Mayor’s Update 4-28

first_imgApril 28, 2017Dear Friends,Earlier this week, I met with a small group that included representatives of the Ocean City School District, the Ocean City Police Department, City Council, my administration and families affected by drug addiction. The task at hand was to see if we, as a community, could do more to prevent the inevitable tragedies that are part of the growing epidemic in our town and throughout the nation. I’d like to personally thank Sally Onesty for helping to inspire the effort, for openly sharing information about her son Tyler’s struggles, and for advocating for a positive solution.One message from the meeting was that individuals and families facing addiction don’t always know where to turn for help. A list of resources is available at ocnj.us/help. The page includes links to Gov. Christie’s Facing Addiction Taskforce home and to local help hotlines compiled by the school district. The group is just getting started, but I want to make sure that the end result is simple, practical and effective solutions that genuinely make a difference. We owe it to the entire community.City Council on Thursday gave final approval to the 2017 municipal budget. The plan does come with a tax increase. The primary factors are: 1) payments on an aggressive capital plan that tackles countless road and drainage projects, improvements to the beach, bay, downtown and boardwalk, and many other projects throughout town that have been taken on in response to public demand; and 2) a $1.1 million increase in health insurance costs beyond our control. Council members, the city team and I work hard every year to make cuts and hold the line on spending, and we’re never happy to report any increase whatsoever. But I’m confident that we delivered the most fiscally responsible plan possible while still delivering on so many overdue infrastructure improvements. Copies of the budget can be viewed any time at ocnj.us/finance.Today is Arbor Day, and this morning, members of our Shade Tree Committee and Public Works team joined Ms. Carrie Merritt’s first-grade class at the Ocean City Primary School to plant a new crepe myrtle. The team also planted a new tree at the 34th Street Playground. The work is part of a continuing effort by the city and committee add green to the barrier island and see the additional benefits that trees bring to the city.I also received some good news today from Cape May County. The 34th Street Bridge is on schedule to reopen on time on Thursday (May 4). Both lanes of the bridge will close one final time overnight starting 10 p.m. Wednesday, so crews can remove the barriers on the bridge. It will be a relief to finally have both lanes back for the summer.The weekend forecast looks great, and I hope you all have a chance to get outside and enjoy the weather.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayor Mayor Jay Gillianlast_img read more

Better Brains for Babies

first_imgThe DHR Division of Public Health provides the funding for the program. The GSU Schoolof Nursing coordinates the training. And the March of Dimes provides technical help.Statewide sponsors include the DHR Family Health Branch, Georgia Chapter of the Marchof Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Universityof Georgia College of Family andConsumer Sciences, Georgia StateUniversity School ofNursing, GPCCF and The Family Connection. People say kids are getting smarter all the time. A group of state public healthleaders intends to make sure that’s true.Starting in October, key public health agencies, universities and others will begin astatewide training program called “Better Brains for Babies: Maximizing Georgia’sBrain Power.”The planners are banking on the latest research on early brain development. Thefindings show that babies’ first three years of life greatly affect how they function formany years afterwards.”Governor Miller called attention to this research when he distributed classicalmusic CDs to parents of newborn children in Georgia,” said Brian Ziegler, statedirector and national adviser for the March of Dimes Georgia Chapter.”We’re taking the next step,” Ziegler said. “We will train communityleaders so they can pass the information on to parents and anyone who cares for smallchildren. We want everyone to know what babies need to help their brains develop.”The first groups of professionals and advocates will attend trainings in Tifton Oct. 6,Macon Oct. 7 and Athens Oct. 9. Child-care providers, licensing staff, parents, fosterparents and others will have similar training.The “Making Change for Children” Summit in Atlanta Oct. 15-16 will kick offthe statewide program. Community leaders there will meet trainers, learn about theresearch and arrange presentations in their communities.”Babies’ brains develop fast before age three,” said Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey,director of the GeorgiaDepartment of Human Resources Division of Public Health. “Unlike other organs,the brain acquires much of its capacity after birth, by extending and connecting billionsof neurons.”Toomey said it’s vital to “do everything we can to see that infants are stimulatedat this critical age.”The trainings will help policy makers, too, said Dr. William Sexson of the Georgia PolicyCouncil for Children and Families.”In the past, we’ve paid a lot of attention to school-age children,” Sexsonsaid. “But we haven’t addressed children’s needs in their first three years. Now wecan make better decisions to help families prepare their children to meet the social andeducational challenges of our society.”What can parents do? Here are some tips. Get good prenatal care. Pregnant women should eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and other drugs and have regular prenatal checkups. Breast milk provides the ideal nutritional balance. If you don’t breast-feed, give your baby an iron-fortified infant formula. And always hold her when you feed her. Create a safe environment. Are your baby’s surroundings clean? Are there dangers such as sharp objects or things that could choke him? Does he always ride in a car safety seat? Talk to your baby. Make eye contact. Smile. Play rhyming games. Read aloud. As she gets older, ask questions and explain things to her. Find quality child care. Look for care-givers who provide a safe environment and enriching new experiences. Play rich, complex music. Sing songs. Let your child try musical instruments. Limit television. Children need to interact with real, live people. Take care of yourself. Stressed parents tend to stress their babies. So take some time for yourself. Find people who can support you as a parent. Get the information you need. Ask your pediatrician. Your child-care provider or librarian can suggest good books on child development. And the county Extension Service office can give you more information on parenting.last_img read more

