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Simply Unbearable

It’s almost a yearly argument. Each year, black bears stumble through backyards and parking lots in certain areas of New Jersey. While they wouldn’t mind finding a pick-a-nick basket, it seems they are actually more concerned with trash cans.

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is charged with monitoring the black bear population.  They’ve recorded the following statistics for the years 2001-4:

Reports of bears who
1) dig in garbage – 1,433
2) damage a commercial beehive – 59
3) kill livestock – 104
4) enter a residence – 161
5) damage property – 410
6) attack a human – 5
7) enter a vehicle – 20

Tonight Thursday at 11 pm, WNBC-TV/4, the story of Lt. Laurel Hester…

…the police officer with cancer who was denied domestic partnership benefits for her partner.

This is just the beginning of our ferocious media and grassroots campaign that will not end until Laurel and her partner Stacee get justice.  This story represents so much of what all of us are fighting for: Marriage equality, because no other alternative, not domestic partnership benefits and not civil unions, will ever work in the real world to provide equality or dignity.

Steven Goldstein, chair
Garden State Equality

“You are not obligated to complete the work of justice, but neither are you free to refrain from it.”  – The Talmud

Wed Nov 23rd, 11 am Rally for NJ police officer with cancer denied domestic partnership benefits

OF THE HIGHEST URGENCY to LGBTI New Jerseyans and our thousands of straight allies from Steven Goldstein, chair, Garden State Equality, cell (917) 449-8918:

The word is spreading like wildfire and thousands of you are up in arms:  One of the most grotesque instances of homophobia in New Jersey history has just taken place in Ocean County.

As reported in the Asbury Park Press today, a policewoman with advanced lung cancer, deemed inoperable, was denied domestic partnership benefits for her partner because the Ocean County Administrator and Freeholders said it would not be “moral” to give such benefits to a same-sex couple.

3% of NJ could be underwater in 100 years

According to a study by researchers at Princeton University, ocean levels could rise 2 to 4 feet (see map on right for affected areas in red and blue, respectively) in the next 100 years as a result of global warming, which would leave up to 3% of New Jersey underwater:

“The ground is warming, the ocean surface is warming, the ice sheets are warming,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor in the university’s Department of Geosciences and one of the report’s authors. “And it may turn out that these projections for New Jersey are even a little optimistic.”

For each foot that the ocean level rises, 120 feet worth of inland ground will be lost in New Jersey. Doesn’t sound like much?

New Jersey is particularly vulnerable to any rise in sea level because it has a long coastline for a small state, a coastal population of about 5 million people, a $16 billion tourism industry in the Shore communities, and fragile ecosystems along the coast that support countless wetlands.

The possible solutions? Fight back with bigger, stronger barriers and keep replenishing beaches or withdraw the populations from affected areas. The wealthier communities may be able to fight it off for a while, but most will not. But to address the cause and not just the symptoms “in the long term the only solution is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Do that and you see a decrease in the rise of sea level.”

Democrats take control of Mercer County

After this year’s election, Democrats will hold all county-wide elected offices in Mercer County.

Democrats have held of the office of sheriff in Mercer since 1990. They took over the last of seven freeholder spots in 1994. The county executive seat was held by Republican Robert Prunetti for 24 years, until he retired in 2003. Democrat Brian Hughes challenged Republican Catherine DiCostanzo, who was clerk at the time, for the open position. Hughes won, and DiCostanzo retained her seat as clerk, the last remaining county-wide office still held by a Republican.

A few months ago, DiCostanzo made the following comment, which I couldn’t make up if I tried, when asked about the various problems in the clerk’s office:

“We serve the public – Democrats, Republicans, independents, atheists – this should not be partisan.”

After counting provisional ballots in this year’s election, DiCostanzo’s challenger, Democrat Paula Sollami-Covello, has a lead of 237 votes (out of over 94,000 cast) and will soon take office. I don’t know too much about Paula, but if I had to guess – I’m pretty confident she doesn’t consider atheism to be a political afiliation. And that’s not a bad start.

WHAAAAA! Hogwash!

Sylvester The Cat (as I like to call her) was rather upset with the loss.  Somehow, this editorial wasn’t chewed up, and spit out by any of us here on  Fellow Blue Jays (thats the official/unofficial name for members of by the way) please accept my appologies and engorge in the following snarky deconstruction of Sheryl “Sore Looser” Sylvester’s Asbury Park Press Editorial.

The Case For, and Against, Dick Codey

One year ago today, Richard Codey assumed the big chair at Drumthwacket. He has held the position of Acting Governor with dignity at a time when New Jersey needed him, in the wake of a scandal-ridden administration and through a costly and rough gubernatorial election. He has more than thirty years experience in Trenton and is one of the most popular political figures in Our Fair State right now. So, should he be our next senator?

Fran Wood urges Corzine to pick a woman

Fran Wood at the Star Ledger makes the case for a female replacement for Corzine’s seat and mentions State Senators Nia Gill and Barbara Buono as well as Zulima Farber and Blair MacInnes as possibilities. It’s a good article with interesting background information on all four women. Perhaps trumping all other considerations though, Fran thinks any of them could win:

And as for running against Kean, I think any of the Democratic male contenders would have his hands full in that campaign.

And I think any one of these women could win. Not that I expect the Democratic Boys Club to see it that way. But perhaps Corzine, who bucked the Bergen Democrats to push Loretta Weinberg for a state Senate seat, will prove to be more open-minded.

I don’t think it’s fair to make the accusation that Corzine is closed-minded if he doesn’t select a woman. Being open-minded means giving all alternatives thoughtful consideration, and given his past actions and statements, I’m confident Corzine will do just that.

Rutgers Panel on the Military, ‘Demanding Truth and Social Justice’

Nov 17th, Youth and Student Day of Action!!

Demanding Truth and Social Justice in the Military

Jim Talib from Iraq Veterans Against the War.  
Ellen Whitt from Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War
Bernadette Ellorin from Bagong Alyansang Macabayan USA

When:  Thursday, Nov 17, 9pm,

Where: Rutgers College Ave Campus, Murray Hall, Room 112.  Murray Hall is in the Voorhees Mall between Seminary Place and Hamilton Ave off of George St.


Those of you who are regular readers will remember my post election entry.  Which floated the then radical idea that Forrester’s loss was due to Forrester’s weaknesses and Corzine’s strengths.

The idea seems to be gathering steam here and, here and even here.

It seems the post mortems are revealing that the Forrester campaign handled itself poorly when it continuously lied, flip-flopped, and basically ran a terrible campaign with a terrible candidate.  
Sound familiar?