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Old 03-09-2006, 11:06 PM
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Mike Mike is offline
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March on Trenton

The Edgewater Parrots crew and assorted experts, many of whom are one and the same, sat in on the NJ Assembly's Agriculture and Natural Resources committee hearing yesterday as they took up A1237. A1237 would remove Monk Parakeets from NJ's list of potentially dangerous species and give them the same protection afforded native species.

I'm am happy . . . no, delighted . . . to say that the committee approved the bill 5-0 and it will continue on its long journey to the governor's desk. There was ample testimony in support of the bill, but the committee seemed most swayed by the chief argument that 30 years of experience have proven the birds don't belong on the list. That, and the committee was buried by letters and e-mails in favor of the bill.

A functionary from the NJ DEP objected to the procedings on the basis that removing the birds was an administrative function, not a legislative one. He didn't get very far.

There are way too many people to thank. However, Assemblywoman Voss and her Chief of Staff, Kate, have been extremely helpful. And, of course the heart and brains behind the operation, Alison Fragale.

Presenters were Asm. Voss, who introduced the group and guided it; Alison Fragale, who discussed efforts in Edgewater and gave the committee petitions with several thousand signatures; Michael Gochfeld, Phd, a Rutgers professor who studies Monks, who testified that they are neither an agricultural threat nor threat to other birds, and after 30 years are still mostly confined to Edgewater; Steve Baldwin, who discussed how the law is different in NY and also described the potential for ecotourism; and Donna Dwyer, who described the successful alternative nesting platforms constructed in Connecticut, as well using Connecticut's extermination campaign against the Monks as an example of what the NJ law would prevent.

The presenters complemented each other well.


The NJ Assembly chamber


The NJ Assembly chamber


The NJ Assembly chamber


Alison Fragale testifying. Asm. Voss is to her left and Michael Gochfeld is to her right


Congratulating each other afterward. L->R Steve Baldwin, Alison Fragale, Michael Gochfeld, and Joan Voss


Voss's Chief of Staff, Kate, Maureen Holtje, Steve Baldwin, and Alison Fragale


Fragale, Donna Dwyer, Baldwin, Gochfeld, and Voss


Committee Room 8, where the hearing was held


The NJ Capitol


Leaving Trenton. "Trenton Makes. The World Takes.


Celebrating at the Lighthouse. Dwyer, Baldwin, and Fragale
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Old 03-10-2006, 10:46 AM
MHogan201 MHogan201 is offline
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Re: March on Trenton

Mike and all:

Congratulations to all of you!

It goes to show that democracy still works - especially in New Jersey. It is wonderful that a bunch of regular citizens can petition and get through what they believe is important, heartfelt and right.

I loved the pictures, Mike! A "bird's eye view" of our State government.

You're on your way. Keep up the pressure.

Mary
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