Diane and Jeff PustVan Dorm Realty, located in West Olympia, has been selling homes for over 30 years. Now in its second generation of family-ownership, Jeff and Diane Pust are providing practical advice to Thurston County residents.Should I sell now is a question that Jeff Pust is frequently asked.“You can’t wait for the ‘right time’; it’s all relative,” answers Pust. “Yes, property values have gone down, but so have everyone else’s so there is the potential to buy a new home at a reduced price.”Pust adds that many Van Dorm clients are choosing to sell now because they see opportunities in the market.“For example, a client may choose to sell their current home because they notice a beautiful home in a price range that they could not have afforded a few years ago,” comments Pust.Alternatively, some folks are at a stage in life where their large home is too large. They are using this time as an opportunity to sell their large home, purchase a smaller more manageable home and using the difference to take advantage of another reduced price real estate purchase like a second home or investment property. “This would not have made financial sense a few years ago” notes Pust.Regardless, home owners are seeing the potential in the market that didn’t exist five years ago.Add in very low interest rates and suddenly it becomes a lucrative decision to sell your home. “Take advantage of phenomenal interest rates and good prices,” says Pust.Pust notes that there are signs that the housing market is turning.“It may be bold to say, but I believe that housing prices are on their way up. I anticipate that, at the end of the year, we will look back and say that housing prices turned this year,” remarks Pust.“If you are of the mindset that you are going to hold out until prices come back, then you need to remember that everyone else’s prices will also start to increase,” comments Pust. “When the market starts to turn, housing will go up, in general.”Pust compares the housing industry to all investment options. “If you look at your home as one part of your investment portfolio, then you should constantly be evaluating whether you can earn a better return on your investment. Perhaps now is the time to shift your money from one (home) investment to another,” summarizes Pust.Van Dorm Realty1530 Black Lake Blvd SW, Suite FOlympia, WA 98502360.943.3800 Facebook1Tweet0Pin0
Facebook71Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and WildlifePlenty of fat clams await diggers who turn out for the next razor clam dig, set to run Feb. 26 through March 3 on various ocean beaches.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.As in previous openings, all digs are scheduled on evening tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said razor clams sampled in recent days are noticeably heavier than those tested earlier in the season.“With all the plankton in the water, the clams seem to be “fattening” up earlier than usual,” Ayres said. “Those clams will make for some tasty meals after the next opening.”The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:Feb. 26, Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin HarborsFeb. 27, Thursday, 5:04 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, MocrocksFeb. 28, Friday, 5:49 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, MocrocksMarch 1, Saturday, 6:32 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, CopalisMarch 2, Sunday, 7:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, MocrocksMarch 3, Monday, 7:53 p.m.; +0.3 feet; Twin HarborsAyres noted that the beaches open for the greatest number of days are those with the most clams still available for harvest.Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.For updates on upcoming digs, see WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.
Facebook9Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by The City of OlympiaAt its regular business meeting on August 18, the Olympia City Council will consider approval of an option to purchase real estate owned by Wonderland Holdings LLC, consisting of approximately 75-acres southwest of Ken Lake. This parcel, located between Kaiser Road SW and Lakemoor Drive, was previously referred to as the proposed Kaiser Heights Development.Acquiring open space and natural areas to meet current and future park needs was a top priority identified by the community during a public process the City recently conducted as part of its update of the Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation Plan. The option to purchase would preserve the City’s ability to acquire the 75-acre property if voters approve the proposed Olympia Metropolitan Park District (MPD). The City Council has taken action to place an MPD ballot measure before the voters on November 3, 2015.Consideration of this option will occur following recent City Council action to secure an option for 74 acres of land in Southeast Olympia in an area known as the “LBA Woods.” If both the Kaiser Heights and LBA Woods properties are purchased, the Olympia park system will grow by 149 acres. This would be a significant step in fulfilling the previously established goal of the 2004 voted utility tax ballot measure to acquire an additional 500 acres of new parks.
