Friday, March 24, 2017

Blowing A BIG FAT HOLE In Budgets, Costing $$$$!

New Jersey State Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos condemned the repeated efforts by Legislative Democrats to block Senate and Assembly Republican attempts to move bills limiting local sick leave payouts to protect property taxpayers.

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Sens. Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty, Joe Kyrillos condemned Legislative Democrats for continuing to block Senate and Assembly Republican efforts to pass sick leave reform. (SenateNJ)

An effort by Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick to move legislation addressing six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire was blocked by Assembly Democrats during the March 23, 2017 Assembly voting session.

Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos also attempted to force a vote on their sick leave reform bills during the most recent Senate session on March 13. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.

“It doesn’t make any sense to repeatedly block attempts to achieve sick leave reform, when both Democrats and Republicans sponsor legislation to do just that,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “I am disappointed to see the majority party pass up another opportunity to provide property tax relief to our residents, by eliminating this billion-dollar expense hanging over their heads.”

Senator Beck’s S-2140 would limit payments for unused sick leave upon retirement to $10,000, and requires fine and reprimand or termination for violation of sick leave policies and regulations by public employees.

Senator Doherty’s S-572 would end the practice known as “terminal leave” when a public employee, in anticipation of retirement, is permitted to use up accumulated days of sick leave. The bill requires a verified medical necessity to use six of more consecutive accumulated sick days in the 12 months prior to retirement.

“Six-figure sick leave payouts to retiring public employees are blowing a hole in municipal budgets statewide,” Senator Doherty (R-23) said. “Hardworking taxpayers cannot afford to shoulder this burden any longer. It’s time for Legislative Democrats to stop playing games and consider the solutions already on the table.”

Senator Kyrillos’ S-194 would limit payments for unused sick leave upon retirement to $15,000, and imposes limits on the carry-forward of vacation leave not used in a give year by any current or future employee of the State, a local government, or board of education.

“Our towns and counties are already working with extremely tight budgets. They cannot afford to pay for retirees who chose to rack up hundreds of sick days instead of using that time for its intended purpose,” Senator Kyrillos said. “We have to end this ridiculous practice. It’s time for the majority party to join our efforts to give overtaxed middle class residents the relief they deserve.”

This continued stonewalling by the majority party follows previous Senate Republican efforts to move legislation that would forfeit the pensions of corrupt public officials, lower transportation infrastructure costs, achieve affordable housing reform, and reduce the cost to taxpayers of public employee health benefits. All of those efforts were blocked by Senate Democrats as well.

An Inspiring Multigenerational Community Effort!

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Catholic Healthcare Services' Saint Anne's Senior Community Center and Portside Arts Center will join Greensgrow Farms to celebrate their 20th Anniversary Season Opening and the dedication of the intergenerational mural created by youth and seniors from Portside Arts Center and Saint Anne’s Senior Community Center. The mural will be dedicated in memory of Greensgrow’s founder, Mary Seton Corboy.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:00 p.m.
Saint Anne’s Senior Community Center
2607 E. Cumberland Street
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Last summer, Saint Anne’s Senior Community Center collaborated with Greensgrow Farms and their new community partner, Portside Arts Center, to work on the intergenerational mural project. Saint Anne’s artists mentored twenty-four children, ages 8-12, from Portside’s day camp program. The project began with a visit to Greensgrow to begin the sketching process. The design included veggies, flowers and farm animals, including “Milkshake” the pig. The group met weekly at the center to sketch and paint the murals on parachute cloth. In November 2016, the murals were installed on the Almond Street side of the senior center. The murals reflect the beauty of the garden and the creativity and cooperation of the younger and older members of the community.

The program will include the presentation of a citation from the Mayor’s Office of the City of Philadelphia and a visit by Congressman Dwight Evans. A reception will follow the mural dedication at Greensgrow Farms located at 2501 E. Cumberland Street.

Note: Since 1970, Saint Anne’s has been serving older adults living in Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Port Richmond and surrounding neighborhoods. The center is a program of Catholic Health Care Services and is accredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers, demonstrating that the center has met the highest national standards. The center welcomes anyone 50 years or older and there is no charge to become a member. Seniors can start the day by coming to the center for their morning cup of coffee, socialize with friends and enjoy a lunchtime meal. Members stay active in body, mind, and spirit by participating in a variety of recreational activities, wellness programs, lifelong learning and volunteer opportunities. The center counselor provides help and support to members who may need emergency food, assistance with SNAP applications, arranging transportation and information about benefits and entitlements.

Tune In Tonight And Find Out All About It!


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Governor Chris Christie will join Fox News' Tucker Carlson for an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight at 9:00 PM tonight, Friday, March 24, 2017.

Still Awaiting The Ultimate Explanation . . . .

