first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享West Virginia Public Radio:For generations, coal power has fueled American prosperity. But for each shovelful thrown into the furnaces, a pile of ash was left in its place. Today, as coal’s dominance in the power sector wanes, those piles of ash have grown into mountains as coal ash became one of the largest waste streams in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.Hundreds of waste ponds and landfills, many constructed without liners to prevent leaks, dot the American landscape, especially in the coal-rich Ohio Valley. And the ash they contain includes the concentrated remains of the many toxic compounds associated with coal and its combustion, such as arsenic, lead, and radium.The Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL analyzed newly available data from groundwater monitoring wells near ash disposal sites in the region and found that most show signs of leaking contaminants. At several sites, hazardous compounds are found in groundwater at levels that far exceed federal drinking water standards.What the first round of monitoring data revealed is a toxic blend of coal ash chemicals that appear to be leaching into groundwater across the country. Environmental advocates say the data demonstrate that contamination is ubiquitous, not just in the Ohio Valley but at coal ash sites around the United States.Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law center, found 92 percent of sites showed evidence of contamination in a review of 100 sites across the country. “And this is industry produced data,” Lisa Evans, an attorney with Earthjustice, emphasized. “Data is showing us that across the board there was groundwater contamination at almost every site in the country,” she said.In Kentucky and West Virginia, every power plant covered under the EPA rules had coal ash waste sites with evidence of contaminated groundwater, according to the analysis by WFPL and the Ohio Valley ReSource. Already, three sites in Ohio, four sites in West Virginia and 11 sites in Kentucky have said they will do more testing after finding evidence of possible groundwater contamination.More: Coal ash uncovered: New data reveal widespread contamination at Ohio Valley sites Industry data show widespread contamination from coal ashlast_img read more


first_imgTen years ago, King Coal reigned supreme. The Southeast’s electric companies operated 246 coal-fired power plants and planned to build another nine units.Today, utilities plan to retire or have already retired 126 of those coal-fired units, and they have shelved plans for seven of the proposed units.How did this happen—especially in the heart of coal country?“There are basically three driving forces behind this trend: changes in technology, changes in economics, and changes in regulation over the past few years,” says Jonas Monast, director of the climate and energy program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.On the regulatory front, one important driver was EPA’s 2011 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule, which requires power plants to substantially limit their emissions of toxic air pollutants like mercury, arsenic and heavy metals. The rule forced utilities to install the most effective pollution controls available, essentially making them pay for the pollution created by burning coal by internalizing the costs of using it as a fuel. Faced with these installation costs, utilities in the six Southeastern states decided instead to shutter 58 old, inefficient coal-fired units.Sierra Club - Jeff Rich NC Asheville_FIXState laws have played a role as well. The 2002 North Carolina Clean Smokestacks Act required the state’s 14 coal-fired power plants to reduce by three-quarters the emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide—the main pollutants responsible for ozone, smog, acid rain and other air quality problems. Power companies achieved those cuts by installing $2.9 billion worth of scrubbers and other pollution controls, as well as closing many older coal-fired power plants. Utilities have shuttered seven coal-fired power plants in North Carolina since 2011 and slated another three for retirement or conversion to other fuel sources by 2020. These pollution controls and closures have reduced North Carolina’s carbon emissions from electricity by 27.4 percent and mercury emissions by 70 percent.Replacing CoalAt the same time that federal and state regulations are making coal-fired plants more costly to operate, other sources of energy, particularly natural gas and renewables, have become less expensive.Duke Energy has already retired about half of its Carolinas coal fleet, shutting down units at 11 coal-burning power plants. In their place, the company has built two combined-cycle natural gas plants, which generate up to 50 percent more electricity than traditional plants by routing waste heat from the gas turbines into a nearby steam turbine. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), South Carolina Power & Gas, and Dominion Virginia Power also plan to replace coal-fired plants with natural gas units.