Month: August 2020

  • Join Fit4Life for After Hours Fun and Wellness

    first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Thurston County ChamberJoin Fit4Life as they host the Thursday, January 19, Thurston County Chamber Business After Hours from 5:30-7:30pm. Promotional Sponsors: Mixx 96.1 and the Business Examiner Fit4Life is located at 2943 29th Ave. SW in Tumwater. To squelch that after-work thirst and appetite you’ll find appetizers and desserts by Elyse’s Catering, wine provided by Scattercreek Winery and Body By Vi protein smoothies provided by Black Lake Activity Center. General admission for Business After Hours is $20, with Chamber members paying $10.center_img Over 20 drawings will put smiles on dozens of faces with giveaways from Lucky Eagle Casino, Trinity Massage, Carly Janbowski Photography, Fastsigns, Northwind PetCare Center, Liz’s Indoor Sun, Stageworks Hair Design and others. Learn how Fit4Life can help you improve your overall fitness, maintain or reach a healthy weight, focus on your unique health concerns and stay motivated. This fun-filled evening will include chair massages by Trinity Massage, Zumba class demonstrations and sign-ups, as well as Body By Vi – 90 Day Challenge weight-loss program sign-ups.last_img read more

  • Chef Michael Symon Inspires a Record-Setting Night at Saint Martin’s Gala

    first_imgFacebook106Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Saint Martin’s UniversityA spirit of generosity took center stage Saturday night at Saint Martin’s University, as celebrity chef Michael Symon cooked and joked his way through the 2013 Saint Martin’s Gala, inspiring a crowd of more than 600 guests to raise $960,000 for student scholarships. This marks the highest amount the Gala has raised in its eight-year history.The annual Saint Martin’s Gala, held Saturday, Nov. 2, featured Symon, the award-winning culinary giant best known as an Iron Chef and a co-host of the ABC talk show The Chew. Flanked by students dressed in chef’s whites, Symon made his entrance into Marcus Pavilion, which had been transformed into an elegant silver and white dining space accented with shimmering tablecloths. Symon went right to work on the Viking-sponsored stage, charming his audience with his vivacious laughter and ebullient personality.Symon, the second Iron Chef in three years to headline the University’s signature fundraising event, offered a culinary demonstration accompanied by a five-course dinner and live auction. The chef’s signature laugh rang out throughout the evening, whether he was cooking, talking about his family or sweetening an auction item. Symon expanded one item — a trip to Cleveland to dine at his Lolita restaurant — by agreeing to meet the highest bidder in his hometown for a round of golf.Several guests had the opportunity to join Symon on stage, including those whose winning bids landed them on barstools “in the kitchen.” When two guests were offering competitive bids on a chance to work alongside Symon as his sous chef, the celebrity chef invited both on stage to share the role.Another auction item, a trip to Rome featuring a private, after-hours tour of the Sistine Chapel and Vatican galleries, brought in $16,000 for student scholarships. The highest-fetching auction item of the evening was an authentic Italian picnic for 30 people, which raised $24,000.Emcee Elisa Jaffe, of KOMO News, and auctioneer Jeff Stokes, of Stokes Auction Group, led the Gala festivities.As in years past, students played a major role in the event. Saint Martin’s junior Jeneva Burton welcomed the crowd to the Gala and introduced President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. Later in the evening, senior Dillon Linhart shared his story of success and expressed his gratitude for the financial assistance he has received. Inspired by the students’ remarks, guests “raised their paddle” to make gifts toward the University’s “Feed-a-Mind” scholarship funds. This portion of the program alone raised $343,000 — more than $130,000 above last year’s total.