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Monday, 29 September 2014
When Healthcare becomes Healthscare

When Healthcare becomes HealthSCARE


by Tammy Duffy 





Sunday marked the Annual Oktoberfest in Hamilton Township New Jersey. The event went from 12 noon to 7pm.  I enjoy the bratwurst and traditional German dancing that it brings.  It was an event that was well attended.


I arrived at approximately 3:45pm. Upon arriving I saw the blood mobile there. I thought to myself, hmmm, bloodmobile at an event where 90% of the people are drinking beer. One should never donate blood prior to drinking for the side effects could be rather severe. I also questioned how would the vampires in the van make sure that the blood did not have a blood alcohol level that would normally get someone incarcerated.  The inappropriateness of this was mind boggling.


I paid my five dollar admission to the event and began walking around the venue. The first table I came to was a table that the drug store, Rite Aid had. They were giving flu shots. Perfect, I was due for my shot and have been procrastinating getting it so I decided to get the shot. This turned out to be a very bad decision on my part.


I filled out the appropriate paperwork and gave them my insurance information as well. The pharmacist took my information and asked me to sit down. I looked around the set up for this flu shot clinic and could not help notice there was no refrigerator or dry ice of some sort available for the vaccines. There was just a cardboard box sitting on the ground in the 80 degree temperature.  I got my shot. But I walked away saying to myself….this is odd. Something is not right here. I realize each season each manufacturer comes up with new vaccines and they are an evolving entity. The fact there was no temperature control for the vaccines bothered me.


When I returned home I went on to the CDC web site to see that the recommendations for flu shots were as it pertained to temperature control.  I found the “pink book”.




The pink book is a document that clearly demonstrates the recommendations give by the CDC for vaccines. This is what is recommended by the CDC. (excerpt from the pink book)


TIV Inactivated influenza vaccine is generally shipped in an insulated container with coolant packs. CDC recommends that the vaccine be stored at refrigerator temperature (35°–46°F [2°–8°C]). Inactivated influenza vaccine must not be frozen. Opened multidose vials may be used until the expiration date printed on the package if no visible contamination is present.


LAIVLAIV should be stored at refrigerator temperature (35°– 46° F [2°–8°C]). LAIV inadvertently exposed to freezing temperature should be placed at refrigerator temperature and used as soon as possible.

LAIV is intended for intranasal administration only and should never be administered by injection. LAIV is supplied in a prefilled single-use sprayer containing 0.2 mL of vaccine. Approximately 0.1 mL (i.e., half of the total sprayer contents) is sprayed into the first nostril while the recipient is in the upright position. An attached dose-divider clip is removed from the sprayer to administer the second half of the dose into the other nostril. If the vaccine recipient sneezes after administration, the dose should not be repeated.


In the morning I called the CDC to talk to them about this as well. I learned from them that I should refer to the “pink book” and clearly you can see what that says. The vaccines need to be refrigerated at very specific temperatures.


The next step I took was to call Novartis who manufactured the vaccine. I thought that it could be possible a new vaccine was made that did not need to be refrigerated. One never knows. It was possible that there was not an update on the CDC website with a new vaccine. Upon calling Novartis Medical Safety division for vaccines I learned that the vaccines need to be refrigerated., no exceptions. They stated they would be contacting the CDC and others  (including my family doctor)to let them know this happened.  I have already gotten a phone call my from my family doctor this evening.  The medical safety team at Novartis told me I need to get the shot again because the manufacture cannot guarantee the effectiveness of the vaccine when given beyond the manufactures recommendations as it pertains to temperature.


I then called customer service at Rite Aid to speak to them about what happened. They were very apologetic and committed to me that I would get a phone call from senior leadership in the morning. I got a call in one hour from their local district manager. He told me he was a pharmacist.


Here is what he said to me,” I want to assure you that the vaccines were on ice. There was a blue cooler that the vaccines were in with ice.” I said to him,” There was no blue cooler in sight. The  pharmacist that was there reached into a cardboard box (the box the vials were shipped in that was on the ground, on the dirt) to get my dose.” he said to me,” The cooler must have been in the cardboard box ” I said to him,” If indeed this is true and honestly I find it hard to believe, I would suggest you do not do this at future clinics. That you clearly show people where the doses are coming from and that they are properly cared for.”  he said,”Great idea.”


