Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just In: LPD Requested As Mutual Aid / Toms River Deals With Serious Attack

Just in: The Lakewood Police department has just been requested to respond to a call at the Toms River/Lakewood border for a call as mutual aid, as the Toms River Police department is in high gear-dealing with a 6 victim stabbing incident. Apparently, all the victims were from a single incident in what appears to be a gang related attack. No additional information is available at this time.
U/D 9:41 a.m It was 5 Five men, including a 13-year-old boy who were stabbed. According to Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy, four of the five victims, who ranged in age from 13 to 28, were transported to the Jersey Shore Trauma Center following the incident.
TLS-05

Flying This Summer? Cheaper Rates This Year

Trying to attract passengers in a recession, airlines are selling tickets much cheaper than a year ago. Fares for travel next month are as much as 63% lower than last summer, according to an analysis by FareCompare.com. At USA TODAY's request, FareCompare analyzed all domestic fares for flights between the hub cities of legacy airlines United, American, Continental, Delta and US Airways. The fares were valid Friday for travel in mid-July with a 14-day advance purchase. The analysis found that the cheapest round-trip coach fares were less expensive this summer for 115 of 136 pairs of cities. In 54 city pairs, the cheapest tickets were at least 25% lower than a year ago. The biggest reduction was the fare between Cleveland and Detroit — down 63% to $244, compared with $657 last July. Other routes on which airfares dropped at least 50% include Houston-Salt Lake City, Dallas-Washington and Detroit-Minneapolis-St. Paul. "The drop in fares for more than 80% of the routes surveyed is certainly welcome news for late-buying summer travelers," FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney says. Read full APP article here.

Obey The Signs Or Pay The Fines

Get off the gas and mind your manners on the roads this summer. Three Monmouth County and four Ocean County police departments received $4,000 grants each for targeted aggressive driving enforcement from July 1 to 31 from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety. Police departments in Red Bank, Freehold Township and Ocean Township in Monmouth and Lakewood, Manchester, Toms River and Barnegat in Ocean County were among 75 police departments which received the grants, said Pam Fischer, Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director. Grants were announced Wednesday as part of the first statewide "Obey the Signs or Pay the Fines" initiative, Fischer said in a press release. Grants will be used by police departments to deter aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, improper passing and unsafe lane changes. Other county and municipal police departments are expected to participate in the initiative using their own resources. The first "Obey the Signs" program began in 2006 and targeted speeding in seven counties. Last year, there were 22,118 crashes in the state related to unsafe speed. APP

EPA gives N.J.,13 Other States Green Light To Adopt Tougher Auto Emission Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency today gave the go-ahead for 14 states, including New Jersey, to adopt stricter auto emission standards to curb green house gases. The decision could lay the groundwork for a national model President Obama has promised to put into place to combat global warming. New Jersey, along with 13 other states and the District of Columbia, joined California's long sought after waiver to the national Clean Air Act to set up tighter restrictions on car and trucks sold in the state. The waiver, which was requested in 2005, had been denied by the EPA under former President George W. Bush. Read full Star Ledger report here.

6 In NJ Indicted On Mortgage Fraud Charges

Six people have been indicted on various mortgage fraud-related charges in three separate cases in New Jersey. Among those charged are two women who authorities say used loan application information to obtain more than $1 million in unauthorized mortgages, lines of credit and credit cards. Banks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York were defrauded in the schemes. Attorney General Anne Milgram had already filed three civil lawsuits against companies and people it claims were cashing in on the ongoing mortgage crisis. The allegations included charging high fees to homeowners trying to stave off foreclosure. AP

TLS EXCLUSIVE: Video Message From Senator And Mayor Bob Singer

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO MESSAGE: The Lakewood Scoop met with Mayor Bob Singer this morning to talk about the recent vote on the budget. In this eight minute video, the Mayor explains to the Lakewood community the reasoning behind the tax increases and why cutting services isn't always the answer and at times-unreasonable. We would like to thank the Mayor for taking time from his busy schedule to address the community. We would also like to thank Pessy and Michelle for helping arrange the meeting.

In The Mortgage Fraud Business? Beware!

New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram is set to announce mortgage fraud indictments Tuesday as the industry grapples with fallout from the housing market collapse. Milgram's office has already filed three civil lawsuits against companies and people it claims were cashing in on the ongoing mortgage crisis. The allegations include charging high fees to homeowners trying to stave off foreclosure and luring people to buy properties under false terms. According to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute, the number of mortgage fraud reports nationwide grew 26 percent over the year before. AP.

Free Download Of "Barcelona" From Jo Amar A'H

FREE. This past Friday, June 26th, world renowned Moroccan singer Yosef "Jo" Amar passed away. He was 79 years old. Jo Amar was an unbelievable talent and contributed a tremendous amount to modern Jewish Music. Jo Amar will be sorely missed. Joe Amar also known as the Sultan of Saphardic music, was an Israeli icon during the early years of the state. To remember this singer, MostlyMusic is offering a free download of the famous "Barcelona" song. (Offer ends Sunday July 5th). To download the free track, go to the HASC Volume 2 page by clicking here and add that track to the cart ($0.00). Sign into your MostlyMusic account and checkout. No credit card or payment required. You will automatically be prompted to download the free track.

