Dropped fly ball gives Pirates 5-4 win over Astros

first_imgPITTSBURGH (AP) — Things are going so well for the Pittsburgh Pirates these days that opposing teams can’t even make routine catches.Russell Martin’s bases-loaded fly ball popped out Jimmy Paredes’ glove when he ran into second baseman Jake Elmore with two outs in the ninth inning, and the second missed catch of the game by a Houston right fielder helped the Pirates rally past the Astros for a 5-4 win Friday night.Paredes and Elmore said neither could hear the other calling for the ball because of the crowd noise.“This game’s crazy sometimes,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “The crowd helped us there on the error. They made it tough on the fielders and they created a break for us.”The Pirates (25-17) won for the seventh time in eight games to move a season-high eight games over .500.“I like the direction we’re headed, the effort and the attitude,” Hurdle said.The Pirates are tied with Cincinnati for the second-best record in the National League behind St. Louis (27-14). All three teams play in the NL Central.“I think because our teams don’t play on either coast and don’t play in major media markets that we probably get overlooked a little,” Hurdle said. “That’s OK, though. We know how competitive this division is.”The Astros also were part of the NL Central until being shifted to the American League West starting this season. Houston’s 11-31 start is its worst and matched Miami for the worst record in the major leagues.The ninth-inning miscue wasn’t Houston’s only fielding foible.Down 4-1, Pittsburgh started its comeback in the sixth when Chris Carter, usually a designated hitter, dropped Andrew McCutchen’s fly ball to right for a three-base error and Garrett Jones followed with a double.Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the eighth, a 462-foot drive that cleared the right-field stands and went into the Allegheny River on one hop.“I’m not going to take credit if it bounces in,” Alvarez said. “That’s cheating.”Daryle Ward is the only player to hit a ball into the river since PNC Park opened 12 years ago, doing so in 2002 for Houston off Kip Wells.Pirates right fielder Travis Snider hit a 458-foot shot into the Allegheny River on Thursday night against Milwaukee.“I’ve seen Pedro hit some balls pretty far, and that might be the farthest,” Snider said. “I’m surprised it bounced. That ball was crushed. When we saw it lift off, it was pretty exciting. It’s always fun to watch the big fella put one over the stands.”Starling Marte singled off Edgar Gonzalez (0-1) leading off the ninth, and Snider hit into a forceout, with the Astros failing to turn a double play because of a late throw to first by Elmore.McCutchen’s single put runners at the corners, and Gonzalez fielded Brandon Inge’s comebacker and dropped it for an error as he turned to throw to second, missing his chance to start an inning-ending double play.Neil Walker took a called third strike with a full count, and Martin lifted a full-count pitch to short right-center field, where Elmore settled under the ball and Paredes slammed into him as the ball hit his glove and fell to the field.Justin Wilson (4-0) pitched a scoreless ninth and McCutchen homered and had three hits for Pittsburgh.Astros starter Jordan Lyles allowed two runs — one earned — and four hits in five innings and is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts against Pittsburgh.Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez gave up four runs — three earned — and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.Houston built a 4-1 lead on Jason Castro’s sacrifice fly in the first and a three-run third that included Matt Dominguez’s solo homer, Elmore’s run-scoring single and a throwing error by Walker at second.McCutchen homered in the first.NOTES: The Pirates placed RHP Jose Contreras on the bereavement list and recalled RHP Jared Hughes from Triple-A Indianapolis. … LHP Erik Bedard (0-2, 6.67) will start Saturday night for Houston against RHP A.J. Burnett (3-4, 2.73). Bedard started on opening day last season for the Pirates and Burnett had the honor this season. Pirates’ Russell Martin (55) is congratulated by coach Dave Jauss after Astros shortstop Jake Elmore, and right fielder Jimmy Paredes collided as they tried to catch a pop fly by Martin with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a baseball game May 17. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)last_img read more

