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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Home away from home
Home away from home


Usually when you are per diem, you do not need to provide receipts. You get an alloted amount of money per day and you can spend it how you want. If he chose to eat 100$ lunches then he should have to pay the difference out of his own pocket.

you're right, ~40 quid per day is not a lot in London, however those are the rules and just because he has a high ranking position doesn't mean he is above those restrictions. He should be setting an example for all the other govt employees.

Posted on: 2006/5/27 10:55
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


I dont think his salary/compensation is too high. I mean, the man is a Superintendent of an entire school system, has a Ph.D, etc. It seems in line with other districts and appropriate. If we don't compensate such positions well, then those with the talent necessary to do the job are going to go to corporations instead.

In terms of the reimbursements, to me this seems more a matter of process than anything else. I have no doubt the conference itself was legitimate and think we should provide a lot more staff development than we do.

A $70 per diem food budget is okay for the U.S, but not for a European trip. $70 USD is only about $35-40 British Pounds and anyone who has been there knows you can't buy much on that! A hamburger at a regular ol' paper napkins place (non-mcdonalds) is about 15 pounds (or $30 USD). I woudln't expect (or encourage) the superintendent to eat at McDonalds every meal for a week. Nor can you find many hotels for $150 USD.

Clearly the school system needs printed guidelines of reimbursements for out-of-country trips as well.

Another part of the process is with the actual reimbursement. Why were the guidelines not followed? Epps submitted his receipts and he had a right to do so. I mean, he had a right to eat anywhere he wanted - but, to only get reimbursed up to the allowed amount. Who wrote those checks and why did they not follow the guidelines? If anyone loses their job, it seems like it should be that person!

Posted on: 2006/5/27 10:41
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Re: Jersey City Tax Collector
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


I paid taxes as usual, with personal check, sent in via mail. several weeks later, I received a letter stating "to the resident of JC, as of may 11, 2006, JC will no longer accpet personal check. only cash, cashiers check or money order. We are returning your check beacuse of this reason".
Now they want to charge me 3 weeks interest on that tax.

Posted on: 2006/5/27 10:36
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Re: Jersey City Tax Collector
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


I'm confused. Were you late? I've always paid my tax by personal check and by mail and never had a problem, including the May 1st payment. But I'll think twice about doing it by mail again.

Posted on: 2006/5/27 7:00
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Re: Jersey City Tax Collector
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Same here - I bring a personal check down every quarter - they give me a receipt. The check is usually cashed in 3-4 days. It is the most efficient process in JC.

I wish they would have electronic transfer. There are quarters when my JC taxes is the only check I write.

I wonder if your bank screwed up or if your taxes are so high that the bank distributes the money over a few days.

Posted on: 2006/5/27 6:50
Yes,we have no bananas.
(Silver & Cohn, 1923)
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Re: **CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS IN JERSEY CITY ***
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


I don't know James Rebhorn by name, but after looking at the link Newsboy gave I would know his face if I saw him. The Game which has been on Cinemax lately. He is a good character actor. Most people would recognize him from Meet the Parents. He also played the dean in Scent of a Woman.

Posted on: 2006/5/27 2:45
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Re: Jersey City Tax Collector
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


I always pay in person at the office with personal check. no id required, just payment stub.

Posted on: 2006/5/27 2:43
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Re: **CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS IN JERSEY CITY ***
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Newsboy wrote:
Saw James Rebhorn in BJ's last week. Security guard said he live's in Avalon Cove.

The security guard at BJ's knows who this is? I don't have a clue. I am so out of the loop, it's depressing.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 23:31
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Re: **CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS IN JERSEY CITY ***
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Saw James Rebhorn in BJ's last week. Security guard said he live's in Avalon Cove.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 20:44
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


THIS IS ABSOLUTE BS!!! I AM OUTRAGED!!!


