Daily Archives: August 24, 2011

Don’t Kill the Dream

Democracy for America targets Republicans for killing the American Dream and failing to create jobs. The ad, “Don’t Kill the Dream,” which will air both nationally and targeted locally, features Americans who want Republicans in Congress to stop dismantling the middle class and killing the American Dream by slashing vital programs they depend on, while simultaneously insisting on tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and millionaires.

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Filed under american dream, Congress, corporate loopholes, Democracy For America, millionaires and billionaires, tax breaks for the rich, The Middle class

Crime Scene Middletown: Home Health Aid Charged with Forgery And Theft By Deception

Written by Middletown Township Police Department

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 -Arrests do not indicate convictions

On August 23, 2011 Detective Laurence Schachtel arrested Jennifer Franklin, age 21, from Hudson Avenue in Middletown, NJ, for Forgery, Theft by Deception and Theft as a result of an investigation into a theft from a resident on Harvey Avenue where she worked as a home health aide.

Police say Franklin used the victim’s ATM card to steal close to $5,000.00 from his bank account. The victim confronted Franklin at which point she agreed to pay him back. However, police say Franklin used counterfeit bills to make the payments.

Franklin was processed and released pending a court date.
On August 23, 2011 at approximately 2:05 am Patrolman John Soltysik was on patrol in the area of Highway 36 and East Road when he observed a vehicle driving through a construction zone set up by road crews paving the highway. Officer Soltysik observed the vehicle swerve numerous times and knock over traffic cones. The officer stopped the vehicle and approached the driver who provided the officer with a fake name.

Officer Soltysik conducted an investigation and was able to identify the driver as Robert Jeffcoat, age 29, from Raritan Avenue in Keansburg, NJ. The officer also located seven outstanding Contempt of court warrants issued by numerous municipal courts for his arrest. Jeffcoat was then taken into custody.

Officer Soltysik continued his investigation and determined that the passenger, identified as Jeron Redway, age 23, from Willow Drive in Ocean, NJ, also had numerous Contempt of Court warrants for his arrest. Redway was also taken into custody.

Officer Soltysik also located Naproxen pills inside the vehicle which neither subject had a lawful prescription for. Both subjects were transported to police headquarters. Jeffcoat was charged with Contempt of Court, Unlawful Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug, Providing false Information to a Police Officer, and numerous motor vehicle violations. Redway was charged with Contempt of Court, Hindering Apprehension and Unlawful Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug. Jeffcoat was being held on $12,200.00 bail and Redway was held on $7,636.00 bail.

On August 23, 2011 at approximately 2:40 pm Patrolman Brady Carr responded to the area of Priscilla Drive in reference to a report of a suspicious female going door to door soliciting magazine subscriptions. Upon arrival the officer located the female who provided the officer with a fake name. Officer Carr conducted an investigation and was able to identify her as Fina Toia, age 19, from Cabrillo Drive in Fairfield, NJ.

Officer Brady confirmed that Toia did not have a permit to solicit and conducted a warrant check. The checked revealed that there was an outstanding Fugitive warrant out of Delaware issued for Toia’s arrest. She was taken into custody and was transported to police headquarters where she was charged with Hindering Apprehension, Soliciting without a Permit and being a Fugitive from Justice.

She was processed and was being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold, NJ, where she was awaiting extradition to Delaware.

On August 23, 2011 at approximately 8:55 pm Patrolman Richard Fulham was on patrol in the area of Thompson Avenue and Highway 36 when he observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign. The officer stopped the vehicle and approached the driver who provided the officer with a fake name.

Officer Fulham conducted an investigation and was able to identify the subject as Stacy Cook, age 44, from Old Manchester Road in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Officer Fulham arrested Cook for Obstructing an Investigation. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and was held on $2,500.00 bail set by Judge James Berube.

On August 23, 2011 at approximately 10:45 pm Patrolman Christopher Dee and Patrolman Raymond Sofield of the Quality of Life Unit were on patrol in the area of West Front Street when they stopped a vehicle for swerving from the lane of travel. The officers approached the vehicle at which point they detected an odor of raw Marijuana coming from inside the car.

The officers conducted an investigation and requested a drug detection canine respond to the scene. Monmouth County Sheriff’s Officer Kurt Kroeper and his canine partner Evan responded and searched the vehicle. The dog indicated on the trunk of the car which was then searched by the officers. The search resulted in the recovery of a bag containing Marijuana, a Marijuana Pipe and a scale used to weigh Marijuana which was located in the spare tire compartment and the arrest of Autumn Innocenti, age 21, from Telegraph Hill Road in Holmdel, NJ.