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AP PHOTOS: A look back at Mo’ne Davis’ tournament

first_imgIn this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, file photo, Pennsylvania pitcher Mo’ne Davis celebrates after getting the final out of a 4-0 shutout against Tennessee during a baseball game in United States pool play at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa. A megastar on the field and off over the past two weeks, Davis is headed back to Philadelphia after she and her teammates had their impressive run in the Little League World Series finally come to an end. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2014, file photo, Philadelphia pitcher Mo’ne Davis looks for a sign during the fourth inning of a United States semi-final baseball game against Las Vegas at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)In this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 file photo Philadelphia pitcher Mo’ne Davis, center, heads back to the dugout before playing Nashville during a baseball game in U.S. pool play at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) In this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, file photo, Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis delivers in the first inning against Nashville’s Robert Hassell III during a baseball game in United U.S. pool play at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa. Even though she’’ll return to the routine of school, home and other interests now that her Little League career is done, her impact has been immense _ and the possibilities ahead seem unending for the girl with the big braids who captured the imagination of so many. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Mo’ne Davis’ moment is over. Her legacy may just be beginning.The 13-year-old star pitcher from Philadelphia wowed the world at the Little League World Series. She was the 18th girl to play in the event, and the only one to win a game on the mound. Her stunning run was stopped Thursday night by Chicago in a 6-5 loss.But she’ll go home as the darling of the tournament. Most of America — and parts of the world — were on a first-name basis with the pitcher. She was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. More than 34,000 people were in the stands to see her last game.What’s next for Davis?“The world’s her oyster, right?” Philadelphia manager Alex Rice said. “Mo’ne will figure out her future, and it’s going to be terrific. She’s going to dictate what it is. Good for her.”last_img read more

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Steelers’ Harrison mentoring LB Jones

first_imgJarvis Jones (AP Photo/File)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones is making the most of his wrist injury, getting mentored by 12-year veteran James Harrison.A five-time Pro Bowler and 2008 NFL defensive player of the year with 70 career sacks, Harrison signed to a one-year contract after Jones suffered a broken right wrist Sept. 21 at Carolina. Harrison retired Sept. 5, but the club needed someone to step in who knew the defense.“Right now, Jarvis is trying to be a student of the game, because he’s hurt, and he’s working hard to try to get back to being healthy,” Harrison said Friday. “But he’s always asking questions, why I’m doing something one way or another, and he’s taking notes to try to get as much information as possible.”Jones, the Steelers No. 1 pick last year, started eight of 14 games during an uneven rookie season. After an intense offseason program, Jones appeared ready this year to secure the right outside linebacker spot Harrison vacated when he signed a free-agent contract with Cincinnati in 2013. However, any progress Jones made was stunted when he was injured in Week 3.Jones had the cast removed Monday and has begun the rehabilitation process. There are still medical hurdles to clear, but Jones is on his way. He can begin practicing as early as the Steelers bye week, which begins after a Nov. 17 game at Tennessee, and then the club has three weeks to either activate him or put him on injured reserve for the rest of the season.“I’m mostly just doing some things to improve range of motion,” Jones said. “It was pretty stiff when I first got the cast off, but it’s slowly improving. I really can’t do anything to try to strengthen it, because I’m just four days out of my cast. Maybe I can do that next week, so I just hope to continue to get better.”If Jones can quickly get into shape and pick up near where he left off, the Steelers would be loaded at the linebacker position. Either Harrison or Arthur Moats, who has started the six games on the right side since Jones was injured, will have their playing time cut. While Moats has been solid, Harrison has made a bigger impact with four sacks in the past two games.Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92) yells at an official from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)“I’ll be ready when my number is finally called, but as long as we’re winning it doesn’t matter who gets the most snaps,” Jones said. “If it’s me, I need to maintain the standard, getting sacks and making big plays.”Until then, he’ll continue to learn from Harrison and assistant coach Joey Porter, the Steelers starting right outside linebacker before Harrison.“Those guys played this game very hard, and they were very productive,” Jones said. “If I even come close to what they accomplished, I’ll have played a long time. So, I can’t wait to get back on the field and get started.”Notes: SS Troy Polamalu (knee) ILB Ryan Shazier (right knee), CB Ike Taylor (right forearm), S Shamarko Thomas (hamstring) and S Ross Ventrone (hamstring) are out this week. . The other only injured players are probable. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) and OLB Jason Worilds (abdomen) practiced on a full-time basis Friday.last_img read more

