Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pallone Announces $1.5 Million for Repairs to Long Branch Parks




WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced that Long Branch, NJ will be receiving more than $1.5 million in federal funding to repair two of the city’s recreational parks, Manahassett Park and Jackson Woods Park, both of which were damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy. The funding is being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) via the Sandy aid package Pallone fought for in Congress.

“These grants help to lessen the financial hit that our local governments still face as communities across the state continue to recover from Sandy,” said Congressman Pallone. “And as we continue to rebuild, we have a unique opportunity to improve our public infrastructure so it is stronger and can withstand future storms. I am grateful that FEMA recognizes the importance of these ongoing efforts in New Jersey.”

This allocation provides $1,592,903.71 in federal funding to Long Branch for contractors to make repairs to two of the city’s parks that were damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy. The funding announced today will cover the costs for repairs to the Manahassett Park, including replacing fences, removing and replacing 36,347 square yards of synthetic Field Turf at the soccer and baseball fields, replacing 1,500 square feet of artificial turf at the putting green, and replacing 245 square yards of wood mulch at the playground.

Additionally, the funding will also cover repairs to Jackson Park, including placing 58 cubic yards of crushed stone in the parking lot and replacing fences and gates.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crime Scene Middletown: Recent Police Activity Report 4/8/14 - 4/20/14

Written and Issued by the Middletown Police Department
Tuesday, April 22th, 2014 - Arrests do not indicate convictions


Teresa Burger, age 34, from Buckingham Circle in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Lawrence Seymour on Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Shrewsbury, Red Bank and Freehold Municipal Courts. She was released after posting $2,750.00 bail.

Jessica Gibbon, age 18, from Holmdel Road in Holmdel, NJ, arrested on April 8, 2014 by Patrolman Ricardo Cruz on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. She was released after posting $300.00 bail.

Pamela Hall, age 29, from Henry Place in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Jason Caruso on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Monmouth County Superior Court. She was held on $25,000.00 bail.

James Zoubek, age 32, from Bay Hill Road in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Daniel Benbrook on Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Woodbridge, Carteret and Newark Municipal Court. He was released after posting $1,078.00 bail.

Jose Lopez, age 26, from Liberty Street in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Brenden Santiago for Criminal trespass, Disorderly Conduct, Obstructing the Administration of Law and Resisting Arrest. He was released pending a court date.

Terrence Greene, age 57, from Stanford Avenue in Colonia, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman John Walsifer on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the North Hunterdon Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.

Michael Parulis, age 46, from Main Street in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Kent Thornton on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Municipal Court. He was released on his own recognizance.

John Gullo, age 22, from Grant Avenue in Whiting, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Detective Kelly Godley for Use of a Stolen Credit Card and on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Marlboro Municipal Court. He was released on his own recognizance.

Teresa Burger, age 34, from Buckingham Circle in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Lawrence Seymour on Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Shrewsbury, Red Bank and Freehold Municipal Courts. She was released after posting $2,750.00 bail.

Steven Mara, age 24, from Libby Place in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 11, 2014 by Patrolman John Mele for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). He was released pending a court date.

Sulabh Saxena, age 37, from Baytree Circle in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 10, 2014 by Patrolman Michael Pintilie on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Holmdel Municipal Court. He was released after posting $180.00 bail.

On April 10, 2014 Patrolman Brenden Santiago arrested a 15 year old male juvenile for Being under the Influence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

Kenneth Lewandowski, age 50, from Tatum Drive in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 12, 2014 by Patrolman Joshua Midose for Criminal Mischief. He was held on $7,500.00 bail set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Nicholas Florio, age 19, from Mackenn Place in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 11, 2014 by Patrolman James Beirne for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

Alexnader giuriceo, age 19, from Greenfield Way in Belford, NJ, arrested on April 11, 2014 by Patrolman Antonio Ciccone for Possesion of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana. He was released pending a court date.

Jake Monahan, age 18, from Brookside Drive in Belford, NJ, arrested on April 11, 2014 by Patrolman Antonio Ciccone for Possess of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana. He was released pending a court date.

Steven Crosby, age 20, from Hollie Drive East in Belford, NJ, arrested on April 11, 2014 by Patrolman Antonio Ciccone for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana. He was released pending a court date.

