Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Letter: Closed and Abandoned Businesses Sign Of Lack Of Leadership

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

Betsy Ross Farm Market
What the heck is going on in Middletown? It looks like the town is shutting down. There are so many businesses that have closed and many more are for lease or rent.

Betsy Ross Farm Market and the Gulf station at Wilson Avenue, Crustini (a pizza place), Werner Dodge, Enterprise Rent A Car, Bath Fitters and Ryan’s Ice Cream on Route 36 have all closed within the last year. The Depot Inn closed and the Wild Scallion has been closed for years. These businesses are within 2 miles of each other.
Junction Getty station

In the Junction, the Getty station closed as did the cigar store, the nail salon and the children’s consignment store. The old Shell gas station across from Carvel on Leonardville Road has been abandoned for decades and is a disgrace to our town.

Head over to Route 35 and you will see that Pathmark, Steak and Ale, Friendly’s and Pizza Hut are closed. There are other businesses closed too, including but not limited to Bayshore Music Center and the old Hess station by Carraba’s that was abandoned decades ago. These closed businesses are among the multiple for sale/lease/rent properties in town.

Steak & Ale
So what the heck is going on in Middletown? What’s going on has everything to do with the Republican leadership for the past 20 plus years. Their lack of vision and deficit of business sense is shutting down Middletown. Will the last one out please shut off the lights?

Paul J Jansen


Here are  a few more pictures of empty or abandoned businesses around Middletown.

Wild Scallions

Rt 36, Gulf station

Rt 36, Werner Dodge

Napoli Boy's (Ryan's) Ice Cream

Junction building, across from St. Mary's 
Rt 35 Navesink, Bank of America

Computer World, Rt 35

Rt 35,Steak & Ale

Closed Hess Station, Rt 35

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pallone Statement on Daily Fantasy Sports ‘Insider Trading’ Allegations

October 6, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the following statement in response to allegations of ‘insider trading’ within daily fantasy sports. Last month, Pallone requested a Committee hearing to review the legal status of daily fantasy sports, given the Committee’s jurisdiction over professional sports and gambling and the overwhelming popularity of fantasy sports websites.
“The allegation of ‘insider trading’ by employees of daily fantasy sports operators is a prime example of why we need a Congressional hearing to review the legal status of fantasy sports and sports betting. Daily fantasy sports is functioning in a Wild West void within the legal structure. Like professional sports betting, fantasy sports should be legal, but both are currently operating in the shadows. With little legal oversight and deep investments into these sites by the same professional sports leagues that oppose traditional sports wagering, these issues are ripe for Congressional review.”

Pallone Stands with Planned Parenthood for Women’s Health Care

October 6, 2015

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) held a ‘Stand with Planned Parenthood’ press conference to call attention to the work they do for women’s health care and to combat partisan calls to defund the organization. Pallone is the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care. Planned Parenthood, which provides life-saving preventative care for 2.7 million patients nationwide every year, has been under attack by Congressional Republicans based on unsubstantiated claims made against the women’s health organization. Last week, 151 House Republicans voted to shut the government down in order to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Planned Parenthood provides life-saving preventative care for millions of patients each year. Yet, Congressional Republicans’ obsession with demonizing the organization and denying women access to health care has reached a dangerous level,” said Congressman Pallone. “Instead of working to keep our country running, the majority of House Republicans voted for a government shutdown at the expense of women’s health. They have wasted my Committee’s time and resources attacking Planned Parenthood under the guise of an investigation, which has turned up zero evidence to substantiate their claims. But worse yet, they are threatening the health care that millions of women rely upon. More than 100,000 New Jersey residents are served each year by Planned Parenthood’s 26 health centers in our state, nine of which are located in Medically Underserved Areas. It is our responsibility to step up and stand with Planned Parenthood.”

Pallone was joined at the press conference in Perth Amboy by Elizabeth Talmont, Vice President of Research and Program Development, Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey.

“We at Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey are incredibly thankful for Congressman Pallone’s tireless support of women’s health,” said Elizabeth Talmont of Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey. “The Congressman understands the importance of the vital services Planned Parenthood provides, including lifesaving cancer screenings, affordable birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.”

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins, following Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the need for vital life-saving cancer screenings, which Planned Parenthood provides, has been brought to the forefront.

Letter: Constitutional Rights Thrown Out The Window

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

Dear Editor,

Under delusional Dictator Christie, the New Jersey State Supreme Court has thrown rule of law out the window. According to the court, our state constitution no longer applies.

