Gov. Christie Endorses Task Force Recommendations to Ensure New Jersey’s Children Graduate Ready for College or a Career

College and Career Readiness Task Force Report and New Graduation Rate Methodology Next Steps to Giving Every Child a Quality Education

Trenton, NJ – Taking another step to implement a comprehensive education agenda to put the opportunity of a quality education in the reach of every child in New Jersey, Governor Christie today endorsed a series of recommendations to increase the number of graduates and ensure that all students graduate from high school truly ready for college and career. These recommendations, contained in a report released today from the College and Career Readiness Task Force, will transition New Jersey away from the current high school assessments – High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) and Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) – to a new series of end-of-course assessments that measure student readiness at each grade level. These new measures will provide a powerful tool for schools to identify students in need and target individual supports to put them on track for high school graduation.

Paired with the phasing in of a new, federally mandated methodology for calculating the graduation rate, Governor Christie’s reforms will ensure that graduating from high school in New Jersey means having the skills and knowledge to be ready to enter college or the workforce, and that educators have the tools to help students get there.

Continue reading Gov. Christie Endorses Task Force Recommendations to Ensure New Jersey’s Children Graduate Ready for College or a Career

Gov. Christie Endorses Task Force Recommendations to Ensure New Jersey’s Children Graduate Ready for College or a Career

College and Career Readiness Task Force Report and New Graduation Rate Methodology Next Steps to Giving Every Child a Quality Education

Trenton, NJ – Taking another step to implement a comprehensive education agenda to put the opportunity of a quality education in the reach of every child in New Jersey, Governor Christie today endorsed a series of recommendations to increase the number of graduates and ensure that all students graduate from high school truly ready for college and career. These recommendations, contained in a report released today from the College and Career Readiness Task Force, will transition New Jersey away from the current high school assessments – High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) and Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) – to a new series of end-of-course assessments that measure student readiness at each grade level. These new measures will provide a powerful tool for schools to identify students in need and target individual supports to put them on track for high school graduation.

Paired with the phasing in of a new, federally mandated methodology for calculating the graduation rate, Governor Christie’s reforms will ensure that graduating from high school in New Jersey means having the skills and knowledge to be ready to enter college or the workforce, and that educators have the tools to help students get there.

Continue reading Gov. Christie Endorses Task Force Recommendations to Ensure New Jersey’s Children Graduate Ready for College or a Career

Asbury Park Fire Department Gets Grant to Modernize Fire Vehicle

Newark, NJ – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today joined Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Lefredo and Fire Chief Kevin Keddy to present a “big check” to the Asbury Park Fire Department for funding to significantly modernize a key fire fighting vehicle. The $617,500 Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) will be used to remount an old vehicle. Menendez took a tour of the fire station and thanked firefighters for their heroism and dedication.

menendez_asbury_park_firefighters

“There is no more selfless, more courageous job than that of a firefighter,” said Senator Menendez. “It defies all logic and reason to run into a burning building, but you do it anyway. For that you are all heroes, and I’m proud to help by presenting you with this grant to keep our promise to our first responders after 9-11 and make sure you have the equipment you need to do your jobs. It is my hope that with this funding and with your improved vehicle, you will go to work feeling safe. Know that you have the best equipment possible to make the people of Asbury Park, who depend on well-trained and well-equipped firefighters, safer.”

“I want to welcome Senator Menendez as he has always been a friend of our city,” said Mayor Ed Johnson. “We are appreciative of his support of our men and women in uniform and his clear understanding of the importance of their service. He has been to Asbury Park several times and we are always happy to have him, especially on an occasion like this.”  

Continue reading Asbury Park Fire Department Gets Grant to Modernize Fire Vehicle

Asbury Park Fire Department Gets Grant to Modernize Fire Vehicle

Newark, NJ – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today joined Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Lefredo and Fire Chief Kevin Keddy to present a “big check” to the Asbury Park Fire Department for funding to significantly modernize a key fire fighting vehicle. The $617,500 Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) will be used to remount an old vehicle. Menendez took a tour of the fire station and thanked firefighters for their heroism and dedication.

menendez_asbury_park_firefighters

“There is no more selfless, more courageous job than that of a firefighter,” said Senator Menendez. “It defies all logic and reason to run into a burning building, but you do it anyway. For that you are all heroes, and I’m proud to help by presenting you with this grant to keep our promise to our first responders after 9-11 and make sure you have the equipment you need to do your jobs. It is my hope that with this funding and with your improved vehicle, you will go to work feeling safe. Know that you have the best equipment possible to make the people of Asbury Park, who depend on well-trained and well-equipped firefighters, safer.”

