Facebook44Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Roxie! Are you a single person or a couple looking for a companion who is the perfect combination of Labrador Retriever and Min Pin? Roxie is sweet and shy with ears that stand part way up only to flop over in an adorable fashion. She is mostly shiny black, has a white and polka-dotted chest, with subtle brown highlights. At thirty-eight pounds, she is just the right size to be your new best friend. Roxie is getting to know the shelter volunteers, and enjoys sitting with them on her blanket in her ‘suite’.Roxie is a sweet and shy girl looking for a quiet home and someone to love her. Photo courtesy: Adopt-A-PetRoxie is currently in the market for a loving home with no other dogs, cats or children. She does need a grain-free diet, lots of love, and she promises to pay you back in unlimited devotion. If you would like to meet me in person or have further questions, please contact the adoption team at Shelton Adopt-A-Pet.Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit the Adopt-A-Pet website, our Facebook page or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, email email@example.com or call 360-432-3091.
Facebook12Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Rocco! He is a handsome and strong Husky-Lab mix with a shiny chestnut-brown coat. He will wrinkle his forehead when listening, he aims to please, and is looking for leadership to build his confidence. Because he is strong, (active, seventy-three pounder), children should be older 13+ and dog-savvy. Rocco will shake your hand and sit when you meet him, and he is willing to meet other dogs.Rocco is smart Husky-Lab mix looking for a partner. Photo courtesy: Adopt-a-Pet SheltonA cat free home is required for this good boy. If you are looking for a great dog and can provide Rocco with a grain-free diet, fenced yard, and your love and quality time, he might be the companion for you have been looking for.Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit the Adopt-A-Pet website, our Facebook page or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-432-3091.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Board of County CommissionersLake Lawrence has a toxic algae bloom. The Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department (PHSS) received lab results showing that the bloom is producing high levels of microcystin. Microcystin is a liver toxin which accumulates over time. High accumulation of this toxin can cause sickness, or even death.Reports show toxin levels at the sample site are 215 micrograms per liter. The Washington State Department of Health advisory level for recreation is 6 micrograms per liter. The public fishing access to the lake has been closed, and danger signs have been posted at the boat launch.Public Health also advises residents and the public:Do not swim, fish, or use the lake for recreation.Do not allow pets to swim in, or drink water from the lake.The health advisory for Lake Lawrence will remain in place until samples are within safe levels for two consecutive weeks. Testing will continue until the samples are within safe limits for two consecutive weeks.For more information about blue-green algae and the County lakes program, visit the County’s Blue-Green Algae Advisories website. You can sign up to receive email algae alerts on the website or by calling 360-867-2645. Frequently Asked Questions about microcystin and other algal toxins are posted on the County Algae page.Featured photo credit: Kim Merriman
Facebook258Tweet0Pin1Submitted by City of OlympiaIn early February, a new tiny house village for 40 homeless individuals will open its doors in Olympia. The public is invited to learn more about Plum Street Village at an information meeting on Thursday, January 17, at 6:00 p.m., in Room A of the Olympia Center, located at 222 Columbia St. NW. Following a presentation by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), there will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the project.An additional opportunity to learn about Plum Street Village will be an open house at the village on Thursday, January 31, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. The village is located at 830 Union Ave SE, which is the City’s former plant nursery behind the Yashiro Japanese Garden. Come see the facility before residents move in and learn more about the operation and the volunteer builders who made it happen.About Plum Street VillageThe City of Olympia is leasing property and providing funding to the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) for the operation of this village. The village will include about 30 tiny houses for individuals and couples without children. Each unit is 8′ x 12′, is insulated, has electricity and heat, a window and a lockable door. The facility will also include a security house, a communal kitchen, meeting space, bathrooms, showers, laundry, a case management office and 24/7 staffing.This facility will allow some of Olympia’s most vulnerable unhoused residents to have a safe and secure place while transitioning to permanent housing. The Plum Street Tiny House Village will be an integral aspect of the housing continuum and connect residents to necessary services. LIHI Case Managers work with village residents to help them obtain housing, employment, health care, treatment, education, and other services.About LIHILIHI is a nonprofit developer and operator of over 2,200 units of affordable housing in the Puget Sound region, including Olympia and Lacey in Thurston County. They own and manage four buildings in the county including: Billy Frank Jr Place, Fleetwood Apartments, Magnolia Villa and Arbor House. LIHI has developed 10 Tiny House Villages in Seattle and has consulted on the development and operation of others across the state and country. The Seattle program has helped over 400 people transition into long-term housing, assisted over 200 in gaining employment, and has served and supported over 2,000 people.Learn MoreYou are can learn more about the City’s homeless response at our website: olympiawa.gov/homelessness. In a few weeks, the City of Olympia will launch a community-led planning process to determine how we, along with regional partners, will respond long-term to homelessness and its impacts. To receive updates about this and other homeless response actions, please sign up for email updates at olympiawa.gov/subscribe.
