Interview with Jim Johnson candidate for New Jersey Governor

 

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Jim Johnson grew up in Montclair, NJ. According to his website jimjohnson4governor.com Jim served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, successfully prosecuting violent drug dealers, white-collar tax evasion, and organized crime – including members of the Genovese crime family and drug dealers who tried to assassinate an undercover detective. This year Jim Johnson is a Gubernatorial candidate seeking the democratic nomination for Governor in the June 6, 2017 primary. For more information on Jim Johnson or to volunteer for his campaign go to https://www.facebook.com/JimJohnson4NJGov/ and http://jimjohnson4governor.com

Angel Alamo: What made you decide to run for New Jersey Governor?

Jim Johnson:  Last year, I took a civil rights tour of the South with my oldest daughter. The trip was a turning point in my decision to run for Governor. All along the tour, we learned about the people who didn’t have much but decided they were going to make their society better – both economically and politically. For me the question became: what is my contribution to this country, and to New Jersey, going to be?

New Jersey’s economy is off track and our political system is broken. We have one of highest foreclosure rates in the country and are in the midst of a pension crisis. The leadership of the state — not only the Christie administration, but also the Republican and Democratic leaders in Trenton — have greatly contributed to these problems. To get New Jersey back on track, the state needs a leader who will put the needs of the people ahead of the needs of the powerful. That’s exactly what I will do.

AA: As New Jersey Governor would you repeal the gas tax?

JJ: We need to address how the gas tax affects working families. As it is structured now, the tax is regressive and imposes a burden on New Jersey’s families. I believe the tax should provide a rebate for lower-income families.The gas tax legislation also provides little oversight or guidance as to how the revenue from the tax is to be spent. As Governor, I will commit to ensuring that all of the tax collected is used for transportation infrastructure projects. My administration will also frequently assess the positive or negative impacts of these infrastructure projects on our neighborhoods and on the overall economic well-being of the state.In addition, as our economy moves away from fossil fuels, we need to find a better way to fund our transportation projects.

AA: No one has been able to give property tax relief to residents how would you as Governor give property tax relief?

JJ: I have a four-part plan to reduce the property tax burden on families. First, we need to differentiate between commercial and residential properties. Under current law, the property taxes on a $5 million business are the same rate as the property taxes on a $50,000 home. In order to relieve property tax, we need to fix these discrepancies.
Second, as Governor, I will call on towns to enter shared services agreements, which will help municipalities that have duplicative departments save money by using their combined purchasing power to negotiate lower property taxes, resulting in taxpayer savings.

We also need to address the foreclosure crisis in New Jersey. Foreclosures lower the value of all nearby houses in the neighborhood, which thereby reduces the amount in property taxes collected by local governments. Collecting less in property taxes drives local governments to continue to raise the rates to close the gap.
Finally, my administration will help families appeal their property taxes through education and outreach programs. If homes are unfairly valued, homeowners should have a fair chance at appealing their property tax assessment.

AA: You have asked your opponents to limit campaign spending to $15 million any update on that?

JJ: I have pledged to limit my spending by participating in New Jersey’s public financing system because I believe that money in politics is a tremendous problem and greatly damages our democratic process. I hope that my opponents will join me, but one has already declined, which is deeply disappointing. I have been fighting for campaign finance reform for some time, and as the Chair of the Brennan Center for Justice, I was happy to help lead the charge in that fight. As Governor, I will continue to work on the issue by passing legislation that mandates the disclosure of names and employers for all donors to dark money groups.

AA: If elected Governor what are the top three issues that you would take on as Governor?

JJ:First, we need to rebuild New Jersey’s economy. We can do this by investing in infrastructure, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and supporting innovative job sources, like renewable energy. Secondly, my administration will focus on revitalizing our communities by giving relief to those facing foreclosure, protecting our environment and reforming our criminal justice system. Finally, I’ll work to restore trust in our government. We can build trust by enacting ethics reform, like enforcing restrictions on lobbyists, making voting easier and more accessible, and getting big money out of politics.

