Middletown Library Events – February 8-14, 2015

mt libraryPrograms @ the library February 8th – 14th

Passport to Reading Program continues.  Pick up a passport and list of activities at the Children’s Desk. Each activity you complete earns one stamp in your passport. Six stamps earn you a ticket for admittance to our “Passport to Reading Finale” which will take place on Sunday, March 8th from 2-3:30 pm in our community room.

Author Visit: non-fiction author Mark Stewart  Sun Feb 8th @ 2pm(all ages) Join us for an afternoon of sports talk, including a review of the Super Bowl and a preview of the upcoming baseball season. Mark has written more than 200 books on sports, history and popular culture, and runs the web site NJSportsHeroes.com. Mark is known for using memorabilia and artifacts to illustrate his sports books, and he will be bringing some of those items to share with the audience. All are welcome!

Homemade Valentine Cards Mon, Feb 9th @ 4pm (tweens) Want to make something different for Valentine’s Day? Make your own Valentine’s Card!

My First Cooking Class Wed, Feb 11th@ 4pm (ages 2-6)Give your child the opportunity to be “head chef” at our cooking class designed for preschoolers. We will use picture recipes & tools & ingredients that are safe for this age group. We also take care of the set-up & clean up, so you can focus on having fun with your children! Allergy Alert: Cookies with frosting & marshmallows.

Author Visit: N.J. author Barbara Puccia Fri, Feb 13th@ 3pm (all ages) Join us for the author’s presentation of her book, “Samantha Smartypants Runs for Class President” in honor of President’s Day weekend. Her visit will include a mock election and storytelling. While the book is primarily aimed towards grades 2&3,children of all ages are welcome to attend. For those interested, the author will have copies of her book for sale and signing at the end of the presentation. All are welcome but registration is appreciated.

Fun ongoing programs:

Kid’s Playgroup (Drop-in) Tues Feb 10th @10:30am (all ages) Simply Storytime Wed, Feb 11th @ 6:30 pm & Thurs, Feb 12th @10:30am (all ages) Mother Goose (Drop-in) Fri., Feb 13th @ 10am (ages 0-32 months)

DROP IN Events all month long-  

Enjoy some spontaneous fun, get help, practice a skill or make new friends in our drop-in programs throughout the month @ Middletown Township Public Library.  We offer American Sign Language instruction, Math Tutoring, LEGO’s, Scrabble & Chess for Kids, TEEN Tutoring & Reading Buddies.   There’s always an art project to create or a puzzle to be solved in the Discovery Zone.  Visit mtpl.org for a detailed calendar of events.

 Pre-registration required unless otherwise indicated; Visit mtpl.org or call 732-671-3700×340 for more details & a complete list of programming 

Middletown Library Events – February 8-14, 2015

mt libraryPrograms @ the library February 8th – 14th

Passport to Reading Program continues.  Pick up a passport and list of activities at the Children’s Desk. Each activity you complete earns one stamp in your passport. Six stamps earn you a ticket for admittance to our “Passport to Reading Finale” which will take place on Sunday, March 8th from 2-3:30 pm in our community room.

Author Visit: non-fiction author Mark Stewart  Sun Feb 8th @ 2pm(all ages) Join us for an afternoon of sports talk, including a review of the Super Bowl and a preview of the upcoming baseball season. Mark has written more than 200 books on sports, history and popular culture, and runs the web site NJSportsHeroes.com. Mark is known for using memorabilia and artifacts to illustrate his sports books, and he will be bringing some of those items to share with the audience. All are welcome!

Homemade Valentine Cards Mon, Feb 9th @ 4pm (tweens) Want to make something different for Valentine’s Day? Make your own Valentine’s Card!

My First Cooking Class Wed, Feb 11th@ 4pm (ages 2-6)Give your child the opportunity to be “head chef” at our cooking class designed for preschoolers. We will use picture recipes & tools & ingredients that are safe for this age group. We also take care of the set-up & clean up, so you can focus on having fun with your children! Allergy Alert: Cookies with frosting & marshmallows.

Author Visit: N.J. author Barbara Puccia Fri, Feb 13th@ 3pm (all ages) Join us for the author’s presentation of her book, “Samantha Smartypants Runs for Class President” in honor of President’s Day weekend. Her visit will include a mock election and storytelling. While the book is primarily aimed towards grades 2&3,children of all ages are welcome to attend. For those interested, the author will have copies of her book for sale and signing at the end of the presentation. All are welcome but registration is appreciated.

