Facebook3Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Intercity TransitOlympia/Thurston County WA – Just as the nation celebrates another Earth Day, there’s timely news occurring in Olympia, Washington, as well as elsewhere around the country. Intercity Transit, the region’s public transportation provider, was recognized as one of the first transit systems in the U.S. to be designated a Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists.Along with Intercity Transit, 62 other organizations – from across the private and public sectors – earned the Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) designation this year.The recognition for Intercity Transit, known for its sustainability efforts, is due to its long history supporting bicycling as an earth friendly and appealing commute option, as well as for its substantial bike programs. One of those programs is the popular Bicycle Commuter Contest, which engages about 1,500 cyclists each May in bicycling to work, school, and on errands, reducing harmful CO2 emissions by 60 tons and an estimated 120,000 miles of car trips each time.The agency also runs an innovative Bike PARTners program in which a largely volunteer staff rebuilds discarded bicycles and works with elementary school students teaching bike mechanics and safety, resulting in the students “earning” bikes for their future transportation use. And last year Intercity Transit began a staff bicycle program for employee use when traveling to nearby meetings and mid-day errands, effectively expanding employee wellness initiatives.“When employees bike, great things happen,” said Ann Freeman-Manzanares, Interim General Manager for Intercity Transit. “By encouraging a bike friendly culture, we decrease our carbon foot print, connect with our community more, and promote a fun and healthy work culture.”Over 500 organizations now have the BFB designation (past and current designees). This enables these organizations access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League of American Bicyclists toward enhancing their bicycling culture.“More and more business leaders are realizing that bicycling is a simple and cost-effective way to move toward a more productive company,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “Promoting healthy transportation is increasingly attractive to employers and prospective employees – and it’s moving America toward a more sustainable future.”To learn more about the free BFB program, visit the League online at bikeleague.org/businesses. To learn about other Intercity Transit sustainability initiatives, visit intercitytransit.com/programs/sustainability.
Submitted by Adrienne CherryZiya Laura of Olympia was recently selected to participate in the 2014 Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Tacoma/Seattle pageant competition that will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Ziya learned of her acceptance into this year’s competition when the pageant announced their selections following interviewing in the local Tacoma/Seattle area. Ziya submitted an application and took part in an interview session that was conducted by this year’s Tacoma/Seattle Pageant Coordinator.Ziya will be competing, for her share of thousands of dollars in prizes and specialty gifts that will be distributed to contestants. Ziya will be competing in the Miss Jr. Pre-Teen division, one of four divisions that will have young ladies ages 7 and 19 competing in modeling routines, which include casual wear and formal wear. Most important, Ziya will display her personality and interviewing skills while interviewing with this year’s Tacoma/Seattle judging panel. Personality is the number one aspect that each contestant is judged on during all phases of competition.If Ziya were to win the title of Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Tacoma/Seattle, she would represent Tacoma/Seattle and the surrounding communities at the National Competition that will take place in Orlando, Florida. Over $30,000.00 in prizes and awards will be presented at the National Competition while each winner enjoys this expense paid trip of five nights and six days in Orlando, Florida.Community businesses, organizations, and private individuals will assist Ziya in participating in this year’s competition by becoming an official sponsor to her. Through sponsorship, each contestant receives all the necessary training, rehearsals, and financial support which will allow Ziya to become a very confident and well-prepared contestant in this year’s Tacoma/Seattle Pageant.Ziya sends her thanks to her local sponsors – Elly Molina, did, inc., McLendons Hardware, and Vision Health. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumJust in time for Mother’s Day Weekend, the renovated Rocky Shores complex at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is completely open and filled with marine mammals and sea birds that will delight visitors.Saturday is Half-Price Mom’s Day at the zoo, and all mothers will be admitted at half off general admission.Plus, Sunday is Mother’s Day, and that’s always a wonderful time for the family to get together at one of the Northwest’s premier attractions.Tacoma Rainiers’ baseball team mascot Rhubarb the Reindeer throws out the ceremonial first fish to California sea lion Chinook during the grand re-opening. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumDuring Grand Re-Opening ceremonies May 11, Tacoma Rainiers’ baseball team mascot Rhubarb the Reindeer threw out the ceremonial first fish to Chinook, a 780-pound California sea lion.A huge crowd gathered for the festivities to celebrate the $2.7 million Rocky Shores renovation financed with bond funds approved by Tacoma voters in 2014.Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners President Andrea Smith thanked Tacoma residents for their longstanding support of the zoo and Metro Parks to help pay for projects like the Rocky Shores renovation that make a difference in the lives of the animals that live there and the visitors who come to see them.And, wow, did the visitors get a treat! Not only did Chinook show off some of the behaviors that help keepers care for him – like moving from point to point and going to a target, four – count ‘em FOUR! – Pacific walruses swam together in the newly refurbished 125,500-gallon pool.Visitors watch four walruses in an underwater “ballet” from new viewing windows. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumThe walruses appeared to be taking part in a choreographed underwater ballet as they swam together, mesmerizing crowds of adults and children who gathered in the underwater viewing area to watch them through new, crystal-clear windows.Around the corner, sea otters Sekiu and Libby splished and splashed and tumbled round and round in their pool. The two females are already fast buddies. Sekiu arrived in Tacoma earlier this week from Seattle Aquarium. Sea otters are gregarious animals that live in groups in the wild, and Libby now has a companion.A seabird at the new Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Rocky Shores habitat enjoys a swim. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumNext door, a large complement of sea birds – tufted and horned puffins and common murres – delighted visitors as they hopped off land and into the water, then hopped out of the water and back onto shore. Puffins flapped their wings, droplets of water cascading off them to the delight of photographers gathered at the glass to watch. And children oohed and ahhed at their little orange webbed feet paddling in the waterBut while there are plenty of animal antics and behaviors to watch and enjoy, there’s also a strong conservation message embedded in all of the fun at Rocky Shores.A child gets a photograph of Dozer, the 3,600-pound male walrus with long tusks, in the underwater viewing area. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium“We want our guests to know that we share the shore with many of these animals, and the actions we take can affect the health of the waters they live in,” said Rocky Shores senior staff biologist Lisa Triggs. She spoke to visitors about cutting down on the single-use plastic bags and other items; purchasing sustainable seafood in grocery stores and restaurants; and taking care to avoid letting oil or other hazardous substances get into storm drains, where they can eventually be washed into the sea.The renovated Rocky Shores area features a number of improvements, including:Brand new, crystal-clear underwater viewing windows for enjoying the graceful ballet-like movements of massive walruses;Better sight lines for watching the antics of playful sea otters;A redesigned home for California sea lions and harbor seals;Covered stadium-style seating for watching animals and listening to keeper talks;A repaired and renewed 125,500-gallon pool for the zoo’s four walruses, featuring more haul-out areas in an exhibit that resembles the features of a rocky coastal area;Updated graphics and colorful murals that tell the story of interconnectedness between humans and the sea, with messages about how humans can help care for the ocean and the animals that call it home;A new wheelchair and stroller friendly pathway that gives visitors a faster trip to the Arctic Tundra home of majestic polar bears.Northern sea otter Sekiu relaxes in her pool. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumThe work also includes crucial updates to the water filtration and animal life-support systems necessary to keep the marine mammals in an optimal salt-water environment. Other modifications added health and safety features for both the animal residents and the zoo staff members who care for them.It’s the first large project completed at the zoo with funds from the 2014 bond issue. The Pacific Seas Aquarium is well under construction next door, and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.The bond issue also has financed projects across the city, including helping to pay for the People’s Community Center pool, a new multipurpose field at South End Recreation & Adventure Campus and many smaller projects, with more to come.At Rocky Shores, staff biologists and members of the zoo’s Conservation Engagement team are eager to show off the renewed habitat and delighted with the ways in which it connects visitors even more closely to marine mammals like sea lions, sea otters and harbor seals, plus sea birds that can often be found in our Puget Sound backyard. Pacific walruses, of course, are native to waters a bit north of us in Arctic and subarctic waters off Alaska.Chinook catches a fish from one of the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium zookeepers as a crowd of students – and Rhubarb the Reindeer – look on. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumComing face-to-face with a 3,300-pound walrus through a viewing window, watching a sea otter groom herself, or hearing the throaty barking of a California sea lion are among the amazing experiences visitors won’t soon forget, said Conservation Engagement Manager Karen Povey.“Now, we’ve put a sharpened focus on what these animals can teach us and how our actions affect the ocean and shore we share with them,” she added. “We want visitors to know more about the high quality of care Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium provides for the animals that live here, as well about conservation actions we all can take to help their counterparts in the wild.”Alan Varsik, director of Zoological and Environmental Education for Metro Parks Tacoma, hopes visitors will go home knowing more about the zoo’s long legacy of marine animal conservation.The new Rocky Shore habitat allows visits to get up close to some amazing ocean residents. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumThat history has included providing a home for orphaned animals like walruses and sea otters; research to advance scientific knowledge of marine mammals; and participation in Species Survival Plan® programs to increase species populations in North American zoos and aquariums.And the zoo – through The Zoo Society’s Dr. Holly Reed Wildlife Conservation Fund – has helped fund a number of marine mammal conservation projects, including partnering to support studies at the Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife’s walrus sanctuary at Round Island.“All of this work, all of this passion is on exhibit every day at Rocky Shores,” Varsik said. “We hope that visitors will come and enjoy the animals, learn from our staff and leave inspired to take conservation action.”For more information, visit the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s website.
