MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At 6:03 PM on Wednesday December 28, 2016 the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to a “structure fire” at 451 Port Monmouth Road in the North Middletown section of the Township. The resident returning home from being out found smoke issuing from the structure in the area of the kitchen and attempted to extinguish the fire, when this attempt failed the resident went to a neighbors to get another fire extinguisher. At this point the fire had progressed past the use of a household extinguisher and 911 was notified. Upon arrival units reported heavy fire issuing from the left side and attic of the structure. The initial attack was performed with two 1¾” interior attack lines to suppress the fire. Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC) were employed to check for extension of the fire. The aggressive attack contained the fire to primarily the kitchen, living room and attic with heat and smoke damage to the bedroom areas. Continue reading Structure Fire in the North Middletown Section of Middletown
ASBURY PARK, NJ – In January, 2017 the Hotel Tides will host a gift card exchange on behalf of Garden State Equality (GSE). Throughout the month, the Tides will be accepting gift cards as gift certificates. These cards will be donated to GSE so that they can purchase needed supplies, equipment and other pertinent materials to help their organization continue to operate. The GSE recently made Asbury Park its home with a location on Main Street.
Founded in 2004, Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s leading civil rights organization ensuring quality of life for the LGBT community through education, advocacy, service and support.
Throughout January, 2017 patrons who bring in a gift card valued between $15 and $50 will receive $15 off their entire check. Anything higher than $50 value will get $25 off their check. This will only be applicable at the bar and may not be combined with any other offers and/or discounts.
“Garden State Equality works every day to ensure our kids are safe from bullying in schools, that LGBT seniors can live their fullest lives, and that everyone receives health care coverage. These are just a few ways New Jersey’s largest LGBT organization makes New Jersey a more equal place for all.”
– Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality
The Hotel Tides is open Wednesday-Sunday from 5pm-11pm, and is located at 408 7th Ave. in Asbury Park.
Please contact Ryan Jimenez at 732-897-7744 or via email at [email protected] if you would like more information regarding this event.
TRENTON, NJ – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced a new program designed to ensure that New Jersey residents who suspect their loved ones are being abused by unscrupulous home health care providers have access to the latest technology in micro-surveillance cameras that can easily be hidden to detect abuse and protect patients.
The “Safe Care Cam” program makes micro-surveillance cameras available for free 30-day loans to anyone who suspects their loved one is being abused or neglected by home health aides or other in-home caregivers who spend long hours alone with a disabled or elderly person. The footage captured by the hidden device will either quell people’s fears or provide them with proof that immediate protective intervention is necessary.
“Anyone who suspects a loved one is being abused by an in-home caregiver should not be left to feel helpless or without recourse,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Cameras don’t lie, and the abuses they’ve revealed are shocking. But a quality micro-surveillance camera is expensive and many people simply can’t afford them. So we’re offering the use of these cameras free of charge to those who wish to confirm that their loved ones are safe and well cared for in their absence. We hope that the Safe Care Cam program will provide peace of mind for family members, while at the same time serving as a strong deterrent and reminder to unscrupulous care providers that we will prosecute their cases aggressively.”
“Our Safe Care Cam program will empower consumers to become their loved-ones’ front-line protectors against abuse and neglect,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “At the first sign of trouble, they can immediately remove their loved one from harm and report the caregiver to the proper authorities.”
Attorney General Porrino unveiled the Safe Care Cam program today at a press conference that included hidden-camera footage of three in-home healthcare providers abusing patients; a 26-year-old bed-bound man on a ventilator who was handled roughly and slapped, a 91-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease who was roughed up while being fed by her caregiver, and an elderly woman who fell to the floor and was ignored by the caregiver sitting beside her.
The shocking footage underscores the mission behind Safe Care Cam – to address the public’s growing concern about caregiver abuse as more and more consumers choose in-home care as a more-affordable alternative to the escalating cost of placing elderly, disabled, or infirm family members in long-term facilities or nursing homes.
