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Vol. 9 No.22
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IN THIS ISSUE: Family Matters. ................................. 10 Food and Dining.................................. 16 Real Estate......................................... 19 Health and Wellness........................ 26 Automotive . ....................................... 35 Pet Pages............................................. 39 Monroe TWP News-As We Age. .......... 42 Home Improvement............................ 50 Kids . ................................................... 54
THE MILLSTONE TIMES Monmouth County’s ASK THE DOCTOR Writers Pam Teel
Publisher Cami Gunther Administrative Assistant Lauren Kolacki
Art Director/ Graphic Designer Stephanie Frederick
Lauren Kolacki Max Druckman
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Being C-Bunny Never Stop Fighting to Be Heard! By, Pam Teel
Christina Sarni grew up in Millstone Township. Born with hearing loss, school life was not easy for her. It led her to a lot of communication issues with both her teachers and her peers. Having to use assistive listening devices with her teachers in order to hear what they were saying, and trying to keep up on peer conversations was very difficult. When she was in the Middle School, Christina often found herself bullied and friendless. She will truthfully tell you that it is not a part of her life that she likes to remember, but it might have been the push that made her strive even harder to do something with her life regardless of her disability. Christina had dreams, dreams to be someone one day other than the hearing impaired kid from school. She wanted to prove to the ones who ignored her, and even more to herself that your disability doesn’t define who you are. That’s exactly what she set out to do. With intensive speech therapy and lip reading and her faith in God, Christina moved forward towards her goals. She had her mind set on being some kind of performer and created her alter ego “C-Bunny.” With true grit and de- termination, she pushed forward to make her dreams come true. She had a love for music and dance, and so she combined the two. She watched many videos, especially the Michael Jackson ones and she taught herself hip hop dancing. She performed in front of crowds in places like Six Flags and Hershey Park. She was also a part of the Michael Jackson Tribute at Beatstock 09.
In 2010, she auditioned for Grammy Award Winner T-Pain. Setting her hearing aids aside, she felt the beat of the music, and freestyled. When she finished, the others auditioning around her, including T-Pain, applauded her. T-Pain was so touched by her performance that he gave her a spot as a backup dancer. There, she got to be in her first official music video, which was the soundtrack song, “This Instant,” for the movie Step Up 3D. It was quite an experience that she got to perform live with him. She then went on to try out in front of Paula Abdul on a dancing show on Television called “Live to Dance.” C-Bunny embraced 10 million viewers with her dancing and her story. Ms. Abdul told her that she was a totally brilliant example that nothing should ever hold you back. Christina wasn’t done there. She had always been drawn to watching WWE and decided to sign up for professional wrestling school. Christina per- formed as C-bunny the hip-hop pop-locking elbow dropping hearing impaired wrestler in many shows in different states. She also worked as an extra for the WWE several times. Even though the hits were hard, Christina took them like a champ and pushed on harder. According to her dad, Christina had always been highly motivated and she would never give up on anything. Her family has always been her rock pushing her through. After meeting filmmaker, Tom Wilton, at one of her trainings, Tom wanted to embrace her story and created a documentary on her life. This docu- mentary “Being C-Bunny” has won several awards including “Most Inspirational” and “Best Short Documentary” in Florida, New York, and it was also accepted into California’s prestigious film festival Cinequest. “Being C-Bunny” is available to the public right now on you tube. The feedback has been amazing and was advocated for by WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Christina has turned her focus onto becoming a motivational speaker and teaching others that having a disability doesn’t define who you are. Though Middle School was not the best time for her, Christina is proud to go back to the school and see her accomplishments highlighted in a glass showcase. Christina always wanted to be larger than life; well I would say that she accomplished that! To those students who might have someone in your class with a disability, be nice and kind. People with disabilities are no different than you. They want the same things you do, to have friends, to be included, and to share experiences. “Never stop fighting to be heard.”