Am I supposed to trust this stranger on the phone? He continued to tell me that the package insert for the vaccine says that the dose only need to be at 77 degrees (notice this is a 30 degree difference from what the CDC recommends) and can last three days without refrigeration.  Having worked in healthcare for over 30 years I know exactly where to go to get the package inserts on the FDA website. Here is the link to the package insert.




No where  in the package insert does it say what he said. There is no information that says the doses can be above 77 degrees (which they were, it was 80 degrees the day of the event) does it say the vaccine can last three days without temperature control  No where. He continued to say, “ Novarits sent us additional information that says it can be used after three days no matter what the temperature.  Am I supposed to trust this person on the phone? I shared all of this with my doctor and they had the same response as me," This is nonsense."


The district manager then went on to say that at the end of the clinic or any off site clinic, the unused doses are “recycled”. They are put into the “first to use” doses that are administered at the stores.


So, as a consumer how comfortable are you with all of this? I spoke to my personal doctor and they will be giving me another flu shot at the end of October.  I also got Rite Aid to reverse the claim on the shot they gave me so they will not be paid for it by my insurance company. 


I then asked him, “Where is the Hamilton Township Health Department in all of this? Do they inspect the sites prior to the clinics commencing? What steps does Rite Aid take to interact with the local health departments?   You do not even want to know how he answered these questions.


My advise to all of you as you get your flu shots, is….do it…it’s important. To have them done Please make sure where you go is doing the correct thing as it pertains to the care of the vaccines. It is vital to your health. Be very aware of the surroundings and where they are grabbing the doses from. This temperature requirement is a requirement for ALL flu vaccines, not just those made by Novartis.


I want to thank the CDC, Novarits and Rite Aide for being so prompt and  attentive to this issue. I have a call in  to the Hamilton Township Health department and was told no one was available to comment on this issue today. Your body is your temple. You must take care of it and take control of your healthcare. Do not take anyones "word" for it. Question authority, but do it nicely. We live in a very different world now with healthcare...be safe and God bless!



Posted by tammyduffy at 7:33 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 29 September 2014 7:45 PM EDT
Sunday, 28 September 2014
Largest Research Center in NJ to open in 2015: Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health


Largest Research Center in NJ to open in 2015: Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health




The Institute is a new, interdisciplinary initiative that co-locates and aligns Rutgers' key centers and academic excellence strategically to address critical issues related to food, nutrition, and health. It is their goal that the Institute's transformative work will focus on how the country's major health issues are affected by developmental nutrition so that, in a generation's time, the Institute's work will help residents of New Jersey counter the debilitating effects of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and reverse the trend of the rising number of individuals suffering from these diseases. It is slated to open in the summer of 2015. 


Located on the George H. Cook campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, the Institute will be rooted in New Jersey where demographics allow for national replication. New Jersey's diverse population, varied landscape, geographic location, and pharmaceutical and service industries make it a natural location for scientists interested in developing local, regional, national, and global solutions for lowering the incidence of chronic illnesses. The nutrition, wellness, and fitness programs created there will serve as models for other areas in the United States. We envision the facility to be a physical nexus that brings together.


Diverse, but like-minded stakeholders (i.e., faculty, researchers, community leaders, health educators) who advance and accelerate research, educate the next generation of scholar-leaders and community health advocates, and support the community


Flexible space that fosters and encourages research, teaching, and outreach to address the national health care crisis, and community connections for wellness programs and after-school activities, as well as nutrition and fitness demonstrations where Rutgers has a solid track record.


The construction of this  three-story building (approximately 75,000 gross square feet),  will include wet and dry laboratories, student health clinic, human performance laboratory, clinical nutritional research center, shared core instrumentation facilities, healthy eating courtyard, nutritional preschool, computing facilities, faculty and administrative offices, 'smart' lecture halls, nutritional resource center, community common space, and flexible spaces to accommodate the changing needs of the program. It will be, at minimum, a certified LEED-gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility.


