Daily Archives: April 12, 2011


>By guest blogger Linda Baum

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it is commonly known, is the process used to extract natural gas from shale rock by fracturing it with high-pressure fluids. Highly toxic chemicals are used in the drilling process, which has devastating effects the environment and human health.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) – a five member board that includes New Jersey – is now accepting public comments on draft gas drilling regulations which have been fast-tracked and could be released soon ahead of the completion of any environmental impact studies! The draft regulations provide for little, if any, oversight of the industry and fail to protect the Delaware River from contamination. One third of New Jersey residents get their water from the Delaware River basin. We need to let regulators know how strongly we object to the contamination of our drinking water, so please add your voice. The public comment deadline is April 15th at 5 p.m. To email your comments directly to the DRBC, go here and click on the “Open for Comment” link on the left. For more information on the DRBC’s draft regulations and what’s wrong with them, click here.

The DRBC is charged with a legal mandate to prevent degradation of the water quality of the Delaware River. The 5 members of the DRBC are the governors of the four basin states — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware – and a federal representative. John Plonski, one of Governor Christie’s alternates, is pushing for the early release of fracking regulations. And let me remind you, he speaks for the Governor.

So WHY is our water being polluted when the industry insists that gas extraction is done at depths well below the water table? Because contamination occurs when the casings are pulled back up, bringing the chemicals and bacteria with them. Vertical fissures that occur naturally in the earth are another reason. Toxins and microbes at drilling depths seep up through those fissures, and this can’t be controlled. Gas extraction is not an exact science, and so there can be no guarantee of safety. In fact, the high-volume drilling in Pennsylvania has been plagued with problems.

Even without chemical additives, the wastewater from gas extraction would be toxic because naturally-occurring contaminants and radioactive materials – radon, salts, and heavy metals – are brought up from the ground.

Much of the wastewater just sits in large open storage pits at drilling sites, where overflow and run-off occur. If the pits aren’t lined or linings tear, toxins seep directly into the ground. These pits are also a major source of air pollution because the toxins volatize to the air, and then are breathed in or deposited on soil and water. Drilling companies have the option of injecting the collected wastewater back into the ground or shipping it to a publicly owned treatment works, if they can find one to take it. Illegal dumping has already been discovered in other states.

Currently there is no national treatment standard that applies to the wastewater. In fact, there is virtually no regulatory oversight of gas drilling or disposal operations at all, at either the state or federal level. The gas industry is exempted from numerous laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Superfund law, to name a few.

There are a number of bills that are currently moving through Congress. One is the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act (H.R. 1084, S. 587). The FRAC Act would bring the hydrofracking industry under the purview of the EPA. New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt was among the first to support the bill.

Another federal bill is the BREATHE Act (H.R. 1204), which would allow the combined pollution of many gas wells to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. BREATHE stands for “Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effects.”

The “Ban” bill (A. 3313, S. 2576) would ban fracking in the state of New Jersey. It received unanimous approval by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. There could be floor vote as soon as May, so now is the time to contact your New Jersey senators to voice your support!

If you need convincing that water supplies are being contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, catch a screening of the now well known documentary “Gasland”. Also check out an interview PBS did with the film’s creator, Josh Fox.

We have only one clean water supply. When it’s gone, it’s gone. The damage can’t be undone.

As if the devastation to our water supply isn’t enough, another consequence of fracking is the release of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

If we needed more reason to support renewable energy, we have it.

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Filed under clean air, Delaware River Basin Commission, Delaware Riverkeeper, Fracking, greenhouse gasses

>Mulshine Talks Up His Favorite Democrat, Bob Brown, In Today’s Column

>Paul Mulshine’s talks about favorite Democrat,Bob Brown,in his column today over at NJ.com.

Brown, as anyone who reads this blog knows, has become a friend of mine over the past few years. Brown after losing State Assmebly races in 2007& 2009 in the old 13th district to Sam Thompson, vowed that he wouldn’t seek office again, that was until Democratic State Chairman Steve Wisniewski contacted him.

Wisniewski wanted to know if Brown would be interested in taking on his old nemesis Sam Thompson for the vacant State Senate seat in the new 12th district. After hearing how Thompson is has been “double-dipping” (collecting both a state pension and salary), Brown couldn’t refuse.
Here’s what Mulshine has to say about Brown today:

You might recall that upon the release of the new legislative map last week, I put in a call to a guy from Middlesex County named Bob Brown and asked about whether he’d run in the gerrymandered district into which his town had been inserted.

There was no way he’d run again after his town got stuck in a district that runs from the Raritan Bay almost to the Delaware River. That was laughable, he said.

Brown’s not laughing anymore. He’s running.

Brown is a Democrat, but he’s more conservative than most Republicans. He’s a colorful ex-cop from Old Bridge who was shot in the line of duty and decided he’d be better off pursuing law. At Seton Hall School of Law, he often ran into an affable guy from Livingston who even then “seemed like he was running for office,” Brown recalls.

Chris Christie is now running New Jersey. As for Brown, he lost a run for the state Assembly in 2009. That’s when I first wrote about him. It was unusual to hear a Democrat saying things about school funding like, “We gotta send that money back to the suburbs,” at a time when Christie was tiptoeing around the issue.

At the time he and I spoke, any Democratic run in the largely suburban 12th District seemed doomed. Right after my column ran, however, the Republicans announced the name of their nominee for the Senate seat in the new district, Sam Thompson, who is currently an assemblyman and who also hails from Old Bridge.

On the same day, Thompson’s name appeared in an article in this newspaper because he and another Republican assemblyman are “double-dipping,” collecting state pensions while also collecting legislative salaries.