In 2009, under State v. Pena Flores, the court found that the state constitution requires a higher standard than the federal constitution for a vehicle search to be conducted. This generally meant that as long as the car could be secured by the police, a warrant signed by a judge or the driver's voluntary consent was needed to conduct a search. Now under a new ruling, police can questionably claim probable cause to search, which can be something as unsubstantiated as alleged marijuana odor, possibly from lawful medical use anyway.

The state constitution hasn't changed, but our rights have been stolen from us. End the Christie Dictatorship and bring back rule of law to New Jersey.

Toms River

Pallone: “Even a historic settlement can’t undo the unprecedented damage of the BP oil spill”

October 5, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Department of Justice’s announcement that the United States has reached a historic settlement with BP to resolve the civil lawsuit over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The $20.8 billion settlement is the largest settlement with a single entity in the department’s history. Earlier this year, Pallone and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced bills in the House and Senate, respectively, to ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, after families have fought to rebuild their livelihoods and governments have dedicated precious resources towards the clean-up, the money from this settlement is long overdue. While it will help with continued recovery and restoration efforts, the effects of this spill will still be felt for generations. Monetary compensation alone is not enough; we must learn our lesson.

“The spill was the single largest environmental disaster this country has ever seen and it was completely preventable. The technology that the oil industry claims can prevent disaster did not work. Lives were lost and immeasurable damage was done.

“Offshore oil exploration continues to put our environment, and the local economies that rely on it, at risk. Despite the irreparable and detrimental effects of the spill, there are those who stand to profit from expanded drilling under the same conditions and rules that allowed the spill in the first place. We cannot allow these penalties to be the cost of doing business. In order to truly stand by the coastal communities that suffered as a result of dangerous oil drilling, we must shift away from the oil-above-all priorities of this Republican Congress.

“This tragedy must serve as a reminder of the pitfalls of oil dependent energy priorities. We cannot risk more lives or the viability of an entire region just to send more oil abroad.”

NJ Watchdog: Christie shoots from hip but wounds credibility

Chris Christie has never been one to mince words. The New Jersey governor says what he thinks, but it’s not clear if he thought about what he said.

Last week, Christie interrupted his run for the White House long enough to criticize legislators for not paying enough attention to state business. Last month, he warned Hillary Clinton that he plans to grill her about emails in a debate, overlooking his own legal issues. Finally, the portly governor ordered the leader of the New Jersey National Guard to lose weight.

Let’s take it from the top. Christie last week blasted the New Jersey Assembly for not focusing on legislative matters.

“The fact is they don’t want to interrupt their precious campaign time for a minute,” he told a breakfast meeting of business leaders in Hanover.

Later that morning, the governor boarded a plane to Iowa in pursuit of his presidential ambitions. So far this year, Christie has traveled out-of-state on at least 145 days. Yet to hear him tell it, he’s the only one minding the Statehouse.

“I’m the Maytag repairman,” said Christie. “Sit in my office in Trenton, all alone.”

The New Jersey governor likes to shoot from the hip – but those shots often ricochet back to wound his credibility.

While most of the Assembly’s 80 members seek re-election in November, they can generally be found in their legislative districts. Meanwhile, Christie is fixated on New Hampshire, where he plans to hold 100 town meetings before the February primary.

To add injury to insult, New Jersey taxpayers have spent more than $1.3 million for the travel costs of the state police troopers who accompany Christie on his trips away from the Garden State.

The complete story is online at

Letter: NJ Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are a Sham

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

Dear Editor,

New Jersey's medical marijuana dispensary system is a sham. A handful of politically connected business people (one of which is former Gov. Whitman's brother) have been given a green light by the Christie Administration to become a state-backed federally illegal drug cartel.

The State of New Jersey's position is that only medical marijuana produced by the state-backed cartel is lawful, and home grow medicine (or medicine from out-of-state dispensaries) is an illegal drug, amounts to a racketeering scheme under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This scheme creates a monopoly on a federally illegal substance and unfairly leaves legitimate patients and caregivers subject to state-level criminal prosecution.

While New Jersey may remove state-level criminal penalties against medical marijuana, it has no power to affirmatively authorize a select few to violate federal law, while prosecuting the rest.

New Jersey's medical marijuana system is a mafia-controlled for-profit business designed to maximize profits for the politically corrupt, at the expense of patients. Overpriced, sub-par products are being sold by these businesses. State officials have become co-conspirators in a federally illegal scheme.

Shut down the dispensaries and let patients grow at home.

