Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Mary Pat Christie Is Seeing Purple!

Demonstrating support for victims and families impacted by domestic violence, First Lady Mary Pat Christie has announced that Drumthwacket, the Governor’s official residence, will be lit in purple on Thursday October 23rd to recognize Purple Thursday. Initiated by the New Jersey Coalition of Battered Women (NJCBW), Purple Thursday encourages New Jerseyans to wear purple to shine a light on the issue of domestic violence by supporting its survivors while promoting awareness and prevention.

“Domestic violence impacts everyone–individuals, families and communities,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie. “That’s why it’s important to educate and empower victims, survivors and their families by providing the support necessary to help them heal and rebuild their lives for a future without violence and abuse. I encourage everyone to join the cause and wear purple this Thursday.”

Residents can share photos using #njgoespurple and post photos at https://www.facebook.com/njcbw.

Domestic violence affects more than four million Americans every year. In fact, one in every four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime and more than 3 million children are impacted annually. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

In New Jersey, there were 65,060 domestic violence offenses reported by the police in 2012, a 7 percent decrease compared to the 70,311 reported in 2011, according to the most recent Domestic Violence Offense Report prepared by the New Jersey State Police. Additionally, assaults accounted for 42 percent (27,602) and harassment accounted for 43 percent (28,285) of the reported offenses in 2012. The most frequent day of domestic violence occurrences was Sunday (11,639).

While domestic violence is considered to be a chronically under-reported crime, there are tools that people in New Jersey can use to take action.

New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families has in place an array of programs that provide shelter, a phone hotline, emergency response as well as information and referral, counseling and children's advocacy services. The Statewide Domestic Hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve domestic violence victims and provides information about domestic violence. The Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-SAFE (7233).

In addition, the New Jersey Coalition of Battered Women has launched a new webpage www.NJDVgethelp.org to help victims of domestic abuse access the assistance they need as quickly and easily as possible including a tool to find local shelters and other resources statewide. All elements are optimized for effective display on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Is Wolf Ready To Empty Your Pockets?

To learn more about Millionaire Tom Wolf's secret plan to TRIPLE the income tax rate, please visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

Guadagno Marks Gorundbreaking Of Paterson School

Marking a milestone in the implementation of key reforms in the state's school construction program, New Jersey's Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today joined New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) Chief Executive Officer Charles B. McKenna for the groundbreaking of the new School 16 Elementary School in Paterson.

The new 109,500-square-foot School 16 is designed to educate approximately 700 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades.  The school is anticipated to open in September 2016.

“Today’s groundbreaking marks a new day for development in Paterson and helps us keep our promise to New Jersey’s students,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “Through projects like School 16, we are working to provide the best learning experience to give our kids every opportunity to succeed.  Congratulations to the SDA and the Paterson community on this new state-of-the-art facility.”

The SDA is committed to an objective prioritization of statewide educational needs and the advancement of sound design and construction principles to bring increased accountability and eliminate wasteful spending.  For example, School 16 will be built using a Design-Build approach, which differs from the traditional approach by allowing for some design and construction activities to proceed concurrently through phased advancement.

“School 16 is the latest school to be built in Paterson by the SDA and, along with the Marshall Street School, which is also under construction, illustrates the State’s investment in the children of Paterson,” said Mr. McKenna.  “Combined, these two new projects will provide approximately 1,350 new seats for Paterson’s elementary school population.  As we celebrate this great day, it is clear that the State is committed to providing Paterson students with the educational spaces needed to realize their academic potential.”

The school will include 22 general-use classrooms, four pre-kindergarten classrooms, three kindergarten classrooms, specialized instruction classrooms and labs, a media center, a gymnasium and a cafetorium.

Paterson Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans, commented, “This newest elementary school is especially exciting for our district as it will be the first in Paterson to be LEED GOLD Certified – which means it will have highly sustainable “green” systems including solar panels.  From its state-of-the-art security features to its ‘cafetorium’ with an instrumental music room on stage, the new School 16 will provide an exceptional learning environment for our pre-k through grade 8 children.”

The SDA’s current portfolio of active projects is valued at approximately $2 billion – including the Capital Project Portfolio (more than $1.5 billion), emergent projects ($100 million) and Regular Operating District grants ($450 million state share).

