Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Angela Lansbury To Tour Nationally In 'Blithe Spirit'

Following the internationally acclaimed production with sold-out engagements on Broadway and London’s West End, television legend, Oscar recipient and five-time Tony Award®-winner Angela Lansbury returns to the stage in an exciting North American tour of Noël Coward’s smash-hit comedic play, BLITHE SPIRIT.

Performances for BLITHE SPIRIT are set to begin Tuesday, December 9th at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles with an official opening on Sunday, December 14. Following the closing of the LA engagement on Sunday, January 18th, the tour will continue on to SHN’s Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco from Tuesday, January 20th through Sunday, February 1st; Mirvish Productions’ Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto from Tuesday, February 10th through Sunday, March 15th and concludes in Washington D.C. fromTuesday, March 17th through Sunday, March 29th at the National Theatre where Lansbury made her first pre-Broadway stage debut nearly 58 years ago to the day. For more information, please visit www.BlitheSpiritThePlay.com.

Returning to the role of Madame Arcati, for which she won her fifth Tony Award® in 2009 for Best Featured Actress in a Play,Angela Lansbury (“Murder, She Wrote;” Sweeney Todd; Mame; “Gaslight”) will be joined by an all-star cast including Charles Edwards (“Downton Abbey,” The 39 Steps, Blithe Spirit – 2014 West End revival), Jemima Rooper (“The Black Dahlia;” One Man, Two Guvnors; Blithe Spirit – 2014 West End revival) and Charlotte Parry (Coram Boy, The Importance of Being Earnest). The cast also includes Susan Louise O’Connor (What to Do When You Hate All Your Friends, Blithe Spirit – 2009 Broadway revival) and Sandra Shipley (Anything Goes, Blithe Spirit – 2009 Broadway revival). Additional casting will be announced in the coming days. The play is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate; Copenhagen).

“During the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to play many, many unique and wonderful roles in the movies, on stage and television,” said Angela Lansbury. “And it is a joy to once again step into the role of Madame Arcati, and bring Noël Coward’s classic comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ to wonderful audiences here in North America who have supported me for over seven decades.”

The creative team, led by two-time Tony Award®-winner Michael Blakemore, includes scenic and costume designs by Helen Hayes Award-winner Simon Higlett; Ms. Lansbury’s costume designs by two-time Tony Award®-winner Martin Pakledinazand sound design by Olivier Award-winners Ben and Max Ringham.

BLITHE SPIRIT, one of Noël Coward’s most popular comedies, was first seen on Broadway in 1941, the same year it was produced in London where it set British box office records and was the longest running comedy (1,997 performances) until it was eventually surpassed by Boeing-Boeing in the 1970’s. The original Broadway production played nearly two years and co-starred Leonora Corbett, Mildred Natwick, Clifton Webb and Peggy Wood. In 1987, it was revived on Broadway in an all-star production with Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, and Geraldine Page, in her final Broadway appearance.

The latest revival on Broadway in 2009 was directed by Michael Blakemore and co-starred Angela Lansbury, Jayne Atkinson, Christine Ebersole, Rupert Everett, Simon Jones, and Susan Louise O’Connor. Following its critical acclaim and box office success on Broadway, Lansbury returned to the London stage after 40 years to reprise her Tony Award®-winning role. Also under the direction of Michael Blakemore and starring Angela Lansbury, the London revival opened at the Gielgud Theatre on March 18, 2014, and co-starred Janie Dee, Serena Evans, Charles Edwards, Patsy Ferran, Simon Jones and Jemima Rooper.

Coward, in his autobiography, claimed he wrote the play in five days during a holiday. Only two lines of dialogue were removed before its first production in London.

Researching for his new novel, Charles Condomine invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance. While consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth. One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air – who will win in Coward’s unworldly comedy?

The North American tour of BLITHE SPIRIT is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Lee Dean, John Frost, Charles Diamond and Will Trice in association with JAM Theatricals.