“Natural gas is a more attractive fuel source because federal policy is not friendly to carbon, and coal emissions generate carbon,” says Dominion spokesman David Botkins.Renewables are also playing an important role in the Southeast’s clean energy economy. For example, North Carolina has 1 gigawatt of installed solar power in the state, making it fourth nationally in installed solar, and is also home to one of the South’s first large-scale commercial wind farms, the Amazon East Wind Farm, which is expected to start producing power by the end of the year.And some utilities are relying on renewable energy sources from other parts of the country to boost their renewable portfolio as well. Since wind power has proven difficult to develop in much of Tennessee, TVA has contracts to purchase more than 1,500 MW of wind capacity from the Midwest, in addition to purchasing wind power from the 27 MW Buffalo Mountain Wind Energy Center in Oliver Springs, Tenn.One factor driving the switch to cleaner-burning energy is EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which sets state-specific targets for achieving a 32 percent reduction in the nation’s carbon emissions. The Supreme Court temporarily stopped the plan in February, ruling in an ideologically split decision that EPA can’t implement the plan until the courts settle the legal challenges against it. A coalition of 24 states—including Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina—are challenging the plan, questioning EPA’s authority to impose the regulations and some of the plan’s specifics, such as its use of 2012 as a baseline year, after many states had made significant progress in cutting CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants.CoalPlant_retirement_update_FIXMap courtesy of Southern Environmental Law CenterBenefits for Health and the EnvironmentOutdoor organizations and public health groups are hopeful that cutting back on coal will have benefits for human health and the environment. “Someone who’s in the hiker community and spends a lot of time active in the outdoors may not think of themselves as at risk from air pollution in the outdoors, but it affects everyone,” says Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy for the American Lung Association. She notes that several studies have shown a decline in hikers’ lung function as ozone levels rose, even at levels below EPA’s safety standard.Less demand for coal also reduces mining and its associated environmental impacts, including habitat disturbance, water pollution, acid mine drainage, and greenhouse gas emissions. There are also direct impacts from the coal-fired generation itself, most notably the storage of waste products in coal ash landfills and ponds, which can contaminate groundwater, wetlands, creeks, and other waterways with toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological damage. In the Southeast alone, there are about 400 coal ash storage facilities, including more than 50 sites where there is known pollution or contamination, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Most notably, a 2008 spill at TVA’s Kingston Plant sent more than 1 billion gallons of ash sludge pouring into the Emory River and a 2014 spill at a Duke Energy plant sent almost 39,000 tons of coal ash and 24 million gallons of wastewater into the Dan River. David McKinney, chief of environmental services for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, noted that coal-fired facilities affect fish populations by releasing water that’s too warm for fish or killing fish when they draw water from lakes and rivers. “As the global demand for coal diminishes, eventually the environmental consequences of the extraction and preparation process should likewise diminish,” McKinney says.The South’s dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in a single decade show that a clean energy future is within reach, says the Sierra Club’s Kelly Martin. “Transitioning to renewable energy sources will ensure we have cleaner air and cleaner water in the places we live and love to be in.”last_img read more


first_imgAcross the country—and especially in the South—opiate addiction is a catastrophe.People have asked me if I have ever met anyone who has come off opiates successfully without substituting another opiate or drug. In over twenty years of medicine, I’ve known only one: Travis Muehleisen is a former opiate addict now running addict.Muehleisen did not choose to take pain meds. He was given them by physicians after four back surgeries to treat spinal stenosis. Muehleisen was obese, weighing 330 pounds at the time. He also suffered from depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease.“I didn’t like this way of life, but knew no other way,” says Muehleisen. “I knew I had to change or I was not going to be alive much longer.”He decided to make a change. In the winter of 2010, he started walking a mile on the treadmill in his sister’s basement. Within a month, he was up to three miles.The next summer, he ran his first lap around the track at Martinsburg High School. Slowly he kept increasing his distance, and a year later, he ran his first half marathon.As an opiate user, Travis knew only one way to enter running: all in—and often to excess.  “If I do not run and run hard, I literally feel pain,” says Muehleisen. “It takes me around six miles to get the substitute.”Since he has started running, Muehleisen has lost over one hundred pounds from exercise and eating right. “I no longer take any medications. I am really proud of that, And I am in the best shape of my life and back to working full time.”img_0788Travis is one of the few people I know who has come off disability. There is little incentive to work when you are getting a paycheck and insurance not to work. But Travis wants to work to keep his brain and body highly engaged. Desk job? Not for Travis. He is a steel worker and builds bridges.Muehleisen is now six years opiate-free. He has run 14 marathons in 4 years and plans to run the JFK 50 Miler this fall. He recently shared these insights from the past six years:What have you learned about running’s role in treatment of opiate addiction?Running has shown me that there is a productive life after