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Sunday, May 12, 2013

SURVEY: Nazareth Adult Soap Box Derby

Take a few moments to provide feedback about the Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby:

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Day Gravity Died: 2012 Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby

The 5th annual Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby was held May 5, 2012 on the West Prospect Street hill. Lots of great cars came out including a rolling office cubicle, a functional arcade game machine, and a giant metal rooster from New England. This year, however, the event ended in controversy (technically there was also controversy last year, albeit only in my head, when the X-Wing Fighter car was two votes short in voting for “crowd pleaser” after all the fans left when it the rained, but I digress).

The Controversy:

During the final race, which determines the first, second, and third place winners, the Holy Family Club car driven by “Jason” appeared to block another car driven by “Rob.” The winner, “Jeff,” who was way out in front, caught most of the 2nd and 3rd place action on his rear-facing car-cam. This video shows the action.

In the video, it appears as though Jason in the Holy Family car (white) swerves to block Rob’s car (red) from passing several times. The red car’s right front wheel collides with the rear left side of the white car right before the finish line. Jeff’s car-cam mysteriously cuts out right before the collision.

Rob began yelling “that’s not racing! that’s not racing!” before entering the pit area. A visibly upset Rob pushed his car to its final pit area while gaggles of excited children played video games on the totally awesome Pac-Man car nearby. Rob continued his tirade to anyone that would listen. Jason disappeared almost immediately and did not collect his trophy

 On the NASBRA facebook fan page comments began on Saturday night about the legality of contact during soapbox derby races. Jeff’s car-cam video was posted (a very cool video, I might add). The back-and-forth on Facebook continued through Sunday. Sometime between Sunday evening (9:30PM) and Monday (9:52AM) all comments newer than 6:42AM May 5 were removed from the Facebook page wall. This included all comments regarding the controversy and all innocuous general posts from other fans. By 12:47PM May 7 the comments were restored.

Rob was very vocal on Facebook and his comments seem to suggest that the race organizers condone or even encouraged Jason’s behavior. He alleges that the Holy Family car was given a head start by a starter whose back was facing the drivers (Jeff’s Car-Cam Video shows the starter was facing the drivers). He also alleges that Mario Andretti, the checkered flag waver of the day, was so outraged by the final race he left immediately in disgust. He alleges that Jason was drunk during the race and the race organizers allowed a visibly drunk man to continue racing. Rob’s comments also suggest that he should be thanked for building such great competitive cars and “raising the bar” for the event.

I have seen no online rebuttal comments from Jason.

  • Did the Holy Family Club car deliberately block Rob’s car?
  • Was the driver too intoxicated to drive?
  • Did Mario Andretti leave immediately after the final race despite appearing in photos with the winners?
  • Does Rob deserve to be thanked just for participating?
  • Did the Holy Family car get a head start? And did the race organizers facilitate a head start?
  • Did the race organizers condone the Holy Family car’s behavior?
  • Was Mario Andretti somehow in on the whole thing, perhaps giving the Holy Family car driver pointers on blocking techniques?
  • Would the X-Wing Fighter car have won crowd-pleaser in 2011 if the crowd hadn’t dispersed when it rained, including the builder’s own wife and children?
  • Would the X-Wing Fighter car builder’s wife and children have even voted for his car even though they knew how much work he put into it and how much attention to detail there was? I mean, the frigging R2-D2 spun around for crying out loud? How could that not win? Crowd seemed awfully pleased to me. Did anyone else’s car have spinning droids? umm...No. There weren’t any droids at all…it was just cars…regular boring cars. What planet am I on? It’s like everyone has completely lost it and I’m the only one with any taste.
  • Is it a coincidence that Jeff’s video stops just before the collision?
  • Is Rinker’s hair real?
  • What was up with THIS GUY?
  • Is THIS PHOTO doctored to exaggerate the crowd and support the poster's point about safety?
  • Is it coincidence that the aggressive car's sponsor is an establishment that the race organizer's frequent?
The answer to most of these questions is “who cares.” It’s supposed to be a bunch of grown-ass men and women rolling down a hill on home-made contraptions. But the actions of some and reactions of others likely have ended our annual soapbox derby.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stuff I Found on the Ground: Tiny Booze Bottle

Found May 5, 2012 at corner of West Prospect and South Green Streets. It must have fallen from an airplane.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

5th Annual Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby

Remember to come out to West Prospect Street this Saturday for the annual Nazareth adult soapbox derby. This year promises to be nearly as fun as last year.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stuff I Found on the Ground: Bullseye Poop

