Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | March 14, 2011

Random things

I’ve been clipping bits of newspaper news for the past few weeks. It’s stacking on my unruly desk, so I decide to do a random post.

News story: Big lay-offs among trained Newark cops – 167 laid off (every one hired since 2006), and they’re getting snapped up across the country. Newark isn’t the only New Jersey town to lose cops – so are several of the other most crime-ridden towns (Camden loses half its police force, 1/3 of its firefighters – and it lost its main library as well)

Headline: Former pediatrician sentenced for porn (he’s a former pediatric neurologist) – was found to have child porn on his computer. Will lose his medical license among other things.

Not a week goes by without another big corruption story here in the Garden State. Recently Governor Christie fired all but one member of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. The commission runs the state’s largest sewage plant. The long list of alleged offenses: pressuring employees to contribute to the commissioners’ campaigns, nepotism, hiring political supporters at high salaries (with cars), using Commission-purchased items to upgrade Commission member homes, using carpenters paid by the Commission to do cabinet and upgrade work to the homes, and one guy was investigated for running his own accounting business from the commission’s office.

We had a Roselle mayor charged with falsifying a police report, and lying to police to cover up a hit and run accident. And a mayor charged with drunk driving.

We’re not immune in our town either. A board of education administrator was arrested for accepting bribes (doors and windows) and rigging bids in three school districts.

Here’s some news of the stupid. “Man struggles to survive attack of illegally owned snake.” This man from Fair Lawn (do you know him, Carmita and Gail?) planned to keep a cobra as a pet, until it bit him. When he bought the snake, he was told it was essentially neutered (the poison glands removed). The cobra wasn’t the only “exotic pet” he kept. He also had a tarantula named Mrs. Peebles, two emperor scorpions and several snakes including a boa. After going into respiratory arrest, he was eventually taken to a hospital in the Bronx, which has the area’s only snakebite treatment center.

Now we know why so many of you haven’t visited us in New Jersey. News is that Newark’s average domestic airfare is the highest of all airports in the country. Maybe with Southwest moving in, that will change. Of course you could fly in through Atlantic City, was has the lowest average airfare in the country. Your choice.

And last, to show you what a socially progressive town we live in, we just had our very own “Needle Nite” program. Of course that’s not exchanging syringes. It’s a knitting night. Let me know if you want contact information.

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