For most people, choosing an in-home caregiver is an important decision fraught with concern that the person they’ve hired, no matter how qualified, will mistreat their loved one. And with secretly recorded video of abuse gaining circulation in news accounts and on social media, more and more people are taking a close look at whom they have hired.
In New Jersey, the growing demand for in-home care has been answered primarily by the state’s Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides (CHHAs), who work under the direction of registered professional nurses to provide health-related or personal care services in the homes of clients who are elderly, sick, or disabled. In the last decade the number of CHHAs certified to work in the state has increased from 26,618 to 43,506. As the number of CHHAs grows, and more homes open their doors to them, the potential for abuse and other patient-related crimes increases.
While the vast majority of CHHAs provide compassionate, appropriate care, data indicates that incidents of disciplinary actions against them have been rising. Since January, the State Board of Nursing, which oversees CHHAs, has revoked, suspended, or otherwise disciplined nearly 300 CHHAs for alleged criminal activities on or off the job. Those alleged crimes include criminal sexual contact, assault, theft, and stolen identity. Those statistics represent a significant increase from 2015, when close to 200 CHHAs were disciplined, and from 2014, when nearly 140 were disciplined. While not all of the alleged crimes were committed against patients, they indicate a rise in dangerous behaviors that could put patients at risk.
More and more, individuals who lodge complaints against homecare providers are buttressing their allegations with hidden camera footage, evidence that greatly increases the chance of substantiating allegations of wrongdoing.
Recognizing that quality cameras can run as high as $300, Attorney General Porrino and the Division initiated the Safe Care Cam program to make cameras and memory cards, purchased by the Division, available on loan to consumers free of charge.
Individuals seeking to participate in the Safe Care Cam program must provide contact and residence information, a copy of their driver’s license or other identification, and personally pick up the camera after undergoing a brief training by Division investigators. Cameras will be available for pickup at Division offices in either Newark or Cherry Hill, and will be loaned for up to 30 days, unless a reasonable request for additional time is made to the Division.
Once the cameras are in place, it will be up to participants to review the recorded footage, which can be played on a television or computer with adapters provided by the Division. It is up to the participant to decide to report any issues of concern to the Division or other appropriate authorities.
Individuals who wish to participate in the Safe Care Cam program can call 973-504-6375 and leave a message in a voice mailbox that will be regularly monitored by Division staff responsible for the day-to-day operation of the program. Or they can call the Division on its toll-free line below and follow the voice prompts to leave a message.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
At Middletown Township Public Library
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township Public Library located at 55 New Monmouth Road presents Mary Kubica, author of The Good Girl via Skype on Saturday, Feb. 4th at 2:00.
Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY. Free registration at mtpl.org.
The “reasonable” Obama – that exemplary outgoing POTUS who promised a “smooth” transfer of power to President-elect Donald Trump – is giving the country, not to mention his political opponents, a lesson in his concept of an “orderly” retreat from power. Timid Republicans, who naively believed that the gracious, “post-partisan” president would actually go quietly, are watching open-mouthed as Mr. Obama joyously torches everything he can on his way out the door. It is a wonder to behold – an absolute primer on a “scorched earth retreat,” Russian-style. To illustrate my claim, I cite the following examples (not necessarily a comprehensive list):
Cancellation of off-shore oil-drilling leases. Last week Mr. Obama issued an order prohibiting future offshore oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea and in all but 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea. He also designated 31 major underwater canyons off-limits for drilling, from Heezen Canyon, off New England, to the Norfolk Canyon near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. As authority for his order, Mr. Obama cited section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, which a president can use to designate national monuments to permanently protect parcels of land from development. Allegedly, the act contains no provision for a later president to undo those protections. Thus, Mr. Obama claims that his order cannot be reversed by subsequent executive order. A new act of Congress would be required to accomplish that. Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America deplored Mr. Obama’s leftward shift on energy: “With one month left in office, President Obama has succumbed to environmental extremists’ demands to keep our nation’s affordable and abundant energy supplies away from those who need them most by keeping them in the ground.” (Mr. Obama’s claim of “permanence” for his ruling will undoubtedly be tested in the courts.)
