Destruction at Jewish cemetery probed as bias incident

9 01 2008


The desecration of a Jewish cemetery in New Brunswick over the weekend is now being investigated as a bias incident, authorities said today.

Police initially said the destruction — nearly 500 headstones were toppled and cracked — was not considered a bias incident because they had not yet identified a motive or a culprit. But today, New Brunswick Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Rowe said he “misspoke” on Monday and that police now consider the vandalism a bias incident.

The damage has been reported to the state Attorney General’s Office as a bias incident, New Brunswick police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a joint statement this afternoon. Increased patrols and other security measures have begun at the cemetery since the incident, the statement said.

Authorities are still investigating who is behind the destruction, which was discovered Sunday morning when grave diggers found 499 granite headstones in ruins at the Poile Zedek Cemetery on Joyce Kilmer Avenue. It was the second time in a week someone sneaked by the locked gates of the cemetery, police said. On New Year’s Day, 17 stones were found upended.

The cemetery is used by Congregation Etz Ahaim in Highland Park and Congregation Poile Zedek in New Brunswick, which are in the process of determining how the repairs will be paid.

While many Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in the past, police said they could not recall a more devastating attack. In 1993, more than 100 stones were painted with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti at the Passaic Junction Cemetery in Bergen County.

Anyone with information about the New Brunswick incident should contact Investigator John Rodriguez of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Bias Crimes Unit at 732-745-3739 or Sgt. Christopher Carroll of the New Brunswick Police Department at 732-745-5218.

Anyone concerned a loved one’s grave was ruined may contact Poile Zedek at News Online)

Passaic Police Shame Shame Shame!!!

1 01 2008

Reader submitted article

Dear Editor, Thanks for the great job you have done for this community. I’d appreciate if you could print the following message:

I am a concerned parent of Yeshiva Ktana Of Passaic. Every day I go to pick up my children from Yeshiva Ktana Boys building whichis located at 1 main ave in Passaic. Recently their has been one or two Officers from the Passaic Police Dept. on motorcycles. These two Officers belong to the Passaic Police Traffic Division and are also actual cops. Unfortunately lately these two officers have been harassing and ticketing innocent people like myself for the only reason of waiting in our cars to pick up our CHILDREN from school. I think this is outrageous and abusing their power this must come to an end immediately. For how long are we going to take this and just sit back. And I’m not sure what we can do to fix this problem once and for all                  Moshe.

Traffic Police Bureau Phone # is (973)365-3920 

 Passaic Police Cheif Phone # is(973)365-3958

New Jersey;Year End Review

29 12 2007

This year, New Jerseyans prayed that Gov. Jon S. Corzine would recover after a car crash left him with near fatal injuries that were no doubt worsened by his reluctance to buckle up at speeds up to 91 mph.

Corzine’s rocky year nearly turned tragic in April when his sport utility vehicle collided with a guard rail on the Garden State Parkway as his driver, a state trooper, was speeding at 91 mph en route to Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton.

Corzine, who was not wearing a seat belt, was hospitalized for 18 days, broke 15 bones and lost more than half his blood. He emerged as an advocate for buckling up and taped a federally funded public service announcement promoting it. Imus and Rutgers

Corzine’s rush that night was for another national story with Jersey origins: radio host Don Imus and the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. After the team made a surprising run at the national championship that ended with a loss in the finals, Imus dampened spirits with racially charged comments aimed at members of the team.

Imus was fired from CBS radio — actually, just hours before Corzine’s crash. Imus met with the team at Drumthwacket, sued CBS radio for lost wages, then recently returned to the airwaves on ABC radio.

Death penalty abolished

For a change, New Jersey made world-wide headlines without giving fodder to late-night comedians when it became the first state to repeal the death penalty.

This month’s signing of the repeal drew attention from across the country and the globe, as the Colosseum in Rome — site of gruesome gladiator fights centuries ago — was lit in support of Corzine’s signing the repeal.

