NJ350 Kicks Off 350th Anniversary Celebration

WHEN:            THIS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31ST, 2013 · 12:00 PM SHARP

WHERE:           COUNT BASIE THEATRE STOREFRONT AREA

                      99 MONMOUTH STREET, RED BANK NJ

Please join us in commemorating the opening of the first official NJ350 (http://www.officialnj350.com) POP-UP STORE at noon on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013.

HONOREES IN ATTENDANCE:

· SENATOR JOE KYRILLOS

Legislative District 13

· GRACE HANLON

Executive Director, NJ Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism

· SARA CURETON

Director, New Jersey Historical Commission and

New Jersey Cultural Trust

· NICK PALEOLOGOS

Executive Director, New Jersey State Council on the Arts

· JEF BUEHLER

Office of Main Street New Jersey & Improvement District Programs

· ADAM PHILIPSON

CEO, Count Basie Theatre

· MICHAEL PARENT

Executive Committee Member, Count Basie Theatre Board Of Trustees

· SHANNON EADON

Development Director, Count Basie Theatre

ALSO PRESENT:

The “Jersey Coasters”

http://www.harmonize.com/redbank/

The quartet are members of the Red Bank Area chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society

· Kirk Thomson (Fair Haven – Tenor)

· Mike Silverstein (Howell – Lead)

· Tom DeBruin (West Long Branch – Bass)

· Bruce Hanson (Little Silver – Baritone)

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum

http://njhalloffame.org/museum/

Through images, artifacts, film, and interactive elements, visitors can explore the ways that New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees have changed the state and the world: as innovators, as leaders, and as voices for the voiceless—often against overwhelming odds. And they’ll be invited to consider how they, too, can make a difference in our world.

NJ350 Kicks Off 350th Anniversary Celebration

WHEN:            THIS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31ST, 2013 · 12:00 PM SHARP

WHERE:           COUNT BASIE THEATRE STOREFRONT AREA

                      99 MONMOUTH STREET, RED BANK NJ

Please join us in commemorating the opening of the first official NJ350 (http://www.officialnj350.com) POP-UP STORE at noon on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013.

HONOREES IN ATTENDANCE:

· SENATOR JOE KYRILLOS

Legislative District 13

· GRACE HANLON

Executive Director, NJ Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism

· SARA CURETON

Director, New Jersey Historical Commission and

New Jersey Cultural Trust

· NICK PALEOLOGOS

Executive Director, New Jersey State Council on the Arts

· JEF BUEHLER

Office of Main Street New Jersey & Improvement District Programs

· ADAM PHILIPSON

CEO, Count Basie Theatre

· MICHAEL PARENT

Executive Committee Member, Count Basie Theatre Board Of Trustees

· SHANNON EADON

Development Director, Count Basie Theatre

ALSO PRESENT:

The “Jersey Coasters”

http://www.harmonize.com/redbank/

The quartet are members of the Red Bank Area chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society

· Kirk Thomson (Fair Haven – Tenor)

· Mike Silverstein (Howell – Lead)

· Tom DeBruin (West Long Branch – Bass)

· Bruce Hanson (Little Silver – Baritone)

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum

http://njhalloffame.org/museum/

Through images, artifacts, film, and interactive elements, visitors can explore the ways that New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees have changed the state and the world: as innovators, as leaders, and as voices for the voiceless—often against overwhelming odds. And they’ll be invited to consider how they, too, can make a difference in our world.

The If Question

george hancockstefanIn this time of Christmas we deal with something that happened 2,000 ago. The historicity of Jesus cannot be denied. Even people who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, such as Bart Ehrman, have to agree that his historical presence cannot be denied. He walked among us in the land of Judea, had followers, and by many non-biblical accounts was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate.

A number of years ago, James Kennedy preached a series of sermons entitled, “What If?” What if Christ was not born? What if Christ listened to the Devil during the temptations? What if Christ did not rise from the dead?

Since his coming is uncontestable, the question for this article follows – What happens if those for whom he came decided not to receive Him? Both Apostles John and Paul present this reality. In Romans 3:3 Paul writes, “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true and every man a liar.” Or Apostle John in his Prologue writes, “He came to that which was his own but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave them the right to become children of God.”

Apostles Paul and John writing in their own days were primarily writing to their Jewish kinsmen. Jesus was ethnically one of them, yet, he was rejected by the majority of the Jewish people. I have observed that sometimes our church children and grandchildren, those that are brought in contact with Jesus, who know the Jesus story, make a decision against Jesus. Some of them become atheists, some agnostics, and some join other religions.

