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