Some critics, however, pointed to a public opinion poll that showed split views on whether to repeal and strong support for keeping capital punishment for the most heinous murders. While some families of murder victims lobbied for the repeal, others vowed to work against those politicians who pushed it. Slayings shock Newark

Every year dozens are murdered in New Jersey’s largest city — yet none gripped the city, state and country like the execution-style shootings in a Newark schoolyard of three Delaware State University students and a friend planning to enroll. One victim survived.

The August shootings also swirled together themes of gangs, illegal immigration and child sexual assault, as one of the six suspects is an illegal immigrant who was free on bail on child rape charges at the time of the shootings. Several suspects are members of the dangerous MS13 street gang.

The families were also upset when they learned that the television show “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” based an episode called “Senseless” on the shootings. Clerk foils Fort Dix plot

After an electronics store clerk told the FBI that a customer asked him to transfer to a DVD footage of men firing assault weapons and yelling about jihad, five men were arrested in May in what federal investigators call a plot to attack Fort Dix and kill U.S. soldiers.

The five, all foreign-born Muslims, are scheduled for trial in March. A sixth pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell firearms and ammunition.

The trial seeped into dirty Jersey politics when the wife of one of the court-appointed defense lawyers ran for a state Assembly seat in Burlington County. Her Republican foes mailed an ominous-looking flier filled with masked men carrying guns insinuating the candidate would be soft on crime and terrorism. The mailing drew a rebuke from the federal judge on the case. Bryant indicted

Longtime Camden County legislator Wayne Bryant, D-Camden, head of the influential Senate budget committee, was charged with with creating a no-work job at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to boost the school’s state funding.

Sen. Bryant, who pleaded not guilty, declined to run for re-election in November.

Government corruption

State senators, mayors of big cities and the 23-year-old president of a local school board found themselves among New Jersey’s growing hall of shame for elected officials as law enforcement netted some large names in their bid to clean New Jersey government.

In addition to Bryant, state Sen. Sharpe James, D-Essex, also a member of the budget committee and former longtime mayor of Newark, was indicted. James was accused of using city credit cards to pay for personal trips and selling city property on the cheap to a travel companion. All have pleaded not guilty.

The offices of a third member of the Senate budget committee, Joseph Coniglio, D-Bergen, were raided by FBI agents in November in a separate investigation related to state grants. Coniglio has denied any wrongdoing. None of the three ran for reelection.

In September, 11 public officials from Atlantic to Passaic counties were charged with taking bribes from phony roofing and insurance firms set up by the FBI. Those arrested include Assemblymen Alfred E. Steele, D-Passaic, and Mims Hackett Jr., D-Essex, who is also the mayor of Orange. Both resigned from the Assembly. The roundup also snared municipal and school board officials, including the 23-year-old president of the Pleasantville Board of Education. Six of the 11 have pleaded guilty.

After a two-week disappearance, Atlantic City Mayor Bob Levy resigned and admitted he lied about his Vietnam War service to get a bigger benefits check. Voters: Quit spending

Following the budget debacle of 2006, when a stalemate between Corzine and the Legislature shuttered state government over the governor’s proposal to raise the sales tax, things appeared smoother midway through 2007.

State leaders approved the largest-ever property tax rebate, sending 10 percent to 20 percent back to most homeowners, depending on income. They approved a budget three days before the July 1 deadline, remarkably early for a Legislature that usually waits until, or past, the last minute.

Then in November, Corzine, Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. took a hit when — for the first time in 17 years — voters unexpectedly rejected ballot questions.

Each of the three were vested in the questions: Corzine and Codey supported and funded the drive to borrow $450 million for stem-cell research, and Roberts was the driving force behind a measure to dedicate the proceeds from the 2006 sales tax hike to property tax relief. While Democrats maintained their control of the Legislature, the votes were seen as their first statewide rebuke since the tax revolt of the 1990.

