Monthly Archives: December 2011

Friday Morning Funnies: Puns for Educated Minds IV

1. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

2. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.

3. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’

4. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says ‘Dam!’

5. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

6. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

7. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

8. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

These were the last of our puns for the educated mind, thanks once again goes out to LB for send them along. If anyone else has a few puns, jokes or riddles they would like to pass along for others to enjoy send them to me for posting.

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Filed under educated minds, Friday Morning Funnies, Puns

2011, Buh Bye!

posted over on Youtube by JibJab

From Charlie Sheen’s #winning tweets to the debt ceiling crisis and global protests, it seems the whole world went nuts in 2011. Join us as we reminisce about the most notorious moments of the year in our 7th annual year in review… this time sung by a popsicle stick puppet choir!

2011, Buh-Bye! Lyrics

Two Thousand Eleven was hairy,
A year unlike any we’ve seen.
There were Schweddy Balls from Ben & Jerry,
And a warlock assassin named Sheen! Winning!

Lohan!
Strauss-Kahn!
Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Cain-
THREE 9s!
Big Trials!
Love Childs!
Two Thousand Eleven, buh-bye!
AGHAGHAGHAG!

The S&P blew up our rating.
The job market stayed in a slump, a slump.
The debt ceiling kept us debating
While Weiner just tweeted his junk!

Tax more!
Class war!
I nearly got hit with a pie!
Banzai!
Health threats!
Greek Debts!
Two Thousand Eleven, buh-bye!

The whole Arab world was rebelling.
So long, Moo-a-mar Ka-da-FAY!
While soldiers were asking and telling…
We told the whole world, “We’re not gay!”

We finally took out bin Laden.
Japan had one hell of a year! (A year)
There were riots in Britain —
How rotten!
The rapture!
Not yet, but it’s near! (Next year)

Got hitched!
Got ditched!
Got knocked-up,
Went bankrupt,
We unsubscribed!
Hairspray!
Friday!
Two Thousand Eleven, buh-bye!

There were Occupy Wall Street protesters,
And folks who will surely be missed,
Falling satellites!
Panicked investors!
There’s just way too much stuff to list! (To list)

Quakes!
Crimes!
New signs!
Loose Lions and Tigers And Bears (Oh my!)
Let’s cheer the new year!
Two Thousand Eleven
You’re ending — Thank heaven!
Two Thousand Eleven, BUH-BYE!!!

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Filed under Barrack Obama, Charlie Sheen, jib jab, New Year, Osama bin Laden, political parody, YouTube

Political Affiliations Over Participation Matter More When It Comes To Board Appointments

Due to my work schedule I can’t make as many Township Committee meeting as I would like, but when I do have to opportunity to attend a meeting I usually walk away enlightened, though usually not in a way that people would expect. I often walk away shaking my head because often those that sit up on the dais, both elected and appointed, show their contempt and arrogance for anyone that disagrees with them.

I have witnessed more than once, the shameful display of eye-rolling, sneers, snickering, laughter and outright contempt directed at those who express concerns that run contrary to what those on the dais feel or believe. Many times, instead of allowing a person to speak they are cut-off in mid-sentence and berated the likes of Tony Fiore or the Township Attorney Brian Nelson, and because an argument often ensues the speakers points go unaddressed.
During the Dec. 19th public hearing on Ordinance 2011-3048, the ordinance to expand the Middletown Library Board of Trustees, much of the same behavior was witnessed being directed at two who spoke against the expansion of the board of trustees. Only this time, Tony Fiore inadvertently admitted what many throughout Middletown already know,that is unless you are a loyal Republican you have no chance of having your concerns or opinions truly addressed or heard and unless you are someone that would have voted for him or others on the dais in an election, you have virtually no chance whatsoever of being able to participate on various boards or commissions that are sponsored by the Township.
Here’s the proof to back up my point; during the hearing Ms. Linda Baum, who has been very critical of the Township Committee, its members and their practices was addressing her concerns and disapproval of the ordinance. During much of this time, she was often interrupted by Tony Fiore and told that what she was saying was not relevant (even though it went to the heart of the matter for the reason for expanding the board of trustees) and when she reiterated the thoughts of another speaker, Melanie Elmiger, about politicizing the process for appointments, Ms. Baum stated how she had applied for one of the new appointments to the Library’s Board of Trustees but didn’t expect to get it because of her party affiliation (Ms.Baum is a register Democrat), at which point Fiore basically agreed. Ms. Baum continued her discussion by stating that active participation matters and that those that participate by going to meetings and paying attention to what goes on at said meetings, should have a higher priority for consideration when it come to appointments to the various boards that individuals take the time and interest to attend meetings for. She stated that those people would have a better understand of what goes on then those that have never attended a meeting before.
Somehow though, Tony Fiore disagreed with that logic and said that it wasn’t necessarily the case.
Below is an excerpt from the current edition of “It’s Your Town” newsletter that documented the exchange between Fiore and Baum along with a brief audio clip that captures some of the exchange between the two.
The audio is just enough to support my point about the arrogance of those that represent Middletown residents on the Township Committee and the blatant partisan politics that they play:

