Parker Family Health Center marks 10th year

RED BANK, NJ  – After almost a decade providing health care for Red Bank residents who can’t afford health insurance, the Parker Family Health Center is thriving and is helping other communities that are starting up free clinics of their own.

Dr. Eugene Cheslock, one of the principal forces in helping establish the clinic, said he is in the process of assisting a group in Florida setting up their own volunteer health center. Cheslock, who retired after practicing hematology and oncology for 25 years in Monmouth County, now serves as the president of the Parker Family Health Center.

According to the Volunteers in Medicine Alliance, (VIM) national headquarters in Vermont, there are two additional free clinics in New Jersey; Volunteers in Medicine of Cape May County, and the BVMI Healthcare Center in Hackensack.

Cheslock, who is going to speak at the last Sunday Morning Dialog program at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County on June 6, said, “I hope to take a little trip through our history, touch on the state and national movements, discuss our frustrations, needs, strong points and benefits to the community.”

The history of the Red Bank clinic began with an altruistic idea incubated over time with help from the national organization, members of the community who volunteered time and money, celebrities like Bon Jovi and local politicians.  From its modest beginning in a borrowed trailer, the clinic opened with three uninsured patients on that first day. Today, the booming health clinic is located in an attractive building on Shrewsbury Avenue. The center operates solely on grants and is staffed by volunteer physicians and clinical staff who see approximately 10,000 patients a year.

“Our clinic is not funded by taxpayers and shows what we can accomplish on our own,” Cheslock said.

In July 2000 when the Parker Family Health Center opened, there were only six free clinics in the U.S., now there are 72.  As Cheslock explained, “When we first opened our doors nine years ago, 95 percent of our patients were undocumented immigrants. Today, 60 percent of our patients are American citizens.”

The clinic is located at 211 Shrewsbury Ave., a location that is physically accessible to where the bulk of the population lives and is reachable by bus or train for other under-served communities. It opened in a donated trailer after two-and-a-half years of planning, preparing, lobbying and fund raising and has been serving the working poor and the uninsured in Red Bank and surrounding communities.

The Parker Family Free Clinic named for the father-and-son physician team who served the community for the better part of the 20th century, celebrated its 10 year anniversary with their first annual golf outing on May 17.

According to the national organization, 32 million uninsured will gain access to coverage in 2014 when the health care reform legislation fully kicks-in, but approximately 15 million will remain uninsured. That number includes undocumented resident who are excluded from purchasing health insurance coverage. In addition, over the next four years, with growing numbers of uninsured as well as escalating costs for health insurance and medical care, community safety-net clinics will continue to provide access to primary care. An additional problem is the growing primary care physician shortage because physicians are choosing more lucrative specialties.

The focus of the clinic’s services is on primary health care, emphasizing disease prevention, health promotion and patient education in an easily accessible facility that is open six days a week including two evenings and Saturday morning. Care is provided by a network of volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and many others who together donate 10,000 hours annually. They are supported by a small paid staff, Cheslock noted that a visit, including lab tests and prescription drugs, costs $80 on average, compared to $300 and up in emergency rooms for the visit alone.

Dr. Cheslock said establishing and running the clinic has been a marvelous adventure for everyone. “This is what medicine is all about—being able to share expertise, talent and abilities and helping those in need.”

Dr. Cheslock’s talk at the UUCMC starts at 9 a.m. in the Meetinghouse at 1475 West Front Street in Lincroft. Bagels and coffee will be available from 8:45 a.m. For directions, go to www.uucmc.org or call 732-747-0707.

Musings from the Theater

anne_mikolay_120Without a doubt, the hottest ticket on Broadway these days is “Fences,” the revival of the August Wilson play that once starred James Earl Jones. This past weekend, I was one among many ticket holders that crowded into New York’s small Cort Theater to  see Denzel Washington step into the role of Troy Maxson. I rarely go to the theater – ticket prices are far too expensive when you are raising a family – and there are few celebrities I would spend the money to see. Let it be known, however, that I broke the bank and purchased prime seats in the second row to see Denzel Washington make theater history.

And that he did! Mr. Washington has never turned in anything less than a stellar performance, and his appearance in “Fences” did not disappoint. The play was a masterpiece, but this column is not intended  to be a theater review (if you are interested in a review of the August Wilson play, please refer to the New York Times April 27th critique by Ben Brantley). Rather, this column is meant merely as musings from the theater.

As I entered the very crowded theater, I came face-to-face with Stevie Wonder, who was waiting beside me to be led to his seat. Word of his presence spread quickly. When a woman seated in front of me shouted “Stevie! I love you!” I wondered how Stevie Wonder must have felt. Did he welcome the greeting? Was he uncomfortable knowing he was being stared at? During the intermission, Mr. Wonder left the theater to sit in his SUV parked out front. After the performance ended, the vehicle was surrounded by fans. I felt sorry for him. Perhaps he wanted to be just another theater-goer enjoying Denzel Washington’s performance, just another guy out for a Saturday afternoon, but the crowd made that pretty much impossible. I suppose Stevie Wonder is used to such things, but I doubt that I could – or would want to – become accustomed to life in a fish bowl.

Several times during the performance of “Fences,” some members of the audience laughed inappropriately. At first, I thought I had missed a joke, but quickly realized no pun had been intended. I don’t know why the audience laughed at certain points, such as when Troy’s mentally challenged brother emotionally broke down, but Denzel Washington and his fellow consummate performers did not flinch, and proceeded with their expert performance. But I couldn’t help wondering how they felt. Surely, it must have bothered them on some level to hear laughter in the audience when there shouldn’t have been any.

Ditto for cell phones ringing. Despite the pre-performance request for all cell phones to be turned off, during the climax of the play and Denzel’s finest moment, an audience member’s cell phone rang…and rang. If I heard it only two rows away from the stage, then Denzel Washington definitely heard it, too. A part of me wanted to apologize to Mr. Washington for the ignorance of the unknown owner of the cell phone. Watching a play is not like watching television at home. One should not talk aloud during the performance or leave a cell phone on. Theater-goers should be mindful that the actors on the stage are people doing their jobs; the audience should behave with consideration and deference.

That being said, “Fences” is more than a play. It is food for thought. It examines complicated relationships between family members, and the impact of the relationship between races. The fact that I acknowledge this is proof that Denzel Washington’s performance was absolutely successful. I have no doubt that he will win a well deserved Tony award this season.

And I have no doubt that if Denzel Washington appears on Broadway ever again in another production, I will most definitely break open my piggy bank, and once more sit as close to the stage as possible to see the finest actor of our day.

Atlantic Highlands Parade and Monument Dedication

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Spectators lined up early along First Avenue to view the annual Memorial Day parade.  Leading off the march was a color guard from Naval Weapon Station Earle followed by veterans, boys scouts, church groups, little leaguers, politicians, and emergency services personnel among others.

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After the parade, a new monument was dedicated at Veterans Memorial Park to the memory of those Atlantic Highlands native who died in service to their county.  Peter Doyle, commander of the American Legion C. Eugene Allen Memorial Post 141, presided over the ceremony.  Members of the American Legion post and Grand Lodge of Freemasons laid wreathes.  As the roll was called for the fallen servicemen, an American flag was placed in their honor at the foot of the new memorial.

Bernard Frotton, a former Post Commander, was awarded an American flag that had been flown twice during missions in Iraq.

See a photo gallery of the parade and monument dedication by clicking here:

Illegal Immigrants Receiving Social Security

gordon_bishopWill YOUR benefits be cut as millions of Mexican citizens beging receiving Social Security checks based on ILLEGAL work?

That’s what The Senior Citizens League (SCL) in Washington, D.C. wants to know — and it wants to know NOW!

The SCL is calling on more than 2000 milllion American  taxpayers to join their rapidly spreading citizens organization to stop the unfair and dangerous U.S./Mexico Social Security Totalization Treating by signing their petition ASAP — and help the SCL FORCE the Social Security Administration and the U.S. State Department to stop hiding the truth about this Treaty.

This is yet another Obama madness to bankrupt America while he’s still in office as the usurper “president” of the United States.

