates involved in this year's race, I have consented, on behalf of the newspaper, to being the sponsor of a League of Women Voters event that would seek a public debate by candidates in the borough.

Personally, I truly believe that both the Atlantic Highlands Democratic and Republican parties have fielded a very fine selection of candidates for this year's consideration by the voters. If every community were this fortunate, then Monmouth would be lucky.

I do hope that an event is able to be put together where the public gets to see these candidates on display, as the issues that confront the residents of the borough are important ones and deserve a great deal of consideration and due diligence. There will be more word on this in the days ahead.

Courier welcomes Candia as sales manager

The Courier welcomed its new sales manager this week. Middletown resident Joseph Candia is a long-time marketing and sales professional, who has previously worked for Bellcore and the former Forbes newspaper chain. He holds a Master's degree from Georgian Court University, in Lakewood.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

APP: N.J. residents are voting with their feet

The APP has a strong editorial discussing how New Jersey residents are moving out. Corruption is a big factor for voters, and government is still not on the right track.

Click on the headline and go there.

Middletown Committee to bond $4M to dredge Shadow Lake

The Middletown Township Committee intends on introducing a measure on Monday, bonding $4 million to dredge Shadow Lake. It can be argued that this is a transparent attempt to buy the votes of seniors at Shadow Lake Village. Whatever the merits of dredging the lake, this is another log on the pile of unnecessary debt and added taxation.

At a time when taxpayers and voters are seeking tax relief -- which means lowering taxes -- the Middletown Committee again proves it is possible to create debt for its own sake, for the political 'necessity' of grubbing for a vote.

Middletown Township is not accessible to young homeowners. It is not a place where a resident can retire to. It is a place strapped with debt, where Big Government is open for business and it is wrong. The pandering that is going on to special interests, the Monmouth County GOP Machine, and the profiteering by members of the Middletown Republican Party is absolutely unparalleled by any municipality in Monmouth County. It is time for changing this nonsense and it has been time.

To borrow (bond) $4 million to dredge a lake, instead of seeking and obtaining federal or state grants to do this, is absolutely unsound. Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger has made a great deal about his 'reforms.' On the heels of constructing an $8 million monstrosity, in the Banfield Cultural Arts Center (which is planned to never earn back the bond that created it) the notion that this dredging project is anything other than a boondoggle that is intended to purchase votes is absurd.

Government is at a crossroad in New Jersey: There is a tipping point of taxes beyond which government must grow up and start behaving as a rational creature, reversing the ravages it has put upon residents' wallets. The Middletown Republican Party, which is the dominant party in Middletown, is not, in my opinion, dedicated to being a rational creature that will bring actual tax relief.

No candidate should be elected in this race who advocates for one cent of new taxation, from any party. It is the spend-thrift politicians who share blame about why this state has become a national joke.

Far from this dredging project being any cause to re-elect Mr. Scharfenberger, this project should be the most compelling immediate reason to send him from government and beyond the ability to tax Middletown's residents. For any politician in this race to advocate for unnecessary spending in the midst of a political campaign where providing tax relief is central is absolute hubris, and there has been quite enough of that in government.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Waldorf-Astoria is a NYC landmark worth sight seeing

The Waldorf Astoria, is a NYC landmark. Officially declared a city historical site in 1993, the hotel is more than just a place to stay for the well-heeled Manhattan traveler. The hotel is packed with a rich history spanning back decades. Click on the headline and go there.

HERE Art Gallery is worth the look

The HERE Art Gallery, along the Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, is worth the trip if anyone is planning to go to the city. Click on the headline and check out some of what's happening next in popular art.

Another well-kept NYC secret weekend getaway

John Paul Jones Park, in New York City, affords a convenient weekend get-away for families looking to enjoy autumn in the greatest city in the world. Click on the headline to check out a seldom-touted city gem that is close enough for Jersey commuters.

Food&Wine has some great grilling tips

Food & Wine magazine, in New York, has some great recipes for grilling that the dedicated tailgater may want to consider for tomorrow's NFL rites. Click on the headline and check it out.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blue Jersey reports Dave Rebovich passed away

Blue Jersey is reporting that political columnist Dave Rebovich has died. For those interested in politics, Rebovich was a significant voice in the Garden State.