No More Left Turns From Chambers Bridge Onto Route 70

A new traffic pattern that extended green-light times and prohibited left turns from Chambers Bridge Road onto Route 70 took effect last week. Engineers working for the township believed those changes were the cheapest and quickest way to alleviate delays along Route 70 from what was the Laurelton Circle to Shorrock Street — the township business and retail district. But motorists traveling what some call the "missing mile" have mixed opinions of the change. In interviews, some people said they noticed that traffic along Route 70 is moving more fluidly, but they think traffic problems are being pushed into the strip malls and other intersections nearby. Read full APP article here.

TLS Negotiates Lower Price On Life Saving Device

(Click on image to enlarge)(Video below) In response to recent stories of children left in cars, The Lakewood Scoop has negotiated a special reduced price for TLS readers, on the 'BackseatMinder'-a life saving device, which was invented and being sold by CSO Radio of Lakewood. The device is a technologically advanced product that anticipates real life situations and any time a child is placed in the back seat of a vehicle, the driver will be forced to re-open the rear door. (Watch video for a detailed description of this amazing device). The regular price for this product is $189.00 including installation. However, if you mention TLS you will receive an instant $30 discount, which brings it to $159.00 including installation. This deal is available for one week only and will expire on Tuesday, July 7th at closing. Call 732-942-1101 to take advantage of this special offer. (TLS is not profiting from any sales. This is done solely as a community service).

Nearly $17M For Community Health Centers In NJ

New Jersey will be receiving nearly $17 million in federal stimulus money to upgrade and expand community health centers across the state. First Lady Michelle Obama made the announcement on Monday. The grants will go toward pressing health center facility and equipment needs, and toward generally increasing access to health care. Michelle Obama says the grants will help centers in New Jersey serve an increasing number of Americans who can no longer afford health insurance. AP.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Harav Chaim Pinchos Sheinberg Shlita In Town

Photos and videos below of Harav Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg Shlita Davening Mincha in Lakewood today.

Video

Private Inspection Station Owners Mad

Tomorrow is the deadline for New Jersey's 1,400 private motor vehicle inspection stations to buy new equipment or go out of the inspection business. The new emissions testing gear costs $8,000. The Motor Vehicle Commission says inspection station owners can either take out a business line of credit from their bank or finance the purchase through IMM Financial Solutions. However, station owners say the finance company charges 30 percent interest. The station owners also are upset because they must pay in full even though the new equipment will not be available for months. AP.

State Courts Are Closed Due To Budget Furloughs

State courts are closed today while Judiciary workers are on furlough. Other state departments have canceled their furlough days meant for June due to ongoing negotiations with state worker unions. The Judiciary though has kept the plan issued in May which called for the workers to take two unpaid days off. "The plan was developed in response to the fiscal crisis facing the state and is consistent with the temporary layoff plan for Judiciary staff approved by the Civil Service Commission and promulgated by an order issued on May 14 by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner," the department said in a release. County probation offices and business offices where the public files court papers or makes payments to the courts will also be closed. Municipal courts will still open. And residents can still pay parking tickets and other moving violations online at the state Judiciary-run website, NJMCdirect.

Baruch Dayan Ha'emes

Baruch Dayan Ha'emes. We regret to inform you of the Petirah of R' Menachem Klein Z'L, father of R' Yaakov Yisroel and R' Shia of Lakewood. R' was walking in front of his home this morning when he suffered a massive heart attack. Hatzolah arrived to find him in cardiac arrest and was Nifter on the way to the hospital. He was 61. The Levaya will be taking place this afternoon at Beis Medrash Ner Yisroel, (Gelbwachs), the corner of Brook Road and Ridge, where two of his sons are Mispalellim, at 5:00 p.m. The Kevura will be taking place across the Street, at the Lakewood Bais Hakvoros. Ye'hi Zichro Baruch.

More Photos Of Mendlowitz Events With Roshei Hayeshiva Shlita

More photos below of the Reception and Hachnosas Sefer Torah at the home of R' Moishe Mendlowitz yesterday, with the attendance of the Roshei Hayeshiva and Mashgiach Shlita.

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Corzine Expected To Sign $29B N.J. State Spending Plan

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine today is set to sign a new $29 billion state spending plan into law. The spending plan raises $1.3 billion in additional taxes on businesses and residents. It preserves property-tax rebates to homeowners with limited and fixed incomes. The budget increases so-called sin taxes on liquor, wine and lottery winnings of more than $10,000. It raises income taxes for one year on the wealthiest New Jerseyans and extends a 4 percent surcharge on corporate business taxes that was to expire. The budget relies on $2.2 billion in federal stimulus money. Democrats said the budget is responsible and prudent in harsh economic times. Republicans said it relies too heavily on federal stimulus money and other one-time revenue. AP.

Christie And Corzine Have More Time To Pick Running Mates

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and his GOP challenger, Chris Christie, have more time to choose their running mates than previously thought. A bill sitting on Corzine's desk spells out details about the newly created lieutenant governor position. Secretary of State spokeswoman Susan Evans says the governor has 45 days to sign it. Until he does, no deadline is in place for picking lieutenant governor candidates. The proposed law requires gubernatorial candidates to pick running mates within 30 days after the results of the primary are certified. The results must be certified by Aug. 10. Independent Chris Daggett is also running for governor. The 2009 governor's race will be the first New Jersey contest to include a lieutenant governor candidate. AP.

