“Reach Out at the Well” Returns to Downtown Following Successful Summer…

first_imgSubmitted by Renata Rollins for Reach out at the WellFree community fair aims to foster courageous community caretakingFollowing a successful first run, “Reach Out at the Well” returns to downtown’s Artesian Commons Park on Friday October 17 from noon to 3 p.m.The free community fair is hosted by the Olympia Outreach Workers League, a coalition of nearly a dozen downtown service organizations who operate with generous volunteer support. Participating organizations setup booths and provide information on their services and volunteer opportunities.“We aim to uplift the downtown neighborhood through strengthening relationships, cultivating networks, and encouraging volunteerism,” said Renata Rollins, event organizer and a coordinator with the Outreach Workers League. “It’s all about the ethic of courageous community caretaking. It takes a village to raise a village.”All are welcome, whether seeking volunteer opportunities or a little help getting through a rough patch, or even just to get in touch with the Downtown Neighborhood.With winter weather approaching, there’s a big push for volunteers at the local shelters, when they experience a swell in their overnight numbers.“Volunteering is fun and provides community members with the opportunity to directly engage with children and families,” said Natalie Moran of the Family Support Center, which opened the family shelter, Pear Blossom Place, in July. “We welcome children to volunteer alongside their parents. Without the dedication and support of volunteers, the community’s largest homeless family shelter would not be possible.”“We encourage groups, churches, schools and any other interested organization to consider volunteering together to cover a certain period of time,” said Meg Martin, shelter director with Interfaith Works, whose new Emergency Overnight Shelter opens November 1 at First Christian Church. “We are also looking for volunteers to share skills, information and teach enrichment classes as well. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of an important social issue that extends far beyond our downtown.”The Downtown Neighborhood Association will join the fall event, along with returning groups such as Covenant Creatures, which gives out free pet food and supplies at the fair; several youth and family organizations; and free/low-cost health clinics and services. Sea-Mar Clinic will offer Medicaid enrollment for those who qualify. The Downtown Ambassadors will serve as official greeters, serving up free hot coffee donated by Burial Grounds.The event runs noon to 3 p.m. on Friday October 17 at downtown’s Artesian Commons Park, commonly called “the Well,” at 415 E. Fourth Ave. Facebook24Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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Bombay Chest Furniture featured at Olympia’s Furniture Works

first_imgFacebook33Tweet0Pin6 Submitted by Furniture WorksIf you are looking for furniture to accessorize and beautify your home then Bombay Chest Furniture will be the perfect furniture to use. Using Bombay chest furniture will allow you  to turn your hallway or any empty wall into something rather beautiful to look at. They will add so much style to your home. Bombay Chest Furniture makes small to large storage pieces, each one having their own elegant design that has been beautifully crafted from select quality wood. They are made in different shapes that help with adding more character to any room.Some Bombay chest furniture pieces are beautifully crafted with hand-carving and then finished with a classic walnut stain. These furniture pieces have shelves inside with ample storage space inside so that you are able to store anything away. You can get foyer cabinets that are beautifully crafted from hard woods that are detailed with intricate hand carvings. On these pieces you may have two front doors with huge amounts of space and there will be a drawer at the top.There are hand painted hall chests that feature tooled embossed, nail head trimmed, antique brass toned, hand painted front panels that are framed by antique black finished parting rails and base. There is a cabriole leg base and ogee edged top. The hand painted hall chests can also have drawers in them with a double ogee top that rests on a scalloped apron with splayed and tapered legs. These pieces can also be crafted with spoon feet.There are other Bombay furniture pieces that have decorative elements that might include ormolu mounts, shell carvings, acanthus leaf carvings, carved scroll feet, and custom hardware. Fluted bun feet that are hand painted faux dark cherry finish with embossed metal and the front drawers are hand painted. You can choose a Bombay chest furniture piece that is an English design. This particular design has four drawers and two curved doors on the ends. The curved doors have simulated drawer fronts on them so that they match the design detail on the front.The name Demilune means half round in French and these could normally be used together as a pair, back to back. Also available are shaped hall chests with ball and claw feet. Other Bombay chest furniture may look like they have an oversized design to it with a very elegant beauty. All these Bombay Chest Furniture pieces have a magnificent hand carved detail and each of them has their own elegant design and quality. Each and every one of these items would look fantastic in any part of your home and they will complete the look in any room. Bombay chest furniture is bound to bring any wall to life.last_img read more

