Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mom's: How Much Are They Really Worth?

With Mother's Day fast approaching, it's an enticing question: How much is a typical mom really worth?
How much is your mom worth?
We all know there's nothing typical about her, right?
So, you're hardly prepared to put a price tag on her and everything she does. She's priceless.
OK -- we'll grant you that.
But -- if only for life insurance purposes -- what if you had to come up with an annual worth for your mom?
Well, Fox Business took a typical mom's chores and costed them out according to how much a family would have to spend to pay professionals to do the same things.
They call this the Mother's Day Index. 
Here's what they came up with:

The Mother's Day Index 2011

Mom job BLS Occupation used Hours per week Annual Mom cost
Cooking Cooks 14 $6,934.20
Driving Taxi drivers and chauffeurs 9 $6,292.90
Helping with homework Other teachers and instructors 10 $7,140.00
Taking care of the kids Child Care Worker 40 $20,696.00
Nursing wounds Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 2 $429.60
Cleaning up Maids and housekeeping cleaners 10 $4,888.00
Planning parties Meeting & Convention Planners 1 $1,479.04
Summer activity planner Miscellaneous community and social service specialists 40 $8,724.00
Haircuts Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 0.5 $300.30
Shopping for the family Personal and home care aides 3 $1,579.50
Family finances Accountants and auditors 0.5 $619.45
Yard work Grounds maintenance workers 1 $562.90
Fixing up the house Interior Designers 0.50 $999.60
Finding out what the kids are up to Private detectives and investigators 0.50 $791.00

                                  TOTAL ANNUAL COST OF MOM: $61,426.00
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Click here to read more.

Arts Festival: Philly's Broad St. Becomes Paris

We had a great time throughout the day on Saturday at the Street Carnival that culminated the month-long Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA).
Broads St. came alive as a Parisian street fair with art, whimsy, and live performances at every turn.
Gardens bloomed and fountains bubbled in the middle of the world's longest straight city street and the grand Avenue of the Arts teemed with delighted crowds.
It was a beautiful day and it marked the beginning of what we hope will be a great new spring tradition for Philadelphia.
There is one more day of PIFA activities on Sunday. Hurry on over!
C'est Magnifique!
All photos copyright 2011 by Dan Cirucci.

Grumpy Kid Spoils Royal Wediing!

Here's that photo from the royal wedding -- this time with the key component highlighted and enlarged. The day was far from over and already this kid was grumped  out. I can't say that I blame her. Hat Tip:

Poll: Americans Favor GOP On Budget, Other Issues

Yet another poll shows that President Obama is in trouble.
Yet another poll shows that he's losing the trust and confidence of the American people -- especially on the economy.
And this poll also finds that people are more trusting of the Republicans on the budget than they are of Obama.
It's from USA Today/Gallup and here's an excerpt:
Americans say Republicans in Congress would do a better job than Democrats in dealing with the U.S. budget, according to a poll released Friday that shows President Barack Obama's party at a disadvantage as lawmakers near another showdown over federal spending.
GOP symbol and cash
Mike Kemp | Getty Images

The poll's findings underscore the challenge facing Obama as he seeks public support for his proposals for tackling a growing U.S. budget deficit — an issue that could play a key role in the president's efforts to win re-election in 2012. . . . .
The USA Today/Gallup survey of 1,013 U.S. adults looked at whether Americans expressed more confidence in the ability of Republicans or Democrats in Congress to deal with six major issues facing the country. . . . .
with 48 percent favoring Republicans and 36 percent Democrats.
The poll found that Americans favored Republicans by smaller margins on four other issues: Afghanistan, the U.S. economy, immigration and jobs. Democrats held a small advantage on handling healthcare, the poll found.
Click here to read more.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mary Pat Christie Unveils Autism Resources For NJ

New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie is greeted by 4-year old Brooklyn Greene, a patient of Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick diagnosed with autism.

New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie joined the Commissioners of the Departments of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and Human Services (DHS) to unveil two new State resources available to assist families faced with the diagnosis of autism. The initiatives, a guide entitled Autism, Navigating through the Maze and its accompanying website, were officially launched at a statewide conference held today at the PSE&G Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick.

“Throughout my travels this month, I have had an opportunity to meet and speak with many families of children and young adults with autism,” said Mrs. Christie. “In these discussions, there has been a common vision -- that as parents, we all want the best possible outcomes for our children so that they have the greatest opportunities that lead to productive and satisfying lives.

“The tools being launched today bring New Jersey another step closer to helping families impacted by autism fulfill those goals. I applaud Commissioner Velez and Acting Commissioner O’Dowd and their staff for the work they are doing to make a difference for this community.”

The new guide and website ( ) provide a foundation of information about services, resources and support available to New Jersey families facing the challenges of autism and other developmental disabilities. Web links to a variety of relevant community-based agencies in the Garden State providing assistance are also included.

A reported 1 in 94 New Jersey children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – one of the highest prevalence rates in the nation.

New Jersey has a strong commitment to helping individuals and families affected by autism. The DHSS Early Intervention Program provides services to children from birth to age three who have a developmental delay or disability, including autism. In addition, the Governor’s Council for Medical Treatment of Autism has awarded $5 million in basic science research grants to study the causes, triggers and treatment of ASDs. DHSS also maintains an Autism Registry of diagnosed cases of autism that can help link families with services as well as provide data that can be used in research studies or in planning services for people with ASDs.

“This guide and website will help ease some of the burden on parents, helping them quickly find information and services that can benefit their child’s development. Children who get early, appropriate services have the best opportunity to lead independent lives,” said DHSS Acting Commissioner Mary O’Dowd, who hosted today’s event. “I commend the Department of Human Services for creating these valuable resources.”

“The state departments and private organizations that provide quality supports and services to children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities have the common goal of assisting people in reaching their full potential,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Each of our departments worked together to develop the guide and the website, which will continue to evolve as we learn more from individuals, their families and from one another.”

