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Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Congressman Chris Smith Your Hard Work Is in Jeopardy










Dear Congressman Chris Smith,

        Richard Anderson, CEO Amtrak

        James Weinstein, CEO NJ Transit

        Jeffrey Knueppel , Septa General Manager



Congressman Chris SMith: All the hard work you did to work with the Army Corp of Engineers to implement the feasibilty study of the Assunpink and its tributaries in Hamilton Township is in jeopardy. You fought so hard to make this happen and now "economic development" in Hamilton, Mercer County is threatening the residents, the NE corridor. 


The effects of Hurricane Irene in New Jersey in 2011 included about $1 billion in damage to 200,000 homes and buildings. This made it the costliest disaster in the state's history, though this was dwarfed by Hurricane Sandy the following year. Irene struck the state on August 28, and was initially reported to be the first hurricane to hit New Jersey since 1903; however, post-analysis downgraded Irene to a tropical storm at its landfall in the Little Egg Inlet.[




Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency on August 25, with President Obama reaffirming the declaration by August 27. New Jersey Transit rail, bus and light rail operations were suspended for Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28. That same day, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey suspended incoming flights at the five metropolitan airports under its jurisdiction and the on Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system. The Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) opted to dispatch roughly 6,000 workers in case of power outages, with 840 lineman and 540 tree contractors.




At the Trenton Train Station along Assunpink Creek, flooding impacted Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, SEPTA's Trenton Line, and New Jersey Transit's (NJT) Northeast Corridor Rail Line. Engineers reported that the service disruption could lasted almost a week. Service was restored to and through Trenton on August 31, barring a few exceptions. According to Executive Director Jim Weinstein Irene cost NJT just under $10 million in lost revenue and damaged infrastructure. The agency was criticized for the system being closed the entire day after the storm. In total, ten deaths within the state are attributable to the storm. A medical rescue squad worker was swept away in flood waters and was pulled from the water early Sunday in Princeton, but did not survive.





In total, it has been reported that the total loss costs were approximately $48 million on the NEC. Although, initially a Category 1 hurricane and later categorized as a tropical storm, Irene brought flood-level records in New York City and in much of the Northeast, raising casualty loss estimates to $20 billion.


Two days of lost economic activity, over a period of a week, was another loss of $20 billion.  Longer term, rebuilding and postponed business activity made up much of the near-term impact on the economy.


Estimates of the direct damage caused by Hurricane Irene were in the range of $20 billion. Add to those the loss of about two days economic activity, spread over a week, across 25 percent of the economy, and an estimated of the losses imposed by Irene was about $40 to 45 billion.


One cannot discount the direct costs to individuals by temporary and in some cases permanent displacements; however, when government authorities facilitate rebuilding quickly and effectively, the process of economic renewal can leave communities better off than before.


Initial computer models of Irene's potential impact put the estimated damage at $4.7 billion, according to research by Pielke and catastrophe-insurance provider ICAT. That figure, which came from analyzing 27 comparable storms dating back to 1913, includes destruction of homes, cars, public infrastructure and other property caused by high winds and flooding. The number doesn't factor in the added impact of lost sales from shuttered restaurants, quiet casinos, canceled flights and boarded-up stores —  all of which could add billions of dollars to the fallout.


The public transportation outages caused by Hurricane Irene should serve as a wake-up call for governments that investing more in public transportation — and housing, retail and office development around it — is necessary for the state. The destroy 1200 trees that surround the NEC to build a solar array, which it has been stated under sworn testimony will increase flooding to the Sweetbriar area. 


The lack of NJ Transit service between Trenton and New Brunswick for three days after Irene swept through the Garden State packed nearby roads and left commuters frustrated. With increased investment in transit, there can be redundancy in more of the system.





This is especially important now as ridership on NJ Transit is growing — more than 247 million riders last year, almost a 10 percent increase since 2004 — and housing near transit is surviving the economic recession much better than units far away from public transportation. According to Christopher Lineberger of the Brookings Institution, there is an insufficient supply of housing in walkable neighborhoods — walkable, urban housing represents 20 percent of the housing stock, despite demand from 50 percent of the population.


Hurricane Irene and derailments this summer gave us a sense of how important our public transportation network is. It is clear that the state must provide the necessary financial support to ensure redundancy and reliability in it. Restoring funding for Transit Villages, as well as increasing funding for public transportation and transit-oriented development generally, would fundamentally enhance the business, health and energy future of New Jersey. The Mayor of Hamilton keeps touting she wants a transit village in the old Congoleum lot. However, if she continues to allow the Synnergy solar array to be built next to it, and they remove the 12 acres of trees, which will increase flooding in the area; the village will be quite lonely without the ability for the trains to function due to flooding.


Acts of nature can have serious consequences for public transit systems, including flooding, buckled rails, damaged facilities, and other threats to safety, state of good repair, and regional mobility. Transit agencies need to undertake risk assessments, pursue adaptation strategies, and address implementation challenges; some leading transit agencies have already begun.  Broadly speaking, agencies’ adaptation options will involve some combination of maintaining and repairing their systems in response to acts of nature, strengthening and protecting assets to withstand extremes, enhancing redundancy to avoid loss of service, and abandoning or relocating infrastructure.  Weather variability and extremes have always existed, but they can severely stress infrastructure already in need of investment.  Consequently, these impacts could have serious ramifications for public transit systems.





Beyond the extensiveness of the physical damage, Sandy’s impacts led to a virtual statewide shutdown of transportation. All public transportation was suspended, until limited schedules resumed as assessments were taken. The rail operations center of New Jersey Transit was flooded by up to 8.0 feet (2.4 meters) of water, damaging as many as 74 locomotive engines and 294 rail cars. Amtrak resumed partial service from Newark on November 1, 2012. All tunnels (except the Holland Tunnel) from New Jersey to New York were open for travel by November 1, 2012 and PATH services were partially resumed on 86 routes by that date as well.


If you’ve ever traveled along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), you’ve seen the diversity of the region come to life. The student taking their first trip, the business traveler taking their umpteenth ride and the family going to Nana’s house, the 24/7 operation of the NEC is one our riders expect. As a majority owner of the NEC, Amtrak owns and maintains 80% of the mainline which is used by 710,000 rail commuters and 40,000 Amtrak riders daily.


The Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission released the Northeast Corridor and the American Economy Report which is chock full of data that cites the positive affects rail has on our economy. Some data from the report is below.









1.    One out of five U.S. jobs are located in the NEC Region.


2.    One out of three Fortune 100 firms are headquartered in the NEC Region


3.    Seven million jobs are within five miles of a NEC station.


4.    If the NEC were lost for a day, the U.S. economy would face $100 Million in increased congestion costs and lost productivity.


5.    263 colleges and universities are within five miles of an Amtrak station.


