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DUFFY'S CULTURAL COUTURE
Friday, 3 June 2016
The Many Meanings of Home
Topic: ART NEWS

 


 

 The Many Meanings of Home

 

Tucked away, inside a rather nondescript building in Lawrenceville, some truly beautiful and empowering art is being created.
Small groups of adults comb through fabrics, searching for just the right swatch to capture their feelings. Others are hunched over whirring sewing machines, stitching together pillows or wall hangings. This mix of homeless women and volunteers are exploring what home means to them on a very personal level through a sewing workshop, part of a series of programs created by the Hunterdon Art Museum and HomeFront’s ArtSpace.


Surrounded by this buzz of activity, Hunterdon Art Museum teacher Wendy Hallstrom and Ruthann Traylor, the director of ArtSpace, discuss the power of art.


“There are so many negatives one has to deal with when experiencing poverty and homelessness,” Traylor said. “There’s not a lot of time for joy. But that’s what ArtSpace allows others to do – to experience that joy, to heal and to feel good about themselves.”
About 100 children and adults participated in the series of workshops that covered a variety of media: painting, sculpting, poetry, sewing and more. Art created from this healing program will be featured in an exhibition at the Museum that runs from June 11 until Sept. 4.
“Everyone communicates differently,” Hallstrom, who is managing the workshops for the Museum, said. “Some people are good with words so we had a poetry session. Others are better at expressing themselves by working with their hands; others maybe by talking. So, the program offers a variety of avenues for adults and children to deal with their emotions at a difficult point in their lives.”
“HomeFront and the Hunterdon Art Museum firmly believe that art plays a vital role in increasing confidence and a positive sense of identity,” said Jennifer Brazel, education director of the Museum. “It teaches simple, age-appropriate skills and nurtures creative thinking and problem solving. And the program also teaches entrepreneurial skills and opportunities for the clients/artists who can sell what they create through ArtSpace’s resources.”


Sometimes those struggling to escape poverty fail to see the value in the work they do. A woman recently visited SewingSpace and for the first time made a drawing and then painted it. The painting was a simple, yet stunning, vase with flowers. When finished, she left it on a table, apparently indifferent to her work.


Traylor found a gorgeous gold frame and placed the painting on an easel. When the woman later returned, she walked past the work, and at first didn’t recognize it as her own. She was astonished when Traylor asked if it could be included in an upcoming art sale.
“I think sometimes when you have so little money you can’t make ends meet feel like you’re valued less,” Traylor said. “And this woman didn’t value the painting she did. . . This program helps break down the barriers of class and race. So someone will see themselves not as a homeless person, but as an artist.”


The exhibition, Meanings of Home, includes paintings, ceramics and photography. Students created a booth that resembled a home and took family portraits. The photos will be displayed and the booth will be installed as part of the exhibition; anyone visiting the show can also take photos in it.


The workshops and exhibitions are funded through a generous grant by the Bunbury Foundation.


For the past decade, ArtSpace has encouraged creativity and self-expression through art therapy in a safe and nurturing environment with the goal of rebuilding the souls of those suffering from poverty, homelessness and family abuse. ArtSpace is run by HomeFront, a Mercer County-based organization that seeks to both lessen the immediate pain of homelessness and to help families become more self-sufficient by giving them the skills and opportunities to ensure adequate income.


In addition to the Lawrenceville location, HomeFront has a Family Campus in Ewing that houses up to 40 families. Through HomeFront’s Resource Network, donations of clothing, furniture and small household items are accepted; its FoodPantry provides a week’s worth of free groceries to low-income families who need them. Learn more by visiting www.homefrontnj.org.


The show’s opening reception is Saturday, June 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Museum, 7 Lower Center St. in Clinton. You can learn more about the nonprofit Museum and this exhibition by visiting www.hunterdonartmuseum.org.

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 8:29 PM EDT
Friday, 27 May 2016
Giving With Purpose: A Real Life Lesson Taught By Warren and Doris Buffet
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 


 

Giving With Purpose: A Real Life Lesson Taught By Warren and Doris Buffet

 


 

Thank you to Warren and Doris for your valuable guidance!

 

The name Buffett is frequently in the news, but the first name is Doris, not Warren. His older sister by three years pursued a decade-long interest by creating and sponsoring a  free, online course about philanthropy. This course was launched a few years ago.  It has now expanded to a full college degree course in Philanthropy in conjunction with Northwestern University.

 

The goal of the program, called Giving With Purpose is to teach college students — and anyone else who cares to register — how to beneficially contribute to charity. That’s not necessarily easy. There are IRS rules for giving that must be learned, and there is wayward, wasteful philanthropy to be avoided.

 

But for registrants who apply themselves well in this new course, the prize at the end is real Buffett money to give away.

 

Doris Buffett got to this stage of philanthropy by starting with small donations about 10 years ago in North Carolina, where she then lived. (Today she is a resident of Virginia). Her usual practice in those days was to aid local people who had run into bad luck — a sudden illness, for example, or even a broken-down car — and needed a few thousand dollars just to struggle along.

 

Her gifts earned her the name “Sunshine Lady,” and that led her to set up the Sunshine Lady Foundation.

 

When Warren Buffett announced in 2006 that he would begin giving his vast fortune to charity (and again, in 2010, when he joined with Melinda and Bill Gates to form the Giving, Pledge), he was inundated with letters from people asking for help. He responded by sending the pleas along to Doris, the acknowledged philanthropy expert in the Buffett family, and by also promising her money for deserving letter-writers when she needed it. Recalling those days, she remembers that the original shipment from Warren included 410 letters.

 

Doris thereafter applied some skills she’d learned while working years earlier in a district attorney’s office to sort out the letters between deserving and not. A small army of unpaid women — called Sunbeams — helped her in this job.

 

Gradually Doris broadened her giving, and the once small Sunshine Lady Foundation grew into a large force. Over the last four years, its contributions (some of the money from Warren, but most from her) have averaged $10 million annually.

 

The foundation still gives money to ordinary people down on their luck, but Doris has also added some special projects: educating prisoners in such places as Sing Sing, sending battered women to college, and also giving college scholarships to North Carolinians generally.

 

The foundation’s scholarships have some strings attached to them. Besides requiring a recipient to maintain a 3.0 grade average, they also compel the student to pledge (in a written contract) that he or she will not engage in body piercing (except ears); tattooing; the use of illegal substances, alcohol, or tobacco; carrying a credit card; and sustaining an unhealthy body weight. Says Doris, “That’s the grandma in me coming out.”

 

Another project that the foundation added — this is the forerunner of today’s online course — was sponsoring college courses about philanthropy, in which students actively investigated local causes to determine which deserved Sunshine Lady grants ranging up to a per-college total of $10,000. Among the 30 or so participants in the course have been University of North Carolina, University of Nebraska, and Georgetown.