In August 2010, the Office on Autism was established within the DHS’ Division of Developmental Disabilities, creating a centralized location to coordinate autism-related information. The Office has organized an Interdepartmental Work Group, which includes the New Jersey Departments of Human Services; Health and Senior Services; Children and Families; Community Affairs; Education; and Labor and Work Force Development to enhance coordination among state agencies charged with providing services to persons with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism is a spectrum of disorders that is complex and lifelong. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nationwide, it is estimated that autism occurs in 1 out of every 110 births.

Most often, autism is diagnosed during the first three years of life and is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, severely limited interests and repetitive behaviors. It is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls and affects families of all races, ethnicities and socio-economic groups.

Throughout the month of April, First Lady Mary Pat Christie has highlighted innovative work being done by organizations throughout the state to serve people with autism spectrum disorder. Mrs. Christie toured the EPIC School in Paramus to see the structured educational programs that are teaching new skills and increasing independence for students with autism and she visited the Woodrow Wilson Middle School coffee shop in Edison, which is operated by students with autism and other developmental disabilities. She also visited P.R.I.D.E. Center in Chatham to see first-hand the independent living skills and vocational training services provided there for young adults with autism and other special needs.

Video Preview: Beatification Of Pope John Paul II

Renowned theologian, Father Robert Barron, will offer commentary on all NBC Network News programming during Pope John Paul II’s beatification on May 1. Barron was selected for his in-depth knowledge of Pope John Paul II and will be in Rome covering the event.
On May 1, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the Solemn Mass and Beatification before hundreds of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square and for millions of television viewers around the world. This is the first time a pope has beatified his immediate predecessor.
Over three million people journeyed to Rome for Pope John Paul II’s funeral in 2005, at which the crowds chanted “Santo Subito” meaning “sainthood now” in Italian. Predictions are at least that many people, and possibly more, will make the pilgrimage for the Mass and Beatification. More than 400,000 pilgrims are expected from John Paul’s native Poland alone.
The choice of May 1, the first Sunday after Easter, is also significant. John Paul II declared the first Sunday after Easter to be “Divine Mercy Sunday” in the year 2000. This date is also associated with totalitarian communist regimes as “May Day.” Pope John Paul II worked tirelessly to advance the cause of human rights for those who suffered under the oppression of Communist dictatorships, both in his native Poland and around the world.
Father Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, a global, non-profit media group. He is an acclaimed author, theologian, and the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago.
Ordained in 1986, Fr. Barron has published numerous books, essays and DVD programs. He is a frequent commentator on faith and culture for The Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News, FOX News, Our Sunday Visitor, The Catholic Herald in London, the Washington Post, CNN and the Catholic New World. He lectures extensively in the United States and abroad, including the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas In Rome. Fr. Barron received his Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Cardinal Francis George calls Father Barron “one of the Church’s best messengers.”
Word on Fire ( reaches millions of people through its weekly programs on Relevant Radio, EWTN, the popular Word on Fire YouTube Channel, and the Word on Fire website, which offers daily blogs, articles, commentaries and over ten years of weekly sermon podcasts.
MSNBC will start live coverage of the Beatification Mass at 4:00 AM Eastern on Sunday, May 1.

Governor Christie's Appointments To State Agencies

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


morris county board of taxation
Nominate for reappointment Dr. Michael D. DiFazio, D.C. (East Hanover, Morris)
Nominate for reappointment Bernard J. Tyson (Parsippany, Morris)
Nominate for appointment Matthew R. Petracca, Esq. (Lincoln Park, Morris)

New Jersey redevelopment authority
For-Profit Dev. Industry
Nominate for appointment R. Andrew Marshall (Chatham, Morris)

ellis island advisory commission
Public Member/Hospitality
Nominate for appointment Scott McLester (Skillman, Somerset)

casino reinvestment development authority
Nominate for appointment Robert E. Mulcahy, III (Basking Ridge, Somerset)

State employment and training commission
County Ed. Rep.
Nominate for appointment G. Jeremiah Ryan (Paramus, Bergen)

Middlesex county board of taxation
Nominate for reappointment Michael E. Lachs (East Brunswick, Middlesex)

pinelands commission
Nominate for reappointment Candace McKee Ashmun (Basking Ridge, Somerset)
Nominate for appointment D’Arcy Rohan Green (Bay Head, Ocean)
Nominate for appointment Mark S. Lohbauer (Pennsauken, Camden)
Nominate for appointment Richard H. Prickett (Pemberton, Burlington)
Nominate for appointment Stephen V. Lee, III (Chatsworth, Burlington)
Nominate for appointment the Honorable Gary Quinn (Forked River, Ocean)


Council on Local Mandates
Appoint Sharon L. Weiner, Esq. (Morristown, Morris)
Appoint Nirmal Mulye, Ph.D. (Kendall Park, Middlesex)
Appoint the Honorable John K. Rafferty (Hamilton, Mercer)
Appoint the Honorable James Toolen (Waldwick, Bergen)

Gloucester county board of elections
Reappoint David F. Ferrucci (Newfield, Gloucester)
Reappoint Christopher J. Powell (Mantua, Gloucester)

On Thursday, April 21, Governor Christie filed the following direct appointment with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Casino reinvestment development authority
Assembly Speaker Rec. Public Member
Appoint Gerald Owens (South Orange, Essex)

Baby Names: These Are The Most Hated!

Live Science has reported on a very, very informal study by  Baby Name Wizard blogger Laura Wattenberg, that catalogues America's most hated baby names. Here they are!

  1. Nevaeh ("Heaven" spelled backward and one of the most divisive names around, according to Wattenberg.)
  2. Destiny (People dislike names that confer a virtue onto a child, Wattenberg said — and many felt associated this name with exotic dancers.)
  3. Madison
  4. Mackenzie
  5. McKenna
  6. Addison (An example of a masculine named turned feminine, which many people dislike, Wattenberg said)
  7. Gertrude (People said this name is "ugly.")
  8. Kaitlyn (For its "made-up" spelling.)
  9. Makayla
  10. Bertha
  11. Hope
  1. Jayden
  2. Brayden
  3. Aiden
  4. Kaden (These rhyming names struck many as overdone, Wattenberg reported.)
  5. Hunter (Too much like a last name or "too violent.")
  6. Hayden
  7. Bentley (People dislike brand-name names, Wattenberg found, calling them "trashy")
  8. Tristan
  9. Michael (Too boring, according to some.)
  10. Jackson

See All Royal Wedding Highlights Tonight!