6.    Seven of the top 20 most visited museums in the world are located along the NEC.


7.    19 professional sports stadiums and arenas call the NEC home.




All of which have positive effects on NJ’s ability to generate income. To deliberately allow a solar farm to be built adjacent to the NEC, tear down 12 acres of trees that serve a strong purpose to control flooding.







The planning board needs to vote no on the Synnergy project in front of them. The township hired Banc3 to assess this new construction along the NEC and Sweetbriar Ave. Their engineer from Banc3 testified that the removal of the 12 acres of trees will increase flooding. Amtrak, NJ Transit, Septa and local businesses, residents, etc. will be greatly negatively affected by this plan. PLEASE HELP STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING!




Below is a link to a prior article we have written that gives even more background on this detrimental project to the Hamilton community by Synnergy.  There is a meeting on March 28th at 7pm at the Hamilton Municipal Building, 2100 Greenwood Ave in Mercer County. PLEASE COME AND HELP US FIGHT THIS DISASTER ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO THE NEC and the Sweetbriar community. 








Posted by tammyduffy at 10:50 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 March 2019 10:56 PM EDT
Tuesday, 12 March 2019














At a press conference today the Mayor of Hamilton touted she will be releasing the crime report. She claimed that there is a 10% decrease in crime. Let’s see what the data really shows. Will the data show that the township leadership is using creative accounting to make this statement?  You be the judge.






Let’s see what 2018 brought to Hamilton as it pertains to crime…..




Homicide up 300% from 2017.


Rape up 67% from 2017


Robbery by knife or hand up 34% 


Aggravated assault up 45% from 2017


Simple assault up 11% from 2017




These results come directly from  NJSP (New Jersey State Police reports).



There was an article recently written rating the safest places to live in Mercer County. Hamilton did not even make the list. See link below.












Crime in Mercer County, New Jersey

Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Mercer County violent crime is 37.2. (The US average is 31.1)
Mercer County property crime is 35.3. (The US average is 38.1)




Historical Data below…… 






Hamilton, Mercer County Results from 2015 to 2016






Robbery by firearm from 2015 to 2016 is up another 190%.




Since 2014 Robbery by firearm has gone up 440% in Hamilton NJ, Mercer County in total.




Robbery by other dangerous weapon up another 133%




Since 2014 Robbery by dangerous weapon has gone up 533% in Hamilton NJ, Mercer County in total.




Assault by gun up another 75%




Since 2014 Assault by gun has gone up 200% in Hamilton NJ, Mercer County in total.




Aggravated Assault up another 5.3%




Since 2014 Aggravated Assault has gone up 76.5% in Hamilton NJ, Mercer County in total.




Forcible and Unlawful entry up another 8%


Since 2014 Forcible and unlawful entry has gone up 76.5% in Hamilton NJ, Mercer County in total.




Larceny up another 6%




Since 2014 larceny has gone up 69.2% in Hamilton NJ, Mercer County in total.




By the end of 2015, Rape was up by 63.6%.


By the end of 2016, attempted rape was up by 100%






On February 27,2017 the new 2017 NSP report was released. The results so far are demonstrating, comparing Jan 2016 to Jan 2017:




Forcible and unlawful entry for Hamilton residents is already demonstrating an already additional 72.7% increase.




Unlawful entry for Hamilton residents is already demonstrating an additional 50% increase.




Simple assault for Hamilton residents is already demonstrating an additional 106.3% increase.

















Posted by tammyduffy at 9:53 PM EDT
Sunday, 10 March 2019









Gloria Vanderbilt and Tammy  photo: David Steele



The American public is stressed. I went to meet with one of my clients this week, who was essential to helping me close a large deal. When people went to his office, we learned he left a note on his desk, I quit. He said nothing to know one, just left the note. The bad treatment that employees receive in corporate America is having a toll. So much for forecasting that deal to my boss. This reminded me of an episode of Sex in the City where Berger broke up with Carey on a post-it note.




The American population is also somewhat obsessed with good looks. The magazines, web, newspapers we read focus on driving this obscession.  Being thin and having unrealistic expectations on how to obtain the looks that celebrities have; seems to be on the forefront of many minds.  



The OED (for those who do not know, OED stands for Oxford English Dictionary) states that the word botched; means something that is carried our carelessly or badly.



In June 2014,  the network E; launched a show entitled, Botched.  This show is quite intriguing. The two doctors on this show, Dr Terry Dubrow and Dr Paul Nassif are the real deal. They are not just some plastic surgeons on a reality show, but men who are changing the lives of people. They are published physicians.  There are patients on the show that the producers purposely seek out to add to the intrigue. Some patient cases on the show; demonstrate their quest for perfection; only to find physicians that could in the end only guarantee and give imperfect BOTCHED results. 



The doctors on Botched, clearly are well qualified, well-educated/board certified plastic surgeons.  The image they portray on screen demonstrates a rare breed in medicine today.  It’s refreshing to find a physician who actually cares about the patients.   They personally take the time with the patients, not pawning it off to some PA. They create miracles for many of the patients on the show. The difficult cases are the most profound stories and have the largest impact for the patients on the show. 



A physician who makes it their mission to do outstanding work every day. To take the challenges to get to the summits no matter how hard the climb, how treacherous the weather. They get there with their team, to the summit. These two doctors on the E show, transform the lives of many of the patients on the show.  On the show,  give their patients a new life, a new confidence that they may have never found.  



Dr Dubrow and Dr Nassif make it their mission to do their best every day to bring beauty back into their patients lives. The show is more than just about plastic surgery, it demonstrates two doctors who have a level of clinical apathy that is stellar. They never seemed rushed, taking their time to ensure the patients are trusting of them. A trusting patient will have better clinical outcomes.  Making these patients with radical botched surgeries feel comfortable is critical to the outcome to de-botch” the patient. Even when a patient comes in for something unrealistic, they are guiding in the most professional manner.  



Bedside manner is all about the physician’s total approach to patient care. It encompasses all the attributes of medical professionalism blended in with the specific personality of the individual and with the ability to comfortably communicate a certain degree of concern about the patient’s welfare.  Bravo to Dr Nassif and Dr. Dubrow, you care, and it shows. Your patients have better outcomes because of it. 



Patients want to feel comfortable with the people with whom they are entrusting their lives. They want to feel like someone is on their side. They need to feel that the person who is advising them to do scary things like surgery is really concerned about them and has their best interests at heart. The medical transformations that are created by the doctors on Botched are amazing. There are times I cry watching the show as the patients are crying about their results. Results that now have changed their lives for the better; forever. It's touching to the soul at times. 




When people feel unattractive due to a deformity, birthmark or botched plastic surgery, this is intensified by the rudeness of the American public. When people have a deformity, they are aware of it every day. They feel awful when someone brings attention to it.  One can only wonder why people do this; for we do not need attention brought to it; we know it’s there. There are times we are born with it.




