Category Archives: Verizon

Mtown News Flash 10-7-11

Meet the Mayor Nights
Middletown Mayor Anthony P. Fiore will host Meet the Mayor nights at the Middletown Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm October 17th, October 24th and November 7th . Residents are invited to stop by to discuss issues related to Township government. Meet the Mayor nights replace regularly scheduled office hours at Town Hall on these dates. Residents can also reach the Mayor by calling his office at 732-615-2024 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health Department Moved to Croydon Hall
The Health Department has been temporarily relocated to Croydon Hall, 900 Leonardville Road in Leonardo until further notice. This includes Animal Control, Social Services and Vital Statistics.

Croydon Hall, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo, NJ 07737
Phone: 732-615-2095 |Fax: 732-671-8697 | Contact Us
Office Hours – 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Flood Mitigation Assistance Funding Available
As a result of Hurricane Irene, federal funding assistance is available to mitigate flood hazards and reduce future losses. Residents interested in applying for a matching grant to fund flood mitigation projects such as house elevation, should contact Middletown Emergency Management by Thursday, October 13 at 732-615-2129.

Fall Recreation Class Registration
The Middletown Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is currently accepting registration for youth and adult classes offered this fall. Adult classes include computers, karate and volleyball. Youth classes include Computer Explorers, ceramics, bowling and gymnastics. Registrations are accepted on-line, by mail and at the Parks and Recreation Office, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo. Call 732-615-2260 for details. Online Registration

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS CLOSED FOR COLUMBUS DAY
Officials at the FEMA/State Joint Field Office announced that the Disaster Recovery Centers in New Jersey will be closed for Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 10. They will re-open on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and resume normal hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Assistance is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. by calling the Helpline, 800-621-3362. Anyone affected by the disaster may register for assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. Video Relay Service and 711 are also available by calling 800-621-3362. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Multilingual operators are available. Register anytime online at www.fema.gov or m.fema.gov. Residents can find the DRC closest to them online at: http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm. The deadline to register is Oct. 31.

TV programming
October programming includes the Middletown Arts Center Talent Showcase and Reaching Out to Prevent Subsistence Abuse. The station is viewable on Comcast Cable Channel 20 and Verizon Fios 26.

In between programs catch on local news and events by viewing Community Bulletin. Don’t have Comcast or Verizon. View the bulletin board online!

Community Bulletin Board

Written Comments on Oceanic Bridge Accepted Through 10/26
If you missed the chance to voice your concerns about the Oceanic Bridge at recent public information meetings held in Rumson and Middletown, you can still do so in writing. The Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering has created and posted a form online that you can download and use to submit your written comments.

The public meetings were held to discuss the replacement alternatives of the Oceanic Bridge over the Navesink River between Rumson and Middletown, in accordance with federal and state regulations. The public is encouraged to voice their opinions on their preferred bridge replacement alternative. All written public comments will be included in the submission to the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The forms, as well as the materials presented at the public information meetings, are posted on the Monmouth County website via this link.

Written comments will be accepted through Wednesday, October 26, 2011. Comments may be mailed or faxed to: Monmouth County Engineering, 1 East Main Street, P.O. Box 1255, Freehold, NJ 07728, Attn: Inkyung Englehart, Fax: 732-431-7765

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Filed under Comcast, community Bulletin Board, Croydon Hall, FEMA, Middletown, Middletown Library, News Flash, Oceanic Bridge, Town Hall, Verizon

Hypocrite Handlin’s "Right to Work" Article Is Biased And Fails To Tell The Whole Story.

Readers may find Amy Handlin’s article about the “Right to Work” and unions rather interesting even though it is somewhat biased and fails to tell the whole story.

Since I am a life member of the Communications Workers of America” union ( a member since 1953 when I went to work for the telephone company…it was New Jersey Bell then and was Bell Atlantic when I retired in 1989 and is Verizon today) ,and CWA was a union that represented only telephone workers and was an “agency shop” not a “closed shop”, my view of the situation differs from Ms. Handlin’s point of view.

Unions are businesses also and they are in the business of representation……….thus CWA represents public workers today because technology has diminished the number of telephone workers. Since it requires many members to accomplish goals on behalf of membership,CWA expanded it’s membership into the public sector where the growth of potential membership existed. The old adage is “there is strength in numbers ” .

Everyone benefits from the unions accomplishments,even management who are not usually unionized ( police are one exception). CWA was always considered one of the most democratic ( not in the political sense) of the major unions in this country.

Distortion of the facts for political purposes serves no one . The republicans do a good job at the blame game but they have no compunction in failing to tell the whole truth for political purposes. Union membership is comprised of both Republicans and Democrats……..lots of people from each party. It is not all about politics, it’s about “fair representation” of workers rights.

Barbara Thorpe
Lincroft NJ

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Filed under Amy Handlin, ATT, Communication Workers of America (CWA), labor unions, Politics, right to work, Verizon, workers rights

>There Will Be NO Televising Meetings While Scharfenberger Is In Office

>Middletown resident Carol Stiglin is a senior resident of Shadow Lake Village who has difficultly getting out at night. She addressed the Middletown Township Committee Monday night Oct.17th and addressed the issue of televising Township meeting so that Middletown residents such as herself could watch proceedings via the local cable access channels.

She presented a petition to the Committee that contained 124 signatures of support on it. Stiglin said that those signatures are in addition to the previous petition that she presented to the Township Committee last year.

At one point during the meeting Monday night(which isn’t captured on this video), mayor Gerry Scharfenberger stated that he didn’t care if the cost of televising meetings cost $102,000 or 102 cents, if it cost the township any money to do so, he wouldn’t support televising meetings!

So much for transparency and keeping citizens informed, I suppose it is better to robo call residents in the middle of the night to inform them of changing to the recycling ordinance than it would be to inform them via television.

