Ocean City has a big heart and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than at the Heart of Surfing’s annual surf contest.The event, beginning 9 a.m. on Saturday June 11, includes a division for special needs surfers. Following the all-day event, an after party with raffles and prizes will take place at Gregory’s on Shore Rd. in Somers Point.Heart of Surfing co-founders Bob and Cindy Fertsch knew the positive impact surfing had on their autistic son, Jamie, now 22. And they felt others could benefit from their experiences. The result was their organization, which also teaches skateboarding to children with special needs.“Bob always took our son out with him when he would surf and it gave (Jamie) improved confidence and self-esteem,” Cindy said. “There is a contest in Belmar that includes special needs surfers and it fills up quickly. We thought, ‘why can’t we do something like this?’ ”Why not, indeed.The contest begins with 8 a.m. registration. Entry fee is $30 with all proceeds going to the non-profit Art of Surfing. Divisions will be contested in open long board, open short board, women and groms (12 and under). The event didn’t just happen.“I knew that if I reached out to our surfing community they would be there for us,” said Cindy. “It is a great community of great people. But I didn’t know how great they would prove to be. They were just incredible. It is nice to get recognition, but the event is really made by the volunteers, businesses and the community.”Volunteer Tim Kernan assists 6-year-old Landon Peddicord in catching a wave at last year’s Heart of Surfing Contest. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, June 11Last year’s event raised more than $1,000 to benefit the Heart of Surfing. It included a full competition for area surfers in all divisions, age groups and genders. But unlike conventional contests, it also included a division which attracted more than 15 individuals with special needs. Volunteers and contest competitors aided the special participants. They assisted in helping them stand on the boards, catch waves, and sometimes rode tandem with them.The three major surf shops in town, Heritage, 7th St. Surf Shop and Surfers Supplies also play a major role, donating the use of surfboards, wetsuits and other needed equipment, organizers said.“We need a lot of stuff,” Cindy said. Boards and other equipment. All we have to do is ask and (the surf shops) are there for us.” This year, Cindy Fertsch said she expects as many as 25 special needs surfers and more than 40 volunteers. Organizers also hope to raise the bar and top last year’s fundraising total as well.The contest is run by a local Ocean City-based surfing club, No Passports Needed, or NPN, which also provided some of the volunteers. NPN member Willie Fannon worked the microphone for the contest as emcee, and helped organize it.“This event is a true testament to the surfing community and how it helps others,” he said. “It’s nice to give back. But it’s also nice to see what surfing can do to help people. Before I took part in this contest, I was oblivious to autism and how many families and people are affected by it. Now I see autism from another perspective. Surfing is a sport that changes a person when they get out in the water. That’s one of the great things about this contest.”Fannon said that he hoped to help raise awareness of autism, the Heart of Surfing and to pass the word along to others inside and out of the surfing community.For more information, check out the Heart of Surfing Facebook page.Smiles were on the faces of the volunteers and the participants at the Art of Surfing contest.
Phish Lyricist Tom Marshall Interviews The Founder Of Phantasy Tour In New “Under The Scales” Podcast
Beloved Phish lyricist Tom Marshall recently started a new podcast series called “Under The Scales.” From his unique perspective in the Phish universe, Marshall has provided insightful interviews with key players in the scene. The latest picks on the website Phantasy Tour, a well known forum for jam scene setlists, discussions and more.The episode features a conversation between Marshall and Paul Glace, founder of the Phantasy Tour website. The episode description reads: “Paul Glace, founder of PhantasyTour.com, is featured. We discuss the site’s origins and how it grew to the incredible Phish fan destination it is today.”You can stream Episode 5 of Under The Scales below, and head here for the full series.
