Friday, August 1, 2014

Pallone, Waxman Introduce Legislation to Continue Children’s Health Insurance Program Funding, Protecting Coverage for Millions of Children



WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman introduced legislation to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019. Without this legislation, no new funding for the CHIP program will be available after September of 2015. Reps. Pallone and Waxman were among the original authors of the 1997 CHIP program, which has traditionally garnered strong bipartisan support at the federal and state level, and has grown to provide health insurance to more than 8 million children as well as pregnant women today.

Ranking Member Pallone noted, “CHIP is responsible for providing millions of children around the United States with access to affordable health care. Unless Congress acts to continue funding for this essential program, many children will lose their coverage by October 2015. The legislation I wrote with Mr. Waxman would provide states with four more years of funding to ensure our young people will have access to the care they need.”

“CHIP is critical for ensuring health insurance coverage for millions of children is affordable and accessible,” said Ranking Member Waxman. “Without it, many children could lose coverage. Our legislation provides states with the certainty of an additional four years of funding, ensuring there are no disruptions to children’s coverage, and provides important flexibilities to further streamline states’ CHIP programs.”

The bill, the CHIP Extension and Improvement Act of 2014, makes a number of program improvements to reduce bureaucracy and increase state flexibility. The bill provides states with a permanent option to use “Express Lane Eligibility” which reduces administrative burdens for both states and beneficiaries and would also allow states the flexibility to use this option to enroll adults. States that are currently using this flexibility, which is set to expire next year, have reported significant administrative savings. According to a Mathematic evaluation of Express Lane, states using this process experienced an average of $1 million per year in recurring net savings.

An important theme of the bill is increasing participation among eligible children. CHIP has directly contributed (along with Medicaid) to a record low uninsured rate among children. The CHIP legislation would also continue a program that rewards states for adopting best practices and exceeding enrollment targets. In addition, the bill includes a focus on primary care and prevention, extending federal support for a boost in Medicaid payments for primary care services and strengthening preventive benefits.

Extending CHIP funding through 2019 is critical because of the benefit and cost sharing protections the program offers for children. A recent examination of CHIP benefits commissioned by First Focus found that CHIP provides robust coverage of child-specific services and critical cost sharing protections.

For additional background information, click here. For a section-by-section summary, click here. For the bill’s text, click here.


NJ WATCHDOG: Judge gives Christie a pass in travel records lawsuit




For immediate release

Judge gives Christie a pass in travel records lawsuit

The question of whether Gov. Chris Christie must obey New Jersey state travel rules was left unanswered by a decision Tuesday in Mercer County Superior Court.

Judge Mary C. Jacobson dismissed a lawsuit by a New Jersey Watchdog reporter seeking records of who paid for Christie’s unofficial out-of-state trips. She ruled the reporter’s Open Public Records Act request was “overbroad and lacking in specifics and clarity.”

To the contrary, the records request “specifically included documentation of the payment arrangement on the third-party’s letterhead, as required by Treasury Circular 12-14-OMB.” In addition, the reporter also sought various other records on those journeys.

“Our position is that the regulation does not apply,” argued Assistant Attorney General Lewis Scheindlin, representing the governor in court. “If it doesn’t apply, the next question is whether these records exist.”

“Well, what records do they have and how do they keep them?” asked Donald M. Doherty, the reporter’s lawyer.

“We don’t know how the governor’s office keeps the travel records,” said Jacobson. “We don’t know if they keep third-party records separate from the other travel records.”

However, the judge stopped short of requesting any specifics about the disputed documents, and Scheindlin did not offer details about their existence.

The hearing also raised the issue of whether Christie must abide by the code of conduct he set for himself in 2010.

The story is now online at http://watchdog.org/162260/christie-travel-lawsuit-2/.


BRITISH INVATION IN RED BANK TO LIBERATE PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND AND DISABLED; Come out to Celebrate the 50th Annavirsary of the Beatles




For Immediate Release:

A concert benefiting th Non Profit “HOUSING AND UNITED SERVICES, INC.” will be held on Sunday, August 3rd featuring the Broadway production of “BEATLEMANIA STAGE SHOW” AT 3:00 PM. AT TWO RIVER THEATER, 21 BRIDGE AVENUE, RED BANK, NJ 07701: $37.00 General Admission, $55.00 Reserved Seating.

