Stokes Offered Presidency of South Puget Sound Community College

first_imgFacebook7Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by South Puget Sound Community CollegeOLYMPIA — The Board of Trustees of South Puget Sound Community College voted to extend a job offer to Dr. Timothy Stokes to serve as the next president of the institution. The decision to extend the offer was reached after a unanimous vote during the Board’s Dec. 14 meeting.“Dr. Stokes has a tremendous history of academic, administrative and community involvement,” said Board of Trustees Chair Judy Blinn. “The Trustees are confident he would continue South Puget Sound Community College’s strong tradition of connection with the community.”Blinn praised the broad-based approach used to identify candidates. “Our process was inclusive, thorough and highly successful.  We are proud and extremely appreciative of all the campus and community involvement,” she said.Stokes currently serves as executive vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Tacoma Community College.  Prior to his tenure at Tacoma, Stokes served as vice president for Student Learning at Texas State Technical College and executive director of the Southwest Arkansas Technology Learning Center at Henderson State University. He holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas, a M.A. in Political Science/Public Administration from the University of Arkansas, and a B.A. in English from Lyon College. Stokes is active on numerous community and workforce development boards and has a history of ensuring alignment of institutional goals with regional economic development goals.Stokes would succeed current South Puget Sound Community College President Gerald Pumphrey, who will retire after more than 6 years at the college.last_img read more

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Studio West Dance Academy Presents Holiday Classic Nutcracker Ballet

first_imgSubmitted by Studio West Dance AcademyFalling snow.  Dancing flowers.  An enchanted dragon.  Extraordinary dreams.  What more could you want to help celebrate the season?  How about a magician for an uncle?  A grand holiday party?  Come enjoy all of these moments December 14-16 at Studio West Dance Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker.Wondering if there is something for every member of the family?  While it is a ballet, it also has a mighty dual between a prince and a king.  A Rat King.  The fight scene is replete with soldiers, mice, rats, and Clara.  There’s even a miniature model cannon.Coming for the first time?  The story of The Nutcracker is iconic, but the portrayal is unique to each production.  Here are some fabulous elements to watch for in Studio West’s depiction of the tale.  A wheel of cheese 6 feet across.  Clara’s Uncle Drosselmeyer way up in the theatre balcony and then just a blink later down on the stage.  A gaggle of Mini-Drosselmeyers (Mini-D’s as a nod to the mini-me character of Mike Meyer).  A dancing bear.  The flashing of fireflies in the night sky.  Life-sized dolls that pop out of enormous presents.  An Arabian genie who rises up out of a giant lamp, and dances suspended from the ceiling.  A working grandfather clock.  And a pair of white mice that appear throughout the story (have your little ones keep count of how often they are on stage).Is attending Studio West’s Nutcracker already a family tradition?  One of the hallmarks of the dance theatre’s production is the commitment to create change each year.  Says co-director Stephanie Wood, “We know that we are welcoming both first time audience members as well as those who come back year after year.  They return because of their memories, and we want to add to that- so there is always something new to surprise them.”A sleigh is being debuted this year, designed and built by studio crew chief Don Wood.  It is currently in the hands of trusted crewmember Leslie Brodie, and being decorated in her shop.  Not even the directors know what it will look like, “They are keeping it hidden away until the big reveal.  We can’t wait to see it!” says Wood’s partner Mary Cecelia Zechmann.Other details for the seasoned audience member to watch for?  Mother Ginger, played in drag and on sky-scraping stilts by Nat Boggs, has a brand new dress, all  25 feet of it.  And for the eagle-eyed among you, watch for the book Clara’s mother reads while seated on the couch.  Can you see the cover?  It is updated annually with the ballet’s production poster.All of this magic and so much more takes place at SPSCC’s Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts December 14-16.  Tickets are available under ‘Studio West Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker’ at olytix.org. Facebook121Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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“Tell It Like It Tiz!” Author Talk

