Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Collectivism Degrades Personal Achievement

Can Social Media Be Civill? - Find Out, 11/20!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Can Social Media Be Civil?  Fugetabout it!"
A special program for PPRA Members Only

Get an update on what's new, what works, what's wrong, what's this world coming to. Put a little fun in your life and join us as three experts duke it out:

  • Kevin Riordan, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist
  • Kwan Morrow, PPRA 2009 Brodey Award winner and business owner
  • Dan Cirucci, PPRA 2003 Hall of Fame Inductee and Blogger
  • Refereed by Sylvia Kauders, PPRA 1976 Hall of Fame Inductee

Space is limited - reserve promptly!  Boardroom Breakfasts are designed for experienced professionals but all PPRA members are welcome to attend.

This program is made possible with the support of

Walk-in and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be emailed to by November 18, 2014. No-shows who have registered by fax, mail or via the web, who have not cancelled their reservations will be charged the registration fee.  No refunds after November 18, 2014.   

Thursday, November 20
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration, Networking & Breakfast

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Philadelphia Bar Association
1101 Market Street
10th Floor Boardroom
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Registration Fees:
$18.99 PPRA Members

Online Registration

Printable Registration Form

PPRA Website


Pope Francis To Visit Turkey 11/28 - 11/30

The Holy Father will make an apostolic visit to Turkey from 28 to 30 November. The following statistical data on the Catholic Church in the country is provided by the Central Office of Church Statistics.

Turkey has an area of 774,815 square kilometres and a population of 76,140,000 inhabitants of whom 53,000 are Catholics – 0.07 % of the population. There are 7 ecclesiastic circumscriptions, 54 parishes and 13 pastoral centres. The work of the apostolate is carried out by 6 bishops, 58 priests, 7 male religious and 54 female religious, and 2 permanent deacons. There are 2 lay members of secular institutes, 7 lay missionaries and 68 catechists. There are 4 major seminarians.

In addition, the Catholic Church in Turkey has 23 educational centres consisting of pre-schools, primary schools, middle schools and secondary schools, as well as 6 centres of special education. There are also 3 hospitals, 2 clinics and 5 homes for the elderly and disabled.

You Can't Take It With You Extends B'way Run

Producers of You Can’t Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize-winning revival by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, are pleased to announce the critically acclaimed show will extend its engagement throughSunday, February 22, 2015.

Previously announced to be a limited run through January 4, 2015, You Can’t Take It With You began previews on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 and opened on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street). Tickets are sold on or by calling 212-239-6200.

Here’s what some of the critics have said about the production:

-Ben Brantley, The New York Times

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
— Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News

-David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

-David Finkle, The Huffington Post

- David Cote, Time Out NY

-Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

-Mark Snetiker, Entertainment Weekly

-Roma Torre, NY1

The production is directed by six-time Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains, 1776), and stars Tony Award and Outer Critics’ Circle winner James Earl Jones (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Fences, The Great White Hope) as Martin Vanderhof, two-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne* (“Damages,” Bridesmaids, Neighbors) as Alice Sycamore, Tony Award winnerElizabeth Ashley (Take Her, She’s Mine, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man) as The Grand Duchess Olga, Tony Award nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Wicked, “Masters of Sex”) as Essie Carmichael, Tony Award nominee Johanna Day (Proof, August: Osage County) as Mrs. Kirby, three-time Drama Desk nominee Julie Halston (Anything Goes, The Divine Sister) as Gay Wellington,Byron Jennings (The Merchant of Venice, Inherit the Wind) as Mr. Kirby, Patrick Kerr (Stage Kiss, The Ritz) as Mr. De Pinna, Fran Kranz (Death of a Salesman) as Tony Kirby, Mark Linn-Baker (A Funny Thing…Forum, “Perfect Strangers,” My Favorite Year) as Paul Sycamore, Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as Penelope Sycamore, Tony Award nominee Reg Rogers (Holiday, The Royal Family) as Boris Kolenkhov, Will Brill (Act One) as Ed Carmichael, Nick Corley (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as a G-Man, Austin Durant (War Horse) as a G-Man, Theatre World Award winner Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Rheba, Marc Damon Johnson (Lucky Guy) as Donald, Karl Kenzler (Mary Poppins) as Henderson, and Joe Tapper (Witnessed By The World) as a G-Man.

