Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A VERY Poignant Story From America's Heartland

Christie Continues Effort To Reduce Red Tape

Reaffirming the Christie Administration's commitment to making pro-growth and commonsense regulatory reform a cornerstone of New Jersey's economic development, Governor Chris Christie today signed Executive Order No. 155 renewing the charter of the bi-partisan Red Tape Review Commission (RTRC). As part of the announcement, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno issued the latest detailed report on the RTRC's work and recommendations to serve as a blueprint for further progress.

The Lt. Governor made the announcement at the Funplex in East Hanover, a premiere amusement and entertainment destination, and within an industry that the RTRC has actively assisted through its recommendations and reforms.

“Improving New Jersey's regulatory climate is essential to the State's economic growth, and the Red Tape Review Commission's work had been critical to that endeavor,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Working with the bi-partisan legislators and business leaders on the RTRC, we have helped change the narrative in Trenton. Instead of facing the former ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’ bureaucracy, businesses now enjoy a more streamlined, modernized and welcoming environment that promotes investment and job creation. With today's Executive Order, businesses in New Jersey and those that are looking to make the Garden State their home can be assured that these efforts will continue.”

Input received by the RTRC from the business community has led directly to much needed regulatory reforms, including:

· Streamlining the approval process for new carnival and amusement rides;

· Eliminating unnecessary paperwork and instituting cost savings for professional licensures; and

· Easing reporting requirements for non-profits, allowing them to focus their limited resources on service delivery.

In addition, the Department of State has established a devoted email account ( to allow businesses to provide real time feedback.

“The Red Tape Review Commission's efforts have led to tangible wins. Testimony to the Commission led directly to the enactment of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act - a bill I sponsored along with Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Scott Rumana - that modernized New Jersey's laws and improved our reputation as a home for business,” said Senator Steven Oroho. “In addition, based on testimony we received and again with Assemblymen Burzichelli and Rumana, I co-sponsored legislation that improved processes at the Office of Administrative Law that, among other things, set time frames on agency head decisions. I look forward to continuing these efforts.”

Key recommendations of the Red Tape Review Commission Findings and Recommendations report released today include:

One-Stop-Shop in Every Department. Each statewide department or division, as appropriate, should consider establishing one or more staff members to function in a "one-stop" capacity. Constituents often need to speak with someone who is thoroughly familiar with the department/division for either guidance or clarification. Such a person would particularly benefit small businesses that may find it difficult to both navigate bureaucracy and to comply with the letter of the law (or rule) in every instance.

Continue Procurement Reforms. Efforts towards uniformity across State agencies to reduce idiosyncrasies such as varying electronic bid solicitation and acceptance, different closing times, and different treatment of late bids will help reduce the confusion and frustration of vendors.

More Acceptance of Accreditation. New Jersey has often held higher standards for licensing than other states or the federal government, however, when national standards, or certification by professional consortiums are comparable to New Jersey's requirements, departments should be more willing to recognize accreditation from outside bodies to help businesses avoid redundant paperwork and double-billing.

Expansion of General Permits and Permits by Rule. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken a lead role in creating and encouraging the use of general permits and permits by rule. Such streamlined permitting ensures that the State's environmental protection goals are being advanced while not unduly costing applicants precious time and money in obtaining an individual permit. DEP should continue to advance such streamlined permitting and other departments and agencies should continue to follow suit where there is no risk to the public health, safety, and well-being.

Reduce Unnecessary Hidden Costs of Regulation. All permitting and licensing entities should carefully examine their regulatory requirements to reduce or eliminate unnecessary hidden costs where little or no such benefit is delivered.

Joining Lt. Governor Guadagno today were RTRC members, Assemblyman Rumana, Mayor Brian D. Levine, John Galandak, and Tony Monteiro, as well as Michael Egenton of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

A copy of Executive Order No. 155 is attached.

The full report of the RTRC's recommendations and findings can be found here.

Great Food, And Cary Grant's NYC Hideaway!

