Columnists

Joe's Take: There is so much worthy of thanks

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Written by Joe Wilkins Tuesday, November 25, 2014 03:21 pm

You can give your Thanksgiving toast in a dozen different languages and liquids and addressed, whatever your faith, to “the livin’ Gawd that made you,” as Rudyard Kipling put it. But the heartfelt reasons we raise our glasses each year with such profound gratitude differs a bit with each of us. In the main we publicly give thanks for common reasons; our family, our friends, our good luck. The part that’s different we often keep to ourselves.

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The Mom’s Beat: Be thankful for the mundane as well as the grand

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Written by Laura Stetser Tuesday, November 25, 2014 02:12 pm

The Mom’s Beat: Be thankful for the mundane as well as the grand The Mom’s Beat: Be thankful for the mundane as well as the grand

From taco night to our health, there's always something to be thankful for

As a mother, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There are no gifts involved, so the focus is all on family and friends. We get a moment to take stock of what it is we are thankful to have in our lives, a great practice to instill in your children in between candy-crazed Halloween and December’s gift-giving season.

As I make a last-minute checklist for our family meal on Thursday, I am taking a moment to think about some of the things I am blessed to have in our lives.

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At Large: What makes them thankful

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Written by Tom Williams Monday, November 24, 2014 11:16 pm

This is a week devoted to giving thanks. Here are some people you might know describing what makes them thankful. Some are humorous, some serious. Some are personal, others general.

Walt Tucker, NASCAR historian

I am thankful for family, friends and, most of all, my health. Also for living in a great country where freedom exists and for regular luncheons with friends.

Tom Park, educator

I am thankful that God blessed me with a wonderful loving wife and daughter.

Michael Gill, attorney

Life has been good to me and I am thankful for all that I have. But I am also saddened by the fact that there are too many people in this world that are suffering because of poverty, injustice and needless wars. We can do better.

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At Large: Twelve Angry Men and jury duty

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, November 19, 2014 11:21 pm

Most of us remember “Twelve Angry Men”. It is a classic drama that started as a television production, part of the Studio One anthology series in the mid-1950s. It was later written for the theatre, including a Broadway production. There have been adaptations, like Twelve Angry Women and Twelve Angry Jurors. There have even been tributes to the story, frequently comedy tributes, on programs like The Odd Couple, Monk, Happy Days, The Dead Zone and The Simpsons.

The original film is a classic. Just having it on your resume makes an actor’s career memorable. The film, made in 1957, star Henry Fonda as an architect selected on a jury for a murder trial. When the jury retires to the jury room to vote, he is the only one voting not guilty. The film also starred such familiar actors as Jack Klugman, E.G. Marshall, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Warden and Ed Begley. It was nominated for an Oscar as best picture but lost out to “Bridge over the River Kwai”.

As the story progresses, the drama builds. The jurors discuss the evidence and try to convince each other who is correct. In case you haven’t seen the film the ending will not be discussed here.

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Snow versus rain is a no-brainer

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Written by Christopher South Wednesday, November 19, 2014 05:54 pm

Every year I end up writing about the snow vs. rain debate, and I think it’s come early this year. Some people are saying it’s too early to be as cold as it is. I’m not sure. Just because it is this cold, now, doesn’t mean it won’t warm up later.

Isn’t that what Indian Summer is?

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Joe's Take: Lunch is one of life’s important pleasures

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Written by Joe Wilkins Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:35 am

No matter how much others may admire the stoics who skip lunch in favor of grinding away at the day’s work, I refuse to join their short-sighted neglect of civilization’s better traditions. And I’m happy I don’t have to join those unfortunates who bring a brown bag lunch to work, forced to munch away sitting next to their machines/computers/telephones or other humming, buzzing and ringing gadgets of the modern workplace.

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The Mom’s Beat: Taking stock after a messy breakup

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Written by Laura Stetser Tuesday, November 18, 2014 12:42 pm

Laura Stetser/The Mom’s Beat: Taking stock after a messy breakup Laura Stetser/The Mom’s Beat: Taking stock after a messy breakup

Dear Pyrex baking dish:

I want to take a moment to thank you publicly for shattering over the weekend.

We were having a typical Sunday morning, relaxing and getting ourselves organized for the week ahead, when my husband came in the room with the alarming news that you had been involved in a tragic accident.

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Another high-turnout election for smoking Catholic fishermen

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Written by Christopher South Thursday, November 13, 2014 04:00 am

The general election has just passed with Republicans making some gains locally as well as taking over control of the U.S. Senate.

I don’t really support a political party, per se, but if there was one I would support it would have to be the smoking Catholic fishermen. I would like to see a SCF controlled House and Senate.

Why?

Because these people vote, or so says their bumper stickers.

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At Large: One-third of the voters have spoken

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, November 12, 2014 11:25 pm

With his reelection last week, Congressman Frank LoBiondo put himself into position to equal the longest-serving representative in the history of New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. Isaac Bacharach, a former member of the Atlantic City Council, served for 22 years from 1915 through 1937. He and his brother, Harry, founded the Betty Bacharach Home in 1924. He was beaten by less than 5,000 votes in 1937 seeking his 12th term.

If LoBiondo, who won re-election by 42,000 votes, serves out this term he will equal Bacharach’s record and have an opportunity in 2016 to surpass it.