addiction. If you want a good life bad enough, it’s up to you to take control of it.Do you think the symptoms of addiction ever go away?Just speaking for myself, I don’t think the addiction ever goes away. I think addicts just learn to cope with it.How do you feel if you miss running?If I miss running, I find myself experiencing pain and depression.Any other activity substitute in the same way?I haven’t found anything to substitute this addiction with besides running and the challenge of it.What advice would you give someone of pain medication now who wishes to get off them?Stay strong. It’s a long journey but it’s very rewarding once you have it under control. Find something that challenges you physically and mentally and just dive in.What do you think are the biggest barriers to people coming off the meds?Believing in yourself, getting your self esteem back, trusting that there is a life after addiction, and mending the damage you have caused to family and friends.Muehleisen’s Mental MarathonWhen Travis Muehleisen ran his first full marathon, what got him through it was this:Mile 1: I ran for God for giving me the strength and another chance at life.Mile 2: For my two children, Jordan and Jessica, whom I love so very much.Mile 3: For my parents, my father in heaven who always believed in me and my abilities to do anything I wanted to do. For my mother, for always being there for me through the good and the bad.Mile 4: For my soul mate and best friend, T, for instilling confidence in me and for supporting me.Mile 5: For all of those disabled who can’t run.Mile 6: For those children being bullied.Mile 7: For my family, for believing in me.Mile 8: For people fighting cancer.Mile 9: For the US troops for fighting for my freedom.Mile 10: For all the victims affected by an act of mother nature.Mile 11: For those who are homeless.Mile 12: For all my medical doctors, especially for my neurosurgeon.Mile 13: For all abused animals. Mile 14: For those struggling with addiction.Mile 15: For all who are battling depression.Mile 16: For all my true friends.Mile 17: For all my coworkers.Mile 18: For all my teachers and coaches.Mile 19: For those suffering from hunger.Mile 20: For children battling obesity.Mile 21: For those who are missing loved ones.Mile 22: For abused women and children.Mile 23: For babies “born too soon.”Mile 24: For Chandler (my boxer) and Mallory (my Maltese) for accompanying me on several runs.Mile 25: For my health and happiness.Mile 26: I ran for me, for having the guts and courage. And the last .2 I ran for chili and cheese nachos!last_img read more


first_img“What did we do to deserve such punishment?” Wang Wenjun, Xiangkai’s daughter, said over the phone to Reuters.A crematorium sent a car to pick up Xiangyou’s body, but the family was told no mourning ceremony would be allowed. They could only collect his ashes after 15 days.Two days before Xiangyou died, doctors at the 4th Hospital of Wuhan had written in a diagnosis that both brothers were likely infected by the coronavirus which has now killed over 1,350 people in China. CT scans showed their lungs had turned “white” with patterns resembling cracked glass, symptomatic of severe viral infections.But the hospital did not have any RNA test kits to confirm their cases, and thus could not admit them for treatment, according to the doctors. They were told to contact their community government, which on Jan. 30 offered to house the brothers at the hotel. Hubei province on Thursday reported a sharp rise in the number of deaths and cases after changing its methodology to include those diagnosed through CT scans like Xiangyou. More than 63,000 people have now been infected nationwide and 1,380 have died.Xiangkai, a retired cab driver, refused to remain at the Echarm hotel after his brother died, instead staying alone at a relative’s home. His wife visited daily, bringing food and Chinese medicine, until she too fell ill with what doctors suspect is the coronavirus.Wenjun lives on the other side of Wuhan. Closed transportation lines means she is unable to visit her parents.Desperate for treatment for her father, she issued a plea for help on the Twitter-like Weibo. The community government responded, saying the decision was up to the virus taskface.At around midnight on Monday, the family received a call saying a hospital bed was available. With no public transport, Wang’s 58-year-old wife pushed him in a wheelchair for the 10-minute trip to the hospital.A new CT scan showed Xiangkai’s lung infection had worsened. He now has trouble walking to the toilet on his own and is awaiting the results of an RNA test.”On Jan. 22, our entire family had a Lunar New Year dinner, and we even took a photo together. It has been bad news every day since then,” Wenjun said.Topics : There were no doctors, nurses or medical equipment at the Wuhan hotel converted into a temporary quarantine facility for suspected coronavirus patients when brothers Wang Xiangkai and Wang Xiangyou arrived two weeks ago.The next day, Xiangkai, 61, woke to find that Xiangyou, 62, had died.The Wangs are among tens of thousands of families devastated by the coronavirus in Wuhan, where the medical system has been overwhelmed by the outbreak, despite massive reinforcements and two speedily built new hospitals.last_img read more