Neighborhood food tours are all the rage in cities across the country.
But nowhere do they seem to be more successful than within the boundaries of that gastronome's mecca known as New York City.
And one of the reasons why this is so is the original Foods of New York Tours (FNYT). For 15 years now Foods of New York has been treating visitors and natives alike to some of the best food and neighborhood combos available anywhere in the world.
Yesterday, FNYT celebrated its 15th birthday and we joined the festivities by taking an Original Greenwich Village Food Tour savoring the old Italian section and the quaint surroundings of one of the most historic areas on Manhattan. Yes, we did use "quaint" and "Manhattan" in the same sentence, if you can believe that. And if you had been with us yesterday, you would understand why.
We decided to take this tour for three reasons:
1) We hadn't been in the storied Greenwich Village area of the Big Apple for years and we longed to discover it anew, beyond the touristy environs of Washington Square.
2) We previously took a FNYT journey through the Chelsea Market and meatpacking district area and we loved it, so we were longing to return.
3) The tour was offered at less than half price to commemorate FNYT's birthday.
And so, there we were eating our way through picturesque area of The Village with our superbly informative and delightfully entertaining tour guide Raheem as we wandered in and out of small and medium-sized locally owned business and restaurants, all of which offer up the freshest culinary treats.
We started at the famous Joe's Pizza (a New York landmark) and ventured through Murray's Cheese and Gourmet Foods, Palma Italian Restaurant, O & C Olive Oil Shop, Milk and Cookies American Bakery, Rafele Italian Restaurant, Rocco's Italian Pastry Shop and Faicco's Italian Specialty Shop. We wish had the time to tell you about each delectable stop but that wouldn't do justice to our marvelous journey and it would only tease you.
Well, anyway -- did you know that there are more Italian restaurants in this one section of Greenwich Village than there are in all of New York's famed Little Italy? And this area contains several Italian eateries that are rated among the very best that the city has to offer.
Plus, this is where you will also find cozy, narrow tree-lined streets, Manhattan's oldest wooden house, a magical New Orlean's type courtyard of charming town homes, the building that posed as the apartment house where the characters in NBC'S F*R*I*E*N*D*S lived and the narrowest house in little old New York -- a place that once belonged to Cary Grant. Yep, they're all here in a section of the city where you will find few if any buildings exceeding four stories in height.
Take a look at our photos and then go to FNYT and book a tour for yourself. There are six different tours in Manhattan and Brooklyn to choose from. Mangia!

In the heart of the old Italian section of Greenwich Village.

You won't wind a bookstore like this at the mall.

Just part of the selections at Murray's Cheese and Gourmet Foods.

Legions have declared Joe's "the best" for generations.

Inside the beautiful Palma Italian restaurant.

Fresh and delicious at Rafele Italian restaurant.

Yeah, they're chocolate chip -- at Milk and Cookies.

Boston or Philly? Nah! It's Manhattan, baby!

OK, so this narrow little charmer once was Cary Grant's Manhattan hideaway.

Exterior for FRIENDS apartment house on NBC.

The oldest wooden house in New York.

We're told you're liable to spot celebrities here. Shhhhh!

No, it's not Charleston of Savannah. This is tucked into
a small side street in Greenwich Village.

Above and below, Rocco's Italian Pastry Shop.

Corbett Airs Radio Spot Aimed At Wolf, Schwartz

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today released their latest radio spot, entitled Twice as Bad, which will begin hitting the airwaves statewide today. The ad focuses on Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s extreme liberal agenda and millionaire Secretary’s Tom Wolf’s fondness for high taxes on middle class Pennsylvania families.

“Pennsylvania voters need to know the truth about extreme liberal Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf,” stated Corbett-Cawley campaign manager Mike Barley. “Our ad shines a light on the soft spot Congresswoman Schwartz has for the liberal President Barack Obama agenda and millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf’s desire to hike taxes on middle class Pennsylvania families.”

The script of the ad and the sources for each claim are listed below. You can listen to the radio spot HERE.

There’s liberal, there’s extremely liberal, and then there’s Allyson Schwartz.

Schwartz has voted with Obama’s liberal agenda almost unanimously [1].

Schwartz even helped write disastrous Obamacare [2].

And Schwartz is so extreme on gun control, the NRA graded her an F [3].

Now many of the same liberal groups who endorsed Obama and Clinton are supporting Schwartz for Governor [4].

Then there’s Tom Wolf, who conveniently left out of his ads that he was the state’s Revenue Secretary in Harrisburg [5].

You know, the top tax collector.

And Wolf was a job killing bureaucrat.

On Wolf’s watch, taxes were high [6], killing 100,000 PA jobs and our unemployment went up almost 50% [7].

But the real insult?

Wolf is a millionaire, but he fought to increase taxes on average Pennsylvanians including higher taxes on home heating and the sales tax [8].

Tom Wolf: High taxes, fewer jobs.


[1] CQ 2011 Vote study, (95% score in 2011. Subsequent scores are 91% in 2012 and 92% in 2013)

[2] Schwartz Press Release,


[4] e.g. Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List

[5] Wolf served as Revenue Secretary for 19 months from 4/07 to 11/08

[6] (2014 report shows that tax burden in Pennsylvania was highest in 2008, while Wolf was revenue secretary)

[7] Bureau of Labor Statistics (The number of unemployed Pennsylvanians increased by 152,665 under Wolf and the unemployment rate increased from 4.2% to 6.2%)

[8] Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee Budget Hearing, 2/26/07 (video available)

Five Napkin: Could This Be The Best Burger?

Before a Sunday matinee on Broadway, we wanted a quick but nonetheless relaxed meal.
And we were in the mood for burgers.
No, we weren't interested in some counter service place. We wanted to sit down, be served and enjoy ourselves in a friendly atmosphere.
And we found it all at Five Napkin on Ninth Avenue at 45th street not far from the theater district.
We had a 12:30 reservation and were warmly greeted, promptly seated and served by this restaurant's efficient and helpful staff.
We enjoyed the the classic cheeseburger (8 oz. fresh ground beef, american cheese, raw onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles on a sesame brioche roll) and the burger salad (beef patty on top of mixed lettuce, endive, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, red onion, radishes, celery, blue cheese, pickled onions with choice of dressing).
We ordered the burger well and it was thoroughly cooked without being burnt. And it remained juicy!   We loved the combo of ingredients with the slightly sweet brioche roll. This burger is substantial but it's not overwhelming. You don't have to cut it into parts or slice it through the middle to fit it into your mouth. The fries that accompanied it were freshly cut, freshly cooked and perfect.
The burger salad (ordered medium-rare) was cooked just as directed and proved to be equally tasty amidst fresh, crisp ingredients.
Yes, this very well could be the best damned burger in Manhattan -- but now you'll also find Five Napkin in Miami and Boston.
We can heartily recommend the Ninth Avenue location which is bustling without being crazy. It's comfortable and convivial.
And, lest you think that Five Napkin is only about burgers, check out their entire menu. We think you'll be pleased.

Obama And Obamacare Are Losers, Poll Says

For months, we've been telling you that Obama is tanking.
For months, we've been warning that he really has no coherent foreign policy and that his actions in the face of the crisis in Ukraine were marking him as weak and inept. We also warned that the appointments of Kerry and Hagel were mistakes that would boomerang and that people still had concerns about Benghazi, the domestic spying, IRS harassment of the Tea Party and other matters.
For years, we pointed out that Obamacare was an outrageous overreach and that people did not support such a massive power grab by the federal government.
And now (though not for the first time) the numbers validate what we've been saying.

  • In the latest ABC News, Washington Post Poll President Obama's poll numbers have sunk to a new low -- a 41% approval rating. At the same time, a clear majority of respondents disapprove of the job that Obama is doing.
  • On Obamacare, a mere 37% of respondents approve. 
  • And on the situation in the Ukraine, Obama gets a dismal 34% rating.
  • As for the economy, Obamanomics has bombed out as well, scoring a rating of 42%. In fact, only 28% think the economy is getting better. 
  • And, how about this: 53% say they want Republican control of Congress to check Obama’s power.

Suppose you scored 41% on a test? Hmmm? You'd be bounced. You failed, miserably.
Here's the bottom line: Obama's stature has shrunk. People have lost confidence in him. They're not pleased with the economy. They don't want Obamacare. They don't like being spied on or having the IRS harass groups or individuals. And they're worried about the situation in Ukraine and throughout the world. They're not happy.
Now, our liberal friends choose to ignore this. They're still looking for distractions and/or scapegoats so they won't have to face it all.
But none of it bodes well for Democrats and their liberal supporters.
The clock is ticking . . . . . . .

Did Wolf Steal Slogan From House Of Cards' Russo?

You’ve got to hand it to millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf – he’s so eager to plagiarize everything he possibly can that he even edited his personal (and by “personal” we mean “plagiarized”) campaign plan to more accurately rip off a fictitious campaign that is part of a storyline in House of Cards, a popular Netflix show.

