Community Bulletin Board

MEMS team goes to Odyssey world finals

On May 24, seven Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School students traveled to Iowa State University to participate in the world finals of Odyssey of the Mind.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competitions on the local, state and world levels. Thousands of teams from throughout the United States and about 25 other countries participate in the program.

The MEMS team will compete along with teams from all over the world. The children must come up with all of the ideas and do all the work on their own. They are scored on specific requirements and how creative their solution is. They are also given a spontaneous problem that day. The MEMS team participated in “The Jungle Bloke” problem category, which has to include a “bloke” who could convince others he had the ability to talk to animals.

The MEMS team placed first at the regional tournament and first in the state tournament.

The seven members of the team are Devin Alessio, Stefanie Cohen, Greg Gorenc, Kara Higgins, Lindsay Peterson, Kerry Rubenstein and Amy Strauss. The team is coached by Vinay Alessio.

Emergency foster homes needed for kittens, cats

The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking emergency foster homes for cats and kittens to alleviate critical overcrowding conditions at the shelter.

According to the MCSPCA press release, the shelter has exceeded its capacity to house cats due to a series of local cat-hoarding cases that have flooded the shelter with cats and kittens. One such neglect case involved a home with more than 25 cats.

“We are in desperate need of people willing to adopt and/or foster cats,” said Ursula Goetz, MCSPCA executive director. “Killing healthy, adoptable pets is not an option.”

Fostering is approximately a two-month commitment.

The shelter is offering a “two for the price of one” adoption fee, and the shelter also urges current pet owners to have their pets spayed/neutered. MCSPCA offers low-cost spay/neutering to the public.

Anyone interested in fostering or adopting may visit the MCSPCA at 260 Wall St., Eatontown, or call (732) 542-0040 for more information. The MCSPCA adoption hours are 1-5 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, and 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.

Italian American Association barbecue Aug. 27

The Italian American Association of Monmouth County, Freehold, will hold its second annual family barbecue Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold Township.

The cost is $20, $10 for children ages 3-12, and free for children age 2 and younger.

The menu will include chicken, sausage with peppers, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, various salads, and desserts.

Activities include baseball, bocce, face painting, sand art, and other activities.

For more information, call Anthony at (918) 743-3511.

Memory seminar, lunch Sept. 8 in Howell

Dr. Manjula Thopcherla, fellowship trained and board certified in internal and geriatric medicine, will present a seminar on “Maintaining Your Memory” at the Howell Senior Center Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. The seminar, sponsored by Kimball Medical Center, will focus on the issues normal and abnormal memory loss. Dementia, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and prevention strategies, will also be discussed. A free memory test (Mini-Mental State Exam) will be available.

A free lunch will be served following the program, courtesy of Kimball Medical Center, for all who pre-register. Register by calling (732) 938-4500, ext. 2552. Registrations will be accepted through Sept. 5.

For further information about this program or any of the programs and services offered at the Howell Senior Citizens Center, call (732) 938-4500, ext. 2550.

Tour of Thompson Park

open to the community

The Monmouth County Audubon Society will host a tour of Thompson Park, Middletown, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. The public is welcome and admission is free.

Thompson Park includes 665 acres of trails, fishing and other recreation areas. Audubon volunteers will explain migration, what attracts birds to particular locations, and how to identify some of the “confusing fall warblers,” a group of songbirds whose plumage appears very similar.

Anyone interested in participating in the event should arrive by 8 a.m. in the parking area by Marlu Lake, the entrance to which is on Route 520/Newman Springs Road across from Christian Brothers Academy; do not use the main park entrance.

Participants should bring binoculars and field guides and should dress appropriately for the weather. The walk will take place rain or shine; severe weather may alter plans, however. Pets are not permitted.

Further information can be obtained by calling (732) USA-BIRD (872-2473), visiting the Audubon Web site at, or via e-mail at

Scholarships available for conservation majors

The New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts will award two $1,000 scholarships in November. All applicants must be a New Jersey resident; a full-time student in good standing at an accredited college; have successfully completed at least four full semesters of study by the fall of 2006; and be an undergraduate enrolled in a major curriculum of agriculture or natural resource conservation, including agricultural education, agronomy, environmental engineering, environmental science, forestry, geography, journalism, plant science, soil science, wildlife or fisheries management and other related majors.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 23; applications can be obtained by contacting Freehold Soil Conservation District at (732) 683-8500 or visiting the Web site

BCC to feature work by Holmdel photographer

Brookdale Community College invites the public to view “Multi-media Images,” the latest photography exhibit by Holmdel photographer, Margaret Coston, at the Western Monmouth Branch campus, 3680 Route 9 south, Freehold.

