State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles Discusses Human Trafficking In Washington

first_imgSubmitted by Timberland Regional LibraryHuman trafficking is a billion-dollar, global industry according to State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Kohl-Welles will discuss the historical, cultural, socioeconomic and public-policy perspectives on human trafficking at an interactive presentation titled “Human Trafficking in Washington: From the Historic Mercer Maids to Sexual Exploitation in Internet Ads”. The event will be at the Lacey Timberland Library on Saturday, January 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.Kohl-Welles offers historical, cultural, socioeconomic and public-policy perspectives on human trafficking. Topics to be explored include the ethics and policy around the issue and misconceptions about human trafficking.A primary focus will be on sex trafficking and how and why it happens here. Historical accounts, film and current events will be used to provide context. Finally, the discussion will examine what is being done to intervene and prevent human trafficking, including new laws, innovative law enforcement approaches and actions being taken by human-rights groups.With regard to her work on human trafficking, Kohl-Welles has been the sponsor of many anti-trafficking bills in the Washington State Senate. She received Seattle Against Slavery’s 2010 Lincoln Freedom Award for her efforts. Kohl-Welles serves on the University of Washington’s Human Trafficking Task Force. She is a national and international presenter on the topic of human trafficking.This program is co-sponsored by Humanities Washington. The Lacey Timberland Library is at 500 College Street SE. For more information, contact the library at (360) 491-3860 or visit www.TRL.org. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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Olympia’s Deanna Wall Named Winner in “No Roof Left Behind” Contest

first_imgSubmitted by Town and Country RoofingDeanna Wall of Olympia has been named as winner of a new roof in TOWN & COUNTRY ROOFING’s No Roof Left BehindTM initiative.No Roof Left Behind is a nationwide program that gives folks in the community a way to help their good neighbors that have fallen on hard times. The No Roof Left Behind program provides a local contractor the framework to provide a new roof at no cost to a deserving homeowner in need. Town & Country Roofing was the first in Washington State to join this program.DeeAnna is single, full-time working mother of two children. After hard work she managed to become a homeowner.  DeeAnna mentions, “I am very thankful that my family has a place to be together and a place called home .”  However, soon after moving in the roof started to have problems and being a single mother, being able to afford a new roof wasn’t a possibility.After hearing the news she had received the most votes and won the new roof giveaway, DeeAnna exclaimed, “We are so excited to have won! It is often hard to reach out and ask for help and I am so happy we did. Through the voting process I was continuously amazed and honored by the amount of support we received through votes and the loving comments that were left by family, friends, and community members. We won because each and every one of you. We are beyond thankful! We also want to say thank you to Town and Country Roofing as well as the No Roof Left Behind Program for the unbelievable gift that my family is so lucky to be receiving.”For more information about Town & Country Roofing, their No Roof Left Behind program and interviews with Ron Shincke, please call 360-704-7663 or visitwww.townandcountryroofingwa.com Facebook6Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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Take a Video Tour of Tumwater’s Old Brewhouse

first_imgFacebook1.1kTweet0Pin4 Submitted by Olympia Tumwater FoundationThe City of Tumwater, the Olympia-Tumwater Foundation, and Thurston Community Media have teamed up to produce a video tour of the Old Brewhouse. The Olympia Brewery was the community’s largest private employer for a significant part of the past century and many local residents have stories of a family member’s experiences working for the Brewery, including retired brewmaster Paul Knight.Knight hosts the video tour that features historic photos of the workers, the brewing process and the construction of the various buildings on the site. The video includes the founding Schmidt family and how their business made the slogan “It’s the Water” famous. The brewery is the last reminder of the flourishing riverside industries that once formed the heart of Tumwater. Knight describes the crucial role the Olympia Brewing Company played in the history of our community.Tumwater’s Old Brewhouse is an iconic landmark in the community, and influenced the design of many new buildings around the City. The six-story red brick tower is seen by tens of thousands of people each day from I-5. In its prime, the Brewery was a tourist destination, with some accounts that the company gave tours to 100,000 visitors each year. After the 2016 donation of the brick tower to the City of Tumwater, tours of the complex have been restricted in the interest of safety during renovation stages. The City of Tumwater has made preservation of the historic structure and revitalization of the brewing district a priority.last_img read more