As stated by Time Magazine on February 11, 2014, “A wealthy businessman running for governor [in Pennsylvania] is proudly declaring “a fresh start” as his motto. That sounds an awful like the campaign motto used by Peter Russo, the fictional politician from the Netflix political thriller House of Cards, who was also a Democrat running for Pennsylvania governor.”
Photo courtesy of Politics PA

However, plagiarizing millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf must have noticed thatTime Magazine called him out for not completely plagiarizing the Netflix show:

“OK, in fairness, Russo used an exclamation point—”A fresh start!”— and Wolf throws in a “For Pennsylvania.” But still.”

“But still” is right!

Wolf clearly didn’t take it well to the news of Time Magazine calling him out for failing to plagiarize properly, because his plagiarized campaign plan now corrects the discrepancies between the fictitious House of Cards show and his own campaign:
 Photo courtesy of Wolf for PA (aka Pennsylvania Taxpayers & SERS Employees)
Note that the exclamation point is now present, and the “for Pennsylvania” has been removed. You’ve got to hand it to millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf – he sure loves properly plagiarizing!

Also, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our home state political website,, which Time Magazine attributes (read: gives credit to, a term clearly lost on the Wolf Campaign) the photo to Politics PA.

View Politics PA’s original article HERE.

Pope's Reform Council Continues Meetings

The Council of Cardinals has continued its work in accordance with its agenda, and will conclude this afternoon. It has completed a first review of the Pontifical Councils. On Wednesday afternoon the Council of Cardinals met with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who reported on the preparation of the upcoming Synod.

Part of the time was dedicated to the planning of the work to be completed between this meeting and the next one, scheduled for the first days of July.

The new Council for the Economy will meet for the first time on Friday, 2 May, in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace. The Holy Father will address an introductory greeting to the participants. The main focus of the meeting will be the Statutes of the Council itself and the planning of its work, and it will continue throughout the entire day.

The new Commission for the Protection of Minors will have its first meeting in the coming days, from Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 May, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Commission will reflect on the nature and scope of its tasks, as well as its integration with members representing different geographical areas worldwide. The Holy Father will greet the members of the Commission.

Pro Sports: A Tawdry, Disgusting Sham

We hate having to say this, but we fear it's true: The entire Donald Sterling imbroglio demonstrates what a sham pro sports seems to be. 
Much of it is corrupt and phony and the fans are frequently complicit because they enable all the hypocrisy. 
Too often, owners cover for one another; GMs and coaches cover for owners; players cover for owners, GMs, coaches and one another; sports media cover for all of them and fans simply don't bother to care one way or another so long as the teams are giving them what they want -- gladiatorial thrills. 
Nobody gets called out unless he or she gets caught in a Very Big Way. Bottom line: Through it all, the fans willingly pay the exorbitant ticket prices that fund the whole thing -- which actually makes them pawns in the entire scheme. 
And while these pawns (aka "suckers') may be all worked up right now, they'll get over it pronto and everything will be back to "normal" in no time. 
Be sure of this: the Big Boys (owners, players, managers, coaches, major sports media) will continue to live high -- and that includes Sterling who will keep his "FU Money". 
Bread and circuses -- that's what it's all about. Bread and circuses! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pope's Council Of Cardinals Meets Again

The Council of Cardinals met yesterday, Monday 28 April, for the first sessions of its fourth Meeting. The Holy Father participated most of the time, except when he had other commitments of particular importance, such as the audiences with the King and Queen of Spain on Monday morning and with the president of Paraguay on Tuesday morning, and the Wednesday morning general audience.

Alongside the eight cardinal members of the Council, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin participated regularly.

On Monday afternoon, the Council heard a report from the president of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structures of the Holy See (COSEA), Joseph F.X. Zahra, in relation to some of the areas of activity within its remit.

Following its review in previous Meetings of the Congregations of the Roman Curia, the Council is now focusing on the Pontifical Councils, first in terms of general considerations, followed by an individual appraisal of each one. The Council is expected to complete a first report of its considerations regarding the Pontifical Councils during this Meeting.

The Council of Cardinals will hold a further four-day meeting in July (1-4 July).

There is still much work to be done, and it is therefore to be expected that it will be completed not this year, but instead during the next.

The previous Meetings of the Council took place on 1-3 October 2013, 3-5 December 2013, and 17-19 February 2014.

The first meeting of the new Council for the Economy will be held on Friday, 2 May.