“I want to welcome Senator Menendez as he has always been a friend of our city,” said Mayor Ed Johnson. “We are appreciative of his support of our men and women in uniform and his clear understanding of the importance of their service. He has been to Asbury Park several times and we are always happy to have him, especially on an occasion like this.”  

Continue reading Asbury Park Fire Department Gets Grant to Modernize Fire Vehicle

Former Freehold Senior Center Director Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Money Owed to Town

FREEHOLD, NJ – The former director of the Freehold Township Senior Center pleaded guilty today to theft by failing to remit a $4,284.00 payment back to Township coffers from an area travel agency that had arranged two vacation cruises for Senior Center members, Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw, Jr. announced. Arlene Golub, 70, of Freehold Township, entered her plea before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, P.Cr., who is scheduled to sentence Golub on June 22, 2012.

In a joint investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Freehold Township Police Department, detectives discovered that Golub, as part of her job duties as the director of the Senior Center, organized two cruise ship excursions – one departing on March 14, 2009 and the other on May 27, 2010. Both trips were arranged through the same Marlboro-based travel agency. Though each participating senior made their own travel arrangements through the agency, the agency had agreed to remit money back to Freehold Township because all senior center travelers utilized the same travel agency.

Pursuant to their agreement, the travel agency tendered a total of four checks back to the Township. Golub instructed the travel agency to make checks payable to her. Thereafter, Golub endorsed one of the checks for $1,528 for deposit into the authorized Freehold Township account. However, the remaining three checks, totaling $6,584, were deposited by Golub into her own personal bank account. From these proceeds, Golub paid $2,300 to a bus company that transported senior travelers from Freehold to the two different locations from where the ships departed. Golub, however, improperly retained and used the remaining $4,284. Golub later had a meeting with Township officials to gain support for hosting another senior cruise. One official complained that the Township had not made any money from the last two cruises. This prompted Golub to finally return $4,084 to Freehold Township on August 25, 2011 ($200 less than the full amount as a result of a miscalculation by Golub)

Golub pleaded guilty to Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property, a third-degree crime, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the Office will recommend that Golub receive a $5,000.00 fine, pay restitution of $200.00 to the Township of Freehold, perform 100 hours of community service and, by order of the Court, forever forfeit the right to hold public office in the State of New Jersey.

This case was assigned to Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Bureau. The defendant is represented by Darren Gelber, Esq. of Woodbridge.

Former Freehold Senior Center Director Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Money Owed to Town

FREEHOLD, NJ – The former director of the Freehold Township Senior Center pleaded guilty today to theft by failing to remit a $4,284.00 payment back to Township coffers from an area travel agency that had arranged two vacation cruises for Senior Center members, Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw, Jr. announced. Arlene Golub, 70, of Freehold Township, entered her plea before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, P.Cr., who is scheduled to sentence Golub on June 22, 2012.

In a joint investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Freehold Township Police Department, detectives discovered that Golub, as part of her job duties as the director of the Senior Center, organized two cruise ship excursions – one departing on March 14, 2009 and the other on May 27, 2010. Both trips were arranged through the same Marlboro-based travel agency. Though each participating senior made their own travel arrangements through the agency, the agency had agreed to remit money back to Freehold Township because all senior center travelers utilized the same travel agency.

Pursuant to their agreement, the travel agency tendered a total of four checks back to the Township. Golub instructed the travel agency to make checks payable to her. Thereafter, Golub endorsed one of the checks for $1,528 for deposit into the authorized Freehold Township account. However, the remaining three checks, totaling $6,584, were deposited by Golub into her own personal bank account. From these proceeds, Golub paid $2,300 to a bus company that transported senior travelers from Freehold to the two different locations from where the ships departed. Golub, however, improperly retained and used the remaining $4,284. Golub later had a meeting with Township officials to gain support for hosting another senior cruise. One official complained that the Township had not made any money from the last two cruises. This prompted Golub to finally return $4,084 to Freehold Township on August 25, 2011 ($200 less than the full amount as a result of a miscalculation by Golub)

Golub pleaded guilty to Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property, a third-degree crime, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the Office will recommend that Golub receive a $5,000.00 fine, pay restitution of $200.00 to the Township of Freehold, perform 100 hours of community service and, by order of the Court, forever forfeit the right to hold public office in the State of New Jersey.

