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Independent Election Address

Independent Election Address

Paul Symons Independent

I have lived in Newton Aycliffe since 2010. I am a former aviation officer and close protection officer. I volunteered to help the 1407 Air Cadet Squadron in Newton Aycliffe, but had to take leave due to a car accident. I am now a licenced publican who has been elected to serve as a school governor. I have four children plus a foster child so I know what hard work is and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. I am standing in the Town and County council Elections for the people of Newton Aycliffe and the Woodham Ward. I would like to find out what people want rather than just assume and do it anyway. I want to represent the people of Aycliffe.

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INTERVIEW: Dennis Tufano says NJ concert will not be ‘a drag’

INTERVIEW: Dennis Tufano Says NJ Concert Will Not Be 'a Drag'The Spring 60s Spectacular at New Jersey s State Theatre includes the 1910 Fruitgum Company, BJ Thomas, Dennis Tufano and Peter Noone. Flyer courtesy of the artists.

The Spring 60s Spectacular comes to the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 29. Audience members can expect to take in the sounds of Herman s Hermits starring Peter Noone, BJ Thomas, the 1910 Fruitgum Company[1] and Dennis Tufano, original lead singer of The Buckinghams. The evening promises to be a trip down memory lane. The Buckinghams, in particular, are legendary among early rock bands. Their hit songs, including Kind of a Drag and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, are still staples on the radio. Recently, Hollywood Soapbox exchanged emails with Tufano about what fans can expect at the State Theatre. Questions and answers have been slightly edited for style.

When did you realize that music would be a lifelong passion?

Just after high school I was working as a commercial artist in downtown Chicago and singing in an a cappella group. Then singing in front of a band sealed the deal. I felt comfortable and worked at it with passion. I knew it was for me the day I quit my job at the art studio and went full-time music [in] early 1965.

How did The Buckinghams first form?

We started out as The Pulsations and played around Chicago wherever we could. Within nine months we had changed some players and won a battle of the bands to be featured for 13 weeks on a local TV show on WGNTV called All Time Hits. We were the rock act on the show and covered whatever song was trending at the time. During rehearsals for the show, we were asked to change our band name to something more British sounding due to the British Invasion of music. A security guard at the station overheard the request and the next day gave us a list of names he came up with. The Buckinghams jumped out at us as it was a British-sounding name but also because there is a landmark water fountain in Chicago s Grant Park, very large and colorful, so we thought it would be part-British and part-Chicago. The Buckingham Fountain is the background on our first Kind Of A Drag album.

What was it like when Kind of a Drag climbed the charts and could be heard around the country?

It was amazing to see it take off first, of course, in Chicago but then nationally. It was released November 1966, and by February 1967 it was number one with a bullet. We were real excited the first time we heard it played on WLS Radio. Every time we heard our songs on the radio was a blast. It still is.

What makes Bobby Darin such a music hero to you?

Bobby Darin was an influence on me in high school. He was versatile and creative in his approach to new kinds of music and always had a sense of humor that I related to. His style was professional and classy, and his voice was one of a kind. His body of work is an amazing collection of so many genres and all done with respect to each type of music. He did a lot to help other musicians and singers get a break in the business, too. He died young at 37 but did more in those years than most do in a lifetime! It s a privilege and honor to present his music to my fans as they all seem to miss his work, too. Singing his songs is a gift for a singer. My live CD I Remember Darin was a labor of love.

What can audience members expect when you come to New Jersey?

This show is nonstop! 1910 Fruitgum Company are great, and they are backing me in my show! BJ Thomas is pitch perfect and one of our iconic voices, and Peter Noone is the consummate entertainer and showman. My show has all the hits and some Bobby Darin tunes, along with the blues and faves from groups that I love. One of the best shows ever, and I m honored to be included. See you there!

By John Soltes / Publisher / [email protected]

Dennis Tufano, original lead singer of The Buckinghams, will play as part of the Spring 60s Spectacular at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Joining him for the April 29 concert is Peter Noone, 1910 Fruitgum Company and BJ Thomas. Click here[2] for more information and tickets.


  1. ^ 1910 Fruitgum Company (
  2. ^ here (

Coast is cleared for 2 new artificial reefs for Jersey waters

TRENTON[1] — Recreational fishermen in New Jersey are a step closer to getting artificial reefs of their own in state waters.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave New Jersey permission to build two artificial reefs – one off the Manasquan Inlet and one in the Delaware Bay, state Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said Thursday. The permit comes more than a year after the federal government reinstated an artificial reef program that it had suspended for close to five years because of turf wars between recreational and commercial fishermen[2].

“We are very excited to move forward with this expansion of the state’s network of artificial reefs, which create important habitat for many types of marine life,” Martin said. “By enhancing recreational fishing and diving opportunities, these reefs help boost the state’s tourism economy.”

N.J. sinks 2 vessels as artificial reef program resumes[3]

The reef to be built off Ocean County’s Manasquan Inlet is the result of a compromise the state brokered[4] between recreational and commercial fishermen who for years had fought over access to artificial reefs because of the fish they attract. Under that compromise, reached in 2015, commercial fishermen got access to portions of two existing reefs and recreational fishermen were to get access to a square mile a new reef to be constructed off the inlet.

The compromise addresses reefs in state waters, which are up to 3 miles off the coast. Beyond those are 17 reefs in federal waters. The second reef, in Delaware Bay, had already been planned. Martin said that reef, which will be the first for that area, would expand fishing opportunities in that region.

“We are particularly pleased with the opportunity to develop Delaware Bay’s first reef site, which will help bolster tourism in that region,” he said.

Recreational fishing generates $1.5 billion in economic benefits in New Jersey annually and directly employs about 20,000 people, state officials have said. The reefs are built from various materials, such as rocks, concrete, steel, old ships and barges. Marine organisms that grow on those surfaces eventually attract many species of fish and shellfish. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had suspended funding for the artificial reef program in 2011 over concerns that commercial fishing was pushing out recreational fishermen from those sites, which are funded by taxes on recreational fishing gear and boat fuel.

The Army Corps permit allows the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to develop the two new reefs over the next 10 years as materials suitable for reefs become available. The Manasquan Inlet Reef site is located 1.7 nautical miles southeast of the inlet, which is just north of Ocean County’s Point Pleasant Beach. When fully developed, it will occupy nearly one square mile of sea floor in water from 67 to 74 feet deep, DEP officials said. The Delaware Bay Reef site is 9.2 nautical miles southwest of the mouth of Cumberland County’s Maurice River and will occupy slightly more than a square mile of bay floor, at depths ranging from 23 feet to 35 feet.

The Army Corps permit also reauthorized continued operation and development of 15 artificial reef sites – 13 in federal waters and two in state waters.

For more information on New Jersey’s Artificial Reef Program, visit:[5]

MaryAnn Spoto may be reached at


  1. ^ TRENTON (
  2. ^ turf wars between recreational and commercial fishermen (
  3. ^ N.J. sinks 2 vessels as artificial reef program resumes (
  4. ^ compromise the state brokered (
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