April 26, 2008



A press release popped up about two weeks ago on the Union County Government’s website that has confirmed my belief that there are just some people in this world that one can always count on to be consistent and predictable. I am of course referring to the all Democrat Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and George Devanney, our beloved County Manager. The press release is about the new and improved Musicfest 2008 taking place in September at Nomahegan Park in Cranford.

I say new and improved because this year’s invasion of a quiet residential neighborhood will not only feature a repeat of last years Rock On!! Walkathon but a 5K Rock N’ Run, a third stage is being added for your musical pleasure and the event will take place on Friday night as well as the traditional Saturday from dawn till whenever. You have to hand it to these guys they just won’t give up a great free reelection campaign event when they see one.

I am sure that the local residents can hardly contain their enthusiasm at the prospect of having cars blocking their driveways on narrow residential streets for two days and nights instead of the usual one on a lovely fall weekend. And even better yet excitingly anticipating the possibility of finding some devoted concert attendee camping out under the shrubbery on a finely manicured front lawn because they didn’t want to spring for a hotel room at the Springfield Holiday Inn and loose their much coveted parking space.

This year the walkathon and newly added 5K run will again raise money for the Love Hope and Strength Foundation, “Nephew George’s” favorite charity, and it looks like Devanney will once again benefit with an opportunity to travel to the far reaches of the globe. Last year he was with the help of sponsors, able to climb with his “teen idols” to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal this year they will be sending him off to Machu Piccu in Peru. (Inquiring minds can check it out here for details http://www.perurocks.org/ and click trekkers, you will find George there).

Part of the proceeds raised from the walk will be sent off to Peru but at least the Freeholder Board wised up this year and the second charity that will benefit is The Valerie Fund; a venerable New Jersey organization that supports children stricken with cancer and blood disorders and their families. "Atta Boys" go to the board for making a good choice this time around and keeping at least part of the money here in the states.

Last year you will recall they turned over thousands of dollars to an organization that in essence was a group that lobbied for our tax dollars to be spent on embryonic stem cell research. The ill fated effort was defeated at the polls last election day when wise NJ voters decided that the state shouldn’t plunge deeper in debt by pursuing this controversial science.

What looks like a serious effort to legitimize the two day campaign event the Freeholders have managed to suck Overlook Hospital into the mix as their main sponsor. Hopefully the hospital hasn’t dug too deep into their pockets to lend financial support to recreate “Woodstock in Cranford” as even a few grand could go toward a charity care bill for someone who cannot afford health insurance.

The Freeholders claim that they are merely giving the taxpayers what they want and as a side bonus they are showcasing Union County and contributing to the local economy as they say concert goers are likely to shop and eat dinner in downtown Cranford.

They also point out that last year the event drew 50,000 attendees and this year even more are expected to come making Musicfest one of the fastest growing events of this type in NJ. The press release encourages that lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets be brought along but what the heck why doesn’t the “Gang of Nine” just go for it and erect a tent-city on the campus of Union County College.

Could this be Saturday Morning at 'WOODSTOCK IN CRANFORD' ?