Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 OH HELL SEASON

Final OH HELL report for 2012. No4's spouse who has great card sense but does not like to participate in any card games agreed to fill in yesterday afternoon. #4b then proceeded to wipe out every body the first game. That player returned to normal (last) in the next and final game  of the 2012 season. I am sad to report that the best I could do was second both games. They brought their own cards this year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

LAST OH HELL UPDATE

OH HELL update;Thursday,12/27: At noon #5 player boarded train at Menlo Park. Need 5 players for best game; Season over. Although shortly afterwards gained an "adopted-me great granddaughter" ,she is a non player. Tomorrow #4 and spouse leave  rest will stay until 12/30.

Like the  Giants this has been a very disappointing season. Out of just 7 games only 1 first, 1 second, 2 thirds and three lasts. The thirds and two lasts were while using their cards. As the old faithful Brooklyn Dodger fans  would say ; "Wait until next year.".       .

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

OH HELL REPORT

OH HELL update: They brought their own cards! That should have been a significant warning. Also one player has little stamina after bypass surgery a month ago, playing time has been limited. The net results have been out of whack. The perpetual doesn't do anything right has won two games. Lucky Andy has finished last once  and first once, as has the scorekeeper.

My skill has been thwarted by unfortunate inconceivable breaks. When nine cards were are in play and  my highest card holding  was two 7s in a 2-2-2-30 with no expectation of winning a  trick; on the opening lead one of those 7s took the trick. Zero points. A run of similar "no brainers" as been my fortune these past few days.  It has been such luck or something with those cards that has dominated my week.

My scores? Two 3rds, one 4th  and oh the shame of it ; a last.

More to come tomorrow;  we will use my cards.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

TIS THE TIME OF THE YEAR

The "Oh-Hellers" are here. Only exceptional material like they have learned how to play the game will merit the time to post for the next 6 days.

To all have a Happy Holiday.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

VIOLENCE CONTROL #XYZ

Three days before  Christmas and the height of inanity comes out of the mouth of the NRA spokesperson; "Put armed guards in every school in America. Let the good guys with guns stop the bad guys".

I have no idea how many schools there are in the USA. The NRA believes that the government (us) can pay for all these guards. WE are already so seep in debt that a couple of billions more would  not matter. Of course if we cut all entitlements  the plan might be do-able.

At the least we would increase employment making  new weapons for this project. We sure will make all gun sellers and manufacturers richer. Problem solved!

Since the world once again did not end; we have  a humdrum yet exciting 2013 to look forward to.

And to all: A safe and joyous holiday

According to the WSJ there are 98,817 schools in USA. Lots of jobs and lots of money. There are some schools mostly of the High or Middle school t ype that do have an armed security officer on han at least partime weekly.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

COMMENTS WANTED

I would hope to have a discussion relating to the issue on gun control and mass violence which I have been commenting on the past few days.

I would like comments to be posted to this page which I will update (repost)every day for the rest of the week All will be posted unless language is inappropriate or subject matter either not germane to the issue or of an inflammatory nature,.

Thank you

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

JUST POTPOURRI

Two news items that impact on the Police Department; the first in Wednesday's paper that the clampdown on DUI is being intensified. That is a positive. But the negative note is "another restructuring" of the traffic unit to accomplish this. From what services are the officers being taken?

Second, is there in place a media censorship? I may have missed any newspaper mention of Sunday's night's shooting incidents. Did the ShotSpotter system perform acceptably? Or is the new policy "what the public doesn't know will not hurt them"?

In today's Times there is an article about mass protests  in New Delhi to the police especially after a gang raping of a 24yearold medical student on a bus. Apparently rape is one of the most common crimes in India and New Dehli is referred to as the Rape Capital.

From the sublime to the mundane

Is the world suppose to end on Friday (12/21/12) or Saturday(12/22/12) ? Can't happen because I have an "Oh Hell" tournament scheduled for the 24-27


 











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HOLIDAY BLOGGING

Today begins my unofficial Holiday Season; there will be a "Potpourric " post later this afternoon, I am expecting the Richmond gang either tomorrow night or Friday for a couple of days. One daughter arrives Saturday; and then through the 29th the "OH HELLERS" will be here. Nuff said!

There are more important things in life than trying to be an Ozian Don Quixote or the sage of cyberspace; family is one of the greatest.

I wish that everyone will have a safe and joyous Holiday Season.  .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

COUNCIL'S MONDAY NIGHT



What a welcome relief from the perturbing events of the last few days to the mundane life in Oz. The Council’s agenda setting session once again illustrated the uniqueness of Ozian political/civic life.

