Episcopal Urban Caucus issues statement against violence

first_img Rector Bath, NC Youth Minister Lorton, VA George Floyd Statements TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Submit a Job Listing Rector Albany, NY AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Submit an Event Listing Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Featured Jobs & Calls Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Posted Apr 21, 2021 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Press Release Service Rector Pittsburgh, PA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Tags Rector Washington, DC Rector Hopkinsville, KY Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Tampa, FL Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Course Director Jerusalem, Israel The Episcopal Urban Caucus, in its commitment to equality, inclusion and peace in our urban areas, decries and denounces the ongoing violence that persists in our cities. We especially oppose the systemic abuse of power against our Black and Brown brothers and sisters during this time of racial reckoning in America. We condemn the unchecked state sanctioned misconduct by officials who continue to disenfranchise, abuse and oppress people of color.While we give thanks that in the case of George Floyd there is accountability, we know that until the demand for a systemic change is louder than the desire to maintain the status quo, Black and Brown children of God will continue to suffer at the hands of those who fail to see humanity in all whom they meet. To that end we call on all people of good will  to demonstrate in both actions and words that this pervasive, horrific abuse of power must cease.The Episcopal Urban Caucus will continue to speak up, speak out, and do our part to name and respond to injustice against God’s people.The Board of Directors of the Episcopal Urban Caucus (as listed below):Nell Braxton Gibson, New YorkThe Rev. Sheldon Hamblin, New YorkThe Rev Glenna Huber, District of ColumbiaElisabeth Jacobs, New YorkThe Rev. Charles Lane, IowaBarbara K. Larsen, IllinoisJustin Merrick, TennesseeDiane B. Pollard, New YorkThe Hon. Byron Rushing, MassachusettsVelva Wright, New JerseyThe Rev. Charles A. Wynder, Jr, New Hampshire Episcopal Urban Caucus issues statement against violence Rector Collierville, TN Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Belleville, IL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Featured Events Director of Music Morristown, NJ Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Submit a Press Release Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TNlast_img read more

Togolese authorities urged to lift newspaper’s four-month suspension

first_img TogoAfrica Condemning abuses ImpunityFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment Togo court upholds “baseless and disproportionate” newspaper closures Follow the news on Togo News March 8, 2021 Togolese authorities urged to lift newspaper’s four-month suspension News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Togolese authorities to rescind the unjustified four-month suspension that the High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC) has imposed on L’Alternative, an investigative biweekly, for allegedly defaming a government minister. The HAAC ordered the suspension following a hearing on 4 February, two days after the newspaper published an article describing the minister of urbanism, housing and land reform as a “forger” because, it said, he used forged documents when administering the property of the family of a recently-deceased wealthy businessman.The HAAC accused the L’Alternative of insulting the minister in the article and of producing no evidence in support of its claims at the hearing.This is not only disputed by the editor but also by one of the HAAC’s own members, Zeus Komi Aziadouv, who published a letter disowning the decision. The HAAC “did not remain true to what took place at the hearing” and instead satisfied the minister’s request for the newspaper to be sanctioned, Aziadouv wrote.L’Alternative editor Ferdinand Ayité meanwhile published a long letter detailing both what took place at the hearing and all of the newspaper’s research before publishing the article, including its attempts to get a response from the minister.“A disgruntled minister complains about an article, the journalist provides a detailed account of the serious research that went into it, and yet a long suspension is imposed on the newspaper,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “Like the editor himself, we call for this decision to be rescinded, which follows several controversial sanctions against Togolese media outlets. We also urge the authorities to increase the HAAC’s independence so that its decisions are those of a fair and impartial regulator.”When reached by RSF, Ayité described the suspension as “arbitrary,” accused the HAAC of discrediting itself “to the point of falsifying its own hearings in order to gratify a minister,” and said he had referred the HAAC’s “excessive power” to the supreme court. “We are awaiting a decision even if it is hard to trust Togolese justice,” he added.Defending the suspension when reached by RSF, HAAC president Willybronde Telou accused Ayité of lacking the qualifications to be a journalist and dismissed all the newspapers criticizing the HAAC as “rags.”Last November, L’Alternative and its editor were fined 4 million CFA francs (just over 6,000 euros) for allegedly defaming officials in a sensational article in June claiming that several ministers and other senior officials were embezzling vast amounts of money from the importation of petroleum products.At the start January, the HAAC banned the Indépendant Express weekly newspaper outright for nothing more than a report claiming that ministers had stolen “golden spoons” at a reception. Immediately prior to this extremely severe sanction, the weekly’s editor, Carlos Ketohou, was detained illegally for five days over the same article.Togo is ranked 71st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Convicting “petrolgate” journalist of defamation would be disastrous, RSF says News Receive email alertscenter_img Organisation June 15, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information March 11, 2021 Find out more TogoAfrica Condemning abuses ImpunityFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment News to go further RSF_en September 15, 2020 Find out more Le directeur de publication du journal togolais l’Alternative, Ferdinand Ayité. Photo Facebook. last_img read more

