>Catching Up On The Past Few Days; Watson, Brookdale, Rally in Trenton and Jobs

>A lot has been happening over the past few days that I’ve been meaning to comment on but I have been a little under the weather and haven’t been feeling up to blogging. So now is my chance to get slightly caught up, in no particular order.

Congressman Rush Holt (who does by the way, happen to be a Rocket Scientist) who on Monday of this past week, beat IBM’s Watson Computer System in a simulated Jeopardy exhibition. But the match wasn’t just a battle of networks versus neurons, as Holt put it in his newsletter to constituents:

… ” To me and my colleagues, this was an important opportunity to raise awareness of serious issues concerning U.S. global competitiveness, the positive impact of technology on society, and the need for greater investments in math and science education.

Watson represents a major step forward for computer science. With its combination of sheer data processing power, natural language recognition and machine learning, the system demonstrates that technology has the potential to help humans improve the performance of many endeavors – everything from medicine to education to traffic safety to environmental protection. There is no limit, save for our imagination, to the impact on our society of innovations like Watson.”….

There were two major car accidents this past week that claimed the lives of a couple Middletown youths, the first last Sunday and the second just last night and still under investigation.

Yesterday, Brookdale Community College’s Board of Trustees suspended College President Peter Burnham without pay because they found some irregularities in his expense reports while auditing his books. The suspension came as a total surprise to Burnham, who felt “Bowled over” by the accusations and wouldn’t comment further. And now today, we find out that the Board of Trustees have contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office to look into the matter for possible criminal charges.
As news of this latest info has started to make it’s way out to the public Freeholder Amy Mallet has called on Brookdale’s Board Chairman Howard Birdsall to resign and suggests that term limits be put on those that serve as trustees for the college.
I find this all very interesting, in a “how the mighty have fallen” sort of way. If Peter Burnham would have kept quite and not tried to blame the Monmouth County Freeholder for an 8% tuition hike a few weeks ago, none of this would have transpired. Freeholder John Curley, who acts as the liaison between the Freeholders and Brookdale, would have went about his business as usual and would not have said a word. But because he was angered and perhaps embarrassed by Burnham, Curley decided to make public Burnham’s contract and exploit it for all it’s worth, which has lead to all this “dirty laundry” being exposed and possible criminal charges being filed against Burnham.
Curley is being portrayed as some great white knight for exposing the excesses in Burnham’s contract, which is not the case. He acted out of anger and revenge for being called out by Burnham. If Curley and other Freeholders before him, that have acted as the liaison between the school and County governing body had done their oversight properly over the years, Peter Burnham’s excessive contract would have been taken care of years ago instead of now. There wouldn’t have been this dramatic call for change on the Board of Trustees and criminal charges against Burnham would not be pending, which is how the Trustees have chosen to cover themselves from allegations pointed at them.
It’s a real shame and embarrassment if you ask me.
There was a big rally in Trenton on Thursday attended 15,000 members of the Police, Firefighters and other first responders protesting Governor Christie’s efforts at health, pension and collective bargaining reform. Did it do any good or send the big guy a message? Probably not.
Finally, yesterday came good new for the economy. There was a big jump in the number of private sector jobs last month, a 192,00 jobs were added in February on top of the 63,000 that were added in January. The jobs report shows that even though the economy is still a little shaky and could be set back by the troubles in Libya and other mideast countries, it is growing and heading in the right direction. Unemployment is now down to 8.9% nationwide, falling below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years.

Leave a comment

Filed under Brookdale Community College, Congressman Rush Holt, Freeholder Amy Mallet, IBM's Watson, Jeopardy., John Curley, Peter Burnham, Trenton Rally, unemployment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s