Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pet Lovers: A Telling Tale, Important Message



Are you a pet-lover?
Well, who isn't?
Bill Whiting and Philadelphia Animal Advocates for Lynne Abraham for Mayor have produced this remarkable video with a special message for all of us.
Our friend, Lynne Abraham is not only a pet-lover but she's fearlessly defended animals all her life. Remember this before you vote!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

McClure, Danza, 'Vegas' - Musical Mirth On B'way!


Rob McClure is the perfect musical comedy star.
One minute he's all limber, like Ray Bolger or Martin Short. The next, he's wisecracking like Nathan Lane. And then, before you know it he's as nasal and as nebbishly lovable as Matthew Borderick.
You'd never mistake him for a matinee idol.
But with his tousled hair, expressive eyebrows, broad grin and endearing mannerisms he defies his diminutive frame and triumphs from the first row of the orchestra all the way up to the last seat in the balcony. He's a lightening bolt of energy powerful enough to warm the whole Nederlander Theatre this winter.
And when he steps forward at the beginning of Broadway's new madcap musical Honeymoon In Vegas and sings "I Love Betsy," he takes the most clever lyrics that Broadway has heard in years and weaves them into a combination of charm and chutzpah that generates instant appeal.
For McClure's performance alone, Honeymoon is worth the price of admission.
But this musical sendup of the 1992 movie of the same name has lots more going for it: The lovely Brynn O'Malley as McClure's love interest, unforgettable comic turns by Nancy Opel, Matthew Saldivar and David Josefsberg; a big, brassy, first-rate orchestra up on stage; and the well-earned, toe-tapping star power of Tony Danza as McLure's nemisis. On top of all that the show boasts a truly funny book by Andrew Bergman, tuneful music and inventive lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, great sets by Anna Louizos and the spot-on direction of Gary Griffin.
But, playing off one another McClure and Danza actually propel the show with O'Malley as the perfect, pulchritudinous part of an unlikely love triangle.



It all begins when on her deathbed, a mother (Opel) makes her son (McClure/Jack) promise never to get married. This promise haunts him and triggers psychological blocks to a commitment with his girlfriend (O'Malley/Betsy). Still, on the spur of the moment the couple finally decide to tie the knot in Vegas. But once there, a seemingly wealthy gambler and con artist (Danza/Tommy) arranges for the about-to-be-groom to lose a fortune in a poker game. Tommy then offers to clear Jack's debt in return for a weekend with Betsy. Suddenly Jack agrees (sort of) but then becomes wildly jealous, and pursues his fiancée and her much older companion all the way to Hawaii where Jack finds pitfalls in his path as the gambler tries to delay his interference. That's where the Flying Elvises come in, but we don't want to give away the ending.
This is the kind of zany tale that gave birth to musical comedy in the first place. This is why Broadway was born and this is how Cole Porter wrote funny, unforgettable songs for shows such as Anything Goes. And you will think of tunesmiths like Porter and Loesser and Comden and Green when you hear Danza sing "Out of the Sun" or you hear other numbers like "Everyday Is Happy In Hawaii," and "Friki Friki" and "Airport Song." They're truly comedy in song.
But you'll also hear new ballads such as "Forever Starts Tonight" and "You Made the Wait Worthwhile."
Yes, this April-December hookup over a gambling "debt" may be a bit of a stretch. And yes, the second act does lag somewhat. And yes, the 1992 Vegas of the movie and the 2015 Vegas of the musical get tossed together in a sometimes confusing clash of eras.
But with McClure's ready-to-please boundlessness and Danza's sure-footed take on a soft-hearted wiseguy, this is a show that combines music and comedy with just the right touch.
And, you may actually exit this original musical humming a new tune. When was the last time that happened?

US, Poland, China, Germany Top Blog Visits

Pageviews by Countries - Week of  1/18

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
EntryPageviews
United States
2299
Poland
265
China
260
Germany
191
Russia
186
France
149
Ukraine
68
Slovenia
45
Romania
28
Bulgaria
25

Dan Cirucci Blog: Week's Top Five Stories

Puppy Love Video: Cleao Won't Wake Up!