Outreach Could Help 400,000 ‘Needlessly Delinquent’ Borrowers

first_img Previous: ‘Good Time to Sell’ Sentiment Climbing Next: ‘Relentless’ Storm Season Puts 300,000 More Homes in Danger The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News  Print This Post Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles About Author: Christina Hughes Babb 2020-10-07 Christina Hughes Babb October 7, 2020 1,345 Views Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Outreach Could Help 400,000 ‘Needlessly Delinquent’ Borrowers Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Outreach Could Help 400,000 ‘Needlessly Delinquent’ Borrowers Although the CARES Act has made it possible for homeowners to defer mortgage payments for up to a year, some 400,000 borrowers are not taking advantage of these forbearance programs and have thus become delinquent, estimates the Urban Institute.”To take advantage of forbearance, borrowers need only attest to the fact that they have a pandemic-related financial hardship. But not all eligible borrowers have taken advantage of forbearance and have become needlessly delinquent,” wrote Urban Institute’s Senior Research Associate Michael Neal and Vice President, Housing Finance Policy Laurie Goodman.They continue, “These borrowers may not know they are eligible for forbearance or do know but wrongly fear having to make ‘double payments’ when the forbearance period ends. To provide information and support to these borrowers, it is important to understand who they are.”Some of their research derives from the latest forbearance reports, initially from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Here are some of the Urban Institute authors’ findings:There is no difference in borrowers’ creditworthiness—”We found virtually no difference in the credit scores of the needlessly delinquent borrowers and the 559,506 delinquent borrowers taking advantage of forbearance,” they wrote. “Both groups had scores between 662 and 664.”Needlessly delinquent loans are almost equally likely to be serviced by banks and nonbanks—both  sit at approximately 2%, with banks slightly higher and nonbanks slightly lower. “Banks have a lower share of delinquent loans in forbearance than their nonbank counterparts (6.2% versus 3.2%). Some of the differential can be attributed to the securitized dataset we used. Servicers are permitted to buy delinquent loans out of a security when the loan becomes 90 days delinquent. Bank servicers find this practice beneficial, as they have the cash to do the payout, and their cost of funds is lower than the rate on the mortgage. Nonbank servicers often do not have the cash, and their cost of funds is higher than the rate on the mortgage, making the buyout less economic,” the authors explained.Needlessly delinquent mortgages are equally likely, no matter the year originated—The share remained constant at about 2%, regardless of the year. In contrast, the share of delinquent borrowers taking advantage of forbearance increases with more recently originated mortgages.Needlessly delinquent loans have no strong geographic concentration—”But the share of delinquent loans in forbearance varies widely, from a low of 2.86% in Montana and Arkansas to high of 8.86% in New Jersey,” Urban Institute reported.The solution? They say “broad outreach is needed to support needlessly delinquent borrowers.” Because, as the above data show, they are not concentrated in any area or under any specific lender, the outreach, UI reported, must be widespread.”Servicers are an important part of this outreach,” Neal and Goodman wrote, “but outreach efforts must also include assistance from consumer groups. Although some government messaging around forbearance options as an alternative has occurred, broader outreach may be in order.”For the entire report and methodology, visit UrbanInstitute.org.  Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

