BIDEN: And so you know errrr if you think about it... Amtrak... Florida down to Tampa? WTF Joe? 🤣 pic.twitter.com/bIOF3sy6EA— 🇺🇸Maggie VandenBerghe🇺🇸 (@FogCityMidge) April 30, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute is proud to work with many accomplished musicians and teachers on their faculty and is delighted to welcome violinist Mitchell Newman, who recently retired from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has joined the faculty of Prysm Strings and is working closely with its director, Gloria dePasquale, a cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. This talented musician is dedicating much of his time to music education during retirement.
Newman and his wife Tricia chose Philadelphia to be their home even though he hasn’t lived here since he was a student at the Curtis Institute of Music over 35 years ago. He is glad to be back in the city he calls “a gem.” He said, “My wife and I love Philadelphia’s vibrant downtown filled with great cultural institutions and its beautiful suburbs with access to gorgeous parks and great restaurants.” They live in Drexel Hill.
Newman praised the music education community in Philadelphia and said, “Philadelphia is blessed with outstanding music education institutions that are deeply committed to bettering children’s lives through music. I have always believed that music can bring people together, serve as a catalyst for change, and transform lives. I also believe that if classical music is going to flourish, it must embrace and include people from all backgrounds. There are talented children with wonderful stories to be nurtured and heard. I am committed to providing them access to this art form as this way of life has been so meaningful and beautiful to me. It is my goal to see the next generations become the next artists onstage, as well as make their contributions backstage, in management and in the boardroom.”
Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of PYO Music Institute, is thrilled to have Mitchell Newman as a member of the faculty. He said, “Mitchell brings outstanding experience to us, as a violinist with the LA Philharmonic, but also as an educator and someone who is dedicated to enriching lives through classical music.”
Newman’s impressive background includes 34 years as a violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has played concerts to bring awareness to mental health issues, performed for homeless and incarcerated communities, and has worked with the LA Philharmonic’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA) program which builds youth orchestra programs in the most underserved communities in Los Angeles. He has worked with many of the world’s great conductors including music directors Andre Previn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Gustavo Dudamel, and guest conductors Simon Rattle, Kurt Sanderling, Herbert Blomstedt, Thomas Wilkins, Eric Leinsdorf, Zubin Mehta, Emmanuelle Haim, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Simone Young, and Valery Gergiev.
Currently, Newman teaches an orchestral repertoire class for violinists at the Curtis Institute of Music and is an instructor at Play On Philly and the Settlement Music School. He looks forward to playing chamber music and teaching in the diverse communities of the city.
About PYO Music Institute:
The renowned PYO Music Institute, which recently completed its 80th season, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs. PYO Music Institute provides talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training. Training tomorrow’s leaders, students go on to excel in many diverse fields, and many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are alumni. PYO Music Institute is committed to training tomorrow’s leaders. Its students go on to excel in many diverse fields and many go on to become professional orchestral musicians, performing locally and all across the world. Many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are proud alumni of PYO Music Institute.
The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 100 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 15-21. Young musicians 13-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. Young Musicians Debut Orchestra (YMDO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students with their first introduction to large orchestral playing featuring students age 11-17 years old. Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute of Music Dean, Paul Bryan, is an all-brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. Prysm Strings and Prysm Strings Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of Prysm Strings is Gloria dePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of Prysm Strings Young Artists is Andrea Weber. Tune Up Philly – Orchestra Pathways Program (TUP) is the PYO Music Institute’s after-school music program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, students have participated in a range of virtual rehearsals and programs, enabling them to maintain their involvement and dedication to orchestral music. Following all safety guidelines, in late March, early April in-person rehearsals have returned for all ensembles except for Tune Up Philly. For more information, please visit pyomusic.org.
He can't seem to do anything for himself. He's clueless and hapless and clumsy. His wife has to do EVERYTHING for him. He's constantly at a loss. It's difficult to watch. It's painful. It's embarassing!
Scary scene as Bryce Harper takes a HBP to the face but leaves the game under his own power pic.twitter.com/CCcVq1AMF0— Starting 9 (@Starting9) April 29, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today criticized the Murphy administration’s failure to provide a date of total reopening and perpetuation of convoluted and draconian series of COVID-19 executive orders, calling for their immediate elimination and the opening of the state.
