Author Archive: DrewTheRat

Time is almost up for BurlCo composting center

    Ooooh that smell
    The smell of death surrounds you

      Lynyrd Skynyrd

I missed this story when it came out in June.

The DEP if piling up the fines against Eastern Organic Resources because of run-off and the stench from their Woodhue Composting Center in Burlington County. The latest fines total $955K with another $81K penalty for generating income while breaking the law. I’ve been watching this one deteriorate (or perhaps decompose) for months.

Even in the latest article, the concept sounds like a great idea:

More recycling challenges

    But, anyway, Signor Sollozzo, my no is final, and I wish to congratulate you on your new business, and I know you’ll do very well; and good luck to you – as best as your interests don’t conflict with my interests.

      The Godfather

A significant challenge of recycling waste seems to be finding someone’s back yard to do it in. Awhile back I posted about a fight between Eastern Organic Resources, the DEP, and local governments. The last I heard about Eastern Organic was that the DEP revoked their license.

According to this Asbury Park Press article, a new controversy with a similar ring to it is brewing in Dover Township. Washington, D.C.-based Fuel Frontiers Inc. wants to build a new facility to manufacture ethanol from waste material. The ethanol would be blended with gasoline as a motor fuel.

Eastern Organic Resources battle with DEP worsens

    Say you’ll be all right come tomorrow
    But tomorrow might not be here for you
    Ooooh that smell

      Lynyrd Skynyrd

Last week I posted about the ups and downs of recycling and renewable energy playing out in a dispute between Eastern Organic Resource and the DEP. Yesterday, as reported by the Times of Trenton, the situation worsened. The DEP has begun taking steps to revoke the recycling company’s operating permit and shut down the Burlington county facility. Eastern Organic is vowing a fight. We’ll see how it goes, but it doesn’t look like this can end well.

Tough challenges when you renew and reuse

    Ooooh that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell

      Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Organic recycler faces regulatory wrath” is the headline of this article in Monday’sTimes of Trenton, but you might wonder why after reading the opening paragraphs:

Eastern Organic Resources has big plans for the decomposing fruit, vegetables and grass clippings it collects at its composting plant in Springfield, Burlington County, hoping to enclose the pungent piles and generate enough methane gas to power a 5-megawatt cogeneration plant at neighboring McGuire Air Force Base.

If the company wins approval from regulators, it would be the first commercial food waste composter in the state to produce both soil and fuel, solid waste experts say.

Eastern Organic’s plans sound like a win-win scenario. But read on and you’ll
understand the problem in a story that highlights the pitfalls and promise of
recycling and renewable energy.

Middle East reaction to SOTU

    Example is leadership.

      Albert Schweitzer

Christopher Dickey wrote an article on the Middle East reaction to the SOTU. It’s titled Battleground of Ideas. I read it yesterday, but it’s stuck with me, so I figured I’d share it. Following are some exerpts that struck me, but you should read the whole thing.

So only a few people in the region listened to President George W. Bush
deliver his State of the Union address last night. But they know the message,
now, almost as well as they know the call of the muezzin; it has been repeated
so often, so relentlessly, and so mechanically. The difference is that many
believe the muezzin, and few believe Bush.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The State of the Union, perhaps more than any other speech the president makes, defines the way the administration wants to see its world. But its narrative is so foreign to the thinking of most people in the Arab world that they’ve come to hear Bush’s language as a kind of code: “liberation” means occupation, “freedom” means war, “victory” means victims, “reconstruction” means chaos, “democracy” means following directives from Washington. Bush, whatever his intentions—and I think he should be credited with some good ones—has come to be seen as a caricature, talking about strength and determination, projecting an image of stubbornness and confusion.

More below the fold.

NJ Transit at a crossroads

    If God had intended us to fly, he would never have given us the railroads

      Michael Flanders

The business section of this Sunday’s Times of Trenton had an article by Michael Lavitt about the NJ Transit’s current crossroads. Unfortunately, it’s not on – don’t know why.

It builds on some of the issues Lavitt raised in this article questioning whether Amtrak should remain in control of the Northeast Corrider, framing the debate with a story about a 60-year-old power line that shut down the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley Lines and inconvenienced 10,000 morning commuters. He notes that:

The stretch of railroad between Washington and Boston is the only significant right-of-way that Amtrak owns and operates. And there are some who question whether the current Amtrak, headed by a board of Bush cronies who Congress refused to confirm, starved for capital funds and struggling with huge operating losses, should continue to own or control the busiest stretch of railroad in the country.

The same old song

    We hum the same old lines to a different crowd
    And everybody wants to cheer it
    We run on endless time to reach a higher cloud
    But we never ever seem to get near it
    We sing the same old song

      The Who

Karl Rove has resurfaced to talk up the Republican strategy for the 2006 elections. I doubt that anyone on the face of this planet would be suprised by what he said. It goes something like this:

Blah blah blah… 9/11… Republicans will protect you… 9/11… Democrats
want to retreat and let terrorists win… 9/11… 9/11! NINE-ELEVEN!!!

Much ado about swearing

    You will swear by your true Kingship… to grant me what I wish, then you shall have it.


In yesterday’s Times had an article about Paula Sollami-Covello with an accompanying photo of Jon Corzine administering the oath. I thought this was a little odd, but figured that, as a U.S. Senator, he could do it. Turns out he can’t, and didn’t. It was just a photo op, with the real oath administered in private. In today’s Times, Krystal Knapp reports the swearing-in was just for show.

What’s more, Sallami-Covello wasn’t the only one sworn in like this. Edison mayor Jun Choi was also “sworn in” by Corzine, receiving the real oath later. To make matters worse, Choi’s spokesperson David Donnelley didn’t even know the Corzine-administered oath was unofficial.

Why couldn’t Corzine have just stood by them when they received the oath? Was it really necessary for him to administer the oath? Now we have a story making them look like ill-informed grandstanders.

Vote with pride!

    Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

      John Quincy Adams

Get out and vote. That’s what I have to say here. Get out and vote. The only people responsible for voter apathy and low turnout are the ones who don’t vote. Short of a medical emergency, there is no excuse for not voting. I don’t care who you vote for, just vote.

I traded comments with Rob at, debating his reasons for choosing Matt Thieke. Liberal as I may be, I cannot support Matt Thieke because his platform lacks detail, and I don’t think he ever explained how he’ll accomplish what he proposes. Rob felt that Corzine didn’t need to attack Forrester as much as he did. I thought Corzine attacks were justified as they stuck to the issues. But I support Rob’s choice because he made it.

I think Sluggo is misguided when he says he is willing to let pass the personal attacks by the Forrester campaign. In comments to Rob’s post, he said he would be casting his vote “holding their nose.” I cannot disagree more with his choice and rationale. I think Forrester will be bad for New Jersey in more ways than I have room explain here. But Sluggo has made one decision I support wholeheartedly: he is voting.

Over at BlueJersey, DBK makes his case. If I had any doubts about Corzine, they’d be gone after reading his. I was at his house when Rush Holt explained why Corzine is the right choice. I believe in Corzine too. He also voted for Whitman, an admission he notes might make his fellow Democrats angry. I, for one, am not. Why? He voted.

I voted today, and I did so with pride. I chose Jon Corzine for governor, a candidate I for whom I have great confidence and high hopes. I think he’s going to win, and I will be really bitter if he doesn’t. But I’ll have fulfilled the most important obligations of every citizen. I will have voted.

Candidate responses to Joanne Corzine are revealing

    Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.


Let’s consider how the candidates have reacted to comments made by Joanne Corzine about her former spouse. I read the following three articles:

Here are some snippets: