Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is here….the unofficial start of the summer season, a 15-week stretch that is vital to many here in Ocean County. Traffic has picked up noticeably over the last couple of days, especially in beach areas which all of a sudden have come to life. Lifeguards will be out this weekend and if the sun shines visitors and locals alike will step onto the beaches from Point Pleasant to Long Beach Island…most for the first time this year. Many will choose to stay closer to home as this is a popular weekend for barbeques and family outings.

Of course for many the downside to this weekend is that it brings visitors to the shore area and they are not always a welcome sight. Yes they bring money and that’s good for our economy but they’re not always the best guests. They jam our roads, pack our beaches and can be a nuisance. But as I’ve said before…how many of you were at one time visitors who later became residents? There’s a good chance you were pretty similar to those who now come here for the day, weekend, week or even summer. At some point you decided this would be a nice place to live so you moved from North Jersey or New York and now Ocean County is your home. Bottom line is most of you hearing me now are not natives and yes at one time somebody called you a “benny.” You might still even be one because there has to be some period of time before you can be considered a local. I’ve lived here for 42 years so I qualify but if you’ve only been a resident for say ten years….you’re not yet a local but you are getting close. All kidding aside we should treat our visitors like we like to be treated when we go on vacation.

I know that for many this weekend means beaches, barbeques and relaxation but we should also pause to remember why we have a holiday weekend. It’s to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. From the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism we honor those fathers and sons, brothers and uncles and even mothers and daughters who did not come home safely. They might be gone but as a nation we should not forget them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Honoring The Best

Most people know the story of Brian Piccolo from the 1971 ABC TV movie “Brian’s Song”, one of the great tear-jerkers of all time. Piccolo was a pro football player for the Chicago Bears, who died of cancer at the age of 26.
He is best known for his friendship with teammate and Hall of Famer Gale Sayers and the courage he displayed through his illness which was portrayed in the movie. Piccolo’s memory is honored each year by UNICO, which gives out awards to courageous and outstanding athletes of Italian-American heritage. I mention all of this because last night I was the guest speaker at the Brick chapter of UNICO’S Scholarship Dinner at Woodlake Country Club. The organization honored five high schools seniors with the Brian Piccolo Memorial Scholarship Award which came with a $1000 towards their college expenses.

Those saluted for best-displaying the attributes of Piccolo were Nicole Binetti and Lexus Guarino of Brick Township High School…Phil Segonia and Jake Vescovi of Brick Memorial and Monsignor Donovan’s Alex Pangaro, a Brick resident. All five of them had to overcome obstacles during their high school careers from injuries to academic challenges. In addition to those awards the club honored Brick High School’s Gianna Pizzella with their second annual Vincent DiLeo Scholarship. Congratulations to all of them and to Anthony Argondizza, who headed up the scholarship committee for UNICO and is a longtime assistant football coach at Brick Memorial. I also want to thank them for accepting me…only after I disclosed I was married to an Italian.

So Toms River South and Jackson Memorial will play for a fourth time this baseball season when they meet in the finals of the Shore Conference Tournament next Wednesday at FirstEnergy Park. Both won their semifinal games Wednesday….the Indians beating Manalapan as pitcher Andrew McGee improved to 11-0 and the Jaguars topping Jackson Liberty on Matt Meleo’s game-winning, three-run homer in the bottom of the 7th. South has won two of the first three meetings, including the Ocean County Tournament Championship game. Jackson will first host Manalapan tomorrow afternoon for the Central Jersey Group 4 title.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Super Bowl Comes To New Jersey

I’m happy the Super Bowl is coming to New Jersey (and New York) because it has to be viewed as a badly-needed positive for our state. On the other hand what does it really mean to most of us? The answer is nothing.

Honestly the fact that the “big game” will be played in the still unnamed new Meadowlands Stadium in four years doesn’t mean that much for those of us who live in the shore area. For some there might be a better chance of getting tickets as the Giants & Jets will get about 5,000 or so as the host venue. However unless one of those two teams play in the game we’re going to watch on TV and not think any differently than other Super Bowls….unless Mother Nature makes things very interesting. As a side note, I would like to have a dollar for every time somebody says or writes that the game is being played in New York because the last time I looked East Rutherford was in New Jersey.