By Muriel J. SmithRUMSON – After hearing 40 minutes of reports from the education, policy and ad hoc committees on book selections for juniors and seniors, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Board of Education, in informal action, praised the findings of the committees which all recommended that regardless of parental opinions that two books were deemed obscene because of their content and language, both should remain required reading.Siobhan Fallon Hogan, who with her husband led the move that eventually had 325 parents sign petitions to have “Cal” and “Death and the Maiden” not be banned, but to permit alternative selections for their being required reading, expressed disappointment at the reports and pointed out that the parents who protested to the required reading were not shown any respect. “There is a strong current of hypocrisy at RFH,” she told The Two River Times. “Ironically after the last BOE meeting … the senior parents received a letter from the administration that said, ‘No costumes are permitted that are of fensive to any sexual orientation preference or to any national, ethnic, religious or gender groups.’ Yet these books … of fend 325 parents and they are not only allowed but required reading. The administration places demands on students and parents in regards to areas that they deem important, yet a group of 325 parents gets zero respect or consideration. They do not tolerate or respect our wishes which are simply that our children receive an education where the bar is raised.”In the school library, which ironically had two posters promoting Banned Books Week, the board heard lengthy reports from member Sarah Maris, who explained the ad hoc committee had met for two hours and reviewed all the complaints about “Cal” and “Death and the Maiden,” and Lourdes Lucas of the policy committee, who said it is important for students to become “comfortable with the uncomfortable.”Maris said the committee found that the coarse language included in the books is common and gave a stronger understanding of the situation described in the book. Language and sexual scenes in “Cal” were not designed to titillate, she said, but rather tell the struggles of the people involved. She said the committee found that the brief sexual sections in the book should not shock students. Earlier in her report, the board member had pointed out the health classes and grade levels in the school’s education policy including anatomy and sexual education in freshman year, family structures, sexuality values, birth control and respect in the junior year, along with the mechanics of sexual function and social behavior, and a refresher in senior year, all were positive educational areas in the health curriculum.The committee reports indicated that analyzing quotations and critical thinking are important areas of education to prepare high school students for the challenges of college, and changing the program to include alternative reading of other selections for students whose parents objected to these two books would not be effective and would require more of the teacher’s time since common reading and discussion is important towards those goals.Maris said it “would be a nightmare for parents to choose and against our goal for educational excellence.” Teachers would talk in advance to students about uncomfortable passages, she said, and if a student is uncomfortable, there are many professionals in the building, in addition to their own parents, to whom they could talk. In reading the reports, Maris alluded to premature ejaculation explained in health classes, then shuddered and added, “I can’t believe I said that at a board of education meeting.”Board member Lourdes Lucas gave two reports from committees, noting it was good that concerns were raised since it gave the board the opportunity to review the entire policy. She indicated it was a high school requirement to assist students to “be comfortable with the uncomfortable” before they enter college. The committee did recommend greater transparency but found the policy on the mechanics for raising concerns is sufficient as it stands. Lucas continued that the educators select the books to help students understand the complex truths of the world and for their literary and educational value. She conceded in the report that there is no written policy on book selection, but students and parents have the right to discuss the selections.Others at the public hearing following the report reading both praised and criticized the work of the committees, with some saying the ad hoc committee, which included the English Department chairman, the principal who had openly opposed any change at the October board meeting, and the librarian who works under the principal “doomed any changes before they even met.”After the public hearing, when many of the parents had left the meeting, Board President Lisa Waters invited board members to express their opinions of the reports. Most praised the detail, research and time the committees spent in compiling their report, noting it had been a vigorous process.