The design team includes: scenic design by Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray), costume design by 2014 special Tony Award recipient Jane Greenwood (Act One, Waiting for Godot), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Donald Holder (South Pacific, The Lion King), sound design by Jon Weston (The Bridges of Madison County), and hair and wig design by Tom Watson(Act One, Waiting for Godot). Three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years, Parade) composed original music for the production.

You Can’t Take It With You is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jam Theatricals, Dominion Pictures, Gutterman & Winkler, Daryl Roth, Terry Schnuck, Jane Bergère, Caiola Productions, Rebecca Gold, LaRuffa & Hinderliter, Larry Magid, Gabrielle Palitz, Spisto & Kierstead, SunnySpot Productions, VenuWorks Theatricals, Jessica Genick and Will Trice.

NJ's Tax Burden Drags Us Down!

The Tax Foundation has released its 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index and the news for New Jersey is grim yet again: The Garden State has the overall highest tax burden in the entire country, as well as the highest property taxes.
The report states in part, “New Jersey…suffers from some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, is one of just two states to levy both an inheritance and an estate tax, and maintains some of the worst structured individual income taxes in the country.”
AFP state director Daryn Iwicki responded to the Tax Foundation report:
“Yet again the Tax Foundation ranks New Jersey last mainly due to our terrible property taxes and the fact we have the worst death taxes in the nation. This is status quo in New Jersey. No matter how many reports or articles are written about New Jersey’s tax climate the obstructionists in the General Assembly and Senate keep any real conversations of change off the table. 
“The sad reality is New Jersey’s worst-in-the-nation tax burden is the biggest reason our economy is not growing or creating jobs and opportunity for our residents. The Tax Foundation rankings make it clear:states with lower taxes do better. Wyoming, the lowest tax state, saw their economy grow 7.6% last year. By contrast New Jersey’s economy grew 1.1% and second worst New York grew a measly 0.7%. The rankings also back up research by the Mercatus Center linking high taxes to poor economic performance.
“Lawmakers in Trenton need to take heed that higher taxes are killing our state. If you care about helping people rise out of poverty, providing them with opportunity and a chance to earn high wages, the way out is by cutting taxes and spending and making state government smaller so our small businesses and entrepreneurs can prosper.
“One simple fix and something which would send a clear message throughout New Jersey is eliminating the estate tax. This has bipartisan support in the Senate and Assembly, yet bills just sit in committee without being heard because party bosses keep them from seeing the light of day.
“Instead the only proposals we do hear would only make our tax climate even worse, like raising the gas tax and income tax even higher. This is wrong, unfair, and will continue to hurt New Jersey if we continue to act in this manner.”

Christie: 'We Need Leadership, Not Lectures'

Governor Christie: I never claimed to be a medical expert, but I do claim to be fairly good at common sense. And common sense is if you’ve been a healthcare worker who’s been directly exposed to the virus, active virus, and you come back to the U.S. you should quarantine for 21 days. And let me tell you something, if it’s good enough for our men and women in uniform who are going over there to try to help folks in West Africa, and they have to quarantine for 21 days when they get home, then I have to tell you, every healthcare worker should have to comply with the same thing that the men and women in uniform are over there sacrificing, just as much as the healthcare workers are, they should have to do the same thing. So this is just common sense.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor Christie: It should not discourage people, it should not discourage people from going over there. It’s part of the sacrifice, Anthony. Because I’m sure none of these folks want to come home and get anybody else sick, because that’s contrary to what they’re doing to go over there in the first place. So no, I don’t think it should be discouraging at all. I think folks should understand part of the sacrifice is going over there and the remainder of the sacrifice is when you come home – remember a healthcare worker directly exposed to the virus, or now members of our military – you have to be quarantined for 21 days. That’s common sense policy. I don’t know when the White House is going to get around to admitting that and not giving us seven minute lectures from the South Lawn, and just get to work. And that’s what people want, they want their leaders to do things and that’s why Republican governors and Democratic governors have taken the same step that I did and we’re happy. New Jersey is proud to lead on this, to lead in the area of common sense. That’s what we’re doing and we’re not changing. I don’t care what happens. We are not changing our policy. This is our policy. It will be our policy as long as this crisis is going on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two Years Ago Today - Let's Not Forget!

