Wednesday, August 27, 2014

B'way Bound Can-Can To Open Paper Mill Season

Can-Can-ShowPage 150x230Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is proud to open its 2014–2015 season with a Broadway-bound, world-class revival of Can-Can starring Kate Baldwin as Pistache and Jason Danieley as Aristide. 
 This fresh new production features direction by David Lee (Frasier, Cheers) and choreography by Patti Colombo (Paper Mill’s Peter Pan, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). The show features a book by Abe Burrows (Guys and Dolls,How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and a re-crafted script by Joel Fields (Ugly Betty, The Americans) and David Lee. Can-Can’s score features some of Cole Porter’s timeless classics including “I Love Paris,” “C’est Magnifique,” “It’s All Right With Me” and more. Paper Mill Playhouse is launching this Broadway-bound production of Cole Porter’s classic musical with producing partner Jonathan Burrows. 
Can-Can will play the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from October 1 – October 26, 2014. The official press opening night is Sunday, October 5, at 7:00PM. Can-Can is generously supported by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2014–2015 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.
BUY TICKETS
 
Pistache, a Parisian café owner, decides to feature the scandalous dance the Can-Can, but will her defiance of the law end her business and her love life? Can-Can was first presented at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre in 1953 by legendary producers Cy Feuer and Ernest H. Martin. The musical made an overnight sensation of Gwen Verdon. A 1960 film adaptation starred Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra, Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jourdan.

Can-Can will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30PM, Thursday at 1:30PM and 7:30PM, Friday at 8:00PM, Saturday at 1:30PM and 8:00PMand Sunday at 1:30PM and 7:00PM. Tickets are on sale now and range from $28 – $99. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

“We’re delighted to bring Can-Can back to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage after more than 50 years,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for the Millburn theater. “Can-Can hasn’t been revived for the Broadway stage in over 30 years and we’re thrilled to launch the next Broadway revival right here at Paper Mill Playhouse.”

“Joel and I started collaborating on Can-Can at the Pasadena Playhouse over seven years ago,” David Lee explains. “–With full permission of the Burrows and Porter estates the book has been updated without being modernized—Can-Can is still set in 1893—and although 90% rewritten it retains all of Abe Burrows' original characters and intent.”

Can-Can will star Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin as Pistache and Broadway veteran Jason Danieley as Aristide. Ms. Baldwin returns to Paper Mill following her critically acclaimed performances in Hello, Dolly!, Guys and Dolls and Miss Saigon. Most recently Baldwin starred on Broadway in Big Fish as Sandra Bloom. She also appeared on Broadway in Finian’s Rainbow, Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty. Ms. Baldwin received a Tony Award nomination, an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination and a Drama Desk nomination for her performance as Sharon McLonergan in the revival of Finian’s Rainbow. Her television credits include Law & Order: SVU and Stephen Sondheim’s Passion for PBS.   
Jason Danieley recently appeared on three different PBS broadcasts: Live from Lincoln Center with the NY Philharmonic in Carousel (Enoch Snow), Ring Them Bells, a celebration of Kander and Ebb, as well as NJTV’s American Songbook at NJPAC (the last two with his wife, Marin Mazzie). Broadway roles include Next to Normal (also with Mazzie), Curtains (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Full Monty (also on the West End) and Candide (Theatre World Award and Drama Desk nomination). Danieley has been a part of the world premieres of Floyd Collins, Dream True, The Highest Yellow, Beauty and Secondhand Lions. This summer he appears in Kander and Ebb and Terrence McNally's The Visit at Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for Can-Can on Saturday, October 25, and Sunday, October 26, at 1:30PM. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, October 26, at 7PM.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Do Wolf's Spending Plans Come Up Short?

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today highlighted ever changing revenue estimates by millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf on the amount his planned severance tax would rob from Pennsylvania municipalities and counties for bigger government and Harrisburg's coffers. 

After Wolf has been challenged that his numbers just don't add up, Wolf has miraculously found another $50 to $200 million in his plans. This still leaves Wolf's spending proposals in the red though and raises the question of what other taxes would Tom Wolf increase.

“Just as Secretary Tom Wolf's positions on the issues change with the wind, apparently so do his revenue projections," stated Communications Director Chris Pack. "That's no surprise given Tom Wolf's reputation as Revenue Secretary, where projections were so far off they contributed down the road to a $4.2 billion budget deficit and the creation of a non-partisan office to check projections by the governor."

Earlier this week on a radio interview with KDKA in Pittsburgh, Wolf projected $800 million in severance tax revenue, while his campaign later the same day with the Beaver County Times projected $700 million, just months after budget negotiations when Wolf's campaign claimed $650 million or as little as $600 million would be raised. Wolf is either trying to gloss over the multi-million deficit in his spending plans, or projecting his additional tax burdens won't reduce competition for drilling rigs in other states.

