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Jazz Fest Officially Takes Over New Orleans With Performances From TAB, Dumpstaphunk, & More [Photos]

first_imgNew Orleans is currently under musical attack. With Jazz Fest happening over the next two weekends, the city is transforming into an entirely different world, where creatures of the night stay out all hours, hopping from venue to venue in search of nonstop music after a day at the fairgrounds. With countless superjams, unexpected sit-ins and collaborations, and no rules or expectations of conformity, Jazz Fest, from beginning to end, is its own animal.The Official L4LM Guide To Jazz Fest After DarkAcross six stages, five tents, and endless parades, the world’s greatest gumbo is served by some of the most influential musicians of our time at the annual Jazz Fest during the day. Perhaps it is the exceptionally diverse range in talent, or the endless rows of tents with the city’s best cuisine, but there’s something in the air that keeps fans coming back every year for more.This year’s Friday headliners included Trey Anastasio Band, NAS with the Soul Rebels, Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr., and Astral Project, with earlier performances from Leon Bridges, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, and so many more. Enjoy the photo images in the gallery below from Marc Millman and Jeremy Scott.After the festival, the flood gates officially opened for all late-night activity to follow. The madness ensued with performances from JJ Grey and Nathaniel Rateliff at the Sugar Mill, Dumpstaphunk and The Motet’s Mixtape 1979 at the Howlin’ Wolf, Preservation Jazz Hall Band, Gov’t Mule and Soulive at the Saenger, and moe. and Turkuaz at the Civic Theatre.Photographer Jeremy Scott followed the music throughout the city and have the following images to share with those sitting at home with an aggressive case of FOMO. Photo: Marc Millman Load remaining imagescenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Cosmic ‘Death Star’ destroys a planet

first_imgThe Death Star featured in the movie “Star Wars” may be fictional, but planetary destruction is real. Astronomers announced today that they have spotted a large, rocky object disintegrating in its death spiral around a distant white dwarf star. The discovery also confirms a long-standing theory behind the source of white dwarf “pollution” by metals.“This is something no human has seen before,” said lead author Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We’re watching a solar system get destroyed.”The evidence for this unique system came from NASA’s Kepler K2 mission, which monitors stars for a dip in brightness that occurs when an orbiting body crosses the star. The data revealed a regular dip every 4.5 hours, which places the object in an orbit about 520,000 miles from the white dwarf (about twice the distance from the Earth to the moon). It is the first planetary object to be seen transiting a white dwarf.‘This is something no human has seen before. We’re watching a solar system get destroyed.’ — Andrew VanderburgVanderburg and his colleagues made additional observations using a number of ground-based facilities: the 1.2-meter and MINERVA [MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array] telescopes at Whipple Observatory, the MMT, MEarth-South, and Keck.Combining all the data, they found signs of several additional chunks of material, all in orbits between 4.5 and 5 hours. The main transit was particularly prominent, dimming the star by 40 percent. The transit signal also showed a comet-like pattern. Both features suggest the presence of an extended cloud of dust surrounding the fragment. The total amount of material is estimated to be about the mass of Ceres, a Texas-sized object that is the largest main-belt asteroid in our solar system.The white dwarf star is located about 570 light years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. When a sun-like star reaches the end of its life, it swells into a red giant and sloughs off its outer layers. The hot, Earth-sized core that remains is a white dwarf star, and generally consists of carbon and oxygen with a thin hydrogen or helium shell.Sometimes, though, astronomers find a white dwarf that shows signs of heavier elements such as silicon and iron in its light spectrum. This is a mystery because a white dwarf’s strong gravity should quickly submerge these metals.“It’s like panning for gold — the heavy stuff sinks to the bottom. These metals should sink into the white dwarf’s interior where we can’t see them,” explained CfA co-author John Johnson, a professor of astronomy at Harvard.Theorists speculated that white dwarfs showing evidence of heavy metals became “polluted” when they consumed rocky planets or asteroids. However, the evidence was often circumstantial. A fraction of polluted white dwarfs showed signs of surrounding debris disks, but the origin of the disks was uncertain. This system shows all three: a polluted white dwarf, a surrounding debris disk, and at least one compact, rocky object.“We now have a ‘smoking gun’ linking white dwarf pollution to the destruction of rocky planets,” says Vanderburg.Questions remain about the origin of these rocky objects. The likeliest scenario is that an existing planet’s orbit became unstable and it was kicked inward.What is certain is that the remaining objects will not last forever. They are being vaporized by the intense heat of the white dwarf. They also are orbiting very close to the tidal radius, or distance at which gravitational tides from the white dwarf can rip apart a rocky body. Within the next million years or so, all that will remain of these asteroidal bits is a thin metal dusting on top of an innocent-looking white dwarf star.This discovery will be published in the Oct. 22 issue of the journal Nature.last_img read more