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Shea Carr Jewell, Inc. Earns National Recognition for Third Year in…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Named one of the fastest growing firms in the nation, Shea Carr Jewell, Inc. (SCJ) has earned a place on the Zweig Letter Hot Firm List for 2012. SCJ was also on the 2011 and 2010 lists.The Zweig list identifies the 100 fastest-growing architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms in the country. Nationally the industry is made up of 80,000 -90,000 firms. Specific rankings will be announced at an October Awards Celebration in Colorado.A consulting and professional services firm with an emphasis on engineering and planning, SCJ has bucked economic trends and realized tremendous growth recently. In the last two years they have acquired a community planning and environmental services firm, an engineering specialties group and a public relations firm to bolster their competitive edge and market penetration.“Shea Carr Jewell is always looking forward — seeking for new opportunities, new geographic markets and new technical disciplines to enhance client services,” said Principal Perry Shea.SCJ was founded in 2006 by Perry Shea, Jean Carr, and Bob Jewell with three employees. The Olympia, WA headquartered company now has over 35 employees and serves clients from offices in Olympia and Wenatchee, WA; Westminster, CO; and Boise, ID.SCJ was also named the 2009 Small Business of the Year by the Thurston EDC and Civil Engineering News named them one of the Best Firms to Work for in the small firms’ category in 2009 and 2010.last_img read more

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Two Reeves Middle School Students Serve as Pages in Olympia

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by the Washington House DemocratsRep. Sam Hunt with Page Raeauna Watkinson; March 1, 2016. Photo credit: Washington State Legislative Support ServicesTwo students at Reeves Middle School in Olympia served as pages during the first week of March in the Washington State House of Representatives. Raeauna Watkinson and Ellie Glock spent the week getting a firsthand look at the legislative process.Sponsored by state Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), Raeauna is the daughter of Kathy and Laurence Watkinson.Ellie, the daughter of Jenna and Kirk Glock, was sponsored by Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives.Chief Clerk Barbara Barker with Page Ellie Glock; March 4, 2016. Photo credit: Washington State Legislative Support ServicesPages perform a wide variety of responsibilities, from presenting the flags to distributing amendments on the House floor. In addition to contributing to the efficient operation of the Legislature, pages receive daily civics instruction, draft their own bills, and participate in mock committee hearings.last_img read more

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Inspire Physical & Hand Therapy Welcomes New Physical Therapist to Their…

first_imgFacebook215Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Inspire Physical & Hand TherapyInspire Physical & Hand Therapy is pleased to announce Ally Bryant, DPT has joined our practice.  Ally joins our two physical therapists, Kristina Pittman, DPT and Austin Nichols, DPT at our Lacey clinic.Inspire Physical & Hand Therapy is pleased to announce Ally Bryant, DPT has joined our practice.  Photo credit: markzphotodesignAlly was born and raised in Redding, California.  Her passion for Physical Therapy started in high school when she worked as an aide at a local outpatient clinic.  Ally set a goal for herself to attend Sonoma State University and play softball.    Ally achieved that goal, she graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and played collegiate softball all 4 years.   She then attended University of Pacific where she graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2018.While completing a 3-month internship in Auburn, Washington, Ally fell in love with Washington and all its beauty.  She especially loved visiting Leavenworth, Snoqualmie Falls, Mount Rainier National Park and wake surfing on Lake Tapps.  During her brief stay in Washington, she met her boyfriend, Drew.It had always been in the back of her mind to move back to Washington at some point.  While visiting in early February, Ally heard Inspire may have an opening for a physical therapist.  She decided to drop off a resume at the Lacey clinic, she was interviewed right on the spot and offered the job.  Both, Kristina Pittman, Clinic Director and Ally knew from the beginning it was a great fit.Ally is a great addition to our team.  She enjoys getting to know her patients and providing them with strategies to help their symptoms so they can get back to their daily activities and overall improve their quality of life.last_img read more

