Friday, January 23, 2009

01/22/2009 Environmental Commission Meeting

Off to a good start.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

01/20/2009 Borough Council Meeting

Councilman McQuade is planning for the upcoming budget. How about sharing the current and proposed numbers with the taxpayers? Better still, how about having an information meeting to explaining the figures with us, consistent with the Mayor's mission of transparency and open government?

Don't forget to answer our anonymous and unscientific poll at the bottom of this page if you have not answered already.

Like what you see? Discuss online or write a letter. If you can, show up to demand financial disclosure: Next meeting is Tuesday, February 3 at 7PM.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Wish...

... is for Dumont Borough Hall to be this transparent when it comes to its budget. On top of that, they even explain it to residents at a special workshop! It's a good thing I'm sitting down while writing this.
Here are the specifics:
Agree? Disagree? Discuss online or write a letter.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

01/06/2009 Reorganization Meeting

Here is Part 1 (technical difficulties encountered)

Here is Part 2 (speeches found here and where the Mayor declares the State of the Borough as "Very Good".)

Don't forget to answer our anonymous and unscientific poll at the bottom of this page.

Like what you see? Discuss online or write a letter.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Last Word in 2008

The fourth edition of the Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide, published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is now available. Page 6 of this updated edition summarizes the process that chemically transforms edible fat into biodiesel and reiterates: "Raw or refined plant oil, or recycled greases that have not been processed into biodiesel, are not biodiesel and should be avoided."

Folks wonder why I seem so concerned, why not just let the borough try it out. If it doesn't work, move on and try something else. After all, what's the big deal?

I wonder how much it is going to cost to overhaul diesel truck engines, not to mention the downtime that the trucks are in the shop because of this "pilot program". Does it make sense to save a few dollars in order to risk a few thousand in replacement parts and labor? How will this downtime reduce the borough's effectiveness in responding to the next storm or similar incident? How many dollars is that worth saving? Why are taxpayers like me on the hook for financial risks that are completely avoidable? Perhaps the staff at DPW who take orders from the administration and have to live with this already knows...

Here is the current statewide biodiesel Request for Proposal (RFP). Look at section 3.2 on page 11 and supporting specification summary on page 13. Why would the state be so insistent on its biodiesel meeting ASTM International Specification D6751 - Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel? Perhaps Dumont officials should question the purchasing officials in Trenton why they are calling out this seemingly politically suspect technical specification.

Why does the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the independent body that certifies professionals in the automotive industry, say the same thing when it comes to biodiesel?

Let's be clear about this: I am for exploring alternative energy sources. I am for our borough taking a proactive stance against foreign energy dependence. I am for doing things the right way.

On the last day of the year, the last word on biodiesel does not come from me. Rather, I think the last word comes from the National Biodiesel Board, an industry group cited by Councilman Manna himself:

Biodiesel Basics Page

In Summary:
  • Raw vegetable oil cannot meet biodiesel fuel specifications per ASTM D6751;
  • Raw vegetable oil is not registered with the EPA;
  • Raw vegetable oil is not a legal motor fuel;
  • Raw vegetable oil cannot be called biodiesel;
  • Dumont cannot claim they are "making biodiesel".
Makes you wonder what "stuff" Dumont is collecting, filtering and pouring into municipal vehicle fuel tanks. If it is anything like this video, well let's just say I will leave that up to those qualified to speculate on the legality of this practice.

Agree? Disagree? Discuss online or write a letter.