Submitted by YWCA of Olympia(Olympia, WA) – The YWCA of Olympia recently announced that the agency has hired Tammy Stampfli as its Executive Director.Says Valerie Gerst, President of the Board of Directors, “We are so fortunate to have Tammy join the YWCA of Olympia as our new Executive Director. Our field of applicants was outstanding and she came to the top after a rigorous interview process. We are confident she will be able to further our mission and foster development of our programs that empower women, girls and families.”Stampfli has been a Pastor in the Presbyterian Church for over 20 years. In Olympia she was Interim Lead Pastor at United Churches and Stated Clerk at the Presbytery of Olympia.Established in 1945, the YWCA of Olympia offers responsive programs and services to meet the needs of women, girls and families. Its programs include Girls Without Limits! and Girls Circle for middle-school girls, as well as The Other Bank which distributes hygiene and cleaning supplies to those in need. The YWCA of Olympia strives to empower women and eliminate racism through education, advocacy, service and leadership opportunities.For more information please contact YWCA Board President Valerie Gerst at (360) 352-0593 (office) or email@example.com. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
Throughout Fridays in the month of April, local residents can drop off small, good condition, clean medical equipment and unopened healthcare supplies during a collection drive to benefit the Thurston County Medical Equipment Bank, a program of the Thurston County Council on Aging during open house hours at the Navigating Grief Discover-Create-Share Center in Olympia.Grief stands in the shadow of caregiving, prolonged illness and the death of a loved one as a normal, even if painful, part of life. In the aftermath of illness – whether it be from cancer treatment, memory disease, chronic conditions or hospice service – families end up with all sorts of accumulated stuff bought to support the care. Canes, walkers, gauze and boxes of gloves; hospital beds, CPAP machines and bathing stools… the list can be long. The items can really pile up in a corner of the home!After an illness, the medical stuff lingers and become a reminder of the often difficult days before. No longer needed, throwing away what could be useful to another can feel like throwing away a connection to the loved one. Keeping the healthcare equipment and supplies can also be equally uncomfortable. A desire to rid the home or room of the reminders can we met with “now what?”Navigating Grief is proud to host a month long collection drive for The Thurston County Medical Equipment Bank, a local resource for re-purposing clean used medical equipment. The MEB serves more than 4,680 people a year of all ages, loaning out much needed items free of charge. “We’ve seen a big rise in use of services since the downturn of the economy over recent years” notes Rick Crawford, director of TCOAA. “Honestly, keeping our shelves from becoming bare is the biggest challenge.”As a step along one’s grief journey, taking action to remove equipment and supplies can be healing in two ways: the caregiver or family is able to give a sense of new use to the things their loved one used, and physically clearing is one way to acknowledge the changed landscape after loss (or even new health). To begin the process with equipment associated with illness is usually one of the first and easier steps.Navigating Grief is offering a Spring Cleaning after Loss with professional organizer Elain Carroll on Saturday, April 12, and will accept MEB donations that day as well. For more information,www.navigatinggrief.com or www.medicalequipmentbank.org Submitted by Navigating Grief Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
Submmitted by Christine Towey for Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University Junior Josiah Shelman is a full time student, an athlete, and the vice president of Student-Athletic Advisory Committee.Being a college student is quite the full time job. There’s homework, class, clubs, and not to forget about sleep of course.Most students spend their weekends sleeping in to catch up from the all night study sessions they push themselves through during the week. But this isn’t the case for every student; some willingly choose to wake up early on the weekends.They’re not waking up early to hang out with friends; they’re waking up early to run mile after mile in the capitol forest, chasing their dream of making it to conference in cross country. One of these chasers is Josiah Shelman from Olympia, Wash.Josiah is a junior at Saint Martin’s University studying business. He would be known as what the acting community refers to as a “triple threat,” he’s a full time student, an athlete, and the vice president of SAAC. For those who don’t know what the acronym SAAC is, it stands for Student-Athletic Advisory Committee.So on top of all that homework and running, he helps gather the student athlete’s voices and determine what will affect their college careers in terms of NCAA rules and helping raise money for charities such as Make A Wish.He originally was drawn to this endurance sport seven years ago by the conditioning it offered for his basketball season. But quickly switched, “I realized I was a lot better at running then I was at basketball.” He quit basketball and started running full time instead.Some might think that all these miles would tire a student out, but Josiah is still running strong.“On average, we put in eight to eleven miles just for a regular run.” He says this as if this isn’t an accomplishment others would jump with joy at. Considering the mileage he puts on his feet some might think he’d be riddled with injuries, but Shelman is actually completely injury free. “It’s been pretty smooth sailing, no bad injuries.”The average cross-country meet is an 8,000-meter course, which is about five miles. This differs from conference however, which is a 10K, or 6.2 miles. While most people would be out of breath while training for a course like this, Josiah and his teammates use it as their time to catch up and make fun of each other.