Thursday, June 16, 2016

This kid absolutely nails his graduation speech !!


"...Jack Aiello loves politics and comedic impressions. So when he won the opportunity to give a graduation speech at Chicago’s Thomas Middle School for their graduation ceremony, he took the opportunity and combined his two loves into one hilarious speech..."


hat tip Freak Out Nation

Saturday, June 11, 2016

That Time When ...




June 6, 2016 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

Monday night was another meeting of the Middletown Township Committee meeting. It was a brief 34 minute meeting but there were a few things of not that was discussed, such as:


  • An ordinance was passed to regulate signs in the Planned Development (PD) zone (Towne Center).
  • Ordinances were introduced to amend regulations for dealers in second hand goods, to expand the garbage district to cover the new homes at Bamm Hollow Estates, and to refinance $3M in township debt.


These will all have a public hearing and vote to adopt on June 20.

Public Comments begin at time mark 17:15



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.



President Obama's Weekly Address 6/11/16: Addressing Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, President Obama discussed the crippling economic crisis harming 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico. Today, the island is spending over a third of its tax revenue on debt payments – and on July 1, Puerto Rico is facing another $2 billion in debt payments that it cannot make. The President said the only way for Puerto Rico to overcome this crisis is by restructuring its debt and finding a sustainable path toward growth and opportunity for its people. But this requires help from Congress in order to give Puerto Rico the tools it needs to restructure its debt. The President commended the House of Representatives, which overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and called on the Senate to quickly follow suit.

A Eulogy For Ali


If you didn't watch the funeral service for Muhammad Ali yesterday, you missed a one of the greatest eulogies of all time. Thoughtful and touching words from Billy Crystal that described a 40 year friendship.

Friday, June 10, 2016

NJVVMF War Dogs Memorial to Be Rededicated on 10th Anniversary

For Immediate Release:

The United States War Dogs Association will rededicate the United States War Dogs Memorial on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11 a.m., on its 10th anniversary. The Memorial is located on the grounds of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ. The Memorial was first dedicated on June 10, 2006, and honors the nation’s war dogs and their handlers. The War Dogs Memorial, designed by sculptor Bruce Lindsay, consists of a bronze statue of a kneeling soldier and his dog, set on a black granite base. It pays tribute to military working dogs and their handlers — past, present and future.

Since World War I, tens of thousands of dogs have served in the United States Armed Forces alongside their handlers in K-9 units. Thousands of dogs have died in combat, saving the lives of military troops. According to the American Humane Association, each military working dog saves between 150-200 lives during their service, and according to the U.S. Department of Defense, there are approximately 2,700 active-duty military working dogs in the U.S. Armed Forces. They are deployed around the world, with a large number serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

U.S. War Dogs Association President Ron Aiello was one of the first of 30 Marine Scout Dog Teams to be deployed to Vietnam in 1966. Ron and his German Shepherd Scout Dog, Stormy, trained together for three months before going to Vietnam and being stationed in Da Nang.

It is estimated that military working dogs saved 10,000 lives during the Vietnam War.

Speakers for the ceremony will include retired Col. Steve Abel, Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, Richard A. Vargus, Department of the Army Military Working Dog Program, Ron Aiello, and special guest speaker Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator from New Jersey. There will be a presentation of wreaths during the ceremony and an In Memory program recognizing New Jersey dog handlers killed in action.

A military working dog demonstration by joint base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will take place after the ceremony. There will also be a book signing and presentation by John Burnam, author of Dog Tags of Courage, A Soldier’s Best Friend and Canine Warrior, and a presentation on dealing with medications for retired military working dogs by Mark Taylor, owner/pharmacist of CUREXA National Pharmacy, the official pharmacy of the U.S. War Dogs Association. These presentations will be held in the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Museum and Educational Center.



Monmouth County Republican Chair and County Sheriff Shaun Golden and his Candidates for County Office on Trump: . . ?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From Monmouth County Democrats
6/10/16


“It’s time for Golden to tell his ticket where they stand on Trump so they can let Monmouth County voters know.”