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Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy Hosting Free Balance Workshop

first_imgCall us now, we have a limited number of seats available for this class to be help at our clinic. Please call us today to register your interest, to ask questions or secure your place by calling free on: 360-456-1444. Or you can visit www.penrosept.com/balance-workshop and register online.– Sincerely, Jennifer Penrose, Penrose Physical TherapyP.S. There are limited seats at this workshop. So please register your interest now and reserve your seat for this workshop.P.S.S  We also started a podcast called “Stay Healthy South Sound” where you will hear tips on staying healthy to enjoy the South Sound.  Different providers will be interviewed every month. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Jennifer Penrose of Penrose & Associates Physical TherapyHave you or a loved one have fallen recently? Do you feel unsteady on your feet or lacking the confidence to move around independently? Or are you worried to even leave the house without someone there to help support you just in case you fall? Then I’d like to invite you to attend this new, fun and educational workshop. It may be the most important thing you do this year. Or it may help you find out if you have problems with your balance that you weren’t even aware of. It will show you exactly what to do if you, or a loved one have recently fallen.Additionally, it will show you a way to get back on your feet and the life you deserve before balance issues struck…A life where you can walk around the store without relying upon the shopping cart, or a loved ones arm to keep you steady…Where you can move around the house independently and not take 20 minutes to move from the couch, without feeling lightheaded and dizzy…A life where you can pick up and play with your kids/grandkids without worrying when a ‘dizzy spell’ is going to come on and leave you feeling worried…Or a life where you can do and enjoy all the things you see so many others doing and enjoying, but a fear of falling has kept you from going out and crippled your confidence…Basically, a life without the fear of falling and feeling unsteady on your feet.If You Feel Unsteady On Your Feet, Nervous, And Even Confused About What Can Be Done To Help You,Then Read On…My name is Jennifer Penrose, one of the nation’s leading Physical Therapists, and my team and I have been helping people live with more confidence and getting back on their feet for more than ten years now…What we know now is that so many people don’t even realize they have problems with their balance. If they do, they’re confused by the advice they’ve previously been given. Perhaps they’re even skeptical about their best chances of living with more confidence and less risk of falling in the future… That’s why I created this fun, educational class entitled: “Balance & Fall Prevention Workshop” – And decided to make it FREE for you, and a family member or friend, to attend. Check out this video to learn more.Here’s What You’ll Learn At This“Balance & Falls” WorkshopWhy 50-53 percent of people never even realize they have bad balance in the first place!Fun activities you can do to put your balance to the test and find out if you need to do something to help improve your balance quick, so it doesn’t get in the way of living and enjoying your life.The 3 best exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home, in your living room… that’ll help you get out and about with more confidence.The most successful tips and advice to help decrease the risk of falls, and what to do if you’re worried about a loved one who could be at risk.Here’s What To Do To Attend Our Next Class:last_img read more

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Tears, Smiles Mark Marines Homecoming

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK — The sense of anticipation was palpable, as families and other loved ones gathered at the Monmouth Armed Forces Reserve Center last Thursday to await the arrival of their loved ones.The mood at the Reserve Center was celebratory because these mothers and fathers, husbands, wives, children and well-wishers knew that these Marines were coming home safe.The crowd was awaiting approximately 38 U.S. Marines, who were on the last leg of their journey home from a seven-month deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as members of the Corps’ 6th Motor Battalion, headquartered at the reserve center.“I know he’s coming home and he’s here and he’s safe. I can hold him,” said Debbie Foley, Howell, whose smile said it all, as she anxiously awaited the return of her son, Lance Corporal Russell Peter Surdi Jr.Foley, who waited with many family members, said Surdi had been wounded while serving in Afghanistan and had been awarded the Purple Heart. He turned 23 while on deployment. But “He’s OK,” she quickly added.Latisha Robinson, who lives in Mulllica Hills, in South Jersey, said the welcome home gathering was “ the complete opposite,” of the atmosphere when her husband, Sergeant Markee Robinson left for his deployment.“When he’s coming home, you’re happy because you don’t have to worry about the stress.”When her husband returned, from what was his second tour, Latisha said she would, “love him, tell him I missed him,” and tell him he’s “staying home this time.”The Marines were reservists assigned to the battalion and serving at Camp Leatherneck, where they were responsible for providing transportation for personnel and materiel, often through strife-ridden areas and some real hot spots laden with improvised explosive devises (IEDs), said Lt. Col. Peter Mahoney, the battalion’s inspector instructor.When the bus arrived, with a police escort, and the Marines stepped off, the cheers were deafening.“It was a tough time. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what’s going to happen?’” said Rahway resident Luciana Pires, as she waited for her son, Corporal Valter Pires.Valter said he was equally happy to be home and had immediate plans. “I’m going to eat some Portuguese food and ride my motorcycle around the block,” he said.When Andrea Kunak finally saw her son, Sergeant John T. Sharkey, she said, “I don’t have the words to express myself.”Sharkey’s grandmother, Martha Szaro said, “I’m so happy he’s home,” as it was his third tour.Szaro’s granddaughter and the granddaughter’s husband have also served in combat, with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. “We got a lot of them,” serving, she said of her family. “I’m proud, I’m proud of them all.”When Surdi was finished hugging and kissing and being hugged and kissed he said, “It feels amazing, it really does.”His next mission was, “go have a beer,” he said.“I can sleep and not worry now,” with her son home safely, Foley said. But then she thought for a moment and added, “except for all the sons and daughters still over there.”last_img read more

