WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama called on the American people to come together in the spirit of service and remembrance as we approach the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. All Americans can pay tribute to those who lost their lives during 9/11 by visiting Serve.Gov to find ways to help within their own communities. Through even the smallest of actions, we can reclaim the sense of unity that followed the attacks, and demonstrate that our sense of common purpose is just as strong today as it was ten years ago. Americans can once again come together to mark this solemn anniversary with service, and move towards a bright future as one nation.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
Sit down this morning and relax a little bit before the “big one” hits. Everyone needs to take a break and smile before going nuts about what might or might not happen when Hurricane Irene blows through our area starting later tonight. It’s cartoon time as far as I’m concerned.
This morning, President Obama was briefed once again by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and senior White House officials about preparations being made for Hurricane Irene. Following the briefing, the President urged Americans in the projected path of the hurricane to take precautions now:
Don’t delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. All of us have to take this storm seriously. You need to listen to your state and local officials, and if you are given an evacuation order, please follow it. Just to underscore this point: We ordered an aircraft carrier group out to sea to avoid this storm yesterday. So if you’re in the way of this hurricane, you should be preparing now.
Visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov for resources on how you can prepare your families, home, and businesses for a hurricane. You can get the latest updates on the progression of Hurricane Irene at Hurricanes.gov.
The President also provided an overview of ongoing federal preparations:
Now, since last weekend, FEMA has been deploying its Incident Management Assistance Teams to staging areas in communities up and down the coast. FEMA has millions of liters of water, millions of meals, and tens of thousands of cots and blankets, along with other supplies, pre-positioned along the Eastern Seaboard. And the American Red Cross has already begun preparing shelters in North Carolina and other states.
These resources are all being coordinated with our state and local partners, and they stand ready to be deployed as necessary. But, again, if you are instructed to evacuate, please do so. It’s going to take time for first responders to begin rescue operations and to get the resources we’ve pre-positioned to people in need. So the more you can do to be prepared now — making a plan, make a supply kit, know your evacuation route, follow instructions of your local officials — the quicker we can focus our resources after the storm on those who need help the most.
To sum up, all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. Although we can’t predict with perfect certainty the impact of Irene over the next few days, the federal government has spent the better part of last week working closely with officials in communities that could be affected by this storm to see to it that we are prepared. So now is the time for residents of these communities — in the hours that remain — to do the same. And FEMA and Craig Fugate, the director of FEMA, will be keeping people closely posted in the next 24, 48 hours.
Middletown Issues State Of Emergency in Wake of Hurricane Irene; Evacuation Of The Bayshore Is Urged
Middletown has issued a state of emergency as of 10:00AM Friday the 26th of August for Middletown Township following Gov. Chris Christie’s and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholder’s declaration of a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irene.
Right now, residents living in coastal and low-lying areas are urged to evacuate voluntarily, especially those who have experienced flooding before.
Weather Updates – www.noaawatch.gov
Monmouth County has established Red Cross shelters in Holmdel High School, 36 Crawford’s Corner Rd., Holmdel, and Wall High School, 1630 18th Avenue, Wall. The shelters will open at 5 p.m. today. Please note pets are not allowed in the shelters.
Middletown Township will provide information updates as they become available via
Telephone using the Reverse 911 system,
Middletown Emergency Radio Station 1620 AM
The township website at www.middletownnj.org,
The township’s television station viewable on Comcast Channel 20 and Verizon Fios Channel 26, and E-mail and cell phone text message.
Residents must be registered with the Township Citizen Communications System to receive e-mail updates and cell phone text messages. Residents can register for alerts and updates at https://middletownnj.my.gov-i.com/signup Registration is not required to receive Reverse 911 phone messages.
Gov. Christie warned potential visitors not to come to the shore this weekend, and he urged residents and visitors along the shore to leave tonight.
A state of emergency will allow the Office of Emergency Management to mobilize all county resources and direct them where they are needed to protect life and property. These actions can include ordering mandatory evacuations and controlling traffic on all roadways.
Irene is expected to arrive Saturday night and continue with high winds and rain throughout the day on Sunday. The governor said he is considering ordering a mandatory evacuation, and the county will follow suit if and when that decision is made.
For everyone else, it is important to prepare for the storm before it hits.
Middletown Emergency Management Coordinator Charles W. Rogers strongly suggests that residents assemble a kit of emergency supplies, creating an emergency plan and tuning into local radio and television for current information.