Port-wine stains (PWS) occur in about three of every 1,000 people, according to the U.S. National Libarary of Medicine. They're caused by swollen blood vessels, which give a reddish-purplish hue to a certain area of skin. Most often, they occur on the face and deepen in color as a child gets older. They exist for life, sometimes growing thicker with time. Treatments like laser therapy, surgery and tattooing can often eliminate or lessen the appearance of the birthmarks, but there's no guarantee.




I was born with a PWS on my right arm that goes from my shoulder to my elbow joint.  Though my entire life I have had to hide this, explain it and be ridiculed by children and grown adults.  It never ceases to amaze me the radically rude things people say.  My PWS is very unique (as they all are) in is shape and placement. It goes from my shoulder to my elbow joint. It is so much lighter today (see below) but the rudeness of the American public is evident once I uncover my arm. 



                           2019 photo, where we are today with my PWS





In 2005, I visited Dr Eric Bernstein who is THE man for PWS.  I learned about him from my friend who worked at a laser company. He is an amazing physician who has transformed cosmetic dermatology.  My friend told me to go visit him after a day of ridicule by someone on my PWS and I was saddened by it. He showed him photos of my birthmark and I then I met with Dr Bernstein. He enrolled me into one of his studies where they used a 585 nm pulsed dye laser treatment. The study was investigating a prototype device, a high-energy 595 nm pulsed dye laser capable of delivering up to 9.5 J/cm2 using a 10 mm circular spot, with a 1.5 ms pulse duration. 



After 5 treatments we saw results. It did not remove the PWS, but it made it 40% lighter and almost removed some of the PWS in areas. We did 7 treatments and stopped, for between the 5th and 7th treatments there were no changes.





I reached out to Dr Bernstein in 2014 by email thinking he would never respond. I had another day of ridicule and was saddened by it and wanted to see what new options were available. I asked for the photos from the original study he did so I could feel better about how far I had come with my PWS. He instantly responded with information. It made me feel better. He was so kind to answer me. That is who he is, he really cares about all of his patients.


Some of the comments made by adults to me are: "What is that on your arm, has someone been beating you? Has someone been sucking on your arm?”  I was at a fashion event for Prince Harry’s charity in California a few years ago and one of the Housewives of Orange County was in attendance to the event as one of the designers. She saw my birthmark and politely said,” Why don’t you go backstage and cover that with some makeup, its really unsightly?”  She proceeded to bring it to the attention of the entire table. I do not wear makeup on my face and surely not going to put it on my arm. What I found unsightly was her comment. 



These ridiculous statements are the reality.  What people say is worse than the deformity at times. Only those with a deformity, PWS or botched plastic surgery can truly understand the hurt they create. I try to position myself in photos to hide it. The photo of Gloria Vanderbilt and I my right arm is wrapped around her so not to see it. She never questioned by PWS, she has class!   



My PWS is a part of who I am. I struggle with going to have it removed, for no doubt the lasers available today would warrant an outcome of silence to my critics of PWS. If I could I would keep as much of my birthmark as possible because it’s such a huge part of who I am. I would be a different person completely if I wasn’t gifted with my birthmark and all that comes with it. 

If I wanted to cover it up I could, but I don’t want to use make-up, I like living my life this way, it’s a birthmark not something horrible. I do not wear my birthmark with pride due to the fact of what others say about it. I thank a gem like Dr Bernstein for helping me in the past and being so willing to help me again.  

Doctors like Eric Bernstein, Dr Nassif and Dr Dubrow, spend their days transforming lives. They make people beautiful again both inside and out.

Spring and summer are coming and so will the insults on my PWS. Bring them on, for if they are BOTHCED; I will just go see Eric.




Bravo gentlemen! Keep up the smashing great work!


You are true artists in the world of medicine.














Posted by tammyduffy at 5:36 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 10 March 2019 5:53 PM EST
Saturday, 2 March 2019
Say No to Syynnergy Solar!




Say No to Syynnergy Solar!







I live in this area where the proposed solar farm is being planned. I urge the Planning board to deny any waivers, variances, etc for this project. Flooding is already a major problem in the Sweetbriar Ave, Rutgers Ave and Whitehead Rd area.  This application is asking the township’s permission to cut down more stream buffer on the floodplain than what the ordinance allows. The applications also lack the required soil samples for a past contaminated field. The application should have never moved forward to the point it is without this. Those stream buffers and floodplain help reduce stormwater runoff, flooding and improve water quality. It is important for the Planning board to know that approving this project might also jeopardize funding for the larger Army Corp of Engineer’s study that is ongoing in the area.


The developer is also asking to cut an entire forest down to build this project. The forest consists of large and small trees, shrubs, and ground cover- all of which absorbs stormwater and reduces flooding.  Yes, the developer will be required to replant some of those trees, but only a fraction of those will be replanted in the Sweetbriar community. So, cutting all those trees is really only going to make flooding worse in Sweetbriar.

I am sure that the members of the planning board must know that the flooding is already so bad in the Miry Run and Lower Assunpink Creek area that the Army Corps of Engineers is already conducting a flood study in the area.  If you go to the Us Army Corps of engineers website about the Assunpink Creed Flood Control Study, they have a picture (see in article) of the flooded-out intersection of Sweetbriar Ave and Whitehead Road.  If you allow this application to cut this forested floodplain and cut more of the stream buffer, it will only make flooding worse.   I have attached the description of the US Army Corps of Engineers Lower Assunpink Creek Project. It states:


“The focus of this feasibility study is the lower reach of the Assunpink and its tributaries that are located in the City of Trenton, Hamilton Township, and Lawrence Township, New Jersey.  Within the study area, flooding problems are widespread.  The wide flood plains of the relatively low gradient streams are subject to chronic flooding and , on several occasions, extensive flood damage has occurred.  Most recently, the study area experienced record flood levels and a great deal of property damage as a result of the heavy rains brought on by Hurricane Irene in Aug 2011.  Flooding on the Assunpink Creek that resulted from the Assunpink Creek that resulted from Hurricane Irene shut down the rail lines in the city of Trenton for three days. This disrupted one of the busiest parts of the nation’s passenger train system between Philadelphia and New York.  This feasibility study is examining the flooding problems along the Assunpink Creek and evaluating the Federal interest in implementing flood risk management solutions.”





I urge the Planning board to deny this waiver/variance that will destroy some of the very same environmentally sensitive areas that are now naturally helping to reduce flooding. 


More than 8 years ago I installed solar panels on the roof of my home. This created an extremely energy efficient atmosphere for my household. I am an advocate for solar, however, I am not an advocate for this proposed solar farm. 


