Monthly Archives: June 2009

Lisa Marie Presley: Her toughest choice ever was to leave MJ “and let his fate have him”

lmp2Today’s guest blogger isn’t a friend or relative.  She’s never heard of me or my blog. But she’s a woman I’ve admired, an icon who has had her own immense struggles and overcome ridiculous odds. She touched me by the way she opened up in this entry from her MySpace page:

“I can’t recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.

“At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, “I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did.”

“I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

“14 years later   I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.

“A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn’t predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.

“The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

“All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.

“I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.

“Our relationship was not “a sham” as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a “Normal life” found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.

“I wanted to “save him” I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.

“His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn’t know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.

“At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.

“He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

“When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.

“Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson’s being or actions.

“I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

“I was in over my head while trying.

“I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

“The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.

“After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

“Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

“At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

“As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

“Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

“He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

“I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

“He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

“I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

“The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.

“I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.”


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Bergen judge went beyond the bench to help those in need

Bergen County Superior Court Judge Deborah L. Ustas always had a special spot in her heart for others.

Ustas, 50, who died Friday afternoon, supported two significant non-profit organizations in and around Passaic County: Shelter Our Sisters, which provides safe shelter and other asssistance to domestic violence victims, and Eva’s Village, which helps the homeless, drug addicted and underprivileged. Judge Ustas also was on the Board of Trustees of 1st Cerebral Palsy of NJ.

No surprise, then, that she served as a Family Court judge in Bergen County before moving to the criminal bench.

“Judge Ustas left an indelible impression on all those she encountered –friendly, passionate in her convictions and representation, compassionate in her courtroom and a wonderful person,” said Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire. “She will be sorely missed by all.”

Her legal background is both rich and diverse. CONTINUE….

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Bergen Judge Ustas has died

gavelBergen County Superior Court Judge Deborah Ustas has died.

Details were sketchy, but Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli and Sheriff Leo McGuire confirmed her death late this afternoon.

Before her June 2005 appointment to the bench in Hackensack, Judge Ustas was a founding partner of Weinberg & Ustas, PC, a five-female attorney law firm specializing in matrimonial and family law matters.

An accredited divorce mediator, Judge Ustas served as public defender (2001-01), prosecutor (2201-02) and judge (2002-05) in Paramus municipal cour.

She practiced law with firms in Rutherford, Paramus and Hackensack following her admission to the New Jersey and New York bars in 1991 through 1996. Continued….

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Coping with fame

MichaelAmid the the media tsunami, THIS is worth the extremely brief bit of time it takes to read. It’s written by a thoughtful, considerate, and caring man — my friend, Tom Davis.

*      *      *      *      *      *

“A lot will be said about Michael Jackson as we learn more about this story,” Brian Williams said on the “NBC Nightly News.”

“He was incredibly talented, a child star who was an adult with deep troubles and physical and mental health issues.”

Those were the words that needed to be said a long time ago. Michael Jackson was mentally ill. And now he’s dead.TD

But his personal demons brought him down more than the paparazzi ever did. His obsessions impacted him more than being spoiled, and his quirky behavior brought more shame than fame.

The spoiling, the media – those were merely the triggers. The public? They merely watched this spectacle of a life deteriorate from impossible levels of stardom to disgrace. Continue→

Tom is an award-winning journalist who received a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship in 2004, with which he produced work that stands among the best.

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Gender symbol: Farrah Fawcett

Today’s guest blogger is an extremely compassionate woman with more smarts than I’ll ever have, a fine, devoted husband, and the sweetest boy you’ll ever met. She also shared a mother who enriched her not only with selfless values but with a fierce determination to say what needs to be said, without holding back.

That’s right: She’s my sister, Regina DeMarco Gaffney.  And she’s awesome.  See for yourself:

FFMWhile taking my lunch break, I came across several of my friends mourning the passing of Farrah Fawcett via their Facebook comments.

Although I can’t say that I mourn for her (since I didn’t personally know her), I do feel badly for anyone who suffers through a long illness.

I sat for a moment staring at her photo that a middle-aged buddy had posted, I thought about how she wasn’t just a sex symbol for boys/men.

She was also a symbol for the softer sex.

Farrah had the hair, the smile, and the body that girls wanted to have. We wanted to seductively pose for posters and catch the bad guys on TV.

However, for someone like myself who, as a pre-teen, was nerdy and overweight with no fashion sense, Farrah made me depressed because I knew that I could never achieve that standard of beauty.

Maybe that’s where my love of dumb blonde jokes began. Who knows?

Even so, I found myself defending her in my head over the years. I remember thinking how Lee Majors must have really screwed up with her. How dare he hurt her feelings?

In more recent years, I was disgusted by how the media took advantage of her situation. I was more disgusted by those who should have been her inner circle and who should have protected her from herself at that point.ginamikey

Now, she is at peace…no more pain, no more bad publicity, no more media frenzy…until the hundreds of documentaries and biographical dramas begin to be produced.

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ICE-d ICE-d, bye-bye

ICEICEBYEBYEAccused gang members from Union City, West New York and elsewhere around the state were rounded up as part of a series of ongoing nationwide raids led by federal immigration officials.

Forty-two of those arrested by Newark-based agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) include purported members of the MS-13, Sureno 13, DDP, Trinitarios, Gran Familia Mexicana, Los Pitufos and Bloods street gangs.

Of those, 33 were illegally in the country and now face deportation, said officials from ICE, the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

They came to the U.S. from El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Philippines, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, officials said.

“The Union City Police Department is very happy with our long-term, ongoing working relationship with ICE, which has resulted in the apprehension and removal of many criminal street gang members who are in our community illegally,” said Capt. Brian Barrett, the city’s investigative division commander.

“We look forward to many more cooperative operations with ICE in the future,” Barrett said.

The natiowide operation, dubbed “Community Shield,” has netted nearly 13,000 gang members — belonging to hundreds of different crews — since February 2005. MORE TO THIS STORY →

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Hate mongerer from NB arrested again — for threatening judges

White supremacist blogger Hal Turner was arrested at his North Bergen home by FBI agents today on charges of threatening to assault and kill three federal appeals court judges in Chicago in retaliation for a recent ruling upholding handgun bans in the city and a suburb.

“Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed,” Turner wrote in Internet postings June 2 and 3.

The postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.

Turner, 47, has a 12:30 court appearance in U.S. District Court in Newark tomorrow. CONTINUED….

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