Sunday, August 31, 2014

Video: WOW! 'First Look At iPhone 6'

Your boy Doldo411 gives you the low down on the biggest leak in Apple history! Check it out.

And Now, 18 Big Reasons To Hold Onto Summer!

The perpetuation of the ridiculous myth that summer ends on Labor Day must stop. This nonsense must end.
We ask you: Does winter end as soon as the calendar says it's March? We like to think that it does, but we know it does not.
And we all know that winter doesn't begin on December 1, even though by that date we're already overwhelmed by the senseless rush toward (and commercialization of) Christmas.
So, summer doesn't start at the end of May (Memorial Day) and it doesn't end at the beginning of September (Labor Day). Those artificial bookends of summer are bogus.
Summer doesn't end till September 22nd.
Which means we still have nearly three weeks of summer left to enjoy. And these 20 days are among the best in the year.
With that in mind (and in no particular order) here are 18 big reasons to hold onto summer:

1) The beach. You can really enjoy it now since the kids are gone and it's blessedly uncrowded.

2) The sun. It bathes you at a beautiful angle this time of year.

3) The evenings. Just a bit cooler and more refreshing now than at the middle of the season.

4) Tennis. The US Open provides high drama, excitement and the Big Prize.

5) Lazy afternoons. You can still sneak away for some fishin, walkin, sky-gazing or whatever.

6) Fairs and carnivals. Some of the best ones are held now.

7) Late summer blooms. These include coneflower, asters, mums, Russian sage and heliotrope.

9) Travel bargains. At many locations the cost of lodging and dining is slashed as summer winds down.

10) The ocean water temperature. It's generally warmer now and much more enjoyable.

11) Late summer vegetables: corn, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, melons (even some peaches) and plums, all still available.

12) Baseball. The grand finale as we run up to the playoffs and World Series. Exciting!

13) Quietness. Most of your favorite open-air spots are quieter now so you can really listen to the sound of nature.

14) Fewer bugs buzzing. Except for those damned yellow jacks, you won't have to worry as much about insects.

15) Energy savings. Go ahead, open the window.

16) Al fresco dining. As nice this time of year as it's ever gonna be.

17) That deep, deep, green. Catch it before the trees begin to turn.

18) Summer's endless spirit. That spirit is still here and the moments and memories your savor during these final days of summer will warm you all the way through till next year.

How Democrats, Big Labor Forgot About Jobs

I’ve always loved parades.
And I’ve attended many of them in my time.
But one parade above all others stands out in my memory.
I was just a kid at the time but I’ll never forget the big parade in my hometown to celebrate jobs. Sponsored by organized labor, the parade marched down Broadway in Camden (NJ) to herald the construction of the NS Savannah at Camden’s 273-acre New York Shipbuilding Corporation.
Above all, Camden was a blue-collar town. And it was solidly Democrat and pro-labor.
Employment was always the defining “bread and butter” issue for Democrats. And keeping people working and creating new jobs – good jobs – was the essential mission of the Democratic Party. Indeed, “jobs” was the party’s mantra and Democrats rarely spoke on any issue without mentioning jobs.
As Labor Day approaches once again, I think of that day in Camden so many years ago.
What happened?
What went wrong?
When did the Democratic Party lose sight of its core responsibility? When did it stop caring about jobs?
Recent jobs reports may seem to be improved but the simple fact is this: Long-term joblessness remains much higher than when Obama first took office. Also, under Obama workers’ wages remain stagnant and the home ownership rate continues to decline. And participation in the labor force has reached a new low.
The consumer price index is up 12% but real weekly earnings are up by a measly three-tenths of one percent. The number of food stamp recipients has jumped 44% under Obama.
If the Obama economic "recovery" was a real recovery it would have created 14 million new jobs. That's what previous post-recession recoveries created, on average. But Obama has barely created less than half of that -- six million. And the jobless rate still hovers over six percent. But the "real unemployment" rate is estimated to be double that at 12.6%. This number accounts for the full unemployment picture including those “marginally attached to the labor force,” plus those “employed part time for economic reasons.” Yes,  more than 20 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed.
Indeed, many of the jobs created under Obama are part-time. Consider the three most common jobs in America right now: Retail salespersons, cashiers and office clerks. None of these are high-paying and all frequently involve part-time work. It's estimated that more than a quarter of all new jobs created are actually part-time.
Also, 50 years after Dr. King's famous I Have A Dream speech the Black unemployment rate has not improved under President Barack Obama. The Pew Center recently reported that Black unemployment rate has returned to double that of the White unemployment rate.
But nobody on the left seems to want to talk about these failures – not the liberal establishment, not the Democratic leadership and certainly not the labor movement.
President Obama argues that the economy was in a ditch and now “we’ve gotten it out of the ditch and want to put it in drive.” But the car still doesn’t seem to be moving -- not the way it should be; not the way Reagan got it moving ion the 1980s; not nearly that well. Sometimes, Obama simply says we've hit some "bumps in the road." That's small consolation. And enough with the car metaphors already!
Instead, Democrats and Big Labor seem to want to talk about wedge issues such as the trumped-up "war on women" as they immerse themselves in the popular culture -- and this even as Big Labor gets a pass on Obamacare. There's an inherent phoniness about it all.
There was a time when labor leaders were close to the people. There was a time when they actually worked alongside the people that they represented. Those days seem long gone.
And all of this has been happening as union membership has steadily dwindled. When the Savannah was built in Camden, labor unions represented a third of all workers. By 1983 the number had fallen to 20 percent. And by 2008 it was down to 12 percent. What’s more, the average age of union members seems to be getting older. The largest unionized age group is workers aged 55 to 64.
Why can’t the Democrats turn any of these numbers around?
What happened to one of the central promises of traditional liberalism – jobs?
These are questions worth pondering this Labor Day.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jackie Mason: Media Have 'Sadistic' Death Wish For Rivers