Gas Tax Hike? It Will Pummel NJ's Economy!

From Our friends at The Save Jersey Blog:
By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, estimates that U.S. consumers could find an extra $100 billion in their wallets this year.
no gas tax hike 
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, says the plunge in gas prices will translate largely into spending rather than savings since the greatest benefit will go to lower-income families. Those families, which often live paycheck to paycheck, “have a higher tendency to spend any additional real income.”
Falling gas prices will free up billions of dollars for consumers to spend next year, with the middle class seeing most of the benefits.
One study estimates that for every 1-cent drop in the retail price of gasoline for a year, American consumers save $1.2 billion.
Fuel savings could amount to nearly $1,100 a year saved for the average U.S. family should petroleum stays at current levels. That’s a huge savings for many families that spend all they earn each month and who haven’t seen their paychecks rise very much since the beginning of the Great Recession.
The price drop in oil could be the biggest economy booster since the recession began in 2008.
Americans spent $370 billion on gasoline last year. With lower prices at the pump, a 60 cents a gallon savings from a year ago, we may see the effective equivalent of cutting taxes in the U.S. by somewhere between $100 billion and $125 billion.

Amazingly?
Democrats in New Jersey want to increase the gas tax and take away the little bit of breathing room many are currently enjoying. Should gas prices head back up in the future, higher gas prices (with the added tax) would be devastating creating a worse economy slump than what we had previously.
Why any of our legislators elected to represent their constituents, who are just climbing out of a pit, want to punish them even further is beyond me. It’s no different than stepping on taxpayers’ fingers just as they are pulling themselves out of the abyss.

tar pit 

It makes no sense to cripple an economy for the sake of a few pennies. The added revenue would help the state’s coffers initially, but it would do nothing for the taxpayers, and like any other tax it would never be enough to meet the states expectations other than looking to increase it further down the road. More businesses and families will move away and, in the long run, our revenues problems will increase, no decrease. 
It is never about the taxpayers, and always about taking in more to make up for the mismanagement of funds that were already there.
As always, in Trenton the only way to solve a problem is take the easy way out by raising taxes rather than figure out a way to get the job done without draining the pockets of its providers.
It has been a long winding road for many, and to leave them stranded with no help in sight is just plain laziness.
If the trend continues, there won’t be anyone left to keep the state solvent, and those that are left could wind up at the bottom of the La Brea tar pits.
Tell our representatives the gas tax increase is a NO!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Christie Reaches Out To Edgewater Victims



'She Loves Me' Headed Back To B'way In 2016


Laura Benanti
 
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) announces a new Broadway production of She Love Me, starring Tony winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Nine) as “Amalia” and Josh Radnor (Disgraced, “How I Met Your Mother”) as “Georg”, directed by six-time Tony nominee Scott Ellis. This classic musical comedy features a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock. In a special celebration of Roundabout’s 50th Anniversary season, She Loves Me returns to Broadway in a new production led by Roundabout’s Associate Artistic Director Scott Ellis. Scott directed Roundabout’s ten time Tony nominated revival of She Loves Me in 1993, which marked the first Broadway musical in the company’s history and launched the Musical Theatre Program at Roundabout. Highlights from Roundabout’s Musical Theatre Program include Cabaret, Nine, Assassins, Violet, The Pajama Game, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sunday in the Park with George, Anything Goes and Broadway’s first revival of On the Twentieth Century opening
this spring.
She Loves Me will play a limited engagement on Broadway in the spring of 2016.
The full cast, creative team and dates will be announced shortly.
Roundabout Theatre Company welcomes back celebrated Broadway performer Laura Benanti after her acclaimed performance in Roundabout’s 2003 Broadway production of Nine and Josh Radnor, who starred in a special one-night only gala reading of She Loves Me in 2011. Roundabout Associate Artistic Director Scott Ellis has directed numerous productions for the Roundabout stages, most recently the 2015 production of On the Twentieth Century and the 2012 production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
She Loves Me is a heartwarming musical comedy classic about finding love the good old-fashioned way. It follows Georg (Radnor) and Amalia (Benanti), two parfumerie clerks who aren’t quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can’t seem to find common ground. But little do they know, the anonymous romantic pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?
The celebrated score features favorites such as “Vanilla Ice Cream”, “A Romantic Atmosphere”, “Dear Friend” and “She Loves Me.” The musical is based on a play by Miklos Laszlo, whose well-known romantic story was the basis for the 1949 James Stewart film “The Shop Around the Corner” and the 1998 Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan film “You’ve Got Mail”.
She Loves Me benefits from Roundabout’s Musical Theatre Fund with lead gifts from The Howard Gilman Foundation and Perry and Marty Granoff.
Musicals at Roundabout are supported with generous gifts from: The Bok Family Foundation and Cynthia Wainwright and Stephen Berger.