USS McCampbell sailors battle ice on Japan port call

first_img February 8, 2017 View post tag: US Navy View post tag: USS McCampbell Authorities USS McCampbell sailors battle ice ahead of Japan port callcenter_img Share this article Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) had a lot of ice to battle before pulling into Otaru, Japan, on February 3.The warm welcome the sailors received was an appreciated contrast to the conditions at sea they previously experienced.During the four days McCampbell spent in port, the ship hosted tours for distinguished visitors and participated in sporting events with local residents. Sailors also, volunteered at the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival.“We sincerely appreciated the hospitality and warm welcome we received,” said Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, commanding officer of McCampbell. “We are grateful for the opportunity to experience the local culture and participate in the festivals with the people of Otaru.”Once the ship moored in port, McCampbell leadership attended welcome meetings hosted by the Honorable Hideaki Morii, mayor of Otaru, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, chief of Otaru Police Department, Hideaki Yamamoto, chairperson of Otaru Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Capt. Kenji Moribe, commander, Otaru Coast Guard Office.The warm welcome continued when the sailors were invited to a Welcome Reception hosted by the Otaru Japan Self-Defense Force Supporters Association.“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Otaru and Sapporo,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Ambrosio Maddagan, from Honolulu, Hawaii. “I will not forget the amazing sights and I hope to come back with my family.” Back to overview,Home naval-today USS McCampbell sailors battle ice ahead of Japan port call last_img read more

Here is the state of play in seven states that could determine the presidency.

first_imgElectoral votes: 15Trump leads Biden, 50.1 percent to 48.7 percent, with 95 percent of the estimated vote in. Keep in mind: With most votes now tabulated, Biden would need to win about two-thirds of the remainder to pull ahead.PENNSYLVANIAElectoral votes: 20Trump leads Biden, 54.3 percent to 44.3 percent, with 77 percent of the estimated vote in.Keep in mind: An analysis by The Times’s Upshot finds that the remaining vote appears to be overwhelmingly for Biden. Only 19 of 67 counties have reported absentee votes. The counties where the largest portion of the votes have yet to be counted include Philadelphia, the state’s most populous county, where Biden leads by 53 percentage points, and Bucks, the state’s fourth most populous, where Trump leads by 14 percentage points. Biden needs to win more than two-thirds of the remaining votes to win the state.WISCONSINElectoral votes: 10Biden leads Trump, 49.5 percent to 48.8 percent, with 97 percent of the estimated vote in.Keep in mind: Biden’s narrow lead is the mirror image of the Trump’s four years ago, and there are only a scattering of precincts remaining to be counted across the state. NORTH CAROLINA- Advertisement – Electoral votes: 16Trump leads Biden, 50.5 percent to 48.3 percent, with 92 percent of the estimated vote in.Keep in mind: Most of the votes yet to be counted are in DeKalb County and other counties in the suburbs of Atlanta that have been breaking heavily for Biden. The Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said in a television interview that he expected the count to be done by the end of the day, and called a news conference for late Wednesday morningMICHIGANElectoral votes: 16Biden leads Trump, 49.3 percent to 49.1 percent, with 90 percent of the estimated vote in.Keep in mind: More than a quarter of the vote in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Detroit, has yet to be counted, and Biden was closing the gap in Kent County, which includes Grand Rapids, with more than 10 percent of votes outstanding. NEVADA Electoral votes: 6Biden leads Trump, 49.3 percent to 48.7 percent, with 86 percent of the estimated vote in. Keep in mind: The critical votes still to be counted are mail ballots sent on or after Election Day and provisional ballots, which are expected to favor Biden. The secretary of state says the next update will come at around 12 p.m. Eastern time. Here is the state of play in seven battleground state as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.ARIZONAElectoral votes: 11Biden leads Trump, 51.0 percent to 47.6 percent, with 87 percent of the estimated vote in. To keep in mind: Counties with critical votes still to be counted include Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and where Biden is ahead by about six points. Vote-counting is expected to finish today, though it could take longer.GEORGIA- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Probe into tainted chicken continues

first_imgWashington D.C. — Officials from the Center for Disease Control say an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella is responsible for multiple reports of sickness in 29 states, including one Hoosier.The source of the raw chicken is unclear from lab tests, and no single common supplier has been identified. The strain has shown up in samples from a variety of raw chicken products including pet food, chicken pieces, ground pieces and whole chickens. The bacteria have also been found in live chickens. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is monitoring the outbreak, and the CDC’s investigation is ongoing.People sick with this strain have experienced stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea and fever 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria.Most people infected with salmonella, the most frequent cause of foodborne illness, get better in four to seven days without treatment. Symptoms can be worse for people with underlying medical conditions, children under 5 and people older than 65, as they typically have weaker immune systems.The CDC says the outbreak started in January, and more people have tested positive for this strain through September.The patients live in California, Washington, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Maine.For more information from the CDC click here.last_img read more