 

The new online course lasts for six weeks and provides people over the age of 18 a chance to give away money, upon their intelligently vetting one or more local charitable causes. Doris Buffett and a second foundation she started in 2011, Learning By Giving — which she funded with $5 million — will oversee this work and distribute the contributions. The technology this program needs has meanwhile been supplied by Google, whose “course builder”  enables the construction of a MOOC, which stands for Massive Open Online Course.

 

Two younger Buffetts are closely involved with the new online program. Doris’s grandson, Alex Buffett Rozek, 34, who manages a small Boston investment partnership, is president of the Learning by Giving foundation; Warren’s grandson, Howard Warren Buffett, 28.  Rozek has served as a director of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, and the younger Buffett has worked with his father, Howard Graham Buffett, on the latter’s eponymous foundation.

 

The six-week course covers all of the steps that a student requires to make informed judgments about giving away money — for example, what impact does a charitable organization have on its community and what will be the impact of your money on the organization? But guest speakers having a hands-on knowledge of philanthropy will also make video appearances — among them baseball’s Cal Ripken Jr. and ice cream’s Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

 

The first of these speakers, in the opening week of the course, are Doris and Warren Buffett, who jointly discuss their philanthropic experiences — Doris white-haired and striking, Warren looking his usual avuncular self. Doris notes that she’s businesslike in her giving but has experienced “incredible joy” in carrying it out. Warren nods understandingly, adding that “helping people achieve their potential is about as good as it gets.” And as the video rolls, they peremptorily interrupt each other, just as if they kids back in Omaha.

 

Taking this course taught me value lessons in philanthropy.  It opened my eyes on how to evaluate a non profit and asses where I should put dollars to support a non profit.

 

This story will teach you a valuable lesson. A lesson on where not to put your money. A non profit can have a wonderful mission statement. However, if the people running the non profit do not have the best interest of their supports on the forefront, they will eventually no longer exist as a non profit.

 

KaBOOM!, Inc. is a national non‑profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play so they can thrive. To achieve this, KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support
play, and works to drive the national discussion around the importance of play in fostering healthy lives.



In addition to continuing to create playspaces, KaBOOM! undertakes initiatives to spark behavior and societal‑norm change around play. Behavior change means that all kids have regular opportunities for more play. Societal‑norm change means that our culture will reinforce the expectation that all kids get the balanced and active play they need every day. Delivering on both requires that we deploy an influence strategy, because studies indicate that while parents, caregivers, and community leaders are aware play is important, this awareness does not always translate into understanding, responsibility, and action.

 

Kids today are playing less than any previous generation, and as playtime goes down, the issues facing our kids go up. The Stanford University School of Medicine reports that kids are spending less time playing outdoors than any previous generation. Recent studies have found that recess offers nearly half of the chances kids get to be physically active
during the school year (42%), but recess is increasingly absent from the school day.

In neighborhoods without a park or playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases 29%. Kids with a park or playground within a half-mile are almost five times more likely to be a healthy weight than kids without playgrounds or parks nearby. Nearly one in three kids in America is overweight or obese, setting them up for a lifetime of health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But there is a reason to be hopeful: the promise of play and kid-friendly communities.

 

KaBOOM has contracted Program Services & Grants totaling $25,391,106. Their CEO is paid a total of $434,365 a year.

 

http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2014/521/970/2014-521970904-0b753b98-9.pdf

 

KaBOOM! recently announced the 2016 Playful City USA communities. This year, 257 communities are getting recognition for making it easy for all kids to get balanced and active play in their neighborhoods and for pledging to integrate play as a solution to the challenges facing their communities.

 

In its 10th year, Playful City USA is a national recognition program that honors cities and towns for taking bold steps to create more play opportunities for all kids. It was quite shocking to learn that Hamilton, NJ, Mercer County again this year was given this designation by the Ka BOOM organization.

 

In September 2015, Duffy's Cultural Couture reported on a non profit embarrassment.  In July of this year, Hamilton Township was awarded a designation, Playful City by the Playful City USA program. The program is sponsored by the Humana Foundation in partnership with Kaboom (a nonprofit focused on children and play).

 

This designation has now become a source of embarrassment for the Humana Foundation and Kaboom. As we are all aware as reported in the media, 15 of the 17 school playgrounds  in Hamilton, Mercer county, since the beginning of the school year, have been shuttered due to massive safety issues. When the Foundation and Kaboom learned of this issue they were stunned. In the 10 year history of the Playful City program this has never happened. They have never ran into an issue where they gave an award to a town, only to learn that they clearly were not living up to the criteria for the award.

 

Virginia Judd, Executive Director of the Humana Foundation stated that they were shocked to learn of this information as it pertains to the playgrounds in Hamilton. The same shock was apparent to Sara Pinksey, Executive Director of Kaboom's Playful City Program.They were both at a lost for words and process on what to do with this issue. If they had the process, they would most likely revoke this years award to Hamilton. 

 

Over the past 7 years Hamilton has been awarded this designation of Playful City. The Human Foundation and Kaboom quickly reviewed their records to ensure that they had not awarded any grant moneys to Hamilton this past year or ever. To have done that would have only intensified the embarrassment to the foundation. To their relief they had not awarded any grant money this year or in the past to the town of Hamilton, only the designation.

 

The designation of most Playful City gives towns the opportunity to compete for grants that are sponsored by the Humana Foundation win partnership with Kaboom. Hamilton will not be able to participate in grants moving forward due to the recent debacle that is occurring at the playgrounds in Hamilton. The likelihood that they will ever be awarded this Playful City designation ever again is also unlikely. 

Well, the same thing happened again this year. Kaboom gave the township of Hamilton the award, most playful city. You will see the email exchanged below from the organizations and our team.

 

 

 

 

To: "info@kaboom.org" <info@kaboom.org>; "humanafoundation@humana.com" <humanafoundation@humana.com>
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2016 8:17 PM
Subject: Questionable designation given to town

 

 Virginia Judd and Sara Pinksey,

 

Ladies, we spoke last year.

 

In July of 2015 year, Hamilton Township was awarded a designation, Playful City by the Playful City USA program. The program is sponsored by the Humana Foundation in partnership with Kaboom (a nonprofit focused on children and play).

 

This designation became a source of embarrassment for the Humana Foundation and Kaboom. As we are all aware as reported in the media, 15 of the 17 school playgrounds  in Hamilton, Mercer county, since the beginning of the school year, have been shuttered due to massive safety issues. They are still ALL closed to date as well as many of the parks in the town were play equipment were also condemned this past year. 

 

When I called you both last year and spoke to you, you seemed stunned that the designation was given to Hamilton with what was going on. You stated to me in the 10 year history of the Playful City program this has never happened. They have never ran into an issue where they gave an award to a town, only to learn that they clearly were not living up to the criteria for the award.

 

Virginia Judd, you stated that you were shocked to learn of this information as it pertains to the playgrounds in Hamilton. The same shock was apparent to Sara Pinksey, Executive Director of Kaboom's Playful City Program.You were both at a lost for words and process on what to do with this issue. If they had the process, they would most likely revoke this years award to Hamilton. 