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WHY BATS MATTER By, Lauren Kowlacki
National Bat Week was celebrated the last week of October. It is an annual celebration of the role of bats in nature and all that these amazing creatures do for us. From providing essential pest control to pollinating our plants, bats are the unsung heroes of the night, when they eat their body weight or more in insects, helping protect crops from pests. Humans need bats. Worldwide, there are more than 1,400 species of bats—that’s almost 20 percent of all mammal species. Bats live almost everywhere on Earth except the most extreme desert and polar regions. So, no matter where you live, it is almost certain that there are bats living near you. Bats are amazing animals that are vital to the health of our environment and economy. Although we may not always see them, bats are hard at work all around the world each night. Most bats in North America eat insects, including moths, beetles, aquatic insects, and flies. A single bat can eat up to its body weight in insects each night. Eating all these insects helps protect our food crops and forests from insect pests, saving farmers and forest managers billions of dollars each year. Consider these fascinating bat facts: • Bats come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny, adorable bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to the big, beautiful flying foxes that can have a wingspan of up to six feet. • Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly (although some other mammals “glide”). A bat’s wing is actually a modified hand—similar to yours. • Contrary to popular belief, bats actually have good eyesight (similar to that of humans), but for most species, their main technique for navigating or locating prey is using echolocation (not all species echolocate!): emitting very high- pitched sounds that bounce off obstacles in their path, like trees, other bats, buildings, and food. Their main target is delicious insects; however, not all bats that echolocate are insectivores! • Bats eat lots of different things. Although almost 70% of bat species feed primarily on insects, some bats are carnivorous, eating meat like rodents, frogs, and fish. Only three species of bats feed on animal blood, with two of these species specializing on bird blood. Many other bats eat pollen, nectar or fruit—these bats are vital for pollinating flowers and spreading seeds that grow new plants and trees. The Earth without bats would be a very different and much poorer place. There are more than 1,390 species of bats worldwide.
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Q: LEADERS IN LEAST INVASIVE PAIN & SPINE PROCEDURES How can Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Help Shoulder and Knee Pain?
Platelet Rich Plasma erapy also referred to as PRP erapy, is a progressive non-surgical treatment to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, ten- don injuries, and ligament injuries. PRP is part of a group of state-of-the-art treatments collectively referred to as Regenerative Medicine. PRP treats an injured area naturally using your body’s own growth factors to accelerate healing. It has been shown to be safe and e ec- tive for numerous joint and so tissue injuries. It has been extensively researched in numerous medical journals and publications all over the world. Some of the many uses of Platelet Rich Plasma include osteoarthritis (degenera- tive arthritis) of the spine, knee, shoulder, hip, hands, and feet, as well as menis- cus tears, plantar fasciitis, and rotator cu tears. e procedure is simple and is performed in the o ce. e PRP process begins when a small amount of the patient’s blood is removed from the arm and placed into a special container. e blood is then placed into a device called a centri- fuge which spins the blood to help the separate the portion of the blood which becomes concentrated with platelets, thereby giving the procedure its name. ese platelets are important because they release growth factors to recruit stem cells and to assist in healing an injured area naturally. Once the PRP is isolated, it is injected to the injured area under the guidance of an ultrasound machine to help accelerate healing and reduce pain.
is healing works on the simple principle that your body is perfectly capable of healing itself. Your blood contains all the essential components that the body produces to repair tissue damage. Each time you have an injury, the platelets in your blood along with growth factors, stem cells, cytokines, and other elements create a sca olding on the site. e damaged tissues use this framework to regenerate and repair. e entire process takes approximately one hour, and pa- tients are sent home the same day. Patients on average report more than 50% improvement in 6 weeks and up to 100% improvement in 12 weeks. is may eliminate the need for more aggressive and expensive treatment options such as long-term medication or surgery. In a recent study, researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery gave patients with early osteoarthritis an injection of PRP and then monitored them for one year. A er one year of the PRP injection, physicians evaluated the knee cartilage with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While previous studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis can lose roughly ve percent of knee cartilage per year, the Hospital for Special Surgery investigators found that a large majority of patients in their study had no further cartilage loss. At minimum PRP also prevented further knee deterioration.
