Archive: August, 2011
In case you missed it, this story appeared in the Irene-soaked editions of Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Army officer escorting New Jersey's lieutenant governor through a new facility for homeless veterans last week stopped to point out that the American Legion had raised $160,000 for the furniture.
"If we had bought it with state dollars," Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth said, pointing at a table, "it would be a carton."
Gov. Christie is warning those still on the barrier islands of Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean Counties: "You have to get out. The weather is good today. It's sunny. It is time to move."
Christie offered these updates: Tolls have been suspended on southern parts of the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway...Casinos will close as of noon tomorrow...Motor Vehicle Commission offices in counties on the Shore will close and grant extensions to drivers with expired licenses...About 1,300 inmates from Southwoods State Prison will be moved overnight...Sunday move-in dates have been delayed for Rutgers University...NJ Transit buses and possibly school buses will be used to take those without transportation, particularly in Atlantic City, to safer ground...Flood gates have been lowered...Nuclear facilities will close...Hundreds of New Jersey National Guardsmen have been called up...
And highways going to the Shore will be running one way: Away from the ocean.
Gov. Christie is ordering the evacuations of residents throughout the Shore region -- including all of Cape May County and much of Atlantic, Ocean Monmouth Counties -- and estimating that hundreds of thousands of people must leave their homes.
"Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30; you've maximized your tan."
Christie is urging people to find shelter at friends', relatives' and colleagues' homes further west, but if not, emergency shelters are set up throughout the state.
Rocking a suit with no tie -- and flanked by his lieutenant governor, homeland security director and the uniform-clad leaders of the state police and New Jersey National Guard -- Gov. Christie canceled your weekend plans this afternoon.
Referencing a lady named Irene, Christie told weekend Shore-trippers to stay away this weekend. He told residents living near the ocean in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties to begin evacuating now. And he told everyone else near the Shore to get ready to get out.
Mandatory evacuations are being considered.
The governor is in Chicago today for a Republican Governors Association event -- and he's been on a staycation at the gubernatorial beach house down the shore for the rest of the week -- but before he split town he signed several laws and vetoed two others. Below are three bills he signed; check out the rest of the legislation here.
- Bath salts are now illegal. These designer drugs (which are known as "bath salts" but are really just a concoction of dangerous chemicals that produce a stimulating, psychotic high) had been available for purchase online and in gas stations, convenience stores and head shops.
- Those arrested -- but not convicted -- of certain violent crimes will now have to submit to a DNA sample. The state's DNA database will grow larger, increasing the odds of solving crimes, the bill's sponsors say. Those crimes for which arrestees will have to submit DNA samples are: murder, manslaughter, second-degree aggravated assault, kidnapping, luring or enticing a child, engaging in sexual conduct with a child and sexual assault.
- State statutes containing offensive language toward women are now repealed. Here's two:
If a wife after being ravished, consent to the ravisher, she shall be disabled and forever barred from having her jointure or dower, unless her husband is voluntarily reconciled to her and permits her to dwell with him, in which case she shall be restored to her jointure or dower. [In other words, if a wife cheats on a husband, she loses her property rights unless the husband forgives her.]
If a person is arrested upon a criminal charge, involving an accusation of bastardy, rape, fornication or of having had carnal knowledge of an unmarried female, and the accused person consents to marry such female, any licensing officer is authorized to immediately issue a marriage license. [In other words, if a man rapes a woman and agrees to marry her, the new couple is exempted from the 72-hour waiting period for a marriage license.]
Earlier this year Gov. Christie broke ground in the politics of the environment by pulling the state out of a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Environmentalists expressed shock and awe. No other governor in any other state had done this before. Christie said the treaty simply wasn't effective.
Last week, as expected, Christie followed up by vetoing a Democratic attempt to force Christie back into the initiative. But in his veto message, the former skeptic on global warming came out fully behind the belief that human beings have a role in warming the planet. This puts him at odds with all but one of the Republicans running for president, and pretty much the entire vocal base of the GOP.
"While I acknowledge that the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing, that climate change is real, that human activity plays a role in these changes and these changes are impacting our state, I simply disagree that RGGI is an effective mechanism for addressing global warming."
In case you missed it, this story appeared in Sunday's edition of The Inquirer.
The days leading to the approval of New Jersey's budget in June were chaotic, with fears of a July 1 government shutdown and rumors about what Republican Gov. Christie planned to do with the Democrats' spending proposal.
On June 29, amid that din, Christie's office released an order to reorganize government - including a mandate to eliminate the Commission on Higher Education, which oversees the state's colleges and universities.
Gov. Christie reached across both the Hudson River and the partisan divide this past week, giving New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo a series of verbal bear hugs and working with him on a deal to lower the toll increase on the bridges and tunnels into New York City. (It'll be a $4.50 staggered increase for E-ZPass, over five years).
But that kind of love does not translate to the other big-time pol in New York, apparently. In a feud reported (and egged on) by The New York Post, Christie expressed some anger that former New Jersey Gov. Donald DiFrancesco had been snubbed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Ground Zero ceremony next month commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The Post reported:
Christie privately lambasted Bloomberg as "Napoleon," "a dictator" and "a putz" when DiFrancesco -- who was the Garden State governor during the attack -- wasn't asked to speak at the ceremony, sources told The Post.