Submitted by The YWCA of OlympiaAnnual Event Will Offer Hands-On Workshops for Middle School Girls Led By Female MentorsThe YWCA of Olympia is holding their first annual Girls Winter Summit January 3, 2014 at South Puget Sound Community College from 9:00am-5:30pm. The event will engage middle school aged girls in hands-on workshops with subjects ranging from science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.), to DIY bike mechanics and creative writing. Each workshop will pair a group of 10-15 girls with a female mentor from the community who will encourage participants to explore their interests and consider diverse career paths. Pre-registration is required to attend the Summit. Visit the YWCA website and look under “News” to register or call the YWCA at (360) 352-0593.The YWCA of Olympia is committed to empowering girls and women through education, advocacy, and leadership opportunities. Through after-school programs like Girls Circle and Girls For A Change, the YWCA facilitates peer discussion groups for middle school girls focused on healthy relationships, community engagement, and developing positive self-esteem. The YWCA’s Girls Without Limits! Program offers middle school aged girls a chance to enhance their interest in S.T.E.M. through hands-on activities. By working closely with professional women in S.T.E.M. fields, girls develop valuable skills and gain career awareness in a fun learning environment. Girls Without Limits! is supported by Intel, Comcast in Washington State, the Lucky Seven Foundation, and the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation.“Events like the YWCA Girls Winter Summit are important in our community. This is a day where girls spend time together in a fun and encouraging environment that’s just for them. I grew up in Thurston County, so it feels great to get to set a positive example for girls in the community I love – it’s fun for me too!” said Elisa Kaufmann, a Thurston County Environmental Health Educator who is participating in the Summit.According to Debe Edden, Artistic & Managing Director of Heartsparkle Players, “I am honored to volunteer because I believe in mentoring and supporting girls to grow up to be skilled, confident, compassionate women. Women who believe in themselves as much as they believe in others. Women who can use their minds to create, problem solve and tend to the world. It is a joy to watch girls mature into their own unique selves. I applaud the YWCA for their programs that nurture and give such opportunities to girls in our community.”For more information about the Girls Winter Summit or to register, contact Makenzie DeVries at (360) 352-0593 or email@example.com. Information and registration is also available on the agency website under News. Facebook6Tweet0Pin0
Facebook2Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by United States Golf AssociationIn its preparation to conduct the first U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest, the United States Golf Association has released detailed spectator information that will assist anyone who plans to attend the championship.To be held June 15-21, 2015 at Chambers Bay, a municipal course in University Place, Wash., the 115th U.S. Open Championship will welcome an anticipated 250,000 weekly spectators. The course is located 9 miles west of Tacoma and 39 miles south of Seattle.Included in the 2015 Spectator Guide, found at usopen.com/knowbeforeyougo, is a detailed transportation plan prepared in conjunction with the lead law enforcement agency, the Pierce County Sherriff’s Department, and other local and state agencies. More than 21,000 satellite parking spaces have been secured in the local area, providing the public with free parking and complimentary shuttle service directly to the championship grounds.“The transportation plan for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay is the result of countless hours and an 18-month collaboration with community officials,” said Hank Thompson, director of U.S. Open administration for the USGA. “We are confident, after hosting many championships in small communities, that this plan will minimize delays for local residents while ensuring safe and orderly parking and shuttle services for all attendees.”Event Parking and Routes to the ChampionshipThe spectator routing system will use more than 150 trail signs deployed throughout the area and 290 shuttle buses to help ensure trouble-free travel to and from the championship.For the week of the U.S. Open Championship, all general spectators traveling by car should follow signs to one of two local, complimentary general spectator parking lots. The RED lot will be located at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Wash., and the BLUE Lot will be located at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Wash. Shuttles will run continuously beginning at 5:30 a.m. each day, and continue for one hour following the conclusion of play.Spectators traveling from points north and east of the City of University Place will be directed to I-5 South, I-405 South and WA-18 West, following championship trail