This WAS A Complete And Total DISGRACE!



Botton line: There is NO excuse for this. NONE!

So Now, We Ask: 'Who's REALLY Responsible?'

So, the healthcare bill has been pulled.
In the clutch, nobody wanted to go on the record. Disgraceful!
It's been said that victory has a million fathers and defeat is always an orphan. 
Not so here. 
Everyone will share in what happened today and suffer from it. This is a victory for no one and nothing. 
It's a nihilistic triumph and, insofar as it's a total abandonment of responsibility, it's reflective of our society as a whole and the rampant dysfunction that has infected American life and stymied American institutions, such as they are. 
Who's responsible for this? Everybody! 
The carping critics on the sidelines (and that includes the media) who kept nibbling at the edges like a pesky ant colony yapping endlessly until they were gluttonously satiated -- for the time being, anyway. The "Freedom Caucus" that held the legislation hostage, refusing to set it free. The wussy moderate bedwetters whose only interest is day-to-day survival, living from one round of Depends to the next. The wonky, narrow-shouldered speaker who couldn't leave his charts and graphs long enough to get the job done -- like a nebbishy professor, clinging to his flow charts and power points while his charges shot spitballs across the room. The Washington insiders, and power-brokers and monied special interests whose only real interest is inertia. And, of course, the vile, venal, vindictive collectivist DemocRATS who got us into this hellhole in the first place.
They're ALL responsible. 
Shame on ALL of 'em!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Do It NOW - Don't Delay Even One More Minute!

Obamacare has hurt millions. 
Now is the time to repeal and replace it. 
Call your Representative and let him/her know you are behind #AHCA!
Find Your Representative Here

Sadly, 'An Obstructionist Approach To Government' . . .

Today, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio released the following statement on Senator Bob Casey’s decision to oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination:

“Senator Casey has again aligned himself with the far left. In choosing to oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination, Bob Casey is directly disrespecting the will of Pennsylvania voters. These voters gave President Trump the chance to nominate Judge Gorsuch — a mainstream conservative who American Bar Association unanimously gave its highest rating of ‘well-qualified.’

“More concerning, Bob Casey has not stated whether or not he will join the Senate Democrats’ filibuster attempt to deny Judge Gorsuch an up or down vote by the entire Senate. This obstructionist approach to governing will not forgotten by Pennsylvania voters when they go to the polls in 2018.”

He Served With 'Zeal, Charisma And Kindness'

STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP.
ON THE DEATH OF CARDINAL WILLIAM H. KEELER, 
ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS OF BALTIMORE

"I was deeply saddened today to learn of the death of Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore.

"As an alumnus of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and former Bishop of Harrisburg, he had close ties to the Philadelphia region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He served God’s people with apostolic zeal, charisma, and kindness in many ways over several decades. All those who mourn Cardinal Keeler’s passing can find consolation in knowing that he served the Lord well, and that the Lord has welcomed him home.

"On behalf of the Church in Philadelphia, I extend prayerful condolences to Cardinal Keeler’s family and many friends as well as Archbishop William E. Lori and the priests, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

"I ask the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to offer prayers for Cardinal Keeler, and our priests to offer Masses for the happy repose of his soul. All of us are very grateful for the gifts of his life and service to the Universal Church. May God grant him the gift of eternal life, and give peace and solace to all those who loved, admired, and respected him."

Oh, My! A New Milestone For The Dan Cirucci Blog!


Thank you
everybody
for 1.8 MILLION
pageviews so far.
Another great milestone
for the Dan Cirucci Blog!

WOW! A Whole CENTURY Of Entertainment!

Ahead: 'A Vast Range Of Sounds And Genres!'








From the Philadelphia Orchestra:
Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s sixth season as music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra spans a vast range of sounds and genres, from oratorio to opera, from the Baroque to new commissions.
"This is possibly the most varied season The Philadelphia Orchestra and I have undertaken together," said Yannick. "It's thrilling to be able to make music in every way possible, from playing piano with our wonderful principal strings in chamber music, to conducting new works, including commissions, to an oratorio I adore, to a semi-staged production of Tosca. We have some audience favorites, of course, and naturally we are celebrating the centenary of that amazing musical figure Leonard Bernstein. We hope everyone will join us!"
Season highlights include the world premiere of a distinctly Philadelphia composition, the crowd-sourced, collaborative composition Philadelphia Voices by the innovative and entrepreneurial composer Tod Machover; Haydn's choral masterpiece The Seasons; American Sounds, a multi-year focus on the fascinatingly varied works inspired by sounds indigenous to this country, including new works by Jennifer Higdon and Samuel Jones written for Orchestra principal players; and the annual three-week Winter Festival, which explores music from, and inspired by, the British Isles. Throughout the season The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates the centenary of the legendary American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, including rare performances of the full West Side Story. Yannick also leads the Orchestra and a cast of star soloists–soprano Sonya Yoncheva, tenor Yusif Eyvazov, and baritone Ambrogio Maestri–in a staged production of Puccini's Tosca in Verizon Hall.