 

Over the past 7 years Hamilton has been awarded this designation of Playful City. The Human Foundation and Kaboom quickly reviewed their records to ensure that they had not awarded any grant moneys to Hamilton this past year or ever. To have done that would have only intensified the embarrassment to the foundation. To their relief they had not awarded any grant money this year or in the past to the town of Hamilton, only the designation.

 

The designation of most Playful City gives towns the opportunity to compete for grants that are sponsored by the Humana Foundation win partnership with Kaboom. Hamilton will not be able to participate in grants moving forward due to the recent debacle that is occurring at the playgrounds in Hamilton. The likelihood that they will ever be awarded this Playful City designation ever again is also unlikely. 

 

Imagine my utter shock when I received this link below today......where your organization gave Hamilton the designation again. All of the issues still exist and I was wondering if you would like to comment on this?



http://hamiltonnj.com/news/?FeedID=1555

 

Ladies,

 

One more item. In the townships own budget they have listed the "critical status" of EVERY park. See below and attached (page 96)



I look forward to your response



 

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 12:15 PM, Myeta Moon

<MMoon@kaboom.org> wrote:

Dr. Duffy,

 

We appreciate you reaching out regarding the 2016 Playful City USA designation given to Hamilton Township. We are focused on ensuring all kids have access to safe places to play, so we are taking the current situation in Hamilton Township very seriously.

 

We award cities and towns with the Playful City USA recognition that demonstrate a clear commitment to increasing access to playspaces, especially for kids that need them the most. Hamilton Township is working to build new playgrounds and playspaces within lower income neighborhoods with Community Development Block Grant funding, build new play structures at neighborhood parks and renovate existing playgrounds with new equipment, while removing obsolete or noncompliant equipment. There is also a goal in the Township’s Parks Master Plan to provide parks with recreation facilities within walking distance of residential neighborhoods. We recognize Hamilton for these are great strides, however we understand that with the closing of the School District’s playgrounds, there is still a lot of work to be done.

 

After hearing of your concern,  I reached out to the Township to get a status update on the playgrounds as they play an important role in the community’s overall efforts to provide play opportunities for kids in the area.  They informed me that they are actively assisting in efforts to reopen playgrounds, according to the School District’s requested schedule. They also recommend that you contact the School District at 609.631.4100  We encourage you to reach out to the School District – our collective efforts can show the Township that the playground closings are a serious issue that needs to be addressed. I’d also like to connect you to Sherika Brooks, Manager of Sustained Impact with KaBOOM!. Sherika works with advocates from around the country to engage their cities in increasing play opportunities.  She can connect you to other  play advocates so you can join efforts to increase pressure on Hamilton Township’s government so that they will follow through on their plans to reopen the playgrounds. Sherika is copied on this email.

 

Thank you for your dedication to this issue in Hamilton. We share your commitment to improving the lives of kids through play, and we look forward to you joining us in continued efforts to help ensure kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.

 

 

Best,

 

Myeta

 

Myeta M. Moon, Director, City Initiatives

(O) 202-464-6083

 

More correspondance...

 

Virginia Judd <vkjudd@humana.com> May 26 at 3:24 PM

CC

mmoon@kaboom.org

Sarah Pinsky

Lindsay Adeyiga

 

 

 

Dear Dr. Duffy, 

We appreciate you reaching out regarding the 2016 Playful City USA designation given to Hamilton Township. Like you, we believe strongly that all kids deserve access to safe places to play. Our friends at KaBOOM! have assured us that they are looking into the situation in Hamilton further, and will be in touch soon, if they haven’t contacted you already. 

Our team worked closely with KaBOOM! during a wonderful four-year partnership (2012-2015) building more than 50 playgrounds and multiple community gardens across the country. During this period we also sponsored the Playful City USA program. While the Humana Foundation’s partnership with KaBOOM! completed in 2015, we remain confident in KaBOOM!’s leadership and effectiveness to execute their important, mission-driven work.  

If you have any ongoing or future concerns, feel free to reach out to KaBOOM! directly.  

 Thank you for your dedication to this issue in Hamilton. We share your commitment to improving the lives of kids through play.

 

Sincerely,

Virginia Judd

 

Virginia K. Judd

Executive Director

FROM DCC

 

Final correspondence

 

Ladies,

 

Thank you for your response. I found it equally as disturbing as the announcement that Hamilton made that you gave them the designation again.

 

As someone who donates many dollars to non profits, I find your approach radically disturbing.  This is like saying, " I will give you a diploma for your college degree and as long as you say that you will go to class or walk the halls during the four years. This is what you did and what your response to me says.

 

There is zero due diligence evident it would appear, done by your team to assess who gets these designations. These designations allow organizations or towns to compete for grants. Anyone can send a unicorn and rainbow grant submission, its your responsibility to review it and ensure that ALL dollars that are given by donors are not wasted.

 

If you did any due diligence at all, this designation would/should have never been given to Hamilton. The township gave you lip service and you bought it. I would suggest you use the tool called Google, to search on what is going on in Hamilton or any other town you give this designation to.

 

There is NO final plan to get the playgrounds open in the schools in hamilton. The school year will end and the playgrounds will still be closed in Hamilton at the schools.  I am well aware of what is going on with the schools.

 

The township leadership had ownership of the playgrounds, until recently. They did nothing to ensure the playgrounds were safe.  They then dumped it on the schools recently and are taking no ownership for their years of neglect. There is a massive lawsuit that was launched at the township for their suboptimal behavior on these parks.  There is no money to replace the condemned playgrounds. There are drugs being dealt at the playgrounds. People are finding used heroin needles in the parks. Is this the place that you gave this award to? This is beyond outrageous. The municpal parks were also hit with this same closure of the playground equipment.

 

Also, after the Easter holiday the schools and township installed tractor trailers on the pavement (on the only space that existed for the kids to play on being the playgrounds are still closed) to act as temporary boilers at several of the schools.  The townships due diligence on the vendor they selected was radically suboptimal, that two days into this portable boiler solution, the boiler caught fire. Imagine if that happen when the kids were on the pavement. Prior to the kids coming back to school from Easter break there were letters sent to the parents to warn them of these new trailer boiler systems.

 

Warren Buffet and his sister Doris developed a course on how non profits should behave and attract investors. This behavior that your organization demonstrates is exactly the opposite of what is acceptable to any savvy investor.  I would suggest you use the tool "google" to research how to take the course that the Buffet's developed to optimize your approach. It is a free course and could teach your organizations the right way. As an investor in non profits I would never give you money with your suboptimal approaches that exist today.

 

As a member of the society in Hamilton, half of my taxes goes to the schools. It is utterly despicable how the township leadership has wasted our tax dollars and put the children in the township in harms way with their lack of leadership. They spent $500,000 on a private gun range that was built on wetlands. I would rather they spend money on our children vs. a gun range.