“We just talk about school, relationships, (and) joke around. If you’re not being made fun of, it means no one likes you, but everyone gets made fun of so everyone is liked. It’s all in good nature.”Every athlete has a moment where they debate whether or not to quit their sport, and Shelman has those as well, but his usually come humorously enough when they’re too far out in the woods to consider it a viable option.“There are times when I wish my leg would’ve been broken on a hard tempo run, when you are eight miles (out) on a trail and have to turn around and run back.” He also believes humor and leadership go hand in hand to create good team dynamics. “There’s got to be some comedy, (we) can’t take things too seriously. When everyone knows when to work hard and when everyone knows to relax. There also needs to be some good leadership on the team too.”Working hard is something this team knows how to do. They have not one, but they have three seasons, cross country in the fall, then indoor track and field in the winter and outdoor track and field in the spring. Josiah understands that it’s imperative he manages his time on and off the timed clock. On top of everything else he is a commuter student, so every minute on campus is important, “There are moments where I can sit and do nothing and peruse social media, or do homework. I have to use those moments.”One of these oh so important moments will come at the Saint’s next meet on October 11 at George Fox University in Oregon. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
Facebook43Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Phil Cornell, KA7FRZDo you have an emergency kit? Are you storing emergency supplies? Do you have an emergency plan?Recent natural disasters in other parts of the should make the rest of us think about if we are prepared for a disaster. Photo courtesy: Phil CornellRecent events in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico point out the fact that very few of us are truly prepared when a disaster strikes, even if we know it will happen. Preparedness is not a goal, it is an ongoing process that improves your chances of surviving a disaster.As a ham radio operator, KA7FRZ, and a member of Thurston County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (TCARES) I am more acutely aware of the process and I am constantly preparing my home and my neighborhood by asking the tough questions that opened this article, and providing answers to these questions.As the recovery begins in the aftermath of the disasters that have affected our hemisphere in the last few months, amateur radio will play a big part in helping to get life back to normal.Having an emergency preparedness kit, including non-perishable foods, is essential for everyone, no matter where they live. Photo courtesy: Phil CornellMany agencies and governments have already requested amateur radio assistance in setting up communications in the affected areas, and we responded in force to gladly help wherever and however we could. Ham radio operators from all over the country and the region have been handling “health and welfare” messages, letting family members living outside the disaster zone know that “we are OK”, their family members in the disaster zone are safe and well. We also use our communications abilities to help with survivor rescue, help with logistical issues relating to infrastructure recovery, help with information concerning possible future threats from these monster storms, and many other support functions.On October 7, 2017, TCARES members will participate in the nationwide S. E. T. or Simulated Emergency Test. We will be deployed in a manner that simulates a real emergency and we will be tested on our ability to provide reliable communications in whatever role is necessary.Having a first aid kit is very important as well. Photo courtesy: Phil CornellThe annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is a training exercise involving the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS), a message-handling service of amateur radio. The American Radio Relay League is a prime mover in this event, which is organized somewhat like a contest. Its primary purposes are to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in emergency preparedness and communications, and to demonstrate amateur radio to the public.During the first full weekend of October of every year in the United States, a nationwide radio communications network is set up that links every major city and most of the geography of the country. This technological infrastructure is set up from scratch within a few hours at locations that vary from state and local government Emergency Operations Centers to isolated areas without utilities of any kind. Every mode of radio communications is utilized including analog, digital, voice, data, simplex, duplex, satellites and even automated relay stations launched on aircraft and with weather balloons.For no more than 48 continuous hours, this nationwide radio communications network is exercised with the primary objective of proving the system’s readiness and capabilities. Then as quickly as it was set up, the system is dismantled and stored in preparation for when it is needed. The system has demonstrated its value time after time during earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, terrorist attacks and other disasters. All of this capability is provided by volunteers who continuously hone their technical skills and acquire, build, and maintain their own equipment. These radio engineers and operators, along with their equipment, combine into an important resource for emergency communications.
