Friday, January 30, 2009

Thieves Steal Over 250 Guns; Half-Million Rounds of Ammo

New Jersey State Police along with Franklin Township Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have stolen over 250 guns along with 500,000 rounds of ammunition from law abiding citizen and former Vineland police officer Brian Hinkle according to an article on NJ.com.

Police made an attempt to enter Mr. Hinkle's home without a search warrant and proceeded to arrest Mr. Hinkle for resisting arrest, claiming he tried to pull a gun on them.  After arresting the man, Police then proceeded to steal his personal property as well as destroy some of his property by denonating explosive on his property.

Aside from claims by the officers on the scene, there is no evidence or history of criminal wrong-doing on the part of Mr. Hinkle to believe that he would assault fellow officers, or pull a gun on them.

"Authorities" claim that the man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of his peers. Mr. Hinkle is out on $10,000 bail - clearly the judge didn't think the man was a major threat to society, but the police destroyed his belongings and stole his possessions anyhow.

This story on the heels of an Illinois Governor who had his office taken from him without due process as Tom DeSeno notes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, be weary of the power the police and politicians wield, having a large weapons cache is NOT illegal in this once great nation, nor should it be. More importantly, you do still have some rights in this country, I think.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hopefully this Peanut Butter Recall isn't as long lasting as that China Lead Paint problem

While browsing the recent recalls to make sure that my puppy's treats and/or my treats were safe, I noticed that a least a few years (I lost track of when the problem first got widespread/mainstream coverage) later, we still don't seem to have the China lead problem under control. Here are THREE recalls for the same problem this week alone - it seems there are still three or four mass recalls a week at this point.

Lip Gloss Keychains Recalled By Markwins Beauty Products Due to Risk of Lead Exposure - 75,00 units - China

High School Musical Manicure Kits Recalled by Fantas-Eyes Due to Risk of Lead Exposure - 15,000 units - China

Discount School Supply Recalls Jesus Fish Beads Due to Violation of Lead Paint - 500 units - China

You'd think with all of these politicians in office who are so concerned about passing right infringing laws in the name of "for the children" at least a few of them would get together to put an end to the problem once and for all. Maybe this is another think that Frank Pallone's office can look into instead of wasting time with Joe Baca (D-CA-43) and his video game warning labels. Intentionally going straight for Godwin's Law - that Hitler must have had some incredible video system long before the Atari was even an idea, just stop Joe Baca.

Two Chances to see Lonegan and Christie together this weekend

From an email from Lonegan's campaign:

Steve will be facing off with Chris Christie in the first campaign debate at the Somerset County Federation of Republican Women at the Fox Hollow Golf Club, 50 Fox Chase Run, Branchburg. $30 includes breakfast and doors open at 8 am. Get there early, show your support for Steve and help this worthy organization.

Also this weekend, you should be able to see Steve Lonegan and Chris Christie together at a Super Bowl Party at McCloone's Rum Runner, 816 Ocean Ave, Sea Bright, NJ as reported at Art's MoreMonmouthMusings blog.

Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno is having a pre-Super Bowl Party not to be missed.

The guests will include Republican Gubernatorial candidates Christopher Christie, Steve Longegan and Rick Merkt.

When: Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, 2009
Where: McCloone's Rum Runner, 816 Ocean Ave, Sea Bright, NJ
Time: 10am-12pm.

Tickets are $65 in advance, $70 at the door. Tables of 10 go for $600.

Checks should be payable to: Friends of Kim Guadagno, PO Box 404, Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750

For more info email leighmaris@hotmail.com.
Both should be great opportunities to hear from both individuals and see and hear what they stand for.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pallone Tilting at Obama's Windmills?

President Obama has hit the ground running with his $1TRILLION spending plan to boost the economy and get America working again. I'm not sure where this $1 TRILLION is coming from (well, my paycheck shows that I might have a clue, but let's pretend I don't) but *SOME* of Obama's ideas do hold some great merit, in my humble opinion.

One of Obama's ideas for spending some of that TRILLION (remember, a trillion is still a LOT of money, even though the number gets thrown around like feces in a monkey cage these days) is to "double renewable power capacity in three years" and wind power seems to be a front-runner in Obama's plan. This is where the new President's plan becomes a problem for our own Congressional dolt, Frank Pallone.

For as long as I can remember, Frank Pallone has been labeled as "good for the environment", a label that I still can find no reasonable proof to support; his record on the Monmouth Park issue is a perfect of example of where he fails. In either case, despite claiming to be such an "environmentalist", Pallone has consistently been fighting the development of off-short wind farms near the Jersey coast. See where this is going?

In this September 27, 2004 press release Pallone is "Concerned that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could allow the construction of a wind farm off the Monmouth County coast without any public input or an assessment of the environmental and economic impacts, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today requested the Army Corps not permit the construction of any offshore wind farm projects until the federal agency has completed a comprehensive assessment of all potential environmental and socio-economic impacts." It's been over 4 years, two terms, where are we on that Frank? Same place we are with saving Fort Monmouth? Same place we are with those FEMA flood maps?

The evidence that Pallone, and other NJ State Democrats, don't want to build offshore windmills for clean, renewable energy and energy independence continues as the Siera club notes economic factors. Oddly enough, we now have a President who seems willing and able to somehow fund those windmills - creating jobs, providing clean, renewable energy and most of all - NJ SHOULD be high up on the list of placing to receive some federal money for those windmills, or at least a prime location for companies who receive some money to do some real development. Frank still opposes off-shore wind farms to the best of my knowledge, so what happens now that Obama seems willing and ready to give state's money to develop wind farms?

What is Frank going to do? Will Frank take some Presidential money for the people of his district so that we can create some jobs constructing these windmills, the transmissions lines needed for them, the maintenance, and then We the People can reap the benefits of clean, renewable, alternative energy sources? Or will Frank fail the people he claims to represent (no not the people of India, Frank - New Jersey - D6, remember?) and allow the opportunity to pass by while he continues to claim his "environmentalist" tag line?

If Frank takes the cash and allows New Jersey to tap into wind energy, is he admitting that his 20+ years of fighting off-shore development was a non-sensical sham or will he just take the cash and keep quiet like a good boy? Or maybe Frank will Tilt at Windmills like he fought for Fort Monmouth, aka, put on a show and do nothing (like he always does) so that the windmills can go up and he can pretend he did something?

Should be interesting to see what happens, or doesn't happen.