This case was assigned to Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Bureau. The defendant is represented by Darren Gelber, Esq. of Woodbridge.

Atlantic Highlands P.B.A. Ball is May 25th

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The 25th Annual Atlantic Highlands P.B.A. Ball will be held Friday, May 25, 2012 at the Shore Casino in the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor.  

ah_pba_ball

The Atlantic Highlands Police Benevolence Association Local 242 hosts the gala event, which is an annual rite of Spring for many residents of Atlantic Highlands.  Fine dining, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar combined with a charity auction with dozens of spectacular prizes attract large numbers of residents, many in gowns and tuxedos.  Over the years,  P.B.A Local #242 has contributed proceeds from the event to local organzations, including: The AH Historical Society, Henry Hudson Regional School, Atlantic Highlands Elementary School, and many, many others.

Dance to the music of The Infernos ,a premier live performance group. 

You can make a party of it.  Tables of 10 and 12 available.  Invite your neighbors and friends.  Tickets are $75.00 per person and can be purchased from any local officer or at Police Headquarters, 100 First Avenue, or by calling 732-291-1214.  No tickets will be sold at the door, so order them now.

Atlantic Highlands P.B.A. Ball is May 25th

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The 25th Annual Atlantic Highlands P.B.A. Ball will be held Friday, May 25, 2012 at the Shore Casino in the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor.  

ah_pba_ball

The Atlantic Highlands Police Benevolence Association Local 242 hosts the gala event, which is an annual rite of Spring for many residents of Atlantic Highlands.  Fine dining, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar combined with a charity auction with dozens of spectacular prizes attract large numbers of residents, many in gowns and tuxedos.  Over the years,  P.B.A Local #242 has contributed proceeds from the event to local organzations, including: The AH Historical Society, Henry Hudson Regional School, Atlantic Highlands Elementary School, and many, many others.

Dance to the music of The Infernos ,a premier live performance group. 

You can make a party of it.  Tables of 10 and 12 available.  Invite your neighbors and friends.  Tickets are $75.00 per person and can be purchased from any local officer or at Police Headquarters, 100 First Avenue, or by calling 732-291-1214.  No tickets will be sold at the door, so order them now.

The Plight of the Pale Shorebird with Orange Legs

joe_reynoldsBe careful where you walk now on the beach. There is something moving quickly back and forth that is the color of sand. It roams along the edge of a number of ocean-side beaches near Lower New York Bay. It is a little pale shorebird with orange legs, but also a yellowish bill with a black tip, and a single black neck band, and a narrow black band across its forehead.

I am talking about Piping Plovers. They are a small plover weighing just a few ounces and only about five and half inches in length. It’s a small, sandy-colored bird that can easily be overlooked as it blends in so well with the pale surroundings of the open, sandy habitat on outer beaches where it feeds and nests.

There are certainly many people who are unfamiliar with this characteristic shorebird. Out of sight is truly out of mind.

Yet, we need to learn to share the beach with nesting Piping Plovers, and we need to do it soon. The bird is listed as endangered in both  New York State and New Jersey, and is listed as threatened by US Fish and Wildlife. 

Piping Plovers were once a common shorebird along the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes during much of the 19th century, but nearly disappeared due to excessive hunting for the millinery trade. Following passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918, numbers recovered to a 20th Century peak which occurred during the 1940s. Soon after population began to decline again due to recreational use of beaches and the increase in residential and commercial development.

piping_plover_3

Now the little Piping Plover is having a hard time trying to raise a family along the beach. Commercial, residential, and recreational development have decreased the amount of coastal habitat available for piping plovers to nest and feed. Pets, especially dogs, may harass the birds. Developments near beaches provide food that attracts increased numbers of predators such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Domestic and feral cats are also very efficient predators of plover eggs and chicks. Increased sea level rise also contributes to the decline of Piping Plovers from higher than normal storm tides that may inundate or flood nests, or drown chicks.

piping_plover_2

At Sandy Hook last year, as reported by the Monmouth County Audubon Society, there were 49 nesting pairs of Piping Plovers. This was four more pairs than in 2010. The pairs laid a total of 225 eggs, an increase from the 175 eggs laid in 2010. All sounds good, right? Yet, in spite of this early achievement, only 152 eggs hatched and only 50 percent of the hatchlings actually fledged for a total of 77 fledglings. By the end of the breeding season in August, this number represented a lower figure than in 2010, which had 79 birds fledged.

piping_plover_1

Recent surveys have estimated the Atlantic Coast population of Piping Plovers at approximately 800 breeding pairs, about 200 of which nest in New York State. For a small bird, its problems are many.

