Monthly Archives: July 2011

President Obama’s Weekly Address 7/30/11: Acting Responsibly on Behalf of the American People

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama urged both Republicans and Democrats to take action to avoid defaulting for the first time in our nation’s history. While the two parties are not far apart in their goals, they must resolve their differences quickly so that the United States can continue paying its Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and contracts with thousands of American businesses. The time has come to stop endangering the Triple A bond rating of the United States, put aside partisan politics, and behave responsibly to ensure a balanced approach to reducing our nation’s deficit.

Leave a comment

Filed under benefit checks, compromise, Congress, debt ceiling, default, economy, higher interest rates, Medicare, national debt, President Obama, Social Security, Triple A bond rating, Verterans, weekly address

Crime Scene Middletown: 11 Year Old Fondled In The Candy Isle Of Store and Other Recent Activity 7/25-7/29

ISSUED Monday, JULY 29TH, 2011 – Arrests do not indicate convictions

On July 28, 2011 at approximately 9:00 pm Patrolman Jason Caruso and Patrolman Donald Coates were on patrol in the area of the Henry Hudson Trail when they observed two juveniles holding cans of beer.

The officers approached the two subjects and conducted an investigation which resulted in the arrests of a 16 year old male juvenile from Keyport, NJ, and a 17 year old male juvenile from Keansburg, NJ, being arrested for Underage Possession of Alcohol. Both subjects were transported to police headquarters where they were processed and released to their guardians pending a court date.

On July 29, 2011 at approximately 1:45 am Patrolman Keith Hirschbein responded to the area of the WAWA store located on Highway 36 in reference to a report of a vehicle that was being operated in an erratic manner and struck several curbs.

Upon arrival the officer observed the vehicle almost strike a group of people standing in the parking lot. Officer Hirschbein stopped the vehicle and approached the driver identified as Charles Chapman, age 43, from Monmouth Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, at which point he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.

Officer Hirschbein conducted an investigation which resulted in Chapman being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and Reckless Driving. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

On July 28, 2011 at approximately 10:30 pm Patrolman James Beirne was on patrol in the area of Port Monmouth Road when he observed a vehicle that had been reported stolen. The officer stopped the vehicle and conducted an investigation which resulted in the driver, identified as Michael Durnin, age 42, from Port Monmouth Road in Keansburg, NJ and the passenger, identified as Doreen Durnin, age 44, from Morningside Avenue in Keansburg, NJ being arrested.

Michael Durnin was charged with Receiving Stolen Property and Doreen Durnin was charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle. She was also charged with Contempt of Court after police found an outstanding warrant issued by the Keansburg Municipal Court for her arrest. Both subjects were transported to police headquarters where they were held on bail.

On July 28, 2011 at approximately 4:45 pm Patrolman Jason Carsuo and Patrolman Donald Coates were on patrol in the area of the Outback Steak House when they observed a suspicious vehicle parked in the parking lot. The officers approached the vehicle and began to conduct an investigation at which point a subject, identified as Corey Blascak, age 19, from Ironwood Court in Middletown, NJ, walked towards the officers.

The officers begin speaking with Blascak when he began to run from the area. The officers chased him on foot and were able to apprehend him a short distance away. He was charged with Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana, Obstructing the Administration of Law and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after police located Marijuana in his backpack.

He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

On July 27, 2011 at approximately 8:55 pm Patrolman Raymond Sofield and Patrolman James Beirne responded to the Bottle King Liquor Store in reference to two subjects who were attempting to purchase alcohol underage. Upon arrival the store manager advised the officers that Timothy Dugan, age 19, from McCutcheon Court in Middletown, NJ, and Sarah Binstok, age 18, from Bonwit Road in Ryebrook, NY, attempted to purchase beer by providing a fake Ohio driver’s license. The clerk recognized the license as a fake and contacted the police.

Both subjects were transported to police headquarters where they were charged with Attempting to Purchase Alcohol Underage. They were processed and released pending a court date.

On July 27, 2011 at approximately 3:15 pm Patrolman Ryan Riffert responded to the area of East Road and Railroad Avenue in reference to a report of a male subject approaching pedestrians and vehicles asking for money and cigarettes.

Upon arrival the officer located Arthur Tanskiy, age 21, from Alta Vista Court in Holmdel, NJ, approaching a vehicle. The officer stopped Tanskiy and conducted an investigation during which the officer located two Alprazolam pills in his possession.

