Thursday, October 23, 2014

Harmony School PTO Hosts BOE Meet The Candidates Night Oct. 27th

Letter: Candidates' Ethics And Lack Of Respect Towards Others On Display

To the Editor:

At the Lincroft Village Candidates' Night last night (Oct.21st) I was able to hear candidates for Monmouth County Freeholders board and Middletown Township Committee. It was a great opportunity to get a flavor of their views and personalities.

One important issue discussed was that of having a code of ethics and an ethics board. The need for these became apparent when several ethical lapses by incumbents were mentioned.

I was further disconcerted by an obvious lack of respect toward their fellow candidates and the audience displayed by the Middletown Committee candidates.

They constantly whispered to each other while a speaker was talking. As at Middletown meetings, Mr. Fiore showed his displeasure by eye-rolling and making faces. It was distracting and reminded me of their frequent meeting behavior, including yelling at public speakers, and of grade school, when the teacher would say, "Do you have something to share with the class?"

Their challengers, Patrick Short and George Mardinly are ethical gentlemen who have not displayed such behaviors, but instead listen with empathy and respect to our citizens. I will feel much safer and respected when the challengers replace the incumbents.

Carolyn Schwebel

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tired of Gov. Christie's Contempt For Middle Class New Jersey Families


(Trenton) — Today, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair responded to the latest out-of-touch statement to come out of the mouth of New Jersey's failed, absentee governor, Chris Christie.

Yesterday, the governor -- the fourth highest paid governor in the country -- told a group of lawyers in Washington, DC that he was "tired of hearing about the minimum wage."

"Know what? I'm tired having to explain to Chris Christie that New Jersey's middle class families matter more than the wealthy corporate interests that he caters to," said the Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee John Currie. "Parents aren't focused on their kids making a higher minimum wage; they are working two or three minimum wage jobs themselves, just to make ends meet. That's even harder to do in Governor Christie's economy, which has raised taxes on the most vulnerable, neglected the needs of Sandy survivors, and wasted taxpayer dollars. It's not just that he's out of touch, he's contemptuous toward most New Jersey families and his policies are vindictive."

Governor Christie, who spends much of his time neglecting his messes in New Jersey while campaigning out of state, pays his attorney's $350 in taxpayer funds per hour to cover his political tracks, and enjoys an annual family income of about $700,000.

Currie is not the only one tiring of Chris Christie's detachment from the economic reality he created. Recent polling confirms that New Jerseyans are growing tired of Chris Christie's callous indifference to their needs.

In 2013, Christie vetoed a minimum wage increase in New Jersey that would have directly benefited 241,000 of his constituents -- the same people who voted overwhelmingly to effectively override that veto at the ballot box.

Fiore's Belligerence Really show's How Much He Loves Middletown

If it isn't eye-rolling or an exasperated sigh from the dais, Middletown's Tony Fiore has many other ways of showing his belligerence towards those who disagree with him. He's very often combatant, he constantly talks down to people and berates them when they stand at the podium at Township Committee meetings. He revels in his smugness and  pseudo authority.

In the clip below, instead of appointing someone that is qualified to hold a volunteer position, Tony Fiore would rather appoint someone that was more likely to vote for him.

With this mentality, the one that suffers is our town. This shows just how much he loves Middletown.

APP LETTER: Elect Luttrell & Grillo Freeholders

Here's a letter to the editor that appeared in the Asbury Park Press the other day from a fiscally conservative Republican calling for the support of two Democrats running for the Monmouth County Freeholder positions:

I’m proud to be a consistent, fiscally conservative Republican. I work hard and feel that I know best how my money should be spent. That’s why this election, I will not be voting for the Republican incumbents running for freeholder. The reason is that they betrayed my trust.
Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich gave $1.2 million of our money to former Republican Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas as part of his “farmland deal.” Now Lucas is going to jail on 11 federal convictions.
A week ago, Rich said the freeholders deserve a raise. Fair enough, but that they should “get paid 5 times as much” is a bit much for me.
This is why I’m voting for two Democrats: Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo for freeholder this year. I’m happy to vote for two successful business owners. When you are responsible for the financial well-being of both your family and your employees, you can’t be anything but a fiscal watchdog.
I feel that Grillo and his runningmate will make sure our tax dollars are not wasted on sweetheart farm deals.
I’m voting for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo for Monmouth County freeholder and county residents should too. On Nov. 4, let’s remind our elected officials that they work for us or they’re fired.
Joe Pepe
Asbury Park