You can herb the complete Jackie Mason interview on Sunday evening, August 31 at 7 p. m. on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio. Don't miss it!

Michael Sam Released By Rams - Quest Ends

Multiple sources are now reporting that the St. Louis Rams have released defensive end Michael Sam this afternoon. To put it bluntly,  Sam has been cut from the team.

Word is that Sam's efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Westbrooks wins the competition by becoming one of nine defensive linemen to land a spot on the roster.

Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.

Now, the other 31 teams in the NFL will have 24 hours to put in a claim for Sam. That's considered to be unlikely.

US, France, Germany, Ukraine Lead Aug. Blog Visits

August, 2014

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Newman Society Fights To Uphold Religious Freedom

A very special message from the Cardinal Newman Society:

August 29, 2014
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Dear friends,

We're in a high-stakes standoff with California!

Professors at two Jesuit universities have complained to California officials about the lack of abortion coverage in their employee health plans—coverage that was dropped last year when The Cardinal Newman Society investigated.

Now Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has ruled that state-regulated employers, including many private Catholic schools and colleges,must provide insurance for elective abortion!

We've teamed up with two legal groups to fight this.

It comes just as the Obama administration releases yet another version of the HHS Mandate accommodation.  In our public statement released yesterday, we said:
The Obama administration's latest attempt to force morally objectionable employee benefits upon America's religious organizations—including the most faithful Catholic schools and colleges—in no way diminishes The Cardinal Newman Society's strenuous opposition to this extreme violation of religious freedom. We continue to depend on the courts to protect this freedom that is fundamental to all freedoms and cannot be justly violated by any government, no matter how zealous in its pursuit of other goals.
We're so thankful for the many bishops and organizations that are standing up to the HHS mandate, but we're continually faced with more threats against Catholic schools and colleges!

The California threat is huge. This is a mandate for elective abortion, which is labeled "medically necessary." Will the Obama administration keep its promise to enforce the Weldon Amendment, which prohibits federal funds to states that mandate insurance for abortion? Will California slide toward mandatory abortions in Catholic hospitals?

Meanwhile, New York Catholic schools are required to hide their Catholic identity while providing state-funded pre-K classes. Catholic educators must navigate federal law concerning "transgendered" students. And Canada's courts have ruled that aCatholic school must exempt a high school student from liturgies and retreats.

Please keep The Cardinal Newman Society in your prayers as we work on the "front lines," and stay up to date on new developments at

May God bless you,

Patrick J. Reilly

Budweiser Clydesdales Arrive In West Chester

The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch, Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father, August Anheuser Busch, Sr., who was guided outside the brewery by the ruse of being told his son had purchased him a new car, but instead was greeted by the horses, pulling a red, white and gold beer wagon. The hitch proceeded to carry the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery in a special journey down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis.

Tonight, just a short while ago, the Budweiser Clydesdales came to West Chester, Pennsylvania. A big crowd turned out for these majestic equines as they delivered commemorative cases of beer to select, certified downtown pubs and restaurants.