AA: If you are not victorious in the primary would you run again in 2021?JJ: Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to public service and building coalitions. Whether it was at the Brennan Center for Justice working on voting rights or at New Jersey Communities Forward working to promote fair criminal justice policies, I have always put my community work first. So regardless of victory, I will continue to dedicate my life to public service. Right now, I am focused on the June primary – talking about the issues that New Jersey families face today and presenting my solutions. New Jersey voters are dissatisfied by their political system, so my campaign is working hard to attract people who have checked out of the system but, under the uncertain political circumstances, are checking back in to make their voices heard.

AA: What would you say to the voters on why they should vote for you?

JJ: First, I represent change for New Jersey. As a former prosecutor and Undersecretary for the Treasury, I have the experience to be New Jersey’s next Governor but I am not part of the entrenched political system that favors billionaires and insiders. Secondly, I have been committed to public service throughout my career and believe that all people should have a voice in their government. I am running to put the people ahead of the powerful. Finally, I understand what New Jerseyans need — well-paying jobs, a roof over your head, quality education for your children and a working infrastructure. As Governor, I will work hard to make those needs a reality.

 

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Interview with Mark Zinna candidate for New Jersey Governor

 

Mark Zinna is a city council President in Tenafly, NJ. Serving now in his 2nd term he has chosen to run for New Jersey Governor. He is seeking the democratic nomination. I had a chance to catch up with Mark Zinna. For more information on Mark Zinna or to volunteer for his campaign you may go to http://www.markzinna2017.com/ or on facebook http://www.markzinna2017.com/

 

Angel Alamo: Why did you decide to run for New Jersey Governor?

 

Mark Zinna: I decided to run for Governor because the leaders of our political parties have forgotten the people of this state and it’s time for us to get our priorities straight.  My goal is to bring bold ideas that benefit the people of New Jersey.

 

AA: Would you repeal the gas tax?

 

MZ: Yes, I would repeal the gas tax. It’s regressive, and hurts people who can least afford it.

 

AA: No one has been able to give property tax relief to residents how would you as Governor give property tax relief?

 

MZ: If we want property tax relief we have to start doing things differently, which is not easy.  The number one obstacle to property tax relief is home rule. We need to strongly encourage smaller towns to merge their services in order to reduce expensive duplication of efforts throughout the state. The second obstacle to property tax relief is school funding, which should be based on income, i.e. your ability to pay, not property taxes.

 

AA: If elected Governor what are the top three issues that you would take on as Governor?

 

MZ: Top three issues are:

1) Jobs – rebuild our major cities, Camden, Trenton, Newark and Paterson and create new centers of employment. Build an electric car manufacturing plant in New Jersey.

2) Transportation – Build the new train tunnels between New York and New Jersey. Extend rail lines. Build electric car charging stations throughout the state.

3) Health Care – Create a “Medicare for all” single payer health care system in New Jersey. Health care services will continue to be run by private doctors and hospitals.

 

AA: If you are not victorious in the primary would you run again in 2021?

 

MZ: Right now, we are focused only on winning the Democratic primary in June. But, yes, I would run again in 2021.  

 

AA: What would you say to the voters on why they should vote for you?

 

MZ: Voters should vote for me because there is a tremendous hunger in New Jersey for a candidate not beholden to big money or entrenched special interests. I am someone willing to propose bold and common sense solutions to the problems that we face in New Jersey.

 

Interview with KoldBlooded

Watch Koldblooded perform and you won’t believe how young these guys are or how professional and committed they are to the band and to each other if you spend time with them. You would have to see the band live on stage to know what I mean. In an era of singing shows. It is refreshing to see bands who work on their music and bust their butts on any stage and any chance that they get. I have seen the band perform two shows (Stone Pony and Brighton Bar Long Branch, NJ). The band gets better with every show and every song. I was able to catch up with Koldblooded after a great show at Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ.

 

Angel Alamo: You guys played a great show tonight how do you guys feel?

Kold Blooded: I feel great. I feel like it is the best show that we have ever played.

 

Angel Alamo: How did you guys come up with the name Kold Blooded?

