Monday, February 28, 2005
I'm sure everyone's either read or heard about this past Sunday's New York Times article on the Monmouth 11. There's more in the Jersey section too - just haven't gotten to it yet.
Hey, does anyone know what happened with this vote?
Time to shovel.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
John Schabe, the editor NJ.com, has posted some more photos of the cast of Monmouth's 11, including Joseph "Tricky Dick" McCurnin, the operations manager for the Monmouth County Department of Transportation.
Allright, enough of this scandal business for a day or two.
On 2/22 I wrote about how the Two River Times stopped publishing its articles online (first item). In its 2/25 issue the TRT published a letter from David Prown of Red Bank complaining about this new policy. The paper provided a response:
We are working to address the problems our subscribers are having with our website and hope to have them resolved very soon.
Mr. & Mrs. Gooch (owners of the paper): you're lying. There are no "problems" - you simply decided not to publish your articles online anymore. And I quote from the TRT website once you click on a story:
Want to read this article? The Two River Times is available exclusively in print. Subscribe or click here to find out where you can buy this weeks issue.
The problems subscribers are having is with the silly decision to not publish the paper online. As Mr. Prown notes in his letter, "do you really think you are losing subscribers to those who only read your paper online only?"
Check out this Jersey blog from Mike Hill (no relation): Sluggo Needs A Nap. Mike covers everything from NJ politics to history, literature and life with the family. He even has his novel, Asbury Park, posted online. He also provided a link to the hit new snack from the makers of Doritos - Politicos.
Check out AH resident and publisher of the Atlantic Highlands Herald, Allan Dean, on News 12 New Jersey this weekend. Show times here.
Here's your weekly progress report on the Marxist-Communist revolution brought to you by everyone's favorite wacky uncle, Bishop Gordon.
Let's all go to FoodTown at the same time and be real nasty to each other!
Customer 1: That's MY MILK YOU BASTARD!
Customer 2: Hey, wait, you're THE JERK THAT CUT ME OFF IN THE PARKING LOT.
Mayhem ensues in aisle 8
Track the nor'easter here.
The stars have aligned and all that is good will be coming together on March 14th at the Waldorf in New York City - Bruce Springsteen will induct U2 into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. The flip side, well it's a little scary that the band I grew up idolizing is now in the Hall of Fame, isn't that for like, The Beatles, The Stones and Lynard Skynard? Second, how rock and roll is the Waldorf Astoria? Shouldn't they do these awards at some dive bar in the Lower East Side?
Friday, February 25, 2005
Yesterday we learned that interference from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office compromised the sting operation that netted the arrest of 11 officials. One unidentified source at the FBI said that County Prosecutor John Kaye "blew the undercover phase of the bribery sting." Unnamed FBI sources are also accusing Kaye of seeking information about the undercover officers, not the suspects in the sting operation. Now Kaye and the U.S. Attorney's office are playing a game of he said she said. I asked my Magic 8-Ball this morning if Kaye was going to survive what could potentially be another scandal in this increasingly disturbing story and it told me, "outlook does not look good."
And it just keeps getting worse, the suicide of Deputy Sheriff Allan D. Brunner on Thanksgiving is now tied to the web of investigations by the County and the Feds.
Middletown asked Committeeman Ray O'Grady to resign his position on Wednesday. O'Grady has thus far declined to comment on the charges. Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina released a statement about O'Grady saying, "I am not saying what he did was right but he has been a valued member of the community. He has done so much for the community it ought to be weighed heavily." I'm aware that O'Grady has a long track record of community involvement, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County, but the fact is that if the charges do result in a conviction he will, and should, be remembered for this one (perhaps many - the operation lasted over the span of a few years) bad decision. All for $6,000. I can smell an idiot a mile a way.
And just who is this Robert Steffer, the mystery contractor who is at the heart of the sting operation. Well, all I'll say is he has vanity plates on his two cars - STEFFER and MR DUKE.
In the wake of this scandal I attended the Borough Council meeting last night as a pay-to-play ordinance was being introduced. There will be a formal public hearing on the ordinances next month (3/23). I should have the ordinances posted online soon for people to download. I'm also reviewing them in detail but already know in theory this is a good step for the town to take. There was some conversation about the pay-to-play ordinance, which came off mostly as a few folks trying to poke holes in a good thing. Developers and the purchase of tickets was a hot issue and one question was something to the effect of how do these ordinances stop someone from getting their brother-in-law or friend down the street from purchasing tickets. Uh? They don't, shouldn't and can't. Questions for questions sake does not insight make. I hope the meeting on 3/23 will draw a good crowd as the topic deserves intelligent discussion.
