Friday, October 24, 2014

Phila. Art Museum Debuts Paul Strand Retrospective

Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography
October 21, 2014 - January 4, 2015
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is presenting the first major retrospective in nearly fifty years to be devoted to Paul Strand (American, 1890–1976), one of the greatest photographers in the history of the medium. It explores the remarkable evolution of Strand’s work spanning six decades, from the breakthrough moment when he brought his art to the brink of abstraction to his broader vision of the place of photography in the modern world. 
This exhibition examines every aspect of Strand’s work, from his early efforts to establish photography as a major independent art form and his embrace of filmmaking as a powerful medium capable of broad public impact to his masterful extended portraits of people and places that would often take compelling shape in the form of printed books. Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photographycelebrates the recent acquisition of more than 3,000 prints from the Paul Strand Archive, which has made the Philadelphia Museum of Art the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of Strand’s work.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director, stated: “Strand’s achievement was remarkable. The distinctive place he holds in the history of modern photography rests on his extraordinary artistic talent as well as his belief in the transformative power of the medium in which he chose to work. From his early experiments with street photography in New York to his sensitive portrayal of daily life in New England, Italy, and Ghana, Strand came to believe that the most enduring function of photography and his work as an artist was to reveal the essential nature of the human experience in a changing world. He was also a master craftsman, a rare and exacting maker of pictures. We are delighted to be able to present in this exhibition a selection of works drawn almost exclusively from the Museum’s collection, and to share these with audiences in the United States and abroad. Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography will introduce a new generation of visitors to a great modern artist.”
Paul Strand’s career spanned a period of revolutionary change both in the arts and in the wider world. Always motivated by a strong sense of social purpose, he came to believe that depicting the human struggle, both economic and political, was central to his responsibility as an artist. The exhibition begins with his rapid mastery of the prevailing Pictorialist style of the 1910s, reflected in serene landscapes such as The River Neckar, Germany (1911). On view also are his innovative photographs of 1915–17 in which he explored new subject matter in the urban landscape of New York and innovative aesthetic ideas in works such as Abstraction, Porch Shadows, Twin Lakes, Connecticut (1916). 
These new directions in Strand’s photography demonstrated his growing interest both in contemporary painting—especially Cubism and the work of the American artists championed by Alfred Stieglitz—and in discovering for photography a unique means of expressing modernity. Strand’s work of this period includes candid, disarming portraits of people observed on the street—the first of their type—such as Blind Woman, New York (1916), and Wall Street, New York (1915), an arrangement of tiny figures passing before the enormous darkened windows of the Morgan Trust Company Building, which illustrates Strand’s fascination with the pace of life and changing scale of the modern city.
During the 1920s—a period often called “the Machine Age”—Strand became transfixed by the camera’s capacity to record mesmerizing mechanical detail. At this time his ideas about the nature of portraiture began to expand significantly. These new and varied concerns can be seen in the sensuous beauty of close-up images of his wife, Rebecca Salsbury Strand, to cool, probing studies of his new motion picture camera, such as Akeley Camera with Butterfly Nut, New York (1922–23). His ideas about portraiture also extended to his growing preoccupation with photographic series devoted to places beyond New York, such as the southwest and Maine, where he would make seemingly ordinary subjects appear strikingly new. 
The exhibition looks at Strand’s widening engagement with his fellow artists of the Stieglitz circle, placing his works alongside a group of paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and John Marin, as well as photographs by Stieglitz, who played an important role in launching Strand’s career. These juxtapositions reveal the rich interaction between Strand and his friends and peers during this time.
Over the next several decades Strand traveled widely, seeking always to establish a broader role for photography. The exhibition conveys his growing interest in the medium’s unique ability to record the passage of time and the specific qualities of place, as seen in Elizabethtown, New Mexico (1930), one of many photographs he made of abandoned buildings. It shows Strand returning to a core motif—the portraiture of anonymous subjects—during the time when he lived in Mexico, from 1932 to 1934. 