Currently today, residents have experienced extreme flooding in the Cornell Height area.  This proposed solar farm by Synnergy has the potential to make a bad situation even worse.   This will damage our homes beyond recognition during a flood. In the past ten years the Cornell Heights area has experiences two 100 year flood episodes.

Flood plains are nature’s engineering achievement.  No human flood-management expert could ever hope to control flood waters better. They are often an outstanding wildlife habitat, and they protect human habitats from expensive and heartrending disasters. The State of NJ has requirements to safeguard communities.  The Twp of Hamilton has created an ordinance (Chapter 583) which has a stricter standard to protect residents.  The developer wants to break the ordinance.  The twp must uphold the ordinance that we have on the books to ensure the public safety of the community and optimal quality of life.  We do not care about the DEP permit, its not relevant. Our ordinance must stand.


During this past weeks testimony by the developer, their expert witnesses, Julia Alagio, used the word “some” numerous times. That there will be “some” trees removed. “Some increase in water”.  


The Synnergy Soal Project will:

ü  Clear 12 acres of forest, including 820 large trees and numerous smaller ones, plus all the shrubs and ground cover that make up a healthy streamside forest.  The 820 is based on trees with a greater than 10 inch diameter. There will actually be over 1100 trees removed as testified this week by a township employee.

ü  Grade the high and low areas that capture rainwater and lets it soak into the ground. The township ordinance clearly states that there cannot be any change to the grade. Yet, the developer wants to change the grade by 4 to 5 FEET in areas.

ü  67% of this project is located in Hamilton Township’s SBCZ.   



This project fails to meet the Intent and Purpose of the SBCZ because:

583-1(A) - Projects in the SBCZ are supposed to meet “accepted conservation practices.” An entire forest will be cut down to build this project.


583-1(B) – SBCZ are supposed to prevent pollutants from running off the land into the creek. The forest will be clear-cut, the ground re-graded and the stormwater drained to yet more detention basins. Nothing prevents pollution runoff better than the forest that is there today.


583-1(C-F) – Without the trees, we lose the benefits of shading that protects the water quality, the wildlife habitat both in the forest and in the stream, the natural erosion protection of the streambanks, the floodplains and other natural features.


583-1(G) – The forest and other natural features there today “minimize hazards to life, property and stream features.”




This project fails to meet the requirements for a waiver because:

583-4 – States: There shall be no clearing or cutting of trees and brush, except for removal of dead vegetation and pruning for reasons of public safety or for the replacement of invasive species with indigenous species. There shall be no regrading or construction within the SBCZ.

583-4(A) States: Acceptable land uses in the SBCZ include open space uses that are primarily passive in character, provided near-stream vegetation is preserved, including:

1)     Wildlife sanctuaries, nature preserves, forest preserves, fishing areas, game farms, fish hatcheries and fishing reserves, operated for the protection and propagation of wildlife, but excluding structures,

2)     This project will result in a substantial impact to the SBCZ and surrounding communities:

3)     583-8 - A waiver may be granted “where the consequent impact upon the SBCZ is determined to be minimal.” Clear cutting 12 acres of woodlands is NOT MINIMAL.

4)     583.3A(2)- About 67% of the solar panels are locate in the SBCZ. The Planning Board can only grant “minor” waivers.


6)     583-8- A waiver may only be granted where “it has been affirmatively demonstrated that the proposed activity will not be materially detrimental or injurious to other property or improvements in the area and will not endanger public safety.”

There are many legal and legitimate reasons given above for the Planning Board to deny this application


Other important points:

ü  What will this project do to real estate values? Certainly, the homes in the Sweetbriar and Whitehead areas will go from having valuable wooded open space to a large-scale, treeless solar farm.


ü  Did the Hamilton Township Environmental Commission review these plans? What was the Commission’s position on this project?


Currently today, the sewer plant utilizes 7MEGS of power. The solar farm is slated to only manage 4 MEGS. Why does the township consider such a project when the infrastructure of our own sewer system is failing? This project brings zero advantage to residents only potential devastation to our homes.


To deliberately destroy the flood plain is unacceptable.  This past summer the township extended the gun range in Cornell Heights, destroying trees and wetlands. There is also a produced project for American Metro Way, to add additional dwellings in an already overwhelmed ecosystem. This unbalanced give and take is leaving us with environmental chaos in Cornell Heights.


The loss of the upland forest will remove canopy and sub-canopy habitats for resident and migratory fauna.  It will eliminate nesting sites for native residents and summer passerine avian species.  This loss would affect species such as catbirds, American robin, blue jays, tufted titmouse, Carolina chickadee, oven birds, and others.  The loss would eliminate 12 acres of roosting habitat and migrating raptors such as red-tailed hawk, Coopers hawk, sharp shinned hawk, and vultures.  Resident reptiles and amphibians would lose foraging and hibernation locations. The insect community complexity would be changed to species tolerant of open, unforested environments.


Air quality will also be altered by microclimate modification associated with the change to land cover.


Federal studies show an acre of flood plain wetlands can store up to 1.6M gallons of floodwater. Restoring rather than destroying wetlands of flood plains can reduce damaging floods.  The plan to destroy 20 acres of floodplain with the solar farm is not what the residents desire.





The proposed solar farm is going into a flood zone. A few years ago when the bridge was redone on Sweetbriar, they raised it 21 inches and changed the slope of the surrounding area. The first hard rain we received flooded my home. We reported this to the County.  The slope was then altered to try to optimize the flooding situation.  There has been a history of poor planning which has negatively affected the public safety of the residents in Cornell heights.


There is 3 acres of contamination on the site. The site has an industrial history.  There is a potential to find things that have been dumped that are highly toxic. In past projects in the Cornell Height community, residents have been subjected to toxic dust (American Metro Way), the demise of wildlife during the Congoleum cleanup, etc. This project will pose a significant public safety and health impact on the residents of Hamilton Township while the benefits go to a different community. That’s not right.





The ordinance was written to protect the residents of Hamilton. The leadership of the township must live up to their commitment in the ordinance. The residents have to matter. Since the implementation of the American Metro way project, where we were told there would be zero increase to flooding, the damage from floods has increased exponentially. Residents pre American Metro Way never had flood damage, now on a basic rain they are getting 36” of water into their homes. There were numerous forests removed to make way for the American Metro Way project. The solar projects attorney is Mr McGee. Mr Mcgee was the attorney for that American Metro Way project as well. So, residents are very wary of his promises.



Posted by tammyduffy at 10:04 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 4 March 2019 10:10 PM EST
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Focuses on Paintings of Maureen Chatfield




Hunterdon Art Museum’s Member Highlight Show


Focuses on Paintings of Maureen Chatfield











Clinton, NJ (Feb. 15, 2019) – Though she’s painted for several decades, artist Maureen Chatfield still feels a thrill when stepping in front of a blank canvas.