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Trump Supporters Loud and Proud at Rally

first_imgStory and photo by John BurtonMIDDLETOWN – The passionate supporters of Donald J. Trump were on full display the afternoon of Monday Feb. 27, expressing their backing of the president and his policies and making no apologies for their disdain for the president’s detractors and for those they say would lead the country to ruin.“We’re here to show what we believe in,” said organizer Frank Cott, co-founder of the Bayshore Tea Party Group, about the rally and demonstration conducted just outside the ShopRite shopping center, Route 35 and Harmony Road in the township. The crowd with Cott appeared to number over at least 200 after its first hour of its planned two-hour span. Many in the crowd wore “Make America Great Again” hats and supportive T-shirts and sweatshirts; many more brandished signs, some proclaiming their endorsements and others offering jeers for a variety of issues, attacking the media, “fake news,” Hillary Clinton (when her name was mentioned it led to chants of “Lock her up!”), opposition to the Affordable Care Act, the political left (“Who are looking to destroy our country,” believes rally participant Darryl Brooks, Trenton), and other hot-button topics among a divided electorate.But the main topic of the rally, by far and away, in discussions and signs, was immigration, as it had been during much of Trump’s presidential campaign and from the beginning of his still early administration. In fact, the timing of the rally for Monday, Feb. 27 was intentional, hoping to encourage participants to travel from the township to neighboring Red Bank. Cott and others were under the impression the Red Bank Human Relations Committee was going to vote on a resolution designating Red Bank a “sanctuary city” allowing the harboring of undocumented  immigrants. The resolution that was eventually approved later that evening – after much debate – was a non-binding, largely symbolic resolution that named Red Bank as a “Welcoming and Inclusive Community” that celebrates diversity and reaffirmed it was not the responsibility of local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration policy, given the limitations of existing resources – actually a longstanding policy for Red Bank. There was even a little politicking, too. Republican gubernatorial candidate Joseph Rudy Rullo worked the crowd. “It’s a great show here, isn’t it,” Rullo said about the attendance.Rullo told the crowd he was an early Trump supporter and takes inspiration from Trump’s longshot victory. “You know how Trump wants to drain the swamp in Washington,” offered Rullo, Little Egg Harbor. “I want to drain the swamp in Trenton.”This is one of two rallies planned this week for the grassroots conservative activist Bayshore Tea Party Group. The next rally will be Saturday, March 4, at noon at the same location, where, “We’re going to stand tall. We’ll stand for freedom and liberty,” Brooks announced.Barbara Gonzalez, co-founder of the group, told The Two River Times two weeks ago her group was working with Breitbart News, the far-right conservative website, which is coordinating similar rallies nationally to continue to voice support for Trump.The Bayshore group, like other similar organizations, grew out of a conservative backlash early in the Obama administration, especially in response to Obama’s plans for federal bailouts following the 2008 financial crash. What really galvanized the groups was opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – which they saw as an expansive overreach on the part of the federal government and contrary to the dictates of a capitalist market system.This article was first published in the March 2-9, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times. As undocumented, the immigrants are in violation of the law and if Red Bank offers them safe haven, “That’s aiding and abetting,” Cott charged. “We’re going to have the attorney general look into this.”“We’re out here for our country and our president,” contributed Gary, a Hazlet resident who declined to give his last name.“I feel the media has been unfair to President Trump,” Gary explained, believing the media have taken comments out of context to portray Trump in the worst possible light.Some others wouldn’t submit to an interview saying they didn’t trust the media.Like Cott, Gary said, “It’s really something that we’re worried about,” referring to Red Bank. “Red Bank’s not far from me. You’d be allowing convicted felons in our neighborhoods. We’re not going to allow that.”Mirea Balteau is a native of Ukraine, an Eastern European republic, who now lives in Plainsboro. And as an immigrant, “I support legal immigration,” she said, stressing legal immigration.“I believe America is the best country and I want my children to grow up in this wonderful country,” she said. To ensure that, she continued, “I fully stand behind Donald Trump’s policies.”“I don’t know why there’s so much controversy over what this guy is saying,” wondered Richard Yarczower, Middletown, referring to Trump. “I’ve heard Presidents Obama and Clinton say the same things,” on immigration and other topics. “The difference is this guy is doing it.”center_img “We’re going to Red Bank tonight and show them what this country is about,” Brooks shouted with the use of a bullhorn to the receptive crowd.Cott said he opposed designating Red Bank as a sanctuary city as it would become a magnet for the undocumented and that would cause higher county and state taxes. “Because of the mandated ESL (English as Second Language) classes,” said Cott, a Middletown resident, believing the classes and the needed teachers and social services would drive up taxes.last_img read more

