Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christie: 'We're Not Gonna Wait; We Need Help Now!'

"We don’t have time to wait for folks in Congress to figure out how they want to offset this stuff with the budget cuts.
"Our people are suffering now. And they need support now. And they can all go down there, get back to work, and figure out the budget cuts later. But, we need the support now here in New Jersey, and that’s not a Republican or a Democratic issue.
"So, I would urge all my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, doesn’t matter which party you are in, and all the rest of the folks in Congress. Nobody was asking about offsetting budget cuts in Joplin. And I don’t want to hear about the fact that offsetting budget cuts have to come first, before New Jersey citizens are taken care of.
"So, if you want to figure out budget cuts, that’s fine. Are you going to turn it into a fiasco like that debt limit thing where they were fighting with each other for eight or nine weeks? And you expect the citizens in my state to wait?
"They’re not going to wait. And I am going to fight to make sure that they don’t."
--New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, now in his eighth consecutive day of working non-stop, planning and executing Irene relief and recovery efforts and fighting for the people of his state.

Crazy Stupid Love = Crazy Stupid Guys

The movie Crazy Stupid Love has been getting a lot of play this summer.
The title is clever.
The story involves modern relationships. It's a comedy. And it's got great stars: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei and (surprise!) Josh Groban in a non-singing role.
And the movie does have some genuinely funny moments.
But this flick should really be titled Crazy Stupid GUYS because at heart it's just another stupid guys movie. The guys in this movie are really depicted as dumb, dumb, dumb and dumber. And there's absolutely nothing original about that.
The movie begins with the divorce of the characters played by Carell and Moore and it ends with their reconciliation, sot of. Carell plays his typical nerdy/schlumpy/somewhat clueless role but remains nonetheless appealing, if not downright lovable. Moore is full of doubt, angst, and sometimes breathless intensity. She wants a divorce but we never really understand (beyond her own boredom) exactly why. Groban plays a lawyer/jerk; Tomei plays an all-but-deranged, sex-crazed middle school teacher; Bacon is a co-worker who Moore has an affair with and Gosling is little more than a hunky babe magnet until the very end when he suddenly becomes loving, sensitive and almost painfully three-dimensional, falling in love with Stone who plays Carell and Moore's daughter.
Thrown into all this is the couple's precocious and terminally annoying 13-year-old son played by Jonah Bobo.
The players do the most with what they have. But it's not much.
It is fun to watch the broad comic acting of Carell, Tomei and Gosling, however. Carell just has a way of bringing modern-day relationships to life, triggering knowing nods and real bellylaughs. Tomei is a classic comic actress who would have been great in the screwball comedies of the 1930s. And Gosling beings a lot more than eye-candy to what might have been a paper-thin role.
But all this is just not enough. Not for me, anyway.

Here Are This Week's Most Visited Stories

Here they are: Our top five most-visited stories of the week.
If you haven't yet checked out one of these, you may want to do so.

Jul 19, 2011
     445 Pageviews
Aug 22, 2011
     184 Pageviews
Feb 28, 2011
     138 Pageviews
Sep 6, 2010, 1 comment    
124 Pageviews
Aug 28, 201     1
97 Pageviews

Philly Tea Party Ass'n. Remembers Joey Vento

A special message from Don Adams of  Philadelphia's Independence Hall Tea Party Association:

As we prepared for 9/11 remembrances and our We the People 2011 Commemoration on Constitution Day, September 17, the last thing we imagined we'd be doing was burying our dear friend, Joe Vento.

On the mend from his successful cancer treatment last year, Joey appeared to be in amazingly good health.  For that reason, his death came as a tremendous shock to us all.

We are still recovering from the loss. 

At least 15 Association members attended Saturday's viewing and Mass.
It was a most appropriate setting--the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

Outside the impressive brownstone structure, the grayish clouds began unleashing hurricane rains as if sharing in the grief of those gathered on the opposite side of the walls.

Inside, as the viewing ended and the casket was closed, Joey Vento's devoted friend and vocal champion, Dom Giordano, delivered a eulogy befitting the humble South Philly hero and his remarkable life.

The grandeur of the basilica--with its elegant chandeliers, glorious Christian imagery, and heavenly sounding organ--served as a reassuring reminder that Joey had not died, but had passed from this world to the next. 

Father Gary Pacitti, Joey's spiritual mentor and homilist, provided us with a glimpse of a soul that was Joey Vento.

Father Pacitti described a man who, confounded by the suffering of others, wanted to better understand why 'the Big Guy' allowed such things to happen--a question, certainly, for the ages.

The wonder of Joey, however, wasn't that he pondered the suffering of others--it was that he sprung into action to provide relief.

Whether it was to answer the cry of a nearby neighbor, fill the financial 
need of a local parish, or alleviate the anguish of a slain officer's
widow--Joey was always there.

Whatever the problem, if Joey Vento got wind of it, he was providing an answer--a one man Mr. Fixit for an entire region.

Yet, while Father Pacitti never mentioned it, many sitting in the pews undoubtedly remembered that Joey's concerns spanned well beyond the community to the nation as a whole. 

From his defense of the First Amendment to his promotion of private
healthcare and his campaign to secure the borders, Joey, the Patriot, unabashedly loved his country and demonstrated it routinely.

He opened his wallet, his restaurant, and his heart to the Tea Party Movement.  Just last year, he sponsored weekly radio spots on WNTP 
so that many of the area's Tea Party groups could introduce themselves to the public at large. 

Initially, these groups were unaware that Joey was their benefactor as he sought to keep his sponsorship completely anonymous. 

Joey assisted the Association in a very different and direct way.

At several major Tea Party events, including our first in April 2009 and our last on July 4th, 2011, he spoke, at length, with his trademark candor and charismatic charm.   

Whenever we asked, he bought program booklet ads to support our work.  He would even call us up, from time to time, to offer words of encouragement and sound advice.

On April 15 of this year, Joey hosted a Tax Day Tea Party at Geno's Steaks, and along with WPHT, honored the Tea Party on its second anniversary with a specially ordered birthday cake.  

We honored him with our 2011 Patriot of the Year Award.

Simply put, Joey, for us, was a solid source of inspiration and a constant reminder to do the right thing.

As we sat listening to Father Pacitti's closing remarks, many of us were on the verge of tears.   The loss of Joey Vento caused a measure of
suffering that not even Joey could comfort.

In our quiet sadness, we stood watching as Joey's composed wife and son guided his casket out of the church to its final resting place.