For more information, please visit www.BlitheSpiritThePlay.com

Our review of the 2009 Broadway production of Blithe Spirit follows:

More years ago than I care to remember I saw Angela Lansbury in the pre-Broadway tryout of the musical Mame in Philadelphia.
When Lansbury danced a jitterbug number in the rollicking "That's How Young I Feel" I couldn't believe how light and adept she was on her feet.
Now, I saw Angela Lansbury in another Broadway production last Saturday.
This time Lansbury dances what the New York Times calls a "neo Nijinsky dance" where she vibrates "sometimes like a tuning fork and sometimes like wind chimes in a monsoon."
Yes, Angela Lansbury is 83 years old.
But she's still "dancing" and still stealing the show - this time as Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's classic drawing-room comedy, Blithe Spirit.
What a joy it is to see Angela Lansbury back on Broadway!
She is one of the great stage actors - one of the great entertainers - of our time. Movies, television, theatre, song, dance, drama, comedy; she does it all.
In fact, is there anything Angela Lansbury can't do?
Mame, Dear World, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd all brought Tony awards for Lansbury and she's nominated once again for Blithe Spirit.
Murder She Wrote brought her several Emmy Awards.
And who can forget her screen appearances in such memorable roles as the diabolical mother in The Manchurian Candidate?
This new production of Blithe Spirit at the legendary Shubert Theater is a winner all the way around with Rupert Everett, Christine Ebersol and Jayne Atkinson in the other starring roles. The show is finely paced and loaded with laughs.
But I must warn you: This is a classic comedy that's true to the original. It hasn't been "speeded up." So there are no dramatic scene changes, no special effects and lots of old-fashioned elements.
Which is just another way of saying, sit back, relax and take your time to enjoy - indeed, to savor, the wit of Noel Coward, the seductiveness of Christine Ebersol, the mischievous sophistication of Rupert Everett and the triple-threat luminescence of Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit.
Hurry - Broadway magic awaits!

Vatican Previews 2015 Families Event In Philly

This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Archbishops Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, U.S.A., presented the World Meeting of Families on the theme “Love is our mission: the family fully alive”, which will take place in the North American city from 22 to 27 September 2015.

In his presentation Archbishop Chaput commented on Philadelphia's deep religious roots and expressed his hope that Pope Francis may be present at next year's meeting, at which between ten and fifteen thousand people from all over the world are expected to attend. He also explained that the theme of the Meeting was based on St. Irenaeus' famous words, “the Glory of God is man fully alive”. “In like manner, the glory of men and women is their capacity to love as God loves. Life in a family is a summons to embody that love in everyday life”.

The event in Philadelphia will be accompanied by an official document, a catechesis that “will help parish and diocesan leaders, catechists and other interested persons prepare Catholics across the globe for next year's meeting. … It develops its teaching in ten simple steps. It starts with the purpose of our creation and moves into the nature of our sexuality; the covenant of marriage; the importance of children; the place of priesthood and religious life in the ecology of the Christian community; the Christian home as a refuge for the wounded heart; the role of the Church; and the missionary witness of Christian families to the wider world”.

“The text gives us a foundation for all of the different programming that will go into the World Meeting of Families”, continued Archbishop Chaput, “from major talks, to panels and breakout sessions, to family entertainment throughout the event. The text is currently available in English and Spanish. Portuguese, French and other language editions are planned this fall through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The catechesis also includes the special prayer we commissioned to prepare for the 2015 gathering”.

In addition, a specially-commissioned oil painting will be displayed in Philadelphia's Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul throughout the World Meeting. By the artist Neil Carlin, it represents the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph – along with Mary's parents, Sts. Anne and Joachim. “They are a reminder that, today and throughout history, the Christian family includes both the young and the elderly; it reaches beyond parents and child to include grandparents and many other extended relations”.

Coalition Says 'Stop NJ Death Tax!'

On the heels of a press conference at the capitol yesterday, a broad coalition supporting the repeal of New Jersey’s death tax, or estate tax, is also calling on Gov. Christie to support the effort.
A letter to the governor penned by the Family Business Council stated in part, “Simply put: death should not be a taxable event. It makes no sense to force a grieving family to pay a tax on their loved one’s property.” The letter, which includes 29 total signatories, was delivered to the governor’s office on Monday. (Read the entire letter here)
Highlights of yesterday’s press conference kicking off the death tax repeal effort can be seenhere.
The coalition plans a sustained, grassroots effort to mobilize the public on the issue and push for the legislation to be voted on by the Legislature this year.

Guadagno Pledges Continued Help For Businesses

New Jersey's Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today addressed the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) as the keynote speaker of the 10th annual Business and Municipal Growth Forum in Whippany.

“My message here is the one I share throughout the state – New Jersey is committed to helping this business community thrive and expand,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “The combined efforts of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation and the New Jersey Partnership for Action help drive economic growth in the region, and we will continue to look for ways to work together to improve our state’s business climate.”