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Two Lakewood Bachurim Among Arrested In Eretz Yisroel

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: The Lakewood Scoop has just confirmed that two Bachurim from Lakewood, who are currently learning in a Yeshivah in Yerushalayim were among four American Bachurim arrested during the protests on Motzoei Shabbos in Eretz Yisroel. The two other Bachurim are from Brooklyn-one from Borough Park and one from Williamsburg. The Lakewood Scoop just spoke with an Israeli offical and tremendous Askan who is in direct contact with the Police and other officials trying to negotiate the release of the four Bachurim. They were reportedly arrested for throwing stones at police during the protests. The Bachurim had their passports taken from them while they are being held in an Israeli prison. Due to the extreme sensitivity of the situation, we cannot release any additional information at this time. We will keep you updated on this developing story. (TLS).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tehillim Needed For Toddler

(Click on image to enlarge) Please take a moment to say a Kapittel Tehillim for a 18 month old child who is in serious but stable condition after being struck by a car this afternoon. The toddler suffered multiple fractures among other injuries. The name of the child is Chaim Ben Alta Malkah Miriam. May he have a complete recovery.

Hachnosas Sefer Torah At R' Moishe Mendlowitz

Video and photos below of the Hachnosas Sefer Torah which took place this afternoon at the home of R' Moishe Mendlowitz, who hosted the Kamenitz breakfast this morning, as posted here on TLS.

Video

B'nos Yaakov Annual Safety Fair

Video and photos below of the annual safety fair which took place today at 7th and Clifton. Kids got to meet many organizations, including Police (and State Police), Fire Department, Hatzolah, Chaveirim, Mekimi, LCSW, Bikur Cholim, Misaskim, US Air Force Personnel, US Marshal, Monoc and many others. The kids also got to see a show from Uncle Moishe as well as an extrication drill performed by the Hatzolah Extrication team. Click here to see a video of a Hatzolah Extrication training session, which took place in March.
Video of Hatzolah extrication

Kamenitz Reception At Moishe Mendlowitz

PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND AUDIO below of the breakfast reception this morning at the home of R' Moishe Mendlowit for Harav Yitzchok Sheiner Shlita. Second video of R' Eli Cohen of Neginah on the piano. Audio of Harav Yitzchok Sheiner Shlita speaking.

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Video 2

Audio

NJ Bill On Autism Insurance Closer To Becoming Law

A measure that would expand health insurance coverage for autism and other developmental disabilities in New Jersey may soon become law. The bill , which requires insurers to cover costs of autism treatments deemed medically necessary, such as physical, speech and occupational therapy, along with behavioral intervention , was overwhelmingly passed Thursday by the Assembly. That came a week after the Senate gave its approval to the measure, which caps coverage at $36,000 annually for patients ages 21 and younger. Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to sign the bill into law in the near future, making New Jersey the 14th state with such coverage requirements. A Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study based on research in 14 states found New Jersey has the country's highest autism rate, with 1 in 94 children having the disorder, compared to 1 in 152 nationwide. AP.

Carlebach Kumzitz At Dr. Rothkopf

Video and photos below of the Carlebach Kumzitz which took place last night at the home of Dr. Moshe Rothkopf, featuring Avrohom Danziger.

Video

Fire Department Night At Blue Claws

Photos and video below of the Fire Department appreciation night at the Blue Claws Stadium, where firefighters from all over the county gathered in the Stadium parking lot after tonight's game for some water fun, where everyone gets soaked! One firefighter said "It's great-we get to have fun and release some tension while getting some practice too!". Hats off to our bravest!

Video

Carlos J./TLS-05

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Serious Mva On County Line

Serious MVA A TLS reporter is currently at the scene of a serious MVA on County Line Road and Brook Road. Lakewood EMS, PD and Hatzolah have just arrived. Extrication was initially called for trapped patients, but has just been cancelled. There are at least 4 injuries. We will keep you updated.
U/D 12: 05 a.m At least 5 patients are being transported to area hospitals. At least 2 patients are being transported to Jersey Shore with serious injuries. Photos and video will be posted soon.
U/D 12:24 a.m 4 patients are being transported to Jersey Shore by EMS and 1 patient to KMC by Hatzolah.

Video

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Extreme Weather Causes Blackout / Slowing Tourism

If you got drenched while walking to or from Shul last night, you should probably be grateful it was just that. Due to the extreme weather, many residents were left without electricity for some time last night, especially residents in the Park Avenue area. However, you're not the only one who is complaining about the weather lately. Aside from those who love the water activities at the shore, there has been a reduced number of people making day trips as well, in this important part of the state's tourism industry.