Their community partners and relevant Rutgers Cooperative Extension personnel (Rutgers faculty and staff who are actively engaged in the delivery of science-based educational and outreach programs with a nutrition and wellness focus throughout all 21 counties in New Jersey) will utilize the facility as well. The community space will encompass a breath of initiatives and program concepts including a conference center to hold national and international symposia; an innovative restaurant facility that will be used as a community learning center and teaching laboratory; a flexible clinical service unit to support the mission of science-based education and outreach as it relates to food, nutrition and health including a diet and exercise core curriculum involving parents and their children; an exercise and human performance teaching and research center to study the interdependence of diet and exercise in order to optimize personal health and wellness; and an interactive student learning center that will provide elementary age students and above with nutrition/health learning experiences with computer interfaces.


Smart board technology will be coupled with a communications studio to facilitate national and global communications and long distance learning systems. Public spaces will have an inviting atmosphere with sufficient areas for community interaction while providing space for individuals to relax before appointments or between classes


The building will bring together faculty members from complementary programs throughout the University, including Rutgers' renowned departments of food science, nutrition, public policy, pharmacy, exercise science and sport studies, genetics, agriculture, and health sciences research. By co-locating these world-class scholars, Rutgers will create a synergistic environment that fosters the rapid delivery of new, empirically-anchored basic and applied research programs; the creation and dissemination of new policy; and the development of multidisciplinary curricula and continuing education programs that focus on wellness studies, food access, policy, security, and the reduction of chronic illnesses due to obesity. It is anticipated that the construction of this facility will significantly increase student enrollment in the aforementioned programs.


According to Peter Gillies, the institute’s founding director, the idea behind the institute is to create and physical space where research, teaching and outreach to the community can take place. Peter presented details on the research center at a recent Health Care Forum held in NJ.


 “We want to bring together scholars who will pursue interdisciplinary research; policymakers who will apply that research to real-world problems associated with food and health; and parents, their children, as well as Rutgers students whose lives can benefit from wellness programs, health education and activities,” said Robert M. Goodman, executive dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, of which the institute is a part.


The Board of Governors awarded the contract to the Joseph A. Natoli Construction Co. of Pine Brook, N.J. The company has worked on several Rutgers projects in the past.


The new building is also located the Cook Campus in New Brunswick, just off Dudley Road, between the Food Science and Foran Hall. It will be three stories high and include 37,198 square feet of research space, 28,263 square feet of community space and 825 square feet of administrative space. The remaining 13,425 square feet will be taken up with mechanical and circulation space. 


The new interdisciplinary laboratory space includes a healthy eating courtyard to study human eating behavior and nutrition education, facilities to study food digestion and nutrient metabolism and a human performance lab that focuses on nutrition and exercise. There are also molecular nutrition laboratories, a student health clinic and a learning center for preschool age children as part of the research center for childhood education and nutrition research


 “Everyone associated with the institute is looking forward to being in this new space, which is innovative in its design and perfectly suited to the kind of leading-edge research, teaching and service we expect to produce there,” Gillies said.


Posted by tammyduffy at 1:52 PM EDT
Saturday, 27 September 2014
No Admission Required: Thank you Smithsonian Magazine

No Admission Required: Thank you Smithsonian Magazine


By Tammy Duffy 




In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, which offer free admission every day at its museums, Museum Day Live was held today throughout the United States. . This is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! Ticket.  The ticket allows 2 people to enter for free.. There were over 382 museums in the North East that participated in this event. 


I spoke with Susan Greitz, Marketing Coordinator at the NJ State Museum and she said,  “It costs nothing for museums to participate in this event. They sign up and the Smithsonian then places you on the list, its free advertising for the museum and a wonderful collaboration.  What museum would not want to participate?”


There were some NJ museums that did not participate. One would question their ability to run a museum to ignore such a prestigious opportunity.


