Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (R) greets children following a campaign event at Darrell's Place on in Hamlin, Iowa (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

As we start a new month let’s jump around a bit and cover several topics and issues:

It’s seems like we’ve been talking about the presidential race for ever (and we have) but the primary season officially kicks off today with the Iowa Caucus, which is the first real contest of the campaign.

The most recent poll has Donald Trump with a 5% point lead on Ted Cruz on the Republican side with Hilly Clinton just slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders in the battle among Democrats. The importance of Iowa is that it’s the first test of what can be a six-month ordeal and those that do poorly, especially among the GOP candidates, might be on the way out as donations stop coming in.

As for picking winners, well in 2012 Iowa Republicans chose Rick Santorum and in 2008 they went with Mike Huckabee. How did that go? The New Hampshire primary is next Tuesday and that might actually be a better gauge of what might happen this year.

If like me you saw the movie “The Finest Hours” over the weekend then you might be interested in Jerry Carino’s story in today’s Asbury Park Press. The Disney movie is about a real 1952 Coast Guard rescue that took place in a raging storm off the coast of Massachusetts in which 32 sailors were rescued from an oil tanker that would capsize. Carino writes about a smaller rescue operation nearby from another tanker where four men were saved by a boat operated by Ensign William “Ed” Kiely a native of Long Branch who would later serve as mayor of Fair Haven. Interesting stuff.

By the way the movie was typical of what Disney usually produces. It was good but you feel it could have been even better.

Southern Regional High School will hold its 27th annual Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, March 19th from 3-5pm at Calloway’s Restaurant. The newest class of Ram greats includes Ashley Furlong, Frank Miele, Kristen Sharkey, Alex Spark and Anthony Stroffolino along with the 2008 Girls Volleyball and the 2009 Boys Volleyball teams. For ticket information you can contact Susan Sharkey at the high school.

I tried to watch some of last night’s NFL Pro Bowl game but can only take a couple of minutes of anything that features Michael Irvin. The game is nothing more than a vacation for all the players in Hawaii. If they played in a cold weather city that couldn’t fill a roster.