Tag Archive: Edison

Christie runs from his record on schools

This story should be shared with anyone believing the Christie administration lie that they’ve properly funded schools. Report by New York Federal Reserve Bank has the numbers that make the truth clear. Promoted by Rosi

Even by the standard of political advertisements, Governor Christie’s TV spots are a pieces of work. Whether it’s boasting about job creation at the same time the state is actually losing tens of thousands of jobs or bragging about balancing budgets when the state Constitution requires that all budgets be balanced, Christie has repeatedly tried to spin failures and take credit for things over which he has absolutely no control.

Among Christie’s more galling claims is that he funded public schools at higher levels than anyone other Governor. Christie famously cut $1.1 billion cut from public schools his first year in office while giving the state’s wealthiest residents $1 billion in tax cuts. Outrage from urban and suburban parents – and a command from the State Supreme Court – has forced him to restore part of the aid, but the Education Law Center still estimates that he’s underfunded education by roughly $5 billion since taking office.

Now economists at the New York Federal Reserve Bank have released a report showing that the damage from Governor Christie’s cuts went deeper than we’d previously thought – and that New Jersey’s schools continue to bleed.

We need our libraries

The Edison Public Library hosted a panel  of local authors on April 28th.  That’s one of the many reasons to support and fund our public libraries.

Edison Library isn’t the largest library I’ve seen. It’s two stories, but the surrounding acreage isn’t huge.  It’s on a busy street and getting in can be a hassle.  The back is white brick with small windows and a loading dock.  The outside appearance doesn’t matter because the inside has all the good stuff.

They have computers for public use and on Saturday, there was a line.  The magazine racks were full of current copies of magazines. They had a meeting room on the second floor for the author’s panel. I didn’t get a head count, but they told me there were twenty people who wanted to know and talk about publishing with published authors from the state.  

I enjoy going to bookstores, both big and small independent. The stores are out to make a profit. There are thousands of authors that publish yearly. The stores can’t accommodate them and if the author doesn’t have a big profitable following, the big store won’t accommodate themI. The library will. There may not be sales to be had. There may not be big name authors, but there is passion for art, for discussion, and community.  

The Gangster of Menlo Park

New Jersey is about to pay $2.4 million to restore and preserve an art deco tower honoring Thomas Edison, located in the township that bears his name. Yet despite the many credits bestowed upon Edison by popular history, his true skills and legacy lay in theft and coercion. more below

Hyperlocal Education Reporting

If you’re reading this, you are probably more involved with, and informed about, the political system in New Jersey than most citizens. You’re aware that despite being sandwiched between the New York and Philadelphia news behemoths, there are many outlets to provide you with news on the state level. But what about news that most affects your pocketbook and your daily life – news about your local community?

Local news has suffered with the cutbacks in dead-tree newspapers. If you’re fortunate, your community is covered by a hyperlocal site from patch.com or some other local citizen-journalist enterprise. Hyperlocal news sites are cropping up across the state and nation. But how do these citizen-journalists, some who put in 12 to 15 hour days, do their job effectively?

The New Jersey Hyperlocal News Association’s (NJHNA) mission is to provide training and resources for those journalists to enable them to report thoroughly and accurately. The group held its second general session today on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. The topic was reporting on the activities of local school boards.

Gene MaeroffAfter introductory remarks from Heather Taylor of NJHNA and Dr. John Pavlik, head of the Rutgers journalism department, the keynote address was delivered by Gene Maeroff, President of the Edison school board and a noted education writer. He described the school board budgeting process and offered some tips for those reporting on school board activities. (The entire session was videotaped and will be posted on the NJHNA web site.) Following the keynote, a panel discussion was held, with Jonathan Busch, an attorney who represents boards of education; Dr. Valerie Goger, superintendent of schools for Bernards Township; and John Mooney, founder and education writer for NJ Spotlight. All discussed the budgeting and election process from the perspective of their individual involvement.

Among the things the audience learned were the timeline for the budgeting and election process, how board of education members must not electioneer for or against the budget, and the impact of the governor’s tax caps and cuts on the education process. There were discussions on the best ways for local reporters to ferret out facts that might not always be easy to obtain.