Prisoner-releases and sentence-commutations. Recent commutation of the sentences of 72 federal prisoners has brought Mr. Obama’s total of such actions to nearly 1,000 – the most of any president in history. This is part of Mr. Obama’s campaign against sentencing laws which have produced overcrowded US prisons full of minority prisoners who received long sentences due to controversial mandatory minimum sentencing rules. Past presidents have granted pardons and commutations on compassionate grounds, or because they believed an injustice had been done. But Mr. Obama has done it because of his political disagreement with federal law.
Emptying Guantanamo prison. Mr. Obama is attempting to make good on a key campaign promise: to empty out and close Gitmo. In his 2008 campaign he had vowed to close the prison, claiming that its very existence was a “recruiting tool” for terrorists. Last week, Mr. Obama announced plans to send another 17 or 18 of the 59 remaining inmates to Italy, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Most military experts agree that the 59 who remain are the “worst of the worst,” with at least 27 designated as “too dangerous to release.” During his terms Mr. Obama has released and/or repatriated scores of prisoners, many of which have found their way back into terrorism operations.
Russian “hacking.” The story that Russian penetration of our voting computers and hacks of Democrats’ e-mails aided Mr. Trump and damaged Hillary Clinton has been a convenient explanation for Mrs. Clinton’s fumble of a sure win. Although penetration of election computers isn’t possible, since they are not connected to the internet, Mr. Obama has done nothing to assure the public that this could not have occurred. He has simply remained aloof and allowed the tale to take on a life of its own. When voters finally saw that it couldn’t have happened, Dems accused the Russians of turning voters against Mrs. Clinton by hacking her e-mails and the e-mails of Democrat officials. Mr. Obama has encouraged this tale by letting the CIA state publicly that the Russians definitely did this. There is, however, no agreement among other national security arms that this scenario actually occurred – and even less agreement that it influenced voters. But the whole thing has smeared Mr. Trump’s win – another ember in the scorched earth.
UN Security Council’s resolution on Israel. Last week, a resolution condemning Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was put to a vote in the United Nations Security Council. The original UN charter specified five permanent members of the Council (The USA, Russia, the United Kingdom, China and France) who could exercise veto power over any SC-resolution. In the past, the USA has always vetoed any anti-Israel resolution. But on this latest occasion, our ambassador was directed by the White House to abstain – thereby allowing the resolution’s adoption. (The UK and France voted against, but did not veto it.) Mr. Obama’s non-action was seen as a parting slap at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose relationship with Mr. Obama has been strained during most of Mr. Obama’s tenure. But the resolution is more than symbolic. It automatically becomes a tenet of International Law, branding Israel as a violator. The repercussions of this might adversely affect peace in the Middle East, as well as the entire world. As with other of Mr. Obama’s closeout actions, this one also cannot easily be remedied by a new president’s direct action. A new Security Council resolution introduced to reverse this one would almost certainly be vetoed by China or Russia. Only some hardball politicking by our new UN ambassador can get the resolution repealed.
