Fundraiser Set for Family of Fallen Trooper

ASBURY PARK, NJ – Monmouth County Law Enforcement in conjunction with New Jersey business owners and musicians to celebrate the life and service of Trooper Marc Castellano.

On Sunday, August 1, 2010, at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Monmouth County Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel and Dauphin Grille are proud to present a celebration of Life and Service for New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano.  This event will take place from 1pm to 6pm, rain or shine.

Trooper Castellano made the ultimate sacrifice as he was tragically

taken on June 6, 2010.   Proceeds from this event will benefit the

“Trooper Castellano Children’s Fund” being administered through TD Bank and the New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association (STFA).  A donation of $25.00 per person will be accepted at the door only.  Ocean Avenue between Sunset and Sixth Avenues will be closed for this all day block event.

This event will bring together friends, family, businesses from the Asbury Park area and local musicians who have donated their time and energy to raise funds for the Trooper Castellano Children’s Fund.

Participants for this event will include:

New Jersey State Police Pipes and Drums

Monmouth County Pipes and Drums

Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department

Felipe Rose – Former Original Member of the Village People

(www.feliperose.com)

Asbury Park Police Department Honor Guard Soloist and Asbury Park Police Officer Tyron McAlister Kenny Hoff and the whatnots

(http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kenny-Hoff-and-the-Whatnots/43650413550)

Carl Chesna Band (www.carlchesna.com)

Nicholas Rocco

Project P.A.C.K.M.A.N. (www.projectpackmaninc.org) Virago (www.viragomusic.com) VDJ Cowboy Cliff – Cliff Roberts Verity in Stereo (www.verityinstereo.com) Josh Zuckerman Band (www.joshzuckerman.com)

and many many more…

 

This event will also feature silent and chance auctions and door prizes. Any area business wishing to donate items for this event is encouraged to contact Tracie Strack at 732/778-1063.

 

The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel has graciously provided, on a limited availability, a block of rooms at a discounted rate for those interested in attending this event.  For hotel reservations, please contact the hotel at 732/776-6700 and mention special code AP-TPR 6397.  Special rates apply for July 31, 2010 and August 1, 2010.

The Dauphin Grille at the Berkeley will offer drink and food specials throughout the event at discounted prices.

Those unable to attend and wishing to make a monetary contribution can mail their tax deductible contribution to the Trooper Castellano’s Child Fund C/O STFA – Asbury Park, 2634 Highway 70, Manasquan, New Jersey 08736.

Newt Gingrich Endorses New Jersey Congressional Candidate Mayor Anna Little

Highlands, NJ — Republican congressional candidate and Highlands Mayor Anna Little has received an endorsement from former Speaker of the House and General Chairman of American Solutions, Newt Gingrich.  The endorsement comes as no surprise to those who understand that both Little and Gingrich stand on strong conservative values.

Fundamentally, both Gingrich and Little believe in limited government which gives power to the individual rather than the state.  According to Mayor Little, “After enumerating specific rights retained by the people in the first eight amendments, the Ninth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment spelled out the principles of limited government…In essence both amendments state that the people retain certain rights, and that those powers not granted to the federal government and not prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people.”

Gingrich and Little also share similar concerns for the economy and job growth throughout the nation.  As expressed by Gingrich, “America’s economic woes are not due to the excesses of capitalism, as the left claims, but instead due to abandoning supply-side, strong dollar policies for easy credit, deficit spending, and stimulus.”  When explaining New Jersey’s economic woes, Little commented that “All levels of Government, from the Federal Government to the States to local municipalities, need to work cooperatively to lower the crushing tax burden on our families.” She believes that out-of-control taxation and regulation penalizes America’s workers and businesses.

Mayor Little joins Gingrich in opposing the government’s takeover of healthcare.  “Americans have a Constitutional right to choose their own healthcare insurance and medical providers, or fore go insurance coverage and contract directly with medical providers, free from government mandates with the resulting fines and possible imprisonment for noncompliance.” Little has made numerous appearances in Trenton to oppose the controversial bill.

As an immigration attorney, Anna Little thoroughly understands the need for a secure border and Gingrich artfully states Little’s position when he says, “America is a nation of immigrants… However, America is also a nation of laws.  We must have a lawful process of immigration and should not enact policies that encourage illegal immigration…We must insist the government live up to its promise to the American people to secure the border and adequately police business hiring.”

