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#VRWC Twitter feed:
Kiss the parking spaces along Bloomfield Avenue goodbye.
Get ready for traffic gridlock, and watch formerly four-lane roads get reduced to two, as "bike lanes" and "pedestrian corridors" are prioritized over cars.
Wonder in amazement as zoning board decisions are vetoed by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucrat deep in the bowels of a United Nations NGO, whose only loyalty is to George Soros and Agenda 21.
No, this isn't some conspiracy theory.
It's the reality behind the progressive-nirvana "Complete Streets" program, which was just adopted by our Mayor and Council.
But don't take it from me, take it from their own website, where they tell us straight-away what the goals are.
The traditional performance measure for transportation planning has been vehicular Level of Service (LOS) — a measure of automobile congestion. Complete Streets planning requires taking a broader look at how the system is serving all users. Communities with Complete Streets policies can measure success through a number of ways: the miles of on-street bicycle routes created; new linear feet of pedestrian accommodation; changes in the number of people using public transportation, bicycling, or walking (mode shift); number of new street trees; and/or the creation or adoption of a new multi-modal Level of Service standard that better measures the quality of travel experience.
That's urban-planner gobbledygook for "no cars allowed." It's an exercise in raw power by the do-gooders among us, foisting their utopian vision of how we ought to live upon an unsuspecting populace. Our streets won't be "complete" until cars are eliminated entirely.
But of course they don't tell you about that part up front. It's all rainbows and unicorns until one day you wake up and discover the truth for yourself, like they did in Alexandria, VA.
All this is to be done on the model of the frog in the boiling pot, with the temperature raised by small degrees until the frog is quite cooked. Step 1 is to convince City Hall to paint "sharrows" on a road, indicating that the road is to be shared with cyclists. Only the road is already shared with cyclists, so what's the point? Step 2 occurs when the road is repaved by the City. At that point, the sharrows are replaced by dedicated bike lanes. Where the street is too narrow for both on-street parking and bike lanes, the parking spaces disappear.
Step 2 is usually opposed by businesses and homeowners. For some reason, shopkeepers don't think their custom will increase if they remove customer parking. Homeowners want to invite their friends over for coffee, set up play dates for their children, and accommodate the carpooling arrangements that transport them to and from school. They want to be able to say "yes" when the roofer, plumber, or electrician asks if there is parking near the house. That's when the "Bike Wars" start, and that's also when Step 3 is invoked. Parking is merely the symptom and cars the disease, and the goal is to cure the disease.
We're talking about cyclists who commute to work or school, and they're only one percent of American adults. Like the Occupy Wall Street people, they want to occupy our streets, except this time it's the one percent who claim the mantle of social justice.
Ever hear of "guerrilla tactics"? One "PM" suggests on a bicyclist blog what's to be done if they don't get their way:
Any bicyclist using King Street to go uphill could always just make a point to ride slowly and smack in the middle of the lane, especially at peak times*. Then, frustrated motorist [sic]will complain to the City that they want the bikes "out of their way" and the motorists and bicyclists will be fighting the neighbors together. Seems like a win.
A number of King Street residents have experienced this, me included. I can tell you that it's frightening on a dark night to have a cyclist dressed all in black lycra and helmet, only a small tail light visible, suddenly pull out in front of your car to pull off this stunt. I'm not enamored of these guys, but I don't want to hurt them either.
Substitute "Bloomfield Avenue" for "King Street." And get ready for even more urban civil disobedience in the form of "Critical Mass." Here's what they do. A line of bicycle activists organizes themselves into a complete traffic-blocking phalanx, pedaling along in slow-motion at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon. It's not their fault you're stuck behind them, waiting to see your wife and kids.
Nope, it's your fault. Or more importantly, your way of life's fault.
You don't live "sustainably." You're the enemy. And UN Agenda 21 aka "Smart Growth" is the cure.
Put simply, Smart Growth is a breathtaking usurpation of private property rights. In New Jersey it's come to mean "upzoning" of single-family lots to permit construction of hundreds or possibly thousands of inclusive housing units, including apartments and condominiums.
Remember COAH? Mount Laurel? Yeah, they're the bellwether of Smart Growth, putting a slum in every town.
And in case you haven't guessed by now, Smart Growth and Complete Streets are two sides of the same coin.
