JETS FALL TO FISH, NO PLAYOFFS AGAIN

Jets lose 24-17 to the Dolphins in dismal showing during season finale, denying them playoff berth, in perhaps Brett Favre's final game.

SEASON'S GREETINGS FROM CAMP BUCCA IRAQ

video
New Jersey National Guard troops send good tidings from Camp Bucca, Iraq, to loved ones back home in New Jersey.

This a video I produced with colleague Tyson Trish, who was in Iraq with columnist Mike Kelly, reporting on the NJ National Guard. This is part of our year-long report, NJ at War.

GIANTS FALL TO EAGLES 20-14

Giants were lackluster in ho-hum loss to rival Eagles, in game that had little at stake for Big Blue.

METS STADIUM ALMOST READY

video
NY Mets executives gave a behind-the-scenes tour of the nearly completed new baseball stadium, Citifield. The state-of-the-art facility, which draws inspiration from the old Brooklyn Dodgers stadium -Ebbet's Field, promises to be a huge hit with fans, offering many upgraded amenities.

DENVER RAINS ON JETS 34-17

It was a dismal affair for Gang-Green, in a sloppy and soggy defeat to Jay Cutler and the Broncos. Denver took a 27-14 lead into halftime, scoring 14 points off two Jets turnovers. Denver's win snapped New York's five-game winning streak. It was as cold and nasty a night as I could remember, lousy conditions to shoot in.


Photos by Thomas E. Franklin / The Record

PARK OR LANDFILL?

Overpeck Park nears completion
video
Construction on a three-year plan to convert old landfills and swamps into recreational areas at the 120-acre county park is wrapping up.

ELECTION DAY


ELECTION DAY 2008
North Jersey voters and politicians get an early jump beating the polling traffic.
This video was a team effort. I coordinated our coverage, and video was shot by photographers Carmine Galasso, Tariq Zehawi, Liz Lara, web producer Kim Mineo, and reporter Mike Feeney.
video

The MEANING OF OBAMA'S CANDIDACY

video
I interviewed dozen's of subjects for this pre-Election Day video commentary on the meaning of Barack Obama's candidacy for the office of President of the United States. I tried to interview as many thoughtful and insightful people I could, and mix together their comments. This is a sound-bite driven piece, with very little B-Roll. Each subject was asked the same question: "As an African-American, what does Barack Obama's candidacy mean to you?"

The JOKER

video
Local make-up artist Jeremy Selenfriend, of Emerson's A Monster in My Closet, makes up Chris Mann as Batman's The Joker for Halloween.

EMERGENCY ROOM REOPENS


Hackensack University Medical Center reopened for business the ER at Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, 10 months after hospital went bankrupt and closed. The HUMC staff and community excitedly opened their doors at 9am today. Read full story by The Record's Lindy Washburn.

video

JAZZ LEGEND WARREN BATTISTE


Legendary New Orleans jazz guitarist Warren Battiste has been living in Dumont ever since he fled New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. He is a well-known recording artist and will appear in an upcoming movie about Chess Records. Read the full story by The Record's Jim Beckerman.
video
I spent a few hours with Mr. Battiste in his tiny apartment in Dumont, a man as soft-spoken as his soothing guitar strumming. Having visited New Orleans a few months ago, we had much to talk about. He told me his harrowing tale of survival during Katrina, and his fending for himself after he made the fateful decision to ride out the storm by playing a Hurricane-gig at a downtown club. When the gig was over, and he realized he needed to get out of town as the storm approached, it was too late. Remarkable, he perservered.

NETS MEDIA DAY



The New Jersey Nets introduced a new team that features many new faces, and a roster of young talent. Today was their annual media day. Yes, they still have Vince Carter, but not much else other than some young unproven players. It should be an interesting season. Read The Record's Al Iannazzone's blog In the Zzone.
video

ELI GETS WAXED

Bet you didn't know Eli Manning and I have at least three things in common. For one, we both have two brothers, albeit his older brother plays QB a little better than mine -but not much better. Secondly, we were both ran around on the field at University of Phoenix Stadium moments after the Giants trounced the Evil Empire in Super Bowl XLII. OK, he had a little more do with that than me, but I sure made some nice pics of it all. Even got a splash of Tom Coughlin's GaterAid bath on my sleeve.

And lastly, now we both have a wax statue at MadameTussauds in Mid-Town.

video

Here is a YouTube video someone sent to me. I've never seen it, or been inside. Wax people make me nervous.

video

REMEMBERING 9/11

video

This week marks the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York. Hard to believe. To commemorate this important date, I put together some words and pictures that tell the story of my experiences covering the tragic events that day. Working on this piece and reviewing all my raw images from that day, brought back a rush of memories and emotions.