first_imgChicago-based Boeing was already contending with a drop in advance payments from customers of its 737 Max aircraft, grounded after two crashes. Now that plane is nearing a return to service at a time when few airlines want new aircraft.The collapse in long-range flying threatens another critical source of cash for Boeing: deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners, which can carry passengers from Sydney to Chicago without refueling.Boeing said it is closely monitoring the market and customer needs. The company has already drawn down $7.5 billion of the $13.8 billion it borrowed in January to help bolster cash until the Max is back in the market.“Managing our liquidity and balance sheet are key focus areas,” a spokesman said, adding that it will “assess all levers to help provide adequate liquidity as we navigate the current challenges.”During periods of tumult, Toulouse, France-based Airbus sets up what it describes as a “watch tower.” That involves devoting extra personnel to help distressed customers delay aircraft orders, as well as letting opportunistic buyers jump the line. The company was able to move more than 600 orders around in this way between 2009 and 2011, following the last global economic shock.The European plane manufacturer is using the same system to manage coronavirus impact, as “commercial, production and finance teams monitor a number of parameters on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” a spokesman said.Plunging trafficAirline traffic is expected to contract this year for only the fourth time since the Great Depression, although the full impact will depend on how long the Covid-19 virus continues to spread, said Ron Epstein, an analyst with Bank of America Corp. Oil prices are also plunging after Saudi Arabia decided to remove pricing curbs, giving airlines less incentive to trade in older, less fuel-efficient models.“We’re deflating from a very high altitude and that’s concerning,” said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with Teal Group. “We’ve had one very bad year of traffic, and it’s going to be followed by an even worse year of traffic.”On the sidelines of last week’s ISTAT Americas conference of aircraft financiers, manufacturers and operators in Austin, Texas, executives looked for parallels to the industry slump that lasted two years after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. During that span, the compound annual growth rate of revenue for Boeing and Airbus and their constellation of suppliers was about minus 11 percent, by Aboulafia’s calculation.The correction would be more devastating if airlines’ hadn’t already cut back because of other problems: The 737 Max grounding last year, industrial foul-ups that have delayed Airbus’s narrow-body jets and durability issues that have plagued the three major jet engine manufacturers, said consultant Adam Pilarski, former chief economist for McDonnell Douglas before it merged with Boeing.“If all the airplanes that were ordered that were supposed to be delivered would have come, this bubble would’ve been enormous,” Pilarski said. “But we started deflating it by having incompetent manufacturers. Luckily it’s all of them.”Airline failures?Still, United President Scott Kirby is among those warning there will be more airline failures, particularly outside of the U.S. When carriers shut down, they leave behind fleets of used planes – further crimping demand for new models.“Airlines are desperate to cut capacity, costs and crew, but cannot do it quickly enough,” said Shukor Yusof, founder of aviation consultant Endau Analytics in Malaysia. “There will soon be airlines going out of business.”Others are more optimistic, noting that other outbreaks ended in a matter of months, and pent-up demand for travel will return. Over more than a half century, commercial aviation has weathered so-called “black swan” events where air traffic stalls, only to come back stronger in the end, said John Plueger, CEO of Air Lease Corp., the largest publicly traded US aircraft lessor.“There’s no doubt in my mind that this, too, shall pass,” he said.But with China reeling and globalization waning, the 2020s are likely to be a sobering comedown from the frothy era that followed the 2008 financial crisis.“We’re into a decade of cooling the jets and sticking to the knitting,” Avolon’s Slattery said. “I think it’s a decade of growth, but I don’t think it’s the pace we saw over the last decade.” Boeing Co. and Airbus SE, which until recently couldn’t make planes fast enough to satisfy airlines, are suddenly contending with the opposite risk: churning out jets with no buyers.Demand for new aircraft is drying up as customers wary of the coronavirus shun air travel, ending the longest boom in aviation history. That 16-year surge began as airlines emerged from another infectious disease crisis, the one related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. Now the new virus points to leaner times.In less than a month, the tumult has clipped about US$175 billion in market value from the US aerospace industry, a critical source of American exports. And the future looks just as grim. Passenger revenues could drop as much as $113 billion this year if the virus spreads extensively, according to the International Air Transport Association, the largest global airline trade group. Topics :center_img “I personally think it will get worse before it gets better,” said Domhnal Slattery, chief executive officer of Avolon, the third-largest global aircraft leasing company.Boeing and Airbus, which were rolling in cash while airlines went on a $1.15 trillion buying binge stretching back to 2008, are now intently focused on preserving capital and avoiding making “white tails.” That’s the industry term for buyer-less aircraft. Even well heeled carriers such as Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc., are carefully assessing plans to add new jetliners.Travel restrictions related to the pandemic are preventing airline representatives from China, the biggest international market for new airplanes, from even visiting Boeing’s delivery center in Seattle or Airbus’s in France to test-fly and sign ownership papers for new jets.Other criseslast_img read more