Here is a clip from Jersey Journal Now:

Jersey City school board OK with Epps' $21K trip

Jersey City school board members emerged from a closed-door meeting today pleased with Superintendent Charles T. Epps’ explanation of his controversial $21,000 taxpayer-funded trip to England in 2004, even as some state political leaders and members of the local community continued to criticize him.

Following the three-hour meeting at the board of education headquarters on Claremont Avenue, several school board members described Epps as “contrite” and “open” about the trip, saying he admitted that he made some “regrettable” mistakes and that he planned to reimburse the district and help ensure that something like this never happens again.

“The trip itself was legitimate, so we have no concerns about that,” said board Chairman William DeRosa. “We were happy to see that he was genuinely contrite and that he plans to reimburse the money from the trip. It happened in 2004, and we now have to bring the focus back on educating our city’s children.”

Epps, who is also an assemblyman representing the 31st District, did not return phone calls seeking comment after leaving the meeting.

Board members, who lack authority over the state-appointed Epps, said they don’t plan to ask for his removal.

The trip in question — to Oxford, to attend an education conference — was taken by Epps and Associate Superintendent Adele Macula, who also brought along her husband, Joe Macula, a vice president with United Water in Jersey City.

Roughly $10,500 went towards fancy dinners and five-star hotels in some of England’s finest establishments, including a four-day side trip to London, where the pair splurged on $80 ribs and $25 soups and stayed at a $515-a-night hotel.

Epps has pledged to return $5,179 in expenses, but Macula says she is “reviewing” the records from the trip before making any decision.

Get the full story in tomorrow's Jersey Journal

Jarrett Renshaw

Posted on: 2006/5/26 19:55
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Re: Jersey City Tax Collector
Home away from home
Home away from home


Never heard this before. But then I always pay my tax at a local bank that accepts JC tax payments but I always use personal check.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 19:00
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Re: Jersey City Tax Collector
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


If there's a logical reasoning behind such a policy I'd love to hear it otherwise that's just pathetic. Especially considering the technology available to move and verify funds and to accept payments. In so many ways this city is firmly anchored in the past!

Posted on: 2006/5/26 16:21
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Jersey City Tax Collector
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


I wish to share my frustaration with all of you. The city of JC is a waste. I recently paid my property tax, as usual. I paid with a personal check. Now I get a letter in the mail, that they will only accpet cashier check, cash or certified check. For over 1 year, i have been paying by personal check. Now, they want interest on the past due amount. I asked if you can pay online or automatic withdrwal via phone. The answer, NO!
WTF??
This city is a joke!!

Posted on: 2006/5/26 15:48
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Quote:
epitome wrote:
The issue is the reimbursement of his spending above the spending guidelines. That should have been out of his own pocket.


No, the issue is that he showed up four days before the conference began and spent that time in London all the while charging expenses associated therewith to the New Jersey taxpayer.

The secondary issue is that rather than utilizing the "all inclusive package" that the taxpayers paid for, he declined the already paid for rooms and meals choosing instead to stay at a private hotel and eat at restaurants around Oxford.

A third (potential) issue is whether or not Epps used vacation time for his four day jaunt in London. I don't know the answer to this and I am not aware of any way that I as a private citizen could find out. If this trip was not related to his job as superintendent then any time spent there (on a weekday of course) should have been taken as vacation or personal days. If not he is being paid to take a vacation when he should have been working.

On a side note:
Quote:
epitome wrote:
I also believe that as a black man in a public position of power, he should have expected this type of scrutiny and should have known better.


This is the most absurd thing I have heard in a long time. He is not being scrutinized or attacked because he is a black man. He is being attacked because he used abused a position of public trust and may well have stolen public funds.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 12:17
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Newbie
Newbie


That only talks about one trip - the same one issue that has been discussed over and over. I am not trying to debate your point. I am sincerely asking for any info that you may have that shows that Epps has been mismanaging the district. I do believe that his acceptance of the reimbursement check for expenses that shouldn't have been covered was poor judgment on his part. But was there wrongdoing all throughout his career? Maybe there was. If you have this info, please inform me.