You guys just made it the law in Caldwell that 5 percent of any public project, and 20% of private development, must be dedicated to Complete Streets. So that nice new store proposed by the Corner Butcher Block? It just became 20% more expensive. And whoever buys the old Rite-Aid building could be on the hook for a sidewalk boondoggle, like resurrection of "the loser bench," and all the dead cigarette butts that go with it.
Oh, and Mayor Dassing? I saved the best for last. Smart Growth means no more Republicans.
"Smart growth is not science; it is political dogma combined with an insidious dose of social engineering. Smart growth is a wedding wherein zoning code is married with government-sponsored housing initiatives to accomplish government's goal of social re-engineering. It urbanizes rural towns with high-density development, and gerrymanders population centers through the use of housing initiatives that enable people with weak patterns of personal financial responsibility to acquire homes in higher-income areas. This has the effect of shifting the voting patterns of municipalities from Right to Left."
Because we don't have enough socialists in this town already, right?
It took County Clerk Chris Durkin a week to do it, but the provisional ballots from last Tuesday's election have finally been tallied. And I'm happy to report that Tom O'Donnell and Pat Capozzoli are officially victorious!
Of the 10 provisional ballots that were certified, 6 went for O'Donnell, 5 for Capozzoli, 4 for Grace Kerrigan, and only 2 for Maureen McNish. Which means Kerrigan and McNish still came up short.
|Tom O'Donnell, (R) incumbent||1086|
|Pat Capozzoli, (R)||1080|
|Maureen McNish, (D)||1073|
|Grace Kerrigan, (D)||1069|
Congratulations gentlemen! You successfully defeated Dick Codey's demented
dreams of demagogic Democrat dysfunction. He can strut up and down Bloomfield
Avenue all he wants, but in Town Hall the adults remain firmly in charge.
Even if you win by 4 votes, it's still a win!
Under Votes 523
Over Votes 0
|Dem - Maureen T. McNISH||1,071||24.96%|
|Dem - Grace F. KERRIGAN||1,065||24.82%|
|Rep - Thomas O'DONNELL||1,080||25.17%|
|Rep - Pasquale CAPOZZOLI||1,075||25.05%|
But remember Hugh Hewitt's words of wisdom: if it's not close they can't cheat. It's close. The guy counting the votes has a cousin on the Caldwell Council. And, now pay attention here, his cousin wants to be mayor, and will run next year.
With so slim a margin there will be a recount. And Mr. Durkin will have to certify provisional ballots, which could change the outcome. Gee, I wonder how fair he'll be.
But for now, Tom O'Donnell has won re-election. And Pat Capozzoli will join Tom in keeping Caldwell firmly in the Republican column for one more year.
UPDATE 06 Nov 2013 16:49:
Let the cheating begin!
Kerrigan and McNish refuse to concede.
"We have not conceded and it is not official yet," said McNish. "It's definitely close. … We are looking at our options."
It could take until at least Monday, Nov. 11, for the Caldwell Council race to be decided, according to a spokeswoman at the Essex County Clerk's Office.
Counting of provisional and emergency ballots cast in the race will be counted starting Friday, and the results are expected to be released no earlier than Monday, said the spokeswoman.
Well, sure. The Democrats who run the County Clerk's Office need the weekend
stuff the ballot boxes "discover" a stack of
provisional ballots which purely coincidentally will put their team
over the top.
And in a year or 2 another one of Chris Durkin's or Joe DiVincenzo's henchmen will join Carmine Casciano and Samuel Gonzalez in prison for vote fraud. Purely coincidentally, or so we'll be told.
The days are getting shorter. The air is clean and crisp, and nights are pleasantly cool. Which can mean only one thing — Fall is here. And as the leaves fall from the trees our government wants us to know there are regulations for how we rake them.
Pages and pages of regulations. For leaves.
Two collection dates are assigned to each street in Caldwell. Residents can rake leaves to the curb up to six days prior to the scheduled pick-up date. All leaves must be curbside by 7 a.m. on the curbside pick up date.
Residents who place leaves on roadways before and after the specified dates will be subject to fines.
Mother Nature, fined for littering!
Biodegradable bags will be available for purchase at Caldwell Borough Hall and Caldwell Community Center during normal operating hours.
Yes, you have to use The Official Leaf Bags. You can't put leaves in plastic bags. You can't put leaves in the trash. And you can't make this stuff up.
Additional restrictions and requirements include:
Do not include any branches, grass clippings, cans, bottles, or debris in the leaf piles. Foreign materials damage your town's equipment and risk employee safety.
Do not place leaves within 10 feet of any storm drain or fire hydrant.