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Dancer Resolution Opposes Electric Rate Increase as BPU and JCP&L Charge Ahead
The Board of Public Utilities unanimously approved a rate increase for Jersey Central Power & Light that will impact ratepayers beginning November 1 next year. BPU President, Joe Fiordaliso, also announced that they would be initiating a management audit of JCP&L to review their finances and op- erations – a request in Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s resolution introduced last week. “JCP&L has been failing its customers despite increases in rates that are supposed to be used to fix the company’s response to storm outages,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “While I’m disappointed that they are moving forward with this increase, I’m relieved that the BPU has initiated an investigation. It’s something I pushed for in my resolution. It is more than warranted given JCP&L’s service history and the financial dealings of their parent company.” JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, which is being investigated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for potential ties to a $60 million bribery scheme. Dancer’s resolution (AR198) calls on the BPU to confirm that revenue from JCP&L was not improperly diverted to an illegal enterprise. “We must protect the ratepayers. Our residents deserve and should expect safe and reliable utility service,” said Dancer. A nearly 4 percent rate increase in 2017 was to be invested in upgrading infrastructure; however, more than 50 percent of JCP&L’s 1.1 million cus- tomers were affected by power outages for several days following Tropical Storm Isais. Testifying before the Senate Law and Public Safety committee on October 19, Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik said that JCP&L’s response to Isais resulted in extended power outages, slowed repair work, poor com- munication and inaccurate restoration estimates. The revenue JCP&L raises from this latest approved rate increase is budgeted for a variety of purposes including vegetation management and LED streetlights.
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Competitive Advantage: WHY ADVERTISING NEXT TO YOUR COMPETITION IS NECESSARY By, Lauren Kowlacki Facts: Being next to competitors with marketing brings many advan- tages to a business. Let's talk about the Mall. The closer a business is next to competitors, the more likely that a purchase will be made from one of them. Ad agencies today now have labeled marketing next to your compet- itor "The Ultimate Mall," and positioning your business as an option to your competition makes a business seem stronger, larger than they are and more visible. Nowhere is this more relevant than with targeted marketing! Busi- nesses that market side by side of their competition are proven to have increased revenue and a more positive and steady growth after a 3-year review. Side-by-Side Comparison When customers consider competing choices, they will always do some side-by-side comparisons. Sites like Amazon make that easy for customers by offering these comparisons right on many product pages. The proven counterpunch to this trend is to build your brand and measure overall sales at the end of each year. Increased revenue is not a coincidence.
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DO YOU HAVE UMBRELLA COVERAGE? By John Bazzurro
Over the past several weeks, I have had two unfortunate situations that have arose in my practice that have prompted me to write this article concerning something called “umbrella coverage.” Despite its name, this type of insurance coverage has nothing to do with protection from weather events. As will be seen below, “umbrella coverage” is another layer of insurance coverage that is recommended in order to properly protect you and your family against judgments and lawsuits arising out of your negligence or the negligence of a family member within your household. In one case, my client was significantly injured in a motor vehicle accident with a 17-year-old boy who had only recently received his drivers’ license. The automobile insurance policy on the young man’s vehicle had policy limits of $250,000.00 for the benefit of parties injured as a result of the negligent operation of the vehicle. The young man and his family live in a large home in an upper class Township within Monmouth County and, as such, it would seem that he and his family would have a reason to protect their assets over and above the $250,000.00 policy limits of their automobile insurance. Unfortunately, they did not have additional insurance coverage and, as such, given the significant nature of my client’s injuries, their personal assets could now be in jeopardy in the litigation. In another case, a client of mine caused a significant accident in which a number of people were injured. Although I only represented her on the traffic tickets she received, both her and her husband inquired as to whether or not it was likely that they were going to be sued for personal injuries arising out of the accident. Similar to the family above, my client and her husband only had