Bishops Feeling Blue Over Green

The Asbury Park Board of Education does not have enough green to get a blue football field, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

700 members of the community presented the deadlocked Board of Education with a petition asking that the new field of the Blue Bishops be covered with blue astro turf.  Opposition wasn’t about the color, it was about money.  Blue turf will cost $45,000 more than green turf, according to business administrator Geoffrey Hastings.

The board has $825,000 of their $66 million Abbott funded budget allocated for the new football field….$700,000 for the turf and and $107,000 to cover change orders or unforeseen expenses.  Nobody said the BoE or the Asbury Park Sun…whoever came up with those numbers…is good at math.

The board was deadlocked 4-4 over the color of the field until one of the supporters of blue left the meeting.  Then the mean greenies passed the budget without the $45,000 for the blue turf.

State monitor Lester Richens said the board couldn’t afford the extra money that is coming from Trenton by way of New Jersey income taxes.

MMM is happy to offer the following suggestions to the Asbury Park Board of Eduction:

1) Go through the budget looking for additional math errors.  Maybe you already have the money.

2) Regardless of the math, put the turf out to bid again.  $45,000 is not much in a $700,000 order.  Competition is a wonderful thing.  That’s why we have bids.

3) Hire this blogger to find waste in your budget. I’ll find the $45,000 and a lot more.  Pay me 20% of every dollar over $45,000 I find in unnecessary and wasteful spending. 30% if anyone is indicted as a result of my findings. Pay me nothing if I don’t find anything.  Give me 30 days and complete access.

Posted: March 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Asbury Park Sun | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Not Front Page News

Christie Administration continuing McGreevey/Corzine practice of keeping utilities monies intended for municipalities.

Lost in the hysteria of Democrats fighting with each other was news buried on page 3 of yesterday’s Asbury Park Press that actually affects your property taxes.

The Editorial Board of the Monmouth and Ocean Counties paper of record actually met with local mayors!  Call that progress.  MMM criticised the APP editorial board last month for sitting down with Newark Mayor Cory Booker for no reason other than to boost Booker’s statewide name ID when they, until yesterday, hardly, if ever, meet with local mayors.

Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider met with the Neptune Nudniks on Wednesday, at the behest of the League of Municipalities.  The mayors’ purpose was to bring attention to the State’s decades old practice of keeping the energy receipts tax that public utilities pay.

In energy receipts tax has been in existence for decades.  It was originally set up in lieu of property taxes to compensate municipalities for the utility infrastructure rights of way.  The tax used to be broken out on your utility bill.  It was paid by the utilities directly to the municipalities.

In 2002, during the McGreevey administration, the State started collecting to tax.  We all know what happens to money when to goes to the black whole of Trenton for redistribution.  Much of it disappears and the intended recipients get shafted.  Think Unemployment Insurance Fund and Transportation Trust Fund. 

Fiore told MMM that the League sued McGreevey to get the money but the State just turned around a reduced State Aid by a commensurate amount.

Fiore, Schneider and the League now want that money back.  It’s not coming, according to what State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told the APP, “At this time we do not have the financial flexibility to make discretionary adjustment” to provide more from energy taxes.

Fiore told MMM that the energy receipts tax would have provided $4 million dollars to Middletown Township in 2011.  That would have saved the Library surplus the Township relied on, prevented layoffs and cleaned up a few snow storms.

What burns Fiore is not just the $4 million that Middletown didn’t collect from the utilities.  It’s the $1.5 million hit the Township continues to take in reduced State Aid from 2009 levels.  “We wouldn’t be increasing property taxes 1.97% this year if our Aid was restored,” said Fiore, “give us our $1.5 million back and I can reduce taxes by 2%.  The Board of Education got all of their Aid restored, yet they are still raising taxes.”

Schneider told the APP that not receiving the energy receipts tax is costing Long Branch “several million dollars.”

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey State Budget, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mega Millions Up To $640 million

What would you do if you won?