first_imgThe second chillout zone on the property. Picture: Realestate.com.au A supplied picture of Bernard Tomic inside Bond Bar in Melbourne. PLEASE CREDIT/MENTION BOND BARWHILE Aussie tennis star Bernard Tomic crashed and burned through the international circuit for the past 10 months, in his hometown his parents were looking to sell off two properties.Tomic, who has now dropped out of the world top 100 tennis rankings, was away when his father decided to sell the Southport properties. One of the properties has four bedrooms while the other has three. Picture: Realestate.com.au The Tomics had initially owned just one of the duplexes – bought in 2004, before picking up the second one in 2010 when it came on the market. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe family had tried to sell them five years ago and seven years ago as well when they had wanted $820,000 for one of the duplexes. Both have been on the rental market, asking between $500 to $620 a week over the past few years. Agent Rachel Scull of Lucy Cole Prestige Properties Broadbeach has been marketing the properties as having “great investment potential”. The duplexes are walking distance to light rail and the Broadwater Parklands and five minutes from Main Beach. The median price for units in Southport has surged 25.8 per cent in the past five years, with median asking rent at $370 a week. Bernard Tomic’s family put this set of duplexes on the market. Picture: Realestate.com.auMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor1 hour ago With a personal fortune of about $14m, it’s not like Bernard Tomic needs the cash. Picture: Realestate.com.au The chillout zone has a pool and bar. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe Tomics put two of their townhouses on the market in mid-July, which was around the time that the tennis whiz lost a sponsor after Wimbledon officials fined him $20,000 for saying he was bored during his game.The Tomics were looking for a price of over $750,000 for each one. One of the duplexes was a three bedder with two bathrooms and a double garage, while the other was a four bedder with three bathrooms and a single lockup garage.last_img read more


first_img Press Association Advocaat has confirmed the 27-year-old midfielder, who was charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming on Thursday, remains available for selection with the club reviewing the situation. For the time being at least, the Black Cats’ position remains unchanged, and that means Johnson, who has been used as a substitute in the last three games, can play on as Sunderland battle relegation. Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has insisted it was not a difficult decision to include Adam Johnson in his squad for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Stoke. Advocaat’s side currently sit 16th in the table, but just a point clear of the bottom three, and he has set them a target of at least six points to avoid the drop. In the circumstances, he needs all the players he can get, and especially a man who cost £10million when he arrived from Manchester City during the summer of 2012. Johnson’s continued presence could prove all the more important after the Dutchman revealed that striker Steven Fletcher travelled to London on Friday to consult a specialist over a troublesome ankle injury. Asked if it was a difficult situation for a coach, Advocaat replied: “No, because the club made a statement about it and I stay behind that, and we will wait and see what the future will bring. “He still has to come in, but in principle if he feels okay, then he will be a member of the squad. If he’s in the squad, then I will consider him for selection, otherwise he would not be in the squad.” Johnson has already been the target of unsavoury chants from fans of rival clubs, but Advocaat is confident that will not be an issue during the final weeks of the season. He said: “No, I don’t think so.” Advocaat’s comments came after Sunderland released a statement outlining their position on the matter. It said: “Following yesterday’s statement from Durham Constabulary, the club recognises that the formal legal process must take its course and whilst our position remains unchanged, we will keep the matter under review. “The club will not be making any further comment.” Johnson is due to appear at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on May 20 – the Black Cats face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium that evening – but in theory, should be available to play in the other five games Sunderland have in which to preserve their top-flight status. last_img read more


first_img Published on January 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+ Deon Goggins plans to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 19. He is listed on the Bowl’s website as a defensive tackle, nose tackle and defensive end.The Syracuse defensive tackle was a two-year starter for the Orange after transferring from Cerritos Community College. He averaged 3.8 tackles per game in his 25-game career, also featuring at defensive end.The college all-star game put on by the NFL Players Association will kickoff at 6 p.m. Eastern time at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and will be broadcast on ESPN2. Dick Vermeil will coach the National Team against Herm Edwards’s American Team. The game includes 100 players, according to the game’s website.Vermeil won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” in 1999 and Edwards coached in the NFL from 1990-2008 with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets.Former SU running back Antwon Bailey ran for 50 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries last year for Vermeil’s National Team before signing with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent May 2, 2012.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentslast_img read more