As a side note - being the nerd that I am - I have started building a small windmill for myself following these instructions. So far it has been a fun and educational project and I hope to be able to power a few lights in case of emergency with the windmill, maybe figure out a way to connect this to a few outlets in the house for those energy wasters like cell phone charges, TV boxes that never really power down, etc .  If this one works out well, I've already found the plans for a bigger windmill that could provide enough power for things like a refrigerator, TV, computer, etc. I'm not sure that I have the amount of land/resources needed to not require ANY power from the grid, but it would be nice if I could cut my grid usage in half as we've already taken steps in the house to minimize our usage. As a final note, I suspect that there is some zoning regulations in Long Branch that I'll be violating WHEN I put my windmill up on my own property at my own expense, but I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when I get done building.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oceanport Administration on Monmouth Park

I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of communicating with representatives from Oceanport regarding the Monmouth Park pollution issue. Some questions, answers and notes follow.

First, Councilman Joe Irace and Mayor Mike Mahon insist that taxpayers WILL NOT be funding the Monmouth Park projects and that Oceanport is simply acting as an agent for Monmouth Park to be able to get the loan needed to fund their projects. Fair enough, I guess. Curious that Monmouth Park/NJSEA (a state agency) has to go through the local township to borrow money from the (New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Fund) Trust Fund (a state fund). Also oddly enough, it should be noted that Monmouth Park, and NJ horse racing in general, constantly threatens that they'll have to close because they can't make money and/or have some problem with the Casino Industry and/or the Horseman's Association. If/WHEN Monmouth Park/NJSEA finally fail, it seems that any debt is left to the state, aka, the tax payers. Here are the questions/statements:

Me: It seems that taxpayers of Oceanport and/or State of NJ will pay for this, not Monmouth Park/NJSEA. That alone is a huge red flag IMHO. As I've stated in the past, if I had an underground oil tank, and my underground oil tank was leaking, *I* would pay the fines and *I* would pay for the cleanup, and *I* would pay for the new system - not fellow tax payers. From comments made by the mayor before the meeting, it seems the township will be borrowing money from the state to lend to MP for this work?

Mr. Irace: "I can state unequivocally that Oceanport taxpayers are not paying for the remediation. We are simply acting as a conduit between the NJSEA, the State and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Fund."

Mayor Mahon (summarized): The NJEIT is a grant and loan program. Oceanport has agreed to be a conduit borrower for a loan. The loan will be repaid by the NJSEA to the Trust Fund. The funds for repaying the loan will come from proceeds and operations at the Authority.

Me: if Oceanport is acting as a conduit for the loan and NJSEA/MP close shop citing casino industry issues or some other reason - is Oceanport liable for repaying the loan since they are the conduit or is the loan an issue for a bankruptcy court/NJSEA regardless of what happens with the track?

Mr Irace: "The State will be responsible for all debt left by the NJSEA."

So, take that for what it's worth - I'm personally still weary of this arrangement as it seems like a quick and easy way for tax payers to end up subsidizing and/or paying for this loan/grant. Admittedly, I know nothing about the trust fund or said grant and loan program so hopefully the councilman and mayor know much better. In a GREAT one line statement, Mr. Irace also accurately states:

Mr Irace: "For lack of a better term, the NJSEA for all intents is purposes the State of New Jersey. Since they are the pollution problem, they should pay for the cleanup."

I like Mr. Irace and all of his responses to my questions seemed direct and honest.

However, I asked about the outstanding fines that Monmouth Park has NOT paid.

Me: MP still has not paid the 2 outstanding fines from the DEP from years past. It seems that they, by this project, are admitting fault/their role - so where is their payment of these fines?

Interestingly enough, there was no response from Oceanport's reps on this question. I suppose it is out of their scope anyhow as it is a DEP issue. Stupid Lisa Jackson is gone, hopefully now the DEP can get their act together on this issue while she is busy failing at the EPA for the whole country.

I then asked about the two stages of the project.

Me: They described a "2 stage" process. The first stage seems to handle water from the parking area and grandstands into the infield pond. To the best of our knowledge, this is NOT the problem area. It seems to me that MP is planning to use tax payer dollars to do some landscaping work under the guise of pollution control. This whole phase, and cost, seems to do nothing to address the current problems.

Mayor Mahon (summarized for length): The infield pond project is significant because outflow mixes with and contributes to runoff from the stable area. This outflow increases the amount of water sent to the sewage treatment facilities and when in excess, the creek. The infield pond project also addresses contamination issues due to the Canadian Geese

(...Which reminds me, HEY ERIC SEDLER... HOW BOUT THEM GEESE! Taking down an airplane and now being held accountable for the pollution - I told you we should get rid of them. Anyhow...)

So this is the interesting part to me. IF the new stable area system (stage 2) is performed, then all water from the stable area would go into this new"dry basin" before being sent to the sewage authorities. Ie, the current infield pond system wouldn't be connected to the stable area system. If/when that happens, then aside from the geese, the water from the infield pond should be reasonably clean parking lot, grandstand roof, stable roof and track water. I don't see how the outflow from the infield pond could/would mix with the polluted stable area water if we're being told it will be two different systems. I still firmly believe that the infield pond project is a landscaping project, not a pollution control project and the presentation and plans from Monmouth Park don't seem to prove otherwise.

I then moved on to the most obvious question.

Me: How is it that Monmouth Park can produce over 1 million gallons of polluted water? 500K to LBSA and 800K to two rivers. There are many horses in NYC - around central park - this is not a problem. There are many horse farms throughout NJ - I drive past many on 547 in Howell - this is not a problem. What is the operational failure at MP that a simple shovel and wheel barrel with track workers who follow standard procedures are missing?

Again, oddly enough, no direct response from Mr. Irace or Mr. Mahon. Again, I suppose the question is out of their scope and is a question for Monmouth Park/NJSEA. Hopefully they will be able to get Monmouth Park to answer this question for them. Further, I do understand that MP is putting thousands of horses on 13 acres or so each summer where as a horse farm might have a few hundred at most on many more acres - seems to be a failure of zoning/health regulations but regardless - if that argument is used - then I would counter that a horse farm might have a few dozen workers, Monmouth Park has a huge staff and each horse comes with it's trainer(s) and owner(s) and a jockey and the whole support crew. Surely someone can afford and do the cleanup work. Again, I still want to know how they produce so much (more) waste (than any other horse owner).

Again, I thank the Mayor and Mr. Irace for taking the time to talk to me about the issue and getting on top of the issue to do something. Mr. Pallone has made several mock speeches on the issue and he even apparently exchanged some numbers and made some verbal promises with an Oceanport council member - but said member still is waiting for that callback from Mr. Pallone. Mr. Holt, also no where to be found on the issue.

My opinion is that Mr. Mahon and Mr. Irace are doing a great thing for our community (Long Branch city officials get a giant Fail on this issue) and are working hard to get something positive done. I thank them both for their efforts and do hope that their pressure on Monmouth Park continues such that the pollution problem stops and I do recognize that they are also stuck "between a rock and hard place" for lack of a better term since Monmouth Park is a HUGE tax payer (and employer) in town and losing the track would, as was stated, be like Fort Monmouth Part 2.  

