Monday, January 15, 2018

Murphy: New Jersey will stop using PARCC tests

If you have school aged children attending a New Jersey public school, you should be happy about this. PARCC testing has been a disaster and has taken valuable time away from classroom studies.

From WHYY.org:
Governor-elect Phil Murphy wants to end the use of the standardized Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC test in New Jersey.
New Jersey started using PARCC assessments to measure student skills in the 2014-15 school year. Critics have said the tests force teachers to narrow their teaching to what is on the assessments.
At an elementary school in Asbury Park where he announced that Asbury Park School District Superintendent Lamont Repollet will lead the state education department, Murphy said it’s time to scrap those tests.
“We are asking Dr. Repollet to end the failed experiment that has been PARCC testing and create new, more effective and less class time-intrusive means for measuring student assessment,” Murphy said.
New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan said educators, parents, and students have raised concerns about the PARCC test.
"I definitely think that the entire testing system needs to be reviewed, and, absolutely, I question whether the PARCC test is the appropriate test to use in any way, shape, or form here,” she said.
During his campaign, Murphy said shorter tests should be developed with teacher input that would provide real-time feedback to teachers and students.

January 7, 2018 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

Another case of better late than not at all, just in time for Tuesday night's meeting of the Middletown Township Committee. January 7th was the annual reorganization meeting for Middletown's governing body. At the meeting, Stephanie Murray was appointed the Mayor and Kevin Settembrino as Deputy Mayor for the coming year.

Officers for the Fire Department and EMS were also sworn in as were the many volunteers for the boards and commissions.




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.

To download a copy of the Reorganization Day program you can click .... HERE



Friday, January 12, 2018

BOE Reorganization Meeting 1-3-18


I'm a little late in posting this, since Christmas i've been feeling under the weather and dealing with a lot of weather related issues at work, I am literally and physically exhausted, but it's never too late watch.

Here is the 38 minute video of the Middletown Board of Education Reorganization meeting. I recommend watching, it's very interesting.

It was at this meeting that 3 new board members, Pam Rogers, Robin Stella and Nick DeFranco were sworn in as members of the Middletown Board of Education.

Joan Minnuies was appointed Board President and Pam Rodgers as Vice-President.



You can find the Meeting Agenda and attachments .... HERE

Friday, December 29, 2017

FYI - Private Haulers Can Include "Special" Charges On Invoice In Solid Waste Collection Tariff

From Middletown Public Information:

On Wednesday, December 19th the Township stated that a private hauler cannot legally charge a resident for can retrieval according to the State of New Jersey’s Customer Bill of Rights for Solid Waste Collection.

Since yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection made Township officials aware that some private haulers include “Exchange Fees” as a special charge on their invoice in their solid waste collection tariff. Since there is no provision in the laws governing solid waste that precludes a solid waste collector from charging “Special or Additional charges”, the Department of Environmental Protection cannot declare a private hauler’s charge to be in violation of the Solid Waste Utility Control Act (ref. N.J.A.C. 7:26H-4.4(b)(3)).

Township residents are welcome to contact the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste’s Economic Regulation Unit at (609) 984-4250 or swutility@dep.nj.gov


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Middletown Township Accepting Prepayment of 2018 Taxes Through Friday, 12/29

FYI - you have only two more days to prepay 2018 property taxes

From Middletown Public Information

Middletown Township will accept prepayment of taxes through Friday, December 29th. Payments can be made at the Tax Collection Office (1 Kings Highway Johnson Gill Annex) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please note the following:

1. The Township is not providing anyone tax advice as to the deductibility of their tax payment on state or federal tax returns; consult with your own tax advisors.
2. Prepayments will not be refunded.
3. It should not be assumed that the prepayment covers the entirety of your final bill that may be due and owing next year.
4. If you pay through escrow with your mortgage company, any payments made through your mortgage escrow in addition to the prepayment being made will not be refunded, but will be credited to your account.

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

Update:
12/29/17

FYI - Payments must be made at the Middletown Tax Collection Office. You can not prepay your taxes online.

Friday, December 22, 2017

December 18, 2017 Middletown Township Committee Meeting


The last scheduled Township Committee meeting of the year was held this past Monday, December 18th, if you couldn't be there here is the video. Below are a few of the highlight from the meeting:

Corporal Mark Ward was promoted to Sergeant

Certificate of Recognition's were presented to:

  • Grace Barker - Retiring as a Crossing Guard
  • Tom Garretson - Outstanding Community Service
  • HS South Girls Cross Country Team
  • HS South Girls Soccer Team

A Proclamation was presented to Patrolman Ekne Montalvo for his service in Puerto Rico.

An ordinance was passed to set fees for additional garbage and recycling carts.

Resolutions that were adopted included:

  • Designating the Village 35 area as an area in need of redevelopment.
  • A change order for various drainage improvements. 
  • Increasing the amount paid towards plumbing and maintenance contracts and the electrical repair and maintenance contracts.

Other items of discussion included:

  • A townhouse on Ironwood Court, that the Township has owned for some time, was sold.
  • A few members of the public questioned the Village 35 project and the process that will begin now that the Committee has declared the area in need of redevelopment.



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.