In an interview with The Rick Smith Show in April of 2013, Tom Wolf said "I got to be Secretary of Revenue and I realized I was not that knowledgeable about revenue." In proposing the Independent Fiscal Office, legislators cited revenue projections in 2008-2009that came up $3.2 billion short, and $1 billion short in 2009-2010.

"Secretary Tom Wolf will do anything to fool voters into believing he won't have to hike their taxes, but the math just doesn't add up. Tom Wolf may not know much about revenue, but it's pretty clear he'll do anything to take more of it out of Pennsylvanians' wallets."

Earlier this month, the Corbett-Cawley campaign, based on a generous $720 million projection by Senator Jay Costa, projected that Wolf's spending plans already come up nearly half-a-billion short before additional spending items for which Tom Wolf has not set a price tag.

RELATED: Corbett-Cawley Campaign Says Secretary Tom Wolf's Plan Just Doesn't Add Up.

Christie Announces More Post-Sandy Elevation Grants

The Christie Administration today announced the distribution of 236 more federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) awards to assist homeowners with costs incurred in elevating their homes to protect against future flooding and storms.

In the latest round of grant awards, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved applications from the Department of Environmental Protection for properties in 38 municipalities in five counties, bringing the total of approved post-Superstorm Sandy elevation grant awards to 696 across six counties, totaling approximately $21 million.

“These grants will help families in many towns that were devastated by Sandy to elevate their homes and be much more resilient to future storms,’’ said Governor Christie. “We continue pressing hard to get the grants out as quickly as possible to make sure those families who are still recovering from Sandy get the help they need to be better protected in the future.’’

Under the HMGP Elevation Program, eligible recipients receive up to $30,000 for a broad range of work associated with home elevations, including engineering, construction, permits and utility work. The money is reimbursed after the work is completed. Homes must be deemed structurally sound to be eligible.

“These grants offer vital financial assistance to our residents who are elevating their homes to offer more protection against future storms and flooding,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “In addition to moving people and property out of harm’s way, elevating homes can lower flood insurance premiums for homeowners by helping them comply with FEMA flood elevation requirements.”

The DEP has submitted more than 1,200 post-Sandy elevation applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and expects more approvals in the near future. More than half of the homeowners who have applied for elevation grants are in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

The latest round of elevation awards will be made to property owners in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean counties -- which bore the brunt of damage from Superstorm Sandy – and to some homeowners in Cape May and Middlesex counties. A first round of awards was approved in April for 26 homeowners in Brigantine in Atlantic County, and subsequent grants have been awarded to property owners in six counties.

The 236 awards announced today will be made to homeowners in Brigantine, Egg Harbor Township, Margate and Ventnor in Atlantic County; Ocean City in Cape May County; Sayreville in Middlesex County; Brielle, Highlands, Keansburg, Little Silver, Long Branch, Manasquan, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Neptune, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright and Union Beach in Monmouth County.

Also Beach Haven, Berkeley Township, Brick, Harvey Cedars, Lacey Township, Lavallette, Little Egg Harbor Township, Long Beach Township, Mantoloking, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Borough, Seaside Heights, Ship Bottom, Stafford Township, Surf City, Toms River and Tuckertonin Ocean County.

A series of community meetings with the latest grant recipients will be held in the near future to help guide them through the final steps of the grant award process.

New Jersey has committed $100 million in HMGP funds provided by FEMA to elevate approximately 2,700 primary residential structures mostly in the nine counties deemed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as most impacted by Superstorm Sandy – Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.

Other key Sandy recovery programs at the DEP include the Blue Acres Acquisition Program, which is acquiring 1,300 properties in Sandy-impacted areas and other areas that have sustained repetitive flood losses. The DEP also is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advance beach and dune construction projects along the state’s entire coastline that will reduce risk to life, property and infrastructure.

For more on Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey, visit http://www.state.nj.us/gorr/ and http://www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/

Great Author Events At Philly Free Library!

Reminder: Tickets Now On Sale For Fall Author Events 
at the Free Library of Philadelphia!

Tickets for the fall season can now be purchased online or by calling 1-800-595-4849. The events that have already sold out for the auditorium include Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. WardHenry KissingerNorman LearAnjelica Huston, and Alan Cumming. In-house simulcast tickets are still available for these events. Join us for our first event of the season with Fresh Air and Washington Post"Book World" contributor Maureen Corrigan on Wednesday, September 10th! 

Thanks as always for your support. See you at the Library! 
Finally Confirmed! 

