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Archive for October 9th, 2008

Wilda Diaz

Wilda Diaz

PERTH AMBOY—A $532 tax hike for the average homeowner and the elimination of 27 municipal jobs are among the sacrifices called for in the Perth Amboy municipal budget proposed by Mayor Wilda Diaz.

The layoffs and tax hike efforts to close a $10.7 million municipal budget deficit, which does not include provisions for revenue lost as a result of the national recession.

Diaz introduced a $71.6 million municipal budget, but she did not identify which employees would be laid off to close a massive gap caused by the previous administration’s reliance on non-recurring revenue sources.

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TRENTON – Assembly Democrats said ominous signs regarding winter fuel bills, looming cold weather and the global economic crisis simply re-emphasize the need to help low-income seniors and disabled persons pay gas and utility bills.

The lawmakers are sponsoring a measure (A688) that would provide for an annual cost-of-living increase in Lifeline Credit and Tenants Lifeline Assistance payments. The bill has been released by two legislative committees.

The increase would be proportional to the increase in the Social Security benefit for the year or 5 percent, whichever is lower.

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STATE—With the general election just weeks away, more than two-thirds of New Jersey’s likely voters (71%) have not heard of, or have no opinion of, former Congressman Dick Zimmer, the Republican nominee for New Jersey’s U.S. Senate seat. According to the latest poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, one in four Republicans (23%) say they’ve not heard of Zimmer and another two in five Republicans (39%) say they have no opinion of him.

“Zimmer jumped late into a fractious primary and won, but he has gotten no traction since,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads Zimmer by 50% to 34% in the poll. Another 14% say they’re undecided.

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Students Let Their Imaginations Soar—Frank Buglione, superintendent of the Rahway Public Schools, visited all of the city’s elementary schools dressed as an astronaut this week to promote reading. He challenged the students to read a total of 75,000 books during this school year to “fly him to the moon”. The number of books the students read in each building will be counted monthly using the district’s Accelerated Reading Program. Books that are identified as accelerated readers have a brief comprehension test which the children take after reading them. Buglione’s progress will be charted on bulletin boards in each school building, in the Board of Education meeting room at the Middle School, as well as at the Rahway Public Library. The superintendent is pictured during his visit to Franklin School.

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