“I deeply love the creative process,” Chatfield says. “It’s exhilarating, rewarding, frustrating and endlessly challenging.”


Viewers can discover the results of her creative process in the Hunterdon Art Museum’s Member Highlight exhibition Maureen Chatfield: Emotions Through Color, opening on Saturday, March 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. with a reception that everyone is welcome to attend.


Chatfield’s work was selected from among 86 entries for the Museum’s juried Members Show in 2017.


Most of the abstract paintings included in this exhibition come from Chatfield’s Ether and Landscape series, which are impressions of experiences, and the emotions attached to them. The Landscape series arose from impressions of places she’s visited or seen; the Ether series is internal and emotional, and exists in the gap beyond conscious thought, she said.


“These works are pieces of my soul, energy and passion expressed in color, line and form,” Chatfield said.


Her paintings are intuitive responses to the many forces that shape her life – emotions that translate into color, visual memories of forms and color relationships found in the landscape and personal stories from her past.


Chatfield shies away from relating specifics about her creations, encouraging audience participation. “I try not to describe my work but rather let the viewer engage and experience,” she said. “Abstraction questions and provokes and invites viewer participation.”


The work is the result of constant experiment and change – building layers of color, form and image on the canvas revealing the underlying pentimento. Her images are rarely planned but discovered and enhanced through music. Specific rhythmic vibrations are an integral part of her creative process and helps her enter a rhythmic flow.


“As colors are reflections of emotions, the images that emerge in each segment have a similar palette reflecting where I am at that moment,” she noted.


The exhibition is being curated by Hildreth York, and runs until April 28.


Chatfield learned to paint as a teenager, and now does so full time, in addition to teaching classes at the Museum. This April, Chatfield will teach an adult class on “Painting the Modern Landscape,” which blends music and painting, while encouraging students to experiment with action painting and developing layers of color form and image to their work. In March and April, she’ll teach workshops on “The Economy of Stroke” which teaches students how to use fewer strokes and create more interest in their art by using color value to generate emotion.


“What I enjoy most about teaching is when I help change the way an artist ‘sees,’ and he or she gets that ah-haaaa moment,” Chatfield said. “It's wonderful sharing the love of art with others who have the same passion. When they grow, I grow!”


Chatfield's work can be found in private and corporate collections in New York, Paris and Spain, including Tiffany & Co., and Decca Records. She is represented by Rosenberg & Co's Manhattan Gallery where her work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions. In a review, Art News called her a "natural colorist," who "fearlessly mines the spectrum from the gorgeous reds of Matisse to the rich blacks that conjure Franz Kline's swashbuckling brushwork and Robert Motherwell's Elegies to the Spanish Republic to the muted nuanced shades of Richard Diebenkorn."




The Museum is at 7 Lower Center St. in Clinton, New Jersey, 08809. Our website is www.hunterdonartmuseum.org and our telephone number is 908-735-8415. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students; children under 12 is free.



Posted by tammyduffy at 6:30 PM EST
Sunday, 10 February 2019
Character is destiny.

Character is destiny



The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that some 2,500 years ago and, since that time, nothing has shaken the fundamental truth of his statement.


While we use the word, “character” to describe a person, I believe that the words “company culture” are that word’s parallel in the business world. So, to paraphrase Heraclitus, I would say, “Your company culture is your company’s destiny.”


If you build a strong and healthy company culture, your company’s destiny will be strong and healthy.


While there may be many attributes that could define a company’s character, perhaps one of the most obvious would be the way leadership treats employees. If you’ve read some of my work on the internal customer, you may remember something I call the Employee Golden Rule, which is:


Treat employees the way you want the customer treated – maybe even better.


I’m typically not a fan of the word “rules.” When I ask people about rules, most will say they are created to prevent some type of behavior. When we’re children, we are told to “Never do this,” or “Don’t do that.” We learn to obey the rules. Every once in a while I meet someone a little more optimistic (such as myself) that feels that the way some rules are worded can actually help make good things happen. The Golden Rule that many of us learned as children, which is essentially to treat others the way you want to be treated, is one of those positive rules. In the corporate world, the Employee Golden Rule is about creating a positive work environment. And, just as our parents may have taught us the Golden Rule, in business it is leadership’s responsibility to teach, preach, and demonstrate the Employee Golden Rule. When companies decide that poor performance and lack of leadership are rewarded....that defines their destiny as a corporation. 




If top management berates those in middle management, leadership cannot expect line-level employees to be well-treated by their direct supervisors – even if there is something in a mission statement somewhere that makes the proper treatment of employees a high priority. The do as I say, not as I do approach doesn’t work.


And when employees in your company are treating one another poorly, it will eventually be felt on the outside by the customer. It becomes a domino effect. Bad behavior begets bad behavior.


The good news is that many of our most successful companies have been modeling the Employee Golden Rule for years, proving that it is a sound strategy for achieving a stunning level of customer service.


Women in business throughout the world have a huge positive impact on a businesses success.  The #METOO movement has lost momentum and many corporations and organizations today still view women as the inferior species on the payroll.   


It's not just about equality anymore. A country's economy, health and productivity increase as its gender gap narrows, according to a study done by the  World Economic Forum.  The study was co-authored by researchers from Harvard and University of California-Berkeley and surveys conditions for the sexes in 130 countries, encompassing more than 90% of the world's population. Nations are scored on how much progress they've made in the areas of jobs, education, politics and health as a measure of gender parity. Within these categories, the authors looked at wages, literacy, seats in government and life expectancy for women, among other factors.  The end result is a ranking that quantifies which countries are making the best progress in giving women equal standing in society with men. The results are not what you might think. 

1. Progress, but not everywhere: Of those countries surveyed in 2007 and 2008, 87 narrowed their gender gap, while the gap widened in 41. While 24 countries have closed the gender gap in education, no country in the world has true gender equality across all the categories measured, according to the data.

2. The greater standing women have, the more everyone benefits: Industrialized countries can still grow their economies substantially by elevating women. Closing the employment gender gap "would have huge economic implications for the developed economies, boosting US GDP by as much as 9%, Eurozone GDP by as much as 13% and Japanese GDP by as much as 16%," according to the report.

3. Female leaders inspire whole societies (and help pad the numbers): The authors assigned heavy points to countries where women were in charge of government. Countries with female presidents or prime ministers include: #2 Finland, #5 New Zealand (Prime Minister Helen Clark was recently voted out of office), #6 Philippines and #8 Ireland.

4. America still working on it: The U.S. is ranked #27 in this year's report, up from 31 in 2007 but down from 23 in 2006. America ranks highest in "economic participation and opportunity" at #12 and "educational attainment" where it's tied for #1. 

Imagine if Madame Curie did not break the glass ceiling.  Where would we be in the world of Xray? Marie Skłodowska Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.