Facebook240Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Saint Martin’s UniveristySaint Martin’s University has announced that the 2019 Saint Martin’s Gala will feature celebrity chef host Carla Hall, best known as the co-host of ABC’s Emmy-award-winning lifestyle series “The Chew.”The Saint Martin’s Gala, which will be on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin’s main campus in Lacey, is the University’s major fundraising event for student scholarships. Last year’s Gala raised $1.3 million for scholarships. Over the years, the black-tie affair has grown to be the premier culinary event in the South Sound region, featuring a live auction, a five-course gourmet dinner and on-stage cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Previous featured chefs have included Roy Yamaguchi, Ming Tsai, Andrew Zimmern and Ligia Karazawa, Lidia Bastianich and Michael Symon.Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., said, “We are overjoyed to welcome celebrity chef, author, television personality and restaurateur Carla Hall as the host of Gala 2019. Her winning personality, passion for food and commitment to working with charities and nonprofits makes her a perfect host for the Saint Martin’s University Gala.”Besides her time as a co-host of “The Chew,” Hall is well known as a competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars,” where she won over audiences with her philosophy to always cook with love. Her approach to cooking blends her classic French training and Southern upbringing for a twist on traditional favorites. Hall’s cookbooks include the recently published “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration,” which has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, “Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World” and “Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You.”A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Hall received a degree in accounting from Howard University, but traveling through Europe awakened her passion for food and inspired a new career path. She attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland where she completed her culinary training and worked as a sous chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, DC. She also served as executive chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club, and has taught classes at CulinAerie, Sur la Table and her alma mater, L’Academie de Cuisine. Hall serves as a board member for the Pajama Program and GenYouth. She also works with Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen Chef Network, DC Central Kitchen, the USO, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Feeding America, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) and serves on the advisory boards for the Edible Academy for the New York Botanical Gardens and for the Food and Finance High School in New York City. She is a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Advisory Committee and is the culinary ambassador for Sweet Home Cafe at the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Hall lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Matthew Lyons.The corporate-level sponsors for 2019 Saint Martin’s Gala include: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, Bon Appétit Management Company, Capitol City Press, KCTS9, Showcase Magazine and WSECU.Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring Saint Martin’s Gala can contact Dana Pethia, director for fundraising events and corporate sponsors, at firstname.lastname@example.org.Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 26 majors and ten graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.
Facebook150Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Tumwater School DistrictThe state recently recognized four Tumwater School District schools for growth, closing achievement gaps, and demonstrated achievement in specific areas during the 2018-19 school year.We celebrate and congratulate the staff and students at:East Olympia Elementary – growth for students who receive special education servicesMichael T. Simmons Elementary – growth for students identifying as AsianTumwater Hill Elementary – closing gaps for one or more student groups at a targeted support schoolTumwater Middle School – growth for students identifying as Black and students who are English learnersTumwater’s Superintendent, Dr. Sean Dotson, states, “We are thankful for the ongoing commitment and hard work of our staff, teachers, and students that have resulted in these honors. Our staff continue to work together with a focus on helping all students grow. It is exciting to see Tumwater’s commitment to improving educational equity is making a difference.”Throughout the state, 391 schools are being recognized for closing gaps, showing growth, and demonstrating achievement according to new data released by the state. To learn more about the awards and see a list of recognized schools, visit the State Board of Education website.In a press release announcing the school awards, State Superintendent of Public Schools Chris Reykdal states, “Right now, the whole world is understanding the significance of our public schools. Public education provides each student with an opportunity for success; it’s the foundation of our democracy and our society. Next week, we are honoring our educators who are committed to continually improving outcomes for their students. Thank you for all of your amazing work.”