“…She said she wanted to repeat what Ms. Elmiger said earlier relating to the political appointments as a method of selection. She said she applied to be appointed to the Library Board but did not

expect to be appointed because of party affiliation. Mr. Fiore said that Ms. Baum had as much of a chance of being appointed to the Library Board as he had in having her vote for him in the election. Ms. Baum said that participation matters and they should think about who attends the Library meetings because they would be up on what is going on. Mr. Fiore said that is not always the case…”

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

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Filed under Board of Trustees, Linda Baum, Middletown Library, Middletown Township Committee, partisan politics, party affiliation, public hearing, Tony Fiore

Brightbill Denies Interest in Silva’s Job; We’ll See

Back on Monday, December 19 th, I was the first to break the story about Middletown Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Gregg Silva being placed on indefinite administrative leave. In that post, I commented that a rumor was also circulating that departing Township Committeewoman Pamela Brightbill was next in line to replace Silva as Director.

At that evenings Township Committee meeting, Brightbill was praised and lauded by her fellow committee members and members of the public, for her years of service to the Township.
At no time during the course of the evening did Gregg Silva’s name come up or did anyone suggest that Pam Brightbill would make a good replacement for him (although other suggestions were made about what boards or committees she would excel at if placed on).
It wasn’t until after the meeting that Township officials were approached by members of the media about Silva’s departure and the rumor about Brightbill taking over for him.
To be expected, no one would publicly comment on Silva’s situation and only state that the matter was being handle internally.
Kudos however goes to Sue Morgan of Middletown-Patch for going the extra mile by asking Pam Brightbill in a telephone conversation the following day, if she was interested in taking over for Silva to run the Department of Parks & Recreation.
According to the article that was posted, Brightbill denied having any interest in taking over for Gregg Silva and saying that she prefers to continue volunteering on one or more advisory boards.

The brief article then goes on to state inadvertently, the very reason why so many feel that Brightbill is next in line to succeed Silva by stating, “The deputy mayor’s extensive resume of community involvement includes times on the advisory board to the parks and recreation department and other volunteer activities relative to township government and the local school district.”

I for one said at the time I heard the rumor, that I thought it was unlikely for Pam Brightbill to take over for Gregg Silva and I am glad that she has now gone on the record denying having any interest, but to be frank, I wouldn’t have expected her to confirm having interest either.
We’ll just have to sit back and see what happens over the next few weeks concerning the ongoing investigation of Gregg Silva and whether or not he is terminated as a Township employees, before we can place any credence on Pam’s denials.

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Filed under administrative leave, Gregg Silva, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Middletown Patch, Middletown Township Committee, Pamela Brightbill

It’s Your Town – Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 24-12/19/11

The latest and last edition of “It’s Your Town” newsletter for the year, which covers the Middletown Township Committee meeting for Dec. 19th, 2011, is now available for your reading pleasure.

Besides the usual contents of the newsletter such as the monthly bill list and various ordinances and resolutions, inside this newsletter you will read a very accurate representation of the public hearing concerning the expansion of the Middletown Library’s Board of Trustees, Ordinance 2011-3048 , which became a rather testy affair at times between acting mayor Tony Fiore and the members of the public that stepped forward to address their concerns over the expansion of the board.
The expansion of the Library Board is seen by many as a way for the Township to gain greater influence over the Library’s budget and business dealings, to ensure that future surpluses are readily available for the Township’s purposes and a repeat of the public spectacle that took place earlier this year over the Township Committee’s ruthlessly brutal extortion of $500K worth of surplus and reserved funds from the Library.
This was also the last Township Committee meeting of acting deputy-mayor Pamela Brightbill, who decided not to seek reelection to the Township Committee this year. A Proclamation was presented to Brightbill for her years of service.
You can download the newsletter ….. Here

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Filed under budget surplus, Its Your Town, Middletown Library, Newsletter, Pamela Brightbill, proclamations, public hearing, resolutions and ordinances, Tony Fiore

Dec 19th Hearing on the Ordinance Adding Two Additional Trustees to the Library Board: M’town Patch & Independent articles contain inaccuracies

By guest blogger Linda Baum

If you are a regular to Mike’s blog, by now you are well informed about the Library’s $500,000 transfer to the Township this year and the Town Committee’s plan to increase the number of Library trustees from 7 to 9 in 2012.