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Will America Follow Britain In Decline?

As we watches highlights of the royal wedding this morning we wondered: Is this what America will become -- a once-great nation now in permanent decline and left with nothing but history and the vestiges of  pomp and pageantry?
Well, apparently Christopher Friend has been thinking the same thing and he's out with a fine column on the subject at Newsmax. Here's part of what he has to say:
America’s leaders would be wise to take a history lesson from Britain’s more recent past to avoid becoming what England is — a nation in decline. A shadow of its former self, it is a country known more for pageantry and traditions than a meaningful place on the world stage.
The sun never set on the British Empire, and while that showcased a pioneering spirit, England became vastly overextended. The blood and treasure expended to maintain the Empire became too great, and the Crown’s holdings crumbled.

Forced to look inward, it did all the wrong things. England’s leaders bought into quasi-socialism to give them a sense of security, but their national prestige evaporated after massive taxation and runaway spending on social programs. This starved the military, killed entrepreneurship, and fostered an entitlement mentality.

Read more on America's Decline Can Mirror Britain           

BEST Response To Obama, Ever!

Bravo to Governor John Kasich of Ohio!

BEST Royal Wedding Photo!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Truth, Justice and the American Way... Not Anymore!

DC Comics has announced a shocker: Superman is renouncing his American citizenship. The personification of Truth, Justice and the American Way is no more.

In Action Comics #900, the Man of Steel is concerned that his actions are being "construed as instruments of U.S. policy." In his own words, Truth, Justice and the American Way aren't enough any more.

As a comic book buff, I'm well aware of Superman's origins. Creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, children of Jewish immigrants, made their strange visitor from the Planet Krypton a force for social justice and fighter of tyranny. For well over 70 years, Superman has been synonymous with the core American beliefs and patriotism, so much so that one of his nicknames is "The Big Blue Boy Scout."

DC Comics claims that this is a reflection of Superman's desire to have a more global impact. But he did that before. Why fix what isn't broken? Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern are all DC creations and all are heroes of mythic proportions. They're representative of the best of the best. They are true icons, worthy of their place on Mt. Olympus.

So why not keep that in mind for Supes? Regardless of the crappy things going on in our country: massive debt, unemployment of epic proportions and poor choices all around, can't Superman stay true to his ideals? Can't he represent the best America has to offer?

Guess it's more popular to take a not-so-subtle dig at the American Way. Maybe we should turn on the Bat Signal to get everyone's favorite nocturnal detective to find out the real agenda behind this ridiculous change.

Christie Orders Flags Flown At Half Staff

Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the following Executive Orders:

Executive Order No. 61 - Ordering all State buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Friday, April 29, 2011 to honor the service and sacrifice of United States Army Corporal John W. Lutz, Jr., of Kearny, New Jersey, who was reported missing in action during the Korean War in 1951

Executive Order No. 62 - Ordering all State buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Monday, May 2, 2011 to honor the service and sacrifice of United States Army Sergeant Keith Buzinski, raised in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, who lost his life serving on active duty in Afghanistan

Win Prizes: Nordstrom Rack Cherry Hill, May 5

Nordstron Rack Cherry Hill at Garden State Park opens next Thursday, May 5 at 9 AM.
And, a Nordstrom Rack store opening is an event not to be missed!
Be among those in the know and find the hottest brands and trends at the best prices.
At the grand opening  Nordstrom Rack will hold its 'Race Through the Rack' sweepstakes*.
One lucky person will be chosen to be the first customer to enter the store and have 90 seconds to select up to $2,000 worth of merchandise. Arrive early—the drawing will be at 8:45am in advance of the 9am grand opening.
The first 1,000 customers to make a purchase on opening day will receive a complimentary Nordstrom Rack reusable tote bag.

Sweepstakes Entry Form PDF (153 KB)

*No purchase necessary to enter or win prize. Only one entry per person. Open to legal U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older. U.S. law governs this sweepstakes. Winner must be present to win. See store for official rules and details. Void where prohibited.

Seasons 52 Chef Scores High Culinary Honors

Chef Clifford Pleau, Senior Director of Culinary for Seasons 52, the highly-acclaimed fresh grill and wine bar restaurant, will be honored by the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) for his innovative and influential use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. One of only six chefs in the nation to be recognized, Chef Pleau will be awarded the 2011 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award for Fine Dining at UFPA’s annual convention, United Fresh 2011.
Seasons 52 restaurants can be found in Cherry Hill NJ (Cherry Hill Mall) and King of Prussia PA (King of Prussia Mall) and many other state and localities. 
“I am proud to receive the United Fresh Produce Association’s recognition for excellence in fine dining,” said Chef Pleau. “I live by the motto ‘nothing ripens like the sun’ and feel a responsibility to educate and inspire new chefs and consumers about the importance of using high-quality, in-season ingredients when cooking.”
Spearheaded by Pleau, Seasons 52 changes its menu four times a year with weekly fresh features to truly capture the flavors of the season.
Guests can enjoy the highest quality fresh food, and nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories, from the signature flatbreads and appetizers, to all entrees and the Mini Indulgence desserts, which were originally created at Seasons 52 in Orlando in 2002. Everything is prepared without compromising great taste or a rich and complete dining experience. In fact, Seasons 52’s promise of “a fresh dining experience that celebrates living well” has been consistently praised by restaurant critics across the country and people’s choice awards alike.
“Chef Pleau is the culinary mastermind behind Seasons 52’s unique approach to dining, which always offers guests something new to discover,” said Seasons 52 President Stephen Judge. “We are honored the United Fresh Produce Association is recognizing Chef Pleau and Seasons 52’s dedication to serving freshness.”
United Fresh 2011 will take place May 2-5 in New Orleans. The Foodservice Awards Program honors chefs and their companies for creativity, dedication and insight into promoting healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. This year’s winners were selected from nearly 120 nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. A panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders reviewed each nominee’s incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, handling of produce, leadership in produce-related community service, and recognition by their industry peers.
Seasons 52 currently operates 17 locations in ten states across the country and will open additional restaurants in McLean, VA (Tysons Corner Center) in summer 2011; Naples, FL (Mercato Center) and Jacksonville, FL (St. Johns Town Center) in fall 2011; Oak Brook, Ill (Oakbrook Center) and Garden City, NY (Roosevelt Field) in spring 2012.