automobile insurance with $300,000.00 in policy limits to cover the injuries sustained by the other individuals involved in the accident. The client’s husband was a medical professional and, once again, had significant assets over and above the $300,000.00 policy limits which he and his wife should have protected. When I asked them if they had “umbrella coverage” to further protect them, they did not know what it was. At a minimum, if you own a home and an automobile, you should have an automobile insurance policy that protects you against injuries you cause in a motor vehicle accident as well as homeowners’ insurance which protects you against injuries caused by you and your resident family members for negligent acts (other than an automobile accident) that cause injuries to others. All homeowners’ insurance policies contain an “automobile exclusion” for which the homeowners’ policy will not cover injuries to others as result of the operation of an automobile. If either of these policy limits are insufficient to “pay for” the injured parties’ injuries, “umbrella coverage” is intended to supplement your policy limits. Typically, “umbrella coverage” is purchased to supplement the above referenced automobile insurance policy limits and homeowners’ coverage policy limits; often at a reasonable rate. Such “umbrella coverage” is utilized and necessary to protect assets when your assets are greater than the policy limits afforded by either your homeowners’ policy or motor vehicle policy. Unlike homeowners’ coverage, “umbrella coverage” does not contain an “automobile exclusion” and, as such, would be available to supplement automobile insurance coverage in the two scenarios described above. Accordingly, while it is a good idea to review your insurance coverages on a regular basis with a qualified insurance agent or broker, you should always be cognizant of the amount of your automobile coverage and homeowners’ coverage in relation to the amount of assets you intend to protect. Importantly, regardless of the amount of assets you presently have, a judgment against you arising out of your negligent acts may last for 20 years or more and, therefore, assets which you accrue in the future may also be in jeopardy. So, regardless of the level of your present assets, it may be a good idea to protect your future with such “umbrella coverage.” Should you have any questions concerning this article, please feel free to contact my office or, alternatively, immediately discuss these issues with a qualified insurance agent or broker.
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Changing jobs, switching employers, or retiring? Don’t leave your 401(k) or 403(b) unattended employers, or retiring? Don’t leave your 401(k) or 403(b) unattended Changing jobs, switching employers, or retiring? Don’t leave your 401(k) or 403(b) unattended
Don’t leave your 401(k) or 403(b) unattended
Changing jobs, switching employers, or retiring? Don’t leave your 401(k) or 403(b) unattended It’s important that you understand your options so that you can take action n w to h lp ensure you retirement savings contin e working for you. It’s important that you understand your options so that you can take action now to help ensure your retirement savings continue working for you. • Roll over your assets into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to help ensure your hard- earned retirement dollars continue to work for you. It’s important that you understand your options so that you can take action now to help ensure your retirement savings continue working for you. Options generally include: • Move your assets directly to your current or new employer’s QRP (if the plan allows) • Cash out and pay the associated taxes Ricardo Rivers, MBA Associate Vice President - Investment Oicer 989 Lenox Drive, Suite 200 Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Direct: (609) 896-4623 firstname.lastname@example.org fa.wellsfargoadvisors.com/ricardo-rivers Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options as it pertains to your individual circumstances. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options as it pertains to your individual circumstances. • Move your assets directly to your current or new employer’s QRP (if the plan allows) • Cash out and pay the associated taxes • Leave your assets in your former employer’s qualiied retirement plan (QRP) (if the plan allows) • Roll over your assets into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) • Le ve your asse s in your former employer’s qualiied retirement plan (QRP) (if the plan allows) • Move your assets directly to your current or new employer’s QRP (if the plan allows) • Cash out and pay the associated taxes Options generally include: • Roll over your assets into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) • Leave your assets in your former employer’s qualiied retirement plan (QRP) (if the plan allows) Options generally include: Request a free copy of Wells Fargo Advisors’ 401(k) report and let’s discuss ways
It’s important that you understand your options so that you can take a now to help ensure your retirement savings continue working for you.
