Wayne Life October 2023

                                                  

Serving Wayne, Oakland, Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes

Remembering 9/11, 22 Years Later

Introduction:

The events of September 11, 2001, marked a turning point in history that left an indelible impact on the world. As we commemorate the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, we reflect on the tragedy, the lives lost, the resilience shown, and the lessons learned. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon continue to evoke a mix of emotions and memories that have shaped our collective consciousness.

The Day That Changed Everything:

On that fateful Tuesday morning, the world watched in horror as commercial airplanes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The sheer scale of the devastation and loss of life was beyond comprehension. Almost 3,000 innocent lives were lost, and the impact was felt not just in America, but across the globe.

Unity and Resilience:

In the face of adversity, the response was a remarkable display of unity and resilience. First responders, firefighters, police officers, and ordinary citizens rushed to the aid of those in need, embodying the spirit of heroism and compassion. Communities came together, demonstrating the strength of human solidarity. The 9/11 attacks did not break the American spirit; instead, they strengthened the nation’s resolve to stand united against terrorism.

Global Consequences:

The aftermath of 9/11 had far-reaching consequences that reshaped international politics, security measures, and policies. The United States launched the War on Terror, leading to military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Airport security protocols were heightened, and surveillance efforts intensified to prevent future attacks. The world became acutely aware of the need to address the root causes of terrorism and promote global stability.

Lessons Learned:

Two decades later, the lessons from 9/11 remain relevant. The importance of vigilance in the face of evolving security threats, the significance of international cooperation, and the need to address socio-political issues that can breed extremism are paramount. As we remember the lives lost, we also remember the importance of nurturing tolerance, understanding, and dialogue to prevent the rise of hatred and division.

Honoring the Victims:

Each year on September 11, ceremonies are held to honor the victims and heroes of the attacks. Names are read aloud, and moments of silence are observed to pay tribute to those who perished. Memorials like the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero stand as somber reminders of the tragedy, urging us to never forget and to continue striving for a more peaceful world.

Conclusion:

Twenty-two years after the 9/11 attacks, the world continues to remember the profound impact they had on our lives. As we pay homage to the lives lost and the sacrifices made, let us renew our commitment to building a world that rejects hatred and violence. Through remembrance, unity, and resilience, we honor the memory of those who were taken from us and work towards a future where such senseless acts of terror have no place. 


I Remember Dad:

Hallowed Be, Thy Sacred Truth of The Scout Law 

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My beloved father served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170 for 28 years, from 1966 to 1994. Dad was 67 years old when he retired from his volunteer role of the Beloved Scoutmaster. He was fighting prostate cancer at the time. A battle that he did win. But sadly, the dreaded cancer reared its ugly head again in 2006, in the form of pancreatic cancer. Sadly, Dad lost that fight.

My father believed in the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. Every single word of it. Second only to the Lord’s Prayer, it was Dad’s guiding light upon which he used to shine upon his walk along life’s path. Upon my father’s workbench, was a folded oak tag sign that read, “better to teach a boy the moral path, than to rehabilitate a wayward man.” The lettering of that little sign was hand written. Dad had written those words back in 1966, when he first became Scoutmaster of Troop 170.

For nearly 30 years, Dad looked at that little sign. As the years passed by, the little oak tag sign developed little folds in the corner. The sunlight, pouring in from the cellar window, had caused the once brightly colored, golden thick oak tag to turn to a faded shade of yellow. Yet the truth of Dad’s handwritten little sign never dulled, not one tiny bit.

My father saw his role as Scoutmaster as a ministry. Over the years, Dad was a most wonderful father-role to hundreds upon hundreds of boys. A kind-hearted adopted uncle, a gentle soul who taught boys the essentials of first-aid. Dad loved to teach the scouts about the great wonders of the trees of the forest and about all the magnificent creatures that called the woods, their sacred home.

My father taught all so many scouts to hold a great respect for all living things. He taught his scouts the role that the elm, the oak, the maple and the pine played in preventing soil erosion on a hillside incline. Dad taught the scouts of dear old 170, to walk ever so gently and quietly, while approaching a group of deer drinking from a babbling brook, a few yards from the wooded path of the famed Appalachian Trail.

My father went Home to be with the Lord in May of 2006. Now, over 17 years later, I miss him all so very much. There are times when I hear the echo of my father’s voice, “now boys, your pocket knife isn’t a toy. You need to take special care when handling a knife. When you’re getting kindle wood ready for the fire, always cut the little twigs from a fallen branch away from you, never cut the twigs toward you.” 

Like the tiny particles of sand that sift through our fingers, time waits for no person. The clock ticks the minutes away, the pages of the calendar are torn off too soon, the years pass by, and sadly, the years become decades, falling away from us.

Life is short. Too short to hold grievances and harsh judgments. Love one another. Forgive, forgive and forgive those who do you wrong. Tell your loved ones that you love them. For tomorrow may be too late.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He hosts a YouTube Channel titled, “Richard Mabey Presents.” Richard most recently published a book of poetry and short stories. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com.


5 Fun Facts About the Month of September

September marks a return to the norm for millions of households. School is back in session, summer vacation season has ended and fall begins. Routines take shape and life once again becomes more structured in September. As that transition takes place, individuals can consider these fun facts about the month of September.

1. Though Latin is no longer widely spoken or taught, plenty of words, including September, trace their origins to the language of ancient Rome and its empire. “Septem” is the Latin word for “seven,” and September was originally the seventh month of the Roman calendar.