Christie Signs Reforms, Incentives To Boost Economy

Affirming his commitment to creating jobs for New Jersey families, New jersey Governor Chris Christie today signed Senate Bills 2753 and 2754 to provide common sense, targeted tax relief to improve the state's business climate and spur economic growth. In his Fiscal Year 2012 Budget proposal, Governor Christie proposed a $200 million package of job-creating tax reforms and incentives to boost New Jersey's economy. The Governor has stressed the importance of reforms to break from the state’s hostile climate towards business expansion and job growth, while maintaining fiscal discipline over state spending and adhering a constitutionally-balanced budget. The legislation signed today implements key proposals advanced by Governor Christie in that effort.

“Today, we are providing critical tax reforms and incentives to boost our economy, foster job growth and opportunity for New Jersey families, and putting a down payment on a more prosperous future for our state,” said Governor Christie. “We must continue to take action to lay a sustainable fiscal path for New Jersey, ensure that tax cuts are done in the context of a balanced budget and implement reform in the most efficient manner possible. I’m pleased that there is a bipartisan consensus in New Jersey around the need to improve our state’s oppressive business tax climate through tax policy changes and common sense regulatory reform, and I look forward to pursuing more needed reforms with the legislature.”

S-2753 will change the corporate business tax formula from a three-factor formula to a single sales factor formula, as well as create a modified sales fraction formula for airlines. S-2754 will permit taxpayers to net gains and losses from certain business-related categories of gross incomes and allow those losses to be carried forward for up to twenty years.

Since Governor Christie took office, the Administration has been committed to bringing real, bipartisan solutions to the critical challenges faced by the state. These include closing an $11 billion budget deficit without tax increases, passing Cap 2.0 to bring real property tax relief, and taking major steps toward pension and benefit reform. Last fall, Governor Christie called on the legislature to deliver for New Jersey families by acting on his proposals, including his “took kit” legislation to give local governments the tools to control costs and limit property taxes.

Additionally, the Administration has continued to advance policies to further improve New Jersey’s business climate by sunsetting the corporate business tax surcharge, signing new, robust business attraction legislation, and protecting businesses from an average $400 per employee, or 52% increase in the unemployment insurance payroll tax. Those policies, coupled with recent activities like the Governor’s ‘Creating Jersey Jobs Summit,’ the Lt. Governor’s ‘100 Businesses’ initiative, and the recent Illinois ad campaign to promote New Jersey as a destination for businesses, all demonstrate that New Jersey is well-positioned for business expansion, economic growth and job creation as our economy recovers.

Christie: Jackpot Sick/Vacation Payots Must End!

From Governor Chris Christie's office:

New Jersey Taxpayers Were Forced to Pay at Least $43 Millionfor Public Employee Sick Leave / Vacation Payouts Over the Last Year
 - Senate President Steve Sweeney, 4/14/2011

While the leader of the Do-Nothing Legislature continues to break promises and ignore his own timetables, New Jersey taxpayers continue to suffer from the legislature’s inaction on the critical property-tax relief measures offered in Governor Christie’s tool kit. Below are just a few examples of the enormous public employee unused sick leave and vacation payouts that New Jersey taxpayers were forced to cough up over the last year. In Jersey City alone, the $15 million payout equates to a $240 tax on the average residential property taxpayer.

As long as the legislative leadership continues to play political games and label needed sick leave and vacation payout reform as “garbage,” New Jersey property taxpayers will be forced to continue footing the bill every year.

Jersey City
More Than $15 million
Atlantic City
$7.1 million
Newark Fire Department
About $6.1 million
More Than $3.5 million
$3.3 million
$3 million
About $2 million
East Orange
Nearly $1 million
Stafford Township
Nearly $723,000
South Brunswick
West New York Mayor’s Chief of Staff
Somerville Superintendent
More Than $80,000
Wall Police Chief
Approximately 43.314 million

(“Amid layoffs, cash-strapped cities must reimburse unused sick and vacation time to retirees,” The Star-Ledger, 4/10/2011)
(“Cashing in on Sick & Vacation Days,” NJN News Desk, 3/24/2011)
(“Wall police chief receives $80K in unused vacation days, sick pay,” The Star-Ledger, 2/11/2011)
(“Retirements Cost NJ Town Nearly $723K,” Associated Press, 10/25/2010)
(“Passaic will borrow money to pay unused sick time and vacation time to city employees,” Associated Press, 9/28/2010)
(“Unused vacation, sick time means extra money for retired superintendent,” Courier-Post, 8/7/2010)
(“Retired West New York mayoral aide will receive a $306K payout,” Jersey Journal, 6/16/2010)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cherry Hill School Board Candidates Need Your Vote!

Challenge the status quo!

VOTE TODAY - April 27

Ryan Green
Meng Zhang
Valery Boyarsky
Andrew Behrend

for Cherry Hill Board of Education!

Their Platform:

• Representing the Interests of the Entire Cherry Hill Community
• Dedicated to Educational Excellence while also mindful of the Impact on Taxpayers
• Reality Based Budgeting
• Promoting Fiscal Responsibility, while also retaining Educational Programs and Talent in our Schools
• Dedicated to Implementing a Rational and Effective Capital Improvement Program
• Total Transparency for Informed Decisions

Sphere: Related Content

Vote NO! On School Budgets Today, WEDNESDAY!