And about the total tally of the trip - It is the norm for educators to attend professional development conferences. It is actually required that educators get a certain number of professional development hours in each year. School districts pay for most of this. We want our educators to stay on top of current educational information and trends. So the airfare and conference costs are expected expenses. The issue is the reimbursement of his spending above the spending guidelines. That should have been out of his own pocket.

And that last post of yours was kind of lengthy. But I guess that was okay since most of it was not your own words.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 11:46
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


THIS ARTICLE MAY SAY IT ALL. NOW EPPS IS UNDER ATTACK FOR POSSIBLE THEFT OF STATE FUNDS!

EPPS HAS GOT TO GO.

------------------------------------------

ALMOST 21 GRAND
Aide got even more $$$ back than Epps after London trip
Friday, May 26, 2006
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

That London trip had Epps sleeping in king-sized beds

The final tally is in: $20,995.49.


That's how much taxpayers shelled out for Jersey City Schools Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr.'s trip to England in 2004. The school board had approved spending the "all inclusive rate" of $8,195.

Meanwhile, a Republican member of the Assembly's budget committee is calling on the state Attorney General's Office to investigate Epps for a possible "theft of state funds."

The final tally arrived at by The Jersey Journal, based on receipts and other documents obtained through the Open Public Records Act, includes airfare for Epps and Associate Superintendent Adele Macula; tuition to attend the conference; and food, lodging and transportation Epps and Macula paid for that was then reimbursed by the district.

The Jersey Journal has previously detailed Epps' spending on the trip, but additional receipts obtained yesterday show Macula splurged even more than her boss: He was reimbursed $5,179.46, but she got back $5,456.03.

Neither Epps or Macula could be reached for comment yesterday. Epps has pledged to return the money; Macula hasn't said what she'll do.

Macula, who was accompanied by her husband Joe Macula on the trip, stayed at the same luxury hotels as Epps during the nine-day trip, racking up $4,280.22 in hotel bills, according to the expense report she submitted to the district.

District officials say Epps was alone on the trip, but receipts from two hotels in London indicate Epps reserved a room for two, with one king-sized bed.

Macula submitted $849.87 worth of meal receipts, but apparently did not ask to be reimbursed for her husband's meals - though Epps did when he picked up the tab.

Even though the top of the form indicates a $70 daily limit on meals, Macula exceeded that amount on four different days - including $200.99 for dinner on their first night in London.

In addition to the $10,635.49 paid in reimbursements to Epps and Macula, taxpayers also paid $2,385 apiece for two round-trip, economy class airplane tickets on Virgin Atlantic airlines, leaving from Newark and landing in London. The tuition for the convention cost $2,795 each.

Meanwhile, a Republican assemblywoman who has helped shed a spotlight on alleged abuses in education spending proved yesterday that "Londongate" will continue to be a lightning rod for critics of Abbott Districts.

"The DOE did the right thing in calling for this money to be returned, but someone needs to determine whether there should be additional sanctions against Assemblyman Epps," said Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, R-Sussex, Morris, and Hunterdon. "The attorney general should be looking into whether or not these personal expenditures constituted a 'theft of state funds' and, if so, taking appropriate action."

Posted on: 2006/5/26 11:24
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip.
Newbie
Newbie


To Nuada: Thanks for the links. They all seem to be recent articles about his trip to London. I get the impression that he is being accused of mismanagement and corruption throughout his long career in the JC public school system, not one single incident. I try to stay updated on the Jersey City school system and try to attend all open Board of Ed meetings. Knowing what I know about how districts are run, I just never realized that Epps had actually committed acts of corruption. It seemed that you had this information, so I was just asking you to share. And no, I don't have a lot of time on my hands. I'm actually pretty busy. I work long days and am currently working on my doctorate in educational leadership. And I do read the Jersey Journal every day. I've been getting it delivered to me for the past 15 years or so and have had many editorials published in the JJ. Sorry about the length of my posts, since it obviously bothered you. I am a writer and I tend to express myself - maybe too fully for this site. Its just that I am very interested in any and all topics regarding Jersey City. And as an educator, I have a lot to say about this topic. You seem like a very mature and pleasant person. Hope you have a great day.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 11:22
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Re: EARL MORGAN -- Healy's 3 ordinances would help the city curb gun violence
Home away from home
Home away from home


