Owners celebrated the opening of a new gift shop on the 900 block of Asbury Avenue Tuesday morning with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony.The Spotted Whale is located at 943 Asbury Avenue.Anne Pecora started the shop in Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island, and had brought her children to Ocean City for years. She said when she began to look for a second location, Ocean City was a natural choice.The shop fills a spot that had been formerly occupied by the Butterfly Boutique (now at 1119 Asbury), among other stores. It had been vacant since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the property owners did a major renovation before the new tenants moved in.Pecora says the shop’s inventory focuses on coastal living and generally to the homeowner, but in the season, visitors can find gifts and items to bring home. She said the shop can provide custom orders.For more information, visit the Spotted Whale website or Facebook page.__________Sign up for free Ocean City news updates from OCNJ Daily.Follow us on Facebook. City, Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants representatives join Anne Pecora (center with scissors) and staff in opening the Spotted Whale on the 900 block of Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, NJ.
This time of the year, everyone is thinking of decking the halls with hollies and their colorful red berries, but you just may want to consider adding a touch of gold. Can you even imagine hollies with bright golden berries? These would show out in the landscape like small trees or shrubs adorned with a thousand little golden lights — and the same for the mantel! My preference, however, would be to see birds celebrating with a Christmas feast.Here at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens (CCBG) at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia, we are like the holly headquarters for the low country. We’ve got the imports, the hybrids and fantastic natives that most have never seen. Two of my favorites are outstanding deciduous natives; the possumhaw (Ilex decidua) and the winterberry (Ilex verticillata).The possumhaw is native to 19 states from Texas to Illinois, eastward to Maryland and everywhere south. The possumhaw has been known to feed nine species of birds, including the beloved bobwhite quail. The winterberry, on the other hand, is native to a much larger area, including 33 states and much of Canada. It feeds at least 20 species of birds and has been in cultivation since 1736. That makes it heirloom status in my book.Please don’t let the fact that these holly varieties are deciduous discourage you from trying them in the landscape, because when the leaves diminish or fall, the berries are even more dazzling. As you are probably guessing, both the winterberry and the possumhaw have superior selection in both red and golden berry form.‘Finch’s Gold’ is the selection of possumhaw holly that we are growing, and your first thought may have been that it gets its name from the bird you may see devouring the fruit. The truth is that it is named for Bill Finch, who discovered it in Mobile, Alabama. This terrific plant is cold hardy from zones 5 through 9 and can form a small tree 12 to 15 feet in height with a spread of 10 feet. We are also growing ‘Warren’s Red,’ a superior selection that loads up with uncountable red berries.Our winterberry hollies are more shrub-like, reaching 5 to 8 feet in height. The winterberry is more cold hardy with zones from 3 to 9. We are growing ‘Winter Red’ and ‘Winter Gold,’ both of which offer staggering beauty with their colorful fruit.Possumhaws and winterberries are easy to grow and good nurseries normally have them. Regardless of the varieties you choose, plant in sun to partial sun and in the same places you might plant a crape myrtle. Use them to frame entryways for special accents or along driveways and around the patio. Anywhere the landscape looks drab in the winter is a great place for the possum haw or winterberry holly to brighten. It is always a good idea to include a male variety in close proximity to ensure maximum berry production. One well-known horticulturist said that you could garden for 12 lifetimes and never see an insect or disease bothering the plant. In most years, however, our berries are stripped by cedar waxwings, American robins or mockingbirds, which always seem to stake a claim. These pests will most likely cause a family celebration and bring out the cameras.This winter and spring, when you are at your garden center choosing new trees or shrubs, look for hollies loaded with fruit and bearing no leaves — you just may strike gold with a great selection of one of our native species. To learn more about the Coastal Botanical Gardens, visit http://www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/ and follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru.
“The goal of the MST is not only to provide surgical assistance to the local population but also to provide relief to hospitals that may be overwhelmed with patients,” said Capt. William Ang Abrigo, surgical nurse. “We are here to provide quality medical care to the patients, as well as to build a working relationship with our Honduran counterparts.” The training hospital allows the team to work with surgical students and teach new techniques they may not have been exposed to. For example, on this occasion, the surgical team partnered with a third year medical student to perform three surgeries during the MEDRETE at Hospital Escuela. By Dialogo May 06, 2013 When the MST visits hospitals in the community they travel with everything they need to complete the mission. All the instruments and drugs are packed and ready to go. This allows the team to setup anywhere to complete the mission. “We free up their surgical teams to take care of other patients,” said Boggs. “One of the patients had a dead bowel; we had to do the surgery that night or he would not have made it to morning.” “The hospital staff and our Honduran counterparts were hungry for the knowledge and for the insights we provided them,” said Capt. Shawn Fahey, MST nurse anesthetist. Surgical MEDRETES allow the MST to exercise their surgical skills while providing relief to the saturated medical staff at Hospital Escuela. The MST, assigned to the Medical Element at JTF-B, performs weekly surgical medical readiness training exercises (MEDRETE) in Comayagua and La Paz, while visiting Tegucigalpa on a monthly basis. “It was a great opportunity for us to team with our Honduran counterparts and to instruct the students during their surgical rotation,” said Maj. Boggs, MST surgeon. “We not only taught the student, we also learned from her as well.” When the team is in surgery they work alongside Honduran medical staff sharing knowledge and techniques. On April 23, Joint Task Force-Bravo’s (JTF-B) Mobile Surgical Team (MST) partnered with the Hospital Escuela, a training hospital in Tegucigalpa, to teach and perform much needed surgeries as part of a commitment to building partnership capacity. The trip to Tegucigalpa was a huge success,” said Boggs. “The hospital called us 24 hours later and requested we come back as soon as possible.” We would love to get in touch with mst in order to transfer their experiences to the central hospital of our armed forces. It’s important, since we have edited a book on operational medicine and we have published several articles considered to be of academic interest.