Options generally include:
• Roll over your assets into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) • Leave your assets in your former employer’s qualiied retirement plan (QRP) (if the plan allows)
• Move your assets directly to current or new employer’s Q (if the plan allows) • Cash out and pay the associa taxes
Request a free copy of Wells Fargo Advisors’ 401(k) report and let’s discuss ways to help ensure your hard- earned retirement dollars continue to work for you. Request a free copy of Wells Fargo Advisors’ 401(k) r port and let’s discuss ways to help ensu e y ur hard- earned retirement dollars continue to work for you.
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options as it pertains to your individual circumstances.
Request a free copy of Wells Fargo Advisors’ 401(k) report and let’s discuss ways to help ensure your hard- earned retirement dollars continue to work for you.
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options as it pertains to your individual circumstances.
Ricardo Rivers, MBA Associate Vice President - Investment Oicer 989 Lenox Drive, Suite 200 email@example.com fa.wellsfargoadvisors.com/ricardo-rivers Law enceville, NJ 08648 Direct: (609) 896-4623 ricardo.g.river @wellsfargo dvisors.com fa.wellsfargoadvisors.com/ricardo-rivers Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Direct: (609) 896-4623 Ricardo Rivers, MBA Associate Vice President - Investment Oicer 989 Lenox Drive, Suite 200 Ricardo Rivers, MBA Associate Vice President - Investment Oicer 989 Lenox Drive, Suite 200 Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Direct: (609) 896-4623
Each option has advantages and disadvantages and the option that is best depends on your individual circumstances. You should consider features such as investment options, fees and expenses, and services ofered. A Financial Advisor can help educate you regarding your choices so you can decide which one makes the most sense for your specific situation. Before you make a decision, read the information provided in this piece to become more informed and speak with your current retirement plan administrator, and tax professional before taking any action.
- Separate maintenance decrees - Written separation agreements
• In general, the taxpayer whomakes payments to a spouse or former spouse can deduct it on their tax return. The taxpayer who receives the payments is required to include it in their income. • Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, alimony or separate maintenance payments are not deductible from the income of the payer spouse, or includable in the income of the receiving spouse, if made under a divorce or separation agreement executed after Dec. 31, 2018. • If an agreement was executed on or before Dec. 31, 2018 and then modified after that date, the new law also applies. The new law applies if the modification does these two things: - It changes the terms of the alimony or separate maintenance payments. - It specifically says that alimony or separate maintenance payments are not deductible by the payer spouse or includable in the income of the receiving spouse. • Agreements executed on or before Dec. 31, 2018 follow the previous rules. If an agreement was modified after that date, the agreement still follows the previous law as long as the modifications don’t do what’s described above.
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REBATE APPS, WHY NOT? By Susan Heckler There are times in our lives when role reversal is a good thing. Your kids get older and maybe a little wiser in some subjects. One of these is apps. Our adult children are a wealth of app information. In order to wring the most out of college allowance and later a bottom rung paycheck, today’s young adults are proficient at using rebate apps. They actually earn some money back on those “essential” purchases. • EBATES: This one has become my go-to in the last few months and I have almost $40 in rebates and I am not a significant online shopper. They have everything from rebates to bargains to promotional codes to discounts. I always check here first before buying online. • IBOTTA: This offers some big on groceries, just scan your receipt after shopping. • PARIBUS: Not as user friendly, it scans your emails for online-shopping receipts. If the price goes down during the return period, it reimburses you. • MYPOINTS: Shopping through the online MyPoints portal earns you points which go toward gift cards. • TWEETSSHOP: Get all the deals, coupons, rebates, offers, discounts real time from retailers/forums consolidated in one single app. • CHECKOUT 51: Will pay you “cash back” to grocery shop. • SAVING STAR: NO coupons are needed, however you can combine printable or newspaper coupons with most of the offers available in each app to save even more money on groceries. Bang for your buck, money in your pocket....why not? FAMILY MATTERS
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Dinner Time is Family Time By, Lauren Kowl cki Engage with your family and take advantage of the time away from school and sports and busy life to get your family talking and commu- nicating together. These 4 questions are great conversation starters! 1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 2. What was the best and worst part of your week? 3. If you can be one celebrity for one week, who would it be and why? 4. If you can have one superpower for one week, what would it be and why? Have each family member take a turn with answering each question.