first_imgSubmitted by Timberland Regional Library“Tell It Like It Tiz!” is an anthology of comics and stories created by elders at the Marie Smith Center (MSC), an adult day center in North Portland, Oregon that serves seniors who are functionally or cognitively impaired. Portland writers and illustrators Nicole J. Georges and Marc Parker will read from and talk about the book at the Olympia Timberland Library from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 16.Georges and Parker, who have been volunteering to facilitate a weekly zine workshop at the MSC since 2006, produced three issues of Tell It Like It Tiz, the zine, now out of print. The anthology compiles these issues as well as over 60 pages of new material into one volume.The zine provides a voice for MSC participants by chronicling their experiences through comics and writing and is also intended to serve as a model for other adult day centers interested in blending storytelling and art therapy.An award-winning writer and illustrator, Georges has published the autobiographical comic, Invincible Summer, since 2000 and has toured the country extensively. Her work has been featured in many publications and her critically-acclaimed graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura, was published in 2013. Visit Georges’ website here.Parker has created numerous zines, including Azmacourt, Breakfast for Dinner, and Zine Crush. A youth worker as well as a writer and zine publisher, he is pursuing a degree in Clinical Psychology. Visit Parker’s website here.The blog of the Marie Smith Center Zine, a collection of stories, interviews, comics, illustrations and advice from the senior citizens of the MSC can be found here.The Olympia Timberland Library is located at 313 8th Avenue. For more information, call the library at (360) 352-0595 or visit www.TRL.org. Facebook5Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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Washington Retail Association Member Madelin White Receives National Honor

first_imgFacebook398Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington Retail AssociationWashington Retail Association (WRA) board member Madelin White was honored in Washington, D.C. with a national honor as one of America’s Retail Champions. The National Retail Federation extended the honor to just a few nominees nationwide.Madelin White is not only a successful business women and advocate for other small business, but she is dedicated to giving back and helping others feel good about themselves. Photo courtesy: Washington Retails AssociationWhile in D.C., Madelin was invited to attend a Small Business Retail Council meeting and advocated on behalf of retailers with some of Washington’s Congressional delegation and with Mark Johnson, Senior VP of Government Affairs.Madelin also attended a recognition dinner with other similar honorees.The award recognizes Main Street business owners who have demonstrated community leadership as strong retail industry advocates. Madelin has owned Merle Norman Cosmetics, Wigs and Day Spa in Lacey for more than 40 years and has served in various leadership roles on WRA’s board of directors for 21 years. She is the winner of several local and national awards for leadership and volunteer work.In nominating Madelin for her latest honor, WRA highlighted a few of her key contributions including a long-lasting commitment to advocacy for small businesses and toward cancer patients. In Madelin’s 26 years helping cancer patients rebuild their self-esteem with her Look Good, Feel Better course, she has traveled throughout the Puget Sound region and Alaska, Oregon and Montana as a volunteer. Last year, the American Cancer Society honored Madelin with an award for her service to cancer patients.Among Madelin’s other honors is the Thurston County Economic Development Council’s 2015 Business of the Year.last_img read more

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RFH Tower Players Present ‘Jekyll & Hide’

first_imgThe Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School invite you to discover what’s behind the façade as they present Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, a tale of the epic battle between good and evil based on the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. Set in Victorian London, Dr. Henry Jekyll has a plan to cure his comatose father. Denied by the Hospital Board of Governors, he resolves to experiment on himself.Jekyll & Hyde ran on Broadway for four years. The Tower Players production, directed by Suzanne Sweeney with vocal director Vincent Mottern, features Harrison Best as Jekyll/Hyde, joined by Clare Fitzgerald as Lucy, and Mallory McGill as Emma Carew.Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 23-24 and 1 p.m. Sunday, March 25 in the school auditorium, 74 Ridge Rd., Rumson.Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens.The box office is located in the auditorium lobby and will open 90 minutes prior to each performance. Advance ticket forms can be found at the Rumson and Fair Haven libraries or can be downloaded from the school website RFHRHS.org.For information on ticket availability and additional box office hours call (732) 842-1597 ext. 300.last_img read more

