Thursday, February 28, 2008

MoveOn Moves on to Flemington

Under the broad umbrella of MoveOn, MoveOn.Org Civic Action and Political Action are grass roots organizations that are funded by citizens and designed to give citizens a voice and collective power to influence among things… candidate selection, legislators, media and national issues by alerting individual members of pending issues via the internet.

This Sunday MoveOn will be hosting an event in Flemington intended to cinch the nomination of Barack Obama for President of the United States. Nationwide, this Sunday, MoveOn members will be hosting meetings or Obama Parties, in their homes. These parties will be kicked off by conference calls featuring Halle Berry, Senator Ted Kennedy and popular Texas radio host, Jim Hightower. Then local MoveOn members, cell phones in hand, will dial up their cohorts in Texas hoping to lock in the nomination Tuesday in Texas.

The “Yes We Can” Obama Party in Flemington will be on March 2 at 4:oo 0’clock hosted by

Kathleen J---MoveOn member
At: Kathy and Michael’s in Flemington
Please bring a cell phone and charger

To RSVP and get more details click below,

So Flemington Obama fans here is your moment to have an impact…Move on to contact Kathleen and let her know you will be there, phone in hand.

For additional information on MoveOn check

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bulletin Board

Here are some highlights of Monday evening’s Boro Council meeting.

Two complaints have been filed under the stacking ordinance.

Meetings are continuing regarding the Boro sponsoring a bike race.

Red Vanilla opened and seemed to charm members who have had the opportunity to pay a visit there. It sounds like a terrific addition to Main Street. So be sure to check it out.

As per a citizen request, ordinances up for discussion and votes will soon be posted on the Flemington website…… Please note that agendas are already posted there.

Public hearings on the budget are over. Kudos to Boro council for keeping the tax rates steady for the time being. Pension funding is an issue here though.

Yours truly requested the budget be put online if possible or at least perhaps budget summaries.

Also if you remember, a few weeks ago, I posted here on this site and addressed Boro Council regarding biker safety issues with respect to visibility when bikers are riding at dusk. Upon request by Mayor Hauck I reported to Boro Council that---long story… short, Community Officer, Corporal Chris Foley, has been assigned to improve biker safety. I will together with Corporal Foley and other members of the community be meeting to scope out a plan. I also contacted the Executive Director of Hunterdon Hispanos, Kelly Ospina, who has offered the group’s website for columns on bike safety and whose group is already offering workshops on bike safety. Folks, bear in mind that many of these bikers do not drive so they do not realize they are not visible to drivers. Ms. Opsina is very excited to be on board with this project and we feel her assistance here is invaluable to helping us connect to the Hispanic community.

The Environment Commission was approved .

Boro Council passed an ordinance that requires knox boxes on businesses. These boxes contain entry keys. The fire department will have a master key. The anticipated value of this ordinance is to help expedite entry into buildings that are on fire and protect property so doors do not have to be broken down to gain access.

The parade ordinance was revised to grant an except for obtaining permits for gatherings of 25 persons or less for topics regarding the First Amendment. Notification of the police is all that is required for such a gathering, according to this new ordinance.

Council adjourned to executive session to discuss issues connected to the Hineline property on Main Street.

Please remember these are highlights and that minutes are posted online as well as the podcast.

Have a good one….where is the sun god???!!!!

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Good News

Recently a reader forwarded this information to me and I thought it should be shared. Despite the long hard slog, there are accomplishments that we should know about given the presidential elections….

Did you know that

• 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq?
• The Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?
• 3100 schools have been renovated,
• 364 schools are under rehabilitation,
• 263 new schools are now under construction and
• 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq?
• Iraq ‘s higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?
• 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?
• The Iraqi Navy is operational? A. They have 5 –100-foot patrol craft, B. 34 smaller vessels and C. A naval infantry regiment.
• Iraq ‘s Air Force consists of three operational squadrons A. Which includes B. 9 reconnaissance and C. 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control), which operate day and night, D. And will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?
• Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion? • The Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?
• There are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers every 8 weeks? • There are more than 1100 Building projects going on in Iraq? They include A. 364 schools, B. 67 public clinics, C. 15 hospitals, D. 83 railroad stations, E. 22 oil facilities, F. 93 water facilities and G. 69 electrical facilities.
• 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations? • 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?
• There are 1,192,000 Cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?
• Iraq has an independent media that consists of A. 75 radio stations, B. 180 newspapers and C. 10 television stations?
• The Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?
• 2 candidates in the Iraqi Presidential election had a televised debate recently?