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The Final Round of Qualifiers for the UEFA EURO 2020 live and exclusive on…

first_imgAdvertisement 5cdyNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsllhWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Efjx( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) yzWould you ever consider trying this?😱wjswrCan your students do this? 🌚gbldnhRoller skating! Powered by Firework The Final Qualifying Stages for the UEFA EURO 2020 are all set to commence in the final international football break of 2019. Six sides, namely Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Spain, have already sealed their spots at the upcoming mega tournament however, other top UEFA member associations are still vying to make it to the remaining 14 spots through these Qualifiers. Advertisement  Some of the strongest European football superpowers will look at utilizing this platform to win a spot in the prestigious tournament. Let’s take a look at some of the key matches to watch out for in the final stages of the Qualifying group stages of the UEFA EURO 2020: Advertisement   Advertisement England vs. Montenegro  England started off the campaign as favourites and still take that spot but with the recent clash between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez possibly upsetting the status quo, this group stage match became all the more exciting for fans. The match this weekend will be England’s 1000th international game against Montenegro and the last match ended with an embarrassing defeat for the latter but they will look to turn things around this time. Gareth Southgate’s squad convened three points to make it to the top of Group A, and need just one more point from their two remaining games to seal their place at next summer’s European Championships. However, having said that, the fans can expect nothing less than fireworks at the stadium while these two play it rough to seal a qualification spot at UEFA EURO 2020 this weekend.Watch England vs. Montenegro Live and Exclusive on SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 2 HD on 15th November 2019 at 01:15 am (IST).   Portugal vs. Lithuania  The current European champions Portugal are all set to host Lithuania at the Estadio Algarve, which might prove to be a crucial match for the home side in Group B to qualify this year. Portugal entered the qualifying campaign as favourites being the Defending Champions, but faced a major setback and lost the spot by losing against Ukraine. Lithuania, on the other hand, have a poor record as they have only managed to win one away game in the 11 matches, making their chances seem bleak against the powerhouse that is Cristiano Ronaldo & Co.  Watch Portugal vs. Lithuania Live and Exclusive on SONY SIX and SONY SIX HD on 15th November 2019 at 01:15 am (IST).   France vs. Moldova  France’s inability to win their division in the UEFA Nations League makes the European Championships 2020 qualification stage much more important for the FIFA World Cup winners. With a four-match winning run ending with a 1-1 draw at home to Turkey last month, France is sure of their qualification if they win this fixture. Moldova, on the other hand,  have lost seven of their eight matches in this qualifying campaign, with only two more teams with them sharing the bottom of the qualifiers. It is predicted that the appointment of their new coach also hasn’t given the team a lot of time for coordination and strategy, which can possibly be the reason of their for their performance.  Watch France vs. Moldova Live and Exclusive on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 1 HD on 15th November 2019 at 01:15 am (IST).   Romania vs. Sweden  A place at the 2020 European Championship will be at stake when Romania and Sweden face each other at Arena Nationala. With only one point separating the two teams in the standings, a close encounter is on the horizon, and, the fans can expect nothing less than fireworks at the showdown this weekend. Romania are undefeated in the previous three group games, and the game against Sweden will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. Hence, currently the two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment and the Swedes on the contrary, have suffered only one loss in Euro 2020 qualifiers. So it’s predicted that either they are going to grab something from Arena Nationala clash, or the fans are ready to bet for a draw!  Watch Spain vs. Malta Live and Exclusive on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 1 HD on 16th November 2019 at 01:15 am (IST).   