Again, I've stated before and I'll state it again, *I* don't want to lose Monmouth Park either as I recognize that many local businesses rely on it for bringing in customers and it is a great shore area attraction. I do just hope and expect that they can operate like a good neighbor and get their pollution problem under control, without using 1 penny of tax payer money. I'll also state again, "Mr. Environment" Frank Pallone has been useless and it seems more and more people recognize this fact now. Next time someone tries the line "yeah, but Pallone has been good for the environment" on you - ask them what that means or what specifically he has done - there will be no answer.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean Free At Last. About Time and Good - and My "Local Angle"

Great news.

If you aren't familiar with the story - try the blog.

And for the local angle - This morning's Worst News Paper Ever reported on the story of Kerry Edwards the Freehold man who was falsely and wrongly arrested and imprisoned for 30 days in a case of mistaken Identity. Now, Freehold Twsp doesn't want to pay the man the legal settlement because Mr. Edward's lawyer may or may not have spoken to the free press. TERRIBLE. Not to mention that this story comes just a week or so after the story of drunken police officer, Bernard Sullivan, the soon to be former Wall Twsp officer who was accurately stopped, charged and arrested for drunk driving being awarded $500,000 of tax payer money.  Again, TERRIBLE.

If you've read my thoughts on my old workout partner's, George Calleia, case, you'll know that I've often questioned the power of the police and judicial system and how any one of us Average No Ones could find ourselves in prison or jail, with nothing to do about, right or wrong, just waiting for that "fair and speedy" trial, by a jury of our peers.  Oddly enough, our next Governor has been a victim of over powered police as Steve Lonegan was once (wrongly) arrested for protesting Corzine's toll hike scheme. Maybe Steve should be collecting $500,000... or $127,000 for his wrongful arrest - or maybe we just need political leadership, police leadership and judicial courts that are not corrupt abusers of our rights.

In any case, enjoy your freedom Mr. Ramos,  Mr. Compean, Mr. Edwards, and even you, the now wealthy on tax payer money, Mr. Sullivan!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My notes/random thoughts from Monmouth Park's presentation in Oceanport

From what I'm reading about the Steve Lonegan Organizational meeting in Freehold, I missed a great opportunity to mingle with The Man. Hopefully Mr. Lonegan will continue his tour of the state of NJ and I'll have more chances to chat with him again. This aside....

I'm no reporter but here are my notes from Oceanport's Thursday night meeting at borough hall where Monmouth Park made their presentation on their plan to stop polluting Branchport Creek.

They are proposing a "2 stage" build-up to correct the problem.

Stage 1 would be the re-construction of the infield lagoon as a basin that would collect storm water runoff from the parking area which they claim is about 60 acres. This seems to have NOTHING to do with the poo-lution problem since there is no poo-lution in the parking lot as far as I can tell. It seems that if anything, this simply addresses a flooding concern for the area since there is 60 acres of flat asphalt where there used to be trees. Anyhow, the "infield lagoon" basin would be a "bio-filter" which was the word of the night. They described this as a "vegetated swale". Incidentally, this infield pond is considered "state open waters"/"fringe wet-lands" which is why a permit from the DEP is needed for the re-construction. Essentially, "stage 1" seems to do little to nothing to address the poo-lution problem - but it is an expensive and big project according to Monmouth Park. Oddly enough, it seems Oceanport's mayor is looking for a state grant, probably from the DEP, to pay for the work to be done by Monmouth Park, an estimated $8.8 million. Good luck taxpayers. The current pond is 12-18" deep, I believe the depth of this pond would remain about the same at the end of construction.

Stage 2 seems to begin to address the real problem by addressing discharge from the "horse operation area". Monmouth Park claims that they can collect "every drop" of storm water that falls on this area. They estimate 13 acres of stable rooftops which would be collected and pumped directly into Branchport Creek without ever coming in contact with the ground and the possibility of being "contaminated" by the poo-lution. Existing ground inlets would be sealed or removed and the existing pipes would be flushed (into the creek) and cleaned during the construction. Which reminds me, construction, of course, would HAVE to be halted when the horses are in the stables as horses are skittish animals and might be frightened by the sounds and activity - good to hear the Monmouth Park cares more about the horses than the public water ways they have been polluting, illegally, for the past several years. How about not bringing the horses in until construction is completed? But I digress. Also in this stage, a new ground water collection system would be installed which would collect all of the ground water and pump that water into another dry basin to be positioned not far from Doreen Drive (where  the mayor lives) in Oceanport. This basin has the capacity to hold 10 million gallons of rain water - which they claim is all of the water (7"s) that would fall during a "25 year storm" and it would take about 8 days to pump ALL of this water out to Long Branch Sewage Authority (LBSA) or Two Rivers Sewerage Authority (TRSA). The agreement MP has with LBSA is to handle 500K gallons of poo-lluted water every day - another 800K (not 600K as I originally wrote) gallons of poo-luted water would head to TRSA in Monmouth Beach. That is OVER 1 MILLION gallons of poo-luted water - it seems this is "daily" expectations with any excess being stored in the "dry" basin, which is supposed to be dry all of the time. They also claim that the dry basin would have no odor and not be a breeding ground for mosquito's. We'll see. The "dry" basin would be about 6 feet deep.

Some additional notes are that the agreement with LBSA is not finalized, yet as additional permits are still needed and a permanent connection still needs to be made between the track and LBSA - which seems to require some work along State Rt 36/Joline Ave - another tax payer funded construction project - it wasn't clear if this cost was included in the $8.8 million projection. Bids will go out for the LBSA work once the permits are finalized. Also, since the pipe from MP to LBSA needs to cross the river, they claim that the pipe will be constructed below the river - as in below the bedrock/sediment/water/etc - much like a tunnel under a river. A pump station would force the water through and gravity would feed the LB side.

All of this work is apparently going to be done over a 4 year period, which means that for, AT LEAST, another 4 years, the river will continue to be polluted by Monmouth Park. It seems that this project is an admission of guilt for their role in polluting the Creek in the first place so it seems that MP SHOULD finally pay up on those two fines that the DEP has issued for past pollution. I believe the total cost in fines is about $50K - again - I suppose the fines would be paid via tax payer money anyhow, so maybe they shouldn't pay after all, talk about a bad situation.

In "good news" - MP enthusiastically says that Oceanport's "Water Watch" committee "absolutely" will have access to the property at all times during the construction project to ensure things are moving along (except of course when they are not moving so as not to disrupt the horses, which was stated several times by a Mr. John Duffy(?) of MP/NJSEA)

Honestly, I'm not yet convinced that this "plan" is anything more than a dog and pony show, pun intended. Who knows if MP/NJSEA will still exist in 4 (or is 5 - the years seems to stack up as their presentation went on) years based on the casino industry and horsemen's association action as well as MP's constant claims of losses (losing tax dollars? hrm - where's that Chris Christie!?).