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A Dog Park for Holmdel? Woof! Woof!

first_img“It just brought tears to my eyes when I read the email,” said DiMaso, who knew Alex well. “I just thought this is so perfect, to remember Alex this way.” As a teen and during breaks from college at Duke University, Alex volunteered on the Holmdel First Aid Squad. Lisa did too, offering essential administrative help to the squad. That’s where the family came to know Holmdel residents and volunteers Serena DiMaso, now a state assemblywoman, and Mike Nikolis, now a township committeeman. HOLMDEL – It comes as a surprise to some that this township, famous for its recreation areas, trails and greenways, doesn’t have its own dog park. Alex Ching, on a visit to a New York City dog park where his favorite corgis could be found. Ching, a resident of Holmdel, died in 2018 at age 24. There are plans to create a dog park in the township in his memory.Photo courtesy Lisa Ching Lisa reached out with a letter, proposing the idea. The next steps will be raising private funds and gathering feedback. The Chings will go on research missions to visit other dog parks and gather information on how they are designed, what features they include, where shade and entrances are located, how they are secured and maintained. They will be reporting back to the township committee as they formulate the plans. “Why doesn’t Holmdel have a dog park? We could do that,” said Lisa, who is championing the idea with husband Mike and children, Maddie and Ethan. A dog park brings people together to socialize, exchange ideas, get to know each other. And naturally, it makes the dogs happy, too. “We want to make the best ‘paw park’ in New Jersey,” said Lisa. Nikolis said the township has narrowed down a potential site for the dog park on township property that is in a convenient location, with water and shade. The governing body will consider the location and how to move forward with the proposed dog park at their next meeting. While several members of the family have careers in the engineering field, Lisa is the artist in the family. She had ideas about creating a space of beauty and vibrancy. “Alex is obviously the inspiration and the motivating force, but we also view it as a community project,” she said. “We were thinking about what he loved. He loved dogs. Therapy dogs made all the difference to him for his recovery and attitude,” said his mother Lisa Ching, who became a therapy dog volunteer herself when she saw the good it can do. The Ching family realized that recently, when brainstorming a way to pay tribute to their son’s memory. Alexander Ching, 24, died on Christmas morning 2018. A highly accomplished person despite battling cancer for 17 years, Ching had a big personality, a joy of life and an unbridled love for dogs, especially corgis. A dog park was even something the township committee could agree on. The five elected members, who have rarely agreed on much this election season, gave their approval for the Chings to move forward with the concept at their last meeting. By Christina Johnson She recalled how, when Alex was living in New York City, he made her come visit a dog park frequented by corgis and their owners. He couldn’t have a dog because dogs were not permitted in his apartment. But it was so typically Alex, she said, who maximized his short life with fun and enthusiasm, to go anyway to meet the corgis. “We want to figure out a way we can incorporate him, whether it’s a beautiful plaque, or something else.” Nikolis said it was the least the township could do, to recognize Alex’s life and Lisa’s contributions to fundraising for the volunteer squad. “It’s long overdue for Holmdel, and this is a wonderful memorial for Alex’s life to live on. The emotional, positive responses by people who hear about the idea have fueled the family’s excitement about doing something meaningful in memory of their son. “Quite honestly, the idea is really catching on,” Lisa said. Alex would be pleased, she knows.last_img read more

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