The High School Baseball and Softball Seasons are coming to a close and there are a couple of Ocean County schools who will play for state sectional titles. Jackson Memorial crushed top-seeded Monroe 17-6 Tuesday to advance to the Central Jersey Group 4 Baseball Finals. Joe Ogren & Alex Herceg each homered and drove in five runs for the Jaguars, who will host Manalapan on Friday. Ironically both those teams play semifinal games in the Shore Conference Tournament today with Jackson hosting rival Jackson Liberty and Manalapan visiting top-seed Toms River South. The Jaguars are the defending champions.

The lone county team left in the state softball tournament is surprising Central Regional. The Golden Eagles scored runs in the 6th and 7th innings to edge top-seeded Hammonton 2-1 yesterday and Central will visit Delsea Friday in the South Jersey Group 3 Championship game. In the semifinals of the Shore Conference Softball Tournament today, Toms River East will host Manasquan and Jackson Liberty will visit defending champion Red Bank Catholic.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Goodbye Jack Bauer...For Now

(Note: There was no Hometown View on Monday, 5/24)

After eight seasons the TV drama “24” aired its last episode Monday night and count me among those who were slightly disappointed with the two-hour Fox finale which was more fitting for the end of a season rather than a series. The show starred Kiefer Sutherland as special agent Jack Bauer and it’s been among my favorites during its eight year run which saw many cast changes as Jack was the only character to last all eight seasons. I guess what I wanted last night was for Bauer to get on a plane at the end and live happily ever-after instead of being a fugitive on the run again plus there are other questions. However maybe they’ll be answered in the major motion picture which is expected to begin filming in the very near future.

I want to mention the Toms River Regional Schools Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which was held Friday in the Poland Spring Arena. I was the Master of Ceremonies for the district’s fourth class of inductees which spanned generations from 1926 graduate Cleveland Gaiter, the first African-American to play sports at Toms River High School to 1999 Toms River North graduate Lauren Anderson. Many of the inductees had not been back to the area for years and enjoyed reminiscing about their school days during a dinner afterwards at the Holiday Inn of Toms River. A special thank you to Superintendent Michael J. Ritacco who surprised me with the presentation of the Hall of Fame’s Service Award. Ritacco, knowing that the Dallas Cowboys are my least-favorite football team, presented me with shirt autographed by the coaching staff and a personalized picture from quarterback Tony Romo. I’m still considering selling them on eBay.
The Hall of Fame Committee and Athletic Secretary Joyce Willie did an outstanding job with the event.

Toms River’s Jeff Frazier singled and doubled in two at-bats against Washington Nationals top draft pick Stephen Strasburg in a Triple-A game last night. Strasburg allowed his first two runs in nearly 21 innings as he gets ready to come up to the majors. Frazier finished the night 3-4 and is now hitting .282 with Toledo, the Tigers Triple-A team.

The Beachwood Soccer Club holds registration for the Fall Season this week at the Soccer Complex on Berkeley Avenue. Registration will be held tonight, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-7:30…there will also be a final registration on June 14th. For more information you can also visit

Monday, May 24, 2010

Her Deadly Phrases


I’m guessing this was written by a man, but I think the translations are actually pretty funny if you let them be! Ha!

1.“Fine.” She uses this in an argument to tell you it’s time to shut up.

2.“Five minutes.” If she’s getting dressed, this can mean 30-minutes or even more. But if you’re watching a game and she gives you ‘five minutes’, then five minutes means five minutes.

3.“Nothing.” ‘Nothing’ means something, and you’re going to find that out sooner or later.

4.“Go ahead.” This is a dare. Be careful, because if you “go ahead” and do whatever it is you want to do, things could get ugly.

5.“That’s ok.” This is a delay tactic. She just needs some more time to figure out how to make you pay.

6.“Thanks.” She’s genuinely thankful, so you need to just say ‘you’re welcome’ and then back away. If she says “Thanks a lot,” she’s being sarcastic and you’re in big trouble if you say “You’re welcome.”

7.“Whatever.” This is bad. This is really bad. This is like the middle finger.

8.“Don’t worry about it. I got it.” You haven’t done something she’s asked you to do so many times now that she’s really mad.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sports Friday

Albert Einstein once said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” For that reason alone you have to give credit to the horse racing officials behind the major schedule change at Monmouth Park this summer.

Attendance at Monmouth and most other tracks around the country has been declining so rather then just try different promotions the Oceanport facility will change the way they do business. Monmouth Park opens tomorrow and the 50-day summer meet will be conducted on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only through Labor Day.