Confirmed Swine Flu Cases In O.C Skyrockets

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu in Ocean County skyrocketed to 33, county health officials announced yesterday. Most have recovered from the flu that is caused by the H1N1 virus, but the virus has spread rapidly during the past few weeks. As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases in Ocean County was 24, according to the state Department of Health and Senior Services Web site. In Monmouth County there were 40 cases of the pandemic flu. There were 609 cases of swine flu throughout the state and six confirmed deaths as of Wednesday. The total does not include the nine latest confirmed cases in Ocean County. Areas of Ocean County where the virus has been confirmed include: Barnegat, Beachwood, Brick, Eagleswood, Jackson, Lakehurst, Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Ocean, Plumsted, Stafford, Toms River and Tuckerton, officials said. Of the people who caught the virus, 10 were older than 18, seven are adolescents and 16 are younger than 13. Two weeks ago, there were only nine confirmed swine flu cases in Ocean County, and at least 33 people were being tested for the virus. APP

Friday, June 26, 2009

Zichron Shloime Refuah Fund Carnival

Photos and video of the kids carnival at Brook Park this afternoon, which included pony rides, a large slide, a tour of a Hatzolah Ambulance (given by L-39), cotton candy and more, to benefit Zichron Shloime Refuah Fund.

Video

N.J. Drug Maker Produces Dog Flu Vaccine-Still Nothing For Human Swine Flu

While drug makers scramble to produce H1N1 influenza vaccines for humans, a drug company with New Jersey ties has developed a drug to ward off a flu strain that targets man's best friend. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health said this week its canine influenza vaccine -the first approved to protect dogs from the contagious respiratory illness -has received a conditional product license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read full Star Ledger report here.

N.J. Developers Closer Than Further To Lifting Age Restrictions

New Jersey developers saddled with approved but unbuilt housing projects aimed at buyers aged 55 and older would be able to seek permission to eliminate the age restrictions, under a bill that won legislative passage Thursday. Across the state, communities approved far more age-restricted housing than buyers actually needed, Assembly sponsor Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) said. "Yet many young professionals - teachers, police officers and firefighters among them - are finding themselves increasingly unable to afford homes in the very communities they serve ," Greenwald said. "We must provide a limited and responsible avenue to build homes for the middle-class residents who need them while putting New Jerseyans back to work." Developers seeking the conversion would apply to the an local planning or zoning board that granted the initial approval. Amendments recommended by Gov. Jon Corzine and approved by the Senate last week and the Assembly Thursday, give local officials more latitude to deny an application for conversion, require developers to dedicate 20 percent of homes for low- and moderate-income residents, and allow the courts to review local board decisions. The Assembly voted 46-28, with 4 abstentions to pass the bill, which returns to Corzine to be signed into law. AP.

Hespedim For Horav Karpf Zatza'l

Photos below of the Hespedim which were held last night at the 5th St Bais Medrash of BMG for Harav Yitzchok Karpf Zatza'l. Maspidim included: Harav Yitzchok Sheiner Shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva of the Kaminetz Yeshiva Yerushalayim, Harav Ahron Dovid Willner Shlita, a Rebbe at Bais Shraga in Monsey where Harav karpf Zatza’l taught, Harav Nachum Gold Shlita, a close Talmud for close to 60 years and Harav Zev Smith Shlita, noted Masgiach and Magid Shiur for Irgun Shiurei Torah.

TLS-48

More Families May Be Eligible For WIC/Maximum Income Levels Announced

Effective July 1, more families may be eligible for WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, according to Ella Boyd, VMD, Ocean County Health Department public health coordinator. In a news release, Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, said family size and income determine WIC eligibility. The federal government annually reviews WIC income eligibility and establishes maximum income levels for participation at 185 percent above the poverty income line, Little said. As of May 2009, the most recent figures available show the Ocean County Health Department with 14,411 enrolled WIC clients. Aid figures for the federal government for fiscal year 2008, which ended in October 2008, show the Ocean County Health Department distributed $7,603,671 to its WIC clients in food and checks, according to spokeswoman Leslie Terjesen, compared with $6,873,179 for the fiscal year ending October 2007. (Click here for the rest of the article).

Seigel / Shwinger Chasuna

Photos below of the Seigel (Daughter of Captain Mark Seigel/Executive Director of SCHI) Shwinger (Manchester) Chasuna which took place last night.

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Hespedim For Horav Shneur Kotler ZATZAL

Photos below of the Hespedim on Horav Shneur Kotler ZATZAL, which took place at BMG this evening.

TLS-SCP

Hit And Run On Madison

Hit and run. Hatzolah was called for a MVA at Route 9 and Kennedy, a short time ago. The first unit on scene advised the dispatcher that it was a hit and run. Police are currently looking for a grey Chevy Impala, which was seen fleeing up Route 9 North. We do not have the plate numbers at this time. However, if you do notice a grey Impala which has substantial damage, or have any information, please notify PD immediately at 732-363-0200. One patient from the accident was transported to KMC with minor injuries.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Man Who Held Family At Gunpoint In Hearthstone Neighborhood-Indicted

A Lakewood man accused of holding a family at gunpoint and trying to stash cocaine in their house as he ran from police has been named in a 15-count grand jury indictment. Trent Small has remained in Ocean County Jail in lieu of $350,000 bail since his arrest on Nov. 22, when he allegedly forced his way into the Princewood Avenue home of a woman as she took out the trash.
Authorities have said Small, 26, of Clair Drive in Lakewood, was running through the Hearthstone neighborhood after fleeing from police during a motor vehicle stop at about 4 p.m. As he approached a home at 973 Princewood Avenue, Small held a Smith and Wesson handgun against the woman and barged inside where, according to the indictment, he restrained four adults and one minor while hiding from police. Read full article from App here.

