Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Jill Biden In Puerto Rico: Who's Dressing Her?


 Take a look at thE getup that Jill Biden chose for this week's visit to storm damaged Puerto Rico.

OMG! Who's dressing this woman? This is a veritable nightmare!

Italian American Heritage Month: Marie L. Garibaldi

Marie L. Garibaldi

Marie Garibaldi was an American success story and a trailblazer.

Justice Garibaldi was the first woman to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court, the state’s highest court. She also was the first woman to serve as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and as a director of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Bell Telephone Co., and the Washington Savings Bank.

Justice Garibaldi graduated from Connecticut College with honors in economics. She received her law degree at Columbia University Law School and her master’s degree in tax law from New York University. The Justice is a member of the New Jersey, New York, and District of Columbia bars.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Marie Garibaldi, a specialist in tax law, was a partner in the law firm of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti. Justice Garibaldi also was a frequent speaker on issues involving tax law, state constitutional law, gender, and the legal profession, and has written numerous articles.

The Justice was the recipient of several awards including the Medal for Excellence from Columbia University School of Law and has received Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Law from St. John’s University Law School, Seton Hall University Law School, Farleigh Dickinson University, and Drew University. She has also received Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters from Upsala College, Caldwell College, College of Saint Elizabeth, and Saint Peter’s College.

Justice Garibaldi retired from the Court on February 1, 2000. She then went on to several other roles as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of The National Italian American Foundation, a member and Assistant Secretary of the Board of Governors of Hackensack University Medical Center, Chair of the Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Executive Vice President of the American Society of Italian Legions of Merit, a member of the Councillors and Secretary of the Order of Malta, American Association.


Justice Garibaldi died in 2016 at the age of 82.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

School's 'Harvest Hoedown' A Real Attraction

Saint Mary Interparochial School (Saint Mary’s) in Philadelphia will celebrate its sixteenth annual Harvest Hoedown on Locust


Saturday, October 15, 2022
 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
 Saint Mary Interparochial School
 Locust Street between 4th and 5th Streets
 Philadelphia, PA 19106
 **The Event is Rain or Shine**

The event will feature hayrides, a scarecrow contest, food, music, face painting, a moon bounce, and game garden. Also featured will be festive Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math (STREAM) activities. The school will also crown a King, Queen, Prince, and Princess of the Harvest Hoedown as part of the festivities.

In addition, the Harding Alumni Award will be presented to Morgan Kane, a 2017 graduate of Saint Mary’s who exemplifies excellence in service to the community-at-large. The Saint Joseph the Worker Award will be presented to the Kelly Griffin Family, who has demonstrated exceptional service to Saint Mary’s. 

For additional information about Saint Mary’s Harvest Hoedown on Locust, including pre-paid and day of event admission, please click here. All proceeds from this event will benefit the students of the school by supporting their STREAM curriculum resource needs. 

Background information on Saint Mary Interparochial School
Saint Mary Interparochial School’s mission is to challenge its diverse student body to grow morally, academically and socially, into passionate, confident and Christ-centered leaders of the 21st century. In 2016, Saint Mary’s was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School. For information about Saint Mary’s please visit www.saintmarys.us/.  

Note: 
For additional information on Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit aopcatholicschools.org/

'Now He Wants OUR Vote? Not A Chance!'

Italian American Heritage Month: David Baldacci

David Baldacci 

David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, “because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 45 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for young readers.

 

A lifelong Virginian, David received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

 

In addition to being a prolific writer, David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

 

David and his family live in Virginia.

Cherry Hill: Questions From A Worried Taxpayer!