Innocenti was transported to police headquarters where she was charged with Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was processed and released pending a court date.

On August 22, 2011 at approximately 5:45 pm Patrolman Keith Hirschbein was on patrol in the area of McMahon Park when he observed several subjects sitting in the dugout of the hockey rink. Officer Hirschbein approached the subjects and located alcoholic beverages in the dugout.

Officer Hirschbein conducted an investigation which resulted in the arrests of a 20 year old female subject from Keansburg, NJ, and a 19 year old female from Kailua, Hawaii. Both subjects were transported to police headquarters where they were charged with Underage Possession of Alcohol and were released pending a court date.

On August 22, 2011 at approximately 11:20 am Patrolman James Beirne was on patrol in the area of Highway 36 and Wilson Avenue when he observed a vehicle being operated carelessly. Officer Beirne stopped the vehicle and approached the driver, identified as Manuel Costa, age 32, from Center Avenue in Keansburg, NJ.

Officer Beirne conducted an investigation which resulted in Costa being arrested for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after he located a Marijuana pipe with Marijuana residue in it inside the car. Costa was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

The Middletown Police Department reports the arrests of the following subjects for various offenses:

Alexander Potts, age 30, from Main Street in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on August 22, 2011 by Patrolman Christopher Dee and Patrolman Raymond Sofield of the Quality of Life Unit for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was processed and released pending a court date.

Thomas Hardie, age 29, from Hosford Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on August 23, 2011 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $1,000.00 bail.

Ciro Taormina, age 49, from Main Street in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on August 23, 2011 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein for Shoplifting from the Walgreens Store. He was processed and released pending a court date.

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Filed under arrest warrants, Contempt of Court, Crime Scene Middletown, drug paraphernalia, drug possession, forgery, identity theft, Marijuana, Middletown Police Report, shoplifting

Letters To The Independent Expressing Outrage Over Cancellation Of Fall Brush Pick-Up

This letter appearing online today and in print tomorrow in The Independent sums up how some residents feel towards the notion that Middletown has decided to suspend the fall brush collection and fine anyone putting debris curbside this year.

It just happens to be a nice and coincidental accompaniment to my earlier post.

I have been living in Middletown since January of 2003 and have a totally different view of the brush collection than what was described in the Aug. 11 issue of the Independent (Brush collection at issue in Middletown).

The leaf collections in my district have usually been designated around Nov. 1 of the year. The leaves don’t start falling until Oct. 30 and aren’t finished falling until Dec. 1. I don’t have anything to put out on Nov. 1. It’s unrealistic to think that a leaf pickup can be made around Nov. 1; in general, the leaves haven’t fallen and been gathered until around Thanksgiving.

As long as I can remember, there has been a brush pickup around the third week in August. No one is even thinking about pruning anything during the dog days of August, but since it’s been that way for the past eight years, I started to work in my yard around Aug. 1. I didn’t put anything out, because I was waiting to get the flier in the mail giving the dates. When it didn’t arrive, I checked the Middletown website and it was frozen for about two weeks because a new website was being initiated.

When I didn’t receive my tax bill in the mail, I decided to check for tax information on the Middletown website. While I was looking for the tax deadlines, I saw there was a notice that the brush pickups had been completed and as of July 20, the pickup was suspended until next spring. It came as a complete surprise to me.

As I walked around the area, I mentioned the pickup suspension to neighbors and friends, and no one knew there was going to be a suspension of the brush pickup until the spring.

Your article mentions that some people have put brush out. Of course they have; after all, they’ve been living here for years and there’s always been a brush pickup around the third week in August. No notices have gone out to state otherwise. Surely they could have put a notice in with the tax statements and bills.

The winter of 2009-10 was particularly brutal — ice storms, heavy snow, high winds. There was a tremendous amount of damage in Middletown; it seemed no one escaped it. Our property had huge pine limbs down, from my yard, from neighbors’ yards, blocking sidewalks; everywhere you looked therewere problems. In late February as soon as the snow melted, my husband and I started to make some progress to fix fences, cut limbs and pile up debris on our property. Then on March 13 we had a horrendous wind and rainstorm and that morning when we opened our garage door we had a huge pine tree come down. Thankfully there was no one harmed, no damage to the property, but still a huge tree down.