As expected the Mayor submitted a list of nominees for various boards. All will be on the Agenda for approval at the initial business meeting Jan.3, 2013. All were for reappointment of individuals that were already serving on the boards which included the Planning Board and the Zoning Board.

Councilor Storch did question why there were no new names and the City Solicitor in his role as Corporation Counsel replied that experience was a valuable asset.  Councilor Williams noted that there should be an infusion of new talent periodically when appointments were made to involve more citizens into civic affairs.

I concur with her comments since I also feel that the more people that have an impact in the community the better that municipality is. Also it is known that prolong office holding tends to increase power and as the saying goes “power corrupts”. For that reason I think that term limitations should be applicable to all board positions as well as political office.

There was a prolong discussion about the two nominees to the Library Board, in view of the Administrations demonstrated anti-Library position as reflected in the past few proposed budgets. 
There was absolute confusion about the composition of the Board regarding number of members. As a result action on these two will be deferred pending complete information.

 A big surprise was the Mayors request to withdraw at this time action on her appointment of Cecil Sanders to the PMUA as a full member. No reason was given since with the now pro mayor balance on the Council for 2013 there should be no objection to any of the Mayors appointments. Perhaps this was due to knowledge that Mr. Sanders was going to speak at the public comment session object to the Council’s withhold addition payment for a contract his company had been awarded on the demolition of a property on Leland Ave.

At the Mayor’s request, and possibly influenced by the Newtown massacre it was voted to move the agenda setting session to the Court Room where the metal detector device could be used. Despite objections to parking limitations since will be put on the agenda.
It was not until the Public Comment period that this meeting reached the criterion that is consistent with the standards set in Oz. Three members of the public; Ozella Brundidge, Rev. Jason Greer, and  Kim Montford  spoke in favor of Councilwoman Rivers to be Council President in 2013.

Rev Greer went as far as to make some inappropriate personal  remarks about Councilor Williams; who had previously made known her desire for the position. Before the session closed both Reid and Eke had announced support for Rivers. Will 2013 be a return to the Gibson years?

Traditionally the Council makes its selection after closed session discussion. The office is one chosen by the Council membership and not by public vote.  The Presidency reflects the Councilors opinion and respect of one of its own. 
\
Never before to my ken has there been public electioneering.

Finally Thursday (12/20/12) at 6pm the Council will hold s special meeting to act on the Mayor’s as expected veto of the 3 ‘Carnival Ordinances”. Since it takes a super-majority of five (5) to override the veto; one guess as to the results.

Monday, December 17, 2012

THOUGHTS ON PREVENTION



Let us be perfectly clear; gun control will not be the answer in the prevention of such tragedies as this happened at Sandy Hook school. Perhaps more important is the understanding and handling of the mental processes/aberrations that lead to individuals committing such acts. In this blog I will discuss that issue but first I wish to clarify my thoughts on gun control

The second amendment specifically gives individuals the right to bear arms but refers to a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. We have long passed the concept of militia as intended to be in the 18th century. The National Guard may be considered a substitute but it is not truly a militia. 

The individual right to bear arms for self-defense was affirmed in the landmark Supreme Court case “District of Columbia v Heller” in 2008 which overturned a handgun ban in the federal District of Columbia, and in “McDonald v. city of Chicago” in 2010 which incorporated the individual right to the states. I

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits various individuals from possessing firearms. The list that can be looked up on the Internet. Whether this legislative act is still in force I am do not know; however the 1994 ban on assault weapons has since expired. That is one of the crucial elements which gun control  must be addressed.

Today the carrying of firearms for “protection an other lawful purposes” is legal in all 49 states except Illinois. In 31 states openly carrying of firearms without a licensing requirement is legal. Of the states that have gun control laws New Jersey ranks number two in and Connecticut number five. Yet that did not prevent this latest tragedy.

It is obvious that no gun control laws that are constitutional can prevent any future happenings of this tragic nature. Constitutionally no federal law can restrict the right to bear arms. What has to be done is the prohibition of the sale of the right to process possess weapons that can be considered to be paramilitary or assaults. It is also reasonable to limit the number and type of weapon that an individual can be licensed to process own. This can be done by federal law and should not be in violation of the Constitution

We should turn our attention to the other major aspect of this problem; mental/psychological disorder is as important as arms control however it has been completely neglected.  It is fine to prohibit as federal law declared the sale of firearms to anyone who has been institutionalized for mental disease. But that is only a partial answer. There are a significant number of children growing up with various disorders such as emotional disturbances, attention to affect disorders, anger disorders, and Asperser’s syndrome among others which can be complicated by depression and lead to the type action which has resulted in many of them in the recent mass shootings.