Image Courtesy: Getty/BFIAdvertisement 1grpNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs74Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E8lo( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) ash0Would you ever consider trying this?😱g3pCan your students do this? 🌚8wefgRoller skating! Powered by Firework The novel Coronavirus pandemic may have halted all sports activities in the world, but it hasn’t stopped the veterans of the sporting fraternity from interacting with the youngsters. Even in India, the boxing stalwart MC Mary Kom has taken to the internet in an education programme organised by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), where the Olympian interacted with many rising talents in the country’s boxing scene.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty/BFIThe fear of injuries in sports are something that irks any budding athlete, and to bust some misconceptions regarding the very topic, the six times world champion and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist today spoke to almost 300 young pugilists from India.Mary Kom was joined with Elite Men Boxing Team Physician Dr. Karanjeet Singh, Elite Women Boxing Team Physician Dr. Amol Patil and Physiotherapists Dr. Aayush Yekhande and Dr. Shikha Kedia.Advertisement The 37 year old Manipuri boxer recalled the early days of her career. The future world champion had started off without much awareness about exercise or injuries, something that is vital for a young pugilist or any athlete to know. However, interaction with the medical professionals assisted her concept of body fitness.“I started getting exposed to the team of physios and doctors and interacting with them helped me understand the importance of being aware of the body,” Mary said in the online seminar.Advertisement The session aimed to give the young boxers a proper concept of the reality in sports injuries, and help them avoid any mistakes that can prove to be career-ending. While there have been many myths among young athletes regarding weight training, flexibility or using tapes, Mary and the medical experts busted many such beliefs in the session, also stating that proper exercises can avert a number of injuries, without the requirement of surgeries.“How doing exercises can prevent so many injuries and surgery is not always the only answer, I understood much later,” Mary added, saying that it was following the words of the physio that even helped her recover from a back injury.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-10-year-old fan sends pocket money to help out financially embattled Plymouth ArgyleSachin Tendulkar reveals how he navigated an interesting battle of wits between himself and Glenn McGrath Advertisement
Image Courtesy: BCCI/ReutersAdvertisement 2jcvasNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vscird1lWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Es( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) b7oqWould you ever consider trying this?😱6e8Can your students do this? 🌚ho3Roller skating! Powered by Firework A question that has boggled the minds of every Indian cricket fan in the past 12 months is the future of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian cricket team. The former captain has not been in international duty since the 2019 World Cup, and the legendary wicket keeper batsman’s possibility of a retirement has only been associated with numerous rumours and speculations. However, a tweet on the subject recently took the netizens by storm before it was deleted, by none other than MS’s better half Sakshi! Advertisement Image Courtesy: BCCI/ReutersWhile the 2020 IPL was looked upon as an answer to Dhoni’s future plans with the Men in Blue, the cash rich league has now been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the Indian cricket fandom still lacks an answer regarding Dhoni’s hiatus away from the 22 yards.However, it was until yesterday that Sakshi had decided to open up on Twitter about the ‘rumours’ surrounding her husband’s career, as the hashtag ‘#DhoniRetires’ had started trending on the micro blogging website.Advertisement Although she quickly deleted the post on Twitter, it had already grabbed the attention of the Twitterati.“Its only rumours ! I understand Lockdown has made people mentally unstable ! #DhoniRetires .. Get a life !” Mrs Dhoni had tweeted on Wednesday.Advertisement Image Courtesy: TwitterDhoni was preparing for this year’s IPL season, and had already started his training sessions with Chennai Super Kings, the franchise that he captains. Even Ravi Shastri, the head coach of Team India had indicated the 13th IPL season as the final answer to Dhoni’s indefinite hiatus. Unfortunately, with the suspension of cricket in the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the answer still remains unknown for the fanbase.However, the former skipper has not been out of touch with his supporters even in the lock down. From a flock of crowd gathering around Dhoni riding his Harley Davidson Fat Boy cruiser motorcycle in Ranchi, to enjoying some quality father daughter time with his little girl Ziva, fans are pretty up to date on the 38 year old’s lifestyle in the lock down, even though his future with Team India is still unknown.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-Sachin Tendulkar finds similarity in his grip as a child – and that of Brian Lara’s son!India’s Australian tour date tentatively revealed! Advertisement