“Every dollar we raise through Gala goes toward funding student scholarships,” Heynderickx told the crowd. “We have more than 150 volunteers at this year’s Gala, and many of them are our students. They are here because they are dedicated to serving you as our guests.”When Symon arrived on the Saint Martin’s campus Friday, Nov. 1, a crowd of enthusiastic, sign-waving students gathered at the Baran Drive entrance to welcome him as he cruised by in his vehicle. Soon after his arrival, Symon took part in “Symon and Saints,” a meet-and-greet event with 80 students in the University’s Trautman Union Building.During the event, Symon delighted students with stories of how he became a chef, recounting how a badly broken arm ended his career as a high school wrestler. The injury cost him any possibility of receiving college scholarships. “I started working in a restaurant that summer, and that experience profoundly changed my life to being able to do something that I love to do for a living,” Symon told the students.The co-chairs for the 2013 Saint Martin’s Gala were Armandino ’59 and Marilyn Batali and Rick and Pam Panowicz.Next year’s Gala is scheduled to take place Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at Marcus Pavilion, and will again feature a celebrity chef. Those interested in attending the 2014 Gala are encouraged to check Saint Martin’s website,, for updates on next year’s celebration.Saint Martin’s University thanks the following Gala Event Sponsors:Presenting Partner: Bon AppétitSaint Martin Table Patrons: Forma Construction; Armandino ’59 and Marilyn Batali, Brian and Debbie Charneski, Terence ’62 and Mary Louise ’60 Monaghan, Rick and Pam Panowicz, and John and Hollie Xitco; and Joe and Liz WilliamsSaint Benedict Table Patrons: Cronk Family Foundation; Financial Advocates; Jim ’72 and Melissa Guerci; Matt Marcus ’94; The Rants Group; Salumi Artisan Cured Meats; Sunset Air, Inc.; and Viking Range CorporationSaint Gertrude Table Patrons: Joe HS ’62, ’66 and Betty Alongi; Charlie’s Produce; Jack and Luellen Charneski; Dunamis Interiors & Setina Manufacturing Co., Inc.; Kathryn Fies; Jim and Linnea Bremner, Bill and Jacki Gavin, Fred Goldberg and Carolyn Lakewold, Larry and Gail Larson, Richard and Laurel Seaman; GM Nameplate; Heritage Bank; Kathy Lombardo and Fred Wright; Lucky Eagle Casino; Miller Nash LLP and Strader Hallett CPAs; Olympia Federal Savings; Panagiotu Pension Advisors; Panowicz Jewelers; Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning, Propel Insurance, and SCJ Alliance; Rob Rice Homes; Dick ’64 and Karen Roney and Phil and Judy Weigand; Jay and Carla Rudd; RuffaloCODY; Saint Martin’s Alumni Association; Soderstrom Architects; South Puget Sound Community College; Sur La Table; Attila ’78 and Katalin Talaber; U.S. BankSaint Scholastica Table Patrons: Waite ’65 and Patty Dalrymple; Mary ’73 and Fred Gentry; McGranahan Architects; Metropolitan Market; Kathleen O’Grady; Saint Martin’s College Class of 1959; SkyCity at the Needle; The Stars Foundation of Thurston County; Timberland Bank; Virgil Adams Real Estate; Robert and Joan WubbenaIn-Kind Sponsors: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters; Caffe Vita Roasting Co.; Capitol City Press; Charlie’s Produce; g. miller Olympia; Glass Distillery; Grand Central Bakery; Lucky Eagle Casino; Olympia Olive Oil; Ostrom’s Mushrooms; Ralph’s Thriftway; Ramada Inn Olympia; Sur La Table; Taylor Shellfish; Viking Range CorporationSaint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 375 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at read more

