The New Jersey Devils have spent the offseason telling the world that “new” is the buzzword around their home, The Prudential Center in Newark. As their cross river rivals the Rangers continue to improve on the ice, and the upstart Islanders move into their first season at Brooklyn’ Barclays Center coming off their best season in years, New Jersey has its business challenges; they are third in a three team market in terms of production on the ice, and must continue to battle years of lack of promotion of their star players to continue to gain market share for their new owners.
Now there is no doubt the team has made strides in and around New Jersey since their ownership change in terms of brand identity. Even in the final years of owner Jeff Vanderbeek, the team made digital and social engagement a priority, and they came, and continue to be, one of the most digital savvy franchises in the teach-friendly world of the NHL. In recent years they have extended their brand even more into the community, building affinity town by town. Now with new leadership on the ice, the latest move being longtime GM Lou Lamoriello’s departure for Toronto last week, the team will probably be more aggressive in marketing their stars and personalities, especially their younger, rising stars, than ever before, and the offseason is no time to waste in doing so.
Legislation sponsored by New Jersey Senator Anthony Bucco to save the lives of newborn infants was signed into law by Governor Christie. The Senator’s bill, S-122, expands the “New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act,” to include the premises of fire stations and ambulance, first aid, and rescue squads that are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Senator Bucco is also a proud sponsor of the original Safe Haven law, enacted in the 2000-2001 legislative session.
“This lifesaving legislation is a crucial expansion that will undoubtedly increase the number of newborns rescued across our state,” said Senator Bucco. “By signing this bill into law, we are preventing countless cases of illegal abandonment, giving struggling parents the opportunity to surrender a child safely and anonymously, without having to travel far from home.”
A lot happened in last Thursday's Fox News GOP Debate, but for me two huge leadership issues played out and both were hard to watch on every level. The first was when Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly simply asked leading GOP candidate, Donald Trump, to explain his grotesque and totally unacceptable past descriptions of women including ”fat pigs” ”dogs,” ”slobs” and ”disgusting animals.” Ever the showman, Trump tried to duck responsibility at first with a snarky one-liner saying he was only talking about Rosie O’Donnell – as if that would make it acceptable. When Megan Kelly pressed him on the fact that this simply wasn’t true, Trump - who never is accountable for his past comments or actions (a terrible leadership trait) - launched into an absurd diatribe about political correctness and then accused Kelly of not being nice to him and threatened to be "not nice" to her for simply asking him a direct question about something he didn’t want to talk about.
If you could collect art for your home, what would you choose? Through Sunday, September 13, art works by African American artists, collected by four area African American women, are on display at the Trenton City Museum in Ellarslie Mansion, Cadwalader Park, Trenton.
Romare Bearden and Janet Taylor Pickett are just two of the artists whose work is included in this exhibition, in the gallery aptly named for Trenton artist Thomas Malloy. Five large Bearden serigraphs (silkscreen prints), each derived from Biblical stories of women, take up one long wall, while Pickett’s mixed media “Imagination” practically vibrates color from the center of a long window.
Ann Tanksley’s enigmatic etching titled “Survivors” gives the viewer pause, as it should, and Alonzo Adams’s charcoal “Sister Gaze” portrays a firm and knowing woman you wouldn’t want to mess with.
On the rest of the first floor, 46 more art works in varied mediums comprise “ . . . of Color: The African American Experience,” as seen by 27 artists. While not all are African American, all offer interesting “takes” on that culture, as explained in accompanying wall text.
Would you like to get a new perspective on New Jersey this weekend? How about looking at scenery from high above Readington’s Solberg Airport?
The 33rd Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is happened there this past weekend, and this year even Yoda will be a part of it.
Hot air balloon Master Yoda made its initial appearance at the Festival, held until Sunday July 26. The Asbury Park Press reports that Yoda is 62 feet high, 92 feet wide, and weighs 265 pounds. Festival executive producer Howard Freeman said, "It's the first time Yoda's going to be east of the Mississippi.”