To The Taxpayers of Cherry Hill regarding Thursday's School Bond Vote:
Dear fellow taxpayers, Like you, I have spoken with my neighbors and fellow tax paying citizens of Cherry Hill who have questions and concerns related to the upcoming special election for the School Bond. I ask that you please consider the following:
  • Why did our representatives and interested parties decide to have a special election at a greater cost to the Taxpayers, and not bundle this into the upcoming November Elections? My concern here is that, in targeting only “interested voters” and not the general voting population, the results of the vote, either For or Against will not accurately reflect the will of the entire community. I feel that this is not in keeping with the spirit of equity that our community holds dear. This vote impacts every taxpayer in Cherry Hill, not just those with children. We all have skin in the game.
  • Why does it seem that Cherry Hill subcommittee members have access to information, processes and protocols regarding the Bond that the average Cherry Hill taxpayer does not? It seems to many of us that the dissemination of pertinent information regarding the Bond has not been adequately provided to every voter in Cherry Hill. This too, is not equitable.
  • Why does Cherry Hill Tomorrow and its establishment- supporters claim they presented Cherry Hill Taxpayers with an unbiased perspective, when their handouts show clear bias in favor of voting Yes to the bond? Please read it for yourself.
  • Why does the ballot show color and font that matches the same color and font used on Cherry Hill Tomorrow’s promotional handouts? I believe this is no accident, but instead intended to manipulate the voter into voting Yes to the bond. Please read it for yourself.
  • Why does all local media in our town promote voting Yes to the Bond? Why are we not presented with a balanced “pros and cons” approach to this Bond Vote?
  • Why have our schools been allowed to fall into their current state of disrepair? Were they neglected intentionally? Is this situation the result of incompetence? What happened to all the money we gave them over the years and decades? Is this a manufactured crisis?
  • Why does the Bond Ballot read like a Homeowners Insurance policy? Ask yourself if you honestly understand it. If you don’t, ask yourself if that's an accident. Please read it for yourself.
  • Why does the ballot begin by stating “The Board of Education in the township of Cherry Hill, in the county of Camden, NJ IS AUTHORIZED TO UNDERTAKE various improvements, alterations, renovations, repairs…etc”? I believe this language is intentionally deceptive and assumptive, and that it misleads the voter into believing that the Bond is already a decided issue. Please read it for yourself. I believe the Cherry Hill BOE and the Cherry Hill Tomorrow group have framed the Ballot Question to seem like it’s simply a questionnaire that we are answering. Do not be fooled! The BOE is not authorized to do anything until WE, the TAXPAYERS, vote to give them permission. WE are the one with the power to authorize. That’s why the Bond requires our vote in the first place. Please don’t forget that.
I believe the Cherry Hill BOE and the Cherry Hill Tomorrow group have framed the Ballot Question to seem like it’s simply a questionnaire that we are answering. Do not be fooled! The BOE is not authorized to do anything until WE, the TAXPAYERS, vote to give them permission. WE are the one with the power to authorize. That’s why the Bond requires our vote in the first place. Please don’t forget that.
  • Why does the Ballot close by asking “Do you approve the bond proposal question”? There are approximately 370 words on the ballot, but nowhere is a question actually asked prior to asking for your approval. Please read it for yourself.
  • Why have multiple OPRA requests been denied to taxpayers that would provide all of us the detailed information needed so that we may vote intelligently on a bond which is in excess of $360 Million Dollars?
  • Why does the Cherry Hill Tomorrow website show different figures for the Bond than the ballot itself shows? In closing, I wish to make it clear that many of us want our schools to be repaired and brought to an adequate state so that our children receive an excellent education in a comfortable environment that promotes scholastic excellence. However, I am worried by the decisions and actions of the current BOE and its supporters, precisely because they have failed to provide Cherry Hill Taxpayers with an adequate, unbiased and comprehensive presentation of facts, both pro and con. I am suspicious of their decision to hold a special election which typically results in lower voter turnout. I am critical of the lack of continuity in their messaging, in the inconsistency of their presented figures, in their decision to deny requests by fellow taxpayers for greater detailed information so that we may responsibly vote with sufficient knowledge and awareness, and according to our own individual conscience. I resent the effort to manipulate Cherry Hill Taxpayers into feeling guilty and shaming us to vote the way we’re being told to vote. In the present economy, one which sees inflation rising at a level not seen in 30 years, where the cost of living climbs higher and higher while our incomes do not, where the stock market continues to perform poorly, where the hardships of war threaten our financial security, where the realities of the COVID pandemic recently kept our children home for almost 2 years, and a town where every property owner and renter is already taxed far above the national average, I do not think that it is shameful to ask that all Cherry Hill taxpayers and registered voters reject the current bond request and vote NO on Thursday, October 6th.
In closing, I wish to make it clear that many of us want our schools to be repaired and brought to an adequate state so that our children receive an excellent education in a comfortable environment that promotes scholastic excellence. However, I am worried by the decisions and actions of the current BOE and its supporters, precisely because they have failed to provide Cherry Hill Taxpayers with an adequate, unbiased and comprehensive presentation of facts, both pro and con. I am suspicious of their decision to hold a special election which typically results in lower voter turnout. I am critical of the lack of continuity in their messaging, in the inconsistency of their presented figures, in their decision to deny requests by fellow taxpayers for greater detailed information so that we may responsibly vote with sufficient knowledge and awareness, and according to our own individual conscience. I resent the effort to manipulate Cherry Hill Taxpayers into feeling guilty and shaming us to vote the way we’re being told to vote. In the present economy, one which sees inflation rising at a level not seen in 30 years, where the cost of living climbs higher and higher while our incomes do not, where the stock market continues to perform poorly, where the hardships of war threaten our financial security, where the realities of the COVID pandemic recently kept our children home for almost 2 years, and a town where every property owner and renter is already taxed far above the national average, I do not think that it is shameful to ask that all Cherry Hill taxpayers and registered voters reject the current bond request and vote NO on Thursday, October 6th. This will send a message, loudly and clearly, that this BOE failed their obligation to our community, and that they go back and re-do this work assignment correctly. They will have the opportunity in the future to present a better bond, in full transparency to ALL of the citizens of Cherry Hill, and to do so in a conscientious manner that is respectful and equitable to us all.

