Tag Archives | New Jersey

New Jersey Bans The Word ‘Retarded’

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. Photo: Walter Burns (CC)

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. Photo: Walter Burns (CC)

One is tempted to say that this new law in New Jersey is, um, mentally challenged. Story from NJ.com:

Gov. Chris Christie today made it illegal for state laws or rules to identify anyone with a developmental or intellectual disability as “mentally retarded” by signing legislation sought by people who have felt belittled by the term.

Mental retardation was once a medical diagnostic term, but society turned it into something derogatory, said Tom Baffuto, executive director of the Arc of New Jersey. The nonprofit was founded as the Association for Retarded Citizens until people complained and it changed the name nearly 20 years ago.

Elizabeth Shea, the Arc’s assistant executive director, said the law’s passage is one step in the direction of ridding the hurtful terms from every day conversation.

“We’d like New Jersey to get to a place where you can’t use the ‘R’ word with it being inflammatory,’’ she said.

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Controversial ‘Right-To-Die’ Billboards On New Jersey Roads

This billboard on Route 22 in Hillside, N.J., has many people up in arms. Courtesy CBS

This billboard on Route 22 in Hillside, N.J., has many people up in arms. Courtesy CBS

Let’s hope that people who agree with the message don’t decide to act on it while driving… Report from CBS:

The message on a billboard in New Jersey is stirring up a lot of controversy.

It centers on whether a person suffering from a painful disease has the right to take his or her own life.

The billboard looms over a busy section of Route 22 in Hillside, facing the eastbound lanes. Some drivers said they are confused by the message.

“My Life My Death My Choice. So what does that mean?” Hillside resident Steve Leo said.

The Final Exit Network paid for the advertisement that reads “My Life My Death My Choice” and offers a website. The national non-profit group said it provides guidance to adults who suffer from illnesses that are so painful that they want to end their lives.

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Did A UFO Fly Over New Jersey This Week?

NJ UFO

Photo: David Gard/For The Star-Ledger

I don’t know what this is, but my first move would not be to call 911. Not sure what a terrestrial phone operator is going to do for you (unless that was all part of the alien plan…) Stephen Stirling writes in the Star-Ledger:

Police said they were swamped with phone calls after a flurry of callers reported to radio station NJ 101.5 that a UFO was flying above the area. Residents then began calling the Somerville Police Department to report the object.

“I first noticed when all our mechanics started looking up at the sky,” said Terry Weil, a sales associate at Honda Autosport in Bridgewater. “It looked like a big black strip fluttering in the air. Maybe a cylinder.”

Somerville Police Lt. Donna Young said authorities were not sure what the object was, but said it caused no problems other than tying up police phone lines shortly before noon.

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Streetfighting Mayor Cory Booker: Newark, NJ Records First Homicide-Free Month in More Than 40 Years

Cory BookerHere at disinformation we are naturally skeptical of politicians, but there are times when you can say that true leadership on a local level makes a difference. With that sentiment, check out Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey. As James Queally reports in the Star-Ledger:
For the first time in more than 40 years, an entire calendar month has come and gone without a homicide in the state’s largest city. It's been 32 days since a homicide took place in Newark, marking the first time there has been a slay-free calendar month in the city since 1966. Police Director Garry McCarthy said he hopes to best a 43-day period from March to April of 2008, the longest span of time without a slaying in the city since 1961. Ten homicides have occurred in Newark since Jan. 1, and none have taken place in the South Ward, long believed to be Newark's most dangerous section.
I will contend the reason this has happened is because of overturning the "old": old ways of doing things, due to an entrenched political establishment, which is best-documented in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Street Fight:
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Naked Snow-Woman in New Jersey Forced to Cover Up After Police Visit

Naked Snow WomanWhat the heck, is John Ashcroft still attorney general? Via USA Today:

The object of this desirable item has melted away, but the news itself is still hot and provocative.

After Rahway, N.J., police received an anonymous complaint about “a naked snow woman,” the artistic family behind a front-yard tribute to Venus de Milo says an officer paid a visit and told them to cover up their Greek goddess of love and beauty.

The story attracted local attention this week and then popped up on the international radar.

“We had a visit from the local police who told us that a neighbor had complained about the statue and we needed to cover it up or knock it down,” Elisa Gonzalez, who sculpted Venus with her daughter and son, told Agence France-Presse. “We didn’t want to have any problem with the police so we covered it up.”

She did say the unidentified officer complimented her.

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New Jersey Likely Next to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Suzanne Sataline reports in the Wall Street Journal:

New Jersey is poised to become the next state to allow residents to use marijuana, when recommended by a doctor, for relief from serious diseases and medical conditions.

The state Senate has approved the bill and the state Assembly is expected to follow. The legislation would then head to the governor’s office for his signature.

Gov. Jon Corzine, the Democrat who lost his re-election bid this month, has indicated he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk before he leaves office in January. It would likely be one of Mr. Corzine’s last acts before relinquishing the job to Republican Chris Christie.

Mr. Christie has indicated he would be supportive of such legislation, but had concerns that one draft of a bill he read didn’t have enough restrictions, a spokeswoman said.

The bill has been endorsed by the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians and the New Jersey State Nurses Association.

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