Avi Solomon Responds To Tznius Issue On TLS

Video below. A reader sent in the following message and video: Avi Solomon, an ardent reader of TLS, comments on an article posted on the TLS that dealt with the issue of a woman wearing a red dress. In this video blog Avi Solomon promotes Shmiras Haloshan and waging a war against Sinas Chinam. (The views are solely the views of Avi Solomon and don't necessarily reflect the views of TLS).

NJ Assembly Passes Tax Increases

The New Jersey Assembly has passed tax increases on liquor, cigarettes, businesses and the wealthy. Votes on $2.8 billion in revenue raisers are required in the Assembly then Senate before lawmakers can consider the $29 billion state budget Thursday. The spending plan includes property tax relief for 1.1 million seniors and low-income residents. The last-minute relief was possible because a tax amnesty program collected nearly $500 million from corporations and individuals. About half the residents who got rebates last year will see checks this fall. Those making more than $75,000 and renters will lose their rebates. Assembly Republicans objected to every tax increase bill. AP.

Mesameach Event At Childrens Center

Photos and video below of the Special Childrens Center Kumzitz event which took place this afternoon, in honor of the move to the new building on Prospect Steet. Mesameach entertained the crowd with music and dancing. (Keyboard: Avrumy Flohr, Flute: Meyer Rosenbaum, Singer: Asher Zelig Brodt). Please note, the video and photos contain women.

Video

Just In: Brand New LPD Bike Totalled

Just In. The brand new Police bike which was donated to the police department just a few weeks ago, has been totalled. The bike, valued at $1,000 was on 4th Street, between Madison and Clifton while the cop was doing traffic controlling, when it was driven over and crushed by a passing vehicle moments ago, rendering it useless. It is unknown at this time if any charges will be filed against the driver. The bike was donated on May 20th at the "20th Anniversary 101 Bike Awards" at the Police Athletic League Complex in Parsippany, as reported here on TLS. Click here to read the TLS article from Chief Lawson on the new bike. (TLS)

Law 'Enforcement' Or 'Harassment'?

TLS Investigative Report. The Lakewood Scoop has received numerous requests from citizens, to publish an article regarding a specific Lakewood Police Officer, whose name will not be published and is accused of being 'harassing' and 'anti Semitic'. Well, after many complaints, we decided to do our own investigation into the matter. The Lakewood Scoop spoke with many officials regarding the officer, including Chief Rob Lawson, who personally did an investigation on the matter including reviewing summonses which were given over an extended period of time. "Nobody likes getting tickets, but this guy is doing his job" the Chief told us. "According to the internal report, he has been courteous, professional and given summonses within the law" he said. He added, ''There have been people who came into my office to complain, who were cited for going between 25-35 miles above the speed limit and still have the nerve to complain!" . "When you speed through a neighborhood and put children's lives at risk, how should the officer make sure you don't repeat the crime?". "Don't break the law and you won't get a ticket, period". The Chief also pointed out, that this specific officer did not give summonses for 5, 6, 7, 8 or even nine miles over the limit, which if he would have, would also be legitimate. However, if you legitimately feel that an officer was abusive, harassing, rude or unprofessional, go into the Township building and request an IA (Internal Affairs) Form. These forms are read and are taken seriously.

Horav Osher Chaim Leiberman Shlita To Hold Parlor Meeting

Harav Osher Chaim Leiberman Shlita will be holding a parlor meeting at his home this coming Sunday, on behalf of a Ger Tzedek, who is suffering difficult financial times. R' Osher Chaim Shlita and the Rosh Hayeshiva R' Dovid Schustal Shlita feel it is our responsibility to extend ourselves beyond our duty to be 'Makayem' the Mitzvah of 'Ve'ahavtem Es Ha'ger'. The event will take place at his home, 816 Clifton Avenue, from 8:00 p.m to 11:00 p.m. Divrei Bracha will be given by the Satmar Dayan Shlita.

TLS EXCLUSIVE: Supreme Court Decision Favoring Private School Reimbursement: The Lakewood Reality

TLS EXCLUSIVE: Parents of special education students can seek reimbursement from school districts for private educational placements whether or not the student tried public school first, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The true winners of Monday's decision are children with what one might call hidden disabilities - social, emotional, and learning needs that are often less apparent than some visual, auditory, ambulatory, or intellectual challenges. Also among the winners in this decision are children with ADHD, bipolar disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and other challenges that compromise their ability to progress in school.But the reality in Lakewood is often more difficult. Many parents are reluctant to use out-of-district programs because the up-front costs of private programs are often out of reach to most parents. Even if they ultimately win reimbursement, as in the case of T.A., they still have to take the risk of advancing the money, and hiring an attorney to battle for reimbursement. Yet for some lucky parents, there is no risk at all. The Lakewood district mysteriously approves out of district placement for their children. Which children and which schools win district approval for out-of-district placement, and why, remains a closely guarded secret. There are no published criteria. There are no published guidelines. There is no pattern, no rhyme, no reason. Sadly, it appears like a game of Russian roulette, with the lives of our children. What percentage of the nonpublic students who are entitled to out-of-district placement, actually get approved? Two percent? Five percent? What about all the others? Try as hard as you can, you will not get any answer from the district. WHY? Where is all the money going?Who is pulling the trigger? And how many children are blown away each year? (Click here for the full TLS article.)

