Thursday, September 22, 2016

If I Had A Bowl Of Skittles....


Received  from a friend:

Skittles
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, "If I had a bowl of Skittles and told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?"

This was the best response I have seen.

Written by Eli Bosnick:

"If I gave you a bowl of skittles and three of them were poison would you still eat them?"

"Are the other skittles human lives?"

"What?"

"Like. Is there a good chance. A really good chance. I would be saving someone from a war zone and probably their life if I ate a skittle?"

"Well sure. But the point-"

"I would eat the skittles."

"Ok-well the point is-"

"I would GORGE myself on skittles. I would eat every single freakin skittle I could find. I would STUFF myself with skittles. And when I found the poison skittle and died I would make sure to leave behind a legacy of children and of friends who also ate skittle after skittle until there were no skittles to be eaten. And each person who found the poison skittle we would weep for. We would weep for their loss, for their sacrifice, and for the fact that they did not let themselves succumb to fear but made the world a better place by eating skittles.

Because your REAL question...the one you hid behind a shitty little inaccurate, insensitive, dehumanizing racist little candy metaphor is, IS MY LIFE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF MEN, WOMEN, AND TERRIFIED CHILDREN...

... and what kind of monster would think the answer to that question... is yes?"


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Save the Day



The world's biggest celebrities explain why it is Important that you vote on November 8!



www.savetheday.vote

Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose Honors Pallone for work on Opioid Addiction





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2016


Washington, D.C. – Last night, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), was presented an award from the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose for his “tireless work to stop the opioid misuse, addiction and overdose epidemic.” He is one of 8 members being honored for their work on opioid addiction. As the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressman Pallone led Democratic efforts to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) through the House of Representatives this summer.

"We want to recognize the considerable effort undertaken by Congress, and these members in particular, to address the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic," said R. Corey Waller, MD, DFASAM, Chair of the American Society of Addiction Medicine's Legislative Advocacy Committee. "As a Coalition, we remain committed to carrying this work forward to help communities in desperate need of a solution to this public health crisis.”

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) incorporates proven public health approaches to fight against the heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis. The law improves the tools available to prescribers to prevent opioid abuse and the development of opioid use disorder. It also expands access to lifesaving naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, to respond to those in an acute opioid crisis and expands access to evidence-based treatments that help individuals with opioid use disorders enter recovery.

Congressman Pallone has also been an outspoken advocate for additional funding to combat the opioid crisis. He has introduced legislation that would commit $500 million annually to help individuals at all stages of crisis, specifically those suffering from prescription opioid and heroin dependence.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by an organization that is an important partner in our effort to address the opioid epidemic,” said Pallone. “In New Jersey, more than 184,000 individuals have been admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities for heroin or opioid abuse since 2010 and more than 5,000 have died from heroin-related deaths since 2004. We need to continue to show a sense of urgency on this issue and do everything possible to help and treat those who are suffering.”
The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose is an organization of more than 40 local, regional and national groups that are committed to advancing meaningful legislative and regulatory policies in response to the opioid epidemic. The Coalition seeks to address the U.S. opioid epidemic by engaging policy makers, public health leaders, chronic pain and addiction specialists, individuals in and seeking recovery and family members, so that legislation and policies get the support and funding needed.

###

Politician Inappropriately uses Veteran’s Initiative to Promote his Political Campaign


Golden has never served in the military

HAZLET - Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden is facing steep criticism from veterans after using a Veteran focused social media initiative to promote his political campaign for re-election. Golden has never served in the military in any capacity.


During a day of political campaigning, signs labeled #OnDutyForSheriffGolden were passed out to fellow politicos, including Golden himself. The group posed on numerous occasions and spread the photos throughout social media, a clear attempt to grasp on to the support for the veteran focused initiative for political gain. Because of the political maneuver, Golden was met with heavy criticism by local veterans for his willingness to abuse the veteran focused initiative for personal and political gain.

In 2014, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, began a social media initiative for veterans using the title #OnDutyForJoni. Supporters would pose for photos on their social media webpages using the title #OnDutyForJoni as a call for support of Ernst and other veterans serving at home and overseas.

Golden is facing the most competitive challenge to his re-election he has seen in the near decade he has spent in the Sheriff’s Office. His opponent, U.S. Army Colonel Jeff Cantor joined fellow candidate U.S. Army Captain Vincent Solomeno in the veterans focused social media initiative by having their supporters pose online while they served overseas this year.