The NJ State Museum had glorious events today all of them were FREE! There was a digging Dinosaurs Workshop that was help that allowed visitors to explore Hadrosaurus foulkii and other NJ dinosaurs.  The NJ State Museums Curator of Natural History, David Parris, was on hand as well to answer and all questions dinosaur related.  He shared with me the wonderful programs that the museum is involved with.


One can learn the field of paleontology by experiencing it. David Parris and his staff teach courses in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Montana and Wyoming. One gets to experience the natural history of one of the most beautiful regions in the world while searching for fossil-rich rocks and artifacts. They collect Cretaceous aquatic and terrestrial animals (including dinosaurs!), Devonian fishes, and rare Paleogene mammals in the Bighorn Basin. Teachers can take this class yearly to fulfill their  yearly continuing education credits by participating. Students, can receive undergraduate or graduate credit from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology by participating. The great thing about this program is anyone can participate, the general public is encouraged to partic[ate and become dinosaur hunters. The expedition is a serious museum project and is more than just a field trip. The field course is led by David Parris, Curator of Natural History, and Jason Schein, Assistant Curator of Natural History, at the NJ State Museum.


While I was there David Parris showed me  the first recorded jawless fish, known  as an ostracoderms – i.e. shell-skinned, lived between 500 – 360 million years ago. Ostracoderms had a bony armour, an internal cartilaginous skeleton and a heterocercal tail. Most lacked paired fins. The first recognizable lamprey was recorded in the Carboniferous period ( 325-380 mya).

Did you know that the very first  mammal fossil ever found in the world was found right here in NJ? It was a 70 million year old tooth. Geologic Time is divided and subdivided into various categories Eons are divided into Eras; Eras are divided Periods. There are 11 periods and 9 of them have been found in NJ. The town of Gloucester, NJ is just riddled with fossils and fossil finds.


My day at the museum ended with a dance performance entitled, “Traditions of India.” It was performed by students from the Nrithyanjali Institute of Dance .  This traditional dance was born in Hindu Temples more than 2,000 years ago, Indian dance is movement, mime, and music in equal measure. Adorned with beautiful costumes, jewelry, and makeup replicating a temple sculpture, Ramya Ramnarayan and her students evoked profound emotions and complex rhythmic patterns that bring their mystic view of the universe to life. This was not just a dance performance but an interactive, education on traditional Indian dance. They performed the ancient dance, Bharata Natyam  (Bha: meaning emotion and expression, RA: meaning tune or melody, THA:meaning beat and rhythm, and Natyam: meaning dance and music.  This  classical Indian dance form that originated in the temples of Tami Nadu. is a pure dance. A dance with two aspects. The dancer uses movements of their body and eyes choreographed with beautiful gestures of the torso and extremities.  It’s a poetic story turned into dance Each gesture having a different meaning. Their eyes are the doorway to the communication of their performance.

The NJ State Museum is a museum that everyone needs to take time and visit. There are wonderful exhibitions and educators who are just waiting inside to educate you on what is inside.




Posted by tammyduffy at 7:31 PM EDT
Saturday, 20 September 2014



Cultural Festival  Coming To Mercer County Park 






Mercer County is one of America's most culturally diverse regions whose 12 municipalities are home to citizens of a host of ethnicities and countries of origin. In celebration of this rich heritage, Mercer County is hosting its fourth annual Cultural Festival on October 11 in Mercer County Park in West Windsor, from 11 am to 6 pm. The one-day festival will celebrate many diverse cultures through traditional art demonstrations, live cultural music and dance performances. New for 2014 is the special International Food Truck Food Court featuring amazing dishes from some of the best ethnic Food Trucks in the region!

A full stage schedule and list of participating artists will be available in a few months, so please check back soon.  You can  follow the Festival on FaceBook by ‘liking' "Mercer County Cultural Festival."

Admission and parking are free. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled to the following day: Oct. 12. For more information, or if you are interested in being a vendor, please call (609) 278-2712 or email culturalfestival@mercercounty.org.