Facebook458Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Troop 222On April 1, seven young men from Boy Scouts Troop 222 will be presented with scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout.The Cobra Patrol started in March 2010 and has worked as a team to help each other through their advancements. Over the past year they all have successfully completed their eagle project which benefited several organizations in the greater Thurston County area.Between the seven Eagle Scouts, they have accomplished:246 merit badges770 nights camping1,000+ miles hiking1,276 community service hours1,479 Eagle Project total service hoursOf the young men who join Boy Scouts, only 4% nationwide achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s even more rare for an entire patrol to attain this goal.The Cobra Patrol is comprised of Andrew Quebedeaux, Joseph Coon, Matthew Evans, Matthew Desy, Anthony Tulloch, Matthew Lamfers and Andrew Panush. All seven of these young men have shown the highest character, leadership ability, citizenship and Scout spirit.
Facebook161Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Public Health and Social ServicesThurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) has confirmed the second death of a Thurston County resident, due to complications related to COVID-19. The hospitalized patient was a male in his 80’s, with underlying conditions. He was a resident at Olympics West Retirement Inn in Tumwater, the site of Thurston County’s first long-term care facility outbreak.“We want to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends who knew him,” said Thurston County Health Officer, Dr. Diana Yu. “This death reminds us that we must remain diligent in our efforts to protect one another from this virus. We must continue to social distance, to wear masks whenever we cannot social distance, and to stay home when we are ill. Washing our hands regularly also remains an important preventive measure.”Thurston County Public Health and Social Services continues to investigate the recent long-term care facility outbreak at Olympics West Retirement Inn in Tumwater and associated outbreak at an adult family home in Lacey. Further testing of staff and residents at Olympics West Retirement Inn is scheduled for Monday, June 8.As of Sunday, June 7, there have been 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thurston County. Of those cases, 24 have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, 130 have recovered (been released from public health isolation), and two people have died.For information and resources on COVID-19 in Thurston County, visit the Thurston County PHSS Coronavirus webpage at https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/Pages/coronavirus.aspx, or follow the Thurston County Public Health Facebook or Twitter pages (@ThurstonHealth).People with any symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, trouble breathing, headache, body aches, chills, sore throat, new loss of taste/smell, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and congestion/runny nose, should isolate themselves from others and seek testing immediately through their healthcare provider. Testing is also available through a Providence drive-through testing site in Hawks Prairie. More information on drive-through testing and operation hours are available through Providence St. Peter’s call line at: 360-486-6800.
Facebook26Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington Governor Jay InsleeGov. Jay Inslee issued his Safe Start proclamation as the Stay Home, Stay Healthy expired May 31 at 11:59 p.m.The governor announced Safe Start — Washington’s Phased Reopening plan on Friday during a press conference where he detailed the county-by-county approach.“Thanks to Washingtonians pulling together, we can transition fully to our county-by-county approach to safely reopen,” Inslee said. “If we remain diligent and committed to more effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to save lives and open up more businesses while protecting our friends and neighbors.”Washington will move through the phased reopening county-by-county allowing for flexibility and local control to address COVID-19 activity geographically.Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.
Advertisement 9gxNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs5qWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E9k4n6r( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) zxqq71Would you ever consider trying this?😱1zCan your students do this? 🌚5cRoller skating! Powered by Firework They might be the two current clubs in English football trying to establish themselves as the dominant force in the country but Liverpool and Manchester City are in a great form, performing of the very highest of order every week. Both the players and the managers are paying their respects to the opponents, but there certainly is a rivalry within the staffs and board members of the clubs.Advertisement The British outlet The Times report that Liverpool had to hand over £1million to Manchester City in 2013 as they were accused of ‘spying’. The report claims that several Liverpool employees, who were formerly of Manchester City’s, accessed the latter’s online scouting network without permission. It is also believed that the current transfer guru of Liverpool Michael Edwards, was amongst those involved.Advertisement Manchester City declared a breach in their online system after they brought an outside expert, and the IP addresses linked to that of Liverpool Football Club. City even worked on their contracts with Fernandinho and Jesus Navas as a result, fearing that they may be poached by the Merseyside team.The fine of £1million was paid in September of 2013, although Liverpool still deny of wrongdoing.Advertisement City first became aware about the deal when Liverpool expressed their interest in Paolo Fernandes, a youth player from Real Zaragoza. This report is sure to add to the animosity between supporters of the clubs. Advertisement