This period abroad had a profound influence on him, deepening his engagement with the politics of the left. Many of the works he created at this time, whether depicting individuals, groups of people, or even religious icons, show in their exceptional compositions a deep empathy. This can also be seen in his series devoted to Canada’s Gaspé Peninsula from the same decade.
By the 1940s, books would become Strand’s preferred form of presentation for his work, reflecting a synthesis of his aims both as a photographer and filmmaker, and offering him the opportunity to create multifaceted portraits of modern life. In his photographs of New England, Strand drew upon cultural history, conveying a sense of past and present in order to suggest an ongoing struggle for democracy and individual freedom. Images of public buildings, such as Town Hall, New Hampshire (1946), and portraits of people he met, including Mr. Bennett, East Jamaica, Vermont (1943), were reproduced in Time in New England. This book was published in 1950, the year Strand moved to France in response to a growing anti-Communist sentiment in the U.S., and reflected his political consciousness. Strand described New England as “a battleground where intolerance and tolerance faced each other over religious minorities, over trials for witchcraft, over the abolitionists . . . . It was this concept of New England that led me to try to find . . . images of nature and architecture and faces of people that were either part of or related in feeling to its great tradition.”
The exhibition also highlights his project in Luzzara, Italy (1953), where he focused his attention on the everyday realities of a northern village recovering from the miseries of war and fascism. This series is centered on images of townspeople, as seen in The Family, Luzzara (The Lusettis) (1953), and fulfills his long-held ambition to create a major work of art about a single community. Strand’s photographs of Luzzara were published in Un Paese: Portrait of an Italian Village (1955).
In 1963, Strand was invited to Ghana at the invitation of Kwame Nkrumah, its first president following the end of British rule. Fascinated by Ghana’s democracy during these years, Strand was excited to photograph a place undergoing rapid political change and modernization. He saw modernity in the efforts of a newly independent nation to chart its future unfolding simultaneously alongside traditional aspects of Ghanaian culture. 
Portraiture was central to the project, as seen in Anna Attinga Frafra, Accra, Ghana (1964), in which a young schoolgirl balances books on her head. The project led to the publication of Ghana: An African Portrait (1976).
In Strand’s later years, he would increasingly turn his attention close to his home in Orgeval, outside Paris, often addressing the countless discoveries he could make within his own garden. There he produced a remarkable series of still lifes. These were at times reflective of earlier work, but also forward-looking in their exceptional compositions that depict the beauty of myriad textures, free-flowing movement, and evoke a quiet lyricism.
In addition to Strand’s still photography, the exhibition features three of his most significant films. Manhatta (1921), his first film and an important collaboration with painter and photographer Charles Sheeler, will be shown in full. This brief non-narrative “scenic” is considered the first American avant-garde film. It portrays the vibrant energy of New York City, juxtaposing the human drama on the street with abstracted bird’s-eye perspectives taken from high buildings and scenes of the ferry and harbor, all punctuated by poetry from Walt Whitman. Two of the films are seen in excerpts. Redes (1936), Strand’s second film, reflects the artist’s growing social awareness during his time in Mexico. 
Released as The Wave in the U.S., the film is a fictional account of a fishing village struggling to overcome the exploitation of a corrupt boss. Native Land(1942) is Strand’s most ambitious film. Co-directed with Leo Hurwitz and narrated by Paul Robeson, it was created after his return to New York when Strand became a founder of Frontier Films and oversaw the production of leftist documentaries. Ahead of its time in its blending of fictional scenes and documentary footage, Native Land focuses on union-busting in the 1930s from Pennsylvania to the Deep South. When its release coincided with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it was criticized as out-of-step with the nation, leading Strand to return exclusively to still photography.
Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography is curated by Peter Barberie, the Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with the assistance of Amanda N. Bock, Project Assistant Curator of Photographs. Barberie said, “Whether he was printing in platinum, palladium, gelatin-silver, making films, or preparing books, Strand was ultimately more than a photographer. He was a great modern artist whose eloquent voice addressed the widest possible audience, and this voice continues to resonate today.”