Is Summer 'Over' On Monday? HELL NO!

Plenty of bright beautiful summer days (24 to be exact) await us.

Repeat after me:
The whole notion that summer begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day is something that was dreamed up by the media and/or the travel industry. And it's a lie.
Because the calendar (and the seasons themselves) tell a whole different story.
May is often cool and transitional. And so is much of June.
Summer begins at the summer solstice on June 21.
And autumn begins at the autumnal equinox on September 22 at 10:29 PM.
June 21 is the longest day of daylight.
September 22 is a day when the hours of daylight and darkness are about equal. Thus, the equinox.
After September, darkness begins to take over and it remains that way until December 21 which is the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight. Each day after that, we get more sunlight until the vernal equinox in March -- the first day of spring.
That's the cycle of the seasons.
We have many warm, wonderful days ahead of us.
So, go out and enjoy summer until at least September 22.
And don't let anyone tell you it's over!

NJ: Second Summer Since Sandy Sees New Progress

As The Second Summer Since Sandy Comes To A Close, The Christie Administration Remains Committed To Helping Families Across New Jersey Rebuild Stronger

Over $1.1 Billion In CDBG-DR Funding Out The Door Or In The Pipeline:

Sandy’s destruction caused $36.9 billion worth of damage and needs – the largest and most ferocious storm in New Jersey’s history. The Christie Administration launched more than 50 recovery and rebuilding programs and initiatives at an unprecedented pace while working to direct billions in relief funding through a variety of sources into New Jersey.

·         Today, 15 months after the first round of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds started flowing in New Jersey, $1.1 billion is out the door or in the pipeline.

o    Of the more than two-thirds of the housing money that has been obligated so far, 73 percent has been awarded to low and moderate income (LMI) families, which is defined as those with income less than 80 percent of an area’s median income.
o    More than 8,700 Sandy-impacted homeowners have been preliminarily awarded a grant through the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation & Mitigation (RREM) Program.
o    All 18,533 eligible homeowners have received or will soon receive a $10,000 check from the Resettlement Program, an initiative aimed at helping homeowners to defray costs and remain in their home county while rebuilding their Sandy-damaged house.
o    More than 800 businesses have been approved for Stronger NJ Business grants and loans totaling more than $88.4million.

Obama HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan: “Sandy was a tragedy of a scale—I’m a New Yorker—that I have never seen. And, by definition, money can never get to families fast enough to repair that damage. And so, are there things that could move faster? Absolutely right. But, if you look at overall, this money is moving faster than in any prior major disaster.” (MSNBC, 1/29/14)

Elevating Homes To Protect From Future Storms:

In order to protect New Jersey communities from future storms, the Christie Administration launched a $100 million grant program to assist homeowners elevate their homes. Targeted at homes in the nine counties hardest hit by Sandy, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Elevation Program provides up to $30,000 of reimbursement for eligible homeowners to elevate their primary single-family residences.

·         More than 2,700 people are working with the Department of Environmental Protection to elevate their homes through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Elevation Program.
·         So far, the DEP has awarded nearly 700 elevation grants in 38 towns across five counties. These grants total more than $21 million.
·         The Christie Administration has submitted more than 1,200 elevation applications for NJ Homeowners to FEMA for approval.

Giving Homeowners The Option To Sell Sandy-Damaged Property:

Through New Jersey’s existing Blue Acres Program, the Christie Administration is giving homeowners the option of selling their properties damaged by Superstorm Sandy in tidal areas of New Jersey. The program is designed to give homeowners the ability to choose the best option for their individual situation.

·         469 voluntary buyout offers have been made, and 306 willing sellers have accepted.
·         The State has been evaluating more than 1,300 homes in repetitive flooding communities and over 600 applicants have already been approved.
o   So far, 152 homes have been purchased in three Middlesex County municipalities: Woodbridge, Sayreville and South River.
o   48 homes have been demolished:  39 in Sayreville and 9 in South River.

·         The Christie Administration is working to aggressively identify and reach out to additional eligible residents to inform them of buyout opportunities and assist them with the application process.

The state is targeting clusters of homes that were ravaged by the storm for buyouts. Those homes eventually will be razed and the areas maintained as open space that can handle future flood waters, while keeping people and property out of harm’s way.

Jack Kraft: Remembering A Legendary Hoops Coach

A special message from Father Peter Donohue, President of Villanova University:

Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends,

It is with sadness that I inform the Villanova community that Jack Kraft, head men's basketball coach from 1961 to 1973, passed away yesterday in New Jersey at the age of 93.