NJHNA’s next session, scheduled to occur in about two months, will discuss how to cover municipal meeting and elections.

NJ-7: Kal Penn’s calling for Ed Potosnak

In July, Joel Stein wrote a piece for Time Magazine about the town he grew up in, My Own Private Edison. It chronicled hometown changes from the time everybody he knew there was white, to present day as new spicy smells waft out of new restaurants, and Bollywood plays at the multiplex. Stein didn’t sound too welcoming to all of Edison’s residents; his humor fell flat.

That article vexed a lot of people, only some of whom live in the now vibrant and diverse township of Edison. Ed Potosnak, whose NJ-7 district includes North Edison, was one. And he put together a petition to Time objecting to Stein’s racial stereotyping.  

Support for Potosnak is strong in NJ’s South Asian community. And Potosnak has a couple of great gets calling NJ-7 voters that not every candidate has access to – one is his old boss Rep. Mike Honda, Chair of the Asian Pacific Congressional Caucus and DNC Vice-Chair. Another is Kal Penn, who left the cast of House to work in Barack Obama’s White House and is now returning to acting.

If you live in NJ-7, You might be getting a robo call from Kal Penn – born Kalpen Suresh Modi in Montclair, NJ – for his fellow New Jerseyan Ed Potosnak. (You might also get calls from Sen. Bob Menendez, Sen. Barbara Buono, Chair John Wisniewski, Education Committee Chair Asm Pat Diegnan, and the candidate’s mom Joan Potosnak, who nearly every volunteer has worked alongside by now). Kal Penn’s involvement comes via PCCC – Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Here’s PCCC’s founder, Adam Green (also from NJ, and the former NJDSC Communications Director):

In the last couple days, over 500 PCCC members chipped in over $5,000 to help Ed Potosnak’s high-energy, progressive campaign finish strong — and defeat Leonard Lance. Folks in the 7th district should sign up to help Ed Get Out The Vote in the final days. And progressives around New Jersey can help Ed get this new Kal Penn robo-call to key voters and run a strong GOTV operation by chipping in $4 to his campaign. Every donation goes a long way.

You can join PCCC here (I highly recommend it). Kal Penn’s calls:

President Obama in NJ

With what looks like boxes of single-serving potato chips in the background, Barack Obama talked after a meeting with New Jersey small business folks at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison (where POTUS ordered a half-sized Super Sub to go). C-SPAN ran the whole speech (here’s a link), but the video isn’t embeddable (what’s up with that, C-SPAN?)

Obama’s here in NJ to support HR 5297, the Small Business Jobs Act, a mixture of tax breaks, loan guarantees and a $30 billion dollar pool designed to help small businesses get loans via community banks. Edison’s Mayor Antonia Ricigliano was along for the ride (and presumably, sandwiches).

Star-Ledger’s excellent video team captured part of it:

Excerpt of President Barack Obamas speech in Edison

Obama coming to Jersey to talk about the economy

Published reports say that the President will be making a stop in New Jersey next week:

Obama will appear in or around Edison to talk about the economy, the White House announced yesterday. White House spokeswoman Moira Mack said further details about the trip will be announced next week.

This will be the President’s first time in the state since he campaign for Jon Corzine just before Election day. The President canceled his last scheduled visit after the Gulf Oil spill began. We’ll keep you updated as the White House releases information.

Edison Postal District Office to Close

Promoted by Jason Springer

Just saw this, another indication of the economic woes facing our nation and state:

The U.S. Postal Service has already suggested dropping a day of mail delivery to save money. Now, with economic gloom everywhere, it’s turning to early retirements, management cutbacks and office closings. …

The district offices being closed are in Lake Mary, Fla.; North Reading, Mass.; Manchester, N.H.; Edison, N.J.; Erie, Pa.; and Spokane, Wash.

With people sending their personal notes and greetings via e-mail, there is much less personal mail going through the system.  Most mail my family gets are bills, solicitations or advertisements.  Very rarely do I get a real letter from someone, and even then it is only around the holidays.

I really don’t see a way that first class daily delivery can continue at such a low cost without a lot more volume.