Facebook58Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Sam Kaviar for Kayak NisquallyIt has been a wild ride and a pleasure to start an eco-tourism sea kayaking company on the Thurston/Pierce county line this past summer. Last year I was in a PhD program for biology and ecology at University of California San Diego (UCSD) studying honeybees, but by late spring it had become apparent that I was seriously allergic to the pollen collected by my study animals. I had to leave the PhD program I had been working towards so long for my health. While I am glad that I gave the academic world a chance, I discovered that my calling was neither in the academic ivory tower nor in the public agencies working as a biologist.Sam found a calling that combined his passion for biology and the Nisqually Delta. Photo courtesy: Kayak NisquallyAfter leaving the San Diego program, I was working odd jobs and wondering what was next for me. After reflecting on my life, I realized I was happiest when I was helping to connect people with the environment as an interpretive naturalist sea kayak guide in the San Juan Islands, and directly doing biology research in the field as a biological technician in the Nisqually Delta. I was able to secure a loan to start my business and I hurriedly packed my belongings and drove home to the Nisqually Delta. In the tail end of June I applied for a business license, and by the 2nd week of July I was able to lead my first tour as my new company, Kayak Nisqually.Starting mid-season with no infrastructure, no reviews, and no experience owning my own company my expectations for selling tours were low. I took starting my own business as a chance to give back to the broader Olympia and Nisqually community that has so enriched my life over the years. I have donated fundraising tours for the Nisqually Reach Nature Center, the Hands on Children’s Museum, Friendly Water for the World, South Sound Community Farmland Trust, as well as the Olympia Free Clinic with more fundraisers for non-profits planned. I also donated a kayak safety training to the Wa-Ya outdoors school, and was able to take students kayaking from the Northwest Indian College. The donated kayaking tours have been able to garnish thousands of dollars for these important nonprofits, and have allowed me to get news of my company out to a bigger audience.Kayak Nisqually offer many special tours that highlight the natural phenomena and beauty of the area. Photo courtesy: Kayak NisquallyOne evening during the great Puget Sound smoke event of July 2017, my friends and I were doing some paddling in the evening and we noticed the stunning bioluminescence. This bioluminescent phenomenon is quick flashes of “cold” light in the water when conditions are right, with the dark smoky sky and conducive tidal exchange the flashes were brilliant. Bioluminesence is a seasonal phenomenon best viewed when the lunar and tidal conditions are right in late summer and early fall. I wondered if any community members would be interested to do a bioluminescent paddle. Around 85 percent of my paying customers in my first quarter of operations went on my bioluminescent night paddles.I also conducted full and half day wildlife watching tours, pre-dawn tours, special porpoise-centric tours and even a 2-day overnight tour. By and large customers loved these tours as evidenced by their reviews. Challenges remain ahead for spreading the word about the great kayaking and wildlife viewing opportunities available at the Nisqually Delta especially in the fall and winter.Many tours give kayakers a chance to take in the wildlife. Photo courtesy: Kayak NisquallyFall brings a change in the weather and the sea states, which my fleet of 19.5-foot, sit-inside Boreal Esperanto kayaks are well suited for. The season sees a return of many wonderful species of overwintering birds and marine mammals. I have several exciting projects that I will be unveiling and working on over the winter season, and you can check back here on ThurstonTalk for more articles from Kayak Nisqually about the changing wildlife visitors to the Nisqually Delta and other subjects of interest. Thank you to the Thurston County community and beyond for embracing Kayak Nisqually and getting out on the water. Photo courtesy: Kayak Nisqually Photo courtesy: Kayak Nisqually Photo courtesy: Kayak Nisqually Photo courtesy: Kayak Nisqually Kayak Nisqually offer many special tours that highlight the natural phenomena and beauty of the area. Photo courtesy: Kayak Nisqually Photo courtesy: Kayak Nisqually