 

KABOOM....you gave them an award for their despicable behavior. http://www.hamiltonnj.com/filestorage/228428/229551/229558/Adopted_Master_Plan.pdf  Is a link to the master plan in Hamilton.   As a marathon runner, I will not use a vast majority of the Hamilton parks. There have been numerous rapes, murders, suicides and aggravated assaults in the parks. (google those articles) . There is nothing in this plan that talks about what they are doing nor the comment they made to you on the community development.

 

I can only hope you view this as a learning experience and use better judgment in future designations given to towns. There are many other towns that do not have this despicable drama that Hamilton does and are more deserving of the designations to compete for the grants. It would be a consider shame.

 

 

Dr. Tammy Anne Duffy
Email:tammy.duffy@yahoo.com
Mobile:646-717-7494

 

 

One can only hope these two organizations, Humana and KaBOOM take the time to sign up for Warren and Doris Buffet's course on philanthropy.

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 8:27 PM EDT
Thursday, 26 May 2016
RUTGERS NURSERY PARTNERS WITH BLUE FISH GRILL TO OPEN GOOD ROOTS CAFÉ
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST


 

RUTGERS NURSERY PARTNERS WITH BLUE FISH GRILL TO OPEN GOOD ROOTS CAFÉ

Rutgers Landscape & Nursery has recently partnered with The Blue Fish Grill in Flemington to open Good Roots Café at their nursery located on Route 202 in Ringoes, NJ.


Situated in their renovated greenhouse amidst stone countertops and reclaimed antique door cabinets, the café’s setting is rustic, comfortable, chic, and inviting. General Manager Jeff Dallesander and Rutgers Nursery owner Jim Brophy have been working to create a destination nursery that feels like a botanical garden for years.  The addition of Good Roots Café has helped actualize this vision, and is an exciting collaboration bridging two community-minded businesses together.


The owners of Blue Fish Grill, Kelly Casanova and her husband, Stacy, are classically trained chefs and met while working for Wolfgang Puck in his Los Angeles and Chicago locations.  They have owned and operated Blue Fish Grill for over 10 years, and are passionate about supporting local agriculture, offering innovative casual fare for all to enjoy.  Lunch fare includes an eclectic mix such as wild mushroom and hibiscus quesadillas, roasted grape and fresh ricotta sandwiches, they also offer decadent pastries (fresh cinnamon buns every Sunday, and honey brioche doughnuts every Saturday), as well as freshly brewed, fair trade coffee from Factory Fuel Company.


The café is also being utilized as an event space for the many classes and workshops held at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery, including ladies planting parties, pruning workshops, guest speaker events, as well as weekly children’s story hour, and morning yoga hosted by A Life in Balance in Flemington.  


Be among the first to experience this new Hunterdon County gem and discover your new favorite place to enjoy lunch, a cup of coffee, or even to host your next event. Open seven days a week, 8:30AM-5PM.


Posted by tammyduffy at 8:48 PM EDT
Grand Shakespearean Tragedy “Hamlet” Comes to MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre June 3 to 12
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 


 

 

 Grand Shakespearean Tragedy “Hamlet” Comes to MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre June 3 to 12

 

 Mercer County Community College's (MCCC's) Kelsey Theatre is pleased to welcome back the Mercer County-based theater company Shakespeare '70 for “Hamlet” in June.  Now in its 47th year at Kelsey, the popular company presents Shakespeare’s epic tale about the Prince of Denmark, considered by many to be Shakespeare’s best play, on Fridays, June 3 and 10 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, June 4 and 11 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, June 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night show on June 3.


Prince Hamlet is depressed.  Summoned home to Elsinore Castle from school in Germany, he arrives to find that his father, the king, has died and his mother, Gertrude, has married his Uncle Claudius.  Without delay, Claudius has installed himself on the Danish throne even though Hamlet is the rightful heir.  Hamlet becomes even more distraught when his father's ghost appears and declares that he was murdered.  Hamlet is facing a poisonous political environment while grappling with his own personal demons and the answer to one of literature’s most enduring questions: “To be, or not to be…”

The show’s cast includes Ray Fallon of Collingswood as Hamlet; Janet Quartarone of Flemington as Gertrude; Steve Lobis of Washington Crossing, Pa., as Claudius; John Fischer of Hamilton as Horatio; George Hartpence of Lambertville as the Ghost of Hamlet's Father; Dale Simon of Flemington as Polonius; Jake Burbage of Jersey City as Laertes; Shannon McGovern of Scotch Plains as Ophelia; Michael Krahel of Hillsborough as Rosencrantz; Jim Bloss of Marlton as Guildenstern; Andrew Timmes of Lawrenceville as Osric; Robert-Alonzo Gray of Ewing as Marcellus/Fortinbras; Pat Rounds of Princeton as Player King; Amanda McCarther of Lawrenceville of Player Queen; Tom Curbishley of Lawrenceville as Player Prologue; Spencer Makow of Princeton as Francisco; Tim Kirk of Delran as Bernardo; and Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, Pa., as the Gravedigger.


The ensemble features Tristan Curbishley of Lawrenceville, Vianna Fagel of Lambertville, Steven Munoz of Hopatcong, Brittany Rivera of Hamilton, and Jaclyn Wasneski of Hightstown.


The production team for “Hamlet” includes Director John F. Erath, Ph.D., Assistant Director Janet Quartarone, and Producer Curt Foxworth, with assistance from Kayla McLaughlin.  Lili Timmes and Gwyn Curbishley are the stage managers.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.  Free parking is available next to the theater.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  For a listing of summer events and performances at Kelsey theatre, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office.


Posted by tammyduffy at 8:44 PM EDT
Sunday, 22 May 2016
2016/2017 is Going to Really Stink in Hamilton
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 

  2016/2017 is Going to Really Stink in Hamilton

 


 

 

 

Lots of fur has been flying over the Mayor of Hamilton, Mercer County budget. Her own council has "trumped" her to approve something different than what she submitted. They felt her lack of understanding of fiscal responsibility to the town, with her new budget, would put residents at risk. The  council members also boycotted the Mayor's ball this year and did not attend in protest. 

 

The link below will take you to the budget that has been proposed.

 

  http://www.hamiltonnj.com/…/…/320141/2016_Budget_by_Dept.pdf

 

This budget is setting off concering alarms amongst the residents. The lack of common sense and understanding by the townships leadership has residents in an uproar and gravely concerned about the future of the township.

 

The township is slated to spend $2.8 million more dollars than last year. They state in the budget that $1.4 million is slated to fund a debt service to fund capital projects.

 

There is $389,00 slated for pensions. How many of those retiring Hamilton employees will end up back on the payroll in the same job? 

Well, currently today there are 15 double dippers

(see list here:(http://www.tammyduffy.com/ARTFASHION/index.blog/2357589/hamilton39s-ethics/)

 

on the Hamilton payroll. The residents feel that these 15 people should be taken off the payroll immediately. This double dipping is financially bankrupting the NJ pension system.