OF COURSE WE DIDN’T KNOW! WHY DIDN’T WE KNOW? BECAUSE… OUR MEDIA DOESN’T WANT TO TELL US! Tragically, the lack of accurate unbiased reporting on Iraq has two effects: It undermines the world’s perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and discourages American citizens. ---- Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.

The above statements are attributed solely to the author…

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Good Thing and I am not Talking Martha Stewart Here

"...that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson

“Dear Friend,

Please allow me to share with you my concerns about Governor Corzine’s so- called asset monetization /fiscal restructuring plan also known as his toll hike/ driver’s tax scheme….

Early in January, Governor Corzine held a private briefing for legislators on his proposal. As the Governor and his Chief of Staff, former State Treasurer Bradley Abelow, rolled out the details, it became apparent how convoluted and dangerous the program will be: a seventy-five to one hundred year bonding scheme under the control of two highly paid, newly created not- for-profit boards that will borrow $41 billion dollars for both debt service and NEW spending and will cost nearly $200 billion to pay off. Further, with tolls for commercial trucking nearly tripled in the first six years, it is frightening to imagine how much traffic will be diverted to non- toll roads, like Routes 78, 80, 46 and 31 all of which run right through our District. This is simply one more consequence of the proposal that I find completely unacceptable….” (excerpt from a letter written by Assembly woman Marcia Karrow , February 11, 2008 that was distributed at the town meeting at Hunterdon Central, Wednesday, February 20, 2008)

Expanding on Asemblywoman Karrow’s concerns is that the toll hike increase on trucks and commercial vehicles will be an expense that will be passed onto the consumer in the form of higher priced consumer products. These businesses will not be absorbing these extra costs as a gesture of kindness to their customers, be assured. So the cost of living in general will also increase.

Another major fear here is establishing a state mechanism for borrowing money that is now taken out the hands of the people. The wisdom of the Founders prescribed that the power of the purse remains in the hands of the people through their elected representatives in the legislatures. We can vote the representatives out or into office as we deem fit. This mechanism for borrowing ends our power as voters to control the purse strings. I don’t know about you, but being a serf does not much appeal to me.

Now folks, there is so much wrong here I hardly know where to begin. Even in the mind of this ivory tower philosopher who avoids number crunching passionately, borrowing $41 billion to retire a debt while making more debt and paying close to $200 billion to pay off some $41 billion in the first place, only if the interest rate stays at 2 percent, mind you, for the next 75 years…well this is hardly sound business and is ironically offered by our businessman governor. Surely he jests …but he does not. This is why in a period of some 48 hours I saw about 100 people at a Border's book signing for the book dedicated to exposing the corruption in Trenton, “The “Soprano State “ and some 300 people at the Little Theater at Hunterdon Central Wednesday who are ripping angry, talking of taking to the streets with pitch forks. See for more info.

The bottom line here is that the state for several years now has been spending about $5 billion more than it has. Yet we see the spending increasing all the time. Seniors cannot afford this plan, our next generation cannot. I daresay neither can you. Yet we will be struggling with it, our children will be and so will their children. Not the hope for life we want to pass onto our offspring, is it? It says a great deal to you when a Republican delegation comes to town with little partisan talk, trying to impress on you that the ship of state is being sailed into a quagmire of unchecked debt. NJ, we have a problem. We cannot send a few soldiers into battle alone and think they will win the war against the political machinery well entrenched in Trenton that is at the root of it. These party bosses will not go quietly into the night. Assembly members, Marcia Karrow, Rick Merkt and Mike Doherty need to have the battalions of the taxpayers publicly behind them, showing this governor so cavalier with our money and our rights that we are putting our foot down.

For more information about budgets and NJ spending check ... Here, you can check government salaries and figures by municipality i.e. Flemington specifically.