Tanskiy was placed under arrested and was transported to police headquarters where he was charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was processed and held on $5,000.00 bail.

On July 26, 2011 Detective Kimberly Best arrested Divyeshkumar Rana, age 31, from Charles Street in Jersey City, NJ, for Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact and False Information to a Police Officer. Police say Rana was an employee of the Bray Avenue Deli on July 18, 2011 when he confronted an eleven year old female customer of the store.

Rana reportedly told the girl that he wanted to show her a new type of candy and is accused of fondling her buttocks once in the candy isle. Rana also provided the police with a false name during the investigation. He was processed and released after posting $50,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Richard English.

On July 26, 2011 at approximately 7:30 am Corporal James Keenan was dispatched to a “road rage” incident that was taking place in the Navesink section of Middletown. The victim called police headquarters and was reporting being chased by another subject in a vehicle. Officer Keenan was able to locate the vehicles on Monmouth Avenue.

Corporal Keenan began to conduct an investigation when one of the driver’s, identified as Michael Keller, age 45, from Marcellus Avenue in Manasquan, NJ, started to threaten the victim at which point Officer Keenan placed him under arrest.

Corporal Keenan continued his investigation and determined the victim had been travelling on the Garden State Parkway and Keller was travelling behind the victim’s car flashing his headlights in an attempt to have the victim pull over. The victim let Keller pass at which point Keller reportedly pulled out an identification and stated he was from the State Police and signaled the victim to pull over.

The victim continued to drive and called the police. Keller was charged with Terroristic Threats, False Imprisonment, Impersonating a Police Officer and Disorderly Conduct. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and held on $10,000.00 bail. Police report Keller has no affiliation to the State Police.

On July 25, 2011 at approximately 5:20 pm Corporal Douglas Wiatrak responded to the Stop and Shop Store in reference to a report of an employee theft. Upon arrival store security advised the officer that they determined the employee, identified as Sandra Michaels, age 28, from Vernon Street in Oakhurst, NJ, had stolen $1,197.69 over a two month period.

Security advised Corporal Wiatrak that Michaels would make fraudulent refunds and coupon orders and then keep the cash. Michaels was arrested and was transported to police headquarters for processing. She was charged with Shoplifting and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs after Officer Wiatrak found Hydrocodone pills on her at the time of her arrest.

She was released pending a court date.

On July 25, 2011 at approximately 5:00 pm Patrolman Keith Hirschbein was on patrol when he observed a subject, identified as Vaughn Cosby, age 25, from Oakland Avenue in the Navesink section of Middletown, walking in the street.

Officer Hirschbein was aware that there was an outstanding Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court for Cosby’s arrest. Officer Hirschbein took Cosby into custody and conducted a search incident to the arrest at which point he located 2 bags of Heroin in Cosby’s pocket.

Cosby was transported to police headquarters where he was charged with Contempt of Court and Possession of Heroin. He was processed and released pending a court date.

On July 26, 2011 at approximately 9:15 pm Patrolman Frank Mazza was conducting a foot patrol in the Leonardo Beach when he observed a group of juveniles sitting on a bench. The officer approached the group and observed one of the juveniles attempt to hide a bottle of Bacardi Rum.

The officer conducted an investigation which resulted in the arrest of a 17 year old male juvenile from Washington Avenue in Leonardo being arrested for Underage Possession of Alcohol. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released to his father pending a court date.

Middletown Police report the arrests of the following subjects for various offenses:

Christopher Kamna, age 21, from Bamm Hollow Road in Middletown, NJ, arrested on July 25, 2011 by Patrolman John Soltysik on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Holmdel Municipal Court. He was held on $164.00 bail.

Dominick Zara, age 50, from Ocean Avenue in Middletown, NJ, arrested on July 25, 2011 by Corporal Douglas Wiatrak on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Eatontown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $81.00 bail.

Thomas Wlasiuk, age 32, from Seeley Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on July 25, 2011 by Patrolman John Mele for Harassment. He was released after posting $2500.00 bail set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Anthony Spina, age 38, from Bergen Avenue in Jersey City, NJ, arrested on July 26, 2011 by Patrolman Greg Buhowski on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.

Sandra Keiser, age 59, from Blaine Avenue in Seaside Heights, NJ, arrested on July 26, 2011 by Patrolman Greg Buhowski on two Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Sayreville Municipal Court. She was released after posting $180.00 bail.

