Middletown Democrat Sparks Firestorm

first_img“The comments made (by) Jeana Sager shouldn’t be said on camera or behind closed doors, because they are unequivocally wrong. Her false and demeaning assertions do not represent the values of the Monmouth County Democratic Party or the dozens of Democratic candidates trying to better their community across our county,” county chairman David Brown said in a statement Sept. 21. “Our party will not stand for or support this disgraceful way of thinking, which is why we are refusing all resources to the Sager campaign and formally withdrawing the endorsement of the Monmouth County Democrats. Let it be a clear message: The Monmouth County Democratic Party will not stand for this disgraceful behavior now or in the future.” “But what constitutes a criminal?” Sager asked. “Because to me, a lot of police are criminals.” “Just saying ‘a lot of cops are criminals’ is not something that I could endorse or be part of or be comfortable campaigning with,” he said. Saying “a lot of police are criminals,” she can be seen standing outside the Middletown Township municipal building and offering her views on drug policy to members of the public, which included at least one journalist and marijuana advocates who had spoken at the township committee workshop meeting earlier. Sager’s remarks, first reported by More Monmouth Musings, a website friendly to Republicans, ignited a political firestorm and threw the upcoming contest for two seats on the governing body into turmoil. Her fellow Democrats denounced her comments, with even her running mate, Sean F. Byrnes, saying he was suspending his candidacy over what she said. Members of the township committee, including Mayor Tony Perry, and the president of the Middletown PBA issued statements critical of her as well. Perry reacted Sept. 21 to Sager’s statement by saying the Democrat had “chosen to double down on her feelings and comments.” Sager can be heard talking on the roughly 15 1⁄2-minute-long video saying that, if elected to the township committee, “I would love to start addressing drug policy.” For instance, she offered her support for needle exchange programs. In addition to angering her party, Sager also was criticized by the leader of the police union in the township. Middletown PBA Local 124 president Adam Colfer said her comments “are completely unacceptable.” “All across the country members of law enforcement are continuing to face the real threat of physical violence, so the last thing we would expect is to be branded ‘criminals’ by someone who wants to serve in elected office,” he said in a statement released Sept. 20. “Candidate Sager should apologize immediately to the Middletown Police Department, and to law enforcement ever ywhere, for her hateful rhetoric against the very people who have chosen to take on the responsibility of protecting our neighborhoods.” After the video’s release, Democrats sought to distance themselves from Sager. The leadership at the party’s local and county levels issued statements on the same day saying they had pulled their support from her. “Ms. Sager appears to be using her candidacy as a platform for her offensive and dangerous agenda that would be nothing short of harmful and detrimental to Middletown and its future,” he said. According to More Monmouth Musings, the video of Sager speaking was shot by “marijuana activist” Edward Grimes, who put it on Facebook. The website published the entire video as well as an excerpt of it. In a statement Sept. 20, Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore called Sager’s comments about police “disgusting and highly offensive.” But he said he was “equally disturbed with Ms. Sager’s covert plan, if elected, to decriminalize drugs and create safe injection sites and needle exchanges within this community.” MIDDLETOWN – Jeana Sager, a Democrat running for Middletown Township Committee, remained in the race despite bipartisan calls for her to drop out after video surfaced last week of her making anti-police comments in June. “Nothing will change unless there is a court order,” she said by email. But in her statement, Sager sought to turn the tables on her critics, particularly members of the township committee. Sager, who could not be reached for comment, appeared to be referring to an incident involving officer Carl F. Roth, who allegedly hit a motorcyclist in Ashland, New York, in August. The victim was not from New York, but Canada. Sager, though, sought to inject gender politics into the race by noting she was the only female candidate of the four people running for township committee. “It is a sad state of affairs when Americans cannot have honest conversations about timely issues such as police violence and the racist and prejudicial drug war, which is killing our youth, without fear of political crucifixion by both political parties,” she said. “The off-the-cuff conversation, which occurred in June in a parking lot, was not a prepared speech. I was not discussing a Middletown campaign platform. I was talking about issues that impact families in my community. My opponents held on to this information while they figured out how to hurt my candidacy, a move which clearly shows ulterior motives rather than being the forthright and honest people they would have you believe they are.” But Byrnes said he had suspended his campaign. Recognizing that she is running in a Republican town, she said she has to be “careful how I speak.” “We have withdrawn our endorsement of her candidacy for Township Committee and will commit no resources to her campaign, which we have asked her to end,” he said in a statement Sept. 21. “We are proud of our candidate Sean Byrnes who issued a statement setting for th his absolute disagreement with her comments and thanking the police for their service. In addition, we have spoken to county and state Democratic leaders who are in complete agreement with us.” By Philip Sean Curran “With regards to my reference to police crime, Mayor Perry, who is calling for my resignation, is one of the biggest hypocrites who sat silent along with Republican candidates Rick Hibell and Kevin Settembrino, when a Middletown police officer recently almost killed a New York resident while driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of a severe accident,” Sager said. “I encourage people to take a deep breath and focus on what was actually said about police violence and not what people say was said. If we can’t have an honest conversation about police, some of whom act criminally, then we are not protecting our citizens or the police who risk their lives for us.” Later, she said she wants to remove drug users from the criminal justice “realm” and said she did not want to stigmatize drug users as having an illness. In response, Sager released a statement Sept. 21 in which she did not apologize for remarks about police, called the controversy an “immature distraction” and said she was being attacked for her views. At this stage, Sager and Byrnes will remain on the ballot as the opponents to Republican incumbents Kevin M. Settembrino and Rick W. Hibell. Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon said Sept. 23 that ballots have been printed. “There are plenty of people that I hang around with that are drug users and they use drugs recreationally and responsibly,” said Sager. Michael DiCicco, chairman of the Middletown Democratic Party, called her remarks about police “inaccurate, unfounded and hur tful.” In comments captured on video outside Town Hall in June, Middletown Township Committee Democratic candidate Jeana Sager made an anti-police comment that has sparked intense reaction from leaders of her own party, the PBA and the mayor. Democratic running mate Sean Byrnes has since suspended his bid.Photo courtesy YouTube “These liberal reckless polices have no place within our town, our county or anywhere in our state,” he said. “Our children should not be taught that it’s OK to inject drugs because we make it safe or be forced to walk over (hypodermic) needles on the way to school or while playing in our parks as children in San Francisco and other social utopias are being forced to do.” At one point, one man in the small group calls for getting the “criminal speakers” out of high schools who deliver opioid awareness messages. “People have always come up with reasons to silence and push women out of politics,” she said in her statement. “Just because I want to have tough conversations about difficult issues, some private and some public, doesn’t mean I will be bullied out of this space by the very cowards who think they are in a better position to ignore these issues to the detriment of our community.”last_img read more