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Letter: Lillian Burry is M.I.A. at FMERA Meetings

I received the following letter today and thought I'd share it:

(Lillian Burry MIA at FMERA meetings)
As I sat in the back row of this past Wednesday evening's FMERA (Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority) monthly meeting, it occurred to me that once again incumbent Freeholder Lillian Burry who is County Freeholder appointee on the board, was absent from yet another meeting.

I was shocked to discover that Freeholder Burry has not attended five out of the last six monthly FMERA meetings. In fact, she has missed the last three meetings in a row.

Those are more missed meetings than the three Mayors of Fort Monmouth's host towns (Eatontown, Tinton Falls and Oceanport) have missed COMBINED in 2014! I was even more dismayed to learn that rather than doing the job she is elected and paid to do, this month she instead was attending a political fundraiser for herself, starring TV personality Geraldo Rivera!

If Ms. Burry can not fulfill her obligations as the Freeholder representative to the FMERA Board, she should resign the position immediately.

As a resident of Eatontown, which is one of the three host towns, attendance at FMERA meetings is serious business. As it is, it’s hard for me to see any progress on my town's portion of Fort Monmouth - no new jobs, no tax ratables and nothing under contract. Then, to have Ms. Burry (who is asking for your vote this November) not even show up is a disgrace.

Zero accomplishments in Eatontown's section of Fort Monmouth and a Freeholder that does not show up at FMERA meetings in order to attend a political fundraiser - that's why I am voting for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo for Freeholder this year.

I am confident that Luttrell and Grillo will attend the required meetings and fight for the jobs we desperately need from Fort Monmouth's redevelopment efforts in all three towns.

Bob English

Democratic Candidates For Freeholder Go After "The Terrible Trio" In New TV Spot That Begins Airing Today

Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo, are going up on Television today. They are fighting to get the message out to the over 630,000 residents of Monmouth County about how ineffective Republican incumbents Lillian Burry and Gary Rich are. Their TV spot will be running for 2 weeks on Verizon Fios, Comcast and Cablevision through major channels in their targeted demographics.

Watch the video HERE

Pallone Statement to Mark One Year Anniversary of Marriage Equality in New Jersey

Long Branch, NJ —Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement on the one year anniversary of marriage equality in New Jersey:

“Today, we celebrate one year of marriage equality in New Jersey and offer a ‘Happy Anniversary’ to so many LGBT couples who were able to marry one year ago. Though the fight for this equality was difficult, thanks to many leaders throughout our state, New Jersey continues to be a national leader on civil rights issues.

“While today is certainly a moment to celebrate, there is much more work to do. LGBT Americans continue to face discrimination in the workplace and in many communities around the country. It is imperative that all Americans are able to enjoy the same rights, and that means putting an end to discrimination in all forms.”

The little-known tool Republicans will use if they take the Senate

If Republicans seize control of the Senate this November, they will use a little-known tool called “reconciliation” to get their way. Robert Reich explains in this new video from Please watch and share widely:

It's on us to spread the word. Sign up to make get-out-the-vote phone calls as part of MoveOn's Voters Rising campaign.

NJ WATCHDOG: Christie staff caught misleading NJ court in travel records dispute

For Immediate Release:

What happens when Gov. Chris Christie’s staff is caught lying to a New Jersey court about the existence of public records?

That legal bombshell may explode in Mercer County Superior Court this week in the governor’s battle with a New Jersey Watchdog reporter over travel expense accounts.

Documents surfaced that directly contradict the claims of Christie’s lawyers that the governor and his staff do not use state credit cards for travel and don’t have any records.

“The governor’s office does not use Travel Cards and thus does not have Travel Card statements,” stated Christie associate counsel Javier Diaz in a certification filed with the court. Similar to an affidavit, a certification carries penalties for willful false statements.