Obama hates America. His goal is to turn America into an Islamic Nation State ruled by a dictator (himself).

The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Fox New, Lou Dobbs and many many other news organizations have reported on their four-year fight to obtain full details on the Mexico Totalization treaty from the Social Security Administration and Obama’s Department of State headed by  the Leftist Liberal Hillary Clinton — Yes! THAT Hillary Clinton, the wife of the “I love Bimbos” president, William Clinton, who Congress impeached but couldn’t convict because of the Marxist Democrat Party whose goal is to undermine and desstroy America’s economic system.

The SCL has been waiting for months to get the President or his State Department to reveal how much the Treat will cost the Social Security Trust Funds, which already is heading into bankruptcy.

Under our nation’s Freedom of Information Act, the SCL has been trying to get the Obama Administration to release the Mexican Treaty with the U.S. — to no avail.

Obama’s political Chicago thugs are doing everything they can to not tell Americans what they are doing, because what they are doing is criminal. The entire Obama gang should be indicted and sent to jail for their crimes against our U.S. Constitution and our judicial laws.

Just think, both Obama and his wife Michelle are lawyers, products of the Harvard Law School,  another Marxist institution.

The Obama gang could care less about America. They are committed to a Marxist (“Spread the Wealth”) society — not an America with its freedoms and liberties as written by our founding fathers, the leaders of the American Revolution.

The Obama gang is making sure that America is going  “to hell in a basket” while they’re still in control of what was once the greatest and most prosperous nation in the world.

Obama’s printing trillions of dollars that will bring on a spiraling inflation never before known in this country’s history.

What is America’s debt now, Barack Obama?

$20 trillion?

$30 trillion?

$40 trillion?

$50 trillion….or More?

Who’s going to pay off your unprecedented DEBT, Obama? Your and our children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren….and beyond?

You’re a pathological thief and African dictator who has always hated America, along with your Marxist Communist crowd who believe in “Redistribution of Wealth.”

It’ll never happen, Obama.

The war has already begun between the fiscally conservative Americans and the crazed Tax-and-Spend Marxist liberals now in choking control of Congress and the White House.

No, we’re not going to cry “Uncle” as you try to get rid of real honest Americans.

We’re going to congregate and expand to wipe out you and your anti-American criminals, who really belong in Communist nations run by gun-toting murderers.

To you, I say, “God Bless America.”

Fortunately, God is not on your side of corrupt history!

You have the devil on your side! Makes you feel good, huh?

 

(Gordon Bishop is a ‘Who’s Who in the World’ international award-winning author, journalist,  historian, syndicated columnist and New Jersey’s First “Journalist-of-the-Year”–1986/New Jersey Press Association, founded in 1857.)

Lessons from the Great Oil Spill

woody_zimmerman_118_2007In the weeks since a fire and explosion sank a British Petroleum off-shore oil rig and ruptured its mile-long connection to the sea-floor oil well, we have learned many lessons. Unfortunately, most of them have nothing to do with undersea oil drilling – of which we still know relatively little, despite media-obsession with and endless TV-clips of the gushing oil. Rather, the lessons have more to do with what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel might call The Politics of Catastrophe. The Rahmster (as he is affectionately called) is famous for having publicly stated that a crisis should never be “wasted.”

As the weeks have sped by, with thousands of gallons of crude oil blackly gushing every day from the ruptured pipe on the sea floor, and oil starting to wash up on Louisiana beaches, Mr. Emanuel and his Democratic comrades have done their best to exercise the don’t-waste-a-crisis maxim. This was no less than one might have expected.

The obvious target of opportunity for scoring political points, of course, has been British Petroleum. The bizarre spectacle of Congressional committee chairmen, cabinet secretaries and other political poohbahs – most of which wouldn’t know an oil rig from a rigged roulette wheel – lashing BP for “ecological irresponsibility” reminds me of an eyewitness account to a public hanging I once read. The onlooker said the spectacle was “both horrifying and fascinating to behold:” fascinating, for being a ruthless exercise of group power, as the hapless victim’s life was snatched away from him in a moment. A ragged jeer went up from the crowd as the trap dropped. But silence quickly fell as the victim’s legs twitched horribly, then stilled and relaxed in unwilling death. The witness said most normal people left the event in the throes of some serious soul-searching about what they had participated in – at least indirectly.