The Acting Governor was also joined by Senator Nellie Pou, Paterson Mayor Jose Torres and other local officials

Corbett-Cawley Hit Back With Strong Jobs Record

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign released the following statement following this afternoon’s WHP 580 lieutenant gubernatorial debate in Harrisburg, where Lt. Governor Jim Cawley promoted the successful Corbett-Cawley ‘More Jobs, Less Taxes’ agenda over the last four years as a stark contrast to the Wolf-Stack plan to nearly triple Pennsylvanians income taxes.

“Multimillionaire Tom Wolf and his running mate Mike Stack have made it clear that if given the opportunity, they will raise Pennsylvanians income taxes by nearly 188%,” said Campaign Manager Mike Barley. “Tom Wolf wants to return us to the failed policies of Ed Rendell and import President Obama’s tax-and-spend agenda to Harrisburg. The Wolf-Stack ticket’s lack of leadership on reform and attack on middle class taxpayers and job creators by tripling their income tax rate, will only take Pennsylvania back to the days of 8.7% unemployment and a 4.2 billion dollar deficit. Governor Tom Corbett and Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley will continue to fight to make government smarter and more responsible, create family-sustaining jobs and keep more of Pennsylvanians hard-earned money in their wallets where it belongs.”

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

Temple Hoops Single Game Tickets On Sale!

Temple men's basketball fans can purchase single game seats for the 2014-15 season starting at 10:00 a.m. this Thursday, October 23. Tickets can be purchased via phone at 1-800-298-4200, online at comcastTix.comor in person at the Liacouras Center Box Office.

The Owls will host 15 games at the Liacouras Center as well as Kansas at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, December 22. Nine American Athletic Conference opponents will travel to North Broad Street, including defending NCAA champion UConn as well as Cincinnati, a regular NCAA tournament team.

Former Sixers coach Larry Brown will once again bring his SMU Mustangs to the Liacouras Center while Philadelphia Big 5 rival Penn makes an appearance on Temple's campus.

* Tickets for all games (excluding Kansas and UConn) are $15 (upper level), $25 (lower level baseline) and $35 (lower level sideline).

* Tickets for the Kansas and UConn games are $20 (upper level), $30 (lower level baseline) and $40 (lower level sideline).

Temple's home opener for the 2014-15 season is Friday, November 14 when the Owls host American at 7:30 p.m.

Group tickets (20 or more people) can be purchased by calling the Temple Sales Office at 215-204-8499.

Full and partial season tickets are still available, and guarantee customers the best seats, ticket discounts, and other season ticket holder benefits. Partial plans this season include a 4-game package featuring either the Kansas or UConn game, as well as a 7-game weekend plan that incorporates all Saturday and Sunday contests. To order full or partial season tickets, call the Temple Sales Office at 215-204-8499 or visit www.OwlsTix.com.

For courtside seating and private suite inquiries, call the Temple Owl Club at 215-204-2286

Tickets for the Kansas game can be purchased through ComcastTIX, online at ComcastTix.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in-person at the Wells Fargo Center box office.

Tickets for the neutral site La Salle game at The Palestra on December 6 ($35, $25, $15) can be purchased by calling the Temple sales at 215-204-8499.

Photo Essay: Santa Barbara Casts Its Enduring Spell

They call Santa Barbara "The American Riviera."
And no place that we know of would reject such a moniker.
But, in truth, this characterization is not entirely fair because Santa Barbara is incomparable.
It is like no place else on earth.
Santa Barbara is a world apart -- at once ethereal and enduring, vivid and subtle, sprawling and intimate. Of course, it encompasses Spanish influences but you will also see styles and architecture that evoke the 1920s, mixing both art deco and Moorish influences. Amidst all this are classic western and Native American touches -- because, make no mistake about it, for all its panninis and gelatos and espressos, Santa Barbara is thoroughly American. Its American spirit shows in its friendliness and its inviting informality.
The air here is sweet, the light is uniquely defining and the sky -- well, just look at it.
We've been lingering under Santa Barbara's spell even though there are other attractions nearby. We have little or know desire to venture forth anywhere else right now.
And, we promise you -- once you come here, you'll never want to leave, either!
Original photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Top Collegiate Wrestlers To Compete In Philly

The Greater Philadelphia Region serves as one of the nation’s most fervent fan bases for amateur wrestling. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that over 6,000 fans are expected to pack The Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania for the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday, November
1. Partnering with Beat the Streets Philadelphia, a local non-profit group focused on utilizing the sport of wrestling to showcase educational opportunities for Philadelphia youths, and title sponsored by the United States Marine Corps, the NWCA All-Star Classic will showcase the rich tradition of amateur wrestling in the Greater Philadelphia Region with over half the competitors having regional ties.

