Daily Archives: December 1, 2011

World Aids Day 2011: 30 Years of HIV/AIDS in the US

uploaded to Youtube by aidsgov

These videos highlight 30 years of HIV in the United States

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Filed under Aids Awareness, HIV/Aids, World Aids Day, YouTube

Middletown Library Announces Holiday Film Series

If you’re looking for a little holiday spirit over the next few weeks head over to the Middletown Public Library where they will be showing a classic holiday movie each week between now and Christmas.

Bring the kids after school and let them do their homework or lounge around looking at their favorite books while you enjoy a free movie to get you in the mood for the upcoming December holidays.

Monday, Dec 5th @ 2:30pm: The first in our Holiday Film Series – It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 Christmas drama produced and directed by Frank Capra and based on the short story, The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern. Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, a man whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (played by Henry Travers).

Despite initially being considered a box office flop due to high production costs and stiff competition at its release, it has become a Christmas classic and recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made and Number One on their list of the most inspirational American films of all time.

Next week: Eight Crazy Nights.

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Filed under holiday film series, It's a Wonderful Life, Middletown Library

AP Raw Video: Christmas Comes to the White House

Published on Nov 30, 2011 by AssociatedPress

The White House gets decked out for Christmas, with a shiny decor reflecting the theme ‘Shine, Give, Share.’ Visitors are asked to give thanks to members of the military in forms like written notes

You can watch Michelle Obama’s address to military families prior to the opening of the White House holiday decorations preview event … Here

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Filed under Associated Press, Christmas at the White House, Michelle Obama, Military Families, Raw Video, White House visitors

The Citizens Campaign: Insider Tips For Accessing Public Records

Back on November 18th the Hyperlocal News Association along with the Citizens’s Campaign held a workshop on OPRA and the Sunshine Law, I couldn’t attend but a few people that I know did.

From all accounts, including the video of the workshop below, it was a lively and insightful event that engaged all that were in attendance and provided a wealth of information to those that believe in honest, open and transparent government while giving guidance to those who are interested in how to file OPRA requests with their local governing bodies or governmental entities.
Of particular interest to those who live in Middletown and have ever tried to get information from the Middletown Sewerage Authority (TOMSA), this workshop made it clear that TOMSA is in clear violation of the OPRA law.
People who have inquired about TOMSA policies for providing documents like the budget or bill lists, are told that they are only in paper form and that those in the TOMSA office don’t have the ability to scan them, so documents can’t be provided via email or CD.
If there are any documents that just happen to be in electronic form, only TOMSA Director Patrick Parkinson can approve a request to deliver it via email or on CD. Parkinson then, in violation of existing OPRA rules and fee schedules, determines how much to charge requesters for information requested.
As a case in point, when Sean Byrnes was a sitting Committeeman on the Middletown Township Committee, he was charged an outlandish fee of $75 for a copy of the TOMSA budget! How crazy is that?
The video below is long, it runs for an hour and 42 minutes and I hope that readers can sit through it because when the floor is opened up for a Q&A a lot of problems that people are having trouble with in other towns sounds eerily similar to those problems that people in Middletown come up against when requesting information.

As an FYI to go along with this, NJ State Senator Lorretta Weinberg is working to update the Sunshine and OPRA laws. Senate bill S. 1351 increases from 48 hrs to 3 days the advance notice requirement for agendas, and brings the OPRA law (passed in 1975) up to date with technology, among other changes.

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Filed under Hyperlocal News Association, Lorretta Weinberg, OPRA, Patrick Parkinson, sunshine laws, the Citizens Campaign, TOMSA, workshop meeting