The doors will open at 2:00 pm with showtime from 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm featuring a two hour performance by the Beatlemania Stage Show. This is a family friendly event, appropriate for the audiences of all ages. The event will also feature a Gift Auction consisting of donations from local Merchents and a 50/50 sold only on site.

Housing and United services, Inc. (HUS) is a local Non Profit 501 C3 Orgganization assisting New jersey residents who are blind and disabled with advocacy services, multi media transcription, housing information consulting, adjustment to vision loss services, comprehensive information and referral services, and more. HUS provides specialized advocacy services to children who are blind and their families particularly in the area of Educational Services. HUS is Excited to enter into the provision of Affordable housing opoortunities for the Developmental disabled who may also blind threw the current development of two Group Homes in Middletown township. The Two Group Homess will create the opportunity for 8 people to have affordable community living housing with all the necessary support services they may need. HUS Advocates and Serves people who are blind and disabled with the sole purpose of providing the essencial services to provide the opportunity to lead more independent and productive lives in todays society. HUS also has been a Lions State Approved project since 2001 and thus is supported by the Lions clubs of new Jersey. All of the net funds raising directly benefits these blind and disabled New jersey residents who are in need of these essencial services. Housing and United services, Inc. was incorporated in 1990 in New jersey and has NO Paid Employees, all services are provided by Voluteers with professional backrounds in service delivary people who are blind and disabled.

The beatlamania stage Show features an all star cast in one incredible evening of music and fun. Performing all the popular Beatles songs ranging from She Loves You to yellow Submerine to Revolution, the show spans the entire story of The Beatles in one magical, family friendly show. The cast members appear in full althentic Ed Sulivan suits, silk Sgt. Pepper uniforms and Abbey Road styeled apparel. The production features 2 hours of beatles music all performed live on stage with althentic instuments.

During the evening, there will be concessions, gift Aution featuring blue Claws Tickets, Sea Strek , and many other local business’s, a Super 50/50 raffle with all net proceeds from the event to benefit Housing and United service, Inc.



TICKETS: $37.00 General Admission, $55.00 Reserved Seating

Tickets are availabl at:

TWO RIVER THEATER BOX OFFICE 732-345-1400 AND PRESS 2, OR https://tickets.trtc.org/TheaterManager/1/tmEvent/trtnEvent416.html



For More Information:

Housing and United services, Inc.
Phone 732-872-1990
www.husnj.net

Beatlmania Stage show
www.Beatlemania StageShow.com

Middletown's Congressman, Chris Smith's Extreme Legislation on Rape

by District 4 Coalition for Change




What has Congressman Smith been doing while representing our District in Congress.
He has been redefining rape.

WATCH VIDEO AND SHARE

Chris Smith can lose in 2014 but not without your help.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Middletown School Superintendent Moving On??

Here is a little tidbit, which should be taken with a grain of salt. It was passed on to me today and I believe it bares passing on to you. I've heard from two different individuals, both reliable and who wish to remain nameless, that Middletown School Superintendent, Dr. William George will be leaving the school system in the near future.

One individual told me that  Dr. George handed in his resignation and is interviewing for Keansburg's superintendent's position, while the other person mentioned that he was leaving to take the position of School Superintendent for Monmouth County.

According to the person who heard Dr. George may be heading off towards Keansburg, they stated that George has denied this and said any rumors  circulating that insinuates he is leaving Middletown for greener pastures are not true. He plans on staying put and is trying to put an end to the rumors. However, many other reliable sources have said that the rumors are true according to my source.

As I stated above, this information should be taken with a grain of salt at the moment. Dr. George's job status and/or alleged  resignation, until confirmed by him or announced at a Board of Education(BOE) meeting, is a private personnel issue and wouldn't be discussed, on the record at least, by any member of the Board of Education, so asking for a comment from the BOE would be pointless at this time. And since Dr. George seems to be denying the rumor himself, I wouldn't expect to hear differently if I called his office, so we'll have to wait and see.

But as they say, where's there's smoke, there's usually fire.


