Author Archive: Sharon GR

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Open Thread Time! What do you want to talk about today, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Open Thread: What’s on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Thursday, May 10

  • More and more stories about the Fort Dix plot: Home-grown terrorism, the role of FBI informersthe video store clerk who saved the day, Tough to get assault weapons?, the attack was in the last stages of planning, An isolated threat, the plotters' Mosque fears for both their safety and their teaching of Islam as a religion of peace, and my personal favorite: Republican towns near Ft. Dix were snubbed for homeland security funding.
  • Revolutionary & Civil War reenactors worry that A3998, the proposed ban on .50-caliber rifles, will inadventently take away many of the muskets used in their mock battles.
  • The State Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to hear arguments about the death penalty today as they consider bills to abolish capital punishment. Recent terrorism cases may have some effect on support for the bills.
  • The Garden State Preservation Trust may be low on funds, but yesterday they approved $146.7 million in land preservation grants.
  • In the Common Sense Dept., text messaging while driving may be banned. It's a bad idea to drive while tapping messages with your thumbs? Really?
  • More Common Sense: More people are aware of Rutgers now than before the winning basketball team and subsequent Imus scandal. Surprised am I.
  • New Jersey lost two more of our own in Iraq: Army Sgt. Sameer A.M. Rateb of Brigantine, and Staff Sgt. Vincenzo Romeo, 23 from Lodi. Both were on their second deployment.
  • Open Thread: What Say You, Blue Jersey?

    News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, May 8, 2007

  • On average, the uninsured in Our not-so-fair State pay over four times more for health care services than insurance companies are charged for the same procesures. New Jersey has the largest gap and it overwhelmingly affects low-income residents. 
  • In a 4-2 decision, the State Supreme Court rejected the appeal of death row inmate Brian Wakefield, whose argument was that his sentence was disproportionate when compared to similar cases.
  • U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, “burned” by the state on an early release investigation in 2002?
  • Eminent Domain was back in the spotlight yesterday, with Public Advocate Ronald Chen appearing before a State Senate Budget panel to argue why local governments should have to prove that property to be seized is blighted. Senator Bernard F. Kenny Jr. says such a requirement would “create a litigation nightmare in the state that will paralyze redevelopment.” 
  • Six people have been arrested this morning in a plot to attack Fort Dix Army base. Details are sketchy at this point and the link is being updated periodically. The accused are to appear in U.S. District Court in Camden later today.
  • Mainland homeowners insurance rates in coastal areas are coming back down to pre-Katrina levels, but those on barrier islands are still feeling the effects when trying to buy policies.
  • If you were unable to work due to the flooding and storms last month and were in a county eligble for federal disaster aid, you may qualify for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
  • He may be in pain from the accident, but Gov. Corzine's poll numbers didn't suffer: he has a 58 percent favorable opinion rating, up from 53 percent in March, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll.
  • Open Thread Time! What do you want to talk about today, Blue Jersey?

    News Round-up and Open Thread for Thursday, May 3

  • The Biondi Apology Tour continued with a meeting yesterday with representatives of the Black Ministers' Council of New Jersey. He will apologize to the full Assembly and promised to work against racism and for social causes as a result of the meeting. Rev. Jesse Jackson has said he'd like to meet with Biondi.
  • The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey and the Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey held press conferences in Hightstown and Morristown yesterday to call for immigration law reform in both Our Fair State and on a national level. The two towns have opposite approaches to illegal immigrants.
  • Ethics complaints are expected to be filed today against several Republican legislators, including State Senators Joseph Kyrillos and Bob Singer and Assemblyman David Wolfe, in regards to a federal probe that Democratic leaders allege is unfairly targeting just one party.
  • The state yesterday introduced an “Olmstead plan” to meet the needs of disabled residents in less restrictive housing. The plan will take eight years to move approx. 1,850 people with developmental disabilities into group homes and apartments in compliance with a 1999 Supreme Court ruling.
  • Gov. Corzine's town hall meetings on the budget continued yesterday, but without the gov. Treasurer Bradley Abelow led the meeting in Red Bank yesterday with several other officials.
  • Conservative columnist Phyllis Schlafly paid a visit to The College of New Jersey yesterday to give a speech for the College Republicans and was met with students protesting her position on the ERA and other issues.
  • The state DoT is installing devices on Rt. 80 and I-287 that measure traffic speed by pinging cars' E-ZPass transmitters. They say personal info will be scrambled, but the idea is to give an accurate reading of travel time for traffic web sites. A 511 system for traffic info is also in the works, to be done by the end of this year.
  • On Tuesday there was a brief interruption in the Disney Channel on Comcast, during which porn was broadcast. Comcast says it was a localized problem and they have taken steps to assure it won't happen again. At least one subscriber states she will cancel her subscription- after the NHL playoffs are over. Ahh, priorities.
  • Have time to go to the ultimate garage sale? The Sands in AC publicly opens their gone-out-of-business sale today, with every tacky detail of casino decorating for sale.
  • Open Thread: What do you want to talk about today, Blue Jersey?

    News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    Happy May Day!

    • Potential Republican Senate candidate Anne Estabrook was repeatedly asked her opinion on the Iraq War by PoliticsNJ. Her answer: "I don't have a comment…I have a conference call, very important." Four years into a war and she still has to turn to her advisors/focus group for an answer. (Juan)
    • Live in Morris Township? Then GO VOTE for Jeff Grayzel TODAY. (JRB)

    Open thread: What's on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

    Immigration debate heats up Central Jersey

    A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post ran an article on how some cities are adopting a don’t-ask policy on immigration status. Residents can access city services, including calling the police, without fear of immigration status questions or problems. The small central Jersey borough of Hightstown was a frame for this story:

    In the aftermath of a series of raids in 2004, the town council in this historic borough of 5,300 — transformed in recent years by an influx of at least 1,300 Latin Americans — unanimously approved a sort of immigrant bill of rights.
    Joining a growing list of cities enacting a no-questions-asked policy on immigration status, Hightstown now allows its undocumented residents to officially interact with local police and access city services without fear of being reported to federal authorities.
    It has opened new lines of communication here, officials say. One illegal immigrant at the complex where the raids were staged called on the police recently to help place a family member in alcohol rehabilitation; others have reported domestic abuse, extortion, theft and other crimes. Some are calling the town’s pro-immigrant mayor for advice on City Hall weddings and landlord troubles. Hightstown has added services aimed at immigrants, including free bilingual computer classes last month. Noting the shift, one Spanish-language newspaper recently dubbed Hightstown the “Paradise Town” of New Jersey.

    The backlash was swift.

    News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    What’s on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

    News Round-up and Open Thread for Thursday, April 19

    There’s a lot going on in the news of Our Fair State today. What do you want to talk about?

    News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    What’s on your mind today, Blue Jersey?