“While other states, as well as New York City, announce dates of total reopening, the people of NJ are left in limbo…and wading through continued compliance with myriad of outdated rules & restrictions which are complicated at best and hopelessly indecipherable at worst,” said O’Scanlon. “As I’ve consistently stated from the start, the administration has needlessly micro-managed and over-complicated Covid guidance, restrictions and mandates. It has dragged its feet, contrary to science and facts on the ground as well as other states’ experiences opening faster with no negative health impact, but with positive economic impacts. It’s time for an end to this madness. Connecticut has given hard target dates in May to fully reopen. Just this morning Mayor De Blasio set July 1st for New York City to fully lift restrictions and fully reopen. Yet our Governor clings to a belief that continuing to demoralize us with continued foot-dragging & talk of baby steps is somehow the right path. No, it’s not.”
One need look no further than the incredible level of unworkable rules, regulations, restrictions and micro-management that the administration has imposed and incredibly continues to leave in place – with little or no adjustment as we have gained dramatic knowledge over the last year.
“Since the pandemic began a little over a year ago the administration has issued nearly 140 executive orders, and that doesn’t even include the dozens of executive directives and guidelines issued by individual departments all of which amounts to probably more than 2,000 pages of micromanagement mess! Understandably, this was an unprecedented year that required a good number of governmental regulations to ensure public safety. However, an individual simply needs to scroll through the overwhelming list to see what a complicated mess this has become.” O’Scanlon continued.
“Some of the required restrictions like those for swimming pools, golf courses, and others haven’t been updated to reflect all the knowledge we’ve gained or the fact that nearly 60% of NJ’s adult population have received one or both doses of the vaccine. Add to that the number of people who have immunity and antibodies from already having the virus and we are already likely over 70% of the population with significant levels of immunity.”
“These restrictions haven’t been substantively changed in almost a year. And, frankly, they weren’t appropriate last summer, let alone going into our second summer given our experience, knowledge and the reality that seasonality and the vaccines are crushing Covid.”
“Take the operation of pools as just one of many examples. The CDC specifically states there is no evidence COVID spreads in water. We have overwhelming evidence that COVID isn’t spreading outdoors or from surface contact. Yet we’ve left in place 11 pages of ridiculous mandates – that beach clubs and associations and other pool operators are having to plan on implanting again this summer. Here are just a few examples:
- Requiring a pool ambassador
- Requiring people wear a mask on the pool deck outdoors
- Staff must monitor bathroom and locker room occupancy
- Requiring cleaning multiple times a day where the CDC suggests once
- Requiring sign-in sheets
- A 50% capacity limitation
“Guidelines across the board need to be appropriately eliminated or updated now that we have the CDC advising that vaccinated individuals can forgo masks outdoors….but NJ still requires them outside of pools, in the open air, in the hot sun. What we need is the immediate elimination of irrelevant restrictions and a clear, simple restating of those restrictions that are still pertinent.”
As lawful gun owners have yet again become the target of political pressure and nonfactual claims, New Jersey State Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-LD13) is calling for attention be directed instead to the real root of the problems causing gun violence, such as a lack of substantial penalties on violent criminals and absence of mental health intervention programs:
“The nonsensical assault on the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding citizens continues across New Jersey,” said Scharfenberger. “The problem with gun violence is not legal gun owners, but illegal guns in the hands of criminals. Until that is addressed, gun violence will continue unabated.”
"As often with many things in New Jersey, it has become all too easy to point the finger at perceived scapegoats in order to divert attention away from a failure to tackle hard issues and introduce effectual policies. This is seen not only with crime, but also with the government’s overall deficient attention to the growing mental health crisis facing the public. Thus, it creates a perfect storm of inaction that leads to lives being put in harm’s way."
“When a person drives drunk or injures someone when driving without a license, we do not talk about making it more difficult to get licenses for responsible drivers - the same principle should apply to gun ownership,” Scharfenberger continued. “How does it make sense to punish those who have done nothing wrong just so you can ignore real problems? These political parlor games need to stop; it is wasting time and needlessly harming lives by neglecting the real issues.”