Coach Kraft's teams provided amazing moments on the court, highlighted by a memorable run to the NCAA Championship game in 1971. He developed several Wildcat legends and took great pride in his role as coach, leader and mentor. Coach Kraft also understood the meaning and value of the Augustinian ideals embraced by our community. They guided his coaching style and helped inspire great loyalty and love among his players. Many of them were in attendance at The Pavilion in 2011 as Coach Kraft was honored near the 50th anniversary of his first victory at the University. Please visit this link to learn more about Coach Kraft and his many contributions to the rich legacy of Villanova basketball.

Funeral arrangements will be communicated on the alumni web site once they are finalized. Please keep Coach Kraft and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA

Video: In California Now, Rest Of USA November 4th

You m ay not realize it, but The Wave is headed your way, too. And sooner
than you may think!

Strategy? Here's Obama's REAL Strategy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Christie: NJ Student's Death An 'Unthinkable Loss'

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released the following statement on the tragic passing of Aharon Sofer:

"We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Aharon Sofer on their unthinkable loss. As parents, Mary Pat and I cannot imagine the sense of grief and sadness that engulfs them at this moment. We add our thoughts and prayers to those of so many in New Jersey and around the world for this family and the community of Lakewood. Together, we can help them deal with this awful tragedy."

South Toms River Gets Post-Sandy Grant Money

In the Christie Administration’s ongoing effort to promote sound, sustainable long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of a $30,000 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to South Toms River Borough in Ocean County to develop long-range plans to become resilient in the event of future severe weather events.

“Like many hard hit communities that lost residential and commercial properties to the storm, South Toms River is facing significant challenges that were either created or exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy,” said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state. “This grant will help the Borough identify ways to better protect itself from future storms and find solutions to the very specific issues it is facing.”

South Toms River can use the grant to hire licensed professional planners to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and identify long-term strategies for resiliency and flood protection in the future. The Strategic Recovery Planning Report should focus on planning goals, strategies, and priorities that lead to actions that are most urgently needed for public safety and economic recovery.

In its application, Borough officials said South Toms River suffered losses to waterfront homes and business, including several marinas along Atlantic City Boulevard due to the October 2012 storm. They stated that the Borough’s Master Plan never anticipated the severity of a recovery from a storm like Sandy, which is why the town’s land uses and zoning districts need to be revisited to incorporate hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million initially allocated to the program is currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

NJ Assemblyman Blasts Pinelands Commission

New Jersey Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today voiced his support for continuing youth soccer tournaments at farms in the Pinelands.

Sam Fiocchi

“What possibly could be more natural than kids playing on lush fields of dense Kentucky bluegrass? I can’t think of anything better and more in keeping with preservation than weekend recreational sports,” said Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland. “Teams will come here and play soccer a couple weekends a year.”

At a farm in Hammonton, soccer tournaments were recently hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Soccer Showcase League. The Pinelands Commission contends that soccer games violate the farm’s deed restriction, which allows for “low intensity recreational use.”

“Occasional soccer games have low-impact, or no impact, on the environment,” said Fiocchi, the sponsor of legislation that would classify soccer as one of the recreational activities permitted on agriculture land in the Pinelands. “There’s no reason at all to prohibit these games.”

Sea Bright To Get $8.5 Million In Post-Sandy Help

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today announced the award of $8.5 million in state dollars to Sea Bright for a post-Sandy project to construct a portion of new sea wall and repair an adjacent damaged section of sea wall that is vital to the protection of this northern Monmouth County town from future storms.

The project, to be financed through the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Shore Protection Fund, will target a 600-foot area of town from East Surf Street to River Street that sustained severe damage by Superstorm Sandy.

“Repairing and extending this sea wall in Sea Bright is part of a continuing effort we are making to fully restore and protect our entire coastline, part of our statewide effort to be more resilient to future storms and weather events that occur in New Jersey,’’ said Governor Christie. “This work is critical to protecting our coastal communities and to enhancing and safeguarding our beaches, which are vital to the state’s $40 billion tourism economy.’’

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) already has completed a federally financed $345 million coastal restoration project from Sandy Hook to Manasquan, and we are working closely with the Army Corps on a $1 billion series of major coastal restoration and improvement projects for the rest of the state’s 127 miles of coastline to offer enhanced protection from future storms,’’ said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

The state-financed $8.5 million Sea Bright sea wall project is designed to protect the borough’s small downtown area. The project will go out to bid later this year, with construction to begin next spring or early summer.