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Penrose Physical Therapy Gives Tips for Teleworking and Gym Closures During…

first_imgPhoto courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy8.  Boot camp is available on Facebook live in our private group “Penrose Boot Camp,” which is a higher intensity hips and core routine. That is $20 a week Tuesday/Thursday at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. if you are interested (replay would be available).  Please email jennnifer@penrosept.com if you want to attend. Injury questions will be answered as well.We are also hosting an virtual knee pain workshop on Wednesday April 8 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on webex.com.  You will need to email jennifer@penrosept.com for the invitation to join.  Dr. Penrose will answer questions regarding knee pain and what you can do about it.  And then there will be a way to enroll in our online knee pain course! We will find a way to help you in this COVID-19 time! Facebook28Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Penrose & Associates Physical TherapyPenrose & Associates Physical Therapy in Olympia has some at-home office tips to help your body stay healthy while working from home during COVID-19. Standing desk. Photo courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy1.  Take the time to set up your work station so you are not increasing your neck pain, back pain, elbow tendonitis etc.If you have a laptop you will want to take the time to set it up so you are not looking down at an awkward angle for prolonged periods of time.  Try to set it up on a work stand if you can and stand up and work.Click here to buy one that adjusts and is the one I am using in the pictures and videos.Click here for video of a standing station set up.If you are seated make sure you have good lumbar support like a lumbar roll, small rolled up pillow, rolled up towel.  You need enough support to help maintain your lumbar curve and prevent you from slouching.  This will make it easier on your whole spine.Click here for seated work station tips.2.  Next make sure your elbows stay at your side and are not reaching too far forward as this will eventually lead to arm, shoulder and neck strain over time.3.  Make sure you are looking at the screen straight ahead versus down. If you can get your laptop to plug into a docking station and a separate screen that would be ideal.center_img Stretches at desk. Photo courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy4.  Stop every 30 min and do shoulder blade squeezes, shoulder rolls, and reach up overhead and lean your upper back backwards for some stretching.  Turn your head to the left and to the right a few times.Click here for video of stretches to do at your work station.5.  Take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon mini walk and standing stretching break. Stretch your chest, arms, shoulders and hips.6. Keep up a mid-day walk outside if you can even if it is only for 15 minutes.7.  Make exercise a priority during this COVID-19 time. If you are unsure what to do we have a virtual strength class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 10:00 a.m. designed to use body weight, dumbbells, and simple house hold objects at home. Marissa Ang, ATC is very familiar with modifying the exercises for knee arthritis, neck pain, back pain and she can find something for everyone. You can attend the first one free.  Just email her marissa@penrosept.com. Those classes are meeting in google hangout so you will need a gmail account to attend virtually.  We also have a virtual Yoga class on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and you can attend for free the first time.last_img read more

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Tejaswini Sawant books her spot in the Indian Olympics 2020 contingent with fine showing…

first_imgAdvertisement c49NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsw5rbWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E7u5( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) bb8dWould you ever consider trying this?😱35ytpt8Can your students do this? 🌚3n98n1Roller skating! Powered by Firework Veteran shooter, Tejaswini Sawant secured India’s 12th Olympic quota even though she missed out on a medal in the 14th Asian Championship on Saturday. The 39-year-old reached the finals of the 50m rifle 3 positions event, and bagged India’s quota for next summer’s Tokyo Games but finished fourth, missing the podium by a whisker.Advertisement The former world champion reached the final, shooting 1171 in the qualification round at the Lusail Shooting Range. But even after a fantastic performance in the finals, Sawant, had to be satisfied with a fourth-place finish with a score of 435.8.Advertisement Mengyao Shi of China won the gold medal with 457.9, while Mogolia’s Yesugen Oyunbat came second (457.0) and Japan’s Shiori Hirata (445.9) won the bronze.Sawant previously missed out the opportunity to represent her country in the world’s biggest stage in 2008, 2012 and 2016, consecutively and this time she might just make it to the final squad with such inspiring performances.Advertisement But the seasoned shooter has enjoyed her fair share of success, finishing on top of the podium at the World Championship, World Cup and the Commonwealth Games and in 2010, she became the world champion in the 50m rifle event with a world-record equalling score. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Arrow goes through Indian archer’s shoulder bone during training in freak accident!

