Monday, October 05, 2009

Jersey Shore Media buys former Courier websites

It has been a long time since people have heard from The Inside Clamdigger ( after The Courier newspaper closed its doors on April 3.

The Clamdigger website, which was originally developed by former Courier Publisher Jim Purcell, was transferred to Bayshore Press just before the newspaper concluded operations. Consequently, according to John Azzolina, vice president of The Courier, there has been a transition period to updating the Clamdigger.

The Inside Clamdigger is now a part of Bayshore Courier News (, which is owned by Denise Reinle and Rose Marie Maier. The new ownership tandem formerly worked for The Courier newspaper, as its production manager and sales manager, respectively. The Courier’s website was originally constructed in 2006 by former Courier Associate Editor Jacklyn Corley.

“Ms. Reinle and Ms. Maier realized that digital news is the next generation of journalism. They have resumed the partnership in place with Rutgers University, which was developed by The Courier,” Azzolina said. As part of this partnership, Bayshore Courier News will continue to receive various levels of support from the university.

According to Azzolina, Bayshore Courier News and The Inside Clamdigger were both acquired by Jersey Shore Media, LLC. (t/a. Bayshore Courier News), and he has great confidence in their future. “I think every part of the printed news industry, not only locally but nationally, is going through a very challenging period,” Azzolina said.

The Courier’s printed edition was supposed to be sold to a local media company. However, Azzolina said, negotiations involving the sale of the newspaper could not be concluded. In the meantime, Azzolina said the former employees came to him with a hope of buying the online edition of the newspaper, as well as The Inside Clamdigger, to operate and build.

Reinle concluded, “There is a transition period going on at the websites right now. My mission, and Ms. Maier’s, is to create even better websites that can be the local news sources for Northern Monmouth County online and there is a lot to do in order to get it where I want it.”

For more information call Azzolina at (732) 671-2220, ext. 6210.

52nd Annual Veterans Day Parade to be Held Nov. 8

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ -- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2179, along with its Ladies' and Men's Auxiliaries, Port Monmouth, and the Mayor and Township Committee of Middletown will jointly sponsor the 52nd Annual Veterans Day Parade on November 8. All fraternal, veterans and civic organizations, as well as schools and scout troops, are invited to participate.

The parade will assemble at 12:30 p.m. at the Bayview School, 300 Leonardville Road, Belford. The parade will step off at 1 p.m. and proceed through Campbell's Junction. The theme of this year's parade is "American Heroes." Grand marshals for this year's parade are William J. Travis, past commander of VFW Post 2179, and Mary A. Weber, president of the Ladies Auxiliary.

Interested individuals or groups wishing to participate should contact Jim D'Elia, parade chairman, at (732) 275-1588 (email:

Former area journalist's book to premier at Keansburg library

KEANSBURG -- Journalist-turned Baptist Minister Jim Purcell will be reading excerpts from his new book, "Faith Outside the City," at the Keansburg Waterfront Public Library, 55 Shore Blvd. on Sat., Oct. 24th. The reading will take place between noon and 2 p.m.

Purcell will be joined at the reading by "World Takes" author Tim Waldron, who is an editor at Word Riot Press, based in Middletown. Waldron will also be reading excerpts from his book, which has been in print for several months and has been featured in such publications as NJ Monthly Magazine.

Purcell, who formerly published The Courier weekly newspaper for Bayshore Press before it closed in April, said he wrote most of the 177-page work last summer. "I think there was this need within me to talk about everyday Christianity, and some of those things that hold people and communities back from finding real peace in faith," Purcell said.

Purcell began attending the New York Theological Seminary, in Manhattan, during 2006. He is scheduled to graduate from the seminary in May, 2010 with a Master's of Professional Studies. Yet, he credits his renewed interest in faith to his coverage of the World Trade Center attack, in Lower Manhattan, during September 2001. Purcell covered the efforts of Keansburg volunteers at Ground Zero, and consequently chose the borough as the place to premier his book. It was at Ground Zero, Purcell said, that his witness to the courage and devastation of the attack sparked his call to ministry after a long absence from his Baptist faith.

"There is a political element to the book, I suppose," Purcell said, "because it talks about those who are marginalized in American communities of faith: homosexuals, the poor, women, immigrants, those of faiths other than Christianity, and minority groups, among others." Inspired by Christian theologians like Cornel West, Obery Hendricks and Dale Irvin, Purcell said he found his voice in print after coming to the realization that much of what separates communities of faith usually has something to do with human agendas. "So much of the pain, guilt and division that plagues us as communities and peoples of faith is this idea that there are some groups that love God or humanity more than others. Walls get put up to people and groups, shutting them out and it is these walls that weaken, not strengthen, our individual and collective beliefs in God and salvation," he said.

Purcell said he would specifically be reading excerpts from his book regarding borough volunteers' efforts at Ground Zero during this upcoming reading. Purcell noted he is also honored to be joined by Waldron, whose work the author said he is a fan of. "Tim Waldron is one of the most talented young writers out there, in my opinion," Purcell said. "He has an amazing amount of talent and I have heard him read his work several times, in venues from Rhode Island to Manhattan, and keep finding new ways to appreciate his work." Purcell also thanked Keansburg Librarian Darlene Franklin for scheduling the reading at the popular borough library. He noted that, when contemplating where he would launch the new book, "It couldn't be anywhere else other than the borough. It is like a second home and a place that has been and is very important to me."

