Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Get in the know with LBIF

If you’re a Long Beach Island regular, then you know the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, located in Loveladies, is a wonderful place to devote your time, getting in touch with the physical sciences or creative arts. If this is your first time at the Shore, then now is your chance to get in the know. LBIF is a great location to spend a warm summer day or rainy afternoon browsing the free Lending Library, relaxing inside the gallery or outside on the porch, while accessing the facility’s free wireless internet, or participating in many of the wonderful classes and special events offered on-site.

Photo by Kelley Anne
LBIF hosts many year-round events, including
recreational activities and seminars.
Understanding the world around us should be an important part of everyone’s lives,” said LBIF's executive director, Christopher Seiz. “There’s definitely something here for everyone. It’s my happiness to create and maintain these programs for the community at the lowest price possible. There’s absolutely no fee to walk into the gallery, and walking around the gallery is a journey in itself,” he added sincerely.

If you’re interested in learning more about conservation and the environment, the sixth annual Barnegat Bay Day and Go-Green Expo will take place Friday, July 6 from 12 to 4 p.m. Children can participate in hands-on activities in the rain garden and terrapin hatchery, while the adults chat with local businesses and nonprofits about everything from energy savings tips to organic gardening practices.

The 23rd annual Juried Crafts and Fine Art Festival will take place on Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will showcase over 150 artists offering jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting, clothing and more. For just a $5 donation, you can open the doors to a world full of unique arts and crafts, perfect as a souvenir or gift for a loved one.

If you ever wanted to get a sneak peek at some of Long Beach Island’s most beautiful homes, join the 46th annual Seashore Open House Tour on Wednesday, Aug. 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s tour will consist of homes entirely on the north end of the Island, including the house in Love Ladies that was recently awarded the silver medal, the highest honor available, by the American Institute of Architects. Tickets cost $45, or $40 in advance. 

If you’re looking for a fresh take on this year’s upcoming presidential election, join National Journal chief correspondent and former Newsweek editor and national economics correspondent Michael Hirsch for a truly bipartisan presentation. "Thoughts on the Presidential Election" will take place on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 3 p.m.

Photo via Pages
Bring your copy of the Six-Word
Memoir Project
for Smith to sign.
Larry Smith, founder of the Six-Word Memoir Project and award-winning author, publisher and editor of Smith Magazine, will be in town Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss the project. Smith will lead the event with a discussion on the project’s perception followed by a Six-Word Slam. Artwork from Stafford Intermediate’s Six-Word Memoir Project will also be on display.

If you’re looking for some alone time with your significant other, join LBIF and Plantation Restaurant for the duo’s first-ever Family Night Out. Drop the kids off at LBIF for ceramics and pizza. Then head over to Plantation in Harvey Cedars for a romantic dinner for two. The event will take place Wednesday, July 25 and Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $85 per couple and $25 per kid, $20 per additional sibling.

Our special events and concerts are really well-attended,” said LBIF's public programs coordinator, Kristy Redford. “Events like the (Seashore) Open House Tour have been going on for many years now and people have been calling about tickets since the wintertime. But our ceramics, jewelry-making, cooking, science, water classes and summer camps are also loved by many,” she added.

We’re an organization that really wants and enjoys having visitors,” said Seiz. “Everyone should do something at the organization this year. If you haven’t walked through the gallery doors at least a handful of times this summer, you’ve really missed out,” he added.

For more information about the wonderful things happening at LBIF, log on to www.lbifoundation.org or call 609-494-1241. LBIF’s summer hours run Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This article was published in The Beachcomber.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Barnegat Light, all summer long

If you're looking to attend a variety of fun and exciting events during your stay on Long Beach Island this summer, Barnegat Light has you covered. For auctions, craft shows, seafood festivals, musical concerts and more, the north end of the island is the place to be.

The Barnegat Light Fire Company will host their annual auction at 10th St. and Central Ave. on Saturday, May 26. For just a $5 entrance fee, attendees will be treated to free appetizers, a cash bar and a slew of items and prices to bid from. An auction viewing will take place at 5:30 p.m, and the auction will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Photo via New Jersey Monthly
The crowds peruse the fine merchandise
available at Viking Village.
Join local artists on Sundays this summer at the Viking Village Art and Craft Show, located at 19th St. and Bayview Ave. Artists of all medias will be showing off and selling their work between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available. Dates are set for May 27, July 29 and Sept. 2.