David Kelly, age 33, from Valarie Court in Brick, NJ, arrested on July 26, 2011 by Patrolman Richard Fulham for Criminal Mischief and Simple Assault. He was released after posting $2,500.00 bail with a 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Scott Scheer, age 31, from Burlington Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on July 26, 2011 by Patrolman Anthony Dellatacoma for Simple Assault and Harassment. He was released pending a court date.

Michael Gregorio, age 25, from Bayview Boulevard in Barneget, NJ, arrested on July 27, 2011 by Corporal Murdoch on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold, NJ on $750.00 bail.

Deborah Knesel, age 44, from Main Street in Belford, NJ arrested on July 28, 2011 by Patrolman Raymond Sofield on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Highlands Municipal Court. She was released after posting $1,000.00 bail.

Stephen Tanis, age 49, from Jumping Brook Road in Lincroft, NJ, arrested on July 28, 2011 by Patrolman Robert Shannon for Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Obstructing the Administration of Law. He was released pending a court date.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrest warrants, car theft, drug paraphernalia, drug possession, DWI, Marijuana, Middletown Police, sexual assault, underage drinking

Congressman Rush Holt; "The Latest News On the Debt Ceiling"

Americans are rightly disgusted by the news from Washington. If Congress and the President fail to act within days, or maybe just hours, the United States could be in the unprecedented position of defaulting on our obligations. In essence, the President would be required by law to conduct programs – including Medicare, Social Security, and the national defense – that, by law, he could not pay for.

What would happen next? Interest rates would rise, sending shockwaves through the economy. Home loans, car loans, and student loans would become far more expensive. Businesses, already finding credit unavailable, would have a harder time meeting payroll. The dollar’s status as the world’s most trusted currency would be threatened. And our credibility in the world markets would vanish. Surely, more layoffs, lower pay, and reduced economic activity would result.

This is an unnecessary, artificial crisis. It is not the result of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. It is solely the result of Republicans in Congress holding America hostage. They are threatening a crisis unless Congress enacts their extreme, ideological agenda – an agenda that demands hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and Social Security, all while protecting tax loopholes for oil companies, corporate jet owners, and billionaires.

What is especially troubling is Congress has now wasted weeks in these hostage negotiations instead of doing the real, difficult work required in this economy: putting people back to work. Solving the jobs crisis would do far more to reduce our nation’s deficit than any plan now pending in Congress. In fact, the long-term deficit would improve dramatically if we simply ended the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy and Big Oil. Removing the Bush tax cuts would do more to reduce the deficit than Speaker Boehner’s bill.

To those who insist that, by refusing to allow America to pay its bills, they can teach the nation a lesson, I ask this question: would you teach yourself a lesson by refusing to pay your credit card bill?

The moment has long since passed to end this self-induced crisis. Let’s raise the debt limit and move on to the real work of rebuilding the American economy.

Rush Holt

Leave a comment

Filed under Congressional Republicans, Congressman Rush Holt, corporate tax breaks, debt limit, economy, Medicaid, Medicare, national debt, national defense

Mtown News Flash 7-29-11

Middletown Police Offer Child Safety Seat Checkpoint July 30

The Middletown Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau will offer a Child Safety Seat Checkpoint on Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Police Headquarters, 1 Kings Highway. Police officers trained as child passenger safety technicians will be available to assist motorists with proper child safety seat installation as well as proper positioning and harnessing of a child. Free and open to the public. No appointment necessary. In the event of severe weather, rain dates will be announced. The program is funded through a grant from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety.  Call 732-615-2045 for more information.


Middletown Swim Club Half-Season Memberships On Sale Aug 1-15
There’s still time to get in on the fun at the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club. Half-season bathhouse memberships will be available for sale August 1-15. Half-season passes are valid from August 1st through September 5. The cost is $150 for adults, $120 for children ages 4-17, $60 for children ages 2-3 and $120 for seniors. Those without a 2011 membership are eligible to purchase a half-season pass. No adjustments will be made to any 2011 memberships.