The day after that article ran, Brown got a call from state Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski. “The Wiz,” as the assemblyman from Middlesex County is known, asked Brown if he might want to take that Senate run seriously after all. Brown did, and yesterday he filed the signatures. Brown said he’ll base his campaign on the pension issue. Brown himself gets $14,000 a year as a result of his retirement following that shootout, which he won, by the way. But “I will not double-dip,” Brown promised. “If I get elected, I will not take my pension.”….

Read more >>> Here

This race between Brown and Thompson will be closely watched by many, Brown has more than an excellent chance at winning it even though the newly drawn district leans republican.

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Filed under 12th district, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, NJ.com, Paul Mulshine, Sam Thompson

>It’s Your Town Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 7- 4/04/11

>This edition of “It’s Your Town” Newsletter covers the Middletown Township NJ monthly workshop meeting of the Middletown Township Committee. It was at this meeting that the proposed Township budget for FY 2011 was introduced without public comment. A budget hiring has been scheduled for May.

During public comments, a number of residents living behind the new MJ’s restaurant on Hwy 35 complained about the the increased neighborhood traffic along with sound and light pollution that is being generated by cars coming and leaving the parking lot.

Also there were questions about the corrective action plan that the Township needed to be filed after a 2009 financial audit turned up irregularities.

The newsletter contains links to all the ordinances and resolutions that were presented. There are also links to the 2009 financial audit and the action plan filed by CFO Nick Trasente.

Here is a link to the >>> proposed FY 2011 Township budget

Read the Newsletter >>> Here

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Filed under 2011 budget, Its Your Town, Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, MJ's restaurant, Newsletter, Nick Trasente, workshop meeting

>Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill Not Running for Reelection In Middletown

>The following press release was issued today announcing that Middletown’s Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill will not be seeking re-election to the Township Committee this November. Brightbill will be replaced on the ticket with Stephanie Murray.

Murray is a current member of the Middletown Zoning Board, Housing Authority and is the founder of the conservative leaning Republican women’s group Middletown Mornings that will be hosting the 1st Middletown Board of Education Candidate Forum Tuesday morning April 12th:

MIDDLETOWN—Middletown Township Mayor Tony Fiore and Zoning Board Member/Housing Authority Commissioner Stephanie Murray today filed petitions seeking the Republican nomination for Middletown Township Committee for 2011.

“I know Stephanie Murray will serve the taxpayers of Middletown well based on her record of service on the Zoning Board and as a Commissioner on the Housing Authority,” said Mayor Fiore. “Stephanie is not only a tireless member of our community, but also a dedicated wife and mother to three children whose family has lived in Middletown for 10 years.”

“While my commitment to public service is no less now than it was six years ago, I feel that it is the right time to pass the baton to another active member of our community, which is why I am pleased to support Stephanie Murray for Township Committee,” said Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill. “I know that Stephanie will make an excellent addition to the Committee and help preserve the quality of life we all enjoy in Middletown.”

“It is an honor to have received a tremendous amount of support to continue my public service to Middletown by seeking to serve as a member of the Township Committee,” said Stephanie Murray. “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead to help maintain the quality of life we all enjoy while keeping taxes low in one of the largest municipalities in New Jersey.”

In addition to serving as a member of the Zoning Board and a Commissioner on the Middletown Housing Authority, Mrs. Murray has also served as a member of the Township’s Parks and Recreation Advisory and Open Space Committees. Stephanie is also the founder of a community group known as “Middletown Mornings” which is an open forum for residents of Middletown to meet with their local public officials. Murray holds a B.A. from Fordham University and runs a small publishing company.
Stephanie Murray is also the founder and co-owner of Crescent Moon Press , a small specialty book publishing firm, that publishes fantasy and occult novels.


Filed under Crescent Moon Press, fantasy and occult, Middletown Mornings, Middletown Republicans, Pamela Brightbill, press release, Stephanie Murray, Tony Fiore



Patrolman Donald Coates and Patrolman Lawrence Seymour chased the subjects and located one of them, identified as Michael Miller, age 22, from 9th Street in Belford, hiding in a nearby yard.

Miller was held while police continued their investigation. The officers determined a burglary had not occurred however, Miller was arrested for Disorderly Conduct . He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released on a summons pending a court appearance.

On April 10, 2011 at approximately 12:55 am police responded to the area of Burlington Avenue in reference to a possible burglary in progress. While checking the area Patrolman Greg Buhowski located three subjects walking on a nearby street.

Patrolman Buhowski stopped to speak with the subjects and as a result of his investigation a sixteen year old juvenile was arrested for Possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and Possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released to his father pending a court date.

On April 10, 2011 at approximately 7:15 pm police responded to the Foodtown store located on Highway 36 in Port Monmouth in reference to a shoplifting. Upon arrival they were advised by store security that they had observed Heather Lenhart, age 35, from 7th Street in Belford, placing several items to include cough syrup, chocolate bars, juice, socks and miracle grow in her purse and then attempt to leave the store.

She was detained by security and was then arrested by Patrolman John Mele. She was transported to police headquarters where she was charged with Shoplifting and was released on a summons pending a court date.

The Middletown Police arrested the following two subjects on warrants:

James Oliver, age 31, from Cedar Avenue in Middletown, was arrested on April 8, 2011 by Patrolman Brian McGrogan on a Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Holmdel Township and Keansburg Municipal Courts. He was released after posting $456.00 bail.

William Garby, age 24, from Brotherton Avenue in the Locust section of Middletown was arrested by Patrolman Antonio Ciccone and Patrolman Ian May on Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Tinton Falls and Atlantic Highlands Municipal Courts. He was released after posting $581.00 bail.

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Filed under arrest warrants, burglary, Crime Scene Middletown, Detective Lieutenant Stephen Dollinger, drug possession, Marijuana, Middletown Police, shoplifting