OK, we got our days wrong.
We thought the New Jersey school elections were yesterday. Well, aren't most elections held on Tuesday? Huh?
Not in New Jersey, friends. Here, the school elections are held on WEDNESDAY - today!
Once again this year we are urging a NO! vote on school budgets throughout New Jersey today.
Yes, today is the day you get to vote on school budgets.
It's your ONLY chance to vote NO! on taxes in New Jersey.
Last year a record number of school budgets were defeated in New Jersey and that sent a strong message to local school districts and to Trenton.
But that message needs to be repeated again and again so that school reform and real spending and taxing reform actually happens.
We still have the highest property taxes in the nation and the biggest single part of these property taxes is for the schools. Let the politicians know how you feel
Vote NO! on school budgets today.

Bateman: No More Jackpot 'Sick Leave' Payouts

With the New Jersey Senate scheduled to consider an agenda on April 28th, 2011 that excludes the elimination of sick leave payouts to public employees, Senator Kip Bateman (R- Somerset) said Majority Democrats are defending waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars:
"By failing to schedule a vote on the elimination of jackpot sick leave payouts for public employees, the Majority continues to defend the indefensible," said Senator Bateman. "It is totally incomprehensible why they would go to such great lengths to protect this sort of abuse of the taxpayers."
Bateman noted that the Majority's so-called "sick leave reform" legislation (S-2220) actually preserved payouts for future employees, and did not reduce payouts for current employees by requiring them to draw down on time already accrued.
"Sick leave not a bonus for retirement or a supplemental source of income- it is to afford employees the ability to recover from illness," he stated. "Local governments like South Brunswick should not have to borrow hundreds of thousands or, in some cases, millions of dollars to cover this lavish benefit for those who serve the public."
According to The Star-Ledger, South Brunswick borrowed $525, 000 to pay 18 retiring employees for unused sick and vacation time.
"Once again, the Senate is meeting with no plans to help reduce the cost of government," Bateman said. "It is no wonder that our property taxes are the highest in the nation when Trenton Democrats call common-sense reforms like this one 'garbage'."

Birth Certificate Release: An Important First Step

So, Donald Trump (and others) have effectively forced President Obama to release his "long form" birth certificate.
Now, maybe the President will release his complete medical records instead of a one-page summary.
During the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama released a mere summary of his medical history while John McCain opened more than a thousand pages of his medical records to media access.
In 2010, Obama's doctor released a 275-word updated summary of his medical report.
Also, maybe Obama will release his academic records. Barack Obama has not released transcripts for his grades from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He has also not released his SAT and LSAT scores. No explanation has been offered for not releasing them.
If there is no cause for concern in any of the records, why not release them?
If there is cause for concern, why not release them and get the matter over with.
Secrecy naturally breeds suspicion.
An old PR rule: If you keep hiding something, people will think you have something to hide.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meet And Greet City Council Candidate Capozzi!

Spectrum Realty proudly hosts a Meet and Greet with City Council Candidate Barbara Capozzi.
Take a break from the PIFA Street Festival this Saturday and stop in to see Capozzi!
Saturday, April 30 · 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Spectrum Realty Office
423 South Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA

Hosted by Michael Giuda, Mario Tropea, Jr., & Spectrum Realty Co.
Rick Baccare will be singing Sounds of Sinatra.
Complimentary cocktails & hors d'oeuvres will be served.

No contributions necessary to attend.

Sowell Issues Wake-Up Call For GOP

As always, the great Thomas Sowell has an enlightening and thought-provoking column at National Review.
Here's a snippet:
. . . How many Republican catch phrases can you remember? Republican rhetoric tends to range from low key to no key.
Nor is there much evidence that Republicans have asked themselves how the left wing of the Democratic party gained such ascendancy in recent years, in a country where millions more people identify themselves as conservative than as liberals.
In short, there is little or no evidence that most Republicans see any need to fundamentally change their approach to the public. But if they think that they can rely on Obama’s declining popularity to win the 2012 election, they may be in for a rude shock. Worse yet, the whole future of this country and of Western civilization will be in jeopardy — in a world where the likes of Iran and North Korea become nuclear powers while we engage in empty talk at the U.N.
Click here to read more.

Tea Party Ass'n. To Welcome Toomey Wednesday

The Independence Hall Tea Party Association is partnering with Heritage Action for America and other assorted Conservative groups to present U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) this Wednesday night (details below) at a timely event on the national debt.

WPHT talk show host, Dom Giordano, will moderate.

Should we raise the debt ceiling--again? 
What will happen if we don't?

Sen. Pat Toomey:  Cutting Through the Liberal Debt Hysteria         
When:   Wednesday, April 27, 7-9 PM 
Where:  Fort Washington Holiday Inn, 432 West Pennsylvania Avenue, 
Fort Washington, PA

Philly Gets Set For College Rugby Championship!

USA 7’s and NBC Sports will formally announce the match-ups and schedules for the 16 competing teams in the 2011 Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) at PPL Park in Chester, PA, on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 during a special selection event at the Union League of Philadelphia on Thursday, April 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Collegiate Rugby Championships feature 16 collegiate clubs competing in 38 games over the two-day tournament.

The invite-only CRC pool launch party is presented by the Philadelphia Sports Congress and top Philadelphia business professionals will be in attendance. The event features Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and Versus, Mike Miller, CEO of International Rugby Board and Managing Director for Rugby World Cup Ltd. and former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell.

Single-day and weekend tickets for USA 7’s CRC are available exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the PPL Park box office. Group discounts are available by calling 215-389-9543.

USA 7’s Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) at PPL Park in Chester, PA will feature 16 of the top collegiate rugby clubs in the country battling in a two-day tournament for the USA 7’s CRC title and CRC Cup. 38 matches with 14 minutes of play each in round robin format will construct the two-day contest. The CRC event presents a two-day Philly-style Block Party, where sports fans will have the opportunity to participate in rugby clinics, meet international rugby legends, enjoy live entertainment from Dropkick Murphys and local bands and feast on specialty fare from critically acclaimed gourmet portable food establishments on the East coast.

USA 7’s owns and operates America’s premier rugby event, the USA 7’s Rugby Tournament. Held annually, the event is one of the eight international stops in the HSBC 7’s World Series. With an attendance of over 50,000 during the two day event, it is the largest annual rugby event in North America and one of the fastest growing rugby events in the world.