Kold Blooded: We are big fans of the band Damageplan the Vinnie Paul and “Dimebag” Darrell side project, we were thinking of ideas one day and we thought what about Kold blooded instead of a c we were thinking with a K like the band Korn.

 

Angel Alamo: What where your musical influences growing up?

Kold Blooded: Everything from AC/DC to deftones, slipknot mudvayne, drowning pool, papa roach. My dad got me into Rush, YES, and king crimson. We also like rap. We like a whole variety of music.

Angel Alamo: What songs do you like to play in your setlist?

Kold Blooded: I would say bodies and break stuff we have done inn the last 3 or 4 shows. We like down with the sickness.

 

Angel Alamo: How long has the band been together for?

Kold Blooded:I started the band October 23, 2014 he joined a month later, bass player joined last year for a month then he left so we replaced him with a couple bass players it didn’t work, the timing came back together then he decided to rejoin and we have never looked back.

Angel Alamo: are you working on your debut album

Kold Blooded: We are working on an EP right now we got five songs demos that are done we are going to record them in the studio within the next month it should be out by late April.

Angel Alamo: Do you have any titles for the EP?

Kold Blooded: We are going to call it at this moment, which is about our lives whats going on.

 

Angel Alamo: With the music industry the way that it is normal for you guys to want to do an EP instead of a record?

Kold Blooded: With school its hard to find time to do an album. I feel like give it another year it may worth it. Getting together is tough. We are from different places. when we get together we do really well we take advantage of it.

 

Angel Alamo: For the fans that are interested are you going to put it on itunes or amazon?

Kold Blooded: We are looking at itunes, soundcloud, spodify and youtube our website. Hopefully get someone to distribute it somewhere.

 

Angel Alamo: The music business the way that it is now is it difficult to get signed knowing that a lot of record labels are not investing as much time and money in artists as before?

Kold Blooded:I think its hard to get product out because it seems a lot of bands sound the same nowadays we are trying to sound apart from that. We are not trying to fit in but be a band that should have come out in the late 90’s early 2000’s with groove and rapping and singing. We are big fans of metal, rap, hardcore rap metal,new metal, rap metal trying to bring it out together.

 

Angel Alamo: Any upcoming shows?

Kold Blooded:We have a show coming up Joe Flo’s Bar on May 28th. Thats the only show booked at the moment but we will have more shows coming up.

 

Angel Alamo: This would be the last question what does the future hold for the band is this something you want to pursue as a career?

Kold Blooded:My goal would be to get a following and put music out. I would love to not go to college and just go out on tour. I think i want to be a famous guitar player and do music but you always have to have a back up plan. It’s far away from now we have to focus right now on getting out music playing shows once the time comes we will know for sure what we really want to do. We want to keep building and building and hope that someone likes it. In the last week we have had an A&R rep from Atlantic Records and Roadrunner Records that said they were looking for unsigned band and to submit.

 

Angel Alamo: You played a great show at the stone pony but this show it seems you were pushing each other? Is it getting interest from Atlantic records is that pushing the band and telling the band that you guys are doing something right?

Kold Blooded:I think its making us want to get better and better because the music is pretty good but we want to get better and write the best possible album or EP that we can make and hope someone out there likes it.

 

You can watch the interview on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEG1tnAy0ok

 

Koldblooded Members: Mike Florentine, Nico Gonzalez and Justin Kennedy.

For more information on Koldblooded go to:

 

http://www.Koldblooded.com/

https://twitter.com/koldbloodedband

 

2016 upcoming shows:

May 28  Joe Flo’s Bar   Spring Lake, NJ

 

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Interview with Former Camden,NJ City Councilman Israel Nieves

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Former Camden City Councilman Israel Nieves served as Camden City Councilman from 1994-2005 rising through the ranks to become an influential leader in politics. Israel retired from politics in 2005. I was able to catch up with Israel Nieves.

***(Leadership series will be a series of interviews that I will do with leaders to discuss their being a leader and getting their perspective on being a leader)***

1) Which is tougher running for election or running for reelection?