A division of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, MCEDC was established in 1992 as a partnership of business and government. MCEDC is dedicated to growing the economy of Morris County through programs and services that result in business attraction, creation, retention and expansion.

The Annual Business and Municipal Growth Forum is attended by business leaders and government officials from throughout Morris County and provides information and guidance to help the business community and municipalities spur economic development.

“Our members were eager to hear from Acting Governor Guadagno today,” said Paul Boudreau, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. “The Acting Governor made it very clear that continuing to make New Jersey more competitive will deliver jobs and positively impact everyone in the state.”

With more than 850 members, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce supports strong economic growth and promotes a vibrant business community. For more information on the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, please visit the Chamber’s website at: www.morrischamber.org.

Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey's Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State's Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.

Incredible: She Wants Nuns To Pay For Abortions!

Here is a very special message from catholicvote.org:

Should Nuns be
forced to pay for abortion drugs?
Dear Friend,

This ad cuts to the chase.

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is so dedicated to abortion that she'll make Catholic nuns pay for it!

It's unbelievable. But true.

Mary Landrieu and Senate Democrats were even given a chance to reject the HHS mandate and to reinstate conscience protections for employers -- so they wouldn't have to pay for abortion drugs.

But Senator Mary Landrieu voted to keep forcing employers, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to pay for abortion drugs. It's an outrage!

Mary Landrieu's only hope to stay in office is if voters in Louisiana don't know about her radical 100% pro-abortion voting record since 2008.

But we think Louisiana voters deserve the truth.

Will you help us get the word out to voters in Louisiana?


P.S. You can send your contribution by mail to:

P.O. Box 2709
Chicago, IL 60690

Paid for by CatholicVote.org Civic Action. Not coordinated with any campaign or campaign committee. www.catholicvote.org.

Drive-Thru Funerals? Here's The Video . . .


Monday, September 15, 2014

Christie Submits Many Nominations, Appointments

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed the following nominations with the State Senate. The Governor’s nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate. Governor Chris Christie also filed the following a direct appointment with the Secretary of State's Office.


Nominate for reappointment Benjamin C. Telsey (Pilesgrove, Salem)
Nominate for appointment John M. Deitch (Fanwood, Union)
Nominate for appointment Theresa E. Mullen (Scotch Plains, Union)
Nominate for appointment Candido Rodriguez (Scotch Plains, Union)

Nominate for reappointment James T. Plousis (Ocean City, Cape May)
Associate Members
Nominate for reappointment Thomas P. Haaf (Pilesgrove, Salem)
Nominate for reappointment Lloyd D. Henderson, Jr., Esq. (Lawnside, Camden)
Nominate for reappointment Reverend Brian T. Butch, M.Div., MSW, LCSW (Avon-by-the-Sea, Monmouth)
Nominate for reappointment the Honorable Carmen M. Garcia (Mansfield, Burlington)
Nominate for reappointment the Honorable Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr. (Hamilton Square, Mercer)
Nominate for appointment Irene Kim Asbury, Esq. (Jersey City, Hudson)   
Nominate for appointment Kerri E. Cody, Esq. (Hammonton, Atlantic)
Alternate Members
Nominate for appointment John M. Paitakes, Ph.D. (Raritan, Somerset)
Nominate for appointment Peter A. Cavicchia, II (Sparta, Sussex)

Licensed Prosthetist-Orthotist
Nominate for appointment Carey A. Glass, C.P.O., L.P.O., F.A.A.O.P. (Highland Park, Middlesex)
Licensed Podiatric Doctor
Nominate for appointment Morteza Khaladj, D.P.M., FACPPM, APWCA (Gladstone, Somerset)
Public Member/Orthotic User
Nominate for appointment Nybil I. Ghanem (South Plainfield, Middlesex)

Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries Representative
Nominate for appointment Peter DeCenzo (Red Bank, Monmouth)
Industry Representatives
Nominate for appointment Scott A. Johnson (Colmar, PA)
Nominate for appointment Gary Sondermeyer (Langhorne, PA)
Nominate for reappointment Michael S. Keszler, Esq. (West Long Branch, Monmouth)
Health Professional Representing the New Jersey Hospital Association
Nominate for appointment Nancy E. Shafer-Winter, MSN, RN, NE-BC (Asbury Park, Monmouth)
Licensed Health Professional from the Medical or Dental Community
Nominate for appointment Lois V. Greene, RN (Newark, Essex)
Public Members
Nominate for appointment Joseph Ferrante, Jr., Esq. (Ridgewood, Bergen)
Nominate for appointment Wayne D. DeFeo (Warren Township, Somerset)
Nominate for appointment Richard J. Hills (Millstone Township, Monmouth)
Nominate for reappointment MaryEllen M. Lyons (Wayne, Passaic)