Nearly Naked: Most Tempting 2015 Super Bowl Spot



Here's the pitch for this provocative Super Bowl spot: Charlotte McKinney loves going All-Natural, especially when it comes to her burger in this extended version of the "Au Naturel" commercial. Introducing fast food's first All-Natural Burger with grass-fed, free-range beef that has no added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. Only at Carl's Jr. Show us how you #EatLikeYouMeanIt.

The ONE Leader America Could Use Right Now

The world seems in a state of upheaval.
In fact, we can't remember the last time things seems this chaotic.
And  America's State Department seems clueless about what's happening while the Obama Administration generally appears to be in full retreat. At a time when the world is looking to us for leadership, the United States appears to be disengaging on all fronts, except perhaps with Cuba. How weird is that? What a strange scenario!
Yes, we're without direction and/or headed in the wrong direction -- without a knowledgeable, experienced crew to guide us.
In fact, there are no discernible old foreign policy hands in Obamaland. None. 
During a period of maximum danger in the world, there's no one around like George F. Kennan or John Foster Dulles or Averill Harriman or Jeanne Kirkpatrick or Clark Clifford or Bernard Baruch. We're witnessing a drought of certified gray matter as America faces a perilous world beset by increasing secuirty risks.
Presidents Bush 41 and 43 had good foreign policy advisors and key contacts among leaders throughout the world. Consequently, they were able to build powerful alliances based on trust and mutual understanding.
President Reagan gave America new stature in the world by constructing a musclar forgein policy based on growing strength and earned friendship.
Even Bill Clinton managed to navigate us through some difficult international waters because he did not hesitate to seek the best advice from and listen to knowledgable sages of any political persuasion.
But the ONE leader we could really use right now is Richard Nixon.
You heard that right - Nixon!
When it came to foreign affairs, Nixon really was The One.
What would Nixon do now?
First, he'd collect the best, most-accurate, most up-to-date information possible, using almost all means necessary to gather it while maintaining credible deniability on all fronts. 
Second, he'd bolster our intelligence, defense and secuirty apparatus. 
Third, he'd size up the situation in the Middle East and elsewhere with a hard-nosed realism. He'd search out every advantage he could gain for us on the world stage and pull together allies, almost-allies, wannabe allies, maybe allies and potential allies into the best team he could assemble.
Fourth, he'd use any among that group as a counter-weight to our obvious, presumed or possible enemies. He'd distract our enemies in any way that he could -- surprising them, badgering them, turning them against one another and throwing them off-base in any way possible. At the same time, he'd work to keep our fingerprints off these maneuvers.
Fifth, he wouldn't hesitate to use strong economic measures to weaken or choke off those who threatened us.
Of course, it goes without saying that he'd surround himself with the very best minds as he made his way through this international minefield.
So, we'd be knowledgeable; we'd be strengthened; we'd be nimble and we'd be ready.
Call it the the foreign policy of craftiness.
Because Nixon understand that a big part of world leadership is made up of smarts, shrewdness and the perception of same. He knew that foreign affairs was a mind game. And he had the guts, gravitas and experience to play the game to win.
An adept poker player with a steel trap mind, Nixon knew how to size up our opponents and maximize our advantages on the world stage. Boy, could we use him now!
 