The Iran Deal. Mr. Obama’s “legacy” foreign policy achievement was to be the landmark deal that supposedly keeps Iran from getting the atomic bomb – at least while Mr. Obama and his presumptive successor, Hillary Clinton, were still in office. After that, welllll… we would hope for the best. Meanwhile, the deal would produce a “kinder, gentler” Iran, whose leaders would be more inclined to sit down at the Table of Brotherhood to sing Kum-Ba-Yah with us, Israel, Syria, Russia, the reformed Iraq, and the murderous ISIS swine who plan to establish a worldwide “caliphate,” starting in the Middle East. This would be Mr. Obama’s parting gift to us and the world. But instead of a new, peaceable Iran, we now have a more aggressive, warlike Iran whose leaders are confident that their most outrageous actions will elicit no pushback from a US president who desperately wants to keep his legacy-deal intact until he can get out the door in January. President Trump will be left to untangle (or cut through) this Gordian Knot which (many experts agree) will surely give Iran the Bomb – after which the Islamist terrorists are dead certain to get it, too. (I emphasize the word “dead.”) My “scorched earth” list is ordered in a rough reverse-chronology, with the newest instances first. But ordered by seriousness, the Iran deal would be at the top of the list. A nuclear-armed Iran and ISIS should be (as Thomas Jefferson once said of slavery) a “fire-bell in the night that awakens us and fills us with terror.”
Obamacare. The calumny of Obamacare is too detailed to be summarized in this brief analysis. Suffice it to say that Mr. Obama has repeatedly issued executive orders that fatally weakened the system’s financial foundation. As Josh Blackman has written: “Out of desperation to get as many people as possible signed up for health insurance, the Obama administration has arbitrarily suspended onerous mandates, modified coverage requirements and extended enrollment periods.” Most of these “administrative fixes” were issued to delay the most painful mandates until after the elections of 2010, ’12, ’14 and ’16, to limit the political damage. The public’s growing awareness of these artifices finally produced a Republican Senate, in 2014, and now a Republican president who has declared his intention to cancel the unpopular legislation. He can’t act too soon, for all those “onerous mandates” delayed by Mr. Obama’s “fixes” are about to hit the fan. It will be the mother of all scorched earth retreats, under a putrid rain of political doo-doo.
Shadow government. Undoing 225 years of presidential tradition, Mr. Obama has declared his intention to live in Washington, DC, after he leaves office. He claims that it is so his daughters can finish their secondary educations, but it’s not hard to see that his purpose goes deeper. Mr. Obama obviously intends to keep a close watch on how Mr. Trump governs. In particular, he will try to stop any attempts to undo his “legacy” achievements. He will be a highly visible rallying point for disappointed Democrats who can’t understand what has become of their nice, orderly gravy-train world. In effect, Mr. Obama will be running a “shadow government” from his new DC-digs. He has no plans to fade away gracefully. There’s no law against this, but it won’t smell good to voters who want to feel (and smell) a new, fresh breeze from the nation’s capital.
Weakened military. This problem has less visibility, but it’s very, very serious. With little understanding of how serious fighting men are produced, Mr. Obama has systematically stripped our service arms of strong leaders, and has conducted a ruinous campaign to use the services as social laboratories. This has undoubtedly weakened unit-cohesion, morale, and fighting strength. What some have called the “feminizing” of the armed services has even invaded our last bastion of pure warrior-culture, the US Marine Corps. Through Mr. Obama’s two terms, the Corps has fought a valiant, rearguard action against female, gay and transgender incursions, but it has been unquestionably weakened by resultant lowered standards. Reviving the Corps and shaking off the effects of Mr. Obama’s social “improvements” will be one of Mr. Trump’s most urgent tasks.
Opioid Epidemic. The abuse of both prescription opium-derivative drugs and illegal heroin has reached alarming levels in recent years, with overdose-deaths up dramatically. Although this is cited as a national “health” problem – and it certainly is that – the great unmentioned issue is porous borders that allow dangerous drugs to pour into the USA from Mexico, South America and China. Mr. Obama may not have intended this as part of his “scorched earth,” but it’s just as serious as if deliberately designed. On the other hand, there is no doubt that an important part of the liberal playbook is using crises as reasons to demand more government programs, funding and control. If some misguided policy, like open borders, can produce a crisis, so much the better.