There are budget cuts to be made that will not adversely affect you. Check, …click on End Government Waste.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Nature of Insanity

It all comes down to money, folks. Like power, it corrupts. But there is a little bit of insanity in the mix too…we taxpayers let it happen, shooting ourselves in the foot over and over when we vote.

Together with some friends my husband and I trekked up to the book signing at Border’s in Bridgewater to welcome and commend authors, Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure on their sell out book on the culture of corruption in NJ, “The Soprano State”. Could the timing be any better? Just as the governor’s toll hike plan has sparked our indignation, this excellent book, calling for overall reform in Trenton, is released. Ingle, political columnist for the CN and Friday afternoon guest of the Jersey Boys with his co – author Sandy McClure cite citation after citation and quip after quip about how our money is grabbed by the hands of the few and how we are cheated of the moral and diligent fiscal management we are entitled to as NJ residents. Judges, party bosses and elected officials think our hard to come by money does grow on trees. Just this morning the CN informs there is more money requested for that money pit known as Abbott. Here we see virtually no fiscal accountability for money disbursements and scant results for the BILLIONS already spent. Yet year round school, which has previously shown improvement in test score performance of migrant farm workers’ children, is not investigated to address education problems in low- income districts. We get virtually no bang for our buck with Abbott. But hey let’s just keep up the poor work here. Didn’t Einstein once say insanity was doing something over and over and expecting a different result? This is to say nothing about this obscene pension system! Would only the everyday citizen also get a pension for part-time work. Now this would be an improvement, wouldn’t it, folks?

Good News. The book signing was the most successful I have seen. There were perhaps 100 people buying and discussing and angry. Amazon is already low on the books that had just gone on sale yesterday.

This leads us to the town meeting at Central tonight about the toll hikes. It is being sponsored by a Republican delegation and they are coming to hear you. The meeting will run from 7:30-9:30 in the Little Theater off Junction Road.

Sty tuned for more on that.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Miracle of the Flying Pig

Lately in NJ we have been hearing a lot about flying pigs. Pigs generally do not fly, regardless of how NJ will eventually pay down its debts. But through the latest developments in the science of balloon-ology and the provocation of the Jersey Boys 101.5 FM, we witnessed the miracle of pigs flying over the Statehouse a few weeks ago.

Following the news, no one needs any more reasons to question the soundness of the governor’s toll hike plan so I will spare you further rants on that issue. Instead I will suggest you look into a meeting on the toll hike issue. There is one scheduled this Wednesday February 20, 7:30 – 9:30 at the Hunterdon Central Little Theater, Junction Road entrance. The meeting will be led by a Republican delegation, consisting of Assembly Republican leader Alex DeCroce, Assemblymen Mike Doherty, Richard Merkt and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande.

Here’s my pitch. We have had enough frivolous money management here in this “Soprano State” as Bob Ingle, author and political columnist for Gannett News/ the Courier News, writes regarding NJ. Note his book, “The Soprano State” hits the bookstores this week. Too many of us have had enough of the self- serving governance perpetuated by party bosses at the expense of the struggling taxpayers. The indignation of the taxpayer has been ignited, finally. Our disapproval was increasingly apparent at Governor Corzine’s town hall meetings to sell his toll hike proposal. Evidently, it takes a lot to get the taxpayer from his armchair complaints to a meeting. I think we are there. I hope this taxpayer backlash is the beginning of reform within NJ. Enough is enough already. It is high time to slash the benefits and perks for part time work that takes the ordinary taxpayer a lifetime of work to accrue and then watch as corporate America slashes these promised benefits for their retirees. It is an unacceptable state of affairs when our the younger generation must now choose between home or family because their dream of having both is financially out of reach while party bosses lavish themselves and their friends with our revenues through pay to play. It doesn’t grow on trees, folks. These are only a few taxpayer complaints.

It is time for us to collectively put our foot down...demand accountability and scrutinize…what happens in Trenton is felt around the state. In one way or another, it comes out of our purse. Your presence there lets our elected representatives know that we care about what they do with our money, we expect them to be responsible with our tax money and we will remember in the voting booth.