Russia vs. Belgium  The top position in Group I will be at stake when Russia and Belgium face each other at Saint-Petersburg Stadium, making it the most crucial matches of the league so far. The Russians are on a seven-game winning run in the EURO 2020 qualifiers, and will go that extra mile to block the spot. The Belgians, on the contrary have passed their qualification and are likely be a little stress-free but will certainly pose a much bigger threat to the hosts than their previous rivals.  Russia, on the game point of view, are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach in the Group I derby as they are three points behind Belgium in the standings. The two last met in Brussels where Belgium defeated Russia with a 3-1.  Watch Russia vs. Belgium Live and Exclusive on SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 2 HD on 16th November 2019 at 10:30 pm (IST).   Germany vs. Belarus  Germany will now be eyeing a back-to-back win in Group C while they travel to Belarus for their second EURO 2020 qualification match this weekend, while Belarus, the overwhelming underdogs entering this match staring at a third straight defeat in the section. The White Wings have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup or European Championships, and it seems unlikely that they will be able to do that even now. Germany, on the other hand opened their qualification campaign with a brilliant 3-2 win away against the Netherlands. The 90-minute strike from Nico Schulz which secured all three points, made them eye for another victory, which was followed by an astonishing win over Estonia with 0-3 score. Germany have qualified for every European Championship since 1968. They are three-time winners of the competition but have not triumphed since EURO 1996 in England.   Watch Germany vs. Belarus Live and Exclusive on SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 2 HD on 17th November 2019 at 01:15 am (IST).   Croatia vs. Slovakia   All eyes will be on Stadion HNK Rijeka when Croatia and Slovakia face each other in the Group E derby for the Euro Qualifiers this season. Croatia, who are rising to become the favorites especially after their stellar World Cup performance, are only one point away from booking their place at the EURO 2020, and so it is likely that they choose to play defensive in order to be extra cautious. Seeing that the Croats would not be an easy task at home, it would be interesting to watch the Slovakians put their best foot forward under the strategic guidance of their coach. Pavel Hapel’s men play host to Azerbaijan in their last qualifying match, and a victory over the former Soviet Republic is likely to help them qualify for the next year’s showpiece tournament. So far, there have been no news of any suspensions and injuries and the path seems clear with the fans of both sides awaiting a clash of all times.  Watch Croatia vs. Slovakia Live and Exclusive on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 1 HD on 17th November 2019 at 01:15 am (IST).  UEFA EURO 2020 is set to be amongst the most exciting sporting tournaments of 2020 and the Qualifiers this year are setting the stage for the prestigious tournament. Apart from this fan-favourite tournament, Indian fans can catch the best footballing action in the world only on Sony Pictures Sports Network this season with premier international properties like Serie A, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019, UEFA EURO 2020 and many more.  Watch the European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 live and exclusive from 14th November 2019 onwards only on Sony Pictures Sports Network.  DateTimeMatchBroadcast Destination14/11/1922:30Turkey vs. IcelandSony Ten 2 & HD15/11/1901:15England vs. MontenegroSony Ten 2 & HD15/11/1901:15Portugal vs. LithuaniaSony Six & HD15/11/1901:15France vs. MoldovaSony Ten 1 & HD15/11/1922:30Finland vs. LiechtensteinSony Ten 2 & HD15/11/1922:30Armenia vs. GreeceSony Ten 1 & HD16/11/1901:15Denmark vs. GibraltarSony Six & HD16/11/1901:15Spain vs. MaltaSony Ten 2 & HD16/11/1901:15Romania vs. SwedenSony  Ten 1 & HD16/11/1901:15Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. ItalySony Ten 3 & HD16/11/1919:30Cyprus vs. ScotlandSony Ten 1 & HD16/11/1922:30Russia vs. BelgiumSony Ten 2 & HD17/11/1901:15Northern Ireland vs. NetherlandsSony Six & HD17/11/1901:15Germany vs. BelarusSony Ten 2 & HD17/11/1901:15Croatia vs. SlovakiaSony Ten 1 & HD17/11/1901:15Israel vs. PolandSony Ten 3 & HD17/11/1919:30Serbia vs. UkraineSony Ten 1 & HD17/11/1922:30Kosovo vs. EnglandSony Ten 2 & HD18/11/1901:15Moldova vs. IcelandSony Six & HD18/11/1901:15Andorra vs. TurkeySony Ten 1 & HD18/11/1901:15Albania vs. FranceSony Ten 2 & HD Advertisementlast_img read more