We imagined Joey's spirit was already talking with 'the Big Guy'--asking Him a lot of tough questions.

NJ: Damned Right, We'll Accept Federal Help!

Some friends are accusingly asking conservatives in New Jersey: "Will you now gladly accept federal aid for Irene recovery when you've consistently call for cutting federal largesse?"
These liberals must think this is an important "gotcha" moment. It isn't.
The correct answer to their inane question is: "Why not?"
Consider this: Federal data shows New Jersey gets less from Washington for each dollar in federal taxes paid than any other state -- 61 cents per dollar.
So yes -- we'll take the money; especially since we're losing 39 cents* on the dollar and it was our taxes that put the money there in the first place.
When I hear liberals (and much of the media, for that matter) singing the praises of federal grants and outlays as if they were part of some vast treasure of found money -- like the proverbial  pot of gold at the end of the rainbow -- I scratch my head in amazement.
Remember what Ronald Reagan said: It's your money. You paid the taxes. You put that money there in the first place. Government doesn't turn a profit. It makes no money on its own. Pretty much whatever money it gets comes from you.
Now New Jersey needs the money -- our money. And we'll happily accept whatever we can get back from the federal government.
*Memo to Senators Lautenberg and Menedez: Why does New Jersey STILL rank last on return of federal tax dollars? Why . . . . . ?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Video: Christie Updates On NJ Irene Recovery

Governor Christie was on the job again today reviewing Irene damage, meeting with local, county and federal officials, marshaling all the resources of his administration and fighting for more assistance in the aftermath of Irene. Thanks, Governor! And thanks to all the volunteers, first responders, neighbors, public employees, civic and charitable groups and everyone else who is part of this monumental effort.

Romney: Strength Is Our Only Sure Defense!

I start with the fundamental conviction that America is the greatest nation in the history of the world and a force for good.  And while we are not perfect, I will not apologize for America!
Our president has taken a different approach.  Have we ever had a president who was so eager to address the world with an apology on his lips and doubt in his heart? He seems truly confused not only about America’s past but our future. 
So critical was President Obama of America before the United Nations that Fidel Castro complimented him for his “courage” and “brave gesture.”  And Venezuelan dictator and thug Hugo Chavez joined in on the praise.
We can’t lead the world by hoping our enemies will hate us less. Ronald Reagan rallied America with “Peace Through Strength.”
American strength is the only guarantee of liberty.  American strength turned the Cuban missiles around. 
American strength caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.  American strength yanked Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole.  With freedom as our cause, strength is our only sure defense!
--Mitt Romney, speaking today to the national convention of the VFW.
Click here to read the entire speech.

NJ Power Outage: How To Reach Sen Tom Kean

New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding power outages in his Westfield District Office:
“Power outages in my Westfield office have disabled the phone lines.  Constituents needing assistance, on any issue including the cleanup from Hurricane Irene, can reach my staff by e-mail at:  Constituents needing help by phone should contact my Assembly colleagues; Assemblyman Bramnick at 908-232-2073 or Assemblywoman Munoz at 908-918-0414.
 “I hope to have normal operations restored in the Westfield district office in the next couple of days.”

Christie Asks Obama For Expeditted NJ Assistance

Yesterday, New jersey Governor Chris Christie sent a letter to President Obama requesting an expedited declaration of a major disaster for the entire State of New Jersey from the federal government to assist state and local governments, as well as individually affected residents, to receive federal assistance as quickly as possible. Hurricane Irene was a catastrophe of enormous severity and magnitude and the storm conditions required emergency shelters to be established in 16 counties to house nearly16,000 evacuees, while over 700,000 residences suffered power outages. Torrential rains have caused significant flooding in areas across the state, impacting residences, major and local roads, and necessitating highway closures and a suspension of rail services. Recovery efforts are still ongoing in the aftermath of the disaster.

In light of these conditions and the serious impact they are having on New Jersey’s communities, field damage assessments should not be required to determine the State’s eligibility for supplemental federal assistance. Immediate federal assistance is needed now to give New Jersey’s residents a helping hand at an emotionally and financially devastating time.

Red Cross Warning: Continued NJ Flooding

A special message from the American Red Cross:

In New Jersey, the American Red Cross response is not over. We expect to see the worst flooding in New Jersey today from 2 – 3 pm today. Rivers in the northern New Jersey area are just beginning to crest to heights that far exceed recent flooding activity over the last two years. We anticipate an increased need for sheltering support in the coming days.
Yesterday morning, Somerset County in Central New Jersey had severe water damage causing road blocks and destroying dams and bridges. As of this morning they had 10 shelters with 854 people in Central Jersey.
Additional shelters will be open in the affected areas across the state, as needed.
To date, almost 14,000 New Jersey residents have been housed in 167 American Red Cross shelters before, during and after Hurricane Irene roared over the East Coast.
The number of shelter overnight stays has set a record for disaster relief operations within the state of New Jersey.
To date, 62,290 meals and snacks have been served across New Jersey.
To date, 12, 800 comfort kits, which include a wash cloth, tooth brush, tooth paste, comb, and soap have been distributed to those affected by the disaster. .
8 Emergency Response Vehicles from across the country have arrived in New Jersey before and after the storm. These vehicles are staffed by volunteers who have driven from chapters across the country.
Throughout the state of New Jersey, over 250 staff and volunteers are supporting the disaster relief operation. The Red Cross workers are either local to New Jersey or have arrived from across the country to support those impacted my Hurricane Irene. More are on their way.
This is a big disaster across multiple states, and the response will cost millions.
Hopefully you and your family are safe. To help your neighbors who are affected by Hurricane Irene please donate today to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, thousands of people have turned to the American Red Cross for help. Many communities from North Carolina to New England are suffering from significant flooding, wind damage and widespread power outages.
We are putting the full force of the Red Cross into action to provide relief. Our response to this storm could last for weeks, helping people get back on their feet.
Right now, our main focus is to continue providing people with shelter and food.
Last night, the Red Cross operated or supported approximately 340 shelters with more than 8,600 residents from North Carolina to New England. This number will fluctuate as we go through this disaster.
Since Friday, we’ve provided more than 48,000 overnight shelter stays.
Red Cross workers are fanning out in communities to assess the devastation and determine how the Red Cross can help people.
We have relief operations in more than a dozen coastal states and thousands of trained disaster workers helping people.
We’ve been working with the Southern Baptist Convention to open three kitchens in North Carolina Monday that will be able to serve about 30,000 hot meals each day to residents cleaning up their homes.
We’ve also made arrangements to have about 1.3 million meals available in North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and New York through our partners.
We have approximately 260 feeding vehicles ready to go into neighborhoods. We’ve engaged every Red Cross feeding truck east of the Rocky Mountains in this relief effort.
Volunteers from organizations like AmeriCorps NCCC, Southern Baptist Convention and Islamic Relief USA are working alongside Red Cross workers in some areas.
The footprint left behind by Irene is very large, stretching out larger than the size of the European continent. The cost of our response will be millions. People who can help are encouraged to click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

· Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

· Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in affected areas consider donating blood once it’s safe to do so.
The blood supply was already low before the storm and Irene has already caused the cancellation of more than 60 blood drives resulting in a shortfall of more than 2,000 blood donations over the past few days.
We expect these numbers to go up due to storm damage and power outages in many locations.

· Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood.

· To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to

Monday, August 29, 2011

Video: Christie Provides Update On Irene Recovery

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie provided another update today on massive recovery efforts in the Garden State in the aftermath of hurricane Irene. 

Keep watching this blog for updated information, new developments and continuing reports from the Governor.

Romney: Obama Is 3-D: Debt, Downgrade, Delay

“I want to make America the strongest economy on earth.”  . . . .“What I’ve seen from this president is not a AAA presidency but I’ll call it a DDD presidency. It’s been a presidency which has been associated with debt and with downgrade and with delay.” --Mitt Romney
Click here and here for more.

Senator Praises NJ Response To Hurricane

New Jersey State Senator Kevin O’Toole, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding New Jersey's response to hurricane Irene:

“New Jersey’s response to Hurricane Irene is a textbook example of government and citizens working together to reach a common goal.  The cooperation between agencies, citizens and several layers of government is praiseworthy and saved lives. The Governor and his team also provided constant updates to local and state officials across the state enabling the local OEM and first responders to deal with this event more effectively.
“Governor Christie’s leadership in this emergency is an example of how to deal with a natural disaster.  The Governor and his team, Colonel Fuentes the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, General Rieth the Adjutant General of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Charles B. McKenna the Director of the New Jersey State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and local officials made sensible decisions based the most current information. The hands-on approach of Governor Christie and his team, led to the nearly flawless execution of dealing with this catastrophe and served as a model to all states along the Eastern Seaboard.

“The residents of New Jersey must also be commended.  When the governor asked them to evacuate coastal areas that would be most impacted by the storm, they left without delay.  The timely evacuation of nearly one million people allowed state and local officials the opportunity to more effectively deal with the consequences of the storm, without disruption.

“There are still areas, especially here in Northern New Jersey that are dealing with flood water left by Irene. I expect the response to the aftermath will be handled in the same professional and competent manner as the initial response to the hurricane.  The government’s response to this event is a prime example of the very best our government can accomplish.  Daily government functions should be run just as effectively and efficiently moving forward.”

Live In These NJ Towns? Boil Your Water!

Boil water orders have been issued for a number of New Jersey municipalities statewide to ensure the public health and safety of State residents, as a result of the effects of Hurricane Irene.

Water companies across the State are reaching out to their customers to advise them of the situation and to detail what steps to take in case of water quality issues. If you are unsure of your water system’s situation, check the web site for your specific water company or phone their offices.

State, county and local officials are monitoring water quality carefully. Listen to and follow public announcements that will advise residents if and when water is safe to drink or use.

Municipalities that have instituted boil water orders, so far, include Florham Park, Irvington, Maplewood, Millburn, Short Hills, Springfield, Summit, and West Orange, which are all part of the New Jersey American Water Company’s Short Hills system. Boil water orders also are in effect for Hightstown, Rockaway Township, and South Amboy, and more are likely.

Reasons for these boil water orders include disruptions to water supply treatment or delivery due to power outages and flooding caused by the storm. Additionally, damage to roadways throughout may be delaying transportation of supplies that may be needed to sustain operations.

The DEP is urging any New Jersey residents who are unsure of their water supply – from either a municipal water system or personal well -- to either use bottled water or boil your potable water before use.

If there is evidence of a water supply problem, including cloudy or turbid water, or there has been complete loss of water service or intermittent water service, it would be advisable to boil water before consumption. Cloudy or turbid water, or complete or intermittent loss of water service could mean your water supply may be compromised with disease-causing organisms.

As a precaution, users of the potentially affected water supply are advised to bring water to a rolling boil for one minute (not including the time to bring the water to a boil) before consuming or to use commercial bottled water for consumption and food preparation.

Consumption includes brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables and making beverages and ice. Tap water that has not been boiled may be used for showering, bathing, shaving and washing, so long as care is taken not to swallow or allow water in the eyes or nose or mouth.

Children and disabled individuals should have their bath supervised to ensure water in not ingested. Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, are immuno-suppressed, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled water for cleansing until the concern of water quality has passed.

Businesses and non-residential sites should take steps such as posting notices at or disabling water fountains and ice machines during the period of concern over the water quality. If water is provided to visitors or employees, use of commercially produced bottled water for drinking and beverage preparation, such as for coffee, is appropriate. Food service and health care operations have additional requirements from their regulatory agency.

Here are some tips regarding Water Safety during and after and emergency event:.

--Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.

--If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water.

--If water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection.

--Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach per each gallon of water. Stir it well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it.

--Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.

--If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

For more information on water safety visit the following sites: or

Governor Christie To NJ: 'Stay The Hell Home!'

Well, he didin't quite put it in those exact terms.
But New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is saying that if you live in New Jersey and you don't HAVE to go into work today, you shouldn't. That doesn't mean the governor doesn't want New Jerseyans to work. Here's how he puts it: 
"If you can, please work from home today. There are severe delays and road closures because of flooding and damaged roadways. The Department of Transportation has deployed thousands of workers all across the state to survey and repair damage."
Listen to your governor -- or else!

