Monthly Archives: June 2008

Sunday Secrets

If you didn’t know (I don’t know how you couldn’t, being I don’t often shut up about it), I love books.

Some of my favorites have always been the PostSecret books, by Frank Warren.

There is also a PostSecret blog that publishes additional postcards, those that haven’t made the books. The postcards are sent in constantly by thousands of people.

This is one of today’s –


I think it’s so appropriate, especially in the current society. Today’s women are strong, independent and very much their own people. These generations of women are growing up (myself included) with the notion that, no, we don’t need men to happy, successful or satisfied in life.

However, I think it’s kind of cute men feel the effects of this mentality. Ladies, throw ’em a bone every once in a while. While the world could run on women and a few vials of semen, a world full of men would be like . . . Well, it’d be like the world was pre-Eve. And clearly that was doing no one any good ;-)

I suggest checking out the PostSecret blog by clicking on the headline. It’s one of my daily hits for a laugh or a frown. And it always makes me think.

POSTCARD: (Thanks to www.PostSecret.blogspot.com)

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Filed under Diversity, Feminine Idealogy, Frank Warren, Postcards, PostSecret

Pallone introduced FEMA legislation

I just heard from Rep. Frank Pallone’s office that the congressman introduced his legislation regarding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last night.

The bill includes three points:

1 — If passed, it would place a moratorium on the implementation of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) until “all affected communities are individually briefed,” allowing residents to investigate the FIRM process.

2 — Also, it would provide tax credits to affected residents for the first five years after a new flood zone is revised to include their house.

3 — Thirdly, it would create a new program through FEMA that would provide grants to local communities. The grants would allow a municipality to develop projects that could improve its rating through FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS).

I’m very glad Pallone finally got this bill on the table. Andrew Souvall, communications and policy director, told me the office has already begun rallying support for the bill.

I will follow its progress as closely as possible, considering Washington, D.C., is not exactly an easy drive.

Look for more on the bill and municipality’s feedback in the upcoming issue of The Courier.

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Filed under Andrew Souvall, Bayshore Flooding, Congressman Frank Pallone, FEMA, Flood Maps, U.S. Congress

Gotta love the M-4

I just met with the commander of the Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT), at Howell’s Police Department.

I also saw Chief Ronald Carter, MOCERT’s director through the Chiefs of Police Association.

I had a lot of fun learning about this specialized team of 45 officers from 17 Monmouth County municipalities. The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team has been around since 1977, during which time there were five municipalities at its core: Howell, Wall, Ocean Township, Middletown and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office.

MOCERT — which includes the SWAT team — was officially created in 2003.

This is a photo of Cpl. John Weg and an M-4, one of the weapons the team uses.

I actually got to hold this sucker, and let me tell you: It’s heavy! I’m not necessarily one for weapons (especially after seeing “Iron Man” — great movie, though), but I am all for being able to defend myself. Holding one of these makes me glad I take Aikido classes instead.

Check out this week’s issue of The Courier for extended coverage of MOCERT.

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Filed under Aikido, Chief Ronald Carter, Howell Police Department, M-4, MOCERT

Baroni heading McCain’s campaign in Jersey

Also my thoughts on politics as a religion . . . When did this happen?

You know it’s officially the season when campaign managers begin nesting.

According to an article in The Asbury Park Press, Sen. Bill Baroni, R-Mercer, will head Arizona Sen. John McCain’s campaign in New Jersey.

Baroni is a a rather young guy (about 37, according to his profile on the N.J. Legislature Web site), and I found it rather humorous he would be on board with the 71-year-old dinosaur.

Then again, if Republicanism is a “religion” (which I’ve been told by many Republicans it is), then McCain is relatively young compared to some spiritual leaders. It would also make sense he would draw such a young crowd, i.e. Baroni. Not to mention the two are permanently tied by the “R” following their names.

