Newsletter 12-15-08

Hey Everyone,

Before I get into the newsletter, the last week has been a bit hectic for me (and still is hectic), as my wife’s ankylosing spondylitis condition has flared up bad. So if you’re waiting for an e-mail reply from me, or if this week’s newsletter seems disjointed, it’s because I’m trying to juggle doing this stuff around my wife’s health.


Eight years ago today officially started, so it seems like today is the appropriate day to announce my decision on the future of

A few weeks ago I asked all of you the following question:

Should play bands that aren't from NJ?

The final tally from the poll had 76% against playing bands from outside of NJ. That doesn’t include the many people who e-mailed me personally to state their case for or against.

So it was pretty decisive that you want (other than special programs like Lazlo’s Den) to remain playing only NJ bands.

Truth is, I did too.

BUT…there have been fewer listeners to the webcast over the last year, so I am going to pose a new question:

What would you like to hear on’s webcast?

Obviously you want to hear NJ bands, and I don’t want e-mails just saying play (insert band name here). More what I want to know is what would make you listen to the webcast more, or why have you stopped listening to the webcast (if you have).

Please e-mail your answers directly to me, as this isn’t a simple “yes or no” poll.

I look forward to continuing’s commitment to playing NJ music.


I am putting the finishing touches on my Top 50 Albums of 2008. I hope to announce the list, in alphabetical order, in next week’s newsletter, and then announce when I’ll be counting them down from 50-1 on Lazlo’s Den.


And now it’s time for this week’s Pissed Off!

‘Tis the season…as they say.

The season where we all go out and buy lots of gifts for lots of people, as a way of showing how much we love them, care about them, or just because we know the other person is getting us a present so we’re shamed into doing it.

It’s also the time of year where you hear a lot about donating to various causes, a prime example is Toys For Tots.

Donating, if you can (believe me, I’m affected just like all of you by our current economy), shouldn’t just be done this time of year, it should be done year round.

As you probably know over the last 8 years & Lazlo’s Den have been heavily involved with various causes including Toys For Tots, Katrina and Tsunami benefits, and the very personal cause for me of working with the Spondylitis Association Of America.

Today I want to talk a little about another cause, the Foodbank of NJ (

Actually I am going to let Deborah Smith, of, do the talking:

More than 35 million Americans, including 12 million children, either live with or are on the verge of hunger. In New Jersey alone, an estimated 250,000 new clients will be seeking sustenance this year from the state's food banks. But recently, as requests for food assistance have risen, food donations are on the decline, leaving food bank shelves almost empty and hungry families waiting for something to eat.

The situation is dire, no more so than at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), the largest food bank in the state, where requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism.

As the state's key distributor of food to local banks – serving more than 500,000 people a year and providing assistance to nearly 1,700 non-profits in the state – the stability of replenishment of the CFBNJ is essential to ensuring that individuals in need have access to food.

If everyone could just do a little, it would help those in need a lot.

To help, people can:

Make a monetary contribution: Visit

Donate food: Drop off a bag of food at your local food pantry.

Organize a food drive: We can help explain the logistics of starting a food drive. Just call 908-355-FOOD.

Help "Check Out Hunger:" Look for the "Check Out Hunger" coupons at your local supermarket and donate. No donation is too small!

One thing that people commonly confuse is the role of the food bank. The CFBNJ is similar to a wholesale distributor, as they provide food to more than 1,600 charities throughout the state, which then give food directly to the hungry (the food bank does not give food directly to individuals). The food bank also does not accept small amounts of food, such as a cart of groceries. They encourage those donations go directly to a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Rather, the food bank accepts large quantity food donations, such as a truck full of groceries, as well as monetary donations which they stretch to purchase food at wholesale prices, such as 300 lb. bags of rice, for example.

Deborah Smith


That's all for this week folks.