Corzine and the toll roads

Most likely to appear on next year’s list is Corzine’s toll-road transaction – monetization, or financial restructuring, as he now calls it. That’s because the details won’t be known until Jan. 8, when the governor finally explains the plan that has been source of much speculation and scrutiny through the year.

The plan basically calls for the state to get a lump sum of cash up front, to be paid back through future toll hikes, in order to pay down existing debt and free up funds for other priorities.

Corzine’s reluctance to detail the plan caused even Democratic legislative candidates to say they will oppose it on the campaign trail. He has acknowledged the plan may spark a backlash but says the state needs to change its fiscal direction and urged people to wait to hear the details before deciding whether to support it.

Warren Grove fire

Thousands of people were driven from their homes when a large portion of the South Jersey coastal region burned in May from an errant flare dropped from an Air Force fighter jet.

The blaze burned more than 17,000 acres in the heart of the Pinelands and encroached on the developed environs, destroying three homes and damaging more than a dozen others.

It was the latest scare to residents in Ocean, Burlington and Atlantic counties who live around the Warren Grove Gunnery Range, a military training facility.

The fire renewed calls to shut the range that have arisen through the years after other incidents — an F-16 firing 40 rounds of ammunition that landed on an elementary school roof in the middle of the night in 2004, a 2002 crash that left a jet in the middle of the woods near the Garden State Parkway and an errant dummy bomb in 1999 that sparked a 12,000-acre fire.  courierpostonline

Tehran, Iran -The Disgraced MF Calls Iran the Best Model for Human Rights for Children

19 11 2007


Tehran, Iran – MF (Moishe Arye Friedman) of Austria has said Iran is the best model for human rights for children.

Friedman, his wife Lea, and six of their seven children just returned to their home in Vienna, Austria after almost two months in Iran.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad warmly welcomed them and said he would join them in prayers and celebrations in Jerusalem when it is liberated from Zionism and the Zionist regime.
MF said that there is no place in the world where Jews have so much freedom to practice their religion, adding that Iran’s Jews also enjoy all the other advantages of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
They said European countries should implement their laws on the human rights of children in their own lands before dictating to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which they called the best model for human rights for children.

He and his family also visited the tombs of Mordechai and Esther in Hamedan. [mehrnews] Vosizneias

Police break up fight between cops Shame Shame Shame

12 11 2007

CLIFTON — It was definitely not OK at the Corral

A Paterson police sergeant had to separate two female Paterson police officers who got into a brawl at The New Corral Saturday morning.

The fight started when one of the police officers stormed into the eatery and began exchanging heated words with the other officer, who was eating with the sergeant at the time. A struggle between them ensued and the sergeant was forced to intervene. Both Paterson and Clifton police responded to the restaurant, although a police report on the fight was not available Sunday. The Clifton police report said those involved were “G.O.A.,” or gone on arrival, Clifton police Sgt. Andre Moreira said Sunday.

Paterson police officials refused to comment on the incident on Sunday, other than to confirm that an “altercation” took place at the Hazel Street restaurant. They also refused to confirm the names of the three officers involved.

“The chief and internal affairs are investigating it,” Police Director Michael C. Walker said.

Details of Passaic Bribery Arrests

6 09 2007

Bribery bust details: ‘Will need that

green broccoli for the 1st entree’

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 09/6/07


Details of the accusations made in federal court Thursday against the 11
public officials arrested on charges of accepting bribes are:

— Assemblyman Alfred E. Steele, D-Passaic, allegedly accepted $15,500 in cash from an undercover agent and two cooperating witnesses posing as insurance brokers looking for local contracts. In exchange, Steele allegedly arranged meetings with Paterson, Orange and Newark officials who were seeking government contracts. The Orange official is likely the city’s mayor, Mims Hackett Jr., who was also charged. Steele, a member of the Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee, resigned as an undersheriff in Passaic County at noon today, said Bill Maer, spokesman for Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale.

— Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera allegedly accepted $5,000 in cash in exchange for promising to help the purported insurance brokers become the city’s “broker of record.” According to the FBI’s account, Rivera, a Democrat, boasted of his influence with the City Council and Passaic Valley Water Commission. — Assemblyman Mims Hackett Jr., D-Essex, allegedly accepted $5,000 in cash to help stir up business for the brokers. Hackett is also mayor of Orange. — Former Passaic City Councilman Jonathan Soto allegedly accepted $12,500 in cash to help the brokers win business. In a text message the day after a key council vote, Soto, a Republican, wrote to a cooperating witness, “will need that green broccoli for the 1st entree.”

— Passaic City Councilman Marcellus Jackson, a Democrat, allegedly took $16,500 from the purported insurance brokers.

— Keith Reid, chief of staff to Newark City Council President Mildred Crump, met
with an undercover agent and cooperating witnesses who posed as an insurance brokerage business wanting to do business with government agencies. Reid said he had relationships with people “who we can pick up the phone and call who can open doors.” Acting as an intermediary, Reid helped them obtain government contracts from several municipalities, including Newark, and accepted $5,000 in cash payments for his assistance in trying to obtain contracts. Reid, a Democrat, also accepted money from the “business” to pass along to other officials.

— Jayson Adams, a member of the Pleasantville Board of Education, accepted $7,500 in cash payments from an undercover witness posing as a roofing business employee in exchange for the contracts, as well as agreeing to share profits generated from the supposed insurance brokerage business from the board. In addition, Adams, a Democrat, acted as an intermediary for other officials on the school board.

— Maurice “Pete” Callaway, a member of the Pleasantville Board of Education,
accepted a total of $11,500 in cash payments in exchange for votes in favor of steering roofing contracts, through intermediaries. He is a Democrat, An associate, Louis Mister, also a Democrat, accepted $1,500 of those payments.

— James T. McCormick, a former member of the Pleasantville Board of Education,
conspired with other board members and had $3,500 wired to his secret bank account in exchange for voting in favor of contracts for the “insurance” firm.

— Pleasantville Board of Education President James Pressley allegedly took $35,800 in cash and checks for helping the roofing and insurance companies. After taking one payment of $7,500, instead of the $25,000 he was expecting, Pressley, who is not affiliated with a political party, complained, “I went through a lot of aggravation last night (during a vote) because I was anticipating it. (The cooperating witness) told me that he would have the 25 ready for me today,” according to the FBI charges.

— Pleasantville Board of Education member Rafael Velez allegedly accepted $4,000 in cash from a cooperating witness in exchange for helping the insurance brokers. Another official charged in the scheme said he would steer another $10,000 to Velez, a Democrat, according to the FBI. 

Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera, Two Councilmen, Assemblyman Arrested on Bribery Charges

6 09 2007

FBI Makes 11 Corruption Arrests In N.J.

By Jonathan Dienst, Brian Thompson and Joe Valiquette

NEW YORK — Eleven public officials were charged Thursday in a widespread FBI corruption investigation, officials said.

At least one state assemblyman, several local mayors and school board officials were arrested by FBI agents in early-morning roundups. The officials are expected to be arraigned on corruption charges in Trenton Thursday afternoon.

United States attorney Chris Christie and FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun are expected to explain the charges at a 3:30 p.m. press conference in Trenton. has learned that several of the officials were allegedly caught accepting payoffs from undercover agents in a sting operation. Others were charged as part of related corruption investigations. The accused officials served in at least three counties, including Essex, Atlantic and Passaic.

Sources told that those charged include Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera, Passaic Council members Jonathan Soto and Marcellus Jackson, Orange Mayor Mims Hackett and Passaic Assemblyman Alfred Steele.

The charges are just the latest in dozens of corruption-related arrests across New Jersey in recent years. Christie and Newark FBI Director Weysan Dun have said after terrorism investigations, public corruption remains a top priority.

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