A leaf pickup had been scheduled for March 18 because the leaf pickup in this area had been in early November and no one had leaves out then because there wasn’t much down at that time. Most of the leaves had been crushed and frozen, so there wasn’t much to put out. Then on the night of March 17, as my husband and I returned from dinner out, there was a message from the township on our answering machine. It was 8 p.m., March 17, and there was a message on my phone that the pickup for leaves and brush would begin on the morning of March 18. We couldn’t believe our ears. The next morning my husband left for work at 6 a.m., and at 7 a.m. I started hauling the logs, limbs, leaves, brush, you name it, out to the street.

By 10:30 a.m. I was exhausted, and there they were, doing the pickup. Maybe 10 percent of it was out. What was I to now do with the 90 percent that remained, including a huge pine tree that needed to be chopped up? That Saturday morning, some friends came to help us and they had a truck and helped us get the debris to the dump. We had gotten a huge 14-hour notice on the pickup — someone must have gotten a big laugh out of that, but believe me, it wasn’t me.

Yes, people do put brush and leaves out too early sometimes — it happens. It seems that not too much thought goes into the scheduling of these pickups and there’s a sincere lack of organization and planning. I have registered on the township website and I have gotten alerts about storms and electric problems, and I think I should have gotten a phone message or an email alert about the suspension of the fall brush pickup. Now I’ve been spending my time breaking brush up into plastic bags and bringing it toKane’s Lane and cleaning my car out after every pickup. Thanks a bunch, Middletown!

Now let’s get to the point of fines. I’d like to fine someone for not picking up my spring pickup until the last week of June this year. That was a disgrace! It was a traffic hazard and a pedestrian hazard, especially where there are no sidewalks. Maybe the citizens should start fining government and things will get straightened out.

Anne and Tom Cafiero Middletown



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Filed under brush and leaf pickup, DPW, fallen branches, letter to the editor, Middletown NJ, storm debris, the Independent

Middletown Cancels Fall Brush Pick-Up; who will pay to have their brush picked up after Hurricane Irene blows through?

Some may have come to hear that Middletown has suspended its fall brush pick-up this year and will levy a hefty fine on any homeowners placing brush in the street curbside. I would bet however that many more haven’t heard about it.

On July 29th, the Township announced that it was suspending the fall brush pick-up through a newsflash and posting on its website.

During the August 1st Township Workshop meeting a further discussion took place amongst Mayor Fiore, Deputy Mayor Brightbill, Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger and other township professionals that sighted apathy of residents, the cost to pick-up brush, diminished manpower and the fact that the Fall brush pick-up just isn’t that important.


Furthermore a new and improved brush/leaf ordinance was introduced that puts some teeth into the old brush/leaf ordinance by allowing the Police Department and Code Enforcement Officers to issue summonses of some, as yet undetermined sum. In addition, if the Department of Public Works has to cleanup the improperly placed debris, they will charge the homeowner with the costs of removal and disposal of said debris.

But what will happen to homeowners now that the brush pick-up is canceled, when a hurricane like the upcoming Hurricane Irene, blows through and leaves widespread storm debris and broken tree limbs all over the place; will the Township decide that they must reverse it’s decision and collect fallen debris or just leave homeowners to their own recourses? This isn’t right and seems like way to squeeze residents with a hidden tax to clean up fall brush that has always been part of the residents’ taxes to being with. After all, the cost of gasoline and the amount of roads throughout the township hasn’t changed much from last year; how much additional would it really cost? If you look back to just last year, the Township combined the leaf and brush pick-up in many areas and those on the Township Committee almost fell over backwards, patting themselves on the back and heaping praise on the DPW for completing the job before Christmas.

The same could be done this year.

Another possible solution to the cancelling of the fall brush pick-up altogether and then charging/fining residents if they place debris curbside would be to publish scheduled brush pick-up dates as is normally done, but instead of going house to house picking up brush, have residents call the DPW and inform them of the need for pick-up. In this way the collection can be done efficiently in one or two days as opposed to the several or more days currently scheduled. If after that time, it is found that residents in a given zone have left brush at the curbside do you charge them for pick-up service or send them summonses for non-compliance of the new and improved ordinance.

The past few years the Republican majority in Middletown have ran on slogans like “Taxpayers First” and “New Faces/New Ideas” but all Middletown has gotten is higher taxes and less services from a few new faces that have recycled ideas from others as if they were their own.

If a couple of big storms/hurricanes make it our way before the end of the season there will be a need need for a fall brush pick-up, hopefully that need will not be a burden. All ready stressed residents shouldn’t have to pay a hidden tax to have their storm debris collected by the Township when they have become accustomed to this type of public service in the past.

This truly is a “Quality of Life” issue.

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Filed under brush and leaf pickup, DPW, hurricane damage and debris, Middletown Township Committee, public service, quality of life