"Faith Outside the City," which is Purcell's first book, is being published by Word Riot Press. The book sells for $14.95 per edition, and will be available for purchase online at Amazon and at selected local bookstores by mid-October. As well as in print, Purcell said "Faith Outside the City" will be available in a Kindle format.

For more information about the reading, call the library at (732) 787-0636..

Supporting the fight against cancer

There is a website that has some great information about breast cancer awareness at There has been an increase in the amount of support for fighting cancer that I have seen. In particular, Major League Baseball and the National Football League have each made great strides in becoming partners against cancer. Be sure to link this organization if you operate a site or stop by next time you are browsing the Internet. In the end, we’re all in this one together.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rehabilitation Hospital Offers Stroke Survivors

Tinton Falls & Toms River, NJ – Imagine technology so advanced it helps stroke and other neurological patients in their recovery of hand function to grasp and release objects, tasks some stroke victims believe to be impossible.

This technology is now a reality at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals of New Jersey located in Tinton Falls and Toms River through an advanced therapy system called the NESS H200™. Distributed by Bioness Inc., ( the neuroprosthesis consists of a simple splint that slips over the patient’s forearm and hand. Embedded in the device are five surface electrodes that stimulate muscles responsible for grasping and releasing objects. A microprocessor allows the therapist to program the device with a series of exercises customized for each patient.

Dr. Todd Cooperman, medical director at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls, says “NESS H200 offers tremendous benefits over traditional therapy for patients with stroke, spinal cord and brain injury, helping them to restore lost hand function.” “We are very excited about incorporating this technology into both the acute rehab programs and outpatient services,” Joseph Stillo, MD and medical director of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River says, “There are substantial clinical studies pointing to the value of functional electrical stimulation for neuromuscular re-education early in a patient’s recovery.”

It is believed that following a stroke, through repetitive training using electrical stimulation, the patient reeducates his/her muscles using new connections formed in the brain. After a patient has put on the NESS H200 he/she can move, grasp and release objects immediately. In addition to muscle re-education of the arms of stroke survivors, the NESS H200 may also improve circulation and reduce muscle spasms.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals of New Jersey located in Tinton Falls and Toms River are accredited by the Joint Commission and hold disease-specific accreditation for stroke rehabilitation. HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals provide a higher level of rehabilitative care to patients who are recovering from stroke and other neurological disorders, brain and spinal cord injury, amputations, orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary conditions. For more information regarding the variety of programs and services offered at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls and Toms River, please visit or call (732) 460-5320 in Tinton Falls or (732) 244-3100.

Short will seek 3-year term on committee

Middletown Committeeman Patrick Short has decided to once again seek a three-year term on the governing body. According to, Short made his final decision to stand for re-election recently. For more information, go to:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Courier trades hands on April 3rd

As a reminder, The Courier newspaper under the Azzolina and Scaduto family ownership will cease as of Friday, April 3rd. The Courier has been sold, though, and will be re-opening under a new owner in May.

On behalf of of the the staff, management and ownership, it has been an honor and privilege serving the residents of Northern Monmouth County.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Corzine needs Federal bailout to pay uunemployment claims

According to the Asbury Park Press, the Garden State has taken its place among those states within the U.S. that is unable to pay for rising unemployment insurance claims. However, badly needed financial help from Washington, DC can allay Gov. Jon Corzine’s fears.

To go to the story, click on the headline.

TOMSA reluctant to release records?

Middletown resident and activist Carolyn Schwebel has an active discussion going with the Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority about the Open Public Records Act. Specifically, Mrs. Schwebel wants access to what, if anything, is the health insurance situation for the commissioners. However, she is reportedly receiving some resistance from TOMSA where it involves actually getting copies of what she is looking for. For more information, go to:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

‘March for Meals’ focuses on needs of seniors

Volunteers serve more than 400,000 hot meals each year

ASBURY PARK – Monmouth County Freeholder Amy A. Mallet joined Interfaith Neighbors at the Comstock Court Senior Housing Complex in Asbury park today to kick off the annual “March For Meals” effort by distributing hot meals to area senior citizens.

“March for Meals” is a month-long campaign that focuses attention on the thousands of senior citizens who, were it not for the partnerships Monmouth County has with Interfaith Neighbors, could wind up in unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization. Many of them, but not all, are either disabled or homebound and unable to prepare their own meals, but they choose to live independently.

“March for Meals is a national campaign, in which Monmouth County is a participant,” Freeholder Mallet said. “It is aimed at raising awareness on the part of the local community about seniors who, perhaps, live alone and are in need of a hot meal. The county’s participation in the Meals on Wheels program is an example of how public and private partnerships can benefit people in need.

“Meals on Wheels helps not only the elderly, but also those who are homebound, disabled, frail or at risk,” Mallet continued. “It also improves their social, physical, nutritional, and economic well-being. It is important to remind everyone that there are people within our own communities who need help and rely on the assistance of others, even for a hot meal once a day.”

In addition to Comstock Court, meals were delivered to home-bound seniors throughout Monmouth County as well as to those who were able to get their meals at a number of senior centers.

Through this program, thousands of seniors and disabled persons in Monmouth County receive nutritional meals every day. For example, Interfaith Neighbors Inc., Asbury Park, serves nearly 63,000 meals each year to 1,900 seniors who come to 11 nutrition centers across Monmouth County to eat. In addition, Interfaith Neighbors’ volunteers deliver another 352,325 meals to some 1,850 senior citizens or disabled persons who cannot leave their homes.