Warning: NJ Rivers, Streams At Flood Levels

Rivers and streams across New Jersey have been inundated by rains from Hurricane Irene, with many small streams at flood level now and some larger rivers expected to peak over the next 48 hours. Many of the streams and rivers are at or expected to reach record or near-record flood levels because the ground was already saturated before the storm.
The Department of Environmental Protection is carefully monitoring this situation and is working closely with local Offices of Emergency Management in all 21 counties, which will notify residents if evacuations are deemed necessary. Local officials also stand ready to prepare for and assist in any potential rescues.
Task Force One, which is New Jersey’s urban search and rescue team, will also be deployed for swift water rescue missions if the need arises
Concerned residents are urged to check the web sites of their County and Local Offices of Emergency Management for information. If they are unsure of the potential for danger, however, they are urged to leave their homes for safer ground.
There is potential record flooding possible in the Passaic River Basin due to torrential rain from the hurricane, combined with previous wet weather and saturated grounds this summer. Record flows in the Ramapo River and its tributaries are expected to result in substantial floods in that region. State Police are bringing in special rescue equipment and vehicles to help deal with that situation.
The Delaware River at Trenton and New Hope/Lambertville is expected to approach major flood stage Monday morning and then gradually subside – though remain above normal levels – through Tuesday.
Water releases made by New York City’s reservoir system in the Delaware River Basin are expected to take four to five days to reach Trenton. This is expected to have little impact on flooding because that water will arrive well after the crest for the Delaware River downstream in New Jersey.
Peak water levels in the Raritan River are expected to be reached tonight at Bound Brook and Raritan, and the same for the tributary Millstone River at Blackwell Mills.
The North Branch of the Rancocas Creek at Pemberton is expected peak at major flood stage early Monday morning and remain at that level until mid-day on Tuesday.
For a detailed look at river conditions across New Jersey, please visit:

NJ Business Post-Irene Business Assistance Ready

To support the recovery of New Jersey’s businesses and protect the overall economic interests of our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno have announced a series of business assistance services for those affected by the storm. Among these vital services are those related to financial support, information on temporary space, and technical assistance for impacted businesses. Information for all services may be easily accessed through New Jersey’s Business Action Center (BAC), by calling 1-866-534-7789 or through the state’s business portal at www., the “one-stop” shop for business resources.

“In response to this natural disaster, New Jersey has coordinated a range of multi-agency resources to assist impacted businesses and ensure they are operational quickly,” said Governor Christie. “We have worked hard to grow our state’s economy by working to meet the needs of our business community. Providing a thorough and inter-departmental business recovery assistance program is another demonstration of our support for our business community and their workers.”

“Through the collective efforts of the Partnership for Action, which includes the Business Action Center, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Choose New Jersey, in addition to the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Community Affairs and Labor and Workforce Development, we will work to protect the assets of our state’s businesses, provide the necessary temporary support to our workforce and sustain our economic vibrancy,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno.

The business recovery assistance services are designed to support businesses and workers who may be temporarily unable to perform their jobs due to the storm. These services include:

· Access to lines of credit of up to $500,000 for businesses that need access to cash to improve their damaged property while awaiting insurance proceeds;

· Grant awards for businesses to assist with on-the-job training costs for new workers hired specifically to assist in disaster-related activities, such as landscaping and tree removal, construction, insurance claims, building supplies sales, materials transport, utility work, call and claims centers staffing, and infrastructure clearing and repair.

· Availability of the Business Resource Centers at any of the 17 local One-Stop Career Centers across the state as temporary hubs for businesses to access telephone and internet services as well as for job seekers and displaced workers seeking workforce development and unemployment assistance.

· The availability of Disaster Unemployment Benefits to provide income security for those displaced workers suffering temporary storm-related job loss.

· Dispatch of Rapid Response team members to identified Disaster Recovery Centers to assist displaced workers

· Availability of services through New Jersey Youth Corps to assist non-profit, public and governmental entities in a variety of ways for disaster relief and clean-up.

In addition, BAC’s Business Call Center is also the one-stop resource for more information on how to get businesses back up and running. The Call Center staff can assist with the following services:

· Arranging business facility inspections for buildings suffering major flood damage, as such conditions require structural integrity inspections before utility service can be restored. These inspections are handled in local code enforcement offices and by local code enforcement officials. Anticipating an enormous increase in such work, the Department of Community Affairs has mobilized all qualified personnel to assist local governments in this effort.

· Advocate for businesses seeking assistance from local utilities to restore electric, phone, gas and water services.

· Advocate with insurance carriers to file and expedite claims.

· Provide information on how to qualify for federal recovery assistance, and

· Connect businesses to the other county and local business services and to the services offered by the Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Centers that include assistance with insurance claims, as well as loans and business plan revisions.

For further information about best practices in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, please visit for continual updates.

NJ MVC Locations Open, With Exceptions

Customers of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) are advised that due to issues related to the recent storm, MVC agencies and inspection stations will open at noon tomorrow, August 29, 2011 with the exception of three inspection locations - Plainfield, Randolph and South Brunswick. The MVC will continue to monitor its facilities and alert the public should further delays or closures be warranted.
By order of the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission, all expirations for driver licenses, permits, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations and inspections have been extended until September 10, 2011.
MVC-related facility closure and delay information is available at

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What WAS That 'Foam' In Ocean City, MD.?

Washington D.C. Fox 5's Tucker Barnes* reports as Sea Foam breaches storm wall in Ocean City, Maryland.
Hmmm . . . seems to me Ocean City Maryland is going to need to clean up its image for the fall travel season. Ugh!
*A classic "designer name" that seems perfect for a TV reporter. This guy seems to be on the way to the anchor desk.

Republican Jewish Coalition Candidates Forum 9/20

The Pennsylvania/South Jersey Region of the Republican Jewish Coalition invites you to a Philadelphia Republican Candidate Forum. 
Some of the confirmed guests include: Karen Brown, Candidate for Mayor; Al Schmidt, Candidate for City Commissioner; David Oh, Candidate for City Council (At-Large) 
The event will be held on Tuesday, September 20 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Four Points by Sheraton Philadelphia Northeast 9461 Roosevelt Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19114
Desserts and refreshments will be provided.  The event is FREE for current members and $20 for e-Team and non-members. 
You must become an e-Team member to attend this event. The e-Team is the RJC e-mail list and is free to join. 
Please contact the RJC office to RSVP at 610-667-1263 or if you wish to attend or have any questions about joining the RJC. 
The RJC looks forward to seeing you at this event 
Leadership opportunities begin at $1000 Pennsylvania/South Jersey individual memberships are $100 Pennsylvania/South Jersey couple memberships are $150 Student memberships are $18 
A candidate's appearance at an RJC event does not constitute an endorsement by the RJC.

NJ DOT Crews Working Round The Clock

New Jersey Department of Transportation crews have been deployed statewide and will be working around the clock to clear roadway obstructions caused by the high winds and rain that swept across New Jersey yesterday and earlier today.

A total of 3,000 workers from NJDOT and sister transportation agencies including NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority are working to clear debris and create safe detours for motorists around floodwaters and other obstructions.