Municipal Tax Assessor, County Assessor or County Tax Administrator
Nominate for appointment Kathleen Hill, CTA (Greenwich, Gloucester)
Farmer (Current or Former Member of the State Board of Agriculture
Nominate for appointment Ann M. Dorsett (Woolwich Township, Gloucester)

Public Member
Nominate for appointment William H. Placke (Summit, Union)

Public Member
Nominate for appointment the Honorable James S. Simpson (Princeton, Mercer)

Public Member
Nominate for appointment Ranjini Poddar, Esq. (Morristown, Morris)

Public Member
Nominate for appointment John T. Ford, D.C. (Lafayette, Sussex)


Public Member
Appoint David H. Brody, M.D. (Montague, Sussex)

Over 30,000 Bacon Samples At 10/4 Bacon Festival!

The inaugural Pennsylvania Bacon Festival, presented by America Loves Bacon, brings over 30,000 samples of bacon to XFINITY Live! Philadelphia on Saturday, October 4 beginning at 1 p.m.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at www.pennsylvaniabaconfestival.com/tickets.html

The culinary event will be a fun bacon themed block party mixed with a full scale festival experience. Dozens of the area’s top restaurants, food trucks, and specialty vendors will be on site to celebrate this food tradition.

In addition to the thousands of bacon samples, the one-of-a-kind event features full sized bacon cuisines, bacon eating contests, bacon cooking demonstrations. Everything from Bacon on a Stick, Bacon Sliders, meals, desserts, bacon candles, and jam will be on display and available for sampling or purchase.

Festivities also include the 2014 Pennsylvania Bacon-off, as participating chef’s will show off their skills in the three categories of appetizers, entrées, and desserts.

Live music will be performed on the Outdoor Live! stage by the following local bands, The Get Real Gang, Commonwealth Choir, The Lawsuits, Pasadena, Velvet Tones, Philbilly, and John McNutt.

For more information visit, www.pennsylvaniabaconfestival.com or www.xfinitylive.com.

XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is a dining and entertainment district centered in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The one-of-a-kind venue features over a dozen restaurant and entertainment choices, including six main venues: Broad Street Bullies Pub, PBR Bar & Grill (Professional Bull Riders), Philly MarketPlace, Spectrum Grill, Victory Beer Hall and the first-ever NBC Sports Arena. XFINITY Live! is a joint partnership between Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor and Baltimore-based The Cordish Companies.

Christie, Cuomo Announce Saftey/Security Efforts

Governor Chris Christie and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that they have directed their state’s respective Homeland Security Advisors and State Police Superintendents to immediately lead a bi-state review of current safety and security procedures. 

In light of the undeniable heightening of terrorist activity and increased tensions between America and terrorist networks, Governors Cuomo and Christie are acting immediately with steps to ensure that proper, effective, and coordinated protocols are in place and all appropriate law enforcement entities are proactively prepared for potential threats to the New York-New Jersey region. The states will coordinate with the United States Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the FBI, the New York Police Department, and the Port Authority.

The review, which follows a meeting with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, local, state and federal security and law enforcement officials convened by the governors last week, will demand and encourage engagement and cooperation with top officials from local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety offices to continue to keep the region’s public safety paramount.

The state Homeland Security and State Police leaders are as follows: Col. Rick Fuentes, New Jersey Superintendent of State Police; Christopher Rodriguez, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; Joseph D'Amico, New York Superintendent of State Police; Jerome Hauer, Commissioner of the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The governors will convene a meeting to review initial recommendations in 10 days. In 30 days, the group will again report directly back to both governors with any and all further findings and recommendations.

“Given the reality of new and growing threats from overseas, we are going to do everything we can as leaders of this region to ensure that we are working together, prepared, and can effectively respond as needed to protect our people, our critical infrastructure, and our hubs of commerce and business,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Having been a target before, we know that our security and readiness are absolutely essential to our region. We will be vigilant, proactive, and thorough in making sure we have effective protocols to seamlessly cooperate, continuously engage with one another, and work completely hand-in-hand in these efforts will all of our law enforcement and security partners.”