The nation's elite collegiate wrestlers will converge in Philadelphia for the premiere NWCA All-Star Classic. This competition features 20 competitors from the top colleges nationwide, all returning NCAA All- Americans, including five 2014 NCAA Champions. This event officially begins the 2014-15 collegiate wrestling season as student-athletes from across the United States will gather in Philadelphia for this championship level one-day competition. Tickets are on sale now at PennAthletics.com.

“Based on the record success of the NCAA Wrestling Championships (at Wells Fargo Center) in 2011 we know Philadelphia comes out to support big-time collegiate wrestling events," said Roger Reina, Host Committee Chair of NWCA All-Star Classic. "This region of the country is a hotbed for amateur wrestling. Coming to The Palestra are the top student athletes in our sport, and we know this is going to be a spectacular showcase in a terrific sports city. It may be quite a few years until this event returns to Philadelphia, so we look to the public to come out and support the 2014 NWCA All-Star Classic."

The All-Star Classic will officially kickoff in the afternoon of November 1 with a youth clinic featuring Olympic and NCAA champions as clinicians.

Headlining the entrants will be Nebraska’s James Green. A Willingboro, N.J. native, Green is a former New Jersey state champion who has gone on to earn NCAA All-American honors in each of his first three collegiate seasons. Also returning to his home area will be Northwestern’s Michael McMullan. A native of Easton, Pa. who competed at Wyoming Seminary in high school, McMullan is a three-time NCAA All- American who has finished no lower than third at the national championships. The All-Star Classic will also serve as the first event in the final season of Logan Steiber’s storied career. The Ohio State grappler has won three consecutive NCAA championships, and has his sights set on becoming on the fourth wrestler to win four career national championships.


Noted Red Carpet FashionDesigner Dead At 82

He was one of the last of the great, great fashion designers - part of an age that extended all the way back to fashion icons like Balenceaga, Chanel and St. Laurent.

He designs flattered rich and famous women by stressing elegance, femininity and a soft, flowing graceful appearance.

He was Oscar de la Renta and he has died at the age of 82.

Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, de la Renta was actually trained by the great Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo. He became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. An award-winning designer, he worked for Lanvin and Balmain; his eponymous fashion house continues to dress leading figures, from film stars to royalty, into the 2010s. de la Renta is particularly known for his red carpet gowns and evening wear.

At the age of 18, de la Renta left the Dominican Republic to study in Spain, where he studied painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He always considered Balenciaga his mentor. Later, de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.

In 1963, de la Renta turned to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue for advice, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is". Vreeland replied, "Then go to Arden because you will make your reputation faster. She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior."[De la Renta proceeded to work for Arden for two years before he in 1965 went to work for Jane Derby and launched his own label.] When Derby died in August 1965 Oscar de la Renta took over the label.

From 1993 to 2002, Oscar de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.

Oscar de la Renta has had the distinct honor of having his designs worn by a diverse group of distinguished women and celebrities.

The Oscar de la Renta brand saw international wholesale growth beginning in 2003, under the direction of CEO Alex Bolen, from five to seventy five locations. De la Renta's ready-to-wear designs are available in his retail stores, online, and with select wholesale partners worldwide.

In 1977, de la Renta launched his fragrance, OSCAR, followed by an accessories line in 2001 and a homewares line in 2002. The new business venture included 100 home furnishings for Century Furniture featuring dining tables, upholstered chairs, and couches. In 2004, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. De la Renta said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before.

In 2006 Oscar de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at PUNTACANA Resort and Club. Tortuga Bay is a Leading Small Hotel of the World. and a member of Virtuoso.

In 1967 and 1968, de la Renta won the Coty Award (the US fashion industry 'Oscars') and in 1973 was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.

