Technology has outpaced legislation when it comes to companies like Uber but Trenton has taken notice and is acting—whether Uber or its likeminded competition like it or not.Both the state Assembly and Senate are considering almost matching bills that would establish criteria for doing business for what are referred to as transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber, probably the most identifiable in the public’s eye right now, but also Lyft, Sidecar and Wings. Uber has expressed opposition to the bills for going too far and a representative from the state limousine association objects for not going far enough.These technology companies have established smartphone and tablet apps to connect paying riders with drivers and their usually privately owned vehicles.But those in the traditional livery transportation industry have objected that these companies are not as regulated and have an unfair advantage.“It’s now, it’s sexy and it’s in vogue,” maintained Jeff Shanker, president of the Limousine Association of New Jersey. “But in reality they’re doing the same thing as a limousine does, the same thing a taxi does—transportation from point A to point B. The only difference is they’re taking out the middle person, the dispatcher.”He stressed they should have to play by the same rules about property liability coverage and background checks for drivers.Lawmakers have acknowledged the disparity.“With the TNCs the market is basically unregulated,” noted Assemblyman Joseph Lagana, a Democrat representing the 38th District, taking in parts of Bergen and Passaic counties.The major issue for Lagana is “at the end of the day we have to protect the public.”To that end Lagana has sponsored Bill 3765 that would enact a series of regulations covering this relatively new way of operating a transportation service.The bill has been in the Assembly chamber’s Transportation Committee but added a number of amendments and is scheduled to return to the committee on March 19 for further consideration, according to Lagana.“This is an emerging technology. It’s not like a limousine service, it’s not like a taxi service. But it is,” said Lagana, who hopes to establish ground rules without unduly burdening this developing business model.“We’re not trying to over-regulate anybody,” Lagana said. “Essentially what we’re trying to do is put basic protections in place while at the same time ensuring the established livery service are not cast out as second class citizens.”Lagana is a lawyer who specializes in automobile and auto insurance-related matters. His sponsored bill would require these companies to register with the state; to have sufficient insurance acquired by the company, on a level required of limousine companies (which is higher than required of taxis), and on the drivers—even though they are driving their personal vehicles; and to have hired drivers get criminal background checks, register with the state Division of Motor Vehicles and receive a designated DMV identification.Uber’s Mohrer said last week his company already does background checks and provides insurance coverage for drivers, passengers and cars.Lagana said he has yet to see the insurance coverage Uber provides. As for the other provisions, the assemblyman said good for them but it should be required for all.As for possible regulations, Mohrer said last week the company is working with lawmakers to draft legislation “that makes sense.”Lagana said in his dealings with TNCs, “In my opinion, they’re not really in favor of any regulation.“But, obviously,” he continued, “That’s not acceptable.”Matthew Wing, a spokesman for Uber, said in an email on Wednesday, “This bill was written to protect the status quo and drive Uber out of New Jersey.”If this bill becomes law “it will take economic opportunities away from 5,000 New Jersey Uber-driver partners and prevent over 100,000 New Jersey residents from getting a safe, convenient ride, whenever they want, wherever they want, wherever they are,” Wing said.“We still have grave concerns,” Shanker said of this legislation, believing “public safety is still at risk” even with the provisions outlined in the bill.By John Burton
MANAHAWKIN – When you mention volleyball to most Jersey Shore residents it conjures up the thought of ultra-tan men and women romping through the sand on a sunny, 85-degree humid day on the beach in Belmar.Since the AVP professional volleyball tour made its first stop in New Jersey in the early 1980’s, beach volleyball has skyrocketed in popularity, not only as a spectator sport, but as a perfect way to stay in shape and have some fun with hundreds of leagues springing up, up-and-down the Jersey Shore.Volleyball’s origins date back as far as 1895 when a Holyoke, Massachusetts YMCA physical education director, William G. Morgan, combined the game of tennis and handball and called it Mintonette. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game, the game quickly became known as volleyball.The history of Olympic volleyball traces back to the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, where volleyball was played as part of an American sports demonstration event. The competition was a success and ultimately it began to be considered for official inclusion and was officially included in the 1964 Summer Olympics. Beach volleyball was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics with only two players per team.In the fall of 1999, Southern Regional and Long Branch High School started the first girls’ volleyball programs in Shore Conference history with Colts Neck adding a team two years later.Southern Regional boys head coach, Eric Maxwell, followed suit and in the spring of 2000 formed the first boys’ volleyball program in the Shore Conference.