first_imgA Flood Watch is in effect until Tuesday, 8:00 a.m., according to the U.S. National Weather Service.The Flood Watch is now in effect for * a portion of South Florida, including the following areas, Coastal Broward, Coastal Collier, Coastal Miami-Dade, Coastal Palm Beach, Far South Miami-Dade, Inland Broward, Inland Collier, Inland Miami-Dade, Inland Palm Beach, Mainland Monroe, Metro Broward, Metro Miami-Dade, and Metro Palm Beach.There is a tropical disturbance moving in from the south and it will bring in showers and thunderstorms that will produce an average of 3 to 5 inches of rainfall across the watch area with locally higher amounts possible.Stay alert, and click here for information.last_img read more


first_imgBy Jay Cook |HOLMDEL – An accord struck last year by Holmdel’s all-Republican governing body calls for an annual rotation of its elected officials to govern from the mayor’s seat, allowing for a fresh approach on the best way to manage the 18-square-mile town.In the 2018 calendar year, the mayoral office has shifted to Thomas Critelli.A five-year committeeman and first-time mayor, Critelli thanked his Republican counterparts both sitting beside him and in the audience for the opportunity to serve as Holmdel mayor for the next 365 days. Newly sworn-in committeeman Rocco Pascucci was unanimously voted in as the deputy mayor for 2018. Former mayor Greg Buontempo was also sworn in as a committeeman for his third term.“During last year’s reorganization, we discussed rotating the mayor’s seat each year, which was something this committee had not done for some time,” Critelli said, moments after being sworn in by former Holmdel mayor and Assemblywoman-elect Serena DiMaso. “I’d like to extend a special thank you to Mayor Greg Buontempo for allowing us to honor that commitment.”After his first mayoral speech, Critelli told The Two River Times that the agreement to elect a different mayor every year from within the unified governing body will benefit Holmdel.“It’s more about getting fresh ideas,” Critelli said, while also adding he’ll still collaborate with the four members on the township committee. “I think the public thought we were getting a little stale and maybe not moving as rapidly as we needed to – a little change is all.”Critelli is a 27-year Holmdel resident who owns three small businesses with his wife, Mary, in northern New Jersey. Critelli is a certified public accountant and is the president and founder of Danitom Development, a real estate development company. He also owns a manufacturing company and a convenience store, he said.Critelli believes that background and experience can only benefit Holmdel as he takes over the mayor’s seat.“I like to see things get done, not bureaucratically slow things down. The town can be bureaucratic in its thinking because of some of the people that have been here for long periods of time who like to do things at their pace,” he said. “We hope to be able to kick-start that a little bit and get things moving, sort of like a small business.”In his address to residents in attendance, the new mayor said there’s much to look forward to “in a truly exciting time in Holmdel township.”Critelli said the governing body will focus on continuing the relationship with Somerset Development, owners of the 473-acre Bell Works site just a mile from town hall; keep the municipal tax rate flat for residents; look to expand recreational activities for all residents; and engage in “aggressively rebuilding” faulty roads and infrastructure in town.Finding more recreational opportunities for Holmdel residents has been a recent goal for the governing body, Critelli said. The township committee authorized the creation of an ad hoc recreational committee early last year; a report compiled by the committee and a consultant will be provided to residents by the end of the month, he said.“We’re going to release that information and hopefully be able to exercise and move on some sort of aggressive improvements at the recommendations of the committee,” he said.Critelli also spoke about improving emergency service communications in the township. He said Police Chief John Mioduszewski was inquiring about new systems for his officers.Also on tap for 2018 will be a decision regarding Holmdel’s affordable housing obligations. The township will have a fairness hearing before a Superior Court judge in Freehold later this year with the Fair Share Housing Center, a group which litigates in favor of low-income housing throughout the state. Critelli declined to go into detail considering the pending litigation, but did say, “I expect it to be resolved sooner rather than later.”Since it is his first term as mayor, Critelli told residents he’d rely upon his current and former colleagues for guidance if needed. Committeemen Greg Buontempo and Eric Hinds are both former mayors, as are DiMaso and Monmouth County Freeholder-elect Pat Impreveduto, last year’s deputy mayor in Holmdel.“There’s an enormous amount of knowledge from the mayors that have come before me,” Critelli said. “I don’t like to go into anything blind, so I can rely on them for the right way to approach something.”This article was first published in the Jan. 4-11, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more