Category Archives: Holmdel NJ

>Middletown Democratic Candidate Busted for Possession; Desevo To Be Replaced Soon

>Shocking is all I have to say about the news that broke earlier today concerning Middletown Democratic Candidate for Township Committee, Alex Desevo, who was busted last weekend at the Holmdel Motor Lodge for the possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

I was sitting in the Hazlet movie theater when I received an email with a link to an Asbury Park Press online article about how Desevo was arrested by Holmdel police at 4:54 in the morning on Saturday, June 18, after one of two women he was spending the night with ran out of the room and found her way to the Hazlet Holiday Inn and called police about something that happened while at the Holmdel Motor Lodge. I was in disbelief at the news and started texting and sending emails of my own to a few people in order to get the bottom of it.
What I found out was both sad and tragic, and because I know Alex Desevo personally, and know that despite this incident, he is a very honest and straight forward guy that would do anything for anyone, I wont air his dirty laundry here other than to say that he was having difficulties at home and that was the main reason why he was staying at the motor lodge.
In the face of this situation I want to commend him for not hiding or shirking away from this embarrassing and life altering situation, it’s a testament to his personal fortitude and character in realizing that what he had done was a mistake that he wants to meet head-on and make amends for.
In an article posted on Middletown Patch about Desevo’s troubles, Patch columnist and Editor Elaine Van Develde, was able to track him down for a comment.
Alex confirmed for Van Develde that he was indeed, the same Alex Desevo that was arrested on June 18th and opted not to comment other than to say,”I prefer not to comment at this time on a personal tragedy, I have been a good person all my life.” while noting that he wished to protect his family at this time.
Whatever Alex’s demons are at this time, I can only wish him well and hope that he gets the treatment that he so obviously needs to overcome this sad and tragic personal time in his life.
This is not a time to criticize or ridicule him for letting down those that believed in him as a candidate for office, it’s a time to support him and understand that he is human, like the rest of us, and as such, can succumb to temptations in moments of personal weakness.
The Middletown Democrats will survive and have another candidate to fill Desevo’s place on the ballot very soon I was told by Chairman Joe Caliendo.
Middletown residents have too many other important issues affecting their quality of life for them to care about or fret about, the personal troubles of a candidate that will not be on the ballot come November.
Be well Alex
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Filed under Alex Desevo, Asbury Park Press, crack cocaine, Democratic Candidate, drug paraphernalia, Hazlet NJ, Holmdel NJ, Joe Caliendo, Middletown Patch, Middletown Township Committee

>Restaurant Nicholas’ Master Chef and Owner, Nicholas Harary, Cooked For The Crowd At DearBorn Market

>MiddletownPatch.com has a nice little story online about Restaurant Nicholas’ master chef and owner, Nicholas Harary, cooking for a crowd of devoted fans (myself included) this past Thursday night at Dearborn Market in Holmdel.

Recently, Restaurant Nicholas’ master chef, namesake and owner, Nicholas Harary, worked his magic for the public while kicking off the publication of his new book, “Restaurant Nicholas: The Cookbook.” Harray and his wife are celebrating the award-winning Middetown restaurant’s 10th anniversary.


With the help of his little buddy, four-year-old Nicholas Jr., Harary prepared two unique dishes in front of the audience at Dearborn Farms, Holmdel, as he explained each step of the process.

The first dish was watermelon sashimi, a dish Harary thought up after a fortunate chance meeting of two unlikely ingredients.

“I was at a barbecue at my sister’s place and we had a fruit salad with watermelon,” Harary recalled. “Somehow, a bit of watermelon and a bit feta cheese wound up on my fork at the same time, and I was inspired to come up with a savory dish using watermelon.”

He sliced the watermelon into little rectangles and arranged them to look just like red chunks of tuna sashimi, and then Nicholas Jr. sprinkled feta cheese and black pepper on top. Everyone in the audience was given a taste.

The next dish that Harary demonstrated was a soft-shell crab, lightly fried, and served atop a salad of jicama and red pepper with a sauce made from herbs and an orange juice reduction. One lucky audience member chosen at random got to eat it.