Don't get me wrong, it all sounds nice, and I have to admit, Oceanport Mayor Mike Mahon was at least prepared with many good questions for MP - but no one asked the obvious questions (and as I said, it seems Mahon is more than willing to use taxpayer money to fund MP/NJSEA's screw up) which are:
1) How the hell to you generate so much poo-luted water?
2) Have they ever seen how NYC handles horse poo? I mean, there are A LOT of horses in NYC - between Central Park, the Carriage rides around the city and the NYPD mounted police - and yet as far as I know - Central Park's lakes aren't poo-luted - the NYC storm drains aren't poo-luted or dumping poo-lution into the East/Hudson Rivers. To the best of my knowledge, NYC uses the advanced technology of a shovel and a wheel barrel, go figure. The carriages all have little "dump buckets" because I don't know what they are really called, hanging below the horse to catch the poo. Really seems like simple solutions work here.
3) Why isn't every horse owner facing this problem? I drive down 547 from I195 towards Lakewood nearly every weekend and I see plenty of horse farms, with plenty of horses, on land near houses that I'm sure have well water for drinking - and again - the best of my knowledge - these people aren't drinking poo-luted water and their land isn't poo-luted - and for that matter rivers/streams that run through the area are also not poo-luted. What is Monmouth Park doing wrong that they generation over 1 MILLION gallons of poo-lution, daily?
4) Why should tax payers, either in Oceanport, or across the state, or if/when Mahon goes to Pallone/Holt then across the nation, be forced to pay for the construction project on private property (which I guess is only kind of private since it's state owned, but then it's not "public" since I can't go take a stroll through the park with my puppy). It's also worth noting that no one from Frank Pallone's office or Rush Holt's office seemed to be in attendance for the presentation. I assume they either don't care (Frank Pallone never really cares, unless the situation involves India) and Holt is too busy worrying about Utah to concern himself with his home state of NJ, which he was elected to represent. Useless.

I don't have answers - I want the poo-lution to stop. I want the river to be cleaned up. I want MP to stay in business since it seems to bring money and people into the area. I don't want taxpayers to pay for the cleanup. I don't want DEP to trust this careless organization with a permit to do construction in the area. I don't want LBSA (my tax money) to waste resources on MP.

I wonder what my pal, THEEEEEEEEEE Steve Lonegan would do or say about this, and/or the DEP in general? It seems that Steve will be hosting another Q&A forum in the area in the near future - I do hope to have a chance to attend and ask.

So there is my update on where things stand. No change - the river is still poo-luted (and frozen) based on my latest observation.  [hippy_environmentalist_dude_talk]IF THE RIVER WASN'T POO-LUTED, MAN, THE MANHADEN WOULDN'T BE DEAD, MAN AND THEN THOSE CUTE LIL' DOLPHINS WOULD HAVE FOOD MAN, AND THOSE DOLPHINS WOULD BE ALIVE, MAN![/hippy_environmentalist_dude_talk] Stupid Dolphins... I'd love to grill them - or we can allow the local High School science club to disect it! So many good uses, instead it seems they might be gone, as in dead. What a waste.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oceanport Meeting Tonight & Tax Payers Paying For Monmouth Park's Poo-lution?

If you're not heading out to Freehold for the Lonegan Campaign's Monmouth Organizational meeting, why not head over to Oceanport and see what Monmouth Park has to say about their plans and role in the pollution of Branchport Creek?

According to an article in the Worst News Paper Ever:

The borough last year agreed to borrow money through the New Jersey Environmental Trust Fund to help Monmouth Park pay for improvements, and the track itself undertook an ambitious construction problem to help minimize runoff that can flow into the creek.

Sad - tax payers paying to clean up after a state run facility - that then claims to be losing money and costs tax payers even more - then gets fines from other tax payer funded agencies and doesn't pay them - then has the Breeder's Cup races and some other big races, hrm.

Anyhow, the meeting is at 7pm in Oceanport's Borough Hall. If you were interested in the Lonegan Meeting, then that is also at 7pm at Elks Club - 73 East Main Freehold, NJ.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monmouth Park Sent Me A Letter; Trying to Fix Something?


Well, Monmouth Park didn't JUST send ME a letter, I'm just not that important, and in fact, Monmouth Park didn't really even send me and some other people a letter - BUT THEIR LAWYERS DID!

This afternoon the friendly mailman stopped by and had me sign here, here and here and print my name here, here and here before handing me the envelope you see.

The letter is rather vague - it is a "Notice To Neighboring Landowners" that Monmouth Park is seeking a permit to do some work in the area. The letter reads (mind the OCR scan if there are errors):
This letter is to provide you with legal notification that an application will be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Land Use Regulation for authorization under a CAFR.A Individual Permit, Waterfront Development Individual Permit Flood Hazard Area Verification, Freshwater Wetlands Transition Area Averaging Plan and Water Qualii Certification for the placement of a force-main beneath Branchport Creek, upgrading of an existing pump station, the construction of a stormwater detention basin and constructed wetlands and the placement of a network of underground stormwater piping (an improved stormwater collection system).

A full PDF scan of the entire package is available here (1.7MB).

So of course, now you get my initial gut reaction as if my opinion matters.
1) I don't own the land so I don't see why they even bother telling me. Kind of like The WaWa issue.
2) Sounds like this would solve/at least attempt to address that pollution problem in the Branchport Creek that Frank Pallone has been ignoring.

And so in my quest to be another complainer, this is where I have to state that I will be writing a friendly letter to the DEP with comments BEGGING the DEP to REJECT Monmouth Park's proposal.

WHAT?!?

Let me a true short story. Once upon a time, I was given a ticket ($35) for having a rear license light bulb out. Doing the right thing, I stopped by PepBoys 5 minutes later, swapped the bulb in the parking lot and proceeded to the local police station where I kindly explained to the same officer that the bulb was fixed, no problems, right? I cna tear this here $35 ticket for a $0.50 bulb up and be on my way? No such luck. Turns out that even though I fixed the problem, I still had to pay the fine.

Which brings me back to Monmouth Park/NJSEA.  Monmouth Park/NJSEA has TWO outstanding fines levied against it, both from the DEP - the same department they are seeking a permit from, which have gone unpaid for well over two years now. Like my license plate bulb, regardless of the problem being fixed or not, Monmouth Park/NJSEA MUST be forced to pay the fine, even if they fix/are fixing the problem.