To Roaring-

Anyone that thinks GWB or Clinton was going to declare themselves dictator is by definition a moonbat. It's an equal opportunity insult that transcends the political spectrum from right to left.

To Pisces-

First, you are barred from firearm ownership if you are convicted of a crime, or felony, in New Jersey. NOT a DOP offense, which in other states is called a misdemenor.

Second, if you are a LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT (green card holder) you are most certainly permitted to own firearms. If you're an illegal alien, of course, you're not supposed to be here legally to begin with, so then yes, it would be difficult for you to legally obtain a firearm, along with a laundry list of other things available to those who are not breaking the law.


There are remedies for regaining your right to own firearms (along with, for example, your right to vote). It's called getting an expungement. You go before a judge and explain why your prior behavior from, for example, 15 years ago shouldn't be held against you. If the judge agrees with you, your rights are re-instated. if not, you're stuck.

I don't think that re-instating the rights of those with violent histories, gang members or drug dealers makes a whole lot of sense.

As far as non-citizens having a right to own firearms, well, if you believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, then yeah, everyone in the world should have a right to protect themselves as they see fit. The Constitution does not guarantee freedoms- Those freedoms exist, whether despots agree to recognize them or not, for all. It is not predicated on a bunch of guys writing it down on a piece of paper. The Constitution is simply stating the obvious. If the Constitution went away tomorrow, freedom would not cease to exist....Although we may be forced to fight for it....

And that being the case, wouldn't you rather be armed?

GWB

Posted on: 2006/5/26 11:05

Edited by GeorgeWBush on 2006/5/26 11:33:28
Edited by GeorgeWBush on 2006/5/26 11:34:18
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Re: EARL MORGAN -- Healy's 3 ordinances would help the city curb gun violence
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Honestly, I think that gun control laws discriminate against minorities, and immigrants. People, especially young men, are always going to carry guns...I think the problem is that it is very difficult to legally obtain a firearm in New Jersey...and people are disqualified for life from carrying guns if they are convicted of ANY crime or "disorderly persons offense". So if someone once was convicted of ANY crime then they are banned FOR LIFE from carrying firearms, and I think that is stupid, and targeted at minorties. Also, many shopowners who are immigrants need to carry guns to protect themselves, but can't because are not citizens yet.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 10:43
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Re: EARL MORGAN -- Healy's 3 ordinances would help the city curb gun violence
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

GeorgeWBush wrote:

...so many moonbats...
GWB


Moonbats??? You lose all credibility in an otherwise good post when you resort to name-calling.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 10:02
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Redevelopment Reform
Home away from home
Home away from home


Common Cause New Jersey



(Mar 8)

Bill to Change Course of Redevelopment Decisions


Yesterday, the Citizens'Campaign and Senator Karcher announced our "Redevelopment Reform & Pay-to-Play Protection Act," which will curb the influence of pay-to-play contributions in the redevelopment arena and create greater accountability to citizens with respect to redevelopment decisions.


Because of the rapidly increasing amount of development in New Jersey, these large scale projects are magnets for pay-to-play cash. The redevelopment decisions are being made with broad discretion and a lack of citizen oversight. This piece of legislation will change that.


There are seven major components of the proposed Redevelopment Reform and Pay-to-Play Protection Act:



* Ban pay-to-play contributions by redevelopers from the onset of the redevelopment process to the completion of the redevelopment agreement.

* Ban pay-to-play contributions by the Redeveloper's consultants-i.e. attorney's, engineers and political consultants, while working on redevelopment projects.

