Appalachian Trail hiker shares “happy trails” experience

New Jersey has the lowest elevation profile of any state along the AT. Still the views span for miles and reveal a greener New Jersey than most are familiar with.

By SARAH DOOLITTLE
Four Points News

There were so many reasons to worry as I embarked on my second Appalachian Trail section hike in June. Not for any of the reasons other people worry about when I go on the trail alone — not because of bears, or murderous convicts, or rattlesnakes around every bend — but because of the fact that I would hike 74 miles (the width of New Jersey) in five days and had not trained.

Last time I hiked the AT, when I covered 150 miles in 9 days, I trained for two months in advance, hitting the trails in Steiner Ranch and beyond at least three days a week, two hours a day, with a weighted pack and poles. By the time I got on the actual trail, my body knew exactly what to do, and I covered miles and climbed peaks with relative ease.

This year, as I walked away from my sketchy motel in Delaware Water Gap, Pa. at 9 a.m., my body felt like I was taking it out for a test drive. The morning air was typical to a trail town (what hikers call the many towns, mostly small, that are on or near the AT): green, humid and smelling of diesel and diner breakfasts.

Continue reading

River Place author pens newest nonfiction book

By SARAH DOOLITTLE
Four Points News

Stephen G. Yanoff — the author and world traveler who lives in River Place with his wife Patty — released his newest work in April, “Turbulent Times: The Remarkable Life of William Henry Seward”.

Last year he also published “Run for the Money,” the seventh installment in his ongoing detective series features insurance investigator Adam Gold, inspired by Yanoff’s real-life 20-year career in New York investigating high-ticket insurance claims. And now that “Turbulent Times” is out, Yanoff is already at work on his next two books.

It’s not surprising considering that Yanoff’s second career as a writer is about more than just telling great stories. “For me personally, this is still a hobby even though it’s going quite well. I like meeting people and going around the country,” said Yanoff.

As with his other books in the Adam Gold series, “Run for the Money” centers around an actual claim Yanoff investigated during his career, in this case one in which a wealthy racehorse owner paid to have one of her horses killed in order to collect the insurance money.

River Place author Stephen G. Yanoff released his latest book in April called “Turbulent Times: The Remarkable Life of William Henry Seward”. Already the book was chosen as a finalist in the U.S. History Category of the 2017 International Book Awards.

Continue reading

Holocaust survivor inspires local students

Dr. Edith Eva Eger survived the Holocaust and shared her story with 8th graders at Canyon Ridge Middle School in May. Principal Susan Sullivan and the students showed their appreciation of her presentation.

“The visit that changed lives”

By QUIN COLLINS, DAVIS FISHER, MICHAEL MASTRODICASA, DEVAN PATEL

Dr. Edith Eva Eger shared with Canyon Ridge Middle School 8th graders details about the 72nd anniversary of her liberation as a Holocaust survivor.

Eger’s inspiring story was one of overcoming difficulty with positivity, she explained on May 4 to a packed room of students. She was taken to Auschwitz when she was 17-years-old, and she watched as her family was taken away from her. Later, she endured a death march and worked in a labor camp. Eger was forced to dance for Nazi leaders, and she now believes that dance saved her life. She has overcome hardships that no one can begin to imagine.

Continue reading

Bond proposal has something for all LISD schools

Major projects included for VHS, FPMS, SRE

By KIM ESTES
Four Points News

Three Four Points schools would benefit from a recommended $453,860,841 bond package, which would improve safety, accommodate growth, and provide major facility maintenance throughout Leander ISD, according to Victor Villarreal, co-chairman of a bond advisory steering committee.

There are “optional items” that could add $9,856,468 to the proposed bond total.

Funds projected as necessary to meet LISD requisites amount to $172,536,655 for elementary schools, $117,525,385 for middle schools, $87,175,801 for high schools, $47,730,000 for technology and $28,893,000 for ancillary requests.

Four Points recommendations

Four Points area schools specifically mentioned in the package are Steiner Ranch Elementary, Four Points Middle School and Vandegrift High School.

SRE, as well as Giddens Elementary, are recommended for major maintenance to their HVAC systems, lighting, carpet and paint at a total estimated expense of $17,863,111. Both campuses are about 20-years-old and due for facility and equipment refurbishing and replacement, said Corey Ryan, LISD chief communications officer.

Continue reading