Monthly Archives: January 2012

Princess Picks the Super Bowl! – Giants v. Pats

Princess the Camel is all over the news today, it seem that the only time anyone pays much attention to her is when she is making a Super Bowl prediction that involves our beloved NY Giants, which is not the case here. I’ve been covering Princess and her picks all season long on this blog!


As you all know Princess has an outstanding record this season that currently stands at 14-6. Myself and many more Giants fans out there are hoping that her record extends to 15 correct picks after next Sunday’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis where the NY Giants and the NE Patriots will meet in a rematch of Super Bowl XLII.

Princess’s big prediction for Super Bowl XLVI next week is that the Giants will come out victorious once again against the Patriots.

Here’s what she had to say:

“…I know all about Belichick & Brady. I know how good the Patriots can be, but I’ve got a feeling Brady will be on his butt more often than not, the Giants defense is that good!! Eli and the offense will do what it takes to win.”

If you are interested in watching Princess make her pick, Brick Patch has a video posted online showing Princess and her handler John, making the pick.

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Filed under Eli Manning, New England Patriots, NFL picks, NY Giants, Princess the Camel, rematch, Super Bowl XLVI, Tom Brady

Monmouth County Planning Board To Discuss State Strategic Plan; Public Hearing Scheduled

It’s nice to see that one of our locally elected officials is hard at work at the job he was appointed to by our “Rockstar” governor.

For a hint at who that individual might be, take a look at the email address below.

Keep up the good work there Scharfy!


The Monmouth County Planning Board, under the chairmanship of Vincent Domidion, will discuss the Proposed final draft of the State Strategic Plan: New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan, dated October 11, 2011., on February 20, 2012 at 2 p.m., at the Hall of Records Annex, 1 E. Main Street, Freehold, NJ.

STATE PLANNING PUBLIC HEARING

As part of the State Planning Public Hearing, a presentation will be given at Monmouth University on February 28, 2012 at 6 P.M. At 7 p.m. a Public Hearing will be held .

This presentation and public hearing will be held at Bey Hall, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue, West Long Branch.

To access a copy of the Proposed Final Draft State Strategic Plan: New Jersey State Development and Re-Development Plan you may go online:

www.state.nj.us/state/planning/plan-draft-final.html

Or you may access by phone
609-633-8301
email: gerard..scharfenberger@sos.state.nj.us

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Filed under Freehold NJ, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, Monmouth County Planning Board, Monmouth University, strategic plan

What I Learned; Ted Gets An Assistant, Janet Gets A Raise And Gregg Takes The Money

Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press had a small article posted online last night about the future of Middletown’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The article didn’t contain anything that we didn’t already know about how the department will be restructured. Middletown’s Department of Public Works headed by Ted Maloney, will take over the maintance of the township’s parks and Janet Adams, the director of the Tonya Keller Community Center will oversee how township parks and beaches are used by various groups.

What I did learn from the article is that Middletown will be hiring Ted Maloney an assistant director, Janet Adams will get a nice raise and former Director of Parks and Recreaction Gregg Silva, who retired on January 1st while under an unspecified investigation, will walk away with a big fat lump sum payment from the Township for unused sick and vaction days!

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Public Works, Gregg Silva, kevin penton, Ted Maloney, Tonya Keller Center

Board of Education Elections Move From April To November This Year

In case you missed it, the NJ Legislature recently passed legislation (Bill A4394) that allows school board elections to be moved to the general election in November. The new law also stipulates that the school budget does not need to be approved by the public if the budget increase is within the 2% cap. However, referendums and supplemental budget items would still require public approval.

At its 1/18/12 meeting, the Middletown Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to move its election, normally held in April, to November. The Board terms that would have expired this April are automatically extended until November. Five spots on the Board are up for election at that time, Joan Minnuies, Michael Donlon and Leonora Caminiti are up for re-election while new members Sue Griffin and James Cody, who filled unexpired terms of resigning board members, will be listed on the November ballot.

For the record, I’m not against moving the Board of Education elections to November per say. I think the more people that come out to vote, for or against, the candidates and school budget the better. Citizen participation is a good thing.