But please, don’t think I’m comparing McCain to Jesus, Gandhi or any other icon of such magnitude. I’m just saying, if Republicans are naive enough to think politics is the be all, end all of life – a strong point to lean on – I think they will be surprised to find weak points in the fabric of their philosophy.

It does interest me a great deal, however. To any Republican or person of the “red cloth,” answer me this: Do you believe in John McCain, above all else? Do you, too, think the war in Iraq is one of significance?

Most importantly, are you on board for eternity with all this? I’m very interested in the concept of politics as a religion. Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Do people need God, or just a corrupt politician for them to sleep at night? Because, honestly, I haven’t met one yet that isn’t corrupt, even to the smallest extent.

Please e-mail me any responses — ms.melissa.gaffney@gmail.com.

I look forward to reading these, assuming people write in. I also wouldn’t mind hearing from “other parties,” as every perspective in this situation is important (at least to me). Type away!

I always knew politics had its divisions, as does religion. I never truly expected the two institutions to cross paths, as they seemingly have. Should they? Hmm. How many leaders should a person have to answer to?

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Filed under Bill Baroni, Democrats, Politics, religion, Republicans, Sen. John McCain

Soirée tonight for Chamber of Commerce

The Northern Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce will host an “after-hours” networking event tonight at United Technical Financial, Route 35 North in Holmdel.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Cost for members is $15 and $25 for nonmembers.

There will be hors d’oeuvres, spirits and door prizes.

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Filed under Holmdel, Monmouth County, Networking, Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce

Ferry from NYC to AC? Eek

The Press of Atlantic City has an article online today about the possible revitalization of a ferry service that would run between New York and Atlantic City.

The service was offered some 18 years ago and was not well received. Apparently, passengers became very ill during the commute and arrived in AC a bit greener than they would have liked.

According to the article, the new system would encompass new technology that would “ease” the ride for up to 600 passengers.

A trip on the ferry would cost $58 for a regular, round-trip ticket, while “VIP” seating would cost $85.

When docked or in between marinas, the boat could also serve as a conference center.

While the whole proposal sounds like a good idea, both economically and socially, it’s just not floating my boat.

Having grown up in what I consider the ideal Jersey location (Ocean County, Central Jersey), I’ve always been close to both New York City and Atlantic City. However, the two locations – offering two entirely different atmospheres, in my opinion – could not be more different.

I have always thought it appropriate they are on opposite ends of the Garden State.

With this ferry, the worlds would seemingly merge. I don’t want to gamble with the Big Apple, and I certainly don’t want the beautiful Jersey Shore that closely associate with the country’s metropolis. There are just some things I don’t mix, my favorite towns being one of them.

Jersey has always had a “complex” of being the dump for anything leftover from Manhattan, anyway. I think with this ferry, that notion would be even more evident.

I know it makes sense in the business world, and it would probably save some people gas money, blah blah blah. But would it really? I think $60 is a lot of money. I’ll take my chances with traditional forms of mass transportation and not try to squeeze too much excitement into one day.

To read the article, click on the headline.

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Filed under Atlantic City, Ferry System, New York City

Budgets in sight; Keyport meeting tonight

The state (finally) adopted its $30-something billion budget yesterday. It might have been today, but who really knows.

All the deals were made yesterday, as far as I’m concerned.

Back in the Bayshore, the borough of Keyport will have its council meeting tonight at 7 p.m., in Borough Hall.

As far as the agenda goes, I didn’t see anything noting the adoption of a 2008 municipal budget of any kind.

I guess municipalities are waiting for their throats to be “officially” choked from cuts in state aid.

Keyport is actually slated to receive some funds back, about $66,000, which would bring the borough’s funded state aid to about $304,000.

Any money a town receives back at this point is certainly a gift. Although small and seemingly insignificant, receiving funds is better than having more taken away.

Check back tonight for any interesting bits from the Borough Council Meeting.

PHOTO: View from the Waterfront in Downtown Keyport. (Melissa L. Gaffney)

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Filed under 2008 Municipal Budget, budget cuts, Keyport, Keyport Council Meeting, State Aid