It’s more tougher running for an election for first time, than running for re-election, because a first time’s newcomer candidate  does not has name recognition;For an independent candidate to be successful in his first attempt, is necessary to have two things in his side, Organisation and Resources. If the newcomer is being back up by the “Political Machine” it’s a complete different scenario.
2) As a city councilman you served under three different mayors being a member of City Council was that difficult or easy?
Serving under different mayors, could be easy or not depending the political Agenda that the Mayor in charge has in mind; If the incumbent shows an open collaboration& honest disposition to work diligently with all constituents in fair manners,by sharing job opportunities & public resources is easy to run business; but if the mayor’s  agenda is only to serve and benefits his own ethnic people interests, that spark troubles and deep political conflicts, that was my sour experiences with two Camden’s mayors.

3)What was your proudest accomplishment as a city councilman?

My accomplishment was more relevant as a Political leader & mentor than as City Councilman itself; It was to bring a fair representation and balance in the Political and the Administrative Structure in the City as the County as well.

4)Is there anything you wish you had been able to accomplish before you left office?

My intentions before left The City Council, was to Help Nilsa Cruz-Perez to get elected mayor, and step up with her as a Administrative Councellor to run the City Business in a more efficient structured financial Platform,  for the City day to day operation, and for the creation of the City  Business Development & Entreprenuership Creation Center.

5) What was your toughest challenge as a City Councilman?

My toughest challenge as Councilman was to fight corrupted attempts to exploit Camden resources by special interest, and federal indicted very known politician.

6) Who are your favorite leaders?

My favorite leader are those intellectual& very pragmatic individuals that has a clear concept of mission, cause, discipline and action, who work hard for unity of purpose.
I love those leaders who are not selfish, and always procure to assist each one who are part of the team as One.

7) Having been retired from politics now do you ever get the urge to want to come back to politics at a certain capacity?

I would like at some point, to be engaged, into a New Trasformative Alliance Youth organisation to promote a new young  political leadership generation.
8) What advice would you give to young leaders?
My best advise to young leaders, is never surrender theirs dreams & aspiration, work diligently and well organised,make sounded plans and never, never be a proscrastinator.
Entrevista Con Israel Nieves
1) ¿Qué es más resistente a las elecciones o correr a la reelección?

Es más dura en marcha para una elección de primera vez, que correr a la reelección, porque el candidato recién llegado de una primera vez no tiene el reconocimiento del nombre; para un candidato independiente para tener éxito en su primer intento, es necesario tener dos cosas en su lado, Organización y Recursos. Si el recién llegado es ser una copia de seguridad por la “maquinaria política” es un escenario completamente diferente.

2) Como concejal de la ciudad que sirvió bajo tres alcaldes diferentes de ser un miembro del Consejo de la Ciudad fue tan difícil o fácil?

Sirviendo bajo diferentes alcaldes, podría ser fácil o no dependiendo de la Agenda de política que el alcalde encargado tiene en mente; Si el titular demuestra una colaboración abierta y sincera disposición a trabajar diligentemente con todos los componentes de maneras justas, mediante el intercambio de oportunidades de trabajo y los recursos públicos es fácil de llevar el negocio; pero si la agenda del alcalde es sólo para servir y beneficia a su propio pueblo los intereses étnicos, que los problemas de encendido y los conflictos políticos profundos, que era mis experiencias amargas con dos alcaldes de Camden.
3) ¿Cuál fue su mayor logro como un concejal de la ciudad?

Mi logro fue más relevante como líder y mentor político que como concejal de la ciudad en sí; Era para traer una representación justa y equilibrio en la política y la Estructura Administrativa en la ciudad como el Condado también.
4) ¿Hay algo que te gustaría haber podido lograr antes de salir de la oficina?

Mis intenciones antes abandonaron el Ayuntamiento, era ayudar a Nilsa Cruz-Perez para conseguir alcalde electo, y reforzar con ella como Consejero Administrativo para ejecutar el negocio de la ciudad en una plataforma financiera estructurada más eficiente, para el día de la ciudad a la operación día, y para la creación de la Ciudad de Desarrollo de Negocios y Empresariado Centro de Creación.
5) ¿Cuál fue su mayor desafío como un concejal de la ciudad?