GOP Will Take A Beating Nov. 4, No Matter What

No matter how the November 4 mid-term elections turn out the GOP will take it on the chin.
They'll take a beating.
You bet they will.
No, not necessarily at the polls. That's not what we're talking about.
The Republicans will take a beating from the biased, dominant media -- the three big networks, the New York Times, New Yorker, MessNBC, Washington Post, LA Times, PBS, NPR, etc. etc. - that whole crowd.
Here's what the imitative, dominant, unithink media will say:

1) If the GOP wins big, the dominant media will say "OK, Republicans -- now the ball's in your court. You only won because you weren't Democrats. You have no real ideas. This isn't a real victory for you. It's just a victory by default. Now, you've got to deliver. And remember - this victory will have no effect on the presidential outcome two years from now. You didn't lay a finger on Hillary. With Obama weakened, she's now the real leader of her party and the heir to the majority. Good luck, GOP. Your biggest triumph is behind you. You're cooked."
Or, they might say: "This election wasn't really about Obama. It was never nationalized. So, you won quite a few states that you were expected to win, anyway. No big deal. They were localized and state elections. There's no national mandate here. It means nothing. Nada. Nothing."

2) If the GOP squeezes out a bare majority in the Senate the Dominant Media will play it this way: "You had the chance of a lifetime and this is the best you could do? In the closest states, the Dems whipped your asses again. You're barely holding on by a thread, GOP. You have no real working majority. The Dems only need to peal off a vote or two in the Senate and you're finished. Obama did remarkably well. The future still looks progressive"

3) If the GOP loses, the Dominant media will gleefully parteee! They won't even try to hide their euphoria. They'll say: "Nobody should have been afraid of being associated with Obama. He was an asset, after all. Against all odds, he triumphed again. The GOP can't lay a finger on him. His political instincts are stellar and he's molded a new, permanent majority for out nation. We told you so. The Republican Party is dead, dead, dead and might never, ever re-emerge."

So, there you have it.
Trust us -- this is the way the media will play it.

For Republicans, our advice is this: Keep working, working, working right up through November 4 and don't worry about what anybody says about you. Push on to victory. The rest will take care of itself!

How Obama Miscalculated - Very Badly!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wolf Refuses To Say If He Voted For Obama

Christie: Sandy Housing Recovery Takes Longest

Is NJ About To Ban Microbeads?

The New Jersey State Senate today voted 38-0 to adopt legislation sponsored by State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman prohibiting personal care products that contain tiny particles known as microbeads from being sold or produced in New Jersey.

Microbeads are small plastic particles that are added to products like face washes and cosmetic products as an exfoliate.

“Microbeads pose a significant environmental concern as they can’t be trapped by most water filtration systems and as a result end up in rivers and lakes,” said Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer. “The best way to keep these synthetic pieces of plastic from ending up in the drinking supplies that millions of New Jerseyans depend on is to keep the products they are used in off the shelves. This legislation puts New Jersey at the forefront of a national effort to address this important problem.”

Under Senator Bateman’s legislation, S2178, the prohibition against the production of microbeads in New Jersey and the sale of items containing microbeads would be phased in over a period of years:
  • By January 1, 2018 no person could produce or manufacture a personal care product containing synthetic plastic microbeads.
  • By January 1, 2019 no person could sell or offer for sale or promotion a personal care product containing synthetic plastic microbeads.
  • By January 1, 2019 no person could produce or manufacture an over the counter drug that contains synthetic plastic microbeads.
  • January 1, 2020 no person could sell or offer for sale or promotion an over the counter drug containing synthetic plastic microbeads.
S2178 passed the Assembly unanimously on Sept. 29, 2014 and will now go to the governor for approval.

Christie Announces $! Billion+ In Recovery Funds

Advancing the Administration’s commitment to rebuilding and putting families back in their homes, Governor Chris Christie today announced that more than $1 billion in housing recovery funds have been committed for programs such as the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program, the state’s largest housing recovery program. In fact 4,400 Sandy-impacted homeowners in RREM have now signed grant award agreements with nearly 3,600 currently in the construction process.

“I want to thank Kathleen and Chris for sharing first-hand how the RREM Program has worked to help rebuild their lives,” said Governor Christie. “What I heard from them, as I have heard from many others impacted by Sandy, is just how much we can accomplish when we work together. While the Lynam’s have returned home, my Administration fully understands that others have not, which is why we continue to work extremely hard to get assistance out to families so they can get back where they belong –in their homes.”

To date, more than 4,400 Sandy-impacted homeowners in the RREM Program have now signed a grant award agreement, with the State obligating more than $520 million to help them in their rebuilding efforts. Of those homeowners who have signed a grant award, nearly 3,600 are in the construction process, from pulling permits and repairing damage to elevating structures and obtaining temporary and final certificates of occupancy.

