Monthly Archives: November 2009


November 23, 2009

President Announces New Effort to Increase Hands-On STEM Activities for Students

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), a professional physicist most of his career, today supported President Obama’s announcement of a new campaign to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The new science education initiative includes increased community-based collaborations between scientists, engineers, teachers and students.

One component is a National Lab Day tentatively set for early May 2010. Middle and high school students will benefit from hands-on, discovery-based laboratory opportunities. Additionally, National Lab Day will provide schools with an opportunity to assess and upgrade their current lab facilities. Nearly 200 organizations representing STEM professionals and educators are supporting National Lab Day. More information can be found at

“This is a terrific initiative that comes at a time when we need an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ mentality to provide our children with a first-rate math and science education,” Holt said. “Why is this important?

“We still don’t know how to cure cancer or AIDS, or completely ease the suffering of those with mental illnesses. We still have tremendous challenges regarding energy consumption. And we still don’t know all we should about our planet and the people who live on it. The answers to these important questions are beginning to be formed in our classrooms with young students who one day may go on to investigate these issues and make advances that will benefit all of us.”

Holt, a former educator who sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor, has been a leader in efforts to improve STEM education. He helped establish the TEACH grants program, which provides up to $16,000 over four years in college aid to students who commit to teaching science, math, and foreign language. He also was a member of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, which published “Before It’s Too Late: A Report to the Nation from The National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century.”

“The push for improving the public competence in science and mathematics is more than just for reasons of economics, national security, and democracy. It should also be for personal well being. Mathematics and science bring order, harmony, and balance to our lives. They teach us that our world is intelligible and not capricious. They give us the skill for lifelong learning, for creating progress itself. This initiative recognizes that.”

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Filed under House Committee on Education and Labor, Improve Math, President Obama, Rush Holt, Science Education

NJPP Monday Minute: 11/23/09 Thanks and Giving

New Jersey is one of the richest states in the nation and certain counties are among the richest places in the world to live; and yet about 10 percent of households in this state face hunger. We want to believe that hunger only affects people in developing countries or in poor southern states. But two percent more households in New Jersey were hungry in 2007 than were hungry in the preceding 4 years. This is an alarming trend.

The holiday season is associated with family gatherings and big meals where people eat more than they should then sleep in front of the TV only to start eating again when they awaken. For many New Jersey families hardest hit by the poor economy this won’t reflect their holidays.

A new report released by the United States Department of Agriculture found that the percentage of American families who don’t have enough to eat is at its highest level since the agency began food surveys in 1995.

Food banks throughout the state have been struggling to meet a higher demand as the poor economy triggers greater unemployment and/or reduced work hours. One food pantry in particular, the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, is serving 40 percent more households at its Trenton location than a year ago and 50 percent more in Princeton. The median monthly income of families who seek food assistance at the Crisis Ministry is $980 per month–clearly not enough to make ends meet in New Jersey.

Donations and aid to food banks are down–perhaps because the bad economy has reduced everyone’s ability to give. Last winter the Legislature and Governor Corzine sent $3 million in emergency funding to the state’s food banks. This year the state will have to do something again to help. In a country and a state with such wealth we cannot allow people to wonder when and where their next meal will arrive.

The state must continue to provide support for those who need it most. But in this Thanksgiving season, all of us should give thanks for what we have and give whatever we can to those who need it most.

Click >>> Here for a list of food pantries in New Jersey.

Click >>> Here for an additional link to Feeding America

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Filed under food banks, food pantry, hunger, Monday Minute, New Jersey Policy Perspective, Thanksgiving

It’s Payback Time In Middletown: Emergency Appropriations Needed to Pay Bills

One of the more interesting pieces of information to come out of last Monday nights Middletown Township Committee meeting was the fact that the Middletown can’t pay its bills.

Resolution No.09-263 which passed unanimously, authorized the borrowing of approx. $1.5 million to pay the interest on a $10 million Tax Anticipation Note.

This emergency appropriation needed to be made because funds were not made available to pay the interest on the note in the 2009 township budget that was passed in August.

This just goes to show you what another fine mess the Middletown GOP has gotten us into. The GOP majority members couldn’t negotiate in good faith with Democratic members on the committee to come up with a budget that was responsible and would not have included a 9 % tax increase, instead they turned over the budget to the State and succumbed to pressure to put off pension payments and reduce surpluses to get an approval for a 5.2% increase while in the process they forgot that appropriate money for the interest on the $10 million Tax Anticipation Note.

Great Job!

I bring this up because it Looks like the Feds are going to have problems servicing debt payments on their bills soon.