In 1903 Marie and Pierre were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics jointly with Henri Becquerel for their combined, though separate, work on radioactivity.

In the same year, Marie passed her doctorate thesis in Physics.

In 1906 Marie's life was struck by tragedy when Pierre was killed in a street accident after being knocked down by a horse and cart. Her indomitable spirit, however, kept her working and she went on to succeed him in his Chair as Professor at Sorbonne, as well as carrying on lecturing where he had left off.

Her determination and remarkable endeavours led to a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in chemistry for creating a means of measuring radioactivity. Not long after, Sorbonne built the first radium institute with two laboratories; one for study of radioactivity under Marie Curie's direction, and the other for biological research into the treatment of cancer. 

During the First World War, Marie Curie worked to develop small, mobile X-ray units that could be used to diagnose injuries near the battlefront. As Director of the Red Cross Radiological Service, she toured Paris, asking for money, supplies and vehicles which could be converted.

In October 1914, the first machines, known as "Petits Curies", were ready, and Marie set off to the front. She worked with her daughter Irene, then aged 17, at casualty clearing stations close to the front line, X-raying wounded men to locate fractures, bullets and shrapnel.

The technology Marie Curie developed for the "Petits Curies" is similar to that used today in the fluoroscopy machine at our Hampstead hospice. A powerful X-ray machine, it allows doctors to examine moving images in the body, such as pumping action of the heart or the motion of swallowing. 

After the war, Marie continued her work as a researcher, teacher and head of a laboratory and received many awards and prizes. Among them were the Ellan Richards Research Prize (1921), the Grand Prix du Marquis d'Argenteuil (1923) and the Cameron Prize from Edinburgh University (1931). She was also the recipient of many honorary degrees from universities around the world. 

In 1995, Marie and Pierre Curie were reburied in the Pantheon – the Paris mausoleum reserved for France's most revered dead – on the orders of French President Mitterand.

Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded a place in the Pantheon for her own achievements.

Marie Curie's life as a scientist was one which flourished because of her ability to observe, deduce and predict. She is also arguably the first woman to make such a significant contribution to science. Marie Curie the charity is proud to be named in honour of her.


Posted by tammyduffy at 9:22 AM EST
Saturday, 2 February 2019
The Eagle Has Landed....in Mercer County Park



The Eagle Has Landed....in Mercer County Park









The beauty of the eagles in the park right now will take your breath away.  Residents are amazed and happy. We only hope the county will stop the deer management (allow to shoot) in the park until. To know these nests are present, one would think Mr. Hughes would stop the shoot the deer initatives in the park. 







Join Naturalist on Eagle Watch Tour

This breeding season, the Mercer County Park Commission is pleased to announce that two pairs of bald eagles have chosen County Parks for nest sites, continuing their expansion in New Jersey and the greater mid-Atlantic region. To celebrate the resident eagles, the Park Commission, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF), PSE&G and the Wildlife Center Friends have launched a partnership to provide bald eagle-themed programs. 


The first free public event will be at Mercer County Park at the West Picnic Area on Friday, Feb. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will meet with naturalist staff and walk to the viewing site, where interpretation on eagle nesting will be offered. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view eagle activity through a spotting scope and binoculars.


“We now have the perfect opportunity to educate school children, local families and the public about the recovery of bald eagles,” County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “Mercer County’s preserved open space and parklands provide a rich habitat for nesting eagles and we hope the community can learn about our newest inhabitants.” This new weekly series will run through May.


Mercer County cares for more than 10,000 acres of natural land, providing critical habitat for the bald eagle and other threatened wildlife.


“It is important to increase awareness and appreciation for bald eagles, one of our most iconic endangered species,” said Aaron T. Watson, Park Commission Executive Director. “Learning more about the bald eagle and its nesting patterns is a unique opportunity, and we could not have done it without our partner organizations.”





PSE&G has issued a grant for public programming and educational outreach to area residents. Park Commission and Conserve Wildlife Foundation staff, and volunteers will be providing free school field trips, in-school programs, an adult lecture series and public nest viewing opportunities. “PSE&G has a long record of supporting the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Conserve Wildlife Foundation and local efforts to aid in the recovery of New Jersey’s bald eagle population,” said Rob Pollock, PSE&G’s Senior Director, Environmental Projects and Services. “The Mercer County Park Commission eagle programs provide an excellent opportunity to help raise public awareness of this remarkable success story.”


The Park Commission’s two eagle nests provide wildlife enthusiasts a rare opportunity to view eagles in nature, but for the safety of the eagles all viewing will be done from a distance. Bald eagles and many bird species are sensitive during their nesting season. Park patrons must remain on marked trails at all times; disturbance to wildlife will cause harm, where they may refuse to return in the future. Public programs will provide important tips to park users on “eagle etiquette,” including information on federal regulations prohibiting the disturbance of bald eagle nests.


“With new nests and regular sightings of bald eagles just a few miles from the state capital, Mercer County serves as a microcosm for the eagle's recovery across New Jersey as a whole,” said Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director David Wheeler. “We are thrilled to partner with Mercer County Parks, Wildlife Center Friends and PSE&G to help connect Mercer County residents with this all-American symbol of the wild right in our own backyards.”





Local and regional wildlife photographers are encouraged to share their images of the breeding eagles through email or social media. Images can be emailed to parksinfo@mercercounty.org with the photographer’s name, or shared through social media by tagging or mentioning the Mercer County Park Commission on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If posting pictures of eagles in our parks, tag the Park Commission and use the hashtag #capitalcountyeagles. Credit will be given to the photographers if outside photos are shared. 


CWF is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of New Jersey’s endangered and threatened wildlife and their habitats. Wildlife Center Friends is a supportive partner of the Mercer County Wildlife Center, a facility of the Mercer County Park Commission.



Posted by tammyduffy at 9:49 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2019 9:58 AM EST
Sunday, 20 January 2019
Say No to Syynnergy Solar!


Planning Board must say NO

to Synnergy Solar!!

Don’t make flooding even worse!!



Share this notice with friends and neighbors!!




Flooding in the Sweetbriar and Whitehouse communities has been devastating residents and properties for years. The Members of the Planning Board, Mayor Yeade and Council, everyone already know this.


The Planning Board must deny the Synnergy Solar project because it fails to meet the requirements for a waiver under the Stream Buffer Conservation Zone (SBCZ - Chap. 583)


The Synnergy Solar Project will:

ü  Clear 12 acres of forest, including 820 large trees and numerous smaller ones, plus all the shrubs and ground cover that make up a healthy streamside forest.

ü  Grade the high and low areas that capture rainwater and lets it soak into the ground.

ü  67% of this project is located in Hamilton Township’s SBCZ.  


This project fails to meet the Intent and Purpose of the SBCZ because:

583-1(A) - Projects in the SBCZ are supposed to meet “accepted conservation practices.” An entire forest will be cut down to build this project.