Image Courtesy: Sky Sports/ReutersAdvertisement 47uyNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2fkoWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eccwak9s( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 2jxcfWould you ever consider trying this?😱1qe5sCan your students do this? 🌚c3lpRoller skating! Powered by Firework Japan is infamous for its high frequency of earthquakes. Geographically located in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country experiences an average of 1500 earthquakes every year. Add to that the severe occurrence of typhoons, and the perturbation of a terror attack, you would think that how risky it would be to host the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, one of the most grand events of the world? Well fret not, because the organisers are preparing their best measures to take precautions against the worst kind of calamity.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Sky Sports/ReutersJust before Christmas last December, the Olympic Gymnastic Centre at Tokyo’s Ariake district and the Tokyo Aquatics Centre went through an artificial ‘disaster drill’, where the stadium staff practices safety measures in case of a real earthquake occurring during the main event.Presuming the occurrence of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake, a bilingual public address was played in the stadium during the drill, which will be used to pacify the audience in emergency situations.Advertisement “There has been an earthquake. Please stay calm and protect yourself. This venue is safe. Taking action in a panic may lead to danger. Please stay calm and follow the staff’s instructions. The elevators may not be used.” this announcement is to be played in both Japanese and English.While the typhoon ‘Hagibis’ was the reason of the dismissal of three Rugby World Cup matches back in October, July and August is not the season of their frequent occurrence. However, the organisers are confident on having the best measures to counter the damage.Advertisement For counter terror measures, the Japan Self Defense Forces will also be present during rescue operations. The JSDF military personnel will be used to escort the panicked audience out of the stadium. Sniffer dogs will also be on patrol at the Tokyo Central Station and around the venue.(L)The firefighter team along with JSDF personnel escorting dummies during the drill, (R) a sniffer dog at the Tokyo Central Station. (Image Courtesy: AFP/Ruptly)Emergency troops from the Tokyo fire department were also present in the drill. The fire response team practised rescue operations out of the stadium using dummies. The firefighters have also gone through mandatory anti terrorism drills.The fire department using dummies to practice escort operations during the drill. (Image Courtesy: AFP)During the drill event, Yuriko Koike, the Governor of Tokyo inculcated an emergency meeting with the supervising officials from the fire department, coastguard, JSDF and various other officials.On receiving the news of an earthquake or similar case of crisis, Koike will be observing the venue and other affected areas around the city, and will assign her subordinates tasks accordingly.“We have many guests domestically and from abroad for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Please exert your utmost efforts to ensure the safety of spectators and Games workers as much as you do for Tokyo residents,” she announced in the drill meeting, ensuring the prioritisation of safety of the global audience and the citizens of the city in case of emergency.The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will kick off on 24th July. Advertisement
Contributed by Stacy Donovan |For nearly 70 years, organizations across the country have been drawing attention to the importance of mental health and wellness. And despite these long time efforts, as a collective community, we still struggle in darkness with respect to the way we view mental illness.Mental Health America, founded in 1909, is the nation’s leading community-based, non-profit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with a mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of Americans. Over 100 years ago, its founder, Clifford Beers said “we must fight in the open.”In this year alone, I in 4 adults age 18 and older will be diagnosed with a mental illness, mental health disorder, or experience a major mental health crisis. 18 percent of adults have a mental health condition encompassing 43 million Americans. The mental health of our youth is worsening. Rates of youth with severe depression increased from 5.9 percent in 2012 to 8.2 percent in 2015 with 1.7 million of them receiving no treatment.A recent study from the Center for Disease Control identified that nation-wide death by suicide across the life cycle is the highest in 30 years. Monmouth County alone had 58 completed suicides in 2017, an 18% increase over 2016.The CDC also reveals that in NJ 29 percent of high school students reported feeling so sad or hopeless for 2 weeks that they were unable to perform their normal activities, and 14% seriously considered suicide. It is now the second leading cause of death for youth aged 10-24.So, why aren’t we talking? Stigma.Jane Pauley, television news personality, former host of the Today show, and mental health advocate has been quoted, as saying, “a diagnosis is burden enough without being burdened by secrecy and shame.”For many people with mental illnesses, stigma is one of the main obstacles to pursuing treatment. When you consider the fact that less than half of American adults who suffer from mental health conditions get the help they need, it’s easy to see just how debilitating stigma can be. The average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years.Mental