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Garrett Gazette - April 23, 2007

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Garrett Gazette - April 23, 2007

Dear Friends:

This weekend, I toured some of the flood damage in Bergen County. Accompanied by local elected officials, police and fire chiefs, and emergency management officers, I visited communities in New Milford, Rochelle Park, and River Edge. And, as the rivers begin to recede to pre-flood levels, there is little doubt that the damage is severe.

I have joined with all of my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation to ask the President to declare parts of New Jersey a federal disaster area. These letters echo the official requests by Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey. I have also written to FEMA to encourage them to make assessments and disaster declaration recommendations as swiftly as possible.

FEMA is continuing to work with local emergency management offices to assess the damage from last week's nor'easter. FEMA had Preliminary Disaster Assessment Teams and resources such as generators pre-positioned in New Jersey before the storm to facilitate quick assessment. I am hopeful that actual aid will be available to residents, municipalities, and businesses soon.

As soon as the preliminary assessments are completed, the President will be able to determine if the threshold for a federal disaster declaration has been met. Once such a declaration is made, FEMA will set up regional disaster recovery centers at which citizens will be able to apply for relief. As soon as more information becomes available, I will be certain to get the word out. In the meantime, if you would like to get an idea of what may be available, you may want to visit

Furthermore, you may be interested to know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the deadline for tax filings for those directly impacted by the storm. The IRS initially extended the deadline by 48 hours, but it then extended the deadline a second time to Thursday, April 26th. For more information on this extension, visit the IRS' website,,,id=169543,00.html.


Scott Garrett

Member of Congress


Last week, Congressman Scott Garrett lead the New Jersey delegation in writing U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson and NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner Colonel Stephen Abel to request funding for the Paramus Veterans Home's much-needed dayroom expansion project.

A long-time supporter of the Paramus Veterans Home, last year, Congressman Garrett successfully secured federal financial assistance for critical fire safety improvements at the Home. This year, the expansion of their dayroom is the top priority for the Home's residents and for the state veterans community.

The dayroom is the focal point for living at the Home. It is where residents meet with family and friends, where special events are held, and where everyday activities are conducted. Beyond the caring staff at the Home, it is the dayroom more than any other aspect of the facility that makes it a home and not an institution.

The State of New Jersey has committed its support to the dayroom renovations in the past, and the delegation letter to the NJDMAVA asked for their renewed support. The U.S. DVA ranked this project 63rd amongst veterans homes projects last year, and the delegation letter to Secretary Nicholson urged that the project get a higher priority this year.


(From The Congressional Record)

I rise today to honor Matthew La Porte of Dumont, New Jersey who was tragically lost during the events at Virginia Tech on Monday, April 16, 2007.

Matt was a sophomore at Virginia Tech and had already made quite a mark on campus. He was awarded a ROTC scholarship, was a member of the Corps of Cadets, played tenor drum in the Corps' "Highty Tighties" regimental band, and was part of the Air Force Special Operations Preparation Team.

Before he began his education in Blacksburg, Matt graduated third in his class from Carson Long Military Institute in Pennsylvania . Aside from being an avid scholar, Matt was involved in numerous extracurriculars that ranged from drum and bugle corps to the baseball and soccer teams.

At home in New Jersey, Matt worked as a lifeguard at the Cresskill Municipal Pool during the summer and is remembered by neighbors as a polite and humorous young man.

I offer my deepest condolences to his parents, Barbara and Joseph La Porte, and his sister, Priscilla, and assure them that they are being remembered in our thoughts and prayers as we celebrate the impressive life of their son and brother, Matthew La Porte.

Please keep the La Porte family and all the families and friends of those lost at Virginia Tech in your thoughts and prayers.


Congressman Garrett's staff will be holding Mobile Constituent Service Hours in a number of Fifth District towns this week. The Congressman's Constituent Service Officers are trained to act as your liaisons with Federal agencies. But, it's not always easy to make it out to one of the Congressman's district offices - in Paramus and Newton - to meet with one of them, especially when you are dealing with government red tape. These Mobile Constituent Service Hours sessions bring the Congressman's office to you. So, if you are having trouble with a Federal program, such as Medicare, veterans benefits, Social Security, or more, please feel free to come by. And, please bring copies of any relevant paperwork with you to facilitate their work.

Given the serious flooding, please contact my office before you head over to one of my Mobile Constituent Service Hours as many libraries and borough halls are closed.

Tuesday, April 24th


9:00 am to 11:00 am
Senior Center, 21 Church Street

Tuesday, April 24th


9:30 am to 11:30 am
Borough Hall, 118 Serpentine Road

Tuesday, April 24th

Harrington Park

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Borough Hall, 85 Harriot Avenue

Wednesday, April 25th


10:00 am to noon
Borough Hall, 63 Franklin Turnpike

Wednesday, April 25th

Saddle River

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Borough Hall, 100 East Allendale Road

Thursday, April 26th


10:00 am to noon
Borough Hall, One Municipal Plaza

Thursday, April 26th

Washington (Warren County)

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Chamber of Commerce, 10 Brass Castle Road

And, starting Wednesday, May 2nd, Congressman Garrett's Mobile Constituent Service Hours will be in Emerson too:

Date: first Wednesday of each month

Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Where: Emerson Borough Hall, 1 Municipal Place Emerson

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