Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NJ Budget Woes Hit Home

It is finally starting to dawn on people that the fiscal woes in New Jersey might have a direct impact on the schools in their town. It seemed when Governor Christie first announced drastic cutbacks in state aid to schools many kind of shrugged it off, feeling that at the end of the day there would be little change. Well now schools, in introducing their budgets are revealing details and plans which are not pretty. Cutbacks are everywhere and most troubling is the number of people who are likely to lose jobs. Teachers, aides, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers…just about all departments are being affected. Sports programs in many cases are being eliminated or greatly reduced, school trips are out, class sizes will increase and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The cutbacks you are hearing about this week are based on these school budgets being approved by voters next month….if they are defeated than more cuts and reductions will have to take place. It is a dim picture that would challenge even the most optimistic because in this case the glass clearly is half-empty.

After that we need something to smile about and it will come in the form of Mother Nature. After two horrendous days of torrential rain and heavy wind we are in for a few nice days and what should be a wonderful Easter weekend. The month of March will end as the wettest in history for our area and this comes after a record-breaking snow total for February. Maybe April will be the start of something good.

A follow-up to something I mentioned last month and that being the annual fundraiser at The Office Restaurant and Lounge in memory of former owner Phil Citta. The all-day event raised $21,220 for the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at Community Medical Center. That’s better than last year and a tremendous total when you consider the economy, weather and other factors. Next year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16th.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thoughts On A Wet Mondaty

Random notes and thoughts on a very wet Monday morning:

This week is Spring Break for most Ocean County schools although the rough winter weather has resulted in some changes. Not all schools have this entire week off and many will return to school next Monday instead of Tuesday as originally planned. Regardless of how they do it public schools in New Jersey have to be in session for 180 days. Schools in Atlantic City are making up some missed time with three Saturday sessions.

Former Brick Township High School star Jim Dowd and Green Dragons coaching legend Bob Auriemma were among those honored Sunday at the inaugural induction into the New Jersey High School Ice Hockey Hall of Fame. Some 400 attended the event at the Prudential Center, which was hosted by the New Jersey Devils. Dowd is the only player in New Jersey history to win a state championship, an NCAA title (with Lake Superior State) and a Stanley Cup (with the Devils). He was among 9 players honored yesterday and that group also included Mike Acosta of Toms River North. Auriemma, the winningest coach in state history, was among three coaches inducted as part of the inaugural class. His 1975-76 Green Dragon team was also one of three inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I don’t know anyone who picked Duke, West Virginia, Michigan State and Butler to advance to the Final Four in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. However of the 4.78 million entries in ESPN’s bracket challenge there were 200 which indeed selected the Blue Devils, Mountaineers, Spartans and Bulldogs.

East Dover Volunteer Fire Company #4 will hold its annual “War at the Shore” Team Dodge Ball Tournament on Saturday, April 10th at Toms River High School East. The event is open to the first 100 co-ed adult teams ages 14 and up and is designed to help raise money for the fire company. For details, rules and registration forms you can visit

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nobody Asked But...

Not that anyone has asked my opinion but……

• The health care bill controversy is further dividing this country
which is the last thing we need. Frankly nobody really knows if
it will be good or bad but we have to move on because there are
more pressing issues.

• While I’m a huge fan of the TV show “24” it’s a good things that
it’s coming to an end this season. They have run out of story plots
and Jack Bauer needs to retire once and for all.

• It’s looking more likely then ever that the Eagles are going to trade
Quarterback Donovan McNabb who has been under appreciated
throughout his career in Philadelphia. He’s a very good player often blamed for the failure of others. Reminds me how Patrick
Ewing was treated in New York…after he left was when fans realized how good he really was.

• All you need to know about how screwed up things are is to have
followed the saga of a planned Wal-Mart store on Route 37 West at the Toms River-Manchester border. I’m all for preservation but it seems we’re more concerned about pine snakes then we should be. Bottom line is this has dragged on for years which is typical of New Jersey.

• Doc Gooden is a tragic figure.

* How can any parent be opposed to the new state law that requires
decals be displayed on license plates of cars driven by young drivers with a graduated or provisional driver’s license? Anything that forces teen-agers to be more aware of rules and regulations would appear to be a positive step, not a negative one.

