Archive for January, 2008

Cool People for the TWO WEEK FEBRUARY 2008 HIATUS…

January 27, 2008

PAT SOMMELING, who is a native of Seaside Heights, has retired from her position as Personal Assistant to the Chief of Police of The Township of Toms River. On Friday January 25th, Pat’s retirement gala filled a room with a host of Ocean County dignitaries who sang her praises, like T.R. Mayor Tom Kelaher, who is shown here. ALL OF THE COOL PEOPLE THIS WEEK ARE THOSE WHO ATTENDED PAT’S RETIREMENT PARTY!!

TOMS RIVER POLICE CHIEF MASTRONARDY is one of the Chiefs Pat served in a long career in the Dover Township Police Department dating back to 1970.

HEAVY-HITTER GEORGE GILMORE, who is a relative of Pat Sommeling, was one of many prominent people who spoke at her well-attended retirement dinner.

Sheriff Bill Polhemus told colorful stories at Pat’s retirement dinner. Many people know that Pat and husband Bill Sommeling are best friends with…

The Sheriff and photogenic/well-dressed wife Agnes.

Toms River dignitaries of past and present gathered to honor Pat Sommeling.

Chief Thompson of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department was seen at Pat Sommeling’s retirement dinner.

Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Rupert, seen at the Pat Sommeling retirement event.

Jerry LaStella and Terry Farley were among those at Pat Sommeling’s retirement party.

Seaside Heights Chief Tommy Boyd(right) and Lavallette Chief Colin Grant were at the event.

Pat Sommeling is the daughter of legendary Fire Chief Dell Hopson.

Pat Sommeling is also the grandmother of Theo Tassioulas, current member of Station 44.

Seaside Heights “Talky Blogs” to have version on Cablevision Channel 78…

January 27, 2008

TALKY BLOG TEAM includes Seaside Heights Director of Public Relations Peter Smith, Producer, and Maria Meredith, who works as Camerawoman and Production Assistant. The weekly video series is being adapted in a 28-minute show that will air on Cablevision Channel 78 every Friday at 6 p.m. beginning February 15th.

Seaside Heights “Talky Blogs” to have version on Cablevision Channel 78: The producers of “Talky Blogs”, weekly video posts that are published on will now film a special monthly 28-minute segment to be aired on Cablevision Channel 78, which reaches homes in Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and Lavallette among other barrier island communities. Even though on the internet the video has a potential world-wide audience, Cablevision Channel 78 makes it possible for nearly every home in the Borough to have access to our program, and plenty of chances to see it. Although any government or citizen in the viewing area is eligible to produce and submit content and air it on this public access channel, The Borough of Seaside Heights is the very first government to produce special content to air on a regular rotation. (The Office of Public Relations has long possessed the hardware and software to produce this content, with a long-standing goal of reaching local airwaves.) Only one show will be produced per month for the current time being, but the show will be aired weekly at 6 p.m. Fridays all month. Plans are for the monthly content to be updated and debuted directly following the airing of the Seaside Heights Borough Council meeting, which generally airs the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. Then, the show will be re-broadcast every Friday that month, and the first Friday of the following month. For the month of February, the new show will debut on Wednesday February 13th, following the airing of the council meeting, time determined by the length of the meeting. The program will then be re-broadcast at 6 p.m. on Friday February 15th, 22nd, 29th and March 7th. Talky Blogs came into existence in a very experimental way in June 2007. At current time, 33 talky blogs have been produced, and watched by thousands on the internet, hosted by For the purpose of full disclosure, even though it is probably well-known by many, yours truly, Pete Smith, is the creator and producer of the Talky Blog series and the subsequent television project. This is very exciting for me personally, as I have always wanted to see a show that is dedicated to the news and happenings in Seaside Heights. I predicted long ago that this would probably come in the future, but little did I know that I would be the one to make it happen. I adopted a tongue-in-cheek philosophy about television a few years back from the Gus VanSant black comedy, To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman. In the film, Kidman’s character, Suzanne Stone, is an obsessive local television reporter who believes, “You’re not anybody in America unless you’re on T.V. T.V. is where we find out who we really are. What’s the point of doing anything worthwhile if no one is watching? If people are watching, it makes you a better person.” But seriously, I have studied the medium of television for some time, and have been inspired by its rich history. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II is considered a pioneer of television? From early in her reign in the 1950’s, she has been broadcasting a yearly Christmas message on television, in hopes of making this tradition, first on radio, more personal and direct. The Queen’s Speech is considered a stroke of public relations genius, as we hope our Talky Blog series is as well. (Interestingly enough, beginning in 2007, the Queen’s Speech was also simulcast on!) The Seaside Heights Talky Blog series, now being adapted for television, has proven popular, and proof of this is Mr. Bob Giallela, a property owner on Hancock Avenue, who is very excited to hear the news of the addition of this new program. Bob says he has been a big fan, and happened on the website version by chance. He says, “This is great to have this (the talky blogs) because it really gives you more of a sense of being in a community, learning a little bit more, and getting more information. Hopefully it’s going to develop to be something even more so that visitors can come and look at the blog and get more information about Seaside even before they come.”