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Irfan Pathan gives valuable advice to Indians on how to fight Coronavirus

first_imgImage Courtesy: Instagram(@irfanpathan_official)/APAdvertisement 2gNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsfn79Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E3rc2v( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) zxmWould you ever consider trying this?😱aflm8Can your students do this? 🌚4v1Roller skating! Powered by Firework The novel Coronavirus, originating from China, has spread its wings into other countries around the globe, and have caused serious havoc, especially in Italy and Iran. The COVID-19 has now finally made its way into India, and to counter the contamination of the virus in the humongous population, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced a ‘janata Curfew’ which is on today. WHO, and several celebrities on social media have come forward to advise the population on how to counter the spread of the virus, and the latest words come from none other than Irfan Pathan.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Instagram(@irfanpathan_official)/APAccording to ICMR, there have seen 315 positive cases of Coronavirus in India as of today, and already there have been six deaths. In the worrying situation, the former Team India stalwart has gone hand in hand with several other sportspersons of the country.As the country is going into lockdown and people are self-isolated and quarantined in their own homes, Irfan Pathan uploaded a video on his official Instagram account yesterday, addressing the Indian public on some valuable counsel and guidelines on how to tackle further spread of the virus.Advertisement Irfan captioned the advisory clip with:“Don’t be scared of the #corona virus but be vigilant. Take care of the sanitation. But importantly have a right attitude towards yourself and others #care.”Check it out here-Advertisement “Hello, India. Everyone is currently in panic mode and afraid due to the novel coronavirus but you don’t need to be,” Irfan started the video off with a hopeful message.The former all rounder continued about personal hygiene and some necessary dietary changes, which can help in the long run.“Wash your hands properly and try to wash dirts under your nails with soap and running water, also drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fruits to help your body build a strong immune system which can fight the Coronavirus.”Although there have seen strict guidelines from WHO themselves and the Govt of India to avoid public gatherings, the irresponsible lot are still continuing with the ceremonies in the current state of emergency, and Irfan didn’t forget to empathise on that vary topic.“We need to slightly change our attitude. I was sitting at my home yesterday and I heard trumpets blowing in a marriage procession and when I looked many people have gathered to celebrate, I know that marriage dates might have been pre-decided but now that you know the severity of the situation don’t gather in public.” the 35 year old added.“Please follow government instructions now that you know coronavirus can spread, it depends on our attitude.” Irfan concluded.Also read-Another Juventus superstar and Cristiano Ronaldo teammate tests positive for Covid-19COVID-19: NBA Launches NBA Together Initiative in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic Advertisementlast_img read more

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Hotel Hearing Postponed Over Height Issue

first_imgRED BANK — A proposal to construct a six-story hotel at the borough’s northern entrance, which has seen its share of wrinkles, developed ano encountered another on Monday when Ron Gasiorowski, an attorney representing an objector to the application, said that the height of the proposed structure exceeds what is permitted under borough ordinances.The planning board had been scheduled to continue hearing the application by RBank Capital LLC to construct a 76-room Hampton Inn, at the Highway 35 and Rector Place intersection, overlooking the Swimming River.But after a discussion between representatives for the developer, the objector and the planning board attorney the hearing was adjourned until January.The hearing was placed on hold when a representative for the objector discovered a provision in a borough ordinance that restricts a building’s height to 50 feet in the zone if it falls halfway between the river and the nearest parallel roadway, with the ordinance pertaining to such roadways as Front Street, Riverside Avenue, Rector Place and Shrewsbury Avenue.According to prior testimony, the height of the proposed hotel is approximately 80 feet.Following the adjournment, Planning Board Attorney Michael Leckstein  said that when hearings resume, the attorney for the developer, Martin A. McGann Jr. will have to show that the project does not violate the ordinance.“I’m not aware of that section,” (of the applicable ordinance) and would have to review it, Leckstein said. Board Engineer Christine Ballard agreed, noting that the language of the ordinance was not clear. “It’s very fuzzy,” she said.McGann said afterwards that the issue at hand is “a very technical point,” but one “I think we’ll be able to address it at the next meeting,” on Jan. 18.This is the latest development in the long hearings on this matter, which over the months has seen a debate over whether it should be heard by the zoning board or planning; over the zoning of the property, and if this would be deemed a permitted use, and the borough council’s decision to change the zoning in hopes of clarifying the issue. A borough resident also brought a lawsuit against the board and developer seeking to block the project, expressing concerns over the size and scope of the plan and arguing it should go before the zoning board to seek a use variance. There also  was considerable debate over who is actually the objector, with the objector’s attorney, Ron Gasiorowski, acknowledging there is another party that is paying for the lawsuit, but the lawyer refuses to name that additional party.If the application does violate the ordinance provision, it could mean the application would have to go before the borough zoning board of adjustment (as the named objector, borough resident Steve Mitchell, has maintained in his suit) to seek a variance for a non-permitted use, which has a considerably higher burden of proof than would be required before the planning board. That would mean the process would have to start from the beginning before the zoning board.The developer would like to construct the hotel on the site of a former Exxon gas station, which has been vacant for approximately 14 years. Mitchell, the objector, has argued the project violates existing zoning, is too large for the site, as well as raising issue with contamination of the property.last_img read more