By Art Gallagher

After calling my lawyer and accountant, I’d pay off the mortgages of those who stepped up for me when I needed them too.   Then I’d hire a therapist and spiritual advisor to heal me of the desire to use the rest of it for retribution.   After that, there will be plenty of time to figure it out.

What would you do?

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

Jacobson Launches Asbury Park Sun

triCityNews publishers Dan Jacobson has launched a hyper-local news site, The Asbury Park Sun, which will cover local events in Asbury Park, Allenhurst, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Ocean Grove and Wanamassa.

Molly Mulshine, the very talented Stimulus Girl, has signed on as the site’s editor.

MMM welcomes our friends to Al Gore’s greatest invention and is pleased to be the first to get them listed on google.

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Sun, Dan Jacobson, Media, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Front Page News?

The big story in yesterday’s Asbury Park Press was the political spat between southern Jersey lawmakers and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg over the proposed Rutgers-Rowan merger.  Large photos of State Senate President Sweeney and Lautenberg covered most of the front page.

In case you haven’t been following, Governor Chris Christie has proposed reorganizing Rutgers, Rowan and the University of Medicine and Dentistry.  Rutgers-Camden would become part of Rowan. Rowan would get a medical school associated with George Norcross Univeristy Cooper University Hospital.  Robert Wood Johnson Hospital would become part of a medical school at Rutgers-New Brunswick, and it will be a while before there are more UMDNJ indictments.

MMM hasn’t been following it all that much.  Our young legal eagle friends at Save Jersey don’t like it because they think it will devalue their law degrees if they apply to a firm that doesn’t know the difference between Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Newark.  And then there’s the two idiots who don’t like the deal…that former Navy SEAL that ran for Assembly who got into it with Christie at a Town Hall meeting and Lautenberg.

If not for the idiot SEAL and the idiot U. S. Senator nobody from New Jersey who isn’t directly affected by the merger would know about it, except for news junkies like us.

Lautenberg wrote to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan alleging the proposed merger is improper and copied U.S. Attorney General Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder and New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney Paul “New Jersey is not corrupt” Fishman, thereby implying that the merger is criminal. 

Having already used “idiot” and “numb-nuts” with great fanfare, Christie’s team dubbed Lautenberg’s letter as “outrageous,” “uninformed,” and “bizarre.”

None of that was front page newsworthy.  It took Norcross and Sweeney launching  Sweeney’s 2014 campaign for Launtenberg’s job to make the front page of the APP.

Wednesday morning Sweeney emailed a scathing open letter attacking Lautenberg for opposing the merger and for his failure as a U.S. Senator to bring home Washington money for New Jersey’s higher education institutions.  Several other south Jersey lawmakers, including two Republicans, signed with letter with Sweeney. Norcross later sent a statement calling Lautenberg a “great Senator for north Jersey” who has failed southern New Jersey to the same email list.

The Sweeney/Norcross statements are not really about the Rutger-Rowan merger.  The real message is that Lautenberg’s career is coming to an end.  That message has been confirmed by the silence of Democratic leaders who have staid out of this fight.  U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Assembly Speaker Sheilia Oliver, Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker have all been silent.  No one is backing up Lautenberg. 

The message to Lautenberg…prepare for retirement… just don’t quit and let Christie appoint your replacement.  The message to Democratic donors…don’t give to Lautenberg’s 2014 reelection campaign.

So, the point of the last 460 words is that The Asbury Park Press made the 2014 race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate front page news yesterday.  That wouldn’t be so bad if there were not a U.S. Senate election between two relatively unknown candidates, U.S. Senator Bob Mendendez and State Senator Joe Kyrillos this year.

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Rowan Universtiy, Rutgers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Autism Prevalence Worsens: 1-in-88 in U.S., 1-in-49 in NJ

Smith, author of Combating Autism Reauthorization Act: “New autism data shows ‘Developmental Disability Pandemic’; Must mobilize to find cause, assist victims”

WASHINGTON, DC - New alarming data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 1 in every 88 American children and 1 in every 49 New Jersey children has a form of autism.

