Thursday, December 25, 2008

And so, another year has come and gone in New Jersey.

Hard to believe we have reached the last year of the first decade of the 21st century. Boy, seems like it was just yesterday that Bush was handed the presidency by the Supreme Court.

And what a year it was! For the folks in the New Jersey news in 2008, we have some parting gifts:

For Dick Zimmer, who could not seem to get any news outlet to cover his Senate race, we leave him a YouTube account, so maybe he can record his own news, and play it for the world to see on his own network [maybe called ‘ZimTV’ ?], along with his very own cardboard cutout of Frank Lautenberg to debate.

For David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno---a NJ Turnpike EZ Pass and a subscription to New Jersey Monthly magazine, so they can truly learn what a great state this is and stop making endless New Jersey jokes.

For Leo Donofrio, the attorney from East Brunswick who claimed that Barack Obama does not meet the constitutional requirement to be the president, we leave a tin-foil hat and a subscription to Conspiracy Theory Monthly magazine.

For State Senators John Adler and Leonard Lance, leaving the Trenton Beltway for the Washington Beltway, we leave you the new game Congressman in A Box™, that comes with all you need to be successful in Washington: a list of potential campaign donors; a coin to flip for those tough budget votes; a yearly travel pass on Amtrak between DC-New Jersey, a complete list of all the lobbyists on K Street, and set of steel plated back- armor to wear to protect your backs from being stabbed by your fellow Congressman.

For Hunterdon County Sheriff Deb Trout [who is facing a recall effort and just had her office raided by investigators from the County Prosecutor’s Office], we leave a $50 gift certificate for a resume re-write service.

For Joe Ferriero, future ex-Chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Committee, we leave a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and an autographed picture of Loretta Weinberg.

For Congressman Steve Rothman, we leave a new Magic 8 Ball for the 2009 campaign season, the old one having been well used predicting that Barack Obama, and not Hillary Clinton, would be the next the next president of the United States.

To Congressman Rob Andrews, we leave a Facebook and MySpace account so he can find new friends---since his run against Frank Lautenberg and the subsequent breaking of his promise not to run again for Congress will leave him with few friends in the New Jersey congressional delegation.

To Steve Lonegan, Americans for Prosperity, we leave….unfortunately not at all, because he’s gonna be back big time in 2009, running for governor again, to annoy us even more than in 2008.

For all the last remaining Hillary supporters in New Jersey who still have not gotten over her loss to Obama, we leave you T-Shirts that read, “I Voted For Hillary, and All I Got was this Lousy T-Shirt” on the front, and “Hillary 2016” on the back.

For all the towns with populations under 5000, we leave you a complete set of the names of all the towns in New Jersey, so you can figure which are the best towns to merge with. Hint “Wayne” should avoid merging with “Newton”. “Wayne-Newton, NJ”?

For the all the parting investigative news reporters from the Star-Ledger, we leave you a account, so you can all continue writing, and a Star-Ledger subscription, so that you can judge how bad the paper will become now that you’re all gone.

On a serious note, for Governor Jon Corzine, we leave our thanks for his courage in abolishing the death penalty in New Jersey, and for agreeing to sign a marriage equality bill, once it reaches his desk.

And for all the New Jersey men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, we leave you our wishes that you are home very soon. And to all those dads, moms, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters who gave the ultimate sacrifice---there is nothing more that we can give you but our thanks to you and your families.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Festive Festivus

A Festive Festivus for all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Putz of the Week this week: Mayor Bob Hauck of Flemington

The Putz of the Week this week [and maybe the next few weeks] goes to:
Mayor Bob Hauck of Flemington, not the wisest mayor the town has ever had.

In the interest of complete transparency and disclosure, I need to reveal that I ran against Bob Hauck for mayor in 2006. So, some of you may think that my opinion is tainted. However, I have been to only one other Flemington Borough Council meeting this year, and mostly I have stayed at a safe distance from the workings of Council.

But not this time. I was compelled to attend a special meeting called in order to deal with what the mayor attempted to do.

The Mayor of Flemington Borough tried do an end run around the Borough Council and ---get this---the Flemington Borough Police Chief and tried to eliminate the police department, under the rubric of ‘shared services’.

Generally, during a budget crisis all avenues of budget cuts ---even tough ones---should be explored. However, the exploration should be done, openly, squarely, and transparently---with all members of Council and the public fully informed that such meetings are going on.