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Allegations that the Murphy Administration fired a state employee after he reported another worker for sexually harassing a colleague, disclosed by a major newspaper today, indicates not much has changed as far as how the Governor’s inner circle regards women, New Jersey State Senator Kristin Corrado said.
“I am appalled by what appears to be another inexcusable and indefensible error on the part of the Governor,” said Corrado (R-40). “This is not okay. We have spent months on hearings and passing legislation to protect harassment and abuse survivors, as well as those who speak out on behalf of survivors. Murphy even signed these bills into law recently.
“This type of behavior, and the retaliation that follows, is wrong and must be stopped. We get that,” Corrado said. “Why doesn’t the Governor get it?”
According to the published report, a Department of Children and Families employee who repeatedly witnessed his boss harassing a co-worker reported the incidents to his superior, and later filed a complaint with the state.
“He even tried reaching Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, but said he got no response,” according to the article.
After his complaints, the whistleblower allegedly faced retaliation. He was encouraged to transfer to another office, was suspended without pay in November 2019, and fired from his job in February 2020.
“We have seen a pattern here. It is all too familiar,” said Corrado, who was the vice chair of the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee that investigated the Katie Brennan assault cause. “Not only are whistleblowers ignored by this Administration, but they face retribution. It’s infuriating. The system, under Murphy, is protecting the wrong people.”
The Record’s report today quoted the former employee: “They have these policies of, when you see something, say something. But when you do, you’re punished.”
“The governor’s team finds it too easy to ruin the lives of victims and whistleblowers, rather than doing the right thing, the obvious thing, and going after the perpetrators,” Corrado said. “This kind of twisted justice is all too prevalent in Murphy’s Trenton.”
You can listen live here or scroll down to listen to archived episodes after they are broadcast. I invite you to listen in!
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
New Jersey State Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) have introduced legislation to strip Governor Phil Murphy of the power to spend billions in federal stimulus and relief funds without legislative approval.
“Over the past year, we’ve learned why it’s so dangerous to give Governor Murphy, or any governor, the power to spend billions of dollars without legislative approval,” said Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “Absent direct oversight, the governor has misused the authority entrusted to him through the budget to spend federal relief funds for the good of the state. He withheld billions in CARES Act funds from people who were desperate for help and diverted aid to subsidize his administration’s payroll instead of delivering relief. It’s clear the Legislature must reassert itself as the co-equal branch of government responsible for appropriating funds and take the checkbook out of Governor Murphy’s hands.”
The new legislation, S-3712, would eliminate language in the State budget that grants the executive branch the unilateral authority to appropriate any “emergency disaster aid” and “economic stimulus” funds the State receives from the federal government during the fiscal year.
Testa and Oroho said Governor Murphy refused to comply with the spirit of the existing budget language, which is intended to speed the delivery of federal relief in times of emergency. Additionally, they said the scale and scope of permitted uses of pandemic relief funds demands oversight from the Legislature and the involvement of the public.
Last April, New Jersey received $2.4 billion in relief funds from the federal government through the CARES Act to support the State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
A review by the State Auditor found that approximately 90% of the CARES Act funds remained unspent by the end of September, six months after the Murphy administration received it from the federal government.
Hundreds of millions of dollars was used to pay for State employee salaries with questionable links to pandemic response efforts, possibly in violation of the terms of the CARES Act.
With another $6.5 billion in federal relief funds coming to New Jersey through the recently approved ARP Act, the senators said it’s critically important to address the budget language now before more problems occur.
“Left to his own devices, Governor Murphy will make that money disappear down the darkest holes of State government and New Jersey will have nothing to show for it,” said Testa. “It’ll be like Brewster’s Millions, but with billions. After his failure with the CARES Act, we just can’t trust the governor to spend the next $6.5 billion of federal relief funds effectively. Appropriations of such importance should be considered by the Legislature in an open process with public participation.”
Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) and Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) are co-sponsors of the legislation.
Earlier this month the four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee outlined a responsible plan to utilize the $6.5 billion in new federal relief funds with legislative approval.