  • Rob Rice Homes for the Holidays: Dining Options

    first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013. He has built more than 3000 homes over the last 30 years. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons; Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture. Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice HomesHome buyers still seek floorplans with formal dining rooms which are found in many Rob Rice Homes.Family traditions… entertaining friends…celebrations with lively conversation…dinner parties and sharing good food—they all involve the dining room.What is your picture of holiday entertaining or a family gathering? Is it a dinner at a long table with linens and china? Or maybe you prefer a buffet line in the kitchen with football on in the family room and an open dining room where guests can choose their seat.No matter what your traditions or plans for the holidays, there is a Rob Rice Home with the perfect dining area to suit your preferred hospitality and your family’s needs.Formal Dining Rooms are not PasséRecent focus groups and surveys asked home buyers what they want in a home and many still want the traditional dining in a room separate from the kitchen.One recent survey this spring said that nearly two-thirds of home buyers want both a great room for casual dining and one or two more formal spaces.Formal dining rooms are for those who love to entertain, especially those who enjoy sit-down dinners with candlelight or a dimmed chandelier. For some, the formal dining room provides a place to decorate and dramatically set the mood.“The formal dining room is a great place to celebrate special family occasions and holidays,” says Lisa Poundstone, Home Staging® expert and owner of Design Smart Home Staging &A butler’s pantry is ideal for homeowners who entertain large groups.Redesign. “You can create different looks for each of the seasons by layering the table with different colors and textures using tablecloths, runners, placemats, chargers, dishes and napkins. The centerpiece, typically the focal point of the dining table, can be a simple vase with your favorite flowers or a more dramatic combination of candles and flowers.”The formal dining rooms available in some Rob Rice Homes are a place to display art as well as your crystal, china and silver. Tables for eight and family china hutches, often hard to place in other parts of the home, fit well in the formal dining area. In a pre-sale of a Rob Rice Home, a buyer would also have a choice of several lovely chandelier lighting fixtures.Both the Rainier plan and the home we call the Magnolia at Evergreen Heights, a conveniently-located community nestled into gently rolling hills in a country setting in Lacey, offer a formal dining room.And, in addition to their beautifully-designed kitchens with alder cabinets, stainless steel appliances, slab granite or quartz counters and hardwood flooring, these homes have a special “butler pantry” between the kitchen and the dining room with a granite countertop and a wine cooler that allow you to stage food and drink for a formal dinner and serves as storage for that special holiday dinnerware and any other items to graciously serve your guests.At Campus Highlands in the Meridian Campus amid the beautiful Northwest woodlands and a neighboring popular golf course there are three gorgeous quality-built homes that include formal dining rooms: the Riviera, the Sahalee and the one-story Valhalla.All of these homes have the potential for both formal and casual dining as they have a dining nook off of the kitchen as well as the open and light great room concept for the wonderful flexibility of entertaining and dining in two separate spaces.Open concept dining rooms are popular for more casual dining and family gatherings like the Spruce plan at Evergreen Heights.Open, Casual Dining According to the National Homebuilders Association report “What Home Buyers Really Want,” 66 percent of buyers said a dining room is either essential or desirable in their home.But that does not necessarily mean they all want a formal space. Many homebuyers today are looking for open floor plans, where the kitchen, family room and dining room share one space and a busy family can see and talk to one another.Many Rob Rice Homes have the great room concept and have kitchens with granite or quartz raised counters where family members can pull up a stool for breakfast. The popular Spruce at EvergreenHeights is an example of a one-story home with a stylish kitchen that looks out onto a bright great room for more casual dining.Rob Rice has the Home you WantFind the home that matches your wish list at any of the nine sought-after Rob Rice Communities throughout the area. You can also find a quality-built home on an individual, larger-sized lot outside of our communities at one of our Select Home Sites in ThurstonCounty.And don’t forget that the area’s top rated builder, Rob Rice Homes, can custom-build your home with features specific to your family’s lifestyle, including your dining preferences.last_img read more

  • Mason General Hospital Shelton Family Medicine and Orthopedics, Walk-In Clinic and…

    first_imgFacebook19Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Mason HealthThe grand opening of Mason Clinic is on the horizon in February of next year. The new 60,000-square-foot medical office building will be the new home for all of Mason Health’s clinics, with the exception of Hoodsport Family Clinic. The first clinics to move into the facility will be MGH Shelton Family Medicine and Orthopedics, the MGH Walk-In Clinic and the MGH Professional Way Lab Draw Station starting on February 24, 2020.The District will hold a Grand Opening Ceremony for the new Mason Clinic on Friday, Feb. 21. The entire community is invited to attend. The following week, MGH Shelton Family Medicine and Orthopedics, the MGH Walk-In Clinic and the MGH Professional Way Lab Draw Station will begin to move to the new building and providers will start to see patients. All of the District’s clinics, except for Hoodsport Family Clinic, will transition to Mason Clinic by the end of the summer.“The purpose of Mason Clinic is to improve our ability to serve our patients by offering an integrated team-based care approach,” said District CEO and Superintendent Eric Moll. “Mason Clinic will make it possible for the District to consolidate provider offices and patient services now located in multiple buildings east of the Hospital into a modern, accessible and patient-focused facility.”Together, all of the moves will create a smoother and more integrated experience for patients and will enhance collaboration among providers. Exam rooms will increase from 71 to 110, allowing for easier access to health care services for patients and their families. The $35 million project did not require new tax revenue and has been financed by using revenue bonds issued by the District.For updates on clinic moves, visit the Mason Health website or follow us on Facebook.Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County, is certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. Mason Health now offers 3D Mammography Services.  For more information on 3D mammograms or to find a health care provider, visit the Mason Health website.last_img read more