The suggestion of a federal databank is not an answer and may be counterproductive by preventing parents placing children who were who exhibit these disorders into therapy. What has to be addressed is how to provide that expensive modality to all who need it. Not only is it unaffordable for most of the population even with insurance which is always an adequate; but it is also not readily available. Furthermore there is an educational process for parents who know that their child has a problem but consider it a stigma on themselves and the family so do nothing.

What is essential is that instead of spending funds on a form of health insurance which will only downgrade our present level of healthcare; federal funding should be directed to increasing the number of qualified individuals and facilities to provide proper therapy for all children without monetary burden to the family.

No parent should have to live in fear of their child becoming violent and murderous. Nor should any person no matter what age be treated as a criminal or pariah because of a mental/personality  disorder. Proactive action is always better than recrimination..
If this is done we may be able to prevent such acts of desperation that result in these mass murderous episodes of violence.

Prohibition of semiautomatic/assault rifles and multiple weapons for individuals along with strict control of sales in all venues with adequate penalties can be a federal answer. Open affordable access to the appropriate personality/mental therapeutic facilities is a must.
  
No matter what we do we will never be able to eliminate all future tragedies, however focusing on the above I believe we can minimalize them.
6:45pm- I keep finding typos and weird words that make no sense. I blame the latter on an unwanted automatic word checker. I do proof read everything before I post aaand I firnly believe taht some were not there when I signed off.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A RED FACE

Five days ago (12/11/12) I wrote a post about the Council meeting the night before. Today atr 2:30pm for the umpteenth time I referred backed to that post and found to my amazement that in the first line I had believed  tha Annie was a basketball star instead of a stellar Councilwoman. I read:
"The Council opened opened with presentation to forward Council woman Annie  McWilliams"

Of course what I had typed was "former" and either some clown had hacked into my blog or an automatic spelling changer which I do not use decided to rewrite my blog.

My face is pink but I have re-edited that blog.

 

FROM FRIENDS OF PLAINFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY

 Hello,
 
The friends are having a another fund raiser with Digital Memory Media on Jan 12, 2013
This will allow folks to convert their VHS, cassettes, slides, photos etc to digital.
 
The time has been slightly changed from the original time due to a conflict int the schedule to 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. and will be in room 4.
 
This is a wonderful opportunity for us as the library will receive 20% of the revenue.
 
I have attached the flyers, both in English and Spanish as well as the price list.
 
it would be very much appreciated if you could please posts this on your blogs.
 
Thank you very much.
 
Regards,
Evelyn Medina
FOPPL
3 attachments — Download all attachments  
DMM Flyer - SPANISH.docDMM Flyer - SPANISH.doc
88K   View   Download  
DMM Flyer.docDMM Flyer.doc
88K    
   Download  
Price List 2012 Digital Memory Media.pdfPrice List 2012 Digital Memory Media.pdf
241K   View   Download  

GUN CONTROL??



10:43; Look in the mirror before you classify someone as ignorant.  Your remarks smack of stupidity. Although referred to as an automatic; a pistol with a magazine in the handle is also a semi-automatic weapon that can be fired as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger.  That pistol certainly is not a hunting rifle or even a rifle. 

If you would start a database of every child or person who has consulted a psychiatrist or child psychologist you would not only destroy the very base for that consultation; personal confidentiality  ,but perhaps  be in violation of the XIV Amendment.  

You would produce a Big Brother Nation that would rival the freedoms in a manner that would out do those of the police states of Hitler, Stalin, and Communist China. You would encourage denouncement without recourse; a weapon that made those dictatorships capable of destroying civil rights. It also put a worse weapon in the hands of those who wished to harm others; anonymous leak a false charge.

As to the permit to have a child; would you make it a criminal act if a woman conceived without a permit?  Must she have to have an abortion?  To control its expanding overpopulation; the Chinese have done so by making it a criminal act to have more than one child.

Perhaps as could be expected; Saturday both the Times and the WSJ had editorials regarding the massacre. As to be expected the Times focused on gun control; whereas the Wall Street Journal emphasized the need to identify and neutralize the mentally ill who could resort to violence.

