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NJ DISCOVER with Singer Kevin John Allen at Acorn Digital Recording Studio. Farmingdale NJ by Calvin Schwartz (Video by TJ Vitale) NJ DISCOVER with Singer Kevin John Allen at Acorn Digital Recording Studio. Farmingdale NJ by Calvin Schwartz (Video by TJ Vitale)(0)

NJ DISCOVER with Singer Kevin John Allen at Acorn Digital Recording Studios. Farmingdale NJ by Calvin Schwartz (Video by TJ Vitale)



For NJ Discover these past few months, it has been a magical journey into the essence of Monmouth, Asbury Park and New Jersey music.  Without ever sitting down and constructing one of those business plans, while wearing suits and ties, sitting around an oak conference table, coffee cups resting on coasters with pictures of President Eisenhower and Elvis Presley, NJ Discover has innately known our mission statement (well one of them) which was to elevate, promulgate, inspire, uplift and report on all the redeeming workings of our geographical music world here.









A thought occurred a while back; we’ve been doing it all, with camera and pen, exploring and extending our coverage but somehow a journey to a recording studio/session had escaped us. Along comes Kevin John Allen, singer, song writer, personality extraordinaire and friend who called recently, as a morning fog was lifting and invited Tara-Jean Vitale and myself to come down to John Mulrenan’s Acorn Digital Recording Studio for a real live recording session.  I love synchronicity and perfect timing.









We knew we were several miles away from the Atlantic Ocean in Monmouth County, but suddenly a right turn off Route 34 into a forest; then a winding driveway.  Then Kevin John Allen appears and opens a door into a custom built almost surreal looking room with high ceilings that reduced my 6’5” frame to insignificance.  Tara-Jean and I were in an acoustical heaven.  A series of guitars lined a wall. I knew that was history. A spiral staircase (my favorite kind) ascended just in front of me as I gazed down on a Yamaha console. Mine eyes took in state of art everything. Huge glass windows afforded views into a dense forest. I remarked, “What a perfect place for a recording studio.”  Tara-Jean and I were introduced to John Mulrenan, studio owner, Jim Sickels and Ray Sorrentino, the other members of Kevin John Allen’s ‘Lonely Teardrops Band.’







I almost thought being in southern Florida in one of those escape to childhood places of rides and amusements; it really felt like adventure or fantasy land; I was wide-eyed absorbing everything about the studio. Tara-Jean was busy filming with camera.  Kevin and band gathered this day to record, “Get A Little Closer,” from their new album, ‘Life’s Lonely Rodeo.’ Kevin described the album as a little of everything, from do-op to reggae to country Jersey.  Then they started recording. I was mesmerized and actually quiet for the session and it wasn’t easy for me to be quiet. I have to admit: I love the depth and quality of Kevin’s voice and the harmony and sound of the band. It was dreamy magic stuff.







Of course we took some still pictures and then the band sat down and I wasn’t quiet anymore. There were some questions that had been percolating being in this amazing recording studio in the middle of an almost make believe forest. For a brief moment, I thought I saw the scarecrow, tin-man and lion run by outside. I was close in my visual. Kevin John Allen has long hair just like the lion. And I just realized; I was in OZ that day at Acorn Digital Recording Studio. Thanks to Kevin John Allen and the band and John Mulrenan. And to co-producer Tara-Jean for putting up with my dreamy state that day.















Remember USS Juneau Frank Holmgren Interview [Video] Remember USS Juneau Frank Holmgren Interview [Video](1)

Frank Holmgren will never forget the roar of the water when his Navy ship sank beneath him in the early days of World War II. He won’t forget the sharks circling around his raft as he waited nearly seven days for rescue either.

Holmgren, 79, was just a 19-year-old captain’s orderly, not quite eight months into active duty on the USS Juneau, when it was hit and sunk by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine in the Pacific Ocean 59 years ago this week.

He said the torpedo was fired at another ship in their group, the San Francisco, but slipped passed its bow. The San Francisco had all its communications knocked out in a battle both ships had been in with the Japanese earlier that morning, and could not message the Juneau that a torpedo was on a trajectory toward it. Holmgren was on deck on the fantail when the torpedo hit.

“We went down in a minute,” the resident of Byrnes Lane said.

“I went up in the air, and when I came down my hand hit a life jacket,” he said. He quickly put it on, he recalled. “I heard the roar of the water and I thought I was going to die. I did go down with the ship — I don’t know how far — but the next thing I knew, I came back up. That life jacket saved my life.”