I must say, our council meetings are quite entertaining. What was a fairly civilized evening got all kinds of crazy toward the end. I guess I should have known something was bound to happen after the Mayor began the meeting informing all in attendance that he would not tolerate the "personal attacks and blatantly political statements" that occurred last month. I guess that's irony and foreshadowing all rolled up in one. (Hmm, is ironic foreshadowing an oxymoron?) Anyway, the really hot issue was the Borough Attorney's bill for December. The motion to approve the bill for payment drew criticism from Councilman Archibald who claimed something to the effect that "this was a sad day for the Atlantic Highlands taxpayer" once the bill was approved.
I'm not going to get into all the particulars but there was some sly questioning of the attorney's integrity, a rebuttal from Councilwoman Ladiana that the bills were in line with the previous attorney's bills, a strenuous rebuttal from the attorney herself, calls of out-of-orderness from the peanut gallery and finally a 4-3 approval to pay the bill. Archibald then pulled out some kind of spreadsheet out to prove his case. I must say, the whole episode reeked of a political stunt as the attorney was willing to meet with anyone who had questions about her bill but it took Archibald almost two weeks to contact her to schedule a meeting. Those opposed to payment did not do due diligence to resolve the (non) issue. You snooze you lose.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
These guys will make a formidable 3-on-3 team on the penitentiary b-ball court. From left to right: Hazlet Mayor Paul Coughlin (R), Keyport Mayor John J. Merla (R), West Long Branch Mayor Paul Zambrano (D).
Thanks to Patrick at Jerseystyle for the pics.
More stories from the Asbury Park Press here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Stories from NJ.com here (of note, NJ.com reports that the contractor used in the sting was Robert Steffer, of Steffer Industries), here and here.
And now, ladies and gentlemen...the perp walk.
So, now what? Well, I have to imagine that these arrests will shake up Monmouth County politics for a very, very long time. The implications of these men's actions will be felt by the constituents they represent even longer. I've followed local campaigns in Atlantic Highlands and have witnessed the hard work that volunteers put in for their candidates and have to imagine there are a lot of angry people in Keyport, Hazlet and West Long Branch right now.
I encourage all residents of Atlantic Highlands that read The Muse to attend tonight's Borough Council meeting at 7:30. The issue of ethics reform, including the introduction of a pay-to-play ordinance, is going to be addressed during the public hearing portion (note - the item was on the agenda before yesterday's arrests). The introduction of these ordinances are the result of a year's worth of diligent work by two sitting Council members, Lou Fligor (R) and Stephanie Ladiana (D), and a member of the Planning & Zoning board, Benson Chiles. Perhaps AH can set an example for the rest of the County on how to proactively preserve the integrity of our local political system.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
The AH Herald has many more details here.
Here's just a taste: former Middletown Mayor Ray O'Grady allegedly took two payments totaling $6,000 for awarding work to a certain contractor (in this case a contractor who was working for the FBI). When undercover agents asked O'Grady if he was scared of getting caught he said "he could smell a cop a mile away." HA!
This is truly unbelievable - or sadly, perhaps it's not at all that unbelievable. I have to imagine that when each of the 11 people arrested today started their career in government, they did so with a purpose to change things for the better. I doubt any of them would have imagined that 10 or 20 years down the road they would be accepting illegal cash gifts in restaurants, acting like the crooked politicians and mobsters you see in movies. Just what in the hell happens to people?
In October 2002 O'Grady said "I’ve always felt it’s very important to pay back the community in which you live with kindness" (The Independent). He sure has a funny way of showing it.
I'll continue to follow the story as it develops, needless to say this will have an enormous impact on the county and subsequently, Atlantic Highlands.
In the meantime, check out the New Jersey Politicians Hall of Shame.
The Two River Times has stopped posting their articles online. Jerks. Not only does the new publisher's silly editorials annoy me but now his business plan annoys me as well. Heck, I'd pay a small subscription fee if I had to.
Monmouth County was one of the leaders in the country for job growth and nonresidential development in 2004.
And where are all these new workers going to live? Middletown, of course. (But that's just like saying they'll live in Monmouth County.) Middletown is looking to add new housing developments along three stretches of Route 36, including one by the A&P.