* Eliminate the "Smart Growth" basis for authorizing the designation of an "Area in Need of Redevelopment" and for use of the Eminent Domain power.

* Expand transparency of the redevelopment process with expansion of the public notice requirements covering citizens outside the boundaries in the area of prospective redevelopment.

* Increase accountability in the redevelopment process by creating earlier and expanded opportunities for public questions and input at Planning Board and Council meetings to consider redevelopment decisions.

* Require annual disclosure by Redevelopers to the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

* Application of this law would be comprehensive as it governs redevelopment projects at the state, county and local level, including the Meadowlands Commission and all independent authorities.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 9:49
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Re: EARL MORGAN -- Healy's 3 ordinances would help the city curb gun violence
Home away from home
Home away from home


This is a tired topic. Gun "control" doesn't work. People in most areas won't tolerate it, and politicians, except in ultra-liberal enclaves, won't touch it.

There is a plethora of statistics that show a correlation between allowing law-abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves and a drop in crime.

As far as the wild claims of suicide and whatnot, I am not sure why the suicide of a disturbed individual with any item should in some way preclude me from owning said item. People kill themselves with sleeping pills, too. Shall we ban them? I suppose after that they'll use their belts.

We shall soon all be walking around with our pants drooping.


The fact is this- If you are willing to farm out the protection of the most precious things you have, that being your life, your family's lives, then you and I are two very different people.

The cops are not obligated to protect you. Ask the Supreme Court. They have been clear and emphatic about that.

Why in the world would you ever expect someone to protect something for you when you're unwilling to do so yourself?

My life, and the lives of my loved ones, are much, much too precious to me to outsource their protection completely to someone else. Not going to happen. Not today, not ever.

Responsible gun ownership is another issue alltogether. Let me just say this- I keep hearing about how guns are "taken from the owner and used against them" or how small children accidentally shoot themselves. 5 gallon water buckets are responsible for more deaths of children under 5 from accidents than firearms.

Be clear that in many of these "children get killed by guns" studies that the "children" as included are up to 22 years old. I think you can figure out why they're getting killed by guns- Someone killed them in commission of another criminal act- Gangbanging, whatever.

Deterrance with a firearm, thankfully, seldom ends up with a criminal getting shot. The simple fact that one is produced or available can end a confrontation without a shot being fired. Keep that in mind when you are looking for lurid tales of Charlie Bronson wiping out rapists sneaking around the kid's bedroom.

This is, in the end, not an empirical issue but purely an emotive one. The facts are crystal clear. If you dislike firearms, that's fine. If you have no interest in learning to shoot, that's OK too. Some people hate driving stick. But at the very least, do yourself a favor and learn how to do it.

Just in case it comes up. Better to have the knowledge and not need it than to need it and not have it.

And who knows- You might drop some of the animistic repulsion you hold to an inanimate object and find yourself approaching the issue more logically.


Edit: Let's not forget why gun control laws were first enacted and where- After the Civil War, in the South, to keep guns out of the hands of....Well, you can guess, can't you? In the end, gun control has always been about who controls the use of force. If it's only the State, then you don't have much to fall back on as a citizen.

There are hundreds of millions of firearms in this country, and millions of people who know how to use them. If, for example, Bushy McHalliburton decided he wanted to subjugate America into a dictatorship, as so many moonbats believe (dont' feel bad- Conservatives felt the same way about Clinton), the one thing stopping him from being able to do so is alot of armed folks willing to go to the barricades, and go with alot more than peace signs and patcholi oil. The Founders were clear that the 2nd Amendment was 1 part self defense, 20 parts guarantee of freedom.

Thanks

GWB

Posted on: 2006/5/26 8:59
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Obviously you have a lot of time on your hands -- 5 book-length posts in one day!. Satisfy your curiosity by reading the Jersey's unusually good reporting re Epps, Abbott, and fiscal abuses.