Corbett Campaign Questions Wolf's Delaware Motives

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley Campaign today released a series of documents raising questions as to whether Secretary Tom Wolf is campaigning against the same Delaware loophole from which his company is benefiting. In his campaign platform, “A Fresh Start,” Wolf pledges to close the Delaware loophole. However, public documents show that Wolf’s company incorporated in Delaware in 2006, before he accepted a $20 million partial buyout that was funded with considerable taxpayer dollars.

According to Wolf’s A Fresh Start plan, “because of the Delaware loophole, 70 percent of the companies that do business in the state do not pay corporate or net income taxes. This shifts the tax burden to small business and individual citizens. Tom Wolf will push for the ‘combined reporting’ of corporate profits, which will reduce the ability of corporations to avoid paying their fair share.” – We assume this wasn’t plagiarized.

However, records obtained by the Corbett-Cawley campaign show that The Wolf Holdings Organization, Inc. was incorporated on April 21, 2006 at 2711 Centerville Road in Wilmington, Delaware, where Tom Wolf is listed as the officer/director. 

 Wolf claims in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the company is incorporated in Delaware solely for governance purposes. However, according to University of Delaware professor Sheldon Pollack, “People think Delaware law for public companies is more favorable to management . . . [but] for a family company to be chartered in Delaware makes no sense. It's really irrelevant."

The Corbett-Cawley campaign believes that Pollock’s assertion makes it all the more likely that Wolf is incorporating in Delaware for the purpose of taking advantage of the tax loophole that he is campaigning against, which is why we are calling for Wolf to release his corporate tax returns as he has repeatedly stated that he would.

“If millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf is being sincere that he is not incorporated in Delaware for tax purposes, he should come clean by releasing his corporate tax returns to show that he has nothing to hide,” stated Corbett-Cawley Campaign Manager Mike Barley. “However, as Secretary Wolf continues to renege on his promises, it creates an even larger cloud of doubt over what else he is hiding.”

The campaign also made note that this would not be the first time that Wolf has been hypocritical in his campaign platform, noting his multi-million dollar self-funded primary campaign despite his personal repeated calls for the public financing of campaigns, and his previous statement that “if a candidate has to [self-fund] he shouldn't be a candidate.”

“The only thing Secretary Wolf has been consistent on is his flagrant hypocrisy, so it should come as no surprise that he’s once again not even playing by his own rules,” concluded Barley.

View the public document on Wolf’s Delaware-based company by clicking HERE.

Video: The Canonization - Behind The Scenes

In this Word From Rome video series, Father Barron reports live during the 2014 canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Journey with him as he watched these two great men become formally recognized as saints. Find more information at

NJ State Senators: No Tax Hikes For Bailout

New Jersey State Senators Sam Thompson (R-12) and Peter J. Barnes, III (D-18) called a non-profit organization's report calling for sales and/or property tax increases in five New Jersey counties to generate new revenues to reduce operating deficits of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson ("PATH") rail system a "nonstarter."

The report, issued by the New York Citizens Budget Commission ("CBC"), recommends tax increases in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Union counties to generate up to $233 million for PATH deficit reduction.

"The New Jersey Legislature has been committed to finding ways to reduce our residents' tax burden," said Thompson. "The CBC's suggestion to increase sales or property taxes on millions of New Jersey residents to fund a service that few actually use is nonsensical."

The CBC report suggests that an increase in the effective property tax rate of 2.09 percent in the five counties would generate the sought after $233 million, costing the owner of a home assessed at the median value of $360,400 in Hudson County $180 per year in additional property taxes.

In a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the operator of the PATH system, the legislators urged the Authority to disregard the CBC's report.

"It's hard to imagine the Legislature supporting any effort to enact the tax increases recommended by the CBC," said Barnes. "Given the already high tolls that commuters utilizing Port Authority crossings pay, it would be in the best interest of everyone for the Port Authority to not waste resources considering a proposal that will not receive legislative approval."

Christie Tags Degnan To Helm Port Board

Governor Christie: As you all know, General Degnan is a well respected, distinguished public figure who has served the people of New Jersey in many capacities over the last nearly three decades. 

I’ve asked John to take over the Port Authority’s Board at an important time when it faces a number of really critical issues, from organizational reform to capital planning to ensuring the competitiveness of the Port and the regional economies. John’s leadership ability and his experience is universally respected, both as a professional and as a volunteer when called upon and those experiences make him extremely well-suited to this next challenge. 