signage to the RED Lot. The shuttle commute to and from the RED Lot and Chambers Bay is expected to take 30 minutes, based on traffic.Spectators departing from points west (Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula) or from points south utilizing I-5 North are advised to proceed to the BLUE Lot, with an anticipated 25-minute commute to and from the course.Spectators and local residents wishing to be dropped off near the championship will utilize the Passenger, Taxi or Limousine Drop-Off Zone, located at Sunset Primary School, accessed via Beckonridge Drive. Only 12-passenger and smaller vehicles are permitted to utilize the Drop-Off Zone. From the school, spectators will have a short five to10-minute walk to access Gate 2.No spectator or disabled spectator parking will be available in the immediate vicinity of the golf course. All other parking is by permit only. Parking restrictions surrounding the championship grounds and within the City of University Place will be closely monitored and enforced. Information on road closures will be released at a later date.Handicap-accessible parking spaces will be available at all championship parking areas for vehicles displaying appropriate HP/DP license plates or placards. Individuals requiring lift-equipped transportation are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-698-0661 to obtain additional information.Groups of spectators arriving at the championship by private coach bus or mini bus will be directed by law enforcement personnel to drop off passengers at the RED Lot (Washington State Fairgrounds), where U.S. Open shuttles will be available for transportation to and from the championship.2015 U.S. Open Spectator GuidelinesApproximately 18,000 grandstand seats will be located at strategic viewing areas throughout the golf course. Due to limited viewing along rope lines, spectators will be encouraged to utilize grandstand seating to view golf rather than following a specific group. The championship grounds at Chambers Bay have significant elevation changes and uneven surfaces, and proper footwear will be recommended.All spectators and championship attendees will go through security screening prior to entering the championship grounds. A detailed list of prohibited items is included within the 2015 U.S. Open Spectator Guide, such as signs, food and beverage containers, oversized chairs and coolers. Bags or backpacks should be no larger than 6 inches wide by 6 inches tall by 6 inches deep in their natural state. Transparent bags no larger than 12 inches wide by 12 inches tall by six inches deep will be permitted.Mobile devices smaller than 7 inches will be permitted inside the championship grounds, as well as empty transparent, clear plastic water bottles no larger than 24 ounces in capacity. Cameras can only be used during practice rounds, Monday through Wednesday. Spectators can review course maps and complete guidelines in the 115th U.S. Open Spectator Guide.Limited Tickets Still Available.Tickets remain for all practice-round days, including a three-day Gallery practice-round ticket package for $100 per person. Daily Gallery practice-round tickets start at $50 for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and range up to $250 for a daily 1895 Club ticket. Buyers can purchase up to four tickets per day. Limited corporate hospitality packages are available for all championship days.More information about the championship can be found on the recently redesigned usga.org. The official championship website, usopen.com, will launch on April 27, and the official U.S. Open app on June 12. The championship will be broadcast live on Fox and Fox Sports 1 in the United States.About the USGAThe USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
Facebook30Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Port of OlympiaOlympia Brew Fest returns to Port Plaza on Saturday, August 5, for an afternoon of beer sampling, delicious food and live music on the downtown waterfront. Net proceeds benefit the non-profit Thurston County Chamber Foundation Small Business Incubator Program.Each selected brewery undergoes extensive research before being permitted to serve at the Olympia Brew Fest. Photo courtesy: Olympia Brew Fest.Guests can choose among 60 different beers from 30-plus hand-picked breweries to celebrate the community’s long history of beer-making. Admission includes a commemorative mug along with six 5.5 ounce tastes. Additional taste cards may be purchased.Brew Fest runs from 1:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $5 for designated drivers. All guests must be 21, including designated drivers. Free parking is available in marked lots at the corner of Market Street and Marine Drive.In its sixth year, Olympia Brew Fest is already considered one of the premiere brew fest events in the northwest. Up to 3,000 guests are expected.The Port is proud to partner in Olympia Brew Fest because the net proceeds benefit a small business program that helps stimulate economic development in Thurston County.For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Olympia Brew Fest website.