What can you do to help protect the Piping Plover. According to the National Park Service:

– Respect all areas fenced or posted for protection of wildlife.

– Do not approach or linger near Piping Plovers or their nests.

– If pets are permitted on beaches used by plovers, keep your pets leashed. Keep cats indoors.

– Don’t leave or bury trash or food scraps on beaches. Garbage attracts predators which may prey upon piping plover eggs or chicks.

Everyone can help by at least being alert while walking on the beach this spring and summer, and respecting the plover’s nesting area. In the end, sharing the beach with little birds doesn’t seem too much to ask to ensure that an endangered species continues to exist near Lower New York Bay.

For more information, pictures and year-round sightings of wildlife in or near Sandy Hook Bay, please check out my blog entitled, Nature on the Edge of New York City at http://natureontheedgenyc.blogspot.com/

The Plight of the Pale Shorebird with Orange Legs

joe_reynoldsBe careful where you walk now on the beach. There is something moving quickly back and forth that is the color of sand. It roams along the edge of a number of ocean-side beaches near Lower New York Bay. It is a little pale shorebird with orange legs, but also a yellowish bill with a black tip, and a single black neck band, and a narrow black band across its forehead.

I am talking about Piping Plovers. They are a small plover weighing just a few ounces and only about five and half inches in length. It’s a small, sandy-colored bird that can easily be overlooked as it blends in so well with the pale surroundings of the open, sandy habitat on outer beaches where it feeds and nests.

There are certainly many people who are unfamiliar with this characteristic shorebird. Out of sight is truly out of mind.

Yet, we need to learn to share the beach with nesting Piping Plovers, and we need to do it soon. The bird is listed as endangered in both  New York State and New Jersey, and is listed as threatened by US Fish and Wildlife. 

Piping Plovers were once a common shorebird along the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes during much of the 19th century, but nearly disappeared due to excessive hunting for the millinery trade. Following passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918, numbers recovered to a 20th Century peak which occurred during the 1940s. Soon after population began to decline again due to recreational use of beaches and the increase in residential and commercial development.

piping_plover_3

Now the little Piping Plover is having a hard time trying to raise a family along the beach. Commercial, residential, and recreational development have decreased the amount of coastal habitat available for piping plovers to nest and feed. Pets, especially dogs, may harass the birds. Developments near beaches provide food that attracts increased numbers of predators such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Domestic and feral cats are also very efficient predators of plover eggs and chicks. Increased sea level rise also contributes to the decline of Piping Plovers from higher than normal storm tides that may inundate or flood nests, or drown chicks.

piping_plover_2

At Sandy Hook last year, as reported by the Monmouth County Audubon Society, there were 49 nesting pairs of Piping Plovers. This was four more pairs than in 2010. The pairs laid a total of 225 eggs, an increase from the 175 eggs laid in 2010. All sounds good, right? Yet, in spite of this early achievement, only 152 eggs hatched and only 50 percent of the hatchlings actually fledged for a total of 77 fledglings. By the end of the breeding season in August, this number represented a lower figure than in 2010, which had 79 birds fledged.

piping_plover_1

Recent surveys have estimated the Atlantic Coast population of Piping Plovers at approximately 800 breeding pairs, about 200 of which nest in New York State. For a small bird, its problems are many.

What can you do to help protect the Piping Plover. According to the National Park Service:

– Respect all areas fenced or posted for protection of wildlife.

– Do not approach or linger near Piping Plovers or their nests.

– If pets are permitted on beaches used by plovers, keep your pets leashed. Keep cats indoors.

– Don’t leave or bury trash or food scraps on beaches. Garbage attracts predators which may prey upon piping plover eggs or chicks.

Everyone can help by at least being alert while walking on the beach this spring and summer, and respecting the plover’s nesting area. In the end, sharing the beach with little birds doesn’t seem too much to ask to ensure that an endangered species continues to exist near Lower New York Bay.

For more information, pictures and year-round sightings of wildlife in or near Sandy Hook Bay, please check out my blog entitled, Nature on the Edge of New York City at http://natureontheedgenyc.blogspot.com/