We just finished an exciting election and, without a day's rest, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi let it be known that she wants to be the Democrats' minority leader. This was followed locally by former Galloway Township municipal court judge Chris Brown's announcement that he would seek the nomination to run for the Assembly seat of Vince Polistina. Polistina is still in the seat, but it has been rumored he is considering challenging Sen. Jim Whelan for his seat in the second legislative district.
This brought up a flurry of names of other noted Republicans who also would like Polistina's seat in the Assembly if it becomes available. This forthcoming year will be an interesting one politically. All members of the New Jersey State Legislature are up for re-election. In Atlantic County, the county executive, several members of the Board of Freeholders and county sheriff are up for election.
It used to be that after an election we would hear very little about perennial challengers or newcomers wishing to enter the political arena until February, when contenders would start to get in line to enter the two major parties' selection processes for candidates. There is little doubt that this year's primary election will be an exciting one with all the candidates vying for the varied positions.
Without a doubt, there will be a lot of money poured into aiding those selected by their respective parties. As in previous elections of the New Jersey senate and assembly, one can expect to find money flowing into Atlantic County from Camden County and other areas of the state. As a result, this will serve to help boost the financial standing of the newspapers, radio and television stations in our area. In addition, there will be lots of meetings with food and beverages for the voters the candidates are seeking to woo. It will give us lot to talk about.
With a new decade and a new census, Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for that once-every-10-years scramble to redraw the boundaries for legislative districts. Each party will seek contributions to spend on consultants because so much is at stake. This is a time when the slightest change in a district could make the difference in one party or the other gaining or maintaining control. Each party will select five members to be in the state commission that helps decide where the lines for each district will be determined. If there is a tie, as so often occurs, it then goes to the head of the Supreme Court who will make the selection as the 11th member that will break the tie.
My Phish Experience
What was it like to hear the noted Phish jam band perform? I was one of the 14,000 fortunate ones who had tickets to see the Friday show, the first of three straight performances in Atlantic City. I arrived at Boardwalk Hall 15 minutes before showtime and found that my ticket entitled me to a seat near the stage. Having been in Boardwalk Hall for many varied activities, including concerts by such diverse acts as the Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand, I was shocked to see the thousands standing in the general admission section that normally had seats on the floor of the building. They stood shoulder to shoulder and were packed in tightly. They were there to have fun, and they did.
They were a noisy and happy group of people looking forward to hearing their favorite musical group perform. As I perused the crowd, it was obvious that the vast majority of those in the audience ranged in age from 18 to 50. There were very few elderly folks in attendance.
The show began in a heartwarming fashion as the four musicians sang the national anthem a cappella. It was a good way to kick off the night. As the band began its first number, it is normally the time when those who have seats sit down. However, no one sat. The building seemed to sway as the audience didn't stand still. They moved side to side and back and forth with their hands raised, and I felt myself being swept along with them.
Those who had seats remained standing throughout the 90 minutes I was there. I stood for the first 45 minutes and then realized these older legs had to sit down. But, even when sitting, one could not help but sway to the music.
I had been told it would be quite loud, and I was given a pair of earplugs to protect my hearing. After a while, I took them out and didn't find the sound offensive. I truly enjoyed the music. I was most impressed with the ability of the group to play for extended periods of time. It was interesting to observe that the audience knew what they were going to do and became more enthusiastic in their movements as they played different songs. After 90 minutes I tired and turned to the folks who provided me with a ticket and said, "Thank you for allowing me to have this wonderful experience."
On Monday, I received several calls on my radio show saying how good the Phish concerts were for Atlantic City. The vast majority of those who attended the shows were here for three days and filled our hotels and motels as well as restaurants and clubs in the area.
It was interesting to note that this column's mocking bird said Phish would play the music of Led Zeppelin in their Sunday night musical costume. The Web version of this column was picked up around the country, and there were discussions about my prediction. As it was, Phish did not play Led Zeppelin on Sunday, choosing to cover a Little Feat album. But Phish did play a bunch of Led Zeppelin songs on Saturday. I will not fire my mocking bird for this misinformation.
The bandmates and their constituents enjoyed themselves immensely, not only in Boardwalk Hall but in Atlantic City as well. Will Phish come back to Atlantic City? The good word is that the promoters and the band had a successful and enjoyable stay here, and they would like to come back.
One major problem that occurs at this type of event is long lines for restrooms. For events of this nature in the future, there will be additional portable facilities brought in to correct this problem. The management of Boardwalk Hall is concerned about people's needs and will react accordingly to help them.
(Pinky's Corner airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, "WMGM Presents Pinky," airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Pinky's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.)