Roughly half of the project will repair the damaged sea wall from East Surf Street to East Church Street, with larger stone for added protection. The section from East Church Street to River Street will require the installation of a newly constructed stone sea wall to bridge the gap between adjacent sea walls where none previously existed, to provide one contiguous shore protection structure.

The DEP is also working with FEMA on additional repair and reconstruction projects along the sea wall in Sea Bright.

After Superstorm Sandy, the State worked closely with the USACE on a massive undertaking to repair and improve our beaches, and to build a comprehensive coastal protection system:

· The USACE’s New York District completed its $345 million post-Superstorm Sandy beach repair and restoration projects along the Monmouth County coastline prior to the Fourth of July kickoff of the summer tourism season. That work returned previously constructed beaches damaged by Sandy, from Sandy Hook to Manasquan, to their original protection design, dating back to their original construction from 1994 to 2001.

· Sand placement operations at all of the previously constructed USACE restoration projects in New Jersey, which covered approximately 45 miles of coastline and also included several projects on Long Beach Island and the southern coast of the state, conducted by USACE’s Philadelphia District, have been completed.

· DEP is working with the USACE to build 11 new coastal and flood protection projects statewide.These projects, which will cost more than $1 billion, will help create an engineered, comprehensive shore protection system along the Atlantic coast, while also bolstering protections on the Delaware Bay coast, Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay and tidal portions of the South River and the Passaic River.

· Five of those major coastal projects are in final design stage, with bidding expected this fall and work to start in the late fall and early winter:
Greet Egg Harbor Inlet to Townsends Inlet (Southern Ocean City, Strathmere, and Sea Isle City)
Brigantine Inlet to Great Egg Harbor Inlet - Absecon Island (Margate and Longport)
Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet (Deal, Loch Arbour, Allenhurst, Long Branch)
Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet (Northern Ocean County )
Barnegat Inlet to Little Egg Inlet (Long Beach Island)

For more information on the state’s Sandy recovery efforts, please visit: and

For more information on the Army Corps of Engineers’ project, visit:

AFP: Pinelands Body's Anti-Soccer Stance 'Absurd'

Americans for Prosperity-New Jersey state director Daryn Iwicki took aim today at the Pinelands Commission for contending that youth soccer games violate the land’s deed restriction.
“The Pinelands Commission claiming that kids playing soccer violates the land’s deed restriction and would constitute more than ‘low-intensity recreational use’ is absurd beyond belief,” criticized AFP state director Daryn Iwicki.
“I thought this was what open space preservation was supposed to be for—for recreation and so kids could have a place to play,” said Iwicki. “Assemblyman Fiocchi said it right yesterday. What possible environmental harm could come from letting kids play soccer on this land?”
“This is a great example of just how extreme the environmental movement, and how irrational and out of control bureaucracies like the Pinelands Commission, have become,” Iwicki charged. “This isn’t about the public good. It’s about blocking progress and allowing bureaucrats to dictate to us how we can or can’t use our land even to the point of telling kids they can’t play on it.”
“This should give pause to anyone who thinks the state should be allowed billions of dollars to grab thousands more acres of land in New Jersey, especially when almost one-third of our land area is already off limits and controlled by government,” Iwicki concluded.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 2 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFP has 34 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit

Christie Stumps In Arkansas, Tests Southern Sentiment

From our friends at the Save Jersey Blog:
By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
From the Land of Lincoln to the Land of Clinton, Governor Chris Christie spent the Wednesday before Labor Day Weekend stumping in Arkansas for Asa Hutchinson, Save Jerseyans; the RGA Chair hopes that this particular state lives up to its nickname and yields another pick up in November; recent polling isn’t doing anything to dissuade anyone:
- See more at:

Bell On Why Wages Are Down, Prices Are Up

Today, the Washington Post highlighted a report on rising inflation and the impact on consumers. The article, entitled “This is why it feels like the recession never ended” highlights the fact that the average cost of everyday goods has risen 15 percent since 2007 but that average wages have actually dropped since then. The Republican National Committee’s War Room blasted the article out to its members.

Jeff Bell, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey responded:

“The report demonstrates what the American people are experiencing: Their wages have decreased, but the cost of everyday goods has skyrocketed in the last six years. The American people are not buying that this economic malaise is the longed-for recovery.