• How great would it be if Cornell beat Kentucky in the NCAA
Tournament tonight? Not likely but worth watching for sure.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Governor & The Teachers Union

If you’ve been following the fiscal woes in New Jersey you know that education is front and center when it comes to much of the talk about money. Governor Christie has announced drastic cuts in state aid to public schools and that comes after he had already taken surpluses some districts had in their budgets. Attention has now turned to teachers who are being asked to make personal sacrifices, including salary freezes and direct contributions to their health benefits. It’s a critical time for the New Jersey Education Association because frankly they face intense public pressure if they don’t go along with the Governor’s wishes and the initial response from the teachers union was to reject the idea. The NJEA believes there are better options to plug the budget cap then go into the pockets of teachers, many of whom have worked many years to finally earn a decent salary. The truth is that teaching and education was a grossly underpaid profession for a long time and only in the last decade or so have positive strides been made.

Part of that was due to support from the public and lawmakers to make adjustments to salaries but now the worm has turned. At a time when many have had salaries cut and frozen and benefits reduced and lost the public is generally not going to be sympathetic to the teachers union. Here’s hoping that some agreement can be reached because if not an already bad situation may get much worse.

Community Medical Center is hosting its 6th annual Colorectal Cancer Awareness Fair on Tuesday, March 30th from 9am to 3pm in the outpatient lobby. Dr. Paul DeMartino is once again spearheading the effort in which he and other health care professionals will provide a better understanding of risk factors, prevention strategies, the importance of early detection, treatment options and nutritional considerations. Doctors and nurses will be on hand to answer questions about Colorectal cancer which is the third most common cancer found in adults but is preventable, treatable and “beatable.” There will be free parking with validation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Enjoy The Craziness While You Can

You’ve heard people talk about how you should enjoy the time you have with your children while they are young because the time goes by so fast.

That’s something that’s hard to relate too as you move from one thing to another during their school days as you often feel like nothing more than a glorified chauffeur. Add salesperson to that as it seems you are always selling some kind of fundraising item for their team or organization although you often end up buying as much as you sell. You do this for years and years and can’t imagine there will ever be a time when this is not part of your lifestyle.

The truth is that it will come to an end and many have told me they actually miss it quite a bit. The first sign is when your youngest child gets their drivers license which means you don’t have to pick them up after practice or drive them to school-related activities. It does give you a tremendous feeling of freedom although the stress of them driving can make this an almost equal trade off.

If your youngest is a high school senior going away to college you begin realizing that many things you considered routine for years are now happening for the final time. Whether it’s the sports they play, or their final band performance or school play or anything else. We often moan and groan over some of this stuff but truthfully most of us enjoy it just as much as our children…sometimes even more. Sure it’s often forced us to scramble and run from work to school to home and back but its part of what we are. Remember the pride you felt the first time your child wore a varsity uniform or sang in a school musical….it made all that running around seem worth it.

But like everything else it will come to an end and while you may find it hard to believe…you will miss it. So enjoy the craziness while you can and make the most of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Filling Out The Brackets

(note: The next Hometown View will appear on Tuesday, March 23)

If you’re old enough like me you remember when the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was quite a bit different than it is today. Long before “March Madness” the tournament was always a major college event but not always something that captivated the public unless you were a UCLA fan. However there were probably two major developments that led to the growth and popularity of what’s now become a three-week obsession for many.

The first was in 1979 when a farm boy by the name of Larry Bird led an undefeated and little-known Indiana State team into the championship game against Michigan State, whose best player was an always smiling Earvin Johnson, better known to fans and teammates as Magic. The interest in the game was staggering and to this day it remains the highest-rated TV game in the history of college basketball. Three years later ESPN began televising some of the early round games and it brought a new level of interest as viewers were taken around the country and introduced to schools they knew little about. Those schools have a special role because on a big stage they get to play with the big boys. When the tournament opens later this week highly-ranked teams like Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and Syracuse will be challenged by the likes of Lehigh, East Tennessee State. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Vermont. Sure they are David versus Goliath matchups but it’s the charm of the tournament and makes us often root for the underdog.

Of course to the millions of us who will participate in bracket pools it’s all about the teams we pick. Brackets are those often large boxes you’ll find in the newspaper with all the games listed and we’ll try our best to pick the 63 games that will determine a national champion. Sure the temptation is to pick upsets but in the end form usually holds up.