Fun ongoing programs:

Kid’s Playgroup (Drop-in) Tues Feb 10th @10:30am (all ages) Simply Storytime Wed, Feb 11th @ 6:30 pm & Thurs, Feb 12th @10:30am (all ages) Mother Goose (Drop-in) Fri., Feb 13th @ 10am (ages 0-32 months)

DROP IN Events all month long-  

Enjoy some spontaneous fun, get help, practice a skill or make new friends in our drop-in programs throughout the month @ Middletown Township Public Library.  We offer American Sign Language instruction, Math Tutoring, LEGO’s, Scrabble & Chess for Kids, TEEN Tutoring & Reading Buddies.   There’s always an art project to create or a puzzle to be solved in the Discovery Zone.  Visit mtpl.org for a detailed calendar of events.

 Pre-registration required unless otherwise indicated; Visit mtpl.org or call 732-671-3700×340 for more details & a complete list of programming 

AAA Mid-Atlantic: Super Bummed – Falling Fuel Prices Intercepted by Refinery Issues

The Week

After falling for a record 123 consecutive days, for a total savings of $1.31 per gallon, prices at the pump have changed direction slightly.  The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline ticked upward to $2.05 per gallon Friday, up a penny from the previous week, yet prices remain 22 cents less than one month ago and $1.23 less than one year ago.  This price reversal has been largely reflective of a number of Midwestern states where prices have moved higher over the past week due to a series of refinery issues in the region.

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah caused the global oil markets to slightly rally this past week on rumors that OPEC’s largest producer could possibly reassess its production levels and potentially decrease the current glut in global oil supply.  King Abdullah’s successor, Crown Prince Salman, calmed the market by deciding to keep the current oil minister in his position and signaling no plans to change the country’s current production plans.  By sustaining its current production levels, the resiliency of high-cost production countries like the U.S. and Canada will continue to be tested as the market is left to self-regulate at price levels that have not been seen in more than half a decade.  At the close of formal trading on Friday, crude oil settled at $47.67 per barrel.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted in its weekly report that crude oil inventories jumped 8.9 million barrels to 406.7 million barrels, a modern era record, shattering the weekly highs which date back to 1982.  Gasoline stocks dropped by 2.6 million barrels to 238.3 million barrels, though still considered “heavy” and at record high levels for the same corresponding week.  Last week’s gasoline demand came in at 9.022 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest for the same January week since 2007.

The Weekend

“After falling for 123 consecutive days, the national average for regular gasoline reversed course slightly last week,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Pump prices have caught up to the steep declines in the price of oil, which have stabilized in the mid $40 per barrel range.  As a result, we’ve likely hit a period of flat or slightly higher gas prices for the near future.”

 

The Week Ahead

The 123-day slide in prices at the pump was a product of global oil prices tumbling to multi-year lows. While gas prices are likely to increase this spring due to seasonal demand and maintenance, barring any major increase in the global price of crude, AAA expects the national average to remain below $3 per gallon during 2015.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

  1/30/15 Week Ago Year Ago
National $2.05 $2.03 $3.28
New Jersey $1.90 $1.94 $3.24
Trenton $1.99 $2.04 $3.32
Cape May County $1.87 $1.95 $3.21
Burlington County $1.85 $1.89 $3.22
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon $1.90 $1.93 $3.23
Monmouth, Ocean Counties $1.90 $1.94 $3.24
Crude Oil $47.67 per barrel $45.59 per barrel $98.23 per barrel

AAA Mid-Atlantic: Super Bummed – Falling Fuel Prices Intercepted by Refinery Issues

The Week

After falling for a record 123 consecutive days, for a total savings of $1.31 per gallon, prices at the pump have changed direction slightly.  The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline ticked upward to $2.05 per gallon Friday, up a penny from the previous week, yet prices remain 22 cents less than one month ago and $1.23 less than one year ago.  This price reversal has been largely reflective of a number of Midwestern states where prices have moved higher over the past week due to a series of refinery issues in the region.

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah caused the global oil markets to slightly rally this past week on rumors that OPEC’s largest producer could possibly reassess its production levels and potentially decrease the current glut in global oil supply.  King Abdullah’s successor, Crown Prince Salman, calmed the market by deciding to keep the current oil minister in his position and signaling no plans to change the country’s current production plans.  By sustaining its current production levels, the resiliency of high-cost production countries like the U.S. and Canada will continue to be tested as the market is left to self-regulate at price levels that have not been seen in more than half a decade.  At the close of formal trading on Friday, crude oil settled at $47.67 per barrel.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted in its weekly report that crude oil inventories jumped 8.9 million barrels to 406.7 million barrels, a modern era record, shattering the weekly highs which date back to 1982.  Gasoline stocks dropped by 2.6 million barrels to 238.3 million barrels, though still considered “heavy” and at record high levels for the same corresponding week.  Last week’s gasoline demand came in at 9.022 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest for the same January week since 2007.