  • WATCH : Liverpool 3rd choice keeper Andy Lonergan had scored a scorcher from his…

    first_imgAdvertisement zbNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vstu2shWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E8eq( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) c4aucrWould you ever consider trying this?😱7hCan your students do this? 🌚cr3Roller skating! Powered by Firework After Alisson’s long term injury, Adrian took over the goal for Liverpool FC against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup. The former West Ham man performed exceptionally well in the absence of the most expensive signing as a goalkeeper and his heroics continued as Chelsea and Liverpool went deep into penalty shooutouts in the showpiece Super Cup game in Istanbul. However, by the end of the game , Adrian pulled up injured.Advertisement Third choice goalkeeper at Melwood, Andy Lonergan is set to take the reigns against Southampton in the Premier League this weekend.Advertisement Fans who were wondering who Lonergan might be , searched up online and found a piece of football gold :Advertisement   Advertisementlast_img read more

  • Real Madrid squad honour the passing of former Barcelona coach Luiz Enrique’s 9 year…

    first_imgImage Courtesy: Getty/Twitter(@realmadriden)Advertisement 7q8cfcNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs6sgWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eboj( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8zz3gWould you ever consider trying this?😱nCan your students do this? 🌚56kRoller skating! Powered by Firework Xana Enrique, the daughter of Luiz Enrique, Spanish football legend and former Barcelona coach, has recently passed away, and their La Liga rivals from the capital, Real Madrid, honoured the late 9 year old cancer victim with a minute’s silence in the training ground.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty/Twitter(@realmadriden)The Galacticos’ official Twitter account shared a photo of Zidane’s squad gathered around before training, to pay homage to Enrique’s daughter.Advertisement The 49 year old played for both the Blaugranas and Los Blancos in his career, winning numerous silverware in both jerseys. He also coached the catalans from 2014 to 2017, and won two La Liga and a UEFA Champions League. The former Spanish international is a respected figure across Santiago bernabeu to Camp Nou.Xana was the victim of a type of bone cancer termed osteosarcoma, and was fighting in the hospital bed for over five months. Unfortunately, the saddening news of the little girl’s passing away was confirmed on Twitter by none other than her father this Thursday.Enrique wrote: “Our daughter Xana has passed away this afternoon at the age of 9, after fighting for five months against osteosarcoma.”“We give thanks for all the caring gestures we have received during these months and we appreciate the privacy and understanding. We also thank the staff, doctors, nurses, and the volunteers at the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospitals for their dedication and care. And a special mention to the palliative care team at Sant Joan de Deu.”The tweet ended with a heartbroken father’s final message to her dearest late little daughter: “We will miss you a lot but we will remember you every day of our lives with the hope that we will see each other soon in the future. You will be the star that guides our family.” Advertisementlast_img read more

  • Bruh moment of 29th October 2019: Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney’s son Kai will…

    first_imgImage Courtesy: Getty ImagesAdvertisement 2tneNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs1fWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Exuv( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) n8wWould you ever consider trying this?😱8v6fcCan your students do this? 🌚s6pRoller skating! Powered by Firework Wayne Rooney. The leader of the frontline during his Manchester United reign, and the beloved apprentice of Fergie. A hall of fame and prominent figure among the supporters. Everyone expects the current DC United star’s son Kai to follow his father’s footsteps, right? Wrong! The kid is aiming for the Citizens!Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty ImagesAfter 13 years at the Old Trafford, Rooney left United in 2017 for Everton, a year before moving to the US Capital. The 34 year old will be returning to his homeland in January 2020 to start off a new chapter as a player-coach for EFL Championship side Derby County.As cited by various sources, Kai, Wayne and Coleen’s eldest son, will join Manchester City’s youth academy on return. The academy has given City several first class players, such as Shaun Wright-Phillips, Phil Foden and another Red Devils legend Peter Schmeichel’s son, Kasper Schmeichel.Advertisement Primarily enrolling in the United youth academy in 2016, the 9 year old was speculated to join up the Bethesda Soccer Club in the US.However, Kai will be returning to the Etihad Academy once again, after a short session in 2017 before Wayne flew over the Atlantic from Cheshire.Advertisement If all things fall into place as they are planned, the ‘Rooney’ name on a Sky Blue jersey will be a sight to see, contrary to almost all united fans who are eager to see Kai at the Theater of Dreams. Advertisementlast_img read more

