Columnists

Over lunch, fed up with politicians of the world

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Written by Joe Wilkins Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:55 pm

“Come take us out to lunch,” she said. “Becky’s upset. She needs a break from the news.”

Such a call from Aunt Tess is the local equivalent of a command performance at Buckingham Palace. You dare not refuse, lest you be stricken off the list forever.

“What’s got her upset?” I asked.

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The Mom's Beat: Kan we stop the N-sanity 4 krying out loud?

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Written by Laura Stetser Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:04 pm

 

The Mom's Beat:Kan we stop the N-sanity 4 krying out loud? The Mom's Beat:Kan we stop the N-sanity 4 krying out loud? I will never understand the need to purposely misspell words in business names.

While I know and appreciate that language evolves, there are basic some rules to it, and in the cases when these businesses are marketing toward kids, I find it even more intolerable.

Why do we need to call a social group designed for kids a Kids Klub instead of a Kids Club? Don’t they have enough trouble figuring out when to use C or K appropriately anyway?  There are hundreds of others that add insult to injury. Klub 4 Kids, Kiddie Korner, Kidz Club and Kidz Klubhouse are just a few examples.

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At Large with Tom Williams: March is Best Buddies Month

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Written by Tom Williams Sunday, March 22, 2015 07:48 pm

Submitted / Best Buddies fosters one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and development disabilities. A new Ocean City High School chapter has been assisted by the Raider girls basketball team, which hosted members of the school’s Best Buddies chapter at a recent game. Members of Best Buddies-OCHS were introduced at halftime and posed for a photo with the team after the game. Submitted / Best Buddies fosters one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and development disabilities. A new Ocean City High School chapter has been assisted by the Raider girls basketball team, which hosted members of the school’s Best Buddies chapter at a recent game. Members of Best Buddies-OCHS were introduced at halftime and posed for a photo with the team after the game. Best Buddies has come to South Jersey. And, since March is Best Buddies Month, the hope is that area schools will decide to join the effort and form their own chapter.

“Best Buddies envisions a world where people with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) are so successfully integrated into our schools, our workplace and our general communities that our current efforts and services will be unnecessary,” says the organization’s website, BestBuddies.org.

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Joe's Take: Sam’s gentle donnybrook

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, March 19, 2015 02:17 pm

“Sam” is short for Samantha, as in Samantha Wolf, this year’s ground-breaking president of the Atlantic County Bar Association. She’s a great improvement over the days when I first came to the bar. Meetings then involved an afternoon session followed by dinner at a good restaurant, drinking and cigar smoking by an all-male crowd of lawyers and substandard judges telling off-color jokes and stories, and the occasional hushed-up drunk driving charges for those unfortunates caught on their way home afterward.

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When did I become old?

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Written by Christopher South Wednesday, March 18, 2015 08:20 pm

It seems that I am being confronted by the realities of aging – and it’s coming from younger and younger people.

Part of the reason is my naturally graying hair. I have an older sister who regularly points out that she does not have hair that is turning gray. Why it doesn’t is no mystery. Her hair is too busy changing from brunette, to blonde, to redhead, and combinations of those to even consider turning gray.

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The Mom’s Beat: There’s a bit of the Mama Bear in all of us

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Written by Laura Stetser Wednesday, March 18, 2015 03:09 pm

The Mom’s Beat: There’s a bit of the Mama Bear in all of us The Mom’s Beat: There’s a bit of the Mama Bear in all of us This week a pack of mothers jumped a 24-year-old man who had been allegedly sexually abusing their daughters outside a school in India.

The man had been lingering near the school for about 10 days, according to a Times of India news report. It was alleged that he would mix in with the crowd as school let out and inappropriately touch the girls.

The mothers had been keeping their eyes on him, so when he grabbed one of their daughters after school on Monday, they sprang into action.

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The Mom’s Beat: How to parent like a reporter

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Written by Laura Stetser Wednesday, March 11, 2015 03:49 pm

The Mom’s Beat: How to parent like a reporter The Mom’s Beat: How to parent like a reporter Parenting articles are popping up everywhere. Everyone, it seems, has something to say about parenting.

On March 5, Time magazine published the article “How to parent like an FBI agent,” but well before that there were stories describing helicopter parents, tiger moms, free-range parenting and so on.

Folks love to put labels on things – but parenting is a task many of us kind of figure out as we go. One day I may be hovering over my kids, and the next I might be doing the opposite, so I can’t imagine that any parent is any one type all of the time. The nature of the job simply doesn’t lend itself to that level of certainty.

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Joe's Take: Daydreams hidden in snow piles

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Written by Joe Wilkins Wednesday, March 11, 2015 10:52 am

We mellow out when the flakes are light and fluffy, coating our trees and lawns with the glistening white beauty of a Christmas card. Later on, when the snowplows have growled their way along our streets and the big parking lots shoving the snow into frozen, dirt-crusted piles half as high as a streetlight post, we grow somewhat less tolerant. I’m talking about those piles that litter the parking lots like rusting hulks in an abandoned shipyard. When at last they begin to shrink, it’s all well and good to welcome the return of dry streets and clear lawns. But that’s not enough to free our travel dreams from winter’s surly grip. For that, we need serious snowmelt.