first_imgImage Courtesy: ANI/NDTVAdvertisement hng4yNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs8euWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E4tjmc( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8wkfkWould you ever consider trying this?😱1sc552Can your students do this? 🌚7sslRoller skating! Powered by Firework A very unfortunate event has occured in the sport of Archery yesterday, as a young archer from Assam named Shivangini Gohain has been injured during training session. The 12 year old has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Science Trauma Centre in New Delhi. Following a surgery today, the teenager has been shifted to ICU for further medical investigation.Advertisement Image Courtesy: ANI/NDTVDuring her practice session at the Dakha Devi Rasiwasia College in Chabua in the district of Dubrugarh, Shivangini met with the accident. The arrow, measuring 15 cm, pierced her shoulder, damaging her shoulder bone and left lung, and lodged itself with a slight contact with the vertebral artery.“She was admitted to the hospital at around 8 pm. Doctors are examining her and she is undergoing investigations. A decision on the course of treatment to be provided to her or performing a surgery will be taken soon,” a senior doctor present at the Trauma Centre said yesterday after her admission.Advertisement Dr. Deepak Gupta, a professor of neurosurgery at AIIMS had spoken to the reporters following Shivangini’s admission. “Around 0.5 cm of the arrow was in front of the spinal cord. It was a very complex surgery,” the doctor told reporters.Shivangini, who hails from Deodhai village, was training alone without the presence of her coach, former Indian archer Mercy Ignatius, as confirmed by the Assam Archery Association.Advertisement The joint secretary, Pulin Das spoke about the occurence of the tragic incident. “There is a SAI contractual coach, Marcy, and he has left for the Khelo India Games in Guwahati.” Pulin spoke to PTI over a phone session.He also added that the principal of Dakha Devi Rasiwasia College was not supervising Shivangini, and local officials were also absent from the spot.He continued: “He didn’t instruct the trainees to stop the camp for some time nor did the college principal, who acted as administrator of the extension centre, looked after the practice,”Brinchi Gohain, Shivangini’s father was present outside the practice arena, and he alone had to take his injured daughter  to the Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh, which is 33 km away from Chabua.“I was told that she had a very tough time as the arrow remained stuck for more than a day. She is a strong-willed girl and she fought. Her father must be a daily wage labourer and he was distraught also,” Das added.The Dakha Devi Rasiwasia College, where the mishap took place, falls under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Regional Centre of Guwahati. A spokesperson said yesterday that Shivangini was taken to Delhi by air, and SAI will be undertaking the cost of her treatment.Also read-Wriddhiman Saha undergoes surgery for finger injury in MumbaiBoxer Manoj Kumar accuses Sports Authority of India for not providing financial help after injury Advertisementlast_img read more

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Lunch Break Facing Severe Shortage

first_imgRED BANK – Critical shortages of food are now being seen on the empty shelves at Lunch Break.Lunch Break is the first line of defense for thousands of people who struggle with hunger throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, and is serving more and more people every year.According to Gwen Love, executive director of Lunch Break, the number of hot meals served has increased more than 68 percent in the last few years, and the food pantry distributions have increased a staggering 657 percent.Empty food pantry shelves are the result of a severe food shortage at Lunch Break in Red Bank where food distribution has increased by 657 percent during the past few years.“Last year, we served over 56,000 meals and over 500 families depend on Lunch Break every month for their groceries. Add to that our homebound program where we deliver meals six days a week to the elderly, ill, weak and disabled, and the numbers combined are frightening,” she said.“With summer vacation over and the push to get kids back to school and the signs of fall popping up everywhere, at Lunch Break the sign of fall is bare shelves in the pantry,” Love said. “The toughest times of year for us are September and October as well as February and March where we face critical shortages. We try to plan for these months, but with the daily increase in demand for our services, when the food is gone, it’s gone. It’s heart-wrenching to plan and not be able to meet the need. Right now, our resources are critically low.”A month ago Lunch Break was forced to reduce the amount of groceries provided to families from the food pantry.“It’s an overwhelming feeling,” Love said. “If we don’t get food, people are going to go hungry. We’re almost to the season of giving, but we’re not quite there yet. In November donations will really start to pick up, but right now, even though it’s a season of harvest, people just don’t stop to think about the need and that is why we are reaching out to the community. When people realize the need, they are tremendously generous,” Love said.Giving is very easy and safe by donating funds online at www.lunchbreak.org, and the organization also welcomes personal checks or cash at the Lunch Break facility at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd.Monetary donations give Lunch Break the opportunity to plan meals weeks ahead of time and also give them immense purchasing power. People can also visit the website for the wish list of food items to be donated.“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” Love said.In a study released recently by the Legal Services of the New Jersey Poverty Research Institute, it concluded that more than 2 million people in New Jersey struggle to meet their basic needs. That represents a significant increase of more than 300,000 since the beginning of the economic recession.Nationally, the poverty line is defined at about $23,000 for a family of four. The study put the threshold at double that number because New Jersey’s cost of living is dramatically higher than the national average.“The worst part is,” Love said, “the study showed that children suffer the most.”Love added that many don’t know that Lunch Break is Monmouth County’s first and most accessible soup kitchen and food pantry, and this year celebrates 30 years alleviating hunger.“Our guests come from near and far – from Keansburg, Keyport, Union Beach, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant, Neptune and Asbury Park – to name a few. We are open six days a week and we are so much more than a meal to so many. Our Suited for Success program last year outfitted over 125 individuals for job interviews, and we accept new and gently used clothing,” she said.“We provide families with holiday food baskets at Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas; we offer cooking classes for children; a toy program for children over the December holidays and we partner with over a dozen local social service organizations to provide health screen­ings, visual testing, affordable housing referrals, veterans assistance, and more, all in our facility in Red Bank,” Love said.Lunch Break is located at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd. in Red Bank, and can be reached at 732-747-8577. For more information about Lunch Break visit www.lunch break.org.last_img read more