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Two Luxury Cars Stolen In One Night

first_imgThe last time a car was stolen in Rumson was on Sept. 22, from a home on Holly Tree Lane. The 2014 BMW X5 was recovered in damaged condition in New York City on Oct. 27, following an investigation by state police called Operation 17 Corridor.In 2011, three luxury cars were stolen from Rumson homes in July and August.When Rumson Police receive a car theft report, they enter it into a national crime database and notify the NJ State Police Auto Theft Task Force. Sometimes they take the extra step of contacting the Newark Police Dept. directly, Isherwood said.“There are auto theft rings based out of Newark Essex County area,” said Isher wood. “The cars can be stolen and resold on the black market,” he said. In some cases, the cars are loaded onto container ships and sent abroad, he said. RUMSON – Police are investigating reports of two vehicles stolen on the night of Wednesday, July 20.The unlocked cars were stolen out of the driveways of homes on Avenue of Two Rivers and Robin Road sometime between 9 p.m. and 5:45 a.m., according to Det. Sgt. Christopher Isherwood. The cars were identified as a 2016 Range Rover and a 2015 BMW X3. There were also reports by residents that their cars were rummaged through that night.“The common thread with these crimes is that the vehicles were not locked. It is imperative that residents keep vehicles locked and keep valuables somewhere secure,” said Isherwood.Oftentimes electronic key fobs are present in or near the vehicles, making it easy for thieves.“With this push button start in cars, it not like the old days like when you had to carry a key around. Sometimes people leave them in the car, or even on the kitchen counter,” said Isherwood. He explained that if the car is parked near the vicinity of the kitchen, for example, it could be possible to enter and easily start the car.last_img read more

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Tommy’s Plan for Expansion, Outdoor Games Is Challenged