 

The township has selected a cloud service for the police body cameras that costs $100,000. They purchased 150+ cameras for the police force. This amount of storage is the bare minimum it appears. Why even bother to do the cameras if you cannot afford the storage? Who will manage this aspect of the body cameras for the township to ensure they do not go over their usage? The new IT director who knows nothing about IT? Or has the township rehired the retired IT director, who felt it necessary to destroy all digital records prior to July 2010 in the township? The companies selling these cameras make about a 15% margin on the cameras, but a 50% margin on the storage. They make their money on the storage. This $100,000 could easily turn into a $1,000,000 cost for Hamilton residents if this program is not efficiently managed. 

 

A new plumbing inspector is being added at an undefined cost. One can only hope this does fix some of the issues that exist in the inspection process in the township. There is a Hamilton resident who one year ago installed an air conditioner. The township inspector failed the installation (this seems to be the status quo, everyone fails on the first inspection), and one year later the resident has not called for a re-inspection. There has been zero follow up from the township to this resident to ensure the household is being safely maintained. 

 

The Mayor touts about the increase in construction activity. Yet, there is zero work being done on the aging, failing sewer system in the town. ( http://www.tammyduffy.com/ARTFASHION/index.blog/2355854/hamiltons-potential-building-moratorium/) If the township does not adequately monitor the stress on the existing sewer system, Hamilton residents will be floating in a sea of excrement in the very near future. In the 2016 budget the odor control mechanisms for the sewer plant have been removed. The residents of Hamilton had better go and get some clothes pin for they are in for a smelly year. 

 

A few years back the Mayor hired a firm to submit grants on behalf of the township. So how are they doing, not good. Each year the budget demonstrates a significant drop in the grant dollars coming into the township. One resident commented," We wonder who the grant writing company is and how they are related to someone in the township?"  

 

It is interesting to note that the total donations to the township year after year is exactly the same. Interesting no?

 

 Other highlights from the budget that are interesting.

 

  • SEWER: What are "other" expenses? $5M worth?
  • Why do they think they will make so much more in vendor fees this year at Septemberfest? ($79K to 90K), we guess they are raising the fees at the event.
  • Why do they think they will make so much more $$ at the library this year? ($74K to 241K, a 267% increase) what are the programs that will drive this? The old director mysteriously went on "medical leave" to take care of an ailing parent. A parent according to sources that she estranged from.
  • Mayor's office, Clerks office, HR, Business Administrator, Legal, Engineering, Economic Development, Call Center all get raises. All other departments will see a decrease in their paychecks.
  • Another $325,000 will be spent on new police cars.
  • Shade trees: only $250 will be spent. We estimate this to be one tree. The mayor touts she is a tree hugger. She had wetlands destroyed to spend $500,000 on a gun range in the township and now wants to destroy a floodplain for a solar farm on Sweetbriar Ave. She is planting one tree in return. Great job Madam Mayor.
  • $14M on Group insurance
  • $1500 for photos with children of the mayor. Why is the marketing staff who get paid over $100K doing this at the events?
  • $1.4M other insurances
  • No funding for : Body Armor or other Drunk Driving Programs, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over ($38K before now nothing). Yet Hamilton had 40 alcohol related events in the schools this past year. Out of the 500+ municipalities Hamilton is listed as #10 with one of the highest alcohol related events. Yet, the Mayor has cut ALL of the programs focused on this public safety and health issue in the township.
  • ·         This year's budget has a lot less streets being paved (21 vs. around 30) and not one street/road is in Yardville or Groveville. The streets being redone have council members living on each of them. So, if you are lucky enough to live on their streets, no more potholes for you. The other residents will have to resort to other ways of filling up their sinkholes in the making.

See Page 100 http://www.hamiltonnj.com/…/…/320141/2016_Budget_by_Dept.pdf

  • Only $3,000 spent on background checks for new employees. What are they using Facebook and Twitter? No wonder there are people who have been arrested on the payroll. We guess Facebook is cheaper than the FBI, one less letter.
  • HAMSTAT: Get rid of it. Make people do their jobs in the twp. Would save a quarter of a million of dollars!
  • $20k to mow the lawn at Peter Rafferty Creek. There is $11,500 in the budget for new lawn mowers....why not use those vs. hiring someone?
  • Removed STD prevention ($28K). Hamilton has one of the highest incidence of STD in the State. Why did the Mayor remove this? Hamilton has the 11th highest incident of STD in the STATE of NJ, out of the 565 municipalities for CHLAMYDIA. For GONORRHEA Hamilton is 10th out of 565 municipalities for the most cases. For Syphilis Hamilton is 27th in line for the most cases out of the 565 municipalities. Does the mayor not consider Chlamydia, Syphilis and Gonorrhea STD's that she removed the budget to support the education of these diseases?
  • All Park improvements are listed as CRITICAL status for the improvement. $1M is slated for these improvements. This will cost residents more than what is budgeted. They just handed a lawyer and his plaintiff a very nice piece of discovery with this budget. We did not see a line item for lawsuits based on incompetence. The residents of Hamilton are certainly paying for the poor judgment of the leadership.

 


 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 10:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 May 2016 2:03 PM EDT
Friday, 20 May 2016
Hamilton Proposing to Install Solar Farm in Floodplain
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST


 Hamilton Proposing to Install Solar Farm in Floodplain

 

The residents of the Cornell Heights area, specifically Sweetbriar Ave, were in receipt of a notification this week. This notification focuses on the application for a NJDEP flood hazard area, Block 1581, Lot 11, to be developed into a solar farm on the flood plain.

The residents in the area are very concerned with this project. Currently today, residents have experienced extreme flooding in the area. This project has the potential to make a bad situation even worse. This will damage our homes beyond recognition during a flood.

Flood plains are nature's engineering achievement. No human flood-management expert could ever hope to control flood waters better. They are often an outstanding wildlife habitat, and they protect human habitat from expensive and heartrending disasters.

But to governments, flood plains are all about land elevations, flood-plain "management" and flood insurance. Logical land-use limitations are unthinkable because government knows its mantra policy well:   They will allow the dangers of intense development and attempt to engineer their way out of problems. That's irresponsible and just plain incomprehensible actions of leadership.

If the flood plain is to be destroyed the destroyer should offer to kick in some money to save a wetland habitat somewhere else in the township in the area. Our community is placed at great risk, losing its water filtration, wildlife habitat and flood protection, while another community gains from the use of the solar farm which is slated to power the sewer plant.

Currently today, the sewer plant utilizes 7Megs of power. The solar farm is slated to only manage 4Megs. Why is the township focused on such a project when the infrastructure the sewer system in the township is failing and ailing?  Who is paying for this project? Who is paying for the upkeep of the panels? Service costs, replacement of the panels? Is this the responsibility of the private developer? What advantage does this bring to the residents connecting it to the sewer plant?

To deliberately destroy the floodplain is unacceptable.  This past summer the township built a gun range on the other side of our development, destroying trees and wetlands.  They are also in the process of allowing another developer, American Metro Way, to add additional dwellings in an already overwhelmed ecosystem. They will also be destroying more trees with that development. This unbalanced give and take and give is leaving us with environmental chaos in the area.