“I know political campaigns get dirty, but this is beyond the pale. How can we trust a sheriff to protect us who is willing to do whatever it takes to score political points, even if it means co-opting a veterans’ initiative for his own gain? It’s disgraceful.” Vietnam Combat Fighter Pilot Veteran, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ray Dothard commented.


************

Picture from Jeff Cantor for Monmouth County Sheriff  Facebook page

Letter to Editor - Prostitution Must Be Legalized

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


Dear Editor,

The ACLU of New Jersey is right that prostitution must be legalized, and in the meantime prostitutes should not be arrested by police.

In New Jersey, where Latino male illegal immigrant day laborers are permitted by the courts to openly advertise the availability of their illegal labor to the public, are allowed to loiter in front of businesses, and the local courts require their employers to pay wages to those unpaid, there is no rational basis to deny the same equal protection to U.S. citizen sex workers, who are largely disenfranchised females, trans people, or gay men.

Communities like my hometown of Fair Haven (Monmouth County) are where suburban riches fuel the demand for urban sex workers and drugs like heroin, resulting in urban street violence, yet these lily-white suburbs are sheltered from the numerous problems their wealth enables.

The communities of Rumson, Fair Haven, and Little Silver should join together to provide a Sex Worker's Empowerment and Counseling Center, with an on-site drug rehabilitation, HIV testing, needle exchange, and transitional housing program, well-funded and outside of the shadow of urban blight.

We cannot judge prostitutes, when our own communities are awash with their customers.


Rev. Dr. Eric Hafner
Toms River, NJ

Pallone to Hold U.S. Service Academy Day at Naval Weapons Station Earle on September 24th




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2016


LONG BRANCH, NJ – On Saturday, September 24th at 10:00 a.m., Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06) will be hosting a U.S. Service Academy Day at Naval Weapons Station Earle, Leonardo Pier Complex. The event will provide a forum for students who are interested in attending one of our nation’s prestigious U.S. Service Academies to learn more about the process for admission.

The event will focus on the admissions process, steps to obtaining a congressional nomination, and lifestyles as Cadets or Midshipmen at the academies. Interested students will have the opportunity to personally meet and speak with representatives from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

“Our nation’s service academies are some of the highest caliber institutions committed to graduating leaders of character, honor and integrity,” said Congressman Pallone. “Graduates are selflessly prepared to assume some of the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government. By hosting this U.S. Service Academy Day, it is my hope that we will inspire young people of the 6th Congressional District to come and explore the many opportunities that our academies have to offer.”

Doors will open at 10:00 a.m., and presentations from the Academies will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. Reservations are required for admission, therefore, interested students and parents should RSVP to Dawn Rebscher at (732) 571-1140.

Double-Dippers Dominate NJ Sheriff Elections

Mark Lagerkvis:

Jim McDonald is weeks away from hitting a jackpot in New Jersey’s election sweepstakes as a new double-dipping county sheriff.

In January, he retired as Washington Township police chief at age 54 to draw a $94,000 a year state pension – and run for Warren County sheriff. He is unopposed on the November ballot after winning the GOP primary on a platform of “fiscal responsibility.”

McDonald is a sure bet to add a sheriff’s salary of $128,000 to his income next year, increasing his total annual take from public coffers to $222,000. He and his campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

“Public pensions are not really intended to be a way to change your lifestyle and double your income,” said Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Red Bank, a longtime opponent of double-dipping. “It was created to support you when you are no longer working.”

Currently, three-fourths of the state’s sheriffs – 16 out of 21 – take advantage of existing loopholes to draw county salaries while receiving pensions as law enforcement “retirees,” according to a NJ Spotlight analysis. In an upcoming election packed with sheriff candidates who are double-dippers or would-be double-dippers, those numbers are unlikely to change much.

The full story on double-dippers running for sheriff is online at http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/09/18/double-dippers-dominate-sheriff-elections-across-new-jersey/

NJ Spotlight’s current list of double-dipping sheriffs is posted at http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/09/18/the-list-new-jersey-s-16-double-dipping-county-sheriffs/

# # #
Mark Lagerkvist is a veteran investigative reporter who has worked for CNBC, News 12, Asbury Park Press, New Jersey Watchdog and other 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.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Statement from Colonel Jeff Cantor, Candidate for Monmouth County Sheriff on Seaside Park explosion

For Immediate Release:
September 17th, 2016


"Today’s cowardly attack in Seaside Park, New Jersey is yet another alarming example of the dangers facing our community. As a Colonel in the United States Army, I am especially aggrieved to know that the target of this attack was the location of a charity event being held to raise money to assist wounded Marines and their families.