HAZLET- Editorial writers, columnists, politicians and voters everywhere are continuing to talk about Donald Trump’s racist, bigoted remarks made in the aftermath of revelations that his Trump University was preying on hard-working middle class families and seniors.

Some Republican Leaders have come out against their presumptive nominee for President and some are attempting to rationalize Trump’s statements.

However, Monmouth County Republican Chairman and candidate for Sheriff Shaun Golden and his entire hand picked County ticket have silently shrunk away from the Trump controversies. Rather than let their constituents know where they stand, they continue to put their partisan politics before the communities they were elected to serve in the hopes that voters forget by November 7th.

It’s time for Golden to tell his ticket where they stand on Trump so they can let Monmouth County voters know.

This is what people are saying in Monmouth County, across New Jersey and throughout the country:

http://politickernj.com/2016/06/trump-based-attacks-surface-as-state-republicans-stay-mum/

“We expect office holders in Monmouth County to stand against racism, bigotry and anyone who would take advantage of hard-working middle class families and seniors,” wrote Democratic freeholder candidates Sue Fulton and Matt Doherty. “Donald Trump and his Trump University targeted and took advantage of countless people – and now he is attempting to defend that behavior with more bigotry and bias.

“Mr. Trump is the standard-bearer for their party; we need to whether our office-holders share Mr. Trump’s values, or whether they will put their community ahead of party loyalty.”

http://www.app.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/06/08/christie-trump-defense-racist-remarks/85608982/

Trump’s remarks were purely racist, despite denials by Trump himself and by Christie. He made a judgment about the judge based solely on his heritage. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump’s comments were “the textbook definition of racist comments” — a textbook Trump could fill by himself with his bigoted remarks about Mexicans and Muslims and his sexist remarks about women.

Nonetheless, Ryan said he would support Trump regardless. But at least he repudiated Trump’s remarks instead of trying to rationalize them, as Christie did.

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/06/chris_christies_endless_ambition_leads_him_to_embr.html

He was asked about Trump's novel assertion that a judge of Mexican descent should be barred from presiding over the Trump University fraud case. Because, you know, he's Mexican.

Trump later added that Muslim judges should probably be barred as well.

Republicans everywhere winced. Their undisputed leader was slicing up America into racial and religious fiefdoms, and sowing profound disrespect for the rule of law.
Should black defendants now insist on having black judges? Whites can only trust fellow whites? Christians can only trust fellow Christians? If we followed Trump down this wormhole, where would it end?

Forget about the freedom and prosperity that the rule of law has brought: Let's go tribal.
Suddenly, the comparison to Adolf Hitler made by Gov. Christie Whitman seems prophetic.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who endorsed Trump only a few days ago, called it "a textbook definition of a racist comment."

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/trump-may-become-the-textbook-definition-of-racism-1.1613971

Horrible things happen when average people do nothing, when they refuse for self-serving purposes (See: Christie) to acknowledge a truth that needs to be acknowledged. The candidacy of Donald Trump is built on fear, frustration and racism.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/06/08/editorial-grassley-ignores-judicial-crisis-and-trumps-racism/85549460/

As Edmund Burke said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. And when it comes to Donald Trump, there are invertebrates that have shown more spine than (Iowa) Sen. Charles Grassley.

http://www.salon.com/2016/06/07/no_way_out_for_trump_backing_republicans_hes_doubling_down_on_racist_remarks_as_gop_leaders_struggle_to_respond/

“The GOP Trump train was already full of uneasy passengers, people who know he’s a charlatan but are too cowardly to take a principled stand. Things escalated this week when Trump let loose a string of nakedly racist statements about a Mexican-American U.S. District Judge (Gonzalo Curiel) and promptly followed it up with another, equally racist statement about a hypothetical Muslim judge . . . “