Yet an American Express card issued to the state is how the governor’s office paid for $8,146 worth of airfare for Christie’s entourage in January 2013 to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. The four passengers were Christie, his wife Mary Pat, chief of staff Kevin O’Dowd and planning director Daniel Robles.

The statements for the corporate AMEX card, received from another source, were addressed to the "NJ Governor's Office" at the Statehouse in care of Robles. The card was used again to charge $1,687 of additional expenses in February 2013.

“The state should not be playing semantics with whatever it calls the small piece of plastic that is whipped out to pay for the governor’s $8,000 worth of first-class airfare, among other things,” argued the reporter’s attorney, Donald M. Doherty Jr., in a brief to Judge Mary C. Jacobson.

Other hidden records from the Super Bowl trip include a $7,583 invoice for three hotel rooms in the names of Christie, O’Dowd and Robles. Christie's room and hotel expenses alone cost taxpayers $3,371. The name of the hotel and itemized bills were redacted from the documents.

The full story is now online at

Chris Smith: The Gun Lobby's Lap Dog

Chris Smith represents a large portion of Middletown in Congress and he happens to be a Lap Dog that does tricks for treats from the corporate gun lobby to block gun violence prevention legislation.

Smith got a "Thumbs Down" from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and has REFUSED to support common sense gun legislation such as a National System for Background Checks that would keeps guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and terrorists.

See who else is a Lap Dog for the NRA and the corporate gun lobby

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Please Help Us Keep Sandy Hook Undeveloped: Sandy Hook development - comment period last day 10/22

Please Help Us Keep Sandy Hook Undeveloped

Submit Your Comments Here to the NPS by October 22nd

New Jersey Audubon has enjoyed a 30-year relationship as a Park Partner with the National Park Service through the Sandy Hook Hawk Watch (beginning in 1979).  Our long-term involvement and presence have given us the opportunity to observe and document the changes and impacts that have affected Sandy Hook.

Our concern regarding the proposed relocation of the maintenance facilities stems from our awareness that Sandy Hook has grown from a 1,665-acre barrier peninsula to more than 2,100-acres that provide spectacular, undeveloped ocean and bay beaches found nowhere else in Monmouth County.  Preservation and protection of these habitats must be a priority, along with the recreational opportunities provided to the birding community and the public in general.  If you would like more information on Sandy Hook, its natural resources and NJ Audubon's position to protect and preserve Sandy Hook, please read our letter to the National Park Service.

Again, the public is invited to submit comments to the National Park Service regarding the proposed relocation of the maintenance facilities at Sandy Hook and the deadine line to submit comments is next week, October 22nd.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

President Obama's Weekly Address 10/18/14: What You Need To Know About Ebola

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President discussed what the United States is doing to respond to Ebola, both here at home and abroad, and the key facts Americans need to know. There is no country better prepared to confront the challenge Ebola poses than the U.S. and although even one case here at home is too many, the country is not facing an outbreak of the disease. Our medical professionals tell us Ebola is difficult to catch, and is only transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is showing symptoms. The President made clear that he and his entire administration will continue to do everything possible to prevent further transmission of the disease domestically, and to contain and end the Ebola epidemic at its source in West Africa.

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 6, 2014 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

I can't believe that I haven't posted a video of the Middletown Township Committee meetings since the August 18th,2014 meeting. That's probably because the last few meetings haven't lasted very long and nothing of note has taken place much like this one from Oct. 6th, which lasted only 25 minutes.

There were two discussions of note that I found somewhat informational. The first being that the township is looking to add some type of coffee shop at the Middletown train station that would possibly be housed in the Arts Center building. The second was that Middletown has an over-abundance of leaf mulch and wood chips that they are looking to either sell or give away to other towns.  So if you need some late season mulch before the winter sets in, go get it before it is carted off to other towns.

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.

Police Auxiliary Accepting New Applications

From Middletown Alerts:

The Middletown Township Police Auxiliary is accepting applications for new members through November 2014. The township's Auxiliary Officers are highly-trained volunteers who serve the community in a variety of police-related tasks. Meetings and training are held on a regular basis.