Michael from the Big Gay Picture had a chance to speak with and interview Laurel Hester – only the second time she has spoken to the media (the first was a brief NY Times interview). Below is the first of a three part profile of Laurel Hester and her struggle to secure domestic partner benefits in Ocean County.
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have agreed to “join in the first mandatory regional program in United States history to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.”
Today New Jersey also adopted the California Clean Car program, which will go in effect in 2009. In October, New Jersey became one of the first states to classify carbon dioxide as an air contaminant.
The Bush administration and most Republican supporters in Congress have ignored the scientific community’s near consensus that man is causing global temperatures to rise. Meanwhile, they turn to pseudo-science to delay admitting the inevitable truth and taking appropriate action. Governor Codey said that “in the absence of federal leadership, these states have come together to take real steps to cut carbon dioxide emissions.”
A statement from Gov Codey explains how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative works:
Under the plan, regional CO2 emissions will be capped at 121.3 million tons per year beginning in 2009 through 2014 (a level approximately equal to 1990 emissions), and will be reduced to 10 percent below this level by 2018. The cap-and-trade program established in the agreement sets limits on regional emissions, but allows companies to trade emissions allowances. Companies that do not have enough allowances to cover CO2 emissions must either reduce their emissions or purchase allowances from sources able to reduce their emissions below their prescribed cap.
So what will it cost? Codey says: not much:
The RGGI program is expected to result in very modest direct impacts on average residential household electricity bills. In 2015, the program is expected to increase average household bills in New Jersey between $3 and $5 per year, representing an average increase of 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent. Support for increased energy efficiency, achieved through both the RGGI program and other clean energy policies enacted by New Jersey, is projected to produce average household bill savings that exceed the price impact of the RGGI program. This combination of policies is expected to result in a net reduction in average household electricity bills.
According to ESPN.com, NJ athletes will be tested for steroids…
High school athletes whose teams qualify for championship games will face random testing for steroids under a first-in-the nation plan issued Tuesday by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.
The testing plan, which will take effect with the start of the 2006 school year, represents a one-strike-and-you’re out policy for individual athletes, but their teams would still be eligible to play in the championships without them.
But Governor Codey isn’t done yet…
Codey, who will leave office next month, said he’d like to see random testing for steroids and other drugs extended to all students — not just those on sports teams — within two to three years.
How do you feel about this? Do they stop at steroids testing or test for alcohol and tobacco as well since they are illegal at that age? If you want to go down that road, I’m curious as to where you want to draw the line.
In the wake of King George Bush’s admission yesterday to bypassing the courts and illegally authorizing spying on Americans, and revelations today that the FBI is spying on groups such as PETA, Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers League for terrorist activities such as a “Vegan Community Project,” John at AMERICABlog points us to this report from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network claiming that the Penatagon is spying on groups who oppose the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, including one at William Patterson College in New Jersey:
According to recent press reports, Pentagon officials have been spying on what they call â€œsuspiciousâ€ meetings by civilian groups, including student groups opposed to the militaryâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel. The story, first reported by Lisa Myers and NBC News last week, noted that Pentagon investigators had records pertaining to April protests at the State University of New York at Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law schoolâ€™s LGBT advocacy group OUTlaw, which was classified as â€œpossibly violentâ€ by the Pentagon. A UC-Santa Cruz â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ protest, which included a gay kiss-in, was labeled as a â€œcredible threatâ€ of terrorism.
The President, NSA, Pentagon and FBI are all taking part in illegal activities against the citizens they are supposed to protect.
RIP 4th Amendment (1791-2005)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Tom Kean, Jr. refuses to take a position> on Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
Tom Kean, Jr. is wobbly on the Iraq War.
Tom Kean, Jr. refuses to tell NJ Republican Chair Tom Wilson to be civil while alleging his campaign will be clean.
Now Tom Kean, Jr. refuses to answer a simple question from a reporter:
Party officials appointed Kean to both of the offices he has held so far, allowing him to run for election as an incumbent in a heavily Republican district.
Kean’s unlined face and easy smile do not show evidence of these burdens, but perhaps his habitually cautious choice of words does. When asked in an interview last week if his path to office until now had been fairly painless, Kean paused, grinned and replied: “It’s taken a lot of hard work.”
Could he elaborate?
“It’s taken a lot of hard work,” he said.
If this post looks familiar, it is an extention of this one from last week.
Posting this to get thoughts on the strike.
My personal feeling is the union is WAY out of line on this one, but I typically side with management. I would like to see where the Bluejersey community sides on this issue. Plus the fact that I don’t have all the facts. I’d really like to know what ‘disciplinary issues’ they are complaining about.
Like just about everybody else here, I’m still disappointed that our governor-elect, Jon Corzine, tapped Rep. Bob Menendez to take over his Senate position. I think Corzine lost a real opportunity to stir things up and signal that things were going to start changing in Trenton.
On the other hand, I’m quite intrigued that Corzine has picked Stuart Rabner to be his chief counsel. Rabner, chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is definitely not an insider choice — in fact, he helped bring down Robert Janiszewski, the former Hudson County power broker who helped put Corzine in the Senate in the first place. Rabner also played a role in bagging the well-coiffed scalp of Nicholas Bissell Jr., the lordly Somerset County prosecutor whose epic abuse of forfeiture — the power to seize property associated with drug trafficking — greased the skids for his downfall. Check out this juicy Crime Library account for the story of how Bissell, a degenerate gambler and embezzler, was caught up by his own hubris and finally ended up fleeing to Nevada, where he killed himself in a casino hotel room as the feds closed in.
Rabner has been part of the good work being done by U.S. Attorney Christoper Christie to root out sleazeballs; not only does he know where bodies are buried, he probably knows more than a few that are walking around on borrowed time. If Corzine keeps moving in this direction, color me encouraged.
Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.
A new blog started yesterday called Blue 11th will keep a close eye on Rep. Frelinghuysen in the same way that Dump Mike has been watching Rep. Ferguson like a hawk. Blue 11th brings us one step closer to having a “blog in every district.” As kid oakland pointed out:
One dirty little secret of Senators and Representatives is that they control the news we read about them. In general, we hear about our legislators only when they choose to do a press release or “make news.”
It’s up to local blogs like Blue 11th and Dump Mike to keep us informed of what our elected officials are doing. They’re both worth adding to your bookmarks, and if you have a blog to keep track of a particular politician or region, let us know.