The Weekend

“After falling for 123 consecutive days, the national average for regular gasoline reversed course slightly last week,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Pump prices have caught up to the steep declines in the price of oil, which have stabilized in the mid $40 per barrel range.  As a result, we’ve likely hit a period of flat or slightly higher gas prices for the near future.”

 

The Week Ahead

The 123-day slide in prices at the pump was a product of global oil prices tumbling to multi-year lows. While gas prices are likely to increase this spring due to seasonal demand and maintenance, barring any major increase in the global price of crude, AAA expects the national average to remain below $3 per gallon during 2015.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

  1/30/15 Week Ago Year Ago
National $2.05 $2.03 $3.28
New Jersey $1.90 $1.94 $3.24
Trenton $1.99 $2.04 $3.32
Cape May County $1.87 $1.95 $3.21
Burlington County $1.85 $1.89 $3.22
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon $1.90 $1.93 $3.23
Monmouth, Ocean Counties $1.90 $1.94 $3.24
Crude Oil $47.67 per barrel $45.59 per barrel $98.23 per barrel

County Community Rating System Assistance Program Lauded

Recognized by two national organizations

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County’s Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program has been recognized by two national organizations, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo).

NOAA announced that MonmouthCounty will receive the 2014 Walter B. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Government for the Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program.

“It is an honor for MonmouthCounty to be recognized on a national level for a program that stemmed from a way to help our residents recover from a horrible storm,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, our towns needed to get fully engaged in flood hazard mitigation and better understand the CRS and how it can help the community and the residents save money.”

The County’s Division of Planning joined with the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management to create the CRS Assistance Program.

“By combining knowledge and resources, Planning and OEM have been able to provide support and education to municipalities and County residents that will help them to be prepared for future emergency situations,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Division of Planning. “This program has tangible results which include lower flood premiums for homeowners and businesses.”

“I am proud that MonmouthCounty is the recipient of such a deserving honor,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “OEM does an exceptional job of serving the community and the CRS Assistance Program, done in collaboration with the Division of Planning, is another example of that.”

By participating in the program, a town can earn CRS points that can be used to lower the flood insurance premiums for homeowners and businesses located within designated flood hazard areas.

NACo also recognized the County’s CRS Assistance Program by featuring it as a best practice in a Coastal Resiliency County Case Studies publication released in late 2014.

The NACo case study recognized the County’s challenge in getting towns to be part of the CRS process because many towns lacked to the technical, financial and administrative capacity to navigate the intricacies of the in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) CRS.

MonmouthCounty created the CRS Assistance Program early in 2014 to provide assistance to municipalities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) CRS. The NFIP administers the CRS which scores towns on their effectiveness in dealing with the mitigation of flood hazard events.

Providing towns with mapping services was particularly important, as the County was able to create open space and base flood elevation Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map templates so that CRS maps required for one town could easily be replicated for other towns. As this project falls under the Monmouth County Planning Division’s organizational mission, there was no additional cost incurred to provide these services to municipalities.

When a municipality applies and is accepted into the CRS program, flood insurance premiums for residents and businesses located in special flood hazard areas can be reduced. 

For a complete list of guidelines please visit the Monmouth County Division of Planning section of the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Residents having questions or needing additional information about CRS should contact their local Floodplain Administrator through their municipal office.

The County recently announced that OEM will partner with FEMA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to offer two Flood Risk Open House meetings in MonmouthCounty. The meetings will be offered on Thursday, Feb. 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Manasquan Elks Lodge #2534 at 17 Stockton Lake Blvd. in Manasquan and Friday, Feb. 20 from 4 to 8p.m. at Henry Hudson Regional High School Cafetorium at 1 Grand Tour in Highlands.

The purpose of these open house meetings is to provide updates to the flood hazard maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, answer flood risk and insurance questions and explain the preliminary flood hazard maps.

County Community Rating System Assistance Program Lauded

Recognized by two national organizations

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County’s Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program has been recognized by two national organizations, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo).

NOAA announced that MonmouthCounty will receive the 2014 Walter B. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Government for the Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program.