“My sister-in-law Cathy Maxwell had started the girls program at Southern and I had just started teaching there,” Maxwell said. “I was in the right place at the right time. The athletic director was considering starting a boys program and asked me what I thought. I had been involved in the sport my whole life so of course I thought it was a great idea.”Now, 16 seasons later, Eric Maxwell is still the head coach at Southern and the Rams (37-2) are the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey after winning their second consecutive NJSIAA State Championship in 2014 and fourth title in six years.In 2002, Christian Brothers Academy, Colts Neck and Long Branch added boys programs giving birth to Shore Conference boys’ volleyball. The four teams would play each other twice a season, adding additional games out of the area if they could find them, but usually played around ten games a season.It stayed that way until 2005, when Marlboro and Manchester High Schools joined, then in 2007 Howell, Monsignor Donovan, Barnegat, and the three Toms River Schools (North, South and East) were added and the Shore Conference was split into the A North division and the A South division.In 2009, the 12 member schools held the first official Shore Conference Boys Volleyball Tournament pitting Southern Regional against CBA. Southern beat CBA in the inaugural match and the two teams have faced each other in the final every year since with the Rams taking all six titles.Since the 2009 season, an additional 10 teams, including Lacey Township and Pinelands in Class A South and Neptune and Freehold in Class A North have been added along with Central Regional, Wall Township, St. Rose, Red Bank Catholic, Saint John Vianney and Keyport in the newly formed Class A Central.The success of Southern Regional’s volleyball program has drawn a lot of attention to Shore Conference volleyball and because of this you can expect to see additional growth coming out of the Shore in the next couple of years.— By Mike Ready
But residents have put up resistance, suspecting the county’s motivation to widen Sycamore is to increase commercial traffic. Residents of the northern section of the borough have a website, savetintonfalls.com, where they charged that “our entire neighborhood is about to become a thru-way for Monmouth County.” “And my primary concern is safety,” he said. “A traffic light’s got to be there,” he said. “We’ve studied it and we’ve studied it and we’ve studied it,” he said. “And still nothing happens.” Turning said that in 2017, his last year as mayor, 14 people were injured in accidents at that intersection. “And we’ve been analyzing, monthly, the crash reports to determine whether or not there is a change in the pattern,” he said. “The problem is the county wants to put a five-lane intersection in there for their future traffic needs to push more traffic through all of the roads in Tinton Falls, including Hance and Hope and Sycamore,” said Sycamore Avenue resident Peter Kar vavites Aug.13. “We’ve asked for a light, we’ve asked for a turning lane and we’ve asked to reduce speed. The county has said ‘no,’ because all they want is a large highway cutting through a residential area.” “I think it’s too long been overlooked and not appropriately taken care of, catering to a small group of people who don’t want it done,” Baldwin said. “Shame on the county. It’s their road. They can fix it.” The county has studied and suggested improvements to that intersection and the nearby intersection of Sycamore Avenue and Hope Road, a municipal road. A 2018 traffic study and plan for the county showed the crash rate at Hance and Sycamore was more than twice the state average and that there were more than 20 injuries over a four-year period. The area is heavily travelled during the peak morning and afternoon drive times, the report found. The county has said widening the road is necessary for the traffic light to function properly, to avoid traffic backups extending through Hope Road and causing gridlock. A traffic light already exists at the intersection of Hope Road and Sycamore Avenue, a few car lengths away from the Hance and Sycamore intersection. FREEHOLD – Monmouth County Freeholders last week again heard concerns about a dangerous intersection of two county roads in Tinton Falls, with a former mayor and police chief of the borough saying something needs to be done after they said an elderly motorist was fatally injured there recently. By Philip Sean Curran Gerald Turning, a former borough of Tinton Falls police chief, went before the board Aug. 7 to raise the alarm about Hance and Sycamore avenues, a “T” intersection that “is no longer just dangerous, it is deadly,” he said. Gary Baldwin, Tinton Falls Council president, said Aug. 13 that police have yet to release their official report on the collision, so details about the victims’ ages and names and how the accident happened have not been disclosed. Yet he felt the July 19 crash should serve as a call to action for the intersection to be made safer. “They want something in writing and we’re not prepared to put anything in writing on that, because it’s not our road,” Baldwin said. “It’s their decision.” Baldwin said Tinton Falls is waiting on a final report from the county saying it had explored