Mi reto más difícil como concejal era luchar intentos corruptos para explotar los recursos de Camden por el interés especial, y acusados político federal muy conocido.
6) ¿Quiénes son sus líderes favoritos?

Mi líder favoritos son aquellos individuos intelectuales y muy pragmáticos que tiene un concepto claro de la misión, la causa, la disciplina y la acción, que trabajan duro para la unidad de propósito.
Me encantan esos líderes que no son egoístas, y siempre procuran ayudar a cada uno de ellos que son parte del equipo como Uno.
7) Después de haber sido retirado de la política ahora es lo que alguna vez la tentación de querer volver a la política a una cierta capacidad?

Me gustaría en algún momento, a realizar, en una organización de Nueva Trasformative Alianza de la Juventud para promover una nueva generación de jóvenes líderes políticos.

8) ¿Qué consejo le darías a los jóvenes líderes?

Mi mejor consejo para los jóvenes líderes, nunca rendirse suyos los sueños y aspiraciones, el trabajo diligente y bien organizado, hacer planes sonado y nunca, nunca será un proscrastinator.

Trixter Human Era album release party at Stanhope House Stanhope, NJ

TRIXTER treated their fans to a sneak peak at their upcoming album Human Era coming out on June 9, 2015. The sneak peek indicates Human Era is a rock album worth buying and listening to. Trixter played a 12 song set.

TRIXTER still has all four of the original members of the band. They still love each other as brothers and still enjoy making music together. It’s a special bond that they have. You can see it in their live performances. They are the band you root for because they still love the fans and know how to put on a great rock show. The band kicked off their set with the new single from Human Era rockin’ to the edge of the night. This was the first time they have ever played the song live. The song works well live with the audience. The band played Play Rough from their debut album. The band was in top form. Steve Brown was all over the stage playing his guitar as if there is no tomorrow which he has always done. Road of a thousand dreams from their 2nd album Hear was a good treat for the fans. One in a million was next as P.J. Farley still sounds as good as ever on bass. Heart of steel and rocking horse was next. The band was having a good time playing and playfully picking on drummer Mark Scott who took it all in stride. The band went into singing happy birthday to Mark Scott (his birthday was on May 1). The band slowed the party for a moment as they went into their hit song from their debut album Surrender. The band played the song live a bit faster. The song really showcases how good Pete’s voice still sounds after all of these years. Machine from their 2012 album New Audio Machine was played next. It looks like the audience was familiar with the audience. Bad girl from their debut album had the crowd going. Mark Scott sounded like thunder on the drums adding more drum fills at the end of the song. Tattoo and Misery and Line of fire were performed next. The band ended the evening with the song that started all and out Trixter on the map Give it to me good.

The show was a great show. The band was having fun and celebrating 25 years ago. They are great live band. I recommend people come out check out their live show. It is worth checking out.

http://www.amazon.com/Human-Era-Trixter/dp/B00VX22AG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429920364&sr=8-1&keywords=Trixter+human+era

Camden Waterfront 2014 season a success, Thank you for making that happen

I have been waiting 8 months to write this blog. Back in January I read the dumbest thing I have ever read on the internet about Camden Waterfront. This person was going back to an old story in 2012. This is 2014. 2013 was a successful year. We were determined to make 2014 a successful year and we did. This was the year were years of hard work came together. It was a complete team effort. I am Chairman of the Camden Parking Authority. I am passionate about Camden Waterfront. I want all of the events to do well. We had 3 million visitors, we had the most concerts in 5 years. All of the concerts were a success. There was no major problems. The Camden Riversharks attendance was up this year. Adventure Aquarium, Battleship New Jersey, Camden Children’s Garden all did well this season. The free Jazz festival series another major success. The freedom festival.  The fact is what was in the past is in the past. As I said on Latino Motion with Bert Lopez as a leader we want to see an immediate impact on the work that we are doing, sometimes it takes time to see the result. This year we did. It helps that we all worked as a team. I thank our staff at Camden Parking Authority for giving great customer service and all of the hard work that they did. We know it takes one bad incident to get us on the news. This year we had no negative press. We have reason to celebrate for a moment and enjoy this success. Then in 2015 we have to do it all over again. I hate losing. I like proving the critics wrong. To the 3 million visitors who came to the Camden Waterfront THANK YOU for coming to Camden Waterfront. We appreciate that you came to spend your hard earned money with us because we know you could have gone someplace else.