It is my opinion, again not that my opinion matters much, that the operators of Monmouth are incompetent and incapable of running a horse racing facility and protecting the environment. Their past actions, as well as their past inactions, in the Branchport Creek have demonstrated that this organization can not be trusted to care for the environment which they are seeking a permit to further disturb. Therefor, my opinion is that before the DEP grants this permit to Monmouth Park, the DEP should:
1) Require all outstanding fines to be paid in full or otherwise dismissed in a court of law by a jury of citizens. I would be happy to be called for jury duty for this case if volunteer applications for a jury are permitted.
2) Require Monmouth Park to deposit "significant cash funds", equal to whatever amount some "expert" deems necessary, into an escrow account until the project is completed. The money in the escrow account will be returned to Monmouth Park in full when the project is completed if no additional environmental damage is done. If Monmouth Park further damages the environment, just as they have blatantly polluted the Branchport Creek for several years, the money is forfeited to the DEP to pay for cleanup work.

Again, do not be mistaken, I am VERY pleased that Monmouth Park is FINALLY taking some action to address this old problem which has caused widespread pollution of our public waterways and I want Monmouth Park to be granted the permits needed to make the corrections needed. However, I do NOT want Monmouth Park to be "acquitted" for their actions that polluted the creek to begin with and I certainly do not want Monmouth Park to start a project that causes additional harm to the environment and not have the money to correct either problem.

Of course, maybe I'm just tired and cranky from a long day at work and when I re-read the letter in the morning, maybe I'll feel differently.

An Update on Lil' Adolf Campbell, Sad.

For the record, it is my opinion that both Heath and Deborah Cambell are GARBAGE. I'd love to describe further but I'm very busy at work these past few weeks. With that sad, "authorities" have removed little Adolf Hilter Campbell and his siblings from the care of their loving parents.

You might remember when I first blogged about the story here.

Again, the parents are garbage. However, pending more information - this seems to be kidnapping by the "authorities". I certainly don't agree with the names given and don't think very highly of the parents, but then if these kids were being educated, fed and were as "free" as our society allows kids to be, I don't see the problem.  I'll be following this story as I think it will say a lot about youth rights, parental rights and general freedoms and liberties.

I suppose it's a good thing I named my dog "Allie" and not "Asshole" because I'd hate for the SPCA to come kidnap my dog because of the name I chose for her. And I get it, dogs and humans are not the same - but the point remains the same - government authority has to end somewhere - based on the information available at this point in time, I'd have to say I think the government not just stepped on the line, but trounced on it.

The linked to FOX story is copied/pasted below:

A 3-year-old boy named Adolf Hitler and his two Nazi-named younger sisters were removed from their New Jersey home last week and placed in state custody, police said.

Adolf Hitler Campbell and his sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, were taken from their Holland Township, N.J., home on Friday by the state's Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), Sgt. John Harris of the Holland Township Police Department told FOXNews.com.

Their father, Heath Campbell, is expected in court Thursday in Flemington, N.J., in connection with the case.

Kate Bernyk, a spokeswoman for the DYFS, said confidentiality laws barred her from commenting on the case or even confirming that the Campbell children were involved.

"DYFS has their reasons and they normally don’t release any information, so we kind of have to go on faith with them," Harris said. Police were not told what the agency was investigating.

"I’ve dealt with the family for years and as far as the children are concerned, I have never had any reports of any abuse with the children," Harris said. "As far as I know, he’s always been very good with the children."

Speaking generally, Bernyk said the state's "decision to remove a child is based on the safety and well being of the child and the risk to that child, and that decision is made in conjunction with the courts and the county family court judge."

The Campbells made national news last month when a ShopRite supermarket refused to sell them a birthday cake with Adolf Hitler's name on it. The story generated a slew of angry Internet chatter.

Forensic psychologist N.G. Berrill said naming a boy Hitler could be considered child abuse.

"Part of it is the infantile nature of the parents’ behavior," Berrill said. "You can name your dog something weird, but they think they’re making some kind of bold statement with the children, not appreciating that the children will have separate lives and will be looked at in a negative light until they’re able to change their name. It is abuse."

Last year, a New Zealand court removed a 9-year-old girl from her parents in order to change her birth name: Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. In that country, officials do not deem a name abusive unless it causes serious bullying.

Heath Campbell told the Easton-Express Times last year that he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked it and "no one else in the world would have that name."

A paper to be published in March in Social Sciences Journal by economists David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University found that unpopular first names, when mixed with factors like a disadvantaged home life, can increase the tendency toward juvenile delinquency.

Lee told FOXNews.com that Adolf and Hitler were not names they looked at for the study.

"Hitler most likely would be an unpopular name in the sense that not many people name their children with a name [like Hitler], but we didn’t particularly look at particularly bad names like that," he said.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Another Aniversary with Dear Frank Pallone

I encourage my readers to join Tom De Seno is celebrating a 2nd Anniversary of Pallone Lying to Asbury Park. Over his 20 year career, Mr. Frank Pallone has lied to us all many times and I'm glad to see others joining in on the celebrations of Mr. Pallone's failures and lies.

With that said, you might have missed last years 2nd Anniversary of the Polluted Branchport Creek but don't fret, July is fast approaching and "sources", along with the signs still in place, tell me that Monmouth Park has still done little to reduce pollution in the creek which will sure lead to a 3rd celebration! I do hope that Mr. Pallone attends this year and tells additional promiseslies.

If anyone is planning celebrations to commemorate Pallone's failures with the FEMA issue in the Bayshore area, Pallone's failures with Ft. Monmouth or any other Pallone failures, there are plenty, please do let me know as I would be happy to join you in celebration of New Jersey's most useless Congressman, Frank Pallone.

In fairness, it's not all bad, Pallone is doing a great job supporting India these days; so for a change, I do give him credit for his work for the people of India and many other foreign nations that he was not elected to represent. Good work Frank.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Media Hypocracy - "Back to the Oven"

Imagine if you will, that some blogger suggests we have a "take a 'n' to work day" or if we have a local mayor comment about "Staten Island Girls" and the OUTRAGE that would follow. Imagine if I were to run a newspaper and print a cartoon of mohammed in a bathroom with Larry Craig? I might not be alive today!

Yet these animals are able to shout "Back to the Oven" at their anti-Israel rally and the TV media isn't picking up the story as they did with the local mayor of a shitty town in NJ making a silly comment about a shitty town in NY... and if I'm lucky the media will now pickup my blog since I'm name calling *TWO* cities. Where are our "leaders" condemning this kind of speech? Where is the demand for an apology, the counter protests, the Al Sharpton march or the Call Out Jewish movement ala the Call Out Gay concept?

Oddly enough, the dummy who seems to be the biggest racist was at a rally held by "ANSWER" (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism ).  

There is a great entry at American Thinker on the subject and is worth a read.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

MUST SEE BLOG ENTRY AT RADIO FREE NJ!

It doesn't get any better than this. Such a simple way to demonstrate the problems of today. Enjoy.

Porn Industry Seeking Bailout?