By Joseph SapiaIn an effort to bring attention to the farming in Monmouth County, the county government is kicking off a “Grown in Monmouth” promotion of farm products.Farmers and farm-related business owners are invited to the first “Grown in Monmouth” meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Rutgers University Research Center, 283 Route 539, in Upper Freehold.“We need more marketing of American produce,” said Monmouth County Agricultural Agent William J. Sciarappa. “We’re getting overwhelmed with imports – Mexico, South America, Europe.”The county is hoping farmers – along with large consumers of food such as restaurants and schools, agricultural money-lenders, municipal officials and other interested – show up.“We have some of the best produce in the world right here in Monmouth County and endorsing these products on a larger scale is long overdue,” said Lillian G. Burry, a member of the county Board of Freeholders and its farming liaison.“An important part of this project will be to conduct research to gain a comprehensive understanding of not only the needs of the county’s agricultural industry, but also the needs of local and regional buyers in order to develop a strategy to foster successful business relationships,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone.At the meeting, those involved will explain the idea of the program, seek feedback from attendees and distribute a survey – gathering information on what farmers are producing and related data, along with who is willing to participate in the program, said John Ciufo, Economic Development’s executive director.Cows sun themselves at W.H. Potter Farm in Holmdel Tuesday. Photo: Joseph SapiaThe county says it also wants to learn how the home-grown products are distributed and the challenges of distribution, then following up by developing strategies to overcome the challenges.Longer-term goals would include marketing county-grown items, according to the county. The program would not interfere with county-grown products being sold out of county, said Laura Kirkpatrick, director of the county Department of Public Information and Tourism.For now, farmers are waiting for the meeting to hear what is said.“I’ve got to find out a little bit more about it,” said William Potter III of the W.H. Potter and Son farm and home and garden center on Red Hill Road in Holmdel.Potter said he plans to attend the meeting because he is a farmer – who raises cows, sheep and goats and because he is on the county Agriculture Development Board, of which he is chairman.Grown in Monmouth is an idea originated in county government and began taking shape about 18 months ago, Ciufo said. The county took the idea to the federal Department of Agriculture and was awarded an $80,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant in November.With another $80,000 of in-kind services, the Grown in Monmouth initiative is beginning, the latest program of Grow Monmouth.“This is another way the county aims to help local and small businesses,” Arnone said.Grown in Monmouth will be a joint project of the freeholders, Economic Development, Public Information and Tourism, county Division of Planning, and the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension.Grow Monmouth dates back about six years, Arnone said. It is “an initiative of going to and giving information to municipalities, chambers of commerce, to know the county is behind economic development,” Arnone said.“Not only to bring business in, but retention (of business) in the county,” Arnone said.One of Grow Monmouth’s programs dates back to 2012: Made in Monmouth is a free event at Monmouth University for local vendors to sell products – such as food, furniture, jewelry, and clothes – manufactured in the county. About 2,500 people have visited each event and more than 200 sellers are expected at this year’s event on April 9, according to county officials.Grown in Monmouth has hired Spinelli and Pinto Consulting of Chester – in a contract not to exceed $68,173 – to analyze Monmouth County farming, Arnone said. An initial study should be wrapped up in a year, Ciufo said.The county also has been developing a logo for Grown in Monmouth.