Market Street Pizzeria Camden, NJ

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When I am at the Camden waterfront which is often during the summertime, My favorite place to eat is Market Street Pizzeria. What can I say about Market Street Pizzeria located at 1 Market Street, Camden, NJ 08102. They have friendly customer service. Every time I walk into that place always a friendly smile. The food is great. The prices are great. From my personal experience the burger is awesome. The cheesesteak is delicious, the pizza is great. They have great food specials. The owner is there most of the time. He always greets customers and makes sure the food and the service is great. They have chairs and tables outside and on a summer day or night always nice to sit outside and enjoy a meal. They are open everyday 11am to 9pm. Its close to all of the waterfront attractions. When you are in town to enjoy a Camden Riversharks game, concert, adventure aquarium or the NJ battleship it is worth stopping by to grab something to eat and relax and enjoy more time.

Scott Stapp brings Proof of life tour to Philadelphia

           November 6, 2013 I bought Scott Stapp’s Proof of life album which is an amazing record from start to finish. It is his best solo record the best record his has done since Creed’s Weathered. There isn’t one bad song on this record 11 great songs each one has its own meaning. The record is truly the last chapter to his 2012 memoir Sinner’s creed. My personal favorites on the record are Slow suicide and hit me more.

             I was in awe and excitement to wait for the tour dates and to see he was coming to the TLA in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, Aptil 4, 2014. I bought Meet and greet and concert ticket November 23, 2013. It would be 132 days until the concert. A long, long, wait. The best thing to do is live, enjoy winter, and before I know it would be April 4, 2014.

            Finally, the day was here. I was already in line at 5:45pm talking to some of the other people there. It’s cool to share stories about Scott Stapp and his music in general. One of his fans brought up the topic of is it ok to say you like Scott Stapp’s music. I enjoyed hearing people’s stories of seeing some of his other concerts.   At 6pm his tour manager (nice guy) started giving out bracelets to those who purchased the meet and greet passes. At 6:30pm we were making our way into the TLA venue to meet Scott Stapp. It was a bit chilly outside but it was all worth it. Scott’s tour manager laid down the rule no more than two autographs and he takes the pictures. We were all cool with the rules we were just excited to finally see this moment. Scott Stapp came out and was super nice shook hands with everyone. He signed my proof of life CD and we shook hands. I told him I have been a fan and loved his record with Creed My own prison. I finally got my picture taken with Scott Stapp. I was star struck and thinking I have listened to his music for 17 years here I am face to face with him telling him how much I love his records.

           When you are this excited you are praying nothing goes wrong that day that you don’t get hit by a car or struck by lightning. I thank Scott Stapp for doing meet and greet for a lot of his fans this is a opportunity for picture autograph and a chance for small chat. Even at 35 I still get as excited about music as I did when I was an 11 year old kid who would watch rock videos on MTV all day and be in my room listening to music.