“Given the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area's history and location attractive to terrorist groups, we consider the heightening of terrorism activity and tensions between America and these extremist networks with the highest level of attention,” Governor Cuomo said. “By undertaking an immediate analysis of all procedures and security measures in light of these new circumstances, we are taking an important step to proactively anticipate any possible issues. Between our local, state, and federal partners we have extraordinary capacity and talent in the security, intelligence and counter terrorism fields and by working together we will strengthen our protections against the hateful, violent agenda of these terrorist groups.”

The governors announced the bi-state group on September 11, 2014, noting that in light of the growth and recent activity of extremist terrorist movements abroad and the potential threat they pose to each state and their metropolitan area, it was in the best security interest of the people, infrastructure, and assets of the region to undergo an effort to strengthen existing security and preparedness coordination.

Agencies participating in the bi-state group include: the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, New Jersey Transit, New Jersey State National Guard, the New York Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York State Police, the New York Police Department, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police, the New York National Guard, and other law enforcement and public safety agencies. The multi-agency group is working in conjunction with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).

Three Great Dining Discoveries in Philly/NJ

We love to discover new restaurants.
And recently we've had the good fortune to discover three of them that we instantly rate highly.
So, we'll talk about them in the order that we discovered them.
First off, it's Giorgio On Pine at 1328 Pine St. just off Broad in Philadelphia.
Here, in an intimate setting connecting two small walkups Giorgio Giuliani, formerly of the Monte Carlo Living Room and Primavera presides at his rustic BYOB trattoria.
At Giorgio you can savor authentic Italian cuisine in a casual atmosphere that offers you a delightful dining experience.
To start we enjoyed sauté of calamari and baby shrimp served with arugula, chopped tomatoes and garlic on a bed of cannelloni beans. The was not the usual fried calamari and we enjoyed the light, fresh departure from the typical dish.
Pasta at Giorgio is made daily. We chose the gnocchi in a 12-jour braised beef ragu and we loved it. The potato gnocchi were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. We also selected the rigatoni with bits of sweet Italian sausage and bell papers tossed in marinara sauce (photo above). Again, we were absolutely delighted with the al dente rigatoni, the sauce and the luscious enhancements.  
Everything at Giorgio is pretty much cooked right in front of you at a small kitchen. It's enchanting. 
For dessert we were treated to an absolutely divine tiramisu. It was so light and airy that we nearly took flight.
But, not to worry -- Giogio On Pine is remarkably well grounded and it's lively, cozy atmosphere (and friendly, helpful staff) enveloped us in a wonderful cocoon of comfort.
Bravo, bravo Giorgio! We shall return.

Next, we ventured to a delightful new South Jersey restaurant in the eclectic dining mecca of Collingswood.
El Sitio is a contemporary Ecuadorian restaurant right on Haddon Avenue in the center of town. The inside features an open, colorful, contemporary floor plan and there's also a nice patio for sunny days where friends and family can have a taste of South American cuisine. This is a place where the ambience seems just right. And, it's BYOB.
The menu, served daily at lunch and dinner, includes aromas and flavors from Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina, as well as beef from Uruguay and the United States. El Sitio stresses fresh, homemade dishes and distinctive tastes.
We started with the Argentinean style empanadas. We ordered two of these wheat flour empanadas stuffed with seasoned chicken and two stuffed with beef for our table. We were not disappointed and we quickly understood why these empanadas have been voted the best in the area. They were crisp and succulent but not the least bit heavy or greasy. 
Of course, beef is one of the stars here and we chose the grilled strips of beef topped with choice of Dijon, peppers, onions and balsamic sauce. But this came on a bed of fries with a side of rice as well (shown above). A hearty dish for what was a damp and unseasonably chilly evening. We also enjoyed the garlic marinated jumbo shrimp perfectly grilled with a mix of sauté vegetables. Simple -- and simply wonderful!