July 21, 2014 Middletown Township Committee Meeting: Where do you live??

There was a Township Committee meeting last week. It was standard fair as far as committee meetings go, there was the swearing in of seven new police officers, 200 Club Awards were presented to fire fighters and a life saving award was presented to a township employee a long with the standard reading of proposed resolutions and the like.

Rather uneventful and standard as I said. That was until the Public Comments portion of the meeting started and I was stunned. I thought I've heard just everything there was to hear from this group that sit on the dais. Sadly, I was mistaken. It's pretty amazing, I was astonished to learned that if you live in Middletown, there are certain members of our governing body that have no clue as to what neighborhoods are actually in Middletown!

If you just so happen to live in a section of North Middletown (formerly East Keansburg), you might want to call Town Hall and let them know because you may be living Keansburg as far as the Township Committee is concerned.

During Public Comments of the last Township Committee meeting (1:10:15 of video)  Don Watson spoke on the behalf of residents from the area concerning the clogged storm drains in the neighborhood. He was told that the neighborhood in question was NOT part of Middletown. Mr. Watson replied rather astonished that they should tell the residents that because they pay taxes to Middletown and have their garbage picked up by the township. Talk about being out of touch!!!

If you're an elected official that sits on the dais twice every month or the Township Administrator how do you not know what areas of town are what? It's embarrassing, but what more can you expect from these people.




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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

NJ WATCHDOG: Christie can't escape suit for travel records




For immediate release

Dispute over Christie travel records takes trip to court

Chris Christie’s lawyers won’t be allowed to escape a court date next week in a lawsuit by a New Jersey Watchdog reporter over records of the governor’s travel paid by outside organizations.

Judge Mary C. Jacobson denied the state’s request yesterday to reschedule or consolidate the case with other public records actions against the governor pending in Mercer County Superior Court.

If granted, proceedings in the case could have been indefinitely delayed. Instead, it remains on course for a hearing Tuesday, July 29.

The dispute centers on disclosures by third-party organizations that pay for out-of-state trips by Christie and his senior staff. State agencies are required to collect and keep documentation of who’s paying on the third-party’s letterhead, under rules detailed in Treasury Circular 12-14-OMB.

At first, the governor’s office completely denied the reporter’s request for the files, claiming it was "unclear...and therefore invalid" under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act.

Now, Christie’s lawyers are arguing he is exempt from travel regulations, relying on a 1979 memo to former Gov. Brendan Byrne from a budget director.

Because of that letter, which predates current rules by 35 years, the requirement for disclosure “does not apply to the governor’s office,” argued Deputy Attorney General Todd Wigder in a brief to the court.

The story is now online at http://watchdog.org/161436/christie-travel-lawsuit/.

A Sense of History

The following is from Congressman Rush Holt's newsletter

July 20th marked the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The idea of going to the moon was daring and maybe even quixotic, but true to our traditional American character: thoroughly optimistic.

A sense of our history helps us understand whether we are making progress in things like science, research, protecting the environment, and the humanities, but it also helps us understand whether we are making progress as a country. In some ways, yes. We are conducting some of the most ingenious research that is helping people understand our universe. We are making in America some of the most innovative things that are sought after, even essential in the modern world. But with a sense of history we must also ask: are we true today to our traditional American character? Specifically, I find myself asking, is Congress staying true to that American tradition of optimism?

Think about the Morrill Act of 1862, which established out nation’s land grant college system, including Rutgers University, to advance research, agriculture, and commerce. In 1863, President Lincoln also signed the law creating the National Academy of Sciences, chartered not just as an honorific, but as a working agency to help the country grow in a smart way. Both were passed at a very difficult time – during the Civil War – when it was not obvious that the country could afford to do so.

These creations were optimistic – as were the GI Bill and the Civil Rights Act, about which I have written to you recently, and so many other public programs. The history of the U.S. is a history of enormous economic, social, technological, and cultural optimism. Our indisputable success as a nation over two centuries shows that our optimism has been well justified, and a good case can be made that American optimism has a lot to do with American success. I still find among most Americans that traditional optimism, despite some economic hard times, but our government at present does not match that optimism. I regret that so much of the talk in Washington is about what we cannot do, what our deficit - or our obsessions with it - will not allow us to do. Just imagine if at this time of near-zero interest rates, we invested boldly in education, infrastructure, and research! (From my remarks at a reception earlier this month.)