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From the Ed Portal to Dana-Farber

first_imgWhen he arrived in Allston from Honduras a decade ago, Allston resident Jose Mendoza’s parents wasted no time in signing him up to take part in the mentoring program at the Harvard Ed Portal. In the beginning, the then 10-year-old came twice a week to learn about everything from life sciences to mathematics. He continued coming throughout his time in middle and high school. Upon high school graduation, he found himself returning to the Ed Portal with his two younger sisters who were also taking part in the mentoring program. His Ed Portal relationship eventually turned into a part-time job with Harvard’s Public School Partnerships (PSP) team, allowing him to work closely with students and teachers within the Boston Public Schools and Cambridge Public Schools, as well as with education experts from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.Today, Mendoza, a rising junior at Lesley University and the incoming Student Body President, is tackling a new challenge. He’s currently enrolled in the Health Career Connection (HCC) program, which partners with the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Dana-Farber, and more. HCC is a prestigious national nonprofit working to empower underrepresented students who want to pursue healthcare and public heath careers. Mendoza first learned about the program through his Success Boston College Coach, a college completion initiative program for Boston Public Schools graduates, as well as through the Boston Foundation Student Leadership Council, where he is a member and an ambassador.The Gazette checked in with him recently, and asked him about his new internship and his future plans.GAZETTE: Last we heard from you, you were knee deep in running educational enrichment programs for Allston-Brighton students at the Ed Portal. Today, you’re enrolled in an impressive healthcare internship at Dana-Farber. Was this always part of the plan?MENDOZA: I have always been, and always will be, committed to advancing educational opportunities — especially to first-generation students like myself. My time spent with Harvard’s Public School Partnerships team, which is entrenched and making a difference with the local schools, and at my various activities at Lesley, has only solidified that passion and that commitment.But I have also always been interested in the healthcare industry. One of my goals has always been to intern in a hospital that played a big role within the community, had a strong mission and values, as well as strong partnerships with other hospitals and institutions. Dana-Farber fit all of this perfectly. It has incredibly strong partnerships and affiliations with Harvard, with the Boston Red Sox, with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and more. And it’s making a difference in the lives of countless people with cancer. When I learned about the opportunity to intern at a comprehensive cancer treatment and research center in Boston, there was never any question — I knew I had to apply.last_img read more

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College hosts annual Career and Internship Fair

