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Archive for October 1st, 2008

Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow

Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow

ELIZABETH – Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow released data highlighting the city’s gang problem last week – a problem that Mayor Chris Bollwage has refused to admit exists.

In September, Romankow criticized Elizabeth for the high number of unsolved murders – which he blamed on the prevalence of gangs – and announced that a new task force under his direction would investigate all Union County homicides. Bollwage refused a request to join the task force, challenging the prosecutor’s legal authority to make him do so. Bollwage also said that most of Elizabeth’s gang members are in jail.

According to the prosecutor’s statistics, there are 655 gang members with an Elizabeth address in the county’s criminal database. Of those, 180 are in state prisons, 38 are in Union County jail and 157 are on parole. As of Friday, 280 verified gang members, whose last known address was in Elizabeth, were on the street.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—New Jersey congressmen split 7-6 in voting against the $700 billion Wall Street bail out plan proposed by the Bush administration in the wake of a nationwide mortgage crisis, which triggered bank failures and a diminutive stock market crash Monday.

Democrats Donald Payne, Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell voted against the $700 billion proposal along with Republicans Rodney Frelinghuysen, Scott Garrett, Frank LoBiondo and Chris Smith.

Republicans Mike Ferguson and James Saxton joined Democrats Rush Holt, Albio Sires, Frank Pallone and Rob Andrews in voting for the financial bailout package that had been negotiated by the White House and a bipartisan group of elected and appointed officials.

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UNION COUNTY—Union County has moved up a notch on a list of ten counties nationwide with the highest actual dollar value of real estate taxes paid on owner-occupied housing units.

With an average property tax burden of $6,703, Union County moved from tenth to ninth highest on the Tax Foundation’s calculations of median real estate taxes paid in 2006.

The Tax Foundation calculations are based on the Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey.

The foundation is a conservative non-profit group that monitors fiscal policy and has long published historical data on property tax collections compiled by the Census Bureau’s Government Finances division.

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ELIZABETH – Joseph Suliga was killed because a careless driver slammed into a car, which was illegally parked by its driver, his widow claims. Annmarie Pukulski wants jurors to award her unspecified damages in a wrongful death claim in which she contends that her 47-year old husband should not have died outside a Linden go-go bar in 2005.

Annmarie Pakulski wants jurors to side with her and award unspecified damages in a wrongful death claim in which she contends her 47-year-old husband should not have died outside of Cheeques Go-Go Bar in Linden on Feb. 18, 2005.

The trial got underway last Wednesday in Superior Court in Elizabeth. Pakulski blames the driver of the car Suliga was in, Nicholas Sorrentino of Cranford, for carelessness. His 2003 Infiniti G35 was parked in front of Cheeques on East Linden Avenue, blocking three quarters of the road according to Pakulski’s lawyer.

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Bob Barr

Bob Barr

By Bob Barr

The leaders of both the Republican and Democratic Parties are rushing ahead with their $700 billion bill. 

Without a single hearing and without considering other solutions, Congress is preparing to put the typical American family on the hook for more than $8,000.  Legislators in both parties need to stand up for the American people and say no.

If bailouts are the answer, why hasn’t the $300 billion housing bailout worked?  What of the $100 or more billion bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? This bailout package doesn’t resolve the underlying problems.  It merely transfers the liabilities to the taxpayers.  Instead, we need to make Wall Street take the hit for its irresponsible investment decisions.

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UNION COUNTY – The Barack Obama campaign has a number of Union County events planned this week.

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