Then it was time for Sunday brunch.
So we headed to the Fairmount (Art Museum) neighborhood of Philadelphia to check out the new Hickory Lane American Bistro at 2025 Fairmount Ave. 
We have a vested interest in Hickory Lane as its interior was designed by our friend Carlo Fiammenghi.
Hickory Lane offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casually elegant space in a cosmopolitan  neighborhood. It's ideal for a quick bite, leisurely meal or an exceptional memory. 
Hickory Lane's menu changes constantly to capture seasonal and exceptional ingredients. Being a BYOB Hickory Lane allows you to bring your favorite beverage but the staff is always happy to assist with pairings.
For brunch, we chose a classic: eggs Benedict (shown above). 
On a thick slice of chive focaccia were two perfectly poached eggs, juicy country ham and hollandaise sauce with breakfast potatoes and a crisp arugula salad on the side. What a joy it was to savor the eggs on a thick base that didn't crumble or turn all soggy. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner?
The potatoes were fresh and savory and the salad added the perfect touch. Plus, the coffee was just strong enough and wonderfully aromatic.
Hickory Lane welcomes you with a woodsy environment and a fair share of whimsy.
You're gonna like it!

The Face Of Tomorrow's GOP Congress

Ryan Costello is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District with the goal of ending the partisan gridlock in Washington, finding sensible bi-partisan solutions to the challenges facing our nation, and getting our country back on track so that we can create a brighter future for local residents and future generations.
Here's what he has to say:
As I meet and talk with voters, it’s clear that the want someone who will be an independent voice in Washington. As a County Commissioner I have a record of balancing budgets, cutting spending and still investing in things like our library system and open space that make our community a great place to raise a family. Voters want a congressman who delivers results, who’s not afraid to put the interests of the country above partisan politics, and is willing to work in a bi-partisan manner to address the issues facing our nation.

Pope: Cross Represents Both Good And Evil

At midday yesterday, after celebrating the marriage of twenty couples from the diocese of Rome, the Pope appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful present in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis commented that today, 14 September, the Church celebrates the festivity of the Exaltation of the Cross. “Any non-Christian might ask, why 'exalt' the Cross? We can answer that we do not exalt just any cross, or all crosses: we exalt Jesus Cross, as it was upon the Cross that he revealed the extent of God's love for humanity”, he explained. 

“The Father gave his Son to save us, and this involved the death of Jesus, and he died on the Cross. Why? Why was the Cross necessary? Because of the gravity of the evil that had enslaved us. The Cross of Jesus expresses both of these things: all the negative force of evil, and all the gentle omnipotence of God's mercy. The Cross appeared to decree Jesus' demise, but in reality it marked His victory. … And it is precisely for this reason that God 'exalted' Jesus, conferring upon Him a universal kingship”.

“When we turn our gaze to the Cross, where Jesus was nailed”, he continued, “we contemplate the sign of God's infinite love for each one of us, and the root of our salvation. From this Cross there springs the mercy of the Father who embraces the entire world. Through the Cross, the evil one is vanquished and death defeated, we are given life, and hope is restored to us. … The Cross of Jesus is our only true hope! This is why the Chruch exalts the glorious Cross of Jesus, sign of God's immense love, sign of our salvation, and path to the Resurrection. And this is our hope”.

“When we contemplate and celebrate the Holy Cross”, he concluded, “we think with emotion of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted and killed for their fidelity to Christ. This happens especially where religious freedom is not guaranteed or fully realised. It also occurs, however, in countries and in environments where in principle freedom and human rights are protected, but where in practice believers and Christians in particular often encounter limitations or discrimination. Therefore, today we remember them and pray especially for them”.

Flyers Trade Hockey Sticks For Gold Clubs

The entire Philadelphia Flyers team golf to support the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation begins at 12:15 p.m. tomorrow at trump National Gold Course in Pine Hill, NJ with a 5:30 p.m. awards dinner that will be co-emceed by Michael Barkann and John Clark.

Honorary Co-Chairs of the Tournament are Flyers Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmons, and Kimmo Timonen.

In addition to golfing with members of the Flyers, guests can bid on many priceless items in the silent and live auctions, including a Billy Joel Experience at Madison Square Garden; a road trip on the team charter train to New York; the opportunity to be in the 2014-15 Team Photo; and many more one-of-a-kind experiences and trips to amazing destinations. Bidding is now open online at: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?vhost=sniderhockey

The beneficiary of this event is the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charity serving 3,000 inner-city children through its multi-faceted recreational and supplemental educational programs. The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is to build lives and unite community. The foundation uses the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in life.

Snider Hockey provides free “learn to skate” programs, public skating opportunities, ice hockey instruction, and league play, including all equipment, as well supplemental academic services at no charge to inner city boys and girls. The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will continue to maintain the  rinks.

So, Tom Wolf Contradicts Himself -- Again!