Recommended items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
· Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
· Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
· Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· First aid kit
· Whistle to signal for help
· Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
· Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
· Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
· Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
· Local maps
· Cell phone with chargers
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
· Prescription medications and glasses
· Infant formula and diapers
· Pet food and extra water for your pet
· Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
· Cash or traveler’s checks and change
· Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from http://www.ready.gov
· Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
· Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
· Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
· Fire Extinguisher
· Matches in a waterproof container
· Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
· Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
· Paper and pencil
· Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Plan – create an emergency plan – Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan a way to contact one another, such as enlisting the help of a third party in another state as a contact, and review what you will do in different situations.
Stay informed – Listen to local radio and television for information on storms and other emergencies
Written by Middletown Township Police Department
Friday, 26 August 2011 -Arrests do not indicate convictions
On August 24, 2011 at approximately 10:05 pm Patrolman Richard Belmonte was on patrol in the area of Leonardville Road when he observed a subject stumbling and falling to the ground. The officer stopped to check on the subject, identified as a 15 year old, male juvenile from Belford, at which point he detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.
Officer Belmonte continued his investigation and was trying to provide assistance when the juvenile began to yell obscenities at the officer. The juvenile was then placed under arrest for Disorderly Conduct. Officer Belmonte conducted a search incident to the arrest and located baggies containing Marijuana inside a backpack he was carrying.
The juvenile was transported to police headquarters where he was charged with the additional offenses of Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was processed and released to his father pending a court date.
The Middletown Police Department reports the arrests of the following subjects on various offenses:
Michael Story, age 19, from Manor Parkway in Lincroft, NJ, arrested on August 24, 2011 by Patrolman Richard Belmonte on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Little Egg Harbor Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.
Ashley Bindewald, age 24, from Norman Lane in Willingboro, NJ, arrested on August 25, 2011 by Patrolman Nicholas Fenezia for Possession of Heroin and on two Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Eastampton and Burlington Township Municipal Courts. She was held on $1,718.00 bail.
Stephen Garey, age 41, from Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arrested on August 25, 2011 by Patrolman Brian Dilworth for Simple Assault. He was released pending a court date.
Andre lake, age 31, from Atlantic Street in Keyport, NJ, arrested on August 25, 2011 by Lt. John Kaiser on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Tinton Falls Municipal Court. He was released after posting $296.00 bail.
Rashon Martin, age 22, from Brainard Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on August 26, 2011 by Patrolman Nicholas Fenezia on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $256.00 bail.
Vaughn Cosby, age 25, from Oakland Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, arrested on August 25, 2011 by Patrolman Michael Reuter on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Holmdel Municipal Court. He was held on $164.00 bail.
This weekend, Hurricane Irene is projected to hit New Jersey. The brunt of the storm will hit our state Sunday. Yesterday, Governor Christie declared a state of emergency, and we should all start preparing now.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has set up a website – www.ready.nj.gov – where you can find comprehensive instructions on what to do in a hurricane. Please print out their checklist. You can also find links to updated weather maps to track Irene’s path.
Here are a few tips to prepare for the hurricane:
• Make sure you have necessities in your home – including plenty of food, water, blankets, batteries, flashlights and a first aid kit.
• Have a hand-cranked or battery-operated portable radio so you can listen to the latest news.
• Have your pantry stocked with canned food and a can opener in case your power goes out.
• If you take medicine, make sure you have an adequate supply and fill all prescriptions beforehand.
• Fill the gas tank in your car and make sure you have cash on-hand in case local gas pumps and ATMs are also affected by power outages.
• In a worst-case scenario, know your local evacuation route – especially if you live in an area prone to flooding.
Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare.
Senator Barbara Buono
Mid’Town Board Of Education Disfunction Leads To Yet Another Superintendent Resignation; Interim Superintendent Pat Houston Storms Out Of Meeting
It’s a shame that I can’t make it to every meeting that goes on around town but luckily there are sources of information like friends, neighbors and Middletown-Patch to keep me informed. After reading what went on during last night’s Middletown Board of Education(BOE) meeting, there isn’t much left to say about how totally dysfunctional the current make up of this BOE is.
According to Middletown-Patch (you can read the article below) Middletown’s interim school Superintendent Pat Houston resigned suddenly and walked out of the meeting due to a 5-2 “No” vote on accepting Houston’s recommendations to hired Middletown High School South Interim Principal, Patrick Rinnella, as it’s new full-time Principal, replacing Dr. Anthony Shallop.