While I would like to pass myself off as an expert frankly my track record is not very impressive. However for what it’s worth I’m picking Kansas to beat Duke…well that’s in one pool. In others I have Kansas over Kentucky and even West Virginia in the final. As for teams that may surprise you…watch out for Temple, Texas &AM and Xavier. You want a real upset…me winning a pool.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You Know You're Irish When...

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day which in years gone by was more special to me than Christmas. That was when I was young and single and the day would include a toast or two or ten to the patron saint of Ireland, who died on this day around 460 A.D. However on this holiday I bring out a little ditty on what being Irish really means and my guess is there’s probably more truth than blarney in this.


• You swear very well.
• At least one of your cousin’s holds political office.
• You will never play pro basketball.
• You think you sing very well and while you don’t know the words you continue to sign anyway.
• You have no idea how to make a long story short.
• You are very good at playing a lot of very bad golf….mulligan is one of your favorite words.
• Much of your food as a kid was boiled.
• There is not a huge difference between losing your temper and actually killing someone.
• You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling.
• You’re very 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 Mary, Catherine or Elizabeth…one just might be Mary Catherine Elizabeth.
• You can’t wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start.
• “Irish Stew” is a 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.
• Your parents were on a first name basis with everyone in the Emergency Room.
• You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.
• 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.”

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Musings

On Friday many of us were breathing a sigh of relief over the fact that the weekend storm we were expected to get would bring rain and not snow.
I’m sure there are some around our area today questioning how much of a break we really got from Mother Nature. Heavy rain and very strong winds made it seem very close to hurricane-like conditions over the weekend and wreaked havoc around the shore area. There are still homeowners without power with fallen trees and downed power lines the main culprits and flooding also caused problems. All in all it was fitting final weekend of a winter that will not be forgotten.

The field of 65 for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was announced Sunday night and as expected the region top seeds are KANSAS, KENTUCKY, DUKE & SYRACUSE. Many will be using some of their office time this week to fill out their bracket sheets and I’ll talk more about that tomorrow. This year’s tournament is also notable for the teams that did not make the cut as for the first time since 1966 North Carolina, UCLA, Connecticut and Arizona will all be on the sideline.

The Ritacco Center in Toms River played host to eight NJSIAA Boys and Girls basketball title games over the weekend and as usual brought out its share of college coaches for a first-hand look at the abundance of talent. Among those catching last night’s Camden Catholic-St. Peter’s Prep game were head coaches Fred Hill of Rutgers and Phil Martelli of St. Joseph’s.
Basketball continues this week as the Ritacco Center hosts the Tournament of Champions Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Ryan Phillips is one dude you want to hang with. The Toms River High School senior was the lone player to experience the Indians two improbable overall state championships in the last four months. Phillips was a part of the soccer team which captured the Group 3 title in November and was a regular on the Ice Hockey team which claimed the Public A title Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Randolph at the Prudential Center. Phillips and his hockey teammates have sophomore goalie Patrick Kerney to thanks as he stopped 46 shots in a game which saw the Indians outshot 47-10. Kerney was spectacular and South got goals from Todd Unger and Andrew McGee
to win it all at The Rock.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Something Funny Happened On The Way To Winslow

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

It’s usually a bad omen when you get lost on your way to a destination…just seems like often it sets a tone for the trip. I’m sure Lakewood boy’s basketball coach Randy Holmes felt that way Wednesday when the team bus got lost and arrived late at Winslow Township High School for the Piners Group 3 state semifinal against Kingsway. The game was delayed but Lakewood never really found their stride, trailing by 12 after the first quarter and eventually losing 58-38. Despite the loss the Piners finish the season with 20 wins, a South Jersey Group 3 title and plenty of optimism for the future.

The Central Regional Alumni Association will hold their First Annual Alumni Night tomorrow night at the Sawmill Café on the boardwalk in Seaside Park. All Central graduates and retired teachers are invited to enjoy pizza, pasta, wings and getting together with old friends from 6-10pm. The cost is $15 per person and you can pay at the door. Call (732) 779-0179 for more information.