Eric Hafner
Toms River

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Awesome Covers By Bruce Springsteen

I had no idea Bruce Springsteen performed so many great cover versions of classic tunes when he's on the road. This one is a cover of the Bee Gees 'Staying Alive". He turned a 70's disco classic into a gritty & edgy rock anthem.

On this cover of INXS' "Don't Change", Springsteen took an 80's New Wave song of teenage angst and made it fresh and relevant for today's generation.

At a time when so many classic rockers are having a hard time getting radio exposure, these songs would get played on all the Top 40 stations without a doubt. I'd love to see a studio album full of these.

Pallone on Sensible Gun Reform: “It is not enough to call for action, we must enact change”

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) made the following statement on the need for federal reforms for gun safety.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Roseburg tragedy, their families and their community. As the President said, however, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. As a nation, repeated mass shooting tragedies and the gun violence that plagues our communities every day cannot wither the resolve to demand action. As Members of Congress, it is not enough to call for action, we must enact change. We have reached a point as lawmakers and as Americans where we have a question to answer: Can we stand up to special interests and enact the sensible, bipartisan gun reforms that the country wants?

“Of course no one piece of legislation will stop every shooting, but it can help. We have a duty to protect all Americans and to do everything within our power to reduce gun violence and the chance of another mass tragedy like Roseburg, Sandy Hook, or the at least 53 other mass shootings we have witnessed in between. If we can ensure people who want to do harm unto others cannot get their hands on guns, it will be a start. If we ban high capacity magazines, it will be a start. If we can reduce the number of guns in our communities that were built to kill people, it will be a start. If we can close the gun show loophole, it will be a start. If we can verify the identity of those purchasing ammunition online, it will be a start. There is legislation to bring about these simple and common-sense changes. Just this week I – along with 146 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle – called on the Speaker to enact common-sense gun safety legislation. Now, Republican leadership must have the courage to get started.”

President Obama's Weekly Address 10/3/15: Congress Should Do its Job and Pass a Serious Budget

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President emphasized that we need to do everything we can to strengthen economic growth and job creation. This week, despite the fact that more than half of Republicans in Congress voted to shut down the government for the second time in two years, Congress managed to pass a last-minute bill to keep the government open for another ten weeks. That means that in December, we could face yet another Republican threat to shut down the government. The President emphasized that Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and do its job. He stressed that Republicans and Democrats need to work together to pass a budget that fully funds the government and reverses the harmful sequestration cuts, and vowed that he would not sign another shortsighted spending bill like the one Congress sent him this past week.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Recess: A break from classes during the school day or year (Encarta Dictionary)

This is an important issue the 4th "R" of Education (Recess) is just as important and conducive to learning as the other 3 (Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic). Kids need a break during the day so that their brains can absorb and comprehend what was taught in the classroom. - MM

Petitioning Middletown Board of Education Members, Superintendent William George III,

We the members of the Middletown school community request that you reconsider the reduction of recess and lunch time periods in your effort to increase academic study within the class day.

The American Academy of pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that elementary students be provided with scheduled periods of unstructured physical activity and play every day and that this time not be reduced in effort to increase academic study (Murray & Ramstetter, 2013).

Numerous studies purport this claim indicating benefit of recess to support and enhance the social, physical, and emotional development of children. Reducing the time allotted for unstructured play either in lieu of increased academics or as punitive measures for misbehavior robs our children not only of these benefits but also of the opportunities for independent growth and decision-making.

We ask that you consider the holistic needs of our children and adhere to the supported research outlined, as well as parental input and reinstate the prior time frame and unstructured nature of recess. Thank you for your consideration.

Murray, R. & Ramstetter, C. (2013). From the American Academy of Pediatrics

Policy Statement: The Crucial Role of Recess in School. Pediatrics, 131 (1). p. 183 -188
(doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-2993)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997). Guidelines for school and community programs to promote lifelong physical activity among young people. MMWR Recomm Rep. 46(RR-6):1–36

National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. (2011). Recess and the Importance of Play: A Position Statement on Young Children and Recess. Washington, DC: National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education; 2002. Retrieved from:

Sibley B, & Etnier J. (2003). The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children: a meta-analysis. Pediatr Exerc Sci.15. p. 243–256

Stellino M.B., & Sinclair C.D. (2008). Intrinsically motivated, free-time physical activity: considerations for recess. J Phys Educ, Recreat Dance,79(4). P.37–40

Middletown Flood Advisory October 2-4

This is a message from Middletown Emergency Management. Periods of heavy rain and high wind are possible through Sunday, October 4th. Street flooding can be expected due to higher than normal tides. High tide will be 12:21am and 12:44pm on Saturday and 1:20am and 1:41pm on Sunday. Please take all necessary precautions.