Christie's Game Plan: Here's What We Think

People keep asking us: What is Governor Chris Christie's game plan vis-a-vis 2016?
Well, we have been, we are and we will continue to be huge Christie fans. That's obvious.
But we're not privy to any inside information because Team Christie always plays its cards very close to the vest. Always.
Still, we can speculate. We can speculate based on our longtime experience in politics as well as what we know about the man, those around him and the presidential race and the GOP in general.
And here's what we think right now: 
1) Governor Christie and his inner circle are preparing themselves for a presidential run. They're putting the pieces in place. They want to make sure they're ready.
2) The governor will continue to cultivate a national profile, travel extensively and maintain key contacts from coast-to-coast.
3) Fund raising will likewise continue and even be accelerated through an exploratory or a political action committee (PAC) of some sort.
4) Christie will continue to build up political IOUs and will be ready to cash them in if need be.
5) At home, the governor will avoid controversial positions if he can. He will be loathe to raise taxes and will resist any type of move which would alienate key GOP constituencies.
6) Governor Christie will make no plan to resign right now or anytime in the near future. As he told told the state legislature during his State of the State Address, he fully intends to be Governor of New Jersey next year at this time.
7) Finally, the governor will keep his options open just as long as he can. It appears as if he feels no need to rush a decision just now. If he can play this out into the summer, he may just do that. This will give him more time to assess the situation and perhaps smoke out other candidates. The more information Christie has about the lay of the land going forward, the easier it will be for him to make a wise decision about his own future. This is only natural. Politicians like to keep their options open as long as long as they can, especially if they're already holding onto an existing power base that they don't want to give up. Remember, if he decides not to jump into the race, Christie can always opt to throw his support to some other candidate and (victory permitting) parlay that into a cabinet post or some similar prize.
For all the flack that he's taken from the media and those who once appeared to be such ardent fans, Christie remains a shrewd political operator and a [mostly] reasoned practitioner of realpolitik. At the same time, he maintains good instincts and a willingness to surprise both followers and critics alike.
He cannot and will not be pigeonholed.
He resists categorization or compartmentalization.
He continues to be a compelling public figure.

Pope Hints At Flexibility On Annulments

Pope Francis today received in audience the dean, prelate auditors, officials and collaborators of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, in order to inaugurate the legal year. In his address, the Holy Father focused on the human and cultural context in which matrimonial intent is formed. He emphasised that the crisis of values in society is not a recent phenomenon, and recalled that forty years ago Pope Paul VI had already denounced the ailments of modern man, “at times wounded by a systematic relativism, that bends to the easiest choices of circumstance, of demagogy, of fashion, of passion, of hedonism, of selfishness, so that externally he attempts to dispute the mastery of the law, and internally, almost without realising, substitutes the empire of moral conscience with the whim of psychological consciousness”.

The Pope highlighted the role of the judge, who is require to perform his judicial analysis where there is doubt regarding the validity of marriage, to ascertain whether there was an original shortcoming in consent, either directly in terms of a defect in the validity of intention or a grave deficit in the understanding of marriage itself to the extent of determining will. The crisis in marriage, indeed, not infrequently has at its root the crisis in knowledge enlightened by faith, or rather by adhesion to God and His plan of love realised in Jesus Christ”.

“Pastoral experience teaches us that today there is a great number of faithful in irregular situations, whose histories have been strongly influenced by the widespread worldly mentality”, he continued. “There exists, indeed, a sort of spiritual worldliness, which hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for the Church, and which leads to the pursuit not of the glory of God, but rather of personal well-being. One of the consequences of this attitude is a faith hemmed in by subjectivism, interested solely in a given experience or a series of arguments and areas of knowledge believed to console or enlighten, but in which the subject in reality remains imprisoned by the immanence of his or her own reason or emotions. … Therefore, the judge, in evaluating the validity of the consent given, must take into account the context of values and faith”.

Pope Francis urged greater commitment and passion in the ministry of the judge, whose role is “to protect the unity of the jurisprudence of the Church”, and “pastoral work for the good of many couples, and many children, who are often the victims of these situations. Here too there is a need for pastoral conversion on the part of ecclesiastical structures to be able to offer the opus iustitiae to all those who turn to the Church to shed light on their matrimonial situation. This is your difficult mission: … do not ensnare salvation in the constrictions of legalism. The function of law is guided towards the salus animarum on the condition that, avoiding sophisms distant from the living flesh of people in difficulty, it may help to establish the truth of the moment of consent”.