As we are in the 21st century since the birth of Jesus Christ, according to most of the statistics, the percentage of the world that has not heard about Jesus Christ has become very small. The countries that comprise the United Nations have the Bible translated in the majority of languages spoken in their countries. Bible translation organizations, such Wycliffe Bible Translations, foresee that within a short span of time, every group of people, including the newly found tribal groups will have the Bible in their language. Even before there are written languages, missionaries have gone in to learn their spoken language. Very soon, we can say that He is being preached throughout the world.

Once the Good News about Jesus is being preached, people have to make a decision about him. In the words of the well-known English author, C.S. Lewis, they must decide if Jesus was delusional, a lunatic, or the Son of God as the angels and shepherds proclaimed and millions have believed since that first Christmas morning.

The If Question

george hancockstefanIn this time of Christmas we deal with something that happened 2,000 ago. The historicity of Jesus cannot be denied. Even people who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, such as Bart Ehrman, have to agree that his historical presence cannot be denied. He walked among us in the land of Judea, had followers, and by many non-biblical accounts was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate.

A number of years ago, James Kennedy preached a series of sermons entitled, “What If?” What if Christ was not born? What if Christ listened to the Devil during the temptations? What if Christ did not rise from the dead?

Since his coming is uncontestable, the question for this article follows – What happens if those for whom he came decided not to receive Him? Both Apostles John and Paul present this reality. In Romans 3:3 Paul writes, “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true and every man a liar.” Or Apostle John in his Prologue writes, “He came to that which was his own but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave them the right to become children of God.”

Apostles Paul and John writing in their own days were primarily writing to their Jewish kinsmen. Jesus was ethnically one of them, yet, he was rejected by the majority of the Jewish people. I have observed that sometimes our church children and grandchildren, those that are brought in contact with Jesus, who know the Jesus story, make a decision against Jesus. Some of them become atheists, some agnostics, and some join other religions.

As we are in the 21st century since the birth of Jesus Christ, according to most of the statistics, the percentage of the world that has not heard about Jesus Christ has become very small. The countries that comprise the United Nations have the Bible translated in the majority of languages spoken in their countries. Bible translation organizations, such Wycliffe Bible Translations, foresee that within a short span of time, every group of people, including the newly found tribal groups will have the Bible in their language. Even before there are written languages, missionaries have gone in to learn their spoken language. Very soon, we can say that He is being preached throughout the world.

Once the Good News about Jesus is being preached, people have to make a decision about him. In the words of the well-known English author, C.S. Lewis, they must decide if Jesus was delusional, a lunatic, or the Son of God as the angels and shepherds proclaimed and millions have believed since that first Christmas morning.

U.S. Cigarette Tax Hike Proposed to Fund Free Early Learning Initiative

Members of Congress will soon consider an early learning initiative proposal that would be paid for in part with revenues generated through higher federal taxes on tobacco products and additional state dollars.

The program and tax increase, which must be approved by Congress, are included in the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. The budget plan calls for adding 94 cents to the federal excise tax collected on cigarettes, boosting the tax from $1.01 to $1.95 per pack.

Critics of the tax increase question the rationale for tying a popular program to what they describe as an unstable and declining revenue source. Tobacco tax increases often fail to generate anticipated revenues, they say.

Opponents point to the drop in cigarette sales after the last federal tax increase in 2009. According to industry data, total state tax-paid sales declined 8.3 percent the following year.  If the trend continues, they charge, governments would collect less revenue from cigarette taxes which could result in large funding gaps.

Linda Doherty, President of the New Jersey Food Council says tobacco taxes are becoming an unstable source of government revenue.

“Tobacco is an easy target for a tax increase because it does not impact the majority of people. We know from experience that taxing tobacco has reached a point of diminishing returns and a more stable revenue source is needed to sustain funding for worthwhile programs,” Ms. Doherty said.

Under the Administration’s plan, funding responsibility for the $75-billion, 10-year program would be a shared by the federal and state governments, with the U.S. government paying as much as 91 percent of the costs in the first years.

By the fifth year, costs would be shared equally and by the tenth year participating states would bear as much as 75 percent of program costs.

It was not immediately clear how states would fund their respective shares of program expenses.

The proposed 94-cent-per pack hike would be the largest in history and the second boost in the cigarette tax during the current administration. In 2009, the president signed into law an increase of 61-cents per pack to fund a children’s health insurance program.

 

Robb Austin

Austin Communications

Austin Communications represents Altria Client Services Inc.

U.S. Cigarette Tax Hike Proposed to Fund Free Early Learning Initiative

Members of Congress will soon consider an early learning initiative proposal that would be paid for in part with revenues generated through higher federal taxes on tobacco products and additional state dollars.

The program and tax increase, which must be approved by Congress, are included in the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. The budget plan calls for adding 94 cents to the federal excise tax collected on cigarettes, boosting the tax from $1.01 to $1.95 per pack.

Critics of the tax increase question the rationale for tying a popular program to what they describe as an unstable and declining revenue source. Tobacco tax increases often fail to generate anticipated revenues, they say.