Holmgren also kept his mouth closed when he went under and didn’t swallow much salt water, which he feels helped him survive. He also did not drink any salt water while drifting in his raft, relying instead on rain for sustenance.

“Once you drink that salt water, you are finished,” he said.

Holmgren is the last remaining survivor from the sinking of the Juneau, which is best known for having been the graveyard of the five Sullivan brothers of Iowa. He said there were 10 survivors from the crew of approximately 725, five of whom were from the life raft he called home for a week.

With the exception of his military service, Holmgren has lived his entire life in Eatontown, beginning on what is now Throckmorton Avenue, formerly Railroad Avenue. He went into the Navy in March 1942, after graduation from Long Branch High School.

Holmgren went through boot camp at Newport, R.I., and was assigned with his buddy from Eatontown, Charlie Hayes, to the Juneau, a fairly new ship.

Hayes survived the sinking of the Juneau but was not among those finally rescued, he said.

Holmgren said he and Hayes boarded the Juneau together in New York City after completing basic training, and initially worked the Atlantic Ocean side of the war, escorting ships to Africa.

Eventually, he said, they were called to the Pacific Theater of the war and went to Guadalcanal to supply the Marines there. While in the area, he saw the Wasp, an aircraft carrier, get hit by torpedoes and sink, and he became engaged in the battle of Santa Cruz, in which the Hornet, another aircraft carrier was hit.

His ship returned to Guadalcanal to take troops to land





N.J. Environmental Federation Annual Conference. Rutgers Law School. Newark.  By Calvin Schwartz. N.J. Environmental Federation Annual Conference. Rutgers Law School. Newark. By Calvin Schwartz.(1)


N.J. Environmental Federation Annual Conference. Rutgers Law School. Newark.  By Calvin Schwartz. (“I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired”)


I wonder why more citizens here in New Jersey don’t make the time to attend the New Jersey Environmental Federation Conference; an annual event held at Rutgers Law School in Newark. At very least, it’s an exercise in expanding the mind, by learning, listening, growing; it’s just a better thing to do than sleeping to 10 AM on a Saturday, watching television for an hour and making two passes around Costco’s bakery department. One summer back in 1967, I worked in an industrial bakery in Newark and I fell in love with the bakery smell; so that’s why occasionally I make two passes through Costco’s; it’s a close enough smell and it takes me back to the days of the  ‘Lone Ranger.’







So where does this expression come from? “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” One of my heroes, Fannie Lou Hamer said this. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  She believed fervently in the righteousness of the cause of civil rights. This past Saturday, I attended the New Jersey Environmental Federation Conference in Newark at Rutgers Law School. I’ve been going for years, especially looking forward to Dr. Nicky Sheats talk about environmental justice; one of the causes that mean so much. For me, being in college during the decade of civil rights in the 1960’s and then attending the very first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 and now seeing civil rights and environment become concentric circles of commonality is painfully relevant in 2012.







After breakfast and introductory speeches, the conference separated into workshops. I circled the ‘Enough is Enough’ workshop;  needed to learn how the cumulative effect of pollution in water, air and food is making people sick and what we can do about it. The speakers were amazingly credentialed; Dr. Nicky Sheats, Phd, Center of Urban Development, Steve Anderson, Research Scientist, Peter Montague, PhD, Environmental Research Foundation(I love listening to his rational dire global warming warning words) and Henry Rose, State Coordinator, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance. Henry was passionate and right on when he uttered “environmental apartheid.”   I learned that Hess (Oil) Corporation plans to build a 655-megawatt natural gas power plant in the East Ward (Ironbound) section of Newark, a city and a section dangerously overburdened by an onslaught of environmental affronts, degradation and pollutants.  By a 7-1 vote, the Newark board approved a measure last Thursday night and despite grass roots opposition, the board gave the project the go-ahead in a 15-minute meeting. When I heard this, I raised my hand and suggested that the title of this workshop should be changed to “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”






My using Fannie Lou Hamer’s words simply mean I’m sick and tired of hearing year after year about blatant examples of environmental injustice. There are enough graphs and statistics which clearly show the amount of pollution is related to the color of skin and how much money someone has in their pocket.  People’s health around this new Hess energy center is going to be impacted again. Since the 19th century, Newark Ironbound has been a manufacturing hub, producing everything from iron to beer to paint. In the 1950s and 1960s, Ironbound’s Diamond Alkali/Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Corp. produced Agent Orange, a carcinogenic chemical weapon used extensively in the Vietnam War.