“You’d think that time would’ve occurred when Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the country or when he suggested killing the families of suspected terrorists or when he propounded birther conspiracies, but nope, this was the final straw. As I wrote yesterday, the time for Republicans to criticize Trump has long past. Claiming an American judge can’t do his duty on account of his Mexican heritage is revolting, but no more or less revolting than a dozen other things Trump has said or done. Hence all this moralizing from Republicans feels flat and empty at this point.
At any rate, you can expect more angst from Republicans in the coming months. The price of hopping aboard the Trump train is going to rise immeasurably between now and November. Trump’s statements about Judge Curiel have been universally loathed, and yet he’s made it clear he has no intention of backing away from them. In fact, as is his custom, he’s doubling down . . . “

“None of this is surprising. This is who Trump has been since he lunged into presidential politics. He won’t back down. He’s going to own every stupid and hateful thing he says. And now, because they opened their doors to him, the Republican Party is going to own it too.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/trump-house-republicans-racism-224000

Or, in the case of endangered Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), ditching Trump altogether.

By the end of the day, Trump had issued a new statement blaming the media for his problems, without apologizing to the Indiana-born federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over lawsuits against Trump University. Trump then declared he was done commenting on the matter.

But the damage was already done.

"I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers — not building walls. That's why I find Donald Trump's belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American," the first-term senator said. "After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world."



Saturday, May 28, 2016

President Obama's Weekly Address 5/28/16: Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Obama solemnly reflected on the meaning of Memorial Day and recognized the sacrifices made by the American warriors who never made it back home. Though the President stressed that citizens should thank active-duty troops and veterans every day of the year, he emphasized that Memorial Day is reserved for remembering the unselfish men and women who gave their lives in defense of the nation. In addition to reflecting on the unpayable debt owed to fallen servicemembers, Americans should also make an effort to offer support to the families of their countrymen who gave everything. Whether it’s hiring a veteran, reaching out to a grieving family member, or simply pausing for a moment of silent thanks, the President wants the country to join him in an act of remembrance during the Memorial weekend.

Letter: Senator Scutari Colorado Marijuana Trip

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:



Dear Editor,

Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) announced that he plans to visit Colorado to look at the legal pot industry there. But Colorado would be a poor model for New Jersey, because their pot taxes are too high, in addition to an overly regulated licensing system that would lead to more political corruption in the Soprano State. Not to mention all the 18-20 year old adults there still face a criminal record for pot, due to a silly 21 age requirement marketing ploy, designed to make voters link pot to alcohol.

New Jersey should not rush into a "recreational" model but instead expand the medical marijuana law to cover all conditions, allow physicians to utilize telemedicine to issue cannabis recommendations, abolish the mandatory patient registry, and allow non-residents to get a recommendation in New Jersey. This would allow someone from NYC or Philly to come to New Jersey, talk to a Doctor on their iPhone like FaceTime, and head into the dispensary.

We also need public and social smoking spaces in New Jersey. While New Jersey allows medical marijuana patients to light up anywhere tobacco smokers can, Colorado went overboard and banned public consumption (in their eyes, pretty much anywhere other than a private residence). The law went largely unenforced until the "recreational" law was passed and since then, Colorado police are pot smoking ticket happy again. Colorado has also created a new ticket for an "open container" of marijuana in a car - but a homegrown plant doesn't come in a container. This kind of silly lawmaking is the result of Colorado's idea of "recreational" regulation. I call it a red tape nightmare for something that is supposed to have been legalized.

New Jersey needs to have dispensaries with relaxing smoking lounges on the boardwalk in places like Atlantic City, Asbury Park, and Sea Bright. Not silly Colorado-style laws stopping legitimate places from getting off the ground.

Dennis Peron, a co-author of Proposition 215, California's medical marijuana law passed in 1996 (largely in response to his friends and lovers dying of AIDS) has told me and stated publicly that he believes all cannabis usage is medical. I agree with this view and believe a medical framework overseen by Doctors is the best approach to cannabis for New Jersey.