James Materano, age 22, from Melrose Terrace in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 11, 2014 by Patrolman Scott Davis on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $1,000.00 bail.

On April 11, 2014 Patrolman James Beirne arrested a 17 year old female juvenile from Red Bank, NJ, for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was released pending a court date.

On April 11, 2014 Patrolman James Beirne arrested a 17 year old female juvenile form Middletown, NJ, for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was released pending a court date.

Valerie Torres Rivera, age 20, from Selema Drive in Hagerstown, MD, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Patrolman Frank Mazza for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Underage Possession of Alcohol. She was released pending a court date.

Eric Ojeda, age 20, from Neville Street in Perth Amboy, NJ, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Patrolman Frank Mazza for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Underage Possession of Alcohol. He was released pending a court date.

Pedro Santiago, age 19, from Park Avenue in Perth Amboy, NJ, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Patrolman Frank Mazza for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Underage Possession of Alcohol. He was released pending a court date.

John Bleibdrey, age 30, from Hosford Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on April 17, 2014 by Patrolman Daniel Benbrook for Simple Assault, Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

Muhammand Shafique, age 19, from McCamble Road in Holmdel, NJ, arrested on April 17, 2014 by Patrolman Scott Davis on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $250.00 bail.

Edgar Santoro, age 50, from 99th Street in Bay Harbor, FL, arrested on April 17, 2014 by Patrolman Scott Davis on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $2,500.00 bail.

Kenneth Manuel, age 20, from Wilson Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on April 16, 2014 by Patrolman Joshua Midose for Underage Possession of Alcohol. He was released pending a court date.

John Lachky, age 39, from Monmouth Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on April 16, 2014 by Patrolman Savvas Roumeliotis for Contempt of a Court warrant issued by the Union Beach Municipal Court. He was released pending a court date.

Karen Lasala, age 29, from Wall Street in Eatontown, NJ, arrested on April 16, 2014 by Patrolman Savvas Roumeliotis on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Eatontown Municipal Court. She was held on $600.00 bail.

James Lamar, age 28, from Ideal Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on April 16, 2014 by Patrolman James Beirne for Stalking and Harassment. He was released after posting $7,500.00 bail with a 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Erin Solleder, age 38, from Cole Place in Belford, NJ, arrested on April 15, 2014 by Patrolman Stephen Greenwood on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Neptune Municipal Court. She was held on $1,000.00 bail.

Erhard Orban, age 26, from Siloam Road in Freehold, NJ, arrested on April 15, 2014 by Patrolman Christian Clark for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe. He was released pending a court date.

Arlene Auarez, age 22, from Mitchell Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ, arrested on April 15, 2014 by Detective Daniel Sullivan for Theft by Deception and Forgery. She was released pending a court date.

James Jeffrey, age 21, from Route 812 in Harrisville, NY, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Corporal Robert McNair for Receiving Stolen Property and Eluding. He was released pending a court date.

Leeann Kenny, age 21, from Raritan Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Detective Daniel Sullivan for Shoplifting from the Shop Rite Store. She was released pending a court date.

Sheila Fulton, age 47, from Lincoln Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Detective Daniel Sullivan for Shoplifting from the Shop Rite Store. She was released pending a court date.

Brian Scheinberg, age 25, from Stevenson Drive in Marlboro, NJ, arrested on April 14, 2014 by Patrolman Anthony Bumbico on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Monmouth County Superior Court. He was released pending a court date.

On April 17, 2014 Patrolman Thomas Russo arrested a 16 year old female juvenile from River Plaza, NJ, for Criminal Trespass. She was released pending a court date.

On April 17, 2014 Patrolman Thomas Russo arrested a 16 year old female male juvenile from Atlantic Highlands, NJ, for Criminal Trespass. He was released pending a court date.

Mark Seaman, age 23, from Old Mill Road in Holmdel, NJ, arrested on April 19, 2014 by Patrolman Brenden Santiago for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe and Possession of Heroin. He was released pending a court date.

John Lachky, age 39, from Port Monmouth Road in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on April 19, 2014 by Patrolman Jason Troshane for Theft by Deception, Fraud and Falsifying Records. He was held pending a court date.

Sujatha Nair, age 43, from Essex Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on April 18, 2014 by Patrolman David Ringkamp for Driving While Intoxicated. She was released pending a court date.