From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he served as President of the CFDA. He is also a two-time winner of the American Fashion Critic's Award and was inducted into the Fame in 1973.

De la Renta's talents received continual international recognition. Among them, he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 (tied with Proenza Schouler). In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed de la Renta with two awards, the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and the La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil, He is recognized by the French government with the Légion d'honneur as a Commandeur.

In February 2014, Oscar de la Renta recreated his entire Spring presentation, Designed for A Cure 2014 collection, to raise money for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. At the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "the sultan of suave." At that event, he spoke of his cancer, saying,

"Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."

PA. Supreme Court Suspends Justice McCaffrey

In yet another sorry tale amidst the often etrhics-challenged antics of the Pennsylvania courts, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today suspended one of its own -- Justice Seamus McCaffery --  following revelations that he sent ore received pornographic e-mails to state employees from a private account. Reportedly, more than 200 such e-mails were involved between 2008 and 2012.

Today's action by the Supreme Court is a victory for Chief Justice Ronald Castille and a defeat for McCaffrey, two arch-rivals who have been feuding for years. It's also another sorry chapter in the history of the Pennsylvania judiciary where all of the state's judges are elected rather than appointed.

The court released an order today saying it suspending McCaffery on "an interim basis," with pay. It also said that, within 30 days, the state's Judicial Conduct Board must determine whether there is probable cause to file formal charges against McCafrey.

The Conduct Board handles judicial ethics complaints, and has already launched an investigation into McCaffery's e-mails.

Today's order came on the heels of  a call by Chief Justice Castille to his colleagues to take action against McCaffery and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter.

Independent observers, commentators and the Philadelphia Bar Association had looked upon McCaffrey's actions with deep concern, questioned his ethical judgement, citeing portions of the judicial rules regarding ethics and calling for an independent investigation that would bring about a swift conclusion to the matter.

Today, Chief Justice Castille wrote of McCaffery: "In my two decades of experience on this court, no other justice . . . has done as much to bring the Supreme Court into disrepute. No other justice has failed to live up to the high ethical demands required of this court or has been the constant focus of ethical lapses to the degree of Justice McCaffery."

There isn't a lot of dispute here about the e-mails.  McCaffery himself admitted that he used a personal account to send e-mails containing sexually explicit content. But he has continued to blame Castille for his troubles.

Castille contends that any judge who exchanged grossly pornographic material by e-mail, even from a personal account, might have violated the state's code of judicial ethics and may be subject to discipline.

Remember To Wear Purple On October 23rd

From our friends at the Save Jersey Blog:
By Senator Diane Allen, R-Burlington | The Save Jersey Blog
purple ribbon domestic violenceMany people use fashion as an outlet to express themselves. The clothes we wear are unquestionably one of the most visible statements we can make in daily life. That is why I will be wearing purple on October 23rd (“Purple Thursday”) as part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I have called on my colleagues in the legislature to wear purple, the official color of Domestic Violence Awareness, and now I am urging all New Jersey residents to do the same.

Domestic violence has been brought to the forefront of the nation’s attention in recent weeks. While high-profile cases involving professional athletes or other famous persons make headlines, there are acts of domestic violence happening right now – many in homes that you would never suspect. Domestic violence knows no age, race, gender, level of education or economic status. It affects millions of people all across our country each year. On a typical day in America, there are more than 20,000 phone calls made to domestic violence hotlines. Every minute, twenty-four people are victims of intimate partner violence (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). During one year, this equates to more than ten million women and men.

In our state alone, the New Jersey State Police cite 65,060 domestic violence offenses reported in 2012. Children were involved or present during 29 percent of all domestic violence cases in New Jersey that year. Exposure to domestic violence impacts children in catastrophic ways, affecting them physically, psychologically, socially, behaviorally and cognitively. Sadly, children who witness domestic violence in their home are likely to grow up to continue the cycle of violence.

Domestic violence is an epidemic, one whose devastating consequences can last a lifetime, and whose victims often suffer in silence. That is why simple efforts such as marking the month of October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and participating in awareness events are so important. By increasing public knowledge, by simply talking about it and getting others to talk about it via days like “Purple Thursday”, we move the discussion to the forefront. By shining a spotlight on domestic violence in our state and in our country, we help to eliminate an abuser’s biggest advantage – the cloak of secrecy.