What I worry about however is that these elections will become much more politicized than they are now, which will take away from and could be confused with, real issues that effect local governments and school systems.

Board of Education candidates will align themselves with the political parties and will feel pressure to tow the party line and adhere to the wishes of state and local party bosses, over the best interests of those in the school systems.

To run an effective municipal campaign for Township Committee, campaigns could spend in excess of $100,000 to win an election. In contrast most school board candidates spend less than $7,000.

A town’s Board of Education will essentially be up for sale each year to the special interests that donate the most to the candidates up for election , it could get messy.

Last weeks edition of the Independent has an article about the Middletown Board of Education’s decision to switch it’s election from April to November.

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Filed under Bill A4394, Middletown Board of Education, NJ State Legislature, School Board elections, school budgets

Crime Scene Middletown; Arrest Warrants Dominate Police Report For 1/20/12 – 1/24/12

Written by Middletown Township Police Department
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 -Arrests do not indicate convictions

Thomas Burgos, age 24, from Piave Avenue in Staten Island, NY, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Richard Fulham on Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Middletown and Parsippany Municipal Courts. He was held on $1,215.00 bail.

Christopher Hartman, age 26, from Fairview Drive in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Adam Colfer for Driving While Intoxicated on Cherry Tree Farm Road. He was released pending a court date.


Aarron Butts, age 25, from Throckmorton Avenue in Eatontown, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein for Criminal Mischief, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Receiving Stolen Property. He was held on $7,500 bail with a 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Chester Kaczprowicz, age 56, from Lexington Court in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Patrolman Greg Buhowski on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.
Joseph Lepkoski, age 20, from Gillville Lane in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Corporal Keith MacDonald on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $1,000.00 bail.

Michael Kelly, age 38, from Southview Terrace in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Patrolman Christopher Dee for Disorderly Conduct and Loitering with the Intent to use a Controlled Dangerous Substance. He was released pending a court date.

Robert Ervin, age 24, from Lorillard Avenue in Union Beach, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein for Disorderly Conduct and Theft. He was released pending a court date.

On January 21, 2012 Corporal Thomas Meckier arrested a 17 year old male juvenile from Middletown, NJ, for Bruglary, Harassment and Criminal Mischief. He was released pending a court date.

Biagio Timoniere, age 46, from Harvard Street in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Corporal Keith MacDonald on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $407.00 bail.

Deborah Kopacz, age 58, from Wilson Avenue in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Cocaine and Receiving Stolen Property. She was released pending a court date.

James Postiglione, age 47, from Club House Drive in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Richard Belmonte for Obstructing the Administration of Law, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. He was released pending a court date.

John Hegel, age 55, from Montana Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Ryan Riffert for Shoplifting from the Sears Store. He was released after posting $5,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Scott Kruse, age 28, from Elyar Terrace in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Corporal Keith MacDonald on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.

Keith Muhlon, age 34, from Glen Avenue in Hazlet, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by patrolman Anthony Bumbico on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Parsippany Municipal Court. He was released after posting $89.00 bail.

Gordon Reiger, age 56, from Florence Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein 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 $1,000.00 bail.

Kimberly Reiger, age 20, from Prospect Avenue in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Richard Raike on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Westwood Municipal Court. She was held on $1,200.00 bail.

Nicholas Ballard, age 21, from Birchwood Lane in Middletown, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Richard Raike for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and on a Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $4,790.00 bail.

Christoph McCleary, age 28, from Maple Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on January 22, 2012 by Patrolman Richard Fulham on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Woodbridge Municipal Court. He was held on $1,303.00 bail.

Charile Brito, age 38, from Newark Avenue in Jersey City, NJ, arrested on January 20, 2012 by Patrolman Joseph Ahlmeyer on a Contempt of Court issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold, NJ, on $750.00 bail.

Connor Post, age 18, from Linda Street in Belford, NJ, arrested on January 21, 2012 by Patrolman Jason Caruso for Disorderly Conduct, Obstructing the Administration of Law and Resisting Arrest. He was held pending bail.