This is why lawful executions are no longer performed in public. Extreme punishment may well be necessary and appropriate for some criminals, but allowing the event to become a grotesque public spectacle only coarsens the people who watch it – even when the execution is a lawful act.

Just so, the public crucifixion of BP has had a coarsening effect on the body politic. The Congressional hearings look like the Nazi show-trials where prosecutors hysterically berated defendants. (Only the language is different.) Anti-business leftists and radical environmentalists love the political spectacle, and they cheer the lynching on. It is a supreme moment for those who want to see the country forced into an economy with sky-high fuel and energy costs – or, optimally, into a “green” economy with no oil at all. Already the president has arrested the issuance of new offshore drilling permits. Can stoppage of all present offshore drilling be far behind? One can assume that only the prospect of $6-a-gallon gas and tripled electricity bills, mere months before the November elections, has stayed Mr. Obama’s hand.

People of a more reflective mind can see that the Obama government has assumed an extremely aggressive posture toward business in which no mistakes are tolerated. On May 3rd, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs spoke of “keeping our boot on the throat of BP” so the company stops the flow of oil – an unfortunate, Nazi-esque metaphor that signaled the Obama style to the entire country. I believe it has caused millions of Americans to wake up and say: “This oil-leak must be costing BP a fortune – maybe close to a million dollars a day. Is it really credible that they wouldn’t want to shut off the leak as soon as humanly possible? And do we really need Obama’s SS to make them fix the problem?”

Some in the Democrats’ camp have even tried to reprise the successful Katrina campaign, in which Democrats and media allies joined forces in a joyful bashing of George W. Bush that all but blamed Mr. Bush for the hurricane itself – and certainly for the federal government’s “slow” response to the flood-damage. Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to blame George W. Bush’s excessive “coziness” with the oil industry for the oil platform’s destruction and the uncontrolled leak. This makes for good news-copy (along the lines of “Franken-Bush II”) but it’s a long leap, even for Democrats. Also, it comes with its own risk.

The political risk is that the public might begin to realize that there is plenty of culpability to go around – including some for the Obama administration and certainly for the U. S. Congress – in the catastrophic spill. In point of fact, the federal government has progressively pushed off-shore drilling farther and farther away from shore to mollify the objections of seaside residents who dislike having their ocean views sullied by close-in oil rigs. Unfortunately, this renders the drilling riskier because the water gets deeper the farther out you go. The sea is a mile deep where the wrecked platform sank. This great depth is the salient fact in the failure of all attempts to stop the leak, to date.

The other political risk for Democrats is that some eager media operatives might get curious enough to look into whether proposed get-tough regulations would realistically have prevented the phenomena which caused the fire and disastrous explosion preceding the thus-far unstoppable oil leak. Any serious investigation into such questions will certainly raise more questions about what caused the fire and explosion – questions which remain, so far as we know, as yet unanswered. Obama administration officials and cabinet secretaries have scrupulously avoided even the remotest suggestion that sabotage might have been involved, but we have not yet received a definitive report to rule it out.

As Democrats are about to learn, the Katrina Effect can cut both ways. It was uproarious fun to blame the Bush administration for the mess in New Orleans from the hurricane. State and local officials got a pass from Big Media, while George Bush was liberally smeared with culpability for billions in damage and many suffering people – not to mention rapes and murders at the Superdome that never happened, and supposed neglect of black residents that was not supported by actual data. The New Orleans disaster was real enough, but much of the politically-assigned culpability missed the parties who should have been held accountable.

Ultimately, though, the people of New Orleans and Louisiana saw through the fog laid down by politicians and media. Once the posturing died down, they elected Republican Bobby Jindal as governor (2008) to replace Kathleen Blanco, who famously delayed calling for federal help until levees had broken and flood-waters had swept over the New Orleans Delta. They also replaced the incompetent Ray Nagin with Mitch Landrieu – their first white mayor in three decades.