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Hail to the King! Bear 747 has won the annual #FatBearWeek competition hosted by Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. If you haven't been following along, Fat Bear Week is about body positivity and cele- brating these amazing animals. The more bulk they put on, the more likely they are to survive the long, cold months ahead. So always remember: a fat bear is a healthy bear! Every fall, Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska hosts Fat Bear Week. Fat Bear Week is an auspicious celebration where the park invites its online community to compare photos of bears fromwhen they first visit Brooks Falls in the spring to photos of the same bears at the end of summer. The differences are often huge. In just a few months, the bears have gorged on enough salmon to pack on some serious pounds. While Fat Bear Week is both fun and has gained a lot of attention, it also brings up really important questions about survival and how we’re studying and learning more about these amazing bears. How can I participate in Fat Bear Week? During Fat Bear Week, you can vote! Visit https://explore.org/fat-bear-week. Fat Bear Week is a single-elimination tournament that determines who will be crowned the fattest bear on the Brooks River. The bear with the most votes advances to the next round. By the end of the week, one well-fed ursine will receive the title of the fattest bear. Is this body shaming or body positivity? How is bulking up beneficial to bear survival? This week is about body positivity. A fat bear is a healthy bear! Fattening up as winter approaches is a matter of life and death for the bears: relying on stored fat for energy, they can lose up to a third of their body fat as they slow down for the winter. The more bulk they put on, the more likely they are to survive the long, cold months. And we think Cosmopolitan would agree that the bears look fabulous! How can they eat so much? What’s on the menu? The bears enter a medical state known as hyperphagia in which they eat non-stop and can gain up to four pounds in a single day. Some bears can eat dozens of sockeye salmon each day, with each salmon packing about 4,000 calories. A coastal brown bear’s diet during the summer consists primarily of salmon with the addition of sedge grasses and berries. The fat of the salmon is what allows for such tremen- dous weight gain in a limited window. The majority of the weight is put on in the late summer once bears enter hyperphagia. Leptin, the chemical that tells the body it’s full, is suppressed which allows for the bears to eat until it’s time to sleep. One bear was spotted eating 40 salmon in a single sitting. During this time the bears practice a technique called high grading. This is where they select the most calorie-dense parts of the fish to eat; such as the brain, skin and roe and leave the fillets behind. How are you measuring the bears? Terrestrial Lidar scanning technology is used almost exclusively in Civil Engineering fields to scan the interior of buildings, roads and gravel stockpiles to get volume measure- ments. Last year, as an experiment, it was used on bears at Katmai’s Brooks Camp! This was a challenge as the animals had to stay still and not move long enough to complete a scan. When the bears were standing at the top of the falls or in the river wafting to catch a fish, they were still enough that this technology worked well. This is an exciting new, non-invasive way to collect information on the bear’s volume—especially since weighing bears is not an option. Is there enough salmon? What’s the impact on available resources? The last few documented salmon runs have shown high numbers -- two years ago it reached a record-breaking 62.3 million. Right now, there are enough salmon to go around. The question is pointed toward the future. It’s difficult to know what kind of impacts the heat and weather patterns of this summer will have on future runs of salmon. The heat may have impacted egg survival, some streams may have dried before salmon had the opportunity to spawn. One summer may not tip the scales toward disarray, but if the heat and weather conditions continue into future years, it may be a different story. Bears between two and a half and five years old are known as sub-adults. They are independent of their mothers, but not yet sexually mature. Some sub-adults have been part of Fat Bear Week, showing off a dramatic transition to chubby cubby. Do bears really hibernate? It is a common misconception that bears hibernate during the winter. While bears tend to slow down during the winter, they are not true hibernators. Black bears, Grizzly bears and Brown bears do go into a deep sleep during the winter months, known