NJDOT senior leadership is directing the statewide deployment of personnel and assets and coordinating responses with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Public Utilities where necessary.

“The NJDOT launched storm cleanup efforts this morning as soon as winds started to subside,” NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson said. “Storm damage is widespread, so we encourage residents to limit travel to avoid interfering with our crews, utility crews and contractors as they clear debris from roadways and create detours as needed. This is a critical time for us to execute our storm response plan that we developed in coordination with the New Jersey State Police and numerous transportation and other government agencies in recent days.”

Heavy rainfall has created hundreds of flood conditions on state roadways throughout the state, especially along flood-prone corridors in central and northern New Jersey near the Raritan, Rockaway, Saddle and Passaic rivers.

NJDOT is responding to more than 300 incidents of roadway flooding or debris that is partially or completely obstructing travel. Motorists are encouraged to visit prior to starting their trip to get up-to-the-minute roadway information. The site offers a map indicating flooded or obstructed roads and detours.

It is important for motorists to be aware that although the storm has passed, most major rivers have not yet crested, so flooding will continue to be a significant public safety issue.

The southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway south of Exit 98 at Interstate 195 are reopened although there are flood related detours between Exits 98 and 91. The eastbound lanes of the Atlantic City Expressway at Pleasantville will be reopened later this afternoon.

Irene: NJ Health Dept -- Important Guidelines

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services urges all residents to throw away any food that may have come in contact with flood or storm waters and individuals that have suffered power outages should keep their refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

"Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked," said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O'Dowd.

Commissioner O'Dowd urged all residents to dispose of any perishable food that may have been above 40 degrees for two hours or more. Food will stay cold in the refrigerator for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. However, food above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more must be discarded.

Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees or below can be refrozen or cooked. If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish or eggs while it is still at safe temperatures, it's important that each item is thoroughly cooked to the proper temperature to assure that any foodborne bacteria that may be present is destroyed.

Information about municipalities that have issued boiled water advisories as well as instructions for safely boiling water for drinking can be found at

Below are some additional food safety tips to prevent illness during power outages, flooding and hurricane conditions:

Add block ice or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity is expected to be off for more than four hours. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18-cubic foot fully-stocked freezer cold for two days.

Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-off caps, snap lids and pull tops.

Discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.

Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.

Check to ensure that the freezer temperature is at or below 0 °F and the refrigerator is at or below 40 degrees

Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.

For infants, if using formula, try to use prepared, canned baby formula that requires no added water. When using concentrated or powdered formulas, prepare with bottled water if the local water source is potentially contaminated.

During power outages, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.

Once Power is Restored . . .

You'll need to determine the safety of your food. Here's how:
If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40 degrees or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.
If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can't rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.

For additional information on food safety and power outages, please visit and

NJ TRANSIT To Resume Limited Modified Service

NJ TRANSIT will operate on a modified schedule on Monday, August 29 as a result of residual impacts of Hurricane Irene. Crews are working around the clock today to assess storm damage and make necessary repairs. As NJ TRANSIT redeploys assets to restore service for tomorrow, customers are advised of a number of service adjustments that will help mitigate the stress on the system.

“The transportation system throughout the state has been severely stressed. Our goal is to resume service as quickly and safely as possible, however, customers should not expect a normal weekday tomorrow for transit services as crews continue to assess damage around the state — particularly on the railroad,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “Most importantly, thanks to Governor Christie’s call to suspend service before Irene reached New Jersey, we were able to ensure the safety of customers and employees. We also were able to move locomotives, train cars, buses and other equipment to places where they could be protected as much as possible from the elements, and thus be ready to serve our customers again quickly and efficiently once the storm has fully passed. And, the suspension allowed us to divert numerous buses and vans to Atlantic County and other areas where these vehicles provided crucial evacuation services.”

NJ TRANSIT is advising customers of the following:

Rail Service: 

· Crews continue to assess the rail infrastructure and are about 85 percent complete.

· There are numerous downed trees across the rail system.

· Several rail stations are flooded.

· Rail service will be extremely limited. Customers are advised that they may have to seek alternate transportation on many lines because of significant storm damage.

· There will be NO service on the North Jersey Coast Line because of severe flooding and downed trees along the line.

· There will be NO service on the Gladstone Branch because of rail equipment stranded in Hoboken.

· There will be NO service to the Meadowlands Sports Complex tomorrow night for the Giants/Jets Game due expected limited equipment and crew members. Coach USA will supplement its bus service from Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Bus Service:

· Bus service is expected to operate a modified weekday schedule tomorrow, with fewer trips operating during peak periods on some routes.

· Some routes may be subject to delays detours or cancellations due to local flooding.

· Bus service to/from Willowbrook Mall and Mothers Park/Ride may be suspended due to flooding.

Light Rail Service:

· Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and River Line will operate on a weekend schedule. River Line customers may be subject to delays between the Walter Rand Transportation Center and the Entertainment Center due to flooding.

· Newark Light Rail will operate on a Saturday schedule.

Access Link:

· Access Link Paratransit Service will begin operating at 1 p.m. on Monday.

Systemwide Cross-Honoring in Effect:

· To give customers additional travel options, NJ TRANSIT will offer systemwide cross-honoring, enabling customers to use their ticket or pass on an alternate travel mode – rail, bus or light rail. For example, customers who normally take the bus from Rutherford to the Port Authority Bus Terminal may use their bus pass on the train from Rutherford to New York Penn Station. Similarly, customers who normally take the bus between Atlantic City and Lindenwold may use the Atlantic City Rail Line.

Important Travel Information:

· Before starting your trip, visit for up-to-the-minute service information. This information is also available by calling (973) 275-5555 or from broadcast traffic reports.

· Allow plenty of extra time travel time. Delays and service changes are possible.

· Listen closely to public address announcements at stations for late-breaking service information.

“This afternoon our crews were out inspecting rail lines, equipment yards, buses and train sets, and making repairs or clean-ups where necessary so we can be up and running as fully as possible for tomorrow's work day,” said Weinstein. “Again, I want to thank our customers for their patience and cooperation, and also the men and women of every department of NJ TRANSIT.”


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

Video: Naked Guy Surprises Weather Channel, Irene

Here it is, by popular demand, the latest Internet sensation: Weather Channel is surprised in Virginia Beach.
From a report by Adam Taxin at

During early-afternoon coverage of Hurricane Irene from Virginia Beach yesterday, Weather Channel reporter (and SUNY-Albany graduate) Eric Fisher's coverage was visually interrupted by numerous males who repeatedly ran into the camera view in their bathing suits.
At one point, one male, during Fisher's live reporting, dropped his red bathing suit and, from the back and the front, did something of an impersonation of recently-resigned Congressman Anthony Weiner (Democrat - New York/Brooklyn).
Click here for the full story.