Some interesting news from the pages the Bayshore Courier's legal notices:
- The Planning Board of AH is holding a hearing on 3/10 to talk about a stormwater management plan which requires an amendment to the town's Master Plan of the Borough of Atlantic Highlands. I assume this Master Plan is available for perusing at Borough Hall? I think I need to check this out.
- I don't know all the facts behind this "action" (PB04-09, Block 81, Lot 6, 50 Asbury Avenue) but it seems approval was given to someone to demolish an existing residence. I hope we're not setting a precedent where people can buy homes in AH, knock 'em down and build McMansions. I've seen this happen first hand in parts of Westchester County, NY and the result was absolutely horrifying. Anyone know the scoop here?
Looking beyond the most perfect town in the world to the best state in the country:
- Fausta at Bad Hair Blog provides insights and links on the state budget, taxes, rebates and pay-to-play reform.
- Speaking of pay-to-play reform, it's a hot topic in the AH Herald's Forums. Admittedly, I'm not well-versed on the topic but I'm doing some research and will have an informed opinion soon - other than being anti-corruption. In the meantime I'll try to provide some links that look at the issue. Here's one from Enlighten-New Jersey that looks at Senator Jon Corzine's recent comments on the topic.
SeaStreak will not tolerate drunkenness, lewdness, or any other unacceptable behavior. We ask our passengers to show respect for fellow passengers and those who may be traveling with young children.Quick, dump your stock in Sea Containers Ltd (SCRA and SCRB on the NYSE). Ridership, and profits, are about to take a plunge.
Sadly, Hunter S. Thompson decided to end his life on Sunday. I can't say that this came as a huge shock as he proudly boasted about his fascination and fun with drugs and guns - a combination that I'm sure caused some close calls in the past, if not for him, then for anyone around him. You could also say he was, uh, slightly eccentric. He was also a great writer - the kind that when you got stuck with your own writing, or reading, you could rely on to quickly inject some passion, laughter and insight to get you going again. While I know he's not for everyone, he's rightly credited with helping to revolutionize journalism. So for those who are not familiar with his writings you may want to check out my favorites: Hell's Angels and his most popular book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Friday, February 18, 2005
The AH Council voted unanimously not to pay the borough attorney's December bill. Pop the cork! The Council agreed on something unanimously. The matter will be discussed in more detail...where?..."inmyofficeinmyofficeinmyoffice."
Highlands passed a resolution to officially support the construction of the new bridge on Route 36. The Bayshore Courier reported that Highlands Councilwoman Anna Little said "she expects downtown Highlands to experience either very heavy or very light traffic when the bridge undergoes construction." Brilliant insight Councilwoman.
Not only is Virginia Bryan a poet but apparently she's also a soothsayer. In her poem, Atlantic Highlands, published on 1/27/05 on the Atlantic Highlands Herald she wrote: "A transformation awaits its birth/ For a new day has come/ One with a purpose of rejuvenation/ Of the creative spirit!" Well, it looks like baby transformation is due in April when Bryan hopes to expand the elementary school's after-school program to include her "Words, Creativity - Things N Me" program.
New Jersey's first Journalist of the Year, Bishop Gordon forgot to take his medication again. This time he jumps from the New Deal to Marxists taking over society to the US losing the war on communism. He accuses New Jersey voters of being "either brain-dead or stupid" for "voting for liberals over conservatives, who lean toward fiscal restraints and the 'rule of law'." Why in the world do both the Bayshore Courier and the Atlantic Highlands Herald bothering publishing this lunatic. I'd chalk up his rhetoric to just being over the top to get attention like so many radio/cable news talk show hosts but his columns and ramblings get so completely incoherent that I can only assume he takes few good slugs of whiskey before sitting down at the typewriter or he's just off his rocker.
AH Mayor Peter Donoghue speaks! Unfortunately his column in this week's Bayshore Courier is not posted online so you'll have to go spend the $.40 if you missed it as my scanner is acting funny. Unlike the Bishop, Donoghue is looking to bridge the partisan divide - especially among the current Borough Council, albeit with a few slaps to the face. He writes:
Donoghue then goes on to defend his, and the Democrats, record. However, the article doesn't seem to have changed anything and the soap opera at Borough Hall continued this week with accusations of forgery and a threat to call in the US Attorney's office in regards to a letter Councilman Carl Nolan sent to the DEP. In a nutshell:
For my money, those who have been chosen to serve should worry less about getting credit for progress rather than criticizing the efforts of others for fear those others might get credit for something good.
