Ocean City Students Join Bubbles 4 Autism Day

first_imgSyniah McDonald, 9, an Ocean City Primary School third-grader, blows bubbles during Bubbles 4 Autism Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 2.More than a million Americans live with autism, and on Tuesday and Wednesday an even greater number of bubbles floated above the Earth.Students and groups across the globe blew bubbles to raise awareness as part of the annual Bubbles 4 Autism Day.Duke McCarron, 9, and Noah Herrington, 9, both third-graders at Ocean City Primary School, join the fun at Bubbles 4 Autism Day.Students at Ocean City High School, Ocean City Intermediate School and Ocean City Primary School participated in the district-wide event on Wednesday (April 2).“Bubbles are symbols of joy, hope and laughter,” the Ventnor-based organization Faces 4 Autism writes on its website. “They bring people together. When we Blow Bubbles for Autism together, we create a new awareness of families facing autism.”Officer Michael Gray of Ocean City’s Community Police Unit participates in the event at Ocean City Primary School.Ventnor’s Mosca family formed the support group Families for Autistic Children in 2002, and the Bubbles 4 Autism Day started at Ventnor Elementary School 11 years ago.The event includes various fundraising events to help children and families with autism to attend special trainings for autism and to educate teachers and families on autism. April is Autism Awareness Month.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more

Ocean City Housing Authority Struggles With Board Vacancies

first_imgA newly completed audit shows that the Ocean City Housing Authority has engineered a turnabout. By Donald WittkowskiThe financially troubled Ocean City Housing Authority, still trying to recover from an embezzlement scandal involving its former chief executive, has been dealt even more blows following the death of one of its board members and resignation of another.The loss of those two commissioners was magnified Tuesday when the authority was forced to cancel its monthly board meeting because it lacked a quorum. Bob Barr, a city councilman who serves as the authority’s chairman, said the board likely will have to wait until October to meet again.“Everything is on hold right now,” he said.The death of Commissioner Ed Speitel on Sept. 11 and resignation of Commissioner Portia Thompson leaves three vacancies on the seven-member board. Barr said Thompson submitted her resignation to Mayor Jay Gillian last week, but he did not know the reason why she stepped down.Barr hopes to sit down with Gillian this week to discuss the vacancies. The mayor and City Council are responsible for making most of the appointments to the authority’s board, Barr said.There is a third vacancy on the board because Gov. Chris Christie has not yet appointed his representative to the housing authority. That seat has been open for more than a year, Barr said. It is not yet clear when the governor will make the appointment, although there are indications that it may happen just before Christie’s term in office expires in January.“We have been told by various sources that he will not fill the vacancy until the end of his term,” Barr said.Barr noted that the housing authority is not being singled out by Christie. Overall, there are 425 similar vacancies on government boards and authorities throughout the state, according to Barr.The Ocean City Housing Authority uses federal funds to provide affordable housing for low-income senior citizens, families and the disabled at its Pecks Beach Village and Bay View Manor facilities.Under the board’s supervision, the authority has been implementing a series of management and financial reforms following the firing last May of former Executive Director Alesia Watson, who pleaded guilty to embezzling federal funds from the agency. Watson avoided jail when she was sentenced to three years of probation on Sept. 7.During her guilty plea on May 8, Watson admitted misusing two housing authority credit cards to buy 69 MasterCard gift cards between December 2013 and March 2015. The gift cards were used for personal expenses and were also shared by Watson with friends and family members, authorities said.Watson used U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds administered by the authority to pay off the credit card bills associated with her purchase of the gift cards, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Authorities estimated between $6,500 and $15,000 was lost in the embezzlement scheme.Chairman Bob Barr and new Executive Director Jacqueline Jones are undertaking reforms to overhaul the housing authority’s management and finances.As the authority looks to rebuild itself in the post-Watson era, the death of Speitel, in particular, is a “tremendous loss” because of the vast knowledge he had about public housing, Barr said.“Without him to help us, I’ve got to believe we’ll be in serious trouble,” Barr said.Speitel, 61, served as the chairman of the housing authority’s finance and redevelopment committees and also worked closely with federal officials at HUD. Speitel, who owned an engineering company, helped to build projects for other housing authorities in New Jersey, giving him even more insight into the world of public housing, Barr stated.“I’m going to miss him a lot, not only as a nice person and great human being, but also as such a wealth of knowledge,” Barr said.Compounding its troubles, the authority has also been struggling with its finances. Jacqueline Jones, the new executive director who took over after Watson’s removal, reported last month that the agency is running at a $100,000 loss. The deficit was caused by delays in getting the federal budget approved.Jones told the board members during the August meeting that the authority will be “very, very low on cash” through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.The authority’s finances have been strained by a late $117,000 payment from HUD. Normally, the money would have arrived from HUD months ago, but has been held up by delays with the federal budget’s approval in Washington, Jones explained.The HUD funding can be used for both the housing authority’s capital and operating expenses. The money is not expected to come to the authority until the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.Until then, the authority will tighten its belt and hold off on any extra capital projects, although it will keep up with basic maintenance repairs, Jones said.last_img read more