 

            “The national numbers, including and especially in my home state of New Jersey, are shocking,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), author of Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, Public Law 112-32.  “Each one of these statistics represents real children and real families who struggle and need our help and assistance.”

 

            The study also found a continuing higher prevalence of ASDs in boys than girls (1-in-252 girls and 1-in-54 boys). However, in New Jersey, of the 1 in 49 children with a form of autism, Smith noted a staggering 1 in 29 boys with the disability.

 

We as a nation must do much more, especially to determine causation and ensure early diagnosis, so interventional care can begin as early as possible. The stakes are so high: the quality of life of so many children is at risk. We need research, new treatments and a path to a cure.” said Smith, who also authored the provision in Title I of the Children’s Health Act (PL 106-310) which created the Centers of Excellence in Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disabilities Epidemiology that carried out this study.

 

“Prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure for this developmental disability must be our highest priority.  We need to bring a ‘Manhattan Project’ type focus to this essential life saving work.  Delay is not an option,” Smith said. 

 

Smith’s landmark legislation enacted in 2000—the Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research and Epidemiology Act (Title I, P.L. 106-310) created the first comprehensive federal program to combat autism. In 2011, another piece of legislation he authored The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act(CARA)”— (now Public Law 112-32) was enacted and will provide $693 million over the next three years to continue the program.

 

            “The new CDC data shows a sharp increase from the appalling 2006 data that documented 1-in-110 children with an autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)—a 23 percent increase,” Smith said.

 

            This morning, Smith , the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Coalition on Autism Research and Education (C.A.R.E.), spoke to Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC, about the new data. The information was set to be released at a CDC briefing for Congress Thursday afternoon.

 

The CDC study, entitled Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, provides autism prevalence estimates from 14 states, including New Jersey. It was published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

 
 

 

Smith’s law, CARA, signed September 30, 2011 authorized for each of the next three fiscal years: $22 million for the Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research Program; $48 million for Autism Education, Early Detection, and Intervention, and; $161 million for hundreds of Research Grants at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

 

In May 2011, Smith chaired a hearing on U.S. and global autism. He also has written two other bills in the current 112th Congress: 1) H.R. 2006, “The National Autism Spectrum Disorders Initiative Act”; and (2) H.R. 2007, “The Autism Spectrum Disorders Services Act.”  Smith’s H.R. 2006 designates the Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services Department to head the national autism effort, and authorizes the Secretary to approve a strategic plan developed by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), in consultation with the National Institute for Health.  H.R. 2007 establishes a planning and demonstration grant program for services to children, transitioning youth, adults, and individuals of any age who may be at risk of injury, authorizes grants for protection and advocacy systems, and creates a national training initiative to better equip teachers and autism services providers. 

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Autism, Chris Smith, Congress, Press Release | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Name a town in New Jersey that is run by Democrats that is better managed than Middletown

Not Aberdeen.

Moody’s Investors Services downgraded Aberdeen’s $14.9 million in general obligation debt to A1 from Aa3, citing the Township’s seven year trend of balancing its budget by drawing down reserves and relying on one shot gimmicks.

The Township’s cash reserves were down to only $61,392 at the end of 2011.

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Aberdeen, Middletown | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

Sam Thompson: Judges suing to prevent having to make larger pension and healthcare contributions are making a “totally fallacious” argument

By Senator Samuel D. Thompson

In the case of DePascale vs. State of New Jersey just heard by the New Jersey State Supreme Court, it has been argued that a new law requiring Justices and Superior Court Judges to make larger contributions towards the cost of their healthcare insurance and pensions reduces their salary which is prohibited by the Constitution.

 A section of the State Constitution reads:  “The salary of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges shall not be diminished during their term of office.”