For my money, political figures should first find out how and why things are being handled in a certain way rather than being quick to attack.
Of course, public officials have the responsibility to oversee government. But they also have obligation to suggest better ways of doing things rather than getting carried away with constant carping.
- The Council and Congressman Pallone signed off on a letter to the DEP in October 2004 re: work being done near the Fireman's Field and Many Mind Creek by New Jersey Natural Gas.
- The person whom the letter was addressed to apparently left the DEP. Councilman Nolan re-sent the letter to the appropriate person in January. He put the current date on the letter and addressed it to the correct person. He also included a cover letter explaining the situation.
- Councilman Louis Fligor believes Nolan's actions constitute forgery and Joeseph Hawley believes Nolan's actions constitute a call to the US Attorney's office as a US Congressman's name was on the letter. Councilman Jack Archibald said "My signature was taken without permission" and "Give it back to me. Right now."
Who did we elect town shrink? Get him/her over to the republican party headquarters. I'm beginning to see a pattern of delusion here. The AH republican party is becoming a party of whiners. Everything the Democrats do seems to be a scandal, with "botched back-room deals," illegal political donations and now forgery and ethics violations. Meanwhile, serious thought needs to be put into how to best utilize our harbor and surrounding land, what is the town's master plan and what actions can we take to entice developers to do something with the empty lots along First Avenue. Not to mention all the hard work it takes to just keep the town running. If the current relationship between Council democrats and republicans is any indication of what November's election is going to be like we're in for some major BS and unnecessary drama this fall.
I think a bi-partisan Council is best as it should more accurately reflect the opinions of residents. I hope the republican party can find some November candidates with common sense and at least the pretense to want to work and accomplish goals with the democrats on the council.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
So couple of weekends ago, the AH Muse editor and I had our first close encounter with community theater (Dancing at Lughnasa, Monmouth Players). Aside from a few stark ohgod-I-really-am-in-my-thirties-if-I’m-doing-something-like-this moments, it was entirely enjoyable (I should note that this can also happen to me during routine parenting tasks; I’m learning to deal with it better).
We were long overdue to see one of the Monmouth Players productions as CJ (aka Carl) Nolan, our local council rep and sometime pal has performed in oodles of these shows. Seems like he’s always handing Tim or me a new postcard advertising the details of his latest engagement. Most of the time, we politely pocket the materials and then later, say before bed, spend a few minutes wondering what fresh brand of Waiting for Guffman horror we might find at said venue. I know, pretty immature, right? Can’t help it though -- I did some (limited) stage work in high school and the VHS footage my folks took of it is effing frightening and blackmail-worthy.
Anyhow, thrilled to report that it was an excellent night out – a little nosh at Indigo Moon (thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Donaghy for the gift certificate) beforehand and a rush to make the 8:15 curtain call. The usher fellow had a podium lit like a matre d’s and he looked down his shadowed nose at us a bit when we arrived at 8:17 saying, “You must be the Hills,” but then smiled and shuffled us quickly to our seats in the second row.
At this point, I was thinking: Crap. Second row? We’re totally exposed. What if we’re not good community theater people? (Snickering, laughing at all the wrong moments, getting sleepy, whatever.) Turns out, we didn’t need to be. These folks are talented -- turning out many believable, tender, and whole-hearted performances -- supported by a kind set and appropriate lighting design. And, to boot, in a very charming play.
Seriously, who are these people who hold down day jobs and then opt to memorize and rehearse two hours of dialogue --spoken entirely in a Brogue–in order to entertain 50 suburbanites on a Saturday night? Fascinating folks.
It’s kinda strange that in the end, the only thing that bothered me about the event was that I felt uncomfortable with the audience size – these performers, their performances, would only gain momentum from the response of a larger crowd. So, if you can catch them this weekend or next (Feb. 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, or 26tth), please do. They deserve more eyes.
The AH Muse Editor and I are already thinking about arriving slightly late for seats at their April production of Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor. See www.monnouthplayers.org for details.