Seaside Heights property owner Bob Giallela is a big fan of the Talky Blogs, a version of which will be moving to Cablevision, Channel 78, airing Fridays at 6 p.m.

Station 45 has dramatic dog rescue from icy bay in Seaside Park…

January 27, 2008

This was the dramatic scene off of the bayfront at “C” Street in Seaside Park on the morning of January 26, 2008, when this runaway dog fell through thin ice and had to be rescued.

Brothers Kevin and Wes Gorman, relative newcomers to the SPFD, were the pair who actually waded out and got the dog.

Seaside Park Asst. Chief Paul Wrobleski is seen with Seaside Heights Asst. Chief William Rumbolo. Chief Rumbolo, who is the Animal Control Officer in Seaside Heights, assisted with the call of a dog that needed to be rescued after falling through the ice at “C” Street and the Bayfront in Seaside Park.

Station 45 has dramatic dog rescue from icy bay in Seaside Park: It was a life or death situation for a frightened black Lab that had fallen through the very thin off the bayfront in Seaside Park just past noon of Saturday January 26th. The runaway dog had been missing from its Seaside Heights home on Dupont Avenue, near the border of the two neighboring municipalities since the previous night, according to sources. The frightened dog was seen trying to stay afloat, clearly having fell through the thin ice that had formed during the recent cold snap. A team from Station 45, The Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call. Commanding the scene was SPFD Asst. Chief Paul Wrobleski, leading a team that included brothers Kevin and Wes Gorman, John Wrobleski, Dave Hansen, Mike Tumolo, Paul Barna, Donald McLaughlin and also Station 44 Asst. Chief William Rumbolo from Seaside Heights, who also responded to the call. After putting on special gear, the Gorman brothers broke through the slushy ice in tandem, slowly making their way to the dog. The pair were assisted in the water by John Wrobleski, who helped feed a rope line from shore and was awaiting with a kayak. Using a snare, the dog was plucked from where it was stuck, and was very cooperative to its rescuers. The dazed and confused dog was quickly loaded aboard the kayak, and then it was reeled back to shore making a dramatic return to land, admit a cheering crowd of on-lookers. Once on the beach, the dog was covered with blankets, and quickly placed inside an awaiting warm vehicle. The dog was put in the care of the Seaside Park Animal Control officer, and later examined by Dr. Fritz McHugh, of Coastal Veterinary. The dog’s owners had been looking for their pet, and were notified of the event via telephone by a friend who recognized the dog at the scene, sources said. The dog was also said to be unharmed, and has been returned to its owner.


Pete set to view Space Shuttle Atlantis launch from Kennedy press room…

January 27, 2008

, as he has applied to the press room of Kennedy Space Center to see the launch of orbiter Atlantis on February 7, 2008. It will be the 152nd manned U.S. space launch.

HOISTING HARMONY TO THE HEAVENS, AND OPENING NEW GATEWAYS FOR INTERNATIONAL SCIENCEā€¦Loyal readers know that Pete saw the liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-120 on October 23, 2007 .

Like Discovery, Atlantis will visit the International Space Station, delivering the European-built Columbus module to the ISS.

This schematic shows the position that Columbus will occupy on the International Space Station.

The STS-122 Atlantis Crew:

Tom Autore returns…

January 27, 2008

Prominent local hairstylist Tom Autore has returned to the Jersey Shore, now working at the JC Penney at the Freehold Raceway Mall.

Tom Autore returns: Tom Autore, a prominent local hairstylist who worked at many locations in Ocean County during the 1980’s and 1990’s, has returned to the Jersey Shore, and will be working at the J.C. Penney salon in the Freehold Raceway Mall. During the early part of this decade, Tom had been living and working in Tampa, Florida. However, as many have learned, Florida is a great place to visit, but it’s another story when you live there. Before moving to Florida, Tom had owned several shops in Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River, run with the assistance of beloved mom Jean and Aunt Betty, who have both passed on now. In Florida, Tom worked for JC Penney and other places, and during this time received a tremendous amount of new education and training. “I’m better than I ever was.” says the talented hair artist. This is some achievement, because in the heyday of Tom’s first Jersey Shore career, he was the trend-setter of local hairstylists, personally deciding what cuts, colors and looks were in or out. Tom was so popular in his day that he did not even list his phone number, and would not take any new clients unless they were recommended highly by an established customer. Tom’s long list of clients included some of the most socially prominent ladies in the area. Many of them were devastated when Tom left the area, and have been glad to hear the news that he has returned.