Supporting Our First Responders

Last week, I successfully assisted Fire District No. 1 in Franklin Township, Somerset County, in securing a $450,242 federal grant to replace outdated firefighting equipment.

I often visit with local first responders and see firsthand how important it is that they have the right training and equipment to keep us safe. Saying "thanks" to firefighters is only part of the support they need. Equipment and training take money.

Upcoming Academy Nomination Deadline

America’s military service academies provide a four-year college education, with full scholarship, to young men and women who pledge to serve as the next generation of leaders in the U.S. military services. I am currently accepting application for upcoming academy nominations, and welcome applicants from all areas of the 12th District. The information packet and application form are available on my website, and October 1, 2014 is the deadline to submit all materials. For questions and additional information, please email Zainab Chaudary on my staff at Zainab.Chaudary@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Rush Holt
Member of Congress


Saturday, July 26, 2014

President Obama's Weekly Address 7/26/14: Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President continued his call for our nation to rally around an economic patriotism that says rather than protecting wasteful tax loopholes for a few at the top, we should be investing in things like education and job training that grow the economy for everybody. The President highlighted the need to close one of the most unfair tax loopholes that allows companies to avoid paying taxes here at home by shifting their residence for tax purposes out of the country. The President has put forth a budget that does just that, and he has called for business tax reform that makes investment in the United States attractive, and creates incentives for companies to invest and create jobs here at home. And while he will continue to make the case for tax reform, the President is calling on Congress to take action and close this loophole now.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Middletown Township Public Library Fund Raiser at Barnes & Noble, Holmdel 7/31/14



The Middletown Township Public Library will be having a fundraiser at Barnes & Noble on July 31st to take advantage of their Harry Potter birthday. There will be assorted activities there throughout the day, many conducted by library staff. The money raised will go toward increasing our STEAM* programs and for equipment for use by all of our patrons, young and old. You can obtain a voucher at any of the B&N service desks at the time of sale or you can purchase online for up to 6 days starting July 31st using Bookfair ID# 11392180.

Activities:

Storytimes at 10:00 am, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Crafts at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
Authors: young adult author, Janine Kimmel at 2:00 pm; children’s author, Artie Bennett at 3:00 pm; local paranormal researcher and author, Richard Kimmel at 4:00 pm.
Harry Potter Party at 6:00 pm.
Fifth Down Teen band at 7:00 pm
Teens from “Young Magicians Crew 123” time TBD.

Pallone Calls on Governor Christie to Disclose More Detailed Reports on Sandy Recovery Effort




Highlights Need for More Transparency Surrounding Hired Contractors, Rebuilding Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement today urging the Christie Administration to release additional information detailing how Sandy aid funds are being spent in the State of New Jersey:

“It has been almost two years now since Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey and devastated our communities, and we still do not have sufficient answers regarding how relief funds are being spent. The 24-page integrity monitor report that was finally released last week, the first and only one we have seen since Governor Christie signed the bill requiring the state to assign monitors into law in March 2013, was entirely unacceptable. We need more detailed integrity monitor reports so the public can understand what mistakes have been made in the Sandy recovery process and how Sandy aid funds are being spent in New Jersey.

“I am particularly concerned about the lack of detail regarding the contractors utilized by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The integrity monitor report does not include any information regarding the work performed by these contractors, and the state has still not provided the public with any details on what these contractors have accomplished with millions of dollars in recovery funds. Thousands of homeowners are still awaiting grants to repair and raise their homes more than a year and half after Sandy struck. They have a right to know what DCA is paying these contractors for and whether they are doing their job properly.

“My office has also received many complaints throughout the Sandy recovery process about a lack of transparency and publicly available criteria for DCA-run recovery programs, particularly the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) Program. I am troubled that only $133 million in RREM funds has actually been dispersed and implore the Christie administration to expedite this important aid to homeowners who are still trying to rebuild.