Opponents point to the drop in cigarette sales after the last federal tax increase in 2009. According to industry data, total state tax-paid sales declined 8.3 percent the following year.  If the trend continues, they charge, governments would collect less revenue from cigarette taxes which could result in large funding gaps.

Linda Doherty, President of the New Jersey Food Council says tobacco taxes are becoming an unstable source of government revenue.

“Tobacco is an easy target for a tax increase because it does not impact the majority of people. We know from experience that taxing tobacco has reached a point of diminishing returns and a more stable revenue source is needed to sustain funding for worthwhile programs,” Ms. Doherty said.

Under the Administration’s plan, funding responsibility for the $75-billion, 10-year program would be a shared by the federal and state governments, with the U.S. government paying as much as 91 percent of the costs in the first years.

By the fifth year, costs would be shared equally and by the tenth year participating states would bear as much as 75 percent of program costs.

It was not immediately clear how states would fund their respective shares of program expenses.

The proposed 94-cent-per pack hike would be the largest in history and the second boost in the cigarette tax during the current administration. In 2009, the president signed into law an increase of 61-cents per pack to fund a children’s health insurance program.

 

Robb Austin

Austin Communications

Austin Communications represents Altria Client Services Inc.

Gas Price Sleigh Ride: Unpredictability ‘Reins’ at the Pump

Hamilton, NJ  -National prices jumped six cents in the last week to $3.28 a gallon, while New Jersey pump prices rose slightly higher this holiday, with the statewide average edging up three cents in the last week to $3.31 per gallon. Price for both the national average and the New Jersey state average are just a penny or two above the year-ago prices.

“Nationwide, prices are being driven higher due to demand as nearly 86 million Americans are taking road trips over the year-end holidays,” says Jim Lardear, director of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Prices should begin to settle as the demand from holiday road trips ends and cold winter months keep people close to home.”

The Trenton area in Mercer County and the Atlantic – Cape May County area hold the high and low state fuel averages for New Jersey at $3.35 and $3.29 per gallon, respectively.

Motorists across the country are experiencing different levels of pain at the pump versus last year’s holiday travel period. Average prices in neighboring states range from $3.49 a gallon in the Philadelphia (five county) region of Pennsylvania, $3.44 in Maryland and $3.46 in Delaware. Connecticut has the highest average prices at $3.69, while Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma hold the lowest average prices at $3.01 per gallon, respectively.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the overall regular-grade gasoline retail price average for 2013 is $3.50, 13-cents less than the 2012 average of $3.63. The EIA is also predicting that motorists will be feeling less pain at the pump in the New Year as the yearly average gas price is expected to fall to $3.43.

Hamilton, NJ (Friday, December 27, 2013) –National prices jumped six cents in the last week to $3.28 a gallon, while New Jersey pump prices rose slightly higher this holiday, with the statewide average edging up three cents in the last week to $3.31 per gallon. Price for both the national average and the New Jersey state average are just a penny or two above the year-ago prices.

“Nationwide, prices are being driven higher due to demand as nearly 86 million Americans are taking road trips over the year-end holidays,” says Jim Lardear, director of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Prices should begin to settle as the demand from holiday road trips ends and cold winter months keep people close to home.”

The Trenton area in Mercer County and the Atlantic – Cape May County area hold the high and low state fuel averages for New Jersey at $3.35 and $3.29 per gallon, respectively. 

 

Motorists across the country are experiencing different levels of pain at the pump versus last year’s holiday travel period.  Average prices in neighboring states range from $3.49 a gallon in the Philadelphia (five county) region of Pennsylvania, $3.44 in Maryland and $3.46 in Delaware. Connecticut has the highest average prices at $3.69, whileMissouri, Montana and Oklahoma hold the lowest average prices at $3.01 per gallon, respectively.

 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the overall regular-grade gasoline retail price average for 2013 is $3.50, 13-cents less than the 2012 average of $3.63.  The EIA is also predicting that motorists will be feeling less pain at the pump in the New Year as the yearly average gas price is expected to fall to $3.43.

 

As a go-to automotive resource, AAA Mid-Atlantic has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

·         Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder) locates the lowest fuel price in your area.

·         Fuel Cost Calculator (FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com) helps budget travel expenses.

·         TripTik Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) plots fuel prices along your travel route.

Gas Price Sleigh Ride: Unpredictability ‘Reins’ at the Pump

Hamilton, NJ  -National prices jumped six cents in the last week to $3.28 a gallon, while New Jersey pump prices rose slightly higher this holiday, with the statewide average edging up three cents in the last week to $3.31 per gallon. Price for both the national average and the New Jersey state average are just a penny or two above the year-ago prices.