Adam Stranges, age 20, from Sandy Hook Avenue in Belford, NJ, arrested on January 22, 2012 by Patrolman James Beirne on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Highlands Municipal Court. He was held on $630.00 bail.

Laurie Ruane, age 49, from Roebling Court in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on January 22, 2012 by Patrolman Richard Belmonte for Simple Assault. She was released pending a court date.

Austin Norris, age 24, from Pineview Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on January 22, 2012 by Patrolman Greg Buhowski on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $857.00 bail with a 10% option.

Andrew Diantonio, age 24, from Schanck Road in Holmdel, NJ, arrested on January 24, 2012 by Patrolman Stephen Keller on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by Tinton Falls Municipal Court. He was released after posting $106.00 bail.

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Filed under arrest warrants, Contempt of Court, Criminal Mischief, disorderly conduct, drug paraphernalia, DWI, Middletown Police Report, shoplifting, stolen property

Presidency of Middletown Library Board sought by new Board member; Proof of Politicalization

By guest blogger Linda Baum

Last Wednesday’s Library Board meeting (1/18/12) started at 7:00 p.m. and ran over four and a half hours. This was the first meeting of the new 9-member Board, five of whom are new appointees.

Sixteen members of the public attended the meeting, in whole or in part, and it was a veritable “who’s who” of the Republican Party. Among others, there were Committeeman and former Library Board member Kevin Settembrino, Committeeman and Deputy Mayor Steve Massell, Emil Wrede (TOMSA Board), James Hinkley (TOMSA Board), Tristen Nelsen (former Township Committee candidate), and some others sitting with them. I caught what I can only describe as “knowing” glances that told me many there were not strangers to each other. I leave to you to decide whether their purpose in attending was to support, to intimidate, or simply to be informed.

There were some regular folks at the meeting, too – we were discernable by our much more casual clothing.

Things began on a cordial note, with introductions and brief backgrounds. That was followed by a discussion of expenses and service contracts, which I’ll address in a separate post. Overall, the new Board members were very critical of Library operations, even accusatory.

When it was time for the election of 2012 officers, Ms. Sherry Miloscia presented the Nominating Committee’s recommendation of Mr. Randall Gabrielan as president, Ms. Vivian Breen as vice president, and Ms. Marjorie Cavalier as treasurer. There was no recommendation for the office of secretary because the original nominee, Ms. Rachel Raymond, the School Superintendent’s alternate for the prior year, was not reappointed to the Board for 2012. Ms. Miloscia found that out just five days before this meeting and had then contacted new Board member Lawrence Nelsen to offer him the role of secretary, but he turned it down, saying he didn’t feel qualified.

Committeewoman Stephanie Murray took issue with the use of a Nominating Committee – commonly used by many boards – and was fast to make her own nomination when informed that taking additional nominations from the floor was routine procedure. She started right at the top, recommending newcomer Lawrence Nelsen for president. She turned to him and said, “Would you do it? Would you do this?,” as if it had never been discussed. He agreed, of course, and didn’t seem surprised, but many of the public attendees were amazed at the audacity.

Ms. Miloscia asked Mr. Nelsen why he felt qualified to be president when he said he didn’t feel qualified enough to be secretary. Mr. Nelsen denied saying that. “Yes you did,” she replied.

Ms. Murray felt that a person with a financial background should be president — Mr. Nelsen is an accountant. Others pointed out that the treasurer’s position would be a good place for an accountant concerned with finances to start. The treasurer’s position was available, but Mr. Nelsen wasn’t interested in it.

The reasoning that the Board needs a president with financial experience is not supported if you consider that the Library Board drafted and approved a budget that, despite a reduction in the Township appropriation, still managed to maintain services, employment and most materials.

Something I think was being overlooked is that Board membership provides each trustee the opportunity to oversee operations, whether that person is an officer or not. That participation is precisely the reason given by the Township for expanding the Board.

New Board member Michael Convery asked, “Why do you think Larry can’t be president?” The experienced Board members explained that the position of president requires a lot of knowledge and a lot of time, and that the need to provide guidance to an inexperienced person would put an unfair burden on the Library Director. The many answers and lengthy explanations Ms. O’Neal was required to provide to the new members at this Board meeting is evidence of that.