  • Brigade of ‘Angels’ Fix Unheated Home For Family of 7

    first_imgBy Jay Cook |MIDDLETOWN – When Kevin Garrison walks through the front door at 240 First Ave., he’s no longer the unfamiliar face from two weeks ago; he’s now a cherished part of the family.Through a dizzying number of connections and chance encounters, Garrison helped change the lives of Hattie Hunter, her five great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.Under the banner of his nonprofit, Blessing Bag Brigade NJ, Garrison and about 50 volunteers and tens of local businesses donated thousands of dollars, countless hours and 11 total days of their time earlier this month ripping apart, renovating and redesigning a two-story, 110-year-old home in the Navesink section of town. And it wouldn’t have happened without a simple plea for help.“I think it’s a miracle from God. I’m going to call all these people my angels,” said Hunter, 78. “And that’s what they are, every single one of them. I didn’t expect this. I knew they were going to fix some things, but not fix everything.”But Garrison did more than fix a home. He turned into a place of warmth and comfort.The First ConnectionOver the past year, Garrison has seen Blessing Bag Brigade NJ evolve from a personal Christmastime endeavor into a regional, charitable 501(c)(3) organization. When the Atlantic Highlands resident, father of two and Amtrak employee, isn’t maintaining signal systems or spending time with his daughters, he’s volunteering his time in New York City and Newark to help the homeless in a unique way.Straying from the usual practice of handing out food, he’s gone down a different path to help the less than fortunate, literally bringing them a refreshing sense of self-hygiene. Anything from basic toiletries to socks to water bottles can be found in one of his blessing bags.“Most of these people, when they reach a certain level, getting food is easy – food pantries and soup kitchens are open morning and night,” Garrison said. “The problem is then they have nothing to clean themselves up with.”Kevin Garrison works alongside Jacob Foracker, left, and Timmy Coward during one evening last week as they helped renovate their own house in Middletown.After spreading his message on social media, over 6,500 blessing bags were made in 2017 by local ice hockey teams and church groups, as well as students and special needs classes in Colts Neck, Freehold Township, Jackson, Middletown and Rumson schools.“You can walk around the dollar store for 10 minutes and you’re doing someone a service that’s necessary,” Garrison said.But Blessing Bag Brigade developed into something much more in 2018. While running a bag-packing effort at Thorne Middle School this month, Garrison learned through teacher Susan Mosely about a student’s family stuck in a tough situation. That student was Timmy Coward, one of Hunter’s grandsons.Garrison went to Hunter’s house, only to find harsh living conditions for a family of seven. A burst pipe meant there was no baseboard heat in the home; nearly every window in the house was broken, some even shuttered with plastic wrap to help keep the cold out; and piles of saved boxes and goods were packed ceiling high in some rooms.“I just couldn’t walk away when I saw the situation they were in, the way they were living,” Garrison said. “I felt like I had to do something.” Living in the home with Hunter were her five great-grandchildren – all siblings who share the same mother – and her newborn great-great-granddaughter, including Dajah Osborn, 18, an enrollee at Monmouth Project Teach and mother of three-week-old Neveah; 17-year-old Rossi Jackson and 16-year-old Jacob Foracker, both students at Middletown High School South; and 14-year-old twins Timmy Coward, a student at Thorne, and Ta’mya Coward, a student at Bayshore Middle School. Hunter said she’s had custody of the children for nearly a decade, and relying on social security checks to get by.“But this house, there was everything,” Hunter said. “It was a mess. I did the best I could. I’m the only adult.”Enlisting the ArmyOn Jan. 10, Garrison, captaining a one-man army, once again reached out to his followers on social media for any assistance they could provide. The first order of business was to get the family out of the house, which had no heat during the early January cold spell. For 11 days, they lived in two rooms at the Comfort Inn on Route 35. Garrison said the rooms were paid for by himself, Thorne Middle School and a YMCA men’s basketball league.Garrison found the best way to spread his message was through Facebook Live videos every morning, posted on his charity page and detailing what was in store for him daily. And many of those videos came just a few short hours after his 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts with Amtrak.Timmy and Jacob helped tear out old cabinets and rip up floorboards. Garrison said about three, 20-yard dumpsters were filled and hauled away by ADL Demo from Hazlet.After a few short days, more help than they could have imagined came through the home, with people giving time and sweat to refurbish the house.Dozens of local small businesses donated labor and products to the cause. Builders’ General gave new cabinets; Woodhaven Lumber installed the windows, doors and trim; The Floor Store in Freehold provided new flooring throughout the home; A.B. Carpet in Monroe and D n’ R Carpet in Hazlet both donated carpets for the living room; and the Co-Cathedral of St. Roberts Bellarmine in Freehold donated most of the new furniture.Middletown residents Tommy and Scott Moran helped coordinate daily efforts, and Garrison’s friend and Freehold police officer, Todd Smith, aided in finding donors. Nearly 50 individuals helped daily to renovate the home and aid the family. One of those volunteers was fellow Middletown resident Jen Baker, a mother of four.“It was rough at first,” Baker said. “Lots of hours put in priming, painting, all that stuff. Once I went to the hotel and brought dinner to the family and saw the baby, it made it all so worth it.”A Tear-Filled Finishing TouchAt about 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, Garrison walked into the Comfort Inn for the final time to escort Hunter back to her finished home. After an anxious 15-minute car ride with the family, they were greeted at the house by dozens of the volunteers.Hunter said she was overcome with a feeling she’d never experienced in her life.“They believed in (Garrison) and they believed in us even though they never met us,” Hunter said, holding back a tear. “But they wanted to do something and make sure we were secure in our home and had a nice place to come to.”Garrison didn’t want the gaudy reveals that happen all too often on television; he aimed for a more personal moment between the family and the volunteers.“I know what it’s like to feel despair, what it’s like to feel depressed and not be able to get out of your own way sometimes,” Garrison said. “And I just wanted everyone to have that human touch because we don’t always get that.”The family has been thoroughly enjoying their new living quarters since returning home over the weekend. Timmy Coward was taking shots on the basketball hoop beside the home on a recent evening. Osborn is utilizing the additional space to walk around with her daughter. Upstairs the three girls share a small bedroom, with two beds separated by the baby’s crib. Just across the hall, the three boys each have their own bed in another bedroom. “It was amazing, especially in the time they did it in,” said Osborn, of the volunteers. “I was in awe walking in and seeing everything. It was a lot to take in.”“Not that we didn’t have a place to call home before, but it’s a better home,” she said.For more information about Blessing Bag Brigade NJ, visit their Facebook page or read more