His thoughts will surely be missed and his work was fair and well thought out. Deepest sympathies to his family.

Click on the headline and go to Blue Jersey for the story.

APP goes after court settlement details

The Asbury Park Press is trying to find out about a sexual discrimination case settled between a former employee and the county. If there is going to be candor in public, where it involves public figures, then that is part of the argument.

Whether it is Republicans or Democrats, this information is part of the discussion. The APP is doing some very strong work. Click on the headline and go to the story.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Downed power line closes Leonardville Road after accident

The Leonardo section of Middletown suffered a loss of power this evening, Oct. 11, due to a traffic accident.

A purple Pontiac was traveling west on Leonardville Road when the 17-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle just past Appleton Avenue, police said.

“The car was zigzagging and going fast as it was coming at me. I thought he was going to hit me so I pulled over,” Atlantic Highlands resident Martha Herz said.

Herz was traveling east on Leonardville Road, when she saw the driver hit the power pole, she said. Middletown patrolman James Roese said the driver lost control because of the wet road.

The driver, whose name was not released, suffered injuries to his chest and head due to the airbag inflation, Roese said. The driver was treated by the Middletown First Aid Squad and refused further medical treatment, police said.

The vehicle stuck the base of the power pole and broke it at the base, Roese said. Consequently, the wires fell to the ground and police secured the area, Roese added.

The wires in the transformer atop the pole produced several explosions that neighbors watched from their homes. Herz watched as the wires sparked and exploded over the road, she added.

“It blew about 20 feet. It was blue and it sparkled like a Christmas tree,” Leonardville Road resident Dotti Bork said. Bork watched the light show from across the street with her husband, William, on their porch.

According to Middletown First Aid Captain Robert Pfleger, power will be down in the immediate surrounding areas for a couple of hours. Jersey Central Power and Light (JCPL) will first cease the power to ensure safety, due to the live wires, he said.

“JCPL will cut the power to be safe, then they will secure the telephone pole so it does not fall in the road,” Pfleger said.

Middletown Police, Fire Department, Fire Police and First Aid Squad responded to the event after it was called into the dispatcher at 3:52 p.m., Roese said.

--Alyssa Passeggio
Both photos by Chris Blaszczyk.

Check back to The Courier Blog and Just The News for updates.

M’town: Possible land deal for green acres?/OCT. 11


The Middletown Township Committee passed a resolution to go forward with an application to the Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund (MCOSTF) for grant assistance at a workshop meeting held on Monday Oct. 1.

The governing body discussed the possible purchase of green acres that consists of approximately 60 acres on either side of Kings Highway East between Heritage Drive and Normandy Road. The mayor said there is an operating landscape business that is not included in the purchase. The property in question, commonly known as Block 698 Lot 192 and Block 825 Lot 2Q consists of assessed farmland and open space.

The township, which owns a 50-acre tract of land on Kings Highway East, would like to acquire the property for more open space. The township did not comment on what they would like to do with the land if the property was purchased.

The current green acres property borders the land the township is interested in acquiring. “It actually adjoins this property that we are talking about, but it adjoins it behind where the landscaper’s operation is,” Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger said.

When asked by Middletown resident Frederick Wagner how to access the property the township owns, Scharfenberger said, “You can physically access the property from Kings Highway East and also from Florence Road, off of Swartzel Drive, but there is really no formal access to the property”

According to the mayor, the smaller tract of land consists of 15 acres of the land and is currently being used for open space and animal grazing.

“There are virtually no trees on the property and it is directly across the road from the larger piece of property that has a nice old house and barn,” Scharfenberger said.

Scharfenberger said the other parcel of land has approximately 44 acres, which is primarily wetlands.

“A lot of property has wetland issues particularly further back into the property,” the mayor said.

If the township does move forward with the purchase of the property they did not disclose any financial details yet regarding the purchase price.

According to the mayor the township plans to apply for a grant in the amount of $250,000 to the MCOSTF before the township settles into a contract for the purchase of the land located on Kings Highway East.

Middletown resident Don Watson addressed the governing body and questioned how the township would pay for the remainder of the balance if the grant were awarded in the amount of $250,000.

