Mitt Romney was declare the winner of the Iowa Caucuses by 8 votes. Weeks later after all the votes were counted, Rick Santorum was declared the winner.
Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina GOP Presidential Primary.
Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMasowas elected a Monmouth County Freeholder by the Monmouth County Republican Committee.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez blocked Federal Magistrate Patty Shwartz’s nomination to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Menendez denied he was blocking the appointment because Shwartz’s boyfriend was the Assistant U.S. Attorney who investigated him in 2006. Menendez reversed himself after the news of his opposition to Shwartz become pulbic. Shwartz’s nomination has yet to be confirmed.
Governor Christie nominated Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre to be the Director of the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Governor Christie nominated First Assistant Attorney General Philip Kwon and Chatham Mayor Bruce Harris to be State Supreme Court Associate Justices. Kwon was the first Asian-American ever nominated. Harris was the first openingly homosexual nominee.
New Jersey’s newspaper industry fought back efforts to allow “Legal Notices” to be posted online instead of in newspapers.
Mitt Romney won the Florida GOP presidential primary.
Michael Halfacre, the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the State Department of Law and Public Safety has issued a stay to Point Pleasant Beach’s Ordinance establishing a midnight closing time for bars in the borough. The bars can stay open till 2 am pending a hearing and final ruling.
Halfacre ordered that a hearing on the matter be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge. Halfacre will make a final determination, as provided by law, of the hours of operation of Point Pleasant Beach bars after review the Administrative Law Judge’s findings. The hearing date is yet to be set.
In his order granting the stay, Halfacre noted that the 2 am closing time maintains the status quo, that should the bars prevail in their appeal that they would be unable to recover the lost business that would have resulted from a midnight closing time while the case was pending, and that the borough has several methods available to preserve the public safety until the final resolution of the appeal.
Jenkinson’s Pavilion Inc, Ocean Dunes, Inc, and Martell’s Tiki Bar, Inc are the companies that filed the appeal with ABC.
30 Shore Law Enforcement Agencies Will Participate in “Cops in Shops” Stings
BELMAR – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa gathered in Belmar today with state and local officials, as well as members of the liquor and prevention industry to outline his plans to stop underage drinking on the Jersey Shore.
“We all look forward to soaking up the fun of the Jersey Shore this summer, but we’re focused today on a serious mission: keeping the good times safe for our teens and young people,” Chiesa said. “Simply put, I consider underage drinking a threat to the health and well-being of our youth in New Jersey.”
The keystone of the Shore efforts is the “Cops in Shops” program, which is run by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“Cops in Shops” is a program designed by the Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers. Under the program, local police officers work undercover in participating retail locations. Law enforcement officials either pose as store employees or are positioned outside the establishment to apprehend adults who attempt to purchase alcohol for underage drinkers. The New Jersey Cops in Shops program is recognized nationally as a successful program.
“One Shore teenager told us that it was common for her and her friends to wait outside a liquor store for a sympathetic adult to buy them alcohol. She called this ‘Going Fishing,’” Chiesa said. “My message for those teens and adults of a similar mind is this: Simply don’t do it.”
Former Mayor Mike Halfacre’s nomination as the Director of the Division Alcoholic Beverage Control was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon.
In answering questions posed by members of the committee, Halfacre expressed his commitment to combat underage drinking and to run his agency has a regulatory and enforcement body, not a policy making body.
Halfacre was appointed Assistant Attorney General and Acting Director on February 6. His nomination is scheduled be voted on by the full Senate on March 15.
Mike Halfacre, the Acting Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said that combating underage drinking will be among his top priorities as he takes the lead of the agency.
“I am honored and excited by this opportunity and I am grateful to Governor Christie and Attorney General Chiesa for the chance to serve the State of New Jersey,” Halfacre said. “From the outset, I will make combating underage drinking a priority, and strive to make our division more efficient and user-friendly to both the public and alcoholic beverage industry.”
The ABC is charged with protecting and furthering the public welfare by fostering moderation and responsibility in the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The agency also ensures the economics of the alcoholic beverage industry to New Jersey by maintaining the stability of the industry and securing state revenues derived from the commerce of alcoholic beverages.
In announcing Halfacre’s appointment, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said, “Michael Halfacre brings an outstanding record as a municipal legal professional that will be vital to leading the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. This is an important division with dedicated and expert legal and professional staff which regulates the commerce of alcoholic beverages within New Jersey.”
Additionally, the former Fair Haven Mayor will be responsible for implementing recent legislation that allows New Jersey wineries that produce 250,000 gallons or less of wine annually to ship directly to consumers. The new law also permits small wineries to operate up to 16 retail outlets each throughout the state.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre was nominated by Governor Christie today to become the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The nomination requires the advice and consent of the State Senate.
Halfacre, who is expected to resign as Fair Haven’s mayor and from his prosecutor jobs in Rumson and Little Silver, is replacing Jerry Fischer who has held the ABC job since 2000.
Halfacre will be leading the 50 person division which regulates nearly 10,000 liquor licensees throughout New Jersey. The division is charged with implementing the new law that allows New Jersey wineries to ship their products to out of state customers on a limited basis and that allows out of state wineries to ship into New Jersey.
When reached for comment, Halfacre said to pull his ad. He referred all other questions to the Governor’s office.
Tony Fiore was sworn in as Mayor of Middletown. Shaun Golden was sworn in as Monmouth County Sheriff. Tom Arnone was sworn in to his first term as Freeholder. Rob Clifton took the Freeholder Oath of Office for the third time.
Despite the hullabaloo New Jersey’s mainstream media and the Democrats made of Governor Christie and Lt. Governor Guadagno being on vacation at the same time during the December 2010 blizzard, Governor Christie’s approval ratings were very strong, 53% favorable, in the first FDU poll of the year.
A severely mentally ill 22 year old man, Jared Loughner, opened fire on a crowd in Tucson, Arizonia. He killed 6 and injured 14, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The national mainstream media and Democrats in Congress blamed the massacre on the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.President Obama was presidential in calming the rhetoric and healing the nation.
Governor Christie held a Town Hall meeting in Middletown. During the meeting Christie criticized President Obama’s leadership, a theme that became a staple for Christie throughout the year, causing a draft Christie for President movement among GOP leaders and donors nationally.
It was nice to wake up in air conditioning and not have to head off to Starbucks or McDonalds for power and Wifi.
I spent more time inside McDonalds this week since, well since ever. I would have had to work at a McDonalds to have spent more time inside one than I did this week. Perhaps it is an indication of the state of the economy. Perhaps it is a indication of McDonalds’ recruitment and training. Perhaps it is an indication of my prejudices. Perhaps all of the above. It seems to me that the people working at the McDonalds on Route 35 in Middletown and the one on Route 36 in Leonardo are decidedly more middle class than I expected. They are friendly, articulate, accommodating and industrious. No one asked me, “Would you like fries with that?” I learned what a McFlurry is.
Governor’s Conference Call
Last night I was invited to listen into a conference call Governor Christie held with his cabinet and elected officials throughout the State. Christie has been holding these calls at least daily since the days before Irene hit.
Despite the mixed reviews I had heard about these calls from several elected officials who had been on them during the week, I was impressed.
I am impressed with the quality of the team that Governor Christie has assembled to manage our State government. Over the course of my career I have participated in or been privy too several executive level conferences in both the private and public sector. In very large enterprises and small. Christie’s team stands out. They are extraordinarily competent and focused on getting the job done.
There was quite a bit of conversation about JCP&L. Monmouth County is not the only place suffering with JCP&L’s inadequate and disingenuous response to the storm. Mayor Timothy McDonough of Warren County’s Hope Township reported frustrations with JCP&L that are very similar to what we’ve experienced in Monmouth County.
BPU President Lee Solomon recounted a conversation with JCP&L executives who asked him what more he thought they should be doing. “Tell your people to tell the truth,” Soloman said, “if your people are talking to a mayor or councilman, tell them the truth. Don’t tell them what you think they want to hear or what you think will make them go away.” Imagine that.
Christie and Solomon said they’d be talking further about JCP&L after the call last night. Solomon said BPU was focused on getting all the power up and that JCP&L was on his radar for further work after the crisis has past.
Christie said that since Sunday the utilities have been restoring power at a rate of 8900 customers per hour. JCP&L has obviously been dragging down that average. Overnight last night they restored power at a rate of little over 1000 customers per hour just in Monmouth County.
The contrast between PSEG’s response to Irene and JCP&L’s response is like comparing the Yankees to the Mets. Sorry Governor.
PSEG vs. JCPL
As of early this morning, PSEG has 15,000 customerswithout power in their entire service area. There service area includes Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Union, Passaic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset Counties.
JCP&Lhas 19,314 customers without power just in Monmouth County. They have 13,834 customers without power in Morris County, 9934 in Sussex County, 5941 in Hunterdon County, 6732 in Somerset County, 3643 in Union County, 3324 in Essex, and 3124 in Warren. If I missed any…so did JCP&L.
A loyal MMM reader provided an antedotal contrast between PSEG and JCP&L:
My father was a construction super for PSE&G for 40 years. I am literally first person in my family who came to this country who not to work for PSE&G— great grandfather when it was a trolly car company, my grandfather, my father and uncles, etc. all worked for PSE&G. Every time there were events like this my father would be living in portable trailers at job sites for months at a time. He always said JCPL sucked and never invested in infrastructure since they were bought by First Energy out of Ohio. PSE&G would have to bail them out all the time. PSE&G is a New Jersey company with more than 100 year history here. Most of its employees all live here too. Note where First Energy’s executive’s live: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/about/leadership_team.html.
That story is consistent with the graphic that greets visitors to PSEG’s website:
Contrast that to the lunatic who says he’s a JCP&L lineman that has been harassing me and Mike Halfacre in the comments here and on facebook. I hope that rectum crater is not really a JCP&L lineman blogging during this crisis, but given the JCP&L response and the info he has given me to contact his union office, I wonder. I’ll be contacting his union and continuing to delete is his comments here.
Estimated Customers Out For
As of Sep 1, 2011 6:29 AM
The heat and humidity is coming back and asthmatics are beginning to suffer. So reports an MMM reader from Highlands who just called saying she was having a hard time breathing.
GET THE FRICKIN POWER ON!
Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore just called. JCP&L’s Roberta Sheridan called back and gave him an electric delivery 101 lesson. “All Available Men” are not at the substations because the substations are working. The problem is with circuits throughout the neighborhoods that must be repaired. That is where “all available men are” per Sheridan through Fiore.
All available men must be working out of Comcast, Verizon or Sewer trucks because there is not a JCP&L truck in the area that I have seen. If you see one, please post the location in the comments and I’ll run right over to take pictures.
Sheridan guaranteed Fiore that all of Middletown Township would have power by Friday.
That’s still too long as far as I am concerned.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre says he just heard the Governor’s office. Christie is ramping up the pressure on JCP&L. Christie’s representative told Halfacre that Monmouth County has more residents without power than all of the rest of the state.
Note to municipal elected officials. Fiore and Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre have demonstrated that the squeaking wheel gets the oil. Don’t be satisfied with the bullshit JCPL is feeding you. If you’re not satisfied with the answers your OEM team are getting through the established protocalls, call your legislators and the Governor’s office. Hold them to account. Feel free to use MMM the way Fiore, Halfacre and Toni Angelini have been. The public presssure is working.
Estimated Customers Out For
As of Aug 31, 2011 2:46 PM
Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore called at 7:22 AM to report that JCP&L Government Affairs Representative Roberta Sheridan had just called.
JCP&L is moving “all available men,” into the Bayshore of Monmouth County. That’s about 300 workers, per Fiore. Work will finally get started on the Belford substation which powers most of the Bayshore.
Multiple sources have told MMM that the Belford station was a problem. JCPL (not Sheridan) has been saying that the substation was underwater (it wasn’t) that its old (it is) and that they didn’t know when they would get to it.
Yesterday afternoon they hadn’t gotten to it. It wasn’t wet, but it was rusty….on the top, not the bottom. It’s elevated and the ground was dry all around it. This was not one of the underwater substations.
In an ironic and infuriating twist, while I was inspecting the Belford substation yesterday, Comcast workers, who now use the former JCP&L building adjacent to the substation were taking delivery of small generators. Well one or two of them were taking delivery while 9 or 10 watched.
The Stone Church substation off Sears Ave in Atlantic Highlands is the other problem for Northeast Monmouth residents and businesses. The misinformation being spread to area elected officials by JCPL about this substation is disgusting. One story was that trees fell on it and destroyed it. Another story was trees fell on it and it “burnt up.” ” Burnt up” could mean a fire or it could mean a blown transformer. Neither was the case. No members of the Highlands, Atlantic Highlands or Navesink Fire Companies knew of any calls to the substation in the last week. MMM went to the substation. No signs of a recent fire or the lingering smell of a blown transformer. The substation was not underwater. There were sounds of electricity though!
Stone Church Substation, August 30, 2011
Fiore said that Sheridan told him that the real problem with the Stone Church substation is topography with the lines going to and from the station. Trees on the lines and downed lines will cause further delays to electric customers being serviced by this station.
Fiore has been a bulldog of an advocate for Middletown residents and the entire Bayshore during the aftermath of Irene. During the Real Jersey Guys Radio Show yesterday afternoon, Fiore couldn’t get through on the call in lines so he sent a text informing us that he had gotten through to the Governor’s office about the Bayshore situation and asked that the Belford and Stone Church substations be made a priority. The head office said they would do so. Within an hour lights started coming on in Belford and Atlantic Highlands. Then Sheridan called first thing this morning.
Here’s a recording of the radio show, in case you didn’t have power and are listening to it next week sometime.
The show featured Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre and stories of his multi-year battle with JCP&L and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande reporting on the great works of Monmouth volunteers, law enforcement and genuinely finding the silver lining in the mutliple Irene clouds.