A small New Jersey town conceded a victory for freedom of speech this week.

If only the outcome were equally satisfying for the content of that speech.

I’ll explain.

Roselle Park, New Jersey, issued a violation notice to homeowner Patricia Dilascio and her daughter, Andrea Dick, after Dick hung several banners on their front fence that used the f-word to express their dislike for President Joe Biden.

The borough said this violated an ordinance prohibiting the display of obscene material, noting that among other things the home sits near an elementary school.

Municipal Court Judge Gary Bundy upheld the ordinance…


When the Harptones finally got up the nerve to try the Apollo Theater’s notoriously tough Amateur Night in November of 1953, lead singer Willie Winfield was so nervous he had to be pushed on the stage.

“They’d be telling me jokes to loosen me up enough to go out there,” Winfield recalled a couple of years ago. “Stage fright is very tough to overcome.”

Harptones in the early 1950s. Wilie Winfield, top.

Winfield didn’t say which of the other Harptones pushed him — Nicky Clark, William Dempsey, Dicey Galloway, Raoul Cita or Billy Brown — but that fellow has a permanent special place in the hearts of everyone…


Two men named Robert Moses played significant roles in shaping the second half of America’s 20th century, and the one who got less attention did the better shaping.

The Robert Moses who would pop up first in most Google searches was the powerful urban planner who configured the New York City region of his dreams, an affluent middle-class world where, among many other things, that middle class would be insulated from intrusion by the undesireables of the lower classes.

Bob Moses.

The other Robert Moses, who mostly went by Bob Moses, saw a rather different world.

Bob Moses, who died Sunday at…


You know something terrible has happened when government regulations get a grudging murmur of respect.

As the tragedy of the Champlain Towers collapse in Surfside, Fla., keeps sinking in, former Florida state Rep. Julio Robaina noted to NBC News that legislation he sponsored in 2008 required condominium boards to conduct “reserve studies,” wherein experts periodically assess a building’s condition and estimate the cost of repairing any problems the study finds.

The law was repealed in 2010, on the impetus of builders and real estate brokers who argued that it was unnecessary government intrusion into an area condo boards could handle…


New York is a sports radio town, which makes it kind of a big deal that one of the signature voices of New York sports radio over the last half century, Marv Albert, has just retired.

Marv Albert talks hoops with Barack Obama.

Albert, who turned 80 last month, finished his run with a very good, not perfect, record.

He went out by calling the deciding game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals Saturday, between the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. That correctly reflects the fact he spent much of his career calling national games.

He called eight Super Bowls, nine NBA finals and seven Stanley Cup…


I don’t think Bryce Dershem intended his valedictorian speech at Eastern Regional High School in Camden County, New Jersey, to fire up our national debate on things like cancel culture and snowflake culture.

But 11 days later, the six-minute speech has long since gone viral and for the most predictable of reasons. Eastern Regional Principal Robert Tull tried to stop it.

Bryce Dershem speaks.

In an age when everyone with a phone is a videographer, trying to shut down a speech doesn’t mute that speech. It puts that speech on speaker.

About one minute after Dershem began, Tull killed the PA system, then…


Warning: Contains serious spoilers for season 8 finale of The Blacklist.

Interesting as the TV series The Blacklist has remained for eight seasons, you have to wonder after the somber and unsettling Season 8 finale if there may be a second fascinating drama in play behind the scenes.

Okay, we’re talking conspiracy theory here, since the premise of most conspiracy theories is that some shadowy they is not telling us what’s really happening.

Most conspiracy theories are a boring waste of time. In this case, it might be worth mild curiosity.

James Spader and Megan Boone, ‘Blacklist’ costars.

First the show’s costar Megan Boone, who plays FBI…


One of the things I personally liked best about Mark Chernoff is that he would pick up his phone.

A really big picture of Mark Chernoff.

But that’s not the main reason New York radio is going to miss the long-time WFAN program director when he hangs up his radio uniform at the end of this month.

New York radio will miss him because he’s a pure radio guy, a guy who understands that when you want to be informed or entertained or just pass some time, even in the age of TikTok, Instagram, Youtube and a thousand social media platforms, old-fashioned good radio remains an attractive…


When you root for any baseball team for 65 years, a few odd ducks are going to stick with you.

Since that usually means a player who has some harmlessly wacky streak, like the Red Sox’s Bill Lee, it doesn’t feel like exactly the right term for Mike Marshall, a first-rate relief pitcher who was 78 when he died Monday at his home in Zephyrhills, Fla.

But he did stick with you.

I remember Marshall best from his two and a half seasons with the Dodgers, though he also had terrific seasons with the Expos and Twins.

The season no…


Lo these many decades after the folk music wave of the 1950s and 1960s — the one the late Dave Van Ronk jokingly called “the great folk scare” — history tends to telescope the era into its most famous alumni and alumnae, like Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell.

They reserve that recognition. But the movement, ragged, free-spirited and often contentious by nature, incorporated a much larger and more diverse group, many of whom sadly have reached or are now reaching the age where they’ve strummed the last chord.

Mississippi John Hurt and Patrick Sky.

In that spirit, it’s worth pausing to say goodbye to Patrick Sky…

David Hinckley

David Hinckley wrote for the New York Daily News for 35 years. Now he drives his wife crazy by randomly quoting Bob Dylan and “Casablanca.”

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