Local8now.com reports that the event features 100 shaped balloons from around the world, including Yoda, an 86-foot tall Darth Vader, a 121-foot tall seahorse, and the world’s largest free-flying American flag.
Former Goldman Sachs executive Philip Murphy has not made an official announcement yet, but he appears to be laying all the groundwork to run for New Jersey governor in 2017.
Murphy rolled out his non-profit organization, “New Start New Jersey” with state icon Jon Bon Jovi last November, now his organization has taken the next step.
POLITICO reports that Murphy’s people filed for “New Way New Jersey” with the Internal Revenue Service on July 10. Murphy’s name is not listed with the super PAC, but his strategist said he would be “honorary chairman.”
The state of New Jersey is certainly not at a loss for quality minor league baseball entertainment. Affiliated teams like the Lakewood Blue Claws and the Trenton Thunder as well as the independent Atlantic League’s Camden Riversharks and Somerset Patriots are constantly on the top of the list for not just being innovative but for running smart and effective businesses with respected brands. Just to the north the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League have spent marketing and media dollars trying to impact not just New York state but adjacent Bergen County as well, drawing some affluent families for a night of fun at Provident Bank Ballpark.
However in the middle of all that fun remains a minor league stalwart with a unique partnership in the New Jersey Jackals. The jackals, also in the Indy Can-Am league now (they have spent time in the short-lived Northeast league and the Northern league as well) have called the growing area in and around Montclair and Little Falls home for an amazing 17 years now, drawing fans to Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University with the promise of affordable fun, free parking, and a great day enjoying baseball, usually at a pretty fast pace. This past Wednesday, an 11 am start had stands full of young campers and groups of all kinds, with mascot Jack the Jackal keeping people entertained between innings. Those who turned out for the early start even got to witness baseball history of sorts, as Jersey swiped 11 bases, a Can-Am League and team record, in a two hour, 20 minute rout of the visiting Fargo-Morehead Redhawks.
Remember those monsters you heard in the closet and under the bed when you were a kid? They’re back.
And in New Jersey, they may even enjoy selfies.
We’re reminding New Jerseyans to check under their beds again because Fox News is reporting that a man sneaked into a Spotswood home and hid under a bed for three days. And alleged home invader Jason Hubbard charged four cellphones in a nearby outlet while he was there.
WPIX reported that Hubbard entered the home through an open door while the owner was taking out the trash and hid under the bed in a spare bedroom. On May 10, the homeowner heard a noise coming from there and called police.
According to the New York Daily News, Hubbard was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, and theft of electrical services. He is currently at Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center under $50,000 bail.
Jan Maxwell declares that, after a 26-year career, she will retire from the stage once the current Off Broadway production of “Scenes from an Execution” closes next month.
If Maxwell truly means it – aw, say it ain’t so, Jan! – fans of this excellent actress can see her give a magnificent farewell performance in a fascinating drama by British playwright Howard Barker.
Revived by the Potomac Theater Project at Atlantic Stage 2, the play is an historical drama set in Venice during the 1570s. Barker’s fictional story centers upon Galactia (Maxwell), a celebrated artist, who is commissioned by the state to paint an enormous canvas celebrating Venice’s victory over the Ottoman Empire in the naval Battle of Lepanto.
It was 2003, and the plane’s dated interior made boarding like stepping into the 1970s. That makes sense considering the “Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran” has been trapped in time since the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution and the decades of sanctions that followed.
Maybe it's all the times I've read poet Forough Farrokhzad's famous line "Remember the flight, the bird is mortal," but my long-ago trip was the first thing that came to mind after news this week that a global team of negotiators came to a tentative deal that could relieve crippling sanctions on Iran, opening the country to Western business.
To be fair, my anxiety about flying might get the best of me on the most modern jet. Looking around the mid-size plane’s cabin, it was clear that countless passengers before me had snuggled into the narrow, well-worn seats, which still had ashtrays and wobbled a bit. It was a hot summer night, and the air conditioning was as nonexistent as the in-flight entertainment. Swathed sweatily in the hijab, I found myself in a full-fledged anxiety spiral as the plane rattled to life and began moving.