In Toms River, more 150 homes are under construction through the RREM Program. In fact, in the immediate vicinity of the Lynams’ home, there are at least 15 other homes undergoing reconstruction, rehabilitation, and elevation through the Program.

The RREM Program is funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery monies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has provided the State with two of three allocations for Sandy recovery, for a total of $3.2 billion. Of that amount, $1.1 billion has been allocated to the RREM Program.

Kathleen Lynam, a retired chief nursing executive who now works as a consultant in the health care field, said that she and her husband, a retired post office manager, have seen “kindnesses, generosity and actual building of relationships and friendships in our community as an unanticipated result” of the challenge of Superstorm Sandy.

“Not only is our house stronger, we are stronger and more supportive to each other than ever before,” Kathleen Lynam said. “We are so grateful for the blessing that this grant afforded us.”

In recent months, the State has refined the RREM Program in substantial ways. For example, it has streamlined the process so that program participants can now mail in vital documents and work remotely with their Housing Advisor rather than go to a Housing Recovery Center. Also, when a RREM homeowner submits their selected contractor and the contractor is confirmed as registered and licensed in the State of New Jersey, the State allows half of the RREM grant award to be immediately disbursed so the homeowner can quickly pay for necessary expenses. Additionally, the State has reduced the number of site inspections to accelerate repair work and continues to simplify the Program’s contractor selection process so that homeowners now have the flexibility to select the contractor they want to use for their rebuilding.

“Aside from programmatic improvements, we’ve recently held information sessions on the RREM Program in Toms River and other heavily impacted communities to answer questions RREM participants have about everything from selecting a contractor and elevating their home to checking their application’s status and determining new action items,” said Deputy Commissioner Melissa Orsen of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “These improvements and expanded outreach are speeding up recovery and they will remain in place once HUD approves the third allocation of Sandy recovery funds to New Jersey.”

The Administration previously announced that all remaining eligible Sandy-impacted homeowners on the RREM Program waitlist will be funded through the third allocation of CDBG Disaster Recovery funds. HUD is expected to provide the funds next spring.

More than half of all participants funded through the RREM Program so far are low-to-moderate-income households.

Christie today also highlighted progress in the Administration’s other housing recovery programs funded with CDBG Disaster Recovery monies.:
· 22 affordable housing projects financed through the Fund for the Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) Program are under construction in the nine counties that HUD designated as most impacted by Sandy. They will provide 1,454 units of affordable housing for low-to-moderate income working families and households on fixed incomes.
· 9 projects financed through the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund are under construction in the nine most impacted counties and will provide 77 affordable rental units for special needs individuals.
· 240 homes have been purchased by low-to-moderate income families through the Sandy Homebuyer Assistance Program in the nine counties that HUD designated as most impacted by Sandy.
· More than 460 affordable rental housing units have been financed through the Landlord Incentive Program, which provides rental property owners with fair market rents so that they can make their housing units affordable to low- and moderate-income families.
· 13 Neighborhood Enhancement Program projects are under construction in the nine most impacted counties; of these, five will complete construction by December 1 and begin leasing affordable housing units.
· More than 450 Sandy-damaged housing units that will be rented to low-to-moderate income families and individuals have received funding and are being repaired through the Landlord Rental Repair Program.
· More than 18,500 storm-affected homeowners in the nine most impacted counties have each received a $10,000 check through the Homeowner Resettlement Program after agreeing to remain in their home county for three years.

Guadagno Addresses NJ Hispanic Business Group

Continuing her efforts to promote and celebrate economic development in New Jersey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno today joined the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCC-NJ) for its 24th Annual Convention & Awards Luncheon in Paterson.

“We are always working to find new ways to develop a strong and diverse business community in New Jersey, and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber has been a dedicated partner in these efforts,” said Lieutenant Governor Guadagno. “The Chamber’s leadership in supporting entrepreneurship and small business in the Garden State is most impressive. I look forward to our continued work together on behalf of New Jersey’s businesses.”