Top-seeded Toms River South has advanced to the semifinals of the Shore Conference Baseball Tournament after shutting out Howell 5-0 Thursday.
Monmouth University-bound lefty Andrew McGee threw a 3-hitter and struck out 9 while also doubling in a pair of runs. An interested spectator at the game was former Indian star Todd Frazier, now playing for the Cincinnati Reds Triple A team in Louisville. The Bats had a morning game at nearby Lehigh Valley so after going 1-2 Frazier came home with his parents and will head back for tonight’s game. While Todd has been struggling and is batting only .192 he told me he feels very comfortable at the plate and is confident things will turn around.

Also in the Shore Conference Tournament, 11th seeded Jackson Liberty scored two runs in the top of the 7th to tie the game and an inning later stunned Wall 5-4. The Lions now play town rival and defending champion Jackson Memorial in the semifinals.

8 weeks from tonight the US Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic will be played at Matawan High School, matching the best recently-graduated seniors from Monmouth and Ocean County against one another. Last night players, coaches, game officials and others gathered at Wall High School for media night, sponsored by Jersey Mike’s Subs. The head coaches for the July 16th football game are Joe Martucci of Matawan and Toms River East’s Charlie Diskin. Lacey coach Lou Vircillo has done a tremendous job in running the game along with the Shore Football Coaches Foundation and we will broadcast it live on the Shore Sports Network.

Matt Harmon and I will broadcast tomorrow’s BlueClaws-West Virginia game on 1160 and 1310AM. First pitch at FirstEnergy Park is 4:05.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Parking In $easide Park

I have said a lot of positive things over the years about Seaside Park so I feel its okay to express some negative thoughts about an issue that irks me a bit.
For more than 30 years I have spent a good portion of my down time on the 2nd Avenue beach in the borough and I will be back again this summer but I and many others will not be as happy. In order to bring in additional revenue without hurting the taxpayer Seaside Park has taken away a couple of hundred free parking spaces near the beach and boardwalk in the southern part of the borough. Centralized pay stations have been installed near beach entrances and if you want to park in the spots closest to the beach and boardwalk you will have to pay for them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

My goal has always been to get to the beach early so I could get one of these prime spots as they are obviously the first to fill-up on nice beach days.
However it will now cost me and everyone else $1.50 per hour to park in these spots which previously were free. I fully understand the town council seeking ways to bring in revenue and if I was a taxpayer I might be in favor of the new parking plan. However I think $1.50 per hour is excessive when you consider many of these parking spots are used by local people who are spending a day on the beach. For someone like me it would cost about $10 per day to park and over the course of the summer that will add up. Of course you might say then I should park on the street as those spots are free.
The problem there is that residents occupy many of those spaces and it can be very tight….it’s easy to get boxed in by other cars.

Another way this new parking system is detrimental is that it will be enforced 24 hours a day. So if you want to come over early in the morning to fish, walk or ride your bike you’ll still have to pony up $1.50 per hour for the pleasure. Not that my opinion counts for anything but many of the spaces I am talking about are used by people from the Toms River area and even borough residents themselves who don’t live close to the beach and boardwalk. At the very least they could have made it easier by maybe charging $1.00 an hour beginning at 9am or something like that. However stealing a line from Gordon Gekko in the movie WALL STREET….”greed is good” and Seaside Park’s Parking pay stations are just another example.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

I’m still sweating and breathing heavy after watching the latest and next-to-last episode of the TV show “24” which stars Kiefer Sutherland as special agent Jack Bauer. While it’s my favorite show, the last year or so has not been nearly as good as it once was and it’s no surprise that this is the final season. However Jack and the gang are going out with a bang as the last few episodes have been gripping and Monday’s was breathtaking. This Monday’s two-hour series finale is one I will have to watch live because I need to know the ending.

While I mentioned this last week I want to again plug Saturday night’s wrestling fundraiser at Toms River High School East for Danny Peoples, a former Raider wrestler suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The 25-year old Peoples does not have insurance and the money raised will help in the cost of his treatments. The wrestling starts at 6pm with tickets costing $10 and there will be a host of matches featuring current and former greats of the mat. Two-time national qualifier Devin Mesanko will go against his former East teammate and state champion Vinnie Salek…Heavyweight Kyle Bilquist, a two-time college All-American from Toms River South will wrestle state runner-up Harry Turner from Howell….Rutgers freshman Vinnie DelleFave, a two-time state champion at East will go up against former state champ Terrance Clendenin. There will be many other top-notch matches plus a special appearance by UFC World Champion Frank Edgar.