Hunterdon Central, 7:30 PM this coming Wednesday...let us start down a new path in our history, demanding fiscal responsibility… come if you can and help promote this change…

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Water 201: Solutions

As the discussion continues, attempting to address our limited water supply in Flemington, Boro council

-has imposed water restrictions that right now are not too bothersome---no watering lawns or running sprinklers, filling up pools. These restrictions are enforceable with penalties such as fines.

Boro council also

-seeks to find new wells, and

-hopes to reduce arsenic levels and bring them into compliance with new state guidelines. This will require building treatment plants that will process our well water, and

- over the last year has plugged underground leaks.

What can we do?

Councilman Gorman suggests that we be diligent with our water usage by

-fixing our leaky faucets

-apartment dwellers also notifying their landlords about leaky faucets…if the landlord does not fix it, residents should report the leak to Boro Hall, 782- 8840.

-replacing our commodes with low water volume /high pressure commodes, and

-reporting unusual running water to Boro Hall, 782-8840. See below regarding disappearing water.

Old commodes use 4-gallons/flush and the new low volume ones use 1.6 gallons/ flush. Therefore, the low volume commodes save 2.4 gallons of water/flush. Five flushes per day saves 12 gallons of water per day, 84 gallons a week, 336 gallons a month, 4,032 gallons per year. At 5 flushes a day per each family member, a family of 4 roughly conserves 16,128 gallons a year. High pressure/ low water volume commodes are a very easy and painless way to conserve water in the Boro. They will certainly keep cost down if we do not have to buy additional water from the American Water Company. And these commodes are not very expensive and are a home improvement that will pay for themselves.

Finally we have disappearing water. This is water that pours out from leaky underground pipes and is not registered on our meters. Flemington must reduce the amount of disappearing water to 10% of its supply. Here’s how we Flemingtonians can help. Anytime you are out walking or jogging and you see a water source or flow that is not usually there, call Boro Hall immediately at 782-8840 and report it. It may be a leaky underground pipe. The water department will be alerted and investigate it. Last year Boro council began plugging underground leaks that resulted in preserving a significant amount of our water. This is an ongoing project because our pipes deteriorate over time. This is another way we can conserve our precious resource.

I believe “Gardener Supply” catalog still sells rain barrels to collect rainwater that we can use on our plants. Every little bit of conservation helps here.

For further water saving tips checkout….

There are other water issues that Councilman Gorman apprised me of and I will inform as we go along here. Let’s give a tip of our hats to Councilman Gorman for giving the Boro his time and his invaluable experience and expertise on these water issues. Councilman Gorman was recently inducted by the NJ State League of Municipalities into its Elected Officials Hall of Fame, marking his 20 years of service in an elected office. Councilman Gorman has served on Boro Council for 21 years. Congratulations!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Water 101: Problems

I don’t want to say how long a time it’s been since I sat pencil in hand taking notes but that is how it was as I sat for an hour with Councilman John Gorman this week trying to get a handle on the water situation in Flemington.

My interest was piqued at the re-org when Mayor Hauck announced that this year we would be discussing the exalted subject of high pressure/low volume commodes. We have reached new heights here in Flemington.

Seriously though, we Flemingtonians have known for some time that we have water problems that we need to address. The two main issues are supply and arsenic levels. Today I will focus on supply.

In the 1960’s Flemington evidently got its water from the South Branch River. For various reasons that source was deemed unacceptable in the 1980’s and Flemington dug its own wells. Flemington currently has five operant wells that feed into the blue water tower on Shields Avenue. Each night that tower is filled from these wells to approximately 1,000,000 gallons/day. Daily, we use between 600,000 to 700,000 gallons of water. The aim is to keep the water tower at least half full in order to assure there is enough water and water pressure. The demands on the water supply are increasing with increased building in Flemington and regulations made since 9/11 by Homeland Security. Homeland Security requires Flemington to be able to supply water should our best well be unavailable. Furthermore, no longer a matter of digging a well at our pleasure, the state now has rules and ‘regs’ that we must adhere to in order to begin digging another well. It is a time consuming process merely to get state approval now.

Thrown into the mix, according to “The Economist” is the global movement afoot in which a few companies are attempting to buy up water supplies and set in motion with water what we have seen with oil, namely the resources concentrated in the hands of the few and for all practical purposes controlled by these companies. So it is not optimistic to think we will continue to have the luxury of cheap water for decades.