Left to Right: James Amato, Secretary for Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Dave Henderson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stonghold Group; Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez; RJ Lualhati, Director of Business Development for Stronghold Group; Deacon Franz Fruehwald, Chief Financial Officer for CSS. Photo: Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Families, youth, and individuals who benefit from programs operated by Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) and in need of personal protective equipment amid the ongoing pandemic are receiving a boost thanks to a donation of 250,000 3-ply masks from Philadelphia-based and Veteran Owned Small Business, Stronghold Group.
Yesterday, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez along with Mr. James Amato, Secretary for Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Deacon Franz Fruehwald, Chief Financial Officer for CSS, were on hand to express gratitude to Mr. Dave Henderson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stonghold Group, and Mr. RJ Lualhati, Director of Business Development for Stronghold Group, who coordinated the charitable effort.
Monday, April 26, 2021
People watching the Oscars on TV:
Viewers in 1991: 42 million
Viewers in 2001: 43 million
Viewers in 2011: 38 million
Viewers in 2021: 9.8 million
Last year’s Oscars used to be the lowest-rated in history, and this is a collapse of 58 percent below that.
In the key 25-54 age demo, the collapse was a whopping – this is not a typo – 64 percent!
Not only was last night's Oscar trelecast insufferably boring but the phony bastards who ran and starred in the event evicted the homeless and erected a huge steel fence around the proceedings which were protected by armed guards!
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 51% of likely voters have an unfavorable impression of Harris, including 43% who have a very unfavorable impression of Joe Biden’s vice president. Forty-six percent (46%) of likely voters have a favorable impression of Harris, including 28% who have a very favorable view of her.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
That's the way to describe the way things are becoming right here, right now.
And this is that special time of the year when the greenest of the greens appear. It's that bright, new green -- the green that the Italians call primavera which literally means first green. It so wonderfully vivid.
Here and there this fresh, ultra bright green is dotted with blossoms. But it's the green, green, green everywhere that captivates us just now.
We took some quick photos. Enjoy!
Saturday, April 24, 2021
"LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA, which has just recorded the lowest television RATINGS, by far, in the long and distinguished history of the League. His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning. He may be a great basketball player, but he’s doing nothing to bring our Country together!"
Significant numbers of Americans are now LESS LIKELY to buy Coca-Cola products after Coke's recent embrace of cancel culture and its ill-timed and ill-advised criticism of the new Georgia election law.
Here's how the figures break down according to Rasmussen polling, and they do not look good for Coke:
Friday, April 23, 2021
Remember: THIS is what the police are up againbst EVERY day!
“Are y’all gonna kill me like Ma’Khia Bryant?”— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 23, 2021
OFFICER: “Are you gonna stab somebody like her?”pic.twitter.com/IQmwqQMWxe
From our friends at Save Jersey (reprinted with permission) by Matt Rooney
Four New Jersey Democrat congressmen who voted to impeach Donald Trump for allegedly inciting the January 6th Capitol Hill riot refused to censure Maxine Waters on Tuesday.
The GOP initiative failed narrowly, 216-210, with Andy Kim (NJ-03), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) all voting with the majority.
Earlier this year, Sherrill even accused – but refused to name – members of Congress of aiding rioters in the Capitol assault.
Hypocrisy? It’s worse than all that, Save Jerseyans. Waters is guilty of urging Minnesota protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” had Derek Chauvin been acquited. “We’ve got to make sure they know we mean business” said Waters over the weekend.
No. This is partisanship on steroids. The “Blue Team” plays by different rules than the “Red Team” is permitted.
Meanwhile, Republicans were quick to point out the New Jersey Democrats’ pattern of siding with violent forces over the rule of law.
“Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer, Tom Malinowski, Mikie Sherrill and Washington Democrats would rather stand with the violent mob than law enforcement. Voters will hold them accountable for their extremism,” said RCC Spokeswoman Samantha Bullock.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
A real eye-opener: Heather MacDonald on the damaging myth of systemic racism: 10% of white homicide victims are killed by cops as opposed to 3% of Black homicide victims who are killed by cops. That's just two-tenths of a percent of ALL Black homicide victims! And did you know that a young Black man is TEN TIMES more likely to die in an auto crash (NOT a likely occurrence) than at the hands of the police?
