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2012 KaBoom Fireworks Display Cancelled and Middletown Patch are both reporting today that this years KaBoom fireworks display over the Navesink has been cancelled. Security costs and inadequate funding for the event is sighted as the reason for the demise of this years upcoming event. RedbankGreen is also reporting that the Rumson fireworks display may be cancelled as well.

I am sorry to hear about this, there aren’t many places in the area that people can go watch a 4th of July fireworks display anymore. Personally, I haven’t seen the KaBoom display in years because I have avoid they area because I didn’t want to get all mixed up in crowd and then have to fight all the traffic. The last time I went it took nearly two hours to get out of town.

Still I hate to see it go, I guess if I want to get my fill of some fireworks I’ll just have to head over to the Keansburg boardwalk on a Friday night during the summer and catch them.

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Filed under 4th of July, Fireworks, KaBoom, Keansburg Boardwalk, Middletown Patch,, the Navesink River

It’s Time To Pick-Up Sticks After Hurricane Irene

I spent the 36 hour long duration of Hurricane Irene at work. Someone needed to be there to monitor our plant in Newark, so myself and 3 others stuck out the storm and kept an eye on things. Luckily no damage occurred to the plant site and I was able to make it home safe and sound Monday morning at about 9am.

While at work I was able to keep up with what was happening around the area and am thankful for the updates that were posted on Middletown Patch, Asbury Park Press and RedBankGreen, as well as the many friends that called to inform me of what was happening, without them I don’t think I would have been able to stick it out at work for as long as I did.
I stayed in contact with my wife and kids and was glad to here that our power didn’t go out, no trees came down and our basement didn’t flood (some seepage did occur but was easily cleaned up) even though many in the area suffered through such loses. I consider myself lucky that my parents and in-laws live very close by, they where able to stop by and check-in on my family while I was gone and I thank them for it.
So now after sleeping most of yesterday away, it’s time to get outside and finish the clean-up that my wife and sons started yesterday around the yard. There are plenty of sticks, twigs and small branches that need to pick upped and placed curbside for the emergency brush pick-up scheduled by Middletown for later next week.
Now it’s off to work of a different kind, it’s time to pick up a few sticks.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, brush and leaf pickup, clean-up efforts, flooding, Hurricane Irene, Middletown NJ, Middletown Patch,, storm damage

Perfect Timing As Latest Robo-Call Counters RedBankGreen Fluff Piece On Bamm Hollow Development

Earlier today I was surfing my favorite website and found a fluff piece on concerning some old news about the redevelopment of the Bamm Hollow Country Club in Lincroft. I was going to post about it but I got dragged away until now, which as circumstances will have it was a good thing, because an hour or so later after reading how Township “OFFICIALS TOUT BAMM HOLLOW OPEN SPACE“, the telephone rang.

On the other end of the phone was another robo-call issued by the group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Middletown”. It stated how the addition of 500 homes in and around Lincroft is will be eroding the quality of life of residents in Middletown.

I copied the message off of my answering machine and have it posted below, along with a transcript for anyone interested in hearing it.

It must have been a slow news day for Dustin Racioppi and the RedBankGreen, as I said the story is old and is reporting on what was said in May when the court case was settled.

Middletown, as Township Attorney Brian Nelson (how come Township Administrator Tony Mercantante or Assistant Administrator James Van Nest didn’t talk to RBG about this?) would like everyone to believe, did not win big.
Bam Hollow was originally zoned for 50 homes. The original proposal was to increase it to 200 homes. The Plannig Board said no and Bamm Hollow sued for 1,200. The Township setteld for 190. So who actually won big time here?
Brian Nelson and friends were not going to win the lawsuit, which is why they settled. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting it, so it is apparent who won big time. The lawyers hired by the Township to fight a losing battle. the open space would have been there

(Concerned Citizens Robo-Call #6: Eroding the Quality Of Life)

Have you heard the quality of life in Middletown, according to Money Magazine, has dropped 39% during the past four years?

Poor planning and dense re-zoning by Middletown politicians led to approval for over 500 new homes in Lincroft and Bamm Hollow.

Increased density will further erode our declining quality of life, and compete with homeowner’s unable to sell their homes in this dismal economy.

It’s time to clean house and throw-out incumbent politicians.

(Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Middletown)

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Filed under Bamm Hollow Country Club, Brian Nelson, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Dustin Racioppi, open space,, Redevelopment Lincroft, Robo-calls, Tony Mercantante

>Methadone Clinic Uproar At Town Hall

>I briefly attended last nights Middletown Township Committee meeting, I was there for only the first 45 minutes, leaving at 8:45pm. It’ to bad that I did because I could tell from the get go that it was going to be one hell of a night.