I hope that on October 23rd you will participate in “Purple Thursday”, and choose a purple shirt, dress, jacket, tie or accessory to wear. I hope that some of you will even share your “purple” photos on my facebook page so we can all share in seeing the support for this cause. Be creative! Anything that you do to support “Purple Thursday” will be an integral part in spreading awareness, publicizing resources and services that are available to those being victimized, and especially, helping to eradicate the secrecy that shelters domestic violence offenders and helps them to continue the cycle of abuse.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why Would the GOP Ever Abandon Reagan?

I always have to chuckle when my liberal friends tell me that Republicans generally (and conservatives specifically) need to "get over" Ronald Reagan.
Think about how preposterous this notion is.
To begin with, what right do liberals have meddling in the affairs of the opposite party and poking their noses into a movement that is pretty much at odds with everything they embrace? Doesn't make any sense, does it?
But beyond that, we must respond by asking liberals: "Are you prepared to abandon Jackson or FDR or JFK?"
Of course, the answer is a resounding "No!" as each of these men are true icons.
They are touchstones not only for the Democrat Party but for liberals (aka "progressives") as well.
And every movement needs its icons, its heroes -- the people who call members of the tribe to their most ambitious goals and their highest ideals; the ones who remind them what they're all about.
Okay, so the Republican Party obviously has its founder, Abraham Lincoln. He's not only a GOP hero but a full-fledged American icon and a towering historical figure as well. In fact, he's probably the single most compelling figure in all of American history.
But after that it can get a bit iffy for the GOP.
Teddy Roosevelt was a great leader but he turned out to be basically a progressive. Still, we embrace him as an extraordinary vigorous, accomplished and inspiring figure. Coolidge was a great president (hugely admired by Reagan) but he was not compelling, not charismatic. Eisenhower was a full-fledged military hero without whom we would not have won World War II and, as president his legacy has gained so much luster that historians continue to rank him in the top tier of presidents. So, Ike is undeniably Very Significant.
But Reagan was actually transformational - and in the best way possible.
He reawakened and redefined the Republican Party, charting a whole new path not just for the party but for  the nation as well.
He gave us hope and pride and an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity.
He delivered on his promises - unleashing free enterprise, dismantling burdensome government regulations, reducing the size and scope of government, cutting taxes, putting Americans back to work, energizing our economy, restoring our military strength, reminding us of our deepest, most enduring values and ultimately ushering in the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war.
Under Reagan, after years of humiliation we won the war against communism, we won the war against despair, we won the war against inflation and we won the war against economic hard times. And Reagan did this as all great leaders do by calling upon what Lincoln termed "the better angels of our nature."
Reagan unleashed our power to bring our nation to the best days that we always knew were just ahead of us.
It actually happened.
Under Reagan, we really did stand tall again.
And the Reagan era was so enduring that it continues to inspire us.
Hmmm . . . maybe that's why liberals want us to forget about him.

Christie's Heart Is With Camden And Its People

Here are some natural scenes just as they happened of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a recent Camden High School football game.
Great to see Governor Christie back in my hometown again -- and deeply emotional for me since my dad was for decades the custodian of the Camden High School athletic field (Farnahm Park) where this football game was played.
This place has so many fond memories for me from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
The Governor has real heart and he is a man of his word. He is committed to the renewal and the revitalization of the city and the well-being of its residents and he has demonstrated that time and again in word and deed.
In my lifetime, no governor of New Jersey has visited Camden more or done more for the city and its people.
Thank you, Governor Christie!