Posted by tammyduffy at 3:49 PM EDT
Modern Day Crooner to Perform in Hamilton


 Modern Day Crooner to Perform in Hamilton


By Tammy Duffy 




On Friday, October 3, 2014, Golden Voice Entertainment will perform an inaugural event, The Night of the Crooners. It will be held at the Villa Maria Restaurant located at 3800 Quakerbridge Rd #4, Trenton, NJ 08619. Golden Voice Entertainment will bring in their top crooner for this performance, Sam McDonough.  The doors will open at 6:30pm.  Advance ticket purchase is required and can be purchased at Villa Maria.


A native Hamiltonian, Sam McDonough has been singing since his childhood. His deceased Italian grandfather was a strong inspiration for Sam to start his business. Golden Voice Entertainment, LLC.


His company has been entertaining people with his pure singing style and uplifting the sentimental feelings that hit deep into what patriotism really represents.


The original crooners were male singers from the 1920s to the early 1960s who sang in an operatic, clear light tenor voice combined with intonations that reflect jazz and blues styling. Gene Austin.  These self proclaimed singers gave birth to the singing form of crooning. 


The root of crooning goes back to the Italian Opera, where orchestras played behind the booming voices of the opera singers. Crooning differs from the opera because of its jazz influence, resulting in much more subtle, smoother voices along with the orchestra or a big band as the instrumentals. Crooning became the most popular form of music up until the beginning of the “Rock and Roll” era, circa late 1950s, early 1960s.


As a child, Sam McDonough spent a lot of time with his grandfather He would play the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, and others constantly. He grew up  on  great crooner music. As a child, on Sunday’s Sam and his grandfather would listen to Sid Mark’s radio show, Sunday with Sinatra as well.  He cherished all those wonderful years with his grandfather. When his grandfather passed away, Sam was inspired to carry on the traditions he cherished with his Grandfather, and Golden Voice Entertainment,LLC was born.


During his performances, Sam McDonough transports his audience back into a time when things were more relaxed, giving the world a more leisurely tone. People want to latch onto anything that means happiness, and the songs that the Sam McDonough sings oozes joy and a feel-good atmosphere. Sam wants his audiences to go back in time and remember all the great memories they had from yesteryear.


The classic crooners are a testament to how music can survive through generations because of the common feelings that it brings to everyone listening. Sam is preserving the crooner sound for the next generation. If you stop by Villa Maria you can purchase your ticket. Tickets are $40 and it includes dinner and the show.  All taxes and gratuity are also included. This show is definately one you do not want to miss. Tickets are selling fast. 


When Sam is not singing he is keeping us all safe. He has spent the past several decades working as a Sergeant at the NJ State Prison.



Posted by tammyduffy at 3:21 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 September 2014 3:41 PM EDT
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Taste Of New Jersey - Craft Beer And NJ Wine Festival

Taste Of New Jersey - Craft Beer And NJ Wine Festival


By Tammy Duffy 



Today marked the 2nd Annual Taste of  New Jersey in Bordentown, New Jersey. This event allows you to sample, purchase and enjoy fine wines and beers as well as an afternoon stroll in Bordentown City!


The Vineyards who participated were:Unionville Vineyards  * Southwind Vineyard & Winery * Monroeville Vineyard & Winery * Cava Winery & Vineyards. The New Jersey Craft Beer industry was represented by Riverhorse * Kane * Flying Fish * Ramstein * Beach Haus * Carton Brewing and others.




The Taste of New Jersey was created to promote the amazing vineyards and craft beers that are produced in New Jersey, while enjoying the fine eateries of Bordentown City’s restaurant row.  This event was open to the public to attend. If you wanted to be part of the wine and beer sampling you had to purchase a sampling ticket. If you were the designated driver there was alot to entertain you, between live entertainment and strolling through the boutiques and galleries of charming Bordentown city. This event was well planned, organized and really focused on the local businesses. This event trumped the ever boring, lack of focus on the community, get your photo with the Mayor, Hamilton Septemberfest which also was held the same day. 


This event is an annual fundraiser for the town of Bordentown. A percentage of this event supports the “Old City Hall” restoration project. It really helped focus on and drive business for the local restaurants in the city of Bordentown. 