If a developer decides that the cost of fill is less than the profit from increased densities in the flood plain, then the flood plain can be elevated to a "safe" level and the storm water "managed" with retention ponds. The most important cost of flood-plain development is the loss of its environmental functions.

Flood plains and accompanying wetlands provide erosion control and absorb flood waters. They also filter pollution and provide habitat for animal, plant and aquatic life.

Federal studies show an acre of flood-plain wetlands can store up to 1.6 million gallons of floodwater. Restoring rather than destroying the wetlands of flood plains can reduce damaging floods. Government knows the risks, and they take them at our peril. The plan is to destroy 20 acres of the floodplain with the solar farm. In order to install the solar panels in the ground they must use concrete. These concrete supports will destroy a vast amount of the floodplain. The existing vegetation that is left will be shielded by the panels, inevitably dieing. This has the potential to create significant issues when there is significant rain.

This area is a well known flood zone. It was only exasperated when the new bridge when in and they raised the bridge 21 inches. The first heavy rain we got my house flooded due to the fact the bridge no longer flooded but the slope that was created by the engineers drove the water to the residents homes. As a resident of Hamilton township it is my belief that this is reckless government and development must be stopped.

Undeveloped floodplain land provides many natural resources and functions of considerable economic, social, and environmental value. Nevertheless, these and other benefits are often overlooked when local land-use decisions are made. Floodplains often contain wetlands and other important ecological areas as part of a total functioning system that impacts directly on the quality of the local environment.

Many of the nation’s most prominent landscape characteristics, including many of our most valuable natural and cultural resources, are associated with floodplains. These resources include wetlands, fertile soils, rare and endangered plants and animals, and sites of archaeological and historical significance. Floodplains have been shaped, and continue to be shaped, by dynamic physical and biological processes driven by climate, the hydrologic cycle, erosion and deposition, extreme natural events, and other forces. The movement of water through ground and surface systems, floodplains, wetlands and watersheds is perhaps the greatest indicator of the interaction of natural processes in the environment.  Has there been a historical search done on the land to ensure that we are preserving the historical nature of the land?

 

These natural processes influence human activities and are, in turn, affected by our activities. They represent important natural functions and beneficial resources and provide both opportunities and limitations for particular uses and activities.

 

Traditionally, while much attention has been focused on the hazards associated with flooding and floodplains, less attention has been directed toward the natural and cultural resources of floodplains or to evaluation of the full social and economic returns from floodplain use.

 

In recent decades, the natural resources associated with floodplains – particularly wetlands – have been the subject of increased scientific study and management.

 

Surface water, ground water, floodplains, wetlands and other features do not function as separate and isolated components of the watershed, but rather as a single, integrated natural system. Disruption of any one part of this system can have long-term and far-reaching consequences on the functioning of the entire system. In the past, lack of understanding of the overall natural system and its component processes contributed to significant alteration of the natural functions of floodplains, and in many cases to the degradation and destruction of these resources.  These facts should not be taken lightly and we expect to know what has been done to ensure the public safety of the residents.

 

Floodplain resources, including wetlands and agricultural lands, are experiencing increasing pressure for use and development – for highways, for residential and commercial building sites, and for other urban uses. In response to these development pressures, knowledge and information regarding the natural resources, processes and functions of floodplains can contribute to assessments of the ecological, economic and social impacts on further floodplain development.

 

This knowledge and information can help to protect and better utilize the benefits and values these resources provide. Improved knowledge and information about the natural resources of floodplains can be used to differentiate between lands that should remain in their natural condition, lands that can accommodate certain uses but not others, and lands that are most suitable for development.

 

The natural and cultural values associated with floodplain resources can be categorized in a variety of ways. Floodplain values can be thought of in terms of environmental quality values such as fish and wildlife habitat and water quality. They can also be thought of in terms of socioeconomic values, which are more easily understood by some because these values provide either dollar savings (related to flood and storm damage protection, for example) or financial profit (related to increased production from floodplain use).

 

Floodplains that are relatively undisturbed (or have been restored to a nearly natural state) provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems. These benefits take many forms: some are static conditions (such as providing aesthetic pleasure) and some are active processes (like filtering nutrients). There is some ambiguity over which of these benefits are properly termed “functions,” which are “resources,” and where the terms overlap. A fairly well accepted (but not necessarily comprehensive) list and descriptions follows. The resources and functions have been loosely grouped into three categories, and the categories have been labeled according to the primary recipient of the benefit or its relationship to a larger system. “Water resources” include those resources and functions of floodplains that are part of or provide a benefit to the hydrologic cycles

on the earth’s surface and sub-surface, including natural moderation of floods, water quality maintenance, and groundwater recharge.

 

“Biologic resources” are floodplain resources and functions that benefit large and diverse populations of plants and animals. “Societal resources” are floodplain resources and functions that directly benefit human society, including historical, archeological, scientific, recreational, and esthetic sites, in addition to sites generally highly productive for agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry where these uses are compatible with natural systems.

 

The characteristics of the floodplain and of flooding are closely interdependent. Floods shape floodplain topography and soils and influence ecology. In turn, the physical characteristics of the floodplain shape flood flows. Except in narrow, steep valleys and areas of coastal bluffs, floodplains provide a broad area to spread out and temporarily store floodwaters. This reduces flood peaks and velocities and the potential for erosion. Flood storage is particularly important in urbanizing areas where even small floods resulting from a 5- or 10-year storm can cause severe flood damage.

 

In their natural vegetated state, floodplains slow the rate at which the incoming overland flow reaches the main water body. Vegetation also reduces shoreline erosion. Allowing this solar farm to be built in this floodplain will destroy the residents homes the first big rain we get.  In the documents we were sent, there is no information demonstrating any analysis was done. An engineer was hired to perform some task, however, what really has been done to evaluate the long term effects of the installation of the solar farm?

 

Solar array project sites often encompass extensive areas, and it is economically desirable to minimize land costs. Upon the consideration of this site for a potential solar project, did the developer contact the Regional Flood Control District to learn of known floodplains including sheet flooding areas that impact the project site? Certain mapped FEMA zones require more detailed study prior to project design.

The solar panels I assume will be on frames, lifting them above any flood water and the transformer building would be sited outside the flood plain.  I would expect the Environment Agency to object to this application because it would lay on a flood plain. To take the approach, if they even did this, to look at maps from the county is not enough. They did this when they built the new bridge and after the opening of the bridge there were items missed (we got flooded) and it cost more to fix the mistakes they made.

I would expect that the developer have commissioned a flood risk specialist to study the impact of the plan on the flood plain and was liaising with the DEP and FEMA to make.

 It is my understanding that some renewable energy projects are exempt from local zoning, it’s important to strive to site a project in a way that respects local residents and community goals. This has never been the case in Hamilton.  They violate the Sunshine laws every chance they get, without repercussion.