I know that many towns have cut defeated school budgets and while some of the cuts were not significant the one in Lakewood makes you wonder how anyone can expect a quality education in the future. I realize it’s a town that has issues and interests that are somewhat unique but public education is suffering dearly there and you have to feel for those that care, including administrators, teachers and most importantly students who want and need to learn.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Toms River Regional School Hall Of Fame

The Toms River Regional School District will salute those who have contributed to their athletic success Friday when eighteen former student-athletes, three coaches, one administrator and three championship teams will be honored during the 2010 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Ritacco Center. The 5pm program is free and open to the public and I will serve as Master of Ceremonies. As in the past the ceremony will recognize the athletic contributions of former greats from Toms River High School (when there was just one) as well as present-day East, North and South.

The four inductees from Toms River High School are all being honored posthumously and will be represented by their sons. Cleveland Gaiter, Bartholemew Ellis and Lewis Elverson were standouts from the 1920’s and 30’s while Nathaniel Detwiler was a coach and administrator for 37 years who originated traditions still being used today.

The Toms River South inductees feature a trio of football greats and two outstanding female athletes. Bob Hermanni, Rich Longo & James Panzini will take their place in the Hall along with all-around standout Kathy Britton and softball record-holder Jodi (Solana) Ussery. Longtime coach Fran Pressey will also be honored as will the championship 1982 Girls Soccer Team that was coached by Jim Maguire.

Toms River North’s honored group includes two-sport standouts Lynn (Gesser) Fronzak, Mike Peto and Brian Clark, football star and Super Bowl champion Darian Barnes and softball great Lauren Anderson. Ray Cervino, who coached the Mariners Girls Basketball team for more than 20 years, goes into the Hall along with the 1993 state championship Ice Hockey team coached by Frank Anzalone.

Heading up the group of Toms River East Raiders is former three-sport athlete James Verderosa, field hockey standout Barbara (Lecoque) Bauerband, basketball’s Matt Tchir, football great Brian Giamo and multi-sport athlete Michelle (Betz) Kuczma. Gail Halbfoster, who coached Field Hockey and Softball, will be saluted along with the 1987 baseball team which won a state sectional title under Coach Bill Frank.

Once again Friday’s Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Ritacco Center begins at 5pm and is open to the public.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Prom Preparation

Regardless of how many children you have there is something unique about your youngest because your experience things with them for the last time.
My youngest Alex is an 18-year old senior at Toms River South and this past weekend is a perfect example of what I mean. Friday night was her senior prom and as I’m sure many of you know this high school tradition is quite a bit different for a girl then a boy. With my son six years ago the preparation consisted of renting a tux and ordering flowers…actually I’m sure his mother took care of that. Prom-day itself was pretty simple….shower, get dressed, pre-prom pictures, limo, prom and that’s it.

Well for a girl it’s a completely different story. The search for the perfect dress and accessories was rather time-consuming on its own but of course I was not involved at all…it was a mother and daughter thing. Friday was a stress-filled journey of deadlines….hair appointment at 2pm, Make-up at 3:30, home to change and off to pictures. With that said it really was kind of fun as there were about 50 students and many of the parents who gathered at an pre-prom picture party in Toms River complete with food and non-alcoholic beverages. That’s where they also boarded a limo bus which they had rented from North Jersey which would take them to and from the prom in Freehold. Truthfully everything went perfect and all the students look amazing. My “little girl” was nearly as tall as me in her high-heels and was stunning.

However only 18 hours later the wardrobe was a bit different as prom dress was replaced by lacrosse uniform. South was hosting Kingsway in a State Tournament game that would go back-and-forth before the visitors scored the game-winning goal with just 10 seconds left. Suddenly you realize that all of the years of driving to and from practices and games are over because that loss ended her season and high school athletic career. Alex was in tears afterwards as were most of her teammates, especially the seniors because the ending is so sudden….no practice today but rather turn in your uniform.
Truthfully it’s just as final for me because I enjoyed almost every moment from the time she played soccer as a 5-year old through her field hockey and lacrosse career in high school. 28 days until graduation and I’m sure it will fly by.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today’s segment is certainly not an original and the latest which portrays the difference in growing up today as opposed to say just 30 years ago. Even relatively young parents with teen-agers admit that in many cases their kids have it much easier then they did.

It was not that long ago when the Internet did not exist so if you wanted to know something you had to go to the library and look it up…by the way those libraries did not have coffee shops in them either.

