There’s plenty of local GAA action on around the county this weekend.First up this afternoon is the meeting of near neighbours Arravele Rovers and Galtee Rovers in the West Senior Football Final.Both have to win west to stay in the county, however Galtee Rovers have the upper hand, having beaten Arravale in the recent O’Donoghue Cup final. Photo ©Stephen Gleeson The game throws in in Annacarthy at 3 o’clock, and Arravale Selector Tommy Twoomey says they’ll have to be ready for the Galtee’s challenge…Before that game, at 1.30, Rockwell Rovers meet Clonoulty Rossmore in the intermediate decider.Then this evening at half 5, Killenaule meet Carrick Swans in the South Senior Hurling Final.Swans are the most decorated south tipp hurling club with 22 south titles to their name.However, Killenaule have 21 titles, and a win this evening would see them level with Swans.That game is on in Fethard.Also down for decision this evening is the North Senior hurling final which throws in at 6pm in NenaghNenagh Eire Og face Borrisoleigh, in what is expected to be a pulsating game.Borrisoleigh Coach Johnny Kelly is a Portumna man, and with the Galway in the All Ireland Final tomorrow, he says his sole focus is on the North game…Finally this evening sees the Mid Tipp Intermediate hurling final at 6 o clock in Holycross.It sees Thurles Sarsfields up against Gortnahoe Glengoole.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) skates in the second period of a NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby scored with 1:16 remaining to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night.Crosby’s 12th goal of the season was also the 250th of his career, and the Penguins’ captain also had an assist. Chris Kunitz had two goals and an assist, Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists, and James Neal added two assists. Malkin’s goal ending his career-high 15-game scoring drought.Jeff Zatkoff, playing for the first time since Nov. 2, stopped 32 shots in his fourth NHL start.Thomas Vanek scored twice for the Islanders in his first game after missing five with an upper-body injury. Vanek has three goals and two assists with New York since being acquired from Buffalo in October, and seven goals and seven assists in 20 games overall this season. Colin McDonald also got his second of the season for the Islanders.Kevin Poulin made 30 saves for the Islanders. He started his sixth straight game in place of injured starter Evgeni Nabokov, who is out with a groin injury.With less than 90 seconds left, Kunitz got the puck to Pascal Dupuis behind the net, and he centered it to Crosby, who got the tiebreaker for the Penguins.The Penguins picked up their third straight victory and fourth win in five games to rebound from a three-game skid. Pittsburgh won its third straight at home, winning for the fifth time in six games at Consol Energy Center, a place where the Penguins are 10-3 while having allowed just 24 goals.Pittsburgh, tops in the Metropolitan Division, thumped rival Washington 4-0 on Wednesday night and gained a measure of revenge from a heartbreaking loss to the Islanders four weeks earlier. However, it wasn’t easy for the Penguins, who weren’t nearly as disciplined defensively on Friday.The Islanders, tied for last in the Metropolitan Division entering Friday, lost for the seventh time in nine games, but the matchup with the division-leading Penguins brought out the best in New York, as it has done recently.Pittsburgh, which survived a six-game playoff series against the underdog Islanders last season, held third-period leads of 2-1 and 3-2 four weeks ago before New York rallied, scoring three times in the final 7:14 for a 4-3 victory. The Islanders nearly did it again, coming back from early deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 before Crosby’s heroics.Malkin has been productive with 14 assists in 15 games – 12 helpers coming in nine November games, but had no goals to show for it. He previously scored Oct. 17 during a 4-1 win at Philadelphia and it showed as emotion poured from Malkin, who aggressively pumped his fist and slammed his stick against the end boards after beating Poulin midway through the second period.New York committed three penalties in the first 7:42 of the game, and Kunitz made the Islanders pay, staking the Penguins to a 2-0 lead with two power-play goals in 7:55.Crosby and Malkin’s slick tic-tac-toe passing sequence set up Kunitz’s first goal 4:04 into the game.Malkin found Crosby at the point and the Penguins’ captain dished a quick back-door pass through the slot to the far post, where Kunitz one-timed the puck over Poulin’s right pad.Kunitz scored his second less than four minutes later, blowing a slap shot past Poulin after taking a pass off the rush from Neal.Kunitz thought he had the natural hat trick with 1:10 left in the first period, but a high-sticking call on Malkin before the puck went in negated the goal.That allowed Vanek to trim the Penguins’ lead to a goal 1:46 into the second period. Vanek took a backhand corner feed from Kyle Okposo and ripped a one-timer behind Zatkoff from the faceoff dot, making it 2-1.Malkin helped the Penguins regain the two-goal advantage less than 5 minutes later.Malkin initially passed to an open Neal on the left wing but he dished it back to the Penguins’ superstar, who slid a shot underneath Poulin with a defender draped on his back.Malkin’s goal gave the Penguins life as Pittsburgh buzzed the Islanders’ zone looking for more. The Islanders weathered the storm, tying the game a little more than 5 minutes later with two goals in 1½ minutes.McDonald started the comeback, beating Zatkoff with a wrist shot to the blocker side off the rush. Vanek scored his second of the game soon after, finding a loose puck during a scrum in front after the Islanders capitalized on a Penguins turnover.NOTES: The Penguins and Islanders meet in two weeks at the Nassau Coliseum. … Both teams are in action Saturday, Pittsburgh visiting Montreal, while the Islanders continue a three-game road swing at Philadelphia. … C Brock Nelson, LW Eric Boulton, and D Aaron Ness were scratched for the Islanders, while RW Matt D’Agostini and D Robert Bortuzzo sat for the Penguins.