Kenya shock Ghana, Comoros Hold Cameroon

first_imgTen-man Kenya held on to beat Ghana 1-0 in Nairobi Saturday in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. In other results yesterday, next year’s Nations Cup hosts Cameroon were held to a 1-1 draw away to Comoros.Both South Africa and Uganda had to succumb to 0-0 draws at home to Libya and Tanzania respectively while the 2012 African champions Zambia drew 0-0 away to Namibia.The 12 group winners and runners-up secure places at the 2019 Nations Cup finals, except for Group B, where hosts Cameroon and the highest-placed other team both qualify. Having lost their opening Group F qualifier to Sierra Leone, Kenya – coached by Frenchman Sebastien Migne – pulled off a stunning result against Ghana’s Black Stars to kickstart their campaign.The Harambee Stars scored the only goal of the game after 40 minutes when Ghana’s Nicholas Opoku struck into his own net. Ghana pressed for an equaliser and the pressure told as Kenya’s Joash Onyango was sent off shortly after the hour mark.The hosts held on to pull off a shock result and go level on points in Group F with both Ghana and Sierra Leone.Sierra Leone can take an outright lead in the group if they can avoid defeat in Ethiopia today.Cameroon, who have already qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as hosts, came from behind to draw 1-1 away to Comoros in Clarence Seedorf’s first match in charge of the Indomitable Lions.Comoros stunned the reigning African champions with a 15th minute strike from El-Fardou Ben Mohamed to take the lead in the Group B fixture. Stephane Bahoken spared Cameroon’s blushes with an equaliser 10 minutes from time.Morocco – who lost to Cameroon in their opening Group B qualifier – were set to host Malawi in the late match yesterday. Points won by Cameroon’s opponents in qualifying count towards their final totals in the group.Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit a vital equaliser for Gabon in their 1-1 draw against Group C leaders Burundi in Libreville. Stoke City forward Saido Berahino had put Burundi ahead after 40 minutes on his international debut for the country. South Sudan host Mali in Group C today.In other results yesterday, there was a dramatic climax to the Group K encounter between Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau as they drew 2-2 in Maputo.The match was level at 1-1 until stoppage time when Mozambique appeared to have taken all three points with a late winner, only for Guinea-Bissau to equalise with virtually the last kick of the game. In the same group, the 2012 African champions Zambia hit a last-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 away to Namibia.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Solskjaer hails De Gea as United dig deep to beat Spurs

first_imgBut the result is a devastating blow for Tottenham, who again came up short when the pressure was on and remain nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool.Pochettino praised his side despite their defeat.“Tottenham did everything to win the game,” he said. “Maybe we dominated and we created a lot of chances. It was an amazing second half, I am so pleased.“Sometimes you win a game and you are disappointed, like when we won 3-0 at Old Trafford. They were better than us that day. Today the result should be different and I am happy.”Earlier, Tottenham settled quickly into their fluid passing game, enjoying the bulk of possession and went close to opening the scoring through Harry Winks before Jesse Lingard fired over from close range for the visitors.United, with Lingard, Anthony Martial and Rashford racing forward at every opportunity, looked dangerous on the break.Spurs striker Harry Kane had a close-range effort correctly ruled out for offside just after the half hour.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 London, United Kingdom | AFP | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said David de Gea was making a case to be considered Manchester United’s greatest-ever goalkeeper after he produced a masterclass on Sunday to protect his side’s 1-0 lead against Tottenham.The match at Wembley pitted two of the bookmakers’ favourites to permanently replace Jose Mourinho against one another but it was the interim United boss who came out on top against Mauricio Pochettino.Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in the 44th minute of a thrilling encounter and Paul Pogba impressed but the performance of the Spanish goalkeeper will live long in the memory.He made 11 saves — the most he has made in a top-flight league match without conceding a goal — leaving Spurs players holding their heads in disbelief on multiple occasions.Solskjaer hailed De Gea as “the best goalkeeper in the world” but also praised his team’s defensive resilience and team spirit.“We’ve had some great ‘keepers at this club and I think he’s challenging both Edwin (van der Sar) and Peter (Schmeichel) for the number one spot historically, he said.“The win here was massive, the team spirit was massive, the belief and the joy in the dressing room absolutely fantastic,” added the Norwegian, who has equalled Matt Busby’s record of winning his first five league games in charge of United.United were eight points behind Arsenal when Solskjaer became their caretaker manager on December 19 but are now level on points with the fifth-placed Gunners as they hunt down a Champions League qualification spot.last_img read more