583-1(B) – SBCZ are supposed to prevent pollutants from running off the land into the creek. The forest will be clear-cut, the ground re-graded and the stormwater drained to yet more detention basins. Nothing prevents pollution runoff better than the forest that is there today.


583-1(C-F) – Without the trees, we lose the benefits of shading that protects the water quality, the wildlife habitat both in the forest and in the stream, the natural erosion protection of the streambanks, the floodplains and other natural features.


583-1(G) – The forest and other natural features there today “minimize hazards to life, property and stream features.”


This project fails to meet the requirements for a waiver because:

583-4 – States: There shall be no clearing or cutting of trees and brush, except for removal of dead vegetation and pruning for reasons of public safety or for the replacement of invasive species with indigenous species. There shall be no regrading or construction within the SBCZ.

583-4(A) States: Acceptable land uses in the SBCZ include open space uses that are primarily passive in character, provided near-stream vegetation is preserved, including:

1)     Wildlife sanctuaries, nature preserves, forest preserves, fishing areas, game farms, fish hatcheries and fishing reserves, operated for the protection and propagation of wildlife, but excluding structures,

2)     Passive areas of public and private parklands, including unpaved hiking, bicycle and bridle trails, provided that said trails have been stabilized with pervious materials. The Synnergy project is not even close to these “acceptable” uses.


This project will result in a substantial impact to the SBCZ and surrounding communities:

583-8 - A waiver may be granted “where the consequent impact upon the SBCZ is determined to be minimal.” Clear cutting 12 acres of woodlands is NOT MINIMAL.

583.3A(2)- The Planning Board can only grant “minor” waivers. This project will clear 12 acres of forest. About 67% of the solar panels are locate in the SBCZ. That is NOT MINOR.


583-8- A waiver may only be granted where “it has been affirmatively demonstrated that the proposed activity will not be materially detrimental or injurious to other property or improvements in the area and will not endanger public safety.”


There are many legal and legitimate reasons given above for the Planning Board to deny this application. But that doesn’t always mean they will vote that way. Having a “standing-room-only” crowd urging them to DENY Synnergy will be very powerful.


A vote to deny this project is not a vote against jobs. It is a vote in favor of not making flooding worse in your neighborhood. It’s a vote to better protect the public safety and health of the residents of Hamilton Township and those that live downstream. And to protect the River and all the critters that depend on a healthy waterway to survive.  


Other important points:

ü  What will this project do to real estate values? Certainly the homes in the Sweetbriar & Whitehead areas will lose valuable wooded open space for a large-scale, treeless solar farm.

ü  Did the Hamilton Township Environmental Commission review these plans? What was the Commission’s position on this project?

ü  Is the US Army Corps of Engineers already studying the persistent and devastating flooding of the Assumpink Creek? How can we justify cutting down 12 acres of woodlands located in a floodplain along the creek and still wonder why our creeks and neighborhood flood?


ü  Is the Natural Resources Conservation District planning how the rehabilitate the dam at Veterans Park? The Synnergy project may be a ways from the dam, but isn’t it a concern to the Township if a waiver is granted in the ecologically sensitive SBCZ?

hT  This project will  pose a significant public safety and health impact on the residents of Hamilton Township while the benefits go to a different community. That’s not right.



·       Stay informed about Synnergy and other River Issues


·       Go to: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/ongoing-issues/synnergy-solar-llc

Help amplify your voice – BECOME A DRN MEMBER: 





Posted by tammyduffy at 7:37 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 20 January 2019 7:42 AM EST
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Where is the Accountability In Hamilton Township?




Where is the Accountability In Hamilton Township?




Residents in Hamilton Township are fed up.  The township employees feel they have the privilege to ignore residents and outright lie to them in writing.




At the end of December 2018; we contacted the Hamilton Township public library to rent one of the meeting rooms.  We called the library over the course of several days after Christmas and left messages for Sue Martinez.  She never returned our calls.  So we went to the township website; https://hamiltonnjpl.org/meeting-room-policy/) to see if there was another way to try and rent a meeting room. We wanted the meeting room for Jan 17th at 7pm. 




Applications for meeting room reservations must be submitted to the Library Director or his/her designee at least three weeks in advance using forms available at the Library or downloadable from the Library web site. Applications will be considered in order of receipt and acceptance or rejection will be acknowledged. We were well within the 3 week lead time so we sent the form in. We still got zero response from Ms. Martinez.




On Jan 2 2019, we attended the Hamilton township council meeting and asked council for assistance.  The council members stated they would assist and asked for us to send them an email, and they would send her email address to us. We did that and obtained the email address on Jan 3, 2019 at 9:37am and sent her an email that day at 3:45pm. (see below)






Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2019 3:45 PM
To: "smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org" <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>
Subject: Room rental








We have left a couple of messages as well as sending in the application to rent a room on the 17th of this month at the library. We haven't gotten any response. Could you be so kind to let us know what is happening with our application and respond to our messages. Thank you




 We did not get a response that day, Friday or Monday morning of the following week. We called the library and was told she was in and left yet another message. She never called back.  There was more than one person on our team reaching out to Ms. Martinez, they received the same lack of response.  We did however finally received an email at 12:19pm (see below) stating she was out on Thursday and Friday (which would be Jan 3 and 4th 2019) attending to her sick kids.  Her email asked how many people we would have. This was annoying to us for we had mailed in the form with all the information and left messages for her as well with all this information numerous times. We responded with the details. (see email below) She stated she had no email from us. Which is completely false.




----- Forwarded Message -----


From: Sue Martinez <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>


To: tammy.duffy@yahoo.com <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>


Sent: ‎Monday‎, ‎January‎ ‎7‎, ‎2019‎ ‎10‎:‎12‎:‎19‎ ‎AM‎ ‎EST


Subject: re: Room rental






I apologize I was out Thursday and Friday with sick kids.  I have a small room available how many people?







From: "Tammy Duffy" <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, January 7, 2019 10:10 AM
To: "smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org" <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>, "Tammy Duffy" <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>
Subject: re: Room rental








We called twice and left messages I'm sent the emails. I also mailed in the form. We are looking for January 17th at 7 p.m.


Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android




On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 9:25 AM, Sue Martinez


<smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org> wrote:


Tammy - I just checked and I don't have another email from you.  What time on the 17th, how many people?








Ms. Martinez then sent us a message asking if a room for 40 people would be ok? We responded quickly our response, Yes. (see email below)




----- Forwarded Message -----


From: Tammy Duffy <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>


To: smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>


Sent: ‎Monday‎, ‎January‎ ‎7‎, ‎2019‎ ‎03‎:‎24‎:‎24‎ ‎PM‎ ‎EST


Subject: re: Room rental






Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android




On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 1:11 PM, Sue Martinez


<smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org> wrote:


I have a room that will fit 40 people max...will this be ok?






