Author Archive: proud2Bliberal

Stop bad NJ Bill A1551; Labor unions be alert

The “Healthy Workplace Bill”, A1551, in the New Jersey assembly’s labor committee, and sponsored by Greenstein, is well intentioned, but it is very bad legislation.  A very well organized multi-state effort by healthyworkplacebill.org is being made.  They are giving out lists of state legislators’ e-mail addresses and acting as a pro-worker advocacy group.  However, this group is a masquerade trying to get a bad law passed.  The bill caps damages at $25,000.  Image what this means.  An employer sued for something like sexual harassment can try to have the case tried as a bullying case and voila – who cares if they lose, the damage is miniscule.  $25,000 is nothing compared to the damage to a career when a person experiences such bullying.  Please put a stop to these bills and oppose the lobbying that has been constructed to pretend that there is labor support.  Anti-bullying legislation is limited but A1551 is a joke.

Did nj.com disable my account?

Did nj.com disable my account?  A few weeks ago I read an article on another forum about a woman who was mistreated when trying to obtain assistance from a domestic violence shelter in NJ.  I went back to nj.com to see whether anyone investigated the situation and found that my account does not work.  I guess that is the way nj.com listens to people concerned about complaints by domestic violence victims in NJ.  I also forwarded the article to two women in the NJ state elegislature and received no response.  I guess that ‘s the response of famous women when a domestic violence victim in Camden cries out on the Internet for help.

Mr. Embryo II is running a poll

I don’t know how the latest product of the NJ 7th, Leonard Lance, got my e-mail address, but even 3000 miles away I received my first e-mail from his office.  Of all of the issues facing America, the one he is polling about is whether we approve of Obama’s policy on embryonic stem cell research.  This continues the Holier Than Thou competition started by Chris Smith on the Chris Matthews show.  A vote in the poll will automatically subscribe you to Lance’s newsletter (which might be such a bad idea for those wanting to catch more of his votes in opposition to equal pay for women or against ending the recession).  

NJ Sponsorship of HR676

Michael Moore’s SICKO website lists the 93 sponsors of the national health coverage legislation, HR676.  Payne was the first NJ Representative to sign on as a cosponsor.  Holt was a late comer, joining the list in 9/08.  However, Pallone is not on the list at all.  Does anyone know why and what can be done to bring this to his attention and to encourage him to support this rather than less progressive alternatives?  CA dems are heavily represented on this list, but NJ and WA do not have enough Democrats on board.

Corzine gets it right on H-1b letter

As a slap in the face to American high technology professionals, 13 governors sent a letter to the leaders of Congress asking them to raise the cap on H1-b visas in high technology.  Corzine got it right.  He was not among the signers, who, in the East Coast, included the governors of NY and MA.  It would be good to call Corzine’s office and express support for his refusal to participate in this latest attempt to sabotage the employment security of American workers in the computer industry.  It is sad to say that two female governors, Gregoire and Napolitano, undermined the career development of American women in science by signing on to this.  Richardson, like Corzine, got it right and was not among those signing the letter.  Scwargenegger, the most incompetent governor, on the other hand, was one of those with cotton in his ears.

Artificial island proposal excludes NJ as an adjacent state

From Ocean Action: (I am forwarding this)
An application has been filed to the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration to build a man-made island nearly the size of six Giants Stadiums, located 13 miles off the coast of New York and 19 miles off the coast of New Jersey, to serve as a deepwater port for liquefied natural gas (LNG).  This same area is home to endangered species and is prime fishing grounds.  This proposed project is a threat to the improved ocean ecosystem that all have worked so hard to achieve in this region.

Yet, currently the state of New Jersey and its citizens are not officially part of the review process because New Jersey is not considered “an adjacent coastal state” in the application.

Currently, the application lists the state of New York as an adjacent coastal state.  New York Governor Elliott Spitzer has been alerted that NY has the right to review and approve the application.  In addition, public hearings will be scheduled for NY citizens to voice their concerns.  Right now, New Jersey’s voice is not recognized.