“Thousands of New Jerseyans have noted that rebuilding funds have been slow moving with many still awaiting payments to assist with the cost of repairs to their homes. It is outrageous that Sandy relief for homeowners has been delayed for so long.

“I fought hard in Congress to pass the Sandy aid package by assuring my colleagues that Sandy recovery funds were desperately needed and would be spent wisely. We need to know where the money is, what contractors are doing with it, and why it is not in the hands of those who need it to repair their homes. One 24-page report in 16 months is hardly adequate oversight. It is time for the Christie Administration to be straight with New Jerseyans and help residents rebuild.”


Drugged, Raped and Pregnant? Too bad.

by District 4 Coalition for Change



This is what Congressman Smith has been doing while occupying our District 4 Congressional Seat. The seat we give him to represent OUR values.

Drugged, raped and Pregnant? Too bad. Congressman Chris Smith's Legislation HR3.
Please share... this information with friends and family.

It's up to us to raise awareness about Congressman Smith.

SMITH HIDES IN PLAIN SIGHT.

#CHRISSMITHHASTOGO

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/republican-plan-redefine-rape-abortion

MCDW Caucus Event-Combatting Sexual Assault on College Campuses


The Monmouth County Women's Democratic Caucus would like to invite you to our upcoming event, A Call to Action: Combatting Sexual Assault on College Campuses. The event will include an performance by SCREAM Theater of Rutgers Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance followed by a panel of experts in the field and student activists.

The event will be at the Howell Police Athletic League Community Center. Doors open at 5:30pm.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Middletown Rabies Alert #11


From Middletown Alerts:

The Middletown Township Health Department has received laboratory confirmation of 2 more raccoons testing positive for rabies, bringing the total of animal testing positive this year to 13. This latest incidents happened in the area of Maxson Court and Walnut Ave.

Over the past few months, the township Health Department has found and reported raccoons and one fox that have tested positive for Rabies. The previous locations of the animals were:

  • Pate Drive
  • Locust Point Road
  • Pineridge Avenue
  • Walnut Avenue between Pine Street and Chestnut Street
  • 900 Leonardville Road, Croydon Hall Complex
  • Route 35 between Kanes Lane and Kings Highway East
  • Red Hill Road between Dwight Road and Deepdale Drive
  • Michael Drive off of Nutswamp Rd
  • Ueland Road off of Nutswamp Road
  • Essex Street off of Bray Ave
  • Clay Court off of Hartshorne Road

The township would like to alert residents about the dangers of interacting with any wildlife. Rabies can be found in many animals. The Health Department would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to keep their distance from all wildlife, ill appearing or not, and to also keep an eye on pets around these animals. Do not let dogs or cats run free where they may become in contact with wildlife. All dogs and cats must be licensed in Middletown, which requires that they all have current rabies vaccinations.

If you come across a sick or injured animal, keep your distance and please contact Animal Control at 732-615-2097 immediately or contact the Police Department after hours and on weekends. Remember, Rabies is a fatal disease. The best course of defense is the vaccination of your pets and not handling or interacting with wildlife.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION'S MOVIE TRAILER BIZARRELY CELEBRATES HIS BROKEN PROMISES AND FAILURES

Video Mocks Pain of Middle Class Families Suffering in the Christie Economy

(Trenton) -- Today, the Christie administration created yet another reason to be publicly ridiculed, releasing an 80 second web video that mimics a blockbuster movie trailer and mocks the promise that the governor made to pensioners -- a promise that he promptly broke.

"Sandy victims continue to suffer from the Christie administration's neglect and the rest of the state's economy is in ruins, and yet the governor is mocking the pain and suffering he's causing middle class families -- it's completely offensive, especially since this was probably the work of staff that received 23 percent raises," said Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, John Currie. Sadly, the governor's bizarre Hollywood fantasy is not the action drama his team imagines, it's a horror film that never seems to end."
 
The Christie economy is the definition of failure. Superstorm Sandy survivors are still paying mortgages on their uninhabitable homes. Christie's economic stewardship has resulted in a record six state credit downgrades. His overly optimistic revenue projections blew a gigantic hole in New Jersey’s 2014 budget. And, New Jersey ranks 49th in the nation in private-sector job growth while unemployment has been consistently high compared to its neighbors.