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Missy! Adopt-A-Pet volunteers say she presents one stinkin’ cute image! Missy is 5-years-old, weighs 56 pounds, enjoy energetic yard play (fetch and agility) and leash-walks. She has lived successfully with a female big dog, cats are unknown, and would do best with an active family with a fenced yard.Children in the family should be older (10+) and dog-savvy. If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment to meet Missy in person, please contact the adoption team at Shelton Adopt-a-Pet. Emails are the preferred method of communication.Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit the Adopt-A-Pet website, our Facebook page or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-432-3091.
Facebook7Tweet0Pin0Submitted by City of YelmThe Washington State Auditor’s office reported an unmodified opinion of the City’s financial statements for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.The City of Yelm Finance Department worked alongside the State Auditor’s Office to ensure that all financial records were updated and consistent with the City’s bank accounts.“We would like to thank the City of Yelm for the significant amount of work they put into ensuring the City of Yelm’s financial statements are correct and supported,” the State Auditor’s Office said in the audit exit interview. “We appreciate the City’s commitment to safeguarding public funds and creating effective control systems.”The City successfully addressed and resolved historic issues identified by the State Auditor’s Office by initiating a program of ongoing training, written financial policies, and upgrading the financial management software.“Our Finance Director and Senior Accountant have helped improve the culture of our Finance Department by adding policies, processes and procedures the City has historically lacked,” said Michael Grayum, City Administrator. “Their ability to work collaboratively with the State Auditor’s Office resulted in full reconciliation with all of our banking statements dating back to 2016.”The City has implemented several notable financial improvements, including a budget document that provides a narrative of each department’s yearly accomplishments, future goals and long-term revenue forecasts to guide future planning and forward thinking. Financial policies and internal controls have been established in a format that is clear and easy to understand, including the addition of flow charts, graphs and tables to provide a visual representation of City finance that is now accessible to anyone.The City looks forward to a continued to partnership with the Washington State Auditor’s Office in fulfilling our joint vision to increase trust and transparency in government.“We are grateful to State Auditor Pat McCarthy and her team of independent auditors who provide accountability that bolsters our culture of continuous improvement and advances our shared vision to increase trust in government,” said Grayum. “The professionalism, thoroughness, and collaborative approach of their audit team is greatly appreciated.”Washington has had an independent auditor since its territorial days. In 1889, Washington became a state and enshrined the State Auditor’s Office in the state Constitution, reflecting a continued commitment to making sure public money is spent wisely and in the public interest. From offices across the state, the state’s independent auditors help government work better and maintain public trust.The SAO Audit Reports for the City of Yelm can be found at:Financial: https://portal.sao.wa.gov/ReportSearch/Home/ViewReportFile?arn=1023432&isFinding=false&sp=falseAccountability Audit Report: https://portal.sao.wa.gov/ReportSearch/Home/ViewReportFile?arn=1023353&isFinding=false&sp=falseFeatured photo credit: Ruth Middlebrook
Facebook11Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington Department of Ecology Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we are extending the public comment period for the draft environmental review of the proposed Chehalis River basin flood-damage reduction project to May 27, 2020.We are also moving our in-person public hearings to online opportunities.March 31 hearing date changed while we shift to online formatTo protect public health and ensure you have multiple ways to comment on the draft state environmental impact statement for this proposed project, we have:Extended the public comment period to May 27.Rescheduled the March 31 event to an online April 21 meeting to take public comment.Maintained the April 2 public hearing date but shifted to an online format.Both the April 2 and April 21 online events will begin at 5 p.m. with a 45-minute presentation. Starting about 5:45 p.m., we will take public comment via the webinar until 8:30 p.m.To help ensure everyone has a chance to comment, participants will be limited to two minutes each.The draft EIS evaluates the proposal by the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District to build a flood retention dam and temporary reservoir on the Chehalis River near Pe Ell, and make changes around the Chehalis-Centralia Airport that include