It's easy to forget the way Governor Chris Christie led us through Superstorm Sandy with strength, insight, care and compassion. It's easy to ignore the job he's still doing to repair the havoc that Sandy wrought. It's easy. Too easy.
But take a moment to look back.
Reflect on it.
Don't forget!

An Unlikely 'St. Vincent' Answers Prayers

Bill Murray just seems to have a knack for appearing in great movies.
Maybe it's his own intuition. He could have a keen sense of the right roles.
Maybe he simply has a good agent. If so, that agent's been working overtime.
Maybe he's just lucky. Still, few people have this much good luck.
Then again, maybe it's a combination of all of the above.
Murray defined a classic in Groundhog Day. He gave us a new genre in Lost In Translation. He was quirky and showed great depth and versatility in Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel. And he proved to be surprisingly effective in both Hyde Park on Hudson and The Monument Men, two films which deserved larger audiences.
Now he's back with a nuanced, understated performance in St. Vincent in which Murray plays the curmudgeonly secular "saint" of the title -- a promiscuous, belligerent, sloppy, reckless, alcoholic as modern-day hero.
In this film, a young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely sitter, friend and sometimes mentor in Murray's character: a world-weary war veteran who seems misanthropic but who may be more helpful than dozens of socially-conscious others with the best of intentions.
So, it's the contradictions (and the pleasant surprises) that make St. Vincent so special -- along with its human sensibility, it's knowing script and the fine performances of a first rate cast paced by Murray himself.
As Oliver, the boy who Murray (sort of) befriends Jaeden Lieberher is smart and endearing without being insufferably precocious. As Murray's sexy, go-to-gal Daka, Naomi Watts proves she is one of the most versatile actresses working today. As Oliver's teacher, Brother Geraghty Chris O'Dowd plays it all with a wonderful gentle, knowing touch. And as Maggie (Oliver's mom) Melissa McCarthy delivers an eye-opening performance. We haven't been fans of McCarthy up till now but she's won us over in this film.
And then there's this: For once we get a three-dimensional, honest portrayal of modern American Catholicism and the Irish Catholic experience. Also, an equally honest look at familial relations (or lack thereof) and the state of our society (and our economy) right now.
This film is heartfelt, poignant, genuine and funny in a subtle but no less candid manner.
And look for the scene where Vincent and Daka go shopping at Buy Buy Baby as New Jersey's own Ron Bush plays the store salesman. Bush is one of our favorite rising young stars. He's wonderfully expressive.

What Is Mark Warner Afraid Of? Hmmm?

'Royal Rumble' Headed For Philly, Tkts. 11/1

Thirty of the world’s most entertaining WWE Superstars will bring their high-flying, hard-hitting stunts to Philadelphia when Royal Rumble slams into Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets starting at $25 will go on sale on Saturday, November 1at 10 a.m. exclusively through ComcastTIX at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or at the Wells Fargo Center Box Office.

Royal Rumble’s main event is a battle royal, over-the-top-rope, 30-man elimination match where only one wrestler will be left standing. WWE Superstars John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Kane and many more fight it out in the City of Brotherly Love for a chance to compete in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 31.

John Cena is the face of the WWE, and one of the most decorated wrestlers in history. He has 15 reigns as World Champion, and the two-time Rumble winner is looking to become just the second superstar in history to win the Rumble three times. The 12-year veteran has also won the United States Championship, the World Tag Team Championship, and the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Roman Reigns looks to improve on last year’s record-setting Royal Rumble performance when he eliminated 12 participants in the battle royal match before finishing second, losing to Batista. He already has been a WWE Tag Team Champion, and the former NFL defensive lineman looks to be a future WWE Champion in the making.

This battle royal will be the first WWE pay–per–view event of 2015, and will also be the first Royal Rumble event ever to be streamed live on the WWE Network.

Wells Fargo Center social media accounts:
@WellsFargoCtr  Facebook: WellsFargoCenter  Instagram: WellsFargoCenter

To receive advance notice and special offers to future events, join the free Wells Fargo Center CyberClub at

Dora Arias Honored As 'New Jersey Hero'

First Lady Mary Pat Christie congratulates Dora Arias, founder of Curémonos as her 30th New Jersey Hero. (l-r: Dora Arias, First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz)

New Jersey's First Lady Mary Pat Christie has named Dora Arias, founder and executive director of Curémonosas the 6th New Jersey Hero of 2014. A Latina breast cancer survivor, Dora recognized the challenges women who speak English as a second language face in understanding their diagnosis and treatment options. She foundedCurémonos, a grassroots community-based organization, to provide education, advocacy and support to medically underserved women dealing with breast cancer. Today’s Hero represents a milestone as the 30th New Jerseyan recognized for the extraordinary work being done by citizens across the Garden State.