Senator Scutari has never smoked pot. I believe him, but do we really want a guy who has never smoked a joint to write the law? African-American Marijuana Activist, Trenton Restaurateur, and Congressional Candidate Robert Edward Forchion aka NJ WEEDMAN is New Jersey's most high profile marijuana activist (groups like NORML are just a bunch of lawyers and limousine liberals who just sit around and get high, Ed actually makes change). As a former Hollywood dispensary operator, Forchion knows the business and the product. Did I mention he's also a Marine Corps Veteran? Let's make him New Jersey's Official Cannabis Czar, for politicians to consult with on marijuana topics.

Before running off to Colorado and talking to a bunch of equally clueless politicians and dispensary chain lobbyists, Senator Scutari should stop by NJ Weedman's Joint restaurant and Liberty Bell Temple III Rastafarian church right across from Trenton City Hall and talk to Ed Forchion.

Colorado's pot laws were designed to empower rich white businessmen, while keeping those with even minor criminal records from working in the industry, and requiring high application fees and startup requirements in order to keep people from the disability community, racial minorities, women, and LGBT people from gaining a foothold in the industry. Before thinking of profits, people need to think of patients and compassion.

The point of changing pot laws is to allow people not only to safely possess it for health, but to empower disadvantaged people and communities harmed by the racist War on Drugs to produce their own medicine, free of corporate control and profiteering. Last year, Ohio voters rejected a corporate attempt to hijack the movement with a law written by businessmen intent on creating a monopoly in their state. New Jersey should take notice.



Eric Hafner
Toms River


Pallone Demands FEMA take Swift Action to Address Unacceptable Delays for Sandy Victims



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2016


WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) demanded that FEMA take swift action to process claims for victims of Hurricane Sandy in a meeting with Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in Pallone’s Washington, DC office. At the meeting Wright stated that FEMA would have the unprocessed claims finished by the end of the summer.

The members stressed that the slow pace of the claims review process is unacceptable, and that FEMA needs to act to ensure that New Jersey policy holders are treated fairly and receive just compensation. They also discussed their concerns over alleged widespread fraud perpetrated by private insurance companies servicing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“My constituents and I continue to be outraged by the unacceptable delays in processing claims for Sandy victims.” said Pallone. “It’s been nearly four years since Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey and there needs to be a sense of urgency about processing the claims of these victims, who have already suffered enough. FEMA has a responsibility to implement processes to ensure that disaster victims get the resources they are rightfully owed and it is imperative that it take action immediately. Next week starts Hurricane season and we need to make sure that victims of Sandy are in their homes and prepared.”

“I met with Roy Wright of FEMA to discuss improving and expediting the Hurricane Sandy Claims review process for the thousands of New Jerseyans still waiting to receive the support they are owed,” said Pascrell. “While it is upsetting to know that FEMA has only fully processed roughly half of the claims that have been associated with fraud, they are doing it as swiftly and diligently as possible. I commend FEMAs willingness to work with members of Congress and the people of New Jersey in order to address any and all issues that have arisen from flood insurance payment issues. That is why I encourage anyone in my district to let me know if they have an issue so that I can keep FEMA to their word.”

Earlier this month, Pallone led a bipartisan letter from members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to Administrator Fugate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting that it take swift action on behalf of those who have suffered from documented, widespread fraud perpetrated by private insurance companies in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The lawmakers asked for an explanation of why it is taking FEMA so long to process the insurance claims of these victims and to detail the steps FEMA is taking to swiftly rectify the situation.

Last May, The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) announced that it would begin a process requested by Pallone and other New Jerseys members of Congress to review flood insurance claims filed by policyholders affected by Hurricane Sandy. FEMA did this after Pallone and other Members sent a letter to FEMA requesting that it establish a process allowing homeowners to easily file an appeal if they believe they have been a victim of an intentionally altered engineering report.