first_imgBy Liz SheehanSEA BRIGHT-Who knew that bocce and cornhole could generate so much controversy?Residents of the Nautilus Condominiums in the borough did, and are continuing to fight the plans of Tommy Bonfiglio, the owner of the popular Tommy’s Tavern + Tap on Ocean Avenue, to place a bocce court and several cornhole tossing games in an area that borders the Shrewsbury River behind the restaurant, adjacent to their home.The bocce court was put in play when the restaurant opened in the summer of 2015. But after noise complaints, the bocce balls were stored away last summer. Outdoor noise is new to the neighborhood, since the building that houses Tommy’s used to serve as the town’s post office until it was wrecked in Super Storm Sandy.Now, Bonfiglio wants to resume the games. It’s part of his application before the Unified Planning Board to utilize a portion of the restaurant’s second floor for private parties, and add a 29-space parking lot next to his restaurant. (Before Sandy, it was a Sunoco gas station.)The area where the bocce court is located, Bonfiglio said, is fenced in with gates and would be closed at 10 p.m. The idea is to give patrons waiting for tables something to do, instead of crowding the hostess desk and bar in the front.At the board meeting on Tuesday night, Bonfiglio said that no food or drinks would be served in the fenced area but patrons could carry drinks there from the bar, and there would be several high top tables in the area for standing, not sitting.He estimated that 79 people could be accommodated in the area, but board member David DeSio said he observed around 100 people there, when the area was open.Dennis McLynn, who owns a condominium at the Nautilus, said he had spoken to Bonfiglio two years ago and asked him why he had put the bocce court at the north end of the open area in back of the restaurant, right next to the property line adjacent to the Nautilus, rather than at the south end, which would be a longer distance from the condominium and cause less noise for the residents there. He said Bonfiglio responded that the south end was reserved for a future tiki bar.McLynn said he fears that next year Bonfiglio will be looking for board approval to add a tiki bar to the riverside site.Stephen Raciti, the architect for the Tommy’s project, outlined the changes he had made to alleviate the noise from the restaurant, including soundproofing on a canopy on the rear outside dining area that faces toward the Nautilus, and soundproofing in a portion of the roof of the canopy.Ron Gasiorowski, an attorney representing Hank Gelhaus, who lives across the river from Tommy’s and objects to the noise, questioned Marc Leber, the engineer for Bonfiglio’s application. He asked if he was aware that Bonfiglio attended a meeting held by Monmouth County officials in April, at which the plans for moving the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge were discussed. Leber said he was not aware of it.At the meetings concerning the moving of the bridge, the county has said that the parking lot now being used to fulfill the parking requirements for Tommy’s application to make the upstairs room into a space for private parties was necessary for bridge plans to accommodate left hand turns from Ocean Avenue, for access to the Dunkin’ Donuts area.Bonfiglio’s attorney Martin McGann said after the last board meeting that the county had told him it would not stop his client with proceeding with his plans to use the lot for the restaurant’s parking application. “It’s our property,” he said.The board will continue hearings on the application on January 24.last_img read more

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Scanning Middletown’s Open Space