The Middletown Swim and Tennis Club is located at 214 Harmony Road. The club has over 10 acres of picnic and play areas. Amenities include 4 swimming pools, 5 tennis courts, bathhouses, a snack bar, volley ball, horseshoe and shuffleboard. Activities include family and teen fun nights, competitive swim teams, and sports tournaments. Call 732-671-5757.   Click here for application 


Mahoney Brothers Perform Thurs, Aug 4 at Normandy Park
Don’t miss the final installment of the 2011 Summer Concert Series. The Mahoney Brothers will bring their impersonations of modern music greats to Middletown with their Jukebox Heroes Show on August 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Normandy Park. Comcast Cable is sponsoring the performance.  In the event of inclement weather the concerts are moved to Middletown South High School.  Limited on-site parking. For more information, contact Parks & Recreation Office Monday-Friday at 732-615-2260.

In addition, the Arts Center is offering a concert series for families every Thursday through August 25th.  Cool Kids Concerts with Miss Sherri, Thursdays, 4 – 5 p.m., are open to children ages 1-10 and their parents. The Middletown Arts Center and Miss Sherri, nationally known award winning Kindie Rocker/Singer, songwriter and founder of Honey Child Music Academy invite families to beat the heat and boogie down during the totally interactive shows. Admission is $5. Call 732-706-4100 for more information.


Grace Period Extended to August 24 for 3rd Quarter Tax Bill
Final 2011/Preliminary 2012 tax bills will be mailed Friday, July 29, 2011. The delay was to due by the State in certifying municipal state aid figures.  As a result of the delay, the grace period has been extended to August 24, 2011.  To avoid interest charges please make all payments by 4:00 PM, August 24, 2011. The last day for payment without interest is also printed on the tax bills.


Fall Brush Collection Suspended  
The fall brush collection is suspended. Brush can be brought to the Kanes Lane Recycling Center from Thursday through Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is no charge for residents to drop off brush. The fee for landscapers is $10 per yard. Please note residents will be required to remove any piles of brush that are on the roadway adjacent to their property. The next brush collection will be scheduled for Spring 2012.

Fall Leaf Collection will be scheduled as usual. The leaf collection schedule will be announced in October.


Police Investigating Hit & Run
The Middletown Township Police Department is investigating a pedestrian hit and run crash that occurred on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at approximately 10 p.m.  The crash occurred on State Highway 35 South between Navesink River Road and Coopers Bridge. A preliminary investigation revealed that the victim, a 26 year old male from Red Bank was walking near the intersection of Highway 35 South and Lakeshore Drive when he was struck by a southbound vehicle. After striking the victim the vehicle continued south on Highway 35 into Red Bank. The victim was treated at the scene and transferred to Jersey Shore Trauma Center for treatment where he is currently listed in critical condition. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or can provide any information pertaining to the crash is asked to please contact the Traffic and Safety Bureau at 732-615-2043. The crash is being investigated by Traffic Officers Cpl. Cliff O’Hara and Patrolman Darrin Simon


A Community Connected…
to Each Other, to Healing, to Hope Juried Art Exhibition Honoring 9-11

All entries must be received on Wednesday,  August 17th or Thursday,  August, 18th, from 4-9 p.m.

The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) announces an invitation to artists (over 18) to submit work in all media to A Community Connected…to Each Other, to Healing, to Hope Juried Art Exhibition Honoring 9-11. Artwork content should convey patriotism, hope, connectedness or growth in the wake of the historical World Trade Center tragedy and not include graphic imagery. 

All entries must be received on Wednesday,  August 17th or Thursday,  August, 18th, from 4-9 p.m. to be selected by the Middletown Arts Center 9-11 Exhibit Committee.  An entry fee of $5 per submission is required to cover exhibition costs. Multiple submissions are encouraged. Works to be hung must be display ready, suitably framed and wired for hanging. Entries improperly prepared for hanging will not be accepted. Pick-up of unaccepted work will take place on Monday,  August 22nd from 4-9 p.m.  Artists are invited to submit a brief biography and promotional items along with their work.

All work must remain on display for the duration of the exhibition from Thursday,  August 25th through Sunday, September 25th and be picked up on Monday, September 26th or Tuesday, September 27th from 7 a.m-9 p.m.  Visit or call 732-706-4100 for an entry form.


Volunteers Needed for Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team
Middletown Township Police Department is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on the Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT). In affiliation with 180 Turning Lives Around (180), and with the assistance of the response team volunteers, Middletown Township Police Department continues to make available this service to victims of domestic violence. Applications are available now and interviews will begin shortly.

