Daily Archives: September 27, 2008

NJDEP Release: Please Don’t Feed the Bears


TRENTON – New Jersey’s black bears are fattening up right now to prepare for winter denning, and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today reminded residents to avoid tempting them with an easy meal by taking special care with food storage and garbage disposal.

“Black bears are a valued part of New Jersey’s natural landscape, and many residents enjoy seeing them from a distance. But when bears venture into backyards to help themselves to the contents of garbage cans or bird feeders, that’s a problem,”

Commissioner Jackson said. “Keeping garbage in bear-resistant containers and bringing in your bird feeders are among the best ways to discourage bears from becoming a nuisance near homes.”

Feeding bears either deliberately or unintentionally by carelessly leaving out food or garbage can have serious consequences for residents, their neighbors and the bears. Bears that learn to associate food with people readily become a nuisance, are more likely to damage property or exhibit aggression, and usually are destroyed to protect the public.

In New Jersey, it’s illegal to feed black bears, and violators face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense.

Incidents involving garbage, bird feeders and nuisance behavior account for an overwhelming majority of the bear complaints reported to the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Along with properly storing garbage, residents should avoid putting out bird feeders. Instead, consider attracting birds to backyards with nesting materials and birdhouses.

Though most of New Jersey’s black bears live in the northwestern portion of the state, sightings have been reported in all 21 counties. Sightings in residential areas are not considered a problem, if the bears are exhibiting normal behavior and are not creating a nuisance or threatening public safety.

Residents who suddenly encounter a bear should remain calm. Do not feed the bear, and do not run. Make sure the bear has an escape route. Avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak with a low, assertive voice.

To minimize the potential for encounters with black bears near homes, residents are advised to take the following precautions:

* Never feed a black bear.
* Use bear-resistant garbage containers, if possible. Otherwise, store all garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and place them along the inside walls of your garage, or in the basement, a sturdy shed or other secure area.
* Put out garbage on collection day, not the night before.
* Wash garbage containers with a disinfectant solution frequently to remove odors. Draping rags soaked in bleach over your garbage bags also helps to eliminate odors.
* Avoid feeding birds, especially if you live in an area frequented by bears. If you choose to feed birds, do so during daylight hours only, between December 1 and April 1, when bears are least active. Suspend the bird feeder from a free-hanging wire, making sure it’s at least 10 feet off the ground. Bring the feeder indoors at night. Clean up
spilled seeds and shells daily.
* Do not place meat or any sweet food in compost piles.
* Clean up after pets. If you feed them outside, remember to pick up any leftover food and remove bowls after they have finished.
* Clean outdoor grills thoroughly after each use. Grease and food residue can attract bears.
* Report bear damage, nuisance behavior or aggressive bears to the local police department or to the DEP’s hotline at 1(877) WARN DEP.

To learn more about New Jersey’s black bears, visit
http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/bearinfo.htm. In addition to brochures and other information
about living with black bears, the DEP provides free bear education seminars to schools
and civic organizations.

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Filed under black bears, NJDEP, press release

NJDEP Release: Please Don’t Feed the Bears


TRENTON – New Jersey’s black bears are fattening up right now to prepare for winter denning, and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today reminded residents to avoid tempting them with an easy meal by taking special care with food storage and garbage disposal.

“Black bears are a valued part of New Jersey’s natural landscape, and many residents enjoy seeing them from a distance. But when bears venture into backyards to help themselves to the contents of garbage cans or bird feeders, that’s a problem,”

Commissioner Jackson said. “Keeping garbage in bear-resistant containers and bringing in your bird feeders are among the best ways to discourage bears from becoming a nuisance near homes.”

Feeding bears either deliberately or unintentionally by carelessly leaving out food or garbage can have serious consequences for residents, their neighbors and the bears. Bears that learn to associate food with people readily become a nuisance, are more likely to damage property or exhibit aggression, and usually are destroyed to protect the public.

In New Jersey, it’s illegal to feed black bears, and violators face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense.

Incidents involving garbage, bird feeders and nuisance behavior account for an overwhelming majority of the bear complaints reported to the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Along with properly storing garbage, residents should avoid putting out bird feeders. Instead, consider attracting birds to backyards with nesting materials and birdhouses.

Though most of New Jersey’s black bears live in the northwestern portion of the state, sightings have been reported in all 21 counties. Sightings in residential areas are not considered a problem, if the bears are exhibiting normal behavior and are not creating a nuisance or threatening public safety.

Residents who suddenly encounter a bear should remain calm. Do not feed the bear, and do not run. Make sure the bear has an escape route. Avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak with a low, assertive voice.

To minimize the potential for encounters with black bears near homes, residents are advised to take the following precautions:

* Never feed a black bear.
* Use bear-resistant garbage containers, if possible. Otherwise, store all garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and place them along the inside walls of your garage, or in the basement, a sturdy shed or other secure area.
* Put out garbage on collection day, not the night before.
* Wash garbage containers with a disinfectant solution frequently to remove odors. Draping rags soaked in bleach over your garbage bags also helps to eliminate odors.
* Avoid feeding birds, especially if you live in an area frequented by bears. If you choose to feed birds, do so during daylight hours only, between December 1 and April 1, when bears are least active. Suspend the bird feeder from a free-hanging wire, making sure it’s at least 10 feet off the ground. Bring the feeder indoors at night. Clean up
spilled seeds and shells daily.
* Do not place meat or any sweet food in compost piles.
* Clean up after pets. If you feed them outside, remember to pick up any leftover food and remove bowls after they have finished.
* Clean outdoor grills thoroughly after each use. Grease and food residue can attract bears.
* Report bear damage, nuisance behavior or aggressive bears to the local police department or to the DEP’s hotline at 1(877) WARN DEP.