There was no email…you actually had to write letters with a pen. Then you put a stamp on it and had to walk across the street and put the letter in the mailbox and it would not get there for a couple of days.

There were no MP3’s or Napsters or ITunes…if you wanted to “steal” music you had to get a ride to the record store and shoplift it yourself!
Or you had to wait around to tape it when your favorite radio station played the songs you wanted. By the way there were no CD players but tape decks in cars. Often when you hit the “eject” button the tape would get stuck and come undone and you might have to throw it away.

There were no cell phones so when you left your house it meant you would be out of touch with your friends for more than ten minutes. Can you imagine not being able to make or receive a call or even worse be able to text on a 24/7 basis?
By the way there was no Call Waiting so when you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal…what a tragedy.

In the old days there was no Cartoon Network….if you wanted to watch cartoons you waited for Saturday morning. After school or on weekends you did not play some fancy electronic game…rather you played outside with your friends and if you came back inside you got stuck doing chores.
Oh and child protective services did not care if your parents beat you…as a matter of fact your friends’ parents also had permission to whack you when needed.

Times really have changed….today’s younger generation could not have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moving Day

As you might have heard we’re undergoing a major renovation inside our Berkeley Township office building and broadcast location, which has been home to WOBM since 1968. I said “might have heard” because at times we’ve been on the air while workers were banging, hammering, sawing, etc. the past few weeks and there’s more to come. However yesterday was moving day for yours truly because after many years I’ve changed offices for logistical reasons. In some ways it was a small move as I’ve only gone 14 feet south in terms of distance but in others it’s a major adjustment. I mean for years and years I opened up the same office door each morning and today for the first time I’m in a new location.

However there’s much to like about my new digs which were previously occupied by our company President and CEO. That in itself should tell you this is an upgrade as I now have a window, TV with DVD player, my own printer and best of all a small refrigerator. Part of this is due to the fact that we’ve kept a desk in the office for when the “boss” is here so he feels comfortable. Even if I have to leave so he can use “my office” for confidential matters it’s still an upgrade from the work area I used to share with our Vice President of Engineering.

My new location gets me a bit closer to our broadcast studios and eventually our Newsroom which will be moved in the next week or so and even better there will be a brand new bathroom just outside my door…maybe that’s not such a good thing. Oh well time will tell but as the saying goes, “the only constant is change” so I will enthusiastically finish my move over the next few days. Have to try and find a place for plaques and pictures and 30 plus years of “stuff” but I think in the end I’m going to be happy. Truthfully the best part is I guess they are going to keep me around a bit longer or why bother with the move? That’s a somewhat secure feeling.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wrestling For Danny

There is no doubt that Ocean County has been a hot-bed for high school wrestling over the years. Rabid fans eagerly fill gyms for big matches and the wrestling community in general is a tight-knit group formed by mutual respect for what it takes to compete in a sport filled with sacrifices.
This same community will join forces to help one of their own on Saturday, May 22nd when Toms River High School East hosts “Wrestling for Danny.”
The evening will bring together current and former wrestling greats for the benefit of former East grappler Danny Peoples. The 25-year old is suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and all proceeds will go to help with his treatments as Peoples does not have insurance.

Event organizers are still working on finalizing the matchups which will feature wrestlers from all three Toms River high schools as well as others from the shore. Two-time state champion Vinny Dellafave, who is now at Rutgers will meet former state champion Terrance Clendenin…Devin Mesanko, a two-time college national qualifier will oppose former state high school champion Vinnie Salek and others scheduled to wrestle include Andy Chencharik, Jeff Gauthier, Kyle Billquist, Billy Wilbert, Kevin Corrigan and many others. Next Saturday’s fundraising event will feature a special appearance by Ultimate Fighting Champion Frankie Edgar, who will be signing autographs and also performing a wrestling clinic. Edgar is a former East great who is currently an assistant coach at Rutgers in addition to world champion in another sport. Doors open at 5pm.

It seems fitting that Toms River South and Jackson Memorial should meet in the finals of the Ocean County Baseball Tournament. The teams had identical records at the time the tournament was seeded but the Jaguars got the #1 spot by virtue of a coin toss. They also got quite a scare from surging Brick Memorial in Tuesday’s semifinals before prevailing 6-5 on Joe Ogren’s run-scoring double in the bottom of the 11th inning. As a side note, Jackson’s Bryan Solomon saw his streak of 9 consecutive games with a home run come to an end one shy of the national record.