After two great opening acts the bands Dive and the terribles. At 10:20pm the stage was set for what would one of the best rock performances in Philadelphia. Scott Stapp hit the stage he had the eye of the tiger.  You knew he was ready to rock Philadelphia and take you higher. He started out with a great one two punch with slow suicide and what if. It’s the perfect way to start the show. Justify was the only song from his first solo album but one that represents what he may have been going through in 2005. Justify is one of those songs that you may not like at first but after you hear it live you do.  Scott Stapp took time to share a story about a nightmare he had in the past few weeks where he was facing himself and handcuffed himself and threw himself into a prison he went into the song my own prison. New day coming was a great sing along from the new album. The biggest surprise of the night came when Scott Stapp performed bullet from the creed album weathered. It was a surprise but the song fit in the set list well. Bullet is a heavy song the whole place was rocking to that song as if this was the final song of the night. Nobody was expecting to hear that song live because in that song slot in the past shows overcome was played. In the age of youtube and setlist.fm hearing bullets was a welcomed and rocking surprise.  Breakout was next another great song from the new album followed by higher. Scott Stapp told a story about hit me more. It is a song about taking hits and moving on. For me personally this was my highlight of the night. Hit me more is my favorite song off the new album. It is amazing as a fan to have heard the song over 100 times and then hear scott Stapp sing it live five feet away from me. One last breath, only one, and my sacrifice were next performed. The band was really rocking as if they have been playing together for a few years and not 10 shows.  Scott shared a story on how his daughter would ask him why did he always have to go.  He explained to his daughter that he has to go sing for people.  She asked on so you are a rock star. He said no Jesus was a rock star.  This was another great crowd sing along. Crash and with arms wide open were the next songs to be performed. Dying to live and proof of life ended the 17 song set one hour and 45 minute show. The story telling about the song dying to live was inspiring. He shared the story taking the fans to a dark place in a grave thinking of all of the people you love and all of the people you miss. Seeing the blue sky again having that chance to do it. Pieces of scott stapp died the night of his almost demise.

          Scott Stapp has taken many hits from the critics in the past and he still does today. You can’t argue with success. Scott Stapp in 2014 is a 40-year-old man who is a work in progress. His music, his story has inspired and motivated a lot of his fans. The love of God, his wife, and three children keep him moving forward. The most important thing is Scott Stapp is in a happy place. His fans are just as happy for him. Scott feels his life and career has been given a 2nd choice. He is taking advantage of another chance. Scott Stapp doesn’t need to justify or prove anything to his critics. He has made a successful album that connects with his fans on a very personal level. For some of his fans who are going through the same thing the record serves as an inspiration to others. His songs are his legacy. With this record he has made a record that shows that he can still make a record that is meaningful. Proof of life is another landmark album for Scott Stapp. I’m happy to see Scott Stapp live on stage because at the meet and greets he is hearing the stories about how much his record means to his fans. Scott Stapp plans on doing more touring for the rest of 2014. I hope everyone who wants to see him live gets the chance to see him live. This is a must see concert.

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Motley Crue self-titled album released 20 years ago today

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               I was 15 years old 20 years ago when Motley Crue released their self- titled album. This being their 6th studio album it was the follow-up to their highly successful album Dr. Feelgood. The music scene in 1994 in general was very interesting you had a lot of different genres of music, different bands that were successful and a lot bands from the 80’s music genre that were struggling and breaking up.
I was open to the new Motley Crue album with John Corabi. I love the early albums from Motley Crue but with their self-titled album the band just needed to do an album that would allow them to grow. They had a great singer who also played guitar and gave them a chance to become a heavier band and I really love the self-titled album from Motley Crue the same way that I love the solo album that Vince Neil did called exposed to which came out in 1993.
A great element to the album was that it was produced by Bob Rock who produced the Dr. feelgood record. Bob Rock is my favorite music producer I know the band took a little bit longer on the record I remember in 1993 they said the album would be titled til death do us part. They changed the title of the album to just Motley Crue and I think that was a great idea. Motley Crue is one best rock albums that came out 20 years ago it was to me a lot better than grunge music.
John Corabi has a heavy voice the first time I ever heard his voice was with Motley Crue and I just love how heavy his voice is. I think it’s a great record that Motley Crue can be proud of and I hope that the band today are still proud of the record that they made the band likes to sing about girls girls girls and getting laid and all that stuff. Every music artist has to make that album that lets them grow.
The same way Def Leppard did the album slang which allowed them to grow the same way  Bon Jovi did the Lost Highway album I think every band needs to make that record. Some bands are allowed to grow and Motley Crue they were not allowed to grow.