The mayor said that the township normally pays for 50 percent of the cost for open space, while the county pays for the other half.

According to MCOSTF Web site, Monmouth County will fund up to fifty percent of eligible project costs and county funding will be limited to $250,000 per project. Matching funds must be non-county funds.

After a Holland Drive resident voiced support for open space instead of building condos on the property, Scharfenberger said, “They can’t build condos there no matter what. They can build single-family houses on both tracts under current zoning laws.”

“That doesn’t mean that the zoning has to stay that way,” said Watson. “As we see in Navesink, they received permission from the state to use open space land for 180-unit complex.”

Committeeman Thomas Wilkens said, “I just want to reiterate the fact that today we are just looking to authorize the application for grant money.”

The next township meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 15.

This General Election should be about tax money/OCT. 11

How government spends money has got to be the most important thing in this coming election.

Regardless of political parties or affiliations, who has the nicest signs or the best slogans, the issue of public financing is front and center, whether or not the candidates or the electorate like it or not.

From a purely common sense perspective, opening a business in New Jersey is a poor business decision right now. The same can be said for purchasing a home, or acquiring land.

The solution for solving these economic problems can’t be chanting how great the Garden State is for business, despite the reality of the situation.

Business in New Jersey is hammered by over-regulation; endless and repetitive documentation for various levels (municipal, county and state); and zoning decisions that are more rooted in partisanship than common sense. It’s not a big secret anymore — people know. New Jersey has solidly earned its well-cultivated image of disliking business.

So, the burden of funding various levels of government falls on home and property owners. Since this is a “home-rule” state, and that means government is mirrored on every level (local, county and state) so there is practically no synergy between any of them. Every level of government is an ‘island’ and every island is funded by the taxpayers.

Every time any level of government wants to raise taxes, it can without hardly any oversight. Without business propping up the economy, that leaves the taxpayer out there by themselves, waiting for the next assault on their wallets.

Every politician has great ideas about saving money during the election season, and after that season the promises seem to get forgotten and there’s a bigger tax bill because of some ridiculous idea or other during the year.

Right now, I would not invest in the purchase of one more foot of land in New Jersey, not an inch of space more than I have.

The tax rate varies with the whims of partisan politics for whatever party is involved in leadership and the last thing on the politicians’ mind is lowering the tax rate.

Lawmakers at the state level want to talk about ‘side dish’ legislation about smoking or J-walking on Sunday, anything but the real issue of taxation and how government is spending money.

If a candidate cannot tell a taxpayer how they are going to cut taxes, then that candidate shouldn’t be elected, from either party.

The days where residents could afford to cast “knee-jerk votes” are gone if they were ever here.

If every candidate who wins on November 6th is the candidate that has a plan and intention to cut taxes then the voter will do well.

Big Government is not a concept of one party. Sure, the rhetoric about Big Government and making government smaller comes from one party, but the reality is there is no practical difference between the ideologies of the two parties, minus the sidebar issues of special interests.

Whether or not a candidate is for or against a tax cut has nothing to do with any ‘special interest.’ It is a matter of general interest, and it should be the single-most important issue in the campaign.

If this election is not about whether taxes are cut or not is the difference between whether it was worthwhile to taxpayers or just to partisan machines.

Passeggio speaks to friends of late Middletown youth

Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio has written a good story about Dana Centanni, a Middletown youth, who was recently and tragically killed in an East Brunswick accident. She will be posting this at JustBayshoreNews sometime this morning. The story is a celebration of Ms. Centanni's life, through the eyes of some of her closest friends. Click on the headline to go to JustBayshoreNews.

Marques: It's time to run township like a business

By JIM PURCELL/The Courier/Oct. 11 edition

Hazlet resident Joseph H. Marques, 52, Courtland Drive, is running for a three-year term on the Township Committee.

The married father of two is employed as a sales consultant with Verizon, in Hamilton.

He has earned a bachelor's of science degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, as well as a certificate in computer programming from Chubb Institute, in Parsippany. He rounded out his education by receiving a master certificate in information technology and project management from AT&T, in conjunction with Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken.

Marques has made Hazlet his home for 16 years, and said he has a clear vision of what he wants to do in office, if elected during the General Election held on Nov. 6th.