A benefit spaghetti dinner and gift auction for Natalie Shepherd and her family will be held on Saturday, March 20th at the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad building in Seaside Park. Nat’s Stomping Out Sarcoma Group is organizing the event to help Shepherd, a Beachwood resident who works as a MONOC Paramedic and is a Tri-Boro First Aid Squad volunteer. A wife and mother, she is being treated for a very rare and aggressive cancer. The March 20th fundraiser from 4:30-8pm will also include live music, tarot card readings, face painting and more. Tickets are available at Bayville Auto Care on Route 9 or by calling Patrick at (732) 674-6413,

March Madness is the term usually associated with college basketball but Manchester Township’s version of March Madness is set for tomorrow night in the High School Gym. It’s a basketball game between Manchester PBA 246 and the High School Faculty and all proceeds will go to the Rodney Copeland Scholarship Fund and Sgt. Gary Lowe of the Lakehurst Police Department who was severely injured in a fall a few months ago. Admission is $5 and there will be prizes, food, contests and more with the doors opening at 6:30.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

(from Tuesday, March 9)

It has been an up-and-down season for the Lakewood High School basketball team but this morning all things are good because they are celebrating a championship. Monday night in their own Piner Palace they beat Neptune 59-51 to claim a surprising Central Jersey Group 3 title, their first sectional crown since 2002. Sophomore Jameer Jones scored 20 points for the fifth seeded Piners, who beat Hamilton, Monmouth, top-seeded Freehold and then the Scarlet Fliers to earn the championship. Under third-year head coach Randy Holmes, many predicted a banner season for Lakewood but they got off to a slow start and watched Monsignor Donovan claim the Class B South title. However it’s Lakewood who is the only Ocean County boys team still playing and they will face South Jersey champion Kingsway tomorrow night in the Group semifinals at Winslow Township High School. A victory there would send the Piners to the Ritacco Center this weekend for the Group 3 Final.

Point Boro and Point Beach saw their playoff runs came to an end last night with losses in sectional finals as did the Southern girl’s team. The Point Boro girls host Deptford tonight in the South Jersey Group 3 final.

Ocean County is assured of having a team in the NJSIAA Public A Ice Hockey Championship game. That’s because Brick Memorial faces surprising Toms River South in a semifinal game this afternoon (4pm) at Mennen Arena in Morris Township. Randolph plays Montgomery in the other semifinal with the winners to skate for the state title Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Toms River’s Todd Frazier has played in one of the Cincinnati Reds’ first three spring exhibition games in Arizona, going 0-2. The 24-year old former Toms River South and Rutgers University star is the top prospect in the Reds organization but the team still hasn’t decided what position to play him at. He is listed as a left-fielder but has also played shortstop, third base, first base and second base. Frazier has been spending a lot of time with former Red Tony Phillips, who is working as a special instructor. Its likely Todd will open the season in the minor leagues but it’s only a matter of time before he calls Cincinnati home.

Budgets, Spelling Bees and Sports

I will not pretend to know much about the budget crisis that has forced Governor Christie to issue dire warnings about cuts in state aid to schools and municipalities. However what does leave me scratching my head is the simple fact that schools that have been efficient are the ones being hit the hardest which simply does not make sense. Last month their so-called surpluses were taken away without any discussion with the message being that since you didn’t spend it yet you really don’t need it. That is like dipping into an individual’s savings account and taking their money because if they’ve managed to save it then they can live without it. Doesn’t seem very fair and also does not send a great message…rather it’s telling schools to spend every dime they have no matter what. However with my limited knowledge of the subject the one factor that continues to disturb me is that the money spent to allegedly educate students in urban districts like Elizabeth, Newark and Jersey City is much greater then schools of even the same size in our area. Despite the fiscal woes of the state take a look at the amount of aid that heads north and then ask the question….shouldn’t we demand those schools be just as efficient?

Congratulations to Jake Muldowney, an 8th grade student at Toms River Intermediate South. He emerged the winner of the Spelldown 2010 which was sponsored in part by the Asbury Park Press and is now on his way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC in early June.

While on the subject of congratulations. Point Pleasant Boro won the South Jersey Group 3 girls basketball championship by routing Deptford last night as freshman twins Kelly and Lauren Hughes combined for 34 points. The Panthers reward is a date with powerful Neptune tomorrow night.