By Muriel J. SmithIt depends on where you live, what you do, how you heat, and how critical your needs are as to how local residents are bearing up under the frigid and snow conditions that have essentially shut down many government offices, schools and programs.But in the end, it’s attitude and acceptance that keep tempers from flaring and homeowners diligent about the impact of winter.Monmouth County residents cracked open the backdoor on Tuesday morning and measured snowfall accumulations of three inches and as much as seven, as in parts of Middletown.Despite the slush, some outdoor enthusiasts were undeterred and jogged along the boardwalk, as did David DeMonico of the Jersey Shore Running Club.For Sean Murray of Leonardo, it’s all about realizing that problems like frozen pipes “are just part of the territory” when you love where you live. The Murrays have a century year old home with a northwest side that bears the brunt of high winds and blowing snow. With the second floor bathroom on that side of the house, it came as no surprise that frozen pipes could become an issue. The answer, Murray said, “is taking preventive measures.”Leaving water taps open a slight degree to ensure running water is the first means most people with older homes or homes with water pipes in crawl spaces beneath the house put into effect. At the Murray home, they have the good fortune of having the second floor bath just above the kitchen. “So by keeping the kitchen a little warmed, and knowing that heat rises, we have another means of keeping pipes from freezing.” Undaunted by the frigid temperatures, Murray laughed and admitted, “I’ve learned a lot living in an older home over the past ten years. But I can tell you one thing…as long as you accept its part of the territory, it’s absolutely worth whatever inconvenience to live where we live.”Those with oil heat have their own problems when temperatures drop lower and stay longer than anticipated. When supplies run low, customers get on the phone with their fuel oil supplier to ensure their tanks are full. That’s apparently what has happened this week for Lawes Coal and Fuel Oil Company in Shrewsbury. Very polite, courteous and busy members of the office work force at the Shrewsbury office declined to answer any questions for a story, preferring to donate their time and telephone lines to customers calling in. “That should give you an idea of how busy we really are,” one spokesman at Lawes said. Although there were no complaints from the company, a family owned business that has been in Monmouth County since 1926, residents should ensure walkways are cleared and shoveled from the street to the fuel tank fills location so drivers can make the deliveries and hasten to the next caller.For Jersey Central Power & Light Company, heavy snow sometimes means downed wires and no electricity to homes, but that has not been the case so far in the Two River area. The utility maintains a website updated every 15 minutes which showed no outages in the area, while there were two smaller outages in western Monmouth County and Point Pleasant. Officials recommend callers with outages contact their automated line at 888-544-2877 to report, since the company might not always be immediately aware of a limited outage. The automated line picks up the caller’s phone number and can relate it to a customer’s address without the need for human intervention on the phone, reason enough for a user to ensure his own records, including a cell phone number, are up to date.Residents are also advised to only report downed wires they actually see, rather than what they suspect. Treatment of a downed wire, for safety purposes, means a Hazard responder crew is sent to the scene to ensure safety before advising the repair team of the address. Falling in a downed wire without seeing it can only delay response to that caller and others in the queue.At Little Silver Borough Hall, the staff was up and running before 10 a.m., fielding all calls and handling routine business. Administrator Kim Jungfer said she came at the usual 8 a.m. start of the day, “because I live close and could do it, to ensure we could answer the phones and take care of business.” The borough had a couple of small water pipe issues, she said, but praised the pro-active work of the Public Works Department that kept those problems at a minimum. “We raised the temperatures in some of the building that aren’t used on a daily basis, “ she said, “knowing that the higher cost of heating them would still be far more beneficial than frozen pipes and subsequent repairs.”On the roadways, where most of us will have to eventually wind up, whether to work, school or shop and hope to travel safely, some municipalities have partnered with county government to use what the county uses to melt ice and snow.Since 2008, Monmouth County Public Works has been using a liquid brine solution to treat the approximately 1,000 miles of county roadways. Since 2009 the county government has offered to sell to towns and now 36 communities are using this shared service, said Freeholder Thomas Arnone. Along with saving money given the county buys the solution in large quantities, “The other bonus is that these substances are less harmful to the environment and more effective in colder temperatures,” Arnone said.In the Two-River area Atlantic Highlands, Eatontown, Fair Haven, Highlands, Little Silver, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Red Bank, Red Bank, Rumson, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township and West Long Branch, according to Laura Kirkpatrick, the county director of public information and tourism.As tough as the weather has been, take heart and remember it’s a little more than a month to spring. But on the glass is half empty side of the argument that means there is still more than a month left in winter and all that can bring.