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First Rumson Female Police Officer Best Candidate

first_imgBy Madelynne KislovskyRUMSON – The borough has a new police patrol officer on its staff that brings the quote from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Though she be but little, she is fierce,” back to life.Grace Maggiulli, who describes herself as standing at 5’2, 120 pounds, is the first fulltime female police officer in the Rumson Police Department. Born, raised, and still living in Middletown, 20-year-old Maggiulli is “very excited to be where I am and start my career in Rumson. It’s a great town and a great community.”Although no members of her family have a career in law enforcement, Maggiulli knew it was the job for her after entering a vocational program for law enforcement in Long Branch, the Academy of Law and Public Safety Program, during her junior and senior year of high school.“I always knew I wanted to do something where I gave myself to others that wasn’t a teacher or a doctor. Law enforcement always seemed like a great way for me to do that,” Maggiulli said.Prior to her job as a police officer, Maggiulli began working as a dispatcher for the Rumson police in August 2014. “They were all already comfortable with me, and I received the same treatment as anyone else, male or female. There were no and there are no special accommodations,” said Maggiulli.Maggiulli said that regardless of gender, being a police officer demands the same things from all of its members. “The job is what the job is. I love being on the road, I love working, I love what I do and I can only imagine how things are going to be down the line. There’s not one thing I can complain about,” Maggiulli said.“Growing up, I was always friends with a lot of boys,” Maggiulli said. “When it came to working with all men, it didn’t strike me as something that would be a challenge. I believe that women do have a place in law enforcement. Although we’re small in numbers, we’re valued for what we do.” Maggiulli advises that if being in law enforcement is something that a woman wants to do and feels strongly about, nothing should hinder them.Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl administered the oath of office to Maggiulli on Sept. 28. “First of all, it’s an honor for us to welcome our first female police officer to the force. But I think it needs to be said that this was not an exercise in hiring a new female police officer. It was an exercise in hiring the best candidate that we felt was the right person for the Rumson Police Department going forward, and it just happened to be a female, Grace Maggiulli,” Mayor Ekdahl said.According to Ekdahl, it is not uncommon to begin a career in law enforcement in dispatch. Maggiulli succeeded in this area, and after taking the necessary classes in the Monmouth County Police Academy, Freehold, moved on to a Class II Special Officer, allowing her to go out on patrol with another officer present, which she also excelled at. Maggiulli then was chosen as a patrol officer over the other 25-30 applicants, making it a highly sought after job, according to Ekdahl.“Grace is definitely on the younger side of average for someone just entering a police force. But her maturity is well beyond her years, and she exhibited that as both a dispatcher and a Special II, and continues to show that as our newest officer,” said Mayor Ekdahl.Maggiulli graduated from Middletown High School North in 2013 and from Brookdale Community College, Middletown, with an associate’s degree this past May. She is taking online classes at Farleigh Dickinson University for her bachelor’s degree in administrative science, and hopes to get her masters in the same field.last_img read more