Vote NO! On NJ School Budgets Today

Once again this year we are urging a NO! vote on school budgets throughout New Jersey today.
Yes, today is the day you get to vote on school budgets.
It's your ONLY chance to vote NO! on taxes in New Jersey.
Last year a record number of school budgets were defeated in New Jersey and that sent a strong message to local school districts and to Trenton.
But that message needs to be repeated again and again so that school reform and real spending and taxing reform actually happens.
We still have the highest property taxes in the nation and the biggest single part of these property taxes is for the schools. Let the politicians know how you feel
Vote NO! on school budgets today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Politics Slips Into Obama Easter Worship

Reuters has an interesting story about the Obama family making a rare Sunday church appearance yesterday in Washington.
Here's an excerpt:
. . . the Obamas chose Shiloh Baptist Church — one of the oldest African-American congregations in the city, according to the White House — for their Easter service, drawing applause from members decked out in Sunday suits and fancy dresses.
The president declined the pastor’s invitation to speak, but a little bit of politics did slip in: the man who led the church in prayers, when mentioning the Obama family, said: “Lord, they’re going to need you for the next six year[s].”
Shouts of “Oh yeah” followed that intercession.
Click here to read the full story.

Cherry Hill Board Candidates Need Your Vote!

Challenge the status quo!

VOTE April 27

Ryan Green
Meng Zhang
Valery Boyarsky
Andrew Behrend

for Cherry Hill Board of Education!

Their Platform:

• Representing the Interests of the Entire Cherry Hill Community
• Dedicated to Educational Excellence while also mindful of the Impact on Taxpayers
• Reality Based Budgeting
• Promoting Fiscal Responsibility, while also retaining Educational Programs and Talent in our Schools
• Dedicated to Implementing a Rational and Effective Capital Improvement Program
• Total Transparency for Informed Decisions

A Cherry Blossom Spectacle To Rival The Best!

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

Atlas Shrugged Exceeding All Expectations

The producers of the landmark film Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 say the movie is exceeding all expectations, opening in more theaters and drawing larger crowds. And the film-related merchandise is moving along briskly as well.
Here's an excerpt from the Chicago Sun Times which quotes producer John Aglialoro:
“People are hungry for what these characters are saying,” he said. “They’re telling the government, ‘Don’t entitle me with your gifts and your involvement in my life, because there’s a price I’ll pay for that. Just leave me alone. Let me hang onto my life and pursue my passions and rational self-interest. That’s what will benefit society.’ ”
Aglialoro said his “aspiration” is to make Parts 2 and 3, though he won’t determine whether it makes economic sense for several weeks. He spent $10 million of his own money to make Part 1.
Merchandise, he said, is helping the cause. When Aglialoro obtained rights to the movie 18 years ago, he also got rights to sell such items as T-shirts, mugs, posters and even jewelry, though not dolls, video games and other “interesting exceptions.”
Click here to read more.

Chinese Arrest Christians Worshiping On Easter

The French News Agency (AFP) reports that Christians have been arrested in China after trying to hold Easter services yesterday.
Here's an excerpt:
Up to 30 members of a Chinese evangelical church were arrested on Sunday for trying to hold an Easter service in defiance of the officially atheist government, a member of the clergy said.
A large number of police began to gather early Sunday in the Zhongguancun area of Beijing where the Shouwang Church had said it would hold an outdoor service to mark the holiest day of the Christian calendar.
"Between 20 and 30 followers were taken away by police," senior pastor Jin Tianming told AFP by telephone from his home, where he is under house arrest. He said there were several police officers posted outside the building.
He added that the members of the congregation who were arrested had been taken to different police stations and that none had so far been released.
Jin had said before the planned gathering that the church considered Easter an important occasion and would stick to its decision to hold a service.
Click here to read more on this story.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pasqua Felice All'Intero Mondo!

Buona Pasqua, the beautiful Italian Easter greeting proclaims "Happy Easter" to all.
May your day be filled with peace, joy, la famiglia and the blessings of this season of renewal and rejoicing.
This is a day to proclaim salvation and to give thanks for our faith; regaling in the hope of eternal life, the promise of the Trinity.
In Italy, Easter remains a day that celebrates life. And no group of people celebrates life as well as the Italians.
Although Italians do not decorate hard–boiled eggs nor have chocolate bunnies or pastel marshmallow chicks, the biggest Easter displays in bars, pastry shops, supermarkets, and especially at chocolatiers are brightly wrapped uova di Pasqua—chocolate Easter eggs—in sizes that range from 10 grams (1/3 ounce) to 8 kilos (nearly 18 pounds). Most of them are made of milk chocolate in a mid–range, 10–ounce size by industrial chocolate makers.
Some producers distinguish between their chocolate eggs for children (sales numbers are a closely guarded secret, but the market for these standard quality eggs is said to be shrinking with Italy's birthrate) and expensive "adult" versions. All except the tiniest eggs contain a surprise. Grown–ups often find their eggs contain little silver picture frames or gold–dipped costume jewelry.
The very best eggs are handmade by artisans of chocolate, who offer the service of inserting a surprise supplied by the purchaser. Car keys, engagement rings, and watches are some of the high–end gifts that have been tucked into Italian chocolate eggs in Italy.
My favorite Easter treats: chocolate coconut cream eggs (sinfully sweet), chocolate covered marshmallows, jelly beans of every color and flavor, sweet Italian Easter bread, hot cross buns and Peeps. 
Buona Pasqua!

