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AHH 24-Hr. News

State Troopers to Set Up Sobriety Checkpoint on Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County
Friday, 27 February 2015
West Trenton, N.J. - The New Jersey State Police Troop “D” Traffic Office, in an effort to reduce crashes attributed to driving while intoxicated, will set up a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Vehicles traveling on the... Read More...
IMAGE Red Bank Regional Celebrates Black History Month with Message for the Future
Friday, 27 February 2015
PHOTO: Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal Julius Clark gave the keynote address - invaluable advice to students that their success is of their own making and not to let society’s stereotypes define them or be an excuse for failure. Little... Read More...
IMAGE Bill Mack and Gary M. Welton Exhibition in Red Bank
Friday, 27 February 2015
RED BANK, NJ - A never-before-seen collection by famed artists, Bill Mack and Gary Welton, will be on exhibition and available for acquisition in a dual artist presentation at Gotham Fine Art Gallery in Red Bank, New Jersey.  Mack and Welton... Read More...
Pallone Announces Start of Congressional Art Competition for Local High Schools
Friday, 27 February 2015
LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced that the 6th Congressional District Annual High School Art Competition is officially underway.  The competition is open to all high school students in the New Jersey’s... Read More...
Kyrillos Hails Major Monmouth County Park Addition; Slams Port Authority for Reneging
Friday, 27 February 2015
TRENTON, NJ - Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement commending today’s action that will add 90 acres of Aberdeen Township open space for a new 250-acre Monmouth County park. “The Monmouth County Freeholders led by... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Skewed View - February 27, 2015
by Tom Brennan
Friday, 27 February 2015
Are you on you phone reading this eating a free sample at Whole Foods now?Then you may run into one of these people: http://bit.ly/1aiquX5 First... Read More...
IMAGE Cold Temperatures Create a Frozen Estuary
by Joe Reynolds
Monday, 23 February 2015
It was nothing safe to walk on, but much Sandy Hook Bay and Raritan Bay was locked up in ice this weekend. Several weeks of teeth-chattering,... Read More...
IMAGE My Oscar Picks for 2015
by David Prown
Sunday, 22 February 2015
I'm pretty sure I've never watched the Oscar ceremony nor really had any interest. However, I bet it is a heck of a show and my loss for never... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Foxcatcher
by David Prown
Sunday, 22 February 2015
I have been waiting awhile for Foxcatcher to come to the area. The previews looked intense and engaging. I was somewhat familiar with this story and... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Kingsman - The Secret Service
by David Prown
Saturday, 21 February 2015
Take James Bond but instead of a 1 man show imagine Batman and his sidekick Robin.  "Kingsman - The Secret Service", stars Colin Firth as the... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Fri Feb 27 @ 2:00PM - 07:00PM
Income Tax Help - Union Beach
Fri Mar 06 @ 2:00PM - 07:00PM
Income Tax Help - Union Beach
Mon Mar 09 @ 7:00PM -
AH - American Legion Meeting
Wed Mar 11 @ 1:00PM -
NARFE Meets
Wed Mar 11 @ 7:00PM -
AH Council Meeting

It’s Sunshine Week, that time of year we reflect on the importance of government transparency and how critical it is to our democracy. Much of the conversation during Sunshine Week focuses on the failure of government to be open and transparent. Citizens, Journalists, and Reform groups use this time to highlight how we can expand our current rights and combat government secrecy.

This attention is sorely needed, citizens across the New Jersey are often forced into countless hours in court or before the Government Records Council (GRC) just to get access to the most basic documents like budget data and meeting minutes. We have all seen or heard these stories, local governments operating behind closed doors, in the shadows.

And while we must continue to fight for strengthening the Sunshine Law and for expanded access to information, it is also important to remember why we fight for this information and what we do with it.

James Madison, whose birthday commemorates Sunshine Week, once said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” During Madison’s time he and his colleagues took to writing pamphlets to inform their neighbors of important issues facing our nation.

Today’s modern day pamphleteers are the bloggers and citizen journalists in city hall, covering the budget meetings and planning board hearings. We must arm these citizen journalists with the knowledge and tools to make a difference in our towns, school districts, and even the state government.

With local news bureaus shuttering, there has never been a more urgent time for citizens to step up to the plate. Go to your next local meeting and take a look around the room, how many reporters are covering the meeting? You are lucky if there is one.

Imagine what would happen if each of us followed the lead of citizens like Union County’s Tina Renna, who became a citizen journalist and reports to the public how the county’s tax dollars are being spent. Or citizens like Camden County’s Bob Shinn and John Tremble, who use public information to identify and implement best practices for cutting government waste. These three citizens alone have uncovered millions in wasteful government spending – now imagine what would happen if we each chipped and did our part.

So while we continue to expand access to government information, we must also be working to expand the pool of citizen leaders and citizen journalists like Tina, Bob and John – teaching people how to access information and use it to chart a smarter course for government.

Think back to those days, weeks, and months after Superstorm Sandy, we saw first-hand how having access to timely and relevant information is critical.

By using the Open Public Records Act, citizens can monitor how tax dollars are being spent to clean up debris. And through the Open Public Meetings Act, or Sunshine Law, citizens can sit on planning meeting to ensure that our shore towns are rebuilt with the infrastructure in place to withstand another Superstorm Sandy.

That is why we continue to educate citizens on how to constructively use the information they gather through the OPRA process. For example, on April 1, we will be training citizens how to cover news through new forms of media(thecitizenscampaign.org/new_media_post_sandy).

With access to information, citizens are able to constructively participate in the process and give feedback or offer best practices. And the more informed discussions we have, the better off our state will be. 
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Follow The Citizens Campaign on Facebook and Twitter! Visit our websiteTheCitizensCampaign.org for free tools and training!