“For many of these residents, this is the only hot meal they will eat each day,” Mallet said. “When you look at the broad scope of what we do here in Monmouth County, we’re serving a tremendous population. We want to get the word out – if there is anyone 60 or older or who is disabled and needs a meal, we can provide that for them.”

The “March on Meals” program is part of a larger, national campaign sponsored by the Meals on Wheels Association of America. Anyone in need of a hot meal who is 60 years old or is disabled is urged to contact the county’s Office on Aging at (732) 431-7450.

To make a donation to Interfaith Neighbors or to volunteer for the meals delivery program, please call (732) 775-5155, or visit their Web site at

The month of March was chosen to raise the awareness of the Meals on Wheels program because it was during this month that the law was enacted that included senior meal programs in the Older Americans Act.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saying goodbye to the Courier family


As the production manager at The Courier since January 2006, I have worked with a great team. I became the production manager after working at The Courier for almost four years.

I wanted to work at The Courier because it was family oriented and friendly. It was also one of the few places I have ever worked at where, during the creative process, there is such a high level of teamwork.

Being in the Production Department, my experience was challenging, and I worked side by side with great professionals from production and the other departments. In production, all of the varied and unique talents Courier’s graphic artists possessed were brought to the table and, regularly, produced not only award-winning work but art that represented the best of what we, as a team, could realize.

That is not to say there were not, at times, great challenges. When I began as production manager, there was so much that was new (despite the fact I had been here for while). For two editions during the transition period, production missed its deadline by an hour. Though this was a setback, it also was a challenge that brought the team together in a way that was more solid than ever before. When deadlines are missed, revenue is lost, the issue of job jeopardy shows up, and it’s a lot of responsibility. I learned so much about leadership and teamwork in those moments, lessons I will take with me the rest of my life. Of all the things I learned, though, it was the ones about teamwork that resonate most clearly with me.

Graphic arts was not my first career: it was my second. Formerly, I owned a para-transit company in New York City, but decided to make a change. So, after Skidmore Computer Graphics Institute, in White Plains, N.Y., where I studied computer graphics and web development, I interned at “Seventeen” magazine and Good News Broadcast (the owner was the producer of the hit TV show “All in the Family”). This took me to the Bronx Press and the Riverdale Review, respectively, both in New York.

This was good preparation before coming to The Courier, and its rigorous production needs that were sometimes, due to the nature of news, sometimes very last minute.

I was so fortunate to have Associate Production Manager Christopher Blaszczyk onboard for the past two years. Chris was so detail-oriented that he would catch so many potential errors while I was multi-tasking. What he does was invaluable.

I was so happy to see former Courier graphic artist Tim Kovach win best Black-and-White Ad Campaign in the N.J. Press Association contest. Tim was such a wonderful young talent to work with, and I am sure that The Courier was only his first step along a very bright career.

Graphic artist Tom Fenton joined the team in May 2007, and brought an innovative professionalism to the field of graphic arts that was outstanding. But, above all, Tom has been such a selfless team player that we could not have gotten along without him.

It was said, years ago, that O.J. Simpson had the “Dream Team” for his legal counsel during his murder trial. Well, the truth is that I was the one who had the real “Dream Team,” working right here at The Courier in the Production Department.

I want to thank Joseph Azzolina Sr., his son, Courier Vice President John Azzolina, and Courier Publisher Jim Purcell. “Big Joe,” as Mr. Azzolina Sr. is called, has been someone who appreciates hard-working people and is more than just a fair person: He has been great. John Azzolina has made Courier someplace that people always looked forward to coming to everyday. And, without his leadership it could not have been the same positive experience. Finally, I would like to thank the one person who gave me this opportunity and believed in me, even after I missed a deadline, and still believed in me – Jim Purcell.

Everyone has been wonderful here and I will not forget any of this.

Azzolina, Scaduto families bid farewell to Courier


For the past 11 years, as of April, I have been employed at The Courier: first as its editor and then, later, as its publisher.

Three obvious signs of time passing have been the graying of my hair, my need to use reading glasses to peruse anything in print, and the steady expansion of my waistline. But, the less obvious signs of my service at the paper includes my deep appreciation to the owners of The Courier, the Azzolina and Scaduto families, for their great support over the years; as well as my many friends and well-wishers in the Bayshore. So often during difficult times, these friends have meant so very much to me and have sustained me. Thanks.

When I came to Middletown to edit Courier, from Greater Media Newspapers (when it was still headquartered in East Brunswick), I knew absolutely nothing about the Bayshore. Truth be told, I’d been in this area maybe once or twice in my life.

It was ironic to end up at Courier for so long, though, because, as a child, Keansburg was the first place my parents brought me home to from the hospital. Born in Newark, Mr. and Mrs. Purcell had rented a house in the borough (along Beachway), so the first place I put my feet on the ground was a stone’s throw away from the Boardwalk. In essence, my tenure at Courier has educated me about my first home, the place the family moved away from before I even began kindergarten.

Three decades later, I was back. During my time at Courier, I had the privilege of reporting the good and the bad, the happy and sad. I am immensely proud of our work at the newspaper. There have been highs and lows, without doubt. Yet even with the “lows,” there has been a sense of family and community.