Harary chose Dearborn to hold the demonstration at because he buys much of his restaurant’s produce fresh from their farms.

Afterwards he signed copies of his new book, which is for sale at Dearborn.

There isn’t much more that I could add to the article, Chef Harary and his family were extremely pleasant and exceptionally charming throughout the cooking demonstration and I did purchase a cookbook for myself that I had signed. The watermelon sashimi that he made for everyone was simple and sublime, my wife and I just loved it.
If you look closely at the photos (#5) that accompany the article you just may be able to pick me out in the crowd. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures for myself.

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Filed under Chef Nichols Harary, cooking demonstration, Dearborn Market, Holmdel NJ, Middletown Patch, Restaurant Nicholas

With No Advance Notice, Gov. Christie Visits Holmdel’s Village School

It must have been quiet a surprise for the teachers as well as the students at Holmdel’s Village school earlier today when Gov. Christie showed up unannounce to read a book to Mrs. Klinger-Rossi’s 3rd grade class according to a press release that was issued by Holmdel’s School Superintendent Barbara Duncan.

No word as of yet what book the Governor read to students but I would bet that it wasn’t “My Pet Goat”:

June 8, 2010

Today, June 8, 2010 Governor Christie paid a surprise visit to a very lucky 3rd grade class at Village School. After reading a story to the class the students were given an opportunity to ask the Governor questions. Below is a sample of questions they asked:

They asked the Governor what was the coolest part of his job, and Governor Christie responded, “having dinner at the White House with the President and Mrs. Obama and all of the other governors in the nation.” One student asked what his major goal was and he responded, “to have everyone in New Jersey have a job.”

They asked about what was the hardest part of his job and he said that it was telling people, “No.” One student asked what it was like when he first became governor. Governor Christie explained that he went into his office and didn’t know what he was supposed to do and no one would come and visit him because they were too afraid to enter his office. One student asked what the best part of being governor is and he said, “visiting students in schools.” He also likes to let students into his office when they are on tours of the State house where his office is in Trenton on the Delaware River.

Mrs. Duncan, Superintendent of Holmdel schools asked the last question before the Governor posed for pictures with the class. She asked Governor Christie why reading is so important to him that he would spend his time visiting us and reading a book to our 3rd grade class? The Governor answered her by saying, that reading has always been very important to him and he encourages his children and all children to be avid readers. Mrs. Klinger-Rossi and her class then presented Governor Christie with a certificate for excellence in reading!


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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Holmdel NJ, my pet goat, press release, Village School

Holmdel Democratic Chairman, Tony Orsini, Takes Back Endorsment Of Chris Christie For Governor

A short while ago I received the following email from Holmdel’s Democratic Chairman Tony Orsini. The email is essentionally an open letter to the Christie campaign expressing Orsini’s desired to take back the endorsement of Chris Christie, which he made back in early January.

At the time, Orsini’s endorsement of Christie created a bit of a shock wave around Monmouth County and made for some interesting reading. Orsini was the first Democratic leader to break ranks and throw his support to Governor Corzine’s eventual challenger around these parts, and he caught a lot of grief for it.
Now with the election just a few days away, Chairman Orsini has come back to the fold and will vote for Governor Corzine, eventhough it is somewhat begrudgingly.
Below is the text of the email:
I TAKE IT BACK, MR. CHRISTIE

Back in January when Chris Christie declared himself a candidate for governor, I wrote a letter published in the APP endorsing him despite my position as Holmdel Democratic Chair. Probably due in part Joe Kyrillos having a hand in the campaign, Christie showed an inability to address any of the problems facing New Jersey. He also showed intellectual dishonesty in talking about cutting taxes and eliminating the budget deficit both at the same time. Electing Christie would essentially be replacing a “D” with an “R.” The problems would remain.