In short, having an inexperienced person as Board president could hamper Library operations. Therefore, the new trustees did not appear to be acting in the best interest of the Library.

It was suggested that the new members could consult with any respected source, including the New Jersey Library Association, and would be told of the importance of experienced leadership.

I wondered what the president’s rights and responsibilities are that made the position so sought after. I have been provided this explanation:

The president is the first among equals as the Board’s link to the Director on situations where library operations meet library policy, which is set by the Board. The president is the primary Board source for the Director on matters of economic, political, social, employment and legal concerns that impact the library. It is important that the president recognize and honor the distinction between the Trustee’s role of oversight and the Director’s role of management and that the president not attempt to interfere in library operations. In order to fulfill this role, it is essential that the president be knowledgeable and experienced in these matters, qualities that have become even more important in today’s challenging environment.

Also, I am told that the president’s role at meetings is similar to the mayor’s — he sets the tone and guides discussion but has an equal vote.

Ms. Breen pointed out to Ms. Murray that she would not expect to be mayor her first year as a committeewoman. She replied, “No, and I wouldn’t want to,” but seemed to miss the point that Mr. Nelsen was too inexperienced to be president.

The new Board members expressed concern about Mr. Gabrielan’s length of service as president, made reference to the size of the budget, and fell just shy of accusing him of wrong doing. The criticism was unfounded, in my opinion. It was an unfair attack on the character of a man who is well-regarded as a dedicated servant. But that accusatory tone underscored the meeting. Later on, Mr. Nelsen twice referenced Bernie Madoff. That comment offended many of us.

The new members also expressed some frustration with the materials they were provided and felt some information was missing. That drew a sharp response from the others, who asked what they were referring to. The Library Director did her best to explain the information provided and some differences between business in January and the other months of the year.

A woman sitting near me who was a former library employee felt strongly that the problem was that the new Board members were unfamiliar with library operations.

It seemed to me there was a lot of posturing going on by the new members. Last year the Library was villanized, and it seems the stage is being set for that again. I am reminded of that saying that the truth of an accusation doesn’t matter because the damage is done when the accusation is made.

Perhaps in an attempt to quell the accusation and argument, Ms. Breen suggested making Mr. Nelsen vice president. I thought that was a generous concession considering his lack of experience with library matters.

Mr. Convery asked if the election of officers needed to take place right then and was told that there was a need to have officers in place for financial matters and for continuity of operations. The Library’s by-laws call for elections at the January reorganization meeting because terms expire then. (Note that the Township Committee elects its officers in January as well.)

In the end, Mr. Gabrielan was elected president by a vote of 5 to 4. The four new Board members voted as a block for Mr. Nelsen. The deciding vote for Mr. Gabrielan was cast by new Board member Cynthia Wilson, the School Superintendent’s appointee.

While Mr. Convery said that his reason for wanting to delay the vote was to get to know people before voting, I wonder if that was his motive. Had the vote been delayed until the end of the meeting, for example, the outcome would have been different because two of the Board members who voted for Mr. Gabrielan didn’t stay for the whole meeting. Those early departures, at this meeting or any future meeting, change the make-up of the Board. Late arrivals or absences would have the same effect.

After the debate over the presidency, the other officers were selected quickly. Mr. Nelsen was elected vice president; Ms. Cavalier was elected treasurer, and Ms. Breen secretary – each held the same post last year.

As vice president, Mr. Nelsen will run meetings in the absence of Mr. Gabrielan, who has had a near perfect attendance record. Also, the VP title puts Mr. Nelsen in line for the presidency in 2013, when he is certain to get it because the new Board members will have the five votes they need next year with the Township’s replacement of Ms. Miloscia, whose term expires at the end of this year.

With one more voice, the Township’s new appointees will be able to elect to any office any candidate they choose, award contracts as they choose, make employment decisions, and unrestrict any amount of Library reserves for Township use.