Image Courtesy: talkSPORTAdvertisement bnlqNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs621yeWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ewst( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 76Would you ever consider trying this?😱5g9vCan your students do this? 🌚6thRoller skating! Powered by Firework Ben Stokes’ Ashes heroics has earned unanimous praise from every corner of England after the all-rounder overcame all odds to level the series 1-1. Newcastle United manager Steve bruce is no different as he claimed that Stokes could play for Newcastle United as a centre-half if he wishes. Advertisement Image Courtesy: talkSPORTNewly appointed manager of Newcastle Steve Bruce happened to comment on the epic battle at Headingley after his side shockingly defeated Tottenham Hotspurs at their own den in London. Bruce said:“I don’t know what was more nervous – the last 10 minutes of the cricket or this game,” he said. “But certainly Ben Stokes can play centre-half for us next week, that’s for sure. How wonderful it was to watch, I have to say.”Advertisement The all-rounder who also helped the nation lift the World Cup with his antics in the final has turned around his career after the 2016 T20 World Cup debacle and the assault case. Stokes scored an unbeaten 135 to chase down an improbable score of 359 in the final innings at Leeds.Ben Stokes is having the summer of his life after a successful World Cup campaign where he caught one of the greatest catches, scored five half-centuries and secured the man of the match in the final as well.Advertisement Read Also:WI vs Ind 1st Test Day 4 Review: India open their World Test Championship account with an emphatic victoryIndia vs West Indies: Upset KL Rahul determined to be more patient with his innings Advertisement
Image Courtesy: TwitterAdvertisement sbz8NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsab7tWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E1zci( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) ndzm1Would you ever consider trying this?😱a4xzCan your students do this? 🌚1n9dRoller skating! Powered by Firework As the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 has found its way all across the globe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) termed the outbreak as pandemic, along with several guidelines and restrictions on how to prevent further contamination of the virus into the population. Recently, WHO has started a social media campaign termed ‘#SafeHandsChallenge’ challenge, in an attempt to spread awareness against the Coronavirus woe. Several and iconic figures have come forward with a video of themselves washing their hands and nominating others.Advertisement Image Courtesy: TwitterThe online challenge was started with Indian badminton Ace PV Sindhu, who was nominated by former US consul general of Hyderabad Katherine Hadda. Along with uploading a clip of herself washing hands, Sindhu further nominated Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Team India skipper Virat Kohli and Indian Tennis veteran Sania Mirza.Advertisement Superstar Indian sprinter Hima Das shared her clip, and nominated Kiren Rijiju, bollywood icon Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, iconic boxer MC Mary Kom and Indian Women’s Hockey Team captain Rani Rampal.Kiren Rijiju was soon to follow up on his nomination, as he shared a clip doing the challenge, along with some advises to the citizens. he further nominated Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani, Indian Table Tennis icon Manika Batra and singer Adnan Sami.I accept your challenge @Pvsindhu1 @HimaDas8We all can definitely stop the spread of #COVID2019 , I now challenge @smritiirani ji, @manikabatra_TT @AdnanSamiLive to make sure everyone washes hands properly. #SafeHandsChallenge @WHO https://t.co/BrOzcaYzMG pic.twitter.com/ehRLZwWUzJ— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 17, 2020Sachin Tendulkar talked about washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, as he uploaded his clip.Indian hockey skipper Rani Rampal shared her video of washing hands, and mentioned her team’s coach Sjoerd Marijne, lead scientific advisor Wayne Lombard, Indian pugilist Vijender Singh, tennis star Karman Kaur Thandi, wrestler sisters Geeta and Babita Phogat and wrestler Sangram Singh.Former tennis icon Maria Sharapova also joined in for the challenge.Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger advised his fans all over the world to pay heed to the experts about the virus, as he was seen in a wholesome video of washing hands along with his dog Cherry.Fellow Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman also added in the practice of conserving water while washing hands as he uploaded his clip.Take #2. You’re all absolutely right. Turn off the tap whilst washing your hands. Smart, healthy practices for you … and the planet.