Toms River South has advanced to the State Public A Ice Hockey Finals after pulling off another upset. Jay Malone scored three goals at the 16th seeded Indians stunned #4 Brick Memorial 4-3. South will play the winner of tonight’s Montgomery-Randolph contest for the state title Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thoughts Following A Beautiful Weekend

What a weekend….back-to-back days with the temperature over 50 and plenty of sunshine. It was just what the doctor ordered and it seemed like everyone wanted to get out of the house. Between the Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights Saturday and the Belmar Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday you had special events that benefitted from the nice weather plus everyone has been cooped up for much of the winter. This was also a great weekend for the local car wash industry as long lines put smiles on the faces of owners who have spent many weekends shoveling snow. Before we get accustomed to all the nice weather remember March can give us spring-like days and also ones that remind us it’s still officially winter.

Those of you with Cabelvision got a late reprieve Sunday and were able to watch the Academy Awards…that is if you found out in time. Cablevision and ABC have been in a dispute that led to the Channel 7 signal being pulled off the air just after midnight Sunday morning. The Oscars officially began at 8:30pm and Cablevision customers appeared to be shut out but 13 minutes later the signal was restored as the two sides reached a preliminary agreement.

Count me among the diehards who stayed up and watched the entire Oscar show which ended just after midnight. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin did a good job as co-hosts and it was pretty much a night for the favorites. “The Hurt Locker” claimed six Academy Awards, including those for Best Picture and Best Director where Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to claim an Oscar in that category. Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock were the night’s other big winners by claiming the Best Actor awards.

Speaking of the best, Jimmy Lawson of Manchester Township High School ended his high school wrestling career with a jaw-dropping performance at the NJSIAA Championships in Atlantic City over the weekend. The Hawk heavyweight pinned all four of his opponents in a total time of 3 minutes and 58 seconds in claiming his third straight state title. Lawson also left Boardwalk Hall with the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award. Two other Ocean County wrestlers lost heartbreakers in the finals with Brick Memorial’s Mike Morales falling to Region 6 rival Scott Festejo 7-6 at 135 pounds and Southern Regional 112-pounder Kyle Casaletto dropping a 3-2 decision to Nick Francavilla of High Point on a reversal with just two seconds left in the match.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Winter Playoffs, Spring Practice

Today is the first official day of practice for high school spring sports although field conditions will likely keep quite a few baseball, softball and lacrosse players inside gymnasiums throughout the area. However the focus this morning is on the end of the Winter sports season as this is tournament time and if you’re still playing and competing it means things are going quite well.

The NJSIAA Wrestling Championships are set for this weekend in Atlantic City as thousands of fans make the trek to Boardwalk Hall. Ocean County sends two defending champions back to Casino City with Brick Memorial’s Mike Morales the top seed and favorite at 135 pounds and Manchester’s Jimmy Lawson looking to make history at heavyweight. Lawson is seeking to become just the second New Jersey wrestler and first in 62 years to win three heavyweight titles. This weekend will also likely end the gentle giant’s wrestling career as he’s headed to Monmouth University on a football scholarship. Among the other county wrestlers to watch is Point Boro 140-pounder Jordan Beverly, whose brother Jeff is the only state champion in school history.

Toms River South went on a magical run in November to win the school’s first-ever state soccer title. Could history be repeating itself on the ice?
The 16th seeded Indians stunned top-seed Morris Knolls 3-1 in the second round of the NJSIAA Public A Ice Hockey Tournament at Mennen Arena Thursday. Junior Jay Malone scored all three goals and goalie Geoff Hannon stopped 31 shots as South advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals against Morristown at Codey Arena. Brick Memorial & Howell join the Indians in the final eight.