The SHCC-NJ had its beginnings in 1989 when business leaders met with Governor Tom Kean and were encouraged to start a Chamber to foster, mentor and train Hispanic-owned business in New Jersey. Over the years, NJ BIZ has ranked the SHCC-NJ among the largest in the state. The SHCC-NJ has also seen growth of its non-Hispanic membership, reaching 45 percent.

“We are excited to celebrate our 24th annual convention and expo this year in Paterson,” said Carlos Medina, Chairman of the SHCC-NJ. “As the voice of the 70,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in New Jersey that contribute more than $10 billion annually to the State's economy, we feel it is important to nurture our small businesses and also recognize those role models that have paved the way. As an organization that values our State's rich diversity we are especially proud to have the Lieutenant Governor, who is a shining example of the value of diversity.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call the BAC at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State's Business Portal at Spanish-speaking staff is available.

For more information on the SHCC-NJ, please visit its website at

War On Women? Here's The REAL Story . . .

Dem Lt. Gov Candidate Wary Of Wolf Tax Hike?

Stack may need TWO government jobs to supplement salary!

(Photo credit: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today released the following statement noting that Tom Wolf’s running mate State Senator Mike Stack has joined the growing number of Pennsylvanians who are concerned and wary of multimillionaire Tom Wolf’s pledge to nearly triple Pennsylvania’s income tax rate --- an increase of 188%.

“You can tell middle class Pennsylvanians are extremely worried about multimillionaire Tom Wolf’s income tax hike when even his running mate Senator Mike Stack is keeping his options open for a second job,” said Communications Director Chris Pack. “While Mike Stack is likely far from middle class, given Tom Wolf’s pledge to increase spending by $6.5 billion with no way to pay for it besides tripling the income tax rate, we can’t really blame him for being concerned and looking for a second job. Rest assured though Mike – when Tom Corbett and Jim Cawley are re-elected on November 4th, they are going to continue to keep their promise to make Harrisburg fiscally responsible and keep taxes low for all Pennsylvanians.”

When confronted by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday, State Senator Mike Stack said he was still weighing whether or not he would keep his position and salary as a state senator even if by some stretch of the imagination he were elected lieutenant governor in November. Stack’s questionable justification was to place himself in comparison to the only two instances in which an individual served in the capacity of state senator and lieutenant governor simultaneously, which included a state senator who took over as lieutenant governor under Mark Schweiker, when 

Governor Tom Ridge was called on to serve his country following the 9/11 terror attacks as a special advisor and Secretary of Homeland Security, and another state senator who took over the position following the sad passing of someone already holding the office. Both assumed office via succession, not election.

While Mike Stack’s concern may be warranted considering the 188% income tax hike his running mate is proposing, even Congressman Bob Brady and former Governor Ed Rendell called into question whether or not the constitution would allow Mike Stack to hold both jobs, with Rendell stating, "I find it inconceivable that the law would allow that to happen.” 

The Corbett-Cawley campaign agrees, but more importantly finds it inconceivable that voters will elect Governor Rendell to a third term by electing his protégé Tom Wolf who is pledging to triple Pennsylvanians income taxes.

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania that doesn’t include a 188% income tax hike for middle class Pennsylvanians,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Villanova Hoops Tickets Available Now!

The Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team, ranked No.12 by the USA Today Coaches Poll, will call south Philadelphia home when they tip-off against Delaware, Syracuse, Marquette, Georgetown, and St John’s at Wells Fargo Center during the 2014-15 college basketball season.

Five Game ticket packages starting at $100 are on sale now exclusively through ComcastTIX online at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or in person at the Wells Fargo Center Box Office. Packages include five games at a discounted price, plus an exhibition game to take place at the Wells Fargo Center against Nyack College on Sunday, November 9 at 12 p.m.

The Wildcats, who secured their first outright BIG EAST regular season crown since 1981-82 during their 2013-14 season, also established a new regular season record with 28 wins and their ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 10 seasons. Led by veteran Head Coach Jay Wright, the Wildcats are looking to continue their success in the BIG EAST Conference by returning four of its five starters, including Darrun Hilliard, JayVaughn Pinkston, Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu.

Villanova Men’s Basketball Schedule at the Wells Fargo Center:

Sunday, November 9 vs. Nyack at 12 p.m.