🧼 🖐 🤚 🗺 #WashYourHands #SaveWater #world #HealthyLife pic.twitter.com/bygir5xjRN— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) March 15, 2020Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone also joined in the trend, and she nominated Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kohli.Actor Vatsal Sheth shared his clip, along with his witty trick of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to account for the 20 seconds time frame, recommended for washing hands.This is my Safe Hands Challenge 👏🏼I further nominate @ishidutta @Shaheer_S @itsKajolD @Varun_dvn @Riteishd #safehandschallenge #Safehands #coronavirus @WHO @DrTedros pic.twitter.com/YvEjdvw5Q5— Vatsal Sheth (@shethvatsal) March 17, 2020International Sand Artist & Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik also took up the challenge.Chandan Ray, captain of the Indian leg cricket team posted his clip, and mentioned Indian boxers Simranjit Kaur and Lovlina Borgohain, and weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga.Indian Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan shared his clip, and nominated all Members of Parliament to take up the challenge.Anuradha Acharya, the founder and CEO of Ocimum Bio Solutions and Mapmygenome jpined in with her video.Let’s continue the #SafeHandsChallenge by @DrTedros @WHO. Please continue the #SafeHands @madversity @mapmygenome @ShafiAhmed5 @SoulaimaGourani @TVMohandasPai @kiranshaw @narendramodi @ShashiTharoor @able_indiabio @ArvinderSoin @Jo4dev @j_bindra @BDUTT #COVID2019 #COVID19india pic.twitter.com/3i70hiBte8— Anu Acharya (@anuacharya) March 17, 2020Also read-All the sports, leagues and promotions that have been suspended due to ConoravirusDespite Coronavirus, here are the sports leagues still going on! Advertisement
By Liz SheehanSEA BRIGHT – An attempt by some Borough Council members to delay the introduction of metered paid parking for beachgoers until 2017 was defeated at the council’s May 3 meeting.Council President Jack Keeler asked for a vote to have the council consider amending a proposed ordinance to move ahead with installing the parking system for this beach season. Keeler’s amendment called for the paid parking system to be put in place next year.Council members Brian Kelly, Charles Rooney III and Marc Leckstein voted against considering Keeler’s amendment while Peggy Bills, John Lamia, Jr. and Keeler voted for it.Mayor Dina Long broke the tie with her vote not to consider Keeler’s amendment.“I don’t want to kick the can down the road,” Long said after her vote.Keeler has said he supports the parking plan but believes the town should spend more time studying it before putting it in place.But the council approval was unanimous of a resolution concerning the new parking program which authorized refunding the fees of those who bought beach badges and lockers “prior to the Council’s approval of the paid parking system” at its meeting on April 19.The refunds will be issued for five business days beginning Monday, May 16 through Friday, May 20, the resolution said.The cost of a season’s beach pass for an adult is $100, which covers Memorial Day to Labor Day. The dollar an hour parking fee being considered for the 99-day beach season could cause a considerable increase in the price of spending time at the beach.Borough Administrator Joseph Verruni said today it does not have contact information for the badge buyers, but the borough would seek to alert them to refunds through notices on the borough web site, Facebook page and those who signed up on the email list. “We’re going to give it our best shot,” he said.Long also had the tie-breaking vote on another matter, the ordinance setting the conditions for the parking plan. She first said no, and said she wanted to wait to decide on the issues until after a meeting with business owners and the vendor for the parking system on Wednesday, May 11, so she could hear the concerns and suggestions of the business owners. These would be part of a discussion on that meeting at the council workshop the next morning, before action on the parking plan details is taken, she said.But Long voted yes when the ordinance was amended to state that the parking fee would be set each year by the council. The vote again was 3-3, with Rooney, Kelly and Leckstein voting for the ordinance and Bills, Keeler and Lamia against it.“I don’t think we’re going to get it right this year,” Long said, acknowledging the concerns expressed by businesses and residents about the metered parking.“Bring these concerns to us before the rules are adopted,” she said.“I personally don’t like it,” Long said regarding metered parking after the meeting in April approving the purchase of a system to install paid parking in the town. She said she avoided going to towns that had such a system. But Long said the residents of the borough were going to be carrying a heavy tax burden to pay to restore the town’s buildings lost in Sandy. The parking fees would be a help with that burden, she said.At a previous council meeting, Councilman Brian Kelly said the estimated cost to replace the Borough Hall, fire house, police headquarters, library and beach facilities building was $14 million with the town receiving about $7.3 million from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and insurance. He said that the costs of the new buildings to the borough would be reduced by the fees from the planned beach parking fees, and cell tower.He estimated that the borough would gain between $95,000 to $133,000 a year from the paid parking.