first_imgThe annual Saint Mary’s Career and Internship Fair was held Wednesday at the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex on Wednesday from 4:30-7 p.m.Last year the fair was held in the Student Center but Stacie Jeffirs, the Saint Mary’s Career Crossings director, said in an email that she was excited to move into a bigger venue.“We are excited because we are hosting this year’s career and internship in the newly-renovated Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex,” Jeffirs said. “This venue allows for more space to host more organizations and for all of our organizations to be in the same location versus spread out through the Student Center. We have some new organizations that are participating this year, and there will be opportunities for students from all majors. We are also looking forward to having some of our Saint Mary’s alumnae back on campus recruiting with their organizations including the Orr Fellows, Emarsys and others.”The Saint Mary’s career fair is small but growing annually with nearly 50 organizations this year offering full-time jobs, part-time jobs, internships, community service and graduate programs for a variety of majors.Sarah Enck, assistant director of the Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Office, said she thinks it is important for everyone to attend the career fair.“I think the importance of students attending the Career and Internship Fair depends on their goal,” Enck said.“For seniors, it may be to find a job or other opportunity after graduation. Sophomores and juniors may be looking for summer internships. We encourage freshman students to attend if they are interested, to get a head start on how to navigate career fairs. Whatever the goal is, I think it is important for students to learn about the various companies and organizations that they may have not thought of before and learn about different opportunities that could be available to them. I also think it’s important for students to practice their networking and professional interpersonal skills early so they can feel prepared for interviews and confident moving into the workplace.”To prepare for any of these goals, the College also provides a free workshop before the career fair. The workshop helps students research companies attending the fair, develop introduction strategies, create resumes and, ultimately, get jobs. Enck said that she often sees students have success with obtaining jobs.“The Career and Internship Fair is a great avenue for students to obtain internships and jobs,” Enck said. “The fair provides an opportunity for students to learn more about companies and network employers from various industries. These interactions will often lead to interviews, which can produce positions within the companies.”Genesis Vasquez, a junior at Saint Mary’s, attended the Career and Internship Fair to broaden her opportunities.“[The career fair is important because] it helps give students the perspective to go and look at employers, [and] if they are seniors, potentially get a job,” she said. “If you’re not a senior, it can help you to find opportunities for internships.”Vasquez said she attended the career fair to look for internships and after college opportunities.“I don’t want to go straight to grad school after Saint Mary’s, so, I’m looking at options like volunteer work and service opportunities,” she said.Tags: angela athletic and wellness complex, Career and Internship Fairlast_img read more

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Debate: Pay more to fund bikeways?

first_imgYES: Pay To RideAs both a tax policy wonk for Forbes.com and an avid cyclist, I find myself torn between two competing ideologies regarding the levying of taxes or “registration fees” on two-wheeled riders.When on my bike, the idea of paying taxes for the right to cycle seems misguided at best, ludicrous at worst. We’ve all heard of sin taxes, but does it make sense to tax something that’s, you know, good for us? Something that reduces traffic, helps the environment, and generally makes for a healthier population?When in the office, however, I recognize the need for urban environments to provide safe bike lanes and bike-sharing programs to protect their citizens and reduce gridlock. This pressure has further stressed the already-tapped budgets of many local governments. As a result, cities are searching for additional sources of revenue, and in many cases, that search is landing squarely on the city’s helmet-donning denizens. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t be against it.Make no mistake, I understand and appreciate the arguments set forth by the cycling community. Why should we have to pay a tax on cycling when we put virtually no stress on the infrastructure by opting to cycle rather than drive? Or taken further, aren’t we already paying for infrastructure when we register the car that sits idle in our driveway?Compelling arguments, both. But the truth is, most cyclists – maybe not all, but most – sometimes do the unthinkable and eschew a bike ride for the ease of a motor vehicle. And so as much as we hate to admit it, paying our share of the automobile-specific infrastructure is justified. Because we double as cyclists, however, we have a need for additional resources such as dedicated bike lanes and pathways that keep us safe and provide incentive for us to ride.These items of infrastructure are costly to design, to implement, and to maintain. To simply shrug and suggest that we’re already doing our share as fee-paying car owners, in my view, isn’t enough. Creating a cycling-friendly city is not a cheap proposal, and that cost must be borne by someone. In my mind, if a nominal fee to register my bike means I can ride it free from the fear of getting run down by an enraged soccer mom piloting an SUV, then it’s money well spent.–When Tony Nitti isn’t climbing the mountains on his bike, he is a tax writer for Forbes.com. NO: Tax Smarter, Not MoreI nearly always support high taxes in support of the public good. And bicycle facilities have certainly proven to be a public good: besides improving personal and public health and reducing pollution and road congestion, there are also less obvious but equally important economic benefits. Bicycling for transport or tourism results in increased receipts for local businesses and higher property values.So why am I opposed to a bike tax? Cyclists (and potential cyclists) have been shorted on funding for decades. In Los Angeles County, for example, where 19% of all trips are made by bike or on foot, only 1% of transportation funding goes to cycling and walking programs. This is typical for US metros. Even Portland, Oregon, has spent only 2% of its transportation budget on walking and bicycling combined over the last fifteen years. And yet, Portland’s entire bicycle network, built over a span of a quarter-century, has cost no more than one mile of average urban freeway. As Portland’s mayor once pointed out, the city has built single interchanges that cost as much as the entire bike network.In Los Angeles, taxpayers haven’t blinked at investing over one billion dollars in adding a single lane, each way, to ten miles of the notorious 405 freeway.In short, tax-and-spend drivers are hogging our money as well as our roads.And they are getting tired of it themselves. Driving has declined steadily since 2004, though municipalities are still building roads to nowhere as fast as they can. Meanwhile, surveys show that 60% of the population would prefer to bicycle more for local travel, but is afraid to, because drivers dominate the roads.Given the natural increase in civic revenue that follows the building of bikeways, and the futility of building more roads for fewer drivers in a global warming world, a bike tax isn’t needed. There is enough being collected and wasted now to build spectacular bicycle networks all over the country. All we’re asking for is our fair share of funds—something that should have been coming to us throughout the last seven decades of America’s misguided infatuation with the image (not the reality) of mass motoring. We’ll pay the investment back–many times over!–Richard Risemberg writes for Sustainable City News.last_img read more