raising the levee.Register online to participateTo comment during at the upcoming online events, participants will need to register separately for the April 2 public hearing and the April 21 public meeting. Registration can be done in advance or at the time of the events. We have provided a graphic to help participants register for the online public comment opportunities.You can submit comments at public events, online, or by mailAs a reminder, the April 2 public hearing and April 21 meeting are just one way to comment on the draft EIS. You can submit comments online or mail to:Chehalis River Basin Flood Damage Reduction Project EISAnchor QEA1201 Third Ave., Suite 2600Seattle, WA 98101All comments are equally valued regardless whether they are made verbally at April 2 and April 21 online events, online, or sent by mail.
Image Courtesy: AFP/SportzpicsAdvertisement 2clwNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsrllWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Edr5her( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) bv0Would you ever consider trying this?😱abdyjCan your students do this? 🌚90d4Roller skating! Powered by Firework The speculations around the future of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian cricketing scene finally had some clairvoyance with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) excluding the former captain’s name from its central contract for the upcoming year. However, Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri earlier suggested that the Indian Premier League is where the future of Dhoni’s career remains, and justifying his comment, the owner of Chennai Super Kings himself hints the same.Advertisement Image Courtesy: AFP/SportzpicsIn an interview session at a public event, the owner of the club N Srinivasan has openly stated that he has no plans of losing Dhoni from his IPL franchise, even till the 2021 season.“People keep saying when will he… how long will he play, etc. He will play. I can assure you. He will play this year. Next year he will go (to) the auction; he will be retained. So there is no doubt in anybody’s mind,” Srinivasan told reporters.Advertisement The 2011 ICC World Cup winner, Dhoni became the most expensive auctioned player in the first IPL season back in 2008. The 38 year old, who captains CSK, has three IPL trophies to his name.Complimenting Srinivasan’s statement, A R R Sriram, the club’s Fans Association vice president said: “We are pretty sure that MS will be retained. There is no CSK without Dhoni. We won’t let him go into the auction pool.”Advertisement Dhoni has not donned the Men in Blues jersey since the 2019 World Cup, and despite being in BCCI’s contracts since his senior debut in 2004, the veteran was dropped out of the annual contract for the first time this year.However, the player himself has made no comments yet about his international career yet. Earlier this month, Ravi Shastri himself stated the IPL season, or moreover T20 cricket is where Dhoni’s future lies, who has already reached the twilight of his decorated career.“At his age, probably the only format he’ll want to play is T20 cricket which means he’ll have to start playing again, get back into the groove because he’s going to play in the IPL and see how his body reacts.” Shastri told CNN News18.Also read-Priority or Legacy: 5 Reasons MS Dhoni was not given a BCCI ContractThis latest move from the BCCI has given us a big clue about MS Dhoni’s future! Advertisement
In addition to revitalization, Operation West Side aims to increase the percentage of owner-occupied housing in the community as a neighborhood stabilization strategy and foster greater involvement in both civic and neighborhood matters. Located in the southwestern quadrant of Asbury Park, within the Strategic Target Area Rebuilding Spirit (STARS) Redevelopment Area, “Operation Westside” involves the construction of multiple affordable residential units on previously vacant, city-owned land. This redevelopment initiative was made possible through a collaborative effort between the city and three community-based, non-profit affordable housing developers: Interfaith Neighbors, Affordable Housing Alliance, and Coastal Habitat for Humanity. This collaborative effort was one of only 35 initiatives state-wide to be awarded a grant through the Department of Community Affairs Neighborhood Stabilization Program, bringing with it $2.5 million in federal stimulus money to invest in the community. The project is being constructed in phases, with all units to be completed by the end of 2012. To date, seven units are complete with an additional six units expected to be completed by the end of 2011. These homes will be sold to low- and moderate-income families making up to 80 percent of the area’s median income. The lots had been vacant for many years prior to this