2. Though the autumnal equinox, which marks the official beginning of fall, does not occur until later in the month, the unofficial end to summer occurs in the first weekend of September. Americans celebrate Labor Day and Canadians celebrate Labour Day on the first Monday in September, and millions of people in both countries consider that weekend the last hurrah for summer relaxation and revelry. 

3. Labor Day is not the only holiday to be celebrated in September. In fact, Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holiday that is often referred to as the “Jewish New Year,” also is celebrated in September in many years (the holiday occurs 163 days after the first day of Passover, so in certain years it is celebrated in early October).The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur also can be celebrated in September or October, and Constitution Day, which commemorates the adoption of the United States constitution in 1787, is celebrated on September 17. Patriot Day also occurs annually on September 11 and is a day to remember the people killed in the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

4. Though its name might suggest otherwise, Oktoberfest actually begins in late September. Modern Oktoberfest celebrations, particularly those outside the Bavaria region of Germany, may have little to do with a marriage, but the festival traces its origins to the marriage of Kronprinz Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. Citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities, and more than two centuries later that jovial atmosphere dominates the city, and countless others across the globe, during Oktoberfest.

5. Football fans circle the month of September on their calendars, as the month marks the return of the National Football League regular season. The reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Detroit Lions in the NFL Kickoff Game on September 7, and the rest of the league will take to the gridiron on September 10 and 11. That’s a big deal for millions of fans across the country, as the NFL remains wildly popular. In fact, an analysis by the Sports Business Journal found that per-game attendance averaged 69,442 fans in 2022, which marked the second-largest figure in 19 years.  


Fountain’s Follies

By Henry M. Holden 

No World War II, aircraft were more vulnerable than the plywood and fabric covered gliders. The life expectancy of their pilots was 50-50 at best. Fred Fountain, of River Dale, N.J. was among the unsung glider heroes of the war. 

There were six major glider missions in World War II: Burma, Sicily, Normandy, southern, France, Holland, and the Rhine. Fred Fountain flew and survived (barely) three of those missions. Many of the 48-foot-long WACO CG-4 gliders were built in Ridgefield, New Jersey. 

Glider pilots endured enemy flak, foul weather, and aircraft that sometimes-shed parts in flight. 

Landing the silent, motorless giants loaded with 13 men or an artillery piece, behind enemy lines, was described as no more than a controlled crash.

The glider had only the basic flight instruments: airspeed, vertical speed, turn in bank indicator, and a compass. Fountain said, “The compass was superfluous since there was only one place, we were going to navigate to by ourselves, and that was down.”

The pilots shunned parachutes because none of the troops they carried wore them. On a combat mission. Destiny was a one-way trip. Only the tow plane pilot had any chance of making it back to base that day.

The history of the 101st airborne describes the glider pilots as “the most uninhibited individuals in the army, who successfully defied all attempts at organization.”

Glider pilots had little use for military convention and ignored most military courtesy. They loved flying, drinking and women, but not necessarily in that order. They felt that if they were going to be killed in combat, there was no point in being polite, disciplined, or sober. 

Fred fountain was 28 years old when World War II broke out. He was considered too old for the Air Force cadet training program, so he volunteered for the little-known glider pilot program. The daily routine as Fountain describes it was bookwork and drill in the morning and flying in the afternoon. “Each day 25 men were crammed into a school bus built for 20  children and driven 60 miles from Bergen Junior-College, in Teaneck (now fairly Dickinson University) to Soberg-Hunterton Airport in Redington for flight training. There was so much classroom work it continued on the school bus.

“It was a typical Army operation,” said Fountain. “The food was bad, bunks were too small, and the drill was a joke.”

Forty-five days later, Fountain graduated, but the Army has changed its mind about the glider pilot program so all the new pilots were returned to the Army as buck privates. Later the Army reversed itself and Fountain went for more flight training wearing his sterling silver wings. First came a single engine power plane then the two-place gliders. From there he went on to the 4-ton WACO- CG 4 heavy glider.

Fountains first combat mission was to Southern France on August 15, 1944, with the 436th Troop, Carrier Group, 79 Squadron. “Fountains, Folly” was the 37th of 40 gliders in the first lift. As it often happened the telephone line between the tow plane and glider tore away on takeoff. Fountain, his cargo of English Tommy’s, and their jeep were in the air four-and one-half hours, and out of contact with the tow plane. Fountain  remembers that, during the long hours his British passengers relaxed and brewed some tea. Near the landing zone, Fountain watched as several gliders crashed.  One fell apart in mid-air, its human cargo falling helplessly into the sea.

On the landing approach, Fountain’s copilot prayed instead of reading the airspeed indicator and operating the spoilers. Fountain screamed at the copilot but to no avail, so he landed the glider himself.

“Since I was too tired to dig a foxhole, I crawled under a British 57 mm field piece. That was a mistake. When it fired tears came to my eyes and I went deaf for a while.”

Fountain’s next mission was to Holland on September 18, 1944. This time there was no copilot and Fountain was flying Folly #2. The mission fleet consisted of 1,500 gliders, and Fountain and his human cargo of spent more than 3 1/2 hours in the air. Solo flying with a full load was an exhausting job. Fountain had to struggle to keep the glider from oscillating. If his ship didn’t fly above the tow plane slipstream, the ride would be worse than a rowboat in a storm-tossed sea. If the glider had structural defects, there was a distinct possibility of it breaking up in flight.

Five minutes from the LZ, Fountain’s Foley #2 was hit by a German 40 mm, shell that tore a huge hole in the fabric skin, and missed the main wing spar by inches. Two of his passengers were badly wounded, but Fountain was able to keep the smoke-filled cabin airborne. 