Friday, February 11, 2005
9. Champagne and ribs at Memphis Pig Out - "Let me get that bbq sauce on your cheek for you. Hmmm....cheek sauce."
8. Snuggle up at the Scenic Liquors bar - "I love your scent - is it Winston Lights or Marlboro Reds?"
7. File for divorce at Borough Hall - "Couldn't we do this tomorrow?"
6. Ms. Pacman and the whites at the laundromat - "Your t-shirts have hamburger pits!"
5. Go see the new Winnie the Pooh movie at Atlantic Cinema 5 - "Ah, a night out away from the kids."
4. Jagermeister and schnitzel at the Hofbrauhaus - "When I get that feelin', I need Jagermeister and schnitzel..."
3. Pick up "the paper" at Foxhaus - "It's not mine! I swear!"
2. Hire a Seastreak captain to renew your vows on the way to work - "This IS NOT the cruise I had in mind."
1. Get a 1 hour room at the Leonardo Motel - "Oh sweetheart, the neon lights remind me of when we eloped in Vegas."
Don't be a library hater. Be a library lover. Or, at the very least, become a friend (with benefits?) of the library.
Acting Governor Richard Codey's brother got a nice raise the other day. It's good to know people in high places. I use to think it was scandalous when then Hoboken mayor Anthony Russo used to park his city-issued SUV on the sidewalk and stumble into the pub I lived on top of but after McGreevy and this Russo looks like a model citizen. [via The Jersey Side]
I'd really like to report on some more local buzz but news is slow coming. There's quite a bit of
In the absence of news there's always tequila! Register, drink and slur Spanish as you stumble home. Arriba! Arriba! Ándele! Ándele! Más tequila. Oh, dios mio.
Could you imagine a British company buying the Yankees? How do you think English soccer fans feel about the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trying to buy Manchester United?
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
I'll take this opportunity to point out some updates to your right. I've added some new links to the blogroll, specifically other blogs that comment on New Jersey issues and politics.
- The Jersey Side is a blog written by John Shabe of NJ.com. John covers the entire state and provides a pretty robust blogroll that links to all kinds of things New Jersey - including the Muse.
- DynamoBuzz is written by a metalhead father of three who dislikes "yuppie snobs who are always trying to impress you with their fine taste in wine, cars and vacation spots." The site is very informative and gives you a red-hued point of view on NJ politics.
- The Bad Hair Blog is written by Fausta Wertz of Princeton. She writes about Princeton, NJ politics and does a nice round-up of what other NJ bloggers are talking about.
- BuzzMachine is one of the most influential blogs in the country. Written by Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine covers media, politics, the First Amendment, and a bunch of other topics and issues. Jarvis was the person who after investigating "all the complaints" ABC received after the Nicollete Sheridan/Terrell Owens locker room promo on Monday Night Football found that the complaints were basically chain letters and only three original complaints (of 159) were received.
Hope you enjoy some of these other sites and check back in tomorrow.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Want to pay your parking tickets online? Or email your complaints to Borough Hall? Then stop by Wednesday's Borough Hall meeting and listen to a presentation from Cit-E-Net. I don't know much about Cit-E-Net but I've clicked around their site and they look legit - Parsippany currently uses them for online tax payments. Their business model reminds me of a fascinating documentary, Dot.Com, that followed an Internet start-up selling this same type of service. (Also, if anyone has spent time navigating the town's current website you know it desperately needs help.)
Also on the agenda is a request from the AH Chamber of Commerce for "Friday Night Music." I don't know the details but being the brainiac that I am I'm assuming this means the Chamber is looking for permission to have live music somewhere in town on Friday nights. I've got no problem with that - great idea. But please mix up the bands. And try to avoid guys playing acoustic guitar over pre-recorded music on fancy karaoke machines. I know karaoke is experiencing some sort of hipster renaissance because of Lost In Translation and some downtown NYC bars, but karaoke is really an evil, evil thing.
Speaking of (somewhat) indie movies, Lou Taylor Pucci, from Keansburg, won a Sundance Film Festival special jury prize for his role in Thumbsucker. [via The Jersey Side] He's also a member of a group in Red Bank called Improv Jam that performs on Saturday nights at the Internet Cafe.
As I was strolling down First Avenue over the weekend I noticed something delightful. It looks like I will no longer have to bathe myself with rendered animal fat (second to last item). Some sort of organic store is moving in next to Cheng's Garden and I'm assuming they'll have some kind of rendered animal fat-free soap.
Beach replenishment is destroying the best surfing spots on Sandy Hook and the rest of Monmouth County's beaches. The surfing lobby - dude, you like totally have to do this - convinced Rep. Frank Pallone and the EPA that a good compromise would be to construct an artificial reef. Rad.