Below is the resolution:

NJSA 40A:4-48
WHEREAS, an emergency has arisen with respect to the interest due on the $10,000,000
Tax Anticipation Note authorized pursuant to Resolution 09-205 adopted on August 3, 2009, and no adequate provision was made in the 2009 budget for the aforesaid purpose, and NJS 40A:4-46 provides for the creation on an emergency appropriation for the purpose mentioned above, and
WHEREAS, the total amount of the emergency appropriations created, including the appropriation to be created by this resolution is $51,334.00 and three (3) percent of the total operating appropriations in the budget for 2009 is $1,478,267.00 and
WHEREAS, the foregoing appropriation together with prior appropriations does not exceed
three (3) percent of the total operating appropriations (including utility operation appropriations) in the budget for 2009,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, (by not less than 2/3 of all governing body
members affirmatively concurring) that in accordance with NJS 40A:4-48:
1. An emergency appropriation is here by made for: 9-01-45-935-200-200 – Debt Service – Interest on Tax Anticipation Note
2. That said emergency appropriation shall be provided for in full in the 2009 budget,
and is requested to be excluded from CAPS, pursuant to NJS 40A:4-53.3c(1)
3. That two (2) certified copies of this resolution be filed with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services


Filed under Budget, budget resolution, Middletown

President Obama’s Weekly Address: 11/21/09 Traveling Abroad for Our Economy at Home

In an address recorded in Seoul, South Korea, the President discusses his trip to Asia. He talks about his push to stop nuclear proliferation in North Korea, Iran, and around the world. He talks about promoting America’s principles for an open society in China while making progress on joint efforts to combat climate change. And talks in-depth about the primary objective of his trip: engaging in new markets that hold tremendous potential to spur job creation here at home.

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Filed under economic growth, Iran, North Korea, President Obama, weekly address

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Commander McBragg Ace of Aces

Just what I need on a Saturday morning, a bit action and adventure to get the day started.

Pip-Pip, pass the cheerios please…. Commander McBragg is about to tell one of his fantastic stories.

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Filed under cheerios, Commander McBragg, Saturday morning cartoons

Christie Tells Local Officials to Expect Pain

Does this mean that Middletown’s Gerry Scharfenberger and his fellow Republicans will now stop blaming Trenton Democrats for their own failures and tax increases in Middletown and now point their finger at one of their own in the future? Some how I doubt it.

N.J. Governor-elect Christie tells local officials to expect ‘a continued period of pain’

Gov.-elect Chris Christie sent a strong message to an audience of municipal politicians and workers gathered at the luncheon at the annual League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City today: Stop thinking about yourselves, or you’ll will be voted out. (Video by Brian Donohue / The Star-Ledger)


Filed under Chris Christie, Middletown, Middletown GOP, New Jersey, the Star-Ledger

A Football Friday Double-Header: Princess Picks Pariots over Jets, Giants Over Falcons

For this week, Princess the Camel is doubling-down and picking picking two teams to win on Sunday after her pick of the Jets came up short in the final seconds against the Jaguars last week.

For some reason Princess’s handler John seems to want to stick with local teams this week even though her choices for the New York teams haven’t worked out very well so far this season.

In the first of her picks this week, Princess has chosen the New England Patriots to beat the Jets in the early game in New England, then changes gears and picks the Giants to clip the wings of the Falcons as the swoop down into Giants Stadium.

When questioned about her pick’s Princes responded ” Well, if the NE coach doesn’t make any blunders like he did last week in the loss to the Colts they should roll over the Jets. The Giants – I hope they learned a lesson from the Jets and used their extra week off to get their act together and prepare for the Falcons.”.

Well Princess, so do I.

Princess’s predictions now stand at an even .500 , 5-5 for the season.

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Filed under Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL picks, Princess the Camel

Friday Morning Humor: How I Learned to Mind My Own Business

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day,
And all the patients were shouting, ’13….13….13.’
The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a Little gap in the planks,
so I looked through to see what was going on…..
Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick!!!
Then they all started shouting ’14….14….14’…

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Filed under Friday Morning Humor

Bob Brown Back On Strategy Room This Morning At 11:00

Former Democratic Candidate for the 13th legislative District, Bob Brown, will be making another appearance on the Fox News online web program, The Strategy Room, this morning at 11 am.

This will be Brown’s first appearance on the show since the November 3rd election and should be interesting to hear his insights about the before going on to discuss the days topic for which he is a panelist for.

Bob Brown,is a retired Old Bridge NJ police office who was shot in the line of duty and who now pratices, law will make his 10th appearance on the program and will be discussing with other panelist “Cops and Cases”.

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Filed under Bob Brown, Old Bridge NJ, Strategy Room

Organize for America Announces Winner of Health Reform Video Challenge: I Deserve Health Care

After nearly 1,000 submissions, 20 amazing finalists, and more than 3 million views, Organizing for America supporters and a panel of experts have picked the winner of the OFA Health Reform Video Challenge.

The winning video produced by Eric Hurt is titled “I Deserve Health Care” and features children speaking about what will happen to them in the coming months and years and the effects it will have on them and their families if their parents do not have or can not afford health care.

Check it out

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Filed under contest winner, health care reform, Organizing For America, Special Video Message