Sunday, May 28, 2017

In Flanders Fields




In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, 1872 - 1918


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Terminal






Pallone on Updated Trumpcare CBO Score





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement today after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued an updated score on the impacts of the amended Trumpcare bill that was passed in the House of Representatives earlier this month:

“Today’s CBO analysis further confirms that Trumpcare is a looming disaster for the American people. It’s clear that changes made at the last minute to garner the necessary votes in the House did nothing to blunt the devastating impacts of Trumpcare. In fact, the new analysis indicates that individuals with pre-existing conditions would be priced out of the individual market as a result of the decision to allow states to waive out of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance market reforms.

“At the end of the day, 23 million Americans could lose health care coverage, millions will pay more for less as premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs rise, and millions will once again be discriminated against because of their pre-existing conditions. This analysis shows the cruelty of Trumpcare’s dramatic changes to the Medicaid program, stripping $834 billion away from seniors, children, pregnant women and people with disabilities in order to give a nearly trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthiest few.”

Education Committe Rejects Assemblyman O'Scanlon's Plea Regarding School Bus Cameras


By Monmouth Watchdog
May 25, 2017

Assemblyman Has a Questionable Record Regarding Public Safety Issues


In a stinging rebuke to the aspirations of Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon’s bid for the state Senate seat of Joe Kyrillos in Legislative District 13-- and yet another question mark on his public safety record regarding children--the Assembly Education Committee, by a vote of 9 to 0, voted for Assembly bill A3798, which authorizes the installation of school bus cameras to capture images of those reckless drivers passing school buses while loading and unloading children. This bill now heads to the full Assembly for a vote by all its 80 members—including O’Scanlon.

The bill overwhelmingly passed in the Senate in January.

After impassioned testimony against the bill before the committee, O’Scanlon, utilizing fear and hysteria, feels the input of private contractors serves no legitimate purpose other than to make a profit on the backs of motorists. In furtherance of Mr. O’Scanlons hysteria, he has re-named the bill with the moniker, “Use Our Kids As Pawns To Enrich Corrupt Companies.”

The members of the committee promptly rejected O'Scanlon's pleas, and forwarded the bill to the full Assembly for their vote.


The bill authorizes a municipality or school district operating or providing Type I or Type II school buses that transport students to contract with a private vendor to provide for the installation, operation, and maintenance of a school bus monitoring system for enforcement purposes. The bill provides that a school bus monitoring system must be capable of capturing and producing a record of any occurrence that may be considered illegal passing of a school bus, and include in that recorded image:

1. If the school bus is exhibiting its flashing light;

2. If a motor vehicle passes a school bus;

3. The license plate, make, and model of the violating vehicle;

4. The date, time, and location of the violation.

The bill requires any violation captured in a recorded image produced by a school bus monitoring system to be made available to the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the violation occurred. After careful review; the application of good judgement and common sense, A law enforcement officer is tasked to issue a summons within 90 days of determining that a violation occurred. A summons may not be issued for a violation occurring more than 90 days from date of the violation.

Mr. O’Scanlon, of Little Silver, is the Republican nominee running for state Senator, opposing presumptive Democrat nominee, Mr. Sean F. Byrnes of Middletown. O'Scanlon is a staunch Chris Christie ally; voted for the controversial 23-cent a gallon gas tax, and was a member of Christie’s defunct Presidential Leadership Team while the governor mounted a brief and unsuccessful bid for the presidency.


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You can also find this article over on the Patch


Pallone Blasts Trump Proposal to Sell off Gasoline reserve Created in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2017


Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, blasted the Trump administration for proposing to sell off the entire gasoline reserve created in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In 2012, Sandy caused widespread issues related to the availability of gasoline. In response to help build a more secure and resilient energy infrastructure, the Energy Department, with the encouragement of Congressman Pallone, established the first federal regional refined petroleum product reserve containing gasoline. The Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve would assist New Jersey, New York and other states in the Northeast during an emergency.
“President Trump may have forgotten the devastation that Sandy brought to New Jersey, but my constituents and I have not. Access to gasoline was severely limited in the aftermath of the storm, causing major problems in the region impacting homeowners, businesses and emergency personnel. We learned hard lessons from this experience and put in place a plan to make the region more resilient when another storm strikes. With many New Jerseyans still rebuilding, it is stunningly shortsighted for President Trump to abandon a measure that can save our economy and even save lives in an emergency.”