By Joseph SapiaCOLTS NECK – Bow hunting will be permitted this year in specific sections of Dorbrook Recreation Area and Hominy Hill Golf Course, both operated by the Monmouth County Parks System.The Dorbrook Recreation Area will allow bow hunting south of Route 537 in the undeveloped section of the park.“At any given time, you can see deer at Dorbrook,” said Thomas E. Fobes, the Park System’s superintendent of parks.At Hominy Hill Golf Course, bow hunting will be allowed in the undeveloped area near Matthews Road and Route 18.“There’s a very large herd on the backside of Hominy Hill,” Fobes said.On its parkland, the Monmouth County Park System looks to limit the deer population to 10 to 12 deer per square mile to protect ecosystems. Although counting deer is not easy, “We don’t think we’ve gotten there, anywhere,” said Anna Luiten, a Park System ecologist. The deer population is gauged by the destruction of the forest understory it feeds upon, Luiten said.Deer eat 5 to 10 pounds of vegetative matter a day, Luiten said. “They are decimating the understory (of the forest).”Deer tend to eat native vegetation, which, in turn, allows non-native species to grow. The Park System does not want a “monoculture of these ornamentals,” she said. The matter has been of critical concern for park ecologists for years. Dorbrook and Hominy Hill were of concern to the Park System, “but we were also approached by Colt Neck’s Wildlife Committee” said Luiten.“We can do our part, but it’s a roving herd,” Fobes said. “Everybody has to play a part in this issue. We need everybody to buy into controlling the deer herd.”No gunning will be allowed at Hominy Hill or Dorbrook.Besides Dorbrook and Hominy Hill, bow or gun hunting will be allowed in the Two River area in Holmdel at Holmdel Park; in Middletown at Hartshorne Woods Park, Huber Woods Park and Tatum Park; on the Middletown-Holmdel boundary at Thompson Park; and on the Colts Neck-Marlboro boundary at Big Brook Park.Other Monmouth County Park System properties open for hunting outside the Two River area are in Millstone at Charleston Springs Golf Course and Perrineville Lake Park; in Upper Freehold at Clayton Park and Crosswicks Creek Greenway; in Howell at the Howell Park Golf Course, Manasquan River Reservoir and Yellow Brook Tract; in Neptune at Shark River Park; in Freehold Township at Turkey Swamp Park; in Freehold Township and Howell on the Metedeconk River Greenway; and in Marlboro at the Wickatunk Recreation Area. Hunting is new this year at the Wickatunk Recreation Area.The hunting dates vary by park, beginning as early as Oct. 1 and going to as late as Feb. 18. The parks remain open to the general public during bow hunting.Outdoor activities in parks at which hunting by gun – either shotgun or muzzleloader – is in progress will be closed to the general public. But the hours for hunting are restricted, not taking in the whole day.Property owners within 200 feet of a park that allows hunting are notified by the Park System via mail. Hunters, by state law, cannot shoot a bow while hunting if they are within 150 feet of an occupied building, 450 feet if a gun is used.Hunters using the designated hunting areas in the Monmouth County Park System must be New Jersey-licensed and at least 18 years old. Then, they must obtain a Park System permit for $25. The hunters are required to use tree stands.This is the 13th straight year the Park System is opening up some of its land for hunting deer.During the 2015-2016 hunting season, the Park System issued 840 hunting permits. Of these, 51 percent, or about 428, were to county residents. Of the 840 hunters, 86 percent, or about 722 hunters, actually went hunting.The reported deer kill during the 2015-2016 season was 426. Over the 12 years of hunting, 5,020 deer were reported killed.More information on deer hunting on Park System land is available from the system at 805 Newman Springs Road, Middletown; 732-842-4000; www.monmouthcountyparks.com.2016-2017 hunting season at Monmouth County Park System properties:Big Brook Park on the Marlboro-Colts Neck boundary, bow only, Oct. 1 to Feb. 18.Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck, bow only, Dec. 15 to Feb. 18.Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown, shotgun, muzzleloader or bow until 11 a.m., then the park opens to the general public at noon, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, 6, 8 and 14.Holmdel Park, Ramanessin section, bow only, Oct. 1 to Feb. 18.Holmdel Park, north section, shotgun, muzzleloader or bow until 11 a.m., then the park opens to the general public at noon, Nov. 16, 18, 22 and 29 and Dec. 13 and 16.Hominy Hill Golf Course, the undeveloped section by Route 18, Colts Neck, bow only, Oct. 1 to Feb. 18.Huber Woods Park, west section, Middletown, bow only, Nov. 1 to Feb. 18.Tatum Park, Middletown, bow only, Oct. 1 to Feb. 18.Thompson Park, Middletown-Holmdel boundary, shotgun, muzzleloader or bow until 11 a.m., then the park opens to the general public at noon, Dec. 1, 5, 7, 9 and 15.