I have no problems with Mr. Flynt, in fact, I think the man has done wonders for pushing free speech and free markets, even if some call his "art" offensive and question it's social values; who am I to judge?

With that said, I would have to say, I oppose the porn industry bailout.

The good news(?) is that the porn industry is doing just fine according to Mr. Flynt, this is just his way of pointing out just how absurd these bailouts of every corporation really is in the days where businesses with working models (no pun intended) can make a profit, and are in fact making a profit. 

A Copy/Paste of the CNN blog noting the story follows in case the link ever stops working:

January 7, 2009
Porn industry seeks federal bailout
Posted: 02:03 PM ET

From CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand and Mark Preston
Larry Flynt is asking for a bailout.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Another major American industry is asking for assistance as the global financial crisis continues: Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said Wednesday they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry.

“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” said Owen Moogan, spokesman for Larry Flynt. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”

Francis said in a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry's survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people."


Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow.

But the industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt said in the statement. "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

So far, there has been no congressional reaction to the request.

NJ may consider driving privileges for immigrants

(from the day late department)... At least according to NewsDay.

A panel advising Governor Jon Corzine on immigrant issues is considering recommending the state allow undocumented immigrants "driver privilege cards" and in-state college tuition rates.

Wonderful. Meanwhile I need my "6 points" to get my DL which includes my old DL, a passport, 3 pints of blood, a testicle, my birth certificate and my mother's written approval. And that was just "back in the day"... "when I was your age".  I think these days if some 16 or 17 year old tries to get a permit and license they are required to leave a kidney for DMV inspection and background checks. How much did it cost the tax payers to fund DMV's implementation of the 6 point ID to ensure that we're all real people with real credentials, so that now we can undo said system and allow law breakers (that's what ILLEGAL aliens are, right?) to have access to the system.

Of course, I could go on and on about how/where these illegal aliens with "driver privilege cards" would get insurance, or loans to afford a car for that matter.

I imagine that anti-youth crusader Freeholder Barbara McMorrow has no problem with this type of legislation so long as youths, who according to her are the problem, can't get a drivers license, at least without a sticker for their bumper to make them easier targets for police and additional restriction on who, when, where and what they can drive.

Again, these are the people we seem to have elected... ohh well, it could be worse, I mean hospitals could be going broke providing care to illegal aliens while health insurance rates increase for everyone else... as long as THAT doesn't happen I think it'll all work out....  hrm.

Edit: Just checked my email this morning and this is what My Pal, Steve Lonegan has to say about the topic:

NO IN-STATE TUITION AND DRIVERS LICENSES FOR ILLEGALS!

Last night I was on Fox 5 News talking about a report from a Corzine-stacked panel of left-wing liberals endorsing in-state tuition at public colleges and “driving privilege cards” for illegal aliens.  

I strongly oppose these ideas and have urged legislative Republicans to stand united against these proposals.  

There’s no doubt that state spending is out of control and needs to be reduced, not increased as the in-state tuition proposal would do. And giving illegal aliens drivers licenses -- regardless of the name, not only makes our state a magnet for illegal aliens who are a net drain on taxpayers, but also tells our children that the law is a joke.

One potential candidate against me in the primary has endorsed the Corzine Administration position that illegal aliens are “here to stay” and we should give them not just amnesty but the same rights as those who came here legally. I respectfully disagree. Strong enforcement actions in states like Arizona have completely turned around an out-of-control situation where illegal aliens were straining social service budgets and creating enormous burdens on the health care system.

As a society we must send a message that those who laugh at our laws will not be coddled any more. The politically correct liberal way has failed and New Jersey is the best example anywhere of that. While conservatives in Congress like Scott Garrett will be working to stop Illegal Alien Amnesty in the next two years, we can take steps right here in New Jersey to tell those here illegally to go somewhere else and that is to end government benefits to illegal aliens -- not expand them.

It’s as simple as that.

Please, help Steve Lonegan defeat Corzine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm Concerned - Why the Growing "Law Enforcement" Need?

The FBI is looking for 850 new field agents and a total of 2100 new hires. Add in those threats from Mr. Obama that we'll have a Civilian National Security Force then throw in that US Army Brigade that is to be deployed here in the US, then add in that this Leon Panetta fellow will be the CIA director despite having no qualifications or experience in intelligence operations which leaves doubt as to his ability to ensure the CIA doesn't violate the rights of US citizens and finally consider those anti-gun laws that the Dems are always trying to force down upon us little people and I have to wonder, just what is our elected government preparing for that we need so many new "law" enforcement agents and military power and We The People shouldn't be able to defend ourselves or protect our private property? Not to mention stories like this out of the Bronx that seem to show just how above the law our tax dollar paid for police have become over the past several years. 

I'm really not a believer in any of the conspiracy theories, but I do often wonder why all indicators point towards a growing/full-blown police state and, more importantly, an unarmed populous.

The founding fathers knew the importance of allowing the general population to be protected from a corrupt government (or other corrupt citizens, such as "law enforcement officers") when they drafted the Second Amendment.  I don't have answers, but I sure would like to know why the FBI needs 2100 more agent and why I should be paying their salaries to have my rights infringed upon like those folks from the Bronx. Our jails are already overcrowded and our court system is already over burdened. Just like when the whole 5th grade class failed the math test, I don't think the problem was the students, the problem was the test. Call me optimistic, but I don't believe we have THAT many "bad" people in this country that 1 in 100, or more, is in prison or jail. The test, the law, is more than likely the problem.

Another One Bites The Dust, and So Should Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Google trends alerts me to the sad(?) news that Adolf Merckle has committed suicide. I've got to be honest, I've never heard of this fellow and since he took the coward's way out, I really don't even feel too bad for him although I do have some sympathy for his family. This news only weeks after French investor Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet also took the coward's way out.

And while it seems almost unrelated, I do believe that our current economic crisis, included failed banks, failing automakers, failing investment firms, and from what we are told, failing everything and add to that the Madoff scandal and these suicides, along with all of the damage still to come, I'd say a good hard look at the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was supposed to establish standards and ethics and clean up all of the public companies that were a bit shady for lack of a better term, is warranted.

Of course, along with SOX came less American small business trying to go public, meaning less new ideas and creations are/were being funding and the old guard was all that was left to seek investor money and try to grow.  How many new technologies are sitting around in someone's garage because some inventor can't gather the funds for their product? How many American inventors, products or businesses have simply gone overseas with their work to avoid SOX? And where is there any proof that SOX has somehow made the market and public companies more responsible? It certainly didn't give investors much warning that the housing markets, mortgage lenders, banks, etc were about to fail.

The Wall St Journal has an article on SOX from 12/21/2008 asking the same basic questions. It's worth a read, and our legislators down in DC should have a read and consider getting government out of the free markets, or at least ditching SOX. A copy/paste of the original article appears below:



DECEMBER 21, 2008, 9:22 P.M. ET

Washington Is Killing Silicon Valley 
Entrepreneurship was taken for granted. Now we're seeing a lot less of it.