The Landing at Hawks Prairie Joins Together to Fight Hunger

first_imgSubmitted by The Landing at Hawks PrairieThe month of November brings chillier temperatures, fall leaves, and an acknowledgment of the holidays right around the corner.  It’s during this time of year that those struggling with hunger need our help more than ever.  With heating bills climbing and expenses high this time of year, donating to the Thurston County Food Bank is more important than ever.The Landing at Hawks Prairie is a plaza of retail shops and restaurants that have joined together to help combat hunger.  Participating stores throughout the plaza are collecting food for the Thurston County Food Bank all month long.  And, those shops are giving you an extra incentive to donate when you visit the shopping complex.  Participating stores are offering free items or significant discounts when you support the food drive.Participating Businesses include Hand and Stone Massage, Cricket, Jack and Jill’s Children’s Salon, Menchies, LA Fitness, Total Nutrition, Americas Best Eye, Popeyes, Sushi go Round, and Mattress Depot and more.While it’s easy to grab a bag of pasta or few bags of Top Ramen, the food bank has some specific, more nutrient dense items that they would like to encourage you to donate.Canned Chicken, Tuna, Spam, or SalmonBeef StewPeanut ButterCanned Fruit in their own Juice (not syrup)Canned Soup – Meat and VegetarianBoxed CerealMacaroni and CheeseCanned ChiliCanned VegetablesPlease consider adding one or more of these items to your shopping list this November.  Then, bring it by The Landing at Hawks Prairie and show your support of the Thurston County Food Bank.   The Food Bank serves over 1400 children each week. There are many hungry families right here in our community.  We hope to help ease that hunger this holiday season. Facebook2Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Following Fruits and Vegetables from Farm to Your Table