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Community YMCA Announces New Board Leadership

first_imgSHREWSBURY – The Community YMCA Board of Directors has elected Patricia Whittemore as chairperson/chief volunteer officer and Aberdeen “Deen” Allen, Jr. as a new director at the organization’s 139th annual meeting.Whittemore, of Rumson, has been a member of the Y board since 2009 and most recently served as vice chairperson. She has been active with a number of community nonprofit organizations, including the St. George’s Church Outreach Committee and the American Cancer Society. She earned her B.A. at the University of Richmond and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. She has three children ages 12, 10 and 8.Allen of Parlin, was appointed for a three-year term on the board of directors. He served in the military and earned a B.S. and a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He continued his education at Brandeis University where he earned his Ph.D. in synthetic organometallic chemistry. He works for Colgate Palmolive where he continues to make contributions to transform the field of chemistry.last_img read more

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Marina Expansion Delayed But Predict Spring Opening

first_imgOCEANPORT – The long awaited rebirth of the former Fort Monmouth Marina on Riverside Avenue has hit a snag over red tape, official ownership, and an expansion that includes a restaurant and a bar, as well disgruntled neighbors.Still, officials and the operators expect at least a portion of the marina to be operating by spring.Operators, who say they are happy to secure all the proper permits and meet with neighbors to address their concerns, predict the boat launch and 71 slips on Oceanport Creek will open May 1, with slip space applications for boaters expected to be available later this month. Boat rentals including kayaks, paddleboats and other small crafts will be run by Red Bank Marina. The operators have hired a general manager and trained Italian chef for family-friendly fare including burgers, soups, salads, dinner items, a bar menu and a lighter menu in summer. The restaurant will be open year-round.The renamed Marina at Oceanport was leased by Asbury Park Development Partners (APDP) through the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) last year, beginning its resurrection following years of dormancy exacerbated by extensive Superstorm Sandy damage.The new operators opened outdoor portions and boating to the public last summer. Partners in APDP, Fuller “Trip” Brooks and Mario Criscione, went on to enter into exclusive purchase agreement negotiations with FMERA, and are expected to take over full ownership soon under the name Marina at Oceanport Partners LLC.That company includes Criscione, Brooks, and “agents” of APDP, Criscione’s daughters, Deanna Queenan and Jessica Sarnak.One of the issues in the complex scenario is the issuance of three violations and who’s actually responsible for each.Two of three violations cited by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Bureau of Coastal Land Use Compliance and Enforcement under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) occurred while the Army still owned the fort; the third involves work on the building by the new operators.The property is technically owned by the Army so the new operators are conferring with their attorneys to determine whether the Army is responsible for the pre-existing violations and what their next course of action should be.“We did get approval on each of our building changes and expansions from FMERA and got all proper permits from Oceanport,” Sarnak said. “We are only missing CAFRA. We didn’t know we needed it. FMERA includes DEP officials and we relied on their expertise. We were given approval to continue to work on the footprint and anything already in existence. If we are able to receive a temporary Certificate of Occupancy, we will be able to open the main indoor bar and a portion of the outdoor seating with a separate bar. FMERA has been wonderful to us.”Irate Riverside Avenue neighbor Michael Sikand, an unsuccessful bidder on the marina, however, has different ideas. He publicly vowed to stop the restaurant from opening at the February 26 FMERA meeting. Speaking for himself and the neighbor directly adjacent to the marina property, he called the expansion “illegal” adding, “People will be drinking 30 feet from residents’ homes near their yards and kids.” Sikand called for an independent investigation to determine what actually happened, ending with, “We will make sure the marina does not open this spring.” He accused officials of ignoring his previous correspondence on the alleged violations.“We acted immediately, visited the site, took measurements and photographs and notified (Oceanport Borough Administrator) John O. Bennett,” explained FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman. “The marina operator is preparing CAFRA applications. We are supporting that process and responded in an appropriate manner.” Work has stopped on the portion of the building cited in the state’s Notice of Violation.At issue is the expansion of a previously existing marina building by approximately 1,750 feet and the change in use into a restaurant and bar, as well as the expansion of the building over the top of the bulkhead.“The Army has a different permitting process and should be able to help us with permitting,” Queenan said. “We are still in the early stages to determine the best course of action.” She said the two pre-existing violations performed by the Army include a bulkhead on the west side of the property and reconfiguration of some docks that the DEP found the Army performed without a permit.“Existing docks have been reconfigured, expanded or extended beyond the limits of the license area by the Army,” she added. “We haven’t reconfigured the docks because we thought it was done properly. The building was there. Our objective is not to create noise and traffic. The property is zoned commercial. No one has reached out to us to ask about our plans. We would be more than happy to sit and discuss it with the neighbors.”“The state owns the property up to the mean water line,” said FMERA Director of Facilities Planning Rick Harrison. “We are trying to bring the property to full compliance. It must be resolved. We are working with the DEP and expect the marina will be open for the boating season and the restaurant open in spring.” By John Burton and Laura D.C. Kolnoski. John Burton can be reached at jburton@tworivertimes.comlast_img read more