I do agree with you that there are other factors than the availability of guns that lead up to mass killings.  Not all who suffer from mental illness will become murderers; however there should be some provision in the law for a therapist to report to authorities any person whom it is felt is actively contemplating mass violence.

Gun control basically should be a national standard as to conditions for the sale of guns which would include licensing the seller, background checks on the buyer and limiting the number of weapons a person could own.  The transfer or sale of a gun by an individual would also have to have legal sanction. A registry of every weapon should be a national not state responsibility and relicensing on a yearly basis.

None of this will completely prevent a future episode by a determined individual or group but may make it much more difficult. The process will be difficult but must be done with forethought and not an emotion or political reaction.

Nothing is rarely better than something. The latter can always be tweaked   as errors and deficiencies are found.

Friday, December 14, 2012

NEWTOWN CT.

In my 12/12/12 blog I wrote: "The spate of nationwide shootings in public places is one more argument for the restrictions on the sales of hand weapons to the public. Shotguns and rifles for licensed hunting would be OK if well controlled. Pistols and automatics have no place  in the public hands except under strict regulated conditions and  with periodic renewals. Certainly there should be no sale of assault weapons to other than law enforce3ment or military units."

On the 14th in Newtown Ct. in a K-4 school about 20 children ages 5 to 10; and 7 adults were gunned down by an individual armed with what seems to be at the time I write this several automatic rifles.

Once again weapons that should not be in the public domain end up in the hands of of a deranged individual.Each one of us should put pressure on our State legislatures and Congressmen to pass legislation making it a criminal offense to sell or posses such weapons. There should also be strict laws regarding  concealed  guns.

Since it will always be impossible to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals; the penalties for selling, transporting or possessing them should be extreme severe. We may not be able to prevent gun violence in the hands of a determined individual but sure as heck  can make it an arduous task to accomplish.

Since the elections are over perhaps the politicians will be sincere in what they do. We know that it will not be perfect but once we change our present mindset we can then tweak  the laws to still comply with the constitution and at the same time protect the people.


JUST POTPOURRI

Is it possible that Rudolph should really been called Rudolphia? This is from eNature: 
"We’ve seen the pictures and we know that Santa’s reindeer—Dasher and Dancer and Blitzen and the rest—sport antlers. Does this mean that all of them (even Vixen?) are males? Not exactly—in fact, it almost means the opposite. Reindeer and caribou are unique among deer in that the females grow antlers, too.
And even more interesting is the fact that the females retain their antlers from one spring till the next, while mature males shed their antlers in the fall—and are unadorned on Christmas Eve.
So Rudolph and all the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh must be females or youngsters."

An article in the WSJ warns that by 2060 the "white" population in the USA will be a minority one of about 43% of the total. At present it is 63%. The Black population will increase from 13% to 15%. And the total Hispanic population which is at present about 17% will increase to  about 31%. 

It seems that present so called minority politicians and Republicans should re-evaluate their relationships with this segment of society. Of course most will not be around in 47 years from now so why worry or change attitudes?

For a change Thursday night the sky was clear when the Geminid meteor shower made its annual show. It was best seen from about midnight to 2 am. No I did not stay up long after 12. Theree weree about 1 or2  shooting stars a minute at its height. Lots of wishes could be answered.

 FYI via Wikipedia: The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a "rock comet" orbit This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around the 13th - 14th of the month, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of the 14th. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862, much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD).

  




     



 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

THE CONCERT

A dentist appointment-ouch- this am and an overhang from the 12/12-13/12 concert means no words of wisdom this morning.

Most of last night was a return to my son's music which I never understood. Could not  make out the words then and most of last night's songs were worse. Rappers plus the psychedelic light effects spoiled the evening for me.

On the other hand THE WHO, Billy Joel , Springsteen and Bon Jovi were great. The Rolling Stones once  song was a caricature of their place in music history. I think I did hear Paul McCartney at the end.

Oh for a return of the Big Band era1 Also the Goodman Quartet.

PLUG: By the way in 2010 Norton Records released a 33rpm album by the Cobra Seas recorded in 1966 at the Anderson School. The lead guitarist of this student group was James Williamson;Hall of the Famous member of the Stooges. The rhythm guitarist was my son who later went into
 medicine but still plays a guitar 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12

12/12/12;a special date that will not happen again for the next 89 years. Those who are superstitious  believe  triple digit dates mean good luck. That is why there is a boom in marriages today. Let us hope that their belief is true.

The next important date is 12/20/12 when the world will end. At least some misinterpret the Mayan calender which  has a cycle that ends on that date. Don't worry, your X-mas plans will be OK.