Subscriptions are now on sale. Visit the orchestra's website for more information.

A Champion For Those Who Need It Most!

New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) was today recognized by the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for her efforts to expand domestic violence protections under State law. Beck was a prime sponsor of a law inspired by Gabby Giffords to prevent domestic abusers from committing acts of gun violence.

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Sen. Jennifer Beck was on March 23 recognized by Moms Demand Action for her support of S-2483 expanding protections for victims of domestic violence. Pictured: Beck testifies in support of her Sexual Assault Survivors Act at a committee hearing on the Act in Trenton, New Jersey. (SenateNJ)

“Enacting this landmark bill was an incredibly important effort, and a proud moment in my career,” Senator Beck said. “As a former Rape Crisis Advocate and a proponent of women’s rights I was happy to sponsor this legislation. I am hopeful that this law will significantly enhance protections for victims of domestic violence.”

Signed into law in January 2017, S-2483 restricts access to firearms by certain persons subject to restraining orders or convicted of domestic violence offenses and provides a clear and supervised process for the immediate surrender of firearms.

The New Jersey Chapter of Moms Demand Action on Thursday, March 23, held an event at the Statehouse honoring Senator Beck and her fellow sponsors for their efforts to enact S-2483.

“Community advocates, and the inspirational source behind our law, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, are essential to winning the fight to improve protections for victims,” Senator Beck added. “I am grateful for the recognition I have received from this organization. I will continue to fight for laws that protect and support survivors of domestic violence.”

“We are here to thank the legislators that support bill and let them know we’re here for them to support them,” Theresa Turner, a member of the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action, said at the event. “This is the most people we’ve ever had in attendance.”

Senator Beck is a longstanding advocate for women and all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In January, Governor Christie also signed a law sponsored by Senator Beck to protect a greater number of victims under the “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015,” which she pioneered. For more information on these efforts, click here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Overwhelming Bipartisan Support, Including YOURS?



This week, the confirmation hearing began for Judge Neil Gorsuch to become our next Supreme Court Justice.

Since Judge Gorsuch was announced by President Donald J. Trump, there has been overwhelming, bipartisan support and praise for Judge Gorsuch’s experience, knowledge, and deep respect for the rule of law.

The American Bar Association unanimously rated Judge Gorsuch “well-qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court. According to the ABA, the “committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence and judicial demeanor,” and even Senator Chuck Schumer has described the assessment as the “gold standard” in evaluating judicial nominations.

In addition to the ABA’s rating, dozens of Judge Gorsuch’s former Harvard Law classmates came together to express their endorsement, stating, “we know that Judge Gorsuch is the real deal.” Having known Judge Gorsuch for a quarter-century and watching him in action, their unique perspective is a testament to the incredible kind of judge the Supreme Court would be gaining. Read about their experiences with Judge Gorsuch, here.

It comes as no surprise that Judge Gorsuch is being lauded as a brilliant judge who rules based on the Constitution rather than his own opinions, regardless of person and politics. The Tampa Bay Times described Judge Gorsuch as a “well qualified conservative who would not tilt the Supreme Court’s ideological balance” and the Detroit Newspraised Judge Gorsuch as “highly principled and deeply experienced”.

The Washington Post ran an op-ed describing Judge Gorsuch as a judge who “has ruled for plaintiffs and for defendants; for those accused of crimes as well as for law enforcement; for those who entered the country legally; and for those harmed by environmental damage”. They emphasized that “Gorsuch’s approach to resolving legal problems as a lawyer and a judge embodies a reverence for our country’s values and legal system”. Read the entire op-ed and learn why there is no principled reason to oppose Judge Gorsuch, here.

If you haven’t already, be sure to Support Judge Gorsuch and sign the petition. And don’t forget to follow @GorsuchFacts on Twitter to get up-to-date information on Judge Gorsuch.

How DO You Get To Carnegie Hall? Well . . .

PYO + NYO 2017

Each summer, the country’s most gifted young musicians are chosen by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA) of America. This year, seven Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) students have been selected to participate in the prestigious 2017 NYO-USA. 

The PYO students who have been chosen from PA are: Fiyi Adebekun, violin, of Lansdale, Allyson Cohen, violin, of Narberth, Isabella Egawa, violin, of Bala Cynwyd, Johnny May, violin, of Penn Valley and Joy Zhao, cello, of Chalfont. The student from DE is Conor McAvinue, violin, of Wilmington, and the student from NJ is Daniel Kim, clarinet, of Skillman.