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today drew attention to Secretary Tom Wolf’s latest campaign commercial gaffe where he doubles the amount of revenue that would be generated from his proposal for a special tax on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. In a campaign commercial during the liberal Democratic primary, Wolf said his special tax would raise taxes by $550 million. He is now running the exact same ad, but now stating his special tax would raise taxes by $1 billion. His ad also says that Pennsylvania does not have a severance tax, which is exactly the opposite of what he said last week during an interview with Fox 43 News in Harrisburg.
View Wolf’s $450 million tax increase recalculation HERE.
“Even Secretary Tom Wolf now realizes that his lavish spending proposals outpace his proposed tax increases by billions. However, even when combining his ridiculous new revenue estimate for his energy tax proposal with his middle class income tax hike, he is still billions of dollars short of paying for his agenda,” stated Communications Director Chris Pack. “At this point, Secretary Tom Wolf is just making up numbers to fill his empty campaign rhetoric, and it’s clear that he has no real plan to lead our state. Tom Wolf is offering little more than false promises that will lead to a failed future for Pennsylvania."

Last month, the Corbett-Cawley campaign highlighted that Wolf’s Fresh Start campaign included over $1 billion in new spending proposals that were to be paid for by his energy tax, but that were in the red by no less than $424 million. Those proposals did not even take into account Wolf’s laundry list of unspecified spending proposals.

“Instead of finding ways to cut some of the absurd spending proposals in his Fresh Start Plan that is already $424 million in debt, Tom Wolf is doing his best Barack Obama and Ed Rendell impression by simply increasing his estimate by $500 million to deal with Wolf’s Fresh Start revenue shortfall. This is similar to his strategy as Revenue Secretary, where his faulty estimates resulted in a multi-billion dollar deficit, and the creation of a new state agency to simply check Tom Wolf’s math,” added Pack. “Say what you will about Governor Tom Corbett’s leadership, but at least he is realistic about the challenges facing our state and isn’t operating in fantasyland like Tom Wolf.”


For more information for the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania, visitwww.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

Christie Kicks Off Hispanic Heritage Month

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released the following statement in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. A Spanish language version follows:

“At the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the many contributions made by the Hispanic community in our state in public service, business, the arts, and education. This month provides us with an opportunity to focus on the many Hispanic Americans whose lives have shaped our communities throughout our State and Nation’s history. This year’s theme, ‘Hispanics: A Legacy of History, A Present of Action and a Future of Success,’ highlights the importance of celebrating our State’s multiculturalism and working together to achieve our goals. During this Hispanic Heritage month, I encourage all New Jerseyans to join me in honoring the impact of the Hispanic Community in our State and the role they play in contributing to our rich diversity, now and in the future.”

Governor Christie also proclaimed September 15 - October 15, 2014 as “Hispanic Heritage Month” throughout New Jersey.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Revealed: The World's Most Secret Basement

A Delightful Culinary Mecca Steps From Times Square

Of all the cities in Italy, Venice has always been our favorite.

It's a delight -- a feast for the senses at every turn.

But we can't always be in Venice.  So, when we want a touch of Venice we head right up the road to the bustling island of Manhattan.

We're talking about one of our favorite restaurants, Osteria al Doge.

Just steps away from Times Square. Osteria al Doge presents an inviting, charming ambience with Venetian inspired dishes. Homemade pastas are complimented by a good selection of fish and meat entrees without forgetting the great thin crusted pizzas. Here you'll find great, authentic Italian food for lunch and dinner.

We've been patronizing this restaurant for two decades and we can tell you that the atmosphere, service and (most of all) the dishes are all consistently excellent.

In a city like New York, it's hard to maintain success amidst relentless competition. People have so many choices and many of them are outstanding.

But Osteria al Doge has continuing to attract a loyal following as well as newcomers with a great dining experience.

Whether it's a romantic dinner for two, an important business lunch, or a lively group celebration, Osteria offers the easy elegance of Venice in the heart of New York's theatre district. And it's great for pre or post theatre dining.

Put it at the top of your list!

Hurry, Summer's Still Got A Week To Go!

Savor The Moments While While Summer Lingers

They say that summer's over;
Don't believe them, just remember,
Summer doesn't really end till the 22nd of September.
Summer's glow will linger with sea breezes and warm days;
As summer's spirit follows you in a million different ways.
Don't let them lull you into disbelief in nature's natural plan;
You've still got time to catch the sun and deepen that fine tan.
Labor Day is artificial but the calendar doesn't lie.
Fall may be upon us, but summer will not die!