Directors consider future of Patisserie UK

first_imgThe future of Patisserie UK’s place within Lees Foods’ group of companies has been put into question by directors, following a “disappointing” performance in 2008.According to a trading update, Patisserie UK suffered due to the loss of “a major customer” last year. Directors were said to be considering Patisserie UK’s future within the Lees Group and will make an announcement regarding its future in due course.Patisserie UK was formed in 1994 and is a bespoke manufacturer of coffee shop round cakes, loaf and tray cakes, desserts and biscuits.Meanwhile, the group’s other subsidiaries – Lees of Scotland and Waverley Bakery – achieved record sales turnover last year. The Scotland-based confectionery and cake manufacturers’ trading update for the year, ended 31 December, stated sales for Waverley Bakery and Lees of Scotland were “in line with expectations”. However, its net profit was down due to the administration of Woolworths in the UK. “We have had to make a full provision for a bad debt, the net effect of which is £69,000,” read the statement.The company said the group continues to have strong cash flow generation, due to a reduction in net bank debt from the previous year.last_img read more

Slicer is sharp on safety

first_imgRowlett Rutland has launched the 250SR gravity belt-driven Electric Slicer, designed to make a perfect cut with minimum wastage.The slicer can be used for high volumes and is equipped with a built-in blade sharpener for uninterrupted use.The 250SR has a stain-resistant anodised aluminium finish, and is quick and easy to clean. The long-life blade is manufacturedin hollow ground tempered alloy steel and is unaffected by acids, salt or blood. There is also an optional Teflon coating for slicing cheese.The slicer fully complies with all CE regulations, and features safety guards and a no-voltage release button. It has a 0.35hp motor, and the 250mm diameter blade works at 300rpm. The cut thickness range of the unit is 0/16.last_img read more

More Broadway Theaters to Dim the Lights for Joan Rivers

first_img “Under our criteria,” Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin previously told The New York Times, “People need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway.” She added, “We love Joan…but she hasn’t acted on Broadway in 20 years. When you say Joan Rivers, you don’t think comedy, television and Broadway. You think comedy and television.” The statement fueled an outpouring of fan support, including an online petition and the Twitter hashtag #dim4joan. Broadway.com has contacted the Broadway League for comment, but a spokesperson could not be reached. Updated at 12.45PM. Broadway.com has confirmed that the New Amsterdam, Helen Hayes, Studio 54 and Stephen Sondheim theaters will now dim their marquee lights at 6:45PM on September 9 to honor the late Joan Rivers, along with the previously reported five Jujamcyn houses. The move comes after an online backlash on September 8 when the Broadway League announced that Main Stem theaters would not dim their lights for the comedy icon, Tony nominee and longtime Broadway cheerleader. View Comments The New Amsterdam Theatre, where Aladdin plays, is owned by Disney, while the Helen Hayes Theatre hosts Rock of Ages. Rivers received her Tony nod for her appearance in Sally Marr…and her escorts, which played at the Helen Hayes. Roundabout owns Studio 54 and the Stephen Sondheim, where Cabaret and Beautiful are playing respectively; its American Airlines Theatre is currently dark.last_img read more

Farm co-op grant

first_imgAn ethanol production co-op among Georgia corn growers.The Sunbelt Organic Gold co-op of south Georgia poultrygrowers who want to make and market organic fertilizer fromchicken litter.A Community Food Network that would match organic producegrowers with markets in suburban Atlanta. By Chowning Johnsonand DanRahnUniversity of GeorgiaA growing interest in farm co-ops got a boost last month from a$266,000 federal grant to the Georgia Center for Agribusiness andEconomic Development. The grant will give Georgia its firststatewide farm co-op development center.The new Georgia Cooperative Development Center will be one of 20such centers in the United States.The GCDC will support fledgling co-ops and help farmers who wantto form others, said CAED coordinator John McKissick. Before thegrant, he said, there weren’t enough resources to meet all of theneeds.The CAED, part of the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences, secured the grant fromthe Rural Development program.”The grant will focus on cooperative development and providingmore services to those in agriculture who think they have afuture to develop as a co-op,” McKissick said.ExpansionIt will fund two business development specialists and otherresources. “It will enable us to do a lot more of what we’ve beendoing,” he said.The CAED has played a key role in successful co-ops like theSunbelt Goat Producers in Washington County and Farm FreshTattnall, a co-op of roadside markets and pick-your-own farms inTattnall County.Co-ops, McKissick said, are a way for business people to worktogether and do what they couldn’t do separately.The new center’s steering committee has already approved newfeasibility studies, board training, market analyses, businessplans or other support for four co-ops: Success rates”The center will improve new co-ops’ success rates by making surethey have a good foundation from the start and giving them thenecessary supplies to update business plans as needed,” said BillThomas, a GCDC co-op development specialist.A market analysis for a newly formed Southwest Georgiaagritourism co-op, for instance, showed that televisionadvertising would reach its best audience. Without the study,Thomas said, they might have made some key marketing mistakes.The 11 Resource, Conservation and Development Councils of theUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are partners of thenew GCDC.(Chowning Johnson is a student writer and Dan Rahn a newseditor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)center_img A co-op that would match organic-minded markets withgrass-finished beef.last_img read more