Some bloggers and media organs are starting to call the Gulf oil-spill Barack Obama’s “Katrina” – thus signaling a growing inclination to pin the disaster to Mr. Obama, as Katrina was pinned to Mr. Bush. It’s absurd, of course, to try to make Mr. Obama responsible for the oil-rig accident and the ruptured oil-pipe. He has no more culpability than Mr. Bush had for Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Bush got the most brickbats, though, for what the media saw as his government’s “leisurely” response to the storm. The media love simple formularies for complex situations, like hurricanes and oil spills. Just so, media are starting to complain that the Obama government has been “uninvolved” in the oil-spill crisis. Mr. Obama’s number has now come up on what he is probably calling “the @#$*&% Gulf Coast.” There hasn’t really been much he could do to solve the devilish problem of plugging an oil gusher a mile under the sea, but that doesn’t matter in media’s make-believe world where presidents are thought able to push the oceans back and cause the planet to cool. So far, The One has not been able to stop the oil, and that is becoming very hard for his media acolytes to explain.

The Spring Lake Five Mile Run

SPRING LAKE, NJ – Since the literal English translation of the French term “Déjà vu” is “already seen” then Déjà vu has happened on showery Saturday, May 29, at the 34th annual The Spring Lake Five Mile Run by Holmdel’s Craig Segal, 26, and Toms River’s Noel Brock, 32, by being the male/female champions: Craig for the third year in succession with his racing time of 24:49 (24 minutes and 49 seconds, that is 5 seconds faster than 2009); Noel for the sixth consecutive win with a 28:14 time (32 seconds faster than last year).

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Start of the 2010 Spring Lake 5 Mile Run – photos Bob Both, Jersey Shore Running Club, jsrc.org

Continue reading The Spring Lake Five Mile Run

Reform Party to Appear at LGBT Pride Event

ASBURY PARK, NJ – For the first time ever attendees of Asbury Park’s Jersey Pride festival will see an alternative to the Democratic Party. This year the Reform Party will be on hand for the festivities, bringing a message of fiscal responsibility to the state’s largest LGBT festival, held at the Jersey Shore’s legendary gay resort.

The Reform Party, founded by supporters of Texas billionaire turned presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, has long addressed pertinent issues that the two major parties have ignored. The party has been vocally critical of NAFTA and the WTO, while demanding that term limits be instated on members of Congress.

With many activists feeling betrayed by the Democratic Party’s failure to champion marriage equality, and equally disenfranchised by the astonishingly high taxes that plague New Jersey, this year is a prime example to spread the message of fiscal responsibility, government accountability, and citizen involvement that the Reform Party is so well known for!

While the original New Jersey Reform Party (which once ran legendary rocker Pat DiNizio for Senate) was dissolved in the early 2000s, a group of dedicated activists have revived the once influential entity.

National Chairman David Collison urges voters to consider the newly re-organized Reform Party as an alternative to the two major parties:

“After over 15 years, the major parties have still not faced the reality that their stances and policies are neither viable nor appealing to the majority of Americans.I fully expect us to run local and state candidates in 2012 and to show a clear growth in both membership and influence in many states.  Watch our ballot access for the proof!”

The Reform Party will be present at the Jersey Pride festival, June 6th, 2010. Our information booth will be located on the fairgrounds, just steps from the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and newly rejuvenated boardwalk.

Highlands Borough Library to Open

HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Highlands Boro Library will have a Grand Opening this Saturday June 5 2010  at noon. The Library is located in the towns’ Community Center on Snug Harbor Ave. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and refreshments will be served.

All are invited to the ceremony.

Highlands has not had a library for almost 15 years. Residents had to travel out of town to Sea Bright, Atlantic Highlands or further to be able to borrow books. Library Committee Chairperson Tara Ryan asked the Highlands Council to re-instate the library for over 13 years. When Mayor Anna Little took office she created the Library Committee to research options. Because of reduced budgets and cutbacks, the committee decided to return to the original library space in the Community Center. The Boro Council passed a resolution on April 21, and the volunteer committee under the direction of Mary Muller took swift action. They met 3x per week to cull and up-date the collection. The books were coded, labeled and shelved. The room is re-newed also. ALL work was done by volunteers, and the library will be run by volunteers. There will be no additional costs to the public to open this Boro Library.