In the second semifinal at Ken Frank Stadium the two-time defending champion South Indians topped Toms River East 5-2 behind a four-hit, 11 strikeout performance from Rich Gabriel. Jackson & South meet Saturday night at Toms River North in the OCT Finals. It will be the third meeting between the teams as they split two games during the regular season.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kids Say The Darndest Things

There has been so much negative stuff in the news lately regarding education
and teachers that when I left this morning my wife handed me something she received in her school yesterday and said maybe this would be good time to read these. The title is “Children Are Quick” and if you remember the old Art Linkletter “Kids Say the Darndest Things” then this is similar to that.

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct! Now class, who discovered America”
CLASS: Maria.

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell “crocodile?”
TEACHER: No, that’s wrong.
GLENN: Maybe it’s wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t
have ten years ago.

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry
tree, but he also admitted it. Now, Louis, do you know why his
father didn’t punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Clyde, your essay on “My Dog” is exactly the same as your
brother’s. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No sir….it’s the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when
people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.

On a totally unrelated note the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore staged another successful golf outing Monday at Pine Barrens in Jackson. With plenty of help from Honorary Chairperson State Senator Jennifer Beck, the event raised about
$65,000 to support Girl Scout programs. I MC’d the Awards Program.

Kids Say The Darndest Things

There has been so much negative stuff in the news lately regarding education
and teachers that when I left this morning my wife handed me something she received in her school yesterday and said maybe this would be good time to read these. The title is “Children Are Quick” and if you remember the old Art Linkletter “Kids Say the Darndest Things” then this is similar to that.

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct! Now class, who discovered America”
CLASS: Maria.

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell “crocodile?”
TEACHER: No, that’s wrong.
GLENN: Maybe it’s wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t
have ten years ago.

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry
tree, but he also admitted it. Now, Louis, do you know why his
father didn’t punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Clyde, your essay on “My Dog” is exactly the same as your
brother’s. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No sir….it’s the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when
people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.

On a totally unrelated note the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore staged another successful golf outing Monday at Pine Barrens in Jackson. With plenty of help from Honorary Chairperson State Senator Jennifer Beck, the event raised about
$65,000 to support Girl Scout programs. I MC’d the Awards Program.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scanning The Globe

Scanning the globe…well at least a small part of it this morning:

Over the past few years my wife has made several trips to Barnegat to a place called “Recycling the Past” and has returned with a variety of very neat and rather old items. On Saturday she asked if I would take a ride with her and I said “yes” and was fairly enthusiastic about seeing this place for the first time. After an hour or so perusing their yard I have to say this is truly a unique place that most don’t even know exists. Words can’t really describe it but needless to say there are one-of-a-kind treasures especially for those who like architectural antiques. The place is filled with old doors and windows, iron gates, stained glass windows, plumbing fixtures, statues, lighting fixtures and more from all over the world. I learned that it’s a family-owned business and people from all over come to and know of its existence. If this is your kind of thing then take a ride….”Recycling the Past” is located on Route 9 in Barnegat, across the street from the old Elizabeth Edwards Elementary School.

When it comes to lacrosse at the shore Monmouth County certainly has had the best of it over their rivals from Ocean County. Both the Boys & Girls Shore Conference Tournaments have reached the semifinal round and the only Ocean County team left is the Toms River North girls, who put their 15-0 record on the line this afternoon. The fourth-seeded Mariners visit top-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven while five-time defending champion Shore Regional hosts Manasquan. North has been led all season long by Tatum Coffey, who has a shore-leading 157 points on 87 goals and 70 assists…the second leading scorer is 55 points back. The Mariners did win the SCT in 2000 & 2004.

The Ocean County Baseball Tournament semifinals are scheduled for tomorrow night at Toms River South’s Ken Frank Stadium. Top-seeded Jackson Memorial is scheduled to play Brick Memorial at 4pm and in the nightcap Toms River East will take on the two-time defending champion South Indians. The finals are scheduled for Saturday night.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

We have created days for just about everyone and enough manufactured holidays so it seems like there is always a reason to buy someone a card, flowers or even lunch. This week alone has featured National Teachers Day and Cinco de Mayo and Nurses Day is next Wednesday. Not to take anything away from them but the day that really counts is Mother’s Day which of course is this Sunday. Of all the days noted on the calendar as being somewhat special this is the one truly worthy of acknowledgment and celebration while for some it’s a time to reflect on what they have lost.