Tamora Pierce | Lloyd Alexander 50th Anniversary Lecture
  Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:00PM; FREE
No tickets or reservations required. For info: 215-567-4341
Philadelphia native Lloyd Alexander wrote more than 40 books for children and young adults, including the "exciting, highly imaginative, and sometimes profound" (New York Times) fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain. He was also the author of several other book series, novels, and historical biographies. Among Alexander's many honors were the 1969 Newbery Medal, the 1971 National Book award in the Children's Books category, and the 2003 World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Here to present this beloved writer's groundbreaking work is bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce, followed by a discussion with Alexander's goddaughter Sharyn November, senior editor at Viking Children's Books and Editorial Director at Firebird Books. 

Anne Lamott | Small Victories  
Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 2:00PM;
 buy tickets online>>
As she openly and self-deprecatingly describes loss, faith, addiction,  and a score of other tough topics, Anne Lamott's "real genius lies in capturing the ineffable, describing not perfect moments, but imperfect ones...perfectly" (The New Yorker). She is the author of seven novels and six books of non-fiction, including Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son's first year; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and LifeTraveling Mercies, a collection of autobiographical essays on faith; and Some Assembly Required, the story of her first year of grandparenthood. Lamott's new book is a message of hope, forgiveness, and restoration to embrace during the times that test us most. *Book included with ticket

David Baldacci | The Escape (The John Puller Series) Monday, December 1, 2014 at 7:30PM; FREE
No tickets or reservations required. For info: 215-567-4341
David Baldacci is the author of nearly 30 novels, all of which have been worldwide bestsellers. His debut, Absolute Power, was adapted into a popular film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Baldacci's infectiously popular serialized books include the Camel Club series, the Will Robie series, and the King and Maxwell series, which was adapted into a 2013 television show. He has also written many standalone novels, four children's books, and a short story collection. Baldacci is the founder of the Wish You Well Foundation, an organization devoted to family and adult literacy in the U.S. The Escape is the third installment of a series following military criminal investigator John Puller.
Of Interest

Seniors and Their Animal Companions: Cats

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 11:00AM; FREE  
Parkway Central Library, Room 108. For more info: 215-686-5331
Nathanael Oster will speak in Room 108, adjacent to the Home Page Café. These mysterious and notoriously independent creatures have fascinated people for thousands of years. Several Egyptian gods were depicted with feline features and endowed with personal qualities associated with cats. During the Middle Ages, cats came to personify the evils of witchcraft, and Europeans killed as many as they could. Ironically, this senseless slaughter created an environment in which rats and the Black Plague could thrive. Today, cats are beloved companions and members of our families. Dr. Nathanael Oster, with the Cat Hospital of Philadelphia discusses what we've learned about the psychology and behavior of cats in the last five years.   

Free Library Author Events
Andy Kahan, Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Director, Author Events
Laura Kovacs, Associate Director
Jason Freeman, Program Assistant

phone: 215-567-4341
email: authorevents@freelibrary.org 

Summer Shows Progress On Post-Sandy NJ Recovery

The Christie Administration announced today that significant progress has been made this summer in the award of recovery grants and loans to small businesses in Superstorm Sandy impacted communities around the state through the Stronger NJ Business Programs, which are administered by the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Since Memorial Day weekend, more than 280 businesses have been approved for Stronger NJ Business Grants and Loans totaling over $23.7 million. To date, more than 800 businesses have been approved for grants and loans totaling $88.4 million.

“I am hearing very encouraging news from business owners about the way this summer has gone, particularly in the tourism sector,” said Governor Christie. “Small businesses have worked hard to recover and many are now reaping the rewards of those efforts.”

Recent grant approvals include businesses from impacted communities in both North and South Jersey, including Dillon’s Creek Marina in Island Heights, Writer’s Relief in Wood Ridge, Kitchen and Bath Design Gallery in Union, Barlow Flower Farm in Wall, and Coastal Plumbing and Heating in Cape May. Stronger NJ Business Loans have been approved for businesses including Coin Castle Amusements in Seaside Heights, Shelly’s Food Store in Jersey City, and Lakewood Candies in Lakewood. Stronger NJ funds are still available for businesses that started the application process prior to the December 31st deadline, and EDA is actively working with program applicants.

“We were able to rebuild in the seven months following the storm, and get open for the 2013 season. It was a bit of a struggle last year, as business wasn’t as strong and people just weren’t coming down as much,” said Karen Rosania, Owner, Mr. Tee’s Golf, Beach Haven. “This year we have seen a great improvement. Mr. Tee’s would not have made it without the Stronger NJ Business Grant program.”

Rosania first applied for the program at an EDA-hosted workshop at the NJ Maritime Museum last fall. Many workshops were held in impacted communities throughout the application period to help business owners navigate the requirements of the program.

In addition to grant and loan support, $43.6 million has been approved under the Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program, which provides funding to Sandy-impacted municipalities for long-term economic revitalization priorities in their communities.