Organized resistance to the Trump Inauguration. Plans to protest and disrupt the Trump inauguration are proceeding, with Al Sharpton in a key leadership role. The internet is awash with reports. The media see no problem with this. Nor do most Democrats – evidently including Mr. Obama. He should see a problem, however. If it happens, it will be a disgraceful spectacle for the rest of the world to see, and a dismal end to his presidency. We’ll look like a Banana Republic – or a Third World satrapy. A word from Mr. Obama could scotch the whole thing. I sincerely hope he speaks it.
Obama’s advice on executive orders. The richest part of Mr. Obama’s scorched earth strategy – the capstone, one might call it – has been his sage “advice” to the president-elect on executive orders. “Do as I say, not as I do…” was the gist of it. In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Mr. Obama said it’s preferable to work with Congress. “My strong preference has always been to legislate when I can get legislation done,” he said. (Who knew?) But he might have added that he did what he had to do to accomplish what he knew the country needed. You just can’t fool around with a recalcitrant Congress when there’s so much vital work to be done… What a guy! If nothing else, he gives new meaning to the term “chutzpah.”
So there you have it – the gracious Obama, the man of the people, the humble public servant just trying to leave the country better than he found it. As the old Irishman said, “It brings a lump to your eye and a tear to your throat…”
What a country!
Essay Contest Open to YMCA Participants
Photo: Richard T. Smith
Shrewsbury, NJ – Richard T. Smith, President of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP, will be the keynote speaker at the 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast hosted by The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County.
The annual YMCA event honoring the life and legacy of the civil rights leader and featuring winners of a high school essay contest, will take place Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, 8 to 10 a.m., at Branches Catering, 123 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch.
Rhonda Anderson, President and CEO of The Community YMCA, said the YMCAs of Monmouth County are proud to host the annual memorial breakfast to help keep Dr. King’s spirit and teachings alive. “It is important for everyone to understand Dr. King’s legacy as a peacemaker and humanitarian. Now more than ever, his message needs to be carried on to the next generation,” Anderson said.
The memorial event will include presentations by the two winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest, sponsored by Investors Bank and Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association.
High school students currently participating in programs at The Community YMCA or the Western Monmouth County YMCA are invited to enter the essay contest. Applications are available at www.cymca.org/MLK. The two winning essayists will each receive a $500 scholarship. The deadline for applications for the essay contest is Monday, Jan. 5, 2017. Submissions and questions may be sent via e-mail to [email protected]
Keynote Speaker Smith was elected to serve as the President of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP in 2013 and was overwhelmingly re-elected at the state convention in 2015 for another two-year term. A silver-life member of the NAACP, Smith has served as the 1st Vice President and the 3rd Vice President of the New Jersey state conference and as the Southern Region Coordinator. He also served as the Chairman of the NAACP Convention Planning Committee and seven terms as President of the NAACP Greater Vineland Branch, No. 2115.
He currently serves as one of seven commissioners on the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and in 2013 was unanimously elected by his fellow commissioners as Commissions chairman. Smith also served on the Vineland Board of Education.
A native of Trenton, Smith attended Trenton State College, now the College of New Jersey, where he majored in Speech Communications and Theatre. He also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and Atlantic County College. He retired in 2015 from a 25-year career with the New Jersey Department of Corrections and returned to work in January 2016 to accept a position as Confidential Assistant to the Warden of the Cumberland County Department of Corrections.
He is member of St. Matthews Baptist Church in Williamstown, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., PBA Local 105, Coalition of Black Trade Unionist, Off Broad Street Players and Downtown Company of Performing Artists. He is married to Lucesita Smith and is the proud father of four children.
Anderson noted that the service project for the breakfast will support Project Homeless Connect of Monmouth County, a charity that works to provide various health and human services for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. Donations of new gloves, mittens, scarves and socks will be collected at the breakfast.
Seating for the breakfast is limited. Tickets are $30 per adult, $10 per youth (12 & under) or $250 per table of 10 and are available online at www.cymca.org/MLK.