I will forget very little of my time at Courier. But no moment will be quite so vivid as the time when I witnessed and reported upon the darkest moment in U.S. history from the scene of the World Trade Center attack, on Sept. 14, 2001.

I had the privilege of writing about some of the bravest men and women I have ever witnessed. I did this while in the company of a contingent of steadfast police officers, firefighters and public works employees from Keansburg, led by Chief Raymond O’Hare and Deputy Chief James Pigott. In my book, if one were to look up the word “courage” in the dictionary, they should find these men’s photos there.

The Bayshore has never been in short supply of character or courage, though, and that is reflected in the daily lives of the men, women and even children that call this wonderful, special place their home.

While strength is a virtue, so is quiet service, and in no place have I seen so much of that either. Whether it is Jan Vassar, who dutifully serves as a volunteer for the eye center she and her family built at Bayshore Hospital (she can always be found there until 3 on Wednesdays) or Sister Garvey, at the Bayshore Senior Health, Education and Recreation Center, in Keansburg, it is these people who exemplify the best in people here and everywhere.

There are many incredible chapters to my time at this newspaper, and all special. The last one I wish to share, though, was not just an area resident but was a member of our own Courier family. Kristin Kinlin was a Monmouth University graduate who was physically disabled from the time she was born, but overcame so much to lead a life that many of us take for granted.

I saw this young woman, who was so full of promise, grow during the five years I knew her. She first came to Courier as an intern in 2001. Being so spirited, bright and hard working it was impossible not to hire her as the legals and classifieds coordinator for the newspaper right out of college. Sadly, she died April 10, 2006 from a long-standing ailment while vacationing in Chicago. She is still remembered by those of us who knew her, and myself especially. If for no other reason, my tenure at Courier allowed me the opportunity to know this incredible person.

The Courier does have a new owner, who will announce the re-opening of the newspaper during early April. I wish that person all the luck and good fortune there is and encourage our readers to support this new person’s ownership. The Courier is, after all, not just the property of one person, but, in a larger sense, the entire Bayshore. Owners come and go, yet this newspaper is as tied to this area as the beaches at Sandy Hook.

The Courier’s last edition as a property of the Azzolina and Scaduto families will be on the newsstands April 3. It has been an honor serving this company and the Bayshore. All my best.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Leading expert discusses sagging market

What is the future of the U.S. and world economies? Anyone's guess.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rutgers University will expand to the tune of $500M

Rutgers University is funding more than 20 building projects on its Camden, Newark and New Brunswick-Piscataway campuses. According to a Star-Ledger report by Staff Writer Mark Mueller, the spending will be funded through the sale of bonds. The new expansion initiative will reportedly cost $500 million.

For the full story go to

Friday, February 20, 2009

The New York Post's 'non apology' is part of the problem

At his blog (www.middletownmike/, Mike Morris discussed the recent New York Post cartoon that depicted President Barack Obama as a wild chimp. There is little doubt that the Post's 'non-apology apology' falls short of actually expressing regret over this characterization of President Obama. Congratulaitons to Mr. Morris for taking on a tough issue.

The Post's adversaries are noted in the so-called apology. Yet, this error of judgment was not about the Post's adversaries. No one compelled this publication to print any material it presented. The fact is, in my opinion, that an editorial error was made (people being imperfect sometimes make errors). It should be owned up to, but it wasn't. The apology fell short, and so was an opportunity missed.

It is true that there is freedom of the press, and that artists are allowed to express themselves also. So too, there is also the concept of accountability for what one prints and says. It appears that, sadly, this concept is lost upon the New York Post.

Newspaper accountability should not stop at libel and defamation. If the idea of journalistic ethics is simply to not print that which is legally wrong, then that really isn't ethics. To be 'ethics,' there is a higher bar that speaks to character, of the lack of it.

I was always a fan of the Post, because it was daring and often brave about stories. But there is a difference between bravery and stupidity. The comparison of African Americans, or any African American, to a monkey is an echo of another day. It is unnecessarily hurtful to not only the president but to a race of people that fought hard to free themselves from not only captivity but also oppression afterward. In many ways, this fight still goes on.

Personally, I have no idea why the Post is trying to pull back the hands of the clock on racial characterizations. I have heard it said that "all controversy is good controversy." I look at it differently. Anything that comes off as vulgar and without taste is just that.

North America has struggled with various issues involving race since the 17th century. There is nothing clever about the old, degrading references to African Americans. Certainly, there is nothing witty about it. As a matter of fact, those old characterizations were a part of the problem, and trying to breathe new life into them is spectacularly idiotic.

To have the privilege of delivering news to any community is an honor. I think the New York Post has lost touch with that, and its responsibilities to that community.

-- Jim Purcell, Publisher, The Courier

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama to put together car industry committee

It has been said it take a "...village to raise a child..." In that spirit, President Barack Obama says it will probably take more than one person to put the auto industry back together again. According to an AP story, a presidential panel is being put together to help sort out the domestic car industry wreckage.

Are things going to get worse before they better? That's what "they" say. Let's hope "they" are wrong. For the full story, go to

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

AJR writes about life after journalism for reporters

In what is a practical decision to write about a necessary topic, American Journalism Review's ( February-March edition has dedicated some space (including the cover) to "Is There Life After Newspapers: What happens to all those laid-off and bought-out journalists?"