His charge from me is to do what he has always done in public life and that is to bring his best judgment without prejudice towards any conclusions about where this agency needs to go in order to meet its challenges and to serve the toll payers of New York and New Jersey. As many of you know, John is a registered Democrat and worked in the Administration both as Chief Counsel and Attorney General for Governor Brendan Byrne. But over his career, John has shown over and over again that he is willing to put service to the state and its people before partisan politics. And it’s on that basis that I’m even more enthusiastic about his willingness to serve. 

As you may know John is a Harvard Law graduate and has served in a number different roles since 1990 with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies here in New Jersey, Senior Vice President and General Counsel then as President, Chief Ethics officer and Vice Chairman of Chubb and then ultimately moving now to his current relationship with them on a consulting basis. John’s professional success in the private sector never drew him too far though from public service and civic service. He’s a Co-Chair alongside a former Justice Peter Veneiro on my safe taskforce on violence prevention, a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Disciplinary Oversight Committee and the Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Discipline Proceedings, on the board of the RAND Foundation’s Institute for Civil Justice, and as Co-Chair with former Gov. Christie Whitman on Gov. Corzine’s Committee on Security Protocol for the Governor. He currently serves as member of my Judicial Advisory Panel, on the Board of Trustees of the Saint Barnabas Medical Center and the Barnabas Health System, on the Board of St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark and also as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. 

More important than anything else, at a time when there are significant challenges at the Port Authority both to its mission and to the purpose that it serves for the people of the region, I wanted someone with unquestioned credentials, both politically from a partisan perspective and from most importantly the issue of integrity. 

When I considered those factors I was thrilled that John was willing to step forward and serve one more time in a very high profile public role. And so I’m going to introduce John for some remarks. As is custom as you know in this state when you nominate somebody for a position of significance like this he will not be taking questions today. I will, because the first questions he’ll take will come before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

So I thank John for his willingness to step forward and to serve in this very important role. I look forward to a swift consideration by the Senate because we need leadership at the Port Authority. We need a chairman, and we need it as quickly as possible as we confront any number of the problems and issues that we have, so I call on the Senate to give him a swift hearing and consideration, and if they consider the merits of this nomination, which I’m confident they will, they will confirm him and John will be the next chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

John, thank you for your service.

General John Degnan: Thank you Governor. Those are very generous words, and I appreciate very much the confidence in me that is reflected in your decision, and I’ll do my best to match your expectations as you’ve set them out for me. I don’t have a lengthy speech prepared. 

Assuming the Senate gives me the chance to serve in this capacity I’ll come to the job without any preconceived ideas. Much has been written about what is needed at the Port Authority and much of it sounds reasonable but that is from the outside looking in and all I can honestly say right now is that I am open to the best ideas we have. 

I have the Governor’s mandate to be independent and open minded about the task for which I am very grateful. Governor Christie has set the tone with his positive working relationship with Governor Cuomo and it is one that I intend to emulate with my New York counterparts. 

There is a lot of work ahead of us and we have an obligation to work together to serve the best interests of the people of the region. I’m eager to get started and I’ll do all I can to cooperate fully with the confirmation process as it moves forward. Thank you.