all possible alternatives to make the intersection safer and a final recommendation for improving the intersection. Baldwin said he favors a traffic light with added turning lanes. Tinton Falls Mayor Vito Perillo could not be reached for comment. But so far, the county has not moved forward on the suggested improvements outlined in last year’s report. That’s because the county follows a policy of first getting the consent of the governing body of the municipality before moving ahead with intersection projects that affect a municipal road. County officials have worked with Tinton Falls to find alternatives for improving safety. They eliminated the shoulder on the eastbound lane of Sycamore as part of a study to see if crashes would be reduced for 12 months. County engineer Joseph M. Ettore said during last week’s meeting that Tinton Falls Police have provided the county with crash reports. Former Monmouth freeholder and Middletown mayor Frank Self, now a resident of Tinton Falls, also was at the freeholder meeting on the issue. Now the acting president of the Greenbriar Falls Condo Association on Hance Avenue, he sought answers from freeholders on what the county plans to do. The “ticking time bomb” at Hance and Sycamore “is still ticking,” he added. “People are dying. This can’t continue to happen.” He said further that only a small length of Sycamore would be five lanes wide; four of them would be for vehicular traffic, while the fifth would be to safely align the lanes. In another step, the county studied the 40 mph speed limit of Sycamore and found it was the correct limit, based on the speeds of most drivers using the county road. In addition, the county got permission from a property owner on Sycamore, where there is a bend in the road, to remove trees that were hindering motorists’ sight lines. In an inter view after the meeting, Turning said he’d like to see either Tinton Falls’ governing body back the county’s plans for the intersection or, if that fails, for the county to go ahead with the improvements without local officials’ support. Tinton Falls’ five-member council has not gone along, despite being only one vote shy, according to Turning. Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said Aug. 13 that a traffic light at the intersection was a “definite”andcalledsafety a “top priority.” One of the proposals from the study called for widening Sycamore Avenue, which would mean acquiring small por tions of private property, and installing a traffic signal at the Hance and Sycamore intersection. Another sug- gestion called for extending Hope Road in a move that would require acquiring 3.1 acres of private property. “Maybe it’s time for the county of Monmouth to simply say we’re no longer going to continue with that procedure that we have, that we’re going to wait for a serious problem like this to be fixed for the elected officials of that community or any community to say, ‘yes, it’s OK,’ ” Turning said at last week’s freeholders meeting. Current Tinton Falls Police Chief John A. Scrivanic could not be reached for comment about the crash. “There’s been more accidents at that intersection than you can shake a stick at over the years,” he said. “But the greater good is simple. You can’t have people being injured in car accidents at an intersection that you know is a failure.”
Barry Marsh is not known for taking the easy route to glory.No this Nelson skip always likes to have the plot thicken before tasting victory as he did Sunday at the Heritage City Curling Club.Marsh, third John Rampone, second Cameron Shaw and lead Al May needed an extra game before capturing the Kootenay Dominion Curling Club Championship with an 11-3 victory over Ivor Larsen of Kimberley.The Nelson rink now advances to represent the Kootenay Zone at the Dominion Curling Club Championship next month in Richmond. After dominating the A event, winning the title in easy fashion, Marsh hit a bump in the road when Larsen put together a big end en route to a 10-4 win in the B Final.Having another chance at the Bavarian City rink, Marsh made the most of it as he blasted Larsen in six ends.The Dominion Curling Club Championship is designed to provide club curlers with the opportunity of a lifetime. Teams from both the East and West Kootenays flocked to Nelson to compete in the two-day event.The road to a Canadian Championship started at the beginning of the curling season at the club level.The Kootenay Championship is the next step before the respective winners advance to the provincial tournament April 17-21 in Richmond.On the women’s side of the draw, Desiree Schmidt of Fruitvale won the right to represent the Kootenays in Richmond.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2017)–With first time starter Tavasco Road winning Friday’s eighth and final race, Santa Anita’s popular Single Ticket Jackpot Pick Six, with a total pool of $299,497 was hit. One lucky winning ticket was thus worth $272,515. There were 34 consolation tickets that each paid $260.40.The winning ticket was purchased through Elite Turf Club’s Maryland-based hub for an as-yet undetermined amount.With sunny skies forecast, Santa Anita will offer fans a nine-race card on Saturday, with the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes highlighting the program. For scratches, track condition updates, late changes and complete morning line information, fans are encouraged to visit santaanita.com.First post time is at 12:30 p.m., admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.