Sincerely,
Patrick Mattucci 
Cherry Hill resident and taxpayer since 2001

Well, This Just About Sums It Up!

 


Monday, October 3, 2022

NJ Senator: Don't Be Bullied By 'Dimwitted' NY Pol

New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon blasted a dimwitted proposal by a New York lawmaker that would charge every New Jersey driver entering New York City a $50 fee as punishment for pending legislation that would prohibit the NJMVC from helping other states enforce automated camera tickets on Garden State motorists.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon blasted a dimwitted proposal by a New York lawmaker that would charge every New Jersey driver entering New York City a $50 fee as punishment for pending legislation that would prohibit the NJMVC from helping other states enforce automated camera tickets on Garden State motorists. (SenateNJ.com)

“New Jersey got rid of our red light camera program because we learned it was a scam that enriched corrupt tech companies at the expense of drivers without improving public safety,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “Automated red light and speed camera systems are engineered to entrap drivers by shady operators that have been caught bribing politicians all over the country. The only way these systems make money is if proper yellow light and speed setting engineering criteria are ignored. Every competent, unbiased study of these systems demonstrates they have no overall safety benefit — and that’s the only measure that counts. Automated camera enforcement is a policing for profit racket that New Jersey rightfully banned. These camera systems have nothing to do with making roads safer and everything to do with making money. New Jersey doesn’t inflict these scams on our drivers or anyone else’s, and we should not be complicit in helping other states to perpetuate their automated injustice on New Jerseyans. The sooner all of these abusive programs end everywhere, the better.”

In June, the New Jersey Senate unanimously passed O’Scanlon’s “Automated Enforcement Inoculation Act,” which would shield New Jersey drivers from predatory fines for traffic violations captured by red light cameras and speed cameras in other states.