Last year at the Conference, I was outraged when PurGen wanted to build a coal firing plant in Linden and the reason officials gave me was that Linden(already off the charts in asthmatic rates) had the infra-structure in place to support a plant which needed an ocean to dump waste into and railroad tracks to move coal. I raised my hand and pointed out that exactly the same railroad tracks and ocean run up and down the rest of the east coast. There was silence; always silence

Environmentally our time is running out. I voiced this to one of my favorite PhD speakers after his talk.  Global warming and climate change is so here. The Pentagon even knows this and is beginning to project huge population shifts from coastlines and how it impacts our future security. I’ve been observing attitudes that if we put a man on the moon so fast, we can do anything but maybe once we can’t.  Then I got cute. I told the PhD scientist about the movie ‘The Graduate’ when Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock hears the word “plastics” at his graduation party.  I’ve done the same thing to a myriad of graduates over the years. Most graduates never know what I’m talking about when I whisper, “plastics.” I recently whispered, “water” to my son instead.  “America will get out of debt with China one day when we start shipping them water,” I said semi-seriously. But then the PhD smiled at me.




I was pleased later in the day at the second workshop when I heard NJ State Senator Jennifer Beck mention how she voted against her Republican Party and Governor on certain environmental issues. We need more courage and commitment like that. I keep looking at big picture of things; the planet and how we keep ignoring, violating and nothing changes.


Amy Goldsmith, State Director, was honored for her amazing dedicated years of service and unlimited energy. Lisa Plevin, Chief of Staff USEPA, Gray Russell (a former rocker too) Environmental Coordinator, Montclair, John Weber, Northeast Regional Manager, Surfrider Foundation and Robert Westreich, Esq. (he never lost a case with First Amendment right to canvass neighborhoods throughout the state for over 20 years) all received Conference Awards. By the way, the luncheons are worth the price of admission alone.







In the keynote address, Retired Brigadier General Steve Anderson electrified with his candor and passion for environmental change. Here’s a few of his quotes rapid fire. “We’ve got to get off oil. We won’t exist.”  “The increased competition for oil is a threat to our security.”  “Green economy is where the money is.” “President Obama was absolutely right when he stopped the Keystone pipeline.”  General Anderson made a point as soon as he started to speak, saying he was a Republican.  Sometimes he fooled me and other audience members.  He just cares.  “It’s a 20 year process to get off oil. We need to do it under our terms.”  “1000 Americans died moving oil around over there. We spend $20 billion a year on oil. The Pentagon is the world’s largest consumer of energy.”  “We are funding both sides of war. We buy oil and the money ends up in Iran.”  “What troops need is renewable energy.  Afghanistan has 340 days of sun; so harness solar. And wind, geothermal and waste to energy systems.” “How do we help?  Pressure the Department of Defense (DOD).”











At the birthday party after the conference for the 40th year of ‘Clean Water Action,’ General Anderson was quite accessible. I managed to pay him my highest compliment, when I said, “Listening to you, I don’t think anyone could tell what political party you’re in which means you care about doing the right things for people.” He smiled and we took a picture together.  Finally my exhortation to all those within earshot of me; “Get thee to the NJ Environmental Federation conference next year. And join the organization in the meantime.” I’ve heard it through the grapevine that both actions increases cerebral vascular circulation which makes you smarter.

Calvin Schwartz




























NJ KEWL 98 Dot Com Radio: A visit by Calvin Schwartz – Toms River, NJ NJ KEWL 98 Dot Com Radio: A visit by Calvin Schwartz – Toms River, NJ(0)

For this central Jersey writer, novelist, reporter, the notion of sitting in for a live global broadcast with  accomplished radio disc jockey (Rock N Tommy) was particularly thrilling; this was my first time in a radio station. I brought my NJ Discover TV camera to record for posterity.


Tommy  has been doing radio since 2001, firstly on a station called Top Shelf Oldies then briefly at WRBG in Delaware. Of course he loves music and sharing that love. Funny, within the first few minutes of being there and listening to him, I closed my eyes and was transported into the movie ‘American Graffiti’ when Richard Dreyfus (Curt) meets the famed disc jockey ‘Wolfman Jack’ in that famous ‘Popsicle’ scene at the radio station. I told Tommy thinking and feeling this was the highest compliment I could give him. Then he actually offered me a ‘Popsicle.’ Talk about back to the future.