Robert Colton, age 35, from Oakland Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, arrested on April 18, 2014 by Patrolman Christopher Menendez for Terroristic Threats. He was released after posting $3,000.00 bail with a 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.

John Bleibdrey, age 30, from Hosford Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on April 18, 2014 by Patrolman Raymond Sofield for Simple Assault. He was released pending a court date.

Carla Scott, age 33, from North 8th Avenue in Mount Vernon, NY, arrested on April 18, 2014 by Patrolman Brenden Santiago for Stalking, Conspiracy and Theft. She was held on $120,000.00 bail set by Judge Jones of the Monmouth County Superior Court.

Tiffany Leconte, age 26, from Brookfield Drive in Jackson, NJ, arrested on April 18, 2014 by Patrolman John Walsifer for Violation of a Court Order, Stalking and Conspiracy. She was held on $102,500.00 bail set by Judge Jones of the Monmouth County Superior Court.

Christine Hurst, age 47, from Jason Court in Cliffwood, NJ, arrested on April 20, 2014 by Patrolman Donald Coates for Driving While Intoxicated. She was released pending a court date.

Jenine Reed, age 32, from Atlantic Avenue in North Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 19, 2014 by Patrolman Brian Dilworth for Simple Assault. She was released pending a court date.

Emillie Ficarra, age 20, from Karyn Terrace East in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 19, 2014 by Patrolman Frank Mazza for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was released pending a court date.

Let the Earth Day Festivities Begin!


Dear Ocean-Monmouth Friends,

It feels like spring has finally sprung! And just in time for an Earth Day (err, Earth week) celebration. Check out the full list of activities coming up and I hope you can join us as we celebrate this beautiful planet we call home!  

EARTH DAY RALLY:
OPPOSING THE PINELANDS PIPELINE & BL ENGLAND PLANT
Join us on on Earth Day as we stand together in opposition to the Pinelands pipeline and the air and water pollution spewing from the BL England power plant. In January the Pinelands Commission REJECTED this dirty energy deal and now politicians and fossil fuel interests are attempting to circumvent the democratic process and strong arm this ill-conceived project through. We cannot allow that to happen! Stand with us as we rally in support for New Jersey's clean energy future and our opposition to more dirty fossil fuels through this pristine Pinelands region.

When: Tuesday, April 22nd at 12:30pm

Where: Beesley's Point Beach, Harbor Rd, Marmona, NJ 
(this is a public beach located next to the Tuckahoe Inn)
Following the Rally there will be a series of teach-ins from 1:15pm to 2:30pm focusing on different aspects of the pipeline battle:
-          BL England's permits and litigation against the plant
-          The ecology of the Pinelands region
-          Fossil fuel pollution and climate change
-          Cumulative Impacts of Natural Gas Infrastructure: from fracking to pipeline construction

Film Screenings:
Groundswell Rising: Protecting Our Children's Air & Water

Emmy Award-winning Resolution Pictures captures the passion of people across the country who are engaged in a David and Goliath confrontation with the oil & gas industry. Be inspired as they stand together and challenge a system that promotes profit over health. In the film, we meet mothers, fathers, scientists, doctors, farmers and people from all sides of the political spectrum taking a hard look at energy extraction techniques that are not proven to be safe. With the oil & gas industry's expansion of fracking seen as a moral issue, this provocative documentary tracks a people's movement, a groundswell rising towards reason and sensitivity, to protect life, today and tomorrow. This "must see" film will be playing at 2 locations.
Join us at a screening near you!

When: Saturday, April 26th at 2:00pm
Where: Toms River Public Library, Mancini Hall
 101 Washington St, Toms River, NJ 08753
Feel free to share the event page with friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/272595242901040
       

When: SundayApril 27th at 4:00pm
Where: Waterspirit, Stella Maris Retreat Center
 981 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Feel free to share the event page with friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/741508035881823
Both screenings will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on actions being taken here in New Jersey to protect our state from toxic fracking waste. There is a $10 suggested donation to help cover the costs of making the film. (Flyers for both films are attached.)
Sponsored by: Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Food & Water Watch, and the New Jersey Sierra Club

Chasing Ice

This award winning documentary tells the story of National Geographic photographer James Balog's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. Enjoy the spectacular beauty of the photography and see the reality of the effects of climate change. 