I am sorry to have missed  last nights Charter Commission meeting. This Commission was formed according to the Faulkner Act's rules which were not applicable. I would hope that the end result is not to adopt that act's proscribed formats as they are too restrictive.  The present Charter can be modified.

The two essential changes are that the Council selects the City Clerk who is their secretary. The other very important change is for the Council to have its independent attorney. The present role of the Corporation Counsel who is appointed and serves at the pleasure of the Mayor; representing the Council in disputes is ludicrous as the record shows.

There is some merit in Alan Goldstein's  recommendations in  his comments to Bernice's blog today. Two year terms of all Councillors with a number of terms limit (6-8?) may be a good way to go. Incompetents  would not stay for  4 years. Also perhaps 2 per ward plus 1 at large might be a good idea.

I would also hope the Commission would  redraw the "Departments. Health Services  should be part of Public Safety. Also the politically motivated elimination of the Police Chief should be rescinded

The spate of nationwide shootings in public places is one more argument for the restrictions on the sales of hand weapons to the public. Shotguns and rifles for licensed hunting would be OK if well controlled. Pistols and automatics have no place  in the public hands except under strict regulated conditions and  with periodic renewals. Certainly there should be no sale of assault weapons to other than law enforce3ment or military units. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

COUNCIL MEETING.


The Council opened opened with presentation to forward  former Council woman Annie  McWilliams a certificate of appreciation for her services to a community the community. In 20 years of auditing Council meetings I can unequivocally state that two years Annie served as Council President where the best councils.. Use and commitment will be sorely missed.


Director public works Eric Jackson and report on the mammoth work his Department had done during and after Sandy and cleaning up the debris on the streets. The first phase has been completed and second phase which will include accessible debris of private property will be beginning this coming this week and is expected to be completed whether permitting by the end of December. Plans are ready for removing tree stumps and repairing damaged sidewalks and curbs this time.

Although director Jackson stated that the cost of cleanup had been about $200,000 projected for this year and more will be needed in the coming year. In that regard the Council passed a resolution authorizing $600,000 in emergency storm relief monies to be paid by note to be raised by that will be repayable at the rate of hundred $20,000 for five years I.

Resolution in accepted a national emergency grant from the union County workforce investment Board for $171,501 to hire 11 individuals first six months. To help the public works department cleanup effort. This will not impact upon the previous mention $600,000. The funds coming from the county who provided the personnel involved.



This was the first and only Council business meeting for Councilman at Large Eke, who was filling McWilliams vacated seat.

Both Director  of Administration and Finance Restaino and Director of Public Works Jackson who was acting as City Administrator for this meeting denied any knowledge of the reported 1.2 5 million allotted from FEMA as reported in the newspapers in a memorandum from Sen. Menendez office. Jackson noted that they are trying to contact the Senator's office for clarification..

The controversial resolution relating to accreditation of the Police Department was requested by Administration to be withdrawn. Since by being in the agenda it was now the "property" of the Council. Councilor Cory Storch noted the correct procedure was to table the resolution; which was so enacted..

Other matters of interest have been previously discussed prior to the meeting and all were adopted.

The final order of business was to add a resolution which would award an additional $6400 to the contractor responsible for the cleanup of the Leland Avenue site. After much discussion this resolution is not put on the agenda for action.

Monday, December 10, 2012

FISCAL CONTROLS

It has been 11 months since our part-time CFO resigned. Since then the Mayor and then Corporation Counsel Williamson have acted as temporary substitutes. For the last six months we have had a chimera CFO 3 to 5 hours a week with no evidence of an ongoing search for a full time replacement. Almost all certificates of availability of funds which are supposed to be signed by the CFO  contain an unreadable signature that is initialed, in other words not actually certified by the CFO.

It is true that we now have a City Treasurer who is supposedly a qualified CFO but not hired in that position. Why this happened may have been explained to the Council but the public has been denied knowledge.

The Purchasing Agent's office remains unfilled; another example of how this administration is careless when it comes to financial management

All of a sudden the Director of Public Safety  has found grants from 2009,2010,2011 that have not been used for the purpose they were received. And we are going to spend 83k from a over 400k trust fund which I am sure most Council members never heard about, or who the trustees are.

The last two Council's have blown hot and cold about our fiscal management, but never pushed to an resolution because their could not be a super majority vote. Next year the Council majority will consist of Mayoral supporters and unless the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
Division of Local Government Services/ Local Finance Board would take an interest there will be no improvement.

What will you do about this?