New Jersey has it own P.J. O'Rourke. Tom Schneider's JerseyGOP website proclaims that he's "putting the party back in the Grand 'Ol Party." He even has a Republican Babe of the Week page.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Fred Rast experienced an epiphany one restless night and "suggested" the town build a new parking garage with retail space and a new town library on Railroad Avenue. Mayor Donoghue responded by saying, "the devil is in the details, of course. However, On the face of it, it sounds like a very attractive idea." Translation: get some sleep Fred. He may be on to something though. I think Railroad Ave. has potential for some interesting things. At the next council meeting Rast will explain how the town can secure the parking garage and all the library books using state of the art lazor beams.
The Friends of the Atlantic Highlands Library invite you to learn more about their organization on Tuesday, February 8th at 7:00.
AH resident William Eaton bodyslams Jack Archibald in a letter to the AH Herald. I have to say Jack has been very quiet in his Body Politic column the past couple of weeks. How long can that last?
Don't take the brown acid. Or the cyanide laced heroin. No, wait, our mistake party on. Just don't take anything to help your asthma.
Old people are trying to corrupt our youth with bingo. They must be stopped.
The county is close to raising the balance of the money needed to complete the 9/11 memorial at Mount Mitchell. I visited the memorial after it opened in September, 2004 and think whoever was in charge did a wonderful job. The landscaping is nice and the memorial, once the sculpted eagle is finished, I'm sure will be impressive. The new playground was also very well done. You can contribute to the memorial here.
From around the Internets:
- Petition to make the Daily Show an hour long [via BuzzMachine]
- Alternative Valentine's Day Cards from local humorist, Ben Kharakh
- Friday Lists from McSweeney's, including necrophiliac pick-up lines.
- Kinky Friedman is going to run for governor of Texas. Yee-haw! [via The Morning News]
- Geraldo Riveria will shave his mustache if Michael Jackson is convicted of child molestation. We live in a strange, strange world.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
First, I would like to address the necessity that you brush your teeth. For your information, local pharmacies and grocery stores provide, at a nominal charge, toothbrushes, which look like small hairbrushes. They have rubber grips that allow for secure handling while moving the brush up and down over your teeth and gums.
Many of us have a desire to brush our teeth in our homes. Those that do, mostly have regular toothbrushes. There are various ways to store your toothbrush when you are not actively brushing your teeth. You can obtain these toothbrush-storing systems by visiting most home goods stores.
The State of New Jersey "strongly recommends" taking care of your teeth. If you deprive children of proper dental care you could be held liable for poor, even failed, parenting. Beyond the fear of being held responsible, none of us want any cavities as a result of us being careless with our kids' dental care.
I can remember being a 10 or 11-years-old and going to sleepovers and thinking I don't have to brush my teeth because my mother wasn't around to make me. Thankfully, my friends had good parents too and they made me brush my teeth.
One of my friends had a father who was a dentist and preached preventive care all the time to his son. I can remember the son instructing me how to properly floss. The training given by my friend's father to his son, which was passed on to us, probably protected us all from ever being injured by the loaded weapon that is gingivitis.
The point is that children are curious. If you keep sweets in the house, make sure you have a good high shelf and a pretty ceramic jar that says "cookies" on it to keep them in. In a kitchen full of chairs, stools and cookbooks. More modern kitchens use motion detecting laser beams to protect the cookies and assorted Oreos and vanilla wafers. If you return home and hear the motion alarm going off and see a cracked ceramic jar on the floor with crumbs all around it you know someone has been snooping around your cookie jar. Kids always find the cookie jar and you will forever be brushing their teeth. There is no need keep a cookie jar full of cookies and plenty of ladder building furniture and books in your kitchen.
With regard to electric toothbrushes, many of us have been fascinated with them since we were young children. Cleary, they need extra attention as the combination of electric currents and water can be fatal. An electric toothbrush with no battery power left does not need to be stored out of the reach of children but can be left on a vanity. The main thought is that you shouldn't just leave your toothbrush lying around with toothpaste on it. Toothpaste dispensers and toothbrushes should be stored in a reasonable proximity for efficient and effective brushing. Mouthwash itself can be dangerous if ingested. Especially Listerine.