Pallone Statement on “Morally Reprehensible” Trump Budget




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2017





Washington, DC - Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed budget.

“Donald Trump has presented himself as a champion of the “forgotten man,” but his budget wouldn’t just forget those Americans he promised to defend – it would eviscerate the programs and policies that help working families make ends meet.

“This Budget will make the richest richer and leave the vast majority of Americans worse off. In order to finance huge tax cuts for billionaires, Trump’s budget would cut more than $1 trillion in federal programs that help Americans who are struggling – including food and housing assistance, healthcare, and many other priorities. With dramatic cuts to Medicaid, New Jersey stands to lose tens of billions of dollars in funding that provides healthcare to the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, disease prevention and medical research is cut significantly, including a $6 billion cut for the National Institutes of Health.

“It also goes squarely after the middle class and those who aspire to reach it by proposing cuts to education, research and development, the earned pension benefits of federal workers, and veterans’ healthcare. It would gut coastal protection and investments in renewable energy, and it would reduce funding for Superfund and brownfields cleanup, all of which would disproportionally hurt New Jersey.

“This is a morally reprehensible proposal that would only take our country backwards. I will continue to fight against these reckless spending proposals, and will instead support priorities that will grow and support the middle class.”


Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 15, 2017 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

During the last Middletown Township Committee Meeting he Committee held its' "Mayors For The Day" program and had 3 local students observe the workings of the township government.

Proclamations were presented to 4 residents that reported a house fire and rescued the residents living there and T&M Associates presented an overview of the Belford Redevelopment Zone. A public hearing was held and the Committee adopted an ordinance accepting the plan.



As always, you can download a copy of the Meeting Agenda that contains the discussion items and the proposed resolutions and ordinances that were voted on or presented during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. Attached to this agenda is also the monthly bill list, so that everyone can see how the Township is spending our tax dollars.

Click here for a link to Belford Redevelopment Study


Pallone Statement on Special Prosecutor to Investigate Trump-Russia Connection




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2017



Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr, released the following statement after former FBI Director Robert Mueller III was appointed as special prosecutor:

“Director Mueller is a respected public servant who served honorably during his decade as Director of the FBI. I hope his appointment as special prosecutor can bring greater independence to the FBI’s inquiry into the Trump-Russia connection.

“I will also be watching closely to ensure that the Trump administration allows Director Mueller’s investigation to be truly independent. President Trump has taken extraordinary measures to avoid accountability and transparency on Russia and it is imperative that Congressional committees continue their inquiries. Congress must also reserve the right to form an independent commission if necessary."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Did Special Interests Influence LD-13 Assembly Member Declan O'Scanlon To Vote 'Yes' On Gas Tax?



The following snippet was posted on the Marlboro Patch. If you haven't read it, it will raise an eyebrow and my provide some insight into the politics behind last year's gas tax hike.


Did Special Interests Influence LD-13 Assembly Member Declan O'Scanlon To Vote 'Yes' On Gas Tax?



By Monmouth Watchdog
May 15, 2017

Organizations Benefitting From Gas Tax Increase Contributed Heavily Towards Assemblyman's Campaigns; Bumpy Road To Election Seen Ahead

On Decmber 9, 2016, Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon,(R-Monmouth), a staunch Chris Christie ally, and former member of Christie's Presidential Leadership Team, announced a bid for the senate seat being vacated by long-time representative, state Senator Joe Kyrillos.

In O'Scanlon's bid for the senate seat, he said, " I am running for the Senate. I am looking forward to the opportunity to double the value of my vote and volume of my megaphone...I have a history of bringing people together...I have allies in reform communities and labor..."

Well, it may be those very "allies" in labor that may be Mr. O'Scanlon's undoing to represent LD-13. Legislative District 13 is comprised of 16 municipalities--including the largest town in Monmouth County: Middletown.

Middletown is home of Democrat Sean Byrnes, who is the Monmouth Dems choice to run against O'Scanlon. Compounding O'Scanlon's woes is his vote for the very unpopular 23 cent a gallon gas tax, in a state that has the highest cost per mile to construct a roadway: two-million dollars per mile. This expenditure is 12-times the national average on other state controlled and operated roadways, and now brings New Jersey's gas tax ranking to number 7 nationwide--up from the near bottom. Add to that O'Scanlon's mind boggling public safety voting record in the Assembly, and you have a candidate that may have his political career in jeopardy.

