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June 2012

May 2012

Grilling and Food Safety


The picnic and barbeque season traditionally begins on Memorial Day weekend. To protect yourself, your family, and friends from food borne illness, practice safe food handling techniques when eating outdoors. Keep these tips in mind when preparing, storing, and cooking food for picnics and barbecues.

When You Transport Food 

  •  Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be held at or below 40°F.
  • Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another. 
  •  Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while it is still frozen so that it stays colder longer. Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped so their juices don't contaminate cooked foods or foods eaten raw such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Packaged fruits and vegetables labeled "ready-to-eat," "washed," or "triple washed" need not be washed. 
  •  Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.
  • Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel.
  • Keep the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of your car, rather than in a hot trunk. Limit the times the cooler is opened.

Before You Begin 

  •  Food safety begins with hand-washing even in outdoor settings. And it can be as simple as using a water jug, some soap, and paper towels.
  • Consider using moist disposable towelettes for cleaning your hands. 
  •  Keep all utensils and platters clean when preparing food. Safe Grilling Tips
  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion separately before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Don't reuse marinade.
  • Don't use the same platter and utensils that previously held raw meat or seafood to serve cooked meats and seafood.
  • If you partially cook food in the microwave, oven, or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.
  •  When it's time to cook the food, cook it thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to be sure. 
  •  Beef, veal, and lamb steaks and roasts-145°F for medium rare, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well done. 
  •  Ground pork and ground beef-160°F. 
  •  Ground poultry-165°F. 
  •  Poultry breasts-170°F.
  •  Whole poultry (take measurement in the thigh)-180°F. 
  •  Fin fish-145°F or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork. 
  •  Shrimp, lobster, and crabs-the meat should be pearly and opaque. 
  •  Clams, oysters, and mussels-until the shells are open.
  •  Grilled food can be kept hot until served by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals where it can overcook.

When You Serve Food

  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. 
  •  Do not use a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for anything else unless the plate has first been washed in hot, soapy water. 
  •  Hot food should be kept hot, at or above 140°F. Wrap well and place in an insulated container.
  •  Foods like chicken salad and desserts in individual serving dishes can also be placed directly on ice, or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently. 
  •  Don't let perishable food sit out longer than 2 hours.
  • Food should not sit out for more than 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F

Atlantic Highlands Arts Alliance "Live on First" Fridays
Atlantic Highlands, NJ... The Atlantic Highlands Arts Alliance welcomes "Live on First" Fridays, in Atlantic Highlands beginning June 1 and ending October 5, 2012. The first scheduled "Live on First" Fridays will begin at 3:00pm in Veterans Park at the Farmers' Market, ending at 6:00pm as the Market closes. The "Live on First" Fridays will then continue after 6:00pm on First Ave. in the Courtyard at the Blue Bay Inn, 51 First Ave, until 9:00pm.

Atlantic Highlands, a quaint Victorian town, with a strong and growing Arts Council, attracts local residents and visitors to its numerous events and programs throughout the year, highlighting many of the talented local artists. "Live on First" Fridays is another great opportunity to feel the "arts" in Atlantic Highlands, an event enjoyed by the entire family.

Chuck Lero, President of the Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce, advises individuals to go to the Chamber website at www.atlantichighlands,org for a schedule of musical groups and activities for the Friday events. Chuck also says that many of our local businesses will stay open later than usual to accommodate visitors and residents in our town.

AH Arts Alliance (AHAA) is a collaboration between businesses, artists, social organizations and local government to enhance the thriving Atlantic Highlands Arts scene. The AH Arts Alliance was formed in 2011.

For further information, please contact Robert O'Connor at The Painted Frame at 732-291-0100, or email Robert at [email protected], or contact the Chamber office at 732 872-8711, or email the Chamber office at [email protected].



While forecasting methods and tools are improving year after year, people are still at great risk to tropical storms and hurricanes because they continue to build along the coastline. The following is a list of helpful hints that you can use before hurricane season, when a watch or warning is issued, before, during, and after a tropical storm, or hurricane strikes your area.