Fountain crash landed in a field amid the rubble of wrecked gliders and dead cows. Fountain stayed in Holland for four or five days before working his way back to England. 

“I remember being in Brussels, but have no recollection of how I got back to England. As usual, all of the surviving glider pilots got drunk. I estimated that 90-percent of the glider pilots time was spent getting drunk and raising Hell, and 10-percent flying. And if the big brass didn’t like it, they could always try and find someone else to fly the damn gliders.”

The Rhine mission on March 24, 1945, saw 906 WACO gliders launched. Fountain’s Folly #3, was part of the group, and double towed for more than three hours carrying a jeep trailer, heavy machine gun and six airborne troops. This time he had a copilot, a P-51 pilot who had never seen the inside of a glider.

The landing zones were in disputed territory and artillery, mortar and machine gun greeted the hapless pilots as they tried their silent giants. “Less than one-quarter of the gliders that reached the assault area came through undamaged,” said the official report.

As he approached  the LZ Fountain began to think his luck had run out. First his tow plane exploded in front of him just after he had cut loose; Then, as he flew into the smoke shrouded LZ, suddenly he saw high tension wires cutting across his glide path. Sideslipping with full spoilers, he narrowly missed the wires. The glider plowed through a number of fences, and slammed into a tree. Before he could climb out of the wreck another glider smashed into what was left of his glider. 

When the dust settled, Fountain and his copilot ran for cover through a hail of machine gun fire and dove behind a hedge row. “With our faces in the dirt,” he remembered, “We said several quick prayers.” 

A rumbling noise caused Fountain to look up in time to see a glider skidding toward them. Miraculously the wheels missed him by inches but  crushed Fountain’s carbine. Now, he was without a gun in the middle of a fire fight. Desperately, he crawled into a gully to wait for the shooting to stop. He survived, but never saw his copilot again. 

Glider pilots in the great giant silent birds were a creation of World War II. When the war ended, they faded from the scene. Fred Fountain came home to New Jersey and established a successful insurance business in Hackensack. 


Surprising Facts About Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks rely on blood for food. They are the vampires of the pet realm, silently stalking companion animals wherever they go. Once fleas and ticks find a victim, they are bound to stay around for a while, enjoying the free meal.

Fleas, in particular, can grow quite fond of a cat or dog – reproducing and quickly building an infestation. Few people are enamored with fleas and ticks, but learning a little more about them can help pet owners understand their behaviors and how to best keep their pets safe.

Fleas

Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and biting adult. Most people are familiar with the adult stage because those are the most noticeable and painful. Fleas can feed on just about any blood host.

Scientists know of more than 2,000 species and subspecies of fleas. However, in North America, the cat flea (ctenocephalides felis) is responsible for the majority of cat and dog infestations.

Female fleas are typically larger than the males and are responsible for proliferating the flea brood. Females can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood every day. This helps to fuel egg-laying, which can take place within 36 to 48 hours of the female’s first meal. In her lifetime, a female flea can lay roughly 2,000 eggs.

Fleas are wingless parasites that get around by jumping from host to host. If they don’t have to expend too much energy (i.e. get comfortable on a host), they can go anywhere from between two months and 100 days without a meal. Fleas can jump up to eight inches high, enabling them to grab onto a passing meal source.

A typical flea can live for a few months, and fleas can carry a number of different diseases. From plague to cat scratch fever to tapeworms, fleas can make pets ill and also affect people who interact with them.

Ticks

Ticks are not insects; they are arachnids. That means they are more closely related to spiders and scorpions. The stages of the tick include the egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Depending on the species, nymph ticks can be quite small to the naked eye. Ticks’ small stature can make them difficult to detect until they have become engorged with blood.

The University of Rhode Island’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its TickEncounter Resource Center say that spring is a prime time for the birth of new ticks. During this time of year, ticks are on the hunt for their next meals.

Ticks can be carriers of a number of diseases, but it’s important to note that a tick has to be attached for longer than 24 hours to transmit diseases to a host. That means checking animals (and yourself) for ticks frequently can help avoid the spread of illness. Ticks don’t jump or fall from trees. The parasites crawl upward, so start looking from the feet, moving up. In addition, check a dog’s face, where a tick may latch on while the dog is sniffing in the grass. 

Ticks and fleas are pesky critters that can carry disease.


5 Savvy Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

Balancing schedules, supplies shopping, meal planning and more can make the back-to-school season one of the most hectic times of the year. Keeping stress at bay may be a little easier when you put a plan in place the entire family can follow.

Remember, making the transition as smooth as possible requires a team effort. Help make a new academic year easier on your little ones (and yourself) with these hacks.

Start Your Routines

Getting your kids into their school day routines may be a massive undertaking, but it’s often helpful to start weeks before the first bell rings. Set those alarms and encourage kiddos to treat each morning as if they’re going to class. In the evenings, practice prepping backpacks and outfits just as you would during the school year, and ensure children are going to sleep at the times they should on school nights.

Simplify School Lunches

Prepping lunchboxes to send to school doesn’t need to be a time-consuming affair. In fact, it can be one of the easiest parts of your routine with prepackaged options that help make packing lunches a breeze. Seek out solutions that help simplify the process like Kemps Smooth Cottage Cheese, a first-of-its-kind snack for kids made with 4% whole milk and blended with real fruit to create a smooth and creamy texture without the curds. Available in four-packs of 4-ounce cups in fun flavors like Mixed Berry, Strawberry and Strawberry Banana, it’s a healthy, convenient and versatile solution with probiotics and no high-fructose corn syrup. Plus, it’s high in protein to keep kids feeling full and focused throughout the school day.