With my 30 years of experience in protecting civilians and my experience as a combat veteran, anti-terrorism expert, and federally certified Disaster Management professional, I know what a safe and secure community should look like. That’s why I’ve laid out a plan to help bolster the resources needed to protect against these types of attacks, including creating an anti-terrorism force that will identify and reinforce soft targets such as boardwalks, malls, and other densely populated areas. New Jersey’s residents need to know that their leaders are focused on their safety, first and foremost."



Saturday, September 17, 2016

President Obama's Weekly Address 9/17/16: It’s Time for Republicans in Congress To Do Their Jobs

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, President Obama called on Republicans in Congress to do their jobs. With Congress back in session there is a lot of business that needs to get done, including funding the fight against Zika, providing resources to help the flood victims in Louisiana, and giving Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland the courtesy of a fair hearing and a vote. The President said addressing these problems is all within our reach – and we need Congress to work as hard as the American people do. We should expect Republicans in Congress to do their jobs – to protect us from disease, help us recover from disaster, and keep the Supreme Court above politics.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Letter to Editor: NJ allows Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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


Dear Editor,

New Jersey has now recognized medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment for PTSD. Since even before my 2011 arrest in Middletown Township (Monmouth County) I was a high profile advocate for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with Medical Cannabis.

Unfortunately while the law has changed, patients such as myself who were wronged are not being compensated.

I was pulled out of a car late at night, handcuffed to a pipe in a cold room for hours, and robbed of my medicine by arrogant police officers who sought to intimidate and generate fine revenue in a municipal court where the Municipal Judge, Richard Thompson, has since been suspended due to alleged corruption.

It is fine to say now that as PTSD patients we are recognized as seriously-ill people in need of cannabis. But my California doctor already told the court as much and no one cared to listen.

A state apology and a lifetime supply of free medicine is what must be provided by the State of New Jersey to patients victimized by the unjust laws of the day.



Rev. Dr. Eric Hafner
Toms River, NJ

Democrats Endorsed by VoteVets in Monmouth County Races

For Immediate Release:
September 16th, 20016



HAZLET – With a Veteran heavy ticket, the Monmouth County Democrats’ campaign received a big boost from VoteVets.org, a political action committee, endorsed the U.S. Army veterans Colonel Jeff Cantor, Captain Vincent Solomeno, and Former Captain Sue Fulton.

“Having veterans represented at all levels of government could not be more critical than it is now,” said Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org. “We believe that our newest veterans have a special voice and experience that is badly needed at every level of government.”

A Colonel in the U.S. Army, a member of the volunteer EMS, and a Marlboro town councilman, Cantor, is running for Monmouth County Sheriff. As an intelligence officer, he has commanded troops in combat, ensuring all of their safe return, as well as set up a police academy in Iraq to train their new police force. “My wife and I are raising our two daughters here in Monmouth County and there is nothing more important to us than making sure they are protected and safe,” said Cantor, “This election has nothing to do with politics, it has everything to do with making sure Monmouth County families are afforded that same peace of mind.”

A Captain in the New Jersey Army National Guard, Fulbright Scholar, and member of the Hazlet Township Land Use Board, Solomeno, 31, is running for Monmouth County Surrogate. A platoon trainer, he is tasked this month with mentoring future officers at phase one of the Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School. Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik attested to Solomeno’s commitment to his community, “As an Army officer, Vincent deployed overseas to protect our country and he did the same thing here at home during and after Superstorm Sandy. He will make an excellent Monmouth County Surrogate who protects not only veterans but all residents.”

A graduate of West Point Class of 1980, the first class to accept women, a Presidential Appointee and Chair of the prestigious West Point Board of Visitors, and Former Captain in the U.S. Army, Fulton is one of the candidates for Monmouth County Freeholder. In response to her endorsement, Fulton said “The Army taught me that there is no leadership without selfless service. My mission now is to serve the people of Monmouth County, to the best of my ability. I’m so grateful to VoteVets for supporting me, and Jeff and Vincent." Fulton was a leading force for LGBTQ rights, working to end the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ban and advocating for transgender service in the military. Recently, Fulton was invited to attend the Commander in Chief Forum that aired on NBC, where she was able to question the republican nominee on the status of undocumented immigrants in the military. The following day, Fulton’s OP-ED “Trump’s Military Cluelessness” was published in the New York Times.

