The Edison Blog: Edison, New Jersey

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Archive for November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by edison1205 on November 24, 2010

Tomorrow, let us give thanks for our families, friends, and loved ones, and give thanks to G-d for his infinite blessings.

On a lighter note:

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Edison Crime News

Posted by edison1205 on November 20, 2010

In short, the news is not very good at all.  According to information released by the State this past week, crime is down statewide by big numbers.  The trends in Edison for 2009, the last year of the Choi administration, point the opposite way.

Violent crime in Edison is UP: 237 violent crimes in 2008 vs. 264 in 2009.  UP 11.4 percent.

  • Robberies climbed from 83 to 97 over that span.  UP 16.9 percent.
  • Aggravated assaults were up from 147 to 162. UP 10.2 percent.
  • In 2008, there was 1 murder and 6 rapes and in 2009, there was also 1 murder but only 4 rapes.

Nonviolent crime in Edison is UP: 2,212 crimes in 2008 vs. 2,245 in 2009. UP 1.5 percent.

  • Thefts were UP: in 2008 there were 1,593, and in 2009 it climbed to 1,637.  UP 2.8 percent.
  • Motor vehicle theft was UP: 171 stolen cars in 2008 and 184 in 2009.  UP 7.6 percent.
  • One piece of good news is that burglaries fell: in 2008 there were 448, and that number fell to 424 in 2009.  DOWN 5.4 percent.

This happened in Edison despite the fact that:

  • The number of PD employees climbed from 235 to 238 while most departments around the state saw headcount fall.
  • Our neighbors in Woodbridge made violent crime fall by 27.2 percent and nonviolent crime fell by 12.5 percent.
  • On the whole, throughout the State, violent crime fell 4 percent and nonviolent crime fell by 9 percent.

A final perspective: only 2 towns in Middlesex County — New Brunswick and Perth Amboy — had higher violent crime rates.  Only 2 towns in Middlesex County — New Brunswick and Woodbridge — had higher nonviolent crime rates.

A plea to our police officers including superior officers: please pick up the pace here.  These numbers are not good news, and don’t reflect well on the Township.  I hope you’ve done better in 2010, even though it will take us a whole year from now to know for sure.

The source for the data in this report is the 2009 state crime report, found here.

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Blog was down

Posted by edison1205 on November 19, 2010

Apologies! I had some difficulties with 2 or 3 of the pages over the last 24 hours and shut the blog down while I was troubleshooting. All seems to be well now.

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Federal judge trims Vaticano lawsuit

Posted by edison1205 on November 17, 2010

In an opinion issued November 5, 2010, a federal judge has dismissed some important claims made by Carmelo Vaticano, who in a lawsuit claimed retaliation against him by former mayor Jun Choi.  The opinion is here.

Equally interesting are some of the backup documents for the factual claims in the opinion, including depositions and exhibits and the LGS’ 2007 evaluation assessment of the Edison PD.  (In fairness, much of what was pointed out as flawed in the 07 assessment was cured when the department passed CALEA assessment in November 2009).

But my G-d!  What a travesty it had been.

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The curious case of Rajnikant Parikh

Posted by edison1205 on November 6, 2010

In 2008, Rajnikant Parikh sued the Edison police and federal immigration officials.  He claimed that in July 2006, an Edison police officer arrested him, using excessive force in the process.  When he filed an internal affairs complaint against him, he says the officer retaliated by contacting federal immigration officials, which ultimately resulted in him being deported.

The events surrounding this case caused quite a scandal when they first occurred, with demonstrations and accusations from different segments of the community.  The resulting lawsuit was also bitterly fought, with all sides vigorously litigating their positions.

Looking into the status of the case, Edison Blog has learned of some unusual developments.  On June 29, Parikh’s lawyers wrote to the court saying that despite numerous “telephone calls, e-mails and letters” trying to find him in India, they had “not heard from him in months. We are concerned about Mr. Parikh and do not know what has happened to him.”  Three days later, the Court administratively dismissed Parikh’s case, saying that he had until December 31 of this year to seek reinstatement of the matter.

This is all very curious, and in less than 2 months, if he is not heard from, this case will end with a whimper.

Anyone knowing further details about this, please let us know by commenting below or through our private email at theedisonblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

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New school superintendent

Posted by edison1205 on November 6, 2010

The new superintendent of schools of Edison Township will be Richard O’Malley, currently superintendent of the Matawan-Aberdeen district.  His salary will be $210,000 per year.

O’Malley became head of the Matawan-Aberdeen school district (which is far smaller than Edison) not long ago – in February 2008.  His starting salary there was $173,000.  As far as we can tell, his tenure was relatively uncontroversial, but it was short.  Nevertheless, the current year’s school budget caused some consternation there, although less than what was seen in Edison.

Home News coverage is here.

Any comments on the choice of Mr. O’Malley?  Please discuss.

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Election returns – General Election 2010

Posted by edison1205 on November 2, 2010

ELECTION RESULTS

CONGRESS – 6th District – Frank Pallone (D) (i) defeated Anna Little (R), 79,650 (55%) to 64,118 (45%)

CONGRESS – 7th District – Leonard Lance (R) (i) defeated Ed Potosnak (D), 102,752 (59%) to 69,964 (41%)

SHERIFF – Millie Scott (D) defeated Capt. Keith Hackett (R), 84,494 (54%) to 72,242 (46%)

CLERK – Elaine Flynn (D)(i) defeated Harold Kane (R), 87,221 to 68,353

FREEHOLDERS – Pete Dalina (D) (i), Chris Rafano (D) (i) and Blanquita Valenti (D) (i) defeated Richard Frank (R), David Rosenthal (R) and Jordan Rickards (R), 84,835, 83,739, 81,659 to 69,255, 67,516 and 67,219

TWP. COUNCIL – Bob Karabinchak (D) (i) defeated Mary Lou Resner (R), 10,013 (57%) to 7,653 (43%)

STATE PUBLIC QUESTION (dedicated allocation of unemployment and disability funds) PASSED: 1,161,006 (80%) to 284,188 (20%)

All totals are subject to change, pending the counting of absentee and provisional ballots.

THANKS TO ALL WHO DID THEIR CIVIC DUTY AND VOTED TODAY, AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNING CANDIDATES!!!


If you experienced difficulties voting today, contact one or more of the following:

League of Women Voters Assistance Line (800) 792-VOTE (8683)

N.J. State Division of Elections (609) 292-3760

U.S. Attorney Voter Hotline (609) 656-2558


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Endorsements for the 2010 Election: Edison Township Council

Posted by edison1205 on November 1, 2010

In tomorrow’s election, incumbent Robert Karabinchak faces off against Mary Lou Resner for a 1-year unexpired term of council.  Karabinchak has proven to be a versatile public servant in Edison, with recent experience on the township’s land use boards, and enjoying support and respect from each of the three factions in the Edison Democratic Party.  Professionally, he is a well-regarded industrial and commercial developer.  Resner is a local real estate agent who has an impressive resume of volunteer service but no experience in public office.

Both candidates express a desire to cut or limit taxes by cutting or limiting municipal spending.  Whether elected or not, Resner’s ideas about improving and equalizing township policies on solid waste collection deserve serious consideration.  And both candidates will have to pay serious attention to the costliest portion of Edison’s budget — the compensation and benefits paid to the fractious and litigious members of our public safety departments.

But Karabinchak has demonstrated abilities on this front, and the ability to work with others in a collective although sometimes factionalized body, whereas Resner is more of an unknown.  That’s a chance we cannot take in this fiscal environment.

We therefore endorse Robert Karabinchak for Edison Council.

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