Sunday, November 30 vs. Delaware at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 20 vs. Syracuse at 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 4 vs. Marquette at 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 7 vs. Georgetown at 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 7 vs. St John’s at 12 p.m.

Comcast-Spectacor (, which operates in 48 of the 50 United States, is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the home arena for both the Flyers and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the Wells Fargo Center, and four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 120 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; FanOne, a digital fan marketing company; and Paciolan, the leading provider of venue enablement, ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions.

Brown Closing Strong, YOU Can help!

Here is a very special message from Scott Brown:

During last night's debate Jeanne Shaheen erased all doubt about her tie-breaking vote for Obamacare. When she was asked if she was proud of that fateful vote, she responded:


If you are absolutely sure you want to defeat Jeanne Shaheen and elect a GOP majority, contribute $10, $35, $50, $100, or even $250 right now.

Jeanne Shaheen went on to say her enthusiastic support for Obamacare is "a fundamental difference" between us ... and for once, she's right! In the Senate, I fought to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.It is bad for New Hampshire and bad for America.

While Americans suffer from higher premiums, fewer options, and canceled plans, Jeanne Shaheen is "absolutely" proud of her vote! Visit here to hold her accountable for that vote -- and the other loyal votes she cast for President Obama's liberal agenda.

Jeanne Shaheen votes with president Obama 99% of the time and yet when she was asked a very direct "yes or no" question ...

Do you approve of the job President Obama is doing?
... she ducked and refused to give a straight answer. Given her 99% voting record, the only honest answer would have been: "Absolutely."

Jeanne Shaheen the politician was on full display at last night's debate -- and the audience knew it. Your contribution of $10 or $100 or even $1,000 will help make sure voters know it.

The race is neck-and-neck and these final days will decide it all ... help me bring this thing home!

Scott Brown

Christie Video: 'Wanna Sue Me? Go Ahead!'

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, today activating New Jersey's Ebola Preparedness Plan.

Unique Online Auction Celebrates B'way, Encores

Christie Activates Ebola Preparedness Plan

Acting to ensure a unified, effective response to the Ebola virus, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today activated an Ebola preparedness plan to direct all activities of key state departments, hospitals and the medical community and homeland security apparatus to protect the public and create a strong line of defense against Ebola in New Jersey.

“My first and primary mission as Governor always is to protect the public health and safety of every resident of our state. Ebola also presents the challenge of defeating overreaction and fear in the public, and we can do that by creating a coordinated response and using a team of individuals already highly tested and experienced in dealing with public emergencies in our state. This should reassure the public that we are doing all in our power to protect against the arrival or spread of Ebola in New Jersey.”

Governor Christie signed Executive Order No. 164 today, creating the Ebola Virus Disease and Response Team, as he announced that an air traveler arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport via Brussels from West Africa last evening had been found to be asymptomatic today after execution of all appropriate protocols, from airport arrival to quarantine and care at University Hospital in Newark. The EVD-JRT will direct all matters of New Jersey’s public health response. It will be comprised of six members: the Commissioners of the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

The Governor’s Executive Order:
· Designates the EVD-JRT as the lead entity for coordinating all of New Jersey’s efforts to appropriately prepare for and respond to public health needs stemming from the threat of Ebola, including coordination with the federal government, local health officials, hospitals and other healthcare facilities
· Empowers the EVD-JRT to create an advisory panel to develop and deploy the State’s preparation and response to EVD, including administration officials and medical professionals
The EVD-JRT will work directly with hospitals and other healthcare facilities to manage preparations for the management of patients demonstrating Ebola symptoms or risks. To that end, Governor Christie today designated three New Jersey trauma centers to receive any Ebola-suspected cases: Hackensack University Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and University Hospital in Newark. The state Health Department has also purchased nearly $1 million worth of additional personal protection equipment for health care employees.

The EVD-JRT will also coordinate with federal and state partners, and coordinate among all other Executive Branch agencies, including:
· Department of Children and Families
· Department of Environmental Protection
· Department of Transportation
· New Jersey Transit
· Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Corbett Blasts Wolf On Tax Hike Plan

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett today criticized Tom Wolf’s plan to triple the state income tax on middle class families and businesses. Corbett made his remarks after touring General Carbide, a manufacturing company in Greensburg.