Judy Musa and Kin Gee are working to form an advocacy organization which protects electrical ratepayers in legislative discussions. The group, CHARGE, was formed from their volunteer work fighting a transmission line project over the last two years. Photo by Jay CookBy Jay Cook |MIDDLETOWN – There are public policy programs for fresher air and cleaner drinking water, but a new advocacy group believes the focus should also be on larger issues in the electrical utility industry.It’s why a small group of Monmouth County residents have teamed up to give a voice to electrical consumers who suffer when the power shuts off and the lights don’t turn back on. Their new organization, Consumers Helping Affect Regulation of Gas and Electric (CHARGE), plans to jolt public utilities into more proactivity and transparency on the local service level.“There’s really little consumer voice in terms of public policy for the distribution system and the regulation of that,” CHARGE president Kin Gee, a Holmdel resident, told The Two River Times this week. “What we want to do is be the consumer advocate to make sure those issues are brought to light for education and to bring awareness.”Gee, a semi-retired risk management consultant, and board secretary Judy Musa, a public relations professional, are no strangers to the electrical industry. They successfully anchored the residents group Residents Against Giant Electric during a two-year legal battle fighting Jersey Central Power & Light’s (JCP&L) Monmouth County Reliability Project, a proposed 230-kV transmission line from Aberdeen to Red Bank along the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line commuter rail right-of-way. The project was shot down by BPU officials in June.That experience provided Gee and Musa with two years’ worth of background about how the electrical industry operates throughout New Jersey.“These problems are symptoms of a bigger issue – the neglect of the whole distribution system,” Gee said. “We need to have that system fixed because it’s broken. Unless someone comes in, this will go on for years.”The group has already been active on the state level as it works to secure nonprofit status. Gee has testified before the New Jersey Legislature on public utility business practices and reliability standards across the board in the past year.The most common problems are caused by the distribution lines looping down streets and along highways, he said. Wooden poles along roadways are usually the culprits when stormy weather causes power outages.“The service is the part that’s falling apart,” Musa. “And at the end of the day, we’re the ones who sit in the dark waiting for them to turn the lights on.”Gee is also bothered by the discrepancy between what ratepayers pay to the utility companies and the level of performance that’s reciprocated. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New Jersey typically has among the top 10 highest electricity prices in the country. But a June 2017 report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found New Jersey’s two largest utilities to be in the bottom half nationwide in terms of service.“There are rates paid and with those rates are certain expectations,” Musa added. “Those are not being met.”Thanks to a wave of two intense winter storms earlier this year, public utilities were put in the spotlight for their business practices. Winter storms Quinn and Riley knocked out power to over 100,000 New Jersey residents during that brief span in March.Gee testified in April on behalf of ratepayers to the economic growth committee of the state Senate during hearings on implementing stricter fines for public utilities for service failures doing major storms. Fines were bumped up from $100 per day to $25,000 per violation.On a local level, Monmouth County residents receive electrical service from JCP&L, a subsidiary of the Ohio-based FirstEnergy organization.And Monmouth County felt the effect of those winter storms. Monmouth County Freeholder Patrick Impreveduto sent a letter to the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) in May asking for meetings with JCP&L to discuss “their outdated infrastructure that is negatively impacting the lives of thousands of taxpayers throughout New Jersey.”Last month, JCP&L took a step forward in addressing “reliability and resiliency” to its distribution system when it announced a nearly $400 million plan, JCP&L Reliability Plus, to protect the local distribution systems from severe weather and the frequency of power outages.That project includes over 4,000 enhancements to underground and aboveground lines as well as more vegetation management locally. Still in the petition phase, the utility proposed a 25-cent increase to ratepayers.“The special focus of this program is to limit damage during severe weather events,” JCP&L president Jim Fakult said in a statement. “The new equipment, along with enhanced vegetation management, builds on our ongoing efforts to ensure customer service reliability and resiliency.”Although CHARGE has taken no official position yet, Gee said he is still skeptical. Sure, improvements are positive, but he argued the project’s need. Existing management practices in place should already address those issues.A Sept. 11 public meeting in Holmdel has been set to discuss the JCP&L Reliability Plus project.This article was first published in the August 16-23, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.