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Archive for February, 2009

STATE—The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards voted unanimously Tuesday to pursue an investigation into allegations that Assemblyman Joseph Cryan abused his office by having legislative staff perform tasks related to his non-government post as state Democratic Party chairman for the politician’s personal benefit.

Monmouth County Freeholder Robert D. Clifton disclosed in January that Cryan’s legislative staff contacted the state Department of Personnel and the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics about finding candidates for jobs when control over that county’s freeholder board switched parties.

Dave Jenkins, the Cryan aide who sent the email messages, is paid at taxpayer expense.

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STATE—The New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is asking everyone to “Move It” during MS Awareness Week to end MS now. Michael Elkow, president of the society’s New Jersey Metro Chapter, asks people to show their commitment to the MS movement with simple actions throughout the week.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

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popcornBy Michael S. Goldberger, film critic

When you were little and the cartoon’s protagonist didn’t realize who the villain was, it drove you nuts. You screamed at the TV, “Watch out, she’s bad.” Happily, the hero always heard you. If you’d like to revisit this Drama #101 lesson in smugly knowing way more than the characters, Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail” stands ready to oblige.

It is a testament to Mr. Perry’s popular franchise that, even whilst inexpertly injecting a serious segue to the doings this go-round, his terror in drag nonetheless accomplishes some of the usual hijinks expected of her/him. However, now enjoying the madness means avoiding much tedium, a challenge akin to stepping over dead bodies at a carnival.

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promoting-healthy-habits-022709Promoting Healthy Habits—February is Dental Health Month at schools in New Jersey. On Feb. 17 students from the UMDNJ School of Dental Hygiene visited Grover Cleveland School in Rahway. The hygiene students visited each class and gave lessons on dental health and proper care of your teeth. Each Grover Cleveland student was given tooth paste and tooth brushes to take home. (Photo courtesy of Grover Cleveland School.)

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pastWOODBRIDGE-PERTH AMBOY-Here are more memories I received in an email from former area resident Tom Saboy: ” Dear Ms. Harrison, I was born in Hopelawn in 1935. I attended Hopelawn # 10 school from 1940 to 1948 and Woodbridge High School from 1948 to 1952.

“I read your articles on the internet. I do have some first hand information of the Woodbridge Golden Bears, Woodbridge High School Barrons, Perth Amboy Panthers, Perth Amboy Semi Pro football teams and a handed down story of the Hopelawn Greyhounds.

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irs-sealGregg Semanick-New Jersey’s IRS Spokesperson

This year, the IRS is offering a new filing option, Free File Fillable Forms, which opens up free filing to virtually everyone.  Free File Fillable Forms allow you to fill out and file your tax forms electronically, just as you would on paper.  Free File Fillable Forms is only available through the IRS.gov Web site.

For more information on IRS tax tips, go to the IRS.gov Web site at www.irs.gov.

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bank-supports-rotary-club-030609Bank Supports Rotary Club—Roxanne Keegan (left), manager of Provident Bank’s South Amboy branch, presents a check to Michael Poll (right), president of the Rotary Club of South Amboy/Sayreville, during the Rotary’s January meeting at the Peter Pank Diner in South Amboy. The Rotary helps provide much needed services to organizations around the world and will use the donation to support Hogar del Niño of the Dominican Republic, a non-profit organization created to help provide underprivileged children. (Photo courtesy of The Provident Bank)

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CLARK—Anthony N. Poyssick, a member of Boy Scout Troop 145 of Clark, earned his Eagle Scout award, the highest honor in Boy Scouting. Only four percent of all Boy Scouts attain this rank.

Anthony N. Poyssick

Anthony N. Poyssick

A scout since 1998, Poyssick has earned 26 merit badges and has held various leadership ranks such as senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, and patrol leader. He has provided over 100 hours of community service and participated in over 20 weekend camping trips.

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pastRAHWAY-Here are some memories from former Rahway resident Sydney Beech-Blicharz, Rahway High School Class of 1971:

“I lived in the first house directly behind Rocky’s Bar and Grill and Demblings Grocery Store on West Grant Avenue from 1955-1980. I have many memories of both places through the years. The original owner (of Rocky’s) was Rocky Romeo. His son, Anthony (Joseph) Romeo, who went by Joe, also ran the bar. It was sold to new owners three years ago.

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 irs-sealGregg Semanick-New Jersey’s IRS Spokesperson

Education tax credits can help offset the costs of higher education for yourself or a dependent. The Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two education credits available which may benefit you and reduce your taxes.  IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, explains the tax benefits that are available if you are saving for or paying higher education costs.

For more information on IRS tax tips, go to the IRS.gov Web site at www.irs.gov.

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car-on-roadHAMILTON – It’s official: Americans drove far fewer miles last year than in 2007.

In fact, the year-over-year decrease in miles driven by Americans in 2008 over 2007 is more dramatic than other periods of decline, including the days of the long gas lines during the “oil price shock” in 1973, and the stock market crash of 1973-1974.

From January to December, cumulative 2008 travel dropped nationwide by 107.9 billion vehicle miles of travel (VMT), a decline of 3.6 percent, according to the latest Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report.

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students-learn-about-modern-slavery-022709Students Learn About Modern Slavery — The Human Rights Institute at Kean University hosted its second annual conference, Slavery in the Twenty-first Century, on Friday, Feb. 13. A crowd of nearly 800 people, including students and teachers from throughout New Jersey, as well as members of the Kean University community and the general public, filled Wilkins Theatre. The all-day conference featured eyewitness accounts and perspectives, as well as panel discussions with leading experts on various aspects of modern-slavery. Pictured above are students and teachers from JFK Memorial High School in Iselin with keynote speaker Dr. Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves and author of Ending Slavery and the critically acclaimed Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. (Photo courtesy of Kean University)

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hoopsBy Jim Whelan

Four years ago on his first team bus ride, new coach Mike Jones asked his players if their opponent that day—the now defunct St. Al’s of Jersey City – was any good.

One of his players on the school bus responded with optimism, “No. They’re not that good.” After a short pause, she continued, “They only beat us by 22 last year.’’

That was Jones’ baptism to when he took the reins of the fledgling basketball program at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, a small, all-girls Catholic school located in Elizabeth bordering Hillside and Newark.

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Tax tip of the Day: Missing a W-2?

 irs-sealGregg Semanick-New Jersey’s IRS Spokesperson

If you have not received your Form W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed and if it was sent to the correct address.  If you still do not receive your W-2 after following up with your employer, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040.  You need your W-2 information to prepare your tax return.

For more information on IRS tax tips, go to the IRS.gov Web site at www.irs.gov.

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students-volunteer-at-food-bank-0307091Students Volunteer At Food Bank—Students, faculty and staff from Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth volunteered time at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside on Feb. 6. Pictured clockwise from far left are juniors Amiosinor Igertei of Hillside, Priscille Dossekou and Cassandra Silva, both of Newark, Vanessa Devia of Elizabeth, Natasha McDowell of Maplewood, and Elizabeth Bukiron of Elizabeth. They are assisted with a 50,000 piece mailing which the Food Bank sends out four times a year. (Photo courtesy of Benedictine Academy)

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