A VERY Special 'Thank You!'

Weather emergencies fray everyone's nerves.
And dealing with the public in such situations isn't easy.
That's why we want to send a special "THANK YOU!" to Herschel Waxman Senior Vice President of the Nederalnder Organization on Broadway.
Herschel was so kind in hearing us out and allowing us to quickly switch our tickets for Catch Me If You Can from Saturday night to Friday night. As it turned out, all Saturday and Sunday performances for the show were cancelled but Herschel didn't know that at the time as the decision had not yet been made. He was kind, gracious, funny and wonderfully accommodating. And on top of all that, the show was great!
We've long admired the Nederlander Group which operates the Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt-Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Neil Simon, Palace and Richard Rodgers Theaters on The Great White Way. Now we know why they're the best.
We'll say it again: New Yorkers are some of the nicest people, anywhere.
Thanks, Herschel!

Christie This AM: Warnings Were Needed & Continue

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was on Meet The Press this morning. Still on the job. Still making us proud. Thanks, Gov!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Last Time 'Irene' Hit The Great White Way

They call it The Great White Way.
Not because it's white. They call it that because it's so full of light -- so much artificial light from all the mega-watt signage and all the theater marquees, that even at night, it seems like daytime.
It's Times Square, New York -- Broadway. It always looks that way.
But not tonight.
Tonight Broadway is closed. It's shuttered. It's dark. On Broadway's busiest day (and night) of the week there isn't a single curtain going up.
Because Broadway's sealed tight awaiting the wallop of Irene.
But this is hardly the first time Irene has ever appeared on Broadway.
In fact, Irene first appeared on Broadway in 1919 as a musical. It ran for 675 performances, made a star of Edith Day and became the longest running musical up to that time.
Irene returned to Broadway for a revival in 1923 and was even turned into a movie -- twice.
But then Irene disappeared from Broadway for nearly half a century.
The "new" Irene opened the Minskoff  Theater on Broadway in 1973 with a star-studded cast led by Debbie Reynolds and including Monte Markham, Patsy Kelly and George S. Irving. The New York Times critic Clive Barnes described the show as "raucous" and added that Irene was "the best 1919 musical in town." This time around, Irene ran for 594 performances.
The show won only one Tony Award -- George S. Irving for best featured actor in a musical. Irving was a veteran Broadway comic and a favorite.
Irene was a fluffy, silly show (though it featured some great songs) and never really became the darling of Broadway's elites. Though it featured Debbie Reynolds it became known as a mere "star vehicle" as she was considered more Hollywood than Broadway. The show never became a boffo hit.

Now Irene is back -- for revenge!Here's a synopsis of the story:
Irene O'Dare is a humble but ambitious, hard-working Irish girl from West Side Manhattan, who runs a little music store with her widowed mother. Irene is sent to tune a piano for young tycoon Donald Marshall III, a Long Island society gentleman, and they promptly fall in love, each captivated by how different the other is from their usual friends.
Donald's ne'er-do-well cousin Ozzie wants help to jump start a fashion business to be run by his friend, "Madame Lucy", a flamboyant male artiste. So Irene and her pretty best friends, Helen McFudd and Jane Burke, are recruited to model Madame Lucy's gowns, and Donald provides financing. Irene's mother and Donald's mother do not see eye-to-eye at first but grow to be friends.
Irene poses as a society girl who convinces everyone to shop at Madame Lucy's, but she becomes angry with Donald when he asks her to continue the ruse.
He finally relents, her true identity is revealed, and he sings "You made me love you."
But this time around, Irene doesn't care if she's loved or not.

Irene: Here's The Latest Warning!

As Hurricane Irene prepares to batter the East Coast, federal disaster officials have warned that Internet outages could force people to interact with other people for the first time in years.
Residents are bracing themselves for the horror of awkward silences and unwanted eye contact. FEMA has advised: “Be prepared. Write down possible topics to talk about in advance. Sports...the weather. Remember, a conversation is basically a series of Facebook updates strung together.”

Catch 'Catch Me' Before It Disappears!

Maybe it was because we loved the movie on which it is based.
Maybe it was that we found ourselves mesmerized by the electrifying Tony Award-winning performance of Norbert Leo Butz.
Maybe it was because we finally got around to discovering one of the brightest, most talented, most appealing new leading men on Broadway -- Aaron Tveit.
Or maybe it was just the way Kerry Butler belts out a song or the mere presence of the great Tom Wopat.
For whatever reason, we loved the new Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can and we urge you to catch it on Broadway (if you can) before it closes on Sunday, September 4. Because, if you don't catch this show you'll have to wait till 2012 or 2013 to see a traveling production when the whole thing goes on national tour.
We had heard so much about "Catch Me" and we suspected that the show might be a lot better than some of the critics said it was.
We were right.
If you saw the 2002 movie (based on a true story) starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abingale, Jr. you know that Catch Me If You Can is a fascinating tale. So, the musical automatically benefits from a good, strong book -- and that's rare for a musical.
Plus, the adaptation for the stage is written by Terrence McNally and the words and music are by Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman. This is a Tony-winning dream time that has given us several other blockbuster hits.
But this this show ain't no happy-tooting lark. This is a dark story -- a story of deceit, abandonment, crime and loneliness. Which makes it all the more incredible that the creative team and the fine company of actors and musicians on stage have still managed to send the show soaring with up-to-the-minute humor, retro sixties trendiness and a huge dollop of hope -- all based on fact.
Criticisms? Well, the show is way too loud at times. But most current Broadway shows are over-amplified these days and tunes (even ballads) are frequently oversold. And sometimes the breathlessness can't keep up with the sheer volume and weight of this stranger than fiction story. Plus, I wondered if the show might have been improved without the device of the full orchestra on stage. It seemed to cramp the production values at times.
But no shortcomings warranted the less-than-fair deal that this show got from some critics and the Broadway cognoscenti. Surely it was worthy of more than the four Tony nominations (and one Tony) that it received.
In many ways, this type of entertainment is (or should be) what Broadway is all about.
Catchy and notable songs include: Live In Living Color; Butler's magnificent Fly, Fly Away; Little Boy, Be A Man; the darkly humorous Christmas Is My Favorite Time Of Year; Seven Wonders and Norbert's show-stopping Don't Break The Rules.*
And we need to mention that from Tveit and Butz and Wopat and Butler right down to every chorus member the cast is wonderful. This too: Miraculously, the second act is even stronger than the first.
Catch it. Hurry! Or hope to see it on the road.
The touring company is set to open in Providence in fall, 2012.
*I've already purchased the album.