He started his own station  four years ago which has grown dramatically. He’s interviewed many artists ranging from the ‘Dixie Cups’ to BJ Thomas. Another love for Tommy is playing local and rising talent’s original music. He devotes a lot of energy into promoting local talent and plays original  music on his stream and mentioned if any local talent is interested, they can send  a CD by contacting  Rock N Tommy at


The following Sunday, I sat glued listening to Tommy for three hours on his oldies show; I just love being magic carpeted back to the malt shop memory days which his impeccable music selections did to me. Also fun was the musical chat room with world -wide listeners, although being somewhat shy, I mostly lurked. Hey, I’m a Jersey guy.   Tommy on Facebook. ( )


Tommy’s  programs on the station is Rock N Tommy Live Wed nights, Rock N Oldies Spot Saturday Nights and Malt Shope Of Memories Sunday Nights.  Other programs to check out are Mike Bollea’s Jukebox Party, BJ’s Soul Shack, and Tea Time with Paul Anthony.

When I left,  I hit Tommy with one of my better Arnold Schwarznegger impersonations, “I’ll be back.” I need oldies for my vascular cerebral circulation. This was a great night.







CONCERT FOR TENT CITY: Easter Sunday 2012: Lakewood N.J. with NJ Discover TV            By Calvin Schwartz CONCERT FOR TENT CITY: Easter Sunday 2012: Lakewood N.J. with NJ Discover TV By Calvin Schwartz(0)












“If you’d like to get out of a pessimistic mood yourself, I’ve got one sure remedy for you. Go help those people down in Birmingham; in Mississippi or Alabama……Maybe we’ll see this song come true….” Pete Seeger said these words a long time ago (1960’s) when he was introducing a song at a concert; ‘We Shall Overcome.’ When I heard what amazing things Rosemary Conte, noted Jazz singer from Monmouth County was doing to organize a concert to raise awareness and donations for the people who live in a tent city in Lakewood, I didn’t hesitate a moment in calling Rosemary and asking if NJ Discover TV could be there. It was Easter Sunday and hard to round up a TV crew. Then I thought about how sailors in times of Christopher Columbus were impressed into service, so I called my prodigal son and impressed him into service with a camera and smile.




It was a perfect Easter Sunday for a meaningful concert for the homeless; Blue sky. Spring warmth. Gentle breezes. 3 PM. Town Square in Lakewood. With the help of her musician sons, Steve (lead guitar with New York Dolls) and John (who has performed with Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny), Rosemary Conte put together an impressive ‘Tent City Band’ featuring Jersey artists Marc Ribler (guitar), Daniel Gonzalez(drums), Tommy Labella(sax), Danny Petroni(guitar), Brad Mandigo, Lisa Desimone(vocals), Joe Mosello(trumpet) and more.




What an amazing band. Personally, I like to drift when music moves me; their powerful sounds took me far away but never far enough away to realize that there are no homeless shelters in Ocean County; that’s why there’s a tent city in the middle of Lakewood and that’s the awareness message Rosemary’s efforts delivered. Rosemary’s jazz vocals anchored her caring and concern. What a voice. Often I wonder why more citizens don’t extricate themselves from the sedentary couch and explore the world of New Jersey, with all its talent and poignant causes.










Rev. Steve Brigham, Tent City’s founder and a tireless advocate for the homeless in Ocean County spoke to the audience. The cause is so powerful. People are homeless in our midst, right here in Central Jersey, the second richest state in America. The band sang a Dylan song. I really closed my eyes. It was 1968. Pete Seeger was singing with the ‘Tent City Band.’  Rosemary Conte and her sons were really singing. I drifted. And now I thank her for an amazing day. And like Pete Seeger said a long time ago, maybe we’ll see that song come true for our citizens in Tent City in Lakewood.

PLEASE donate to Tent City Homeless Encampment:    the direct link to donate to our 501c3 account via PayPal is

Or   which also contains info on other online donation options.

OR, Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church, PO Box 326, Lakewood, NJ 08701






Norman Seldin Interview (Video w/ Host Frank Dicopoulos) Norman Seldin Interview (Video w/ Host Frank Dicopoulos)(3)

50-year music career, singer-songwriter-keyboardist “Stormin'” Norman Seldin has been a frontman, a sideman, a manager, a concert promoter and a music instructor. And recently, he has received some overdue recognition.