Spotted near Nazareth Middle School. Dogs in the area have remarkable aim. Someone painted a series of circles on the ground and several local dogs were able to poop right in the center of each circle. Amazing.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stuff I Found on the Ground: Vampire Blood

Found this near corner of West Center and Wood Streets, Nazareth, Pa.*

*I've decided to make this site a little more dynamic by posting more frequent little blurbs (that we usually reserved for the Facebook group or Twitter) in addition to larger blog articles. This is sort-of a new year's resolution.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Spirits in Bethlehem

Check out Ghost Hunters on SyFy (that's the Sci-Fi channel to those of us over 30) Wednesday Dec. 7th at 9pm when they'll feature the Sun Inn and perhaps some other local haunts. Here's a clip from their internet site:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hauntings of Whitefield House

As a lead-up to Halloween, the Express-Times included an article teasing ghost stories of The Whitefield House in Nazareth.

The spookiest tale comes from Kelly Givens, business manager at the Whitefield House, who is the only person to have actually seen a ghost.
Givens said that about two years ago she was alone at the house during the afternoon and walked up the stairs into the museum and passed a woman who she initially thought was a visitor. Then she realized the woman was dressed as a Moravian nurse of the period from when the children were at the nursery.

The Whitefield House Museum, 214 East Center St., is open to the public 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for students and children to visit. For information, call 610-759-5070.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kazoo Parade 2011

The Nazareth Kazoo Parade was held this morning to celebrate Independence Day.

A highlight of this year's event was the grand marshal Abbe Graber, of Saugerties, N.Y. Graber, a professional kazoo player and kazoo craftsman, was invited to the borough by the Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce to serve as grand marshal of the parade.

Anyhoo, here is a video of the parade rounding the corner onto Main Street.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mysterious Twine Plagues Nazareth

As the Morning Call reports (read here) areas of the borough have become entwined in an unexplainable tangle of thread. Sandy Remaly noticed the string over her home near Chestnut Street. She claims that the string stretches almost 8 blocks including the area all the way over near council chambers.

I had to see this for myself and swung by there on my morning bike ride. At this point the string is gathered around a clothesline pole and stretches up to a nearby tree. But it seems to stop there. I examined the string myself and can tell you it is probably not of this planet. No human could have produced a string that light and strong. Although, it could be a new type of guitar string developed by Martin Guitars. One of the many strong storms we've had lately may have blown it out of one of their huge smoke stacks and over the borough. What do you think the string is? Check out the video and comment below:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

2011 Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby

The 4th annual Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby took place Saturday May 7, 2011 on West Prospect Street. It was a really great day. There were over 40 cars from at least 4 states battling it out for top cart. A steady rain at around 2:30 pm cleared out most spectators but the race continued uninterrupted. Here is a slideshow of pictures from the day:

You can review race results and check out more pics at the official site: Click Here
Be sure to join the Facebook Group.
Read about the official 2011 car HERE.
Check out my live Tweets from the event HERE.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mushroom Man Tasered

Some mushrooms make you big, some make you shoot fireballs. The green ones even give you a 1UP. Apparently some also make you naked. As the Morning Call and Express Times report: A naked Upper Nazareth man on a bad hallucinogenic mushroom trip is accused of assaulting a police officer and an emergency medical worker who had come to help Sunday after he threw himself down the stairs of a home in Palmer Township.

"It started as a medical call," said Palmer detective Sgt. Timothy Ruoff. "It went bad from there."

Garrison L. Goodman, 31, of Upper Nazareth Township had taken "magic mushrooms" at 1202 Dunkle St. when he attempted to "dive or fly" down the steps from the second to the first floor, Ruoff said. Although Goodman was eating the mushrooms, Ruoff said, a bottle of mushroom juice was also recovered from the house. Goodman was visiting a friend at the time.

Brian Flavelle of Suburban Emergency Medical Services arrived about 1:25 a.m. to assist Goodman, who was suffering from a cut to his head and broken collarbone, Ruoff said.

Goodman was naked in the front yard and attacked Flavelle, Ruoff said, punching him several times in the head.

When Wilson policeman Marc Crisafulli also arrived, he was punched a number of times in the head by Goodman as well, Ruoff said.

The melee ended when Crisafulli shocked Goodman with a Taser and arrested him, Ruoff said.

Goodman was treated for his injuries at Easton Hospital, then arraigned by District Judge David Tidd and sent to Northampton County Prison under $50,000 bail.

Goodman faces charges that include aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a controlled substance.