B'Way: 'Gentlemen's Guide' Leads Tony Nominations

The Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder leads the pack with 10 Tony Award nominations. That's the news from the nominations announcement in New York today.
The awards will be presented on June 8.
Gentlemen's Guide is followed by Hedwig and the Angry Inch with eight nominations. After Midnight, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, The Glass Menagerie and Twelfth Night all received seven nominations each. 
Here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Play
"Act One"
"All the Way"
"Casa Valentina"
"Mothers and Sons"
"Outside Mullingar"
Best Musical
"After Midnight"
"Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Revival of a Play
"The Cripple of Inishmaan"
"The Glass Menagerie"
"A Raisin in the Sun"
"Twelfth Night"
Best Revival of a Musical
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
"Les Miserables"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Samuel Barnett, "Twelfth Night"
Bryan Cranston, "All the Way"
Chris O'Dowd, "Of Mice and Men"
Mark Rylance, "Richard III"
Tony Shalhoub, "Act One"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Tyne Daly, "Mothers and Sons"
LaTanya Richardson Jackson, "A Raisin in the Sun"
Cherry Jones, "The Glass Menagerie"
Audra McDonald, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"
Estelle Parsons, "The Velocity of Autumn"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Neil Patrick Harris, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Ramin Karimloo, "Les Miserables"
Andy Karl, "Rocky"
Jefferson Mays, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Bryce Pinkham, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Mary Bridget Davies, "A Night with Janis Joplin"
Sutton Foster, "Violet"
Idina Menzel, "If/Then"
Jesse Mueller, "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
Kelly O'Hara, "The Bridges of Madison County"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, "Casa Valentina"
Paul Chahidi, "Twelfth Night"
Stephen Fry, "Twelfth Night"
Mark Rylance, "Twelfth Night"
Brian J. Smith, "The Glass Menagerie"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Sarah Green, "The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Celia Keenan-Bolger, "The Glass Menagerie"
Sophie Okonedo, "A Raisin in the Sun"
Anika Noni Rose, "A Raisin in the Sun"
Mare Winningham, "Casa Valentina"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, "Cabaret"
Nick Codero, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Joshua Henry, "Violet"
James M. Iglehart, "Aladdin"
Jarrod Specter, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Linda Emond, "Cabaret"
Lena Hall, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Anika Larson, "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
Adriane Lenox, "After Midnight"
Lauren Worsham, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Direction of a Play
Tim Carroll, "Twelfth Night"
Michael Grandage, "The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Kenny Leon, "A Raisin in the Sun"
John Tiffany, "The Glass Menagerie"
Best Direction of a Musical
Warren Carlyle, "After Midnight"
Michael Mayer, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Leigh Silverman, "Violet"
Darko Tresnjak, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Book of a Musical
Chad Beguelin, "Aladdin"
Douglas McGrath, "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
Woody Allen, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Robert L. Friedman, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater
"Aladdin" (Music: Alan Menkin; Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Begeulin)
"The Bridges of Madison County" (Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown)
"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" (Music: Steven Lutvak; Lyrics: Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak)
"If/Then" (Music: Tom Kitt; Lyrics: Brian Yorkey)
Best Choreography
Warren Carlyle, "After Midnight"
Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine, "Rocky"
Casey Nicholaw, "Aladdin"
Susan Stroman, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Jason Robert Brown, "The Bridges of Madison County"
Steve Sidwell, "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
Jonathan Tunick, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, "Act One"
Bob Crowley, "The Glass Menagerie"
Es Devlin, "Machinal"
Christopher Oram, "The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Christopher Barreca, "Rocky"
Julian Crouch, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Alexander Dodge, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Santo Loquasto, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, "Act One"
Michael Krass, "Machinal"
Rita Ryack, "Casa Valentina"
Jenny Tiramani, "Twelfth Night"
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Linda Cho, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
William Ivey Long, "Bullets Over Broadway"
Arianne Philips, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Isabel Toledo, "After Midnight"
Best Sound Design of a Play
Alex Baranowski, "The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Steve Canyon Kennedy, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"
Dan Moses Schreier, "Act One"
Matt Tierney, "Machinal"
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, "After Midnight"
Tim O'Heir, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Mick Potter, "Les Miserables"
Brian Ronan, "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, "The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Jane Cox, "Machinal"
Natasha Katz, "The Glass Menagerie"
Japhy Wideman, "Of Mice and Men"
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Christopher Akerlind, "Rocky"
Howell Binkley, "After Midnight"
Donald Holder, "The Bridges of Madison County"
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the TheatreJane Greenwood
Regional Theatre Award
Signature Theatre
Isabelle Stevenson Award
Rosie O'Donnell
Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Joseph P. Benincasa
Joan Marcus
Charlotte Wilcox

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cherry Hill Cherry Blossoms At Peak Right NOW!

Don't delay . . . see this spectacle NOW!
The Cherry blossoms are in vivid bloom along Chapel Avenue in Cherry Hill, N. J.
Get on over to Chapel Avenue this week or you'll miss them.
And, trust me, you don't want to miss this!
Along a dazzling two mile stretch from Haddonfield Road to Kings Highway the blossoms create bright ribbons of pink. Through the day the color varies slightly as the sun and the clouds help to create a feast for the eyes. And the blossoms vary somewhat by shading and color depending upon whether you are moving east or west along Chapel Avenue.
Walking under the blossoms along the sidewalk on either side of the street is a sensual delight.
But this incredible show only lasts for a week or two so you must hurry if you want to see some of the most magnificent clustered blossoms anywhere.
The blossoms were the brainchild of Joe Zanghi, a visionary Cherry Hill resident who began planting them (along with dozens of volunteers, most notably Cherry Hill firefighters) decades ago. They are a true labor of love by public-spirited citizens -- a gift to the entire community and the region.
These are huge, fancy, clustered blossoms.
Drive slowly, cycle or walk under the blossoms and soak up every magical moment!