For drivers of New Jersey, a near quarter increase in a gallon of gas is indeed a steep hike. And with today's announcement from the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia agreeing to extend production cuts until March of 2018, the pain could even worsen for the state's drivers.

O'Scanlon's "allies" contributed mightily to his campaign--- These organizations consist of unions, political action committees, and companies dealing with state-wide road construction projects. They would benefit greatly from any legislator's "YES" vote and subsequent passage. On October 7, 2016, Declan O'Scanlon did indeed vote for the gas tax.

According to NJ Election Commission reports, The Utility and Transportation Contractors Association PAC, Constructors for Good Government, gave him $7,600 on Nov. 07, and the NJ State Laborers PAC ponied up $8,200 as did Operating Engineers Local 825, which sent $8,200. The road paving company J. Fletcher Creamer, whose khaki trucks are a fixture on Jersey’s TLC-desperate roads, sent $2,600, joined by companies like George Harms Construction, Earle Asphalt Company, Northeast Remsco Construction, and the NJ Asphalt PAC....

Continue reading on Patch


Sunday, May 14, 2017

SUPER Mom! - Mother's Day Cartoon


... Just doing what any Mom would do!

Happy Mother's Day




The love of a mother is beyond compare
One who dearly loves and is always there
From scraped knees
To falls from trees
A mother cares for all
From “I told you so”
To “That’s a no-no! ”
A mother answers the call
Mothers cook, mothers clean, some even work a job
Even with all their strength, a mother still knows how to sob
Mothers should be honored for all they have done
Every day of the year, not just one
There is nothing better than a mother’s love
For her time on this earth thank God above
A mother’s love endures forever
Its unbreakable bonds no on can sever
No matter how much I have grown
My mother’s love is always shown
She has become a mentor and a guide
Within her always I am able to confide
No better payment for her I can find
Then to love her with heart, and with mind
To the one who bore me; I share my emotion
To the one who raised me; Absolute devotion
To this woman I express my joy
You will always be my “mommy” and I your “baby boy”

- Glaedr the poet


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pallone Unveils Comprehensive Infrastructure Package







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2017


LIFT America Act Invests in Infrastructure, Creates Jobs
& Protects Public Health and the Environment

Washington, D.C. – Today in Carteret, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) unveiled legislation to invest in America’s infrastructure, create jobs and modernize our economy for the 21st century. Congressman Pallone’s bill provides for funding for a comprehensive 21st Century infrastructure package including key areas such as broadband, drinking water, healthcare, the electric grid, brownfield redevelopment and renewable energy. The Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act, sets out five years of funding for essential infrastructure improvements, job growth, and greater protections for public health and the environment. Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman, Kevin Duncan, Chair of the Middlesex County Building and Construction Trades Council and Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey joined Congressman Pallone at the event.

“At a time when our nation’s infrastructure is either crumbling or in desperate need of modernization, it’s time we make real and significant investments for the future,” said Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06). “The LIFT America Act is a blueprint for critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure that will also create jobs, protect public health, and the environment. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to advance these key investments in American infrastructure.”


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The LIFT America Act includes investments in several key areas including:

· $22.56 billion for drinking water infrastructure to protect public health and create jobs, including increased investment in drinking water State Revolving Funds and additional funding to replace lead service lines, address lead in school drinking water, and prepare for the impacts of climate change;
· $2.25 billion for Brownfields redevelopment to revitalize communities and create jobs by returning valuable land to productive use;
· Over $17 billion for energy infrastructure, including $4 billion for modern, secure, efficient, and resilient electric grid infrastructure, $9 billion for resilient and renewable energy supply including methane pipeline replacement, and more than $4 billion for energy efficiency efforts and smart communities;
· More than $3 billion for healthcare infrastructure, to re vive the successful Hill-Burton hospital infrastructure program, fund medical facility infrastructure in Indian Country, support state labs fighting Zika and other infectious diseases, and support community based health care infrastructure; and
· $40 billion for the deployment of secure and resilient broadband, to expand access for communities nationwide while protecting privacy and promoting security by design;

“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure makes sense for everyone. It will provide good jobs for the skilled men and women of the unions I am proud to represent. It will improve our local economies, and keep our nation competitive in an ever globalizing economy,” said President Bill Mullen of the NJ Building & Construction Trades Council. “We need to rebuild New Jersey’s bridges and roads, but there are also opportunities to build hospitals, improve our energy grid, and turn unused contaminated sites into vibrant parts of our communities. The LIFT America Act is a chance for our elected officials in Washington to come together and put Americans to work.”