            It is the heaviest album they have done. The album on the Motley Crue catalog ranks up there in the top 3 Motley Crue albums. Vince Neil is the Motley Crue singer nobody will ever argue that. On this album we can make the best arguement that in 1994 Motley Crue was a great band with John Corabi. I still love listening to the album. I tell every rock band that I work with make an album that you still want to play and listen to 10 years from now. John Corabi still plays songs off the Motley Crue album as he should because those songs they hold up to anything that is released today. It doesn’t matter that the album didn’t sell 2 million albums like the other albums did. It matters that they made an album that still stands.

Camden,NJ childhood stories II: Vice-Principal’s word of wisdom

One of my favorite teachers at Cramer School was the Vice-Principal Mr. Horsley. He was a great Vice-Prinicpal whose heart was at Cramer School making sure that we were always doing the right thing. He was a great disciplinarian as well. He didn’t let anyone get away with anything. If you did something wrong you got detention no ands or ifs about it.  I remember the last day of school in 4th grade he had a talk with all of the safety patrol members. He always had something good or inspirational to say. On this day he had his heart on his sleeve because he knew he was meeting with us for the very last time. He said it himself this is the last time I meet with you. If there is one thing I want you to remember is to remember the word RESPONSIBILITY from this day forward you are responsible for getting your homework done on time. You are responsible for yourself. As you move on to middle school and high school you are responsible for making sure that you graduate. It is up to you. I never saw Mr. Horsley again that speech that he made June, 1990 has stayed with me to this day. You have a lot of teachers in Camden schools who are like Mr. Horsley. They are passionate about teaching.

It is amazing that I never forgot what he told me. It was a moment I will always remember for the fact that he made sure that we all remembered the word responsibility. The word of wisdom has stayed on my mind. He was 100% correct about the word responsibilty

Camden,NJ childhood stories I

One of my favorite memories of growing up in Camden was a man who lived on my block. He was in his late 50s. He lived with his mother. Back then in 1989 I was an 11 year old kid who was into boxing. Me and my friends would go to Jeff’s GYM on Federal Street. Karate classes were too expensive. The guy who ran the gym would charge only $2 a week. Which was a price we could afford. Every few months or so the gym would host boxing matches. We didn’t know who we were going to fight. Everyone wanted to fight the boxer from Atlantic City nicknamed Pretty Boy. We laughed at his nickname but the guy could fight. My friend took the nickname hands of stone. I took the nickname Bad Boy. He was mad at me for a second for not giving him the nickname I chose. Bad Boy was a cool nickname for me. From 4pm-6pm we would practice. The man would always take the time to help me with me with boxing. I got one on one lessons with him. He always took the time teach me the basics about Boxing.  I had the worst jab he would help me improve on it. He did not have to help me. I remember one day he told me the story about growing up in Puerto Rico he told me that he had to fight to eat. They would set up fights. The winner would win a meal. He had a rough life. He was not able to finish school. He didn’t have the same opportunities we take for granted.  What stays with me is the kindness of his heart he mentored me. He was a kind trainer. He was also tough he made sure I was learning and not wasting time.

2014 Camden, NJ Mayor Inaguration

Mayor Dana Redd was sworn in for her 2nd term as Mayor. City Council Vice-President Curtis Jenkins was sworn in for her his 3rd term as City Councilman, Marilyn Torres for her 2nd term as Councilwoman and Aurthur Barclay to his first term as City Councilman. 

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The inaguration signifies a time for change, working together and moving Camden forward. Drop out is still 50%. It was when I was in high school 1994-1998. Crime is a major concern. Bringing jobs to Camden is a major priority for everyone who plays a role in Camden,NJ.

The mayor ended her speech with a question. “Camden are you with me”. In any situation you need to work with your leader and be united. Everyone plays a role in helping make their community better. At times it takes putting aside everyones personal egos and agendas to work together. On a football team you have one quarterback you could never have two quarterbacks or in a band two frontman. Being a leader myself I have all of the respect in the world for all of the Mayors in every city. Most of whom are really trying their best to make their cities better. Mayor Dana Redd is in the same situation. I want to see Mayor Redd succeed and move Camden forward. It’s going to take a team to get the job done. In the next four years its going to happen. I prefer to be have a positive optimistic outlook and do my part.