The volunteer advocates with 180’s DVRT program are civilian members of the community who work in collaboration with the police to provide crisis intervention and safety planning to victims of domestic violence at police headquarters.  The specially-trained advocates also discuss with the victim their legal rights in regard to obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order. The volunteer advocates help to empower victims to make decisions about their own lives. The identities of the DVRT volunteers are kept anonymous. The 40-hour intensive, mandatory training course will be provided to successful applicants at no cost. 180 will be conducting the next four-week training October 24th – November 16th, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 6:00p-9:30p, in the courtroom at Tinton Falls Borough Hall, 556 Tinton Avenue. Prior knowledge of domestic violence is not required. The services of the Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team are available to victims, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at Middletown Township Police Department headquarters, 1 Kings Highway, Middletown NJ 07748

Basic requirements for volunteers to apply include that applicants must be 18 years of age or older, have access to transportation, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve on an on-call shift basis, participate in an interview process, submit to background investigations and fingerprinting, and successfully complete the mandatory training.  Middletown Township Police Department and 180 Turning Lives Around are committed to culturally diverse teams to better serve the community. Bi-lingual capability is helpful.  Please contact Sgt. Bill Colangelo, Middletown Police DVRT DVLO, at 732 615-2041 or email to obtain an application or for additional information.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or sexual violence, you can call the 180 Turning Lives Around Confidential Hotline at 732 264-4111, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. For more information, visit In an emergency, dial 911.


Leave a comment

Filed under brush and leaf pickup, checkpoints, domestic violence, Middletown Arts Center, Middletown NJ, newsflash, Swim Club, Volunteers

13th Legislative District Candidate Kevin Lavan Supports Unions and the Middle Class

I support unions. While the consequences of the recent pension deal between Governor Christie and Trenton lawmakers remains to be seen, now is the time for New Jerseyans to consider how best to protect the middle class in an era of high unemployment and declining pay. Unlike my opponents, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, I recognize that union membership translates into higher wages and better workplace conditions for Garden State workers. Handlin and O’Scanlon not only want to reform public employee benefits — an idea that has merits — they want to restrict the rights of private sector workers to negotiate with management.

O’Scanlon is the sponsor of a bill that repeals the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act and the Public Works Contractor Registration Act, a move that essentially ends prevailing wage standards. That’s an assault not only on union members, but on non-union construction workers and others in the building trades who rely on fair wage protections as a guarantee that they will be paid at a rate commensurate with their work.
Just this month, O’Scanlon and Handlin introduced a bill that makes New Jersey a “Right to Work” state. Although the legislation was pronounced dead on arrival, I am disappointed that my opponents are pursuing such a radical agenda. Right to work really means right to be fired. Passage of Handlin and O’Scanlon’s legislation will result in lower wages and have a negative impact on workers safety and health.
My opponents are not only on the wrong side of working families, but quite literally, they are writing the laws that will set back the clock one hundred years and remove the protections that helped build our middle class.
It is important that New Jerseyans, especially those residing in the Thirteenth Legislative District, understand that the current debate extends far beyond public employee pensions. Elected officials should do everything in their power to protect taxpayers. While in office, I did just that. However, Garden State workers — both union and non-union — deserve to know that Handlin and O’Scanlon seek to undermine the very provisions that have allowed countless families to enter the middle class. I want no part in that, and if I am fortunate enough to be elected to the Assembly, I will be a champion of working families.
Kevin M. Lavan
Democratic Candidate
13th Legislative District

Leave a comment

Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Amy Handlin, Declan O'Scanlon, Democratic Candidate, fair wages, Hazlet Mayor, Kevin Lavan, Middle Class, right to work, union members, working families

Perfect Timing As Latest Robo-Call Counters RedBankGreen Fluff Piece On Bamm Hollow Development

Earlier today I was surfing my favorite website and found a fluff piece on concerning some old news about the redevelopment of the Bamm Hollow Country Club in Lincroft. I was going to post about it but I got dragged away until now, which as circumstances will have it was a good thing, because an hour or so later after reading how Township “OFFICIALS TOUT BAMM HOLLOW OPEN SPACE“, the telephone rang.

On the other end of the phone was another robo-call issued by the group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Middletown”. It stated how the addition of 500 homes in and around Lincroft is will be eroding the quality of life of residents in Middletown.

I copied the message off of my answering machine and have it posted below, along with a transcript for anyone interested in hearing it.

It must have been a slow news day for Dustin Racioppi and the RedBankGreen, as I said the story is old and is reporting on what was said in May when the court case was settled.