  • Report Highly Critical of Red Bank Operations

    first_imgBy Jay Cook |RED BANK – A newly published report commissioned by the borough slams Red Bank’s “ineffective” and “dysfunctional” municipal operations.The 42-page-long assessment entitled the Management Enhancement Review, shared Friday on the borough website, says Red Bank’s government needs to modernize its numerous departments, requires an active redevelopment agency to compete with neighboring towns and should overhaul its form of government.“It’s definitely disappointing. Heart-wrenching, in a way,” said Red Bank Councilman Michael Whelan Tuesday, who has been on the governing body for two and a half years. “It’s our fault and we just can’t get out of our way.”It was authored by Government Strategy Group (GSG) over a seven-month period from October to April. Its leadership – CEO Kenneth DeRoberts and Joseph M. Harnett, executive managing director – were contracted by the borough earlier this year to oversee operations after former borough administrator Stanley Sickels’ retirement at the end of 2017.DeRoberts and Harnett took Red Bank’s current temperature by interviewing 45 borough employees, elected officials, business owners and business agency staff about how the town operates. Though their names were listed in a section called Roster of Interviews, their comments were published without attribution. The results detailed a rising fever.“Our facilities are a disaster,” said one person, who was not named. “We are all out of sync. I don’t know what the goals and objectives of the Mayor and Council are,” another proclaimed. “You have to be a pest to get anything done here,” described a third person.“The Borough of Red Bank is at a major crossroads,” the report’s introduction reads. “Strong opposing dynamics, as well as external forces, present challenges that if not addressed, threaten to leave the community’s fate outside of its control.”Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said Monday there needs to be “an organic, complete administrative overhaul” about how “the borough has historically functioned.”The top recommendation was for Red Bank to commission a charter study and investigate changing its form of government. The report finds the borough council form has essentially morphed into a commission-style, giving elected officials too much oversight in daily operations.Menna called investigating such a change a “cop out.” Instead, consolidating its numerous departments into potentially three, he said, would “address the redundancy and the administrative changes that have taken place in 50 years.”The recent hire of new business administrator Ziad Andrew Shehady should help solve that problem, Menna said.Whelan, however, supports changing Red Bank’s governmental system. He and fellow Republican Councilman Mark Taylor recently started the “Red Bank First” initiative as an effort to reform the borough government into a nonpartisan governing body.“Being in that government for the last three years, we have seen how it’s inefficient and how nothing gets done,” said Whelan. “A lot of times we stand in the way of progress, and this independent group pretty much agrees that the way we’re set up is archaic.”The report, which Red Bank initially paid $17,500 for in October, also went into great detail concerning the numerous other functions and policies of Red Bank.OperationsBy redefining the interior chain of command and an organizational structure, the GSG report said Red Bank could eliminate up to 12 full-time positions. It suggested consolidating the code enforcement, planning, zoning and building departments into one main office that handles it all.Open permits in the construction code office have been “symbolic of dysfunctionality that set in over the years,” according to the report. With about 4,400 properties, there are a staggering 9,000 permits in that department. Although most might be for small items, it presents a “real measurable effect on taxes” involving properties with added assessments that should be on tax rolls.Morale among borough employees “is very poor,” the report continued. It detailed a culture where employees take orders from multiple bosses and multiple elected officials, leaving them feeling “not fully supported in their jobs or their careers.”Some recommendations to fix borough-wide operations were to improve information technology programs, hold a regional shared service summit to contract projects out and changing the structure of how employees are assigned work.The Downtown Establishing a redevelopment agency and addressing the downtown parking problems top this section. Redevelopment projects in Long Branch and Asbury Park, as well as at Fort Monmouth could soon rival Red Bank’s downtown, according to the report.GSG suggested the borough hire a full-time redevelopment director or create a similar agency to help communications with current and prospective business owners.Additionally, the borough should implement a new master plan with specifics for the downtown and create a “consistent brand identity” to develop a marketing plan.Hiring a firm to conduct a parking study was also suggested. The borough council beat the report to the punch, though, as it hired Walker Consultants last month to begin that study.“The planning for and availability of such parking has been a source of contention for a number of years,” according to the report. “There are as many different opinions about whether more is needed, if so how much and where as there are stakeholders with an interest in the issue.”Click here to read the rest of the report on This article was first published in the June 14-June 21, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