Children can play with toothpaste, and could have an accidental discharge by squeezing the tube too tight. The top of the tube of toothpaste sometimes cannot withstand the pressure of a four-year squeezing the tube and leakage, and a mess, could occur. They can also push the button on the top of fancy toothpaste pumps. The button is the part of the pump that causes the toothpaste to discharge. If someone were to push that e-z toothpaste dispenser, as it is correctly advertised, forcefully, the toothpaste could shoot out and again, cause a mess to your bathroom and the individual's clothes playing with said e-z dispenser.
Those of us that display our toothbrushes should look into getting a toothbrush holder that mounts to the wall so that the toothbrush is easily available for use and displayed when not in use. Many of the newer wall mounts have a cup holder as well for those of us who enjoy rinsing our teeth after a good brush.
Many people question the American Dental Society (ADA) because they actually don't understand the ADA. The ADA is responsible for promoting dental care more than any other organization within the country. Four out five dentists are trained by the ADA. I strongly suggest that anyone that has teeth, even if you don't have all of them anymore, consider taking a dental care course provided by the ADA. The ADA is available at (312) 440-8900 and at the website http://www.ada.org/. If you contact the ADA, they can advise you of local ADA-certified dental hygienists, that teach you dental care as well as the general handling of a toothbrush and those pesky floss dispensers.
Also, all the dental hygienists and dentists that practice within the state of New Jersey, have available a videotape that utilizes talking fruit to communicate the importance of proper dental care to young ones. This videotape is excellent. I recently obtained a copy for myself and my daughter, who is now starting to become her own tooth brusher. The videotape covers proper dental care and the four basic food groups. I strongly suggest that even those of you that have brushed your teeth for years obtain a copy of the tape, just to refresh your recollection.
In closing, I hope that everyone strongly considers making sure that any teeth in the home are properly cared for with toothbrush and toothpaste separate until you are ready to brush.
I wish everyone a safe and plaque free new year.
Oh, so you think I'm nuts? Check out Frederick Rast III's "Main Street" in the Atlantic Highlands Beacon.
[You may need to click on the picture once or twice in Internet Explorer until a picture icon appears allowing you to increase the size of the image]
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
I think there are some fantastic ideas here. As I replied, I think there will be some resistance to parts from commuters and thus Seastreak, and perhaps even the town; however, I think that we have a nice vision of how out town could progress and evolve. To have soccer fields where existing parking lots are on the harbor would be incredible and anyone who has a problem riding a trolley has serious issues - that's just fun. The vision that Benson has presented combined with the (one day?) completion of the bike trail would make Atlantic Highlands an even more special town than it is already. I really feel the sky is the limit - with smart planning we can balance the needs of residents, businesses, commuters, boaters, republicans, democrats, independents, libertarians, librarians, guys named Phil and everyone else who has an opinion on the future of our town. Plus, I'm banking on driving that trolley once I retire from the Big Apple commute. I even have my trolley driver hat picked out.
I encourage readers to share their thoughts in the comments section or by emailing me something they would like posted for others to consider.
Congrats to Allan Dean on his Atlantic Highlands Herald being named an official newspaper by the county Freeholders. According to the Herald, Monmouth the first county to name an exclusively electronic official newspaper. Very progressive. Progress is not a bad thing is it?
I know from reading the Herald that Mr. Dean has been trying very hard to get his electronic newspaper recognized by Borough Hall as an official newspaper. I also know that the publisher of the Bayshore Courier, Jim Purcell, took some shots at the Herald in an editorial last week for not meeting all the requirements of the state law regarding official newspapers (a pretty ridiculous topic for him to address in an editorial as all he was basically doing was advertising his legal notices advertising department). I find the reporting on the Herald a bit partisan at times but it does provide a good forum for residents to share opinions.
Speaking of an opinion - my opinion is that THESE GUYS ARE NUTS!
Five guys are going to row from Atlantic Highlands - you know, in New Jersey - to Rotterdam - the one in Holland! Unbelievable! First they'll head over from New York and then prepare to break a world record by making the journey in 55 days. They're doing this for the Dutch Cancer Society. I hope the town is planning to give them a big send off. Totally cool. Check out the website if you don't believe me. Thanks to Tim Holt, GM of the Blue Bay Inn, for the scoop.
Last week I wrote that I was looking for a home weaponry storage system for my various samurai swords, nun chucks and brass knuckles. Well, who would have thought that when I opened the pages of our very own Atlantic Highlands Beacon the answer would be right in front of me! Our very own
I'm going to scan the article and post it here for those of you who missed it. I will also thoroughly ridicule it.