Prep the Night Before

Stressful mornings can lead to less productive days. Instead, simplify mornings as much as possible by packing backpacks, prepping lunches and planning outfits in the evenings to save yourself time once that alarm goes off. Plus, you may be less likely to forget essentials like homework assignments or permission slips when you’re not in a rush. 

Serve Nutritional After-School Snacks

Skip the temptation to stock the pantry with sugary grab-and-go treats. Instead, encourage good nutritional choices for your children after a day of learning by offering them healthier snacking solutions. For example, pairing cottage cheese with crackers or fresh fruit provides a protein punch without the added sugar of less healthy snack choices to keep little tummies full until it’s time for a family meal. 

Create a Family Calendar

The school year certainly isn’t the only time that calendars feel like they’re bursting at the seams, but the addition of after-school activities, field trips, parent-teacher conferences and more can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared. Find a scheduling solution that works for your family, whether it’s a dry-erase board in a mudroom or magnetic calendar on the fridge. Stay on top of upcoming events and activities by sitting down together once a week (or more) to write down everyone’s commitments and track important dates.

To learn more and find fun recipes, visit Kemps.com.

(Family Features)


A Tip to Avoid Late Payment Penalties

What to do if you miss a quarterly estimated tax payment

Tip Category: Miscellaneous

Many clients like to keep their Federal Tax withholdings as low as possible to avoid the IRS having their funds interest-free throughout the year. Other taxpayers, especially those with non-payroll income, must make quarterly payments to the IRS. As long as these quarterly payments are made timely and the amount of the payments is sufficient in the eyes of the IRS you will not be subjected to underpayment penalties. However, if under paid, the IRS applies late payment penalties in addition to the income tax owed. This penalty applies even if you file your 1040 tax return on or before April 15th. 

The Safe Harbor rule

The tax code has a basic set of rules to determine if you owe a late tax payment penalty. The rule is call The Safe Harbor Rule. Here is a recap of the rule. If you follow the rules, you can avoid any penalties.

If your federal tax obligation is less than $1,000 no underpayment penalties apply.

You withhold at least 90% of this year’s federal tax obligation.

You withhold at least 100% of last year’s tax obligation

If your gross income is greater than $150,000 ($75,000 if you are married filing separately) you must withhold the smaller of 90% of this year’s tax obligation OR 110% of the tax shown on last year’s tax return.

If you find federal tax withholdings made so far this year to be too low, what can you do?

Late Payment Penalty Avoidance Tip

If you are an employee there may be a way to avoid a penalty if you underpaid or neglected to pay your estimated tax payment for a quarter. Increase your payroll withholdings in later months of the year to build up your federal withholdings to cover the shortfall. Trying to catch up by paying more on your next estimated quarterly tax payment wouldn’t work since the prior quarter’s shortfall remains per IRS penalty calculations.

For whatever reason, in calculating a potential underpayment penalty, payroll withholdings are treated as if they were all made at the beginning of the year, while quarterly tax payments (form 1040-ES) are tracked by the date received.

To increase your withholdings simply provide your employer with a revised W-4. Just be careful that you leave enough in your paycheck to avoid other financial hardships.

Shah & Sokoloff , CPA’s,  is a year round full service CPA firm providing a wide range of Accounting and Tax services to both Small Business  and Individual Clients. We are QuickBooks Certified Pro Advisors and provide new business set up, training and support.  Our office is located at 166 Main St. Lincoln Park, NJ 07035. Our website is www.cpanewjersey.com and email is rps@cpanewjersey.com.  To contact us by phone please call 973-633-1001.


Simplify School Nights with Easy, Cheesy Meals

Putting a delicious, kid-friendly meal on the table in an hour or less is goal No. 1 for many families. When the hectic schedules of back-to-school season are in full effect, saving some precious time in the kitchen can make all the difference.

Take a homework timeout and bring loved ones running to the dining room for family favorites like Sweet Heat Pickled Beet Grilled Cheese. This modern take on a childhood classic pairs sourdough bread with brie cheese, a spicy-sweet hit of hot honey and juicy Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets.

If letting your oven do the work is an even more appealing solution, try an easy recipe like Bacon Wrapped Potato Stuffed Chicken. As a meal and side dish all in one, this simple weeknight dinner starts with cutting a pocket into boneless, skinless chicken breasts before filling with cheesy goodness.

Layer cheddar cheese slices inside the chicken then spoon in READ German Potato Salad made with thinly sliced potatoes, bacon and a sweet-piquant dressing. Finally, fold the chicken breasts closed, wrap with bacon slices and bake 40 minutes to tender, juicy perfection with a final broil to crisp the bacon.

To find more family-friendly meals fit for busy weeknights, visit AuntNellies.com and READSalads.com.

Sweet Heat Pickled Beet Grilled Cheese

Recipe courtesy of MacKenzie Smith of “Grilled Cheese Social” 
Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Yield: 2 sandwiches

 

4  slices (3 ounces each) sourdough bread

2  tablespoons hot honey 

1  small wheel (8 ounces) brie, at room temperature, cut into thin strips

8  ounces Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets (1/2 jar or 2 individual diced pickled beet cups)

2  tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips

2  tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste

Place two bread slices on cutting board. Drizzle with hot honey then add 4 ounces brie evenly across bread.

Drain beets and pat dry. Add evenly on top of brie followed by basil and remaining brie.

Spread 1 tablespoon butter on one side of remaining bread slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt. Place top piece of bread on each sandwich.