The first indication that it was going to be a hot one last night was the parking lot, nearly every space was full and that has happened in a very long time.
The other indication was the agitation of many in the audience. The standing room only, overflowing into the lobby crowd, was a mixed bag of residents who had never attended a Township Committee meeting before until last night and wanted to express their displeasure at having a methadone clinic open up just outside of the only way in and out of their neighborhood.
Having never been to a meeting before they were unaware of the protocol of following the agenda and couldn’t understand why they had to wait to speak their mind.
Many hemmed and hawed having to wait their turn while sitting through the solar project presentation presented by a Birdsall Engineering representative that rushed through the presentation and a couple of public hearings on different ordinances, which by that time I had to leave.
Before I left however I did speak to a few individuals who expressed their dismay at not being informed of the methadone clinic a head of time, wondering exactly how something like this could happen and were hoping that the Township Committee would stand up to the clinic and somehow, someway have it shut down.
As I expected and found out earlier today from talking to a few that were their and reading online accounts, those that govern the Township told those in attendance that nothing could be done, that the clinic is in it’s legal rights to be there and anything that the Township did to try and prevent the clinic from operating could possible lead to a very costly law suit that more than likely be decided against the Township.
When I asked if last night’s meeting was really as loud and crazy as it was made out to be by the online accounts from the and MiddletownPatch I was told “most definitely”. More raucous then some meetings from last year when the planned turf fields were being fought against by members of SONIC, LVGA and the Pop Warner Chargers of Trezza Field? Absolutely I was told. The reason being, which made a lot of sense, was because while SONIC, LVGA and the Chargers were against a proposed plan that hadn’t been implemented yet, the residents of Apple Brook development, who’s only way into and out of their neighborhood is directly past the methadone clinic, didn’t have a say into whether or not they wished to be living within walking distance of a clinic that distributes one dangerously addictive drug to stop the cravings of another and who’s clients have potential criminal records. And when you consider what could happen to the values of their homes because of the presence of the Middletown Medical clinic, I understood why.
So what’s their recourse? According to those on the Township Committee, the Municipal Attorney and Township Administrator not much, but I have heard talk that the residents are thinking of hiring lawyers in order to, somehow, force the town to take action or force the clinic to move, neither of which I think will be effective.
I’ve also heard word that residents may start picketing the clinic to draw more attention to it, which would then drive away those seeking treatment, that way the for-profit clinic may come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be prudent for their bottom-line to continue operating at the location and move on their own.
I hope to have some audio of the meeting later this week for posting so that myself and others can hear how crazy it actually was.


Filed under Birdsall Service Group, committee meeting, heroin, methadone clinic, Middletown Medical clinic, Middletown Patch, Middletown Township Committee, opiate addiction,, treatment center

>Policer Officer Files Bias Complaint Against MiddletownChief and Range Master

>This past Tuesday, June 7th, word started spreading that Middletown Policer Officer Darrin Simon, an African-American, had filed in state Superior Court last month against Middletown, Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches and range master James Griffin, a law suit claiming racial bias.

The law suit claims that over a period of time Officer Simon had been on the receiving end of various racial slurs and being called “boy” and “coon” by range master Griffin and that Chief Oches may have attempted to to cover the incidents up.

Both the Asbury Park Press and Red Bank Green both have stories online about the filed complaint and should be read for more details.

What the two articles have failed to mention however and was not generally known at the moment, but has come to my attention since, is that another law suit related to this case has been filed on the behalf of Officer Simon by the Greater Long Branch chapter of the NAACP.
More later….

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, law suit, Middletown Police, NAACP, racial bias, racially-tinged term,

>More Turf May Come To Basie Field; Too Bad For Middletown

>It never ceases to amaze me how messed up Middletown is at times, with no problems at all it looks like Red Bank will be installing new turf fields by the end of year, paid for mostly through grants!

According to the new fields will be installed at over at the Basie Fields complex.

It’s too bad Middletown screwed up it’s chance to have a a couple of new fields build in town last year with it’s assine idea to build a full fledged sports complex over at West Front St. Park in Lincroft, instead of upgrading Trezza Field in River Plaza and the field at Crydon Hall over in Leonardo.


Note: This is a re-post from yesterday. Blogger was experiencing technical difficulty after a system upgrade and wiped out all posts after the 5/11


Filed under artificial turf fields, Basie Field, Croydon Hall, Middletown NJ, Red Bank NJ,, sports complex, Trezza Field

>Avaya Re-Development On Tonight’s Planning Board Agenda In Middletown

>Tonight’s 6:30 pm meeting of the Middletown Planning Board should be interesting, at tonight’s meeting plans for the controversial Avaya redevelopment project will be discussed.