If you remember, last month there was a huge outcry from parents and students when Shallop was demoted as South’s Principal and returned to his former position as a science teacher within the school by the BOE. And to add to Houston’s sudden resignation last night, Shallop also suddenly resigned his position within the school system.
Now that Houston has resigned, Middletown BOE will be looking for it’s fourth Superintendent since January with the possibility of a fifth and High School South will be with out a Principal to start the school year.
When will this insanity stop? I have kids in the school system myself and it’s starting to make me very angry at the direction in which Middletown schools seems to be heading – it’s been all downhill for the past 16 months or more.
I would be remiss however if I didn’t commend board members Vinnie Brand and Mike Mascone for trying to end the craziness last night by voting to approve Pat Houtson’s recommendation of Patrick Rinnella. If approved, Rinnella’s appointment as South’s Principal, as controversial as it my have been, would have shown that a little common sense and stability returned to the school system.
In an abrupt, unexpected move, Middletown Township Schools Interim Superintendent Patrick Houston, minutes ago during the Board of Education
meeting, announced his resignation.
“I can’t work under these conditions,” Houston said before leaving the meeting. “Tomorrow I will be resigning as interim superintendent of schools.”
The public gasped and grumbled as he slammed his microphone down on the dais, at which point Board of Education President Joan Minnuies called for a five-minute recess and Houston clutched his briefcase and walked out of the Middletown High School North meeting venue.
This happened after a contentious majority “no” vote (5-2, with one absent and one abstention) was taken turning down Houston’s recommendation to hire Patrick Rinnella, who was serving as High School South’s interim principal until tonight, as its permanent, untenured principal. A very vocal Vincent Brandt cast one “yes” vote; and Michael Mascone cast the other.
There has been much controversy lately over the demotion of Anthony Shallop, former High School South Principal, and Houston’s rapid recommendation of a new principal. Board members had complained that the move, albeit legal, was made entirely too autonomously by the interim top administrator.
While parents, students and others in the public questioned what they deemed Houston’s lack of transparency about the process to the public and adamantly opposed his earlier recommendation to demote Shallop, they supported Rinella as top candidate to fill the South principal slot.
The majority of the board voted “no” to the recommendation of Rinella’s hiring based on what they saw as a flawed procedure. Those who supported Houston’s recommendation felt that Rinella, regardless of claims of procedural flaw, was qualified for the job and should not be the one to fall victim to board politics.
Rinella declined to comment when seen outside during the break.
Houston, as superintendent, has the legal right to make such a recommendation without any public or board input. Procedure dictates that once such a staff recommendation is made, the board then votes to either sanction it officially or turn it down, with a majority vote. The recommendation then becomes an appointment.
However, in light of recent contentiousness over the Shallop demotion, there has been an outcry from the community to have more input on such decisions. According to the agenda, Shallop, who was due to return to the classroom as a science teacher in September, resigned effective Aug. 30, “for personal reasons.”
While the public, according to comments during the public portion, did not necessarily approve of Houston’s method, they were eager to have a new principal in place at South for the start of the school year.
Tired of what many have called a “revolving door” of administrators in the district, many teachers, administrators and other colleagues applauded the notion of having an administrator in place who has demonstrated commitment to the district and is more likely to stay put.
There were 15 candidates for the job, Houston explained. Fourteen of the 15 were out of district. Rinella was the only in-district contender with experience as assistant principal.
Minnuies, before Houston announced his resignation, had made a motion to revise the procedures by which new administrators are hired.
During the recess, people were outside grumbling, milling around, as the recess extended well beyond five minutes to over half an hour. One woman was crying. Another stormed up to the stage and yelled at the board members after the recess was called.
People were clearly upset over the board voting down Rinella’s appointment as interim principal for South. Much of the source of their malcontent was derived from the fact that with the “no” vote, High School South will begin the school year
without a principal in place.
Board attorney Chris Parton said that it is legal to be without a principal in a school. That fact did not soothe anyone. On the other hand, it is not legal for a school district to operate without its top administrator, the (interim) superintendent. Resignation or not, Houston is obligated by law to stay for a month.
After reassmembling and hearing more disapproving comments from the public and board member Vincent Brandt (who voted “yes” to Rinella), the meeting ended at about 10:45, with a disgruntled public exiting.
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.
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.
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.