Here's a link to get you started:
http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?sc ... 3&xpath.any=epps&x=19&y=8

Epps needs to go.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 8:24
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Re: EARL MORGAN -- Healy's 3 ordinances would help the city curb gun violence
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Quote:

Jeebus wrote:
My take on it is that rather than doing something positive like empowering law abiding citizens to defend themselves the big city mayors in the Northeast (NYC, JC, Boston) are trying to lay their failure at the feet of other states.



Right, so let's put more guns in the homes of Jersey City. This way, when your home is burlgarized while you're away at work during the day they can get your guns in addition to your home computer. It's a great way to up the illegal gun trade and put a few more on the street.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 8:09
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Re: EARL MORGAN -- Healy's 3 ordinances would help the city curb gun violence
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Jeebus wrote:
How about New Jersey does what 40 other states have done and allow law abiding citizens their right to effective self-defense. That is, the right to own and carry a firearm after passing a background check. A considerable amount of scholarship has shown that violent crime goes down when such laws are enacted.


a) Could you give some references to papers funded by something other than a gun manufacturer or the NRA?

b) How does New Jersey law interfere with your practical ability to own a gun? Why can't you just go to some other state and buy a gun? And, unless you're involved in some awful crime or a kid kills him/herself with the gun, would the police even give you anything more than a sternwarning if they found that you had a gun? It seems to me gun ownership ordinances are like the anti-dancing cabaret licenses rules in New York. They're there to give the police an excuse to arrest you if you're a jerk.

c) I'm actually for letting people own guns after a background check, because I think the government should try to stay out of people's faces, but New York has extremely tough gun laws, and it cut crime sharply by cracking down on "quality of life" offenses. Wouldn't the logical answer to concerns about crime be for the Jersey City police to start by cracking down on the many obvious quality of life offenses that we see, such as drug dealing?

And how would us owning a bunch of guns help with the recent wave of graffiti tagging and bike thefts, or even the Pathmark mugging?

To me, it seems as if owning a gun might be a good defense for a shopkeeper, for example, because it's easy for a shopkeeper to have the gun at his or her side and grab it if robbers come in. But I think you have to be really well trained to use a gun to stop a mugging, and I think there are tons of headlines every year that show that using a gun to protect a home leads to more accidents and suicides than successful efforts to scare off or shoot invaders. My guess is that the Jersey Journal would put a story about a homeowner shooting a burgler up front, but I can't remember seeing such a story in all the years that I've lived here.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 0:49
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip.
Newbie
Newbie


To Nuada: please inform me of the Abbott fund abuse that Epps is guilty of. I missed that and would like to know about it. What exactly is he accused of?

And about his grammar - people should remember that it was a quote, not a written response. People don't have the opportunity to edit unprepared remarks to newspapers the way a good writer can edit his writing to check for grammatical errors.

Also, reflexive pronouns should not be used alone as an object so I don't think that he should have said "myself". And "I" is only used in the nominative case so I don't think that he should have said "I". That particular sentence can be improved but I can't say the problem is with his use of "me". Please elaborate on his incorrrect grammar so I can get a better understanding of what you are talking about. There are so many grammar rules and I don't feel like looking this one up so please refresh my memory.

Also, how is Epps destroying our state? As a New Jersey native, I would really like to know. There seems to be a lot that I must not know about Epps. Please fill me in.

Posted on: 2006/5/26 0:31
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip.
Newbie
Newbie


One more thing, isn't a $225,000 salary within the norm for someone with a five year post bachelors education. I mean he does have a doctorate degree. I have a masters in educational leadership and if I ever decide to leave the classroom and become a vice-principal or principal, my starting salary would be about $100,000 to lead one, single school. Shouldn't someone leading an entire district, not to mention an urban district with its unique challenges, make at least $250,000. I don't understand the issue with his salary. I worked in corporate America before becoming an educator. At one time I put in 12-15 hour days at Lehman Brothers. It was a lot of work but it wasn't hard work. Being an effective educator is hard work. Yet people question the compensation which still doesn't pay enough for what the jobs entail. Maybe people should volunteer as superintendents. Maybe people should volunteer as principals and teachers too because their efforts aren't worth a fair compensation. Maybe Epps isn't doing the absolute best job, but he is doing better than many. How many people are out there who knows what it takes to run a district like ours and think that they can do a better job?

