Saturday, September 17, 2011

Trenton Social Checks Out CHECKERS

TRENTON-- Area residents head to Checkers Food and Spirits located in the city's downtown district Thursday night as part of their monthly Downtown Social Club. Checkers, a restaurant that has been a staple in the Trenton community for 25 years now, serves burgers and soups as their specialty. They also provide a bar where you can enjoy a cocktail with your meal. The restaurant was awarded the 'Best Burger in Trenton' by readers of the Downtowner.

Classics Bookstore owner, Eric Maywar, invited members of the community to Checkers Thursday evening. The folks at Checkers were gracious enough to let members of the community have a bite to eat and grab a few drinks during their off hours.

Anwar's Reflections--a Trentonian affiliate-- was on hand to see what others were talking about and to get a feel for what an evening at Checker's was truly like. From firsthand experience, I have to say the food was tasty and the social atmosphere was inviting. Once you walk in, you are greeted by hostess and the owner, Tom Fowler. After it was all said and done, I ended up ordering a cheeseburger with potato salad. The burger was thick and juicy, flavorful to the tee. The potato salad had some appeal, but needed a slight dose of salt to my liking. Yet all in all, my experience at Checkers was pleasant, I would go again not only for the food but also for the friendly, down to earth atmosphere one experiences while at Checker's.

Other people at the restaurant were also willing to give their feedback. One person, Susan Robinson, said that she had been to Checker's before but only for the cocktails, this was her first time trying the food. She said everything was delicious and the service was on point. Trenton resident Laurice Reynolds, said that she enjoyed herself as well and was hoping that Downtown Trenton shops and merchants may one day re-develop as a place that stays open in the evening. Another person, Ms. Mannella of Trenton said she also had a cheeseburger and was pleased but said the wine was substantial.

Please see videos below:

Tea Party Activist Daryl Brooks Pens New Audio Book

TRENTON-- Political activist Daryl Brooks releases new audio-book, Why Me?, chronicling his life experiences as a Trenton resident, activist, and former candidate for US Senate. In the audio-book, the political firebrand recalls his days growing up in the city's Donnelly Homes along with his four year stint in prison for a crime he claims he did not commit.

Brooks was convicted in 1998 on counts of child endangerment, lewdness, and sexual assault. From day one, he insists he did nothing wrong and that he was railroaded for his unapologetic, no hold's barred, political speech exposing corruption in high places.

Anwar's Reflections-- a Trentonian affiliate-- interviewed individuals that listened to the audio-book to see what they had to say.

Tea Party member George Hathaway, said the audio-book is a "good and courageous attempt to present Daryl to the political community. He came out of the closet, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding his background. he needed to make it clear to the larger community and many of the Tea Party. Its a sad story of corruption and victimization, what goes wrong in the inner city. It shows how a individual can get victimized and have their lives ruined for a long time.

He went on to say that Why Me? "starts a conversation about what can happen when you stand up for what you believe in". He went on to say that Brooks' story illustrates how those who are wielding the power can come down on an individual, what can happen to an individual that goes against established power. The story shows that one takes a lot of risks in their hands when they challenge entrenched power".

Hathaway goes on to say that the audio-book underscores issues that often go overlooked in the mainstream. Issues like "prisoner rights, its just a shame, its ruined a large part of his life. The book opens up a dialogue about these larger issues".

Joe Siano, another Tea Party loyalist said, "I hope it [the audio-book] vindicates his name, I think that's why he's putting it out there, its a good effort to head this issue off and to explain it once and for all. Ultimately, its up to the audience to make their own judgment, listen to it, I think its up to the court of public opinion whether he will be able to vindicate himself, I think its a great way to have his story heard". Siano also thinks Brooks' story highlights issues of abuse of authority on the part of police department, the prosecutor, and the mayor's office.

Founder of the blog, Restoring Freedoms, Lou Jacikoff, said that, "Why Me? raises questions about the criminal justice system, the judicial system, it shows the reader that the system needs a good looking at, it needs repair, it can no longer be about the good ol' boy system".

"Our system is based on who can you hire as an attorney, it shouldn't be that way. There are two systems of justice: those that have and those that don't have, I think Daryl's story is a microcosm of what's happening in our judicial system where people are railroaded because they have a hard time defending themselves. Its disturbing, but there have been a lot of people out there that have been imprisoned but turned out to be innocent because they did not have proper representation. Daryl's story reveals that".

To get a copy of the audio-book, click the link below:

Please see videos below:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trentonians Say We Need Better Emergency Plan

TRENTON-- Island residents evacuated their homes early Thursday morning  in direct response to flooding and heavy rain late Wednesday night. Anwar's Reflections-- a Trentonian affiliate-- was on hand to hear from Island residents. This evacuation is the second evacuation in as little as three weeks. Just two weeks ago, the Island was also evacuated in response to Hurricane Irene.

During interviews, citizen after citizen expressed deep concerns regarding the amount of time they were given to vacate their Island properties. These residents thought they should have been alerted sooner.

Island resident, Taylor Connelly, said that she and her fiance had been awakened by sirens and police officers speaking on  loud speakers early Thursday morning. She made note of how the city could have alerted citizens about evacuating sooner than they did. She said, "I felt it was short notice because there were a lot of elderly people, its hard if they're handicapped". Another person that went by the name of Johnson said he was at work when the police department evacuated the Island. He also made it a point to mention how city officials could do a better job of informing citizens sooner in the event something like this should happen in the future. He and another city man by the name of Richardson made the suggestion that the city of Trenton should create a wall to prevent Island flooding in the future.

 Trenton mayor Tony Mack held a press conference at a nearby firehouse in the city's West Ward Thursday afternoon. He and other city officials said despite citizens concerns that the administration did not adequately prepare for the flooding, they were doing everything in their power to address the heavy rain the Island experienced.

Mayor Mack said city residents can call a central phone number [(609) 989-4200] if they have any concerns. He also made it a point to say that there would be regular updates posted online regarding the flooding.