The Stronger NJ Business programs are funded through New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Similar to other Superstorm Sandy relief grant programs, there are strict federal eligibility requirements to which the EDA and applicants must comply.

For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).

Click here for a Stronger NJ Business Recap Video.

Bell Launches First Ad Of NJ Senate Campaign

New Jersey Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jeff Bell on Wednesday released the first ad of either candidate in the 2014 general election. Running on WCBS-FM and WOR-AM, the 30-second spot, "Ahead of His Time," alludes to Bell's political past as the premier champion of across-the-board tax cuts and hones in on his tightly focused economic message of 2014: the need to fix monetary policy by tying the dollar once again to gold.
"Cory Booker has no idea how to get the economy moving again," Bell said. "He is in lock-step with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who thinks that people making more money is what causes inflation. I want to go back to the gold standard because it will result in better pay and less risk of inflation. Cory Booker wants to keep us stuck in place."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Has Romney Opened Door A Bit To '16 Run?

Mitt Romney seems to have opened the door -- just a teeny, tiny little bit -- to a 2016 presidential run.
Listen to him chat about it with Hugh Hewitt (below).

Here's part of the transcript of the interview. Note the positions that we've placed in boldface:

HH: Now Governor Romney, because you were the governor of the Commonwealth, you know your revolutionary history. And so I want to throw a little Thomas Paine at you from December 23rd of 1776. They call it the darkest hour of the Revolution. It’s before Trenton and the Delaware crossing, after six months of misery and defeats. And Thomas Paine writes the famous opening lines of the crisis. These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. So here’s the question. If you personally believed, I mean, really, genuinely believed that you were the only candidate who could beat Hillary, and that belief was confirmed by your family and your friends and respected political advisors, would you not then feel obliged to run?

MR: (laughing) Well, Hugh, the reason I came to the conclusion I did, which is this is not the right time for me to run, is because of my belief that someone else stands a better chance of winning than I do. Had that not been the case, had I believed I would actually be best positioned to beat Hillary Clinton, then I would be running. But I actually believe that someone new that is not defined, yet, someone who perhaps is from the next generation, will be able to catch fire, potentially, build a movement, and be able to beat Hillary Clinton. If I thought that weren’t the case, well, I would have been running. But I think we’ve got a number of very good people looking at this race. I’m expecting someone to be able to catch fire and get the job done.

HH: Now I’m pressing, and I’m pressing an advantage of long acquaintance, and so forgive me for this, but that’s subject to change, right? People’s candidacies implode, circumstances change. People who organized campaigns approach you. And so I’m not asking you to, I wouldn’t presume to ask you to say yeah, I’m in the race. But circumstances change. And if you thought that in fact it were not that way, that you thought you were the only one who could do this, you’d change your mind, wouldn’t you?

MR: (laughing) I’m not going there, Hugh. I know you’re going to press, but you know, this is something we gave a lot of thought to when early on I decided we’re not going to be running this time. And again, we said look, I had the chance of running. I didn’t win. Someone else has a better chance than I do. And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running. And you know, circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there. I remember that great line from Dumb and Dumber, where the…

HH: So you’re telling me I have a chance?

MR: There you go, you remember. You’re telling me I have a chance? That’s one of a million.

HH: Hey, all, the takeaway is already circumstances can change. I know how we’re going to play this. But I hope it’s not the Harold Stassen nonsense, which overlooks the far more unlikely comebacks like Reagan’s and Nixon’s, and Dewey’s and Stevenson and William Jennings Bryant. In fact, not even Stassen became a joke until his ’64 run. His previous four runs were all very serious affairs. Here’s what you running mate said yesterday on this show.

PR: I would welcome it. I’ve told him that, I was with him last Thursday. I think he should run. I think people are getting to know who he really is. I think there’s buyer’s remorse, and I think he’d make an outstanding president. He says emphatically, though, that he won’t do it. You know, I just wish he would. I think he’d be a unifier. But I just, I’ll take Mitt at his word, and he’s pretty clear he’s not going to do it.

HH: See, he’s not as abrasive as I am. And so you have been very clear you’re not doing it now. I just keep looking for that, I get asked everywhere I go because I wrote the book about you, have you heard if there’s any door open. And I said no, I haven’t. He always says no, no, no, but I’ve always also said that I thought if you thought you were the only guy who could win, you’d do it.

MR: Well, you know, let’s say all the guys that were running all came together and said hey, we’ve decided we can’t do it, you must do it. That’s the one of the million we’re thinking about.

NO Women On Board Of Wolf's Company? None?

In Pennsylvania today,  on the 43rd National Women's Equality Day, the Corbett-Cawley campaign highlighted additional unanswered questions on behalf of multi-millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf.