first_imgStrawberries and baby arugula in January. Broccoli rabe and artichokes in July. We want fruits and vegetables in and out of season at our favorite restaurant and on our dining room table.Produce man Charlie Rooney sums it up best: “Consumers want everything, every day.”Charlie Rooney, left, kids with produce broker Frank Monte at the Philadelphia Produce Market.The Sea Bright produce wholesaler (C. Rooney Pro­duce) has not taken a day off since he started the business in the 1980s and isn’t planning one soon. Several nights a week, you can find Rooney spending the overnight hours on a road trip to the modern South Philadelphia Produce Market.Rooney buys produce for 75 customers so the fruits and vegetables they serve their diners are of the highest quality and freshness.“We arrive at the market around 8 p.m.,” says Rooney, “and it takes about five hours to assemble and stage the orders at one of the 100 bays. Then the hundreds of individual boxes, crates and trays have to be carefully loaded onto the 24-foot straight truck – like a complicated puzzle – in the exact way they will be unloaded for my customers in the hours ahead.”Rooney has his business philosophy on his truck’s sides and roll-up door: Big Enough To Serve, Small Enough To Care.“I live it,” he smiles.He has kept his customer base manageable and in relatively close proximity so that he can assure them when they open for business their order has been delivered and placed in storage in the manner they have specified.“It’s truly personal service,” emphasizes Rooney, who uses two vehicles to deliver when he returns to Mon­mouth County. His team does not finish up until about 10 a.m. – some 16 hours after the trip began. And, they repeat it up to two more times each week – week in, week out.From left, Brandon Gebhardt, Charlie Rooney and Eddie Giron fuel up for the trip to the produce market.The route vegetables and fruits take from farm to plate is a long one but surprisingly quick. Domestic fresh produce leaves farms in the South and West in the winter and nationwide in the summer to arrive at regional produce markets (New York City, Boston, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, and the like) in the middle and end of each week. Fruits and vegetables from Central and South America – shipped by air – are timed for similar arrivals during the winter months.In a 24/7 operation, decades-old family-owned “direct receivers” buy and stock produce at these regional facilities. They inventory boxes, crates, trays and bags of everything from raspberries to radishes, apples to artichokes.Many supermarkets have buyers who purchase for multiple stores or by region. Large warehouse stores like Costco, BJ’s and Walmart may bypass the produce markets entirely and deal directly with growers on mega-purchases to be distributed nationally. Restaur­ants, Rooney explains, still establish relationships with local or regional wholesalers who supply their needs daily and weekly.What makes small businesses like Rooney’s unique is how the relationship with customers transcends just business.“I know all my customers on a first-name basis,” he says, “and have dealt with them for years,” as he shakes a large ring with dozens of keys. “These are keys to my customers’ buildings and I deliver to their storerooms during the middle of the night, placing their order where they want it so it is not in the way when they arrive early for their business day.”The path these fresh commodities then take to your table is varied. “I have long-term relationships with the family produce companies,” he says. “I have worked with a Philadelphia broker for decades. He assures I get what I want for my customers at the right price.”Although Rooney has bought direct from the receivers, he and much of his competition now work closely with professional buyers. Rooney met second-generation Philadelphia produce broker Frank Monte nearly 20 years ago and has established a strong business partnership.“Let me explain how it works,” Rooney says as the truck rumbles down I-295 toward the City of Brotherly Love on Monday night. “I call my orders into Monte just before I leave for the market. Frank sources all my orders from one of the two dozen receivers at the center looking not only for the best price but the best quality.” Rooney explains that Monte knows the market and has an eye on what is coming in daily that Rooney regularly buys.When Rooney’s truck arrives at the loading dock, Monte has his orders sourced and instructions (picking tickets) waiting for Rooney’s assistants. Eddie Giron has been with Rooney for 20 years. Brandon Gephardt has been aboard about two years. Both men snooze in the truck cab on the way to the market knowing they have a long night and morning ahead.Driving motorized forklifts, Giron and Gephardt whiz around the market like race car drivers picking up orders. After schmoozing with the night sales staff and Monte, Rooney retreats to the cab of the truck for three hours of sleep. “Not many owners of produce companies are the buyer, the driver and delivery person,” he says. “I need to catch 40 winks to be able to drive back to Monmouth County refreshed and ready to make deliveries.”Rooney emphasizes how important it is to get the truck loaded correctly. “We don’t have time to be looking for two boxes of asparagus on the third stop in New Jersey at 3 a.m. at a customer’s back door. It has to be where we can get it as soon as we stop.”Rooney starts making deliveries soon after he crosses into New Jersey. The strawberries for a customer in Howell need to be where he can put his hands on them a few hours later. A large sub shop chain needs lettuce and tomatoes – and lots of them – as soon as they open for the breakfast crowd. Customers not only get their produce but bills so they know costs immediately allowing them to price and plan accordingly.Sea Bright produce wholesaler Charlie Rooney starts down the long, center aisle at the South Philadelphia Produce Market.The Rooney family arrived in Sea Bright from Jersey City in 1962. Charlie Rooney’s dad, the late Charles Jr., served as a councilman for years and mayor of the town for two terms. His mom Frances has staffed the family hot dog cart on Ocean Avenue since the late 1970s. It had been the summer job growing up for young Rooney and his sister Fran. Mrs. Rooney, now 80, shows no sign of closing the (what is now) Sea Bright institution. “Like my mother Frances, I am a Capricorn,” Rooney says, “and I am a workaholic, a lot like her and will probably be working too into my 80s.”Rooney got into the business by accident. While recovering from a serious knee injury suffered training for a triathlon, he began to sell vegetables from a road stand near the hot dog cart.“I was paying way too much for vegetables from a wholesaler,” he said. With guidance from people in the business, Rooney began to buy his own produce from a wholesale market in Newark. “When fall arrived, I needed to find something to replace the road stand,” he said. The manager of Ichabod’s (now Woody’s) in Sea Bright asked Rooney to supply him with the juice oranges he used for his famous screwdriver cocktail. Rooney found a supplier, made the sale and as he quips, “one customer led to two, three four and the rest is history.”In 1996 Rooney and his wife Marisol purchased a small deli opposite The Grove on Broad Street in Shrews­bury. They renamed it Stroker’s. Today, the small deli has a huge following for quality breakfast and lunch fare. And yes, Rooney keeps his wife well supplied with produce.Rooney feels he is one of a dying breed of family-owned produce wholesalers. “Today, everyone wants to be bigger,” he says. “My philosophy is to stay the right size to serve my customers’ different needs. I want them to succeed and prosper and if they do well, I too will do well. It’s a win-win situation.”“It’s a demanding business but I love it,” says Rooney heading for home for some needed sleep. He’d have it no other way.Feature writer Art Petro­semolo spent an overnight with Rooney and crew jammed into the cab of his truck. He walked wide-eyed through the Philadelphia Market and came away (along with a huge tray of fresh strawberries) with a new respect for how his vegetables arrive on his plate each day. By Art PetrosemoloSea Bright’s Charlie Rooney is ‘The Produce Man’last_img read more