Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teen Smoking

For some reason yesterday I got into a conversation about what appears to be a problem that is not going away anytime soon…that being the number of teen-agers who seem to be smoking. Then this morning I heard on our news that the Ritacco Center in Toms River will host more than a thousand sixth-graders from all over Ocean County today who pledge to not use tobacco. My question is with the growing cost of cigarettes what teen-ager could even afford to start this repulsive and dangerous lifestyle because choosing to smoke is a lifestyle choice.

If you follow the news then you know a 62-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax becomes law today and with state tax increases the average price of a pack of cigarettes in New Jersey will be in the $8.00 range and in some cases even higher. The federal tax increase is aimed at funding the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program but if studies are correct it should also serve as a deterrent to smokers. Every 10% increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 7% and overall cigarette consumption by about 4%.

If you want to assume the average teenager smokes a pack a day at let’s say $8 a day that’s $56 per week. I have a 17-year old daughter and I can tell you there is no way she could afford the habit because that’s about what I might give her during a week for food and gas. I don’t know if teenagers are working to support their cigarette habit or some have learned the art of “bumming butts” from friends but now would be the time to stop or better yet never start smoking.

It’s a habit I have never understood as smokers stink, often look awful, have a much better chance of being sick and even dying and now face the challenge of having to figure out how to pay for a pack of smokes. Seems the cool thing to do is give it up.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Random Thoughts For Monday

I miss the old Garden State Arts Center which used to be a great outdoor venue to watch concerts featuring big-name acts that appealed to a wide range of tastes in music. Adults could tailgate in the parking lot and it was a great way to spend a summer evening. The PNC Arts Center has become just another place in which it’s all about the money and the recent $6 per ticket parking fee is the latest add-on to the basic cost of a ticket. Of course we in New Jersey are accustomed to getting ripped-off so I guess this is really nothing new.

All you need to know about the impact of Tiger Woods is that I watched as much golf as college basketball Sunday and was glued to the TV for the late stages of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The amazing Mr. Woods drilled a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole in near-darkness to come from five shots back and win his first tournament since undergoing major knee surgery last June. I was on the phone with my brother for the last half-hour and for both of us it was the first time we’ve really paid attention to golf since Tiger won the US Open last summer.

It seems everyone is ripping Governor Corzine these days but I have not heard one reasonable solution for the financial crisis New Jersey is in. People scream about government spending too much but on the other side nobody wants cuts made that affect them and unfortunately to get out of this mess many are going to be impacted.

Organizers of a rally opposing the relicensing of the Oyster Creek Generating Station had to be very disappointed with the turnout Saturday at Huddy Park in downtown Toms River. Even though the weather was not great they had to expect much more than the 100 or so that might have come by during the afternoon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Staying Content In The Workplace

It is not always easy to keep your job in light of everything going on and for those that do they often find it more difficult than ever to be happy at work. Here are 10 tips from The Balance Team for staying content in the workplace:

preoccupied with personal issues, it’s difficult to concentrate
or be happy at work. Leave those problems at home so you can focus and be productive at work.
2. CREATE AN OFFICE NEST: Since you spend about 8 hours
at your job make your space your own and make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as you can be in your office.
a group of colleagues with similar backgrounds, interests and
lifestyles as it can remove a lot of pressure and stress.
will help both your energy and attitude.
5. BE ORGANIZED: Create a manageable schedule to handle your
workload….be proactive and take control.
6. MOVE AROUND: Especially if you tend to sit a lot on the job
try and find some time to get up and move a little as it’s important
to your overall sense of health and happiness.
other people’s actions affect you and just figure out a way to
resolve conflicts and avoid uncomfortable situations.
8. REWARD YOURSELF: Treat yourself from time to time to a
reward outside of your job whether it be a dinner, a pedicure or
9. TAKE A BREATHER: Stand with your feet together and your
arms at your sides. Inhale deeply, then exhale laughter and bend forward ten times.
10. FOCUS ON THE POSTIVE: Identify the things you like at work
and stress them, not the negative ones which may cause you to be overwhelmed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Charities: Bigger Need, Smaller Donations

This is not just a tough time for individuals and businesses as the struggling economy is having a major impact on charities and non-profits. While the demand for their services in many cases has never been greater most are dealing with dwindling resources to meet those needs. That’s why we at WOBM and Millennium Radio devote considerable air time to informing you of events and fundraisers that help the many organizations who are vital to our community. We encourage you to do what you can and remember there is no donation that is too small or insignificant.

Just to update you on two events that will take place this Friday evening:

The Jersey Shore Region of the American Cancer Society will present a Casino Night at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood during which they will salute deserving people and companies who have made a positive impact in the fight against cancer. Honored will be Tim Ryan of the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals as “Humanitarian of the Year”, Tom Hayes of New Jersey Natural Gas Company and Lacey Township Mayor Dave Most as “Volunteer of the Year” and Cowan, Gunteski and Company as the “Corporate Visionary.” For additional information you can contact the American Cancer Society at (732) 818-3517.

Brick Township P.B.A. Local 230 will hold its 20th annual “Helping Hands Benefit Basketball Game” in the East Gym at Brick Township High School (7:30pm). As they’ve in the past the purpose of the game is for the P.B.A. to assist a local family dealing with financial hardships due to a serious childhood illness. Members of the Brick Police Department will take on the Green Dragons Football Team to help the family of 3-year old Kelly Cogswell, who’s battling a cell disease which requires feeding through a tube and constant nursing care. Those who can’t attend Friday’s game but would like to help can mail a donation to the Brick Police Department or call
(732) 262-4708. For those who say there’s never a cop around when you need one, ask the families in Brick who have been helped over the years by the P.B.A. when they needed it the most.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Generational Differences

There are many who think the current state of affairs is a payback for the years of neglect we have given to everything from the way we live to the world we live in. The generation that grew up during the Great Depression knew what it was like to struggle and barely get by and how a treat like a piece of candy was something to be savored and appreciated. You flash forward to today and see a generation that too often expected the good things in life as what was due them and their families. Small treats like candy or a new pair of shoes were replaced by luxury items that were often unnecessary and unappreciated.

Some of us like to say that really all we wanted was a better life for our children but for too many the truth is we never learned had to say the word “no.” When kids turned 17 and got their drivers license it used to mean borrowing the family car or if you were lucky you were the owner of the quintessential first car……several years old with a lot of mileage. Today it’s not unusual for a 17-year old to get a brand new car as their first which makes you wonder what they have to aim for as they get older. Families would work all year to take a week’s vacation and go the beach or lake….now if you don’t get away every few months you complain about being trapped at home.

We’re responsible for a generation that not only laughs at hand-me-downs but also names they don’t recognize as being “with it” or chic. I’m not just talking about teen-agers but their parents….those in their 40’s and 50’s who could not imagine that what their parents lived through would ever happen again.

However the one lesson we should have learned is that history has a way of repeating itself and it is right now. Hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes but if I were a betting man I’d bet against that.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Colts Neck's JT: From TR North To The Izod Center

I don’t really remember John Truhan from his playing days as a point guard on the Toms River North basketball team. It was much later that I would learn he was on the court when Southern’s Steve Lally hit a buzzer-beating desperation shot to win the 1985 WOBM Christmas Classic. Once we became friends I would even kid Truhan that if he was covering Lally like he should have it would have been the Mariners who won the championship.

While Truhan might have missed out on that title as a player he has more then made up for that with his success as a Girls Basketball coach, first at Toms River South and now at Colts Neck. Tonight his Cougars meet St. John Vianney in the Tournament of Champions final at the Izod Center and it’s a moment “JT” has been working for his entire career.

That diminutive guard with an afro who graduated high school 23 years ago has become one of the state’s best coaches and his record bears that out.
In five seasons at TR South he won three “Class A South” titles and in 2001 his Indians claimed the Central Jersey Group 3 championship before losing in the overall Group 3 final. South tied a school record for victories with back-to-back 22-win seasons during Truhan’s tenure.

That was only a preview of things to come as there’s been even greater success in his six seasons at Colts Neck. The Cougars have won three division titles and in 2008 became the first public school in 19 years to claim the Shore Conference Championship. After losing twice in the sectional finals Colts Neck claimed the overall Group 4 crown this month and have beaten Rumson and defending champion Malcolm X. Shabazz to reach tonight’s TOC Final with a school-record 29 victories.

Truhan’s overall coaching record of 222-70 is especially impressive when you consider he has built winning programs at two different public schools.
Tonight with a starting lineup of five juniors he goes after the ultimate prize in New Jersey and I’m among the many rooting for him. Included in that group will be his wife Kim, daughter Kristy and son John Jr. Win or lose they’ll be waiting for him when the long season comes to an end.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Email Lessons

One of the downsides about emails is you’ll get your fair share of ones that are like chain letters and contain information that allegedly is important and informative. If one I just received is correct these emails have also screwed us all up because:

* I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.
* I can’t put lemon slices in my water without worrying about
the bacteria on the lemon peel.
* I can’t use the remote in a hotel room because I don’t know what the
last person was doing while flipping through the channels.
* Nor can I sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can only imagine
what has happened on it since it was last washed.
* I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving
because the #1 pastime which driving alone is picking your nose.
* I can’t touch any woman’s purse for fear she has placed it on the floor
of a public bathroom.
* I no longer have any savings because I gave it to the sick girl (Penny
Brown) who is about the die in the hospital for the millionth time.
* However I will be getting money once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special email program.
* I no longer worry about my soul because I have 300,000 angels looking out for me and St. Theresa’s novena has granted me every wish.
* Thanks to everyone I have learned that my prayers only get answered if
I forward an e-mail to 7 of my friends and make a wish within 5 minutes.
* Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
* I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
* I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Uganda, Singapore
And Uzbekistan.
* If you don’t send this email to at least 14,000 people in the next 14 minutes the fleas from 1,000 camels will infest your back causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness Bracket Help

It’s almost impossible to ignore all the signs that there is a major sporting event that begins today. Radio & TV talk endlessly about it, using such terms as “March Madness”, “Bracketology”, “Sweet 16”, “Elite 8” and “Final Four.” In the sports section of newspapers you will find almost daily this sometimes full page devoted to a funny looking thing with lines, numbers and names like Radford, Robert Morris, Chattanooga and Binghamton…isn’t that the former home of Billy Martin, Rod Serling and rocker Steve Perry? The answer is yes but for the purpose of today’s discussion that thing I’m talking about is called a bracket sheet and it’s where you’ll find Binghamton playing Duke in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

That’s one of 16 games being played today at sites around the country and there will be another 16 played tomorrow. Much like the Super Bowl a large part of the interest and excitement surrounding this event centers around office pools. Some of those will give you teams in a random selection while others are more complicated and require some work and a lot of luck. This is where I’m here to help you at the last moment as you only have a little while longer to turn in your bracket sheet and pick 63 winners, including a National Champion.

The key to doing well in these pools is picking the right upsets because there will certainly be a few of them, especially during the first two rounds of the tournament. If you look at the name of the schools on your bracket sheet you’ll see a number next to them between 1 and 16 and that’s their seed or rank in the region they are playing in. The lower the number the more highly regarded they are and you would not be alone if you picked all the #1 seeds….Louisville, Connecticut, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.

I’d like to pass myself off as an expert but frankly my track record is not very impressive. However for what it’s worth I’m picking North Carolina to win…well that’s in one pool. In others I have selected Memphis and Michigan State and I can also make a case for Villanova and Florida State to go far and I’m looking for early upset wins by Western Kentucky and Utah State. Actually the biggest upset would be if I won a pool

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fast Food Frustration

Last week I made my annual visit to Karen Tramontano’s 5th grade classroom at Berkeley Township Elementary School as part of their Celebrity Reader program. It was my last appearance with her as the teacher as she’s retiring at the end of the year but I vowed to continue to be part of the program after negotiating a cup of coffee in future visits. Anyway Mrs. Trammontano asked about how I come up with topics for the Hometown View each day and what do I do when there’s a morning in which I really have nothing. Today is that day although I’m going to fall back on something I discussed with the 5th graders, who were pretty sharp.

I don’t even remember how it came up but I talked about the frustration of
drive-thru restaurants and also ordering take out food in which it seems more likely you will NOT get exactly what you wanted. There’s no reason to name names but why is it so difficult to get everything you ordered. It really becomes a problem if you ask for something like no pickles on your cheeseburger…as a matter of fact there’s a decent chance you won’t even get cheese on your cheeseburger. Also is it me or does it seem like at least half the time you have to ask for napkins. Maybe that’s just a way to save money in these troubled economic times.

Incorrect orders are certainly not limited to fast food places and I’ve been a victim plenty of times to the screwed-up pick up order. Usually I discover this AFTER I have brought the food home and then my wife rips me for not checking the order. I just can’t bring myself to going through the bag to check and see if there is salad dressing…or even the salad that we ordered.
I guess I have too much faith in the people you do business with but I admit
that it’s almost a must to check before heading home. The worst is when you’re missing something significant, like the main part of the meal and you call the restaurant in which they casually tell you to come back. However it’s 15 minutes away, there’s traffic and you just can’t get in the car so you suffer…or simply don’t eat what you really wanted.

Well I see my time is up and I made it through another day. As for tomorrow….no problem as I will help you with your NCAA Basketball bracket. If you don’t know what that is…please listen anyway.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What It Means To Be Irish

Today of course is Saint Patrick’s Day which used to be among my favorite days of the year. Of course that was a time when the biggest decision might have been whether to spend the day at Klee’s or Kelly’s….with a designated driver of course. However I’ll be working today and will not be able to toast the patron saint of Ireland who died on this day, around 460 A.D. As I have done in the past I offer this little ditty on what being Irish really means and there’s probably more truth than blarney in this.


• You will never play pro basketball.
• You swear very well.
• At least one of your cousin’s holds political office.
• You think you sing very well.
• You have no idea how to make a long story short.
• You are very good at playing a lot of very bad golf.
• There isn’t a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone.
• Much of your food was boiled.
• You have never hit your head on the ceiling.
• You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling.
• You’re strangely poetic after a few beers.
• You’re therefore, poetic a lot.
• You will be punched for no good reason…a lot.
• Some of those punches are legacies from past generations.
• Your sister will punch you because your brother punched her.
• Many of your sisters are Catherine, Elizabeth or Mary, and one might be Mary Catherine Elizabeth.
• You don’t know the words, but that does not stop you from singing.
• You can’t wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start.
• “Irish Stew” is the euphemism for “boiled leftovers from the fridge.”
• You’re not nearly as funny as you think you are, but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.
• There wasn’t a huge difference between your last wake and your last keg party.
• You are, or know someone named “Murph. If you don’t know Murph, then you know Mac, if you don’t know Murph or Mac, then you certainly know Sully.
• You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.
• Your parents were on a first name basic with everyone at the hospital
Emergency room.
• And last but not least…Being Irish means your attention span is so
short that….oh, forget it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Last Monday Of Winter

Random thoughts on the final Monday of winter…doesn’t that have a nice sound to it:

Saturday’s record-breaking crowd for the Ocean County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Seaside Heights was certainly a boost to the local economy. Traffic on the Garden State Parkway and Route 37 was reminiscent of a busy summer weekend and tourism officials can only help that it’s a sign of good things to come. The 25th annual parade has grown from a relatively small event to an off-season highlight and much of the credit has to go to John and Pat Sweeney, who were the driving force behind the celebration.

This was a busy weekend at the Ritacco Center in Toms River where many of New Jersey’s best basketball teams were on display in State Group Championship games. Highly-regarded St. Patrick of Jersey City was among the teams to play on Saturday and that brought out Big East coaches Bob Huggins of West Virginia, Mike Brey of Notre Dame and Rutgers’ Fred Hill to take a look at the talent. It was a very good weekend for girl’s teams from Monmouth County with St. John Vianney, Colts Neck and Rumson among the six teams to win State Titles and advance to the Tournament of Champions. Neptune almost made it four but the Scarlet Fliers dream of a perfect season ended with a loss to Malcolm X. Shabazz in a scintillating Group 3 Final. However all was not loss to Neptune as later in the day the Boys team claimed a State Championship with a win at Rutgers. The Ritacco Center will host Tournament of Champions action Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening.

The Central Regional Alumni Association will host a Golf Tournament on Thursday, April 16th at Cedar Creek Golf Course. The day-long event begins with breakfast and their will be a 9am shotgun start and after players are done for the team they will head to Yesterday’s on Route 9 in Bayville for a buffet luncheon.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How Things Have Changed In 53 Years

This is another one of those things that ended up in my email and it got my attention because it’s the kind of things you might have heard in 1956 which is the year I was born. That’s only 53 years ago but my of my have times have changed:

• I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are it will be impossible to by a week’s groceries for $20.00
• Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2000 will only get you a used one.
• If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.
• Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?
• If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.
• When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would cost 29 cents a gallon? Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage.
• Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.
• I read the other day where some scientist thinks it’s possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century.
• Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday baseball players will be making more than the President of the US.
• I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.
• It’s too bad things are so tough…I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.
• It won’t be long before some young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.
• The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather but I doubt they will ever catch on.
• There is no sense going for a weekend, it costs $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Having A Female Doctor

One of the things I’ve talked about on numerous occasions is how men and women are really different and it drives me crazy that so many people can’t seem to understand that. We are not just different in physical appearance but in the way we think and act about everything and anything….its what separates the sexes.

Let me give you one example because it involves me personally. I happen to have a female as my primary care physician which surprises many people when I mention this. Of course it’s common for women to have male doctors but it seems that it’s a small percentage of men who would choose to have a woman. I have to assume that there are many more male doctors and for a long time women did not have much choice whether it be for their family doctor or their Gynecologist. Even so females in most cases seem very comfortable having a male for their doctor.

However we men are a different breed and a large number of us would never consider having a woman as our regular physician. I was pretty much in that category until a few years ago when for insurance reasons I had to select a primary care physician. I didn’t have one as I would only go the doctor when I was sick, which was not often and in those cases I would use one of those neighborhood medical centers. Anyway I had no choice but to select from a group of doctors in my insurance plan and when I called one who had been recommended to me it turned out they were not accepting new patients.
They did give me the name of a doctor who was nearby and sure enough she was in my plan. She was the initial problem…at least for me. I had never gone to a female doctor and the thought did not sit well until I mentioned it to my wife Jane. I was consumed by the thought of having to bare it all in front of my new doc which she laughed at then reminded me her longtime Gynecologist was indeed a man who had seen everything.

So it was that about five years that Rebecca Rudd became my doctor and I have to admit that I really like her although I’m not yet 100% comfortable,
which is my shortcoming not hers. It’s still funny that when I mention this to male friends they often express shock that I go to a woman for my regular check-ups. But as I tell them there is an upside….she has very thin fingers.
Do I need to say anything else?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade

A sure sign that spring is on the way is the Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade and hopefully the weather will cooperate for this Saturday’s march through Seaside Heights. This is the 25th anniversary of what’s become a terrific event that is enjoyed by young and old alike. Parade organizers are hopeful that the silver anniversary will result in a larger than normal turnout as some 75,000 people attended last year and they expect as many as 100,000 to come out this weekend.

While the focus of the parade is fun and celebrating the Irish heritage of many who live at the Jersey Shore, there will be a somewhat serious side
and that is to help re-stock the badly depleted Food Banks in our area. With that in mind Saturday’s parade will also serve as a giant food drive and officials are asking everyone to bring just one nonperishable food item to the parade. Members of the Monmouth and Ocean County Building Trades and Monmouth-Ocean AFL-CIO Labor Council along with teamsters will man numerous drop-off containers that will be placed along the parade route. This will be done during the morning and collection will take place just before the parade steps off at noon. Organizations, including schools, churches and others can aid this effort by holding their own collections and them bringing everything to the parade on Saturday. All the food collected will be distributed to a number of area food banks, all of which have been receiving more requests than ever for help during these difficult economic times.

The parade itself will of course feature Bands, Floats, Bagpipers, Mummers, Leprechauns and marchers from all over the state and region. As one who attended the first one and most of the others it’s great to see how it’s grown over the years. It’s not just a great day for the Irish but for everyone who attends and hopefully many will indeed answer the call and help our area food banks as well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shore Conference Wrestling Results

A sensational year for Shore Conference High School wrestling ended
in Atlantic City Sunday with six individual state champions and a host of other place winners. Heading up the local contingent were 119-pounder Vinnie DellaFave of Toms River East and Manchester heavyweight Jimmy Lawson, who made it back-to-back state championships. For DellaFave he ends his high school career with a 145-7 record and now takes his talents to Rutgers University. Lawson meanwhile has another season at Manchester which is bad news to all the other big guys in New Jersey plus he’s a major force on the football field as well.

Football is of course the future for Southern Regional’s Glenn Carson who is headed to Penn State on a full scholarship to play linebacker. But there was this unfinished business on the wrestling mat for Carson who lost in the finals as both a sophomore and junior. He exercised that demon by winning the 215-pound championship Sunday and now heads to Happy Valley a happy warrior.

Brick Memorial won a state Group 4 Championship last month and ended a very successful season by having two state champions. Steve Santos claimed the 152-pound title to finish a perfect 43-0 season and later cheered on teammate Mike Morales, who like he did in the districts and regions faced Point Boro’s Jordan Beverly in an all-Ocean County 130-pound final.
Beverly won the first meeting but Morales captured the next two, including
a 5-4 decision yesterday as the junior claims a state title.

It was a fitting conclusion to a magical season for Long Branch that Green Wave junior 160-pounder Nick Visicaro would rally for a 7-6 victory and claim the school’s first individual state championship since 1986. Earlier in the day Long Branch was introduced as the #1 ranked team in the state and their fiery coach Danny George was named the New Jersey Coach-of-the-Year.

Not only did the shore area produce six of the 14 state champions but 3rd place finishes went to Mark Maestry of TR South, Raritan’s Dan Seidenberg, Southern’s Frank Miele and Brian Broderick and Scott Festtejo, Jon Robertson and Bill George of Long Branch. All told 26 of the 42 wrestlers who made it to Atlantic City ended up as medal winners…quite an impressive performance.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Garage: Not Just For Cars Anymore

There was probably a time when the garage was simply a place to park your car. However for many the only thing that doesn’t spend any time in the garage is a car because it’s become a place to store things, hang out in and work on projects. The subject of this month’s “The Average Guy” in Men’s Health magazine is Garage logic….which probably is not very logical to begin with. Anyway here are some of the findings:

• 1 in 6 men say the garage is their favorite home hangout.
• About 40% say they’ve had sex in their garage which might
explain why some many says it’s their favorite place.
• 1 in 3 men still hang pinups of models or celebrities in their
garage….I have hats of some of my favorite sports teams.
• 1 in 5 men who played in garage bands when they were teen-
agers still rock the house even though they are past the age of
• 31% of men say their garage is very organized while 68% say
there is no way they could fit a car inside even if they tried.
By the way, 44% have tried to get the car inside and failed.
• 40% of men keep beer in their garage and about 2 in 7 say they
could survive a marital spat for a few days and live in theirs
because they have a TV, fridge and other amenities.
• Their were more than 2,800 men who were injured by garage
doors in 2007 which is pretty scary when you think about it.
• 20% of us have had to battle a squirrel who wanted to make the
garage their home.
• 21% of home buyers will have a three-car garage in their next

And you thought the garage was simply a place for your car.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday Mixed Bag

A little of this and a little of that this morning:

Congratulations to the Berkeley Little League for being selected by the Positive Coaching Alliance as a winner of the Honoring the Game Award.
They were one of three organizations from around the country chosen for the award with the others being from Illinois & Hawaii. Under President Bob Everett the Berkeley Little League has taken the lead in stressing the importance of knowing what the priorities should be when it comes to the youth sports experience. They and the other winners will be honored at Stanford University on April 24th during the 8th annual National Youth Sports Awards dinner hosted by Positive Coaching Alliance.

Meanwhile the little league will hold a Texas Hold’em Charity Poker Tournament this Saturday at the Bayville Elks Lodge which they hope will be the final fundraiser to complete the new Volunteer Community Center at their Moorage Avenue baseball complex. Their will be a $2500 grand prize plus many other prizes. For information you can visit their web site at www.berkeleylittleleague.org.

The Brick Memorial Girls Basketball team won back-to-back NJISIAA Tournament games the last two nights which in itself is noteworthy. The Mustangs had never won a state playoff game before Tuesday’s win over Sayreville and they came back last night to beat Class A South co-champion Jackson Memorial. That victory puts them in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals against Montgomery Friday evening. Coach Rayna Post’s team also does good things off the court as last month they raised almost $1000 for the American Cancer Society in a game against the Jaguars. The team wore pink “Teaming Up to Defeat Cancer” shirts that were donated by Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick, a former Lakewood BlueClaw.

The Jackson Memorial High School Athletic Department will hold their Winter Sports Awards Night on Monday, March 23rd in the Fine Arts Auditorium during which Scott Goodale will be inducted into the high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the head wrestling coach at Rutgers University and before that was the Jaguars highly successful wrestling coach and an assistant football coach. A 1990 Jackson graduate, Goodale earned 10 varsity letters in football, wrestling and golf during his high school days.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Jersey's Best Coaches

I’ve always felt that I could hold my own in a conversation about high school football, basketball and baseball whether it is with a coach or a fan.
However when it comes to wrestling I will admit to being lost when it comes to the intricacies of a sport that is brutal and raw and the ultimate test of man versus man. What I can tell you with supreme confidence is the shore area is loaded with top teams, great individuals and probably the best group of coaches you will find anywhere in New Jersey.

Long Branch has finished the season as the top ranked team in the New Jersey Wrestling Coaches Association poll. The Green Wave join Jackson Memorial and Brick Memorial as the only shore teams to be ranked #1 in the final poll of the season. Long Branch went 26-1 and among their accomplishments claimed the Shore Conference and NJISAA Group 2 titles. Proving how tough the shore area is Brick Memorial, Southern and Jackson Memorial all finished in the state’s top ten.

From an individual standpoint 42 wrestlers will represent the shore at the state championships in Atlantic City this weekend and quite a few of them rate the role of serious title contenders. That group includes returning state champions Vinnie DelleFave of Toms River East and Jimmy Lawson of Manchester. Steve Santos of Brick Memorial and Southern Regional’s Glenn Carson lost in the finals last March and are good bets to go all the way this time around. Throw in wrestlers like Mike Morales of Brick Memorial, Dan Seidenberg of Raritan, Jon Robertson & Omar Akel of Long Branch and a host of others and its easy why some experts think as many as half of the champions crowned in Atlantic City on Saturday could be from Ocean and Monmouth County.

Ask those who have followed the sport for a long time and they will tell you the reason for all this success is the number of outstanding coaches who roam the mats. Danny George of Long Branch, Dan O’Cone from Brick Memorial, John Stout from Southern, Toms River East’s legendary Warren Reid, Ocean’s Ken Hoff, John Gagliano of Howell, Chris Madigan of Toms River North, Rob Nucci of Raritan and Central’s Mike Bischoff to name just a few. Plus the list of assistant coaches is every bit as impressive.

It all adds up to great wrestling and it’s right here every winter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Praise For The Ritacco Center

Last week the Poland Spring Arena at the Ritacco Center hosted the Shore Conference Basketball Tournament and the Region 6 Wrestling championships which resulted in the building being busy every night from Monday thru Saturday. As if that wasn’t ambitious enough Saturday saw
A couple of thousand wrestling fans leave after the Region finals around 5:30pm and another couple of thousand plus come in for the Boys basketball championship 90 minutes later. What makes hosting events like these as well as a Wedding Show last Sunday and International Chefs Night Out tonight so amazing is that after each one crews get the gym set up for physical education classes the following day.

Clearly the Ritacco Center along with the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex (also known as the Bubble) have become the two most popular locations in New Jersey for high school sports during the winter. Not only has that been a boost for the school districts and its sports teams but it’s time someone recognized what it’s also done for the Toms River community.

At a time when businesses are struggling hundreds and often thousands of people make trips from around the state in the dead of winter to watch young athletes compete in Indoor track, wrestling and basketball in Toms River. Many will frequent local restaurants and other retail outlets while in the area and pump money into the local economy which is a high benefit often overlooked. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Toms River Regional Schools have nurtured a relationship that benefits both sides and includes the three Toms River high schools hosting state baseball and softball championships games in June which sends more visitors to Exit 82 on the Parkway.

The Toms River Board and Education and Superintendent Michael J. Ritacco deserve credit for having the vision behind this project but it takes dedicated and hard working people to pull it off and the school district certainly has that. I watched last week the group effort it takes from set up to selling tickets and it’s done smoothly and professionally. By the way as busy as last week was there is plenty more to come. The NJSIAA Basketball Championships come to the Ritacco Center in less than two weeks for five nights of games.