This year, NYO will make its Latin American debut with conductor Marin Alsop in a program that features the world premiere of a new Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by Gabriela Lena Frank. The orchestra’s program also includes John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. NYO-USA’s tour kicks off with a performance and recording of the classical music public radio show NPR’sFrom the Top with Host Christopher O'Riley at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, StateUniversity of New York (July 19). 

The orchestra then takes the Carnegie Hall stage for its annual concert (July 21), to be heard by music lovers worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series,created in partnership with WQXR and distributed nationally by WFMT Radio Network, and streamedlive online for free by medici.tv.  Tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance are on sale now at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or at carnegiehall.org.

Following their New York appearances, the NYO-USA musicians will fly to Latin America for a tour of some of the region’s music capitals, including visits to Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia. During a multi- day residency in Bogotá, NYO-USA will perform its own concert at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo and spend several days rehearsing with students from the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Metropolitana Batuta Bogotá to prepare a joint concert. Similar residency activities are being plannedin Mexico, including joint music-making with local young musicians. NYO-USA players will also have the chance to tour each city and experience the richness of Latin American culture.

President and Music Director of the PYO organization, Louis Scaglione, is very proud and applauds the chosen students for their hard work. He said, “We are very pleased for Fiyi, Allyson, Isabella, Johnny, Connor, Joy and Daniel to begin this journey as they join some of the finest young musicians in America for this year’s National Youth Orchestra,” he said. “Each year, our students are recognized but this is the greatest number of students we have had recognized for one session of NYO. This will be an indelible experience for them and I congratulate them all.”

About National Youth Orchestra of the USA
Launched in Summer 2013 to great critical acclaim, the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the USA presented concerts with famed conductor Valery Gergiev and renowned violinist Joshua Bell to enthusiastic audiences in Washington D.C.; St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia; and at the BBC Proms in London, England. The 2014 orchestra, led by dynamic American conductor David Robertson with virtuoso violinist Gil Shaham as soloist, made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a coast-to-coast U.S. tour to Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts; Boone, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sonoma County, California; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. In 2015, NYOUSA, with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI, made its debut in China, performing at some of the country’s greatest concert halls in many regions of the country, including concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. In 2016, the orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Emanuel Ax before embarking on a European tour that took them to Amsterdam, Montpellier, Copenhagen, and Prague, led by conductor Valery Gergiev and with pianist Denis Matsuev. www.carnegiehall.org/nyousa.

About the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra:
Now in its 77th year, training tomorrow’s leaders, the renowned Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization, led by President and Music Director, Maestro Louis Scaglione, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs, providing talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training. Students go on to excel in many diverse fields, and it is with pride that Philadelphia Youth Orchestra notes that many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are alumni. 
 The organization is comprised of six program ensembles designed to meet specific needs and experience levels of students selected through a competitive audition process. 
The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 120 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 14-21. 
Young musicians 12-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. 
Philadelphia Young Musicians Orchestra (PYMO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students with their first introduction to large orchestral playing featuring students age 10-17 years old. 
Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute Dean of Faculty and Students, Paul Bryan, is an all brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. 
PRYSM (Philadelphia Region Youth String Music) and PRYSM Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of PRYSM is Gloria DePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of PRYSM Young Artists is Andrea Weber. 
Tune Up Philly (TUP) is PYO’s engagement program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum. www.pyos.org.

Helping To Fund Lifelong Benefits For All!

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education (OCE), Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), Faith in the Future (FIF), and the Independence Mission Schools (IMS) proudly announce the premiere BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education.

Throughout the course of every year, these organizations work to support current and prospective families seeking to provide their children with the lifelong benefits of a Catholic education at one of 104 parish and regional elementary schools, 17 Archdiocesan high schools, four Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education, and 15 Independence Mission Schools.

This collaboration of key partners in Catholic education in the five-county Archdiocese seeks to celebrate the gift of Catholic education, highlight its mission, and raise new scholarship funds to assist families in need.

The BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the SugarHouse Event Center. As part of the program, J. Mark Baiada, Founder and President of BAYADA Home Health Care, and his wife, retired Director Ann Baiada, will be recognized with the 2017 Distinguished Graduate Award. Mr. Baiada is a proud graduate of Saint Peter School in Riverside, New Jersey, and Holy Cross High School in Delran, New Jersey. Mrs. Baiada is a proud graduate of Immaculate Conception School in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and Cardinal Dougherty High School in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.