“No one in Washington wants to talk about the cause of this problem -- least of all my opponent, Cory Booker. I am running for U.S. Senate because I know the cause of this problem and I have the solution.

“The reason why goods are more expensive but wages are being crushed is because of the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy. My solution is to restore the value of the dollar by tying the dollar to gold. This will reign in the Fed and curb inflation, while bringing jobs and growth back to the economy.

“I am the only national candidate that has made this the goal of his campaign. The Republican National Committee has touted this report, but continues to freeze out my campaign.”

Seaside Park Gets Post-Sandy Assistance Grant

In the Christie Administration’s ongoing effort to promote sound, sustainable long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of a $30,000 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to Seaside Park Borough in Ocean County to develop a long-range plan to become resilient in the event of future severe weather events.

“This grant will enable Seaside Park to develop a Strategic Recovery Planning Report that will serve as the local government’s primary guide for planning initiatives it takes moving forward to recover from Sandy and to reduce its vulnerability to future disasters,” said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state.

Seaside Park can use the grant to hire licensed professional planners to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and identify long-term strategies for resiliency and flood protection in the future. The Strategic Recovery Planning Report will focus on planning goals, strategies, and priorities that lead to actions that are most urgently needed for public safety and economic recovery.

“The need for a Strategic Recovery Planning Report is urgent due to severe impacts on the Borough’s housing infrastructure and local recovery,” Borough officials stated in their application. “This Strategic Recovery Planning Report will act as the first step in assessing these impacts in a systematic and detailed way. Consequently, the Borough will have the ability to better determine the types of projects and policies required for ongoing recovery efforts and to reduce vulnerabilities to future storms.”

The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million initially allocated to the program is currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

The program provides funding in two phases. The first phase is producing a Strategic Recovery Planning Report as described above. To date, the DCA has awarded 44 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to assist local governments in completing this planning report. When their planning reports are done, local governments are then eligible to apply for Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, which assist them with implementing the planning priorities identified in their Strategic Recovery Planning Report. 

For example, Phase 2 planning grants can help local governments fund initiatives to determine infrastructure needs to protect business districts on the waterfront from future storms; design standards to protect and increase resiliency in storm-affected neighborhoods; topographic surveys and preliminary engineering studies to gauge future infrastructure needs; and capital improvement plans that prioritize need based on the safety of residents.

The DCA has so far approved $5 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, including the award of Phase 2 grants to 15 local governments.

Applications for Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to

An Evening With Josh Groban At The Mann, And...

There aren't many performers left who we would pay to see in concert.
Because so much of today's live entertainment is crass, crude, vulgar or just plain indecipherable. To be blunt, so much of it is trash, pure and simple.
That's why it's refreshing when a new talent comes along who understands fine music, top-notch entertainment and the needs and desires of his audience. Josh Groban is just such an entertainer and we were delighted to experience his remarkable live performance last night at Philadelphia's beautiful summer concert venue, the Mann Music Center. 
There was just one tiny problem: Several members of the audience (who sat right alongside us) shouldn't have been there. Instead, they should have been at one of those other shows where the performers grunts and moans can hardly be distinguished from the few words they actually do shout out to the audience in a manner described as singing. These people alongside us insisted on chatting through Groban's first few songs -- until we told them to stop it. Then, they finally quieted down, but not without an argument that almost turned ugly.
Our plea: If someone is on stage performing in a civilized manner, delivering a beautiful musical program, remember that he or she is the performer and you are the audience. We came to hear the performer(s) on the stage, not you. So, once the performance actually begins, shut up!

Now, onto Groban and his performance.
He was simply wonderful.
This was our first time at a Josh Groban concert and we loved it. His program selections were sophisticated and wordily and ranged from pop to Broadway to classical with songs sung in Italian and Spanish as well as English.
Groban is like a lovable nerd. His stage presence can be awkward at times by it's also clumsily endearing and his patter with the audience is natural and authentic and doesn't get in the way of his performance. He gets it: He knows you came to hear him sing and he delivers the goods in an uninterrupted performance that includes the songs he knows you want to hear.
His voice is angelic one minute and powerfully authoritative and near-operetic the next, with remarkable range. So many of his songs are just this side of somber and yet they don't necessarily leave you feeling sad because there's something joyful and reaffirming about his presentation. He is a young man who is obviously mature beyond his years (a highly-accomplished professional) and yet he's not the least bit haughty of overly self-conscious. He's a hugely talented presence who not only sings but also plays several instruments and yet he comes across as somewhat nonchalant about it all. How refreshing that we're not suffocated by an outsized ego.
Groban doesn't need the pulsating lights and computer-generated dynamics that he incorporates into his show. For our money, all he has to do is open his mouth and sing.
And this was amply demonstrated in his second and final encore last night when he sang Charlie Chaplin's beautiful and haunting 'Smile' accompanied only by a pianist.
This is a live performance worth seeing -- and seeing again and again!