Navy Veteran To Walk From NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial to D.C. to Raise Awareness, Funds for PTSD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/25/16


Mike Dowens will kick off the three-day walk from the Memorial on June 2 to raise funds to send a veteran suffering from PTSD to treatment

Holmdel, NJ (May 24, 2016) — Mike Dowens, a Navy veteran, is kicking off a three-day walk from the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel, NJ, to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on June 2, 2016. Dowens suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from his time serving in the Liberia, Somalia and Haiti as a Navy search and rescue swimmer. His goal is to increase awareness about PTSD and raise money through a Go Fund Me campaign to send a veteran in need to The Refuge, a treatment center in Florida where he sought treatment for his own PTSD.

Dowens, 37, will begin his walk the morning of June 2 at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, 1 Memorial Lane, exit 116 off the Garden State Parkway at the PNC Bank Arts Center. He will then take a route on walkable roads to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., a total of 237 miles. He will be joined on his walk by another veteran and PTSD sufferer. The two will walk non-stop, pausing only for meals.

After spending four years in the Navy and being honorably discharged in 2006 for asthma he developed while overseas, Dowens felt lost. He felt severe separation from the military and suffered intense symptoms of PTSD for years before he finally sought treatment.

“I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t in the Navy any longer,” said Dowens. “I had survivor’s guilt and tried to get back into the military nine times.”

Dowens knows The Refuge, a PTSD and trauma center in Ocklawaha, Florida, saved his life. And now, he knows he wants to give back.

“While I was in treatment I realized I could serve without going back in the military,” he said. “I could raise money for a veteran to get the same help that I got.”

The walk Dowens is making draws sharp comparison to the Last Patrol, a group of New Jersey Vietnam veterans who walked from the nation's capital in 1989 to the would-be site of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel to raise awareness, support, and funds for a memorial honoring Vietnam Veterans in New Jersey.

On May 27, 1989, The Last Patrol was greeted with welcome arms by members of the community who had come to pay respect to the efforts of these men as well as to honor the fallen. The message was simple — Welcome Home.

That message spoke volumes to a group of veterans who hadn’t been welcomed home with such open arms. The Vietnam War was unpopular in the United States, and the soldiers felt the brunt of that unpopularity when they returned home. Adjusting to life at home was difficult, and things like PTSD and other health issues were largely ignored. Veterans felt isolated and alone and often didn’t seek treatment.

Veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and other recent conflicts have had similar experiences when coming home. PTSD and its treatment are major issues with this group of military veterans, and something difficult to seek help for. It’s something they share with Vietnam Veterans.

“Not all wounds are visible,” said Dowens.

And it’s those invisible wounds Dowens is trying to raise awareness for with his walk. His mission, named Unbroken Warriors, has raised more than $6,000 to date with a goal of $10,000. The funds will send a veteran for PTSD treatment at The Refuge. To donate, click here.

Dowens, who has been a police officer in Holmdel for eight years, will wear a full pack weighing 70 pounds on his walk. He hopes this trek calls attention to the issues that veterans, past and present, are dealing with.

“You don’t have to wear a uniform to serve,” said Dowens.

About New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, dedicated May 7, 1995, strives to encourage and foster patriotism and provide for recognition of the sacrifices, courage and valor of the New Jersey Veterans of the Vietnam Era. The Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, dedicated in September 1998, strives to encourage and foster a thorough understanding of the Vietnam era, including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects that affected the United States, especially New Jersey. For more information, visit www.njvvmf.org.


NJVVMF Memorial Day Ceremony, May 30


The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will honor veterans with a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, Exit 116 off the Garden State Parkway. The Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center will be open to the public free of charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

NJVVMF Board of Directors Trustee and Camden County Sheriff Gilbert (Whip) Wilson will preside over the Ceremony and the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Kim Guadagno is the Special Guest Speaker. The program will include a presentation of wreaths by various area organizations, music by The Rock N’ Roll Chorus; a presentation of colors by the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Naval Weapons Station Earle; and an invocation by Joe Formola, Chaplain of the New Jersey State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America.