first_imgBy Jay Cook |MIDDLETOWN –Middletown is the largest municipality in Monmouth County, but when it comes to the amount of land set aside for open space, how does it compare to others?Better than you would think, Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger told residents earlier this week.Spread across 41 square miles, Middletown has about 5,500 acres of preserved open space inside its township borders – and up to 6,000 if land with conservation easements are counted, Scharfenberger said.To put it in perspective, that’s equal in total acreage to the size of two Atlantic Highlands, four Fair Havens and seven Sea Brights. “That’s very impressive, and I don’t think people realize the extent of what we have here,” Scharfenberger said.The Dec. 5 land use forum at the Middletown Arts Center was the fourth held by Scharfenberger and township administrator Tony Mercantante in the past 18 months. Other land use forums focused on development and redevelopment, revitalizing Route 36 and land-use planning. Tuesday night’s theme was how to prevent overdevelopment while encouraging sensible growth. The officials gave an overview on Middletown’s current open space situation, which they believe will improve as 2018 approaches.Looking at the NumbersMercantante said Middletown has been active in acquiring open space through the state Green Acres program since around 1999. The program provides funding so municipalities can add land to their inventories.According to Mercantante, there have been 17 Green Acres acquisitions totaling 223 acres. The total purchase cost is about $26 million, of which the township was obliged to pay $10.3 million, with the remainder covered by different public and private entities.“The biggest challenge is negotiating with property owners, trying to come to terms with acquiring a piece of property and then decide why we’re acquiring it,” Mercantante said.The most expensive of those 17 properties is the 40-acre Fisher-Stern plot, which became part of the Monmouth County Park System in 2005 as the Claypit Creek extension to Hartshorne Woods. The property was acquired with help from the county, Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF), the state’s Green Acres Program and the township. That single purchase cost those entities a total of $10.4 million at the time, with Middletown paying $1.9 million.Middletown open space purchases are funded through a two-cent tax per $100 of assessed property valuation, Scharfenberger said. That open space tax first commenced in 1999, when Middletown became active in purchasing property.That tax complements the new county Open Space Trust Fund tax increase approved by voters in November. When it goes into effect in 2018, the county projects over $14 million more annually available in the fund.Scharfenberger said the final piece to the open space puzzle should come in the next calendar year. About $1.5 million is owed to Middletown by the state through purchase reimbursements. Not having that money has limited the township, both officials said, and they anticipate more purchases coming in the near future.“Now we’re building a little bit of a war chest and looking around to purchase more open space as those reimbursements come in from the state,” Scharfenberger said.Success StoriesPreserving the right pieces of land has been the focus of Middletown’s open space mission over the past two decades, Mercantante said. With it comes the balance of preservation and development, considering “every property owner has the right to utilize their property in some reasonable fashion,” he said.Outside of the Fisher-Stern property, he highlighted two other instances where residential or commercial development was halted and that land was purchased.The first piece of open space is Bicentennial Park, a 10-acre swath of wooded land, a brook and pond, with a walking pier out to the water. It’s bordered by Route 35 South (and a Burger King) but stretches back along Twin Brooks Avenue and Spruce Drive on either side. Mercantante said the “great piece of open space” was proposed as a condo-office complex but the township stepped in to purchase the area. The $850,000 total price tag cost Middletown $425,000.The other noted property is Swimming River Park, a county-owned park planned for redevelopment in the next few years. For decades the site was Chris’ Landing, a popular boat launch for small watercraft and recreational kayakers, anchored by Chris’ Deli on site. Scharfenberger said a developer had plans to build a housing complex on the 16-acre site, but MCF and the county stepped in to purchase the land for $3.8 million in 2015.Refurbishing Forgotten ParksWith 49 active parks in town ranging from Lincroft to Leonardo, some have fallen by the wayside and could be earmarked for upgrades or new uses.The best example, Mercantante said, is the forlorn Camp Hope buried back in Lincroft Acres off Newman Springs Road. The old campground is accessible by a dirt road behind the two soccer fields and is surrounded by the Swimming River watershed.The day camp for children with disabilities was shut down about a decade ago and remains closed. In the years since, the pool, pergola, picnic tables and facilities have fallen into disrepair. This year, Mercantante said a nonprofit organization contacted the town looking to reestablish a summer camp in Middletown, and Camp Hope was the first location on his mind.Middletown is working with them now, he said, to install another pool and improve the facilities.Finding new purposes for other recreational parks in town will be a focus as well. Mercantante said repurposing Middletown’s three outdoor roller hockey rinks will be on the agenda. Two of those are currently shut down, he said, and the third is scarcely used anymore. What could they turn into? Maybe pickleball, he said, considering the sport’s growing popularity and requests from residents.“Those are the kinds of things we always have to be mindful of in the future, either using existing fields or construction of new ones,” Mercantante said.On the other hand, there are no plans to replace the Cavadas Skate Park on Pulsch Street in Belford, Scharfenberger said.Opened in 2003 after being purchased for $165,000, the 0.7-acre skate park was shut down by the township in 2010 amid concerns from township police. Scharfenberger said the “major league headache” had over 500 complaints to the police in one year. “It just didn’t pay for the upkeep and constant repairs,” he said.“We see no need nor desire on our part to reopen it,” he added. “That’s closed for the foreseeable future.”This article was first published in the Dec. 7-14, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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KIJHL teams back for final stretch run

first_imgCastlegar gave the third-place Leafs a little breathing room by knocking off the Murdoch leaders 3-1 Thursday in the Sunflower City. But Nelson still trails Beaver Valley by 14 points.Authur Andrews and Tyler Robinson scored first period goals and Jordan Gluck made 30 saves to spark the Rebel win.The win keeps the Rebels within striking distance — three points — of the Hawks. The teams meet again Friday in Fruitavale.Meanwhile the Leafs travel to Spokane before hosting the Braves in the annual New Years Eve clash at 2 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Grand Forks, the other Murdoch Division teams, is idle until January 6 when the Bruins host Castlegar. The Nelson Leafs return to the ice today as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League club begins the unofficial second half to the Junior B season Friday in Spokane.Nelson, 19-13-0-2, enters the final stretch with little room for error as the club trails the two Murdoch Division front runners — Beaver Valley and Castlegar — each by more than 10 points.last_img read more

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