“Dora’s story is so inspiring. A breast cancer survivor herself, Dora saw a need within the community and is bringing hope, courage and emotional support to women at a critical time in their lives,” said Mrs. Christie. “Whether it’s accompanying patients to doctor’s appointments, interpreting or providing financial resources, she is truly making a difference by empowering these women about their breast health. I am proud to name Dora Arias as our 6th New Jersey Hero of 2014 and 30th Hero in just four years.”

Since its inception Curémonos has educated over 2,000 women on the importance of breast health and early detection of breast cancer while serving over 300 medically underserved and underinsured women. Clients are served bilingually, biculturally and free of charge.

In addition, the organization has educated over 75 healthcare providers on the cultural aspects and needs of Latinas affected by breast cancer, established a support group in Spanish at the Summit YMCA and developed various one-day programs to help breast cancer patients and their families during their time of need.

First Lady Mary Pat Christie made her New Jersey Heroes presentation during a “Day of Pampering” Curémonosorganized for breast cancer survivors and patients at Sofi’s Color Salon in Summit. The day of pampering, which consists of full makeovers free of cost, is one of the organization’s most successful events and gives the women personalized attention while providing an opportunity for them to regain their self-esteem.

“Curémonos has been the product of countless hours of hard work, tears, and many sacrifices, but beyond that, it is the product of love and passion,” said founder Dora Arias. “I am humbled to receive the New Jersey Heroes Award and would like to thank Mrs. Christie for recognizing my work in the Latino community and for giving me the platform to create awareness about Curémonos and the plight of underserved communities affected by breast cancer. With this award, I hope to further the mission of Curémonos so that underserved women and men affected by this devastating disease are not alone in their journey.”

Dora was instrumental in having New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance introduce the "Breast Cancer Patient Education Act" of 2012 (H.R.5937). She has been featured and interviewed on the Today Show and was honored by Family Matters - as a Local Hero - Guiding Light. In 2012, she was named a "Model of Courage" by Ford Warriors in Pink and a Patient of Courage by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Breast cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in the United States, after skin cancer. In fact, every two minutes a new diagnosis of breast cancer occurs. Today, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

To learn more about Curémonos, visit

New Jersey Heroes is an initiative First Lady Mary Pat Christie began four years ago to showcase the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities. To nominate a hero, go to and follow the application instructions to submit the person you believe is a true New Jersey Hero.

Enduring Quotes From Reagan's 'A Time For Choosing'

Fifty years ago this week, Ronald Reagan gave a speech on behalf of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.

The televised address, entitled A Time for Choosing became an instant sensation and catapulted Reagan into the national spotlight. Today, the half-hour speech is widely considered to be among the 100 best speeches ever delivered.

Here are ten quotes from that landmark address that still endure:

"Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment."

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth."

"This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

"Perhaps there is a simple answer -- not an easy answer -- but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right."

"You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between left or right. Well, I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down."

"Was Barry Goldwater so irresponsible when he suggested that our government give up its program of deliberate, planned inflation, so that when you do get your Social Security pension, a dollar will buy a dollar's worth, and not 45 cents worth?"

"I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers."

"You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, 'There is a price we will not pay.' There is a point beyond which they must not advance. And this -- this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's 'peace through strength.'"

"I, for one, resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as 'the masses.'"
"No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income."

'Boneyard Bash' All Set For Halloween!

Hello Neon Museum Fans!
There’s still time to reserve your spot for the Boneyard Bash on Friday, October 31 from 7 to 10 p.m.  Tickets are only $45 dollars in advance and $55 at the door.  Neon Museum members get in for only $40. Your ticket entitles you to complimentary wine, beer and Halloween cocktail. There will be music by DJ Totescity, an appearance by the cast of Evil Dead – the Musical, magic tricks by Bizzaro the Magician, and tarot card readings by the legendary Madame Roseweed.  You can try your hand at midway games like Whack-a-Mole and High Strike and enjoy carnival style culinary treats.  Makeup artist Jonathan Seti, from “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story,” will also be on hand to make you look your scariest! 
Don’t forget, there will also be a costume contest featuring special guest judges. Guests are also invited to an after party at the Velveteen Rabbit for a complimentary Halloween cocktail!
Valet parking will be available with self-parking at the Cultural Corridor Center (formerly the Reed Whipple building) across the street from the Neon Museum.
Don’t be scared...for more information or to reserve your ticket click here