“We want to brand this,” Ciufo said.The grant’s focus will be on 13 county municipalities considered all or partly rural by the federal agriculture department: Allentown, Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Township, Holmdel, Howell, Manalapan, Marlboro, Millstone, Roosevelt, Upper Freehold and Wall. But county officials emphasized all 53 county municipalities are welcome to take advantage of the program.Although the program applies to all-Monmouth grown, it likely has more practical application to “high-value, human food crops, Christmas trees, and nursery stock,” Sciarappa said. Field crops, such as soybeans and feed corn, normally do not go directly to the consumer.Some farmers may have farm markets and have websites to connect directly to consumers, but they may not be able to afford advertising, he said. “It’s mostly word-of-mouth. So, we’re just trying to get the promotion out for Monmouth-grown.”The county consistently ranks in the top 3 of New Jersey’s 21 counties in agricultural production, Sciarappa said. He added the county has another thing going for it.“We’re the most diverse (growing) county in New Jersey,” Sciarappa said. “We grow everything from asparagus to zucchini.”“The agricultural groups are very excited about (now) being recognized,” Burry said. “They feel they may be somewhat overlooked.”“If we could make this successful, this could spread,” Sciarappa said. “The more brains get involved, we could really create a template for the whole state.”There is no pre-registration for the meeting, but more information is available from the county Division of Economic Development by calling 732-431-7470.
The Bell Works project is one that Hinds is most proud of during his time on the committee. He is also proud of the township’s top Aaa bond rating by Moody’s, the recently generated newsletter and land parcels that have been preserved under his leadership. Liu is also an elected school board member and has been for nine years. On the board, she has chaired several committees, was vice president in 2018 and was vice president of the Monmouth County School Boards Association from 2018 to 2019. She is a trustee of Holmdel Foundation for Educational Excellence and is the treasurer of Shore Music Educators Association. Cathy Weber and Prakash Santhana, running as independents, say they have valuable experience. “I think we can find more efficiencies and at the same time we’re going to have unprecedented revenue from commercial ratables, specifically Bell Works,” said Hinds. CILU co-president Regina Criscione said the group is a nonpartisan organization but that “does not preclude any CILU member from exercising their First Amendment rights to support a candidate.” She also said Hinds emailed organizers Sept. 8 and said he was unsure if he could make the forum due to his work schedule. Citizens for Informed Land Use (CILU), a citizen group formed in 1998, hosted a candidate forum Oct. 14 for township committee and school board candidates in Holmdel. Santhana and Weber attended, but Hinds and Liu did not. If elected, her top three priorities are to decrease taxes, bring more transparency to the township committee and represent all residents. He has been on the township committee for nine years, four of which were spent as deputy mayor and three as mayor. He is running for re-election because he wants “to leave Holmdel in the best shape possible.” His main goal is to lower taxes for residents in the next three years. “Put people over politics,”she said. Challenger Cathy Weber is also an advocate for land preservation. Feeling frustrated with the current committee’s former plans to install lights and turf at Cross Farm Park, she co-founded Preserve Holmdel, a group dedicated to maintaining natural space. She has been a Holmdel resident for about 25 years and lives in the township with her husband and three children. She has been involved in community groups, including the Holmdel swim team, Girl Scouts and served as a school board member for over three years. “I have dedicated myself during my time here in Holmdel to community service and volunteerism as a leader and as a doer,” she said. Weber is a senior associate director at Princeton University. Republican and current Mayor Eric Hinds is seeking another three-year term on the township committee. His running mate is Chiung-Yin Cheung Liu, member of the school board. Hinds was born and raised in Middletown. He moved to Holmdel 20 yearsago and lives there with hiswife and three children. Hehas coached various sportteams in Holmdel and heworks as a financial advisorfor Merrill Lynch. He is a member of Preserve Holmdel and Fire Action Safety Today (FAST). He said he noticed that “for a small town like ours, we had way too many resident groups fighting the town. That was odd.” According to Hinds, there is video evidence of CILU members stealing his and Liu’s election signs, which he said he reported to police. “I didn’t feel it was going to be a fair environment. I went to the primary (forum)…and I’m always willing to do a