Category Archives: snow storm

>The Alien Looking In

>Before heading off to bed last night, I went into the kitchen for a glass of water. I was momentarily startled and taken back slightly when I saw this alien face peering through the window at me. It was pretty creepy and I knew that no one would believe me if I didn’t take a picture.


Filed under alien face, snow storm

>Holt Urges Christie to Seek Disaster Assistance for Snow Storm; Governor Must Ask President Obama to Issue a Disaster Declaration for the State


Press Release –

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today sent a letter to New Jersey Governor Christie, urging him to ask President Obama to issue a disaster declaration for New Jersey so that the state can receive needed federal disaster assistance.

“Our residents are in need of federal assistance to immediately help them recover from these large and severe storms. Because of this, I urge you to immediately seek a disaster declaration from President Obama on behalf of our state,” Holt wrote.

If the Governor makes the request and the President declares that a disaster exists, it would trigger a number of federal programs to assist in the response and recovery effort, including relief for homeowners, businesses, and local organizations.
A copy of the letter is below:

January 12, 2011

The Honorable Christopher Christie
State of New Jersey
PO Box 1
Trenton, NJ 08625-0001

Dear Governor Christie,

In light of the large, consecutive and highly disruptive snow storms in our state thus far this winter, I request that you urge President Obama to issue a disaster declaration for New Jersey so that our state can receive needed federal disaster assistance.

As you know, communities across our state were virtually paralyzed by the late December 2010 storm. The fresh accumulation overnight has only added to the burden that local communities face in trying keep roads clear for emergency vehicles and to remove the fresh snow and ice in order to make roads passable for the public. I have had the opportunity to see first hand the damage caused by these severe weather conditions.

Our residents are in need of federal assistance to immediately help them recover from these large and severe storms. Because of this, I urge you to immediately seek a disaster declaration from President Obama on behalf of our state. Thank you for your immediate attention in this matter.


Member of Congress

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Filed under Congressman Rush Holt, disaster assistance, Gov. Chris Christie, President Obama, snow storm

>Middletown Does A Nice Job At Clearing Away The Snow This Time

>There are times that I may or may not be to quick to criticize others for the jobs that they do or things that they say and at times I am criticized for not giving others credit when credit is do them. So today, after last nights snow fall, I am happy to pass out a little praise to those that deserve it.

Many in Middletown caught a lot of flack for days after the blizzard of December 26th stuck the area by those who were trapped in their homes for days, unable to get out of the driveways or streets because the roads had not been plowed.
Today however is a different story.
Before I went to bed last night, I posted on this blog that 3 plows in less than 20 minutes made it down the streets near my house. It was a good sign to me that I had nothing to worry about in morning when I awoke. If township snow plows were out in force before I went to bed then at least there was a very good chance that I and others, would make it out of our house and off to work if necessary (luckily I was off today and slept in).
When I did venture out o the house today to shovel my driveway and sidewalks I was happy yo see that Main St. up to Harmony Ave and down to Palmer Ave was clear to the pavement and the side streets, while not clear to the pavement, were 100% better that the last storm.
Good job Middletown DPW, but don’t let this go to your heads. There is a lot of winter left and another storm is said to be heading our way.
So be ready, we’re watching you!


Filed under Middletown NJ, snow plowing, snow storm, winter storm

>1:00 AM; 3rd Snow Plow in 12 Minutes Makes It’s Way Down The Street

>Well that didn’t take too long, seems that the Township just might have this storm under control.

The 3rd snow plow in just 12 minutes has made its way down the street. I am not going to get to excited but it does seem that snow removal is way ahead of schedule based on the last snow storm.
Here’s hoping that the people plowing the streets tonight keep up the good work and not plow in my driveway to badly (I don’t have a snow blower, remember).
I think that I my be able to rest easily tonight.

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Filed under snow plowing, snow storm

>12:48 AM – First Snow Plow Makes It’s Way Down Main St.

>It’s 12:48 am Wednesday morning and it has been approximately 4.5 hours since the snow began falling. I would conservatively say there is 3-4 inches of snow on the ground at this point.

I am glad to report that the first snow plow has just made it’s way down Main St. just outside of my house, so far a marked improvement from last storm that hit on December 26th.
How long will it be before a snow plow returns to clear side streets in front of my house and around the neighborhood?

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Filed under snow plowing, snow storm

>Is Everyone Ready For Some More Snow ?

>… I hope so.