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Dayton, Oh. — The global humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International, has deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief Team and a convoy of equipment to the Dayton area to assist with relief efforts following a swarm of deadly tornadoes that swept through earlier this week.Operation Blessing is operating from the Dayton Vineyard Church at 4051 Indian Ripple Rd in Beavercreek. Residents/homeowners whose homes were damaged to come and fill out a work order request for free volunteer help. Operation Blessing expects to begin coordinating day volunteers beginning Friday to help affected residents with tasks including salvaging personal belongings, debris removal, chainsaw work, and installing tarps on damaged roofs.Team leaders from Operation Blessing’s Virginia Beach headquarters arrived in Dayton on Tuesday to assess damages and meet with local emergency management officials in order to determine the areas of greatest need.The convoy of equipment departed from the organization’s Virginia Beach headquarters late yesterday and includes a construction trailer loaded with tools and emergency supplies, a box truck full of relief supplies, and the organization’s mobile command center.Operation Blessing will be accepting volunteers daily starting Friday, May 31. Volunteers should meet at the Operation Blessing base of operations at Dayton Vineyard Church at 4051 Indian Ripple Road in Beavercreek. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and orientation takes place at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Day volunteers do not need to register in advance. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field (long pants and hard-soled shoes or work boots) and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. For any questions about volunteering, please call: 800-730-2537.RESIDENTS NEEDING HELP:Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Dayton Vineyard Church at 4051 Indian Ripple Road in Beavercreek daily from 9:30 a.m. to – 4:30 p.m. All residents must fill out a work order form and sign a release form in person, allowing volunteers access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. Volunteer services offered include debris removal and help finding and sorting salvageable belongings. For more information on how to apply for help: 800-730-2537.For updates or for information about volunteering click here. To donate to the relief efforts click here.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300Generally speaking, most fantasy owners don’t have a set draft strategy when it comes to OF, especially if they play in just a three-OF league. If your league starts five OFs, the position is more of a priority, but even then, you’re just looking for good values as they come to you in the draft. Most owners want some steals from at least one of their OFs, but if you load up on SBs in your infield, you can’t necessarily need anyone who will swipe more than 15 bags. Regardless, diversifying your OF is a good way to balance your team and fill in the category cracks. That’s why our sub-tiers are really more important than the tiers themselves. Finding players who are more of a help in a particular category, be it steals, average, or homers, is how you adjust quickly and have a successful draft. As such, it’s important to note that our sub-tiers are based on the type of production a player offers. Just because a player is in, say, Tier 3C doesn’t mean he’s worse than a player in Tier 3A — it just means he typically produces more or less in a specific category. It should also be noted that our OF rankings are based on the idea that a player is solely eligible at outfield. Players eligible at other positions may be ranked higher in our overall rankings. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat SheetWho are the best fantasy baseball OFs?Eligibility based on Yahoo default settings* = Player not eligible at that position on draft day but expected to play there during the seasonAll seven of our Tier-1 OFs are first-round worthy. There’s a strong case to be made for the players in Tier 1A to be the first three picks in the draft, as all hit for average, hit for power, and can steal a good amount of bases. Mookie Betts will probably steal the fewest bases among this group, but we know what kind of overall upside he has. The guys in Tier 1B can steal bases, too, but they project to top out around half of the Tier 1A guys. These are still bona fide superstars, though, with each capable of hitting .300 with close to a league-leading amount of HRs. Juan Soto hasn’t done either yet, but you know it’s in him. We put J.D. Martinez in his own sub-tier because he doesn’t steal bases, but he can mash with the best of them and post an average well over .300, which is a rare combination at any position. Starting your draft with any of these players puts you in a great spot. If you take Martinez, you’ll probably want to look for some steals in the second or third round, but you will have plenty of time to fill in that gap. TIER 1ARonald Acuna Jr., BravesChristian Yelich, BrewersMookie Betts, DodgersTIER 1BMike Trout, AngelsCody Bellinger, Dodgers (also eligible at 1B)Juan Soto, NationalsTIER 1CJ.D. Martinez, Red SoxMore 2020 Fantasy Baseball: Auction Values | Mock Draft Simulator2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers: Tier-2 OFsEven a quick glance at our