Stay tuned for Water 201: Solutions

Monday, February 11, 2008

Boro Council Meeting

Just a few quick comments here.

During work session Richard Higgins did a marvelous presentation on railways and Flemington with fantastic graphics and excellent commentary. Noting the advantages of rail travel for students, seniors, the disabled and tourists, he drew the lines and connected the dots about tracks already laid down and those needed to be added for continuity. The immediate concern is of course parking. Folks, right now this is a back burner issue maybe on our wish list, more or less, but it is how new ideas get explored. A tip of the hat to Mr. Higgins for such interest and the work he did to make this informative presentation.

The budget meeting was held on Saturday and department heads presented their budgets for explanation and review. The next one will be held Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 AM at Boro Hall. All are invited to attend.

Reports were given.

Red Vanilla on Main Street is opening its doors on February 20.

Boro Council is exploring the idea of hosting a bike race.

Several ordinances were updated and moved.

The meeting was short and productive.

For more details please check the minutes on

Stay tuned.

On Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are perhaps the two freedoms that safeguard us best from the possibility of a too strong central government. We can express ourselves and we can report openly. Each of us has these freedoms and is entitled to engage in them at will. Despite the views expressed, elected officials are to uphold these freedoms for all as they execute the oath of office they take to uphold the Constitution.

Not having paid for our freedoms, many Americans treat them cheaply. These days our guaranteed freedoms are under attack, as I have never before witnessed. Our president for instance has tried to hamper free speech through manipulation---if you oppose the war, you are unpatriotic. And the price we have paid for that manipulation! This is one of devastating effects of suffocating free speech, trying to thwart others from expressing their views through negative labels, name calling.

Free speech has its limitations…you are not so free as to yell “Fire “ in crowded theatres as a prank, for example, and you are not allowed to make libelous or slanderous statements. These are against the law and of course people can take someone to court over such ugly activities. Libelous and slanderous statements violate moral law also because they are deliberate attempts to malign someone's reputation.

What hides behind this attempt to manipulate people to surrender some of their birthright and relinquish their freedom of speech is the attempt of some people to control others and validate themselves at the expense of tolerance and diversity. Stifling diversity in the name of diversity is hypocrisy.

If one cannot live peaceably and respectfully with divergent views, the words “I am an American”, from the president to the everyday citizen, are without meaning--- have no application.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Treats for the Sweet

" They do not love that do not show their love." William Shakespeare

What better way to show your love than with chocolate, the food of the gods. By open admission I am a chocaholic so I have a special place in my heart for holidays that center on chocolate. Here comes one this week, Valentine’s Day. Already I have made the trek to the red barn shaped Fudge Shop on Route 202 South in Flemington, a hub for chocolate delights that I have frequented for years. Here is my first line of defense to appease the craving. The Fudge Shop prepares much of its candy and does wonderful things with chocolate molds. One Valentine favorite is the heart shaped, chocolate shell filled with more chocolate candy. It comes in milk chocolate or dark in different sizes. You really need sweet tooth to meet this challenge.

The young man who waited on me this time around told me that on the day immediately preceding Valentine’s Day the Fudge Shop serves several hundred customers and even more around Easter. It’s easy to believe given that the shop does its own traffic control on Route 202 at times around these holidays. The chocolate displays are awesome with their molds and decorative red heart boxes in various and sundry sizes. And there are the chocolate covered fruits--- berries and pineapple that tempt you all the more. You cannot go wrong here.

Still I have also fallen for those Harry and David truffles you can snap up at Liberty Village…moist and creamy and reasonably priced as opposed to those exorbitantly priced Godiva’s. Years ago when my husband heard the price of a box of Godiva chocolates his response was---“I want to eat these not worship them”.

The movie “Chocolat” starring Johnny Depp opposite Juliette Binoche popularizes the tangy ingredient added to chocolate that seems to make it an aphrodisiac. The town’s people who frequent the newly opened chocolate shop have only one thing on their minds after a few bites. Whether it works or not, Lindt has a chocolate bar " infused with red chili ". And that little’s not bad. Not bad at all.

Now you know, it’s good for you, this dark chocolate. It is filled with those anti-oxidants that keep you heart healthy. Those lovely serotonins just blossom after a chocolate fix. That’s this year’s take on chocolate anyway.