Photos: A Day At The Reagan Ranch

Our day at the Reagan Ranch is something we will never forget.
And we'll remember as well the good friends we made on this trip - those who came up to the ranch with us along a 40-minute, crisscrossing journey from Santa Barbara to the top of the San Ynez Mountains.
If you cringe at the thought of narrow winding roads with little margin for error or you dread heights, this is not the trip for you. But if neither of those factors are a problem, the payoff is beyond belief.
Rancho del Cielo, or "Sky's Ranch" or "Heaven's Ranch," is a 688-acre (1.075 sq mi) ranch located atop the mountain range just northwest of Santa Barbara. It served as a retreat and Western White House for President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.
The ranch was originally named Rancho de los Picos after José Jesús Pico—a descendant of Santiago de la Cruz Pico who arrived with the Anza expedition in 1776—who homesteaded it and built the original adobe house in 1871. The Pico family owned the ranch until 1941, when Joe, one of Jose Pico's sons, sold it to Frank Flournoy, a Santa Barbara County surveyor, for $6,000 (equal to $96,204 today). In turn, he sold the ranch to Roy and Rosalie Cornelius, who then purchased additional land for the property which came to be known as the Tip Top Ranch.
The Reagans bought the ranch from the Corneliuses for about $527,000 in 1974 (equal to approximately $2,520,000 today) when his second term as Governor of California was nearing an end. The ranch contains a pond called Lake Lucky, stables, a barn for horses, and a 1,500 ft² (139 m²) house decorated with 1970s-style western and Spanish influenced furnishings. The ranch is located on the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains adjacent to Refugio Pass. It can be reached from the ocean side of the mountains by the one-lane, paved Refugio Road from U.S. Route 101, and from the other side of the mountains by an unpaved, one-lane road from Solvang, California. At times, the dirt road is not passable during the rainy season.
Reagan spent breaks from his presidency at the ranch, which became known as the Western White House. He signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 at the ranch and at various times hosted British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. After leaving the presidency in 1989, the Reagans moved to a home in Bel-Air, California but kept the ranch as a getaway.
Because of his Alzheimer's disease, Reagan last visited the ranch in 1995. Mrs. Reagan last visited in 1998, before selling the property to the Young America's Foundation, a conservative group which preserves it today as a living monument to Reagan's ideas, values, and lasting accomplishments. Although the ranch is officially closed to the public, Young America's Foundation offers students and supporters the opportunity to visit the property Reagan called "heaven."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Than Ever - Why Reagan Still Matters

Our visit to the Reagan Ranch today, high above the San Ynez Mountains overlooking the ocean on one side and the valley on the other restored us and refreshed us.
Reagan's is the quintessential American story: Born in a small midwest town, he faced hardships early in life, stuggled, held true to his values and became a spectacular success.
Inspired by his father's strumbles and his mother's deep and abiding faith, he persevered and like many Americans of his time made his way across the nation to the full, open skies, majestic mountains, deep caverns and roaring surf of California. There, he found a great sprint of freedom -- the west's legacy of restlessness, discovery and oversized achievement.
As a rising star in Hollywood, later as a union chief and then as an emerging political leader, he learned as he wen alongt. In the process he mastered all modern media: radio, movies and television. These skill would prove to be key as he developed the talent and experience that would bring the presidency  into a new age of communication.
But as much as Ronald Reagan was messenger, he was also a careful and cognizant listener, an avid reader and a lifelong learner. He retained not only a youthful enthusiasm and optimism but a youthful curiosity as well.
And he not only believed in hard work but he lived his belief.
Clear goals, organization, daily discipline and applied elbow-grease were the hallmarks of Reagan's life and all of this is evident at his beloved retreat, Rancho del Cielo, the Ranch in the Heavens.
The books, paintings, tools and artifacts at the ranch all express the essence of the man and his simple, modest, everyday devotion to the small-town American values he treasured.
And he epitomized the fresh sentimentality and adventuresome romance of America as well. He was that rare combination -- a dreamer and a doer.
There was never any doubt about Ronald Reagan's feelings toward America and the American people. He loved America and he believed in its people -- all of us, all the time, in all situations.
And his success was really our success. Indeed, he'd be the first one to tell you that you did build that.   He truly felt that the daily accomplishments of what he called "everyday American heroes" made our nation great and led to his success as a leader and he wasn't at all shy about letting Americans know this.
So, to remember Reagan and revere him is not some mere exercise in nostalgia. Nor is it looking backward.
No, it's reaffirming our own belief in ourselves once again - it's recommitting ourselves to the values and attributes that helped us regain American exceptionalism at a time when others felt that such a quest was folly.
And isn't that an awful lot like the time we're facing right now?
That's why Reagan matters today more than ever. That's why his words, his actions and his life lessons are more important than ever before.
Certainly, if he were here today Reagan would give us a thumb's up and urge us onward.
He'd point just over the ridge to that shining city on a hill.
It's still there.
It's still waiting.
And, as Americans it's ours to reclaim with faith, hard work and courage.