Tier-2 OFs might make you question some things. Guys like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have more power upside than Nicholas Castellanos and Kris Bryant, yet they’re in the same sub-tier, and Charlie Blackmon stole just two bases last year and hit 40 points higher than Bryce Harper, but they’re also in the same sub-tier. Look, if we really wanted to pick nits, we’d probably have about six sub-tiers in each tier, but when you’re drafting these players (as early as the second round, but likely in Rounds 3-6), you’re thinking in general terms: Who hits more homers? Who steals a few bases to go with their power? Who steals a lot of bases and has moderate power? Tier 2A features power hitters, and while some will hit more than others, these are all 30-plus HR guys who can drive in 100 runs and hit around .280 over a full season. Stanton is probably going to have the lowest average of the group (if he ever gets on the field), but most of these guys will hit somewhere between .275-.300. Tier 2B features solid-HR hitters who can also steal 10-20 bases over a full season. As we noted, Blackmon stopped running last year, which could easily happen again this year, but he stole at least 12 bases in five straight seasons before, so that pace is within reach. Tier 2C features a pair of players who can hit a decent amount HRs and steal a lot of bases. It’s a bit of a moot point to include Villar here, as he will likely be slotted into an infield spot by whoever drafts him (and he won’t be OF-eligible during your draft), but he’s a difference-maker in SBs. Because virtually every first-round pick (with the exception of SPs and possibly Trea Turner) hits homers, the guys in Tier 2A likely won’t be “targeted”, per se. Rather, they’ll be drafted highly when they present fair value. The guys in the other sub-tiers might be specific targets because fantasy owners are always hunting for SBs. That might cause them to go earlier than expected.There’s nothing wrong with reaching for one of them, but it’s important to realize that someone like Harper or Meadows isn’t going to swing a category for you. Likewise, it’s important to remember that you’re giving up some HRs and RBIs with Villar and maybe even Marte, so plan accordingly with your other picks. TIER 2AGeorge Springer, AstrosAaron Judge, YankeesYordan Alvarez, AstrosGiancarlo Stanton, YankeesEloy Jimenez, White SoxKris Bryant, Cubs (3B)Nicholas Castellanos, RedsTIER 2BBryce Harper, PhilliesCharlie Blackmon, RockiesAustin Meadows, RaysTIER 2CStarling Marte, D-backsJonathan Villar*, Marlins (2B, SS)2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Tier-3 OFSOnce again we have a big tier, and most of the guys in Tier 3 aren’t that much different than those in Tier 2. This is where that “razor thin” differentiation comes in. Tier 3A features guys who can hit HRs with good averages and steal a decent amount of bases. Andrew Benintendi has had declining HR totals the past two seasons, so projecting him to get to a significant amount might be a bit of a stretch, but he’s hit 20 HRs before, and at 25, he should be coming into his prime. The averages are what really separate these guys and make them worthy of sharing the same tier as some of the other players who hit significantly more homers or steal more bases. The guys in Tier 3C are pretty similar, though they have higher SB upside. All will still likely hit a good amount of HRs with regular playing time, but batting average could be mediocre for all except Whit Merrifield. Most fantasy owners won’t care about the .265 averages or relatively mediocre RBI totals since they’re getting legit power-speed threats, and we don’t blame them. Tier 3B is your classic slugger tier. The averages don’t figure to be great in this tier (though one or two could surprise), but there’s big homer potential from most of these players. Bump that up to bigger potential for Jorge Soler, Joey Gallo, and even Aristides Acquino, assuming he plays regularly. If you invested in a Trea Turner-type early, targeting one of these mashers in the seventh round makes sense. The reliability of players starts to drop off after this tier, so you probably want at least two or three OFs from the first three tiers, depending on how many you start. You can live with only one, but you pretty much know what you’re getting from these guys barring injury. TIER 3AKetel Marte, D-backs (2B, SS)Andrew Benintendi, Red SoxRamon Laureano, A’sTIER 3BJorge Soler, RoyalsFranmil Reyes, IndiansKyle Schwarber, CubsJoey Gallo, RangersAristides Acquino, RedMarcell Ozuna, BravesMichael Conforto, MetsWillie Calhoun, RangersJustin Upton, AngelsTIER 3CWhit Merrifield, Royals (2B)Oscar Mercado, IndiansVictor Robles, NationalsLuis Robert, White SoxTommy Pham, PadresKyle Tucker, Astros2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers, Draft Strategy:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Starter | RelieverFantasy Baseball Tiers: Tier-4 OFsWhen it’s time to start drafting Tier-4 OFs (early-middle rounds), it’s all about the categories. It’s possible someone will fall too far and be too good of a value to pass up, but for the most part, you’re thinking about balancing your team. If you need good HR upside and a few SBs, go for the guys in Tier 4A. If you need a good average and a few less HRs, go for Tier 4B. If you need steals, Tier 4C is for you. And if you need someone with a more balanced power-speed upside, look no further than Tier 