“It is an honor for MonmouthCounty to be recognized on a national level for a program that stemmed from a way to help our residents recover from a horrible storm,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, our towns needed to get fully engaged in flood hazard mitigation and better understand the CRS and how it can help the community and the residents save money.”

The County’s Division of Planning joined with the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management to create the CRS Assistance Program.

“By combining knowledge and resources, Planning and OEM have been able to provide support and education to municipalities and County residents that will help them to be prepared for future emergency situations,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Division of Planning. “This program has tangible results which include lower flood premiums for homeowners and businesses.”

“I am proud that MonmouthCounty is the recipient of such a deserving honor,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “OEM does an exceptional job of serving the community and the CRS Assistance Program, done in collaboration with the Division of Planning, is another example of that.”

By participating in the program, a town can earn CRS points that can be used to lower the flood insurance premiums for homeowners and businesses located within designated flood hazard areas.

NACo also recognized the County’s CRS Assistance Program by featuring it as a best practice in a Coastal Resiliency County Case Studies publication released in late 2014.

The NACo case study recognized the County’s challenge in getting towns to be part of the CRS process because many towns lacked to the technical, financial and administrative capacity to navigate the intricacies of the in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) CRS.

MonmouthCounty created the CRS Assistance Program early in 2014 to provide assistance to municipalities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) CRS. The NFIP administers the CRS which scores towns on their effectiveness in dealing with the mitigation of flood hazard events.

Providing towns with mapping services was particularly important, as the County was able to create open space and base flood elevation Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map templates so that CRS maps required for one town could easily be replicated for other towns. As this project falls under the Monmouth County Planning Division’s organizational mission, there was no additional cost incurred to provide these services to municipalities.

When a municipality applies and is accepted into the CRS program, flood insurance premiums for residents and businesses located in special flood hazard areas can be reduced. 

For a complete list of guidelines please visit the Monmouth County Division of Planning section of the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Residents having questions or needing additional information about CRS should contact their local Floodplain Administrator through their municipal office.

The County recently announced that OEM will partner with FEMA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to offer two Flood Risk Open House meetings in MonmouthCounty. The meetings will be offered on Thursday, Feb. 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Manasquan Elks Lodge #2534 at 17 Stockton Lake Blvd. in Manasquan and Friday, Feb. 20 from 4 to 8p.m. at Henry Hudson Regional High School Cafetorium at 1 Grand Tour in Highlands.

The purpose of these open house meetings is to provide updates to the flood hazard maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, answer flood risk and insurance questions and explain the preliminary flood hazard maps.

Sunset Bridge Closed Friday, Jan. 30

Bridge will remain closed through May 2016

ASBURY PARK, NJ – County Bridge O-10 on Sunset Avenue over Deal Lake was closed Friday and will remain closed through May 2016.

“MonmouthCounty is replacing the bridge on Sunset Avenue that crosses over DealLake,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “This is an important project and now all the pieces are in place so we are moving forward.”

This week, the County’s Public Works division staff and the contractor, Kyle Conti Construction of Hillsborough, NJ, have been mobilizing resources and setting detour signs in place week in the area of the bridge that connects Asbury Park and OceanTownship.

“Motorists should expect travel delays in the area throughout the bridge replacement project,” said Arnone.

All traffic will be detoured during the construction period. Signs are posted.

Two public meetings were held on Thursday to review the project and present the project schedule.

To learn more about this project and see the information that was presented at the two identical meetings, visit the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

The cost of construction is approximately $7,444,447. The project is being federally funded.

If an adjustment to the work schedule is necessary, updates will be posted to the County’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

In total, the County maintains of approximately 1,000 lane miles of roads, 980 bridges and culverts and 250 traffic signals and beacons.  

Sunset Bridge Closed Friday, Jan. 30

Bridge will remain closed through May 2016

ASBURY PARK, NJ – County Bridge O-10 on Sunset Avenue over Deal Lake was closed Friday and will remain closed through May 2016.

“MonmouthCounty is replacing the bridge on Sunset Avenue that crosses over DealLake,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “This is an important project and now all the pieces are in place so we are moving forward.”

This week, the County’s Public Works division staff and the contractor, Kyle Conti Construction of Hillsborough, NJ, have been mobilizing resources and setting detour signs in place week in the area of the bridge that connects Asbury Park and OceanTownship.

“Motorists should expect travel delays in the area throughout the bridge replacement project,” said Arnone.

All traffic will be detoured during the construction period. Signs are posted.

Two public meetings were held on Thursday to review the project and present the project schedule.

To learn more about this project and see the information that was presented at the two identical meetings, visit the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

The cost of construction is approximately $7,444,447. The project is being federally funded.

