Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Even before the Class of 2015 arrives on campus for its senior year, Saint Martin’s University is working to help its members glide smoothly into life after graduation.While four or more years of education provide the knowledge and experiences to succeed in a particular career, many students get through their senior year without an essential – job-search skills. Through “Saints Have a Plan,” an innovative program masterminded by Ann Adams, the University’s associate dean of students and director of career development, seniors are learning the “how-to’s” in a timely manner.“College and University career centers have always offered this help,” she says. “We want students to have a plan before they are out there looking for work. With Saints Have a Plan, we’re just making it fun by packaging it and incentivizing it.”The inspiration for “the plan” came to Adams as she considered a troubling fact: Although the University’s Career Center offers an extensive array of resources and assistance to help seniors poised to transition out of college, many fail to take advantage of them until they are about to graduate, if at all. Others want to begin the process but are overwhelmed by the complexity of job-searching.In 2013, almost half of Saint Martin’s graduating seniors were job-searching at the time of graduation, missing the optimum time to get support, says the nine-year Career Center veteran.“The ideal time for them to start job-hunting is much earlier, when they can attend job fairs, get help developing resumes and start networking with potential job sources. Everyone wants to help students and offer them advice and referrals, but it is different when they become one of hundreds of job-seekers.”Last February, Adams e-mailed seniors an invitation to the new program that included a form about their post-graduation plans. The idea was to encourage students with no particular plan to get started, she said. As those without a plan developed one, they were awarded raffle tickets. Steps in the plan included listing grad schools or employers where the student was applying, getting their resume and cover letters spruced up, and creating a LinkedIn profile to enable networking online. When their plan was done, they earned a T-shirt and other goodies. The campaign was a community effort, with professors who joined in wearing “plan” T-shirts and donating class time for Career Center staff to introduce the event. Offices donated services, gift cards and baskets, the Saint Martin’s Alumni Association sponsored tee-shirts, and local merchants contributed generous raffle prizes.Adams said 67 percent of seniors completed a plan, a high number, given some seniors completed their degrees in December and were no longer at school.Buoyed by the pilot program’s success, Saints Have a Plan will roll out again this year. Seniors completing their academic coursework in December will develop plans this fall, and those finishing coursework in May or August will submit plans beginning in January. Adams is also hoping to find additional sponsors to help build the program.In July, Adams shared information about her new program with colleagues at the national conference of the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas.“The presentation went very well and drew a great deal of interest from career counselors – even faculty from St. Mary’s dropped in after seeing the topic on the program,” she says.
Democrat To Focus On EconomyBy John BurtonMIDDLETOWN – It’s about a year-and-a-half away before New Jersey residents cast a vote for their next governor and probably quite a while before voters start thinking seriously about that election. But it isn’t too early to campaign and announce one’s candidacy, believes Monmouth County’s own Philip D. Murphy, who has thrown his hat into that ring.Businessman and former U.S. ambassador to Germany, Murphy, 58, a Middletown resident, and Democrat, who at the time of his announcement last week was the first declared Democratic candidate for the 2017 gubernatorial contest, a race to determine who will succeed two-term Republican Chris Christie.Despite the fact that the race is a long way away–and probably most people, if they’re thinking about politics at all, have their attention fixed on the presidential race escapades—Murphy and his family decided it was the opportune time to break out of the starting gate.“If we can in a small way get to a better debate, get the state back on its feet sooner rather than later,” Murphy said in an interview with The Two River Times this week about his announcement, “I want to be part of that.”Murphy has had a successful career in business, having worked for about 20 years for Goldman Sachs multinational investment banking firm, holding a number of positions with the company. Before ending his full-time career with the company’s management in 2003, Murphy headed up the company’s Frankfurt, Germany, operations as well as other high-placed spots level positions. He has also been active on a number of philanthropic and civic fronts, establishing with his wife, Tammy, a teen helpline called 2nd Floor, for 180 Turning Lives Around, an organization that assists victims of domestic and sexual violence and their families, and working with other charitable organizations over the years; Murphy had been for a period the organization’s board president. He has also co-chaired Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future, a national task force studying public education; and Richard Codey, while serving as acting governor in 2005, selected Murphy to head up a task force looking