The editorial in this month's edition is from Lee Thornton, interim dean of the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. She says that more newspapers are moving online to cut costs. She also criticized news organizations giving away news, and thereby costing themselves profit.

Staffer Dana Hall pens an interesting piece about "Goodbye and Good Luck: The art of the newsroom farewell note," in the edition's Page 14.

The maini article is "Is There Life After Newspapers?" by Robert Hodierne, on Page 21. The bolded pull out to this was: "So it's safe to say there is life after newspapers. But it's not always the life journalists had expected."

AJR writer Meghan Meyer then writes a piece titled "The MBA Option," pushing ex-journalists to examine a future in business: "MBA programs target journalists because they add a diverse professional element to the classroom, and they have skills corporate employers value: writing, communication and a keen understanding of deadline," on Page 23.

Then, on Page 31, AJR writer Sherry Ricchardi spreads a little more joy talking about the nationwide layoffs going on at newspapers in her article, "Down to the Wire."

Finally, in its parting piece, on Page 37, AJR's Paul Farhi gives the reader "To Quit or Not to Quit?" This article discusses what journalists do when confronted with cutbacks that seem devastatng.

While this was not the 'industry feel good' edition of AJR, I do give the magazinie a lot of credit for being honest and useful in what it prints about the industry. Not everything people need to hear is good news.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Has Springsteen bounced back from Wal-Mart deal?

Money & Business writer Matt Bandyk talks about Bruce Springsteen's recent Super Bowl appearance. But, more importantly, he goes on about the whole Wal-Mart issue and the opinion that the company is not a friend to the working man. Consequently, Springsteen may have made a mistake in signing an exclusive deal with the chain.

This is pretty much a ridiculous argument. Wal-Mart is just another chain, perhaps more popular than most. Springsteen is a popular NJ musician...and he has a new album out. Wal-Mart is one of the few chains actually doing well today.

Springsteen is reported to have regretted the Wal-Mart deal, but the whole thing seems like a lot of nonsense. For more, go to

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Why are newspapers dying in New Jersey?

As many readers of The Courier know, the newspaper decided to become a basically online publication, with a printed bi-weekly supplement, around the beginning of the year. That was because, for many years now, the prophets of the news industry, at all levels, have warned about the "death of print."

There are an awful lot of bad things that come with print dying, in my opinion. But that is all the more reason for credible, traditional news organizations, at each level, to consider their online presence much more carefully.

The habits of the reading public have driven the news industry since its beginning. Before the advent of computers, print was the only game in town. Newspapers seemed to have a monopoly on the news because they had the presses, and they owned the ink. But like all things, this changed.

If nothing else, the Internet is 'the great equalizer' among publications. No more does a news organization need to operate at the costs traditionally associated with the business. So, just what a news organization is has become relative. Now is not the time for traditional newspapers to dig a fortified ditch and wait for the comeback of print. It isn't coming back. The Internet isn't getting turned off. As my late father used to say, "No use closing the gate when the horse is already out of the barn."

As in all things, the market dictates how industries move. Just as the creation of the automobile pre-destined the creation of vastly improved U.S. roads, the Internet has pre-destined that news is going to be conveyed digitally, and not so much in ink.

Paper optimists say there will always be room for news print. But, I disagree. Sure, it will hold on for awhile -- a long while. But let's face it: The horse is out of the barn.

When I came into this industry, in the mid-1990s, it was pretty much the industry that has always been there: typewriters everywhere, people cutting and pasting the mock-ups of news pages. I used to run around getting stories and scurry back to whatever newsroom I was at and start banging away on a typewriter. The camaraderie was great and the institution of news was one you could plan a career around. Yet, as nostalgic as that is, it's a memory for albums and not a business plan anymore.

The question is credibility of news sites now. Everyone and their brother is jumping into an online presence. The question that news organizations are going to have to ask themselves behind closed doors is if they are prepared to have kids in garages and non-journalists grow up in online news because they are waiting for some flood to wipe out electricity.

During the absence of good, solid news organizations online, amateurs and non-professionals are filling a void that gives them a growing advantage while solid publications linger dying. There is an old saying about the Lord helping those who help themselves. In my opinion, they are words to live by.

-- Jim Purcell
Publisher, The Courier

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

April 13 could be last edition for Jersey Journal

If revenue doesn't improve for The Jersey Journal, the daily Hudson County news staple could close its doors in April, according to a published report from the AP.

Reportedly, Evening Journal Association members were informed that April 13 could be the final day for the publication if sales and other revenue doesn't pick up. In addition, some of the Jersey Journal's weekly publications could be lost during this process.

For the full story, go to

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cards flirt with history but Steelers take crown

In a Super Bowl that came down to the last five seconds of regulation, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first franchise in NFL history to win six Super Bowls since the event was minted during the 1960s.

Despite a gallant effort by the Cards, with highlight after highlight by veteran QB Kurt Warner and acrobatic WR Larry Fitzgerald, not to mention a tenacious ensemble effort by the Arizona D, the Cardinals were denied destiny after a circus catch by steady handed Pittsburgh WR Santonio Holmes in the closing minute of the match-up.

Though the saying goes that " one remembers who lost...," Super Bowl LXII may be one of the best fought in the history of the game and perhaps the sport. For more details about this contest of gridiron greats, go to:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Newspaper legend bids farewell for now

I read the column written by Greater Meadia Newspapers' executive editor, Greg Bean, and discovered that he was not going to continue in his position at GM, for health reasons. According to Greg, he will be leaving around the end of the month.