In May, former gubernatorial candidate and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz's campaign held a press conference call with former state treasurer and auditor general Barbara Hafer demanding Tom Wolf prove women within his company are treated equally by releasing an internal company audit Wolf had used to back up prior claims that his company has "women in spades."

Hafer noted that the Wolf Organization's website indicates only 2 women on their 19-member management and that, "either Tom Wolf thinks that two women are 'women in spades,' or he lied in his previous statement," said Hafer. "If he didn't make promoting women a priority at his company, how can we trust him?"

Tom Wolf has declined to release the audit to back up his rhetoric in a long line of refusals to release information about a questionable bank loan he used to purchase the Democratic nomination, 10 years of personal tax returns and corporate tax returns for his Delaware-based business. At a debate in February of this year, Wolf promised the media he would release whatever information they wanted to see.

"Governor Corbett’s has the first-ever female chief of staff in the history of Pennsylvania and also has seven women serving at the head of state agencies. Combined, they are responsible for nearly 80 percent of the state budget," stated Women For Corbett-Cawley Chairwoman Bernie Comfort. "It’s clear that Governor Corbett values the expertise of the many intelligent, hard-working women in his administration.

"Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Secretary Tom Wolf. Out of 26 different senior-level management and board of directors positions, only two are filled by women, despite his claims that he has “women in spades” in his company’s management. In fact, there are zero females on his board of directors. Actions speak louder than words."

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

For NJ: A Fresh, New Start In Congress!


For more information about Tom MacArthur's campaign for Congress, please visit www.tmac4congress.com

The Valuable Lessons Of August's Final Days


The last, lingering days of August teach us powerful lessons, if we're willing to listen.
These are surely among the slowest days of the year.
Everything gets sorta muggy and labored.
People flee urban areas in droves. And they also soak up the seemingly final remaining joys of the mountains and the shore.
If you haven't taken a vacation up to this point (too busy, haven't gotten around to it, can't afford it) you're liable to flee just before Labor Day.
For Labor Day hovers over you in the same way that Sunday night haunts a schoolkid. Even though summer doesn't really end till September 23, the psychological imperative of Labor Day looms like a thief in the night -- ready to snatch you from the clutches of summer's leisurely pace.
But if you're willing to savor these final weeks of August, you can learn lots more than you will in the post Labor Day rush.
This is your last chance to slow down and reflect on where you are and where you're going. For the new year is more appropriately pegged at Labor Day than it is at New Year's Day itself. So it's important to have goals and consider options this time of year. By all means, plan. But remember also that we make plans and God chuckles.
So, kick back and put things in perspective.
Get your priorities in order.
If you're in good health and there are people around you who love you and care about you, consider yourself very fortunate. Ditto if you work in a profession or a job environment that you truly enjoy. You are blessed.
Family. Faith. Freedom. Health and well being. Good friends and loved ones. A sense of daily, worthwhile accomplishment. All of these are invaluable.
And we learn an important lesson when we learn to treasure these precious intangibles.
I'm not always a touch-feely sorta guy but I can tell you that August gives us a chance to lower the volume a bit and put our arms around each moment and every loving relationship and every valued friend and every satisfying accomplishment.
We've also earned the right to simply do nothing for a moment or two. So, clear your mind and gaze at the summer sky.
Then, as the fall season approaches think about what you're going to do to help others. Because in the end that is often the source of true contentment, of fulfillment in life. For my part, I highly recommending mentoring -- passing something along to the future generations. But you can choose your own approach; your own road to reaching out.
Pay attention as the days pass and September approaches.
For these are the quiet lessons of late August.

Copyright 2010, 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

Post-Sandy Woodbridge Buyouts Begin

The first closing on the buyouts of flood-threatened homes in Woodbridge, where the Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres Program has approved nearly 200 homes for purchase, was announced yesterday by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin.

In total, 306 families in six towns now have accepted DEP Blue Acres’ buyout offers, and there have been 154 closings in three Middlesex County municipalities, Woodbridge, Sayreville and South River, as part of the Christie Administration’s goal of buying 1,300 homes statewide to move residents out of harm’s way and create natural buffer areas to handle future storm waters.

“The Blue Acres buyout program is Governor Christie’s pledge to help residents in storm-damaged communities relocate and start their lives again outside of flood-prone areas,” said Commissioner Martin. “We also are creating new, permanent open space that can serve as flood plains to buffer communities from future storms.”

The first closing in Woodbridge was for a Crampton Avenue home that was purchased for $228,000. Like other homes acquired as part of the Blue Acres program, it was purchased at pre-Sandy market value based on an independent appraisal.

“We’re pleased that the closings are starting to happen, and we’re very satisfied with the state’s handling of Woodbridge’s cases,” said Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac. “The state has done a tremendous job.”

Blue Acres’ has targeted homes of willing sellers in the Sewaren, Port Reading, and Avenel sections of the municipality.

DEP also has made offers to homeowners in East Brunswick and Newark, and will begin making offers in Lawrence Township in the fall. The department is currently pursuing buyouts in Linden, Old Bridge, Manville, and several other municipalities.

The DEP has identified 946 properties for buyouts in 10 municipalities that sustained major flooding from Sandy’s storm surge or previous storms. So far, 151 homes have been purchased, and 48 homes have been demolished.

Launched by the Christie Administration in May, 2013, the state’s $300 million buyout program will purchase some 1,300 damaged homes at pre-Sandy market values to provide residents with financial resources needed to relocate to residences in less flood-prone areas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has approved nearly $160 million, which is administered by the state Office of Emergency Management, toward the purchase of homes in Sayreville, Woodbridge, and South River. State Blue Acres dollars and federal U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service funding also will be used to buy homes in Newark, East Brunswick and Lawrence Township.

Additional federal funding to acquire other properties impacted by Superstorm Sandy will be provided through the $1.46 billion second round of federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds allocated to New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The DEP has created a special post-Sandy Blue Acres team to work closely with willing sellers and process their buyout applications as quickly as possible. Case managers are working with individual homeowners personally to help guide them through the process.

The initial Blue Acres Program began in 1995, and the DEP purchased lands in floodways in the Delaware, Passaic and Raritan river basins. The program was later expanded to include all state waters. Eligible properties must be storm damaged, prone to incurring storm damage or situated on land that could provide a buffer to protect other areas from such damage.

Homeowners interested in selling their homes through this process may contact the DEP’s Blue Acres Program at 609-984-0500.

For more information on the Blue Acres Program, visit:http://www.state.nj.us/dep/greenacres/blue_flood_ac.html

For information on Sandy Recovery, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/

Video: Remembering Sir Richard Attenborough

Costello Wins Support Of NFIB In Congressional Bid


CostelloRepublican PA-6 nominee and Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello won the support of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

“NFIB is a leading voice on behalf of the nation’s small businesses, which are one of the major drivers of our economic and job growth,” Costello stated. “I am honored to have the support of an organization that advocates for and champions small business. If elected, I will work to implement policies that promote job creation, reduce barriers to economic growth, and cut bureaucratic red tape that saps the resources of small businesses and inhibit their ability to expand and hire new workers.”

“When he was a Chester County Commissioner Ryan balanced budgets, cut government spending, and reduced the size of county government all while making investments in open space,” said NFIB Executive State Director Kevin Shivers. “It’s policies like that which make small businesses feel more confident about expanding and hiring. Government must live within its means and keeps tax rates low. We need that same mindset in Washington, D.C. where an out of control federal budget deficit has small businesses nervous about their economic future and potential for growth. That’s why we support Ryan Costello for Congress.”

The NFIB was founded in 1943 and represents 15,000 businesses in Pennsylvania. The endorsement was made by the organization’s Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust.

Costello is running to represent Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district, which comprises parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery Counties. The Democratic nominee is physician Manan Trivedi.

Monday, August 25, 2014

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Guadagno Signs Healthy School Meals Legislation

Taking action to increase student access to healthy, locally-grown foods, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today signed five bills at Terhune Orchards in Mercer County that support and streamline New Jersey’s “Farm to School” program.

“Children who live in the Garden State should have ready access to the more than 100 varieties of produce grown by our state’s 9,000-plus farms,” said Acting Governor Kim Guadagno. “By signing these bipartisan bills, we are nurturing a program that puts more of these healthy, locally-grown foods directly into the hands of our kids while supporting New Jersey’s third-largest industry: agriculture.”

The package of unanimously passed bills supporting the “Farm to School” program raise awareness of the program, create potential revenue streams for continued development and create a clearinghouse web portal to allow farmers to better connect with schools and food banks. The bills that were signed today include:

· A-156 (Space, McHose, Andrzejczak, Riley/Barnes, Oroho) – Requires the Department of Agriculture to post on its website certain information regarding the state’s Farm to School program

· A-2641 (Space, Andrzejczak, Dancer, Wilson/Barnes) – Provides for voluntary contributions on gross income tax returns to support Farm to School and School Gardens programs

· A-2642 (Andrzejczak, Riley, Space, Dancer/Barnes, Oroho) – Allows contributions to the New Jersey Farm to School program

· A-2643 (Space, Riley, Dancer, Wilson, Andrzejczak/Barnes, Oroho) – Establishes “Best in New Jersey ‘Farm to School’ Awards Program” to annually recognize the best Farm to School programs implemented by a school or school district

· A-2644 (Dancer, Andrzejczak, Space, Wilson/Beach, Beck) – Directs the Department of Agriculture to establish a clearinghouse website for farmers to offer produce and dairy products for use by school breakfast programs, school lunch programs and food banks

“I’m proud to sign these bills, which fuel a program that fuels our kids,” added Acting Governor Guadagno.

More than 250 New Jersey schools participate in a “Farm to School” program, connecting school nutrition with local farms, improving the quality of school meals and strengthening relationships in the community. The program also helps children understand where their food comes from through the integration of food-related education into the curriculum and hands-on learning activities such as school gardening, farm visits and culinary classes.

"The Farm Bureau has been a steadfast supporter of the Farm to School and recent School Gardens programs,” said Ryck Suydam, President of the New Jersey Farm Bureau. “We think they substantially improve the understanding of food nutrition among the student population and also provide the potential for an expansion of our great Jersey Fresh produce onto the menus of school lunches and other meals provided by school districts. It's a win-win for nutrition and local farmers. We applaud Acting Governor Guadagno for signing these bills."

Following the bill signing, the Acting Governor toured Terhune Orchards, which provides produce to more than a dozen schools in the area, adding great local and fresh food choices to the cafeteria offerings. Since 1975, the Mount Family has owned and operated the Orchards. Terhune grows more than 35 crops on 200 acres, including about 30 varieties of apples, 28 varieties of peaches and 7 varieties of pears, and offers a “Pick-Your-Own” program for apples, berries, flowers and pumpkins. The farm is open to the public year-round and hosts seasonal festivals throughout the year.

“We are so happy to welcome Acting Governor Guadagno to Terhune Orchards today,” said Pam Mount, owner of Terhune Orchards. “For the last forty years we have hosted educational tours and camps for school-aged children. Every year, more than 10,000 kids learn how to grow fruits and vegetables and how New Jersey farms work to provide them the healthy foods they eat.”

In 2011, Governor Christie signed legislation to establish the last week of September as “Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week” in New Jersey to highlight and promote the value of New Jersey agriculture and fresh foods, as well as the value and importance of fresh farm foods for children, their health and success in school.

Agriculture is New Jersey’s third largest industry. In 2012, the state’s 9,071 farms on 715,057 acres generated sales totaling $1.14 billion. The horticulture industry is one of New Jersey’s top agriculture commodities. The industry includes nursery, greenhouse, sod and Christmas trees and generated $444.8 million in sales in 2012.

Acting Governor Guadagno was joined by, among others, Senator Steven V. Oroho (R-Morris, Sussex and Warren), Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Hunterdon and Mercer), Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem), Assemblywoman Donna Simon (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher and New Jersey Department of Education Acting Commissioner David Hespe.

Are Booker, Fed Ignoring Looming Inflation?

Rasmussen released a poll on Monday that found a large majority of Americans -- 75 percent -- are concerned about inflation. In addition, 81 percent surveyed reported paying more for groceries than a year ago. Half of the respondents -- and 55 percent of those making less than $30,000 per year -- said they did not have confidence in the Federal Reserve to hold inflation in check. The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted August 19-20th.
New Jersey Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jeff Bell responded, "It's clear that inflation is a bigger problem for the average American than the Federal Reserve or the Democratic Party would like to admit.
"We know that the government's measurement of inflation is understated because of how much it weights housing costs (41%), and it's clear in the data that on everyday purchases like groceries people are experiencing problematic inflation. This is making it harder to save money and improve one's standard of living.
"Yet Cory Booker refuses to agree that we should level the playing field on money or even do anything about the status quo at all. His monetary policy seems to be to let the rich get richer while everyone else suffers under rising prices."

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Don't Be Fooled By Liberal Phonies!


Learn About Art, Design Of Eagles' Uniforms, Free

Philadelphia's Fleisher Art Memorial's Sanctuary Series, a free, drop-in Wednesday evening program in Fleisher's historic Sanctuary (719 Catharine Street), will begin for the fall term September 10 at 6:00 p.m. 

To begin the series, Peter Capolino, a longtime Fleisher supporter and founder of Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company, will lead a discussion on the art and design of the Philadelphia Eagles' uniforms.

Capolino will present examples of the different uniforms used from 1933 to 1993, present historical design and graphic insights, and discuss how the textile industry and fabrics have evolved since the beginning of the football franchise. Capolino presented a wildly popular talk focused on baseball uniforms at Fleisher last spring.

Capolino's uniform collections have become an established part of the sports lore of Philadelphia, and he is currently developing historically accurate shawl collared button front wool sweaters as worn by Major League Baseball teams from 1901 through 1930. Capolino has been interviewed extensively on ABC, ESPN, and MTV, and his public speaking engagements have included presentations at the Philadelphia Public Library, The National Constitution Center, and various other venues around the country.

Admission to the Sanctuary Series is free, but registration is requested. More information is available at www.fleisher.org.

Additional Sanctuary Series topics and dates:

Introduction to Anatomy Lecture (part 1 of 2): Al Gury - September 17

Light and Chemical Correspondence: Scott McMahon and Ahmed Salvador - October 22

Mexican Identity in the 21st Century: Brujo de la Mancha - October 29

Introduction to anatomy lecture (part 2 of 2): Al Gury - November 10

The Fleisher Art Memorial was founded by industrialist Samuel S. Fleisher in 1898 and is renowned for its mission of making art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background or artistic experience. Fleisher Art Memorial is one of the nation's first community-based art centers, providing free and low-cost studio art classes along with opportunities for beginning and seasoned artists to exhibit their work in a professional gallery setting. Fleisher's arts education programming reaches deeply into local schools and community centers, and has brought the organization national recognition and powerful opportunities to advocate for and shape arts education initiatives throughout the region and the country.

Christie Launches Environmental Initiative

The Christie Administration, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and environmental and academic partners, has launched an $8 million pilot project that will evaluate the effectiveness of a new process that uses clean dredge materials to restore salt marshes to make coastal communities more resilient against future storms.

The project will also study the benefits of using this approach to create a much-needed option for disposal of materials dredged from waterways to keep them navigable. It will also create habitat for endangered wildlife.

“We are very excited about this project and believe it has the potential to provide many benefits in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “It has the potential to make coastal communities naturally more storm resilient while helping to solve the problem of where to dispose sediment that builds up and impedes navigation in our waterways. As an added benefit, this will create places for birds to nest, in particular the state-endangered black skimmer.”

The first phase of the project got under way last week on wetlands in Cape May County’s Middle Township, just behind Stone Harbor. This roughly one-acre project will be followed next year by larger restoration of 45 acres in Avalon and near the Delaware Bay town of Fortescue.

The project is made possible by $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Interior Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resilience Competitive Grant Program. The Department of the Interior is providing $103 million to help states impacted by Superstorm Sandy to develop strategies to bolster themselves against future storms.

In addition, the Army Corps is providing $2.9 million and nearly $2 million is coming from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The DEP, The Nature Conservancy, Green Trust Alliance, and Rutgers University will provide monitoring and analysis of both ecological and economic benefits of the process.

While wetlands have been constructed and restored in New Jersey for years, this is the first time the state is using a process known as thin layer placement, by placing several inches of dredged clean sediment to raise the level of degraded marshes enough to make them healthy again.

Coastal marshes have been degraded by a combination of subsidence -- gradual sinking or caving in of land -- and sea-level rise, making them more vulnerable to erosion, loss of marsh grasses and loss of nesting habitat for birds. Areas that once were grassy are now open water.



One of the main goals of the project is to provide the Army Corps, New Jersey Department of Transportation and communities with a sustainable option for keeping navigable waterways clear.

“The re-use of silt and sand in wetlands or on beaches can be a powerful tool in the management of dredged materials,” said NJDOT Acting Commissioner Joseph Bertoni. “One of the biggest challenges in advancing dredge projects is identifying sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally appropriate locations for dredged material.”



“For the state of New Jersey to take this approach is very impressive,” said Monica Chasten, an Army Corps of Engineers project manager, who is responsible for keeping the Intracoastal Waterway navigable. “It is a sound approach. This is the right thing to do, keeping this clean material in the system.”

For decades, materials dredged from the back bays and channels have been placed in confined disposal facilities, creating unnatural island-like plateaus in coastal marshes. With thin layer placement, several inches of clean sand are pumped onto the marsh, providing a foundation for marsh grasses to take hold. These grasses help to absorb flood waters and storm surge. Higher sand bars are also constructed to provide bird-nesting habitat.

All dredge materials are thoroughly tested and must be clean before being applied to the marshes, said Laurie Pettigrew, a DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife biologist overseeing the project. “If everything goes the way we expect it to go, this will be a big benefit to communities in many ways,” she said.

All of the restoration projects will take place on Wildlife Management Areas managed by the DEP. The site behind Stone Harbor is part of the Cape May Wildlife Management Area and is using sand dredged from nearby Hereford Inlet. Environmental groups will play a key role in monitoring the effectiveness of this process.

“The Nature Conservancy and its partners will study marsh health at the site before and after the restoration to ensure that the expected benefits are occurring, and that the marsh is not negatively impacted,” said Patty Doerr, Director of Coastal and Marine Program with The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. “We will monitor the effects on birds, fish, vegetation, elevation and hydrology, as well as determine the ability of the marsh to reduce flood damage to coastal communities.”


For more information on the Department of Interior’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grant Program, visit: http://www.nfwf.org/hurricanesandy/Pages/home.aspx#.U-5mkmP5Qcs and the Governor’s Office news release at: http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552014/approved/20140617b.html