Festivities will begin at 6:00 p.m. The emcee will be Bob Kelly, Traffic Anchor for Fox 29 and Good Day Philadelphia. Kelly is a Catholic school alumnus who graduated from All Saints Elementary School in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia and Northeast Catholic High School for Boys in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.; Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, the Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia who oversees Catholic education; Mr. Don Saleski, Board Chairman, BLOCS; Mr. H. Edward Hanway, Board Chairman, FIF; and Mr. Brian McElwee, Board Chairman, IMS; will be in attendance to represent the sponsoring entities. Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Fitzgerald will lead guests in the opening and closing prayers, respectively.

Archbishop Chaput said, “I look forward to attending the BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education this year. It promises to be an enjoyable evening filled with opportunities to learn about the value of Catholic education, support its mission, and recognize exemplary graduates. I’m grateful to the leadership of the Office of Catholic Education, Faith in the Future, BLOCS, and the Independence Mission Schools for making this event possible.

The elementary, secondary, and special education schools in our Archdiocese provide the lifelong gift of a quality education centered on the model of Christ. They form future leaders who will be poised to succeed and to serve in their communities. It would not be possible for these schools to provide educational and technological resources or financial aid without the generous support of those who believe Catholic education is a sound investment—and it is. Please consider joining me and helping to provide a bright future for our young people.”

Net proceeds raised from the gala will allow OCE, BLOCS, FIF and IMS to augment existing financial aid and scholarship opportunity programs, enhance curriculum in the arts, sciences, and technology and provide equipment and materials to support students attending the four Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education.

Mr. J. Mark Baiada, Founder and President of BAYADA Home Health Care, and his wife, retired Director Ann Baiada said, “We passionately support a values-based, Catholic education as a way to engage young minds and build character that will lead to being productive citizens. Through these wonderful organizations, children have the opportunity to access a high-quality education and learn good judgment and perspective. We are forever grateful for the foundation we received from a solid Catholic education and a dedication to service.”

Guests will be greeted by students from Archdiocesan and Independence Mission Schools showcasing their talents in a series of vignettes. The evening will also feature student performances as well as personal testimonials from current and past scholarship recipients regarding the positive impact Catholic education has made in their lives.

For further information regarding the BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation, interested parties can visit http://blocs.org/gala/.

Note: The BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education is a new venture hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s, Office of Catholic Education, Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, Faith in the Future and Independence Mission Schools.

It succeeds The Distinguished Graduate Awards Dinner previously hosted by the Office of Catholic Education, the BLOCS Dinner previously hosted by BLOCS, and “Dancing for Our Future Stars” Gala this year for IMS. The Distinguished Graduate Award is being retained as part of this new endeavor.

Past individuals and entities recognized for their exemplary commitment to the ideas of Catholic education include Mr. Daniel J. Hilferty, President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; Mrs. Donna Crilley Farrell; Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015; Mr. Ray Didinger, Pro Football Hall of Fame Writer, sports and talk radio personality; The Connelly Foundation; Brother Richard Kestler, FSC, former President, West Catholic Preparatory High School; Mr. Gerard P. Cuddy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Beneficial Bancorp; Rosalie M. Mirenda, Ph.D., President, Neumann University; Mr. Tony Conti, Former Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers-Philadelphia; Cardinal John P. Foley; and Ms. Christine Rouse, Founder & Executive Director, Acting Without Boundaries.

The Disgraceful Tactics Of A Brutal, Despicable Regime!

Today, Pennsylvania Republican State Chairman Val DiGiorgio released the following statement on election fraud during yesterday’s special election for Pennsylvania House District 197 and his call for Attorney General Josh Shapiro to launch a formal investigation:

“Philadelphia Democrats resorted to their decades old playbook of corruption during yesterday’s special election. I’ve personally witnessed voter fraud as a Republican Committeeman — illegal electioneering in Philadelphia is a real problem and it must stop.

“Yesterday's illegal tactics in the 197th House District special election included tampering with ballots, staffing polling locations with unauthorized poll workers, and election board officials handing out ‘write-in’ stamps. The Republican Party of Pennsylvania is joining Pennsylvania House Leadership in their call for Attorney General Shapiro to launch a formal investigation.

"It’s ironic that Philadelphia’s Democratic machine chose to engage in egregious voter fraud during a special election to replace a convicted felon on the same day that Philadelphia’s District Attorney was indicted on federal corruption charges.”

Sometimes, It Really Feels Like This . . .

You Can Do Something To STOP It Right NOW!

Here is a very special message from Human Coalition:
If you haven’t yet signed Human Coalition's Defund Planned Parenthood Petition, now is the time to do so.

So far, they've collected over 62,000 signatures…. which is a great start. But if we are to ensure that folks in Washington hear us, we must enlist every pro-life individual to raise their voice.

Will you click here to sign the petition urging Congress to defund Planned Parenthood?

