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as seen on phillyBurbs.com

It's time to clean out my mental fridge.

Reading the news wires and my e-mail gives me an eerie deja vu feeling these days.

It's kind of like that green fuzzy stuff in the back of the refrigerator. If your stare at it long enough, you can almost recognize what it once was.

In this case, however, I keep seeing new updates about subjects I've already written about it here.


Pa. is inching closer to a new state slogan, and sorry to say, none of my 25 suggestions in the "Penn a phrase for Pennsylvania" contest made it to the finals. ("Friendless in Pa." Dec. 1)

Come on Gov. Rendell, "Pennsylvania: Come see where you trash ends up!" at least has the ring of truth to it.

I also guarantee no other state is using that slogan, unlike the phrase "Discover Our Good Nature," which tourism officials considered disqualifying because it also happens to be the official marketing tag of central Pennsylvania's Juniata River Valley and Vermont's Mad River Valley.
With just five days left to vote online, "The State of Independence" appears to be winning.

It feels like a finger in my throat just saying it.

In one last ditch effort to help our state save face, I offer up these two follow-up suggestions:

JOE PA: The commercials can feature shots of "regular Joes" hard at work throughout Pennsylvania and end with Joe Paterno, who continues his work at Penn State even though many Nittany Lions fans hoped he would retire after last season.

PENNSYLVANIA "BOO YA": It's time to cash in on our state residents' fame for vocalizing displeasure with anything they don't like - including Santa Claus. Last week, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil got some boo birds after he predicted six more weeks of winter. Guaranteed no other state is as proud of being downright nasty. On the plus side, we always cheer whenever somebody from the Dallas Cowboys gets injured.


Speaking of online contests, I ran one in August to have fans help me pick the first charter class in the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. ("Philly sports heroes" Aug. 12)

I was happy to receive an e-mail last week from Ken Avallon, of the Hall of Fame foundation, that said the first inductees will be honored tonight in a ceremony at the Sheraton Society Hill.

Pat Williams will emcee, and the Hall of Fame Foundation has received commitments from Gov. Rendell, Paul Arizin, Sonny Hill, Joe Frazier, Steve Van Buren, Harry Kalas, Chuck Bednarik, Robin Roberts, Bert Bell Jr., Rich Ashburn Jr, Ruth Mack Clark (Connie Mack's daughter) and Nanci Foxx Canaday (Jimmie Foxx's daughter), Avallon wrote.

"Wilt's sisters are coming, we tracked down a nephew of Bill Tilden and we're working with LaSalle (University) on a representative for Tom Gola," he added.

Way to go folks. Congrats!


In July, I detailed the efforts Pennsylvania and New Jersey were finally making to weed out bad doctors, lawyers and other professionals. ("Public Spanking" July 7)

But last week, New Jersey took a giant step backward, when the state Supreme Court ruled bad doctors and lawyers cannot be sued for false advertising.

The Court thew out a class-action lawsuit filed against Dr. Joseph Dello Russo, an eye surgeon who widely advertises his LASIK surgery to improve vision, according to the Associated Press. The suit focused on claims by two patients who said Dello Russo led them to believe he would perform their surgery and follow-up care. Instead, it was provided by William T. Kellogg, a doctor whose license had been revoked by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners.

Well your honors, all I can say is lift your robes, this public spanking is for you.

Dave Ralis' Pave The Grass column appears on Mondays. You can send him an e-mail at  or call him at 215-269-5051. To read his previous columns, click here.

Feb. 9, 2004