In NJ Vote 'NO!' On Ballot Question 2

Americans for Prosperity, New Jersey's leading advocate for taxpayers, says State Senate President Steve Sweeney’s concerns about the pension system are all the reason voters need to oppose Ballot Question 2 as they head to the polls next week.
“Sen. Sweeeney is right to focus on the pension problem, but here’s the issue: instead of making the pensions a top priority the senate president chose to put a public question on that ballot that will lock up billions of dollars via constitutional amendment for years to come,” said AFP state director Daryn Iwicki.
“AFP has said all along this is about the state’s fiscal priorities. Even if the pension system was funded at 85%, we’d be looking at around a $4 billion per year payment. The state needs every available dime to fix the pension system or to repair our roads,” continued Iwicki.
“If I were a public sector worker, the idea of spending billions on buying land over my retirement would frost me. There’s no way I would support Question 2.”
Iwicki said he hopes after Ballot Question 2 is defeated, all stakeholders should come together to find a way to free up the 4% corporate business tax dedication that remains.
“Even Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club stated in testimony the current 4% CBT dedication has all but run its course and is no longer needed. That’s at least $80 million a year that could be going to our pension system or to help replenish our depleted Transportation Trust Fund.”
“We believe when voters hear our message and learn what is at stake they will vote Ballot Question 2 down next week. Afterwards, I hope we can redirect these monies toward addressing our pension and/or infrastructure problems.”

Christie: Smart Politically AND Scientifically

Matt Lauer: New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie is with us now exclusively. Governor, good morning to you.

Governor Christie: Good morning, Matt. How are you this morning?

Matt Lauer: I’m well. Thank you. You say you put these new rules in effect to protect the people of New Jersey. Along comes Kaci Hickox. She complained loudly about the treatment she received. Did you get more than you bargained for with Ms. Hickox?

Governor Christie: No listen Matt, I can't imagine that anyone would find it to be an experience they were looking for, to have to spend three days in a hospital. I understand that. But the fact is, Matt, that she presented at the airport as someone who had contact, direct contact with folks who are infected with the Ebola virus and then she became symptomatic. The fact is that person has to go to the hospital, has to be treated. CDC ordered her to be tested for the Ebola virus based upon her symptoms. And then when she was no longer symptomatic and the tests came back negative, she was released to continue her quarantine at home.

Matt Lauer: Let me make sure I understand that. Was she sent back to Maine because she no longer had a fever, any symptoms or was she sent back to Maine because she went out and hired a talented lawyer like Norm Siegel and was threatening legal action against the state?

Governor Christie: Well you used the word talented, Matt, not me. And secondly no, it had absolutely nothing to do with it. That’s been the policy all along. If she had never presented with any symptoms, our policy would have been to send her back to Maine and to ask her to quarantine at home in Maine. It’s because she presented with symptoms and then she was tested, and that testing was ordered, Matt, by the CDC in conjunction with the State of New Jersey.

Matt Lauer: The policy stays in effect now, right? The policy remains in effect. I want to read you what Dr. Anthony Fauci from NIH said yesterday. He called the mandatory quarantine of all health care workers who come in contact with Ebola patients in West Africa and then return, draconian. He said you and Governor Cuomo got it wrong. Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, an infectious disease expert said this: “[Christie and Cuomo] are both really smart guys, yet they have decided to ignore science, evidence and decades of careful observations made by those brave enough to have gone to Africa to assist in the control of these epidemics.” How do you respond to that?

Governor Christie: Well I’ll respond to it this way, Matt. First off, now 6 other states have joined us as well, both Republican and Democratic governors. As has the United States military. As has Dr. Bruce Buetler, a Nobel Prize winning physician who this morning said he favors our policy. The fact is that the CDC has been incrementalist on this. This newest guidance from my perspective is incredibly confusing and by the way, what’s the difference when someone is considered to be high risk? You don’t want them on public transportation. You don’t want them at public gatherings and you want them to work from home. That sounds like quarantine to me, Matt. Let me just finish this Matt.