If an adjustment to the work schedule is necessary, updates will be posted to the County’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

In total, the County maintains of approximately 1,000 lane miles of roads, 980 bridges and culverts and 250 traffic signals and beacons.  

SD Family Has Disability-Related Challenges

daniel vance 120On Christmas Eve 2014, Tommi Mclaughlin of Spearfish, South Dakota, lost her balance because of multiple sclerosis (MS), fell over backwards near the family Christmas tree, and fractured two vertebrae in her back. It wasn’t the best of times.

About the fall, 64-year-old Mclaughlin in a telephone interview said, “I still walk and am still up and at ’em. With multiple sclerosis, (besides balance issues) I also have fatigue, weakness in my legs, and (certain sensations) in my legs, mainly.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, MS is a “nervous system disease” affecting the brain and spine, primarily the myelin sheath, which protects the nerves. She first noticed symptoms in the late 1970s and was diagnosed with the relapsing/remitting form of MS in 1987 at 37. Fortunately, and unlike many people, she hasn’t had MS-related problems with her vision. She walks relatively well without any aid, she said, but does have problems walking longer distances and keeping her balance.

She said, “I was in denial for the first 20 years after being diagnosed. I finally accepted (having MS) only about five years ago.” Her worst experiences with MS were after the births of two of her children, when she had MS-related fatigue, muscle weakness, and depressive symptoms.

Unfortunately, MS hasn’t been the only Mclaughlin family disability-related issue. Tommi has seven children. Her 35-year-old son has been on medication for Tourette syndrome since age 9 and unable to work due to having Tourette syndrome and MS. Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes stereotyped, repetitive, and involuntary vocalizations and movements.

Mclaughlin also has a son with schizophrenia, who currently lives in a group home after having a psychotic episode in which he entered a convenience store, took a beverage, and declared he didn’t have to pay for it because he was God. In referencing this son, she said “losing your child without losing your child” was the most difficult thing that had ever happened to her. For a while, she said, this son didn’t even recognize her as his mother.

She said, “A sense of adventure has kept me going. I’ve just looked at all my challenges partly as learning experiences and also as to what I can bring out of them to make my world a better place.” Mclaughlin has written online, and in support groups has helped others going through similar situations.

Facebook: Disabilities By Daniel J. Vance [Sponsored by Palmer Bus Service and Blue Valley Sod.]  

SD Family Has Disability-Related Challenges

daniel vance 120On Christmas Eve 2014, Tommi Mclaughlin of Spearfish, South Dakota, lost her balance because of multiple sclerosis (MS), fell over backwards near the family Christmas tree, and fractured two vertebrae in her back. It wasn’t the best of times.

About the fall, 64-year-old Mclaughlin in a telephone interview said, “I still walk and am still up and at ’em. With multiple sclerosis, (besides balance issues) I also have fatigue, weakness in my legs, and (certain sensations) in my legs, mainly.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, MS is a “nervous system disease” affecting the brain and spine, primarily the myelin sheath, which protects the nerves. She first noticed symptoms in the late 1970s and was diagnosed with the relapsing/remitting form of MS in 1987 at 37. Fortunately, and unlike many people, she hasn’t had MS-related problems with her vision. She walks relatively well without any aid, she said, but does have problems walking longer distances and keeping her balance.

She said, “I was in denial for the first 20 years after being diagnosed. I finally accepted (having MS) only about five years ago.” Her worst experiences with MS were after the births of two of her children, when she had MS-related fatigue, muscle weakness, and depressive symptoms.

Unfortunately, MS hasn’t been the only Mclaughlin family disability-related issue. Tommi has seven children. Her 35-year-old son has been on medication for Tourette syndrome since age 9 and unable to work due to having Tourette syndrome and MS. Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes stereotyped, repetitive, and involuntary vocalizations and movements.

Mclaughlin also has a son with schizophrenia, who currently lives in a group home after having a psychotic episode in which he entered a convenience store, took a beverage, and declared he didn’t have to pay for it because he was God. In referencing this son, she said “losing your child without losing your child” was the most difficult thing that had ever happened to her. For a while, she said, this son didn’t even recognize her as his mother.

She said, “A sense of adventure has kept me going. I’ve just looked at all my challenges partly as learning experiences and also as to what I can bring out of them to make my world a better place.” Mclaughlin has written online, and in support groups has helped others going through similar situations.

Facebook: Disabilities By Daniel J. Vance [Sponsored by Palmer Bus Service and Blue Valley Sod.]