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Once again we join with Save Jersey's indefatiguable Matt Rooney to examine a key race as the Garden State faces a statewide election year where everything's up for grabs. Watch our chat with State Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger and his running mate Holmdel School Board President Vicky Flynn as we talk about the Big Issues that New Jersey voters are facing this year and their prospects in the race ahead. This a lively, informal give and take that's informative as well!
New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon pointed to the Murphy Administration’s dismal COVID case and hospitalization prediction record and called on the Governor to cease making predictions that prove to be consistently, wildly pessimistic.
“The Administration’s record on predictions has been dismal. Either the administration’s prognosticators are incompetent, or they’re purposefully, consistently and wildly overestimating case rates to scare people into compliance with continued restrictions. Either way, they need to stop. Incompetence doesn’t instill confidence, and none of us needs to be terrified into compliance. We get it already.”
O’Scanlon cited several instances where the administration has made bold, scary, demoralizing predictions that cases of COVID would skyrocket … that proved to be dramatically off the mark.
“Back in April of last year, Health Commissioner Judy Persichelli warned that cases and hospital admissions were projected to double by the end of the month,” O’Scanlon recalled. “The Governor warned we might need the severe lockdown restrictions to continue out into July. Such stratospheric cases and admissions would have crushed our hospital systems. Severe lockdown into July would have totally destroyed our economy. The stress levels this inflicted on business owners, hospital administrators and the worried public were tremendous.
“And what was the reality? Rather than alarmingly doubling, rates went down, precipitously, by 25 percent.”
O’Scanlon said the administration did it again this month.
“On April 1, the Governor and Health Commissioner presented two scenarios. The ‘worst case’ scenario had cases rising – to approximately 6,000 daily cases now and to over 8,000 a day by mid-May. A 65 percent vaccine efficacy rate was used to justify these alarming numbers, but nowhere in the world has seen an efficacy rate that low,” said O’Scanlon.
“So one must ask: What is the point of even sharing this alarmist, extraordinarily unlikely, demoralizing scenario?!? But it gets worse. The scenario the Governor said was more likely and ‘feels to me the closest to reality’ was its own disaster. Cases and hospitalizations he said would rise steadily from April 1 through April 18 – when we would reach approximately 5,500 daily new cases. What actually happened? Rather than steadily increasing, our numbers have gone down. On April 18, rather than 5,500 cases, we had 2,765 cases. The Governor and Health Commissioner’s numbers were double what actually happened – 100% higher than reality,” O’Scanlon continued.
“The administration’s predictions are so consistently wrong that a hospital executive I spoke to last week said he was ‘happy when they predict doom and gloom. If they said something positive we’d be worried!’ This isn’t the confidence our leaders ought to be inspiring.”
“I called the predictions preposterous when they were made because every indication was that our numbers were set to drop,” said O’Scanlon. “Our vaccination numbers were increasing rapidly, seasonality was working in our favor, the people of New Jersey aren’t genetically more vulnerable than those in the rest of the world, and the virus circulating here isn’t some unique, Jersey-mega-death variant.
“If they genuinely believe this drivel, then they have a competence problem and at least they should have the smarts to stop publicly showcasing that fact. If they are purposefully exaggerating the numbers, that’s abhorrent. We don’t need our Governor playing these games and treating us like children by intentionally attempting to scare us into compliance. We don’t need the Governor using fear porn to justify needlessly harsh, prolonged restrictions.
“What we do need, and have needed for months, is cautiously optimistic messaging and policies. We need projected dates of restriction relaxation so proms and graduations and fairs and festivals can be planned. We need nonsensical restrictions eliminated right now and a target date – soon – for complete elimination. If things take an unexpected turn for the worse, people will understand, but right now all indications point toward victory over the virus, and soon.
“The most likely scenario was, and is, that numbers will continue to drop. Good chance they’ll drop precipitously. The Governor should stop the fear mongering, and start optimistically leading. This is both what the facts justify and what people are longing to hear,” O’Scanlon concluded.