Bush Did Too Litlle But Christie Does Too Much? What?

I find this darkly amusing:
Has anyone noticed that the people who are now suggesting that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is OVERreacting to Irene are the very same people who relentlessly bashed George W. Bush for not reacting properly to Katrina? Interesting . . . . .

Irene: Areas Covered By NJ Governor's Directive

To ensure the safety of New Jersey residents in the areas expected to be most impacted by Hurricane Irene, Governor Chris Christie announced the mandatory evacuations of the following areas:
·         Absecon (east of Rt 9)
·         Atlantic City
·         Brigantine
·         Corbin City
·         Galloway Township (east Rt 9)
·         Linwood (east of Rt 9)
·         Longport
·         Margate
·         Northfield (east of Rt 9)
·         Port Republic (east of Rt 9)
·         Somers Point (east Rt 9)
·         Ventnor
·         West Atlantic City in Egg Harbor Township (east of Rt 9)

·         All municipalities

·         All of Long Beach Island
·         Berkeley

·         Keansburg
·         Spring Lake
·         Sea Bright
·         Monmouth Beach
·         Asbury Park (limited areas – coastal)
·         Wall Township (limited areas – low lying/coastal)
·         Town of Highlands
·         Manasquan (limited areas – low lying/coastal; beginning Saturday, August 27th at 6:00am)
·         Union Beach (beginning Saturday, August 27th at 11:00am)

Governor Christie again stresses the importance of residents’ preparedness and urged New Jerseyans in affected areas to heed evacuation orders ahead of the hurricane’s arrival.
Residents are urged to check for further information about safety precautions, evacuation routes and best practices by visiting or by calling 211.

Category One Hurricane: What Winds Can Do

Here's a description provided by the National Hurricane Center explaining exactly what kind of wind damage can be caused by a Category One hurricane. This is according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.:

Category One Hurricane (Sustained winds 74-95 mph, 64-82 kt, or 119-153 km/hr).
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage

People, livestock, and pets struck by flying or falling debris could be injured or killed.
Older (mainly pre-1994 construction) mobile homes could be destroyed, especially if they are not anchored properly as they tend to shift or roll off their foundations. Newer mobile homes that are anchored properly can sustain damage involving the removal of shingle or metal roof coverings, and loss of vinyl siding, as well as damage to carports, sunrooms, or lanais.
Some poorly constructed frame homes can experience major damage, involving loss of the roof covering and damage to gable ends as well as the removal of porch coverings and awnings. Unprotected windows may break if struck by flying debris. Masonry chimneys can be toppled. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof shingles, vinyl siding, soffit panels, and gutters. Failure of aluminum, screened-in, swimming pool enclosures can occur. Some apartment building and shopping center roof coverings could be partially removed. Industrial buildings can lose roofing and siding especially from windward corners, rakes, and eaves. Failures to overhead doors and unprotected windows will be common.
Windows in high-rise buildings can be broken by flying debris. Falling and broken glass will pose a significant danger even after the storm. There will be occasional damage to commercial signage, fences, and canopies. Large branches of trees will snap and shallow rooted trees can be toppled.
Extensive damage to power lines and poles will likely result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
Hurricane Dolly (2008) is an example of a hurricane that brought Category 1 winds and impacts to South Padre Island, Texas.

Click here for more information.

Bloomberg Insists: NO Clergy At 9/11 Commemoration

New York Mayor Michael (The Imperious One) Bloomberg insists there be NO clergy at the event in lower Manhattan commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11.
As you  might expect, he's come in for a lot of criticism over this. But he's not backing down.
It turns out that keeping this man in office is looking more and more like a dreadful mistake. As he has assumed more power he has become increasingly dictatorial. It's scary.
Here's an excerpt from a Fox News story:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not reconsider his decision to exclude clergy from the ceremony marking 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a spokesman said Friday.
The statement comes despite increased pressure from religious and conservative leaders who say that even though the mayor has not allowed clergy at other services, he should make an exception this time.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said Americans "turned to God for solace" after the 2001 attacks, and clergy were intimately involved in helping the nation heal. 
"Unfortunately, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would have us look the other way," Perkins said in a statement.
 Click here to read the whole story.