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Filed under Carol Stiglin, Comcast, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Robo-calls, Shadow Lake Village, televised meetings, Verizon

>There seems to be NO reason why Middletown can’t televise it’s meetings other than Gerry doesn’t want to.

>An excellent article appears in today’s edition of the Tow River Times titled “Twp. Officials Differ On Wisdom Of Videotaping Meetings“, it is written by reporter John Burton and pretty much counters everything that has been said by Gerry Scharfenberger as to why Township Committee meetings can’t be televised over the local cable access channels.

Burton contacted a spokesman for Verizon, Mr. Duthaler, who explained that “Cable companies take a small portion of the money paid to them by customers, and pay those allotments to the varies towns, what are called franchise fees. Some communities use portions of those funds to tape and broadcast meetings and other community information…

Sometimes municipalities negotiate with the cable providers, which can cover much, possibly all, of the cost of equipment. If Verizon is available in a community, that company, under its state agreement, would make available the necessary equipment and train personnel for any municipality that wants it, that’s the way for them [towns] to get anything they want, all the equipment, all for free”.


The article goes on to say that the cost of televising meeting is only ~$14k-$15k a year, which is a far cry from the $120k figure that Gerry Scharfenberger told residents at Shadow Lake Village last night it would cost when asked.
Burton also contacted representatives from Long Branch and Howell Twsp. to ask their opinions about how well things have worked out with televising meetings and both shared with him the same sentiments. “I think its working out well.”
As to Scharfenberger’s worrying about legal responiblities if something inappropriate is broadcast, David Bonowski, Howell’s director of Management Information Systems, stated that in the six years Howell has been doing it(taping meetings for public broadcast)ed there has been no editing of content. “We haven’t had anything happen at a meeting that would violate the FCC public guidelines and regulations.”
So what is the problem here other than Scharfenberger and the Republicans that have been in control of Middletown for over 30 years, just don’t want to do it.
Committeeman Sean Byrnes is qouted as charging,“opponents are actively trying to keep meetings from being made available for the public.”

“I think if you could pick up the clicker and put on the local equivalent of C-Span and see what’s going on,” he said, “I don’t see how it can hurt.”


I happen to agree with him as do many other residents on this issue. Whenever you can bring more transparency to the process of government it is a good thing, especially when you consider that the costs of recording and broadcasting meeting can be done for little to no costs to the tax payer.

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Filed under Comcast, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Sean F. Byrnes, Two River Times, Verizon, videotaping meetings

Byrnes: Televise Township Committee Meetings


…I think televising our meetings is an important step toward engaging our citizens in their Government...” – Middletown Committeeman Sean Byrnes – Middletown Township Committee

Many residents around town have been advocating for the Middletown Township Committee to broadcast their monthly meetings on the townships 2 public access channels, Comcast channel 20 and Verizon channel 26, their numerous request and letters to the editor have gone unheeded thus far.

The excuses of those in the majority on the Township Committee give for not broadcasting these meetings have included cost, lack of equipment and manpower to not wanting to create a circus type atmosphere at meetings, which is just plain silly.
Those in favor of broadcasting meeting say “if you can video concerts in the park or beach parties then broadcast them over the cable channels than you can certainly record township meetings for broadcast”, which I happen to agree with and evidently so does Committeeman Sean Byrnes !
The following is another blog post from Sean Byrnes’s blog Mobilize Middletown:
On Tuesday night at our Workshop Committee Meeting here in Middletown, I asked the Township Administrator to provide the Committee with an assessment of the costs to televise Township Committee meetings. My preference would be televise them live, but even a taped, televised meeting is better than no televised meetings. I think televising our meetings is an important step toward engaging our citizens in their Government. If we can play tapes of concerts in the park, we surely can play tapes of our elected officials at work. If we are to put our financial house in order, we need a citizenry that pays attention, expresses opinions and has transparent access to all of our budget and spending records. Indeed, our system of government anticipates an informed electorate that cares about how its local government spends its precious tax dollars.

In recent years that type of involvement has been limited to a small segment of our residents. When good times prevailed, many members of our community lost interest in the activities of our elected officials. I do not exclude myself from that criticism. Escalating real estate values and a booming economy lessened the burden of real estate taxes on the average resident. As a result, the actions of our elected officials became less important.

But those times are gone for the foreseeable future, and we now must manage our public resources during a time of financial crisis. This means mobilizing our citizens to participate in the governing process and to volunteer to perform services that may have been previously paid for with tax dollars. As an example, we budget a significant amount of money every year toward the maintenance of parks and fields. We should explore organizing the local neighborhoods adjacent to our parks to participate in regular cleanups, grass-cutting and upkeep of these assets. I believe that Middletown residents would welcome the opportunity to come together as a community to take care of their “jointly-owned” assets and save tax dollars at the same time. To set ourselves on this path, we need to connect to our residents. Televising our meetings would allow citizens to observe their government at work and to weigh in on decisions that impact them or that involve matters where they may have expertise.

Corruption and mismanagement arise when Government is conducted in the shadows. Two years ago we took an important step toward opening up our government when Committeeman Short and I introduced a resolution to place all township meeting agendas, resolutions and ordinances on our website in advance of meetings. This resolution was passed unanimously by the Township Meeting. (It was also an excellent example of bipartisanship). This allowed residents to see what was being voted on at meetings. Prior to this, residents who attended meetings would frequently have little idea what was being discussed, because they had never seen, and had no meaningful access to, the documents being voted upon. Bringing our meetings to television would further open a door to local government that until recently remained shut to all but a chosen few.

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Filed under beach parties, Comcast, Concerts, Middletown Township, Mobilize Middletown, Sean F. Byrnes, televised meetings, Verizon