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Letter: Witness to Joy

first_imgserved as a Grand Marshal at Brookdale’s graduation ceremonies. It was pure joy.When my favorite poet Billy Collins came to Brookdale some years back, I interviewed him for Brookdale Television, and asked him how he became Poet Laureate. He said it’s a mystery: there’s no short list, you don’t know you’re being considered. You just get a phone call out of the blue from the Librarian of Congress. Then he added, with sly wit, “It’s a good reason to have a telephone.”I thought of that comment as I stood for a couple of hours behind and slightly to the side of President Maureen Murphy as she stood, indefatigably, and greeted hundreds of graduates, one by one, congratulating each, shaking his or her hand, and presenting the tiny vellum scroll tied with a red ribbon that informed them that their actual diplomas would be mailed to them over the summer.Being able to attend a Brookdale graduation – to be offered by your graduate one of the six prized tickets – seems to me today to be a good reason to have a child.Over my 28 years on the faculty, I have dutifully attended many graduations. I admit ruefully that at some point they became a bit ho-hum, always sort of the same, as you might expect. We professors sit in the first few rows, excited and happy for our students as they proceed up a ramp from stage left, keeping an eye out for those we may have had in class among the many we have not. When we spot one, we immediately recall our impressions of that particular student. Then the moment passes, and after the first few hundred, our eyes begin to glaze over a little and we briefly disappear into our own thoughts.But for me, (this) was entirely different – and wondrous. I stood behind a table laden with baskets full of scrolls. One by one, as in a slow-motion relay race, my job was to hand a scroll to my fellow Grand Marshal Gerry Monroy, who passed it off to President Murphy, who put it in the student’s hand. Though I could not see her face, I am certain she was grinning the whole time, because earlier, in the Warner Student Center, as those of us who would be on stage donned our robes and made small talk while we waited to line up, she said to me and Gerry, emphatically, “This is why we do what we do.” She may have said it twice. She was just beaming, brimming with anticipation.I wondered then why she seemed so over the top about it all: another graduation. But very soon I understood: those young adults (and a few not so young) striding confidently toward us, up that ramp, each one’s name having been announced to the multitudes who filled Collins Arena to the rafters, their families gathered in clumps like synonyms in a thesaurus, suddenly and briefly whooping and hollering like all getout for their own, wonderful, accomplished college graduate who was about to be greeted (sometimes hugged) and congratulated by the President of Brookdale Community College. It was joyous. That’s all I can tell you.By Tim Burke.Burke teaches English at Brookdale Community College.last_img read more

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Fair Haven Approves Dunkin’ Application; Resident Files Lawsuit