Increasing the amount these esteemed judicial officials must pay to purchase healthcare insurance and pensions does diminish their purchasing power but does not diminish their salary.

If DePascles’ argument is sustained, then it could similarly be argued in the future that anything which diminishes these officials’ purchasing power (although not affecting their salary) would be in violation of the Constitution and hence, illegal.  Note this section does not bar any diminishment of salary only action by the Sate.

Thus, following DePascales’ logic, should federal, state or local governmental entities increase income or property tax rates or Social Security or Medicare deductions, it would be equally valid to argue these actions would diminish the salary of these officials since such actions would diminish their purchasing power.

In fact, if the Court finds for the plaintiff in the cited case, one might even argue that when the price of gasoline, groceries, utilities or housing increases, it “diminishes their salary” in the same way as increasing the price of purchasing their health insurance and pension did.  Consequently, one would conclude they should never have to pay a higher price for anything they purchase during their term of office.

Clearly, this argument is totally fallacious, was never the intent of the drafters of the constitution or the people that voted for its adoption and should be summarily dismissed.

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Kryillos to crash Menendez’s Twitter Town Hall

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is having a Twitter Town Hall meeting tomorrow to tweet about the state of oil and gas prices.  State Senator Joe Kyrillos, the presumptive GOP nominee challenging Menendez this fall is crashing the twarty and encouraging his supporters to do the same.

Calling the event The First Debate, Kyrillos will be joining the Twitter Town Hall to directly answer questions from @JoeKyrillos2012.

The twarty starts tomorrow, Wednesday March 28 at 3:30 pm. Twitter users can tweet their questions with the hashtag #AskMenendez.

Posted: March 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Will Christie nominate a conservative Democrat to the Supreme Court?

Where would he find one?

This morning InTheLobby calls on Governor Chris Christie to call the Democrats’ bluff regarding their resistance to his plan to remake New Jersey’s Supreme Court into judicial body that interprets the law and away from the destructive unaccountable body that has been legislating a liberal agenda from the bench over the last four decades by nominating a conservative Democrat to the bench.

Last week, after a charade of a hearing for Christie’s nominee to the Court, Phillip Kwon, Senate President Sweeney admitted that what the Democrats really want is a Court packed with Democrats.

By nominating a conservative Democrat, one who doesn’t believe in legislating from the bench,  Christie would be calling the Democrats bluff, says InTheLobby.

Where would anyone find a conservative Democrat in New Jersey? 

What about Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik?

Hornik tells every Republican he meets that he’s really a Republican.  On his facebook page, Hornik apologizes for his Democratic registration.  “Democrat, but the people matter the most,” is how Hornik describes his politics.

Hornik first got elected in Marlboro with the help of Republicans for Hornik.  Members of the Marlboro Republican Committee remain supportive of the Mayor.

Hornik impersonated 12th district GOP congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle in 2010.

Is Hornik qualified?  That would be up to Christie’s vetters and the Judiciary Committee to decide, assuming the Judiciary Committee cares about qualifications going forward.  They clearly didn’t in Kwon’s case.

From a legal career and public service perspective, Hornik’s resume is not all that different from that of Bruce Harris, the Mayor of Chatham whose Supreme Court nomination is currently pending in the Senate.  Both of specialize in real estate, finance and commercial transaction.

Hornick doesn’t have Harris’s academic pedigree.  Harris went to Amherst, Boston University and Yale. Hornik went to University of Delaware and Brooklyn Law.    University of Delaware is good. It’s better than Rowan.  Governor Christie went to University of Delaware, so that might be good for Hornik.  Brooklyn Law is no Yale, but Geraldo Rivera, Percy Sutton, David Dinkins, Larry Silverman, Sheldon Silver all graduated from Brooklyn.

What do you think MMM readers?  Is Jon Hornik a conservative Democrat?  Would he be an activist Justice or and interpretive Justice?

Posted: March 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »