Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Potpourri

Tuesday night’s meeting of the Toms River Board of Education featured the swearing-in of new members Jack Reuther and Gus Kakavas as well as the honoring of many students in the district for outstanding achievements in many different capacities. I had the pleasure of representing WOBM and Millennium Radio Group and presenting a $7500 donation to Superintendent Michael J. Ritacco and the school board from the 25th annual WOBM Christmas Classic. We are partners with the school district in the Boys & Girls basketball tournament which is held at the Ritacco Center over a 7-day period in late December. Millennium Radio President/CEO Bill Saurer was out of town and could not attend the meeting and join in the presentation but
said he looks forward to working with Superintendent Ritacco and the school district for years to come.

If rumors were correct than tonight’s Board of Education meeting in Brick was to be a wild affair but that may no longer be the case. The Board was expected to take action on the hiring of a new football coach at Brick Township High School but that was been put on hold because the school budget was voted down last week and no hirings will take place until a budget is in place. I had reported a couple of weeks ago that the next coach would be Patrick Dowling, who is currently at Allentown and before that coached at Monroe. Since that time I have received numerous calls from parents and others who said they would attend the meeting tonight to express their displeasure over the board not selecting someone with ties to former coach Warren Wolf and the Brick program. The agenda for tonight’s meeting at Lake Riviera Middle School makes no mention of a hiring but I would imagine there will be those from the public who will want to speak on the issue of the next coach for the Green Dragons.

The band Hometown Roll joined forces with Bum Rogers Tavern in South Seaside Park on a very successful fundraiser last Saturday for Oceans of Love and when all was said and done $2700 was raised for the organization which supports children with cancer and their families in Ocean County.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Quick Hitters

A bunch of quick hitters on a Tuesday morning that’s supposed the mark the end of an unusual early season heat wave:

Steve D’Onofrio certainly knows the meaning of the word “challenging” as it sums up his last few years as owner of the Sawmill Café on the boardwalk in Seaside Park. The landmark bar and restaurant suffered what’s being called “moderate” damage during a fire Sunday night and D’Onofrio is already working to have the Sawmill rebuilt and repaired where necessary to be open for Memorial Day weekend. He has owned the popular boardwalk establishment since it opened in the summer of 1977 but over the last few years has battled with Seaside Park officials who have put strict restrictions on his liquor license. D’Onofrio vows to be ready for his 32nd summer and those who love the Sawmill’s large slices of pizza have that to look forward to.

If you’ve followed Toms River High School North football over the years you have no doubt met or noticed Paul “Ace” Cassidy. He could be seen on the sidelines doing just about anything from handing out a water bottle to helping with equipment. He loved the Mariners and especially enjoyed the last couple of years with his grandson on the team. “Ace” died over the weekend at age 83 and a small part of Mariner football went with him….here’s hoping his heaven is filled with blue and gold.

With every departure comes an arrival so congratulations to Kevin and Jackie Bernick on the birth of their first child. Kamryn Susan Bernick arrived yesterday at a healthy 5 lbs, 8 ounces and mother and baby are doing fine. Jackie’s father is my good friend Jim Hibbs, a teacher at Toms River South. We exchanged text messages yesterday and I realized he never told me if it was a boy or girl and when I finally asked he responded with
“Come on Kevin…we only do girls.” Jim and his wife Susan have three daughters and their first two grandchildren are of course….girls.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shore Conference Players Make History

The annual selection of college football players by NFL teams took place this weekend at Radio City Music Hall and more than any other year before it had meaning to local football fans, and I’m not talking about those who root for the Giants, Jets or Eagles. On Saturday for the first time ever two former Shore Conference players were selected in the first round in the same year and the fact they played Pop Warner football together in Atlantic Highlands makes the story more compelling.

Former Middletown South and University of Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno was chosen with the 12th overall pick by the Denver Broncos. It’s the highest-ever selection of a player from a high school in Monmouth or Ocean County. Among those with Moreno when he got the call from the Broncos were his high school coach Steve Antonucci, who has been directly involved in the process since Knowshon announced he was turning pro. Ex-Red Bank Catholic and Connecticut star running back Donald Brown was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 27th overall pick and by his side on draft day was his former high school coach Frank Edgerly.

Day Two of the draft Sunday saw the first player in Monmouth University history selected when the Miami Dolphins picked tight end John Nalbone in the 5th round. He’ll try and become the second former Hawks player to make it in the NFL as Cowboys receiver Miles Austin was an undrafted free agent three years ago and just signed a new contract with Dallas.

Speaking of undrafted free agents that would describe former Manchester Township High School linebacker Kevin Malast who will try and earn a spot with the Chicago Bears. Malast selected the Bears over the St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots Sunday night after the draft concluded. A school-record five of his Rutgers University teammates were drafted over the weekend, including wide receiver Kenny Britt who was chosen in the first round by Tennessee. Among the other Scarlet Knights selected were quarterback Mike Teel on the 6th round by Seattle.

All in all quite a weekend for shore football.

Friday, April 24, 2009

25 Ways To Add To Your LIfe

Men’s Health has put out a list of ways men can add years to your life and while time will not allow for all of them I give you 25 rather simple tips than can help us dodge the Grim Reaper:

1. Drink at least five 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
2. Don’t go to work sick.
3. Put out the fire in your chest as untreated heartburn can lead
to a heart attack.
4. Take a magnesium supplement.
5. Exercise enough to burn at least 1,100 calories a week.
6. Take a Daily Multivitamin.
7. Set a limit of 3-drinks when you go out.
8. When you need to go to the hospital don’t be a tough guy and
drive yourself….walk-in patients wait almost twice as long as
those who arrive by ambulance.
9. Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal.
10. Monitor your Blood Sugar.
11. Think positive…constant worrying shortens your life span by 16
12. Keep your cool…those with anger-management issues are more
than twice as likely to have a stroke.
13. Have Breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up in the morning.
14. Eat Berries.
15. Sleep on your side.
16. Live life in a smoke-free zone….secondhand smoke raises your
Diabetes risk by 40% and also boosts your risk of lung cancer.
17. Check your smoke alarms.
18. Sip on Mint Tea.
19. Find time to exercise and do it outside as often as possible.
20. Cut out the sweet stuff.
21. Stash a cinnamon air freshener in your car.
22. Try and take a 30-minute nap in the middle of your day.
23. Enjoy your coffee…it can lower your risk of dying of heart disease
by 53%.
24. If you feel you are going to fall try and let your butt hit first.
25. Don’t jaywalk….77% of pedestrians killed while crossing the road
are not at intersections.

(No Hometown View on 4/23/09)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Budget Pass...And Fail.

School budgets fared pretty well in Ocean County Tuesday with 22 of 29 districts giving the nod to proposed spending plans….those rejected were Brick, Berkeley, Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Seaside Heights and the Central Regional School Districts. Toms River Regional District voters approved the budget by a 2-to-1 margin, a resounding victory for Superintendent Michael J. Ritacco and the Board of Education while in Lakewood voters said “no” by a better than 5-to-1 margin.. Only 48,283 of nearly 369,000 eligible voters in Ocean County cast ballots, that’s just 13.5%. Proving that every vote counts Pinelands Regional passed its budget by 30 votes, Jackson voters approved their first budget in seven years by 123 votes and Brick’s spending proposal was defeated by just 48 votes out of more than 4,600 cast.

A couple of upcoming events to make you aware of:

The Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce will hold a Business After Hours/Networking Event at Anthony’s Café on Main Street in Toms River tomorrow from 5-7pm. The get together is open to both members and non-members and for more information you can call the Chamber office at
(732) 349-0220.

A final reminder for Sunday’s Hometown Heroes Fundraising event at Hemingway’s in Seaside Heights for the benefit of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County. This year’s honoree will be Sue Sedivec, the Executive Director of the community and school-based mentoring program. Sunday’s event runs from 3-6pm and will feature great food, live music, door prizes and a gift auction with all the proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County. Tickets are $25 and you can call BBBSOC at (732) 905-5349 for tickets and more information.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

School Board Elections

Most of you who are eligible to vote in today’s school board elections won’t bother. Last year just over 16% of the registered voters in Ocean County cast a ballot, meaning almost 84% did not participate in the process to vote on proposed school budgets and select candidates to serve on local and regional boards of education. Those numbers will probably be about the same today in Ocean County and throughout the state despite all the attention paid to education and the dollar figures associated with it. The reasons for this are apathy, frustration, ignorance, laziness…you get the picture.

Nothing I or anyone else says is really going to motivate those 84% who won’t be voting today but I would like to congratulate the relatively small percentage of you who will find the time and head to the polls where you probably won’t have to wait very long. By now I hope you have spent a couple of minutes looking at the budgets and those asking for your support to serve in the often unappreciated position of school board member.

School Districts are working harder than ever to present lean, no-frills spending plans, most of them even coming in under the cap. The general public may look at the whole number as being excessive but keep in mind most of those costs are built in and non-negotiable, including teacher salaries, transportation, maintenance, books and supplies. Districts that are under the cap should be applauded and are deserving of voter support, even if you don’t like the formula in New Jersey whereby our property taxes fund education. That’s an argument for a different day.

As for those who want to serve on the Board of Education, it should not be just about the spending of your tax dollar. For me it’s always been about those who will best balance what’s in the interests of the students and staff as well as the taxpayer. That is especially important today with all the talk about consolidation of school districts…you want representatives with the background to navigate through what surely will be challenging times.
Schools are a source of pride in the community and I’m happy to be among the 16% who will vote today and do what I think is best to keep if that way.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday morning quick hitters

The Major League Baseball season is only a couple of weeks old but here’s a quick assessment of our local teams. The Mets still don’t hit when they have runners in scoring position, the Yankees pitching has been disappointing and the new stadium is a home run haven and the Phillies have to be worried about ace Cole Hamels and their pitching staff. By the way there are 150 games left to play.

Sunday was quite a day for Monmouth University senior baseball player Mike Casale. The Toms River North graduate had a career-high four hits, including his first two home runs of the season and drove in a career-high 8 runs in the Hawks 15-6 win over Wagner. Casale is the son of Central Regional High School Athletic Director Vince Casale who I’m sure is one proud father.

Ocean County College women’s softball coach Ilene Cohen collected her 350th career victory as the Vikings split a doubleheader with Sussex County Community College. Cohen coached at Middlesex for many years before coming to OCC where she is in her 7th season.

The Jackson Memorial High School baseball team concluded an impressive weekend with an 11-0 six-inning win over Cranford Sunday in the Roselle Park Tournament. Kevin Matthews allowed just three hits for the 8-0 Jaguars who on Saturday topped Class A South favorite Toms River North
behind Kevin Needham. Coach Frank Malta has the Jaguars playing very well.

How about a little love for the Toms River South Girls Lacrosse team, one of the real surprises at the shore this spring. The Indians of Coach Cathy Homiek are 7-0 after topping Jackson 12-9 Saturday behind a 7-goal effort from sophomore Meredith Kalinowski. This week includes a Thursday night showdown with Toms River North.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Observations

If Alan Kasper is correct than tomorrow will be the nicest day of this year
and I’m sure many of you will be working around your house and doing some spring cleaning. If you don’t have plans, want to take advantage of the great weather and help a terrific cause you can join Parents of Autistic Children and “Walk For A Difference” at FirstEnergy Park. While the BlueClaws are on the road the walk will take place inside the park and the kids play area will be open and there will be inflatable rides, refreshments, dancing and great prizes. Of course the event is a fundraiser for POAC, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping the lives of children with autism by offering free training to parents and teachers. Many of you make walking a part of your daily regime so why not donate a few dollars and make a difference for a child. Registration begins at 11am at FirstEnergy Park and the walk-a-thon kicks off at 12 noon. For more information you can visit

Toms River East softball standout Lyndsey PeQueen threw a 1-hitter Thursday as the Raiders edged Brick 1-0 and the victory was a record-setter for the senior right-hander. PeQueen’s 84th career win is the most by a pitcher in Shore Conference history and in the process she also collected her 1,000th career strikeout. She has already signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Georgian Court University in the fall.

Rutgers football fans will get to see the Scarlet Knights play both Penn State and the University of Miami down the road. Rutgers has agreed to a two-game series with the Nittany Lions in 2014 and 2015 and has a preliminary agreement for a two-game series with the Hurricanes beginning in 2018. It’s funny when you think that the players who may wear the Red & White in the games against Miami would now be in 5th grade.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Ocean County Mover & Shaker

Let me actually start with a little clarification. Yesterday I talked about the naming of a new football coach at Brick Township High School and in one regard I may have jumped the gun. The Board of Education has taken no official action at this time although the sources who told me a decision has been made are quite reliable and that Patrick Dowling is the choice to replace the retired Warren Wolf. However I do regret if by breaking this story I have caused problems especially because I have always operated under the policy that it’s better to be late and accurate than inaccurate. My real concern is for Mr. Dowling who I have never met or spoken with. Again the Board of Education has done nothing official and their next meeting is not until the end of the month.

One of the truly best people I have ever known is Sue Sedivec, the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County. I delighted that many are discovering what I already know as recently she was named one of the Top 40 Movers and Shakers in the county by the Asbury Park Press and has received other honors as well. On Sunday, April 26th Hemingway’s in Seaside Heights will host a Hometown Heroes fundraising event in which Sue will be the honoree and all proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County. The event takes place between 3-6pm and will feature food, live music, a gift auction, door prizes and plenty of fun for a great cause and great person. For ticket information call Bib Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County at (732) 905-5349.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Replacing A Legend

If you watch “Friday Night Lights” or know anything about high school football in places like Texas then you are aware it’s a big deal in certain areas in this country. Stories of coaches being run out of town for not winning enough are legendary and the selection of a new coach at a school with great tradition is sure to be front page news. That is certainly not the case around here and when a high school names a new coach it often barely warrants more than a paragraph or two in the newspaper.

However when a school is replacing a legend who has been the only head coach in their 51-year history and is the winningest coach in state history it’s a bit of a different story. That’s why the apparent choice of the Brick Township Board of Education to replace Warren Wolf and guide the Green Dragons is one that will raise some eyebrows…that is after the question, who is he?

He is Patrick Dowling, a 45-year old Howell resident who was given the nod over three other final candidates including two with direct connections to the Green and White. Dowling was the head coach at Allentown last fall, going 2-8 and before that coached Monroe Township High School to three winning seasons in four years. He is a father of six children and is candidate for the local school board in Howell.

There is no questioning his resume but certainly there will be some, maybe many who will wonder why the Board of Education chose someone with no connection to the school or football program. Among the other three submitted final candidates to replace the retired Wolf were current assistant coach Len Zdanowicz and Jackson Liberty Head Coach Tim Osborne, who many including yours truly thought was the favorite all along. Osborne, a retired New Jersey State Trooper, played for Wolf and was a longtime assistant on his staff before moving to Toms River North and then becoming Jackson Liberty’s first-ever head coach a couple of years ago.

Dowling though is the one who gets to replace a legend and there is no question a new era is about to begin.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American Stats 1909 Edition

Just in case you’re looking for something to start a conversation here are some numbers and statistics from 100 years ago:

* The average wage was 22 cents an hour and the average worker made
between $200-400 per year although an accountant could earn
$2000, a dentist $2500 and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per
* Sugar costs 4 cents per pound, eggs were 14 cents a dozen and coffee
was 15 cents a pound.
* The average life expectancy was 47 years.
* Two out of every ten adults could not read or write.
* Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school
* More than 95% of all births took place at home.
* The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 MPH, there were
only 144 miles of paved roads and 8,000 cars to drive on them.
* The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
* Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into
their country for any reason.
* The American flag had 45 stars.
* There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, Crossword puzzles,
canned beer and ice tea had not yet been invented.
* There were about 230 reported murders in the entire country.
* The five leading causes of death were Pneumonia & influenza, Tuberculosis, Diarrhea, Heart Disease and Stroke.
* Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at the local drugstore.

Just try and imagine the differences between now and 2109.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

While I know Easter is a holy and solemn day for Catholics you have to love the other aspects of the holiday as well. For many it’s the spring version of Thanksgiving and Christmas as it often brings families together and despite changing times it’s a holiday when people actually get dressed up. We attended mass yesterday morning at St. Joseph’s Church in Toms River and I especially enjoyed seeing all the young children dressed up….little girls in their Easter dresses and boys wearing matching outfits with bright colors. At a time when we have gotten more casual than ever Easter Sunday is a day when formality is fashionable whether for church or taking part in an Easter Parade on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights or Point Pleasant Beach.

I would have to imagine that many families spent part of the day around the television in the late afternoon watching golf or more specifically the final round of the Masters in Augusta, Georgia. I’m sure a dinner or two was interrupted by what took place in a truly memorable final round which saw charges by Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods and ultimately a three-man sudden death playoff won by Angel Cabrera of Argentina. Actually it was more a tournament lost by Kenny Perry, who blew a two-shot lead with two holes left to play as he came up short in his bid to become the oldest Masters winner. On a day that celebrates family the 48-year old Perry winning would have been a better script but sports does not work that way.

Actually there was a perfect ending on Easter Sunday. That being the safe return of Captain Richard Phillips off the coast of Somalia and the end of a 5-day high-seas hostage drama. We can all celebrate this one.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Stuff

A little of this and a little of that heading into Easter weekend:

Opening night of the Lakewood BlueClaws 2009 season featured an unusually mild evening, an enthusiastic crowd, the Phillies World Series Trophy and another season-opening loss for the home team. Just under
7,000 fans were on hand at FirstEnergy Park and unlike most of the previous openers they were not bundled up in blankets and wearing hats and gloves…some even had shorts on. However the one trend that did continue was a BlueClaws loss, 2-1 to the visiting Delmarva Shorebirds. Lakewood won it’s first-ever home opener in 2001 but has lost every one since….that’s 8 in-a-row. The BlueClaws are home for the rest of the weekend before embarking on a 7-game road trip.

Joe Leone’s is known around the area for their great Italian food and catering and the day before Easter would figure to be a very busy one at their retail locations in Point Pleasant Beach and Sea Girt. That’s why Joe decided the make tomorrow one in which he could help the victims of this week’s devastating earthquake in Italy. He will donate 10% of all purchases tomorrow to relief efforts and in addition there will be an outdoor festival in the parking lot of his store on Route 35 South in Point Pleasant Beach from noon to 8pm. With the help of his vendors 100% of the proceeds from the festival, which will feature food and music, will go to relief efforts. Joe Leone himself will travel to Italy next week and deliver to the money to those in need.

The band Hometown Roll and Bum Rogers Crab House in South Seaside Park will team up on Saturday, April 25th to hold a fundraiser for Ocean of Love. The event starts at 3pm and will feature afternoon activities for kids and families and then music in the evening. The Magnums will play at 6:30 and then Hometown Roll will take the stage at 9pm…the evening will also feature a free buffet and Chinese auction. Tickets are just $5 per person and can be purchased at the door with will proceeds going to Ocean of Love…a non-profit organization that assists Ocean County children with cancer and their families.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Batter Up!

It looks like the sun will shine on the Lakewood BlueClaws as they begin their 9th season tonight against the Delmarva Shorebirds at FirstEnergy Park.
As one who has sat through and even broadcast some miserable home openers this one should be quite nice with temperatures in the upper 50’s for first pitch at 6:35.

As I have said before it’s hard to explain the phenomenon that is the BlueClaws, a low-level minor league baseball team that has been simply a grand slam since the very beginning. The team annually leads the South Atlantic League in attendance and last year drew more than 425,000 fans,
an average of more than 6,000 for each of their 70 home games. This despite some rough weather during the first month of the season as once it warms up and the school year comes to an end fans will flock to the park.

These fans for the most part are rooting for players they have never heard of but those who have followed the BlueClaws since 2001 have seen players like Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels call Lakewood home and they of course helped the Phillies win the World Series last fall. Who are the Phillies of tomorrow who will wear the BlueClaws uniform tonight? It could be 18-year old outfielder Zach Collier or 18-year old pitcher Jason Knapp of North Hunterdon, who will make the start tomorrow night.

Regardless of the players FirstEnergy Park has become a very popular destination for entertainment and that’s really the key to this whole thing.
Baseball is only part of the experience as a BlueClaws game is a family gathering for many. At any time you’ll see kids running around in the outfield playground or in the right field arcade. Speaking of kids the Claws will feed those under the age of 12 for free all season long. Once kids enter the park they will receive a voucher for a hot dog, chips and a soda which can be used that night or any other game. Just another great move by a team and business that has become a fixture in the community.

By the way all 140 BlueClaws games can be heard on the Shore Sports Network, 1160 WOBM AM and Fox Sports 1310. Greg Giombarrese is the lead play-by-play announcer and will be joined on the broadcasts by Josh Ellis.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Honoring Region 6 High School Wrestlers

The shore area clearly has become the hot spot in New Jersey when it comes to high school wrestling so last night’s Region 6 Wrestling Banquet took on the theme of a giant celebration of greatness. A few hundred attended the annual event at the Robert B. Meyner Reception Center at the PNC Bank Arts Center which is hosted by the Region 6 Coaches and is truly a wonderful way to end the long season. All wrestlers who finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the regionals are not only invited but given awards and nearly all of them were in attendance. There were special tributes to the six New Jersey State Champions…Vin DelleFave (TR East), Mike Morales & Steve Santos (Brick Memorial), Nick Visicaro (Long Branch), Glenn Carson (Southern) and Jimmy Lawson (Manchester). In addition Long Branch coach Dan George was honored as the Coach of the Year and his Green Wave team saluted for finishing #1 in the state.

It was the first time I attended the annual banquet and I was there to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, which while not deserved is greatly appreciated. I was selected by the committee for my contributions to the sport over the three decades I have worked at WOBM and I am humbled and grateful for the honor. However it was the other Hall of Famers honored last night who best symbolize a sport which tests dedication and desire like no other. Toms River East coach Warren Reid and former Central Regional coach Pat Lynch were both introduced by their sons, which in itself is truly special. Glenn Carson Sr. was inducted as a College All-American from his days at Trenton State and he was also introduced by his better-known son and state champ Glenn Carson Jr. Former TR East champion Vin Salek,
Ex-CBA standout Dave Santamaria and former coach and official Ray Visbeck made up the rest of the class of 2009….a group brought down by my presence.

It was a terrific evening filled with many highlights, including a tremendous introduction speech of Carson by his coach John Stout. Special thanks to Region 6 President Rob Nucci of Raritan and Master of Ceremonies Denny D’Andrea for allowing me to be a part of it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Legalizing Sports Gambling

It appears the issue of legalized sports betting in New Jersey is not a dead one now that State Senator Raymond Lenik has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a ban that limits sports betting to just four states in the country. Today’s Asbury Park Press editorial is in support of Lesniak’s action and I could not disagree more.

It’s easy to say that legal betting on football, basketball and other sports would produce revenue for our cash-strapped state because it would. We all know there is plenty of illegal sports betting taking place so why shouldn’t New Jersey get in the business and give their struggling racetracks and casinos a badly needed shot in the arm? The Press editorial says legal sports betting would generate $100 million a year in tax revenues and that’s not the kind of money to be ignored.

In times like these you need to look a ways to generate income and there is no question there is money to be made in the sports betting business but the question that needs to be asked has to do with the downside and I believe there is plenty of it. If you make sports betting legal in New Jersey you will create an entire new breed of customers who will clearly become compulsive gamblers. Sure there are ways to make a bet now from overseas internet sites to neighborhood bookies but once you make it easy and legal you will attract those who don’t be on line and don’t know anyone to take their action.

Most of us who bet do so through office pools, fantasy leagues, etc and most of that is pretty harmless. But all bets are off once you can legally go on line or spend a day at a sports book just a few minutes away. Just like the state is trying to grab money when they need it so will those who think they know more than the next guy and many of them will get in trouble.

Another victim of legal sports betting will be the athletes themselves who will be under even greater scrutiny the next time they drop a pass or miss a layup that would have beaten the point spread.

There is money to be made if sports betting were legal in New Jersey but are the consequences worth it?

Friday, April 3, 2009

R.I.P. E.R.

Most TV shows come and go and while they may be missed are pretty much forgotten. Others leave a lasting impression which will find you reminiscing often about episodes and characters years after they have left the air.
For many of us “ER” will fall into the later category as its 15-year run ended last night and so did one of the best TV dramas of all time.

The show debuted in 1994 and it did not take long to know that life at County General Hospital in Chicago would be shown in a very different fashion then previous medical shows. It was fast-paced, gritty and at times even gross but it was also very real and griping. The characters were believable, partly because they were flawed in many ways which made viewers want to hug them and at times even punch them.

“ER” introduced us to George Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross, had us shed tears over the death of Dr. Mark Greene, played by Anthony Edwards and somehow made us care about dozens of people who came and left the show over a decade and-a-half. None of the main original cast members were regulars over the final few years and the ratings slipped over time but it was still compelling TV. The writers managed to bring new characters into
County General and you found yourself getting caught up in their lives and would shed a tear when one would leave and would mark that occasion by hanging their nameplate on the wall in the hospital basement. Over time that list grew from Dr. Benton to Nurse Hathaway to Dr. Lockhart and like all TV shows this one would come to an end and did after 331 episodes.

“ER” may not have been real but it was real good television and for those like me who watched from the very beginning you feel like a part of your
life is now over…at least your Thursday night life. So goodbye to Carter, Morris, Romano, Kovac, Neela and even Frank at the front desk. Thanks for the memories.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

News From Kevin

Today is one of those bittersweet moments in which I get to announce something that is both joyful and sad at the same time. This July would have been my 30th anniversary at WOBM and while it would mean nothing to anyone else it would have had special meaning to me. I think back to when I started here and I was one of the two or three youngest persons in the building…now I’m on the other side.

However when this July comes around I will not be here which I’m sure will please those who have had enough of me for nearly three decades. Those who listen with regularity know that sports have always been and probably always will be my great passion as is my love for Penn State football.
So the opportunity to broadcast Nittany Lions football was one that I simply could not turn down especially when it came with a job working in the school’s athletic department.

So my 29 plus year tenure here will come to an end on June 1st. Today is certainly not the day to say “goodbye” but rather I wanted to just let you know as I will be around for the next couple of months. I will continue to do the Hometown View for as long as they let me and handle my other tasks as
well. But come the fall I will be in Happy Valley and I’m looking forward to it…with many reservations.

The only other thing I want to tell you right now is…….