Under O’Scanlon’s legislation, S-460, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and other State entities would be prohibited from disclosing the personal information of New Jersey drivers to help another state impose or collect a fine for alleged violations captured by automated camera ticketing systems.

Out of fear that the Empire State might lose a stream of easy camera ticket revenues from out-of-state drivers, New York Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz introduced legislation in Albany that would charge New Jersey drivers, and those from other “uncooperative” states, a punitive $50 fee every time they enter New York City.

The proposed $50 fee would be in addition to existing bridge and tunnel tolls and a $23 congestion pricing toll that New York is considering charging drivers to enter much of lower and midtown Manhattan.

“I won’t let a dimwitted New York politician try to extort New Jersey into enforcing a corrupt automated ticket racket that preys on both his constituents and my own. And it should be noted that the folks most devastatingly impacted by these systems are the poor and middle-class workers,” added O’Scanlon. “I would warn Assemblyman Dinowitz that this escalating abuse of New Jersey workers by New York will give large employers even more incentive to open satellite offices in the Garden State. You’ll lose your precious corrupt ticket revenue and billions more in income tax payments to New Jersey, all while commercial vacancies in Manhattan climb even higher. New York has the most to lose by a long shot.”

WARNING: Don't Fall For This $400 Million Scam!

You know that New Jersey property taxes are already the highest in the nation. In Cherry Hill, payment was due at the end of August. And, if you’ve checked it out, you’ve noticed that more than half of your property taxes go to the local schools. More than half!  Furthermore, quarterly taxes will be due again in November!

The Cherry Hill School District has an operating budget exceeding $272 million per year. That comes to more than $26,000 per student. Yet the national average for private school tuition is less than half that — about $12,000 per student. 


So, the school district has plenty of money. They’re already collecting more of your property tax dollars than the county, the township, the fire district, the library and the open space fund combined! 


But that’s still not enough. Now, the schools are asking you to  cough up hundreds of millions more. 


Yes, they want you to approve a bond issue (basically a borrowing plan) of $363 million that they say they need for the schools. That will increase your property taxes by an average of $400 every year  for the next 20 years. And that’s without any other increases the school district will enact each and every year as history has shown the school budget grows annually. Check your annual tax bill. You’ll see that the budget and the taxes go up — not down — every year!


A few years ago Cherry Hill voters wisely turned down a similar school bond. But now the district is back for another try at an even higher price.


The special school bond election is scheduled for this Thursday, October 6 — not Tuesday and not in November when elections are usually held. Remember: Thursday, October 6. The school district is hoping you won’t even notice there’s an election this week. In fact, they're only making their budget approval pitch to parents of school age children. And they're conveniently leaving you out of the loop. Yes, this approach is sneaky and snarky. But this way they figure they’ll get their voters out to approve the budget while you focus on other things. Don’t let this happen!


Right now, runaway inflation is costing you an extra $340 a month — and that’s a conservative figure! What’s more, New Jersey already has the nation’s highest property taxes and is one of the most heavily taxed states. This is no time to raise your taxes!


Vote NO! on the school bond splurge! 


It’s your money. Tell the Cherry Hill schools to do a better job of managing it! After all, you’re working hard to do more with less. Why shouldn’t they?



Image by Eric Perlin for Pixabay. 

Italian American History Month: Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

Michael R. Pompeo was sworn in as the 70th Secretary of State on April 26, 2018, serving through 2020. He previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 to April 2018.

Michael R. Pompeo, 70th Secretary of State

Prior to joining the Trump Administration,  Pompeo was serving in his fourth term as congressman from Kansas’ 4th District. He served on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Select Benghazi Committee.

Prior to his service in Congress, Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace, where he served as CEO for more than a decade. He later became President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturing, distribution, and service company.

Mike Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the US Army’s Fourth Infantry Division.

After leaving active duty, Pompeo graduated from Harvard Law School, having been an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Mike Pompeo was born on December 30, 1963, in Orange, California. He is married to Susan Pompeo and has one son, Nick.