Heat cast-iron or frying pan over medium-low heat then add sandwiches butter sides down. Butter top sides and add remaining garlic salt.

Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted, flipping halfway through. 

Once sandwiches have cooked on both sides, remove from heat and serve.

 

Bacon Wrapped Potato Stuffed Chicken

Recipe courtesy of “EZPZMealz”

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

 

2 pounds (approximately 4 large) boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

8 slices sharp cheddar cheese

1 can READ German Potato Salad with sauce

8-12 bacon slices

nonstick cooking spray

freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Using sharp knife, slice pocket or slit into each chicken breast and fold open.

Place two slices sharp cheddar cheese in pockets then spoon 4 ounces potato salad onto cheese. 

Fold chicken over and close so cheese and potatoes are inside pockets.

Take 2-3 bacon slices and completely wrap stuffed chicken breasts, tucking loose ends of bacon on undersides of chicken.

Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray then place bacon wrapped chicken on tray. Season chicken with pepper, to taste.

Bake approximately 40 minutes until internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 F.

Turn oven to broil on high (500 F) and broil 2-3 minutes to crisp bacon until chicken reaches 165 F.

Remove from the oven and rest 5 minutes then serve.

(Family Features)


Go Whole Grain for Heart Health

Eating healthy is a priority for many Americans but knowing where to start and with what foods may be a little trickier. One way to level up the nutritional value of your meals is to better understand whole grains and why they are important for a heart-healthy diet. 

As a key feature of heart-healthy diets, whole grains like sorghum, oatmeal and brown rice are rich sources of dietary fiber, may improve blood cholesterol levels and provide nutrients that help the body form new cells, regulate the thyroid and maintain a healthy immune system.

However, according to a survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Heart Association, U.S. adults are least knowledgeable about refined vs. whole grains compared to other foods like fruits, vegetables and proteins. Also, when asked to identify whole grains and refined grains, most adults incorrectly believe multi-grain bread is a whole grain and only 17% believe sorghum is an example of a whole grain when it is, in fact, a nutritious whole-grain option.

If you’re looking to try more whole grains, sorghum is a primary ingredient in these heart-healthy Pancakes with Blueberry Vanilla Sauce. This flavorful dish can be part of an overall healthy diet as recommended by the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, supported by the Sorghum Checkoff.

Find more heart-healthy meal ideas at Heart.org/healthyforgood.

Pancakes with Blueberry Vanilla Sauce

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff

Servings: 4 (2 pancakes, 1/4 cup sauce and 2 tablespoons yogurt per serving)

 

Sauce: 

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/3 cup water

1 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pancakes: 

1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup whole grain sorghum flour

1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg

1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

Topping:

1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

To make sauce: Put cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add water, stirring to dissolve. Stir in blueberries and sugar. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1-2 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover to keep warm. Set aside. 

To make pancakes: In medium bowl, stir oats, sorghum flour, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. 

In small bowl, whisk milk, applesauce, egg and oil. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just moistened and no flour is visible without overmixing.

Heat nonstick griddle over medium heat. Test temperature by sprinkling drops of water on griddle. Griddle is ready when water evaporates quickly. 

Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until tiny bubbles appear on surface and bottoms are golden brown. Flip pancakes. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on bottoms. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.  

Transfer pancakes to plates. Spoon sauce over pancakes. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt.

(Family Features)


Savor These Holiday Centerpieces

Celebrate the season and create long-lasting memories this year by serving tasteful main courses centered around tender cuts of beef. 

With hand-cut choices like a Bone-in Frenched Prime Rib Roast, Butcher’s Cut Filet Mignons, a Beef Brisket Flat and Premium Ground Beef from Omaha Steaks, you can create elegant holiday centerpieces such as Steak Au Poivre or a unique generational recipe, the Simon Family Brisket. Each cut of beef is hand-carved by expert butchers, flash-frozen to capture freshness and flavor at its peak and delivered directly to your door. 

Find more inspiration to create a memorable holiday meal at OmahaSteaks.com. 

Steak Au Poivre

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2 

 

2 Omaha Steaks Butcher’s Cut Filet Mignons (5-6 ounces each), thawed

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1/3 cup brandy or cognac

1 cup cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

 

Season steak with salt and pepper. Press seasoning into meat to create even coating.

In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter until just smoking. Add steak and sear 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Once cooked to desired doneness, transfer steak to cutting board and tent with foil to rest.

Reduce heat to medium and add brandy to skillet. Allow to cook down about 1 minute while stirring to scrape off any browned bits from bottom of pan. Once brandy reduces by half, add cream, Dijon mustard and remaining butter; continue cooking until mixture begins to reduce and thicken, 5-7 minutes. 

Slice steaks against grain and top with sauce.

 

Simon Family Brisket

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours, plus 20 minutes resting time

Servings: 4

 

1 Omaha Steaks Beef Brisket Flat (2 pounds), thawed

1 package (1.1 ounces) dry onion soup mix

1 can (14 ounces) whole cranberries

1  cup chili sauce

1  cup ginger ale

 

Preheat oven to 250 F. Place brisket in large ovenproof baking dish.

In bowl, mix onion soup mix, cranberries and chili sauce. Spoon over top of brisket. Pour ginger ale around edges of brisket.

Cover with foil and bake 4 hours.  

Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes. Remove brisket from baking dish and place on cutting board. Slice brisket against grain and place in serving dish. Top with sauce and serve. (Family Features)


How to Discuss 9/11 with Children 

Twenty years ago, parents across the United States faced the delicate situation of discussing 9/11 with their children. Many adults watched their televisions with a sense of disbelief and horror on September 11, 2001, and parents were forced to explain the inexplicable events of that day to their youngsters.