  • Norman scores twice to lead the Leafs past Nitros Friday at the NDCC Arena

    first_imgBrett Norman scored twice sparking the Nelson Leafs to a 4-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the visiting Kimberley Dynamiters Friday at the NDCC Arena.The win, second in as many nights for the Green and White and seventh in eight games, maintains a three-point lead for Nelson in Murdoch Division standings over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.Beaver Valley kept pace with Nelson, edging Creston 5-4 at the Hawks Nest behind the three-point performance of Dallas Calvin.Norman scored his first of two during a crazy third period that saw the Nitros twice rally from two-goal deficits.Already leading 3-2 after 40 minutes Norman combined with teammates Patrick Martens and Dallon Stoddart, the hero of Thursday’s romp over Grand Forks with five points, including three goals, to give Nelson a 3-1 lead.But Jordan Revie scored on the power play to pull Kimberley to within a goal.With 7:24 remaining in the game Norman, the game’s first star, scored the eventual winner before Richard Hubscher scored on the power play to make the game close.The Leafs then turned the game over to goalie Andrew Walton who slammed the door to preserve the win.Colton Schell and Matti Jmaeff also scored for Nelson.Former Leaf Brennan Foreman, playing a few games for Nelson last season, had the final goal for Kimberley.Nelson finished the game out shooting Kimberley 27-25.The Leafs return to action Sunday in Spokane against the Braves.ICE CHIPS: Friday’s two goals was the seventh multiple-point game for Brett Norman, who is quickly turning into a fan favourite as the Dawson Creek product uses his speed and grit to get the job done. . . .The Leafs called up affiliate Cole Arcuri for the game. Arcuri, a graduate of Nelson Minor Hockey, is currently attending the Okanagan Hockey Association in Penticton. . . .The all-Nelson line of Dallon Stoddart, Carsen Willans and Linden Horswill combined for 11 points during Thursday’s 12-1 trashing of Grand Forks. . . . Nelson native Blake Arcuri saw his first action of the season Thursday after off-season shoulder surgery. Arcuri registered two assists. . . .After living the early part of the KIJHL season at home, Nelson is away for three games starting Sunday in Spokane and the following weekend in Summerland and Penticton. . . .Next home game is Wednesday, October 19 against Beaver Valley.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more