Jackson Memorial & Southern Regional have reached the sectional semifinals of the State Girls Basketball Tournament. The Jaguars edged Freehold Township 48-42 as Christa Evans scored 23 points and will now face Colts Neck in the Central Jersey Group 4 semis. In South Jersey Group 4 Southern’s Kristen Sharkey scored 36 points as the Rams surprised Atlantic City 59-55 and will now play Lenape.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guys And Luck

There’s a pretty good chance over the next couple of weeks you’ll hear the expression, “the luck of the Irish” which is sort of ironic because historically the Irish have been a rather unlucky group. Anyway this month’s “The Average Guy” feature in Men’s Health magazine is all about guys and luck.
Some of the results:

• 42% of men consider themselves lucky.
• 80% think luck is largely self-made.
• 1 in 20 will not fly on Friday the 13th and 14% of men avoid crossing paths with a black cat.
• 14% of us have played the lottery using the so-called lucky numbers from a fortune cookie.
• 45% of men wear lucky clothing to help their love life.
• 32% of men who are sports fans claim to have superstitious rituals
to help their favorite team win.
• 1 in 8 athletes won’t wash their socks as long as their team is
• Nearly half of the men surveyed said they have escaped death and
consider themselves lucky to be alive.
• 1 in 9 men carry a lucky charm with them at all times and its most
commonly a chain of some kind.
• 5% have tried to improve their luck by removing a coin from a
• 1 in 6 men have visited a psychic.
• 1 in 149 believe in the jinx of breaking a chain letter while 1 in 5 think that’s hogwash but pass them on just in case.
• Lastly…..the man we think is the luckiest is Brad Pitt.

By the way as to the origin of “the luck of the Irish.” There is little agreement but some say it came from the gold rush days in California where a high number of Irish got lucky.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesdsay Thoughts

Just a few notes and thoughts to share this morning:

What is it with people and yield signs? My understanding is you stop at a yield sign if the traffic conditions don’t allow you to safely merge with oncoming vehicles. More often then not I observe people who when approaching a yield sign immediately speed up so they can hopefully beat those in the flow of traffic. Others simply blow through the yield sign and then assume you will simply slow down even tough you have the right of way. It’s amazing how many violations occur at yield signs…would love to see them enforced a bit more.

I’ve mentioned this before but here’s another one that drives me crazy. Why does it seem that you always have to ask for napkins at a drive-thru? Never mind hoping your order is correct because that’s another story. Operators of these places should put a sign on the inside reminding their workers to put napkins in every bag. Plus you often get a sour look when you ask for them like, “What do you need a napkin for.”

Here’s another pet peeve. You are searching for a spot in a crowded parking lot and observe someone getting in their car to leave. They start their vehicle but rather then pulling out they go through a series of events from checking their hair and sometimes make-up to making a call on their cell phone. This while they know you’re patiently waiting for a spot. You finally lose your patience and drive away and just as you do they leave and someone right behind you gets the spot.

Now to something more positive. Toms River High School South’s “Indian Givers” are sponsoring a Fashion Show tomorrow night at 7pm in the cafetorium. Seniors will be modeling prom dresses, casual wear, summer clothing and bathing suits from local merchants. There will be a live DJ, different clothing boutiques and a fundraising auction. Tickets are $5 and doors open at 6:30 with parents and the public welcome to attend. Proceeds benefit the “Indian Givers”, a student-run organization that helps South students and families in need.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday This & That

Toms River East is one of 30 schools from 25 cities nationwide picked to compete in this year’s Hurley Walk the Walk National Championships.

Hurley is a California-based clothing company that puts emphasis on surfing, skateboarding and music and obviously popular among young people. The competition involves schools submitting 3 on-line videos in which students demonstrate their expertise in design, marketing and production. Toms River East students will also be involved in choreographing a stage show and creating a storefront at Pac Sun in the Ocean County Mall. From on-line voting the 30 schools will be narrowed down to five finalists who will be flown out to the National Championship runway show at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California where $25,000 goes to the winner.

The first of the three videos presentations was titled “Show Your DNA”
and was designed for schools to show what’s unique about their school and area and on line voting ends today. I’ve seen the one submitted by High School East students and it is really well done and right now they are in first place among schools from the East bracket. To view it and vote simply go to and click “Walk the Walk” and follow along. Good luck to “Raider Nation”

Do you remember Andrew Valmon? He was a track star at Manchester Township High School who won a gold medal as part of the United States
4 x 400 relay team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The 45-year old Valmon is in his 7th season as the head track and field coach at the University of Maryland and before that coached at Georgetown. Recently he was named head coach of the US men’s team for the World Indoor Track & Field Championships later this month. Valmon is married to former Olympic runner Meredith Rainey and they have three children. He was one of my favorites as a young athlete and I’m very happy for his success.