Matt Lauer: Is it possible that you’re on the wrong side of science here but the right side of public opinion?

Governor Christie: No I’m going to be on the right side of both ultimately, Matt. And I understand that the CDC has been behind on this. Folks got infected in Texas because they were behind and we’re not going to have folks being infected in New Jersey and other states in this country. Governors ultimately have the responsibility to protect the public health and the public safety of the people within their borders when folks come in with this problem. And let’s be clear Matt, all we’re talking about is folks who have been directly in contact as healthcare workers with folks who are actively infected with the virus, not all travelers. The reporting has been very sloppy on this, Matt.

Matt Lauer: And yet a lot of people I talk to, healthcare experts say this, the best way to prevent new cases of Ebola from coming to the United States is to stop the outbreak in West Africa. You start attaching 21 days to the commitment of any healthcare worker who wants to go there and help the crisis there – isn’t that going to have a chilling effect?

Governor Christie: No it’s not, Matt, because these folks go over there because they want to help and they want to make a difference and we applaud them. But by the same token, when they’re in direct contact with people actively with the Ebola virus, asking them to quarantine at home for 21 days, unless they’re symptomatic, I don’t think it’s draconian. I think Dr. Fauci is responding, unfortunately, as are many other people from the CDC, in a really hyperbolic way because they’ve been wrong before, and now they’re incrementally taking steps towards the policy that we put in effect in New Jersey and now six other states have put into effect, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have put in effect. We’re all wrong and they’re right, Matt? We’re trying to be careful, here. This is common sense. The American public believe it is common sense and we’re not moving an inch. Our policy has not changed and our policy will not change.

Matt Lauer: Real, real quickly, all this takes place about a week from the midterm elections. A lot of people would like to infuse this situation with politics. Will you say to me right now that there is no political blame to be assessed for what has happened with Ebola in this country at this point?

Governor Christie: Listen, Matt, I’m not here to discuss political blame. And when you look at what has happened here and the different states that have adopted this you’ve had both Republican and Democratic governors adopting this. Governor Dayton in Minnesota. Governor Cuomo in New York along with me in New Jersey. Governor Scott, a Republican, in Florida. Democratic governors in Virginia and Maryland where I’m sitting this morning. The fact is you’ve got more Democratic governors doing this than Republican governors. This is a nonpartisan issue, Matt. Here’s the bottom line as governor. My first responsibility is to protect the public health and safety of the people of New Jersey and I will not submit to any political pressure in doing anything less than I believe is necessary. We’re now backed up by the American military and a Nobel Prize winning doctor. I understand there’s all kinds of protestations from the CDC but we want stricter things than what they have been willing to impose and now they’re incrementally, Matt, moving towards our position. What’s the difference, Matt, between telling someone who is a healthcare worker at high risk that they can’t go into public places, they can’t go on public transportation, and we want them to work from home. What’s the difference between that and a quarantine? This is because they don’t want to admit that we’re right and they were wrong, I’m sorry about that.

Matt Lauer: Questions that will continue to be asked. Governor, I really appreciate your time this morning. Thank you so much.

Governor Christie: Matt, thank you very much.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bombshell: McCaffrey To Step Down from Court

In a stunning move, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffrey who was first elected to the Court in 2007 is expected to retire today.
Reports say McCaffrey who has been caught up in a controversy regarding supposed pronographic e-mails, will step down just one week after four of his fellow justices voted to suspend him from the high court.

McCaffrey, 64 got caught up in the porn scandal that was triggered by the release of information obtained via a probe by the state Attorney General's Office.

Christie: I WILL Protect The People Of My State

Governor Christie: The fact of the matter is we’re going to protect the people of our state. And I think you saw yesterday that there’s confirmation that she’s being treated quite well in New Jersey. The CDC has been overseeing all the treatment that she has gotten in New Jersey and I’m hopeful that this morning if all goes well that we’ll be able to release her and send her back to Maine where she can continue to be quarantined in her home. But the fact is I’m not going to step away for a minute from protecting the people of my state and our region. So I understand that she didn’t want to be there. She made that very clear from the beginning but my obligation is to all the people of New Jersey and we’re just going to continue to do that. So the critics are the critics no matter what you do there will be critics and you don’t worry that, you worry about doing what’s right for the people you represent and that’s what we’ve done.

