Thursday, September 3, 2015

POSTED: Monday, January 26, 2015, 4:06 PM
Cover of new book by Cherry Hill authors Robert A. Shinn and Kevin Cook
A new book explores a South Jersey waterway's evolution from Native American transportation route to Colonial-era commercial thoroughfare, from industrial powerhouse to community development catalyst and destination for recreation.

Along the Cooper River – Camden to Haddonfield (Arcadia Publishing) is “an invitation to dig deeper” into the river's enduring importance for Camden County and the region, says Robert A. Shinn, who along with Kevin Cook wrote and researched the book. The two authors live in Cherry Hill and share a keen interest in local history; they also are leading an effort to have the county's Cooper River Park designated as an historic district.

Cook and Shinn set up a Facebook page about the book last week and already has nearly 400 likes; Along the Cooper River becomes available Monday, January 26 on Amazon.

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 9:22 AM
Photo by David Swanson/Staff photographer

As a recovering alcoholic, I found Don Tollefson’s trial a painful spectacle.  So I’m glad it’s over.

I’m also glad the jury found the former Philly sportscaster, who says he’s been sober for more than a year, guilty on all five counts of money laundering, fraud, and theft.

The fact that alcoholism is a disease hardly absolves those who have it from responsibility for their actions -- drunk or sober. Tollefson, 62, squandered his own small fortune and then used his local TV fame to rip people off.  

POSTED: Friday, January 16, 2015, 3:37 PM
Gov. Christie on 'Ask the Governor.' (Photo provided by NJ 101.5)

Gov. Christie’s latest nastygram – he called the local media self-consumed children – reminds me of what the stubbornly if not quixotically hopeful Republican recently told his press maestro Michael Drewniak. (I used the telepathic mind channel I blogged about the other day to livestream audio and video of their private chat).

“It’s morning again in New Jersey, like it will be in America very soon! But these New Jersey ‘reporters’ insist on writing about broken pension promises, sluggish job creation, structural budget deficits, Bridgegate, and Atlantic City falling into the ocean,which is a lie," the governor thundered. "I flew over New Jersey in a private jet on my way to a diplomatic mission abroad, and there was AC, plain as day.”   

Christie, who was attired in a new, bright orange dinner jacket, paused. “Isn’t my outfit fabulous?”

POSTED: Thursday, January 15, 2015, 10:55 AM
Gwendolyn Faison greets guests at the Camden County Historical Society on April 10, 2011. DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer, file

Former Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison is 89. But she's blessed with a better memory than Gov. Christie, whose dramatic narrative of how he saved her beloved city is equal parts self-aggrandizement and amnesia.

"He talked about Camden being corrupt at the same time the state had complete control of the city!" Faison exclaims, her voice as inimitably expressive as when I first heard it 25 years ago. Then, she was a force to be reckoned with on city council; later, she served 10 years as mayor, leaving office in 2010 -- in the days when, according to Christie, Camden's government was not only "corrupt," but "ineffective."  

Faison's tenure followed the conviction of her predecessor Milton Milan on corruption charges; he was the third mayor in 20 years to disgrace his office with such an offense. Not so Faison, who was never charged with, much less, convicted of, anything. And to be fair, Christie neither named the former mayor, nor implied that she herself was corrupt. 

POSTED: Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 2:39 PM

Gov. Christie may have been able to banish the Statehouse press corps from his séance with the national media Tuesday, but even he couldn’t stop me from streaming it on my telepathic mind channel.

“Pay no attention to Bridgegate, budget deficits, pusillanimous polls, credit rating downgrades, Atlantic City…or any other sorry story concocted by those scruffy local scribes in exile behind the curtain,” the governor proclaimed, as a brass ensemble paid for by the Republican Governors Association finished a fanfare inspired by “Get Rowdy.”

“My fellow celebrities,” Christie told the hand-picked press, “you are here to hear me offer unto you the facts, free from the distractions of scurrilous coverage by dying newspapers and obscure TV stations. And pay no attention whatsoever to the lamentations of my erstwhile cheerleaders on NJ 101.5.”

POSTED: Thursday, January 8, 2015, 6:20 PM
Kings Highway was the epicenter of the car commercial shoot. Photo provided by Suasion Communications

A sleek vehicle, a stylish soccer mom, and  the leafy streetscapes of Haddonfield.

"A perfect  fit," says borough businesswoman Kathy Gold, talking about a Mercedes-Benz commercial shot mostly in the downtown area last October and now being seen during BBC America's Top Gear. The 45-second spot also is available on YouTube.

"Our socioeconomic breakdown [matches] the higher end market" for luxury cars,  says Gold, who's co-chairwoman of the marketing committee of the Partnership for Haddonfield, which manages the borough's business improvement district.  She also owns the In the Kitchen Cooking School.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 8:52 AM

Some members of my New England clan are Patriots fans. Others are Jets diehards. I live in Eagles country and dated a Steelers fanatic for two years.


But I can't seem to keep my distance from the epic Chris Christie and the Cowboys saga. This messier and messier mess just draws a spectactor in; the latest revelations raise ethical questions about the Republican presidential hopeful's acceptance of posh perks under the umbrella of friendship and fandom.

POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2014, 2:02 PM
Ajeenah Riggs and her daughter, Allison. Photo by Kevin Riordan

Amid all the headlines about mega-projects coming to Camden, a small store with big goals has opened in the city's Parkside section.

The Made in Camden Store at 1216 Haddon Avenue aims to showcase local goods and support local entrepreneurs,  Ajeenah Riggs says from behind the counter. "We want this to be a community friendly space."

Riggs, 38, is a partner in the store with Eric Powell, the founder of the My Heart BeatZ clothing line. She sees the modest establishment -- which currently offers a few racks of hoodies, sweatshirts and T-shirts -- as a  catalyst for local artisans, craftspeople, and producers of all kinds.

About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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