at public service pensions and health benefits.Murphy hasn’t held elected office but has dabbled in national politics. He served as national finance chair for the Democratic National Committee under then-chairman Howard Dean (who, Murphy said, he considers a friend) from 2006 to 2009. According to his bio provided by the campaign, Murphy raised in the neighborhood of $300 million over that period for the national political party.Following his tenure with the DNC, President Barack Obama nominated Murphy to be the Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, and with the U.S. Senate’s approval, Murphy served in that posting from 2009 until 2013.Going forward with the campaign Murphy said, “The economy is ‘job one’ in this state.”He pointed out New Jersey’s unemployment rate remains high compared to the rest of the region (and higher as the national percentage); employment hasn’t recouped yet from 2007, prior to the “Great Recession”; New Jersey has one of the highest percentage of long term unemployed (more than six months) of any state; and, Murphy said, we lead the nation in “zombie foreclosures”—where homeowners have walked away from their properties.“Those are just the facts. I wish they weren’t but they are,” he said.With a background in the private sector, in international economies, of “What works, what doesn’t,” as well as an appreciation for the public sector’s ability, Murphy maintained he has the right stuff to create jobs and right the New Jersey ship after eight years of Christie.The next governor, Murphy is convinced, needs to be “prepared to make decisions based upon what’s best for the next generation,” as opposed to “what’s best for his or her next election.”“Too many, it seems on both sides of the aisle, just kick the can down the road, borrowing from our kids’ future to make up for the lack of discipline today,” he added. “We need a leader who says enough, stop, we’re not doing that anymore.”Murphy is the youngest of four kids, growing up in a working class family outside of Boston, Massachusetts. His family were loyal Democrats, where John and Robert Kennedy were revered. Those were his roots, the commitment to hard work and the belief that the Democratic Party is dedicated to helping all, especially the middle class improve their lives, which they believe benefits the whole country, Murphy maintained. “No matter how much success I’ve had in the private and public sector,” he said, “nothing has taken me off of that set.“That’s where I started and that’s where I remain.”The campaign is just getting under way but Murphy has begun the process of reaching out, attending events, working the phones to raise money and heighten his visibility.With no incumbent, before too much longer he’ll undoubtedly have announced competition for the party’s nomination. Other names purportedly considering testing the political waters are political warhorses state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, from Gloucester County; Union County’s Senator Raymond Lesniak (whose announcement he wouldn’t be running for re-election to the Senate is seen as precipitating his run for the governor’s office) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, from Middlesex County. Also considering joining the fray on the Democratic side is Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who had also previously worked for Goldman Sachs.On the GOP side, Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown, in Burlington County, has expressed an interest in running, while Ocean County businessman Joseph Rudy Rullo has begun campaigning, establishing a Facebook page. And there is incumbent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, apparently considering a bid for her boss’s job, as is state Senator Tom Kean Jr., who represents the 21st Legislative District in Morris County and is the son of Gov. Tom Kean.
By Chris Rotolo |ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS –A recent Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners meeting was overrun with more than 100 motivated members of Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation (NWP), a community group that has dedicated itself to safeguarding the last stretch of undeveloped beachfront on the Sandy Hook Bay.The coveted plot – referred to as the McConnell Tract after its owner Arthur “Bud” McConnell – is currently the bustling hub of the Sandy Hook Catamaran Club, as well as the headquarters of Blackfoot Mobile Marine Services. But the preservation group says its future is being threatened by an application to construct 21 homes on the property, currently before the borough planning board.Nearly 30 NWP members pleaded with the recreation commissioners for assistance in their fight for conservation, while the group’s founder, Benson Chiles, presented two architectural renderings of what the site could look like as a public park.The board pledged a joint statement in support the citizen group, but board member Michael G. Harmon questioned whether borough leaders had the political will to make a difference.“It’s the mayor and council that have to decide whether or not they are in favor of preservation. And if they are, then they should come out and say that,” said Harmon, an Atlantic Highlands resident. “It’s obviously important to this group of residents that came before us. Now it’s up to the town leaders. These situations often come down to the political will of the town.”County Freeholder deputy director and board liaison Lillian G. Burry, echoed a similar sentiment, called for borough leadership to stand with their constituency.