The Pope stressed the importance of the presence at every ecclesiastical Tribunal of persons competent to offer sound advice on the possibility of initiating a suit for the annulment of marriage. “In the hope that in every Tribunal these figures may be present to encourage real access to the justice of the Church for all the faithful, I would like to underline that a significant number of cases dealt with before the Roman Rota are enabled by legal aid granted to those whose economic situation would not otherwise allow them to engage the services of lawyer”.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sex In A Box? Yes, And It's On TV!



Well, here's the deal.
Average couples agree to have sex in a box -- a specially-designed box on a TV show.
It begins February 27 at 10 PM on WEtv And, you can watch it the next day as well on wetv.com.
WEtv says it's all part of their reality sex therapy lineup, designed to enhance our understanding of all kinds of couples and all kinds of sex.
So, if you're ready to ditch the Real Housewives and all those slutty characters whose names begin with "K," well - here's your alternative!

Tickets For Rush Philly Concerts On Sale Friday

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Rush return to Philadelphia celebrating 40 years during their R40 Live Tour at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, June 25. Rush last played in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center in October of 2012.

Tickets will go on sale on Friday, January 30 at 10 a.m. exclusively through ComcastTIX online at ComcastTIX.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office.

Over the course of their amazing career, Rush has lived a lifetime together, providing an influential soundtrack to many of their fans’ lives. Some have been with them since the start, while others have discovered them along the way and delved into their incredible body of work. To quote Dave Grohl from their momentous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “Rush built their following the right way. No hype, no bullshit, they did it from the ground up. Their legacy is incredible and their influence undeniable.”

After 40 years together and 20 gold and platinum studio albums – Rush is ready to celebrate with the most loyal fans in the world by embarking on their 21st tour, one which will most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude. Celebrate four decades of music with three incredible musicians – all in 1 night.

Rush’s vast catalogue includes such classics as 1974’s self-titled debut, 1976’s 2112, 1981’s Moving Pictures, 1996’s Test For Echo, and 2002’s Vapor Trails. Rush released their 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels in 2012 via Anthem/Roadrunner Records. The critically acclaimed collection marked their first studio recording since 2007’s Snakes & Arrows, and debuted at #1 in Canada and #2 on the Billboard 200 matching the highest chart debut of the band’s career. Known for their energetic live shows, the most recent Rush release was the R40 collector’s boxset including live footage spanning all four decades of the trio’s career, including over two hours of unreleased material and a rare performance of the seven-part version of “2112” packaged in an impressive 52-page hardcover book.

Rush has been recognized with eight Juno Awards, seven Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage” that also won the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. The band members were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, made Officers of the Order of Canada in 1996 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. They have received a star on both Canada’s Walk of Fame (1999) and Hollywood Walk of Fame (2010). In 2012, Rush were bestowed with the highest artistic honor in Canada when receiving the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. To the elation of their fans, Rush were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Wells Fargo Center social media accounts:
Twitter: @WellsFargoCtr  Facebook: WellsFargoCenter  Instagram: WellsFargoCenter

To receive advance notice and special offers to future events, join the free Wells Fargo Center CyberClub at wellsfargocenterphilly.com.

Pope Welcomes Lutherans, Calls For Unity

“The fact that you come here together is itself a witness to the importance of efforts for unity. The fact that you pray together is a witness to our belief that only through the grace of God can that unity be achieved. The fact that you recite the Creed together is a witness to the one common faith of the whole of Christianity”.

St. John Paul II addressed these words to the first Finnish ecumenical delegation of the Lutheran Church to come to Rome thirty years ago, and this morning, Pope Francis repeated them to the delegation present today on their annual ecumenical pilgrimage to celebrate the feast of St. Henry of Uppsala, the patron of Finland. The Pope mentioned that this year the visit coincides with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to reflect this year on Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman at the well: “Give me to drink”.