For more information, call Phyllis Sofo, 732.671.5505, ext. 110 or e-mail [email protected]
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — Area residents are invited to join the members and friends of the First Presbyterian Church for the church’s New Year Day hymn-sing at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1.
The informal service, which honors St. Stephen, the First Martyr, will feature Scripture readings from Isaiah 63:7-9 and Matthew 2:13-23.”
Elder Ray Carroll will conduct the service while Elder Barbara Stone will serve as the liturgist.
The David Nunez-directed adult choir will perform during the service.
Hymns scheduled for the Jan. 1 service are “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “The First Noel,” ‘What Star Is This, With Beams So Bright,” “He Came Down,” “Let the Whole Creation Cry,” “Mary and Joseph Came to the Temple” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
At 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3, the church will resume its weekly “Bible by the Bay” Bible Study program, conducted by Pastor Paul F. Rack, at Sissy’s Restaurant in the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Yacht Harbor, to which all area residents at invited.
Rack, will return to the pulpit for the 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 8 service at the 126-year-old church at Third and East Highland Avenues. At 12:30 p.m., all area residents are invited to join the church as it marks “The Great Blessing of the Waters” on the beach to the west of the Municipal Marina.
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The following children’s programs are scheduled in January 2017 at Middletown Township Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown.
All programs require registration unless noted otherwise. Register for events at http://www.mtpl.org/ or by phone at 732-671-3700 ext. 340.
If you’re brand new here, you probably have been wondering what’s going on. Instead of disability-related issues, ax-grinding, or political agenda-driving, this newspaper column just features real people with disabilities and their lives.
I say “real” because the mainstream media, in general, have a tendency to portray most everyone with a disability they feature as victims, objects of pity or superheroes, as if having a disability was the worst thing anyone could have and therefore needed an emotional or Rocky Balboa-like story line.
The media portray people with disabilities as victims or objects of pity when they repeatedly say a person “suffers” from a disability or that another is “confined” to a wheelchair, for instance. “Suffer” and “confined” are almost always the reporter’s words and not those of the person featured. As for the former, yes, some people do physically suffer, but many people with disabilities don’t and many view their disability as an asset.
In 2008, I featured Olympian Bruce Jenner (he was Bruce back then), who said about his learning disability, “If I had been an average student or reader, I wouldn’t have needed sports. As time went on, there was always this little dyslexic kid in the back of my head who would try to outwork the next guy. It was part of the process of the makeup of me. I believe I wouldn’t have won gold in the Olympics if not for being dyslexic.”
Also, do wheelchair users really feel “confined” to wheelchairs? Most don’t. Their wheelchair offers mobility and freedom. In truth, most people using a wheelchair feel “confined” when their wheelchair isn’t around.
In terms of superheroes, you often see reporters use words like “inspirational” or “courageous” to describe a person with a disability, yet many I know prefer being viewed as “regular” people and don’t much like those adjectives.
I want my readers to acquire a realistic feel for different people with disabilities and ultimately that must involve breaking stereotypes. People with disabilities aren’t a homogeneous group. The disability “community” has never been unified, but is politically conservative and liberal, rich and poor, old and young, married and not, Dallas Cowboys fans and not. People with disabilities aren’t all alike.
It’s these media-generated stereotypes that often build relational walls between people with disabilities and everyone else, which adds yet another needless layer of inaccessibility for a person with a disability to navigate. That’s something we all don’t need.
Facebook: Disabilities by Daniel J. Vance. [Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.]
FREEHOLD, NJ – An Old Bridge man was arrested Saturday, December 24, 2016, by Aberdeen Township Police and was charged with the Thursday night shooting of a 32 year-old Somerset man, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Tennyson D. Fairclough, 37, is charged with two counts of first degree Attempted Murder, second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and second degree Certain Persons Not to Possess a Weapon.
Fairclough is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, on $1.5 million bail with no option to post 10 percent, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman, P.J. Cr., who also ordered Fairclough have no contact with his victims and not to return to the scene of the crime.