As the world prepares to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, many people who were children or adolescents on the morning of September 11 now have children of their own. Parents may need help explaining the significance of 9/11 to youngsters who were not alive when the attacks occurred. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum recognizes how difficult such conversations may be for parents and offers the following tips that can serve as broad guidelines to facilitate discussions about 9/11 and terrorism.

• Listen. The museum notes that some children will want to discuss 9/11 and terrorism and some won’t. Discussions should not be forced if kids do not want to talk about 9/11 and parents can let kids know they’re ready to listen whenever kids want to talk. Kids who want to speak can be encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. Parents are urged to actively listen to kids’ concerns, noting their body language and validating their emotions.

• Don’t avoid discussions. Children who don’t want to discuss 9/11 and terrorism should not be forced to do so. But parents also should not avoid discussing 9/11 and terrorism in general solely because of the difficult subject matter. The museum urges parents to invite conversations if children express an interest in learning about terrorism and 9/11. Ask children, “What would you like to know?” or “How does that make you feel?”

• Remain calm and avoid appearing anxious. Adults should be aware of their tone when discussing 9/11 and terrorism with children. Make a concerted effort to remain calm and not appear anxious. Answer questions honestly, but also in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Ask children if they have any concerns and provide appropriate, realistic reassurance. Let kids express their feelings and focus on how to cope with those feelings rather than suggesting their feelings are unfounded. If necessary, share what’s been done since 9/11 to keep the country safe and prevent future attacks.

• Learn about 9/11 so you can answer questions truthfully. The images of 9/11 are indelible, but even adults who lived through the tragedy may not know the answers to questions kids may ask. In anticipation of such questions, parents can visit 911.memorial.org to learn more about 9/11 so they’re better prepared to answer kids’ questions. Resolve to find answers to questions together if need be.

• Emphasize hope. Acts of terrorism are often so horrific that they can contribute to a deep sense of despair. But parents can explain to children that events like 9/11 also tend to bring out the best in people who are inspired to help and support family, friends and strangers alike. Emphasize the ways this happened on 9/11 and express to kids that their own acts of compassion may help to prevent future acts of violence and intolerance.

The twentieth anniversary of 9/11 may inspire children to ask questions about the attacks and other acts of terrorism. Parents can employ various strategies to ensure such conversations are constructive and supportive.


 3 Energy-Saving Home Improvement Ideas
 
Making improvements around the house to curb energy usage is not only good for the environment, it can make a big impact on your utility bills, too.

Energy-efficient appliances are a good starting point as you work to reduce your home’s overall energy usage. Depending on local tax laws, you may also qualify for tax incentives for these purchases. 

There are also relatively simple DIY projects you can do around the house to improve energy conservation. 

Seal air leaks. Gaps around windows, doors and other openings are major contributors to wasted energy. In the winter, they let cold air in, making your furnace work harder. Conversely, in the summer, cool air escapes and forces your air conditioner to run extra. In most cases, weather stripping or caulking can provide the necessary seal. Larger gaps may require low-expansion foam or minor drywall work. Remember to pay careful attention to the attic and basement, which can be unexpected sources of energy loss.

If replacing your door’s threshold is impractical or your threshold is not adjustable, a door bottom or sweep may effectively keep out unwanted drafts. These options install directly on the door, eliminating the need to tinker with the threshold itself or remove the door for more significant alterations.

Update insulation. Deteriorating or minimal insulation, which is found more often in older homes, can make it difficult to effectively manage your home’s temperature. While spray foam is a tempting solution that has less of an impact on your walls, it can be tricky for a novice to install correctly. 

A simple and effective alternative is fiberglass batts or rolls, which can be easily cut to size and fit between studs and beams. While this approach requires sheetrock removal and re-installation, it’s also one of the lowest cost options for insulation replacement.

Regulate temperatures. Over time, thermostats can become less sensitive, leading to inaccuracies and wasted energy. Installing a programmable thermostat is a cost-effective, easy fix. Choose a model that allows you to adjust temperature settings relative to your usage, saving energy and eliminating paying for cooled or heated air when you’re not home.

For example, on summer days when you’re not home, program your system to maintain a temperature 5-10 F higher than is comfortable when you’re present. Then set it to cool to your preferred temperature approximately 30 minutes or 1 hour prior to arriving home.

Find more tips to net big savings in both energy efficiency and money at eLivingtoday.com.

 (Family Features)


Reconsider That Fixer Upper

Financing option makes home improvement more attainable

For younger homeowners and first-time homebuyers in particular, money is likely to be tight. When most available cash is directed to the best possible down payment to secure a home in a desired neighborhood, there’s often little left for improvements.

According to a Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preference Report from the National Association of Realtors, 53% of homebuyers took on a home improvement project within three months of buying with kitchen projects being a priority for 47% of those surveyed. However, when buyers finance a home renovation into their mortgage application, they can broaden their options of available properties to include fixer-uppers that can be upgraded prior to move-in.

A finance option like the Guaranteed Rate Home Renovation Loan allows homebuyers to visualize the home they want versus the one that’s listed. By rolling renovation costs into their mortgage, buyers can enjoy a home tailored to their vision while paying a little extra each month for upgraded windows, siding, decks, kitchens, bathrooms or a walk-in closet. In many cases, the project can be completed after closing but prior to moving in with contractor commitments to stay within budget.