Pallone Opposes Continuing Resolution that Further Delays Bipartisan Extension of CHIP and Community Health Centers




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2017



Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement today after voting against a Continuing Resolution which funds the federal government through January 19 and further delays a bipartisan extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Community Health Centers and other public health programs:

The partisan bill jeopardizes the health care of more than 230,000 New Jersey children enrolled in CHIP annually, and the 23 federally-funded Community Health Center organizations in New Jersey with a combined 142 delivery sites. New Jersey receives $462.9 million to fund its CHIP program.

“After a year focused on sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and passing a tax scam that benefits large corporations and the wealthiest few, Congressional Republicans are ducking out of town without a bipartisan extension of CHIP and Community Health Centers funding.

“The Republican’s Continuing Resolution kicks the can down the road, further risking the health care of nearly 9 million children. Congressional Republicans are also using this bill to continue their sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, extending Community Health Center funding through March and paying for it solely through ACA Prevention Funds.

“Washington Republicans have no shame – they just passed a giant tax bill that adds $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit, but they are now demanding that a temporary extension of Community Health Centers and other public health programs be paid for by stripping $750 million away from the ACA Prevention Fund. This fund pays for immunizations and vaccines, lead poisoning prevention, opioid treatment, diabetes, heart disease, stroke prevention and many other important programs.

“All year long Democrats stood ready to help pass a bipartisan, bicameral bill that extended CHIP and community health centers. If House Republicans were serious about providing health care to nearly 9 million children, they would not be leaving town without a long-term extension that would give peace of mind to millions of American families.”

Thursday, December 21, 2017

From Bloom County ...

From Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County:






Winter Solstice 2017





Happy Solstice to you! Daylight is at a premium today so get out and enjoy it because Winter officially arrives at 11:28am this morning.

Did you know?


  • The December solstice marks the exact moment when the sun’s most direct rays reach their southernmost point south of the equator, along the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5 degrees south latitude.
  • The reason we have a solstice — and seasons — is because the Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation by about 23.5 degrees. This tilt causes each hemisphere to receive different amounts of sunlight throughout the year as our planet orbits the sun.
  • The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol sistere, which means “sun standing still.” On the December solstice, the sun’s daily southward movement in the sky appears to pause, and we see the sun rise and set at its southernmost points on the horizon before reversing direction.
  • Each year, the winter solstice is marked by cultural festivals and pagan celebrations in different parts of the world. The most famous celebration takes place at the historic Stonehenge monument in England, and smaller celebrations are held in some cities and towns across the United States and Canada.
  • Some Australians commemorate their winter solstice (in June) by taking a nude dip into the Derwent River, which tends to be frigid at that time of the year. In the past, the winter solstice was celebrated by Celtic priests, known as the Druids, in Britain, according to the Daily Express in London. Those celebrations took place "long before the arrival of Christianity," the publication says.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pallone Statement on GOP Tax Scam





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2017


Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement on the GOP tax scam being passed through the House of Representatives.

“Today, Republicans sacrificed the well-being of their constituents and the country to jam through a so-called political victory. It is our responsibility as Members of Congress to fight for all Americans, not just the wealthy, and the GOP Tax Scam leaves behind millions of working families.

“A recent Tax Policy Center study found that 86 million middle class households will see their taxes go up as a result of the bill. Meanwhile, 83% of the supposed benefits of the bill will go the top 1% of the wealthiest of Americans. And by repealing the individual mandate the bill will also spike health insurance premiums and leave 13 million more uninsured. My Republicans colleagues should be ashamed for so clearly favoring the wealthy over the middle class.

“The GOP Tax Scam is especially disastrous for New Jersey. Limiting the State and Local Tax deduction is simply unacceptable given the tax burden already facing New Jerseyans. New Jerseyans contribute more than their fair share in tax payments to the Federal government and I am outraged that my constituents will be slammed by this careless legislation.

“Republicans have already implied that they will seek cuts to programs like Medicare to make up the $1.5 trillion cost of the GOP Tax Scam. Seniors have paid into and earned their Social Security and Medicare benefits. They should not face drastic cuts because Republicans want to slash tax rates for large corporations and the wealthiest of Americans. I will continue to stand up for seniors and working people who are being abandoned in favor of giveaways to millionaires, billionaires, and multinational corporations.”

Sarcastic Weatherman Goes Off: A Valuable Life Lesson On How To Clean Off Your Car


It's a lesson many need to learn. It's not hard people!

Monday, December 18, 2017

12 Days of Christmas: Silly Symphony Santa's Workshop



12 Days of Christmas: The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree



Middletown BOE Students & Staff Recognition and Voting Meeting 12-13-17

I'll be honest, it's the holiday season and I haven't had time to watch this video from last week's Middletown Board of Education meeting. The video is 3 1/2 hours long and was posted to the BOE's website a short while ago. The first 26 minutes and 30 seconds of the video contains the monthly Student and Staff recognition ceremony then jumps right into the beginning of the December 13th BOE meeting, which was the last scheduled meeting of the year.





You can find a copy of the Meeting Agenda and other attachments to for the agenda .... HERE

Rep. Pallone on News 12 - Net Neutrality & GOP Tax Plan


Congressman Pauline discusses the ongoing fight to protect Net Neutrality and stop the GOP Tax Scam on News12NJ’s Power and Politics.