The library is sharing space with other groups using the meeting room. Summer hours are Mon. 1:30-4, Thurs. 3-7 and Sat. 10-1.  Membership in the Boro Library is free; residents must show proof of address when they apply.


Remembering the Dead

george_hancockstefanThis year, the world was shocked by the death of many people from the Polish Government as their plane crashed as they arrived to commemorate an event in European history. The event was the killing of what the Polish people called the destruction of the Polish intelligentsia, on April 7, 1940.  That over 22,000 Polish officers were killed was never in question.  What was in question was who did it – the Germans or the Soviets. After 70 years, Russian President Vladimir Putin finally forced his government to recognize that it was the Soviets under the direct order of Stalin that have done this atrocious act.  Because the Polish officers were university graduates, Stalin wanted to destroy the future leadership of a people.

World War II, from the invasion of Poland until the conquering of Berlin by the Allied to the subjugation of nations under the Soviets, left millions of dead people.  If one travels in Europe and talks with the locals, everyone has a war story because each family had someone who has been brutally killed in the war, the Soviet Gulag or who disappeared in the night and never came back.  The expression that we hear often hear here in the United States “We fight them over there, so that we will not fight here” was not a luxury for many people.  In fact when one studies the map of Europe one can see that some of the most vicious battles were fought on the Polish territory with not only soldiers giving their lives, but many residents likewise.

Yet, as Churchill often remarked in his correspondence with Roosevelt, World War II would not have been victorious for the Allied forces without the participation of the American military forces.  The American soldiers came from afar without knowing the territory or the language, but ready and willing if need be to give their lives for of liberty and democracy.

Years later it is possible that many people who have been liberated have forgotten their liberators.  There are revisionist historians who write history and they see more harm than good that came from World War II.

On this Memorial Day Weekend, every man and woman who has put on the uniform to defend our liberties, at home or abroad, should be honored. We the living should remember the dead – those who loved liberty more than their own lives and treasured our future more than theirs.

RFHRHS Recognized at Basie Awards

RED BANK, NJ – The Basie Awards are honors given for outstanding achievement in the theatrical productions of Monmouth County high schools. They are the high school equivalent of Broadway’s Tony Awards.  Each year, evaluators from the Count Basie Theater attend the fall and spring productions of all participating schools and attempt to determine the performers, musicians, costumers and technical experts who excelled in their productions. Both students and adults are eligible to be nominated in their categories. The awards were presented at the Theater on May 26th at a theatrical ceremony reminiscent of the Tony Awards.

RFHRHS productions and individual performers won nine awards after being nominated in 16 categories. This was a record breaking number of nominations for RFH.

The Fall production of the Tower Players was The Egyptian Fable, an original play written and directed by RFH teacher Suzanne Sweeney. The play garnered four nominations and two Basie Awards:

Nominees:

Outstanding Set Design in a Drama-RFH teacher Dino Pagano and the Tech Crew

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama-Patricia McCarron

Winners:

Outstanding Costume Design in a Drama-Carole Malik and student Costume/Prop Crew

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama-Kevin Karol

 

 

This year’s Spring Musical production was Fiddler on the Roof, and twelve nominations and seven awards went to the cast and crew of this remarkable presentation.

Nominees:

Outstanding Lighting Design-Avery Peterson , Emily Lovell and Stefan Mann

Outstanding Choreography-Alexis Marinov

Outstanding Orchestra-Student/Adult-Bill Grillo

Outstanding Supporting Actress-Gabriella Kenny

Outstanding Supporting Actor-Kevin Karol

 

Winners:

Outstanding Set Design-Dino Pagano and the Tech Crew

Outstanding Costume Design-Carole Malik and student Costume/Prop Crew

Outstanding Musical Direction-Bill Grillo and Vincent Mottern

Outstanding Chorus

Outstanding Lead Actor-Austin Dornan Ryan

Outstanding Direction in a Musical-Suzanne Sweeney

Outstanding Overall Musical Presentation