initiative, but the new development is compatible with the existing neighborhood fabric. Burry presented the award to Deputy Mayor Randy Bishop and Richard Ambrioso, chairman of the Neptune Township Environmental Council. “The rain garden reduces runoff from the new fields and filters storm water runoff and pollutants that would normally enter the drainage system,” she said. “This is a wonderful way to serve the environment while providing a habitat for plants.” The renovation of the County Basie Theatre in Red Bank received a 2011 Planning Merit Award. The Count Basie Theatre has been in continuous use since opening its doors in November 1926 and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Since its acquisition by the Monmouth County Arts Council in 1973, the theatre has operated as a nonprofit arts facility. Due to the age of the structure, the theatre’s physical plant required major repair, restoration and renovation; the work is scheduled to take place in nine planned phases. Phases 1 through 4 are complete and included the replacement of the theatre’s seats and restoration of the balcony to its original configuration, replacement of the roof, restoration of the interior auditorium and restoration of the building exterior, façade and streetscape. Full completion is expected by 2020. The project was selected for a Merit Award because it is consistent with numerous goals, objectives and policies of the Monmouth County Growth Management Guide, such as the preservation of buildings that have historical or architectural significance, and support for efforts to preserve, enhance and expand Monmouth County’s cultural resources and facilities.“The Count Basie Theatre is the jewel in Red Bank, and you have done a wonderful job restoring it and making sure the arts has a place in the borough,” said Curley, in presenting the Merit Award to Numa Saisselin, CEO of the County Basie Theatre Inc.Five Honorable Mention Awards also were presented:Schoolhouse Square is a 58-unit townhouse development in Neptune Township’s Midtown neighborhood. The first 24 units were completed in March 2011 with the remaining phases to be completed by 2013. All units are priced to be affordable to families earning less than 80 percent of the area’s median income. Twenty units will have income restrictions and 38 will be affordably priced, without income restrictions. The Schoolhouse Square project meets the smart growth goals established by the state, as Jersey Shore University Medical Center, two regional rail stations, several major commercial corridors and the oceanfront are located less than one mile from the development. Homes were designed for compatibility with local architecture and include elements emulating those found in the 19th century summer homes built along the New Jersey shore. Adjacent neighborhoods were connected to this new development through the creation of a boulevard at the end of an east-west corridor. Each home is NJ Energy-Star certified, and uses high-quality modular construction.Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone presented the award to Neptune Deputy Mayor Randy Bishop and Graciela Cavicchia, vice president of TRF Development Partners and project manager for the Schoolhouse Square housing development. “Schoolhouse Square is a key to revitalizing this economically challenged area by helping to strengthen existing real estate values,” Arnone said.The Swimming River Reservoir serves as a major source of drinking water for more than 300,000 Monmouth County residents. Numerous water quality impairments have been documented in the Swimming River Reservoir watershed, including phosphorous, total suspended solids, arsenic, pH, and temperature. The Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, which includes the campus of High Technology High School, is located on the northern bank of the Swimming River Reservoir. Runoff from the main 220-acre campus, including several large parking lots, drains into the reservoir. In October 2008, the Monmouth County Planning Board’s Environmental Council convened a group of stakeholders representing government agencies, engineering, landscape design and construction firms to develop a plan for reducing non-point source pollution that impacts the reservoir. The final plan proposed a system of functional rain gardens, to be completed in phases, which would filter parking lot storm water. One rain garden location is near High Technology High School where two kidney bean shaped gardens totaling approximately 1,000 square feet in area were constructed to collect the rainfall runoff from the upper and lower parking lots of the school. The rain gardens, completed in June 2011, are able to capture the first 25% of runoff from storm events that contain heavy downpours, allowing the excess to overflow into the grass area surrounding the gardens. The