4D.Byron Buxton and Mallex Smith aren’t exactly the same type of player. Buxton should hit more HRs and provide more RBIs, but Smith figures to steal more bases. Still, both qualify as “steals guys”. Tier 4D is likely the one most people will target, though with all but one player eligible at an infield position, it’s likely most will be drafted earlier and won’t be used as OFs by their owners. All the players in these sub-tiers have value and upside, and unless you’re desperate for steals or you think a sleeper like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Nick Senzel is going to break out this year, you don’t need to reach for them. Look for value and fill in as you go. TIER 4AEddie Rosario, TwinsMax Kepler, TwinsAristides Aquino, RedsBrandon Lowe, Rays (1B, 2B)Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays (2B)Andrew McCutchen, PhilliesAvisail Garcia, BrewersTIER 4BMichael Brantley, AstrosDavid Dahl, RockiesJeff McNeil, Mets (2B, 3B)Bryan Reynolds, PiratesTIER 4CByron Buxton, TwinsMallex Smith, MarinersTIER 4DCavan Biggio, Blue Jays (2B)Scott Kingery, Phillies (2B, 3B, SS)Danny Santana, Rangers (1B, 2B, 3B, SS)Ian Happ, Cubs (2B, 3B)Tommy Edman, Cardinals (2B, 3B)Wil Myers, Padres (1B)Nick Senzel, RedsFantasy Baseball OF Rankings: Tier 5We could have easily put many of our Tier-5 OFs into Tier 4, but for whatever reason, most have a few more question marks. Tier 5A features guys who can hit some HRs with a few SBs. Tier 5B has a pair of players who will hit slightly fewer HRs and steal a few more SBs (with good averages and runs scored, too). Tier 5C is for middling-average power hitters, though as noted with Tier 3B, we could see some surprise averages (like J.D. Davis’s last season). Tier 5D is one of the few low-power speedsters left in the league. There will probably be a few big seasons from guys in this tier. Maybe Kole Calhoun hits a ton of HRs; maybe Alex Verdugo is an RBI machine in Boston’s stacked lineup. Either way, you’re probably not going to be excited about any of these guys, but they make for great backups/fourth or fifth OFs in the late-middle or late rounds. None are worth targeting or reaching for unless you really need power or steals. TIER 5AGregory Polanco, PiratesShin-Soo Choo, RangersRyan Braun, Brewers (1B*)TIER 5BLorenzo Cain, BrewersAdam Eaton, NationalsTIER 5CRandal Grichuck, Blue JaysHunter Renfroe, RaysKole Calhoun, D-backsJ.D. Davis, Mets (3B)Joc Pederson, Dodgers (1B)David Peralta, D-backsMark Canha, A’s (1B)Hunter Dozier, Royals (1B, 3B)Brian Anderson, Marlins (3B)Alex Verdugo, Red SoxTIER 5DJarrod Dyson, PiratesFantasy Baseball Draft Strategies: Auction | Keeper/Dynasty | PointsFantasy Baseball Sleepers, Deep Sleepers, and Veterans: Tier-6 OFsDepending how deep your league is, you’re going to want to stash at least one of the young sleepers from Tier 6. Someone like Trent Grisham, Jo Adell, Austin Hays, or Tyler O’Neill could break out at some point this season. Of course, like many of the others in this tier, they could also never get regular at-bats and do next to nothing. At a certain point when looking over the 2020 fantasy baseball OF rankings, your eyes start to glaze over. Is there really a difference between the No. 34 outfielder and No. 54…or even No. 73, for that matter? When players produce in similar ways, it can be difficult to group them into tiers, especially at a position with so many options. But there are always subtle differences, be it age, injury history, or upside in a certain category, and noting these differences on your cheat sheet can go a long way when hunting for sleepers or putting together a draft strategy. Aside from the top tier, our OF tiers cast a pretty wide net. It’s not because we’re lazy (well, not entirely); it’s because there are so many similar players in terms of production and upside. We all know there will be surprise breakouts and disappointments every season, and with so many OFs available, we don’t want owners to overdraft a guy in a higher tier when the difference between him and someone else is razor thin. At certain points, we have to make those discernments, and we’ll do our best below to explain why. There are some dependable players here, like Brett Gardner, Nomar Mazara, and a few others. Unfortunately, the ceilings for those players are limited, so many fantasy owners will skip over them in the quest to find this year’s big breakout OF. That’s makes sense, but if you need a little power and speed, don’t be afraid to grab a veteran from Tier 6A. And if you just need some pop, don’t ignore a sure decent amount of HRs from someone in Tier 6B, such as Jay Bruce, who should be helped by the universal DH.TIER 6ABrett Gardner, YankeesTrent Grisham, PadresHarrison Bader, CardinalsJurickson Profar, Padres (2B)Jackie Bradley Jr., Red SoxA.J. Pollock, DodgersAustin Hays, OriolesKevin Kiermaier, RaysDomingo Santana, IndiansBrandon Nimmo, MetsJake Fraley, MarinersJake Bauers, Indians (1B)Kevin Pillar, Red SoxJordan Luplow, IndiansEnder Inciarte, BravesTIER 6BAustin Riley, Braves (3B*)Jesse Winker, RedsTeoscar Hernandez, Blue JaysNomar Mazara, White SoxJo Adell, AngelsEric Thames, Nationals (1B)Dominic Smith, Mets (1B)Yoenis Cespedes, MetsYoshi Tsutsugo, Rays (3B)Jay Bruce, Phillies (1B)Tyler O’Neill, CardinalsMike Yastrzemski, GiantsAnthony Santander, OriolesStephen Piscotty, A’sCorey Dickerson, MarlinsDominic Smith, Mets (1B)Garrett Cooper, Marlins (1B)Jesse Winker, RedsJose Martinez, Rays