This project calls for 342 housing units to be built off Middletown-Lincroft Rd. in Lincroft and has caused a major backlash of opposition against the project by area residents. The Lincroft Village Green Association and the citizens group SONIC ( Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character), have each rallied their members and plan to have large contingencies there.‘s Dustin Racioppi has a good write-up on it:

Middletown’s planning board will meet Wednesday to hear a proposal that’s got neighbors up in arms and township officials grinding their teeth.

The proposed project, submitted by Four Ponds Associates, calls for the demolition of a large office building vacated by telecom giant Avaya and the construction of 342 residential units on 68 acres on Middletown-Lincroft Road.

For locals, the prospect of adding hundreds of homes to the tract is an unwelcome one, as traffic and safety top the concerns, not to mention a serious disruption to the Lincroft section’s quality of life, they say.

For township officials, the proposal represents “archaic and ridiculous” affordable housing laws imposed by the state. But until changes are made in Trenton, they’re handcuffed, they say.

“We oppose this development and every development we’ve been forced into under the guise of affordable housing regulations,” Mayor Tony Fiore said, “especially when they’re not in the best interest of Middletown. And that’s exactly what’s going on here.”

Currently, the property is zoned for office use but is able to add residential units since the town listed the property in its affordable housing plan, which was revised in 2009, Administrator Anthony Mercantante said. No variances are being sought.

A non-profit advocacy group made up of residents, the Lincroft Village Green Association, has called for the town to rezone the property back to residential single-family or commercial use.

But “We have no authority to simply rezone” the property, Fiore said. “We would be steadfast in doing that. Unfortunately, the legislature and the state assembly has given us no relief.”

Of the 342 units proposed, 68 are said in the builder’s application to satisfy the town’s affordable housing obligation, a murky mandate delivered by the state Council On Affordable Housing – which itself is in limbo, as Governor Chris Christie has recommended eliminating COAH and letting local municipalities decide how much affordable housing is necessary within their boundaries….

Finish reading >>> Here


Filed under Avaya, COAH, Dustin Racioppi, Lincroft NJ, lincroft village green association, Middletown Planning Board,, Sonic

>Special Meetings Scheduled For Thursday and Friday May Not Be What We think

>Kudos to and Dustin Racioppi for tracking down Middletown’s acting mayor, Tony Fiore, and asking about the two special Township meetings that have been called for on Thursday and Friday this week.

According to what was written online, the two hastily scheduled meetings are just incase a contract settlement is achieved between the Township of Middletown and it’s two unions.
At this point in time, there are no settlements pending or imminent and there is a very good chance that the meetings will not take place. The meetings were call for “just in case”.
So as of now, the expected lay-off of 10 Middletown police officers and 16 members of the Township’s Department of Parks & Recreation on Friday are still, pending unless there is an 11th hour settlement

You can read more about it >>>Here


Filed under Lay offs, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Middletown Police, Middletown Township Committee,, Special Meeting

>Ringing Controversy; Concerned Citizens of Middletown Robocalls Strike A Nerve

>It seems that the latest round of Robocalls that went out yesterday afternoon by the group calling themselves “Concerned Residents of Middletown” have struck a nerve with some sitting on the Township Committee who say that the calls don’t ring true.

In a column published this morning over at, Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore and his Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill question the legitimacy of the group Concerned Residents of Middletown and it’s message.

It appears to be just another desperate attempt by the Middletown Democrats to spread misinformation to the taxpayers,” Fiore is quoted as saying in reference to who he thinks is behind the calls. He adds “the real truth will come out. The information they’re pointing out is just not accurate,” when referencing that the Townships budget will be introduced next week.

As if that has any real barring on the truthfulness of the messages contained in the robocalls. Remember last year how Mayor Scharfenberger and those sitting on the Committee, other than Democrat Sean Byrnes, insisted that the Township tax increase was only 2.8% when the proposed budget for 2010 was introduced in last June, when in actuality the municipal tax rate increased by 13.9%.
I think the people lacking credibility on budget issues are those that sit on the Township Committee. The real truth behind the budget numbers and any proposed tax increase which will be presented next Monday night, wont really be known until revised tax bills are sent out to residents, after the budget is adopted later in the year, just as it was last year. When residents looked at their tax statements expecting to see only an increase of 2.8% in the municipal rate, they were stunned by the difference.
Before passing judgment on these robocalls, it is important to see if the message included in them pan out as describe. Only then can we tell who was spreading false information to residents.