This was not just a beer and wine event, it also fit the needs of the foodie in all of us. Each restaurant had $5 menus so you can drink NJ made wine and craft beer as you affordably enjoy cuisine from top zagat rated restaurants! The restaurants that participated were: Toscano Ristorante, The Farnsworth House, Under The Moon Cafe, Marcello's Restaurant, Oliver, a Bistro, Jester's Cafe & The HOB Tavern, The Vault.


There was music performed by Mr. Lucky's Blues Band to entertain the crowds during this wonderful event. The event was coordinated by April Sette, one of the more amazing gals in our community and certaintly one to watch!


Posted by tammyduffy at 4:34 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 14 September 2014 4:57 PM EDT
Saturday, 13 September 2014
How To Walk In Heels


How to walk in heels






I've come a long way in the shoe department. Here are a few hard-won tips I've picked up for walking— gracefully and comfortably— in heels.

Size matters.

As any woman with some fashion sense will tell you, there is no legitimate middle ground for heels. It’s either flats or real heels — anything below 3 inches is considered cheating. Heels up to 4 inches are very comfortable to walk in as long as the shoe is carefully designed; 4.5-inch heels are manageable by literally everyone if you’ve had enough practice, and a 1-inch platform can help keep you safe in 5.5-inch heels. Heels higher than that? We'll pass.

Your height doesn't.

If you feel like it, you can wear heels even if you’re tall. And no, you don’t have to wear heels if you’re petite. Heels aren’t about looking taller — they’re about looking fierce. I am tallish at 5’5’’ and I wear high heels all the time. At 6’1’’ sometimes I’m the tallest person in the room. Do I feel like Gandalf summoning the Hobbits? Sometimes. It is still worth it.

Fit really matters.

Every self-respecting woman has a trusted calzolaio, or shoe repairer, who will competently file your heels to suit them specifically to your feet. Don't skimp on maintenance, either.


Design is key.

This is oh-so-important. While you can get away with poorly designed flats (rubber ballet flats attached to a tween magazine for $1 extra? I don’t see why not!), you definitely want to avoid cheap heels. They will give you blisters and make your feet hurt, yes, but more important in the long run they could affect your posture and damage the bones in the soles of your feet. Before you pick up any pair of high heels, try the shoes on in the late afternoon when your feet are a bit swollen. How do they feel? Are your feet yowling like a baby fox caught in a trap? Not okay.

Know when to name-drop.

Here are a few of my favorite Italian shoe brands in terms of comfort. It doesn’t hurt that they make incredibly beautiful shoes, either. My go-to response, which is only a bitof a lie, is that heels are as comfortable as slippers. It’s almost true in case of  Sergio Rossi’s  stunning Cachet pumps. The Milanese fashion brand makes some of the best shoes around.Salvatore Ferragamo’s feminine creations have the sort of subdued elegance and grown-up charm that girls start finding quite appealing when they feel they’re becoming more of una signora—“a lady.” No-nonsense Fratelli Rossetti shoes are the way to go when you plan to wear heels for a prolonged amount of time: They are sturdy and perfectly designed with a marked Milanese elegance. Luciano Padovan’s creations, on the other hand, are more blatantly sexy — even what would be a mid-heel office pump gets a touch of the stripper-heel treatment with the Milanese designer.

Walk, don't run.

There are really no shortcuts here — the only way to learn to walk in heels is to do it a lot, practicing first with easier shoes. The basics: Don’t walk on eggshells; do not tiptoe; step the heel first, then the tip of the foot. The more surface the shoe has, the easier it is — you might want to start with tight-fitting ankle boots (bonus point: pretty!).

Pick your battles.

High heels can be good for the soul, but they’re not particularly good for your body. Choose when to wear them wisely. In Italy, you’re expected to wear them by day to formal functions such as weddings and battesimi or christenings — we have many of them here — and by night whenever you’re attending a special occasion. What makes an occasion special? Sometimes it’s just the wearing of the heels themselves.


Posted by tammyduffy at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 12 September 2014
Making Beauty From Deep Sadness










Making Beauty From Deep Sadness




 This week, Americans everywhere will pause to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In Rosemead, city officials unveiled a sculpture memorializing the nearly 3,000 people who died that day.