Many of the photos in this multimedia project have never been published before, and it was interesting to match the images to the words I wrote for the audio. To see it come together as a narrative was satisfying, despite the somber and devastating subject matter.
The Record published my story.

The Record's website NorthJersey.com did a 9/11 Anniversary live blog today, a comprehensive running report on today's commemorative events.

FIRE SPRINKLERS SAVE LIVES

The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs will decide whether to require older high-rise apartment buildings to install sprinkler systems for fire safety. The Division of Consumer Affairs has until Sept. 17 to approve or reject the proposed regulations, which are being pushed both by fire departments across the state and the fire sprinkler industry. But rental apartment building owners, and individual apartment owners, have complained that the cost of doing so is too high. Read Joe Ax's story in The Record.

Today, fire officials and sprinkler industry rep's used a side-by-side fiery demonstration to show the effectiveness of sprinklers.
video

FOOTBALL TRAGEDY

In one-week's time, two Bergen County teens died playing football, while another was seriously injured. Sean Fisher of Waldwick died suddenly during football practice running drills on a mild summer night. It was his 13th birthday. His mom was at home baking cupcakes when she got the call.

James and Shelia Fisher lost their only son due to an undetected heart condition. On Friday I covered the Sean's funeral. Sean is my son's name, and he too is an only child.

This is NOT an assignment I enjoy doing. Every news photographer I know hates having to cover funerals for obvious reasons. They are uneasy, somber, and delicate assignments. But I tell myself that this boy's life had meaning, hundreds turned out to pay respects to the young man, and by covering the funeral I am in a way paying my respects, as much as I detest being there. Here is link to video shot by my colleague Kim Mineo.

BARCLAYS COMES TO RIDGEWOOD










I spent a very busy 6 days at the Ridgewood Country Club blogging live throughout the week at The Barclays golf tournament -the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Check -out the live blog. I was posting updates throughout each day of the tourny, receiving live reports from Record reporters Andy Vasquez, Greg Mattura, Steve Adamek, and Tyson Trish.

I also posted videos and photo gallery's by Tyson and myself.

FINAL ROUND: Singh wins
Vijay Singh wins The Barclays, defeating Sergio Garcia on the 2nd playoff hole.
See photo gallery.



ROUND 3
Third round action at The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club.
Kevin Streelman soars to the top of the leader board.
See photo gallery.
See Kevin Streelman video.



ROUND 2
Last year's Barclays champion Steve Stricker takes the lead during 2nd round action at Ridgewood.
See photo gallery.
See Steve Stricker video.


ROUND 1
Little-known Hunter Mahan shoots an electrifying 62 during the opening round.
See photo gallery.
See Hunter Mahan video.


PRACTICE ROUND / PRO-AM
PGA players tee-off n the Barclays Pro-Am, the last day of practice before the start of the tour event.
See photo gallery.
See Phil Mickelson video.



TUESDAY PRACTICE ROUND
PGA players get ready for the Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus.
See photo gallery.
See Padraig Harrington video.

FUNERAL FOR A FALLEN FIREFIGHTER



Mahwah firefighter Michael Drozd, a piper with the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band, was laid to rest today. Last week, I posted an entry and video on this blog after he was killed in an automobile accident shortly after performing at a fundraiser for John McCain in Teaneck, which I covered. In a strange but sad coincidence, I taped the Drozd's band warming up that night, see earlier posts.

Today, there was a funeral mass and burial at the Mahwah Cemetery, hundreds of firemen from Mahwah and many of the neighboring towns lined the street between the church and cemetery. It was an honorable send off, albeit a sad and senseless loss. See full story in The Record.
video

WAITING FOR McCAIN

Republican presidential candidate John McCain made his 6th visit to Jersey, attending a private fund-raiser at the Marriott at Glenpoint in Teaneck.$1,000 got you in the door, $25,ooo got you a photo with the Arizona Senator. Four hours of waiting got me nada. Not even a glimpse. I ended up using tow shots by my colleague Tyson Trish, who photographed McCain exiting a plane at the airport. McCain ducked the cameras and reporters. Protesters lined the curb, and bagpipers played outside the door waiting for the candidate to arrive -nearly two hours behind schedule.
video
Sadly, Michael Drozd of the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band, the very band I video taped warming up outside the hotel, was killed later that night in a car crash on route 4 hours after performing at the fund raiser. The group has a strong cult-like following, known for playing pop hits such as "Louie Louie" and "Tequila."
video

PGA TOUR COMES TO RIDGEWOOD CC

The PGA Tour comes to the Ridgewood Country Club August 19-24, and the course has undergone some subtle changes in preparation for The Barclays. Club pro David Reasoner takes us on a tour of the prestigious RCC pointing out some of the changes the club has made in attempt to Tiger-proof the course.

video