Kootenay Lake Fishing Report — Chasing early spring Bull Trout

first_imgMarch is done and now it’s time to move into April as Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Charters drafts up another few tips for fishing on Kootenay Lake with the Kootenay Lake Fishing Report.So read and enjoy.March saw some mixed weather patterns rolling in, so our days were hit and miss.  We did spend a lot of time on the rivers chasing early spring Bull Trout and we had a blast.The jet sled proved itself very helpful this spring on the rivers so far. The Kootenay river and other tributaries are full of Bulls in the Spring.  And when the ice came off, we began to target these fish. Bulls chasing spawning whitefish were pretty aggressive this year.Bull Trout between six and 12 pounds were caught on a daily basis.  A lot of fun was had by all who braved the early spring weather conditions.  And the end results were very rewarding.  We’re looking forward to the fall Bull Trout fishery as the Bulls chase spawning Kokanee up the rivers again in the fall.Kootenay Lake:The lake has been providing us with lots of action each day lately.  Most days saw us hooking into 10 – 15 fish between two-five pounds.  Although, we did have a few fish in the 10 Lb range last month, but few and far between.  Rainbows and Bull Trout up to 12 pounds were caught in the past month.  We also had our first opening for West Arm Kokanee at the beginning of this month. The Kokanee fishing was consistent and the sizes were good.  Most anglers were back at the dock with their limits within the first couple hours of the day.  Looking forward to what our spring weather could bring.  Our next couple months should prove interesting for the lake.  The Gerrard spawn will be the telltale sign of what is to become of our lake. Stay tuned……Duncan lake: Duncan lake has been fun and a nice change from Kootenay.  There seems to be a lot more people fishing there as well.  The Bull Trout fishing has been good and as the water warms up, the Kokanee fishing gets better and better. Nice to see a healthy population of both Bulls and Kokanee in this lake. We have had some great days up there so far with some double digit days with Bulls between five – 12 pounds.  Should be good fishing for a few more weeks or until the lake levels get really high. Our Lyman plugs have been producing best.  Surface fishing has been good, as well as the downriggers from 30 – 60ft has produced well. Definitely a nice change of scenery and fishing.Columbia River:The river is heating up nicely.  Rainbows, Walleye, and Pike are all cooperating right now.  We have had some spectacular days flyfishing for Rainbows.  Early spring rainbows are my favourite.  We have hooked into some monsters already. The average fish have all been the usual Columbia River size ranging between two to four pounds.  Although, we have hooked into some six and seven-pound fish in the past couple weeks.  And some even bigger that screamed our line, but were never to be seen.  Exciting spring action. Some resident Walleye have been sticking around this year also.  We usually don’t target these fish until late summer when they seem to really stack up in the river.  Although, we have been fishing for them lately with some great success.  Good to know there are a lot of options at this time of year.  Pike are also being caught while targeting Walleye. Remember to keep every Pike you catch, as they are not native to this system.  Walleye between one to four pounds have been caught lately, as well as Pike up to 18 pounds.What are they biting on??On the lake, we are catching most fish on the surface.  Bucktail flies have been my favourite technique.  Purples have been the most productive.  Common numbers of 203, 207, and 224 have worked best for me. As well as some greys such as number 202, 210, and 221.  And on the downrigger, we have been having success with our favourite Lyman plugs and flasher & hoochie combo. Our speeds are still relatively slow due to the water temperature,  but look to speed things up as the water warms up. On the river, we have been having most luck with the Rainbows on the fly.  Floating lines with an indicator and nymph have provided lots of action.  As well as sinking line while swinging streamers. The Walleye have been taking the usual bottom bouncer technique or jigs with twisters.  And the Pike have been hitting on just about anything, although we haven’t been specifically targeting them.Whats coming up:We are expecting the lake fishing to pick up even more as the water gets warmer.  So, expect lots of fish in April, May, and June.  Our river fishing should only get better and better as well. As the weather warms up and the bugs start hatching, the fish will become more and more aggressive.  Looking forward to the next few months of fishing. We are also looking forward to our upcoming Salmon/Halibut fishing season.  This year is expected to be another good run of Salmon and we still have a few openings to fill.  Drop me a line if you’re interested in filling your freezer with fish for the year. That about sums it up. Hope this helps with your fishing excursions this month.Tight lines…………………. Kerry Reed Reel Adventures Sportfishing Nelson B.C 250-505-4963 www.reeladventuresfishing.comlast_img read more