During the ceremony, the New Jersey Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Foundation will award two scholarships to high school seniors from New Jersey who plan to further their education either at a college, university or trade/technical school. This year’s scholarship recipients are Matthew Falco of Cranford High School and Teresa Ngo of Biotechnology High School.

An “In Memory” program will honor those who served in Vietnam and returned home, but later died as a result of their tour. This year, five names will be inducted.

We invite you to attend the ceremony.

Pallone’s SANDy Act Passes House of Representatives



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2016

Legislation will help Improve Communications during Disasters


WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act – or the SANDy Act, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 389-2. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the legislation last year to help ensure the resiliency of the nation’s communications networks during emergencies. During and after Sandy there was a major breakdown of communications networks, including cellular and home telephones, television, and internet services. This created a dangerous barrier to emergency response and recovery for residents and towns.

“I am proud that the SANDy Act can now help first responders, businesses and private citizens communicate during disasters,” said Pallone. “In New Jersey, we learned firsthand during Hurricane Sandy the importance of communications during an emergency. Broadcasters and cable providers give us the critical information we need to stay out of harm’s way. Making a call for help is difficult when the power is out, and when the cell towers are also down, it can be nearly impossible. We must do everything we can to be better prepared for the next time disaster strikes”

Before the bill passed the Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month, Pallone and CTIA, together with wireless providers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon announced an agreement that wireless providers will share information and advance wireless network resiliency before, during and after disasters and emergencies.

APCO International, the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications, has voiced its support for the legislation stating that “it contains a number of provisions that would be helpful to 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) facing future large-scale disasters, and would generally lead to improvements in emergency communications in such situations.”

Since he became the top Democrat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Pallone has redoubled his efforts to make sure that never happens again. As part of his effort, Pallone held a Superstorm Sandy Field Forum with local officials, industry leaders and senior FirstNet representatives to take a critical look at lessons learned and progress made with public safety telecommunications since the hurricane. Pallone used those lessons to craft the bill and improve the resiliency of our communications systems.

In addition the SANDy Act would:

· Make sure all communication providers—radio, TV, and phone—can fix outages faster, even across state lines.

· Begin a process to provide 911 services over Wi-Fi hotspots during emergencies.

Pallone spoke on the House floor urging passage of the bill yesterday. The video can be found here.






Lagerkvist: Golden parachutes of NJ public college presidents cost millions

From Mark Lagerkvist

For departing New Jersey public college presidents, their farewell payments, perks and positions can resemble lottery jackpots. Not left to chance, these windfalls are carefully crafted into their employment contracts.

George Pruitt of Thomas Edison State University in Trenton is slated to receive $1.7 million in payouts after his presidency ends. It begins with a one-year paid sabbatical leave at his presidential salary, currently $337,000 – and a new title, president emeritus.

When he returns from sabbatical, Pruitt will begin a five-year fellowship to conduct research at TESU’s John S. Watson School of Public Service. He’ll get 80 percent of his former salary – another $1.348 million or more. To top it off, the university will pay a $10,000 lump sum to cover Pruitt’s relocation expenses.

At least 13 current presidents have an express option to work in other six-figure positons at their institutions when they step down. Nine of those chief executives can begin their post-presidential careers with generous paid sabbaticals, according to a NJ Spotlight analysis of employment contracts obtained under the Open Public Records Act.

The full story is now online at NJ Spotlight – http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/05/23/bon-voyage-bonanzas-golden-parachutes-of-nj-public-college-chiefs-cost-millions/

# # #

Mark Lagerkvist is a veteran investigative reporter who has worked for CNBC, News 12, Asbury Park Press, New Jersey Watchdog and other newspaper, television and online news outlets. His work has won more than 60 journalism awards, including honors from National Press Club, Scripps Howard Foundation, and Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE). He can be reached at Mark@Lagerkvist.net.