Spending Plan Is Up For Vote After Property-Tax-Rebate Restoration

New Jersey lawmakers are scheduled today to consider a state budget that boosts several taxes while cutting the property-tax-rebate checks that will be sent out later this year. The $29 billion spending plan is up for consideration in the Assembly at 11 a.m. and the Senate at 2 p.m. The budget increases taxes on cigarettes, hard alcohol and wine. It raises the taxes on personal incomes over $400,000. It also eliminates a property-tax deduction for households earning more than $250,000. The budget would reduce the size of the property-tax-rebate program, limiting it to households earning less than $75,000. Exceptions are in place for senior citizens and disabled residents. Households earning up to $150,000 qualified for rebate checks last year and the ceiling was $250,000 the year before. Read full Statehouse Bureau report here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

President Obama On Corzine: I'm Confident He Can Win

President Obama today said Gov. Jon Corzine is a "friend" and he believes the Democratic governor will be re-elected this fall. But the president cautioned that the governor's race will be driven by state issues and New Jersey politics - and won't be an early referendum on his own administration. Speaking with reporters today, Obama said he was 'confident' Gov. Jon Corzine can win re-election in the November. "I think very highly of Jon Corzine. I think he's a terrific public servant," the president said during an interview at the White House with reporters from around the country. "I'm confident that he can win re-election." Read full Statehouse Bureau report here.

Adult Medical Day Centers In Danger Of Closing

Cuts to adult medical day care facilities statewide will be less severe than originally proposed, but advocates for such centers believe the reduction will still negatively impact the industry, and in turn, senior citizens who rely on those services. Instead of a 19 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursements, there will be a less than 10 percent decrease proposed in the budget, which is being voted on by the Legislature Thursday. The state is cutting the rate paid to providers from $86 to $78.50 instead of $70, which was initially proposed, facility administrators said. David Pascrell, a lobbyist for the New Jersey Adult Day Services Association, said some of the 131 centers are still in danger of closing. "I don't know that providers are not going to close with a 9 percent cut. This is an industry where gas prices go up, expenses are increasing," he said. Read full star ledger article here.

Happy Birthday New Jersey!

A joint display of New Jersey's two "birth certificates" is highlighting an observance of the 345th anniversary of the state's founding as a British proprietary colony. One of the documents is the June 24, 1664 Royal Grant issued by King Charles II's brother James, Duke of York, establishing an English colony called New Jersey. The other is an original copy of the Declaration of Independence printed on July 4, 1776. Both will remain on display at the State Museum in Trenton through 3 p.m. Thursday. New Jersey earned the opportunity to display the rare copy of the Declaration thanks to the widespread participation of Garden State students in voter education and mock election activities last fall. AP.

Chris Christie To Testify Before US Panel

The Republican running for governor in New Jersey is going to Washington to testify about white-collar crime settlements he approved as U.S. attorney. Chris Christie is to appear Thursday before a congressional subcommittee investigating deferred prosecution agreements. The arrangements allow companies accused of crimes to avoid trials by agreeing to federal oversight. The deals are overseen by hand-picked monitors who are paid millions. As New Jersey's top U.S. prosecutor, Christie approved several deals. One was worth $52 million and was given to his former boss, former attorney general John Ashcroft. Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey says Christie appointed GOP donors and friends. Christie has denied any conflicts. AP.

B'eruchim Haba'im B'shem Hashem!

B'ERUCHIM HABA'IM B'SHEM HASHEM!! Photos and video below of Hagaon Rav Yitzchok Sheiner Shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva of Kamenitz Yeshivah in Yerushalayim and Chaver Mo'etzes Gedolei Hatorah, arriving to Lakewood this afternoon, at the home of R' Itche Rosenbaum. The Rosh Hayeshiva was greeted by R' Osher Eisemann, R' Yussi Teichman, R' Aaron Krupenia, R' Moshe Mendlowitz and others. The breakfast reception for the Rosh Hayeshiva Shlita will be taking place this Sunday at the home of R' Moshe Mendlowitz, at 9:30 a.m.

Video

Christie Spends As Corzine Raises Money In NJ Race

Campaign finance reports released Wednesday show the candidates for governor in New Jersey took contrasting approaches just before and after the June 2 primary. Republican nominee Chris Christie spent $2.1 million between May 20 and June 19 , most of it before the primary. During that period, he raised only $13,000. Overall, his primary run cost $5.2 million. Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine spent $1.5 million, including his first round of post-primary TV ads. Perhaps more noteworthy was that he raised $1.4 million, including a fundraiser that featured a performance by Jon Bon Jovi. By midday Wednesday, Republican primary challenger Steve Lonegan had not submitted a required report to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. AP.

BREAKING NEWS: Child Left In Car

BREAKING NEWS: Police are currently investigating an incident, where a child was found in a car with the parent nowhere in sight. The police were alerted by a passerby and responded immediately. Due to the sensitivity of the situation, we cannot disclose any further details at this time. The child is Baruch Hashem okay. With the summer months approaching, we urge our readers to please use extreme caution and never to leave your child unattended in a car, even for "just a minute". The consequences can R"L be deadly an you CAN get arrested. (TLS)

Readers' Scoop: Can't Fight City Hall? Says Who?

