Sunday, November 4, 2012
Be sure to cast your vote as an unprecedented NJ election unfolds following historic storm.
There is an election on Tuesday. Who cares? Everyone should care. It's the big presidential balloting, comes around only once every four years. There's one U.S. Senate and all House seats up. Two statewide ballot questions. Three state Assembly seats, including one in District 26 that covers Parsippany and other parts of Morris County. County freeholders. mayors and council members. And, for the first time in a November, school board members—the majority of districts throughout the state pushed their school elections to November to eliminate the public vote on the budget. All of this is central to our democracy. And everyone should get out and vote. But it's the last thing on the minds of many people, and who can blame them. They're still …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
It's not even Halloween yet and some stores are already putting up Christmas decorations. Is it too soon to deck the halls or are you ready for the 2012 Holiday Season to begin?
It's an annual question for merchants and shoppers: How soon is too soon to deck the malls and shopping centers for the Christmas holiday season? Some stores have already begun the process. Christmas music, decorations and layaway ads can already been seen in the shopping aisle at local stores. Halloween decorations still dominate, but signs of Christmas are already creeping in. So what do you think? When is too early for the Christmas shopping season to begin? Do the decorations and Christmas ads entice you to buy early or make you grit your teeth and wish for more time before the holiday rush begins?
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Complaints skyrocket and agency charged with enforcing the law looks to public for a solution.
There are just two weeks until Election Day. Recent polls would indicate New Jersey has no real contests, which could save residents from those oh-so-annoying robocalls hawking this candidate or that one. But don't count on it. It seems like the political robocalls come no matter what. Just like the telemarketers. The difference is that political calls are permitted—of course, politicians passed the law—but traditional telemarketing isn't, at least not from companies with which a person has no business relationship. And commercial robocalls are altogether illegal unless a person has given permission to receive them. The most recent data from the Federal Trade Commission, charged with enforcing the law, show complaints ballooning—there …
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Data on bullying and breakfasts show schools still have a lot to do to help students.
Two separate groups released last week seemingly unrelated reports, both with wide-ranging implications for education and students. One, put out by the Advocates for Children of New Jersey, examined participation rates in school breakfast programs in New Jersey. The other, from the Department of Education, provided the first district counts of incidents of harassment and intimidation since the state's anti-bullying law took effect. The 2011-12 bullying statistics were included as part of the state's annual violence and vandalism report, and boosted the total number of reported incidents (weapons and drug and alcohol incidents are included as well) by more than 50 percent over 2010-11. Some of the results were surprising, and disturbing. …
Monday, October 1, 2012
Whippany resident responds to recent 'Letter to the Editor' criticizing congressman.
Monday, October 1, 2012
To the Editor: In response to "Veteran Questions Frelinghuysen's Voting Record" dated Sept. 28, 2012 This issue again? I am always amused that partisan opponents of our Congressman, Rodney Frelinghuysen, think they can curry favor with the voters by attacking a fellow veteran with a distinguished record of service. Sure, anyone can take a few votes out of context in a career filled with thousands of votes. But the truth of the matter is that I know of no other veteran who thinks Mr. Frelinghuysen doesn’t care about veterans or does them any ill. In fact, talk to any of the veterans leaders in this area and they will tell you they are proud to stand alongside Frelinghuysen. Actually, Mr. Foley’s attacks are not amusing. They are a sad …
Friday, September 28, 2012
John Paul Foley attended a town hall meeting in Roseland in June, where U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen was in attendance.
Friday, September 28, 2012
To the Editor: I attended a town hall meeting on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the Roseland Municipal Building that was conducted by Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Congressman representing NJ’s 11th district. As a veteran who served this country, I have a special interest in understanding how and why our representatives vote on issues of war, the military, and veterans’ affairs. I asked Congressman Frelinghuysen three questions about his voting record: Congressman Frelinghuysen never answered the first question. With respect to the second two, he replied as follows: “Veterans should never be second class citizens. I’ve always voted to support health care and job training for veterans.” When asked the third question, the Congressman actually …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Recently-released state Board of Public Utilities report charges FirstEnergy affiliate with being more concerned with image during Irene.
JCP&L, since Hurricane Irene in August 2011, has said it has committed a lot of money and resources toward improving not only how the utility communicates with its customers, but also how it runs its business. The state Board of Public Utilities, however, handed down a verdict in a recent report that states the FirstEnergy affiliate first spent more energy trying to save face, according to a NJBIZ.com article. The article notes the BPU report cites JCP&L's initial two Irene press releases from Aug. 28 and Aug. 25, 2011, the latter three days before the storm actually hit New Jersey. JCP&L "gave no indication that restoration could take several days or longer. Advice to customers appeared to have secondary importance," according to the BPU …
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The latest data includes four years of income, insurance and job losses.
There was new evidence last week of the damage done by the recent recession. The U.S. Census Bureau released numerous new social, housing and economic estimates for larger geographic areas, including New Jersey's counties. And the results confirm the pain many are feeling. Median household income dropped again last year in Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Sussex counties. And it's been a steady decline in three of the four from 2008 to 2011. In Morris County, the typical household had $91,332 in income, down about $3,000 from 2010 and nearly 11 percent lower than the $102,147 median in 2008. Those changes are in real, inflation-adjusted dollars, so the impact is clear: Morris County households lost about $11,000 to save, invest and spend in …
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Instead of starting work on $790 million project before getting final approval, how about clearing trees along power lines?
Construction has begun on Public Service Electric and Gas Co.'s transmission line upgrade through Northwest New Jersey. That would seem to be slightly premature, as the National Park Service still technically has not given final approval for the work—upgrading the existing 230-kilovolt transmission line for about 45 miles, adding 500 kilovolts onto towers that would be as tall as 195 feet in some cases. The park service's approval is only for its property, but it is still critical, given the line runs smack through the Delaware Water Gap. And while the NPS won't make a final decision for at least a month after releasing its environmental impact statement—expected sometime this month—its approval appears to be a given. Still, it has not …
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Legislators should act quickly to increase penalties and force better management before next storm.
A month after receiving it, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities finally released last week the long-awaited consultant's report on the power outages that resulted from Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm. Its 263 pages get into minute details of what happened and provide some important background on issues of statewide concern, including the pros and cons of burying power lines. But its overall message, that power companies did a less than sterling job in dealing with the massive outages that resulted from both storms, and in doing the maintenance work that could have prevented some of the problems, was already well-known. There was no reason why Gov. Chris Christie had to wait for the report, done by Emergency …