How NOT To Fall In Love With The Circus

Those of you who are familiar with this blog know that I love the circus.
And yes, I know that I've romanticized the circus.
I understand that in my own mind I've probably made the circus much kinder and gentler than it really is.
I feel that this is the result of two experiences in my early years:
1) As a child I saw Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show On Earth on the big screen. The movie was produced, directed and narrated by the great Mr. DeMille and it starred James Stewart, Cornel Wilde, Charleton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton and Gloria Grahame. It was a big, showy spectacle built around love, romance, danger, mystery and show biz. In the New York Times the premier movie critic of the day, Bosley Crowther called the film a "lusty triumph of circus showmanship and movie skill" and a "piece of entertainment that will delight movie audiences for years". And so it did.
Along the way the movie won Oscars as Best Picture and for Best Story.
It made a tremendous impression on me.
2) Again, as a child I was a regular member of the live audience every Saturday morning for the national broadcast of CBS-TV's The Big Top which was televised from Camden, NJ. My father worked at Camden Convention Hall which is where The Big Top broadcast took place each week. The show featured many circus acts from all over the world as well as a permanent cast that included Jack Sterling, Dan Lurie, Ed McMahon and Chris Keegan.
Those are Saturday mornings I shall never forget.
So, I'm emotionally tied to the circus.
Which is why I really, really wanted to like the new movie Water For Elephants.
This story revolves around a veterinary student who abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet. Robert Pattison plays the student turned circus vet. Reese Witherspoon plays the love interest who is also the circus owner's wife and the key performer in the main animal act under the big top. Christoph Waltz plays the tyrannical circus owner, husband and ringmaster.
Many critics have said that Witherspoon is miscast in this role. Yes, she seems out of her element and strangely disconnected from the character and the story. But I'm hardly one to make a definitive determination on that as I've never been a huge Witherspoon fan.
Robert Pattison remains young and virile throughout but that's hardly enough to sustain a big budget movie like this. His performance exhibits very little depth.
And that leaves Christoph Waltz to obnoxiously chew up all the surrounding scenery, which he nearly does.
The setup is all too obvious from the beginning and the plot never thickens.
On top of all that the music is loud, way too obvious and unending.
Still, the movie is at times beautiful to watch as it evokes a bygone era and a lost form of near-spontaneous entertainment -- one that really was under a Big Top. And it's great to see the marvelous Hal Holbrook on the big screen once again. Other standouts include Mark Provinelli and Jim Norton.
This is big, old-fashioned Hollywood movie making with a clear narrative based on a hugely successful novel. And I can't say that it doesn't have its charms or that it totally lacks appeal because it moves along at a fairly nice pace and carries a certain grandeur with it. What's more, the elephant will almost certainly tug at your heart. And, I'm a sucker for movies about the 1930s anyway.
But precisely because this film is so big and has been so widely anticipated we're left somewhat disappointed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Obama's Vaguely Foreign To Many

In a column at Ben Shapiro tries to explain why Obama seems foreign to many of us.
He has an interesting theory.
Here are a few quick excerpts from this intriguing column:
. . . President Obama is unconcerned with typical American principles and traditions.  He sees capitalism as selfish and evil, religion as dangerous and oppressive; he sees the Constitution as antiquated and entrepreneurialism as exploitative.  He is the representative of the Fareed Zakaria ideology at work, celebrating the post-American world. When America elects a president like this, many Americans begin wondering how it happened. . . . 
It is far easier to believe that the problem of un-Americanism lies outside our borders, that within we are unified . . . 
Thus the stubborn belief that President Obama is born outside the United States.  If he was, the unspoken logic goes, we can understand where he picked up his un-American philosophy. 
Click here to read the entire column.

Many More People Running Out Of Gas

Since the beginning of March, AAA has seen an 18 percent increase in the number of roadside calls for people running out of gas.

Just For Fun: Discover Paraprosdokians!

A Paraprosdokian...
A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax.

1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

2. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

3. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

4. If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

9. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

10. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

11. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

12. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

13. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "In an emergency, notify:" I put "Doctor".

14. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

17.. The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

18. Hospitality: Making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

19. I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

21. I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

22. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

23. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

24. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

25. I prayed to God for a new bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness.

Obama Raises Zillions -- On Holy Thursday!

At The Daily Caller, Eric Golub has a great column about Obama's day in LA yesterday, blocking traffic and raising funds for an election that's more than a year away.
Here's an excerpt:
Yesterday, while Jews were celebrating Passover and Christians were preparing for Easter, wealthy liberals on the west side of Los Angeles were busy bowing down to their deity, Barack Obama who was in town to raise money for his reelection campaign. Obama spent his time in Los Angeles worshiping himself among his followers in Beverly Hills. . . .
This is the man who came to Los Angeles on one of the holiest days of the year for Christians and shut down the entire city during rush hour. This was done so he could attend fundraisers from wealthy donors for an election that is over 18 months away.
Click here to read more..

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Dog's Prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world is more 
grateful for your kindness than mine. 
Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. 
After all, you have your job, your friends 
and your entertainment. 
I only have you.

A Late Easter This Year?

Lent and Easter are exceptionally late this year.
Now, you may ask: compared to what?
Well, the answer is compared to the range of dates that can accommodate Easter under the Easter dating method devised by Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers and mathematicians.
According to the Gregorian calendar Easter is always one of the 35 dates between March 22 and April 25. The canonical rule is that Easter Day is the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month (the nominal full moon) that falls on or after March 21 (nominally the day of the vernal equinox). So, this year Easter is almost as late as it can be. In 2009, Easter was exceptionally early and pretty much coincided with the first day of spring. Last year, it fell on April 12 -- just about where you might expect it.
One would also expect that this would be a warmer Easter this year -- certainly warmer than 2009.
But I actually remember balmy Easters in March and chilly Easters in April. And there have even been years when it has snowed on Easter Sunday, regardless of the date.
Why is the date of Christmas fixed while the date of Easter changes each year?
That's a question for another time.

Trump: Here's More Evidence That He's Running

Donald Trump is serious about running for president.
This ain't no joke, folks. This is real.
Trump is serious.
So serious that he called Charles Krauthammer (one of his leading critics) to calmly tell Krauthammer: "I'm a serious businessman and I'm a serious candidate."
And, guess what?
Krauthammer came away impressed.
“I give him credit the way he handled himself,” Krauthammer says. And the leading conservative columnist thinks that Trump's call and Trump's demeanor indicate that Trump is almost certainly in the presidential race.He was "courteous but very calm, and he made his case, rather than sort of attacking everything I said about him," Krauthammer explains.
Krauthammer says he now gets the impression that Trump is "dead set on running, and is a serious contender:"
But, wait -- nearly two weeks ago we told you right here that Trump was very likely running. And we stand by our prediction that Trump will make a Very Important Announcement in mid-May.
Stay tuned.