By Jay Cook |ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Crews are now working to fortify a beloved waterfront segment of the Henry Hudson pedestrian and biking trail.The Bayshore Trail, a 11⁄4-mile long section of the Henry Hudson Trail, extending from the Atlantic Highlands Harbor to Popamora Point in the neighboring borough of Highlands, is undergoing its most extensive repairs since Super Storm Sandy.“We’ve come in with cheaper than thought-of construction costs,” said Ken Thoman, a park resource manager with the Monmouth County Park System (MCPS). “It’s a project that’s more resilient, and it’s something we think is going to be better than the original one.”The scope of the project includes five sections of precast concrete boardwalk, 12 new segments of underground drainage and the replenishment of riprap rock along the shoreline – all aimed to mitigate future damages and ensure stability for years to come.Wooden boardwalks, pathways and bridges were completely washed out by 14-foot-high storm surges during the October 2012 storm. While the trail has been open in years past, it’s now indefinitely closed to pedestrian and bicyclist traffic as construction crews work on the improvements.Ninety percent of the $881,677 cost is being covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Atlantic Highlands will be responsible for $28,382 and the MCPS will pay $59,785. Compass Construction of New Egypt is performing the work.Physical reconstruction to the site began about three weeks ago, according to Joe Sardonia, a supervising land architect with MCPS. He anticipates this specific section of the trail will open by fall 2017.“This is going to happen again, and we recognize that,” Thoman said referring to future storms hitting the shore. “We also know that we’re not going to get bailed out again for it either.”Among the upgrades to the Bayshore Trail, Thoman noted that new drainage systems would help lengthen trail life. He said the Department of Environmental Protection asked that water flow from the hillside to the water’s edge not be restricted. To install these drains, sections of the trail must be excavated and cleared out. Pipes will be laid down in a bed of sand with two fabric filters on top, backfilled with sand and run underground to the shoreline. MCPS found water pooling on the trail in these areas, causing erosion.It’s also an approach that the park system uses regularly throughout Monmouth County.“We’ve used these same techniques and materials at other sites, specifically golf courses,” Thoman said.New drainage systems and precast concrete boardwalks will be installed along the 1 1⁄4 mile trail, ensuring its stability into the future. Photo courtesy of Monmouth County Park SystemBeyond this, the trail will have a different look with the new concrete boardwalks. Thoman said the wooden structures that were in place pre-and-post Sandy fit the style of the trail, though are not necessarily sustainable.With these new precast pieces, the trail’s footprint on the environment decreases as well. In the past, more than 1,000 linear feet of wood boardwalk was used – that is now down to 630 linear feet.Atlantic Highlands borough owns an approximately 1/5-of-a-mile stretch of trail at the mouth of the municipal harbor. It’s the last section of the Henry Hudson Trail that has paved asphalt. According to Adam Hubeny, Atlantic Highlands’ borough administrator, a portion of their work is going towards a 3-inch thick asphalt base course in that section – at a cost of $25,347.Paying for usage of the Bayshore Trail is not uncommon in Atlantic Highlands. In 2009, the borough opened that section of the Henry Hudson Trail to the public as part of a nearly $1.3 million project, which was heavily funded – the borough paid around $300,000 for that work.“Atlantic Highlands was the only municipality from Matawan to Highlands that used its own money to build any part of the Henry Hudson Trail,” said Hubeny.This pristine connection, which rolls along the Sandy Hook Bay, is prime real estate for bikers and pedestrians alike. Trail users can access the Bayshore Trail from the harbor entrance and Popamora Point, with the Sandy Hook Bay just feet away and a scenic view of the New York City skyline off in the distance.Hubeny said the trail serves as a great asset for summertime traffic, bringing people into the borough who normally would not spend a day there.