debate, but it’s got to be fair,” said Hinds. Republican Mayor Eric Hinds is seeking re-election with running mate Chiung-Yin Cheng Liu. Their challengers are Independent candidates Cathy Weber and Prakash Santhana. No Democrats filed for candidacy. Running mate Prakash Santhana has lived in Holmdel for five years with his wife and daughter. He is a managing director at a global consulting firm where he focuses on preventing fraud, waste and abuse for government entities, he said. He also advises them on exploring new revenue options and to not be too dependent on taxes and tolls. HOLMDEL – Four candidates are running for two open seats on the all-Republican Holmdel Township Committee in November. Like Weber, Prakash said if elected his three main goals are to reduce taxes, cut unnecessary spending and to look for new revenue sources for the township. He also wants to bring more transparency to the committee. Chiung-Yin Cheng Liu has lived in Holmdel for 23 years. She currently resides there with her husband and two children. She has been an educator and administrator since 1980 and in those roles has valued team work and ethics, she said. She said she wants to run for election to the township committee because after nine years of public service on the school board and in various organizations, she understands the importance of giving back to the community. “I am endorsed by the Holmdel Republican Party and Monmouth County Republican Organization running for the position of Holmdel Township Committee,” she said. “It will be a great honor to continue serving my beloved Holmdel in a different position.” Liu cited fire safety and emergency services as a major concern facing the township right now, saying that Holmdel is home to beautiful landscape but few parcels of preserved lands. The town “can’t afford” for anything unfortunate to happen, she said. “A centralized firehouse, updated equipment and related issues have been discussed.” If elected, Liu said she would work with elected officials to form an ad hoc committee in advising and planning. “Life and property matter,” she said.
As of Wednesday, June 16, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases state-wide reached 167,703, an increase of 330 overnight. Of that total, there have been 12,769 deaths, an increase of 47 overnight. In Monmouth County specifically, that includes Atlantic Highlands, 34; Colts Neck, 83; Fair Haven, 28; Highlands, 33; Holmdel, 305; Little Silver, 37; Middletown, 742; Monmouth Beach, 21; Ocean- port, 63; Red Bank, 236; Rumson, 40; Sea Bright, 12; Shrewsbury Borough, 54; and Tinton Falls, 216. NEW JERSEY – When students and staff return to college campuses this year, things will look much different than they have in years past, said secretary of higher education Zakia Smith Ellis Wednesday in a press conference. In-person instructionwill be limited to in-personclinical, lab and hands-onprogramming. Instructioncan also occur completelyoutdoors as long as theyabide by outdoor occupancyrestrictions established bythe state. “This is a crucial step that allows schools to plan summer learning programs and special education services that will provide assistance to those students who need it the most,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet in a press release. “We’ve heard from countless parents and educators about the importance of summer learning and ESY, especially now that so many students and families have faced unexpected obstacles with remote learning over the past three months. We believe schools can provide the necessary summer instruction while ensuring the safety of students and teachers, and their families.” On the 100th day since the first death of COVID-19 in New Jersey, the state released guidelines for colleges and universities to reopen for in-person instruction this summer and fall, effective July 1. However, institutions will be required to develop restart plans and have them reviewed by the Department of Health at least 14 days before in-person instruction can resume. The article originally appeared in the June 18-24, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. Some students will be permitted to return to residential facilities, but there must be quarantine and isolation spaces on campus and common spaces must be closed. Campus dining will be adjusted to follow statewide restrictions in place currently, as will transportation and athletic operations. Career and training schools may also reopen July 1 in accordance with proper safety and health protocols. “We know that many students prefer in-person learning, particularly those who are experiencing