The sculpture consists of an iron beam pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center held up by two stainless steel hands.

"That steel beam represents the American spirit," Rosemead Mayor Steven Ly said. "Even though it suffered a lot of damage that day, it's still there and still strong."

The hands holding it up are constructed from 2,976 individually crafted stainless steel doves - each representing a victim of the attacks.

Artist Heath Satow said he spent nearly five months laboring over the hands, providing him ample time to reflect on the lives lost that day.

"What I hadn't expected going into this was what a toll it was going to take mentally," Satow said. "I was dealing with death and loss 2,976 times."

Though the city has been raising money and anticipating the memorial for years, of the five members of the City Council, only two have seen the sculpture in person - Bill Alarcon and Sandra Armenta.

Armenta said the sculpture was a reminder that the nation will never forget those who lost their lives in the attacks.

"I tell you it was breathtaking - it was so emotional," she said. "The two hands, for me, holding up the steel beam just proved...we will always rise above that."

The sculpture has already been placed in its home near city hall, where it is being kept under wraps until its official unveiling.

Councilwoman Maggie Clark, said it will remind people of the importance of staying vigilant.

"My feeling is we need to do it so we don't ever forget," she said.

"I want to wait until the day," she said. "To me, I think its an honor to have that memorial in the city of Rosemead. It allows us to honor...the many who lost their lives."

The $60,000 memorial has been built entirely through donations.

Some see doves. Others are certain they are looking at hawks. Still others are convinced the small figures they're seeing represent angels.

That's a good thing, says the sculptor who has created a memorial to victims of Sept. 11 . Nearly 3,000 of the stainless-steel figures are welded together to create a pair of giant hands lifting a twisted steel beam from New York's World Trade Center.

"I didn't want to be too specific. I want the viewer to bring their own ideas to it," artist Heath Satow says of the 4 1/2 -inch symbols that represent victims of the 2001 attacks.

Satow spent five months in his downtown Los Angeles studio bending and welding the bird-shaped figures together to form the two hands that hold the rusting, 10-foot section of I-beam.

The reaction of those who have seen the artwork is generally the same, Satow said.

"You get the 'Wow, that's neat,' when people first see it," he said. "Then you get the 'Whoa' when they get close enough to see that it's made of thousands of birds."

Rosemead officials commissioned the sculpture, called "Reflect," two years ago when Satow was operating out of a workshop in nearby Alhambra.

Satow chose the I-beam from a catalog of World Trade Center artifacts maintained by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Rosemead parks director David Montgomery Scott arranged for the Port Authority to release the 500-pound beam to the city.

Satow said he came up with four potential sculpture designs, which were narrowed down to two and voted on in mid-2010 by Rosemead residents. They overwhelmingly chose the design with the two hands, said city spokeswoman Aileen Flores.

Flores is one of several city officials who have seen the finished sculpture at Satow's Santa Fe Avenue studio. "It's better than I could imagine, absolutely beautiful," she said.

City Councilwoman Sandra Armenta, who has also seen it, said the artwork suggests "in a breathtaking, emotional way" that Americans will rise above whatever befalls their country.

The $60,000 art project was financed with donations and money raised by events including spaghetti dinners and food booths at the city's concerts in the park, 5K runs and the sale of memorial bricks, Armenta said.

Satow, 41, said each of the bird-like figures was cut from 1/8-inch steel by automated lasers and then polished, bent and welded by hand. "It's the most labor-intensive piece I've ever done," he said.

"It was really heavy creating each bird, knowing that it represented a real person. It was taking a toll — I was getting really depressed working on it."

When the piece was unveiled, Kevin Danni, who was on the 55th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center when the second hijacked plane crashed into it.

"We were in the stairwell, evacuating. I'd been on the 61st floor at a training session with Morgan Stanley. We were slowly heading down the stairs. Luckily, it was an orderly evacuation. It took us probably 45 minutes to get out," said Danni, 31, an investment advisor from Pasadena.

About 12 minutes after he left the tower, it collapsed as he looked on in horror from several blocks away. He ran to escape the wall of dust and debris that followed.