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At Large with Tom Williams: Bud Knight had a big impact on Ocean City

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:00 am

Bud Knight loved Ocean City. And he devoted his life to making it a better place.

Knight, who died in Florida over the weekend at age 82, served as mayor of Ocean City for 14 years. He became mayor in 1992 when Nicholas Trofa died in office. He served out the balance of Trofa’s term and was elected three times. The city’s public works building for operations and engineering is named in his honor.

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Feeling good after benefit

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Written by Christopher South Friday, March 06, 2015 04:22 pm

Last Saturday I had a benefit held for my, well, my benefit. My new insurance went into effect on Jan. 1, so when I had a heart attack on Dec. 26, I had no insurance coverage. That means all the bills are mine. The fact is, I’m not even sure of the total, but when I spoke to the business office I was told I was being billed at least $35,000 – but there are add-ons, I’m sure. While in the hospital I was asked, “Did anyone (medical staff) come see you today?”

“I think everyone did,” I answered.

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The Mom’s Beat: Snow is making us stir crazy

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Written by Laura Stetser Wednesday, March 04, 2015 11:56 am

Snow is making us stir crazy Snow is making us stir crazy I received some bad news this week. I was hoping for a more positive report, but it seems my wishes are being dashed again.

More snow is headed our way.

I am typically a devoted snow lover, but I have had enough of the white stuff this year. It’s not that I am afraid of driving in the snow or that I hate the grocery store craze that accompanies the first few flakes, but because of what it does to my household.

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At Large with Tom Williams: Holy Spirit's Curtain of Distraction

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, March 04, 2015 12:00 am

There are a lot of racial problems in this country. Things have gotten better in the last 50 years since Lyndon Johnson got the civil rights legislation and voting rights bills through Congress but there are still problems.

Among those problems, new voting restrictions in more than a dozen states seem designed to make it difficult for minorities to vote. Too many black men are incarcerated for drug-related crimes when white violators only received probation or a fine. And the shooting and strangling deaths of unarmed black men seem to be in the news almost daily.

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Joe's Take: Aunt Tess and the Isis wannabes

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Written by Joe Wilkins Tuesday, March 03, 2015 12:34 pm

“We were lucky,” she said. “We were teenagers when fighting the bad guys was the right thing to do.” Determined to fight the Nazis like her nine older brothers, Aunt Tess had lied about her age to get into the Woman’s Army Corps when she was 16. She never saw combat, unless you count the time years later when she was elected Secretary of her Teamsters Local. But she has a warrior’s heart. The fighting blood of the Irish runs strong in her veins.

The stories about teenage girls trying to run away to Syria to join the Isis fanatics broke on the day I picked up Aunt Tess at assisted living. We talked about it on our way to the Tuckahoe Inn for lunch, with her buddy Becky Gottlieb along for company on another day of ice and snow looking out over the bleak wintry waters of the Great Egg Harbor Bay.

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Joe's Take: About college: What does your heart treasure?

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Written by Joe Wilkins Friday, February 27, 2015 03:22 pm

Ray was another 18-year-old lifeguard with me on the beach in Brigantine that summer. Came one of those perfect late August days when you could throw on your coveted Beach Patrol jacket in case the girls hadn’t noticed you were a lifeguard, or let your tanksuit top down to improve your tan. 

Some guys were leaving a week early to head for colleges.

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Notable Neightbors: Teaching children the power of giving

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Written by Carol Romano Friday, February 27, 2015 09:22 am

Laura Dulac, founder of the non-profit organization Our Children Making Change, will be honored by Atlantic County Branch of the American Association of University Women as its 2015 Woman of Distinction Saturday, March 14 at the Linwood Country Club. Laura Dulac, founder of the non-profit organization Our Children Making Change, will be honored by Atlantic County Branch of the American Association of University Women as its 2015 Woman of Distinction Saturday, March 14 at the Linwood Country Club. The Atlantic County Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will present its annual Woman of Distinction Award for 2015 to Laura Dulac, founder and president of Our Children Making Change (OCMC). This non-profit organization introduces and encourages children to truly enjoy the opportunity  to "give back" to their communities.

On Saturday, March 14, Dulac will be honored at a luncheon at the Linwood Country Club. The Woman of Distinction Award honors ingenuity and excellence in diverse areas, including service to the community.

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Medical practice makes perfect

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Written by Christopher South Thursday, February 26, 2015 12:00 am

I was not really surprised by the recent announcement that the cure for the peanut allergy might be…peanuts.

Literally, the first thing that came into my mind was making snake bite serum from snake venom. You know, making medicine from the thing that kills us or makes us sick. The flu vaccine is a small dose of a dead flu virus, which is introduced to our system in order to get the body to recognize the virus. Honestly, I’m not sure what it does once it recognizes the virus. Perhaps the body develops a friendship with the virus, which in turn agrees not to make us too sick. The flu shot doesn’t completely protect us from the flu, after all, just as snake serum doesn’t keep us from being bit by a snake.

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