Right now, Congress is debating a health care bill to replace Obamacare. President Trump has made it clear that he wants to defund Planned Parenthood in this new law. And for good reasons…
Planned Parenthood:
  • performs one-third of all abortions
  • receives over $500 million from taxpayers each year
  • has been caught trafficking baby parts, protecting sex rings, and participating in sex-selective abortions

The majority of Americans are disgusted by what goes on inside Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

Unfortunately, the pro-abortion lobby is powerful and working in full force to keep federal dollars funding the largest abortion provider in the country.

Human Coalition is asking you to add your name to this important petition and help strip Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars.

After you’ve signed, please forward the petition to three of your pro-life friends and family members, and ask them to sign it.

Thank you for taking this important step to end federal funding!

One Of The Most Unusual Shows We've Ever Seen!



Pilobolus is coming to Philadelphia.
If you've never seen this dynamic theater of movement, you owe it to yourself to experience it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bringing People Together For The RIGHT Reasons!

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price  recently assembled dozens of conservative leaders today at the White House to discuss the multi-faceted effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. 
The Vice President and the Secretary highlighted the work being accomplished through legislative and regulatory efforts to end Obamacare’s government takeover of healthcare and provide market-based reforms that will lower costs and provide more choice to Americans. 
They also invited conservative groups to continue offering their ideas for improving healthcare in America and agreed to keep communication channels open as the President and Congress work to fulfill the promise of repealing and replacing the flawed Obamacare law. 
The following individuals participated: 
Thomas Binion, Heritage Foundation 
Melissa Ortiz, Able Americans 
Mia Heck, ALEC Jason Pye, FreedomWorks 
Brian McManus Matthew Schlapp, American Conservative Union 
Nan Swift, National Taxpayers Union 
Richard Manning, Americans for Limited Government 
Grace Turner, Galen Institute 
Kenneth Cuccinelli, Senate Conservatives Fund 
Jennifer Butler, State Policy Network 
Daniel Schneider, American Conservative Union 
John McKechnie, ABA Health Savings Account (HSA) Council 
Stephen Keen, National Federation of Independent Business 
Lisa Nelson, ALEC 
Jennifer Hatten, ABA Health Savings Account (HSA) Council 
David Bozell, For America 
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment  
Peter Sepp, National Taxpayers Union 
Timothy Chapman, Heritage Action 
Bradley Close, National Federation of Independent Business 
Kent Lassmam, Competitive Enterprise Institute 
Jennifer Martin, Tea Party Patriots 
Shonda Kalra, Tea Party Patriots 
Amanda Moorhead, National Federation of Independent Business 
Bill Pascoe, Tea Party Patriots 
Christopher Jacobs, Texas Public Policy Foundation 
Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks 
Michael Cannon, CATO 
Bob Carlstrom, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) 
Andy Roth, Club for Growth 
Heather Curry, CATO

Celebrating A Rich History And Varied Heritage . . .

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the 20th Annual Cultural Heritage Mass. The Liturgy will feature participation from groups representing approximately 29 different national, ethnic, and/or Eastern Catholic Church traditions.

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Procession (1:30 p.m.)
Mass (2:00 p.m.)
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

This Mass highlights the rich history and cultural diversity of the Catholic community in the five-county Archdiocese, which is comprised of people who trace their origins to Asia, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Brazilian and Native American communities.

Several participants will dress in native attire and process in the opening procession behind banners that display their country of origin. Additionally, 7 choirs will provide multilingual music throughout the Mass. Scripture readings and prayers will be proclaimed in eight different languages including Malayalam, Tagalog, Swahili, Korean, Mende, Gaelic, Indonesian, and Portuguese. Including English, 14 different languages will be spoken or sung at the Cultural Heritage Mass this year.

All are welcome to attend the Cultural Heritage Mass .

The More You Think About It, The Truer It Seems!

A Stellar Choice Leaves No Room For Rejection!



President Donald J. Trump kept his promise to nominate an exceptionally qualified individual to the Supreme Court of the United States. It's time for the Senate to confirm Judge Gorsuch. Those members of the Senate who turn their backs on this fine jurist do so at their own peril.


Fighting The Good Fight For ALL Of Us; Oh, Yeah!

New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) continued the fight for a fair share of state school aid for massively underfunded school districts at today’s public budget hearing held by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee in Newark.

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Sen. Jennifer Beck was joined at today’s public state budget hearing by dozens of parents, superintendents and school officials who are united in calling for a fair share of state school aid for underfunded districts and permanent school funding reform. (SenateNJ.com)
Beck was joined by Freehold Borough Superintendent Dr. Rocco Tomazic, Freehold Borough Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer, Freehold Borough Education Foundation President Jean Holtz, as well as Red Bank Borough Superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage, Red Bank Board of Education President Dr. Fred Stone, and numerous parents from those districts.

“We have over 100 underfunded school districts that have seen significant enrollment growth without a corresponding state school aid increase, leading to substantial educational challenges.” Beck said “At the same time, approximately 200 school districts that are more than 10 percent above the funding standard continue to receive more state aid despite enrollment loss. This school funding disparity is a critical issue that the Legislature must address to protect both students and property taxpayers.”

For the 2016-2017 school year, Freehold Borough Schools were 572 students over capacity and funded 38 percent below adequacy. Similarly, Red Bank has had 22.9 percent enrollment growth over the past seven years, and is funded 34 percent below adequacy. Both districts have a student body where more than 75 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch. Beck has worked extensively with underfunded school districts, including Red Bank and Freehold Borough, to secure additional state funding and permanent changes to the state school funding formula.

“Because we have been denied our fair share of available state aid, both of our districts are understaffed in teachers, overcrowded in classrooms, and filled with mostly at risk students being denied proper educational support” said Red Bank Superintendent Rumage. Freehold Borough Superintendent Tomazic continued, “Our goal is that when our students move on to their regional high schools, where they will sit side-by-side with their more affluent peers, that they will be competitive with their skills and will be confident of their academic abilities. It is on behalf of our students that we ask for their legally established fair share of resources.”

“This issue is larger than just Red Bank and Freehold Borough. With approximately 140 school districts more than ten percent below adequacy we must address the funding formula to ensure that districts with triple-digit enrollment growth don’t receive less funding than those losing enrollment.” Beck stated.

YES! Expressing Our Strong, Unequivocal Support!

Honored to sign S.442 today. With this legislation, we support 's scientists, engineers, and astronauts in their pursuit of discovery!

So, What Prompted The Inquiry In The First Place?

Comey: I have no information to support Trump's tweets. But we have been conducting an ongoing investigation into him. Hello..? 🇺🇸
 

Ensuring Resources To Protect Free Assembly!

Fulfilling his commitment to protect all New Jersey residents from both foreign and domestic threats, Governor Chris Christie today made $1 million in grants available for non-profit organizations and religious institutions determined to be at high risk of terrorist attack in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Salem, and Warren counties.

“Unfortunately, as incidents in the past few weeks have shown, every area of New Jersey is vulnerable to threats and possible attacks, making these additional resources crucial in our efforts to enhance security in certain parts of the state that had not previously received federal security grant funding,” said Governor Christie. “During these trying times, my administration remains committed to ensuring that nonprofits across our entire state have the resources they need to ensure our citizens may gather freely and securely.”

Governor Christie announced the grants at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton after several bomb threat incidents at Jewish community centers (JCCs) around the state recently, including the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill, Camden County, which was evacuated on February 27 as part of a rash of bomb threats to JCCs that day throughout the country.

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security (OHSP) will provide the new Security Enhancements Countering Unmitigated Risk in New Jersey (SECUR-NJ) grants to eligible nonprofit organizations. Eligible nonprofit organizations are those organizations described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which have been determined by New Jersey’s Director of Homeland Security to be at high risk of terrorist attack and are located within one of those nine counties. Interested applicants will be eligible for an award not to exceed $50,000 and no matching funds are required.

Nonprofit organizations in New Jersey’s other 12 counties already are eligible to receive similar security funding through the US Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which OHSP also administers.

“I encourage eligible nonprofits to apply for these grants to pay for security measures that will keep them safe and give their members peace of mind,” said Governor Christie. “We intend to turn this around quickly and send this funding out by summer.”

The new SECUR-NJ grant will reimburse awardees for allowable costs for the acquisition and installation of security equipment, specifically to prevent and protect against terrorism, such as physical security enhancement equipment and inspection and screening systems.

Applications will be reviewed by OHSP and the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force. Grant awards will be allocated based on risk analysis, effectiveness, and integration with broader state and local preparedness efforts, such as:

· Identification and substantiation of prior threats or attacks by a terrorist organization, network, or cell against the applicant based on the applicant’s ideology, beliefs or mission;

· Symbolic value of the site as a highly recognized regional, national, or historical institution that renders the site a possible target of terrorism;

· Findings from previously conducted threat or vulnerability assessments.

OHSP will host an information session on April 19, 1-4 p.m. at the Burlington County Office of Emergency Management in Westampton for organizations interested in applying for SECUR-NJ. Applications must be e-mailed to OHSP at grants@njohsp.gov by close of business on May 24. Awardees will be notified in July. For more information on SECUR-NJ, visit njhomelandsecurity.gov/securnj.

Monday, March 20, 2017

President Trump LIVE In Louisville - Watch It Now!



President Trump is scheduled to speak at 7:30 pm.

FREE, FREE, FREE! But Today Only -- HURRY!



Hey, everybody - Dairy Queen is celebrating the first day of spring by giving away ice cream to customers on Free Cone Day TODAY.
You can pick up a small vanilla cone at participating non-mall U.S. Dairy Queen restaurants today only.
HURRY!

GoGoGo! This Is REALLY A Great Start!

HURRY! This Tasty Treat Is FREE Today (3/20) Only!

First Day of Spring - TODAY!

Mark the First Day of Spring TODAY with FREE Italian Ice!

For the past 20 plus years, Rita's has been giving away a free Italian Ice to each and every guest to mark the first day of spring! This is a sweet date for Italian Ice lovers, as each year, hundreds of thousands of our guests visit Rita's in search of the first taste of spring. In fact, Rita's guests showed their spring spirit and over 1.2 million cups of Italian Ice were given away in a ten hour period!

Rita's is  ready to celebrate the arrival of spring in 2017! A springtime tradition, Rita's annual giveaway is today, Monday, March 20 from noon to 9 p.m. at all open Rita's locations. This is surely a tasty tradition that you won't want to miss! So be sure to stop by your local Rita's location and celebrate the arrival of spring on us!

So, Let's Hear From Each And Every One Of Them


Chancellor's Forum - the Philadelphia District Attorney Race













Presented by the Criminal Justice Section, City Policy Committee
and Government & Public Service Lawyers Committee

Candidates Confirmed to Participate Include:
Speaker Photo
Teresa Carr Deni
Speaker Photo
Tariq El-Shabazz
Speaker Photo
Beth Grossman
Speaker Photo
Joe Khan
Speaker Photo
Lawrence Krasner
Speaker Photo
Rich Negrin
Speaker Photo
John O'Neill
Speaker Photo
Michael Untermeyer

Chancellor's Forum:
Philadelphia District Attorney Race

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION
The Great Hall at Moore College of Art
The 12,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association will host candidates for Philadelphia District Attorney at a Chancellor's Forum on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 4 - 5:30 p.m. at The Great Hall at Moore College of Art located at 20th Street and the Parkway. 
The District Attorney race is of the utmost importance and directly impacts the citizens of the City of Philadelphia. This Chancellor's Forum will be an opportunity for members of the Association and public to learn about the candidates' positions and issues, and ask meaningful questions.
Attendees are invited to a wine-and-cheese networking reception immediately following the Chancellor's Forum.
Moderated by

Kevin Harden, Jr.
Board of Governors
Philadelphia Bar Association
President
The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, Inc.


Date:
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Time:
4 - 5:30 p.m.
New Location:
Moore College of Art
The Great Hall, 20th Street and the Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
Registration Info:
This program is FREE for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association and $15.00 for non-members. Registration is required for all attendees.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

STUNNING: 'New' Recordings From The Master!

Louis Armstrong was one of the most recognizable men in the world. His smile, his voice, his trumpet all set the standard for the one true American art form called “jazz.”

Dot Time Records’ Legends Series has unearthed a treasure of UNRELEASED RECORDINGS by Louis Armstrong. The Louis Armstrong Legacy Series will feature four productions from the Armstrong archives housed at Queens College. The first production entitled The Standard Oil Sessions will be released May 12, 2017. In addition to the regular releases, available in stores, it is just being announced that a Limited Collector’s Edition has been created and is on sale now.

This Collector’s Edition has been meticulously refined and re-mastered for the highest-quality sound value by Dot Time Records “Legends” producer Jerry Roche. It is a one-of-a-kind treasure trove of Jazz. Each edition comes with a 20-page booklet authored by Ricky Riccardi, the 21st-Century foremost authority on Armstrong, including rare photos.

Volume 1 of the Collector’s Edition, “The Standard Oil Sessions”, is now on sale only atwww.dottimerecords.com/louis-armstrong. The first release will ship on the 1st of May 2017, allowing purchasers to receive their copy prior to the official release date of the regular release available in stores.

As Wynton Marsalis said in a CBS This Morning interview, “Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest human beings to ever set foot on this planet. He gave us a feeling that persists with us. Thank you, Pops!” Miles Davis put it this way, "You can't play anything on a horn that Louis hasn't played." While Satchmo himself said it best, “My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn...”

For more information, visit www.dottimerecords.com.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

History Has Taught Us That THIS Is True . . .

The Charms And Colors Of A Spectacular Region!

This year's Philadelphia Flower Show, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society focused on all things Holland in a massive celebration of the windmills, tulips, bicycles and charms of The Netherlands.
The show closes today and if you haven't seen it by now, you're probably out of luck.
But, not to worry -- we've got it for you right here with photos of some of the most vivid blooms and best displays.
And, get ready for next year when the theme will be The Wonders of Water!





















All photos copyright 2017 by Dan Cirucci.