Hauck met secretly in private meetings on at least two occasions with the mayor of Raritan Township, and their chief of police to discuss the possibility of disbanding the Flemington Police Department. And he failed to tell the Flemington Police chief, and at least three other Borough Council members.

Not cool, Mayor Hauck. The people of Flemington and your Borough Council deserve much better than that.

A packed crowd inside [and outside] of a special meeting---was none too happy. Many in the SRO crowd were wearing T-shirts showing their support of the Flemington FOP. This has to be a completely wrongheaded move on Hauck’s part that will cost him any good will he has left, after the Union Hotel closed on his watch. And maybe this wrong move will cost him his re-election in two years.

This is a guy who, in the past, has played fast and loose with the local press on the ‘truth’, so it is no surprise that while he told Ronald Bakley, executive director of the state FOP lodge, that "There are no plans to disband the Flemington Police Department,” he was secretly having meetings to discuss “quietly disbanding the police department.”

During the Monday night meeting, Hauck stoically read from a carefully written bland statement, hardly acknowledging the communications fubar he caused with the town’s people and his own Council. And then on top of that, he attempted to shut down the public and violate the Open Public Meetings Act by not allowing public comment on the issue. Only through the insistence of several members in attendance was the right to speak asserted----and then confirmed by the town attorney. The mayor can impose a time limit on each member’s public comments in an open public meeting, but he may not shut people out completely.

A follow up meeting on this issue has been scheduled after the holidays in January, at a larger venue. Prediction: more of the same at the next meeting, and this idea to disband the police department will go down in flames.

Hauck should know better than to try to fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"We Can't Let This Bank Fail"

I wanted to let you know about an upcoming blogging campaign we are coordinating on behalf of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey which, as you are probably well aware, is in desperate need of donations.

We are scheduled to launch the "We Can't Let This Bank Fail" blogging campaign for Monday December 15th. Our goal is to get 100 New Jersey bloggers on board to help spread the word about the increased demand being put on the food pantries in New Jersey and how everyone can help.

If you are a blogger in New Jersey, please join in our efforts. If you know of a blog in New Jersey that you think should be involved, please email them a link to this post.

To really understand the serious need for donations, just click on the link below and take a minute to view the video.

Anyone wishing to get involved, email me at jerseybites (at) gmail (dot) com and look for 100 blog posts on December 15th. I hope they will compel everyone to do something, anything, to help.

Here are some of the great preliminary posts our participants have offered up to promote the "Blogging Out Hunger" Campaign.
Blogging Out Hunger, We Can't Let This Bank Fail
This Full House

Attention all New Jersey Bloggers: Help Blog Out Hunger on December 15
Fits and Giggles

Empty Plates and Full Hearts
Lynette, New Jersey Moms Blog

Jersey Bites and Hunger Sucks
More Monmouth Musings

House Hubbie's Joins "Blogging Out Hunger" Campaign
House Hubbies Home Cooking

Jersey Bites, AND SO CAN YOU!
James Hogan's Random Thoughts -

Are You A Hungry?
The Behind the Wheel Chef -

We Can't Let This Bank Fail: Roxy Joins Community of New Jersey ...
Roxiticus Desperate Housewives -

Food Bank of NJ Needs Your Help!
The Ridgewood Blog

This is Some Serious Stuff
The Joy of Toast

Not Letting the Bank Fail

East of Eatin'
Likelihood Of Success

Participating Bloggers for “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail” campaign



