At Large with Tom Williams >> Some hopes for 2013

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It’s just a few weeks into the new year and some people you may know have wishes for 2013. They are serious, funny, personal and universal. But they are all interesting.

Harry Sachs (retired teacher, radio broadcaster): My wish is that we might all slow down for a bit. With all the modern technology I don't think we take time to appreciate the simple things in life and it can all vanish in an instant. We all need to take a small part of each day and reflect upon what is really important, our family, our friends and to find the good in each day.

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matt Milan: We hope for a greater spirit of bipartisanship. We hope for a true desire from our leaders at every level to remember what this nation is truly based upon - a desire to protect individual freedom and to allow opportunity for all. Our desire is that leaders realize that their goal should not be to pursue political advantage, but to ensure that our great republic continues and thrives. We also hope that all those in leadership are cognizant of the fact that folks can't afford to pay more in taxes, fees, surcharges and tolls. These are our beliefs and we hope that they become more prevalent.

Rick Rock (radio personality): I hope all hungry children are fed. I hope everyone who is ready willing and able is employed. It's too much to hope the Garden State Parkway traffic light project be completed in 2013, so I'll just hope it gets started. I hope the Eagles find a great coach. I hope I get my landscaping in the backyard done in time for summer. I hope I learn many new things and meet many new friends. I hope we find peace around the world and less need for active military. I hope all of us are affected by our kindness to each other.

Yogi Hiltner (youth sports coordinator): Pretty hard to wish for world peace with the shape the world is in, and headed. So I'll just hope all my friends and family are safe in the coming year. Go 'Canes.

Bob Coffey (educator): I wish for health, happiness and prosperity for our family and community.

Joe Wilkins (attorney, author & columnist): A fun question. I’m tempted to write 5,000 words or so in answer. But I’ll content myself with the wish that the prayers of the poor be granted.

Matt Ulmer (videographer): That every press box in the CAL gets high speed Internet so I'm not paying outrageous data fees to broadcast their events.

Tony Blum (money manager, sports broadcaster): I would like to see the uncertainty around the Cape Atlantic League get settled in a way that promotes the best competitive situation for all the teams in all the sports. Secondly, to have the CAL add to their constitution a requirement that all teams must have state of the art press boxes for football to qualify for post season play. (I know this is just self absorbed fantasy).

Jerry Blavat (Geator): As we look to the future and the year 2013, and as we become more technology-minded in all aspects of our lives, I think we should take a step back and remember the principles that we all were taught at an early age, when America was younger and we all lived in neighborhoods where we knew everyone. No matter what your religion, let's remember the concept of life that goes back thousands of years to the Ten Commandments. It was simple: Honor thy mother and thy father. Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not steal, etc. I think remembering the meaning of the Tablets and how it applies to our everyday living is a great way to start the New Year. And my wish is that we all remember to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Phil Birnbaum (retired educator, tennis director): My personal wish is to rebuild Ocean City’s Sandy-ravaged tennis complex at 35th Street. The storage and office need to be replaced as well as the tennis courts.

Ken Mosca (public affairs director): That my wife Isabelle will continue her great work in the autism community and the group FACES 4 Autism continues to help families affected by autism.  

John Leahy (educator): My wish is for a bigger coach’s box for Mr. Feraco.

Bobby Barr (politician): For John Bruno to get a major Division I player and lead Ocean City boys basketball to a state championship. And for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy to rebuild 100 percent. 

Gene Allen (educator): I hope the city of Atlantic City truly recaptures its swag and becomes America’s Playground again.

Jackson T. Chase (radio personality): My personal wish (and it may be selfish) but with God's grace to me more mobility after knee replacement surgery. Also, let's strive for a more peaceful world. Yes, it was a violent world three centuries ago but we are an educated and civil society. Agreements on a piece of paper don't mean as much as agreements between our fellow man. Love your neighbor.

Bud Rinck (retired educator, real estate agent): After a terrible accident, my nephew is paralyzed from the chest area down and also has very limited use of his fingers. They aren't sure of his prognosis, but aren't optimistic that he will gain much more movement. On top of that, there is no insurance coverage out of Tobago, and his own insurance is balking at covering much of it, including the ICU jet which cost over $30,000. At least he is alive, but we all pray daily for his recovery, and for them to find some way to help with his enormous expenses. So, my wish is obvious – for my 33-year-old nephew Justin to be able to walk again and to find some way to manage his mounting expenses.

Frank Campo (educator): I wish we move in the right direction for a more peaceful, healthier and joyous world.  That our children and their children have an opportunity to enjoy how precious life is.
Paul Spinelli (educator, councilman, director of basketball officials): I wish that the illness of cancer would finally get a cure and that the men who are ill in our officials board will be cured and healthy again. 

Lou Barthold (pageant director): I want to see Lindsey Petrosh have a great year as Miss New Jersey. One would need to go a long way to find a finer young lady. Lindsey is beautiful, talented, intelligent and very compassionate. On a more solemn note I hope our legislators come up with a staunch and effective gun control manifest and put it into law. While I am an NRA member and a proponent of the Second Amendment I do feel we need to put in place more stringent rules on the purchase of firearms nationwide. Newtown was a wake-up call for everyone. Assault weapons have no place in the hands of the general public. While I agree that tougher rules will not necessarily prevent such events they will help deter these mass shootings. If an individual really wants to acquire an assault weapon they will regardless of controls that are put in place but maybe we can at the very least lessen these atrocious killings. Such events are incomprehensible.

Words of Wisdom: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what it is still possible for you to do.”  (Pope John XXIII)

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