The residents in the area are stating that in the event their homes gets flooded due to the installation of this solar farm, they will hold the DEP, the developer, the Township of Hamilton and all others involved, liable for all damages to their homes and contents.

 


 


Posted by tammyduffy at 9:24 PM EDT
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Governor Christie and Trump Rally at Lawrence National Guard Armory
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 


 


Governor Christie and Trump Rally at Lawrence National Guard Armory

 

By Tammy Duffy

 

Invitations for a Trump rally for this evening were $200 a person  and all the proceeds benefited Christie’s presidential campaign committee, which had $400,000 in debt and $150,000 in cash on hand as of March 31.

 

The Trump event was hoped to be a way to reduce Christie’s debt load significantly, but likely would not erase it. There were less than 500 people at the event this evening.  Tickets for students were $25 and there plenty of them in attendance.  The most they could have raised based on bodies in the room was less than $100,000.

 

In the end, the rally demonstrated the less than colossal crowed Trump is accustomed to. The $200 a person price, clearly kept people on their decks this evening vs. attending the rally. 

 

A few New Jerseyans thought they had secured tickets to Trump’s rally for free, instead of having to pay the $200 price, but they were disappointed to learn Tuesday that the tickets were being handed out due to a glitch on Trump’s website. Many of the attendees complained they thought they were being duped because their tickets did not arrive via email until the morning or some the evening of the event. One man in attendance said he ended up buying two tickets because he was afraid he would not get in because his ticket did not arrive on time.

 

Hundreds of Trump supporters descended on the National Guard armory in this Mercer County suburb Thursday night to see the presumptive Republican presidential nominee hold his first campaign rally in NJ.  And at the same time, hundreds protesters gathered in a park across the street to voice their detest. There were school buses that went buy filled with children screaming profanity from the buses about Mr. Trump.

 

Paul Anthony, 18, helped organize a coalition of dozens of students from nearby Lawrence High School to speak out against Trump. "He's a racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-Semite," said Anthony, who is voting for the first time this fall and supports Democratic contender Bernie Sanders. 

 

And not everyone there was from New Jersey. Joan Allen drove 2 1/2 hours from Bronxville, N.Y., to hold a sign near the entrance of the armory that read: "Fools love Trump."

 


 

When the doors opened there were less than 150 people in attendance. There was a biplane flying overhead with a banner reading, " #Make NJ Great Again #dumpchristietrump.

 

Danny Campbell, notorious member of the Jersey Shore gang, according to sources, was evidently hired to run the souvenir carts at the event. All of the products that were being sold at the event demonstrated labels, Made in China.

 

As the attendees of the event waited for the rally to start, there were fights going on in the wait area. Perfect strangers were acting like two year olds in the back seat of the car on family vacation, "You touched me!" and arguments were breaking out. I listened to a man completely insult a woman about her attire, her educational status, her looks, all the while her significant other just stood there an did nothing to stop the perfect stranger from insulting his loved one. The behaviors were odd to say the least. I felt as if I was at a cult rally vs. a political rally.

 

It must also be noted that there were zero accomodations made for the handicapped or anyone with special needs. There were zero seats in the auditorium for anyone. The $200 fee to get in did not get you even a mat to sit on.  There were veterans there who had to walk long distances from parking areas, for there was not even any handicapped parking. 

 

There were very few women in the room, there were mostly white men. It was a very white crowd.Attendees were corralled into metal barriers like cows at the slaughter house.

 

Several politicians were in attendance, some even got to use the podium. Senator Penacchio, Senator Mike Dougherty and Chris Christie all gave talks that focused on the goals of the Trump campaign. Senator Dougherty said,"What are Donald Trump's sins? He wants to protect citizens, not allow jobs to be moved from the USA, focus on the middle class, and make other countries pay their fair share."

 

Trump made a poor choice having Hamilton township, Mercer County, Mayor Yaede (obviously he wanted some woman on the stage) take the podium during the event. She was instantly boo'd both coming and going off the stage. She made the oddest statement during her time at the podium. She said," Never trust a politician, we do not need politicians in political office."  The attendees who boo'd her could not agree with her more. They snickered at her comment and said,"That is right Yaede, we do not trust you." According to attendees, Yaede has demonstrated poor leadership, an inability to set a budget, lost their Playcity designation due to the fact her team ignored the playground equipment for years until it was unsafe for use, increases cost to taxpayers with a personal entourage of security, she ignores residents, hires her entire family to work at the township, walks with her back to the American flag during parades, has habitually raises taxes on residents annually to accomodate raises for herself and staff, and makes poor choices that effect the public safety of the residents.  The list of complaints went on an on by the attendees. She even calls the town "The Big H", which is the street name for heroin. She is oblivious to the fact that big H is the street name for heroin. Mr. Trump needs to vett who he lets on stage during his events. 

 



 

Governor Christie spoke about his 14 year friendship with the Trump family. He stated that he will always stand by his friends.

 

When Donald Trump took the stage the attendees were supportive and chanting for the presidential candidate. Donald started the conversation speaking about the 3 to 5 new judges he wants to appoint. Trump said," We will be naming 3 to 5 new judges Chris," all the while looking directly at Governor Christie.  Was this a subliminal message of some sort? Does this mean Govenor Christie will be a new judge or a VP? Only time will tell, but clearly there seemed to be some meaning to that message.

 

Trump went on to speak about free trade. He said Nabisco is moving their manufacturing plant to Mexico. He stated, he will no longer eat his favorite cookie, Oreo's.  He told Governor Christie, " Chris, No more Oreo's for you either."

 

Carrier, a manufacturer of air conditioners is slated to move their manufacturing to Mexico. Trump stated," If they do this I will charge them a 35% tax on every air conditioner they sell in the United Stated." He also went on to say that if other companies do this, they too will be hit with the same outrageous tax.Yet, Made in China products were in every cart prior to the rally, is his Trump being a hypocrite or just something else?

 

There is no doubt, there is an energy Trump created in the room upon his entrance. However, people were not saying, " I have to have Trump." Their comments were more in line with, " We need change."  Who will change America for the better? We will find out soon enough.

 

There were many people there who will be first time voters. Their ages ranged from 18 to 67. I spoke to a man 46 years old who has never voted.

 

In all the hoopla of these months of campaigns, it does appear that more are going out to vote. Let's hope the right candidate wins the race in November. Who are you voting for?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 10:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 20 May 2016 2:11 PM EDT
Saturday, 14 May 2016
Trenton Bike Tour
Topic: ART NEWS


 


Posted by tammyduffy at 3:43 PM EDT
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Junie B. Jones Shares Tips, Tricks and Fun in ‘Survival Guide’ at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre June 4
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 



 

 

 Junie B. Jones Shares Tips, Tricks and Fun in ‘Survival Guide’ at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre June 4

 

Junie B. Jones is back.  The irrepressible youngster is ready to share her words of wisdom with young audiences as Theatreworks/USA presents “Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School” at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.