According to the National Weather Service the Middletown area can expect anywhere from 6 – 9 inches of snow Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon, so I’m hoping that this storm doesn’t turn out to be a disaster, like the last storm that hit the area back on December 26th.
Are towns doing anything differently this time around to prepare for the upcoming snow?
Hazlet Township posted on it’s newly created Facebook page earlier this afternoon that:
As of 3:45 PM the Hazlet Township Emergency Operations Center is monitoring a Winter Storm Warning for a weather event capable of producing 6 to 9 inches of snow between 4 Pm Tuesday and noon Wednesday.”

Which is good to see because it show that leaders of the town are trying to be proactive by informing residents a head of time what they can expect from the township. Will it have any effect on how well the powers that be respond to the upcoming storm? I don’t know but I sure would hope so.
Is Middletown doing anything different this time around to keep residents informed about the coming storm after the fiasco of the last storm? Currently not much, but maybe that will change.
If you look at Middletown’s website, they seemed to have overreacted to the possibility of snow over this past weekend when they posted preparation plans for a storm that never was over this past weekend:

“Middletown Township is making preparations for an expected Friday snow storm. New supplies of salt and sand have been delivered to the Public Works Yard with additional tonnage slated for delivery Friday. Road Crews are ready to be activated. Township snow removal equipment has been inspected and readied for service. In the past 24 hours, main roads have pre-treated with salt brine to help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the roads.”

Are the same precautions going to be taken again starting late tomorrow afternoon? I should think that the Township would after all the flack that they received from residents that were buried in their homes for days after the Christmas weekend storm, but you never know.
But I would think that the response to this pending storm can only be better because it couldn’t keep any worse.
As they say, “you live and you learn”.
So here’s to hoping that towns in the area have learned for the mistakes of the last storm so that we don’t have to live through the same mistakes again.

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Filed under Hazlet NJ, Middletown, nation weather service, snow storm, storm preparation.

>Letter: Middletown needs to take lessons from county road dept.

>The following letter appears in this weeks edition of the Independent. The letter reflects fairly well the frustration that residents felt and may still feel about the clean-up efforts after last weeks massive blizzard that struck the area:

In Middletown, our recent snowstorm was not only a climatic event; it was catastrophic to its citizens. From its inception, this storm paralyzed transportation on Middletown’s roads. The storm started with intensity at approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday; it roared into Monday and stopped at approximately 4 a.m. S ervices in the form of plowing appeared to be nonexistent not only during the storm but after the storm.

On Monday morning, the concept of plowing turned out to be a real mystery. With the exception of the Monmouth County roads, the roads in Middletown were not really plowed. There didn’t even seem to be an attempt to plow a single lane down the middle of the road. I always thought this was done to facilitate the movement of police, ambulance and fire vehicles. I was very concerned; I therefore called the offices of both Public Works and the business administrator. The phones of both these departments were not manned. The phone at public works had a pre-recorded message, which stated that the individual had just stepped away from her desk and I should leave a message. I called the police department and there was an immediate response from a live person. The individual said that they didn’t have anything to do with the roads.

I began to think and I reached back into my memory. I began to recollect that under our form of government it is the business administrator who is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Middletown. I made another call to the business administrator’s office, and once again I experienced an unmanned phone. I didn’t think that it would be appropriate to give a civics lesson to a message recorder.

Driving on Middletown’s roads has been a real challenge. It may be related to shake, rattle and maybe roll.

Middletown needs to take lessons from the Monmouth County Road Department. The work done by this department can be described as nothing less than excellent.

Middletown needs to learn how to plan, manage, deploy, schedule and implement the skills of its workers. They are a great group of guys. They should have the opportunity to do a great job.

P.S. I can’t wait for the next snowstorm. I’m thinking about purchasing a snowmobile.

Preston Gillam
Belford section of


Filed under blizzard, clean-up efforts, Letter to Santa, Middletown, snow storm, the Independent

>Outgoing Mayor Scharfenberger Addresses Snow Removal Efforts During Comments At Reorg Day

>The audio clip below are comments made by Gerry Scharfenberger before he gave his prepared outgoing speech as Middletown’s Mayor during the Township’s annual Reorganization Meeting. The clip is a classic example of Scharfenbegrer at his best, Gerry felt compelled to address the snow removal effort of the Township and it’s employees which have come under fire by many township residents.

As usual, Gerry overstates his role in the clean up efforts and mentions that people should read his message that is posted at the Township’s website that further explains what was done in response to mitigate the effects of the blizzard that struck Middletown on December 26th.

As he states, “It was an act of God”

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Filed under blizzard, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, snow plowing, snow removal, snow storm

>Politicians’ reputations can be buried by snowstorms; If you’re a politician, beware of snow. It can bury a career.