Neptune Township Environmental/Shade Tree Commission installed the first rain garden (of two planned) at the Jumping Brook Road little league fields on September 13, 2010. According to the township, the project resulted in an educational, self-sustaining planted area with minimal maintenance required. The rain garden installation reduces runoff from the new baseball fields, and filters storm water runoff and pollutants that would normally enter the drainage system in accordance with Monmouth County’s Best Management Practices. Grading in the area allows water to flow downhill away from the baseball fields, keeping the garden moist and allowing the plants to thrive. The rain garden plan and construction involved a concentrated effort by multiple volunteer agencies, including Neptune Township’s Environmental Commission, Public Works Department and Engineering Department, the Garden Club of Jumping Brook and Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service. A second planned garden will be planted adjacent to this garden. Curley presented the award to Asbury Park City Planner Donald Sammet. “The goal of this project was to revitalize a downtrodden neighborhood through the development of new, high quality affordable homes,” Curley said. “These lots had been vacant for many years.” The Cedar Crossing Affordable Housing development project was developed by the Red Bank Affordable Housing Corporation (RBAHC), which was established in 2007 to provide affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate-income families. Located at the end of Cedar Street, the Cedar Crossing development consists of 36 new construction units located within eight separate buildings. All units will be owner-occupied by income eligible households as defined by the Fair Housing Act and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs regulations. Phase 1 of the Cedar Crossing townhouse development consists of 20 units: eighteen 3-bedroom units and two 2-bedroom units. Phase 2 will include 16 modular two-bedroom units. Each unit will be energy efficient, providing residents with lower operatingcosts and a higher real estate market value. The Cedar Crossing development is expected to preserve the surrounding neighborhoods and motivate home ownership. The units will be sold with deed restrictions limiting excessive price increases. Applicants will be selected through a lottery system, with priority given to residents of and workers in Monmouth, Ocean, and Mercer counties. (From left) Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley, Michael Schnoering of Mills and Schnoering Architects, David Cooner, chairman of the Count Basie Theatre Board of Trustees, Ed Mislavsky, construction manager, the Ferma Group, Numa Saisselin, CEO of the Count Basie Theatre, and Edward Zipprich, Count Basie Theatre Board of Trustees.FREEHOLD – Six separate projects from around Monmouth County received awards last week at the 58th Annual Awards Dinner sponsored by the Monmouth County Planning Board.The dinner, attended by about 160 people, was held at the Robert B. Meyner Reception Center at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Awards were given to highlight “projects that serve as examples of exemplary planning,” said Robert W. Clark, director of the county’s Planning Board.Prior to the presentation of awards, Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley highlighted some of the work being done by the Planning Board, including regional planning studies, improvements being made to Wreck Pond in Wall and the expansion of summer bus service in four shore towns. He also thanked the citizen members of the Planning Board for their dedication and service to the county.“I am pleased to showcase some highlights of the past year’s accomplishments,” Curley said.“In addition to acknowledging some very important projects in our county, the Planning Board is involved in a number of comprehensive regional planning guides and has reinvigorated the county’s recycling program. This year it was the Board’s pleasure to distribute more than $700,000 to our municipalities for improvements they made to local recycling centers and for the purchase of recycling containers for residents, downtowns, parks and other public places.”This year, one Merit Award was presented: Freeholder Lillian G. Burry presented the award to Michael Fedosh of the Monmouth County Environmental Council. “Rain gardens are such a lovely way to protect the environment,” Burry said. “In this case, the garden prevents the run-off contaminants from entering the nearby Swimming River Reservoir.” Arnone presented the award to Marlene Nelson, trustee of the Red Bank Housing Corporation. “The Cedar Crossing development will preserve the surrounding neighborhoods and motivate home ownership by encouraging family pride and self-esteem,” Arnone said.