Mr. Daggett, an independent candidate, was the only candidate addressing the state’s fiscal problems in a realistic manner. Certainly his medicine is a bitter pill, but he is for the most part on the right track. There are no free rides, especially not at this point. But…

Then Christie did something to really tick me off: he endorsed and had his picture taken with Frank Capaci, Republican candidate for Holmdel Township Committee running against incumbent and former mayor Larry Fink. Mr. Capaci, a.k.a. “Frank the Diet Doctor” (“lose 10 pounds in 10 days”) has been a resident of Holmdel less than 2 years. Mr. Fink is somewhat of a local hero being a strong environmentalist and having a hand in preserving over a thousand acres of land and bringing in millions of dollars to that end. Combining that with the fact that Mr. Christie never listed me on his web site as a supporter (while he lists the megalomaniacal Mayor Serena DiMaso of Holmdel) indicates to me his utter disdain for any Democrat and working to build consensus. So pray tell how will he work constructively with a Democratic legislature? NAHT! Worse yet, the Capaci campaign, directed by Mayor Serena DiMaso, has taken an ugly anti-semetic turn.

I will hold my nose and vote for Jon Corzine. Hey, he’s a marine! Print that, Gallagher!

Tony Orsini
Holmdel Democratic Chairman

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Filed under Chris Christie, endorsement, Gov. Jon Corzine, Holmdel Democrats, Holmdel NJ, Joe Kyrillos, Tony Orsini

Sean Dunne, Independent Candidate for NJ State Assembly District 13, Answers 10 Questions

Sean Dunne is the Independent Candidate for the NJ State Assembly District 13, and since he reached out to me a few weeks ago, I decided to send him a copy of the 10 questions that I had written and sent to other State Assembly candidates from Monmouth County.
I thought that it would be interesting to hear what he had to say and see if his answers would differ much from the other respondents once their questionnaire’s were returned.
The one response that I found interesting was his answer to question 4. Sam Thompson and Amy Handlin have received the endorsement from the environmental group, The Sierra Club eventhough Sam Thompson supports Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminals off the coast of Monmouth County and Amy Handlin had no position on it because she didn’t have a clue about it!
Sean Dunne opposes these terminals as does his Democratic oppennents Jim Grenafege and Bob Brown.

Since Sean was the second to respond, so he gets his answers published today:

1. What is your motivation for seeking a seat in the NJ State Assembly and can you tell us a little about yourself?


I was first interested in volunteering for someone else’s campaign, but I did not find any Independent candidates in the District. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I could dedicate enough time and recruit enough volunteers to launch my own campaign.

I grew up in the area. I graduated from Holmdel High School, and I went on to attend James Madison University in Virginia. After graduation, I moved to Ireland where I lived for approximately ten years. I was involved in postgraduate studies, college lecturing and Irish agriculture. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Sociology at University College Dublin, and a PhD in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. I was also involved in the running of a family farm, which I was able to integrate into the European Union’s Rural Environmental Protection Scheme. I moved back to New Jersey last year.

2. As you meet residents throughout your district what seems to be the greatest concerns they are expressing and how do you plan to address them?


Property tax is a major concern. This needs to be addressed by implementing the necessary laws to reduce the very costly corruption problem in the state, and by cutting through the entrenched waste that taxpayers have to fund each year.

3. What do you hope to accomplish once you are elected to the State Assembly?

I want to put forward many of the “common sense” bills that many people want implemented. Both parties have refused to do this, and it’s time we get an Independent candidate in the Assembly to force the parties to take action or to admit they simply will not. If they take no action, then the voters will know who to vote out in the next elections.

4. What is it that makes your district unique and how does that uniqueness impact your campaign?

If District 13 does not help to protect the Jersey Shore, who will? We need to oppose the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals proposed off the Jersey coastline. The Democratic candidates also oppose them, but Sam Thompson supports them, and Amy Handlin has stated that she “is still looking into them”.

5. If elected, how would your professional background enhance your ability to be an effective State Assembly representative?

I would draw upon my experience in Irish politics to suggest alternatives to certain practices that exist in government here. I also aim to incorporate insights from my own studies (environmental sociology) to policies that I would like to suggest here in New Jersey.