Dodgers officially sign Hector Olivera but could lose Hyun-Jin Ryu

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO >> On the day the Dodgers addressed a non-immediate area of need by officially signing free agent infielder Hector Olivera, another immediate need arose.Olivera’s six-year, $62.5 million contract is the longest and richest given any to player in the Andrew Friedman era. The 30-year-old said through an interpreter that he can play third or first base in addition to second base, the position he played all his life in Cuba.The Dodgers have a proven veteran playing each of those positions already. What they do not have is two-fifths of their projected 2015 starting rotation.Hyun-Jin Ryu is currently contemplating surgery on his ailing left shoulder, a decision that is expected by today. If he has surgery, Ryu might join Brandon McCarthy on the unofficial wait-til-next-year list. Olivera agreed to the terms of his contract in March. He then reported to the Dodgers’ training facility in the Dominican Republic along with Cuban pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez, whose minor league contract also became official Tuesday.The contracts couldn’t become official until each player passed his physical, which couldn’t happen until they received their U.S. work visas last week.Olivera arrived with concerns about the health of his right elbow. His contract specifically includes a seventh-year option for $1 million that triggers if Olivera has Tommy John surgery on the elbow.“I know there was a little inflammation in my arm,” Olivera said. “I did a lot of tryouts and people know that I played well, but it was just fatigue in the muscle. I don’t think there was any serious problem. I don’t know where that rumor started.”According to The Associated Press, Olivera gets a $28 million signing bonus, of which $12 million is payable within five days of approval by the commissioner’s office, $7.5 million by Aug. 1 and $8.5 million by Dec. 31. Olivera will receive salaries of $2 million this year, $4 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018, $7.5 million in 2019 and $8.5 million in 2020.To make room for Olivera on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, Triple-A reliever Eury De La Rosa was designated for assignment.Once he is cleared to join the Dodgers, Olivera will add to the club’s infield depth. Juan Uribe, the incumbent starter at third base, has recently split playing time with both Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner.Howie Kendrick’s successful transition to the National League leaves little room for Olivera to steal time at second base if Kendrick is healthy. Adrian Gonzalez is an early contender for the NL Most Valuable Player award and not likely to lose at-bats to Guerrero, either. If the current group of infielders remain healthy, trading one of them might be the Dodgers’ best means of accommodating Olivera.Ryu’s lack of progress in rehab creates an obvious area of need. Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger are pitching well, but their talent is unproven. Brandon Beachy’s talent is proven, but he is facing an uncertain path in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.“If we could add an arm,” Friedman said, “it’d certainly be helpful.”AlsoDodgers manager Don Mattingly said he “felt honored” to be chosen as a National League coach at the All-Star Game in July. He was chosen by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will manage the NL squad. … Mattingly said that Beachy might throw to live hitters in batting practice once more before he is sent out on a minor league rehab assignment. The club was encouraged by Beachy’s first live BP session over the weekend. … Left-handed pitching prospect Julio Urias will have elective surgery to remove a benign tumor on his left eye later this month. The surgery is for cosmetic reasons but it will delay the 18-year-old from reaching his pre-determined innings limit. Urias will miss 4-5 weeks out of the Double-A season while he recovers. “It’s not a totally clear, black-and white-issue,” Friedman said of the decision. “It’s more involved than that. We have a tremendous doctor in (Neal) ElAttrache, a really good medical department, and we’re just putting our heads together to figure out what makes the most sense.”Ryu is 28-15 with a 3.17 earned-run average in two years since signing a six-year contract prior to the 2013 season. Without him this season, Dodger starters have struggled to pitch deep into games and to limit opponents’ home runs, but otherwise rank among the top half in MLB in the major pitching categories.While Ryu mulled his options Tuesday, Olivera passed his physical in Los Angeles and flew to Arizona. He will begin his Dodgers career at extended spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, then Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, then Triple-A Oklahoma City.Olivera’s timetable for reaching the major leagues isn’t set in stone, but both he and Friedman believe Olivera can make an impact this year.“I think three or four weeks and I should be ready by then,” he said through an interpreter.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more