“We are reminded that the source of all grace is the Lord himself, and that His gifts transform those who receive them, making them witnesses to the true life that is in Him alone”, said the Holy Father. “As the Gospel tells us, many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. As you, Bishop Vikstrom, have said, there is so much that Catholics and Lutherans can do together to bear witness to God’s mercy in our societies. A shared Christian witness is very much needed in the face of the mistrust, insecurity, persecution, pain and suffering experienced so widely in today’s world”.

He continued, “This common witness can be sustained and encouraged by progress in theological dialogue between the Churches. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine on Justification, which was solemnly signed some fifteen years ago between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church, can produce further fruits of reconciliation and cooperation between us. The Nordic Lutheran–Catholic dialogue in Finland and Sweden, under the related theme Justification in the Life of the Church, has been reflecting on important questions deriving from the Joint Declaration. Let us hope that further convergence will emerge from that dialogue on the concept of the Church, the sign and instrument of the salvation brought to us in Jesus Christ”.

House Moves On One Abortion Bill, Delays Other

Here is a Very Important Message from catholicvote.org:

Dear Friend,

I'm disappointed. 

There won't be a vote today on a 20-week abortion ban.

House Republicans decided at the last minute to postpone the vote.

They say they need to work out some of the language in the bill. They want more time to resolve differences over reporting requirements for victims of rape.

But the fact is, they should have worked out these problems weeks, even months ago. Americans did not elect the GOP to control both houses of Congress for mishaps like this.

The Democrats are laughing at this setback. They remain steadfastly opposed to any commonsense reforms.

I spoke with several strong pro-life Republicans on the Hill. After the 20-week ban was delayed, they demanded a vote on another pro-life bill: The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. The House is expected to pass this bill today, and send it over to the Senate.

We have many dedicated pro-life lawmakers on Capitol Hill. And I'm glad they're still fighting very hard to protect the unborn.


But I told them that we still expect a vote soon on the 20-week abortion ban.

I also wanted you to know that I've met with many pro-life women today. They're standing strong and reminding lawmakers that public support for this 20-week ban is stronger among women than men!

I've also talked with pro-life activists coming here for the March for Life. The streets here in Washington are flooding with hundreds of thousands of joyful people.

Like you and me, they are frustrated by today's temporary setback. But they aren't giving up. And neither will you and I.

We simply cannot give up the fight. We cannot let down the children we are fighting so hard to protect.

That's why I want you encourage you to renew your effort to the unborn today, and consider three steps to help their struggle today:
  • Pray the rosary or attend Mass. Never doubt that the Lord hears your prayers for our innocent brothers and sisters.
  • Sacrifice for the unborn. Show solidarity with them by fasting today.
  • Call your Representative at 202-224-3121. Demand that they vote on H.R. 36!

The United States is one of only four countries on the planet that allow abortions in all nine months. But Americans do not want late-term abortions. The polls clearly show that a majority of Americans want a ban on abortions on children who are 20 weeks old and can experience pain.

Keep up the fight!
Brian

Atlantic City: Governor Christie Takes Bold Action

Acting With Urgency For An AC Renewal
Governor Christie Continues To Work To Bring Financial Stability To Atlantic City, While Helping Workers In Transition
_____________________________________

Taking Action To Solidify Atlantic City’s Finances:

As part of his commitment to bringing long-term stability of Atlantic City, Governor Christie believes that expert and objective leadership is needed to restructure the operations, finances and culture of its government.  Today, the Governor signed Executive Order 171 which appoints an Emergency Manager and Special Consultant to develop and oversee a comprehensive overhaul of Atlantic City’s government:

·         Special Consultant to Atlantic City’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr:  Mr. Orr most recently served as Emergency Manager for the City of Detroit, guiding the city through the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. By reaching out and speaking honestly with stakeholders and residents, Mr. Orr helped the city shed $7 billion in debt and reinvest $1.4 billion over 10 years in public services.  Mr. Orr also brings three decades of extensive legal experience in the areas of business restructuring, financial institution regulation and commercial litigation.