Tom Wolf: A Third Term For Obama/Rendell?

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today released their latest television commercial, “Threepeat.” The ad highlights Tom Wolf's belief in reinstating the Ed Rendell tax-and-spend agenda in Harrisburg that left Pennsylvanians with a $4.2 billion budget deficit and unemployment as high as 8.7%, in addition to his support for President Barack Obama's big government liberal agenda in Washington, DC that would kill Pennsylvania energy jobs. Voting for multi-millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf is like voting to give Barack Obama and Ed Rendell a third term.

"Multi-millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf is a major donor to President Obama and has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to former Governor Ed Rendell, supporting the tax-and-spend job-killing agenda they all hope to force on hardworking Pennsylvanians," said Communications Director Chris Pack. "Pennsylvanians aren't looking for a third term of President Barack Obama or Governor Ed Rendell who support raising taxes, killing middle-class jobs, and taking away Pennsylvanians 2nd amendment rights."
 The commercial script and sources are listed below.

* * *

"We already know Tom Wolf was Ed Rendell’s tax collecting hatchet man[1], where Wolf never saw a tax he didn’t like. But millionaire Wolf is also a maxed out donor to Obama[2]. Wolf not only supports disastrous Obamacare[3] which raises rates[4] and takes away your right to your own doctor[5], Wolf also supports Obama’s radical gun control agenda[6][7], and Obama’s war on PA coal jobs[8][9]. Tom Wolf: voting for him is like voting to give Obama and Rendell a third term."

“Wolf…never met a tax he didn’t like” – Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 8/9/14[10]

Tom Wolf was a large financial donor to Obama. – Federal Election Commission[11]

Wolf supports disastrous Obamacare. – PA Progressive Summit, 2/28/14[12]

Wolf supports single-payer government healthcare. – PA Progressive Summit, 2/28/14[13]

Wolf supports Obama’s extreme gun-control agenda. – WHYY, 4/7/14[14]

Wolf supports Obama’s War on PA Coal jobs – Time Magazine, 6/1/14[15]


[1] Tom Wolf served as Secretary of Revenue under Governor Ed Rendell from February 2007 – December 2008
[2] According to FEC records, Tom Wolf contributed a total of $4,600 to Barack Obama in 2008. The maximum legal combined contribution for the primary and general election that year.
[3] PA Progressive Summit Democratic Governor’s Candidates Forum, 2/28/14 – At 27:00 mark “We should do everything in our power to make the ACA [Obamacare] work.”
[4] The Hill, 8/11/14 – “ObamaCare premiums slated to rise by an average of 7.5 percent”
[5] Time, 1/1/14 – “Keeping Your Doctor Under Obamacare Is No Easy Feat”
[6] WHYY, 4/7/14 – “Neither McCord nor Wolf opposed any measures supported by CeaseFirePA…”
[7] CeaseFirePA, 1/16/13 – “CeaseFirePA’s…agenda for fighting fun violence in Pennsylvania in many ways tracks the agenda the President outlined today.”
[8] WHYY, 6/12/14 – “’One day, the carbon-based energy system we rely on right now will be a thing of the past,’ Wolf said”
[9] York Daily Record, 6/3/14 – “The ‘cap-and-trade tax�� is a reference to Wolf’s support of emission caps. Wolf supports joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an effort among nine states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
[10] Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 8/9/14
[11] Supra note 2
[12] Supra note 3
[13] Id.
[14] Supra note 6
[15] Time, 6/1/14

'Can't Take It With You' Student Rush Tickets

The producers of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy You Can’t Take It With You announce a student rush policy. A limited number of student rush tickets, which are subject to availability, can be purchased with a valid student ID at the box office of The Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street) when the box office opens for the day of the performance on a first come first served basis. The box office of opens at 10am Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. Student rush tickets are $30 each (includes facilities fee) and are limited to one (1) ticket per valid student ID.

