Monthly Archives: November 2009

Preview of White House Turkey Pardoning

On November 25, 2009, one lone turkey will walk the hallowed halls of the West Wing… and leave a free bird.

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Filed under President Obama, the White House, Turkey Pardon

Local Food Pantries In Need Of Donations

With Thanksgiving just 2 days away and Christmas right around the corner, local food pantries that serve the Bayshore region are in need and are seeking donations for the holiday season.

Nonperishable items, such as pasta, canned vegetables, rice, cereal and canned soups are in great demand. The economic recession has created a greater need for the services of local resources like the Keyport Ministerium.

Many food pantries are associated with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, the largest pantry along the northern Jersey Shore. Visit the FoodBank website at for information on local pantries and how to contact them.

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Filed under Bayshore, Community Food Bank Of New Jersey, food drive, Keyport Ministerium

Food And Toy Drive at Middletown Thanksgiving Football Game

The Middletown Touchdown and Booster clubs and the Middletown PBA will hold a toy and canned goods drive to benefit needy families in the Middletown area during the annual High School South-High School North Thanksgiving day football game Thursday at High School South, 900 Nut Swamp Road.

Kick-off is 10:30 a.m.

The school district asks that toys be unwrapped, and that gift cards in denominations of $25 or less are appreciated.

To coordinate early drop-offs, call Tom Bunge at (732) 809-3055 or e-mail him at

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Filed under food drive, High School Football, Middletown, toy drive


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