“If someone wanted to come here from New York City on a weekend, they would have to come through Highlands,” Hubeny said. “On a nice summer day, they can walk the trails and get here for everything they need.”In the 19th century, the Henry Hudson Trail was a light rail line operated by the Central Railroad of New Jersey, ranging from Aberdeen to Atlantic Highlands, according to the book “The First Fifty Years: The Monmouth County Park System,” published by the Friends of the Monmouth County Parks. In 1980, Monmouth County received a state grant to purchase the route from Conrail.The trail now extends from Freehold to Popamora Point in Highlands, totaling 24 miles.“The major argument for building the trail in the first place is still there,” said Thoman. “It’s connecting communities, schools and businesses.”
By Lily Marten |An educational talk on how to pro- tect endangered sea turtles drew over 30 local residents to Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center on Thursday.Brandi Biehl, the co-executive officer of the non-profit Sea Turtle Recovery (STR), led the talk hosted by the Monmouth County Park System’s Drop-In Series with emotion, enthusiasm, and a clear passion for her cause. A graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in marine science, Biehl has dedicated herself to protecting marine life, especially sea turtles.The presentation wasn’t always light-hearted. Biehl had to share the heavy truth that countless sea turtles suffer because of human action, particularly water pollution. She shared the stories and conditions of sea turtles too far gone to save in rehabilitation.“We can save a sea turtle, but if you’re putting it back into water with pollution did you really save it?” Biehl said.Several people attended because they said they feel protective of the environment. “We love nature,” said Catherine Evans of Belmar, who attended with friends George and Rosemarie Unuch of Middletown. She said she felt inspired by the park system’s drop-in talks. “It makes you more aware of the wild nature right here on our doorstep.”George Unuch said it was helpful to inform people about sea turtle protection. “In Sandy Hook there’s a warning sign to watch for crossing sea turtles,” he said. “A lot of people go to Sandy Hook and would not know what to do,” he said, referring to what people should do if they found them.New Jersey’s climate is not hospitable to sea turtles. When found on our shores, it means the turtles are lost or injured and their location should be reported. Once these animals are rescued, they are taken to facilities like Sea Turtle Recovery which heal and prep the turtles for release into warmer water. The most common species in their care are the small and rare Kemp’s Ridleys and the more common Loggerhead sea turtles.Due to the Northeast’s common issue of overcrowded marine life facilities, Biehl and fellow co-executive officer Bill Deerr requested a permit to create their own long-term care facility in New Jersey. Eventually, the group found refuge at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey in 2016. This location provided STR with a million-dollar facility that prioritizes rehabilitation for sick and injured sea turtles. STR now has access to veterinarians, volunteers, an ICU and 4 tanks to house their reptilian patients.“They needed the conservation effort and we needed the housing, so it was a win-win,” Biehl said. The nonprofit organization covers all care and cost on their own for the sea turtles. They thrive off of the generosity of volunteers and donations.The team encouraged residents to come out and visit STR’s facility at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, as well as follow its Facebook page, Sea Turtle Recovery. The group is preparing to host an upcoming event on World Sea Turtle Day on June 16. Tickets are $10 for the Dance Takeover at Sea Turtle Zoo, to be held 6-8 p.m. More information at SeaTurtleRecovery.org.This article was first published in the May 25-June 1, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