I have known Greg since about late 1996, when I applied for a job as a reporter and I was given the East Brunswick beat for The Sentinel. I worked at GM for about a year and then landed my job at The Courier as its editor, in 1998. In about 2002, I became Courier's publisher.

In knowing Greg, I can admit there were some rough patches in our acquaintance, but I will just as easily admit that, though I might not have always thought he was right, I respected him a great deal personally and professionally.

I can honestly say I had some of my best arguments with him. But when I wrote for him I also learned more about writing than at any time previously. In a profession where anyone can call themselves an editor by plugging their laptop into an outlet in their garage and running off editions on a copier, there are a lot of people who call themselves journalists.

In my time in Central Jersey, I have met darn few writers who merit being called journalists or reporters, let slone anything more than that. But Greg Bean is someone who gets respect the old fashioned way -- he earns it. In an industry plagued with schmucks, he was and is the genuine article where it invovles excellence.

Personally, I wish Greg a lot of luck. He is a good man, and there are fewer of those than there are good journalists. He is a class act and one of the best at the community news game. Of course, it has been my privilege to meet and know his successor, Mark Rosman, some. And, whenever anyone has brought up his name, despite the fact he worked for the competition, I always responded with "one of the best." He is a great editor, and an awesome newsman. I also wish him a lot of luck. No one deserves it more.

While working at Greater Media, I also worked for Adele Young, who Greg noted would be even more involved in the future. And, if there is anyone who knows more about the English language and editing, I have yet to meet them. I still remember her edits and remain thankful for her patience with a relatively new, thought-he-knew-it-all writer. Best of luck to her.

Jim Purcell

To go to Coda go to Greater Media's site at

Blagojevich first gov. to be impeached in 20 years

Beseiged former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was given a lighter calendar yesterday, when Illinois' state senators voted unanimously, 59-0, to remove Balgojevich from office. The former hizzoner is the first governor removed from office by impeachment during the last 20 years in the U.S. Blagojevich was reportedly nabbed by the F.B.I. for attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after he became president of the United States. As storm clouds continue to deepen for the very 'in touble' Blagojevich, new Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has taken the helm of the state of affairs in the "Land of Lincoln."

Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 to be marked by closings, bankruptcies

Everyone knew it was coming and here it is -- the beginning of the bad news for 2009. Reportedly, Linens N' Things and Circuit City just scratch the surface of the bad news that can be expected from the retail sector nationwide. YahooNews! has a great story about it.

For more information, go to't-Shop-in-2009.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Freeholders to take reduction to help save money

Monmouth County freeholders taking a pay deducation to help the budget? It hasn't been seen anytime recenty. But, according to Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is taking a 10 percent voluntary reduction of pay.

For the full story, go to The Courier Online at

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barbershop Quartets to deliver Singing Valentines

RED BANK – They’ll be saying “I love you” in song during Valentine’s Day week – and they’ll be leaving thousands of sweethearts speechless.

This year, hundreds of barbershop quartets across the continent will deliver singing Valentines to thousands of special sweethearts. Listen for the sound of harmony in offices, factories, schools and homes throughout North America. Whenever they appear, they’ll draw a crowd – and sometimes a few tears.

The quartets belong to the Barbershop Harmony Society ( The price of a typical Singing Valentine starts around $50, depending upon the location, and often includes two songs sung in barbershop harmony, a card and a rose. Men and women alike are on the receiving end, with moving results.

“It’s especially interesting for the guys to deliver a Singing Valentine from a woman to her husband or boyfriend,” media relations manager Julie Siepler said. “One year, a quartet went to the Chrysler factory here in Kenosha, and caught a guy going off shift. He was stunned. His co-workers gathered around and were ready to start razzing him, until they saw the tears welling up in his eyes.”

She continued, “Of course, our service also lists female or mixed quartets as well.”

Singing Valentines providers include members of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International and Harmony, Inc.

Valentine providers can be located on the web at: The society also offers a toll-free number for those without Internet access at: (800) 876-SING, ask for “Singing Valentines.” Locally, the Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society will provide Singing Valentines Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12, 13 and 14. For details call Jon Greene at 732583-1684, or go to:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Congregation pauses to remember Martin Luther King Jr.

In a story by APP Reporter Sametta Thompson, the Sunday service at Long Branch's Second Baptist Church is reported on. According to the story, guest preacher the Rev. Terrence K. Porter from Pilgrim Baptist Church, in Red Bank, was the main speaker for Second Baptist's annual Martin Luther King program.

Martin Luther King Day is celebrated nationally on the third Monday of January, in honor of the slain civil rights leader who was killed in Memphis Tenn., in 1968.

Porter focused on the significance of President-elect Barack Obama in relation to King's vision of racial equality.

King came to national attention during the famed Montgomery Bus Boycott, in 1955. Subsequently, he delivered the famed "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, in 1963. And, in 1964, King became among the youngest recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in civil rights.

For the APP story, go to:

Ryan is the front runner for Jets head coaching job

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is being reported to be the front runner as the next head coach for the New York Jets, replacing former Jets head coach Eric Mangini. Mangini accepted the head coaching job for the Cleveland Browns shortly after being fired by the Jets.