A public hearing on the Ordinance increasing Board membership was held at the Town Committee meeting on Monday, December 19th. Several reporters were present at the hearing. Mike Davis’s article in the Independent and Sue Morgan’s in the Middletown Patch were posted within a day or two. While they get points for timeliness, they lose some for accuracy.

Sue Morgan misstates the amount of the Library’s annual budget as $700K – it is $3.7M – but that is a minor error compared to the second to last sentence of her article. She wrote:

“Under an agreement hammered out by both the board and the committee, the township is now carrying the debt service on the library’s parking lot which recently underwent extensive repairs, the mayor added.”

The statement is inaccurate in two ways. As far as I know, there was no major work done to the lot recently, and the Library did not proceed with its lot expansion. Further, per the agreement this year between the Library and the Township, the Library has only two options for covering the cost of its capital improvements – they can pay cash or they can make the debt service payments on bonds (or notes) issued by the Township.

I don’t recall Mayor Fiore making the statement as it reads in the Patch article, and I think it can be attributed to an intentionally misleading comment he made, as quoted in the Independent, about encompassing “some of [the Library’s] capital projects into [the Township’s] capital program, including their parking lot and solar projects.” That made it sound like the Township is paying, but there is no cost to the Township for either the lot expansion or the solar project, which is a power purchase arrangement that involves no capital outlay.

Both the Independent and Patch articles included comments made by both Melanie Elmiger and myself. Melanie presented her comments very well at the hearing and I think they were captured fairly accurately in the articles. However, I think some of what I said was misrepresented in the Independent.

I would like to set the record straight, so here is a recap of my comments at the hearing along with excerpts from the Independent where I feel Mike Davis missed the mark.

Mayor Fiore has been framing the increase in Library Board membership as just an increase in public participation, with no other motive. So if more participation is a good thing for the Library Board, I questioned why that isn’t also true for the Sewerage Authority (TOMSA) Board and for the Town Committee itself, both with just 5 members each controlling budgets of $9 million and $60 million, respectively. In contrast, the Library Board currently has 7 members, soon to be 9, overseeing a budget of $3.7 million.

My point was that the Town Committee’s stance about the need for more public participation on the Library Board runs counter to their stance about the participation levels on other boards & committees. (Keep in mind the Town Committee has resisted the formation of a finance committee that would increase public participation and oversight of its own activities.)

Mayor Fiore replied that TOMSA has 7 board members, and I was quick to correct him that it is a 5-member board with 2 alternates, where only 5 vote at any time. Fiore again insisted, incorrectly, that there are 7 members.

Besides the inconsistencies in board size, there are also inconsistencies in oversight. I compared the Township’s scrutiny of the Library’s budget and operations to its hands-off approach to TOMSA and said that a consistent policy was needed. Fiore said that they do oversee TOMSA and that the money TOMSA gave to the Township – $730K over the last two years – is proof of that. Ridiculous. As I see it, that handout could just as easily be interpreted as a concession to avoid scrutiny. Regardless, it certainly can’t be construed as proof of oversight.

(An aside: If the Town Committee is really overseeing TOMSA and is so gung ho about public participation, how is it the TOMSA Board was able to avoid the public’s eye recently by ignoring a legal mandate to publish notice of their budget hearing? And shouldn’t oversight of TOMSA’s budget entail elimination of unwarranted expenses, such as medical and pension benefits for Board members? The Township has sanctioned these costs!)

Mike Davis’s article contains some partial quotes, inaccuracies, and re-ordering of comments that, combined, miss the point I was trying to make. He describes my comments as follows:

“Public participation is a good thing. You see [that] nine members are needed to oversee a $3.8 million budget,” she said, also citing the seven members who make up the Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority.”

The Township Committee was not exempt, she said.

“Right now you have five people on the Township Committee controlling a $60 million budget. It seems to me you need a consistent policy here. If you’re going to watch one closely, watch them all closely,” Baum said.

I think that anyone reading that would have trouble following my logic. Also, he makes it sound like I’m arguing in favor of the two additional appointees to the Library Board, which I wasn’t. I’m against it given the current political environment, but I admit I may not have stated that outright. I didn’t organize my comments as well as Melanie did, so I can understand if there was confusion.

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Filed under Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, budget surplus, guest blogger, Linda Baum, Middletown Library, Middletown NJ, Middletown Patch, public hearing, the Independent, TOMSA, Tony Fiore

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Tom & Jerry -Night Before Christmas

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Filed under Saturday morning cartoons, The Night Before Christmas, Tom and Jerry