By Chris Rotolo |A life can change for the better simply with a shift in perspective.Such was the case for Chris McNamara, who was faced with the fight of his life in the summer of 2011, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.It was an illness he would ultimately overcome, but the battle had altered his perception of what it meant to truly live.“After having survived that, I saw it as sort of having a second chance at life,” McNamara said. “Then I was left with the question, what was I going to do with this opportunity?”McNamara had previously felt compelled to join the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, but facing his own mortality placed a newfound sense of urgency on the decision.“Going through that whole experience made me realize that now is the time,” McNamara said. “I wanted to do good. But more specifically, I wanted to have an active role in helping a local child as a mentor. I wanted to reach out to a young person in need, to get them out of their everyday environment and help them enjoy life.”With the realization of a larger calling in tow, McNamara recognized the power of a perspective transformed, and how approaching a little brother or sister in this fashion could help place them on a path with broader horizons.“The point of being a mentor is to try and change their viewpoint; try to show them that there’s more to life than what’s at their front door and just beyond it. It’s a big world. There’s lots of good out there. And I want to show him that he can experience all of the good, if he’s willing to focus, do the right things, and put the work in,” McNamara said of his little brother Logan, a local 13-year old he has been paired with since joining Big Brothers Big Sisters.“Every one of us has had a mentor in our lives at some point,” said Marybeth Bull, Big Brothers Big Sister director of development. “Someone who has been influential in helping us become the success that we are. And that’s what we try to provide with this program. We’re here to help kids who need a little push and a little more support in life; an extra person on their side.”According to Bull, many of the boys and girls in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program come from a single-parent household and are facing such severe issues as poverty and various forms of abuse.Bull also disclosed that though there are nearly 700 kids being served by the program, more than 50 other children are currently on a waiting list.“These are children whose parents want the best for them, or who have a school counselor advocating for them. There’s somebody in their life who thinks they can flourish with an extra positive role model. Volunteers have the opportunity to be that role model, and I think they’ll find they get just as much, if not more, out of it than the child does,” said Bull.Chuck Leone has been a mentor to Kweli for the past four years providing a positive and supportive influence. Photo courtesy BBBSRed Bank dentist Chuck Leone is another mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and shared a similar sentiment to that of Bull.“My family, my wife and I, we’ve been very fortunate in our lives, to the point where we’ve been able to make various monetary donations to groups over the years. But it’s an impersonal experience. With Big Brothers Big Sisters, you have an opportunity to see firsthand the positive impact you’re having on a young life.”Leone has acted as a mentor to a local 14-year old named Kweli for the past four years, and has witnessed the strength of their relationship reveal a clearer picture of what the future could hold for the high school freshman.“When we first met, I’m not sure that college would have been in his future, or if he believed that it could be an option for him,” Leone said. “But it was during this past holiday season, he turned to me and said that he wants to graduate high school and college and have a successful career as a way to repay me for everything I’ve done for him. And to hear that, it’s an incredible feeling.“I hope Kweli knows how proud of him I am that he has developed this vision of his future,” Leone continued. “I’m so proud that he’s decided to put in the work to achieve it. And I hope he knows that it’s my goal to help him get there.”Leone and McNamara are two of a multitude of remarkable mentors involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, but with each successful mentor-little relationship the program grows, placing a demand for more volunteers, especially males.“Of the 50 children on our waiting list, 36 of them are boys, which is why we really want to appeal to more males to step up and mentor our boys,” Bull said. “These are the kids who are growing up without a father figure and it’s so important for a developing child to have a strong, positive male figure in their life.”For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters visit bbbsmmc.org.This article was first published in the Feb. 22-March 1, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.