If cosmetic or structural improvements are needed when prospective homeowners find a property worth bidding on, they can work with a licensed loan officer to secure a home renovation loan. The borrower’s choice of contractor that meets the lender criteria submits an estimate that’s reviewed and validated by the lender. Once approved and the mortgage is closed, the renovation can begin with costs paid upfront, added to the loan and repaid as part of the mortgage.

Consider renovation projects like these:

Luxury Renovations are geared toward the enjoyment of a home. They might be as easy as updating an entertainment room or reworking existing landscaping or as complex as adding a swimming pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen or fitness area.

Structural Renovations affect load-bearing elements like posts, beams or even the foundation or walls of the home. Some examples include adding a garage, raising a roof, converting rooms or adding square footage to the house.

Non-Structural Renovations do not affect load-bearing elements and are often more cosmetic, including remodeling kitchens or bathrooms, repainting, replacing siding and upgrading for accessibility.

Consider the out-of-pocket costs of similar non-structural renovation projects according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2023 Cost vs. Value Report when compared with the monthly price of financing via a Guaranteed Rate Home Renovation Loan based a sample mortgage payment of $2,525/month*.

• Bathroom remodel: $24,606 out of pocket versus $127 per month financed

• Hardwood flooring: $4,900 out of pocket versus $25 per month financed

• Finished basement: $18,400 out of pocket versus $95 per month financed

• Kitchen remodel: $77,939 out of pocket versus $402 per month financed

• Solar panels: $20,000 out of pocket versus $103 per month financed

Find more solutions to make the home renovation process easier at Rate.com.

*Example portions of payments allocated to renovation costs are based on a purchase price of $388,800, down payment of 20%, 30-year [fixed] rate mortgage at a rate of 6.69%/7.364% annual percentage rate (APR) and 360 mortgage payments of $2,525. FICO score and lock days based on 740 FICO and 45-day lock. Advertised rates and APR effective as of 05/25/23 and are subject to change without notice.

(Family Features)  


Bodyguard for Celebrities Honored Again

By Steve Sears

It has been a wonderful nine months for bodyguard Adriano “Bubba” Almony.

In December of 2022 in Houston, Texas, he was the first bodyguard ever honored to receive the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, and on July 22, he was in Atlanta, Georgia for the 15th annual D’CEM Awards, where he was awarded with both a Humanitarian Excellence Award and Best Security Bodyguard Award.

And this November, he will be awarded a K.S.E. Elite Bodyguard Award, and be inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame along with the Queen of Congo. For the latter, Almony was nominated by Mike Tyson’s trainer, Aaron Snowell. 

Almony said of the D’CEM event, “It was amazing. There was a dinner, a state representative from the governor’s office there, and hundreds of people at a pretty much full to capacity event. They called all the honorees to stage where you were able to do an acceptance speech. They had our photo on the big jumbotron – the backdrop at the stage – and there were red carpet interviews. It was truly a great time, a nice event.”

When asked to describe the word “humanitarian,” Almony said, “A humanitarian is somebody who puts others before themselves. It’s helping to make the world a better place as a goodwill ambassador, and someone who takes pride in doing less for themselves and more for others.”

Almony, 28, first was born and raised in Hanover, Pennsylvania, but in the fifth grade moved to Ocean City, Maryland, where he grew up for most of his life. In 2012 he graduated from Stephen Decatur High, and then headed for the Metropolitan area, where he has lived in Fairfield in Essex County since 2018. A security industry pro for 12 years, he has owned Bubba Almony Security Service for five years.

Almony’s bodyguard services protect a number of well-known celebrities and their families, such as Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the wife of four-time heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, and her children, real estate tycoon Grant Cardone and his wife, Elena Lyons Cardone, P. Diddy’s children, and musical artist Yvng Swag of “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.” His bodyguard services are also relied on at events. He serves at Ocean City, Maryland’s White Marlin Open, the world’s largest billfishing tournament, the 10X Growth Conference (“the number one business event as voted by Forbes,” Almony says), and the 9/11 Memorial Commemoration in New York City.

Most important to Almony is making an impact in the world. He said, “To have any impact in my work and impact as a person, and to be inspiring. Being the best leader I could be, the best influence, just pushing towards my greatness every day, to be the best human I could be.”


NJ Starz: Aimee Roehler

Hometown: Whitehouse Station 

By Steve Sears

Studying Aimee Roehler’s career racquetball accomplishments is mind-boggling.

Consider just some of the Whitehouse Station resident’s numbers and accomplishments. Roehler also has been a partner in eleven USA Racquetball Mixed Open National Doubles Championships, twelve USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Doubles Championships, three International – Pan American Championships Doubles Gold wins, and three International Racquetball Federation World Championships Gold titles, and has also won one USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Singles Championship.

 Oh – and there have also been other title wins, and quite a few silver and bronze medals, too.

Roehler, originally born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has two siblings; a sister, Sara, and a brother, Nich. Her parents are Donna and Larry, and her stepmom is Louise.

For Roehler, who has lived in the Garden State for 20 years, her interest in racquetball started when she was 13 years old and her mom was taking community college nighttime courses, one of those being “Introduction to Racquetball.” 

It would be Roehler’s introduction to the sport as well. She said, “I was tagging along, doing my homework outside of the courts while she was getting this introduction to racquetball, and she loved it. She joined the gym, started playing in tournaments, and she had me pick up the sport that way. I’ve been doing it ever since then.”

Roehler paused, then continued. “That’s what I love about it. I love the competition of it and the intensity of it, and I love sports.”

There was a period, however, when Roehler took a step back from racquetball. Fortunately for racquetball fans, she obviously was much too fond and talented to stay away.