Gingrich and Little agree on a multitude of issues because they recognize that Washington does not seem serious about border security while dominating its own people through excessive taxation and regulation.  In endorsing Anna Little and her candidacy, Gingrich has recognized an ally—one who devotes herself to preserving the inalienable rights of American citizens.

 

Project Porchlight Spreads Green Message

To The Editor:

On the behalf of the Hazlet Environmental Commission(HEC), I’m writing to thank the residents of Hazlet who participated in Project Porchlight on June 19th, 2010.  Funded by the Bureau of Public Utilities and the State of NJ Clean Energy Program, Project Porchlight and Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Vicky Allen spread the message of “green” energy by coordinating local “Blitz” campaigns distributing compact florescent  light bulbs.  Vicky and her group were wonderfully organized, entirely efficient and motivated both HEC members and Hazlet residents to distribute 1,000 (one thousand) CFL’s during the Blitz on June 19th.

The HEC is very grateful to Vicky and her group for their inspiration and practical help and especially grateful to the volunteers who gave their time to educate fellow Hazlet residents about clean energy.  For additional information, visit the HEC on the Hazlet Township  website or Facebook.  To learn more about Project Porchlight, go to

http://www.projectporchlight.com/blog/project-porchlight-brilliant-inspiration-hazlet-nj

Sincerely

Rosemary Mazza

Chair, Environmental Commission

Youth ID Cards Issued at Monmouth County Fair

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office issued 800 youth ID cards during the Monmouth County Fair which was held from July 21st to July 25th. The Youth ID program consists of a credit card size photo ID of a child that is carried by a parent or guardian who maintains complete control of the card. In an emergency, the card can be given to local first responders to aid in the rapid location and safe return of a child.

mcso_youth_id_card

Parents are asked to complete a brief information and authorization form, a digital photo is taken, and after the information and photo are placed on the card, it’s mailed to the parents. The photo ID process is fast, friendly and does not compromise the privacy or identity of a child.  “Our Youth ID Program can help ensure the safety of our children, which is a priority in the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden.

The success of the Youth ID program would not be made possible without the assistance and dedication of the Sheriff’s Office clerical staff who worked at the Monmouth County Fair, and the VISCOMP (Volunteers in Sheriff’s Community Programs) volunteers that participate in community programs.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Youth ID program will be offered at the following events in August: National Night out on August 3rd in Long Branch, Neptune, Union Beach and Sea Girt, the Italian American Festival in Ocean Township on August 13th and 14th and the Colts Neck Fair on August 20th and 21st.

For more information contact Undersheriff Cynthia Scott at 732.577.6613.

Free Showing of the Movie Greetings From the Shore August 12 in Atlantic Highlands

Atlantic Highlands, NJ –  The New Jersey State Library, in conjunction with the Atlantic Highlands Public Library and Hudson Mermaid Productions, will host a free outdoor screening of the award-winning movie Greetings from the Shore on Thursday, August 12, at 8:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor Gazebo, 2 Simon Lake Dr., Atlantic Highlands.

Greetings from the Shore is a coming-of-age romance starring Paul Sorvino, David Fumero and Kim Shaw. It was filmed entirely on the Jersey shore, primarily in Lavallette. The story is about a young girl who, after her father dies, spends one last summer at the Jersey Shore before heading off to college. When her plans fall apart, the girl stumbles into a mysterious world of Russian sailors, high-stakes gambling and unexpected love. Director Greg Chwerchak calls the film “a semi-autobiographical tale. It’s a bit like Dirty Dancing at the Jersey Shore.”

Those attending should bring lawn chairs or blankets and the screening is weather permitting. Following the screening, Chwerchak and writer Gabrielle Berberich will answer questions from the audience and sign DVDs of the movie. “Gabrielle and I both benefitted tremendously from public libraries growing up,” Chwerchak said. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the State Library for this free event.”

For more information contact the Atlantic Highlands Library at 732-291-1956 or go the http://greetingsfromtheshore.com.