Good Friday, In Words And Images

Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people, "Ecce homo!
                                                            O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
...of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze...

Good Friday And Caravaggio's Deposition

Of all of the great paintings and representations of the events of Good Friday, none is more inspiring, more compelling or more overwhelming than Caravaggio's Deposition From The Cross.
This magnificent painting is part of the Vatican collection.
This masterpiece measures nearly 10 feet by 7 feet and it totally envelopes you with its majesty, poignancy, spirituality and deep sense of humanity.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio did not really portray the Burial or the Deposition in the traditional way, inasmuch as Christ is not shown at the moment when he is laid in the tomb, but rather when, in the presence of the holy women, he is laid by Nicodemus and John on the Anointing Stone, that is the stone with which the sepulchre will be closed. Around the body of Christ are the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, John, Nicodemus and Mary of Cleophas, who raises her arms and eyes to heaven in a gesture of high dramatic tension.
Caravaggio, who arrived in Rome in 1592, was the protagonist of a real artistic revolution regarding the way of treating subjects and the use of color and light, and was certainly the most important personage of the "realist" trend of seventeenth century painting.
If you have never seen this treasured work of art, you owe it to yourself to be in its presence.
I was, and I was transformed by it.

Deficit, Deficit, Deficit, DEFICIT OF HOPE!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mary Pat Names S. Jersey Man 'NJ Hero'

First Lady Mary Pat Christie congratulates Matt Cortland and his family.

Inspiring hope for those who believe they have no voice, Rutgers student Matt Cortland has been working to improve the lives of people living with autism since his first charity walk nine years ago. He recently initiated the BrosUniteD (B.U.D.) program with his fraternity mates to mentor and build lasting bonds of friendship with a group of teenage boys who have autism. In recognition of that work, First Lady Mary Pat Christie today announced the selection of Matt Cortland as a New Jersey Hero during her visit to the Rutgers Zone in Piscataway.

“This young man is making a remarkable contribution to the autism community here in New Jersey,” said Mrs. Christie. “I’m so impressed by Matt’s leadership and his commitment to this cause. He is a positive role model for these teen boys and their families and I am proud and inspired to name him a New Jersey Hero.”

Cortland, a senior at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences and his fraternity brothers at Theta Delta Chi (TDX) developed the BrosUniteD program in collaboration with Autism Speaks. The primary focus is to provide teenage boys with autism, ages 12-19, a positive mentoring relationship and to experience the benefits of brotherhood bonds.

All TDX members participating in BrosUniteD underwent a 2-hour training session on autism prior to the start of the program. There are 40 fraternity brothers ("Big Bros") in the program and 13 teenage boys ("Little Bros”) with autism. Each participant is paired with up to three “Big Bros” from TDX.

Every Sunday for seven weeks from January through March, the groups participate in structured activities that are fun, safe and promote social interaction and meaningful friendships. Recent activities have included rock wall climbing, ice skating, scavenger hunts and basketball.

“The TDX brothers wanted to share the rich experiences of our fraternal bonds with these boys who sometimes struggle to fit in or feel accepted with their peers. We hope to leave a special and lasting positive influence in their lives. Without question, they have already impacted us,” said Matt Cortland.

Autism awareness is an advocacy area being embraced by First Lady Mary Pat Christie to bring greater understanding of the developmental disability. During Autism Awareness Month, she is highlighting the innovative work being done by individuals and organizations throughout the state to serve people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In addition, Mrs. Christie’s New Jersey Heroes initiative showcases the positive ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey in their own unique ways. Every month, a new local hero will be designated from nominations submitted by residents through the First Lady’s website.

To nominate a hero, go to the bottom of the page at and click the NJ Heroes tab. Follow the application instructions and submit the person you believe is a true New Jersey Hero.

'Atlas Shrugged' Stuns Hollywood; Adds Theaters

The maninstream media are doing everything possible to squelch any interest in the new film Atlas Shrugged.
But the word has gotten out anyway, and people all over the country are rushing to see this movie.
It opened at less than 300 theaters. Now, it gets another big boost this weekend. And the audience just keeps building.
Here's an excerpt from the Washington Times on this phenomenon:
By current Hollywood standards, it is a movie that should never have been made. Imagine this story pitch to progressive movie execs: "we have a female heroine, genius entrepreneurs disappearing, and a government conspiring to control its people and their creations. In short, a powerfully persuasive anti-government message."Not exactly “Iron Man 3” is it?
Yet, despite (or because of) Hollywood’s best efforts to keep the movie down, “Atlas” is racking up dollar signs at the box office. With a hearty $5640 per theater in its opening weekend, “Atlas Shrugged,” based on the influential Ayn Rand best-seller, has left Hollywood insiders dumbstruck to explain its success.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the film will expand its release from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month.
What is the explanation?
Click here to read more.

Pick Only One: Barbour, Palin, Romney Or Trump

Suppose the fight for the Republican nomination for president came down to only four candidates: Barbour, Palin, Romney or Trump.
These are your four choices -- no others.
Which one would you choose?
Answer our poll at the top right hand corner of this blog.
We want to know. And, we'll report the results here.

Trump To Romney: Mine Is Bigger Than Yours

Donald Trump has decided that with regards to Mitt Romney the contest is all about whose is bigger and whose got more.
Trump has been going around saying that “my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney.”
And now Trump is dismissing Romney a "small business guy."
Is this is what the battle is all about: Whose is bigger?

Move To Privatize NJ Toll Roads Advances

The Christie administration appears to be moving in the direction of an all-automated, privatized New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
Here's a piece of the story from the Newark Star Ledger:
A plan to privatize manual collections on New Jersey's two major toll roads could save the state millions, but it's likely to cost 800 full- and part-time toll collectors their jobs.
Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson said the state is slowly moving toward all-electronic toll collections. Meanwhile, he said two reports issued since Gov. Chris Christie took office 15 months ago bolstered the administration's push to privatize manual toll collections on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
Click here to read the rest.