Roehler explained, “I quit playing racquetball for several years. I got a little burned out. My mother had gotten remarried, and my stepfather wanted me to get up at 6 a.m. and train, then go to school, and then train again.” 

At the time, in addition to her studies and her training, she was also playing on the school basketball and tennis teams. Roehler said, “I was a teenager, and I wanted to play basketball or play tennis and hang out with my friends. It was just a lot at that time for me.”

From her senior year until about two years later, she was absent from the racquetball court, but eventually started playing again on her terms. She said, “I wanted to play, not because people were making me play, or having this thought that I’m going to be this amazing racquetball player and wanted me to do all this training. I just wasn’t having fun when it was being forced upon me.”

Many would say she became that “amazing racquetball player,” but whatever positive adjective used, she indeed has made her mark on the history of the sport.

Roehler’s first significant racquetball success came in 1998, when she was both the Women’s 24 & Under National Singles Champion, and a US Open Women’s 24 & Under Singles Champion. Then, in 2005 and 2006, she and Laura Fenton won two USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Doubles championships. Roehler has teamed up to win 12 of these titles from 2005 through 2020. In addition to the two with Fenton, she and partner Jackie Paraiso have won five championships, and she came out on top four times with Janel Tisinger, and once with Erika Manilla. 

Roehler admires and credits those she has played with. She said, “Winning with these women, who already have their names cemented in the sport I like as a doubles player, I always say, ‘There’s no “I” in team.’ With Jackie and Janel, and even Erica, it’s teamwork, and there’s a lot that goes into it.”

And perhaps an especially important factor many may not be aware of. Roehler, 48, is a lefthander. She says it’s advantageous, especially when playing in doubles competition, her favorite. She said, “I play singles every once in a while, but I mainly play doubles where there’s not a lot of lefty-righty doubles teams. When you’re a lefty-righty doubles team, you kind of have that advantage already; you have your forehands on both sides, and so that’s always an advantage.”

Perhaps her biggest moment out of many big moments in the sport came in 2009. Roehler stunned the racquetball world when, as a very low seed entry, she defeated Kristen Walsh Bellows, Rhonda Rajsich, and Cheryl Gudinas – three of the top four women’s racquetball players on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour that season – to win the 2009 USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Singles Championship.

“It was something I will always remember,” she said of 2009. “I had no expectations. I was going for a meeting, and I said to myself, “I’ve got to travel to Houston for a meeting, so let me just sign up to play because I’m going to be there.’ I didn’t have any pressure or anything like that on me.”

But she did have a nice support group. Roehler said, “Every time I defeated a top player, there were more people watching the matches. And a group of friends and my husband at that time – they were very supportive.” As she walked towards the court to warm-up for the final match against Gudinas, she looked over and the aforementioned folks were huddled. “Then I turned, and they had my name spelled out on their shirts. The amount of support that I had from them – and them cheering me on! Then afterwards, we went back to the hotel and celebrated, and it was very surreal. We all looked at each other and asked, ‘Did this really happen?’ It did.”

Following her huge singles title in 2009, she was that year named USA Racquetball Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2012 was inducted into the New Jersey Amateur Racquetball Hall of Fame.

Roehler was also inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 2021, which she was unable to attend (the induction for her was held in May of 2022 instead) after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She was stricken in 2020 after she won the national doubles title with Manilla. And, coincidentally enough, her boyfriend, Ruben Pagan, also was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same time.

Roehler’s diagnosis came out of nowhere. She, who had no family history of breast cancer, said, “I got diagnosed but I didn’t have any symptoms. I didn’t have any lumps. I didn’t have any bumps. I was going in for my annual mammogram and they spotted something, and they asked me to come back for an ultrasound. When they asked me to come back, I can’t really say I was thinking anything of it. Of course, I was worried, but it’s happened before where they’d asked me to come back.”

During this return trip, a biopsy was done, and Roehler was diagnosed with breast cancer. She began treatments, and thanks her stepmom, Louise, for being there for her. 

Roehler said, “She’s a registered nurse. She was there with me every step of the way. She was there for my surgery, when I went to the doctor’s appointments – everything.”

Roehler approached USA Racquetball and informed them of the diagnosis, said she wanted to share her story with the racquetball community, and that she wanted USA Racquetball to be a part of it. Also, she started to raise funds for the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Somerset’s Sanofi US Wellness Boutique.

Roehler said, “All the money that they have helps those who are diagnosed. Whether they need rides to chemotherapy treatments, or they need meals because they’re exhausted from treatment, that’s all done through donations. I just wanted to give back to them for what they do and how they help other cancer patients.”

Roehler, who now has her own firm called ABR Communications where she manages social media platforms for clients, said her health is currently good.

She said, “I’m playing racquetball three times a week, and I feel good. I have my aches and pains and things like that, and I do have to take a daily pill and I must get a shot every four weeks as a maintenance with everything that comes along with it. But other than that, I’m still active, I’m enjoying life, and I’m focusing on my business, and I want to grow my business.”

For more information about Aimee Roehler, visit her website www.abrcomm.com.


President George W. Bush’s address to the nation on September 11, 2001

On the evening of September 11, 2001, United States President George W. Bush addressed a nation that earlier that day witnessed the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history. That morning, hijackers took control of four airplanes, ultimately crashing two into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City and another into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a field near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers and crew attempted to regain control of the plane from the hijackers. All passengers and crew on board all four flights died on September 11, and thousands of others on the ground lost their lives that day as well. It was under those conditions that President Bush delivered the following speech to a shaken nation.

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

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