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Filed under Board of Trustees, Lawrence Nelsen, Library Reserves, Middletown Library, Randall Gabrielan, Republican Party, surplus funds, TOMSA, Tristan Nelsen

Senator Buono Letter to the Editor – Cervical Cancer Month

There were no flashing lights or red flags that let 4,000 women across this country know that cervical cancer was coming.

Most of these women – mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts – felt no pain and lived normally unaware of the disease that in a matter of time would take their lives.

Most of these women – the majority of whom were under the age of 65 – are survived by friends and family, neighbors and co-workers who loved them and miss their presence daily.

All of these women – casualties of an illness that is 100 percent preventable – should still be here today.

Although the ubiquitous pink ribbons we all see each October may be more prevalent than the teal and white emblems symbolizing cervical cancer awareness in January, we cannot ignore the fact that each year 12,000 women in the United States receive a life-changing diagnosis that they have the disease.

More than ever before, we have the resources to ensure that cervical cancer becomes a thing of the past. In addition to regular Pap smears that can lead to early detection and treatment of the disease, young women under the age of 26 may receive a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, the most common cause of cervical cancer. Federal health care reform provisions effective this August will make these services more affordable and thus more accessible. It is critically important – and potentially life-saving – that every young woman meets with her doctor to discuss these preventative measures.

In the state of New Jersey, this is an important time to think about just how crucial funding for women’s health centers really is. When Governor Christie cut $7.5 million of this support from the budget, he denied many women access to the examinations and care that help prevent and treat diseases that most affect them, including cervical cancer. As a husband and the father of two beautiful young daughters, one would expect that the governor would acknowledge the gravity of this funding.

Just last year, a young woman from Marlboro, through strength and faith, was able to overcome cervical cancer. But her road to being cancer-free was not an easy one. After starting her first full-time job, she went to the doctor for the first time in three years, a practice that had become irregular due to her lack of health insurance after graduating from college. Shortly after that visit, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She did not feel sick. She did not look sick. But it took a decade of chemotherapy, radiation, and a hysterectomy – which left her infertile – for her to make a full recovery.

She is just 35.

This is not a matter of our principles and personal beliefs; it’s about memorializing the 4,000 women who died last year and honoring the young woman from Marlboro and other survivors by making sure that we learn, act, and move forward.

Sincerely,

Senator Barbara Buono
18th Legislative District

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Filed under cervical cancer, Gov. Chris Christie, HPV virus, letter to the editor, Marlboro NJ, Pap smears, Senator Barbara Buono, women's health issues

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; Former Committeeman Tom Wilkens Comments On Swim Club Closing

In this audio clip from last Tuesday night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting, hometown hero, former Olympian and Township Committee member, Tom Wilkens addressed the Township Committee about the sudden news that the Swim and Tennis Club would not be operational for this coming summer season, during the public comments portion of the Township Committee meeting that took place on January 19th.

He expressed his understanding of the issue as a former member of the Township Committee, former commissioner of the Swim Club Utility and current member of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club and wondered if all possible options for keeping the swim club open had been considered.

http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee5TomWilkensComments

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Filed under Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, Olympics, public comments, Tom Wilkens

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; "What about the kids?"

I have a few more audio clips from last Tuesday night’s Township Committee meeting to post concerning the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club.

In this clip you can hear a young lady addressing the Township Committee during public comments and asking them, in light of all the budget cuts enacted by the State and local government when will someone ask the question “what about the kids ?”

http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee4WhatAboutTheKids

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Filed under budget cuts, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, public comments, what about the kids

President Obama’s Weekly Address 1/21/12: America is Open for Business

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people about steps his Administration is taking to make it easier for travelers to visit the United States, because increasing tourism will help local economies and support businesses looking to expand and hire. This plan to boost tourism is part of a series of actions the President has taken without Congress, because we can’t wait any longer to take the steps we need to help grow the economy and create jobs. President Obama also said that in next week’s State of the Union Address, he will outline his blueprint for how our elected leaders and all Americans can work together to create an economy that is built to last.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under business expansion, economy, Job creation, no child left behind, President Obama, State of the Union Address, tourism, Walt Disney World, weekly address