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US states reimpose virus measures as cases spike

first_imgStay home In Texas, which was among the most aggressive states in reopening in early June after months of lockdown, new cases hit a daily high of 5,489 on Tuesday.A concerned Governor Greg Abbott warned Texans of the virus’s “rampant” spread and said the “safest” place to be was in their homes, adding that those who needed to go out should wear masks.”If those spikes continue, additional measures are going to be necessary,” he said.Four surgical masks will be distributed to each Texan who takes a coronavirus test, Abbott said Wednesday.Abbott is an ally of Donald Trump, but his warnings are at stark odds with the president, who proclaimed Tuesday that “we did a great job on CoronaVirus.” Epidemiologist Rebecca Fisher said states like Texas should have maintained their mitigating efforts longer.”It doesn’t look like we are coming close to the top of the peak,” Fisher told AFP. “And we’re definitely not coming down the other side of this yet.”California, the nation’s most populous state, saw a daily record of 7,149 new cases Tuesday, to pass 190,000 total. Governor Gavin Newsom warned that a widespread return to “old habits” is “increasing the spread of this virus,” but also pointed to record testing levels. He declined to reimpose restrictions.”Many of us, understandably, developed a little cabin fever. Some, I would argue, have developed a little amnesia,” added Newsom.The neighboring state of Arizona is seeing dangerous spikes.Its confirmed COVID-19 cases have more than quadrupled since the stay-at-home order expired on May 15, and people getting infected are younger and younger.Arizona’s reported seven-day rolling average of 39 new cases per 100,000 residents is a nationwide high.That compares with 14 per 100,000 residents in Texas, 11 per 100,000 in California, and just three per 100,000 in New York state, according to the Washington Post.But the dire figures did not stop Trump from hosting a rally Tuesday in Arizona’s largest city Phoenix, where most attendees did not wear masks or practice social distancing. With coronavirus cases surging across the US South and West, officials are once again imposing tough measures, from stay-at-home advice in worst-hit states to quarantines to protect recovering areas like New York.Nearly four months after the United States reported its first death from COVID-19, the nation faces a deepening health crisis as a wave of infections hits young Americans and experts issue new acute warnings.The world’s largest economy is the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with a mounting death toll of over 121,000 dead. Daily case averages are being pushed to record levels in the region, even as former epicenters like New York and Detroit have seen their figures drop.Fauci warned that the next two weeks would be “critical” to addressing the surges.Florida marked 5,508 new infections on Tuesday, bringing its total to more than 109,000 confirmed cases and 3,281 deaths.Governor Ron DeSantis said the state was experiencing “a real explosion in new cases among our younger demographics,” and a spike in hospitalizations.The average age of new cases in Florida Wednesday was just 33 years, his spokeswoman said.DeSantis warned that bars and restaurants could lose their alcohol licenses if they do not follow social distancing guidelines.He declined to order a state-wide mandatory masking policy as leaders in California and Washington state have done.But that hasn’t stopped Miami from implementing its own mandatory mask rules. Some officials — including the Texas governor — who loosened restrictions on business, dining, public gatherings and tourism, are now urging residents to again stay home.Three northeastern states that made progress beating back the pandemic — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — on Wednesday urged visitors arriving from US hotspots to quarantine themselves.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the advisory applied to visitors from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.Several states in the South and West including heavily populated Florida and Texas are suffering what White House advisor and top scientist Anthony Fauci described as “disturbing” new surges in infections. Topics :last_img read more