“I’d like to see your elected officials support your efforts for this project,” Burry said. “That would carry a lot of weight and could conceivably form a partnership between the town and the county. Things like this have been done before. I encourage their involvement because you have an excellent request and it shouldn’t go for naught.”Borough residents lauded the property as a local point of access to Sandy Hook Bay waters, a boat launch for Catamaran Club members and nonmembers alike, as well as a scenic, walkable expanse with a clear view of nearby Sandy Hook and the stunning New York City skyline.Children and young adults who crafted signs reading “S.O.S. Save Our Shores” spoke of their experiences interacting with wildlife, playing with friends and joining the active sailing community on site, which has helped them develop a skill as well as friendships.James Krauss, Atlantic Highlands Environmental Commission chair, likened this situation to that of the former Giuliani Tract, another selection of waterfront property once located on First Avenue near the borough’s storied harbor, which has since been turned into a parking lot for Seastreak ferry commuters.“Unfortunately we lost that fight, but we don’t want that to happen again to the last piece of undeveloped land on the waterfront. It’s too important,” said Krauss, who pledged the use of environmental commission funds to help the county acquire the seven-acre plot.Though NWP and the board will stand against the development project, time is of the essence, as Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny confirmed that a planning board hearing on the application – submitted by Matawan real estate development company Denholtz Associates – is scheduled for July 12.“We’re going to fight this until the bitter end and take it as far as we can,” said Chiles, who works professionally as a strategic consultant for various conservation organizations. “Right now our goal is to create a path for the county to acquire the property. The timeline is tight, but under the direction of (Monmouth County Park System director) Jim Truncer, the freeholders and this board of commissioners, this process can move quickly if they want it to.”This article first appeared in the June 21 – 28, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2016)–Halo Farms’ front-running Danzing Candy cruised to an impressive two length win under Mike Smith in Saturday’s Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Clifford Sise, the lightly raced Kentucky-bred colt by Twirling Candy got 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.04 and picked up 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, assuring him of a berth in the Run for the Roses on May 7.“He warmed up great, he was on his toes,” said Smith. “Our game plan was to put him on the lead unless he didn’t jump out of there well. We didn’t want to experiment…I left there very aggressive and he didn’t get away with anything (slow fractions). If you go 22 on this track today, you’re smokin’. And for him to hold off the caliber of horses he held off, was very impressive.”Bred by Ted Aroney’s Halo Farms and owned by Halo Farms and Jim and Diane Bashor, Danzing Candy paid $13.00, $5.20 and $3.40. A maiden special weight winner two starts back on Dec. 26, Danzing Candy was a 5 ¾ length allowance winner here on Feb. 4 and thus picked up his third win from four starts. With the winner’s share of $240,000, he increased his earnings to $308,650.“I expected him to be on the lead,” said Sise. “We didn’t want to experiment in this race. Mike just said, ‘I’ll let him come out the first few jumps and if he’s there, he’s there. If somebody sends, he’ll sit second.“He (broke) much better today. He’s good now. We’ll stay for the Santa Anita Derby (Grade I, $1 million at 1 1/8 miles April 9). He’s three for three on this track. Why would we change now? I don’t see any reason to, but you never know. You’ve got to leave that up to the owners.”Ridden by Gary Stevens, favored Mor Spirit appeared to get a bit rank around the Club House turn, but settled readily down the backside when next to last going past the half mile pole. With a cue from Stevens, he picked it up between horses around the far turn, rallied well, while within himself for second money and galloped out on terms with the winner past the wire.Off at 8-5 in a field of six Derby hopefuls, Mor Spirit paid $3.40 and $2.20.“I’m very happy, because he was way too keen in the early part of the race, he was really fresh…” said Stevens. “He was super sharp. As I was coming into the lane, I knew I wasn’t going to catch the winner, but I knew we had to get some (Kentucky Derby) points. I like where we’re sitting for the Santa Anita Derby. I lost a battle today, but I like our position. Bob (Baffert) was happy, so I’m happy…He’ll settle a little better for me in the Santa Anita Derby.Exaggerator, who is trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by his brother, Kent, was content to lag early and picked it up in eye-catching fashion heading into the far turn as he skimmed the rail, but he flattened out late, finishing three quarters of length behind Mor Spirit.The second wagering choice at 2-1, Exaggerator paid $2.40 to show.With the winner getting 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, the second, third and fourth place finishers earned 20, 10 and five points respectively.Danzing Candy set fractions of 22.96, 46.11, 1:11.04 and 1:36.38 over a main track that although was listed as fast, had been dulled by heavy afternoon rains on Friday. 1-2-3 FINISHERS HEADED TO GRADE I, $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA DERBY ON APRIL 9