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Former County GOP Leader Dies; Monmouth U. Poll

first_imgBy Jay Cook |Republican Stalwart William Dowd RememberedWilliam Dowd, one of Monmouth County’s most visible and influential conservative figures over the past few decades, died earlier this week at the age of 74.A Long Branch resident, Dowd was the face of the Monmouth County Republican Committee while he served as its chairman from 1986 to 2004. That political activism stretched through most of his adult life dating back to his time in law school at Seton Hall University and Rutgers University.After admittance to the New Jersey and New York State Bar associations, Dowd went on to serve as a clerk to Judge James Coleman, a former New Jersey state assemblyman, and state Sen. Richard Stout, according to his obituary. That political career even took him to Washington, D.C., where he was an assistant to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury David Kennedy. Dowd was also a speechwriter as a staff assistant in President Richard Nixon’s administration.Dowd returned to New Jersey and embarked on his own political career. He ran for U.S. Congress unsuccessfully in 1970 and 1972, then won two terms as a state assemblyman from 1978 to 1981, where he served as the Parliamentarian.“He was brilliant – published in the New York Times more than just about any Republican – and a truly independent spirit,” state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) said in a statement to New Jersey Globe, which first reported Dowd’s death.In a statement on its public Facebook page, the Monmouth County Republic Committee said Dowd, “made enormous contributions to the quality of life in Monmouth County, both as a Party Leader and through his legal work for many towns and the County. May he rest in peace.”His influence even extended across the partisan aisle. Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, said Dowd was an influential Republican force.“We shared a respect for (Winston) Churchill and (Margaret) Thatcher. He and his firm represented Red Bank during the administration of former Mayor Michael Arnone,” Menna wrote on his Facebook page. “He always maintained his office in Red Bank. Freehold may have been the county seat, but Bill was known to hold his power talks at the courtyard of the Dubliner in the afternoons.” Monmouth U Weighs In on Midterm ElectionsThe strength of New Jersey’s Republican voting base will be put to the test this upcoming election season, much in part to the effect President Donald Trump has had on Garden State voters, one local poll found earlier this month.An April 16 Monmouth University Polling Institute report shows how the so-called Trump Effect could swing many of New Jersey’s Republican seats in the House of Representative over to Democrats.Monmouth University believes Democrats have a “formidable” 19-point advantage over Republicans in a state-wide generic congressional ballot test, while also finding that 54 percent of all registered voters would lean to or vote for a Democrat over a Republican.The “poor public opinion leads the list of factors behind the New Jersey GOP’s underlying problems,” according to Monmouth University’s analysis.That could signal major changes for at least one of the Two River-area congressional districts. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-4), a Republican, is up for re-election later this year as he seeks his 20th consecutive term in Washington, D.C. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-6), a Democrat, is also running for re-election.“This is pretty astounding. Not only are New Jersey Democrats doing better on the generic House ballot statewide, but the shift is coming almost entirely from districts currently held by the GOP. If these results hold, we could be down to just one or two – or maybe even zero – Republican members in the state congressional delegation after November,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.New Jersey Democrats hold a 7-5 advantage in seats in the House of Representatives over their Republican colleagues. Every seat is up for re-election in 2018.This article was first published in the April 26-May 3, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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New County Homeless Shelter to Cost More