(Below is an unedited letter submitted to us by a reader. TLS welcomes your letters at thelakewoodscoop@gmail.com . The views are solely those of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of TLS).

TLS recently posted a touching letter from parents of a Lakewood child with special needs. They report that their child was neglected for years by the school district and denied essential special services. Judging by the cascade of outraged posts, it seems like the letter resonated with many parents, and blew the lid off a local scandal. This eruption of online furor showed that TLS single-handedly cracked open a channel for citizens to voice mass displeasure with official misconduct. As such, TLS played an exclusive, important role as a catalyst for change, raising public awareness and proving that you CAN fight City Hall, or in this case, the Lakewood BOE. It’s a great story. It’s all about the basics of democracy - - about public awareness, accountability, transparency, citizens right to participate in deciding how their tax dollars will be spent, resisting official abuse of power, exposing corruption, and stopping injustice. With over 250 posts, it’s obvious that the people of Lakewood are fed-up, and are demanding change. No longer can the LBOE tell parents, "everyone is getting services, we just ran out of money for your child". As the posted documents and torrent of public comments show, the opposite is true; hardly anyone in our mosdos is getting services, only a 'lucky' few do. The success story reprinted below from another web site, and about another school district, offers a most valuable perspective. It sheds additional light on overcoming this type of abuse. Strikingly familiar to your original post, it teaches Lakewood parents a universal lesson on how to fight back and win a productive future for their child. TLS will continue its important public service if you publish this great story. It can and will save lives. Can you put a price on that? (Read full article on TLS here).

Mazel Tov! It's A Girl!

Mazel Tov! The Lakewood Scoop team would like to wish a hearty Mazel Tov to Yaakov Yitzchok Trainer, Director of Development of Tomchei Shabbos of Lakewood, upon the birth of his daughter! May you be Zoche to see much Nachas from this one and the rest of the family. Hakodosh Baruch Hu should give you the strength to continue in your Avodas Hakodesh with much Bracha and Hatzlacha.

Will The Extra $400 Million Go Into Tax Rebates?

Finding themselves with an extra $400 million for the new state budget, lawmakers didn't have much trouble deciding what to do with it. Assembly and Senate committees voted Monday to pump the extra cash into the property tax rebate program that otherwise would have been eliminated for all but senior citizens and the disabled. The windfall -raised through an amnesty program that encouraged tax deadbeats to cough up their overdue payments and avoid penalties -will pay for rebates to homeowners earning up to $75,000 a year. That still represents a cutback from last year, when rebates were available to homeowners with incomes up to $150,000. But it allows Democrats running for re-election this year -Gov. Jon Corzine and the majority of Assembly members -to say they did all they could to provide property tax relief to "middle-class" homeowners. Read full Star Ledger article here.

Hey Driver, You May Have To Leave That GPS Device Alone

New Jersey has already taken cell phones and text messaging out of the hands of drivers, and now one legislator hopes to do the same with in-car navigation systems. Democratic State Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith has introduced a bill that would “prohibit the manual operation of a global positioning system (GPS) device or similar navigation device by the operator of a moving motor vehicle”. If passed, the ban would be the first of its kind in the nation. Under the proposed law, drivers would be allowed to only use voice-activated systems to program the devices while a vehicle is in motion. Although this feature is becoming more common, devices that offer it typically cost significantly more than ones that don’t. For example, according to Garmin’s website, the least expensive automotive GPS system currently sold by the popular brand costs $199, while the cheapest one with voice activation, the NĂ¼vi 855, is priced at $399. Violators of the law would face the same $100 fine per offence that applies to improper cell phone use. Fox.

Bais Aharon Dinner

Photos below of the Bais Aahron Dinner which took place last night. The guest speaker was Harav Avrohom Schorr Shlita.

TLS-SCP

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Traffic Pattern At Chambers Bridge Road And Route 70 Beginning Tomorrow

The planned changes to the traffic pattern at Chambers Bridge Road and Route 70 will take effect Wednesday afternoon, police said. The changes, which prohibit left turns from Chambers Bridge Road onto Route 70 and extend the length of time for green lights at that intersection, were scheduled to take effect today. Last minute adjustments to the timing of the lights were being made so the change did not take effect today, Capt. John Rein said. Police officers will be present at the intersection Wednesday, but they will not direct traffic. Electronic signs have been placed throughout the retail district to help motorists get to their destinations on Route 70. "We want people to learn the new traffic pattern," Rein said. Read full APP article here.

Headed Up To The Country? Sign Up For Traffic Alerts

Road Inform will once again serve the community with traffic reports to and from the mountains on weekends this summer. The messaging alerts will be operating every weekend in July & August on Thursday afternoon from 4:00pm, Friday from 12pm, Sunday afternoons and Monday mornings. Monday morning alerts will only be sent if there is a major traffic alert. They will start reporting this coming Thursday (June 25) at 4pm. Voice reports, will be updated on Kol Mevaser's Infoline at 212 444 1100, option #7. You can sign up on their website to set up your preferences. If you changed cell phone carriers, you should update it in your account settings.