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Government applauds CARIFTA contingent

first_imgTHE Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Social Cohesion, Department of Sports, last evening hosted a reception at the Pegasus Hotel for the Swimming, Chess and the Track and Field teams that participated in the various CARIFTA Championships held over the Easter Weekend.Guyana ended the CARIFTA Games (Track and Field) with a record ten medals – four gold, two silver and four bronze. Aleka Persaud was the star performer with three gold and two bronze in the pool.In Chess, Guyana finished fifth in the ten-country competition, amassing a total of 36.5 points.Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sport, Dr George Norton, told the gathering at the Savannah Suite Pegasus Hotel that the Government of Guyana, and more so the people of Guyana, were all proud of their accomplishments, even those who didn’t make it on the podium.Chantoba Bright, who won Gold in the Girls U-20 Long Jump, and Silver in the Girls U-20 triple jump, received special mention from Dr Norton, as the minister noted that the Lindener should be applauded for finishing her time at the CARIFTA Games as Guyana’s most decorated athlete to ever compete at the event.Bright, 19, during her four years competing at the CARIFTA Games, bagged a total of nine medals – three gold, four silver and two bronze.Her three gold medals came in the Long Jump, while she won three silver and two bronze medals in the Triple Jump. She also, in 2018, won silver in the Girls U-20, 400 metres relay, running alongside Joanna Archer, Kezra Murray and Kenisha Phillips.Dr Norton also singled out Anisha Gibbons, who won Guyana’s first ever gold medal in the Girls U-17 Javelin.The Minister, along with Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, said the government will continue to support the athletes in their respective disciplines, while encouraging them to stay focus. (Rawle Toney)last_img read more

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Enyimba Hit Top Spot with Slim Win over Williamsville FC

first_imgWilliamsville almost replied midway through the first half as Irie Zan Bi sent a header on target and the ball took a nasty bounce off the churned turf in the penalty area – goalkeeper Fatau Dauda had to react sharply to tip it over the bar.Just past the half hour mark the visitors blew a great chance to draw level: a cross from the right picked out Folorunsho Sesan, who got up high and sent a downward header toward goal, but was unlucky to see the ball bounce just wide of the mark.WAC remained the better team through to halftime, but were unable to find an equaliser, while Enyimba suffered an injury blow to Ibenegbu Bartholomew, who was replaced by Chinedu Udeagha.The second half saw the People’s Elephant put in a more controlled display, though they were unable to find a second goal to truly put the game to bed, while the Ivorians struggled to make headway in attack against the excellent duo of Akabueze John and Nelson Ogbonnaya.Enyimba (1) 1 (Mustapha 7’)Williamsville 0Enyimba: Dauda, Utin, John, Ogbonnaya, Ojo, Oladapo, Bartholomew (Udeagha 45+1’), Mohammed, Joseph (Chekwube 82’), Mustapha, Bashir (Freedom 49’)Williamsville: Mandjui, Gbe, Yao, Dagrou (Mofosse 71’), Ettien, Kouassi Kouakou (Ouffoue 67’), Kouassi, Sesan (Ben 57’), Zan Bi, Kouadio Kouakou, YameogoShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria’s lone survival in continental club competition, Enyimba FC of Aba, moved to top of Group C of the CAF Confederation yesterday with a narrow 1-0 win over visiting Williamsville Athletic Club of Côte d’ Ivoire.It was the second consecutive win by the Nigerian side and the result sees the Aba team go top of the log on six points, though CARA Brazzaville could supplant them later tonight if they defeat Djoliba in Bamako. The Ivorian challengers WAC drop to second on four points.Enyimba claimed the lead as early as the seventh minute, as Ibrahim Mustapha showed great speed, power and composure to race clear of the defence before calmly sending a low shot past the goalkeeper.last_img read more