Solutions to Stop Beach and Water Pollution

New Jersey Beach Closures & Advisories in 2009

Groups Support Federal Bills and Make Recommendations to Improve Beach Water Quality

Sandy Hook, NJ – The 20th annual report, “Testing the Waters: A Guide to Beach Water Quality at Vacation Beaches,” prepared by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), identifies the beaches in our area and across the country have pollution problems, and those that tested clean.  The report, released locally in New Jersey by Clean Ocean Action (COA) and Environment New Jersey, provides information about beach closures in 2009 and makes recommendations for reducing pollution and protecting public health.  For the full report, go to www.nrdc.org/ttw/.

Polluted water at many American beaches jeopardized the health of swimmers last year with the number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches reaching more than 18,000 for the fifth consecutive year.  While the report found an 8 percent decrease in nationwide closing and advisory days at beaches from 2008, it reveals this decline was the result of dry conditions in certain areas and decreased funding for water monitoring in some states last year, notably in California, rather than a sign of large-scale improvement.

“Polluted water is making ocean users sick and the Surfrider Foundation has started to collect that information using the website www.njoceanillness.org,” said John Weber, Northeast Regional Manager of the Surfrider Foundation. “By gathering and tracking this data we can determine what kinds of illnesses are prevalent and potentially identify hot spots.”

In 2009, New Jersey monitored 15 fewer sites than in 2008 for a total of 245 beaches:  218 designated bathing beaches and 27 non-designated beach stations on a weekly basis.  In Ocean County, additional samples were collected at 10 beaches following storm events in 2009 to further document stormwater pollution and to develop provisional rainfall closures.  More storm sampling is happening again this summer in Ocean County.

In New Jersey, the 2009 ocean and bay beach closures were as follows:

Ÿ  180 total days of closures, a decrease from the 208 days of closures in 2008 of which 117 were due to criminal medical dumping event.

Ÿ  128 days (71%) were preemptive closings (without waiting for testing results) due to heavy rainfall that is known to cause high bacteria and pollution problems at 6 beaches. This was 62 days more than in 2008 due to rainy weather.

Ÿ  41 days (23%) of closings were a result of direct monitoring the revealed elevated bacteria levels.  Nine of these closings were at ocean beaches and 32 were at bay beaches.

Ÿ  11 days (6%) were preemptive due to other reasons.

Closures in NJ are only issued when two samples exceed the state standards when beaches are lifeguarded.  No advisories or closures are issued for the non-designated beach stations and these sites are not re-sampled, even though several of these beaches are used by the public.

NRDC’s report provides a 5-star rating guide for 200 of the nation’s most popular beaches.  The highest beach ranking in NJ is 3 out of 5 due to old state policies.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends closures or advisories after one-day sampling; instead, New Jersey is one of only a few states that takes another sample the next day before issuing a closure or an advisory, thereby extending the time the public is potentially exposed to pollution.

Last August, Monmouth County led the way in NJ by issuing advisories after one-day sampling and is the only county in the state to do so this year.  “The Monmouth County Health Department takes a proactive approach in its efforts to protect the public health from waterborne diseases at ocean and bay recreational bathing sites, by posting advisories based on initial bacteriological sample results rather than waiting for a second confirmatory sample that exceeds the standard requiring closure of the beach,” stated Michael Meddis, the Public Health Officer of Monmouth County.

In 2009, NJ ranked 14th nationally, where the first is cleanest, for its 5 % exceedances of state’s fecal bacteria standards.  Atlantic and Cape May counties have had the lowest exceedances with 1 % or less.  However, there were serious problems in several areas with 14 beaches that had 20 % or greater exceedance rates.  Most of these beaches are in NJ’s back bays and estuaries.  There also continue to problems at the Wreck Pond outfall (which is incorrectly listed as beach in the report).

“While many ocean and bay beaches are testing clean, there are areas with chronic problems that need to be further investigated and sources cleaned-up,” Heather Saffert, Staff Scientist, Clean Ocean Action.  “Stormwater management needs improvement and aging infrastructure problems need repair.  Clean coastal waters benefit marine life and are important for NJ’s families and tourists to enjoy the beach.”

“Developers are loving the Shore to death, and beach-goers are still paying the price. Our beaches are being shut down because of the run-off pollution from sprawl,” said Doug O’Malley, Field Director for Environment New Jersey. “We need to put the brakes on pollution from over-development – or else the Shore’s ecological alarm bells will only get louder.”