as torpor. At times, they will wake up and move around their dens. When do the bears slow down for winter? The bears at Katmai National Park and Preserve will retreat to their dens to bed down for the winter in October or November. Bears south of Alaska usually enter their dens later and emerge sooner, but it all depends on winter conditions. They will stay there until the late spring, when they will emerge thin and hungry. If you really want to witness these impressive bears in person, it’s going to take some planning. Unlike most national parks in the United States, Katmai is almost exclusively accessed by plane or boat. All visitors to Brooks Camp are required to begin their stay by attending a brief bear safety talk outlining park regulation. Trails lead visitors to viewing platforms, where bear fans can watch the feast unfold. Bears are wonderful and interesting animals that command our attention and deserve our respect. Fat Bear Week is a celebration and a chance to learn more about our ursine friends. We hope you are looking forward to the next Fat Bear Week as much as we are. Beadnose 409 was the 2018 Fat Bear winner! Photo by A. Ramos, National Park Service.
14 The Millstone Times
Programs to lower property taxes by shopping locally approved by Assembly Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill allowing municipalities to create a property tax reward program for residents who patronize local mer- chants unanimously passed the Assembly Thursday. “By encouraging people to shop locally we are helping to rebuild our main streets and small business communities,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “It also provides much-needed relief for our residents who pay the high- est property taxes in the nation.” The bill (A4806) codifies a practice that is already in place in communi- ties like Marlboro, Union Township, Voorhees, Lacey, Toms River and others. Customers earn cash rewards by shopping at local businesses that choose to participate in the program. “Small businesses provide jobs, lend their support to community orga- nizations and causes, and create a robust economy. Unfortunately, they have been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus shutdowns and capacity restrictions,” said Dancer. “We have to save our small busi- nesses and in order to do that, we have to get creative. This program can have a positive impact on both our small businesses and loyal local customers.” Customers who register for the program would be given a rewards card to present at local participating businesses. The amount of the rebate would be determined by each individual business. Residents who shop locally would receive a lower property tax bill for the year and those who live out-of-town or are renters would earn a cash rebate.
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221 MILLSTONE RD, PERRINEVILLE • 732-446-1155 • 732-446-1908 WWW.VESUVIOSNICKSPLACE.COM Green and Minty Matcha Cookies These Mint Matcha Cookies are great for the holidays or any time of year. With quick prep and baking times, these are healthy and perfect for the busy family. Ingredients: • 2 teaspoons matcha powder • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup • 2 cups blanched almond flour* • 3 tablespo ons melted coconut oil Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, stir together the almond flour, maple syrup, oil, salt, matcha, peppermint, baking soda, and vinegar. The batter should be smooth and slightly sticky. 3. Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet, making roughly 16 cookies. Press the mounds with your fingertips to flatten and shape them into circle cookie shapes. (Get your fingertips wet to help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands as you flatten them.) 4. Bake the cookies until dry around the edges, about 12 minutes. (They won't be golden or brown in color.) Cool completely before decorating with the melted chocolate. (I sometimes place the cookies in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to speed the process.) 5. To melt the chocolate, place the chocolate chips in a double boiler and heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the chocolate from the heat once it’s smooth. 6. Dip each cooled cookie halfway into the melted chocolate. I tip the cookie forward, so that mostly the front half of the cookie gets dipped. (I don’t care about the back of the cookies as much.) Place the cookies in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the chocolate, then remove them again and use the tines of a fork to drizzle the remaining melted chocolate over them, for a decorative look. 7. Let the chocolate harden at room temperature, then serve. • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar