Tuesday, March 27, 2007

At the corner of Blank & Unreadable

The DoT has begun replacing 11,000 faded street signs:

To get anywhere of late, it seems, you have to travel along a lot of Blank Streets and Unreadable Roads, a consequence of thousands of street signs throughout the state fading away to obsolescence.
A DOT inventory found some 11,000 signs statewide that need to be re-placed, at a cost of about $6 million, Phalon said. The work is already under way and all of the signs in Monmouth and Ocean counties will be replaced by Memorial Day, she said.
That's sure to come as welcome news to many in the area who depend on the signs to get around, especially while they're driving in unfamiliar territory.

After this, we can no longer blame street signs if we're late, and must continue to blame MapQuest instead.

It has begun

My eyes are watering.

My nose is running.

My throat itches.

It must be Spring in the Center of NJ...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why I like Chistopher Titus

(If you're not impressed, hold on for the last 30 seconds- it's the best part.)

Dissecting comedy is never the best way to keep laughing, but I can't help but notice how he keeps both his red state and blue state fans in on the joke. Well done.

I saw this while flipping channels the other night, but hat tip to Professor Kim for reminding me of it.

Thank you, Senator Menendez

I've been away from the computer for several days, so I'm late in printing this (sorry if you've already seen it.) But today, Senator Bob Menendez is my hero:

"The president this morning made a feeble attempt to lecture the Congress on our 'responsibilities' regarding the war in Iraq," Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said in a written statement. "With all due respect, Mr. President, you had a responsibility to use sound intelligence in formulating foreign policy. You had a responsibility to provide our deploying troops the equipment, body armor and support they needed."
"Instead of declaring 'mission accomplished' on a flight deck," Menendez said, "you had the responsibility of foreseeing a subsequent insurgency and civil war that find us escalating the war after four years in Iraq."
Teflon W's never been one for taking responsibility, has he?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Klockner Woods Debacle goes on and on and on...

Hamilton has declined to fund the purchase of Klockner Woods:

The township council last night rejected an ordinance to fund the $4.2 million purchase of the land, ensuring that the ultimate price will be determined by the court.
"I will in no way support the purchase of this property at this price," said Councilman Dennis Pone. "If we pay this amount we will have less money to preserve other open space in this township."
The $4.2 million was to be used to fund the land while the township waited for about $1.3 million in state and county grants and a $2.9 million state loan to pay for the land.
The council has appealed a recent Superior Court judge's ruling upholding the purchase from Doylestown-based developer Fieldstone Associates and council members said they would continue the appeal rather than withdraw it and vote to pay for the controversial tract.

This appeal is a waste of time and money. Pone is absolutely right that by paying this outrageous price there's less funds to preserve other parts of this quickly-developing township, but the time to decide that was probably before the agreement was signed. The judge was pretty clear that the original agreement stands and Fieldstone gets their interest. Good luck with that appeal- you'll need it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hello, Computer!

Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, who has been monitoring the state's ability to meet deadlines to retrofit electronic voting machines with paper printouts, yesterday urged the Attorney General's Office to appoint an advisory panel of computer experts for voting machines.

Feinberg is monitoring whether the state can meet a January 2008 deadline to retrofit electronic voting machines with paper printouts that voters can verify, and which can be recounted if discrepancies arise.
Activists claim some 10,000 Sequoia AVC Advantage machines used by 18 counties were never properly inspected, are not secure, and should be replaced by optical scanners that count paper ballots.
Voting machines now are approved by three volunteers who are not required to be computer scientists, and who lack legal authority to compel vendors to divulge their computer code. New Jersey laws governing this process predate electronic voting by decades.

It's pathetic that the people who pick our computerized electronic voting machines are not required to know anything about computers. Also, quite frankly, it shows- otherwise we would have had a paper trail long before now.

The Attorney General is planning to propose updates to those old laws. Let's hope it's very soon.

Tomorrow is Freebie day!

For the first day of spring tomorrow, March 21st:

Free Rita's Water Ice

Free Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee

Monday, March 19, 2007

Smells like what now?

smells_like_the_onion has the true scoop on the Katz litter here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Registered to vote?

School board elections will be on Tuesday, April 17th. If you are not already registered, you have to register to vote by Tuesday, March 27th if you want to vote in these elections!

Here is the application form, which you can download and print. It has to be returned to your county commissioner of registration. The list (by county) is here.

School taxes are the largest portion of your property taxes, so you should find out about the issues and candidates on your ballot and vote.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


There's a harp seal in Crosswicks Creek, nicknamed Sally by the young person who first saw it:

The seal might be a Sally, but Marine Mammal Stranding Center co-director Robert Schoelkopf said yesterday it was too early to tell its gender.
The marine center, in Brigantine, sent a staffer to see the seal yesterday but after watching it determined it was not stranded. The center will not take action unless an animal appears to be sick, injured, or seriously stranded and not able to free itself back into the water.
As of yesterday, Sally the seal was just that, a seal, and appeared to about 80 pounds. Harp seals are used to hanging out on an ice floe on the Arctic Ocean, and since residents saw it eating, it's probably happy, Schoelkopf said.
"I saw it with a fish in it's mouth this morning," Chris Krupa said yesterday.
With warm waters and a food supply, Sally is probably summering in the area, Schoelkopf theorized.
"You know how New Jerseyans go to Florida every winter, well (seals) come down here from the Arctic," he said. "It's a heckuva lot warmer here."

Florida has snowbirds; we get snowseals!

Lazy Linkin' Tuesday

PoliticsNJ posted a good overview of the Senate race in the 12th district, Karcher v. Beck, called The Battle of Monmouth.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Exploding traffic

Now, we see what the public really wants.

I've been getting searches for well over a year for "Carla Katz photo" or "...picture". Somehow I doubt it has anything to do with interest in the visage of a prominent union leader; I expect it has a whole lot to do with the interest in what the millionaire governor's ex-girlfriend looks like.

To satisfy human curiosity, I finally put up a picture of this woman earlier this week, and my traffic has exploded.

To the tune of 4x the normal amount of hits. And today isn't over yet.

Folks, I'm sorry, but I haven't done any commentary on the union negotiations. I've written on the smoking ban, the silliness in Klockner Woods in Hamilton, and solar power in NJ, none of which garnered the attention Carla Katz has; even a cursory mention of an American Idol candidate hasn't taken my hits into the stratosphere like this has.

For you first-timers here, thank you for visiting the Center of NJ Life. Please, feel free to look around and comment on anything you want.

Unfortunately, I have no more pictures for you. If you want to talk about the contracts or the gifts "issue", use this as an open thread.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bleach-blond evil dropped

Papers drop Coulter due to slur

They're not exactly huge papers, The Mountain Press in Sevierville, Tennessee, The Oakland Press in Michigan and the Lancaster New Era in Pennsylvania, but I guess it's something.

"We will not continue to publish the columns of someone who uses people as a punch line to get a cheap laugh and who so freely uses an offensive term to describe another human being," Mountain Press Editor Stan Voit wrote.

Here's a question: why did you continue to publish her column after she advocated the killing of a Supreme Court Justice? That was a "just a joke," too. Or, why did you continue to publish her column after she demonstrated her complete ignorance of the political history on which she was commenting? I could go on and on.

Why aren't her fifteen minutes over yet?

(Hat tip to The Opinion Mill)

Brindle Brothers update

The dogs are calming down and settling in to their new home. So far, we've had one incident where Blackjack got defensive over a toy and took a chunk off of Darkman's ear- it's healing fine now- and several stuffed animals have been stolen. Blackjack was definitely abused, but whether beaten or neglected we can't say. He's starting to warm up to us but it'll be a long road. Darkman, however, is just a big ol' goofball who is curious about everything.

The cats are still furious. The oldest, whom we've had for 13 years, keeps giving me looks that say, "WHY did you do it again? Why must there be dogs here?" Then she goes back to plotting the death and destruction of everyone around her, as it is her favorite hobby.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I get searches- Carla Katz photo edition

For some reason, if you type "Carla Katz photo" into Google, I'm the number one link. I've been getting searches looking for a photo of her for years; I've gotten almost a hundred hits yesterday alone looking for a picture of this woman. Which is funny, since I've NEVER POSTED A PHOTO OF HER.

Until now.

You ask at the Center of NJ Life, we sometimes get around to trying to deliver.

This photo is from PoliticsNJ's 2005 roundup, where she is named Ultimate Survivor:

Carla Katz, the CWA President whose onetime relationship with Jon Corzine overshadowed her own accomplishments as the head of one of the state's largest public employee unions.

Carla Katz is president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1034.

And the debate on the smoking ban continues

Two significant things are going on with the indoor smoking ban in NJ (which passed whether or not you like it):

My little blog here is getting targeted by the wingers again, who insist that Trenton is full of thugs who will force us to stop smoking in our own homes (not quite!) and- my favorite- "so grow up an face the facts you's don't control the world an soon or later us smokers will rise up against you self centered pieces of garbage" (sic). Good luck with that "rising up" thing you're planning. Drop by the library one day, I'll find you a dictionary, a punctuation primer and a spellchecker.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Skinny bleach-blond evil strikes again

Y'know, I'm not a John Edwards supporter, but somehow watching this makes me want to fill out the form and donate.

UPDATE 3/6 10:25AM: Jersey Goddess has a great post about this here. Really, go read it.