After our email at 3:24pm on the 7th of January, we never heard back from Ms. Martinez. We reached out to her again at 7:30pm on January 8th and copied the member of council.  On January 10th at 947pm, we send another message for we received no response from anyone.






----- Forwarded Message -----


From: Tammy Duffy <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>


To: smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>; Tammy Duffy <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>; acarabelli@hamiltonnj.com <acarabelli@hamiltonnj.com>


Sent: ‎Tuesday‎, ‎January‎ ‎8‎, ‎2019‎ ‎07‎:‎20‎:‎25‎ ‎PM‎ ‎EST


Subject: Re: Room rental








We really need to sure up this room. Do you have an update?




We did not receive any response until January 14th at 9:22am. She stated the room was reserved and she was out with the flu. (see email below)




Re: Room rental




·        Sue Martinez <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>


To:Tammy Duffy

‎Jan‎ ‎14 at ‎9‎:‎22‎ ‎AM

Tammy - I just returned to the office was out with the flu.  The room is reserved for you.


She then sent another email documenting that she was out with the flu for 4 days.



Sue Martinez <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>


To:acarabelli@hamiltonnj.com,Tammy Duffy


‎Jan‎ ‎14 at ‎9‎:‎31‎ ‎AM


Tammy - I just returned to work I was out with the flu for four days.  The room was reserved for you.




We were very annoyed with this interaction with the township employee. Their lack of response for a simple task was baffling. We decided to OPRA Ms. Martinez’s time card. We sent up an OPRA request on Jan 7 to the township. We never received any response. So, we sent the OPRA request to Ms. Gore. Still no response that they got the OPRA request. Today. January 19th we just received the response to the OPRA request from Jan 7 2019. This is beyond the acceptable 7 day turn around time that the township is required by law to respond to OPRA requests. We are going to let this go and not due the township for this lack of response. However, we do want to share what the OPRA response demonstrated.




 Let’s rewind for a moment to the email from Ms. Martinez from January 7. (see below)




----- Forwarded Message -----


From: Sue Martinez <smartinez@hamiltonnjpl.org>


To: tammy.duffy@yahoo.com <tammy.duffy@yahoo.com>


Sent: ‎Monday‎, ‎January‎ ‎7‎, ‎2019‎ ‎10‎:‎12‎:‎19‎ ‎AM‎ ‎EST


Subject: re: Room rental






I apologize I was out Thursday and Friday with sick kids.  I have a small room available how many people?




So she said she was unresponsive due to the fact she was out on Thursday and Friday.  (Jan 3 and 4, 2109). Yet, when we OPRA’d her time card, (we only asked for records from Dec 22 2018 to Jan 8 2019. The information sent from the township clerk demonstrates that she was out sick on January 3. It actually demonstrates she punched in at 8:53am and punched out at 2:36pm. It also states she took 1.5 hours of vacation that day.  January 4 she did take a sick day.



Why did Ms. Martinez tell us she was out sick on the 3rd of January (in writing) and her time card shows she was working from 8:54am to 2:36pm and took 1.5 hours of vacation that day. When we called the library that day no one knew where she was.  

Why are township employees not accurately detailing their time entries? This seems to be a pattern wide spread in the township with considerable lack of oversight.




We would like someone to look up how Ms. Martinez has her time card entries for the following days,  Jan 8 – Jan 11 2019. Our guts are telling us we will possibly see additional discrepancies on her time card. Also, we would like to know why her manager would allow her detailed calculated time sheet was signed off on with incorrect information in it. 


This is not fair to township residents that township employees inaccurately detail their time, their managers approve it, essentially stealing from the residents.


Posted by tammyduffy at 4:06 PM EST
Tuesday, 25 December 2018
What's Happening In Hamilton




What’s Happening In Hamilton?


 Related image





In the state of New Jersey, the penalties for stealing money or property worth $75,000 or more include any or all of the following: restitution of the amount embezzled to the victim; a fine of up to $150,000, and between five and ten years in prison. For a theft of $500 or more, but less than $75,000. Penalties include: restitution; a fine of up to $15,000, and between three and five years in prison. Also, a theft of $200 or more, but not more than $500. Penalties include any or all of the following: restitution; a fine of up to $10,000; and up to 18 months in prison.  Less than $200. Penalties include restitution; a fine of up to $1,000; or both.


Most of the time, when people thinking about employees stealing from their jobs, they think of people raiding the supply closet and bringing home boxes of pens and piles of legal pads. However, there’s an even more costly form of fraud happening at businesses of all sizes across the country: payroll fraud.


Payroll fraud is surprisingly common, affecting about 30 percent of businesses annually. Businesses lose millions of dollars thanks to unscrupulous employees who take more money than they have earned. This isn’t even accounting for the costs associated with investigating potential fraud and taking action against the perpetrators. In some cases, employees are ordered to pay restitution, but often, employee fraud results in losses for the company.


Timesheet fraud involves paying employees incorrectly for the hours they work. In some cases, companies overpay employees based on falsified timesheet submissions; employees might even have a co-worker clock in and out for them when they aren’t even scheduled to work. In one common timesheet scheme, an employee will “forget” to clock in or out, thus requiring a manual entry, to which they then add extra hours. In other cases, a payroll clerk may be in on the scheme, and manually overriding employee timesheets to increase the number of hours worked, or even the rate of pay.


Timesheet fraud can usually be caught quickly via regular audits and review of employee schedules, and strict policies regarding timesheet submissions and changes. For example, a manager must approve any manual entries, and changes to pay rates, employee types, or a manager or human resources must document schedules in writing. Audits will reveal anomalies — such as the employee who is normally scheduled to work Monday through Friday suddenly clocking in on weekends — and stop fraud in its tracks.


A recent email that was released (see below) demonstrates a township employee requested to have 45 extra vacation days added to their paycheck.  At the last Hamilton township council meeting, John Barrett, CFO of Hamilton presented some very interesting data.  Evidently, there were also incidents where Mr Mulrine (who is the current Mayor’s brother-in-law) signed government documents stating he was the “acting CFO”.  Evidently, in these documents Mr. Mulrine allegedly approved expenses for games (lawn darts, etc) that were purchased with bond money.  It also appears in another document, he allegedly approved a year of travel expenses by his sister , who is the mayor in the town, for $4,600. The CFO stated at the council meeting as well that these behaviors were extremely concerning. That Mr. Mulrine had no authority to sign the documents in the manner he did. Also, allowing the disbursement of funds in this manner was extremely irregular. Mr. Barrett went on to say that he has a fiduciary responsibility to the town and reported these discretions to the appropriate authorities.






Posted by tammyduffy at 6:26 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 25 December 2018 6:30 PM EST

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