Daily Archives: February 1, 2011

>Monmouth County to repair Compton’s Creek bridge

>Just in case some Middletown residents haven’t heard about this, I am posting this news brief from the County. This project will impact some of those that live in and around the Port Monmouth section of town and may make it difficult for some to get to the Belford Ferry terminal, depending on how they travel.

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Work to stabilize the southwestern embankment at Monmouth County’s bridge over Compton’s Creek on Broadway in Port Monmouth is expected to begin Monday, Jan. 31.

Weather permitting, the project is expected to take one week to complete. Vehicle traffic on Broadway and across the bridge should expect to be detoured between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays. There may be occasions where the detours remain in place until 5 p.m. Broadway is expected to be open to traffic each evening.

Specifically, eastbound traffic in Port Monmouth will detour from Main Street to Port Monmouth Road to Church Street and return to Broadway. Conversely, westbound traffic will detour from Broadway to Church Street to Port Monmouth Road to Main Street in Port Monmouth.

“The scheduled repair will stabilize the eroded southwest embankment and correct the undermined edge of the roadway adjacent to the bridge,” County Engineer Joseph Ettore said. “This condition was caused by the tidal influence of Compton’s Creek.”

The embankment will be reestablished to its original limits with suitable backfill and filter fabric. The repairs also will include the construction of about 30 feet of timber retaining wall. Finally, an upgraded guide rail system will be installed in front of the retaining wall repair to provide additional protection to the traveling public.

“These repairs will benefit Middletown residents, commuters, patrons of Bayshore Waterfront Park and other local travelers who have been affected by recent tidal flooding and washouts,” Freeholder John P. Curley said. “Stabilizing the embankment will resolve public safety concerns and restore full access to the county bridge and municipal roadway.”

The work will be performed by the Bridge Division of the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering.

“The county understands the inconvenience these detours will have on motorists and local residents,” said John W. Tobia, director of the county’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “Unfortunately, this work cannot be completed without the closure of the bridge and road.”

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Filed under Compton's Creek Bridge, Middletown, Monmouth County, Port Monmouth NJ

>Judicial Activism and the Affordable Care Act

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President Obama and the White House responds to yesterday’s ruling by a Federal Judge down in Florida that declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

Posted at The White House Blog by Stephanie Cutter on January 31, 2011

Today, a judge in Florida issued a decision in a case filed by 25 Republican Attorneys General and Governors striking down the Affordable Care Act. This ruling is well out of the mainstream of judicial opinion. Twelve federal judges have already dismissed challenges to the constitutionality of the health reform law, and two judges – in the Eastern District of Michigan and Western District of Virginia – have upheld the law. In one other case, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a very narrow ruling on the constitutionality of the health reform law’s “individual responsibility” provision and upheld the rest of the law.

Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching. The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent that support the considered judgment of the democratically elected branches of government that the Act’s “individual responsibility” provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain. And the judge declared that the entire law is null and void even though the only provision he found unconstitutional was the “individual responsibility” provision. This decision is at odds with decades of established Supreme Court law, which has consistently found that courts have a constitutional obligation to preserve as a much of a statute as can be preserved. As a result, the judge’s decision puts all of the new benefits, cost savings and patient protections that were included in the law at risk.

Under today’s view of the law, seniors will pay higher prices for their prescription drugs and small businesses will pay higher taxes because small business tax credits would be eliminated. And the new provisions that prevent insurance companies from denying, capping or limiting your care would be wiped away.

We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts.

History and the facts are on our side. Similar legal challenges to major new laws — including the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act — were all filed and all failed. And contrary to what opponents argue the new law falls well within Congress’s power to regulate economic activity under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.

Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us. People who make an economic decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market. As Congress found, every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers. There can be no doubt that this activity substantially affects interstate commerce, and Congress has the power to regulate it.

The Affordable Care Act, through the individual responsibility requirement, will require everyone, if they can afford it, to carry some form of health insurance since everyone at some point in time participates in the health care system, and incur costs that must be paid for. For the 83% of Americans who have coverage and who are already taking responsibility for their health care, their insurance premiums will decrease over time. Many of those who are currently struggling to pay for insurance will get a new tax credit. Only those who are able to pay for health insurance will be responsible for obtaining it. Because most people would voluntarily purchase coverage as it becomes more affordable and the policy exempts those for whom purchase would cause a financial hardship, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016….

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under activist judges, Florida, The America’s Affordable Health Choice Act, the White House Blog, unconstitutional

>Freeholder Amy Mallet’s Re-Election Kickoff

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You are cordially invited to attend

Freeholder Amy Mallet’s Re-Election Kickoff
w/ Special Guest
Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono
CO-HOSTED BY:
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik
Chairman Victor Scudiery
Hon. John D’Amico
Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca
Holmdel Committeeman Larry Fink
Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich
Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan
Neptune Committeeman Randy Bishop
Manalapan Committeewoman Michelle Roth
Wall Township Democratic Chairman Eric Brophy
Bradley Beach Mayor Julie Shreck
Ray Santiago, Esq.
Sean F. Byrnes, Esq.
Jonathan Lomurro, Esq.
Mr. John Amberg
Mr. Chuck Fallon
Mr. Justin Braz
Bella Vista Country Club
100 School Road East
Marlboro, NJ

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Tickets: $75
Sponsorship: $300
Please make checks payable to ‘Friends of Amy Mallet’
RSVP to Vin Gopal
vin.gopal.2008@gmail.com or 732-299-5625

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Monmouth County Freeholder, re-election bid, Senator Barbara Buono

>Unrestricted approval of GMO alfalfa by the FDA

>By guest blogger Linda Baum

Have you heard that FDA chief Tom Vilsack recently reversed his original stand and granted approval to Monsanto’s genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa without restriction? Why should you care? Because this move will be devastating to the environment, organic farmers, and the public’s health. And sadly, the decision was supported by the President, a man who is pro-environment, in order to appear business-friendly. When it comes to GMO crops, both Mr. Vilsack and Mr. Obama should know better.

GMO crops are designed to be used with pesticides in ever increasing amounts and levels of toxicity. Runoff from farms pollutes land and waterways, a problem that is well-documented. While alfalfa is a crop grown mainly as livestock feed, if we are feeding pesticide-ridden food to livestock, we are ingesting it ourselves. And since GMO alfalfa easily cross-breeds with non-GMO types, growers of organic alfalfa are at risk of losing their organic certifications, and their livelihoods. Organic dairies, which rely on a steady supply of organic alfalfa, are also at risk. Organic meat and dairy products, which have long been the choice of health conscious shoppers, may become much more limited.

The production of GMO crops is not in the public’s interest. It seems the FDA has lost sight of its duty to protect the consumer and has instead catered to powerful special interests.

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Filed under alfalfa, farming, FDA, genetically modified, GMO, livestock, Monsanto, organic food, President Obama, Tom Vilsack