Federal Bills to Improve the Nation’s Beach Water

 

Many of the environmental groups’ recommendations are contained in the Clean Coastal Environment and Public Health (CCEPH) Act which was passed by the House of Representatives the summer of 2009.  The Senate bill is still pending.  The prime sponsor of Senate Bill (S. 878) is Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg; Sen. Robert Menendez is a co-sponsor.  The prime sponsor of the House Bill (H.R. 2093) is U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-D-6); the co-sponsors from New Jersey are Reps. Steven Rothman (NJ-D-9) and John Adler (NJ-R-3).  The Act reauthorizes the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act) of 2000 and would increase support for beach water protection programs and identification pollution sources.  The senate version provides funding to not just find, but also to cleanup the sources.  While both versions promote the use of rapid testing methods to detect beach water contamination, the senate version has a faster time requirement that would result in prompt notification of public health risks.  These tests that take 2 to 4 hours are now available, but not yet nationally approved by the EPA.

“There is nothing better than summer at the Jersey Shore, and part of what makes that special is the health and vitality of our beaches,” said Representative Pallone. “Our beaches are not only a state treasure but also a vital source of income and pride for the state, which is why I have introduced the Clean Coastal Environment and Public Health Act of 2009, which will help ensure that beachgoers throughout the country can surf, swim, and play on clean and safe beaches.  I will continue to pursue this and other policies to protect the environment and I’m glad for the strong coalition of support this effort has in New Jersey shown by today’s event.”

Update on Improving the State Bathing Rules

In response to COA’s and NJ’s environmental groups’ call on the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services to update the public recreational bathing rules, a committee process which COA participated in revised the rules last fall.  However, these changes have yet to be finalized and additional improvements are still needed.

“Knowledge is power; people have the right to know if they may be exposed to fecal contamination and the sooner the better,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.  “Updates to the state rules are needed to protect public health and increase awareness of pollution.  Action is pending on Federal bills that are also critical.  The bills will require all states to comply with new testing methods, require track down of any suspected sources, and mandate swift reporting of polluted beaches.  Combined, the law once passed will bring testing and notification into the 21st century,” added Zipf.

Know Before You Go…In

The NRDC report and other resources, including the national overview and frequently asked questions, can be found at:  www.nrdc.org/ttw/.  For information on the latest beach closings in New Jersey, call the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s beach closure hotline at 1-800-648-SAND or visit www.njbeaches.org (ocean and bay beaches).

Long Branch Concordance Requests Donations for 4th Annual Back to School Drive

LONG BRANCH, N.J. – July 28, 2010 – The Long Branch Concordance Family Success Center is accepting donations for its 4th Annual Back to School Uniform and School Supply Drive. “Gently” used school uniforms and new school supplies are needed for families in the greater Long Branch area. Individuals, civic groups and local organizations are asked to donate khaki pants, shorts, skorts and green, white and grey long and short sleeve golf/polo shirts (no emblem), and new school supplies for all grades. No cargo pants will be accepted.  The Center is also collecting cases of bottled water and package snacks.

Donations may be dropped off at the Long Branch Concordance office at 279 Broadway, Suite 301, Long Branch, Monday – Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. no later than August 27.

The Back to School Drive will take place on Saturday, August 28, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at St. James Church Community Room, 300 Broadway, Long Branch.

“The current economic atmosphere calls for grassroots community organizations such as ours to respond to the ever emerging needs of the community. This is one way in which the Family Success Center assists families in overcoming barriers to basic needs such as school uniforms and school supplies. Last summer the event provided 354 children with “gently” used school uniforms and new school supplies,” stated Lisa Wilson, MSW, Executive Director.

For more information, contact Lisa Wilson at 732-571-1670, [email protected], or visit the Long Branch Concordance web site at www.lbc4help.org.

ABCCL Season to End with a Bang This Weekend

Championship Series and Charity Game vs. NJ State Troopers Highlight Schedule

NEPTUNE and LAKEWOOD, NJ The Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League season comes to a close this weekend with three great days of baseball on tap. On Friday, the Jerry Lillis Championship Series begins with Game 1 between the #3-seeded Freehold Clippers and #4-seeded Protocol Starz at Michael Tighe Park in Freehold at 7:30 p.m. The action continues Saturday morning at Neptune High School, where Game 2 of the series will begin at 11 a.m. and the deciding Game 3 to immediately follow if necessary. The Starz will be playing in their third-straight championship series, and both teams have won a championship in recent seasons.