"My whole 300-member training class survived. I got a second chance at life. It's a gift," he said.

Danni has also had an advance peek at Satow's sculpture. "It's incredible — a great tribute to people who lost their lives," he said.

And he knows what the tiny figures that form the sculpture are. "They're doves. There are 2,977 doves there," he said.



Posted by tammyduffy at 7:00 PM EDT
Little Rock Premieres at Passage Theatre

Little Rock


Written and directed by Rajendra Ramoon 



Premieres at Passage Theatre





Passage Theatre Company in association with Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC will present Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj’s new play with music, Little Rock at the Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton, NJ on October 2-26, 2014. 


Told in music and memory, Little Rock is the courageous story of the nine black students who fought for integration at Little Rock Central High School in 1957.  The story hurtles from present to past, tragedy to triumph. They never planned to be change agents, and they didn’t consider themselves heroes. They just wanted to go to school.


“I cannot imagine a better story to tell in Trenton. Trenton actually has a community member living amongst us who was one of the students from the original group who started out for school that first day in 1957. Delois Harris, wife of The Reverend Harris of Galilee Baptist Church, was pointed out to me my first season at Passage 18 years ago,” remembers June Ballinger, Passage’s Artistic Director. “What set the course for the stand the Little Rock students took was a law that had been in existence for over 10 years but was being ignored - Hedgepeth and Williams vs. Board of Education, Trenton, NJ.  The 1944 NJ Supreme Court case was brought to the court by two mothers, Gladys Hedgepeth and Berline Williams, who sued the Trenton Board of Education over racial discrimination against their children…and won.  It was a precursor to the Brown vs. Brown decision that prohibited racial segregation of school systems throughout the United States. But Little Rock Arkansas in 1957, regardless of federal law, did not adhere.” 


Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj will direct the production which features a cast of nine actors hailing from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. He started Rebel Theater Company in 2003 in New York City, and is currently Producing Artistic Director of that company. Maharaj has made an imprint as a director of very diverse, social and political theater about American history. He has directed regionally, including "The Wiz" and many other plays at Arkansas Rep. He directed George C. Wolfe’s “ A Colored Museum” in New Jersey at the Crossroads Theater. He is the former Associate Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage and Lark Play Development Center and has held artistic residencies with The Public Theatre, Freedom Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Kennedy Center, Crossroads Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and Amas Musical Theatre.


When asked why this story needs to be told now, director Rajendra Maharaj states, I think that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And if you look at our country today, from Sanford, Florida to Ferguson, Missouri, the need for racial equality and tolerance is vital as it was during the Civil Rights Movement. Education is, and will always be, the key to opportunity, access, happiness, and freedom in the United States of America. And Little Rock illuminates that through the eyes of nine children whose simple desire to go to school and follow the law, changed the trajectory of our country forever. Little Rock, at its heart, reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you imagined.”


Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC is a New York City-based commercial theater production company specializing in live theatrical performances that illuminate the life, lifestyle and life experiences of under-represented communities.


 Passage Theatre Company is committed to creating and producing socially relevant new plays and community-devised arts programming that transforms the lives of individuals and community.    






October 2-26


Performances, Times and Tickets

Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm; Sunday @ 3pm
Tickets $30-$35 (student and senior rates availa

Tickets may be purchased on line at www.passagetheatre.org or calling 609-392-0766 between 11am and 5pm.



The Mill Hill Playhouse 205 E. Front Street, Trenton, NJ 08611.  On-street patrolled parking available.


Parking and Directions

Please refer to www.passagetheatre.org



Passage Theatre’s mainstage season is made possible in part by the N.J. State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The Schubert Foundation; The City of Trenton; WIMG 1300; The Curtis McGraw Foundation; PNC Bank; The Garfield Foundation; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; Mary G. Roebling Foundation; The Bunbury Company and many individual donations.



Posted by tammyduffy at 5:53 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 12 September 2014 5:56 PM EDT




Have you heard the news? So that everyone can visit, Zimmerli general admission is now FREE to all! For current exhibitions: http://bit.ly/1rjQYs3



Posted by tammyduffy at 4:27 AM EDT

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