“Fixing and expanding our infrastructure should be a no-brainer for Congress," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “From fixing lead pipes to strengthening our electric grid to weatherizing our schools, Rep. Pallone's LIFT Act provides a vision forward for how to strengthen our communities, our environment and economy. This should be a bipartisan push and we urge the full delegation to support this."

The LIFT America Act will invest in programs with proven records of job creation, including the drinking water State Revolving Fund and the Brownfields Redevelopment program. The legislation requires the use of American made iron and steel for drinking water projects and hospital construction and requires the payment of prevailing wages. The bill will also spur new high-paying technology jobs by supporting deployment of smart buildings, smart grid, and Smart Communities technology. The LIFT America Act also provides much-needed funding to repair and replace aging infrastructure that will have significant public health benefits, especially for children. The bill includes funding to get lead out of school drinking water, replace polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-laden lighting fixtures with safer and more energy efficient alternatives in schools, and reduce diesel emissions from school buses.


Pallone Blasts Trump Consideration of Seismic Testing in the Atlantic



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2017


Washington D.C.- Today Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06) blasted the Trump administration’s reported consideration of authorizing seismic testing in the Atlantic.

“President Trump is determined to continue his reckless anti-environment agenda,” said Pallone. “Seismic testing risks injuring and disturbing critically endangered species and threatening the Jersey shore. An environmentally sound coast is critical to New Jersey’s economy and given the Interior Department’s recent actions, it is very possible that seismic testing could lead to oil and gas drilling off our coast – threatening public health, coastal communities, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Quite simply, no seismic testing should be allowed in the Atlantic; New Jersey communities don’t want it, and the Atlantic should not be subjected to this risk.”

In January 2017, the Obama administration denied six pending geophysical and geological (G&G) permit applications to conduct air gun seismic surveys in the Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas of the Atlantic Ocean. This decision followed years of effort by Pallone to prevent seismic testing, including his successful urging of the Obama Administration to reject previous seismic testing applications.

Last October, Pallone led a letter from members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), applauding the agency’s Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap, which proposed numerous measures to reduce ocean noise, and urging NOAA to take immediate steps to implement the plan, specifically by denying seismic testing permits in the Atlantic

In 2015, Congressman Pallone led a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) raising serious concerns over proposed seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey. The members demanded comprehensive environmental assessments of the proposed seismic testing permits and the impact this testing could have on wildlife in the Atlantic Ocean.

Pallone also asked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries for a public hearing on proposed seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean that could potentially be used to open the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas exploration.

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Congressman Pallone Statement on Firing of FBI Director James Comey




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2017


Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement on the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“The firing of James Comey is the latest, and perhaps most clear, example of the Trump administration's actions to impede accountability and transparency.‎ We now need not only a fully independent investigation into President Trump's ties with Russia, but an inquiry into his unprecedented decision to replace the Director of the FBI. My fear is that the Trump administration is trying to prevent Director Comey from revealing it's involvement with Russia and other improprieties."

Friday, May 5, 2017

SHAME ON THE NEW JERSEY'S HOUSE REPUBLICANS THAT PUT PARTY LOYALTY BEFORE CONSTITUENTS' NEEDS




Trenton – Today, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair John Currie released the following statement after congressional Republicans forced a vote to take away health insurance from millions of Americans and raise premiums on the elderly:

"Trump's Republicans decided to raise premiums on older Americans and undermine coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, while exempting themselves. To say that this is disappointing would be an understatement. The legislative process is not a political game. The bill that passed the House will have a painful effect on hard-working New Jersey families if it becomes law. The consequences could, literally, be deadly. And, although Congressmen MacArthur and Frelinghuysen are particularly deserving of condemnation for putting the wishes of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan before their constituents' needs, it is not like New Jersey’s House Republicans were courageous. Voters will remember their broken promises next November.”

Background


  • The new bill is, effectively, the old bill made worse, as it appears to allow states to opt-out of protecting Americans who have pre-existing conditions like diabetes, asthma, and others. Non-partisan groups like the American Medical Association and AARP announced their opposition to it.
  • Today's vote violated one of the key components of Republicans’ “Pledge to America:” the Three-Day Rule -- a rule that promised that the text of legislation would be published "online for at least three days before coming up for a vote."
  • The first time Republicans in Congress tried to push this bill through, the bill had a dismal approval 17 percent rating, comparable to that of New Jersey's disgraced governor, Chris Christie.