Her show will run through Sept. 29. Monday through Thursday exhibit hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The community is invited to a “Meet the Artist” reception, Sept. 19 from 5-7 p.m.

Coston’s work was selected to be shown at the 2006 Monmouth Council of the Arts, Juried Show at the Monmouth Museum, Lincroft. She recently exhibited at the Middletown Township Public Library.

She is currently studying with the New York Institute of Photography, N.Y., and is an official photographer for the NYIP magazine, “Photo World.”

The photographs will be on display in room 101. For more information, call (732) 625-7005.

Program on butterflies

at Red Bank church

Nature photographer Patti Murray will be the guest speaker at the Monmouth County Audubon Society meeting Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. The meeting will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, White Street, Red Bank. The public is welcome; admission is free.

Murray’s presentation, “Jewels on Plants Become New Jersey Butterflies,” will show images of local butterflies and identify plants that provide essential nectar for the adult butterflies and food for the caterpillars.

The Monmouth County Audubon Society meets the second Wednesday of each month, September through May, at Trinity Episcopal Church. Guest speakers address a wide variety of nature-related topics, and refreshments are provided. The group sponsors at least one field trip per month, and members receive The Osprey, the club’s bimonthly newsletter.

Further information can be obtained by calling (732) USA-BIRD (872-2473), visiting its Web site at, or via e-mail at

Ahavat Achim open house Aug. 27

Congregation Ahavat Achim will hold an open house for prospective new members Aug. 27 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Ahavat Achim is located at 106 Windeler Road (off Route 9, a short distance from the Land O’Pines School), Howell. Those who attend will have the opportunity to meet Rabbi Michael Klein, Temple President Larry Gurman, Sisterhood and Men’s Club presidents, teachers from the Hebrew School and Sunday school, and take a tour of the synagogue building and grounds.

Refreshments will be served. Call the Synagogue office at (732) 367-1677 for directions and information.

Bowlers sought for adult mixed league

The Greater Monmouth County Chapter of Women’s American ORT is looking for bowlers for a Saturday night monthly adult mixed bowling league. The league bowls the third Saturday of the month at Howell Lanes, 1002 Route 9, beginning Sept. 16, and can accommodate whole teams or individuals. For more information, call Cindy at (732) 409-3742.

Women’s American ORT is a nonprofit charitable organization that strengthens the worldwide community by empowering people to achieve economic self-sufficiency through technological and vocational education. New members are always welcome. For more information about ORT, call Andrea at (732) 536-7362.

ALS group offers support to friends and family

An ALS Resource Group specifically designed to help residents of Monmouth-Ocean deal with the challenges of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis will meet the first Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank. Sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Association in collaboration with the Joan Dancy Foundation, the support group will meet to allow family, friends and patients with ALS, a fatal neuromuscular disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, to share and receive information beyond that of a customary clinic visit. Free to ALS patients and caregivers, the Monmouth-Ocean Resource Group also features guest experts who address a wide range of pertinent topics, including physical therapy and synthetic speech devices. Patricia Schaeffer, RN, will serve as meeting facilitator. For directions or additional information, call: (570) 403-0416.

Local student attends program in Washington, D.C.

Stephen Fung of Morganville, a student at High Technology High School, Lin croft, attended the Presidential Classroom’s National Security Program recently in Washington, D.C. Participants explored the role of the government, military and private sector in planning and executing defense and homeland security policy.

The National Security in a Democracy program offers students a look at the national security process. The program investigates the chain of command and coordination of intelligence gathering and policing from all agencies.

During the week-long program, students interacted with Washington insiders, including members of Congress, senior military officials, business leaders and journalists. Students observed Congress in action, visited their congressional offices and debated current issues with peers from the U.S. and abroad.

The program seeks exceptional high school juniors or seniors who are involved with their community and school, to prepare young leaders for responsible citizenship and provide the opportunity to explore the political process firsthand.

Cub Scouts to host information session

Cub Scout Information Night will be held Sept. 12, sponsored by Cub Scout Pack 155 of Freehold, for any parent or guardian of a boy who likes the outdoors, enjoys helping others and loves to have fun.

Boys in kindergarten through fourth grade, and their families, are invited to attend the session at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of West Freehold School, 100 Castronova Way, Freehold Township.

The program features games for the boys, an information session for the parents and guardians, and the opportunity to meet with current Scouts and leaders. No registration is required.

Those who are interested in Scouting but are unable to attend the session can contact Karis at (732) 577-9250, or Stacey (732) 409-1176.

Officer and canine

complete training course

Sheriff’s Officer Thomas Duda and K-9 “Rocky” recently completed a 12-week training course conducted by the New Jersey State Police Canine Training Academy, receiving certification in explosive detection. The Canine Training School graduation was held at the New Jersey State Police Technology Center, Hamilton Township.