Adoption Records: Christie Opens New Era In NJ

Recognizing the profound and delicate considerations that are the foundation of adoption decisions in New Jersey and the need to fix a system that is prohibitively complicated for adoptive families, Governor Christie today offered his conditional approval of legislation to bring a new, open approach to adoption and birth records.

The Governor approves the legislation with specific, narrow changes that strengthen the legislation to better accommodate privacy concerns for birth parents, while recognizing the needs of adopted children and adoptive parents to have less restrictive access to birth and medical information.

“The questions considered in this bill have been thoughtfully and passionately examined for decades, producing numerous proposals for reform. Advocates on all sides, however, share the view that life is a precious gift, and that the birth of a child is always an occasion for celebration among family, friends, and community,” said Governor Chris Christie. “With this in mind, I agree that New Jersey should take a new open approach to adoption records that eliminates the requirement of obtaining a court order to access birth records.”

“While I support this bill’s goals, I recommend additional safeguards necessary to balance the needs of adoptees seeking critical records of their identity, with the expectations of birth parents in years past who may wish to remain private. The recommendations here will achieve those goals, while respecting and protecting the interests of adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents,” added the Governor.

The Governor’s approval of the legislation comes with narrow revisions that maintain the spirit of the legislation by removing the lengthy, burdensome requirement of obtaining a court order in order for adopted children and adoptive parents to access birth records. The Governor’s suggested changes also preserve privacy options for birth parents by allowing them to select a preference for contact: direct contact, contact through a confidential intermediary, or access to medical records only with continued privacy.

Adoptees will be able to obtain an original birth certificate without involvement from the courts beginning in 2017. For adoptions finalized after August 1, 2015, long-form birth certificates will be available without redaction, and birth parents are permitted to submit an information statement electing their preferred method of personal contact. For adoptions finalized before August 1, 2015, birth parents may choose to file a preference for contact with the State Registrar, selecting from options including direct interaction, contact through an intermediary, or sharing of only medical information with continued privacy. Providing this transition period will permit for appropriate educational campaigns on new open adoptions, and avoid altering the settled expectations of parents and children without notice.

Sponsors of S-873 include Senators Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex), Diane B. Allen (R-Burlington), and Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), and Assemblymembers Vincent Prieto (D-Bergen, Hudson), David Wolfe (R-Ocean), Angelica Jiminez (D-Bergen, Hudson), and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).

Christie Files Nominations, Appointments

Governor Chris Christie filed the following nominations with the State Senate. The Governor’s nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate. Governor Chris Christie also filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State's Office.

Brigadier General
Nominate for appointment Colonel Ronald B. Turk (Haymarket, Virginia)
Nominate for appointment Neil C. Vitale, P.E. (Cedar Knolls, Morris)
Nominate for reappointment Joseph F. Cantalupo (Union Township, Union)
Nominate for reappointment Joseph P. Schooley (Cherry Hill, Camden)
Nominate for appointment Anthony L. Anzelone (Cape May Court House, Cape May)
Public Members
Nominate for reappointment William J. Pesce (Basking Ridge, Somerset)
Nominate for appointment Brad L. Neilley, Sr., SPHR (South Brunswick, Middlesex)
Nominate for appointment John M. Galandak (Sandyston, Sussex)
Nominate for appointment Michael A. Seeve (Upper Montclair, Essex)
Public Member
Nominate for appointment Joseph M. Taylor (Monroe Township, Middlesex)
Public Members
Nominate for reappointment Robert E. Grady (Jackson, Wyoming)
Nominate for reappointment Guy P. Haselmann, CAIA (Summit, Union)
Public Member
Nominate for appointment Paul J. Shives (Stafford, Ocean)
Public Member
Nominate for appointment Gary L. Hill (Atlantic City, Atlantic)
Public Member
Nominate for appointment James E. Alexis (Cape May Court House, Cape May)

Public Member
Appoint Matthew R. Sage, Esq. (Toms River, Ocean)
Public Member

Appoint Paul A. Juliano (Fairview, Bergen)