Question: Are you authorized to make the decision to release her? Do you want to release her?

Michael, listen it’s always been about her condition and if her condition permits release then we’ll work with the folks, the state officials in Maine, to make sure that she can go home. Our preference always is to have people quarantined in their homes. Now in this instance it wasn’t possible because given her condition at the time and the fact that CDC and New Jersey agreed she needed to be tested, then we needed to keep her in New Jersey. But as soon as we came to the conclusion that either she had the disease and if she would be transferred to a tier 1 facility somewhere else; or, if she does not, she can be safely transferred to her own home and be quarantined there. It’s always been our desire, but you can’t take chances on this stuff and allow people who may, in fact, be contagious to be able to travel

Question: If she is asymptomatic, the plan is to let her go later today?

Governor Christie: The plan from my perspective is if the medical folks there want to let her go and we have a safe way to transport her from New Jersey to Maine, than I’d be more than happy to have her go home because that’s where she’ll be most comfortable. But, I was not going to back off, Michael, for a moment until we had conformation on all that just because she didn’t want to be there. I know she didn’t want to be there. No one ever wants to be in the hospital, I suspect. And, so, I understand that. But, the fact is I have a much greater, bigger responsibility to the people of the public. So, I think when she has time to reflect, she’ll understand that, as well.

Governor: NJ Quarantine Rules Have NOT Changed

Please see below the statement from Governor’s Office spokesman Kevin Roberts:

“New Jersey is not changing its quarantine protocol.   The protocol is clear that a New Jersey resident with no symptoms, but who has come into contact with someone with Ebola, such as a health care provider, would be subject to a mandatory quarantine order and quarantined at home.  Non-residents would be transported to their homes if feasible and, if not, quarantined in New Jersey.”

As additional background, New Jersey has previously applied mandatory quarantines in an at-home setting for New Jersey residents, and has repeatedly stated that in-home quarantines would be used:

·         On October 10th, in response to a violation of a voluntary quarantine agreement by an NBC News crew, the New Jersey Department of Health issued a Mandatory Quarantine Order through remainder of 21-day period (October 22nd) for the NBC Crew.  That mandatory quarantine required the crew members to stay in their homes.

·         Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez: “Travelers who are New Jersey residents will quarantine in their own homes.” (Press Conference, 10/22/14)

·         “Those who are forcibly quarantined will be confined either to their homes or, if they live in other states, to some other place, most likely a medical facility, the governors said.” (Marilynn Marchione, “NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others,” Associated Press, 10/25/14)

·         NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) has arranged for the transportation of asymptomatic at-risk individuals to either a State temporary housing arrangement or an individual’s home, depending on whether the individual is a New Jersey resident or not. DHS is working to coordinate access to language translators for non-English speaking visitors. (New Jersey Press Release, 10/22/14)

Nurse Being Sent From NJ To Maine Home

The New Jersey Department of Health released the following statement:

Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours. As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged. Since the patient had direct exposure to individuals suffering from the Ebola Virus in one of the three West African nations, she is subject to a mandatory New Jersey quarantine order. 

After consulting with her, she has requested transport to Maine, and that transport will be arranged via a private carrier not via mass transit or commercial aircraft. She will remain subject to New Jersey's mandatory quarantine order while in New Jersey. Health officials in Maine have been notified of her arrangements and will make a determination under their own laws on her treatment when she arrives.

Physicians at University Hospital have continuously monitored the patient’s situation since admittance on Friday, following her arrival at Newark Airport from West Africa where she had been treating symptomatic Ebola patients. The patient was initially found to have no symptoms, but later developed a fever. Because she had symptoms, she was subsequently transferred to University Hospital where she was placed in isolation under a quarantine order for review and testing. 

She was cared for in a monitored area of the hospital with an advanced tenting system that was recently toured and evaluated by the CDC. While in isolation, every effort was made to insure that she remained comfortable with access to a computer, cell phone, reading material and nourishment of choice.

Services Tomorrow For PR Pro Sally Berlin

Services for legendary public relations pro and beloved Philadelphian Sally Berlin will be held at Beth Zion Beth Israel, 300 S. 18th St. at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, October 28.
Contributions in Sally's memory may be made to the Philadelphia Police Athletic League (PAL). Click here to donate online or call Lindsay Farrington at 215-291-9000, extension 101.