first_imgA lawsuit filed in county court in late July by nearby resident Andrew Reger challenges the ruling made by the defendant Fair Haven Zoning Board. Also named in the lawsuit is Fair Haven Retail, LLC, owner of the River Road Shopping Center. Cole also said she fears patrons will park on the opposite side of the road and run across to get to the shopping center, which can put them in danger of being struck by a vehicle. “It might be time for Fair Haven to figure out what it wants to be because we thought we were going to be a small town,” a biker-and walker-friendly area, she said. “But it seems at least some people, in particular the mayor, have a different plan in mind.” “Everybody who wanted to be heard was heard,” the mayor said. “The process worked and it worked well.” The planning board’s decision follows determinations by the zoning board and the zoning officer that the Dunkin’ establishment is a category-two restaurant, making it a permitted use in the borough’s B-1 zone. Objectors have argued it should be considered a category-three restaurant, or a drive-thru, which would deem it a non-permitted use in the zone. Much of the conversation that night centered on revised site plans for the shopping center to address traffic and safety concerns raised by board members and residents. One idea, presented by borough traffic engineer Betsy Dolan, was to turn the eastern driveway into a right-turn-only lane but it was ultimately rejected. By Allison Perrine The approval was delivered in a 7-2 vote at the Tuesday, Aug. 20 meeting. “No” votes were cast by planning board chair Todd Lehder and councilwoman Betsy Koch, planning board liaison. Others, like resident Tracy Cole, were unhappy with the outcome, citing traffic impact concerns. At one time the borough had an ordinance banning fast-food establishments in Fair Haven, but it went missing during a recodification process in 2002. The borough is now working on a new ordinance to specifically ban drive-thru restaurants. FAIR HAVEN – Months of debate came to a head as the borough planning board approved a Dunkin’ coffee chain in the River Road Shopping Center. “I think congestion on River Road may force commuters to seek alternate routes through the residential neighborhoods at the same time of day our kids are going to school on bikes and walking,” Cole said. When asked about his feelings on the planning board’s decision, Mayor Benjamin J. Lucarelli said he was pleased that the matter came to a conclusion and that the planning board did an excellent job of exercising a democratic process. last_img read more

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Watching Waterfowl and Searching for Seals Along Sandy Hook

first_imgHaines believes most people participate in the walk to see the seals rather than the waterfowl, but 8-year-old Manus Connagham was an exception. He came to see both. Photo by Patrick Olivero Photo by Patrick Olivero Families, friends and animal lovers of all sorts joined the American Littoral Society for its seal and waterfowl walk Saturday morning, led by Jeff Dement, the society’s fish-tagging program director. Haines said she typically plans four seal and waterfowl walks between January and March, with two on weekends and two on weekdays. She is considering adding an extra one if more seals continue to show up. Look for announcements at LittoralSociety.org.  Longtime friends Beth Spiro, Pat Steen, Mara Neske and Carol Cuddy, residents of Monmouth County, said they often participate in events held by the American Littoral Society. This was Neske’s first time attending this particular walk, which she admitted was not what she expected. Photo by Patrick Olivero At various locations along the peninsula during the two-hour event, Dement identified different waterfowl and scouted for seals. Through binoculars, telescopes and long-lens cameras, participants spotted the marine mammals bobbing and swimming in the water and, at Skeleton Hill Island, saw between 20 and 30 seals hauling-out, or resting out of the water on a large rock.  “There’s history everywhere you look around Sandy Hook,” he said. Photo by Patrick Olivero “We (the American Littoral Society) function as a bridge between science and the public,” he said. “Education is at the core of everything.” By Raven Rentas “It was so much more diverse than I thought it’d be. I thought, ‘Oh, he’s going to show us places to see seals and when I walk here, I can go see them,’ but that truly was not the real highlight,” Neske said. “It was the whole walk and how interesting Sandy Hook is. I mean, it’s amazing.” According to the society’s education director Nicole Haines, there are several reasons seals come to New Jersey during the winter months, including preferring the colder water temperatures of the north Atlantic. In March, the seals migrate farther north so they can continue to stay in the cold waters that suit their bodies. Dement said they also come to the Jersey Shore to look for prey.  Dement hopes events like the seal and waterfowl walk will help people recognize the importance of marine life. Manus aspires to become an ornithologist when he grows up. According to him, he “fell in love with animals” from the moment he was born. “He’s a bird watcher so we’re just always looking out for cool bird watching and nature trips,” Benson said. Besides discussing seals and waterfowl, Dement pointed out many different plants, sharing interesting facts, personal stories and historical events tied to them. Manus and his mother, Sarah Benson, traveled all the way from Brooklyn to attend the Saturday morning walk.  “I’m into marine life, reptiles, dragons and birds,” he said. The article originally appeared in the February 6-12, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. Photo by Patrick Olivero HIGHLANDS – A little fog didn’t keep almost 50 people from eagerly searching for harbor seals along the Sandy Hook shoreline Feb. 1.last_img read more

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