The summer officially ends with a celebration of the league’s charitable aims, a benefit game Sunday evening between  the N.J. State Trooper baseball team and the ABCCL All-Stars at the home of the Lakewood Blueclaws, First Energy Park. First pitch for that game is at 6 p.m.

All proceeds from the game will go to benefit Camp Quality, NJ- “a place for kids with cancer to be kids again” – and the ABCCL’s official charity. Admission is only $5 for what should be a wonderful way to see NJ’s finest cut loose and celebrate the closing of another great ABCCL season.

For more information, please contact Jon McCue or visit ABCCL.com.

Come to Rest

george_hancockstefanThis past week, I taught an intensive course at the seminary.  In the seminary context, an intensive is taught for five days from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM with three breaks during the day.  In the evening, students usually write their papers for the next day and the professor grades the papers the day they are handed in so the students will be able to see how they did.

I arrived home on Friday evening and my wife fleetingly mentioned that if I want to do the yard work, I should do it early in the morning because the day was going to be hot.  I never got to work in the yard because I slept in pretty late that morning. I came to the office and when a counseling call came in, I made sure that it was not urgent and agreed to do it early next week.  In the afternoon, I felt pretty tired and that is when I remembered the words of Jesus to his disciples – “Come and rest” (Mark 6:31B).

God has blessed me with a body that rejuvenates pretty quickly. After long and stressful episodes, I need a couple of days to stay away from the tasks that have made me tired.  I need to do those things that relax me, refresh me and make me focus on things that I enjoy.  I may read, watch movies, visit places or when I am really relaxed, I can work on my stamps.  When my children see me work with my stamps, they know that I am in the most relaxed mode.

God in his wisdom has created rest. Sleep analysts tell us that we kid ourselves by sleeping less and less because we are so busy.  They tell us that if we sleep what we need to, we will more productive than when we do not.  Sunday used to be a day of worship and rest.  This country wants to imitate Sinatra’s song about the city that never sleeps by becoming the country that never sleeps with people who never rest or rest less and less.

This summer, take a vacation; take some rest, do something fun, relaxing and come back refreshed.  It will be better for you, for your family and friends and for the entire community.

NJ Municipal Officials Fairly Compensated

jack_archibald_120The outrage over inflated pay for municipal officials continues, but this time the focus is in California and not New Jersey.  Over the past few days, it has come to light that municipal officials in Bell, California had awarded themselves salaries well above the accepted pay range for their responsibilities.  In the ensuing aftermath, three of the administrators have resigned, but the Mayor and council members of Bell face a recall for their errant policies.

Until last week, the administrator of Bell, a city of 40,000 outside Los Angeles, was earning a salary of over $750,000 per year.  The Assistant City Manager and Police Chief both earned salaries over $375,000 per year, while four of five part time City Council Members earned $100,000.  These are extraordinary numbers, except when you consider that the Administrator is now eligible to retire with a state pension of $650,000 a year for life, which would be the highest in the California state system.

While Atlantic Highlands is a far cry from Bell, in terms of distance and population, the salaries of our local officials are fairly reasonable.  As a part time council member, this writer receives a stipend of $3,000 while the Mayor receives $4,500 on an annual basis.  For the past 15 years, there has not been an increase in those stipends, and no politician is anxious to broach the subject of raising the compensation. Compensation varies from municipality to municipality, but it is probably a safe guess that no elected official in Monmouth County on a local level receives more than $7,500 for their efforts.

One of the responsibilities of elected officials is to make sure that municipal employees are compensated fairly and in line with the prevailing times.  It is the easiest concept for the voting public to grasp, and nothing outrages the public like unfair compensation.  Over the past few years, the borough of Keansburg has been identified as being overly generous in their treatment of their employees, but that is the fault of the governing bodies and not the employees.  If the elected officials are dumb enough to agree to outrageous compensation, then the voters should take it out on them.

Everyone has a different opinion on how much elected officials and administrators should be compensated for their time. Some might think that 15 years without a raise is fair in the case of Atlantic Highlands while others believe that part time officials should be performing the duties of the office gratis.  One thing is for sure, the people of Bell California were definitely taken for a ride by their elected officials.