“Nationwide, prices are being driven higher due to demand as nearly 86 million Americans are taking road trips over the year-end holidays,” says Jim Lardear, director of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Prices should begin to settle as the demand from holiday road trips ends and cold winter months keep people close to home.”

The Trenton area in Mercer County and the Atlantic – Cape May County area hold the high and low state fuel averages for New Jersey at $3.35 and $3.29 per gallon, respectively.

Motorists across the country are experiencing different levels of pain at the pump versus last year’s holiday travel period. Average prices in neighboring states range from $3.49 a gallon in the Philadelphia (five county) region of Pennsylvania, $3.44 in Maryland and $3.46 in Delaware. Connecticut has the highest average prices at $3.69, while Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma hold the lowest average prices at $3.01 per gallon, respectively.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the overall regular-grade gasoline retail price average for 2013 is $3.50, 13-cents less than the 2012 average of $3.63. The EIA is also predicting that motorists will be feeling less pain at the pump in the New Year as the yearly average gas price is expected to fall to $3.43.

Hamilton, NJ (Friday, December 27, 2013) –National prices jumped six cents in the last week to $3.28 a gallon, while New Jersey pump prices rose slightly higher this holiday, with the statewide average edging up three cents in the last week to $3.31 per gallon. Price for both the national average and the New Jersey state average are just a penny or two above the year-ago prices.

“Nationwide, prices are being driven higher due to demand as nearly 86 million Americans are taking road trips over the year-end holidays,” says Jim Lardear, director of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Prices should begin to settle as the demand from holiday road trips ends and cold winter months keep people close to home.”

The Trenton area in Mercer County and the Atlantic – Cape May County area hold the high and low state fuel averages for New Jersey at $3.35 and $3.29 per gallon, respectively. 

 

Motorists across the country are experiencing different levels of pain at the pump versus last year’s holiday travel period.  Average prices in neighboring states range from $3.49 a gallon in the Philadelphia (five county) region of Pennsylvania, $3.44 in Maryland and $3.46 in Delaware. Connecticut has the highest average prices at $3.69, whileMissouri, Montana and Oklahoma hold the lowest average prices at $3.01 per gallon, respectively.

 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the overall regular-grade gasoline retail price average for 2013 is $3.50, 13-cents less than the 2012 average of $3.63.  The EIA is also predicting that motorists will be feeling less pain at the pump in the New Year as the yearly average gas price is expected to fall to $3.43.

 

As a go-to automotive resource, AAA Mid-Atlantic has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

·         Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder) locates the lowest fuel price in your area.

·         Fuel Cost Calculator (FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com) helps budget travel expenses.

·         TripTik Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) plots fuel prices along your travel route.

New Book: “Poseidon: China’s Secret Salvage of Britain’s Lost Submarine”

In 1931, Britain’s most advanced submarine collided with a cargo ship off the coast of China and sank. Three hours later, six sailors surfaced, barely conscious. They were the first men ever to escape from a sunken submarine using a proto-scuba device. Their story hit headlines and went on to inspire a feature film. The miraculous escape changed marine safety forever. But their names, and their submarine, gradually sank into obscurity.

As a historian and scuba instructor who splits his time between Beijing and Atlantic Highlands, NJ, I was looking for nearby wrecks to dive when I found HMS Poseidon on a list of unexplored sites. My six-year search for the submarine started as a private obsession, but went on to challenge official accounts of the escape, and bring together the lost pieces of a story that touches on the history of Britain and China in the 1930s, the 1970s and the present day.

“Poseidon: China’s Secret Salvage of Britain’s Lost Submarine” will be available starting January 7.

The book’s trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fi3wM1zHs0

Yours truly,

Steven Schwankert, FRGS
Founder, SinoScuba
Asia Chapter Chair, The Explorers Club

New Book: “Poseidon: China’s Secret Salvage of Britain’s Lost Submarine”

In 1931, Britain’s most advanced submarine collided with a cargo ship off the coast of China and sank. Three hours later, six sailors surfaced, barely conscious. They were the first men ever to escape from a sunken submarine using a proto-scuba device. Their story hit headlines and went on to inspire a feature film. The miraculous escape changed marine safety forever. But their names, and their submarine, gradually sank into obscurity.

As a historian and scuba instructor who splits his time between Beijing and Atlantic Highlands, NJ, I was looking for nearby wrecks to dive when I found HMS Poseidon on a list of unexplored sites. My six-year search for the submarine started as a private obsession, but went on to challenge official accounts of the escape, and bring together the lost pieces of a story that touches on the history of Britain and China in the 1930s, the 1970s and the present day.

“Poseidon: China’s Secret Salvage of Britain’s Lost Submarine” will be available starting January 7.

The book’s trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fi3wM1zHs0

Yours truly,

Steven Schwankert, FRGS
Founder, SinoScuba
Asia Chapter Chair, The Explorers Club