Think about it…when we were young we’d make a card in school or even a special present which we gave to Mom with a big smile on our face. Then as we got older it was time to scrape up a few bucks and buy flowers or candy, usually Dad had to help out because we never had enough money. The years go by and you get married and now inherit a Mother-in-Law in addition to your Mother and once you have children the day goes into a totally different level.

I’ve always considered myself lucky in having a Mom who I’m not only close too but consider a friend every bit as much as a Mother. Felice Williams is truly an amazing woman who walks to and from work five days a week, has been blessed with great health (she can’t remember the last time she took an aspirin) and loves to talk sports. A die-hard New York fan, she loves the Giants and roots for both the Mets & Yankees which bothers me a bit, and will watch golf on the weekends. I also have a wonderful relationship with my Mother-In-Law, Jill Viggiano who treats me like a son…she has three daughters so I know I’m a breath of fresh air for her.

Every bit as lucky this Sunday are my children who have a truly fantastic mother and while I know they realize it when you are younger you often take things for granted. Jane without question has been the backbone of our family and like in many families has two careers….one in education and the other at home. Both are full-time jobs and I do marvel at how she and other moms manage to get all the work done. But they do which is why Mother’s Day is so special and deserving of a spot on the calendar and a place in our hearts.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nobody Asked Me But...

Nobody is asking my opinion but if they did I would tell them:

• The new restrictions being placed on first-year drivers in New Jersey
might be valid but the decal system is not going to work. It’s not a
matter of teen-agers not conforming but their parents who don’t
want to “advertise” that a car is being driven by a 17-year old.
Something has to change to make this a viable program.

• It’s one thing to say Governor Christie is shaking things up but I
believe at some point the Governor will realize you have to pick your battles because you can’t win them all. I just hope for him and
New Jersey it’s not too late.

• The Mets might not be a very good team but their TV and radio
broadcasters are the best…not counting Vin Scully of the
Dodgers who stands alone.

• Nobody fully understands the rules associated with the sport of
Lacrosse and I’m convinced that also includes coaches and yes even
the officials.

• You would have to be an idiot to support off-shore drilling for oil in
New Jersey unless there was a 100% guarantee that you could prevent the kind of spill that is wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast.
Try and imagine that happening here weeks before the start of the
tourism season....kiss the county and state economy goodbye.

• The greatest thrills you’ll ever experience in your life involve your
children which also mean that their disappointments are very much
yours as well.

• Of the two morons who ran onto the field at Citizens Bank Park this
week the one who didn’t get tasered was the biggest loser. He had
marijuana in his possession…what did he think, they wouldn’t find it?

• Cinco de Mayo should always be on a Friday or Saturday but I
guess that really wouldn’t work would it?

• Sure Tiger Woods screwed up but really Jesse James is the bigger
idiot. He lost Sandra Bullock for ever.

Worst Ways To Break Up With Someone

(According to a survey by BounceBack)

On vacation -- Great, you’ve now wasted time and money and now you’re stuck out of the state or even the country with this person.

In a text message -- Enough said.

On Facebook -- Status changed to ‘single’? Even a text has more class than that.

Around the family -- Don’t make it a family affair. You’ll regret it later.

5. At a wedding -- Don’t decide to break up with someone on a day that is the ultimate celebration of love and commitment.

At your ‘special place’ -- No place that you’ve both deemed special to your relationship is an acceptable place to break it off. Let ‘crappy break-up place’ be different.

In bed -- At least wait until you’re both dressed so someone can flee if they want to.

On Valentine’s Day—Seriously, if things aren’t going well pick one of the 13 days before the day celebrating love.

By doing nothing -- Simply vanishing – no note, no calls, no anything – may just be the worst way to handle a breakup. It is definitely the wimpiest.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tasered At The Game

With all that is going on locally and around the world the most discussed issue yesterday might have been whether or not it was appropriate for a Philadelphia police officer to use a taser on a fan who ran onto the field at Citizens Bank Park Monday night. Ironically another fan ran onto the field during last night’s game but gave himself up without incident.