3) Jersey Girl Cooks

4) Simply Sable

5) John and Lisa are eating in South Jersey

6) Padma's Kitchen

7) Chefdruck

8) Life Lightly Salted

9) My Italian Grandmother

10) Cook Appeal

11) Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars

12) Mommy Vents

13) This Full House

14) Paper Bridges

15) Motherhood Avenue

16) The Kamienski Chronicles

17) Down the Shore with Jen

18) Fits and Giggles

19) House Hubbies Home Cooking

20) Nourish Ourselves



23) Off the broiler

24) Mrs. Mo’s New Jersey Baby




28) Savy Source Newark

29) Momlogic New Jersey




33) Best of Roxy

34) Citizen


36) Jersey Beat

37) Pop Vulture Phil




41) Mike Halfacres Blog

42) Somerset08873

43) Family, Friends and Food




47) New Jersey Real Estate Report


49) More Monmouth Musings

50) Man of Infirmity

51) Another Delco Guy in South Jersey


53) Average Noone

54) Cleary’s Notebook

55) Welcome to my Planet

56) The Center of New Jersey Life

57) Sharon’s Food Blog

58) Morristown, Chatham, Summit, and Madison NJ Real Estate

59) Midtown Direct Real Estate News

60) New Jersey Real Estate



63) The Ridgewood Blog

64) Book a Week with Jen

65) Banannie


67) Matawan Advocate

68) Take Back the Kitchen

69) The Joy of Toast

70) Route 55

71) Montclair

72) SaveJersey

73) Stompbox

74) Joe the Blogger

75) Environmental Republican

76) Stacey Snacks

77) Subversive Garden

78) New Jersey Pathfinder

79) Cooking With Friends Blog

80) Triple Venti

81) Read All About It

82) Rich Lee on Media

83) Likelihood of Success

84) Cape Cuisine

85) The Business At Hand

86) NewJerseyTaxRevolution

87) Figmentations

88) MiddletownMike

89) Caviar and Codfish

90) A Day in the Life

91) Mack’s Journey Through Life

92) Alice’s Restaurant

93) Tiger Hawk

94)Politics Patrol, The Bob Ingle Blog

95) The Food Chain

96) Henson’s Hell

97) Cranbury Conservative

98) Baristanet

99) New Jersey: Politics Unusual

100) Jersey Shore Blog

101) Plainfield Today

102) Beacon Bulletin

103) Journal Square Jersey City 07306

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We should be proud that Donofrio is from New Jersey

Conspiracy theorists come and go.

There are the conspiracy guys who claim that anyone and everyone from the Mafia, Fidel Castro, LBJ, the Soviets, or my Aunt Lilly had something to do with the JFK assassination. By the way, my Aunt Lilly was nowhere near Dallas on November 22nd.1963. She was probably at a beauty parlor in Brooklyn getting ready for my cousin Lenny’s Bar Mitzvah the next day. There are those who believe that Neil Armstrong did not really walk on the moon and that the whole thing was shot in a movie studio or somewhere out in the Arizona desert. Or that green M & Ms are an aphrodisiac.

Now, New Jersey can be proud that we have our own tin-foil hat wearing guy with his own conspiratorial theories about President-Elect Barack Obama: Leo Donofrio, an East Brunswick attorney.

Donofrio claims that since Barack Obama was not a “natural born citizen” --- since Obama had dual nationality at birth -- his mother was American and his Kenyan father at the time was a British subject -- he cannot possibly be eligible to be president, under the U.S. Constitution.

Donofrio also claimed that two other candidates, Republican John McCain and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero, also were not “natural-born citizens” and thus ineligible to be president. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and Calero was born in Nicaragua in 1969, and holds a green card as a resident alien. So, we have to give credit to Donofrio for at least exposing the Calero controversy. Glad we got that over with.

Now, Donofrio’s problem seems to be with the phrase “natural born citizen” from Article II Section I: No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;

How does Donofrio define “natural born”? Does that mean that if someone is conceived through artificial insemination or through in vitro fertilization, that person may not be eligible to become the president? After all, since that is not ‘natural child birth’, that person could never be a natural born citizen.

Anyway, don’t worry. This week, the Supreme Court denied Donofrio his day in court. United States Supreme Court Docket for case number 08A407 - Leo C. Donofrio v. Nina Mitchell Wells will not be heard---in spite of Justice Thomas asking.

Now maybe he can go back to the street corners of East Brunswick screaming that the world is flat.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I guess the First Amendment is not really “first” in Bayonne….

So what if the election in Bayonne is over? Maybe some residents still want to let the world know who they support for mayor---even well in to 2009.

Maybe it’s part of their Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa decorations.

But according to Bayonne City Public Works Director Gary Chmielewski, no can do. Apparently there is a city zoning code that mandates that all election signs must be removed from residential, commercial and industrial properties within two weeks after an election. City Zoning Officer John Zgola said, he'll be "riding around" looking for sign-breakers. And impose a $1250 fine if they don’t comply.

Didn’t the ACLU already deal with these issues for towns in New Jersey?