Pallone Urges Congress to Examine Safety of Turf Fields

October 2, 2015

“In the Absence of Definitive Information on Crumb Rubber, Our Children Cannot be the Guinea Pigs”

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement urging Committee Republicans to prioritize hearings that examine the safety of turf fields. Last year, Pallone requested that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluate the potential health risks that crumb rubber poses to those that come into regular contact with turf fields:

“Crumb rubber is known to contain potentially hazardous chemicals, but there is no clear information about how exposure to this product affects our health. And yet, we send our young kids off to soccer practice and football practice to play on turf fields lined with this substance.

“The fact that crumb rubber has become so prevalent and that we still know so little about potential health risks it poses is troubling. In the absence of definitive information on crumb rubber, our children cannot be the guinea pigs. More research and assessment must be done so that parents and players have the answers they need.

“Last October, I requested a study be done to examine what effects exposure to the chemicals in crumb rubber may have on athletes who play on turf fields and come into contact with crumb rubber on a regular basis. I also asked that more research be done to determine whether repeated exposure to crumb rubber increases the risk of lymphoma, leukemia and other blood cancers.

“A year later, we still do not have any answers, and that is unacceptable. In the absence of federal action, states are moving ahead with studies and legislation. States have been forced to lead the way on so many chemical risks, from microbeads to flame retardants, because our federal chemical regulatory program is not working. But adoption of different standards in different states will not provide parents and athletes with the peace of mind they deserve.

“It is clear that more data is needed to evaluate the risks that exist from exposure to crumb rubber in athletic turf and its effect on human health. Congress has a responsibility to do more, and we must. I urge Committee Republicans to prioritize this and schedule hearings to finally examine the safety of turf fields.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Anonymous Postcard Asks "Why is no one talking about the "Restructuring" at Poricy?"

"Mike, Why is no one talking about the "restructuring" at Poricy?", asked an anonymous postcard that I received in the mail recently. That's a good question that I don't have an answer to.

At one of the Township Committee meeting back in August it was mentioned that the Department of Recreation, which used to be housed at Croydon Hall before being moved out to make room for Trinity Hall School, was moving from the old Port Monmouth satellite branch of the Middletown Library on Main Street, to the Poricy Park Nature Center. A notice was posted to the Township website shortly there after, which I posted  HERE with a commented.

Since I last posted about it, I've heard that a few individuals were let go and a number of volunteers were told that their services were no longer needed.  I've also heard that a number of  activity fees were either imposed or raised substantially as a result and a part of the activity center was being remodeled to house the Dept. of Recreation.

I haven't been over to Poricy Park in a few years, since my son finished Cub Scouts. The grounds and Activity Center were nicely kept and the people there were always wonderful to the visitors. I would suspect that some of that "nicety" will be affected by the changes.

If anyone else has any further information that they would like to add, feel free to leave a comment, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

NJ Watchdog: Christie's transparency disappears

Chris Christie and the case of a public record that mysteriously shrunk in half are returning to Superior Court.

Last month, the court ordered the governor’s office to release its “secret” directory of media contacts and VIPs, assembled at taxpayers’ expense.

But what Christie’s staff gave New Jersey Watchdog last week contained only half of the information described in court papers. Instead of 2,500 names, the list has only 1,229 entries.

Judge Mary C. Jacobson will hear arguments next week on whether or not the record was altered before its release, a possible violation of the court’s order.

It is another chapter in the governor’s contentious battle to keep confidential a key cog in a publicity machine that turned Christie into a national figure and set the stage for his White House run.

The list was created by the Christie’s communications staff of 16 full-time state employees paid $1.36 million in salaries last year, New Jersey Watchdog found. It helped the governor score countless national television appearances, plus 8,761,511 views on YouTube, 176,955 likes on Facebook and 6,810 tweets to 489,000 followers on Twitter during his first five years in office.

At the center of the latest dispute is a certification by Matt Katz of WNYC. Katz was allowed to review but not copy the list at the governor’s office last year, as part of a settlement in a public records lawsuit by New York Public Radio.

Katz reported the list contained roughly 2,500 names. In viewing the record released to New Jersey Watchdog, he found “substantial differences” between it and what the governor’s staff had allowed him to inspect. In his statement to the court, Katz gave specific examples of information conspicuously missing from the list.

The complete story is online at