first_imgBy Laura D.C. Kolnoski |OCEANPORT – As 2017 drew to a close, Monmouth County was preparing to solicit bids from firms interested in building a modular, prefabricated adult emergency homeless shelter on a 3.1-acre site on the former Fort Monmouth from plans prepared by the Spiezle Architectural Group of Hamilton.When potential bidders were contacted, however, officials discovered the timeline and costs would be impacted by a lack of availability of modular structures.“Prefabricated trailers have been scooped up due to natural disasters like hurricanes and fires around the country,” said Monmouth County Administrator Teri O’Connor on April 2. “What was available two years ago isn’t now. We haven’t given up hope on it, but we’re now looking at other options.”O’Connor said plans for the shelter have been expanded to include “stick built traditional construction,” adding the county is hopeful the original completion target for this fall can still be met.Original plans called for two prefabricated modular structures connected by a bridge portion at the corner of Courier Avenue and Murphy Drive.The site was conveyed to the county by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) in March for $1. The county’s original homeless shelter, located nearby on Stephenson Avenue, was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy in 2012. Since then, adults needing temporary shelter have been placed at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, a former county facility that was sold to a private concern last year.By statute and agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the county’s homeless shelter must be located in the Oceanport section of the fort. A suitable permanent site was identified last year and accepted by county, FMERA and Oceanport officials.FMERA is obligated by contract to reimburse the county for approved costs up to $1.5 million for demolition of two small existing buildings on the site, and design and construction of the new 4,080-square-foot emergency homeless shelter. Those monies come from the FMERA Homeless Trust Fund, funded by a percentage of each fort parcel closing. At the authority’s March 27 meeting, members approved transferring up to $450,000, primarily for preparatory work at the site, which proved more involved than originally anticipated.Costs “will substantially exceed the previously established $1.5 million budget based on their updated engineering and construction estimates” because of the revised quotes, according to the FMERA resolution authorizing the increase. These cost overruns prompted the county to request a proportion of funding from FMERA’s Homeless Trust Fund.Additional roadwork was required, O’Connor said, as FMERA opposed plans for including a side street the county planned to use as part of the project. Engineering and utility relocation work has been performed but additional work was required to improve ingress and egress. Other additional costs were incurred demolishing the two structures, which contained more asbestos than originally anticipated, O’Connor added. The site already includes a paved parking area.The adults-only facility will have one side for men and the other for women, with an area in between with a kitchen, laundry, a dining area and a common room, with space for security, counseling, clothing, a computer nook and staff. The Spiezle Architectural Group renderings released by the county last December are still valid, O’Connor said.The county houses a fluctuating number of about 18 up to 30 homeless adults who are required to work or look for work and permanent housing during daylight hours. Occupants are allowed to remain at the emergency shelter for a maximum of 30 days.“There are strict criteria participants must follow,” said Monmouth County Freeholder deputy director Lillian Burry, the county’s FMERA representative. “It’s an interim place to be sheltered until they can transition into new circumstances. This is something we’ve done for years for those who are in a temporary state of homelessness.”This article was first published in the Apr. 5-12, 2018 print edition of the Two River Times.last_img read more

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Irish Blog — L.V. Rogers Bombers continue Ireland tour

first_imgThe L.V. Rogers Bombers are currently traveling the roads of Ireland on Rugby tour.The team, which has been raising money to help offset the costs, left last week from Nelson and opened the tour with a 27-5 win over the Balgriggan Rugby Club.LVR Vice Principal Frank Marisco, who is with the team on the tour along with coach Michael Joyce, has graciously accepted the challenge of blogging the tour for The Nelson Daily. Here’s Frank’s latest entry.Wednesday, March 16A little bit of a sleep this morning and then on the bus to the ferry port at Rosevaal. It’s about one hour from Galway along the coast. The landscape is quite interesting and Michael our driver provides running commentary all the way. He’s a real life encyclopedia- complete with full truths, half truths, and pure fiction. The skies are clear but the winds are gusting when we leave port and head to the Aran Islands. There are about 800 permanent residents living here and the language spoken is Gaelic. After a 40-minute ferry ride we disembark and head to the American Bar for- guess what – soup and sandwiches. It is about 11a.m. and there are already a couple of the locals sitting at the bar sipping their pint of Guinness. We all rent bicycles and head out to explore the island. Blustery winds, rock wall upon rock wall and the odd  cow, sheep, or horse grazing  in a paddock with lots of history on the island dating back more than 1000 years.  The kids have a great time exploring and taking in the unique geography and fascinating past of the island — there are a few daredevil photos snapped at the ancient cliff fortress by rugby players with more intestinal fortitude than myself. Back to the American Bar for burgers and chips and then it is back on the ferry for our return trip to Galway. A big dinner at the GBC restaurant and then it is a couple of free hours to discover the town – then lights out and another day is in the bag. St. Paddy’s  day tomorrow with the second biggest celebratuion in Ireland. The boys are excited.Tuesday, March 15Another great breakfast at the greasy spoon and then it is on the bus for a four-hour drive to Galway. The scenery is quaint with lots of small farms and rolling hills. Most of the kids take the opportunity to have a nap and catch up on some needed sleep. Arrive in Galway and the sun is shining. Check into the Sleepzone Hostel and then it is Soup and sandwiches at the Galway Bakery Company. Always good to see the boys well fed. After a couple of hours of wandering around town it is time to get down to business. We take the bus to the Newcastle training grounds for a session with Nigel Carolan. Nigel is the Youth Development coach for Connaght Province and is EXCELLENT! He runs the boys hard for two hours and then we return to the hostel for a shower and then it is off to supper – turkey, ham, mash, veges, the whole nine yards. A couple of hours to check out the town and then it is back to the hostel and time for bed.last_img read more

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