Filed under 2% cap, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Middletown Township, Pamela Brightbill, proposed budget,, Robo-calls, tax increase, Tony Fiore

>Integrity and Independence Of Middletown Library Is Now And Forevermore Compromised

>By now most everyone who is interested, knows about the outcome of Wednesday night’s Middletown Library Board meeting. After much bantering, chest beating and ideal threats by members of the Township Committee toward those who sit on the Middletown Library Board of Trustees, the members of the board decided that it was better to cave into Township demands than risk their positions as board members. By a 5 to 2 vote members of the Library Board of Trustees decided to handover nearly $500,000 worth of surplus and reserved funds to the Township, even though it may compromise the Library at a later date.

I’ve been asked by a number of people what my thought’s and feelings are about what transpired Wednesday night but I wasn’t in attendance, I worked late and couldn’t make it home in time, but after speaking with a few people that were there and reading the accounts of the meeting online at the Asbury Park Press, and Middletown, I’ve read and heard enough to form an opinion.

I think that the integrity and independence of the Middletown Library and it’s current Board of Trustees has now and forevermore been compromised due to their majority decision of support, to handover reserved funds to the Township for little more than a veiled promise of not turning the operations of the Library over to Monmouth County and not seeking anymore funds from the Library for the rest of 2011.
Remember this controversy came to light because Library Treasurer and Trustee Sherry Miloscia, sent out an impassioned email back on February 11th to library supporters that went viral, stating that the Township had made threats against the library and it’s Board of Trustees if they refused to hand over $1.2 million from the coffers, even though most of the money in question was restricted and not really surplus.
After that a war of words exploded between Mayor Fiore and Library Director Susan O’Neal, each releasing statements before the February 16th Library Board meeting in which the Township wanted an answer as to how much funds they could extort, I mean expect, from the Library.
That meeting was heavily attended and many of those in attendance made impassioned pleas of their own in support of the library, it seemed that the Board of Trustees were energized and encouraged by the show of support, to stand firm against handing over anymore funds to the Township than was legally required. Unfortunately however, the firmness of the Trustees seemed to wain over the weeks as fewer supporters turned out to voice concerns at subsequent Township Committee and Library Board meetings, ultimately ending with the outcome as reported.
In succumbing to the pressure of the Township Committee, those members of the Board of Trustees that voted to hand over reserved funds over and above the verified surplus, giving all but $66,000 to the Township, broke their vow to individuals that had donated private funds in support of the library, that wished to see their endowments used for the enrichment of the library, not the Township Committee.
I suppose though that’s OK seeing how the Township has promised to fund, through bonding, projects that the Library already had the funds to pay for upfront and will now be required to reimburse the Township for afterwards, like the parking lot expansion and solar panel projects that the Library already started planning for and spent money on.
What incentive does the Library Board of Trustees now have to save and run the library prudently or build surplus funds for capital projects and rainy day items like new computers or furnishing for the comfort and enjoyment of their customers, the Middletown residents? None I would say, because anytime that perceived funds exist that seem to be over and above the legal amount set by the state in which the library can hold in surplus, the Middletown Committee will be looking to confiscate it. And with this being the case, why would any private individual donate funds to the Middletown library every again? A fundraiser for the library you say, well good luck with that. No one in their right mind could ever support such a thing again.
The only two Board Trustees that I can honestly say came out off this situation with their integrity intact are Board President and Vice President Randal Gabrielan and Gregory Milne. They opposed this transfer of funds on the grounds that it was excessive and would compromise the Library down the road.
They didn’t roll over out of fear of losing their board positions, like a few of the people I talked to suggested the other board members had.
Gabrielan and Milne were not impressed and didn’t feel threatened by fellow Board Trustee, Township Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, with his silver and slippery tongue. They understand the consequence that this action represents, which is that forevermore, the library will no longer be seen as an independent entity, free from political preying hands and political whims of those that run the Township.
I wouldn’t be surprised by the fact that when Randal Gabrielan and Gregory Milne’s terms expire as Library Trustees, they will not be re-appointed. Current Township Committee members made that abundantly clear when they expressed displeasure with Trustees on the night of February 16th, when those members made statements to the effect that they had appointed the trustees to the the library board and they were shocked by the trustees behavior.
Time will tell whether or not the Library Board of Trustees made the right decision in selling out to the Township. Everyone knows that the Township Committee is short sighted in many of thing that they do, this money grab is no different, next year and the year after that, and the year after that, Middletown will still be looking at structural problems within its operating budget with nowhere else left to turn.


Filed under Asbury Park Press, Kevin Settembrino, Library Reserves, Middletown Library, Middletown Patch,, surplus funds, Susan O'Neal, Tony Fiore