>Very good Op-Ed by the Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson that discusses the potential danger that politicians face when they downplay the negative effects that weather, in this case snow storms, can have on their reputations.

In the op-ed, Robinson talks about the potential damage that this weeks massive snowstorm may have caused to both Governor Chris Christie (away in Disney World) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (perceived indifference) reputation of being competent and in control of whatever situations that may arise. He qualifies his opinion by detailing the effects that other major storms had on the careers of politicians in cities like Washington DC (Marion Barry 1987), Chicago (Michael Bilandic 1979) and Denver (Bill McNichols 1982), each lost their bids at election or re-election because of how voters in those cities perceived how well or not so well they handled their particular snow crisis.
It’s a good read that I hope others can learn from (are you reading this Gerry?):

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are learning that lesson the hard way, as their angry constituents dig out of last weekend’s blizzard. Bloomberg is being hammered for the city’s slow and incompetent response, especially in the outer boroughs; Christie, for jetting off to Walt Disney World just before the storm dumped nearly three feet of snow in parts of his state.

The two beleaguered officials – both of whom are rumored to have national ambitions – should have had a consultation with Marion Barry.

In January 1987, Barry kicked off his third term as mayor of Washington with a trip to Southern California for the Super Bowl. While he was getting a manicure and playing tennis at the posh Beverly Hilton, the voters who had elected him were being buried under 20 inches of snow. The city was utterly paralyzed – streets unplowed, buses immobilized, subway barely running. The mayor continued to frolic in the sun.

Are you getting any of this, Gov. Christie?

Finally, Barry came home. He wanted to survey the situation, so he had to tour the city by helicopter; his limousine, he explained, would have gotten stuck in the snow. His aerial assessment: “We’re not a snow town.”

Unbelievably, that wasn’t Barry’s first unfortunate encounter with winter weather. In 1979, barely into his first term, he was vacationing in Miami when an 18-inch snowfall shut down the city. When he got home, a reporter asked how people were supposed to get to work. “Take a bus,” Barry said. Informed that the buses weren’t running, Barry modified his advice: “They can walk.”

It’s unlikely that anyone will top Barry for grossly mishandling the aftermath of a snowstorm – and anyway, it was white powder of a different kind that led to his downfall. But his is hardly the only example.

In 1979, Michael Bilandic was expected to cruise to reelection as mayor of Chicago. He had the support of the Democratic machine, which usually guaranteed victory. But a series of big snowstorms that winter turned “the city that works” into “the city that couldn’t get to work,” with some neighborhoods left unplowed for weeks. Minorities and working-class whites felt particularly neglected.

Jane Byrne, an unlikely challenger in the Democratic mayoral primary, took advantage of Bilandic’s missteps by filming campaign ads on snowbound streets. She won narrowly – and went on to become the first woman to serve as Chicago’s mayor. Bilandic spent the rest of his career in the worthy obscurity of the state appellate bench.

Paying attention, Mayor Bloom-berg?

Snow can make voters forget all the good things you’ve done. Bill McNichols, who served as mayor of Denver for 14 years, is generally given credit for the city’s cosmopolitan growth. But a blizzard deposited two feet of snow on Christmas Eve 1982 – when city workers were at home with their families, not out clearing impassible streets and airport runways. How many Denver residents had their holiday travel plans ruined? Enough to get McNichols bounced out of office a few months later.

Snow eventually melts, but hardened hearts may not.

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under Chris Christie, Eugene Robinson, Michael Bloomberg, snow storm, Washington Post

>FYI – Tuesday’s Middletown Tax Lien Sale Went On Despite Snow Emergency

>For those that my be interested in knowing (as I was), Tuesday’s tax lien sale in Middletown happened as planned despite the snow emergency that was declared by our Mayor.

So while residents were busy trying to get out of their driveways and streets in order to get to work on time or make it out for bread and milk, Town Hall was plowed clean and was accessible to those that braved the elements to participate in the sale.
I was told that the sale went well but didn’t finish until after 5 pm due to the conditions outside. Evidently the sale started a little late but went on without a hitch afterwards. I didn’t ask how much was collected but the woman I spoke to said that they were happy with the outcome.
So the moral to the story as they say is “The show must go on”.
It doesn’t matter whether or not streets are plowed or basic services are provided for the safety of area residents. What matters is as long as the Town gets it’s share of the pie, nothing else matters.
Maybe the tax sale could have been postponed for a day or so and those resources used to clear out Town Hall, could have been better utilized digging the Town out from under all the snow.


Filed under blizzard, Middletown, snow plowing, snow storm, tax liens, tax sale, Town Hall