Ryan is the son of former NFL defensive coaching stand out Buddy Allen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Keansburg St. Pat's Parade to be held on March 28

The borough of Keansburg will be hosting its Saint Patrick's Day Parade on March 28th at 1 p.m. The parade start point will be at the East Baywalk Area, Beachway and Main Street. For more information, call Councilman George Hoff at (908) 902-0963.

Shore Cafe celebrates expansion with party

It's a new beginning at The Shore Cafe, Route 36, in Hazlet. The restaurant is hosting its "Regrand Opening Party" on Friday, January 23rd. Entertainment for the evening will be Danny Heise and Ernie Mossaratti. There will be a five-course dinner and open bar will follow from 7 p.m. until midnight. Dress is casual but neat.

For event pricing, or to make a reservation, call the restaurant at (732) 888-0288.

Art council hosts show and sale at museum

The Monmouth County Art Council's annual art show and sale is going on today in Lincroft. It is the 30th year for the event, which includes artist Frank Hyder as a juror. The event includes works from local and regional artists, and is being held at the Monmouth County Museum, which is on the campus of Brookdale Community College. has a nice piece about the event at:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Express-Times, NJN cope during challenging economy

According to INPRINT, a monthly publication of the N.J. Press Association, the Express-Times newspaper, Western Jersey, is offering voluntary buyouts to staff. Reportedly, Express-Times Publisher and President Martin K. Till announced the company will offer voluntary buyouts to full-time employees. Employees have until Feb. 19 to apply for the offer, which amounts to a minimum six months of salary and maximum of one year, based on service. Health insurance is covered during the span. The newspaper will reportedly continue to honor its no-layoff policy. Tll is reported to have characterized the economy as " the tank..."

In a related item, NJN Publishing, in the Somerset area, has reportedly laid off 25 full- and part-time employees at the company's four weekly newspapers in North Jersey. Among those let go during December were, reportedly, long-time Hunterdon County Democrat Executive Editor Jay Langley and NJN Publishing Controller Peg Gerke. The announcement about NJN's move was made by Publisher Joy Gioioso, according to INPRINT.

Weird New Jersey covers Middletown myth

Weird New Jersey has a great story about Middletown's Whipporwill Valley Road. The township thoroughfare has a colorful past where it involves myth. To check it out go to:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The case of a child named Adolf Hitler

According to an Express Times story by reporters Tom Quigley and Douglas B. Brill, a child named Adolf Hitler Campbell was removed from his parents' Holland Township home, in Hunterdon County, along with his two sisters. The Division of Youth and Family Services reportedly took Adolf and his siblings, but Holland Township police chief David Van Gilson is quoted as saying he didn't know why the action took place.

For the story, go to:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Say it ain’t so, Roger

According to a report in today’s N.Y. Daily News, on Page 3, a federal grand jury is examining reported evidence that former Yankee pitching ace Roger Clemens used steroids. In the report by staff writers Teri Thompson, Michael O’Keefe, Christian Red and Nathaniel Vinton, it is noted that Kirk Radomski, an alleged steroid supplier, has been called to Washington to testify at the proceedings. In addition, the report noted the grand jury would also be hearing from Clemens’ personal trainer, Brian McNamee.

For complete coverage of the Clemens saga, go to:

Monday, January 12, 2009

HealthSouth to Host Tea

Tinton Falls & Toms River, NJ – The facts surrounding women, heart disease and stroke continue to grow more alarming each year. Currently, more than half a million women die annually from cardiovascular disease in this country, including more than 15,000 each year right here in New Jersey. Surprisingly, more women die from stroke than men in the United States, a number that also continues to grow.

In recognition of National Heart Health Month, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of New Jersey located in Tinton Falls and Toms River will host a “Heart to Heart” tea for women on Wednesday, February 4th from 2 – 4 p.m. at 2 Centre Plaza, Tinton Falls and on Thursday, February 5th from 2 – 4 p.m. at 14 Hospital Drive, Toms River. The program is free, however pre-registration is required by calling (732) 460-5328 to attend at the Tinton Falls location or (732) 818-4781 to attend at the Toms River location. For directions, visit

The goal of the program is to educate the public on stroke and heart disease, and inspire women to take action and control of their own personal health. A variety of speakers will present different topics during the program that will teach and inspire all to take charge of their health. Karen Rafiqi and June Mahon of the American Heart and Stroke Association will present information on how women can protect themselves from stroke and heart disease. Denice Gaffney, from HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals of New Jersey, will discuss what you should know about rehabilitation if you or a loved one has a stroke or heart attack and Lynn Schabler, from Potential Within Coaching will present on finding balance in an un-balanced world – nurturing your body, mind and spirit. In honor of Heart Health Month, participants who attend the tea are asked to wear red.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals of New Jersey located in Tinton Falls and Toms River are accredited by the Joint Commission and are awarded disease-specific accreditation for stroke rehabilitation. HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals provide a higher level of rehabilitative care to patients who are recovering from stroke and other neurological disorders, brain and spinal cord injury, amputations, orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary conditions. For more information regarding the variety of programs and services offered at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls and Toms River, please visit or call (732) 460-5320 in Tinton Falls or (732) 244-3100.

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Are Giant fans too emBURRESSed to have him back?

According to's John Shabe, the Giants may reportedly be considering taking back troubled WR Plaxico Burress after he's healed from recent medical and legal woes. Some Giant fans think it's a great idea, following Sunday's playoff disappointment, while others have hard feelings about Burress' off-field drama.