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Wellington cross country team goes to Halstead; Knights 8th grade volleyballers take down undefeated Rose Hill

first_imgBoys-6th GradeTimePlaceMedal Varsity Boys-5KTIMEPlace Elise LeGrand8.0336 Date: 10/3/2013Warm & windy Hunter Bryant8.4957 Kennedee Lara7.4732 MEET:  Hosted by Halstead Varsity Girls – 4KTIMEPlace Tyler Brown6.307YES Joe Friesen22.5246 Oct. 10 – Circle host at Wartick Farm (El Dorado) Nick Hawkins22.4621YES Girls 6th GradeTimePlaceMedal Dane Monger7.4227 By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington High School, Middle School and sixth grade cross country team ran in the Halstead Cross Country meet in Halstead on Thursday, Oct. 3… Also the Wellington eighth grade volleyball team took down Rose Hill. Don’t forget it’s Football Friday…Wellington Cross Country:There were four varsity runners in Halstead, a limited number due to the homecoming activities in Wellington. The sixth graders wrapped up their season. Those who finished with a medal are as follows: Tyler Brown – seventh;Billy Walker – 22nd;Lindsey Scheufler – 13th;Mackenzie Heacock – 16th.The full results for Wellington runners are as follows: Lindsey Scheufler7.1213YES This concludes the 6th graders season WELLINGTON HS CROSS COUNTRY results All 6 Graders ran in7th Grade 1 mile race Juan Chandler22.5422YEScenter_img Brent Williams21.1932 Mackenzie Heacock7.1618YES Next Meet for the 7th & 8th graders MEET:  Hosted by Halstead Raeawna Nutt7.5734 Quinn McCue9.0962 Next meet for WHS will  be WELLINGTON MS CROSS COUNTRY results will be Oct. 8 -  Hosted by El Dorado at Wartick Farm Julia Peck21.2345 Montana Heacock7.1627 Billy Walker7.0522YES Jo Tredway20.1934 Zane Cornejo7.1426 Date: 10/3/2013Warm & windy Avery Barker7.5735 JV Boys – 5KTimePlaceMedal Wellington eighth grade volleyball: The Wellington Lady Knights took down undefeated Rose Hill Thursday night.“The first set was hands down the best I have seen them play together as a team all season,” said Lyndsie Oathout, Wellington eighth grade girls coach. “Gracie Fink led the team to victory from the serving line with seven straight serves while Shayland French played aggressively at the net.”Oathout said Zairen Warnock was a huge asset defensively, and Jenna Rausch had nine assists.“They played with great intensity and it was exciting to watch them come together and do what I have known they could do all season,” Oathout said. “They struggled in the second set defensively and took a hard loss. The third set started out rocky, we were down by 6 when Keelie Cunningham lead us in a 8 point scoring streak from the serving line, to win the set by two. The Lady Knights are now 4-1 on the season and will travel to Circle next week.Set 1: 25-14  WKeelie Cunningham with 3 kills, 4 attacksShayland French with 4 kills, 5 attacksGracie Fink with 7 straight serving pointsZairen Warnock with 4 defensive digsSET 2  12-25 L  (…. No outstanding stats for this set.)Set 3  15-13  W Keelie Cunningham  with 8 straight serving points, 3 attacksShayland French with 3 killsZairen Warnock with 3 defensive digsValerie Ast with 2 defensive digsOVERALL STAT:  Jenna Rausch with 15 assistsKyla Hawks and Jill Wiley played well at the net, both had key roles in helping their team to achieve the victory.last_img read more

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High Hopes for Navesink River Oysters