By MICHAEL S. MALONE

Even as economic losses and unemployment levels mount, America's most effective engine for wealth and job creation is being dangerously -- perhaps fatally -- compromised.
 
For more than 30 years the entrepreneurship-venture capital-IPO cycle centered in Silicon Valley has generated new wealth, commercialized innovation, and created new companies and industries. It's also spun off millions of new jobs. The great companies created by this process -- Intel, Apple, Google, eBay, Microsoft, Cisco, to name just a few -- have propelled most of the growth in the U.S. economy in the last two decades. And what began as a process almost exclusively available to scientists and engineering Ph.D.s became open to just about anyone with a good business plan and a healthy dose of entrepreneurial drive.

At its best, the cycle is self-perpetuating. Entrepreneurs come up with a new idea, form a team, write a business plan, and then pitch their idea to venture capitalists. If they're persuaded, the VCs invest, typically through several rounds during which the start-up company must meet performance benchmarks. Should the company succeed, it then makes an initial public offering of stock.

The IPO can reward the founders and venture-capital investors, and enables the general public to participate in the company's success. Thousands of secretaries, clerks and technicians at these companies also have come away from the IPO richer than they ever dreamed. Meanwhile, some of those gains are invested in new venture funds, and the cycle begins again.

It has been a system of amazing efficiency, its biggest past weakness being that it sometimes (as in the dot-com "bubble") creates too many companies of dubious viability. Now, this very efficiency may be proving to be its downfall.

From the beginning of this decade, the process of new company creation has been under assault by legislators and regulators. They treat it as if it is a natural phenomenon that can be manipulated and exploited, rather than the fragile creation of several generations of hard work, risk-taking and inventiveness. In the name of "fairness," preventing future Enrons, and increased oversight, Congress, the SEC and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have piled burdens onto the economy that put entrepreneurship at risk.

The new laws and regulations have neither prevented frauds nor instituted fairness. But they have managed to kill the creation of new public companies in the U.S., cripple the venture capital business, and damage entrepreneurship. According to the National Venture Capital Association, in all of 2008 there have been just six companies that have gone public. Compare that with 269 IPOs in 1999, 272 in 1996, and 365 in 1986.

Faced with crushing reporting costs if they go public, new companies are instead selling themselves to big, existing corporations. For the last four years it has seemed that every new business plan in Silicon Valley has ended with the statement "And then we sell to Google." The venture capital industry is now underwater, paying out less than it is taking in. Small potential shareholders are denied access to future gains. Power is being ever more centralized in big, established companies.

For all of this, we can first thank Sarbanes-Oxley. Cooked up in the wake of accounting scandals earlier this decade, it has essentially killed the creation of new public companies in America, hamstrung the NYSE and Nasdaq (while making the London Stock Exchange rich), and cost U.S. industry more than $200 billion by some estimates.

Meanwhile, FASB has fiddled with the accounting rules so much that, as one of America's most dynamic business executives, T.J. Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor, recently blogged: "My financial statements are a mystery, even to me." FASB's "mark-to-market" accounting rules helped drive AIG and Bear Stearns into bankruptcy, even though they were cash-positive.

But FASB's biggest crime against the economy and the American people came when it decided to measure the impossible: options expensing. Given that most stock options in new start-up companies are never worth anything, this would seem a fool's errand. But FASB went ahead -- thereby drying up options as an incentive for people to take the risk of joining a young company and guaranteeing that the legendary millionaire secretaries would never be seen again.

Not to be outdone, the SEC has, through the minefield of "full disclosure" requirements and other regulations, made sure that corporate directors would never again have financial privacy and would be personally culpable for malfeasance anywhere in the company. This has led to a mass exodus of talented people from boards of directors in places like Silicon Valley. Full disclosure was supposed to make boards more responsible. Instead, it has made them less competent.

The most important government actions to foster business creation were the 1978 Steiger Amendment, which cut taxes on capital gains to 28% from 49%, and President Ronald Regan's tax cuts, which reduced them still further to 20%. These tax cuts unleashed the PC and consumer electronics booms of the 1980s, just as the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 restored the 20% rate and did the same for the Internet economy in the late 1990s.

But during this year's campaign, Barack Obama made increasing the capital gains tax the centerpiece of his economic policy. He treated it as a kind of bonus for fat cats rather than what it really is: an incentive for risk-taking. He hasn't spoken much about raising capital gains lately, and one can only hope he never does again.

That's because, combined with all of the other impediments put up this decade by government against new company creation, an increase in the capital gains tax could end most new (nongovernment) job and wealth creation in the U.S. for a generation. If Mr. Obama is serious about getting the country out of this recession using something more than public make-work projects, he should restore the integrity of the new company creation cycle: rewrite full disclosure, throw out options expensing, make compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley rules voluntary, and if he won't cut it, then at least leave the capital gains tax rate alone.

Otherwise, Mr. Obama might end up being remembered as the second Herbert Hoover, not the next FDR.

Mr. Malone, a columnist for ABCNews.com, is the author of "The Future Arrived Yesterday," forthcoming from Crown Business.

Friday, January 2, 2009

NJ's New Budget, or the Same Old Budget?

Since King Corzine has a new taxbillbudget he's handing to tax payers, I thought I'd share this story from 2006 that I had saved away in my "this will happen again" folder... I'll of course add my $0.02 in where I feel so motivated to do so... enjoy and note the date of the original story which I copied/pasted from NJ.com back in the day: Tuesday, March 21, 2006. Emphasis is mine where you see it.



Corzine to ask for state's first $30B budget
Plan entails a variety of cuts and tax hikes
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
BY JOE DONOHUE AND JEFF WHELAN
Star-Ledger Staff
Gov. Jon Corzine today will propose a state budget that tops the $30 billion mark for the first time, increase the sales tax and place new or higher taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, luxury cars and municipal drinking water.

Treasurer Bradley Abelow said the tax changes would raise $1.5 billion, most of that from the sales tax, which would increase to 7 percent from 6 percent. He said that would cost a typical family about $212 more a year. The tax also would be extended to some new services; the treasurer said yesterday he could not provide a final list but stressed they would not include clothing or food.


So to make sure we're all on the same page... Sales tax went from 6% to 7% to raise $1.5 BILLION and conversely what happened is that we're looking at a, tripled, $1.3 BILLION deficit now instead. More taxes is NOT the solution. If only the King would humor the jesters and try lower taxes and cutting state workers and programs instead.

Legislative leaders immediately expressed reservations about raising taxes.

"We're going to re-scrub the budget," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Wayne Bryant (D-Camden). "The last thing we will consider is any revenue raisers."