Philly Bar Leader Questions McCaffrey's Actions

William P. Fedullo, Chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association has issued the following statement regarding emails involving sexually explicit material sent by or to Justice Seamus P. McCaffery:

"Conduct of this nature, at a minimum, causes the appearance of impropriety and potentially questions Justice McCaffery's impartiality having to do with any number of cases," Fedullo said.

"According to Canon 3, Rule 3.1 of the Pennsylvania Code of Judicial Conduct, 'Judges shall regulate their extrajudicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with their judicial duties and to comply with all provisions of the Canon. However, a judge shall not participate in activities that would reasonably appear to undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality,'" the Chancellor said.

"We urge that a special master or special counsel be appointed as soon as possible to assist the Court and undertake a full and fair investigation of this matter. In addition, the issue should be referred to the Judicial Conduct Board for immediate review. Certainly, Justice McCaffery is entitled to due process. But the Court, in the meantime, should consider whether the interests of justice require it to take action immediately to prevent any further erosion of public confidence in the judiciary so that this matter can be put behind us and the Court can move on with its work of dispensing justice," Fedullo added.

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Heading Up The Mountain To Rancho del Cielo

We've made it a point to visit many of the homes of our presidents over the years.
At these homes, one gains insight into the lives of the men who have served in the most powerful office in the world -- their backgrounds, their origins, their life experiences and their values.
Jefferson's Monticello, Washington's Mt. Vernon, Madison's Montpelier, Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, the dairy farm in Vermont where Coolidge grew up,  TR's Sagimore Hill, FDR's Hyde Park, JFK's childhood home in Brookline, Massachusetts, the LBJ Ranch on the Pedernales River and Lincoln's modest home in Springfield, Illinois. We've visited them all. And we've enjoyed each and every one.
Today we'll visit one more presidential property.
But this will be different, and very, very special.
Indeed, we expect it to stand apart.
In a very short time we'll journey from here at the Four Seasons Biltmore in beautiful Santa Barbara up to the mountaintop. When our 40-minute ride is completed we'll have a spectacular view from the St. Ynez Mountains -- the ocean on one side, the valley on the other.
But, more importantly we'll be at Rancho del Cielo - the Ranch in the Heavens.
We'll be at Ronald and Nancy Reagan's beloved retreat.
As guests of the wonderful Young America's Foundation we'll get a private tour of the home and the property -- a 600+ acre gem that served as both a hideaway and a working ranch. It's the essence of the man and the state he came to lead and love. And the whole thing speaks volumes about Ronald Reagan and his life and values.
The Young America's Foundation has taken tender loving care of the ranch and uses the property to teach new generations of Americans about Ronald Reagan's life, his story and his incredible presidency -- a time of unrivaled leadership and unprecedented peace and prosperity; a time of American exceptionalism.
We'll be telling you more as we head up the mountain.
Stay with us!

Pennsauken Township Hosts First-Ever Job Fair

Pennsauken Township and the Business, Industry andGovernment Council is hosting the first-ever Pennsauken Job Fair on Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Living Faith Christian Center, located at 2323 Rt. 73, Pennsauken.

Held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., job seekers can meet with a variety of different companies, located right here in Pennsauken, that are actively looking for new hires.

Approximately 20 businesses are expected to participate in the job fair, including Aluminum Shapes, Dicalite, Restaurant Depot, Princeton Tech, CFI/Boomerang. Robinson Waste Disposal, and Physician and Tactical Healthcare Services, LLC (PATHS).In addition, several organizations will be on hand to help with crafting resumes, job counseling, employment services, and more.

For job seekers unable to attend the event or for those looking to get a leg up on the competition, Pennsauken Township has a page on their web site that allows residents to upload their resume prior to the job fair. By visiting http://www.twp.pennsauken.nj.us/content/pennsauken-job-fair, individuals can fill out a simple form and upload their resume. Each company attending the event will receive these resumes after the job fair, and Pennsauken’s Department of Economic Development will use the files to create a digital job bank for future employment opportunities in town.