first_imgBy Jay Cook |RED BANK – The future health of the Two Rivers now hinges upon a seasonal summertime delicacy.Plans to attract live oyster baby oyster larvae, known as spat, is the key for the next attempt at drastically cleaning the unhealthy Navesink River. Oysters are known for their ability to filter massive amounts of water each day, up to 50 gallons.“Oysters were a really critical part of this ecosystem for years and putting them back in, making them a vital part of the system again, is necessary for restoring the (river’s) health,” said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society.On June 2, the Society launched Operation Oyster, a summer-long initiative where bags of recycled oyster shells will be hung along nearly 50 private docks spanning Red Bank to Rumson along the Navesink. If oyster spat does exist, then the society expects the grain-of-sand-sized larvae to latch onto the shell bags and begin growing.The success of Operation Oyster is reliant upon three different tenets of oyster examination: understanding their presence, where they exactly are and how many there might be.American Littoral Society’s executive director Tim Dillingham believes that Operation Oystercould eventually help bring oyster reefs back into the Navesink River.“We’re going to do as comprehensive a search that we can do,” Dillingham said.Through September, volunteers and society members will check the oyster shell bags once a month for any signs of growth. After each examination, a new bag will be hung. Once the project ends in September, nearly 200 bags will be collected from the research.And the end game?“Somewhere down the road, we would love to see reefs back,” Dillingham said about oyster reefs in the Navesink.While the project might seem like a longshot, there have been reports of Eastern Oyster activity in the Red Bank end of the river within the past year.Pim Van Hemmen, assistant director of the American Littoral Society, said a boater from the Monmouth Boat Club pulled a mushroom anchor up from the river in October and found a healthy Eastern Oyster attached. It was all the assurance that he and his organization needed to confidently move forward.“We know there are living oysters in the river,” Van Hemmen said. “The trick is, can we catch them?”It would certainly be a coup for both conservationists and homeowners alike who want to see the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers return to a healthy, stable level.Up until the mid-20th century, Eastern Oysters from the Navesink were harvested regularly and made their way to some of the most lavish New York City restaurants.Van Hemmen added that oysters were still a common resident of the Navesink River up until about the 1990s when two different diseases – MSX and Dermo –  knocked out reefs just beyond the Cooper’s Bridge, which connects Middletown to Red Bank.Later in 2008 and 2010, oyster reefs built by NY/NJ Baykeeper in the Navesink River and Keyport Harbor were dismantled by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection after concerns grew over illegal harvesting coupled with the spread of potentially unsafe shellfish.In recent years, pollution from feces and pesticide runoff has found its way into the rivers, and the conversation has shifted back to reinstalling the once-critical piece into the Two River ecosystem.Although Dillingham and Van Hemmen said the project was put in motion six to eight months ago, efforts to collect old oyster shells had been ongoing for quite some time.American Littoral Society staff members drop an oyster shell bag off of a private dock in Red Bank. The bags will rest above the riverbed so no silt or debris interferes with the study.With the help of Doug Douty, an American Littoral Society trustee and owner of the Lusty Lobster, a seafood wholesaler and distributor based in Highlands, thousands of oyster shells were recycled from about 20 restaurants along the Jersey Shore.Following the “Shuck it, Don’t Chuck It!” campaign, Douty provided area restaurants with buckets for restaurant staff to toss the used shells into after being bussed off tables.He was also the one driving around and picking them up.“If there’s something important we can do out here to clean up these waters, it benefits all of us,” Douty said.Douty continued, saying that once more restaurant owners find out about the project, “I think we’re going to get a lot more participants.”While the recycling campaign directly supplemented the Operation Oyster program, Dillingham said it also helped with another facet of conservation.“We wanted to learn from the historical mistakes we made, not throw the shell away, not have it end up in landfills, but rather put it back into the bays,” he said.By this weekend, the American Littoral Society expects to complete the first round of dropping oyster bags into the water.They hope it is the beginning of a long-term project to revive the health of the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers.“It’s going to be dependent on the folks in the communities to sustain it after we get it going,” Dillingham said.This article was first published in the June 8-June 15, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times. Join the American Littoral Society on Monday, June 19, from 6-7 p.m. to learn how you can play a role in Operation Oyster. The volunteer training session will be held at 2nd Jetty Seafood, 140 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright, NJ. (MAP)This initial training session will focus on how citizen scientists can help monitor shell bags hanging from docks along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers. The bags are being put out to discover if oysters still live in the rivers. The experiment is part of a long-term effort to improve water quality in the two rivers.Monitoring will be done in July, August and September.No prior experience is necessary. However, participants will need a car and/or a boat to travel to monitoring sites along the rivers. All other training materials will be provided at the event.Please RSVP by June 15. To reserve a spot at this training event or for more information, contact Littoral Society Education and Outreach Coordinator Julie Schumacher at 732-291-0055 or Julie@LittoralSociety.org. Operation Oyster invites you to a Volunteer Training Session last_img read more

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