Back to Monday when 17-year old Steve Consalvi leapt onto the field in the top of the 8th inning during the Phillies games with St. Louis. The high school senior ran around the outfield waving a white towel and dodged two security officers before a police officer used his stun gun on the teenager, who stumbled and slid face-first on the grass. Consalvi was down
for about 30 seconds before standing up and walking off the field. He was charged with defiant trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

While Phillies players on the field had to use there gloves to hide their laughter players from both teams admitted afterwards that fans running on the field is no laughing matter. Part of the problem is you don’t know what the intentions of those fans are as there have been cases of violence in the past. But Tuesday the conversation was all about the use of a taser and whether or not it was excessive force. Police officials are looking into the matter and might not even have officers on the field in the future but rather let stadium security handle incidents with unruly fans that are non-threatening.

Truthfully once a fan runs onto the field they forfeit being treated fairly because you don’t know at that point what they are going to do. Most of the time it’s a case of too much alcohol or them trying to win a bet but what would we be talking about today IF that kid on Monday had a weapon and eventually went after a player? Poor fan behavior has been tolerated and accepted for too long and frankly it’s only a matter of time before there is a tragedy.

By the way, most Phillies fans thought Monday’s incident was comical as their team was losing by three runs at the time. However when a 34-year old man did it again last night they booed and it was made worse by the fact that the delay seemed to impact pitcher Cole Hamels and it nearly cost them a victory. Not quite as funny under those circumstances.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Adventures In Driving Around Ocean County

I understand road rage more every day and honestly I’m surprised there are not more instances of drivers just losing it. As a matter of fact if you want to witness up close and personal man’s driving inhumanity to man then just check out what’s happening on Route 37, just west of Community Medical Center in Toms River.

That roadway has been a problem for about a week because of a giant sinkhole and for a small stretch just west of Hospital Drive there is one lane instead of three. Signs warn motorists that the left lanes are closed and for the most part drivers move to the right lane where things certainly can back up for a bit. Most understand this and patiently creep along until the roadway goes back to three lanes. But there are those who obviously feel their time is more valuable than others so what they do is attempt to stay in the left lane until the very last moment. Those low-life’s pass car after car and then put on their right signal and attempt to squeeze in front of those who have formed a single lane well before.

I live for the moment when it’s my car they are trying to cut in front of because there is no way that’s happening. I know this is immature and not what should happen but sometimes you reach that point where it really doesn’t matter.
What I would love to see is a traffic officer just standing there and writing tickets for those rotten, no good, you know what drivers who could make the situation better for everyone by just moving into the single lane like others.

While on the subject of driving I do not remember being told that busses have the right to do anything they want when they want to. I will admit I’m not really familiar with the laws governing busses or I have forgotten what I learned during Driver’s Ed. many years ago. When a New Jersey Transit Bus traveling on Route 9 pulls over to pick up passengers shouldn’t they have to check and make sure the road is clear before proceeding again?

Yesterday I began passing a bus that was stopped and all of a sudden it started again and nearly forced me into the oncoming lane. I really don’t know if I was wrong or not but I do know the bus was bigger.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This & That

A little of this and a little of that on the first Monday of May:

Less than three months ago as we were still digging out from the last of several snowstorms and winter seemed like it would never end I’m sure there were many of us who vowed not to complain about heat. Well as the temperature climbed to near 90 and the humidity kicked in over the weekend how many of you went back on your word and moaned about it being too hot?

Baseball truly is a funny game. After crushing the Phillies Friday night for their 8th consecutive victory I’m sure there were plenty of Mets fans thinking about a weekend sweep. After all the Amazins’ had their best two pitchers going on in the next two games in Mike Pelfrey & Johan Santana. So what happens…the Phillies score 21 runs and win both games in a laugher and move back into first place in the NL East. Remember it’s a long season.

It will probably be quite a while before we know all the details that led to the death of Darnell Myres but he is the latest in a long line of star high school athletes who never really found great success once his playing days were over. The 43-year old Myres fell into a coma following a skirmish with security guards last Wednesday at Community Medical Center…he was eventually transferred to Monmouth Medical Center and the family removed him from life support on Sunday. Myres won the NJSIAA heavyweight wrestling title as a junior at Toms River South in 1984 and the following year while at Central Regional was the 189 pound state champ. He was also a pretty good football player and made the WOBM All-County team as a defensive lineman in his junior season with the Indians. A sad ending for sure but the kind we hear far too often.

The Lakewood BlueClaws begin their second homestand of the season tonight and Yankees and Mets fans can see some of their future prospects over the next eight games. The BlueClaws play four against Charleston, the Class A affiliate of the Yankees and then four against the Mets single A team…the Savannah Sand Gnats.