6. Do you have any thoughts on how to contain the growth of state government?


We need to break down the superfluous hierarchies found in areas that range from education to policing. This is critical. We need to abandon the placement of high-ranking officials in every area of government in every small town in New Jersey.

7. Is there any aspect of state government that you believe there is a need to be expanded upon?


The number one priority is cutting back various agencies of state government. This must be done first, as New Jersey simply cannot afford any more growth of state government. After this is done, we can examine areas that might need further aid.

8. Why should residents of your district trust you to represent them in the legislature ?


I am not involved in a political party that has had other members brought to prison for corrupt politics. Both Democrats and Republicans have. My campaign has received no donation of over $250 from anyone other than myself. I therefore answer only to my supporters, which lets me sleep well every night.

9. Why do you identify yourself as an Independent as opposed to a Republican or Democrat?


I’m an Independent because I feel that both parties haven’t done enough, and I feel the current electoral system is undemocratic. Both established parties benefit from their duopoly, and this needs to be attacked at its very base.

10. Is there anything that is important to you that I hasn’t been asked, that you would like to address?

-We need to cut salaries and benefits for this position. It is a part-time job that pays $48,000 a year with benefits. I’d slash the benefits and reduce the pay to $35,000 a year.
-We need mandatory minimum sentences for corrupt politicians and we need term limits.
-We need to review all of the undemocratic policies and structures that both Republicans and Democrats enforce that keep smaller parties and Independents out of office.

To learn more about Sean Dunne visit his website @ www.votedunne.org

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Amy Handlin, Bob Brown, Holmdel NJ, Independent Candidate, Jim Grenafege, Monmouth County, Sam Thompson, Sean Dunne

Independent Candidate for NJ State Assembly District 13, Sean Dunne

For the benefit of those who live in New Jersey’s 13th Legislative District and in the spirit of being “fair and balanced”, I thought that I should let people know that there is a 3rd party candidate seeking to upset Republicans Amy Handlin or Fred Thompson for their seat in the State Assembly.

Holmdel resident Sean Dunne is running as an Independent this year.

Sean sent me an email, reaching out, in hopes that I would give him and his campaign a mention. He said a few nice things about me and the MiddletownMike blog in his email (let’s just say he knows how to be politically correct).

I responded back to Mr. Dunne by letting him know upfront that I was a democrat and that I would be supporting his Democratic opponents Jim Grenafege and Bob Brown while I pointing out to him that his positions on the issues weren’t that different from Jim’s and Bob’s.
He responded with some nice words of understanding and goods words for both Jim and Bob and added:
You and I do have something in common. We both want Handlin out. I personally think Thompson has been there far too long, and I just think that Handlin has done nothing, besides raise fines for underage drinking at the arts center. Here’s my point: If Handlin rushed out legislation to punish underage drinking after the unfortunate event at the Arts Center, why has she not done anything meaningful to punish corruption when it happened right under her nose? I have noticed that Democrats do focus on Handlin, and I can understand why….”
So with that, I decided I would thank him for his good words and tell you a little about him and his campaign.
His “bio”, which can be read at his website www.votedunne.org states;

“…Sean grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He attended Monmouth County schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. After graduating from James Madison University, Sean moved to Ireland where he lived for nearly ten years. He completed postgraduate work that led to the completion of his Doctorate in Sociology in July, 2008….”

On the issues, Sean would like to see mandatory minimum sentences for corrupt politicians and term limits. He would like to end the careers of political entrepreneurs – those who see public office as a financial opportunity and he feels that members of the State Assembly are over paid for the part-time work that they do. He feels that at $45,000 a year, Assembly members are over paid. Their salaries should be immediately cut to $35,000 which would save the State $800,000 annually.
Sean Dunne also sent along this letter to the editor that he wished for me to post:

As an Independent Candidate for State Assembly in District 13, I have
had the opportunity to speak with many people who live in our area.
Many are disenchanted and disillusioned by the rotten corruption that
sits at the heart of New Jersey politics. No amount of advertising
from Republicans or Democrats is capable of convincing voters that
either party has taken the necessary steps to prevent the corrupt
practices that several members of both parties have engaged in
throughout the years.