Hearts and flowers and sweets for the sweet, where would we be without chocolate? Didn’t Ben Franklin say something like we know God loves us because He made chocolate?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Immigration Gumballs: Take 2

Responses to my initial piece speak to how difficult it is to discuss illegal immigration in the US these days. But make no mistake about it, illegal immigration is a nationwide issue as noted in our presidential campaigns. The US has been building a border fence for several years to slow down the flow of illegal Hispanic immigrants entering the US. This immigration is felt at local levels.

“Immigration Gumballs” is a YouTube video that addresses this issue on a macro level by using gumballs to illustrate various points, including the ever- increasing influx of immigrants. Consistent with the information provided in this video, I too have noted an increase in immigration locally such as a significant increase in the number of students who wait at our school bus stop. The number of students has gone from fewer than 5 students when my daughters were growing up to perhaps 25+ students who appear to be Hispanic who may be here illegally. I am using the term “Hispanic” to verify the info on the video and identify a group when discussing immigration no differently than presidential candidates identify groups like women, blacks or Latino when discussing campaign strategies. We need to know about whom we are speaking and what we are talking about. That is not racial. That is communication.

At times the immigration discussion is cast as a racial issue but that perception does not ring true. Other than the turf wars between Hispanic and black gangs, following the news I do not hear of racially motivated crimes in the general population. I lived in a state in which there was a far greater influx of Hispanics than in NJ. There I noticed that Hispanic people got jobs and opened businesses and intermarried, blending in with Texan culture. My daughter is a guidance counselor in an Abbott district with a significant Hispanic community and she reports there is no racial tension among her students. I am hard-pressed to see any major racially motivated components with respect to the illegal immigration debate. Insisting there are seems to give racial tension false life and to introduce unnecessary hard feelings. It clouds the issue.

Concerns about illegal immigration, and they are national level concerns, center on money, limited resources, lost jobs and violation of the law. There seem to be two types of immigrants that enter our country in addition to those who seek political asylum. There are the skilled ‘techie’ immigrants who see the opportunity to use their skills here. These immigrants contribute more to the economy than they utilize. Then, there are the unskilled who come for a better life they cannot seem to achieve on their own. Among these are a large number of Hispanic people who are entering here illegally. Hence the fence. These folks make more demands on the economy than they contribute to it. So we are running at a deficit here. It hits the billions. This translates into a greater financial burden being placed on the shoulders of the average American. In 1990 each native NJ household was contributing $200+ to subsidize illegal immigration. I do not have more current figures.

America is a nation of laws not a nation of personal discretion. It has been an immensely successful nation achieved by observing that model, observing the law. And we would hope that America would not be challenged by other peoples of other countries who would disregard our laws no matter the intention. We expect all Americans, no matter their station, to obey the law. The dictum ---No one is above the law---is a deeply held tenet of American political thought. And the influx of illegal immigrants flies in the face of that dictum. Simultaneously, a compassionate people by tradition, Americans try to mitigate the impact of that principle if possible to be generous and understanding of other people’s hardships.

Trained in ethics, I have the concern that by not addressing this issue, we are enabling the development of a second class citizenry, one that does not have full rights as citizens. This will lead to more inequities and social problems. So our leaders need to lead. They need to hammer out a solution and get the ball rolling in a better direction here. Do I have a magic answer? Of course not…but we have not even as a nation begun to diligently address the problem. This cannot continue.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stand Up and Be Heard

For those who wish to express their opposition to Governor Corzine’s toll plan you have the opportunity to do so this Friday. There is a bus leaving from Flemington Republican headquarters at 11:00 AM. It is headed to Trenton for a rally instigated by the Jersey Boys, 101.5 FM. The rally will be on the State house steps at 12:00 noon, February 8. Please call Ingrid Kiley if you are interested, 908-782-6200.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Immigration Gumballs

It is pretty clear to us here in Flemington that we have an illegal immigration situation. The main problems we face are the overcrowding and over use of our infrastructure and water. Boro council monitors the situation and this fall passed the stacking ordinance to begin to address this strain on our limited resources due to this continuing influx. I witnessed the discussion on the stacking ordinance among the stakeholders here, Boro council, Police Chief Becker to name a few. I felt it was an intelligent and fruitful discussion. Flemington has begun to face the reality of illegal immigration and the problems that accompany it, intelligently and with a fair amount of compassion too.

So I was particularly put off by the take on it Bishop E. Roy Riley expressed in the Courier News this Sunday. He describes another heartrending tale and then he casts the problem as a brutal American response to poor folks who just want a better life and how can Americans just not understand this. Unfortunately there is no absence of heartrending tales that come with immigration. I will cut him a bit of a slack in that he refers to a situation that involves raids and detention. I cannot say this is my solution either but poor responses do not erase immigration problems anymore than bad medical care means there is no illness.

“Costly immigration policy destroys families” Courier News, ‘Opinion”, Sunday, February 3, 2008

Google ‘Immigration Gumballs’ and get a lesson here on the effects and common sense perspectives on immigration. After you view this piece on YouTube, consider this---about 15 years ago I waited for the school bus on the corner of West Road and N. Main with my two daughters. In those days, fewer than 5 students at any given time got on and off the school bus at this stop. Today at times I may see 25+ high school students get off the school bus and they appear to be mostly Hispanic. Second, having children that age, I am around the twenty-something/early thirty-something crowd now and then. These newlyweds, double income/no children young American citizens, are paying their own way. They can barely afford a house and to start a family. Meanwhile illegal immigrants are taking advantage of America’s entitlement programs such as free education and medical care in emergency rooms that cannot refuse them, living in places that those paying their way and for these entitlement programs as well cannot afford. This hardly seems like fair or sound policy.

The gumball mathematician makes a good point. The best way to solve the immigration problem is for America to help people of poor nations live better in their own countries. America can bolster ventures like the Grameen Bank (Google it), for instance. The strategy works. It preserves dignity and fosters self-reliance without threatening the solvency of other nations.

On the down side this approach does not address our immediate immigration problems. It is a tough issue. That’s for sure.

To learn where your candidates stand on immigration see…

New York Times Election Guide 2008

On another note...What about those Giants!!!! It ain't over 'til it's over...right, folks?

Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bulletin Board

Quote of the Day…"Don't find fault. Find a remedy". Henry Ford

Well, Boro council has every intention of continuing to water and maintain the planters on Main Street. There was quite a show of support for the planter project at Boro council Monday, which also I take as tribute to Mrs.Pedrick and her Beautification Committee. The project it seems was not in jeopardy but it seems it was perhaps a misunderstanding. All is well here and so we can move on to….

Boro council has scheduled budget sessions starting this coming Saturday, February 9 and Saturday, February 23 at Boro hall from 8:00 0’clock until noon. During these meetings municipal departments will come and explain their yearly budgets and indicate how much money their respective departments will need in the upcoming year. This very transparent budget process began with last year’s council and it affords the public an opportunity to understand the budget, fiscal needs and responsibilities of Flemington. The meetings are open to the public and all are invited to attend.

More “techie” stuff ...
I presume the “we” who are discussing live chat windows during Boro council meetings according Bob Flisser (“The Democrat” January 31, 2008) includes Boro council and members of the community who would like the chance to weigh in also as well as Boro attorney, Barry Goodman, who may need to advise Boro Council with respect to its compatibility with the Sunshine Laws, the time- tested way to ensure transparency during Boro council meetings.

Certainly the candidates have been hot on the trail here for months now. The CNN debates this week were exceptionally informative, a cut above... Now Super Tuesday is upon us. Here’s your chance to put in your 2 cents. Our sample ballots for Flemington were mailed out about a week ago. See Hunterdon County Clerk’s website below with any questions.

"Tis here...the national religion celebrates its....
high holyday, Super Bowl Sunday... I hope all your superbowl trees are decorated with the booty of those super pools...whoops, I mean collection boxes...... and may your snack trays be stuffed and abundant. What about those Patriots! And what about those Giants! Enjoy... and don’t break all those New Year’s resolutions by eating too much pizza and mini hot dogs! Which commercial will win the day? And hopefully no more wardrobe malfunctions!! Who's on deck for half time, I wonder... I am not very religious, am I?

Stay tuned.