illness is an equal opportunity illness which knows no age, gender, race, religious belief, or zip code. Too often it is the invisible illness; and yet it should be viewed and addressed as any other chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.Both youth and adults can knowingly or unknowingly endorse stigmatizing beliefs of people with mental illness, especially the belief that such individuals are prone to violent behaviors. Moreover, the beliefs of shame, blame, incompetency, punishment, and criminality of people with mental illness are common. Even casual referencing can have significant and potentially destructive consequences. People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying, and discrimination.The time to start the conversation is now. It is time to open dialogue and engage in destigmatizing messaging and practices. Be part of the conversation – end the stigma.Stacey DonovanChief Development OfficerMental Health Association of Monmouth CountyThis article was first published in the May 31-June 7, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
By Laura D.C. Kolnoski |OCEANPORT – Locating an educational institution on the former Fort Monmouth has long been a goal of the state, county and local agency redeveloping the former U.S. Army base.Last week, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) approved a purchase and sale agreement with KKF University Enterprises, LLC, to buy the fort’s two-story Squier Hall and adjacent complex on Sherrill Avenue in Oceanport, now slated to become a satellite campus of New Jersey City University (NJCU). The school’s main campus is in Jersey City.Developer KKF will pay $2.5 million for the entire parcel, which includes seven buildings on eight acres. The firm will invest a minimum of $10.4 million to renovate approximately 46,000 square feet of the 76,538-square-foot main building and demolish other structures on the property. Space for parking and recreation already exist at the site.KKF is a member company of PRC Group of West Long Branch, a commercial and residential real estate development, property management and construction firm. In business about 60 years, the PRC Group also develops student housing focused on “providing students the opportunity to experience life in a community setting,” according to the company website. Among PRC’s previous projects are Campus Town at The College of New Jersey near Trenton, student housing at The Peddie School in Hightstown and the redevelopment of University Place on New Jersey City University’s (NJCU) Jersey City campus.Following renovations at Squier Hall, built in 1935, the property will be leased to NJCU. Squier Hall, considered a prominent fort building that served as the first permanent Signal Corps laboratory there, is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The purchaser will take “all necessary measures to ensure the National Register historic preservation covenants are observed,” said Bruce Steadman, FMERA executive director, who added the authority has already made recommendations to the purchaser regarding façade designs.South of the Raritan River, the college’s coursework toward bachelor’s and master’s degree completion programs currently takes place at the Wall Higher Education Center – known as NJCU Monmouth – in partnership with Brookdale Community College. Plans are to relocate programs including nursing, national security studies and business to the fort location. The agreement allows for potential development of a residence hall and additional educational buildings to accommodate a student body estimated at up to 800 students.Opened in 1929 as the New Jersey State Normal School, NJCU was renamed New Jersey State Teachers College in 1935, and Jersey City State College in 1958. It’s current status and name change occurred in 1998.The agreement between FMERA and KKF University Enterprises makes it clear the satellite campus’s completion and opening could be at least three years away. Prior to closing, KKF must complete its due diligence and obtain all necessary approvals to develop the project. Accommodations for extensions to three planned construction phases – each to be completed within three years – are built into the agreement.Approximately 58 temporary construction jobs are anticipated, officials said, followed by a minimum of 70 permanent full and part-time jobs to be created within 48 months of closing. As per FMERA rules, the purchaser will incur a penalty of $1,500 for each permanent job not created. KKF will also be responsible for funding a new 2,200-foot sewer main along Sherrill Avenue.KKF University Enterprises was the sole bidder on the site when it was offered for sale in April 2016. Its proposal was evaluated and scored based on established criteria by a FMERA select committee and found to be compliant. The authority’s original master redevelopment plan called for the Squier Hall complex to be redeveloped for an educational, office or high-tech industry use.All prospective purchasers of fort parcels must adhere to FMERA’s established criteria or present a reasonable alternative supported by copious backup data. While most redeveloped fort parcels have adhered to FMERA’s plans, the authority has accepted “outside the box” proposals, as Steadman put it. An example is the coming redevelopment of six barracks buildings into an active arts community proposed by local businessman and art gallery owner Kenneth Schwartz.According to Dave Nuse, FMERA deputy executive director and director of real estate development, 74 percent of the available parcels at the 1,127-acre fort are sold, under contract, in negotiations or entering the process.“Several projects are ready to break this fall and winter,” Steadman said. “The next six to 12 months will be very exciting around here.”This article was first published in the Oct. 4-10, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.