Today, Clean Ocean Action submitted a letter to NJ Governor Corzine to request the state to take action to be heard.  It is essential that NJ requests and receives “adjacent coastal state status.”  We trust that Governor Corzine will take action.  New Jersey has until Monday, September 10th to request a role as an adjacent coastal state in the review process. 

A large-scale, man-made, offshore island for LNG has never been done.  The New York based company, the Atlantic Sea Island Group (ASIG), submitted a 5,000-page application to build the 60.5-acre LNG facility, ironically called, “Safe Harbor Energy.”  ASIG admits that management team members have “no prior direct experience with offshore LNG operations” or offshore construction.  An environmental consultant has been selected by the US Coast Guard to assist in developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

On August 27th, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration determined the company’s application for the project contains sufficient information to begin processing.  The project application is now under federal review.  The sole authority to issue a license for the project is the U.S. Maritime Administration.  Prior to a license being issued, the Deepwater Ports Act requires that the Secretary of Transportation must consult with “the adjacent coastal state(s) and other federal agencies to ensure such a license is in the national interest.” 

The LNG facility is prohibited in the proposed “NY/NJ Clean Ocean Zone Act.”

Threats to the Ocean:

effects on endangered species; 
impacts to prime fishing grounds;
during nor’easters, winds blow toward NJ;
average ocean currents flow toward NJ;
potential for “gas bomb” incidents;
millions upon millions of tons of material will be dumped into the ocean and will destroy aquatic habitat to build the island; 
marine safety concerns due to facility’s location at the entrance to NY Harbor, one of the busiest harbors in the world, and directly below the flight paths of three major airports.

About the Proposed LNG Facility:

This application seeks to build and operate a 60.5-acre man-made island for a facility, located in 60-70 feet of water, to offload, store, and process LNG.  Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas in its liquid form.  When natural gas is cooled to minus 259 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes a clear, colorless, odorless liquid.

The proposed project will consist of:

millions of tons of material will be dumped in the ocean for construction of the island, which is to be surrounded by armored breakwaters consisting of prefabricated caissons, armor units and rock;
a sub sea pipeline that would transport the natural gas to an offshore connection with the transcontinental gas pipeline corporation’s pipeline system;
berthing and offloading space for two conventional LNG vessels with capacity of 70,000-270,000 cubic meters, and ability to accommodate support vessels and crew support launches;
four storage tanks, each holding 180,000 cubic meters of LNG;
a shore based facility to facilitate movement of personnel, equipment, supplies, and disposable materials between the port and the shore.
According to the company, the operating life expectancy of the facility is 25 years; what happens after that time is not specified. 

To learn more about the project, check out these links:

Federal Register Notice (or paste this address into your browser: http://a257.g.akamai…)
Application materials (or paste this address into your internet browser: http://dms.dot.gov/s…) (in Docket Search window, type 28535 in the text box to search for the Docket Number and click “search;” click the third item/link in list for Notice of Application)

Princeton U. hires Frist as Professor

It was appalling to read that Frist has been hired as a professor in the Woodrow Wilson School.  The Frist family had donated money for the student center of the same name.  But does this mean that senior faculty appointments are available to the highest bidder?  What, exactly, are Frist’s qualifications in public policy?  He was an accessory to the failed Iraq policy.  Is that his qualification?  Yes, he was a Senator, but plenty of other people have held high office.  Princeton could have courted Madeleine Albright, a diplomat and daughter of a diplomat and eminently qualified to train Woodrow Wilson School students for such careers.  What are the students of Princeton doing about this?  Princeton faculty and students seem to have no say in university decisions, as compared to Penn, for example.  I thought that professorships were supposed to be awarded on the basis of knowledge and scholarship, and I really don’t see what Frist has to offer, except to recruit potentially Republican students.