Arrange leaves in a long row across your property's frontage rather than in large piles. Leaf rows should not extend into the street more than 4 feet for safety.
Do not park vehicles over leaf piles. This makes leaf collection difficult and it is also a significant fire hazard. Avoid parking vehicles on streets during scheduled pick up days.
Got that? Thou shalt not run afoul of the leaf inspectors!
Really. There's a guy who drives around town all day in a white pickup truck, checking on the leaves. Because he has nothing better to do.
Back when I was a kid we burned our leaves in a big metal garbage can. Sitting around that fire, with my uncles drinking beer and telling stories, those were good times.
Leave it to government to take all the fun out of everything it touches.
The students at Caldwell's James Caldwell High School decided not to hold their prom at The Newark Club this year. Aside from the high cost, one of the reasons cited is the recent rash of violent crime.
The prom committee of the regional school in West Caldwell looked at the Metropolitan Room at the Newark Club as one of nine venues. The Newark Club was eliminated from the list because the facility was too pricey and the city may be unsafe because of a recent rash of violent crimes, according to Superintendent James Heinegg.
So naturally, the denizens of Newark see racism.
The decision was strongly criticized by Barbara Yeninas, a marketing consultant from the Newark Club. She said a student from the school's prom committee — a group of five seniors and a class adviser — wrote to her, saying they were told, "You can't go to Newark, it's not safe."
In response, Yeninas sent an e-mail to the Caldwell-West Caldwell school board and superintendent.
"Your quoted excuse that Newark is 'a bad place' and your so-called fear that your students would be unsafe is exactly the attitude that promotes discrimination, hate and divisiveness among our young people and continues that pattern without end," Yeninas wrote.
When you can't defend your city's crime record, cry racism. But if there are ten murders in ten days, totalling 63 this year, along with the usual plethora of muggings, car-jackings, assaults, and rapes, well maybe those fears aren't exactly unfounded. Facts don't discriminate. Statistics don't hate. And it's not divisive to decide you're safer where criminals don't congregate.
Are there decent people in Newark? Sure. Are those decent people "winning" the battle against crime? Nope. Newark may not be as dangerous as Camden or Detroit, but it's no Mayberry, RFD either.
Perhaps Newark could counterbalance the negative perceptions by charging
less than their suburban competitors? At $85 bucks a head The Newark Club
is $25 more expensive than the venue ultimately chosen by JCHS. That sounds
like the kids would be getting robbed even before they set foot inside Cory
Booker's Urban Paradise.
To almost no one's surprise the Caldwell - West Caldwell Board of Education approved their $42 million dollar annual budget last night. The school tax will bump up by the maximum 2% allowable under state law, just like every other year since the beginning of time.
$42,172,356.00 divided by 2288 students comes out to $18,431.97 per kid.
For comparison, annual tuition at my daughter's Catholic school is $5,300. At the nearby Catholic high school tuition caps out at $14,300.
And before someone says "but Chris, Catholic schools do lots of fundraising," allow me to point out that the school board's Education Foundation is no slouch in that department either.
Maybe it's the bake sales. Public schools aren't allowed to have bake sales anymore. Yeah, that's gotta be it. Because there can't possibly be anything the school board could cut.
He's been on the job for a little over a month, but new Caldwell Councilman Edward Durkin is already making a name for himself. As a crybaby.
At his very first council meeting Mr. Durkin pompously pronounced that he'd personally look into a resident's complaint regarding an issue with the Caldwell Community Center. Mr. Big Shot Greenhorn Councilman wanted to make a splash!
Alas, we happen to have a Mayor, 5 other Councilmen, and an extremely competent Borough Administrator. They quietly handled the situation, except they didn't run it by Durkin The Magnificent first.
And when you're a legend in your own mind you don't take that kind of thing laying down. Nope. No way. You throw a public temper tantrum instead!
Durkin, during the council meeting February 5, was upset he was not included in the discussions or letter sent out in the council's name to the Mignone family before it was drafted, written and mailed.
"I reached out to this gentleman (Mignone) to get his side of the story," he noted. "I wanted to hear the resident's side. I cannot believe you guys resolved this matter with a letter sent out from the governing body from our attorney. I had zero knowledge of this letter - zero."
Durkin also said he believes the way the letter was handled was wrong, and that the procedures were incorrect as well, since he was not included.
[Borough Attorney Greg] Mascera disagreed.
"I do not set procedure, councilman," he noted. "You should learn procedure. You do not call out anyone on council in public."
As the argument grew more heated, Mascera said he was instructed to draft the letter by the mayor and governing body.
But Durkin was adamant: he wants to be included in matters impacting residents of Caldwell - saying this was vital to him especially if he publicly states he wants to get involved.
Referring to his fellow councilmen Durkin said, "I know we are not all the best of friends. I'm an elected official and I want the best for the residents of Caldwell regardless."
Caldwell Council President Richard Hauser also commented, saying "Along the lines of some of those comments, I think comments at the last meeting were inappropriate instead of throwing our government employees under the bus."
"I am not apologizing (since) all I need to get is two (sides) of the story," he said.
At one point, Durkin said they could "step outside" to talk further about the matter, but this statement was taken as a threat by Mascera who said he wanted this statement to be put into the official minutes of the meeting.
Mascera, who runs the council meetings with a professional and courteous manner, was upset by the discussion. Truly, over the past 4 years as borough attorney, he has never been seen as this upset and emotional, and has instead usually been the voice of reason during arguments.
"I have never been spoken to in a council meeting, in four years, or accused of any wrong doing in a council meeting for four years," he said. I resent the fact that Mr. Durkin did not pick up the phone and tell me to discuss the situation."
Yeah, "step outside" is Real Professional. Classy even. What's next Eddie? Holding your breath until you turn blue? All because you didn't get to play hero?
In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, "There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit." Maybe you should write that down Ed.
Later in the evening Mr. Mascera offered a little wisdom.
Mascera said Durkin's reaction may be a result of him being green.
"Most new council members get their feet wet gradually and learn the process and then act accordingly," he said.
He added, "There is no place for partisan politics at a municipal level. Partisan politics in my view get in the way of what is best for the community."
OK, Caldwell Democrats, it's time to muzzle your attack dog before he
embarrasses himself again. But in case he doesn't take the advice, we'll
be sure to have the Waambulance on standby outside the next council meeting.
Last night I finally McGyver-ed the generator into the furnace. We had heat! And Monday Night Football. So we were the happening spot. Around 11:30 I was out in the garage with my buddy Russ refilling the gas tank on the generator. Mere minutes after we finished he exclaimed "Look!" pointing toward his house.
And There Was Light. Everywhere.
On Facebook Nadz wagged, "that's why they call it electron day." Heh.
I'm told it was a crew from Texas who got us hooked up, rewired, and
reconnected. Man, I love Texas!
Apparently my "complaining" about our lack of power and heat is getting on at least one Facebook friend's nerves. She wrote a rather impassioned diatribe on my page last night after I noted that PSE&G has 90% of West Caldwell and 50% of North Caldwell restored but there is no info on what's going on in Caldwell. See, in case I didn't know, there are people worse off than me.
No shit Sherlock.
But sorry New York City, no National Guard for you!
Mayor Bloomberg has snubbed Borough President Markowitz's impassioned plea to bring the National Guard to Hurricane Sandy-scarred Brooklyn — arguing that approving the Beep's request would be a waste of federal manpower and turn the borough into a police state.
"We don't need it," Mayor Bloomberg said on Wednesday during a press update on the city's ongoing Hurricane Sandy cleanup. "The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns."
Maybe he thinks all the criminals' guns got washed away with the storm surge.
Meanwhile in Hoboken the National Guard seems to be doing the Lord's work. There are lots of photos at that link, just keep scrolling.
Locally, like I said earlier, some towns are getting their power back. And a few folks around Caldwell also report power being restored. My neighborhood is still stuck in the dark ages though.
Here, I'll let these guys complain for me.
"We are hurting down here," one woman says. "And we need help. Immediately."
The video then details Obama returning to the campaign trail.
"Don't boo, vote," the president is heard saying toward the end of the video. "Vote. Voting's the best revenge."
Don't worry Barry. I'm definitely gonna vote tomorrow.
Five days and counting. The post-Sandy frustration levels are building. We need information. But PSE&G is like the Sphinx. Their response is always the same — 7 to 10 days, maybe. I'm not holding my breath.
When I wake up in the morning I can see my breath.
In their latest "official" update they're still sticking to the flooded switching station story.
1. They told me the flooding in their pump stations is historic; never ever had anything this big happen yet.
2. Why have we not seen an army of trucks around here?
They said it is because they are handling the "behind the scenes" pump station stuff first.
They said they have 3,000 works; 600 imports just for trees and 100 experts/imports just for flooded pump stations.
I call bullshit. There's a switching station around the corner from me. It's deserted. And there's power along Bloomfield Avenue. That power doesn't come from magic unicorns. So if they've got power and we don't? It can't be because the switching station is flooded. Face it, PSE&G just doesn't care about us.
Major roads in Caldwell remain impassable, blocked by fallen trees and downed
power lines, right where they fell during the storm. Exiting our neighborhood
is like navigating a maze. The cops put up yellow tape and orange cones, and
told us to wait for
There have been PSE&G truck sightings. At Dunkin' Donuts. They load up on coffee and then vanish, destined for parts unknown. There are rumors of some streets getting power back. But as night falls the darkness envelopes us, and we're transported to something closer to North Korea than what we've come to expect from 21st century America.
Have you seen the devastation in Staten Island? They got slammed. And FEMA, Obama, Bloomberg, Red Cross? AWOL. When you rely on government to save you, government gets to decide if you're worth saving. After the Indonesian tsunami the U.S. Navy was able to air drop in supplies within 24 hours. It's been 5 days. Nobody is air-dropping supplies to Staten Island. Maybe the Navy doesn't know where it is. Or, more likely, Barry told them to "stand down."
Staten Island is filled with white, working-class Catholics. Not exactly an Obama (or Bloomberg) demographic.
More good news for today — gasoline
What is the U.N. sending us? Election monitors. Thanks! We'll be sure to return the favor the next time one of your pissant little menber countries gets wiped out by Mother Nature. I hope Con Ed turns your power back on last.
Oh well, time to go back outside and work on cleaning up the yard. Stay
warm folks. There's a Nor'easter headed our way, the forecast says snow
for Tuesday night. Yippee Kai Ay.
Sometime overnight AT&T got their cell service back up, my phone is working again! And that's all the good news I've got today.
When we woke up this morning the temperature was 40 degrees outside, and 50 inside. Even the cat was shivering.
I contacted PSE&G for an update on our power and they told me there were no reports of outages in my area. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? That's the same song-and-dance they gave my neighbors when they called too. Must be their standard response. Obviously their call center dudes don't have any info either. Heckuva way to run a railroad there Ralph.
Via an official Press Release from the Borough of Caldwell:
At the direction of Governor Chris Christie, Halloween will be celebrated on Monday, November 5, 2012.
Because Halloween is what's on everyone's mind, right? Must be, since this is like the 17th time the town has made an announcement about it. At least all the politicians have finally agreed on a date. Has anyone told PSE&G? I'm thinking Ralph ain't in the loop on this one.
For the latest information regarding power restoration in your area, please call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734.
Gee, thanks for the tip. Oh wait, you guys are serious?
There is currently power on Bloomfield Avenue from Forest Avenue to Prospect Street. Many of the merchants in this area are open for business.
Which is exactly how things stood immediately after the storm passed. Progress? None. Thanks PSE&G!
cancelled their annual
teachers convention union meeting,
which was scheduled for next week in Atlantic City. Sadly most of AC is still
under water, and the devastation there is catastrophic. Fact is, there's no
place there for the NJEA to have a convention. So, good call.
And if you made plans for that artificial four-day-weekend, well sucks to be you I guess.
The schools are closed again, for the fourth day in a row. No word on Friday yet, but since PSE&G is harder to find than Waldo and only 2 schools have power, I doubt school will be open.
Still can't find ice. Or gasoline.
NJ Transit's #29 bus seems to be running again. And I saw a Decamp #33 go by yesterday so presumably at least some folks are able to get into New York City.
And finally, for the laugh of the day, while Barry and Chris Christie were helicoptering over the remains of the Jersey Shore, someone wrote "ROMNEY" in large letters in the sand at the north end of Point Pleasant Beach.
UPDATE 01 Nov 2012 12:50:
Just got the word that Caldwell public schools are closed tomorrow (Friday November 2nd) too.
UPDATE 01 Nov 2012 17:22:
Stop the presses! We might have power by Monday!
Mayor Dassing told The Caldwells Patch that she spoke with PSE&G.
During this difficult time we want to assure you all that we have been and will continue to be in constant contact with PSE&G. During the hurricane the main transfer station that services our area, located in the Ironbound section of Newark, was flooded and rendered useless. Subsequent sub stations across the region also were flooded, compounding the delivery of electric power to our streets.
PSE&G is working to restore and rebuild these sub stations and ultimately to return power to our streets. As of this writing, we have had a few streets come back. They are still telling us that anytime between now and Monday, Nov. 5th our power should be restored.
Here's hoping she's right!
Well, we survived our second dark and cold night at home. Went to the Cloverleaf for dinner last night. Two hour wait for a table, with a limited menu. Luckily saw a friend at the bar and crowded around his table. Ate sliders and waffle fries, then hit the Ringside to watch the news on TV.
Devastation, destruction, and mayhem. Everywhere. Ugh. Had a coupla beers and went home. Today, up at 8, headed to the office with Sophie in tow. School? Still no power there, or at home. The PSE&G brain trust is still saying 7 to 10 days before they'll get to us.
Barry's in Atlantic City today. Presumably rallying his progbot voting base. He'll get their lights on in time for the election. The Republican parts of Jersey? We're outta luck.
Caldwell has tentatively rescheduled Halloween for Saturday. Apparently the school district has to sign off on the decision, and they haven't consulted their Oracle yet. And just to make things more confusing, Governor Christie has decreed that Monday is now the day. But if we don't have power, what's the point? No kid is gonna trick-or-treat at a bunch of dark houses on pitch-black streets. My daughter sure isn't 'cause it's not safe.
AT&T cell service is still spotty. It's out completely here at the office, and intermittent at best while at home. Meanwhile Tammy and Sophie's Verizon phones are working, pretty much everywhere. They watched a Netflix movie on Tammy's Droid last night. I stared at my dead BlackBerry. AT&T says "Rethink Possible". I don't think that means what they think it means.
Nobody has ice. Shop Rite Liquors got a delivery yesterday afternoon. Word is that it was sold out in 15 minutes.
Lakeside Deli is only selling cold sandwiches. Their grill isn't working. I don't know what's up with that. The joint is still mobbed, and the sloppy joes are still outstanding.
There are lines at every open gas station. And lines for coffee at the bagel store. Gas lines. Food lines. What's next? Zombies? Welcome back Carter!
UPDATE 31 Oct 2012 14:54:
It's official, Halloween in Caldwell is Saturday November 3rd.
Here's the scoop from The Caldwells Patch:
From Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing: We moved Caldwell-West Caldwell Halloween to Saturday, Nov. 3.
And from the comments:
This is the first we have heard from Mayor Dassing and it is about Halloween??? I would like to know when I will have lights and heat again, thank you.
C'mon now. Mayor Dassing is totally focused on the important stuff. She's a public relations professional. If you haven't heard from her, that's gotta be your fault. Really. Walk on up to Town Hall and find her. She's probably glued to the fax machine, waiting for folks to fax in their forms to sign up for the Borough-wide email alert system. You know, the form you can't print because you don't have any electricity. You shoulda planned ahead. Told you it was your fault.
UPDATE 31 Oct 2012 16:40:
And The Patch took down their Halloween post. So now the status is, official communications from Mayor Dassing: 0. Lovely.
There's nothing like a little fascism to end your summer on a high note. You're driving along, minding your own business, humming to a tune on the radio when up ahead you spy a line of cars, some orange cones, and there's no turning back, you're guilty until proven innocent at the roving sobriety checkpoint.
Law enforcement officers from Caldwell will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the summer 2012 "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Beginning August 17 and running through September 3, local and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols, looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.
A concentrated national effort, the campaign helps to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools, including posters, banners and mobile video display signs. Launched nationally in 1999, the program works to combat drunk driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year, including the Labor Day holiday period.
Has anyone seen the Fourth Amendment? It doesn't seem to apply when the nanny state is looking out for your own good. And where's the ACLU? Oh yeah, they're too busy protecting the "rights" of illegal aliens.
"Many people believe that after just a few drinks, they're safe to drive," said Gary Poeduebicky, Acting Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. "Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time, putting not only yourself, but everyone on the road, in danger."
Ooh, cue the scary music! There's death on the roads! And it might be your fault, so wait your turn, submit to a cavity search, and don't complain because then the cop will definitely find something to cite you for. The ends justify the means.
They're looking for drunk drivers because they care about your safety, but hey while you're here let's see what's in the trunk, and wow there's a bench warrant with your wife's name on it for some parking tickets she got as a teenager in 1972 and your dog isn't wearing a seat belt so please pull over there while we break out the handcuffs and call a tow truck.
Safety, schmafety, this is about revenue. Drunk driving tickets are expensive, and all those dollars go directly into the local municipal coffers. The guy who had a few beers on his way home from work isn't likely to be a real danger to anyone, but he's good for a coupla grand in fines. Cash-strapped towns see their police departments as a profit center. All those seat belt, cell phone, and scarlet decal laws light up their eyes with dollar signs.
So please, spare me the sanctimony.
Seen while walking in town with Sophie last night, the D. Marie Home store on Bloomfield Ave:
Also closing, the Elegant Tile store. Already gone, Ace Hardware and Rite Aid.
Then there's Instapundit's iconic photo of Obamanomics in action.
Nationally, initial jobless claims are unexpectedly up for the week. Again.
Foreclosures have hit a 27 month high.
And another 135,000 folks fell off the end of their jobless benefits last week.
Meanwhile, President Golfpants is flitting around on yet another fund-raising binge.
Hey Barry, be sure to ask Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker how the private sector is doing in their neck of the woods, OK?
UPDATE 14 Jun 2012 13:38:
Welcome Instapundit readers!
Can Joe DiVincenzo and Lenny Luciano pick 'em, or what? Joe D was peeved when the Caldwell Democrats didn't nominate any council candidates to run against Republicans Rich Hauser and Pete Murray. So he rousted new Freeholder Lenny Luciano from the couch in his mom's basement and sent him forth with orders to find two write-in candidates for last Tuesday's primary election.
Enter Edward Durkin and Stephen Modica, who just happened to be suddenly interested in a career in politics. Their write-in effort was successful, and Township Democratic Committee Chair Jeff Curley gushed over "two outstanding candidates who are eager to face the voters of Caldwell in the fall election."
Alas, the vetting, it could have been more thorough.
Mr. Modica was arrested Saturday evening for possession of drugs, drug paraphenalia, and possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.
Us Republicans are content with wine and cheese. Apparently Curley's crew took that whole Obama Choom Gang thing to heart. Which of course might be why they "forgot" to submit their nominating petitions in the first place.
Remember, public education is all about the children.
The Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education will vote next month on revisions to the district's policies that would prevent home-schooled students from participating in interscholastic sports.
The proposed policy changes come as a result of a recent change to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's (NJSIAA) bylaws that state home-schooled students may participate in interscholastic sports if the district allows.
Superintendent of Schools Daniel Gerardi said the administration's recommendation is to be consistent with how private school students are treated by the district and not allow home-schooled students to participate in sports.
Maybe they should enact a policy which exempts the parents of home-schooled and private school students from paying the school tax. Because they definitely work overtime to ensure we don't get any services from the school district.
Sports programs are organized after normal school hours. So there is no logistical reason the home-schooled and private school kids couldn't participate. Except of course that the teachers union hates it when you don't send your kid to the government school.
Who runs the interscholastic sports programs? Members of the teachers union.
What we need here is a home-schooled black kid who's a basketball star. Then
we can watch Gerardi squirm when the kid's parents accuse him of racism for
this clearly discriminatory policy.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the neighbors who band together can make their voices heard. There's a busy street between our neighborhood and the local park. The speed limit is 25, but that doesn't stop the NASCAR wannabes around here from zooming down the straightaway at twice that speed.
So last year the town put in stop signs at 2 of the 3 cross streets. Ours wasn't one of them. What's a resident to do? Stand up at a council meeting!
My wife took the lead, along with a few other moms, brought the kids along for visual effect, and soon the wheels of democracy were spinning in our favor.
Yes, even as a new councilman, one who ran on a platform of removing all the stop signs in town, was somehow elected. He got the speed demon vote, I guess.
But one naysayer wasn't enough to overcome a determined group of moms! This morning I was delighted to see that our little corner is now graced with its very own stop sign. And a brightly painted crosswalk to boot.
Thank you Mayor Dassing! Thank you Councilmen Coyle, Hauser, Murray, and O'Donnell. Thanks also to former councilmen Norton and Piazza for your guidance and support. The children are delighted, and us parents are a lot less worried about them walking to the park.
Oh, and here's a special message to NJ.com forum mavens NotOnMYlawn and LocalCaddy — Pffffft!
Believed them, you did. Even though you knew in your hearts they were lying, just like every other Democrat before them. All it took was one letter, one empty promise to pave the streets in the Cedars. And you dumped Joe Norton and Doug Piazza faster than a hot potato even though they actually delivered on giving you ungrateful wankers your own private park.
Well Cedars residents, the joke's on you. You wanted John Kelley and Frank Rodgers on the Caldwell Council. You got 'em. Now they've rewarded your naivete.
That's right. No repaving for you. Not this year. Sorry.
Can I say "I told you so?" Because, I told you so.
Maybe next time you'll listen.
Caldwell's two new Councilmen-elect lied to you. It's all laid out in black and white by Diane Lilli for The Jersey Tomato Press.
Over the past few months, Caldwell residents have heard rumors and read campaign literature from 2 Democrats, Frank Rodgers and John Kelley, who successfully ran for council seats, stating the borough's surplus was being "depleted" by a Republican for "political gain". Their campaign literature, sitting before me, states: "This year as an incumbent up for re-election, he (Republican incumbent Joe Norton), voted to deplete the borough's cash reserves for political gain. Any prudent businessperson will tell you, "never deplete surplus". Any unforeseen emergency could wipe out remaining reserves and compromise our fiscal stability."
Liar, liar, pants on fire. Joe Norton did no such thing. Caldwell's cash reserves are healthy. Very healthy.
Is it true? No. After attending every meeting, including long, exhaustive budget meetings, for years here in the borough, this reporter can tell you: this is 100 percent false. The surplus in Caldwell is a healthy $430,000. This surplus is about 5-6 percent of the operating budget, which shows a robust and even rare surplus, since most towns in New Jersey and even the county are coming in at 2 percent or less.
Well whaddaya know. They lied. For political gain.
If they lied to us to get elected, how can we trust them once they're sworn in?
We can't. But then, you already knew that.
You know what really burns my shorts though? This:
Now that the election is over, it's time to review the surplus in Caldwell.
"Now that the election is over?" Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. You're a day late and a dollar short Diane. Thanks.
Would it have killed Ms. Lilli to actually commit journalism prior to the election? You know, when exposing these lies might have made a difference?
God forbid, proving Kelley and Rodgers wrong could have cut into the time she spent cavorting with the dirty denizens of Occupy Wall Street. For them, she's got sympathy and pixels; for a critical election issue which just might determine the future direction of our great town? Not so much.
In the days leading up to the election The Jersey Tomato Press covered a "fair trade book sale," another of Joe D's boondoggles at Turtle Back Zoo, where to dump your storm debris, and "Adopt A Pet Month." Riveting stuff to be sure.
Election coverage? Fuggedaboudit.
I assume her new masters at Baristanet had something to do with that. Prior to her merger with Montclair's granola-eating-Volvo-drivers-for-social-justice set she used to be a force for good in Caldwell, unafraid to take on Town Hall or anyone else.
Media bias? Yeah, it's everywhere. But hey, the truth is out now, so what's
the big deal, right? We gotta move forward. Onward and upward. With two
mendacious opportunists sniping at our flanks. The fun, it has just begun.
It's the beginning of a new tradition. Small Business Saturday:
For shoppers, it might be like getting a new holiday.
As if Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't create enough of a shopping frenzy, there is growing hoopla for another day of sales and shopping especially dedicated to small business.
The campaign for smaller-sized retailers started last year when AmericanExpress began running television commercials reminding consumers to patronize neighborhood retailers. The commercials returned this year along with a blitz of publicity promoting neighborhood retailers, downtown boutiques and local shops.
It's a great idea. There are a lot of terrific little shops in downtown Caldwell. There's Smith & Co., an eclectic gift shop with many a whimsical offering on display. Sophie gets quite the chuckle out of her oddball plaques; the latest one says, "I used to care but now I take a pill for that." I can think of at least three folks on my gift list who deserve that one! Saplings boutique is the perfect spot to find just the right baby gift. There's a dress in the window at Puttin' on the Ritz that Sophie's had her eye on for quite a while now. Maybe Santa will figure out how to get it into his sleigh this year. And if you can't find something special at D. Marie Home you haven't really been trying.
Don't forget to pick up your Christmas ham at Vila Meats and the perfect bottle of wine at Shop Rite Liquors. Edible Arrangements can make up the custom gift basket for last-minute shoppers. And to finish off your day, stop by Rockin' Joe's for the best coffee in town. Or, if you need something stronger than coffee, Ringside Pub and Cloverleaf Tavern have got you covered.
And if anyone needs any hints for gifts headed in my direction (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) a gift certificate to Rose Mediterranean Restaurant is always the right size.
Small business. They're the engine of job growth and economic recovery.
Shop local. Shop Caldwell. Tell 'em Big Wy sent you.