To learn more about New Jersey’s black bears, visit
http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/bearinfo.htm. In addition to brochures and other information
about living with black bears, the DEP provides free bear education seminars to schools
and civic organizations.

Leave a comment

Filed under black bears, NJDEP, press release

>Tracking Poll Update

>The latest daily tracking polls all show Sen. Barack Obama moving into a clear lead over Sen. John McCain over the course of the last week.

Diageo/Hotline: Obama 48%, McCain 43%

Gallup: Obama 49%, McCain 44%

Rasmussen: Obama 50%, McCain 44%

Research 2000: Obama 49%, McCain 43%

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Filed under 2008 Presidential Campaign, Barack Obama, John McCain, Presidential Polls

Tracking Poll Update

The latest daily tracking polls all show Sen. Barack Obama moving into a clear lead over Sen. John McCain over the course of the last week.

Diageo/Hotline: Obama 48%, McCain 43%

Gallup: Obama 49%, McCain 44%

Rasmussen: Obama 50%, McCain 44%

Research 2000: Obama 49%, McCain 43%

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Filed under 2008 Presidential Campaign, Barack Obama, John McCain, Presidential Polls

>Focus Groups Find Obama Won Debate

>Political Wire-
During and after the debate, Democracy Corps conducted focus groups among 45 undecided voters in St. Louis, Missouri.

“With Barack Obama gaining momentum, John McCain needed to change the dynamic in the race during tonight’s debate and to shift the focus of the campaign onto friendlier terrain. Instead, Democracy Corps research finds that McCain essentially held his ground in this debate, while Obama emerged with higher personal favorability and increased confidence in his ability to handle critical foreign policy and national security issues.

During and after the debate, Democracy Corps conducted a set of dial and focus groups among 45 undecided voters in St. Louis, Missouri. These voters had an unmistakably Republican tilt, voting for President Bush by a 2-to-1 margin in 2004 and self-identifying as 33 percent Republican and 27 percent Democrat. But playing on his perceived strength of national security and before a friendly audience, McCain could only manage a draw among this group. Of our 45 initial undecided voters, a quarter moved to Obama and a quarter to McCain after the debate with the rest remaining undecided. Moreover, by a 38 to 27 percent margin these voters said that Obama won this debate.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democracy Corps, John McCain, li, political wire, Presidential Debates

Focus Groups Find Obama Won Debate

Political Wire-
During and after the debate, Democracy Corps conducted focus groups among 45 undecided voters in St. Louis, Missouri.

“With Barack Obama gaining momentum, John McCain needed to change the dynamic in the race during tonight’s debate and to shift the focus of the campaign onto friendlier terrain. Instead, Democracy Corps research finds that McCain essentially held his ground in this debate, while Obama emerged with higher personal favorability and increased confidence in his ability to handle critical foreign policy and national security issues.

During and after the debate, Democracy Corps conducted a set of dial and focus groups among 45 undecided voters in St. Louis, Missouri. These voters had an unmistakably Republican tilt, voting for President Bush by a 2-to-1 margin in 2004 and self-identifying as 33 percent Republican and 27 percent Democrat. But playing on his perceived strength of national security and before a friendly audience, McCain could only manage a draw among this group. Of our 45 initial undecided voters, a quarter moved to Obama and a quarter to McCain after the debate with the rest remaining undecided. Moreover, by a 38 to 27 percent margin these voters said that Obama won this debate.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democracy Corps, John McCain, li, political wire, Presidential Debates

>Election board flooded with voter registrations

>BY LISA CORYELL – NJ.Com

As the clock ticks down to the Oct. 15 registration deadline for what some are calling the election of the century, Mercer County election officials are scrambling to process the thousands of registration forms and absentee ballot requests streaming into their offices from across the county and around the globe.

Logging extra hours and hiring additional workers, those in charge of voter records say its no easy task keeping up with the record number of citizens eager to participate in one of the most exciting elections in modern history.

“We’ve been training people to put the information into the computer and scan the signatures,” said Bettye Monroe, county superintendent of elections. “The office is open longer. Instead of four days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., they’re working five days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We’re opening on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to process the requests.”

The number of people wanting to take part in the election — which features the first black presidential candidate on a major ticket and the first female Republican vice presidential candidate — is gathering record-breaking momentum.

“We always see an increase in registration in every presidential election but this is beyond that,” Monroe said. “I would say it’s unprecedented and it’s going to get even higher because it’s only September. We have three more weeks to go.”

Already the number of registered voters in Mercer County has eclipsed that of the 2004 presidential election.

That year 208,067 voters were registered by the October deadline. As of yesterday, 208,388 are on voting rolls, with more signing up daily.

“We’re getting request forms by the thousands,” she said. “We have baskets and baskets and baskets of them out there. When I say baskets, I mean thousands.”

County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello said her office is receiving a staggering number of requests for absentee ballots.

She chalks up the increase to a keen interest in the race and the fact that voters are becoming increasingly aware of a 2005 law that says New Jersey voters no longer need a reason to vote by absentee ballot for any election.

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Filed under NJ.com, Voter registration