Started in 2006 and backed by over 400,000 veterans, military family members and their supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns to give a voice to veterans on matters of national security, veterans' care, and every day issues that affect the lives of those who served, and their families.

For more information on the Monmouth County ticket, please visit MonmouthStrong.com


Pallone Renews Call for Congress to Address Public Health Epidemic of Gun Violence





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2016



NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ– Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ 06), the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, met with emergency physicians and public health advocates at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital—a Level I Trauma Center—and discussed the impact of gun violence on public health throughout New Jersey and the country. Every day, 306 people in America are shot in homicides, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention. These shootings have an enormous impact on trauma centers throughout the country.

Federal research on the impact of gun violence and public health has long been blocked by Congressional Republicans with support from the National Rifle Association (NRA). During a markup of the fiscal year 2017 health spending bill, Republicans blocked Democratic amendments that would have allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study gun-related deaths. President Obama lifted ban on CDC gun violence research two years ago but Republicans have still refused to fund research. Congressman Pallone has worked to fund gun violence studies as the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee which oversees health.

Representatives from the Brady Campaign, Million Moms March, the New Jersey State Nurses Association and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics all voiced strong support for Congressional action on gun violence.

“With thousands shot every day throughout our country we must confront the growing public health crisis that gun violence has become,” said Pallone. “I stand with medical professionals at Robert Wood Johnson in calling on Congress to take concrete steps to bring about change on this issue. That is why it is so disturbing that Republicans are standing with the NRA instead of our public health professionals and won’t even allow research to understand the extent of the challenges we face.”

After the largest shooting in American history taking place in Orlando earlier this year, a broad coalition of physician organizations issued a statement calling upon Congress to take action to stem the tide of gun violence. They stated, “These unspeakable acts highlight gun violence as a grim and increasing public health epidemic that kills approximately 91 Americans every day. THIS MUST STOP.”

Congressman Pallone has been a strong critic of House Republicans who have refused to allow for the consideration of common sense measures to address gun violence. He has called for Republican leadership call up The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act – bipartisan legislation to expand and strengthen our background checks system and the bipartisan ‘No Fly, No Buy’ bill to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.


Candidates for Township Committee, Mary Jo Fabiano & Ralph Borgess Pledge to Do What It Takes to Stop MCRP


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2016

Middletown Township Committee Candidates Mary Jo Fabiano and Ralph Borgess announced that, when elected, they will do everything it takes to oppose the Monmouth County Reliability Project (MCRP). They expressed disappointment with how the Township Committee has handled JCP&L’s proposal. They stated that the Committee is not acting aggressively enough to challenge JCP&L’s conclusions that allegedly support the project.

The MCRP has been proposed by JCP&L and includes installing a 230kV power line along the NJ Transit right of way from Red Bank to Aberdeen. The power lines will be installed on monopoles that could reach as high as 200 feet.

Ralph Borgess said that the Township needs to be more aggressive in approaching this issue. “Maser Consulting, the engineering firm contracted by the township as a utility expert needs to analyze the project from two perspectives:

  1. Is the project necessary?
  2. If necessary can the project be constructed in a way that minimizes the negative impact on Middletown residents?

There are better ways to advance the project, if it deemed to be necessary, while protecting the health of the residents in the path of the electric lines and preserve property values.”

Mary Jo Fabiano cited health concerns that may be caused by exposure to high voltage electrical lines. “This project runs along the NJ Transit train line, which is in close proximity to a number of schools as well as over 400 residences. Can we take the chance of continually exposing residents and children without conclusive data telling us this is safe?”

Both candidates agree that, if the need is there, this project should be moved underground where there are no unsightly monopoles and it is shielded by the earth it is buried in so that any negative health consequences are minimized.

########

Mary Jo Fabiano and Ralph Borgess are Democratic candidates for the Middletown Township Committee website: www.ABetterMiddletown.com



September 6, 2016 Middletown Township Committee Meeting


The September 6th meeting of the Middletown Township Committee lasted 18 minutes. It was quick and like most Workshop meetings not a lot of details or enlightening information came out of it. That is of course, if you consider the Township's plan of installing lighting on the Nut Swamp fields.

If you weren't paying attention, the discussion of the field lights  at Nut Swamp would have been missed. While discussing a grant for new LED lighting for the Middletown Library (6:11),Tony Fiore off-handily mentions a grant application for lighting at the Nut Swamp fields and that the Township should also look into LED lighting for them (6:38-7:25).

To me this is significant, lighting of sports fields is a potential hot button issue, you either like the idea because your kids or other family members get to play under the lights or you hate the idea because you live in or around the area and don't want your quality of life being effected by the noise, light pollution or additional traffic in the neighbor at night when your trying to relax after work or get the kids to bed. It's a discussion that the Township should have with the residents in the area and I don't believe that notices to the residents most affected have been issued to notify them of the plans. It should also be mentioned that money from a Grant isn't free money, it has to be paid back at some time.

Other items of interest discussed during the meeting included:


  • An ordinance was adopted to enter an agreement with Middletown Emergency Medical Services.
  • An ordinance was introduced to vacate a portion of Atlantic Ave.
  • Resolutions were adopted to enter agreements with towns along the NJ Transit rail line where a high voltage power line is proposed to be installed. The agreements are to set aside funds to retain legal counsel and retain a utilities expert to oppose the installation.





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.




Salute to Patriotism Gala Celebrates 21st Anniversary of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



The Gala on October 27 will honor New Jersey Senate President Senator Steve Sweeney for his support of Veterans

Holmdel, NJ (September 15, 2016) – This year’s New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation Salute to Patriotism Gala will celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Memorial and honor Senator Steve Sweeney for his support of veterans and active duty military. The gala will be held Thursday, October 27, with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m., at the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club, 20 Shore Oaks Drive, Farmingdale, NJ. Since 1995, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial has provided a place to honor those who have served and continue to serve our country. The Memorial is a place “To Remember, To Heal, To Honor” through ceremonies and outreach programs. The adjacent Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center is the only museum of its kind in America.

Senator Steve Sweeney, the President of the New Jersey Senate since 2010, has represented the Third Legislative District since 2002, and has been a leader on important state issues, including fighting to improve the lives of our state’s Veterans. As Senate President, he has dedicated himself to making sure New Jersey Veterans are treated with dignity and respect. The Senator oversaw the passage and enactment of numerous pieces of legislation benefitting Veterans and their families including:


  • Veteran to Veteran Peer Support Program telephone hotline
  • Military Dependents Scholarship Fund Act
  • Veterans Haven Council to protect Veterans against the danger of homelessness
  • Tax and incentive programs for Veterans and Veteran-owned businesses


Senator Sweeney has long believed that Veterans are among the most dedicated and hardworking individuals, and fought for the Helmets to Hardhats Program that assists Veterans looking for work in the construction industry, particularly through a partnership with the Turnpike Authority. To make sure Veterans receive the public recognition for their sacrifice that they deserve, Senator Sweeney successfully called for legislation and resolutions to rename several roadways in honor of our state’s military men and women, including designating a portion of Route 47 in Glassboro as “South Jersey Vietnam Veterans Highway.”

While serving as Gloucester County Freeholder Director, Senator Sweeney committed himself to making sure Veterans had a strong advocate. Some of his most significant accomplishments include creating a full-time Veterans Affairs Office, opening a health clinic for Veterans, building the Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery and beginning the acclaimed Wall of Heroes Memorial to honor those men and women killed or missing in action in service to the United States Military.


The Gala will feature an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, silent auction and live music. Tickets are $200 for individuals and $400 for couples. Dress is business attire. Moderator for the evening is Jack Ford, noted legal analyst.

Michael Warner is the Gala Chair, and Gala Vice Chairs are Senator Dawn Addiego, Senator James Beach, Bobby Briant, Jr., Duane Sarmiento, and Sheriff Whip Wilson. The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation Executive Director is Bill Linderman and the Board of Trustees are Chairman Clark W. Martin, Bobby Briant, Jr., Roy D. Budd, Harry Chowansky III, Francis P. Crotty, James S. Cusick, Beverly Fedorko-Ott, Thomas P. Ford, Jess Le Vine, Robert W. Looby, Frank A. Messineo, Gordon S. Pingicer, W. Peter Ragan, Sr., John C. Ricker, Harry Sassaman, Jack Tully, Michael Warner, Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, and Herb Worthington.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 732-335-0033 or visit www.njvvmf.org.