If you haven't seen this film yet, you don't want to miss it! I've seen it twice and can't wait to see it again - the story is brilliantly told and the cinematography will take your breath away!

When: April 29th at 2:00pm AND 7:00pm
Where: Waterspirit, Stella Maris Retreat Center
 981 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Discussion to follow the film. This is a free public screening and ice cream will be served! (Flyer attached.)

Sponsored by: Waterspirit, Sierra Club, and Food & Water Watch


One of the best ways to grow a movement is to spread the word and enlighten others, so please feel free to invite and share these event details with family, friends, neighbors, and any other local activists that may be interested in attending!  

I hope you can join us for any and/or all of these wonderfully uplifting, engaging, and inspiring events.

Onward,
Lauren


Lauren Petrie
Organizer
Food & Water Watch

Earth Day Letter: U.S. should take lead in creating low-carbon economy

This letter appears today in the Asbury Park Press:


Earth Day is a good time to be reminded that all of us on this planet share the “global commons.”

Peer-reviewed climate scientists such as in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report agree we must reduce the greenhouse gasses that cause dangerous climate disruption. Staying with Business as Usual is not going to get us off the path to more “global weirding” as climate scientist Dr. Katherine Hayhoe calls it.

Given the global nature of the challenge, I was surprised at Eugene Robinson’s concluding remark in his recent commentary (“On climate, business as usual,” April 18,). He said that if China’s leaders begin to transition to renewable energy, maybe the world has a chance.

My question is: since when does the United States of America wait for someone else to take the lead?

If the U.S. would lead the way to a new low-carbon economy, other countries would follow.

Furthermore, American innovation and enterprise would benefit our economy and increase good, long-term jobs.

We can act in our own national interest while leading the way to a safer “global commons” for all.

Lynn Dash

Middletown

Earth Day 2014








We need to take care of the Earth,it's the only planet that we have.
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
 ~Native American Proverb





Earth Day is a reminder of our eternal duty to protect our planet, our home.
- Al Gore 







"The earth does not argue,
Is not pathetic, has no arrangements,
Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise,
Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures,
Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out,
Of all the powers, objects, states, it notifies, shuts none out."

– Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass," 1855


"There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”

– Carl Sagan


“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

– Neil Armstrong




Monday, April 21, 2014

Pallone Voices Opposition to Proposed Shift of Sandy Aid to Other Disasters




WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) spoke out against reports that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is planning to shift a portion of the Sandy relief package to disasters in other regions of the country. Pallone voiced his opposition to any plan that would divert Sandy funds away from the storm’s victims and their rebuilding efforts in favor of unrelated incidents.

“I am absolutely opposed to any efforts to divert Sandy funds and use those dollars for other purposes elsewhere,” said Pallone. “I fought hard to pass the Sandy aid package in Congress and it was outrageous that storm victims were forced to wait for three months for the bill to pass. Now, it is shocking that Members of Congress from other areas of the country who opposed the relief plan and delayed the funding New Jerseyans needed so desperately to recover are angling to redirect Sandy aid funding to their regions.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the potential HUD plan could result in the creation of a competitive grant program, allowing regions affected by other disasters to compete for dollars from the Sandy aid package.

“It is disturbing to hear reports that HUD would consider diverting these funds outside of the Sandy-impacted region when so many New Jerseyans are still struggling to recover and rebuild. The State of New Jersey has estimated that Sandy caused $37 billion in damage,” said Pallone. “Sandy funds must be used for Sandy recovery and not one penny of those funds should be diverted. There must be a full and fair assessment of exactly what New Jerseyans still need to recover before there can be any discussion about anything other than restoring normalcy for Sandy victims and rebuilding storm damaged homes, businesses and infrastructure.”

Pallone, who plans to speak with HUD Secretary Shaun Donavan next week, will inform the Secretary of his opposition to the plan to divert Sandy funds and the need for a comprehensive review of remaining funding needs.

“HUD officials appear to be under the mistaken notion that they are required to spend some of the Sandy aid package in regions of the country not affected by Superstorm Sandy. There is no provision in the law forcing HUD to divert funds to areas outside of the Sandy-affected states,” said Pallone.


CURRIE REACTS TO NEGOTIATION ON ARBITRATION CAP BILL



(Trenton) -- In light of news that Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to negotiate with State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on a law that limits property tax increases by limiting raises to some police and firefighters, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie issued the following statement:

"I am glad to hear that Governor Christie is taking a break from his my-way-or-the-highway approach. It is good that he's willing to negotiate with Speaker Prieto."

"Everyone wants lower property taxes, but there is no shame in allowing municipalities leeway and budgetary discretion after savings on health care costs and pensions are locked-in -- which is something Christie’s conditional veto of the arbitration cap bill denied."

"Unfortunately, when he was not getting what he wanted, Governor Christie started taking cheap shots at Speaker Prieto at a public forum, proving that bullying tactics are the only strategy he knows for exacting concessions on policy matters."

"I am hopeful that policy differences can be resolved and I suggest that in the future the governor adopt a more conciliatory approach before impulsively attacking members of the legislature."

CHAIRMAN CURRIE WOULD "ASK THE GOVERNOR" TO REIMBURSE NEW JERSEY FOR HIS BRIDGEGATE SELF EXAM



(Trenton) -- Tonight, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman wants to know whether the governor will reimburse the state taxpayers for the rising costs of his attempted political rehabilitation, including the sexist "whitewash" compiled by Christie’s loyal, hand-picked lawyers and campaign contributors. Christie is scheduled to appear on New Jersey 101.5 FM at 7 p.m this evening.

Recently, news reports and editorials, like this one, have highlighted inappropriate political activities that public employees in the Christie administration have engaged in during the governmental work day, pointing out that, “the governor's office is not supposed to be used for political campaigning.” Not only has the governor failed to address this concern, he has not explained why the costs of the report his lawyers prepared should be borne by state taxpayers.

Clearly, Garden Staters are concerned about the governor’s abuse of the state treasury for political purposes. According to an NJ.com online poll, the vast majority of respondents (88 percent) believe that he (not we) should pay for the internal bridge scandal review.

“The media serves an important role in holding public officials accountable, but for months Chris Christie has been selective about what questions he will entertain, when and where those questions can be asked, and who is able to ask them. His evasiveness only generates further concern. I have many questions but tonight I would like to know the answer to this straightforward question: Governor, will you reimburse New Jersey taxpayers for the discredited political whitewash that you commissioned?” said Chairman Currie.

No Birth Control But Viagra Is Fine - Says Your Congressman Chris Smith

by District 4 Coalition for Change


No birth control pill but Penis Pumps and Viagra are fine,  our Congressman,Chris Smith, leads Congress in denying women access to birth control through insurance. The same policies cover Viagra and Penis Pumps.

Chris Smith voted against the Violence Against Women's Act in 2013, he is trying to outlaw ALL forms of Birth Control,No Sex Education, No Choice. He also wrote and introduced legislation blocking Rape and Incest Victims from the Choice if impregnated by the attack - Google Chris Smith HR3.

Smith voted against Women's Equal Pay too.

Stop Smith's Violence Against Women - Vote in November and Vote Against Smith's Anti Woman Agenda. http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2014/01/28/house-oks-bill-barring-federal-funds-for-abortion-n1786156

NJ WATCHDOG: Ex-lawmaker doubles his NJ pension




For immediate release:

GOV. CHRISTIE'S CREW HELPS EX-LEGISLATOR DOUBLE HIS PENSION

Larry Chatzidakis needed a favor from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

Nearing his 62nd birthday, the former New Jersey assemblyman had never held a full-time public job. Based on his 11 years as a legislator plus other part-time government posts, Chatzidakis might qualify for a modest state pension of roughly $19,000 a year.

Then a new executive position was created at the Motor Vehicle Commission – in the face of Christie’s vow to cut the state’s work force.

Chatzidakis was hired by MVC in May 2011 at a salary of $95,000 a year. It was also an opportunity to double his annual pension to $38,630 by the time he retired this year.

“It’s a fact I was hired and I retired,” Chatzidakis told New Jersey Watchdog. “The motivation? People can think anything they want.”

The month after he retired, the longtime GOP leader from Burlington County’s Mount Laurel Township returned to the public spotlight to defend Christie’s role in the Bridgegate scandal.

Quid pro or no, the Chatzidakis case illustrates how questionable pension practices continue under the nose of a governor who championed reforms of the state retirement system.

The story is online at http://newjersey.watchdog.org. The direct link is http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2014/04/21/christie-pension-abuse/.

Isn't It Time?


The following is from Congressman Rush Holt's newsletter:

For nearly a decade, the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) so-called “Demographics Unit” conducted wide-scale warrantless spying on Muslims, including at mosques, student associations, and businesses in New York City and even in other states, including New Jersey.  The NYPD targeted people based solely on their religious affiliation, without any reason to believe they were guilty of any crime.

By every metric, the Demographics Unit was a failure. The NYPD acknowledged that it never generated a lead in a criminal or terrorist investigation, and Muslim citizens have told me they felt the chilling effect of being singled out for suspicion by their own government. I have long fought to end this NYPD overreach, including by introducing a congressional resolution to condemn these illicit tactics.

This week brought good and long-overdue news: the NYPD is formally disbanding the Demographics Unit and ceasing its spying on our innocent neighbors.

The best conclusion to draw from the NYPD’s experience is that suspicionless surveillance doesn’t work; it squanders limited law enforcement resources on investigating the innocent; and it destroys the fundamental principle that the government must not treat any person as less than a full citizen above suspicion unless there is a probable cause.  The same conclusion can be applied to the on-going NSA surveillance of Americans.

Upcoming Office Hours in Your Community

Are you having any troubles with the Social Security Administration, the VA, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or any other federal agency?  Or would you like to learn about applying for federal grants or acquiring flags flown over the U.S. Capitol?

If so, I hope you will drop by my upcoming Community Office Hours, where I or a member of my staff will be glad to help.  In the next few weeks, we will be in Middlesex, Trenton, and Old Bridge, and many more events are scheduled soon.  A full schedule is available atholt.house.gov/officehours.

Honoring Significant Milestones

Recently, I heard from constituents in Trenton and in Plainsboro who hoped to surprise their mothers with notes from the President in honor of their 100th birthdays. On their behalf, I reached out to the White House, and the President sent very warm letters of congratulations to each of them.

If you are celebrating a special occasion, I will be glad to request a presidential greeting on your behalf. Generally, the President may send congratulations to U.S. citizens for weddings, births, adoptions, Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold Awards, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, 50th and subsequent anniversaries, and 80th and subsequent birthdays. For further details or assistance, please contact my Staff Assistant, Ms. Wilsar Johnson at 202-225-5801 orwilsar.johnson@mail.house.gov.


Sincerely,

Rush Holt
Member of Congress

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter






Once more to new creation Awake,
and death gainsay,For death is swallowed up of life, And Christ is risen today! 
 ~George Newell Lovejoy

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Easter Concert - Handel's Messiah

Last night's Easter Concert performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, of Handel's Messiah was special. If you don't have the time to watch the nearly 3 hour long concert let it play and just listen while you're working around the house or yard... Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Here Comes Peter Cottontail

It's been quite a while since I posted a cartoon and since we're celebrating Easter this weekend it's time I post one of my most beloved Rankin & Bass cartoon classic from my childhood: Here comes Peter Cottontail.

Seymour S. Sassafrass, an eccentric, yet friendly peddler, and inventor, tells the tale of Peter Cottontail, a young Easter Bunny who lives in April Valley, where the Chief Easter Bunny supervises such Easter items as colored eggs and chocolate candy.

Colonel Wellington B. Bunny, the retiring Chief Easter Bunny, names young Peter his successor despite Peter's propensity for boasting and telling fibs, which is exemplified when his left ear droops. Peter, who has dreamed of being the Chief Easter Bunny almost his entire life, gladly accepts. But not everyone in April Valley is happy with the Colonel's decision. January Q. Irontail, an evil, reclusive rabbit villain who lives in a craggy old tree, alone except for his assistant, a bat named Montresor, wants to be the Chief Easter Bunny...

President Obama's Weekly Address 4/19/14 : President Obama Offers Easter and Passover Greetings

WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s address, the President offered his warmest greetings as millions of Americans celebrate Easter this Sunday and recounted the Passover Seder he hosted at the White House earlier this week, joining Jewish families around the world in their celebration. The President looks forward to taking part with his family in the hope and joy of the Easter season and reminds all Americans, no matter their faith, of the common thread that binds us.