  • Enter the season prepared. 
  •  Know all evacuation routes if you live close to the coast. 
  •  Make sure your home meets building codes for withstanding hurricanes, and they have storm shutters. 
  •  Have proper tools, supplies, and a first aid kit.
  • Have plenty of batteries and flashlights ü Always have plenty of non-perishable foods on hand.


  • Leave low lying areas. 
  •  Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters. 
  •  Secure outside objects. ü Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water. 
  •  Have several days supply of food and water for each family member.
  •  If called to evacuate, do so immediately.


  • Be ready to put your plan and preparation into action.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, television, or the internet.
  • Have house boarded up, or have storm shutters in place.
  •  Have plenty of food and water.
  • Make sure all your tools, supplies, and first aid kit available for use. 
  •  Have a secure room available.


  • Stay in Secure Room.
  • Stay away from windows. 
  •  Do not use the phone, or candles.
  • Monitor Weather and Public Safety alerts on regular and NOAA radios.
  • Have supplies on hand.
  • Remain indoors when the eye moves over your area because the storm will resume shortly.


  • Make sure that all is definitely clear outside, and the storm has completely passed before going out.
  • Report downed power lines, and stay away from them.
  • Use stored water and food.
  • Be patient. Things will take a while before they get back to normal.



5 Places Where Prices Are Expected to Rise Most

Housing markets that have seen some of the biggest drop in home prices since the housing peak are now poised for recovery in the next two years, according to a new report by Fiserv. The bargains in these cities are attracting buyer attention and expected to drive up home prices in the coming year. Fiserv forecasts that the following five cities will see some of the biggest growths in home prices by the end of 2013:

1. Madera, Calif. Median home price: $125,000 2013 forecast for home prices: 21.5% increase

2. Medford, Ore. Median home price: $144,000 2013 forecast for home prices: 20.1% increase

3. Yuma, Ariz. Median home price: $105,000 2013 forecast for home prices: 16.7% increase

4. Corvallis, Ore. Median home price: $224,000 2013 forecast for home prices: 13.2% increase

 5. Eugene, Ore. Median home price: $166,000 2013 forecast for home prices: 12.4% increase


Find out what other cities made Fiserv’s rebounding home price list.


Source: “Where Home Prices Are Rising Fastest,” CNNMoney (May 2012)

5 DIY Projects to Increase Sales Value by More Than $10,000

5 DIY Projects to Increase Sales Value by More Than $10,000

On April 30, 2012, in Home Trends, Remodeling Adviser, Staging Tips, by Melissa Tracey

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to improve a home and make it more sellable, according to HomeGain’s 2012 National Home Improvement Survey.

HomeGain surveyed nearly 500 real estate professionals nationwide to determine the top do-it-yourself home improvement projects that offers some of the biggest bang for your buck when selling a home.

“In a buyer’s market, sellers need to dress their homes for success before putting them on the market,” says Louis Cammarosano, HomeGain’s general manager. The survey shows “that do-it-yourself home improvements like cleaning and de-cluttering and lightening and brightening your home are cost-effective ways of increasing your chances of selling faster and closing closer to the asking price than homes rushed to the market with no improvements.”

5 DIY Projects to Increase Sales Value by More Than $10,000.

Abandoned, Deteriorating Homes … Just Let Them Burn?

Abandoned, Deteriorating Homes … Just Let Them Burn?

On May 7, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Melissa Tracey

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Foreclosures left abandoned for weeks, months, or years at a time can take a big toll on nearby home values. In the end, everyone in a neighborhood can feel the fallout.

Can some of these foreclosures be saved? Investors in recent weeks are certainly snapping up foreclosures in bulk and turning them into profitable rentals. But what about some of the foreclosures left lingering … the ones that no one seems to want?

A Morgan Stanley’s analyst recently estimated that nearly 95 percent of distressed homes are in such bad shape and not even suitable for renting.

In Detroit, which has been plagued by foreclosed homes the last few years, firefighters there are proposing a controversial new plan: Let the homes burn.

Abandoned, Deteriorating Homes … Just Let Them Burn?.