hardship,” or for those whose home environment isn’t favorable for educational purposes, said Ellis. Individuals on campus will be required to wear face masks or coverings in indoor spaces and are recommended to do the same outdoors, especially when others are present. Institutions will be responsible for creating testing protocols and accommodating anyone with positive diagnoses or symptoms of the virus. Social distancing will be mandated and equipment must be sanitized regularly, Ellis said. All in-person programs must be conducted with proper health and safety protocols, according to the state, and remote learning may still proceed for students after July 6. Programs may include traditional summer school, ESY programming with appropriate instruction for special needs students, credit recovery programs and more. Earlier in the week, the Department of Education released guidelines for summer education programs to be conducted in-person, including extended school year (ESY), according to the governor’s office. It will take effect July 6. “As we move forward in our restart and recovery, these institutions will play a huge role. They are where our future workforce is being created and where many advances in the life sciences and engineering and in other areas that will have a tremendous impact on our larger economy, are taking shape,” said Murphy Wednesday. “Their health and the health of everyone on campus is critical to the overall public health of our state.” By Allison Perrine
It’s five games and, well, there’s not really much to talk about the start of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season for the Grand Forks Border Bruins.But, as head coach Brent Batten sees it, sometimes a team must hit rock bottom before it can starting making the climb back to respectability.Batten only hopes that improvement comes sooner than later.“We have only four players returning, we have a brand new executive and I’m a new coach,” said Batten prior to last week’s rout in Nelson against the Leafs.The two teams are back on the ice Thursday, this time in Border Bruins Country.“Every game you going into you’re always looking for a win, that’s for sure but we’re just looking to execute our systems,” Batten explained.Experts say that divisional games are the most important for teams — those four-pointers that can push one team up and keep the other down.Grand Forks has been have their share of difficulty in the Murdoch Division going winless in five games against three of the five clubs — Castlegar, Beaver Valley and Nelson.Those three teams have outscored the Bruins by a collective score of 50-8.Of course drastic changes on any team will no doubt shake up the squad for the coming season.But if the Bruins are to make a chase at the big three, Nelson, Castlegar and Beaver Valley, or, shoot for the final playoff spot I the division, the team appears to be in good hands with Batten at the helm.Despite Grand Forks being his first head coach job at the junior level, the 29-year-old has a wealth of experience.Batten, a native of Manitoba, comes to Grand Forks with a few years coaching academy hockey in the Okanagan. Mixed into his coaching, after playing junior in Saskatchewan and CIS for Brandon University, was time behind the bench with Estevan Bruins in Saskatchewan.Only time will tell if Batten’s experience helps the Border Bruins return to respectability in the KIJHL’s Murdoch Division.BORDER TALK: If anyone thought the Nelson Leafs schedule was, to say the least, awful, take a look at the Grand Forks agenda. The Bruins play all nine games in October at home. The Leafs play seven of 13 games in October at email@example.com
“The ball would not travel at all and the players were very wet. The sticks splashed water like crazy.”LVR now advances to meet the Rossland Royals in the West Kootenay Zone Final Thursday at Pass Creek.The winner advances to the B.C. High School Girl’s Fieldhockey Championship next month in Burnaby.The loser has one more shot to reach the provincial tournament through a wild-card game Tuesday, October 30 against Fraser Valley No. 2 in Kelowna. The L.V. Rogers Bombers once again rode the shutout goalkeeping of Tara Yowek to stop the Stanley Humphries Rockers 3-0 in West Kootenay High School Girl’s Fieldhockey playoff action Tuesday at Pass Creek Park in Robson.Sarah Wade, Allie Zondervan and Paige Mansveld, on a penalty stroke when a Stanley Humphries players sat on the ball at the goal line, scored goals for the Bombers.”There was no snow on the field but (field) was covered in water and puddles and made for a very ugly game,” said Bomber coach Val Gibson.