Albert Einstein told us that “The world is a dangerous place, not
because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do
nothing”. I’ve asked the people at their doorsteps if Assemblyman
Thompson or Assemblywoman Handlin of this District have done anything
to end the culture of corruption in New Jersey. Their answer has
consistently been, “no”. Voters can do something about the corruption
that raises the already high cost of living in our state. They can
vote for an Independent that will fight the rancid corruption that has
been found within both political parties. I ask all readers who also
believe that Republicans and Democrats “look on and do nothing” about
the issue of corruption to join our fight and vote Sean Dunne for
State Assembly on November 3rd.

Dr. Sean Dunne


I would like to wish my new friend Sean Dunne good luck in his quest for the State Assembly. His positions on issues are not that much different from my own thinking and those of his Democratic opponents. In the future it would be nice if Sean Dunne, Jim Grenafege and Bob Brown could work together to help solve issues that effect the 13th district and New Jersey as a whole.

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Amy Handlin, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, Fred Thompson, Holmdel NJ, Independent Candidate, Jim Grenafege, Monmouth County, Republicans, Sean Dunne

New Corzine Campaign Ad Released

The Corzine ‘09 campaign released a new television spot that will be aired in the coming weeks. It is a positive message that highlights Jon Corzine’s leadership on the economy and education.

The new spot is entitled “Top” and features President Barack Obama praising Governor Corzine’s leadership at the recent rally in Holmdel, which was attended by over 17,500 people ( myself included ).

The 30 second ad will air on broadcast and cable television across New Jersey starting today.

In case anyone is interested in fact checking what President Obama has to say about Jon Corzine in this new Corzine’09 ad spot, here is the documentation, knock yourself out:

Corzine introduced the first-in-the-nation economic recovery plan. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Corzine supporters noted “New Jersey was the first state to pass its own economic-recovery plan.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/6/09]

Jon Corzine protected funding for New Jersey schools. According to Education Week “even in an austere budget year, the Garden State found the funds to give precollegiate education a boost, driven in part by Gov. Jon S. Corzine ‘s high-profile campaign to revamp the way the state hands out money to its schools. The $32.9 billion New Jersey state budget for fiscal 2009, signed by the governor July 1, was a decrease from the previous year’s $33.5 billion. But the $7.8 billion it allots for pre-K-12 education is a 7 percent increase over fiscal 2008’s amount…[The education funding] also provides extra money for districts with high concentrations of students from low-income families, and it adjusts for regional cost differences.” The recently passed Fiscal Year 2010 budget also increased education funding to $8.8 billion. [Education Week, 1/7/09; New Jersey Fiscal Year 2010 Budget]

Jon Corzine reformed New Jersey’s schools with tougher standards. According to the Star Ledger, Jon Corzine’s Board of Education “adopted tougher new high school graduation requirements [in June] that aim to prepare all New Jersey students for jobs or college in the 21st century economy. Under the new requirements, which will be phased in between now and 2016, every high school student will have to take three years of more rigorous math courses; three years of lab science; and a half-year of “economics and financial literacy.” Furthermore, “as part of an ongoing effort to boost academic expectations and achievement, the state [in July] made it harder for New Jersey’s third and fourth graders to prove their proficiency on annual tests. Under the new standards adopted by the state Board of Education, public school students who took the exams in May needed to get 50 percent of the answers correct to show proficiency on the language arts and math tests. Previously, the ‘cut scores’ needed to be deemed proficient were between 40 and 45 percent.” [Star Ledger, 6/18/09; 7/15/09]

New Jersey students rank at the top of the country in reading and math. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress a report card issued by the U.S. Department of Education, only one state ranked higher than New Jersey fourth-graders in reading assessment and no states ranked higher in eighth grade reading assessment. In mathematics, only one state ranked higher than New Jersey in fourth grade assessment and only two states ranked higher in eighth grade mathematics assessment. [U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Report Card]

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Filed under campaign rally, Corzine'09, economic leadership, Education, Holmdel NJ, President Obama