Abelow said the administration made an "honest attempt to come to grips" with the state's chronic budget problems in the $30.9 billion spending plan, avoiding stopgap fixes that marked previous administrations.

While the proposed budget is $2.6 billion higher than the one in effect through June 30, nearly half of that -- about $1.1 billion -- would be used for payments to a public-employee pension system that governors have virtually ignored for a decade.


Hey... would that $1.1 BILLION for the pension system be the same pension system that is "at least" a $25 BILLION bind?? hrm, seems like that didn't work so well either. Following the Whitman, Florio, McGreevey plan doesn't work. Might I suggest cutting the size of government again?

Nearly all of the state departments face cuts, and the state work force would be reduced by 1,000 -- including 300 layoffs of state workers not protected by civil service.


Ahh ha.. I knew someone would make those cuts, right! Appears only sort-of/kind-of as the number of N.J. employees making more than $100K a year nearly doubles in two years. Seems from April 2006 to April 2008 the state shed 5.5% of the workforce but salaries rose 5.7%. New idea, cuts jobs, doesn't give the newly available funds to old cronies as a pay raise.

Abelow said the budget would have been far higher if the administration had not used real cuts, freezes and other cost-containment measures.


"Real cuts"? "freezes"? "cost-containment measures" Hrm. I suppose cutting 5.5% of staff and somehow still paying 5.7% more in salary fits. No?

"If we did not do what is proposed in this budget, you would have $2 billion more in spending," he said.


Well it's "ONLY" a $1.2 BILLION shortfall so maybe this guy was right? It could have been a $2 BILLION shortfall instead. Maybe the King should raise our taxes so more? HAH! hrm, maybe I shouldn't offer such sarcastic advise, it could be taken.

In addition to the first sales tax increase in 16 years, the administration wants to boost the cigarette tax 35 cents to a national high of $2.75 per pack, raise $12 million by boosting wholesale taxes on wine, beer and liquor, and an impose a new water tax.

The water tax of 4 cents per 1,000 gallons will be collected from water utilities to pay for improvements to the state's water-distribution systems. It is expected to add $3 to $4 to the average homeowner's yearly bills.


Improved water distribution system? Where? Seems like I know some folks paying well above $10K per year in property taxes in towns where they have well water because there is no city water. Imagine their property taxes if they had to pay for city water too! ouch.

Owners of luxury vehicles -- those costing $45,000 or more -- would pay higher registration fees. Corporations would pay a new 2.5 percent tax surcharge, and a new tax would be slapped on the sale of commercial property.


My apologies to GM, Ford and Chrysler. Here I thought people weren't buying your products because they were over priced junk. I seem to be wrong and people weren't buying them because they were trying to avoid even higher costs on owning private property in this state. Way to go King, you took out the American made SUV market with your tax tax tax plans!

On the other hand, the administration wants a tax cut for 600,000 families earning less than $30,000, at a cost of $105 million. Among those, the 400,000 residents who earn $25,000 or less would pay no income tax. Currently the threshold is $20,000 for a family of four.


I have another idea. How about a tax cut on those businesses so that a little more cash is available to pay employees more than $6.55/hr (min wage) since you'd need two people in a household earning min wage to be under the $30,000/yr mark. I somehow doubt that there are really 600,000 families somehow affording to live in NJ legitimately earning less than $30,000/yr. I'm sure a few file as such, but I'm also sure they are making some unreported money "on the side". Good for them I guess, wish I could earn some tax free money on the side and then get a break for it.

"We've done everything we can to minimize the impact on those who are most vulnerable and least able to take care of themselves," Abelow said.

The administration, however, wants to charge families from the poorest school districts a sliding scale fee to use after-school and summer programs, to raise $30 million. The budget also would net $13 million by charging Medicaid recipients a $2 co-payment per prescription drug, up to $10 per month. Medicaid patients using emergency rooms for nonemergency health problems also would pay a surcharge, saving the state $1.1 million.


MILLION! Whoa! Whats a million? They know what that is in Trenton/Washington? I thought they only count in BILLIONS and TRILLIONS now?

Abelow said the budget includes only $50 million for new programs and $80 million in new capital spending.

In addition to cutting $169 million in state aid to colleges and universities, the state will not reimburse schools for $125 million in expected salary and fringe-benefit increases.

College officials expect the cuts to hurt worse than the reductions made during the Whitman and McGreevey administrations, which led to double-digit tuition increases at colleges around the state.

"It will be a disastrous blow," said Darryl Greer, executive director of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities. "It will be the bleakest budget proposal I've ever seen and one of the worst I've seen in American higher education."

Bryant said the Legislature would take a hard look at the proposed tax increases and planned cuts in higher education funding. He said it would be "premature for us to actually commit to any revenue raisers" until lawmakers can assess the state's revenue outlook over the next two months. Last year, an uptick in revenues enabled lawmakers to drop nearly $600 million in proposed tax increases.

Bryant said that while some grants for lower-income students would increase, he worries the other cuts would result in tuition increases for the lower-middle class. "We're going to take a long look at colleges and universities; that seem in many ways to be hit the hardest by this budget," he said.

Bryant also said he was concerned that proposals for higher alcohol taxes and a tax on public water supplies, while raising very modest sums for the budget, could hit lower-middle-class families the hardest. "Those are Joe Six-Pack issues you have to look at."

Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), who wrestled with similar issues last year as governor, said the proposals are a commendable starting point that will be subject to "negotiation and compromise."

"Overall the governor has done an excellent job of proposing a budget that goes at the heart of the matter -- the structural deficit. He's made some hard choices, to his credit," Codey said.

But Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) said the virtual freeze on state aid for towns and schools would result in higher property taxes for homeowners. Coupled with the sales tax increase, he said, the budget would hit the middle class hard.

"New Jersey families are fleeing this state, moving to Pennsylvania and beyond because of our tax structure," Lance said. "This will make New Jersey even more unaffordable for New Jersey residents."


Is Lance running around yelling "I told you!"? He should be. I don't know much about Mr. Lance other than that unlike me, he was elected to Congress this year, so best of luck to him. Hopefully he obeys the Constitution and fights to restore our civil liberties, end a few taxes, cut a few programs, etc.

On the eve of Corzine's budget message, Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan, a former gubernatorial candidate, announced he would lead a citizens group to challenge any tax increase or the expansion of government programs.

"We cannot tax our way to prosperity," said Lonegan.


YAY FOR MY PAL STEVE LONEGAN! Steve Lonegan has been a long time friend of all NJ tax payers, sadly some just don't know it. Steve hopes to be our next governor and I believe that Steve is the most qualified candidate who has entered the race and can deliver for the tax payers of NJ. 

If you would like to help Steve Lonegan get elected so that he can undo the Damage caused by previous administrations, please Donate what you can to the Lonegan Campaign.