Middletown, as Township Attorney Brian Nelson (how come Township Administrator Tony Mercantante or Assistant Administrator James Van Nest didn’t talk to RBG about this?) would like everyone to believe, did not win big.
Bam Hollow was originally zoned for 50 homes. The original proposal was to increase it to 200 homes. The Plannig Board said no and Bamm Hollow sued for 1,200. The Township setteld for 190. So who actually won big time here?
Brian Nelson and friends were not going to win the lawsuit, which is why they settled. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting it, so it is apparent who won big time. The lawyers hired by the Township to fight a losing battle. the open space would have been there

(Concerned Citizens Robo-Call #6: Eroding the Quality Of Life)

Have you heard the quality of life in Middletown, according to Money Magazine, has dropped 39% during the past four years?

Poor planning and dense re-zoning by Middletown politicians led to approval for over 500 new homes in Lincroft and Bamm Hollow.

Increased density will further erode our declining quality of life, and compete with homeowner’s unable to sell their homes in this dismal economy.

It’s time to clean house and throw-out incumbent politicians.

(Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Middletown)

Leave a comment

Filed under Bamm Hollow Country Club, Brian Nelson, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Dustin Racioppi, open space,, Redevelopment Lincroft, Robo-calls, Tony Mercantante

Letters To The Independent Expressing Outrage Over The Demotion Of Dr. Shallop Have BOE Members Defending Reassignment of Principal

According to the this weeks edition of the Independent (already posted online), many residents had sent letters to the publisher this past week, expressing outrage over the action taken by the members of the Middletown Board of Education that lead to the demotion of the very popular Principal of Middletown High School South, Dr. Anthony Shallop.

So many letters in fact that the Independent felt compelled to follow-up on these letters of support by contacting BOE members for a response, all of whom defended their decision to reassign Dr Shallop to his previously tenured position as a teacher at High School South via email.
…Board Member Vincent Brand said in an email that his decision was based on the facts relevant to the issue, which by law cannot be discussed in public because the issue remains personal and confidential.

“It would have been easy to vote the popular vote last night, but that would have been, for me, unethical to do so.”

According to Brand and board Vice President Christopher Aveta, the board gave Shallop a chance to address the issues prior to the vote.

“I fought hard for Dr. Shallop to get into executive session so that he would have every opportunity to impact the vote and so that he could hear directly from the board the specific issues at hand,” Brand said.

“He was given that chance and could not positively affect the outcome.”

Board member Michael Donlon was the only board member to vote against the reassignment.

“I had not been totally convinced the decision was correct, therefore I could not go along with it,” he said in an email.

“Granting tenure to someone is not a decision that is taken lightly,” board President Joan Minnuies said in an email.

Minnuies said that the decision was three months in the making and involved discussions with the district’s central office and Shallop.

“I feel that the information provided to the board by both the central office and Dr. Shallop himself has convinced the board that the decision we ended up making was the correct one,” she said….

This vague reasoning by BOE members is a little hard to swallow based on some of their comments. It seem as if the decision to reassign Shallop was made long in advance and no matter what he would have said to the Board in Executive session, his words would not have been convincing enough to change their minds and will remain a mystery until someone decides to break the silence and explain what really went on between Dr. Shallop and the BOE that lead to his reassignment.
Comments left on my previous post on this subject are full of speculation, name calling and innuendo as to the real reason why Anthony Shallop was stripped of his duties as Principal of High School South and reassigned back to his original teaching position that he had held before becoming principal a couple of years prior.
Some of the comments seem to have merit while others are a little farfetched, you can read them and decided for yourself which ones seem legitimate and which ones are bogus. The bottom line however, is that when the truth comes out someone will have egg on their face and will have some explaining to do.
The Independent posted online two letters that were sent them supporting Dr. Shallop in his fight to retain his position. The letter sent by Patricia Wood,Resident heartbroken over Board of Ed. action, was referred to in the article posted by the Independent, while the other written by Judy Krivitzky, Parent urges Mid’twn BOE to reconsider principal’s removal (An open letter to the Middletown Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Patrick Houston), collaborates and supports much of what is contained in Patricia Wood’s letter.
They are both worth reading, as is the article about the BOE defending Shallop’s reassignment. Somewhere in between the three, the truth lies.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dr. Anthony Shallop, Joan Minnuies, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown South High School, reader comments, reassignment of duties, school principal, the Independent, Vinnie Brand