Rita Dentino, Executive Director of Casa Freehold said her comments reported in the Sentinel and other Greater Media newspapers regarding a steady stream of unaccompanied Central American Youth arriving in Freehold Borough were not reported accurately. MMM relied on those reports earlier this week when reporting on the situation and State Senator Jennifer Beck’s response.
During an interview in her Freehold office, Dentino said that to her knowledge there has been only one refugee child, a 16 year old boy, that has arrived in Freehold from Central America since the first of the year and that there is no parade of children arriving at a rate of one per day. The Sentinel reported that Dentino said there were 5-10 young refugees in the Borough and that more were arriving daily. Denton told MMM that the 5-10 figure represents all young Central American youth that have come to Freehold over the last 11 years that she has worked at Casa Freehold, not a recent influx due to the situation on the United States’ southern border.
Senator Jennifer Beck working with federal officials and Governor to handle the crisis
Between 5 and 10 Central American children, ages 11-16, who have crossed our borders without adults have found their way to Freehold Borough, according to a statement by Rita Dentino, Director of Casa Freehold, an immigrants rights organization that helps newly arrived immigrants integrate into the community.
Dentino said that more children are arriving everyday, according to a report in the Sentinal.
State Senator Jennifer Beck issued a statement today saying she is working with federal and state officials to secure funding to deal with the situation and to evaluate New Jersey’s legal options and obligations.
“This is an issue with far ranging implications that is being experienced all across the country. I am working closely with federal representatives and the Governor’s Office to fully understand our legal options and obligations. I am hopeful that money will come from the federal government as part of an overall response to this issue. There are real humanitarian, fiscal and capacity concerns so all decisions must be fully vetted. I will continue to communicate openly with local officials to keep all appraised of our progress.”
Published reports indicate that over 1,500 Central American children have arrived in New Jersey. The federal government operates only one 10 bed facility in the State, and none of the children are housed there.
Dentino told the Sentinal that she would be contacting DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) to begin the process of finding the children guardians.
Beck: Federal and State Agencies Haven’t Approved Drying Sites
Governor Chris Christie told his Town Hall gathering in Belmar yesterday afternoon that the dredging of Shark River is being held up because the municipalities along the river and Monmouth County can not agree on a destination for the dredge spoils to be dumped.
The issue has gathered increased public attention in recent months due to a massive fish kill in the river last May. 310 tons of dead fish were removed from the shoreline of the estuary that feeds into the Atlantic through the inlet between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea and extents 11 miles through Neptune and Wall Townships.
In answering a question from a man who identified himself as Bob from Wall, Christie said that he supports the dredging, fought for money from FEMA to pay for the dredging and would impose a solution on the county and municipalities if he had the authority to do so. He said he had been briefed on the issue three weeks ago.
Maybe the Governor remembered a briefing from a different dredging project when answering Bob’s question.
Both the Monmouth County and Neptune landfills are willing to take the dredge spoils, according to Senator Jennifer Beck. The river hasn’t been dredged, Beck said in a phone interview last night, because over the last two decades various federal and state agencies have rejected every proposed location for the dredged materials to dry before being moved to their final disposal site.
Dr. Dale Whilden, President of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Assoc, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Sen Jennifer Beck, Gov Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith and Neptune Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley cut the ribbon of Ocean Grove’s rebuilt boardwalk
After being twice denied funding from FEMA before finally getting $2.4 million on their second appeal, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association re-opened their boardwalk to the public today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting lead by Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith, Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Neptune Township Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley and Dr. Dale C. Whilden, President of the OGCMA.
“Today is truly a great day for Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore, and a critical step forward in our recovery from Sandy,” said Smith.”This boardwalk is an integral part of Ocean Grove the neighboring Jersey Shore community, a fact we reinforced during our efforts to reverse FEMA’s original decision at the local level—and yet another at the regional level—to deny critical funding.”
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck that would make veterans living in retirement and long-term care communities eligible for a state veterans property tax deduction and a tax exemption intended for disabled veterans cleared its Senate committee…
Monmouth County Legislators Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande will be sleeping under the stars on the grounds of the Statehouse in Trenton tonight, April 11, along with 8 other members of the legislature, from both parties, to raise awareness and funds in support of New Jersey’s homeless runaway and trafficked youth who are served by Covenant House.
Click on photo to support a legislator’s fund raising efforts for Covenant House
“Covenant House is always there, when no one else is, to help homeless, at risk adolescents,” says Casagrande. “I was moved to get involved by the stories of those whose lives have been changed by this remarkable organization. It is my hope that my participation in this ‘Legislative Sleep Out’ will bring attention to the work of Covenant House and encourage others to get involved.”
“Those of us sleeping outside tonight will be lucky. We only have to do it for one night and it will be during the spring,” Beck said. “Hundreds of youths sleep outside every night through the most brutal of seasons and during the harshest of weather.”
Former Assemlyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews weekly newspaper and AsburyParkSun hyper-local news website, launched his campaign to return to the legislature last week with his tCN column urging Senate Jennifer Beck to run for governor.
Jacobson served one term in the General Assembly, 1990-1991. He was swept out of office, along with the Democratic majority in the 1991 election over Governor Florio’s $2 billion tax increase, including sales taxes on toilet paper and food. In 2011 Jacobson registered as a Republican in order to challenge then Senator Sean Kean for the 11th district Senate nomination in the GOP primary. But the legislative redistricting commission foiled Jacobson’s plans by moving Kean’s hometown of Wall out of the 11th district into the 30th, and moving Red Bank, Beck’s hometown into the 11th.
Jacobson didn’t want to run against Beck. They’re friends and agree on most issues. And Beck’s political stardom is one of Jacobson’s major journalistic accomplishments. Just ask him. Jen Beck never even would have been elected to the Red Bank Borough Council if not for Dan Jacobson pumping her up in the triCityNews.
So Jacobson ran a pax-on-both houses Independent race for Assembly in 2011 to make a point. 2304 voters, 3%, got the point and have long since forgotten it. Obviously his heart wasn’t in the Assembly race. He really wants to be in the Senate, but he doesn’t want to run against Beck.
The obvious solution is for Beck to step up and run for governor. Jacobson rightly argues that the NJ GOP doesn’t have a viable alternative for a post-Christie candidate. The NJGOP is actually weaker now than it was before Christie was elected in 2009.
Guv Chris Christie accepting Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider’s endorsement. Photo by Art Gallagher.
Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, a Democrat, today endorsed the all female Republican team of legislators in New Jersey’s 11th district, Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.
“I have a worked closely with our legislators on a variety of issues,” said Schneider in a statement issued by the Republican legislators, “They always have the best interests of Long Branch in mind and have gone out of their way to help our residents. Senator Beck, Assemblywoman Angelini and Assemblywoman Casagrande manage to keep partisan politics out of the picture and focus on the issue at hand. I am proud to work with them and offer them my endorsement.”
In addition to endorsing the Republican legislators from his district, Schneider is one of over 50 Democratic elected officials who have endorsed Governor Chris Christie.
“Oh, that was nice of him,” said Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich, a Democratic candidate challenging Angelini and Casagrande, when informed of Schneider’s endorsement.
Monmouth County Democratric Chairman Vin Gopal was surprised that Schneider endorse all three Republican women representing the 11th. “He endorsed all three of them?” Gopal asked twice, “No, I have no comment.”