Directed by six-time Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains, 1776), the play began previews on August 26, 2014 at the Longacre Theatre, with an opening night set for September 28, 2014. The comedy will play a 19-week limited engagement. Tickets are on sale by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting

The cast of You Can’t Take It With You includes: Tony Award and Outer Critics’ Circle winner James Earl Jones (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Fences, The Great White Hope) as Martin Vanderhof, two-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne* (“Damages,” Bridesmaids, Neighbors) as Alice Sycamore, Tony Award winner Elizabeth Ashley (Take Her, She’s Mine, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man) as The Grand Duchess Olga, Tony Award nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Wicked, “Masters of Sex”) as Essie Carmichael, Tony Award nomineeJohanna Day (Proof, August: Osage County) as Mrs. Kirby, three-time Drama Desk nominee Julie Halston (Anything Goes, The Divine Sister) as Gay Wellington, Byron Jennings (The Merchant of Venice, Inherit the Wind) as Mr. Kirby, Fran Kranz (Death of a Salesman) as Tony Kirby, Mark Linn-Baker (A Funny Thing…Forum, “Perfect Strangers,” My Favorite Year) as Paul Sycamore, Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as Penelope Sycamore, Tony Award nominee Reg Rogers (Holiday, The Royal Family) as Boris Kolenkhov, Will Brill (Act One) as Ed Carmichael, Nick Corley (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as a G-Man, Austin Durant (War Horse) as a G-Man, Theatre World Award winner Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Rheba, Marc Damon Johnson (Lucky Guy) as Donald, Karl Kenzler (Mary Poppins) as Henderson, Patrick Kerr (Stage Kiss, The Ritz) as Mr. De Pinna, and Joe Tapper (Witnessed By The World) as a G-Man.

The design team includes: scenic design by Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray), costume design by 2014 special Tony Award recipient Jane Greenwood (Act One, Waiting for Godot), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Donald Holder (South Pacific, The Lion King), sound design by Jon Weston (The Bridges of Madison County), and hair and wig design by Tom Watson (Act One, Waiting for Godot). Three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years, Parade) composed original music for the production.

You Can’t Take It With You is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jam Theatricals, Dominion Pictures, Gutterman & Winkler, Daryl Roth, Terry Schnuck, Jane Bergere, Caiola Productions, Rebecca Gold, LaRuffa & Hinderliter, Larry Magid, Gabrielle Palitz, Spisto & Kierstead, SunnySpot Productions, VenuWorks Theatricals, Jessica Genick and Will Trice.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Christie Announces Numerous Direct Appointments

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State's Office.

Public Member
Appoint Dana Mulligan (Pilesgrove, Salem)

Appointment by the Governor Upon the Recommendation of the Senate President
Reappoint Robert A. Briant, Jr. (Manasquan, Monmouth)

Appoint Sheldon G. Greenspan, O.D. (Parsippany, Morris)
Appoint Scott Rufolo, O.D. (Millington, Morris)
Reappoint Michael J. Siegel, O.D. (Budd Lake, Morris)
Public Member
Appoint Colette Lamothe-Galette (Rahway, Union)
State Government Representative
Appoint M. Carolyn Daniels, DHSc (Philadelphia, PA)

Massage/Bodywork Therapists
Appoint David E. Bank (New Brunswick, Middlesex)
Appoint Lori Keith, LMT-NJ, CCA (Toms River, Ocean)
Appoint Bruce A. Spicer, LMT (Manchester, Ocean)
Executive Branch Member
Appoint Sondra M. Fountain (Toms River, Ocean)

Licensed Social Worker
Appoint Patricia McKernan, MSW, LSW (Westampton, Burlington)
Certified Social Worker
Appoint Philip T. McCabe, CSW (Ocean Grove, Monmouth)
Social Work Educator - Baccalaureate Level Program
Appoint Lisa Eileen Cox, Ph.D. (Galloway, Atlantic)  
Public Member
Appoint Deanna F. Sperling, RN (Lakewood, Ocean)

New Jersey Prosecutors' Association Representative
Appoint the Honorable Sean F. Dalton, Esq. (Monroeville, Gloucester)
Law Guardian
Reappoint James A. Louis, Esq. (Ewing, Mercer)
Pediatrician with Expertise in Child Abuse and Neglect
Appoint Kathryn M. McCans, M.D. (Havertown, PA)
Social Work Educator with Experience and Expertise in Child Abuse/Related Field
Reappoint Judy L. Postmus, Ph.D. (Dunellen, Middlesex)
Substance Abuse Expert
Appoint Manuel Guantez, Psy.D. (Fairfield, Essex)