“Tom Wolf doesn’t want to talk about his income tax plan because he knows that the people of Pennsylvania don't want their taxes tripled,” stated Governor Tom Corbett. “Tom Wolf's plan to triple the state's income tax rate shows us just how out of touch he is with everyday Pennsylvania families. Pennsylvania can't afford Tom Wolf and his tax increase agenda.”

According to a study released by the Commonwealth Foundation, which his campaign would not refute when pressed today by Pennsylvania Independent, Wolf’s tripling of the state’s income tax would cause Pennsylvania to “jump 33 other states. As a result, we’d have the 8th highest state income tax rate in the country.”

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania, visit

Halloween Is Now WAY Out Of Control!

Yes, it's REALLY scary!
Pretty soon those pop-up Halloween costume stores will close and we couldn't be happier.
We'll also be glad that we won't have to witness the sight of idiotic grownups dressed for Halloween in ridiculous costumes. Grownups have helped to ruin Halloween.
Did you dress in costume as a child and trick or treat? Fine! That's enough. Okay?
Halloween was never, ever meant to be a schlock fest.
There is so much Halloween 'junk' for sale in the stores and so much Halloween stuff adorning homes that's the trend is truly scary. When Halloween begins to rival Christmas as a holiday you know we've got a problem. And it is rivaling Christmas.

As we wrote not very long ago in the Philadelphia Daily News:

Halloween is now so big that Americans spend almost as much on this faux-holiday as they do on Christmas. And Halloween is now the third largest party occasion, after New Year's and The Super Bowl. More candy is sold on Halloween than on Valentine's Day and people will actually send each other 28 million Halloween cards.
I don’t know about you but I’m not longing to receive a Halloween card from anyone. And it’s been decades since I’ve been out trick or treating.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for children enjoying the day dressed as ghosts, goblins and super-heroes and I’m happy to greet them. . . .For children Halloween is a way of gently dealing with fright and fear while having some old-fashioned fun.
But grownups seem to have forgotten this and they’ve now set about stealing Halloween from the kids. Today, huge numbers of adults celebrate Halloween and at least half of them spend more than $100 each doing so. To me there’s nothing more awkward than a grownup trying to trick, astound, frighten or repulse somebody by wearing a Halloween costume. Most costumed adults look just plain dumb. Let’s face it, many of these people don’t need costumes to begin with and some of them are downright frightening no matter what time of the year it is.
But people will find countless ways to make fools of themselves and so the costume stores now start appearing in early August. When I see some costumed lackey trying to wave me into one of those huge, tacky Halloween stores I run in the opposite direction.
Still, I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one not costumed for Halloween. Even dogs have gotten into the act. Where did this dreadful trend start? Who was it that first thought: “Hey, let’s strip our beagle of whatever bit of doggy dignity it may have had by forcing it to wear a tiara and a tutu.” Dogs in costume look totally bewildered, and rightfully so. Dressing them up and parading them around on Halloween is just this side of cruel.
In fact, the whole Halloween situation is out of proportion. Haunted houses are a good example. Isn’t the world frightening enough without paying to visit a haunted house or participating in some other type of contrived horror? Why would you spend your money this way?
And why would you decorate your house in orange lights? When you think of it, orange is a pretty garish color to begin with. It should be used sparingly, if at all. Its time on the scene should be mercifully limited. But now we’re awash in a virtual sea of orange from mid September onward. Ugh!
To me, natural, seasonal adornments are fine. But now driving through suburbia I’m assaulted by Halloween lawn decorations included animated witches, skeletons and ghouls. And the strangest custom of all involves people who put tombstones on their front lawn. Think about it: Why would you turn your front lawn into a cemetery? Why would you welcome death itself to your door?
I pose this question because when you think about it Halloween is all about death. Its ancient origins are said to lie in Celtic traditions observing the night when the Celts believed the dead returned to earth. With the coming of Christianity, this festival was turned into Halloween – the eve of All Saints and All Souls days. But the observance is still rooted in death.
When an observance that celebrates death begins to rival Christmas as one of our biggest holidays we’ve got a problem. My solution: put a few pumpkins out, sip some cider, enjoy the fall foliage and let the dead rest in peace.

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

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 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.

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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