Junie has been going to school for more than 1-1/2 years now.  Who knows better how to write the book on everything a kid needs to know? From bus rules to band-aids, carpools to cookies, Junie has a jillion tips, tricks and trip-ups, and she’ll share her hard-won expertise and show her friends at Kelsey Theatre how school is sometimes scary, sometimes super-fun, and always something to sing about.  It’s a fresh new musical adventure based on the popular book series by Barbara Park, with book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich.


Theatreworks/USA is America’s largest and most prolific professional not-for-profit theater for young and family audiences.  Since 1961, the company has enlightened, entertained, and instructed more than 90 million people in 49 states and Canada, now performing for about four million people annually.


Tickets are $10 for children, students and seniors, and $12 for adults.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.


Posted by tammyduffy at 7:09 PM EDT
Saturday, 7 May 2016
FlightMageddon: Smell Something, Say Something?
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 


 

 


As a common courtesy, you should at least walk onto the plane clean and not reeking of BO. One of my worst flights involved a couple who smelled so bad that the passengers in the two rows around them literally had to plug their noses for the flight. Later, the flight attendants actually encouraged the offended passengers to write to Delta to complain and get a gift certificate. A close second in terms of hygiene-related offenses is when you see people clipping their nails, tweezing their eyebrows or putting nail polish on. It’s not only rude but it’s also illegal to put on nail polish on planes because it’s highly flammable. If you ever see someone putting it on, either tell them to stop or ring the call button and ask the flight attendant if they smell nail polish. And don’t get me started about the person across the aisle who I saw flossing their teeth.

Read more at: http://www.johnnyjet.com/2015/07/10-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-airplane-habits-are-you-guilty/

 

FlightMageddon: Smell something, Say Something

 

 

 

By Tammy Duffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

The summer time holiday travel crush is upon us. Want to give a special gift to a stranger?  Spread some holiday cheer by not doing any of the things I am about to share with you while flying.

 

During a recent United Airlines flight to Ohio we experienced quite the turbulent flight. This is a normal occurrence and expected as we fly the skies. We are accepting of this and entrust the crew to keep us safe and get us grounded safely.

 

However, on the ride home the experience was quite different. The gentleman pictured above removed his shoes as he sat down. In an instant this man created the most radically noxious, odiferous atmosphere for all of us in the back of the plane. He was completely oblivious and non caring of the atmosphere he created. His feet on appearance resembled that of a expeditioner traversing the NYC subway system rail systems barefooted for 2 weeks, in the search for the ultimate piece of pizza. The pungent odor was quite penetrating. It traveled up our nostrils and had a stay power equivalent to a tick on a dog sucking the blood from a vessel.

 

This unnamed man was sitting next to a friend. His friend did throw his smelly footed wonder friend a look when he removed his shoes, however, did nothing to rectify the situation.  The flight crew also seemed oblivious to the smell. But, what could they do? Are their olfactory senses dismantled when they are hired by United? Are they not allowed to say anything in fear someone will sue the airline?

 

After we landed and during my ride home, the negative olfactory experience continued. The smell of dirty, crusty, pus smelling feet permeated my nostrils. I felt as if I had been sprayed with a new type of Febreeze, entitled Smelly foot spray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The olfactory experience was not the only experience passengers got to relish in from this passenger. When he woke up from his nap, he began a large excavation of his nasal passage. Each new mucosal secretion he removed from his nasal cavity, he examined with extreme interest. It was as if he had discovered the first piece of gold in a new gold mine. Each new piece of "gold" he placed carefully in a tissue for collection.  Once he felt the entire cave (aka his booger filled nose) had been full excavated, he placed this massively filled mucosal secreted tissue into the seat back pocket.This is a horrible thing to do for the flightcrew who cleans the planes.

 

The level of rudeness this passenger demonstrated to fellow passengers and to the flight crew (with the mucosal secreted filled tissue) is beyond what is acceptable. Why have we become a society of such radical behavior in the skies. No wonder Mr. Trump has his own plane.

 

As a common courtesy, you should at least walk onto the plane clean and not reeking of body odor. One of my worst flights involved a couple who smelled so bad that the passengers in the two rows around them literally had to plug their noses for the flight. Later, the flight attendants actually encouraged the offended passengers to write to Delta to complain and get a gift certificate. A close second in terms of hygiene-related offenses is when you see people clipping their nails, tweezing their eyebrows or putting nail polish on. It’s not only rude but it’s also illegal to put on nail polish on planes because it’s highly flammable. If you ever see someone putting it on, either tell them to stop or ring the call button and ask the flight attendant if they smell nail polish. And don’t get me started about the person across the aisle who I saw flossing their teeth.



Let me tell you another story that my aunt shared with me. The smelly feet cannot compare to what happened to her returning from Switzerland last fall.  She was traveling business class and they were bumped up to first class on our return flight.  It was their first time ever flying first class internationally. Everything is going well on the flight.  They were being pampered by her own personal attendant. After lunch, lights are subdued and people are napping. She was not for she cannot sleep on planes.

 

There are only four seats, my aunt, two in the center and one against the other side of the plane. All of a sudden she gets a whiff of the smelliest flatus you can imagine.  The gentleman in the seat across the aisle has his rump pointed in her direction and his anal wind was aimed right at her. She gets up and goes to another seat to tell her husband how bad the smell is. She returns to her seat and the smell has now dissipated. She sits down only to be greeted with another smelly windstorm. The smell has crescendo stronger than Beethoven's 5th symphony.  She then goes to the galley to ask if they have anything to help with the odor. The odor at this point had taken over the cabin.  

 

The attendant has a spray and starts spraying the entire cabin. They were laughing, although it was not funny.  The human odiferous wind machine, got the hint because he then sat up. A few minutes later he gets up and goes to the restroom. He comes back and then I notice the galley is now being sprayed. The smell was so bad it crept out of the restroom into the galley. After her first experience going first class she said she would rather sit next to a sewer.

 

Where do the airlines have to take ownership of these bad behaviors of passengers? To ensure that passengers do not have to be subjected to these bad behaviors. Many passengers will not go to the galley and complain for fear of what could happen if the "culprit" reacts in some severely negative manner at 30,000 feet.

 

As a common courtesy, you should at least walk onto the plane clean and not reeking of BO. One of my worst flights involved a couple who smelled so bad that the passengers in the two rows around them literally had to plug their noses for the flight. Later, the flight attendants actually encouraged the offended passengers to write to Delta to complain and get a gift certificate. A close second in terms of hygiene-related offenses is when you see people clipping their nails, tweezing their eyebrows or putting nail polish on. It’s not only rude but it’s also illegal to put on nail polish on planes because it’s highly flammable. If you ever see someone putting it on, either tell them to stop or ring the call button and ask the flight attendant if they smell nail polish. And don’t get me started about the person across the aisle who I saw flossing their teeth.

Read more at: http://www.johnnyjet.com/2015/07/10-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-airplane-habits-are-you-guilty/



Posted by tammyduffy at 9:13 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 7 May 2016 9:27 AM EDT

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