LPD Takes Another Dangerous Man Off The Streets

A township man was charged with robbery and tampering with evidence after he robbed a man in a parking lot and forced himself into the victim's car, Detective Steve Wexler said. Randy Galloway, 38, of Woodlake Manor Drive, was outside a convenience store at 105 Cedar Bridge Ave. when a sedan with two men and one woman pulled in at about noon Monday, Wexler said. One man got out of the car to go into a store and Galloway approached him and asked him for money, while pointing to his waist to imply he had a handgun, police said. Galloway told the man to get back into the car, where the two others were waiting, Wexler said. Galloway also got in the car and ordered them to drive him to Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Center Street, a block away. Galloway then forced the same man out of the car, and rifled through the victim's pockets, Wexler said. Galloway next let the man go back to the car, and the victims drove away and called police. Patrolman Daniel Merrill responded and was assisted by officers Erik Menck, Chase Messer and Rodney Youmans. Read full article from Margaret F. Bonafide of APP here.

NJ And 13 Other States, Reach Deal With Mortgage Firm

A Florida-based firm has agreed to pay 14 states, including New Jersey, $9 million to help them oversee the company's mortgage lending practices. The state Department of Banking and Insurance said Monday that the agreement with Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. calls for the company to modify loans for consumers who are struggling to make monthly payments. Officials say an examination of nontraditional mortgage loans issued by the company in 2006 found numerous irregularities. The firm did not immediately return a request for comment. Other states participating in the settlement include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, D.C. AP.

Wind-Generated Power May Be On Its Way

The federal government today issued five leases to allow wind-energy companies to explore the possibility of building wind farms off the coast of New Jersey and Delaware. In a news conference with Gov. Jon Corzine, U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar called the leases, the first of their kind issued by the federal government, a first step to help the state meet its goal to produce wind-generated power by 2013. Four of the leases are for collecting data off the coast of New Jersey. The fifth is for a lease off the coast of Delaware. Read full Star Ledger article here.

LAST CHANCE: Last Day For TLS Advertising Special

LAST CHANCE! (Limited space available). As we approach the 6 month anniversary of The Lakewood Scoop, we would like to share this joyous occasion, by offering a one week only, advertising special. Sign up today for 3 months of advertising and we'll give you a month free! But this offer is expiring today-so act fast! With thousands of readers on our site each day, it may just be the publicity your business can use. To take advantage of this one week offer, email us at thelakewoodscoop@gmail.com with 'Ads' as the subject.

Readers' Scoop: Letter To Neighbor: Please Don't Wear Red Tops

(Attached is the original letter given to neighbor) (TLS welcomes your letters at thelakewoodscoop@gmail.com . The views are solely those of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of TLS).

"Do you think this is a man's business to tell this to my wife? I think people should be minding their own business".

(The following is the exact text from the letter)."It is forbidden according to everybody for a lady to wear a red garment. This is not a decision based on today's Rabbinical decisions (although that should be enough anyhow). It is a 'Psak' from the Gemarah explicitly referring to the color red as a forbidden garment.We would really appreciate if you could kindly conform to this Halacha. This note is not written to hurt or offend you & I sincerely apologize if it does (as you prob did not know this Halacha). We are just begging you kindly please don't be Machshil other people. Thank you very much."

Chazan Bentzion Miller And Son Singing At Sterling Forest

Video below just sent in by one of our readers, of Chazan Bentzion Miller and son Shimmy singing at the Sterling Forest Hachnosas Sefer Torah on Sunday. Thank you B.A.

Busted For Driving Without Insurance Or Valid License?

Motorists hobbled by poor driving records and costly surcharges would get a break from paying interest and other fees under an amnesty program a Senate committee unanimously approved today. The amnesty legislation --which could net the state $17 million --is aimed at drivers busted for driving without insurance or a valid license, or hit with six or more surcharge points for moving violations, said Mike Horan, spokesman for the state Division of Motor Vehicles. The program excludes people snagged for drunken driving, Horan said. "Hundreds of millions of dollars are out there,'' Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer), the bill's sponsor, told her colleagues on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in Trenton prior to the vote. "People will never repay that money,'' Turner added, describing a cycle of people losing their licenses because of driving offenses, losing their jobs because they cannot drive and then being unable to work and pay off the surcharges. "They are caught up in the system and will never extricate themselves unless we give them an opportunity.'' Read full Statehouse Bureau reort here.

Lakewood Library Offers Summer Reading Programs

The Lakewood branch of the Ocean County Library (301 Lexington Avenue) invites residents to its 2009 Summer Reading “Be Creative @ Your Library” programs. At least three programs will be offered daily. Children will have the chance to enjoy “Cool Science,” “Kids Fitness,” “Colorful Creations,” “Around the World,” ”X-press Yourself,” “Books and Bingo,” “Children's Jeopardy” and many other fun and unique programs. Daily events will also include a games corner, mural drawing and tattoos, creative crafts, dance contests and other interesting activities. The registration will be held 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 in the library's community room. Information about the 2009 Summer Reading Programs can be found online at http://www.theoceancountylibrary.org/ or by telephone at 732-363-1435 ext 6. The Lakewood branch is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. APP.