Click on the headline to go to the story at

Court: Corzine can keep emails with Katz private

A New Jersey court has ruled that Gov. Jon Corzine does not have to turn over e-mails between himself and ex-gal pal Carla Katz, a labor leader. According to a story by Star-Ledger reporters Claire Heinings and Josh Margolin, the appeals court ruled the gov. was within his rights to use executive privilege to stop the emails from becoming public.

For the full story, click on the headline and go to

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eagles fly past Giants in playoff win

According to a report by Star-Ledger reporter Brendan Prunty, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants, 23-11. Consequently, the Birds will be flying to Arizona to take part in the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Giants' loss represented an upset, since Big Blue was the No. 1 seed in the NFC. For the full story, click on the headline to go to

Favre puts off decision about '09 comeback

According to a report by's Ed Werder, Jets QB Brett Favre is into his offseason life in Mississippi considering his decision about whether or not he will return to the gridiron later this year. For the whole story, click on the headline to go to the story.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Disney On Ice comes to Sovereign Bank Arena

Relive favorite Disneyland memories when Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and other beloved Disney characters and expereince famed Disneyland attractions like the Haunted Mansion, "It's a Small World," and Pirates of the Caribbean in the Disney on Ice spectacular, "A Disneyland Adventure."

Produced by Feld Entertainment, this one-of-a-kind, action-packed production visits Trenton's Sovereign Bank Arena from Jan. 29-Feb. 1. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, click on the headline.

Corzine re-election bid considered likely, without surprises

According to a well-placed Monmouth Democratic insider, he believes strongly that “there won’t be any surprises where it involves Gov. Jon Corzine running for re-election again.”

The insider said he expects that GOP gubernatorial hopeful Christopher Christie, the former United States attorney for New Jersey, could be a popular vote getter in both Monmouth and Ocean counties, among others. However, the Democratic veteran said that he doesn’t believe Christie is a serious threat to upset Corzine statewide.

“Jon Corzine is going to be strong throughout the state’s urban areas, in my opinion, and that is what he is going win New Jersey on,” the source said. “I don’t think it is impossible to say that [Corzine] could do well in Monmouth or Ocean but I think things would have to change here a little.”

The source noted that heavy Democratic registration in Newark, Jersey City, Camden, Trenton and Elizabeth, to name just some, are vital prizes to anyone seeking the governor’s office. “At some point, to be governor of New Jersey, you have to win Newark. I just don’t see Christ Christie doing that,” he concluded.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Christie will file to seek governor's office

CAPTION: Then-U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie with former GOP candidate for freeholder John Curley at a Red Bank event about a year ago.

In a story by Star-Ledger reporter Josh Margolin, it is reported that former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is filing papers to run for governor in New Jersey. Christie, a former member of the Morris County Board of Freeholders, gained wide notoriety in Monmouth County for federal prosecution of several area office holders on corruption charges in connection with Operation Bid Rig a few years ago.

Click oin the headline to go to the story at

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Five Scarlet Knights will have a postseason

According to a report by The Star-Ledger, five seniors from the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team will play in various all-star games. Among the Rutgers standouts is senior FS Courtney Greene, of New Rochelle, N.Y, who will play in the 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game, to be held on Jan. 17th, in Houston, Texas.

For more information, click on the headline.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bible study geared to returning vets

Point of Contact: Assistant Coordinator Jim Purcell
(732) 832-1674/Email:

EDISON TOWNSHIP (MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ) – According to the Reverend Kathleen Tice, pastor of Stelton Baptist Church, she will be inaugurating a monthly Bible study, with the help of former veterans of the armed forces from her church, which is aimed at discussing homecoming concepts in a Christian, scriptural context for service members, former service members, their families, friends and those interested. The Heart of the Warrior Bible Study will take place at Stelton Baptist Church, 334 Plainfield Avenue, the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. For more information, call Jim Purcell, who is assisting Tice with the Bible study at (732) 832-1674 for more information, or e-mail:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Best wishes in 2009 to everyone

If ever there was a time to wish anyone the best it is in 2009. Yes, things are hard out there and when it will get better is really anyone's guess.

Someone could rattle off nearly any field of endeavor and very few of them would be unimpacted by the economy and domestic troubles, at virtually every level. However, these are just bad times, and bad times have a way of coming and then going.

Where some might think this is a time of great trial, which I agree it is, I also have to add that this is a moment of opportunity. It may not be a time for folks making a million bucks on a whiz bang idea, or for any markets to come back with a snap of a finger. But, it just might be a good time for people to take stock and live more simply. The things that are important are not those issues that divide people as much as it is those things that unite them.

When this country survived its last Great Depression it was, at its heart, because of the strength of the family unit and the faith that individuals had in themselves, their friends, communities and, dare I say, God. Their faith wasn't the glitzy kind that was here today and gone tomorrow. It was made from much harder stuff.

The challenging economy gives people a good opportunity to build upon character, create stronger family units, forge deeper friendships and maybe bring them closer to faith, whatever faith they believe in.

I wish everyone the very best in 2009. No doubt it will have its fair share of heartache and success. But to come out the other side of a storm always gives new hope for the future. Of all the things that are important for the new year, perhaps hope is the best thing to wish for anyone.

--Jim Purcell
Publisher, The Courier