Of the 470,000 voters in the district, about 36 percent voted. That is not good but it is typical. Statewide last week, just under 32 percent of registered voters took the time to cast a ballot– it was the worst in New Jersey history. Nationally, it was close to 34 percent.

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The Mom’s Beat: Birthdays don’t have be about big parties

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Written by Laura Stetser Tuesday, November 11, 2014 01:04 pm

The Mom’s Beat: Birthdays don’t have be about big parties The Mom’s Beat: Birthdays don’t have be about big parties

 In the weeks leading up to our first child’s second birthday, my husband posed a simple but unexpected question.

“Why do we need to throw a birthday party every year?”

 On our daughter’s first birthday, we had thrown the big, traditional house party with all of our friends and family invited. We were first-time parents, so as she was about to turn 2, the answer to his question was something I had never even considered.

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Joe's Take: A day for patriotism and memory

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Written by Joe Wilkins Monday, November 10, 2014 03:48 pm

She walked up the aisle lost in her own memories and thoughts, heading straight for the bank of votive candles where every year she honors her long-dead older brothers and their buddies for the parts they played in the war. No generals or other brass; just regular G.I. Joes taken from civilian life and sent to slug it out with Hitler’s troops.

I followed her — there’s something about Aunt Tess that makes barging ahead of her an unthinkable presumption — remembering my own favorite among her brothers; my Uncle Bud, known to the U.S. Army as 1st Sgt. Cornelius J. Walsh of the 88th Infantry Division. His were among the boots on the ground that kicked the Nazis out of Italy and France and at war’s end were assigned to guard Trieste.

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Joe's Take: Democrats have let GOP shape their image

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Written by Joe Wilkins Tuesday, November 04, 2014 11:21 am

These words are written just before the mid-term election of 2014. All the polls forecast a Republican win across the board, but pundits admit things are so close they’re not betting the farm.

I watched the ads from the Pennsylvania campaigns and elsewhere in New Jersey. Their viciousness turned my stomach. It is to our local incumbent Congressman Frank LoBiondo’s credit that his campaign remained above that sort of sleaze. It is much less to his credit that to rise in Congress he must remain an enabler of his colleagues in the Republican Party who promote the worst excesses of partisan gridlock we have seen in our lifetimes – excesses that are destroying the very ability of Congress to address the urgent public needs of the times.

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The Mom’s Beat: October was like ‘Hunger Games’ for parents

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Written by Laura Stetser Monday, November 03, 2014 03:29 pm

The Mom’s Beat: Fall schedules are like ‘Hunger Games’ for parents The Mom’s Beat: Fall schedules are like ‘Hunger Games’ for parents I awoke to the sweet sound of rain on Saturday morning. The more it poured down, the more I smiled.

Our children’s soccer games, scheduled at the same time but on different fields, were cancelled, and we now had a merciful break in our calendar on Nov. 1, the day after one of the busiest months I have ever experienced.

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At Large with Tom Williams: The latest book from Joe Wilkins

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Written by Tom Williams Monday, November 03, 2014 01:13 pm

‘Kennedy’s Recruit’ is all about the politics of the 1960s and 1970s told by columnist Joe Wilkins, a man who not only lived through it, but who was a participant. ‘Kennedy’s Recruit’ is all about the politics of the 1960s and 1970s told by columnist Joe Wilkins, a man who not only lived through it, but who was a participant.

Most of you know Joe Wilkins. Or at least you might think you do. You probably read his column often in this newspaper or online at shorenewstoday.com. The people at the New Jersey Press Association selected it last year as the best opinion column at a weekly paper in the state.

But there is much more to Wilkins than his weekly columns and his visits with Aunt Tess. His credits include being a successful high school athlete at Holy Spirit, a lifeguard in Brigantine, a candidate for elected office, a practicing attorney and an author.

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Joe's Take: The seasons change, and so have the times

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Written by Joe Wilkins Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:30 pm

It’s not time yet. We still have a pretty good chunk of the hurricane season to get through and the heavy rains, and weeks of the great leaf fall that gives fall its very name. We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving and, some years, right up to Christmas week before the grass calls it quits for the year.

You can sense it coming, that day when the guys with the leaf-blowers and the edge-trimmers and the weed-whackers and the riding mowers pack it in for the winter. They were out there in force this morning, the hum and buzz of their work drifting in my still-open window, reminding me we are on the threshold of the great turning of the seasons.

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At Large with Tom Williams: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ concludes

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, October 29, 2014 08:04 am

HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ is based on one chapter from Nelson Johnson’s book of the same name, which told the story of Atlantic City’s history. HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ is based on one chapter from Nelson Johnson’s book of the same name, which told the story of Atlantic City’s history. “Boardwalk Empire” ended on Sunday.

Many people will miss the show, and for good reason. There is a lot of talent involved in the HBO series, which ran for five seasons: lead actor Steve Buscemi, along with Kelly MacDonald and Michael Shannon; directors Martin Scorcese, Allen Coulter and Timothy Van Patten; writer and producer Terence Winter. And the sets, especially the fake boardwalk, were very good – even if the boardwalk was actually in a Brooklyn parking lot.

For viewers from this area there were also the familiar names. The show started off as an Atlantic City story, and the resort was still a significant part of the story as it ended.

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