Posted on: 2006/5/25 23:47
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip.
Newbie
Newbie


The issue should be "Where were the checks and balances?" Who signed off on the reimbursement of Epps' trip? Where there established guidelines for trip expenses? For example, if the daily limit for food was $70 then he should have only been reimbursed $70 no matter how much he spent. If the hotel limit was $150 a night, then he should have only been reimbursed $150 even if he spent over $300 a night. When I go on business trips and turn in my expense report, I am only reimbursed what is allowed. If I choose to spend more than what is covered, I understand that it will come out of my pocket and that I won't get reimbursed for the full amount. The questions should be whether there were spending guidelines in place and who approved Epp's reimbursement for the full amount that he spent? Epps is not the head of a private corporation but a public entity that is heavily regulated. Who signs off on Epps' expense reports? That is the person who is responsible for this. This is a system failure and should not be placed on the shoulders of one person.

I also believe that as a black man in a public position of power, he should have expected this type of scrutiny and should have known better.

Does anyone know whether or not this type of spending is common among school administrators and other public offcials? Or is Epps just being singled out? Now he's a bad guy all of a sudden.

I worked in the Jersey City Public School system as well as Newark and New York City. Under the leadership of Epps, Jersey City had been doing some good things. Yes, the system can improve but compared to its counterparts, it making more strides than most. Didn't Jersey City just receive a national award for one of the most improved school districts in the nation? Don't we have the #1 high school in the state under Epps? Didn't our students just win some national science awards under Epps? But yet, Epps is a bad guy now becasue he accepted a reimbursement check that someone else signed off on and maybe shouldn't have. Bad judgment, yes but does that make him bad for the district?

People keep mentioning his salary. Salaries of school officials are not determined by the official. It is standard. Epps does not determine his salary. As a teacher, I once wanted to teach more hours for no pay and I couldn't becasue my contract wouldn't allow it. Should Epps have refused the salary offered to him?

And as far as the Republican gripe about Abbott districts. This is nothing new. There are many non Abbott districts who are upset about the fact that districts with the poorest and most disadvantaged students get more funding from the state. They have been saying that it wasn't fair for the longest even though this additional funding is needed to close the educational gap between the well off and poor.

I am no fan of Epps and don't know him personally but this situation and the attention that it has drawn is sad commentary on what people are choosing to focus their attention. I'd rather see the picture of the last kid that got shot or killed on the cover of the paper, not Epps day after day. And this comes from a teacher who shells out thousands of dollars from my own pocket to effectively teach the kids whose education I am responsible for.

Posted on: 2006/5/25 23:33
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Re: 30% rent increase
Home away from home
Home away from home


Come to JC Heights it's coming around and it is now more convenient with the lightrail elevator.

Posted on: 2006/5/25 23:04
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Re: Peruvian: Ceviche's, in the Heights
Home away from home
Home away from home


I do agree that the ceviche is the best I've ever had. the ambience and sangria was also great. Although I cannot say the same for my main course.

It tasted like the chef took stir fried rice from the chinese restaurant down the block and mixed it in with some seafood. I was really let down. After eating the ceviche and experiencing the great atmosphere I expected much much more. The worst part is the waiter recommended it.

My bill for my fiance and I was over $90.00. At that price I will go to hoboken for gauranteed fine dining but, do to the overwhelming positive feedback from you guys I will give it another chance this spring.

I live in the heights but try to avoid central avenue as much as possible. I'm not happy with the (lack of) progress being made to improve it.

Posted on: 2006/5/25 23:01
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