Landscape for Wildlife

first_imgBy Bob Westerfield University of GeorgiaIt seems a little strange writing a landscaping article about attracting wildlife. I’ve spent much of my career telling folks how to keep critters out of their landscape.As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension horticulturist, I get lots of questions about how to stop deer from eating flowers and how to deter squirrels from digging up bulbs. Lately, however, I’ve seen a noticeable shift in landscape- and wildlife-related calls. People actually want to encourage wildlife into their landscape and enjoy bragging to neighbors and family about furry creatures visiting their landscape and feeders. As a wildlife enthusiast, I think this is a great trend.You can have an attractive landscape and still make it eco-friendly for wildlife. You just have to realize that some plants are like salad bars to deer. All animals look for three critical elements: food, water and shelter. Many landscape plants add beauty to your landscape while providing one or more of the basic elements. Water is critical. Incorporate a water element by adding a small pond and a few bird baths. Deer, raccoons, birds and opossums are just a few of the critters that may visit your landscape watering hole.Ponds don’t have to be large or fancy. Water tubs from farm supply stores or even metal wash tubs placed into holes dug in the ground make a miniature oasis for many animals. To help fight evaporation and keep the water cool, put bird baths in the shade. Food is the next major element to attract wildlife. Depending on what wildlife you like and what lives nearby, many different plants can draw them into your landscape. Birds love to feast on berry-producing plants. Consider shrubs that fruit, such as Japanese hollies, inkberry, phyracantha and wax myrtle. There are many others to choose from.Squirrels and deer appreciate nut-bearing trees such as oak, hickory and Chinese chestnut. It’s also good to include some fruit producers like crabapple, plum and persimmon trees or muscadine vines. If you have room, plant a small food plot of wheat, clover, rye or oats to attract deer or turkey. Planting these near escape cover encourages daylight feeding. A one-eighth to one-fourth acre food plot provides a good food source year ‘round. I set a digital trail camera close to my food plots to capture images of what visits when I’m not around. These cameras, available at sporting goods stores, are fun and easy to use. Humming birds are also fun to watch and are easy to attract. Humming birds love plants that flower for a long time. They prefer trumpet-shaped blooms. Vines such as trumpet creeper, honeysuckle, crepe myrtle, or Carolina jasmine bring them in. You can add hummingbird feeders visible from your window.Set up feeders for birds, squirrels and whatever else shows up. There are many great feeder designs out there to compliment any landscape design. I like natural looking wooden feeders.Cover or shelter is the final element that wildlife needs. They need a place to escape from enemies, find refuge from weather and feel secure while they rest. Different animals need different types of cover. Woodpeckers and flying squirrels like dead trees. Rabbits make nests in tall grass and weedy areas. Deer like to spend their afternoons in a secure shrubby area. Include trees, bushes, brush piles and rock piles to attract more wildlife. Place different sizes of bird houses around the landscape, too, to bring in feathered friends.Provide water, food and shelter, and your landscape can quickly become a wildlife sanctuary. (Bob Westerfield is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension consumer horticulturist.)last_img read more

NCUA names Director of Public and Congressional Affairs

first_img Mary Anne Bradfield will become NCUA’s Director of Public and Congressional Affairs, effective Dec. 18, the agency announced Thursday.“Mary Anne has a wide-ranging career in the public and private sectors, and two themes run through that career: promoting opportunities and working collaboratively,” NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters said. “Both of those are qualities important in this position. Mary Anne’s expertise in management, strategic planning, and communications will serve the agency and the credit union system well.”Bradfield comes to the NCUA from the Small Business Administration (SBA), where she served as chief of staff to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, recruiting and organizing a high-performing team of business professionals. Before being named chief of staff, she was on the Trump Administration’s transition team, where she led the development of SBA’s strategic plan. That development process was recognized by the Office of Management and Budget as a model for efficiency and effectiveness. NCUA headquarters continue reading »center_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

PODCAST: Payments roundtable

first_img continue reading » What’s the best defense credit unions have against disruption?Collaboration, according to John Best, CEO of Best Innovation Group.That’s important to remember as credit unions face increasing disruption from fintech companies, a new fintech bank charter, and other developments, adds Glen Sarvady, managing principal of 154 Advisors.In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Best and Sarvady are joined by Lance Noggle, CUNA’s senior director of advocacy for payments & cybersecurity. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more