Photos and original poem, Savor The Moments, copyright 2012, 2014 by Dan Cirucci

NJGOP Scores Successes During Busy Week

A recap from the New Jersey GOP:

It' s was a busy week here in New Jersey -- especially after our great event on Wednesday for Governor Chris Christie's 52nd birthday with special guest Mitt Romney. We want to thank all who helped make it such an amazing evening and especially to those 930 guests who came to celebrate the Governor's birthday with us. Today, we're bringing you a recap of Wednesday's event, highlights from Governor Christie's back to school visit in Camden, and Lieutenant Governor Guadagno's latest stop on her "NJ Tried and True" business tour. Additionally, don't miss announcements for upcoming events and our latest candidate spotlight, featuring Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan. 

In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal reported on Governor Chris Christie's continued efforts to successfully support and raise money for the New Jersey Republican State Committee - including this week's sold out event for the Governor's birthday celebration with special guest Governor Mitt Romney. Wednesday's celebration raised more than $600,000 for the NJGOP and having raised $2 million for the state party year-to-date, the NJGOP continues to be in a strong position under Governor Christie's leadership to support Republicans across the state during this midterm election cycle.
Thank you to all who came out to celebrate Governor Christie’s 52nd birthday! If you weren’t able to make it, check out some of the pictures below.

Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday headed to Camden to welcome students back to school with Camden Mayor Dana Redd and schools superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard. While visiting classrooms and speaking at the Octavius V. Catto Community Family School, Governor Christie discussed how the city of Camden continues to provide a model for what can be achieved through bipartisan leadership and by putting children and students first. Click below to check out Governor Christie’s remarks from Tuesday:
Acting Governor Kim Guadagno made her fifth stop on her “NJ Tried and True” business tour of New Jersey’s unique family-owned and longstanding businesses on Wednesday at Charles E. Green & Son in Newark.  Established in 1871 by Charles Green, an innovator in metal working processes, the company created a more durable way to bind and secure paint brush bristles by replacing the old method of using twine with metal pieces, known as ferrules. Today, the six-generation manufacturer is led by fifth-generation family member John Vanderbilt Green, III and continues its legacy as an innovator as his daughters, Vice Presidents Rebecca Green Sullivan and Caitlin Green, represent the first generation of women to run the company.
Join us and Governor Christie for the evening to support New Jersey’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Jeff Bell. The event will be held next week on Thursday, September 18thfrom 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, NJ. Purchase your tickets and RSVP today to Liz Curtis at 609- 433-8620 or rsvp@bell2014.com
Kathe Donovan is running for her second term as County Executive for Bergen County. First elected County Clerk in 1988, Kathe is now in her first term as County Executive; the first woman in the history of New Jersey to be elected to this position. Kathe is committed to holding the line on county property taxes, doing more with less and getting every citizen more for their hard-earned tax dollars. In just three and a half years as County Executive, Kathe Donovan has already cut 219 million dollars of waste from the last Democrat budget left to her by the previous administration. Kathe has a proven record of getting results with smaller, more efficient government. She successfully implemented "change" in the Clerk's office long before it became the popular thing to do. In fact, as County Clerk, Kathe brought in $1 billion in revenue through greater government efficiency and improved government service, which ultimately translated to over $300 saved on every Bergen County property tax bill.
To learn more about Kathe Donovan, click here to visit her campaign website and be sure to follow her on the campaign trail on Facebook. If you are interested in volunteering for Kathe Donovan's campaign, contact Bruce Young at Byoung8095@gmail.com.
Don’t miss Super Saturday at Bergen County Republican Organization tomorrow where volunteers will be gathering with local candidates, including County Executive Kathe Donovan to make calls and reach out to voters. If you are interested in signing up, contact Bruce Young at (201) 953-4988 or Byoung8095@gmail.com.
On Saturday, September 13th the NJGOP Campaign School will be hosted at the Mercer County GOP headquarters from 9:30AM to 1:00PM. We’ll be covering a number of topics, from campaign fundraising to political communications, for candidates, campaign managers, and operatives to learn the most effective strategies for successful campaigns. Space is still available if you are interested in attending so click here to reserve your spot today

Pope To Visit Turkey In Late November

Late Friday afternoon, in response to questions from journalists, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., gave the following declaration:

“This morning the Holy See has received a letter with an official invitation from the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to visit the country. Preparations will therefore be made for a trip to take place in the final days of November, although the length and programme of the visit are yet to be confirmed”.