Seldin is stepping out from the trenches with “Asbury Park: Then and Now.” The two-CD, 46-track set, released on Seldin’s own Ivory International label, includes recordings from throughout his career, and offers shore music fans a rare opportunity to hear legendary groups like The Jaywalkers, The Joyful Noyze (featuring E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons) and The Motifs on CD.
Five members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band (Clemons, Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, Roy Bittan and the late Danny Federici) back Seldin on eight 1980 recordings. Other luminaries, such as Southside Johnny, the late Harry Ray (of Ray, Goodman and Brown fame) and drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie also make appearances

Stone Pony for the Break Contest, 2012 Stone Pony for the Break Contest, 2012(0)

Reporter Teasia Ruffin goes to the Stone Pony for the Break Contest, where local bands compete for a spot in the lineup at The Bamboozle. Produced and Edited by Karen Heyson

Guild of Creative Art features Red Bank Teens, Shrewsbury, NJ Guild of Creative Art features Red Bank Teens, Shrewsbury, NJ(0)


 The culmination of four years of studio and commercial art study at Red Bank Regional’s (RBR)Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) is currently on display at the Guild of Creative Art at 620 Broad Street in Shrewbury, NJ.  

The RBR VPA Senior Art Students’ works are featured at the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsburyfrom March 30 through April 12. Pictured at the opening reception of Art Beat are: (left to right), Emily Stafford, Little Silver, Kelly McAdam, Little Silver, Jade Saybolt, Shrewsbury, Terrill Warrenburg, Little Silver, RBR commercial art teacher Claudia O’Connor, Tatjana Farley, Neptune City and Beth Keenan, Little Silver.



The museum is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and till 7 pm on Thursday and 10 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday.


(Left) Terrill Warrenberg’s Whipped Cream connotes a tone of a bygone era in America.




Student Kelly McAdam stands in front of a variety of her works, including: oil on canvas, charcoal, acrylic, band, chalk pastel and ebony pencil.



Red Bank Regional student Beth Keenen’s mixed media, below, Behind the Door arouses curiosity.

The artwork is available for purchased at the end of the show.

RBR Students Turn Cyber Ninjas! Red Bank, NJ (Video) RBR Students Turn Cyber Ninjas! Red Bank, NJ (Video)(0)

The field of Cyber Security has been identified by the Pentagon and the President of the United States as a top priority for national security.

Red Bank Regional Academy of Information Technology, located at Red Bank Regional High School, in Little Silver, NJ entered their students into the Cyber Foundation Competition.  The competition featured 2,034 students from 169 schools, 32 states and three U.S. territories. The non-for-profit Center for Internet Security (CIS) which sponsored this cyber competition encourages students toward this vital and high-demand career.

RBR students scored the top three positions in the State of NJ: Ryan McVeety, Little Silver, who also finished #25 in the nation; Jared Katzman, Little Silver who finished 26th in the nation; and Michael Terpak, Union Beach, who finished #38 in the nation. A fourth student, Luke Matarazzo, Neptune City, also finished #57 in the nation. these finishes are within the top 10% scores in the competition.

The studen’ts IT teacher, Mandy Galante, (who was also named the New Jersey IT Teacher of the Year by the Air Force Association and this year’s RBR Teacher of the Year) created the curriculum to offer RBR students a study concentration and career path in cyber security.  This year, Mrs. Galante’s students also took First Place in the national NYU-Polytechnic High School CyberForensic Competition.  For the past three years, RBR students have taken the top three NJ winner prizes in multiple categories in the Future Business Leaders of America technology competitions.

Judy Feinstein: Always Moving Forward (Video Courtesy of Judy Feinstein: Always Moving Forward (Video Courtesy of

Judy Feinstein: Always Moving Forward. Video courtesy of
Produced by NJ Discover.

Several months ago NJ Discover reporters Calvin Schwartz and Tara-Jean Vitale happened into ‘Flying Saucer’ antique store in Asbury Park on a pilot mission to discover people and places in New Jersey and Monmouth County. In actuality, we were interviewing an impresario of sorts in the local music business and asked the woman proprietor of the antiques store if we could use the far back room which had this vintage kitchen table from the early 1950’s to film. She agreed and then said, “When you’re done, why don’t you interview me?” And I said, “Why?” Judy Feinstein said, “Because I was one of New Jersey’s early female pilots back in the 1960’s, taught flying to young women, was one of the charter members of an Amelia Earhart flying group.” We interviewed Judy again and again; each time mesmerized with her energy and accomplishments. I particularly like the bit when she was flying into Washington, DC at the invitation of Vice-President Ford for an awards ceremony and the air traffic controller interrupted and told her she’s flying to close to the White House. Judy’s assessment was that he just wanted to see what I look like when I landed. Enjoy Judy’s video. And again much thanks to for graciously sharing the video. Cal Schwartz, writer, NJ Discover.


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