"I want to continue the work that has been started by Mayor Jim DiNardo and the Democratic majority on the committee," Marques said. "In particular, I want to increase the recreational opportunities in town for the kids."

Marques said this can be done while maintaining a low tax rate for residents. "I think we can save more money on the committee for residents," he said.

Marques said his professional experience has been controlling projects. "Government needs to use common sense when it involves spending. Tax dollars need to be spent with a great deal of judgment, especially at a time when the public needs to see elected officials that do not let them down," he said. "This committee is very energetic and enthusiastic about making things better in town. The committee majority, as well as my running mate (Gerard Jaume) and myself, know the tough time residents have been through in recent years and intend on putting that in the past."

The candidate said he believes more efforts have to be made to obtain state grants for various projects in town. "Some things are going to need to be bonded. But the township has to be aggressive about finding whatever grant money is available out there to help support community projects," he said.

Marques noted that, three years ago, during a different Hazlet Township Committee administration, the municipality received a $100,000 grant to clean up the pond inside Veteran's Park. "Only $40,000 of the grant was used and the project was never finished. Now the current administration is making a proposal to use the remaining $60,000 and not lose them. Following through on projects is necessary, in government as well as in life," Marques said.

Hazlet and Business

Marques said there are some empty commercial locations along Route 35 and he wants to explore new ways to attract businesses. In the case of Route 36, Marques said that revitalization is, in his opinion, a likely way to encourage business.

"The committee needs to develop a plan to expand the township's tax base, without creating additional burdens on the infrastructure," Marques said. "I think it's time for Hazlet to start comprehensive planning, looking over a multi-year period."

Marques said he is an advocate of "working smarter, not harder in making good government."

He said many Hazlet residents have to travel to work 54 miles away. Marques said his goal is to attract higher caliber businesses to the township, which can offer actual career opportunities to area residents. "I think Hazlet can attract a mid-sized company that can benefit from being here, and offer more than low-paying jobs to residents. It's just a matter of putting the work in," Marques said.

Marques said attracting business has to be approached like a project in itself. "The only reason Hazlet has not moved forward in the area of business is because previous administrations did not try hard enough," he said. "There's no reason in the world why Hazlet cannot move ahead with business, and that helps to lessen the tax burden on our residents.

Marques said that as well as cleaning up the township's finances, he is looking to clean up Hazlet insofar as community beautification.

"Where it involves public properties and the area around public buildings, I think it is time to follow up on several community beautification projects that have been put off in the past," Marques said.

Part of moving the community forward, Marques said, is motivating residents. "I think I want to spend a lot of time encouraging and supporting community volunteers. These are the people that are really making a difference in Hazlet. I want to encourage more of it, and make sure our volunteer community groups receive all the help that the committee can give them," he said.

Marques concluded that running government like a business includes fiscal responsibility, strong management skills and positive motivation, toward township employees, volunteers and residents.

"I'm looking to build consensus in the community, not divisions. I think Hazlet has had enough of partisanship. It's really time to just work with each other and focus on the town," Marques said.

Passeggio will be putting blog to work posting stories

Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio is going to post a few of her articles on her blog, JustBayshoreNews, today.

Ms. Passeggio has been turning in a strong body of work recently in the Atlantic Highlands-Highlands area.

Click on the headline and go to JustBayshoreNews.

Independent reports on Keyport waterfront redevelopment

Independent Staff Writer Karen Bowes has written a strong piece about the proposed Keyport waterfront redevelopment. Ms. Bowes has been doing some good work.

Scarlet Knights are working through adversity

Rutgers University's Scarlet Knights are 3-2 so far this season, perhaps not meeting the expectations of some pre-season estimates.

But not so many years ago the football program at the university was on life support and a rubber stamp win against nearly any of its opponents on the college gridiron.

This team may be working some things out this year, but Head Coach Greg Schiano and his team are really doing a great job.

Even good teams lose games now and again, and though Rutgers is dealing with some speed bumps, the reinvigorated Scarlet Knights Football Program is a credit to the state, as well as the university.
Click on the headline to go to the story.

APP pens piece about Pay to Play

This is another strong article about Pay to Play. This series is something special, and the APP has put out something that absolutely needs to be said.

Click on the headline and go to the story.