A group, including a baby in a stroller, cross against the light in front of a car at the intersection of Broad and Monmouth Streets in Red Bank, NJ on April 1, 2015. Photo by Tina Colella RED BANK – An ambulance was traveling north on Broad Street Wednesday when it struck a pedestrian crossing the intersection, at Monmouth Street.The pedestrian, Thomas Thatcher, 66, of Hackettstown suffered a minor injury but refused treatment at the scene from the crew of a second MONOC ambulance called to the accident less than two minutes later, at 1:17 p.m., said MONOC Director of Operations Andy Caruso.“He was struck and knocked down and immediately got up,” said Caruso. “He refused medical attention and went on his way.” “We were traveling within safe speeds, going through downtown Red Bank with regard to pedestrians when unexpectedly this person stepped out in front of the ambulance,” said Caruso.“Our drivers are well trained in operating emergency vehicles and act with due regard.” He added, “The driver of our ambulance was naturally shaken up.” PoliceChief Darren McConnell confirmed the pedestrian was crossing against the light. Police did not issue any summonses, he said.Many walkers choose to cross against the light at the busy intersection of Broad and Monmouth Streets. Photo by Tina ColellaIt’s not unusual to see people lose patience and cross against the light on Broad Street. On Wednesday, a Two River Times photographer observed at least 20 people crossing Broad Street at the Monmouth Street intersection against the light, some pushing baby strollers. The traffic light at the Broad and Monmouth Street intersections are equipped with button sensors to change the traffic signal for pedestrians. Those sensors, when pushed by pedestrians, change the signal in approximately 1 minute, 45 seconds; if the sensor is not pushed, the light cycle is about two minutes to go from red to green. While the signal may be green for the entire period, the actual period for pedestrians to cross – designated by a pedestrian silhouette – runs about 20 seconds (with the last 10 seconds counting down in red numerals). Mayor Pasquale Menna said those measures and times were appropriate to address pedestrian safety at that particular intersection.As for Wednesday’s incident, Menna said, “How is any government, how is any regulation, how is any rule going to protect somebody who’s not looking where he’s going?”But there are those who disagree. Crossing Broad Street can be dangerous for pedestrians, even when they have the light, said Kelsey Guthrie, the manager of Yestercades, who witnessed the aftermath of the accident across the street Wednesday. “I see a lot of people not stopping for people at the crosswalk – including myself. I’ve almost been hit multiple times,” she said “People who are driving in town definitely have to be more aware that this is a pedestrian town. It’s full of people walking around.”In meetings with civic leaders, including Menna, The Two River Times is exploring in its “Crossroads” series the inherent conflict between pedestrians and vehicles and possible solutions in the active Red Bank community, a commercial and cultural destination.State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), who is a stakeholder in this safety initiative, said of Wednesday’s collision, “It elevates and highlights the importance of pedestrian safety in the popular town of Red Bank.”The Two River Times initiative has resulted in Red Bank requesting and the Board of Chosen Freeholders agreeing to study the intersection at Broad and Front streets where drivers and pedestrians are told simultaneously to proceed.The Task Force, formed and coordinated by the Two River Times and comprised of Red Bank and now Fair Haven municipal officials, state senators, school officials, RiverCenter, Meridian Health, and Newport Media Holdings, LLC, is examining safety in the Two River area, beginning in Red Bank.By Christina Johnson and John Burton
The Provincial Special Olympics are calling, and members of the Nelson chapter of Special Olympics are ready to take up the challenge.The local Special Olympians have recently completed an outstanding season of competition and are now ready to take put their skills to the test against the best in the province at the Special Olympics Provincial games in Langley, July 11-14. The Nelson delegation is proud to be sending seven athletes, one bocce player and seven soccer stars to the Langley game.Mallard’s Source for sports want to help with the send off by selecting the Special Olympians Team of the Week.Pictured are coaches and curlers, bowlers, bocce and soccer players from the Nelson Special Olympics following a recent event.Great job and good luck Team Nelson.Go Nelson!!