·         Emergency Manager of Atlantic City Kevin Lavin: Mr. Lavin has extensive credentials in restructuring both private and public underperforming entities, most recently as the leader of FTI Consulting’s Global Restructuring business unit. Mr. Lavin has played a key role in the turnaround or restructuring of over 150 companies around the globe and across a broad range of industries and has served in interim management roles as CEO, COO and CFO.

Governor Christie’s Executive Order is based on the recommendations outlined in the initial report of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Gaming, Sports and Entertainment.

Helping Casino Workers Through AC’s Transition:

While the need for Atlantic City to diversify from simply a gambling hub is necessary, the Christie Administration is committed to helping those who have been impacted in the process.

Working hand-in-hand with the industry unions and local partners, the Administration – through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) – is helping to guide impacted casino workers through a variety of services and benefits available to them, and assisting them in their job searches:

·         $30 Million In Federal Employment Assistance: The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development sought and obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor a National Emergency Grant totaling nearly $29.4 million to assist with job training and reemployment services for Atlantic City’s former casino workers who were laid off as a result of the casino closings.

·         Atlantic City Unites Here Center: More than 40 labor department staffers were made available in the first week of September at the “Atlantic City Unites Here Center,” a resource center the union opened in space provided by the Casino Redevelopment Authority at the Atlantic City Convention Center after two casinos closed the same week. About 500 workers were served the first day. The labor department again sent staffers to a new center the union opened later that month when another casino closed.

·         Individualized Services For Job Seekers: Staff remain available to meet with the affected employees individually to assist them in their job searches. Services include:
o    Assistance in Applying for Unemployment Assistance: Impacted workers are strongly encouraging all layoff affected workers to file for UI benefits online at Jobs4Jersey.com.
o    Targeted Training Programs: Opportunity4Jersey program provides funding to support new training programs tied directly to the hiring needs of employers.
o    Resume Workshops: Specialists are available to assist individuals to prepare for their job search.

·         Largest Job Fair in State History: The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development hosted its largest job fair ever, linking more than 1,500 people to more than 60 employers at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Sept. 10, 2014 to get people re-employed.

·         Outreach to Businesses Hiring in the Region: Business Services Representatives and Talent Networks continue to work closely with economic development organizations and local and state business organizations to identify businesses that would be interested in hiring layoff affected workers. Companies are being advised of on-the-job training grants and other training funds available to prepare layoff affected workers for new opportunities.

·         Community Information Sessions: Rapid Response sessions are being held in local communities surrounding Atlantic City, when requested by local officials, to inform individuals about available reemployment services.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ansel Elgort: Is He Really The Next Big Thing?

Who is Ansel Elgort and why is he on the cover of Town & Country?
The son of a famous photographer, Ansel was himself named after renowned photographer Ansel Adams.
A New Yorker, Ansel studied at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and Art in Manhattan. Ansel is a model, music producer, DJ and actor who recently appeared in the movie The Fault In Our Stars, based on the best-selling book of the same name.
All that and he's still not quite 21.
Depending on how you look at it, he's either the "next big thing" or, well . . . . whatever . . . .
But it's worth noting that Ansel has reportedly been cast in the title role in Van Cliburn. Based on the biography by Howard Reich, the film will depict Van Cliburn's rise to fame in 1958 when, in the midst of the Cold War, Cliburn won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia.
Of course, most of Ansel's most ardent fans wouldn't have the vaguest idea who Van Cliburn was.
But, what does it all matter? This is 2015 and we all live in The Moment -- a nanosecond in cyberspace.
So, we'll let you review the video clips of Ansel for yourself and decide: Is he the nest big thing, or already over the hill?"



Boehner Invites Netanyahu To Adress Congress


House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to address a joint meeting of Congress on February 11, 2015.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people,” Boehner said. “In this time of challenge, I am asking the Prime Minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life. Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again.”

This would be Prime Minister Netanyahu’s third appearance before a joint meeting of Congress, and his second during Boehner’s speakership. His previous addresses were on July 10, 1996 and May 24, 2011. Other Israeli prime ministers to address Congress include Ehud Olmert, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin.

Read Boehner's formal letter of invitation here.

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