Irene: Important News From Philly City Officials

The City of Philadelphia continues to prepare for Hurricane Irene and its potential impact on Philadelphia. The Emergency Operations Center will open on Saturday, August 27 at 6 p.m. to monitor the storm and coordinate the City’s response and recovery activities. The City will not issue an evacuation order; however, citizens should evacuate if they are in a potentially dangerous situation and proceed to a City shelter or other safe location.  The City’s 311 Call Center is currently open 24-hours through Monday, August 29. SEPTA will suspend all transit services beginning at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.  All City park and recreation centers will close at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. 
“This is a dangerous storm, and I want to urge our residents to exercise extreme caution,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Residents and businesses in low lying areas should prepare immediately. If you need to evacuate, please leave as quickly as possible for your own safety.”
The National Weather Service is forecasting that Irene will be a Category One hurricane when it arrives along the coast of New Jersey. As a result, Philadelphia can expect:
  • Rainfall amounts between six and nine inches.
  • Sustained winds 50 - 60 mph with gusts reaching 70 mph.
  • Rain could start as early as tonight ahead of the hurricane.
  • Heavy rains could affect Philadelphia through Sunday.
  • Heavy winds could affect the city Saturday night into Sunday. High winds may continue after the storm passes. The highest winds will be felt Sunday afternoon.
  • Flooding of creeks and streams will likely begin on Saturday night.
  • Significant localized flooding on roadways, flooding of streams, and flooding along the Schuylkill River. 
Philadelphia has many flood prone areas, including but not limited to:
  • Cobbs Creek and the marsh lands in the southwest sector of the City;
  • Other City creeks & streams including Pennypack, Poquessing, Tacony, Frankford, and Wissahickon Creeks;
  • Main Street Manayunk;
  • Portions of the Philadelphia Naval Base;
  • Delaware River which is usually first observed along Delaware Ave & Ben Franklin Bridge;
  • In the Northeast where Linden Avenue meets the Delaware; and
  • Kelly and Lincoln Drives. 
If you live in an area with a history of flooding, plan now to stay with family or friends whose homes are not prone to flooding for the length of this storm and until the flooding threat subsides. 
The City will open shelter operations on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the following locations:
  • Bartram High School, 2401 S. 67th Street
  • Lincoln High School, 3201 Ryan Avenue
  • Roxborough High School, 6498 Ridge Avenue 
Sustained tropical storm force winds could cause downed trees, downed power lines, as well as the disruption of phone and cable service. 
If a Power Outage Occurs:
  • Keep a battery-operated radio tuned to local news for updates.
  • Disconnect or turn off all appliances that would otherwise go on automatically when the power comes back on. If several appliances start up at once, they could overload the circuits.
  • To prevent food spoilage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Never touch or go near downed power lines.
Prior to the storm, Liam O’Keefe, Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management, encourages residents to check on loved ones and neighbors, especially seniors and those with special needs, who may need special assistance or care during the storm. Also make sure you have the necessary supplies for a Shelter-in-Place Kit or an evacuation Go Bag.
A Few Items to include:
  • Non-perishable food like granola bars and energy bars
  • If you use canned foods, make sure you have a manual can opener.
  • Have a supply of bottled water for everyone in your home.
  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • If you take medication, make sure you have an adequate supply for the next several days.
A complete list of emergency supplies can be found on the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s website, Remember to stock supplies for everyone in your household including your pets. 
Do not travel, unless it is absolutely necessary or an evacuation order is called.
  • Do not attempt to walk across flood water more than knee deep.
  • Never drive through flooded roadways. Just two feet of moving water can sweep a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) off the road.
While Philadelphia’s 311 call center will be operational 24 hours a day through Monday, August 29, there are several ways to stay updated on the latest storm and emergency information.
  • Stay tuned to local news for updates.
  • Sign up for ReadyNotifyPA, the region’s emergency text and email alert system at or texting PHILA to 411911 from your cell phone.  Future updates on flooding will be sent to the Weather Warnings groups and the River - Schuylkill at Philadelphia groups.
  • Monitor the National Weather Service forecasts at   
  • Check Channel 64, the City of Philadelphia’s Government Access Channel
For additional information on emergency preparedness or for the latest storm information from the City of Philadelphia, visit
Call PECO at 1-800-494-4000 to report electrical problems or downed power lines. Call 911 to report downed trees blocking highways. To check road conditions call 511.
Please take all precautions possible & be safe.

Video: Christie Says 'Get The Hell Off The Beach!'

You don't often hear the Governor of New Jersey tell people to stay away from the Jersey shore -- more than 130 miles of the most beautiful beaches anywhere.
And few Governors are as direct as Chris Christie.
But, as usual his message is rooted in common sense.
Prepare for the worst. Abandon the beaches. Hope for the best and pray that Irene is nothing more than a harmless coquette.

Is Irene Being Over-Hyped? Some Say 'Yes!'

They're already beginning to ask the question that been on a lot of people's minds: "Have the media over estimated -- indeed, over-hyped -- the potential impact of Irene?
And many are quickly answering: "Yes!"
Dr. Simon Atkins is CEO of Advanced Forecasting Corporation. Here's just part of what he has to say:
The demise of Irene has already begun. There is no visible eye. The storm intensity is down to 99 mph. This would be a low-end category 2 or a strong category 1 storm, while 36 hours ago some predicted a catastrophic category 4 storm. . . . Irene's eyewall has collapsed, and the central pressure has risen -- rising pressure means a weakening storm. The reduction in storm intensity likely confirms that this storm is not going to be as monstrous as it has been publicly forecast to be.
Yes, it will be windy. However, north of Delaware most hurricane force winds will very likely be gusts, not sustained winds.
Click here to read more of what Dr. Atkins has to say.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene: Christie Announces Further Actions

West Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie this morning announced additional measures being taken to prepare for Hurricane Irene and aid New Jerseyans in shore evacuations. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. this evening, contraflow will be in effect on Route 72, running for 28 miles to Route 70, closing all lanes to eastbound travel and utilizing all lanes of traffic for use in moving traffic westward. The measure is the latest action to aid residents in evacuating Long Beach Island in Ocean County. 
In addition, Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) offices in Atlantic, Cumberland, Monmouth, Ocean and Salem counties will close beginning at 4:00 p.m. today until further notice. To aid New Jerseyans whose licenses will expire at the end of the month, the MVC will also provide an extension until September 10th for renewals on expired drivers licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations and inspections effective September 1. Authorization was previously provided for MVC office closures in Cape May county.
Governor Christie has called on people to leave voluntarily and, in order to support coastal evacuations, has authorized several measures that will make evacuation easier.
Yesterday, the Governor ordered a temporary suspension of tolls on all parts of the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River and the Atlantic City Expressway beginning at 8:00 a.m. this morning. Governor Christie also announced that Routes 47 and 347 in Cape May County will be closed to eastbound traffic and that the use of all lanes of traffic will move westward beginning Friday evening at 6:00 pm. As part of this process, all ramps will be tightly controlled and additional personnel will be used to ensure safety.
The announcement reiterates the Governor’s strong call from yesterday, urging all residents and visitors to the New Jersey barrier islands and shore areas to leave for safer locations. Following a briefing at the Regional Operations Intelligence Center, Governor Christie signed a Declaration of a State of Emergency for New Jersey and called on people already at the shore to begin to leave immediately and advised anyone who has shore rentals or was planning to go to the shore this weekend not to go. It is important residents and visitors heed the advice and direction being given by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM). In order to conduct an orderly evacuation of the coastline and barrier islands, residents and visitors should begin evacuating today if they have not already done so.
The state OEM is continuing to coordinate with every county as they mobilize preparations at the county and local level. Any request for assistance must come through from the local to the county up through the state OEM in order to ensure there is a real-time, coordinate response.
For further information about safety precautions, evacuation routes and best practices please go to

Here's How To Make A Hurricane

The Hurricane became popular at Pat O'Briens bar in 1940's New Orleans, apparently debuted at the 1939 World's Fair and was named after the hurricane lamp-shaped glasses the first drinks were served in. It's said that O'Brien created the heavily rummed drink as a means to get rid of the large stock of rum his Southern distributors forced him to buy.

2 oz light rum
2 oz dark rum
2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz orange juice
juice of a half a lime
1 Tbsp simple syrup
1 Tbsp grenadine
orange slice and cherry for garnish

Squeeze juice from half a lime into shaker over ice.
Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
Shake well.
Strain into a hurricane glass.
Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.