If you're looking for parades, you'll find two of them in Barnegat Light this summer. A Memorial Day parade will be begin on Sunday, May 27 at 7 p.m., behind the old borough hall on West 10th St. The night will conclude at the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park with a ceremony, featuring the Ocean County Emerald Society Bagpipe Band.

A “Hometown Heroes” Independence Day parade will take place on Sunday, July 1 at 7 p.m. Awards and music led by The Liberty Band will take place afterward at the bay-dock area between 9th and 10th St. In case of bad weather, concerts will be held in the firehouse social hall.

If a night full of intricate, lively rhythms and fresh, local seafood sounds like fun, head to the Jazzy Scallop and Seafood Festival at Viking Village from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 23. Tickets cost $30, or $35 in advance. Tickets can be purchased at any of the Viking Village shops or at the Southern Ocean County Chamber ofCommerce, located at 265 West 9th St. in Ship Bottom.

If getting down and dirty and creative in the sand speaks to you, then enter yourself in one or all of the sand sculpting contests held Thursdays at the 25th St. ocean beach. The amateur competition will begin at 2 p.m. Scheduled dates include July 5, July 19, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16. Rain dates are set for the following Fridays.

After brushing off the sand on Thursday, bring your blankets and chairs down to the bay front gazebo on 7th St. and Bayview Ave. for a nightly concert. The current lineup includes The Following (July 5), Face Down (July 19), No Discipline (Aug. 2) and The Kootz (Aug. 16). The concerts will be moved to the Firehouse Social Hall if bad weather occurs.

The Children's Beach Olympics, set for Thursday, July 12, will be a great day filled with fun and games for kids from kindergarten to sixth grade. The festivities will take place at 10 a.m. at the 24th St. ocean beach. Registration opens bright and early at 9:30 a.m.

The Barnegat Light Fire Company will hold its annual Fresh Fish Feast on Saturday, July 14 between 4 and 8 p.m. Stop by for dinner and enjoy some of the area's best seafood caught by the local fishing fleet. Takeout will also be available.

A Blessing of the Fleet will be held Sunday, July 15 at the Barnegat Light Yacht Basin, 1701 Bayview Ave. A local tradition, the interdenominational service will be held at 5:30 p.m. to wish the community's commercial fisherman a safe journey.

Friends ofthe Barnegat Lighthouse State Park will host their fourth annual Fine Arts Show on Saturday, July 28 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Exhibits will encompass painting, photography, sculpture and more. A rain date is set for the next day.

A one-mile ocean swim to benefit the Barnegat Light Beach Patrol will take place on Saturday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. Interested participants can preregister online at lmsports.com. Registration costs $25 or $20 in advance and includes a t-shirt, food and beverage.
Photo by Steve Essinger
My brother and I at the top of Old Barney!

Enter your pooch in the dog show at Wildflowers, located at Fifth and Broadway St., on Wednesday, Aug. 15. Your dog could take first place in one of many categories, including Best Trick, Best Costume, or even Best Kisser. The show will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter.

Get to know the New Jersey Coast Guard at 6th St. and Bayview Ave. on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Rescue and safe boating demonstrations will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Educational information from MATES, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and the Jacques Cousteau Coastal Center will also be available.

TheBarnegat Light Historical Society will host it's Historical Home Tour and Wine and Cheese Party on Thursday, Aug. 23. Food and beverages will be served at the Barnegat Light Museum, located at 5th St. and Central Ave., from 2 to 6 p.m.

The Viking Village Antique and Collectible Show will bring many quality dealers into town on Sunday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dealers will be selling everything from Victorian collectibles to country memorabilia.

“Small town USA does exist at the Jersey Shore,” said Barnegat Light's recreation department coordinator, Nancy Manookian. “We just want people to know that Barnegat Light is a wonderful family place to be.”

For a complete list of upcoming events in Barnegat Light, visit barnegatlight.org or call 609-494-9196.

This article was published in The Beachcomber.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kickoff the summer at LBIfest

Photo via Google Images
LBIfest kicks off it's third year in Brant Beach.
If you haven’t already heard, Saturday, June 9 marks the date for the third annual LBIfest. A day full of family fun complete with local vendors, food fare and musicians, LBIfest is a great way to kickoff the summer season and show your support for the Southern Ocean Medical Center (formerly SOCH) in lieu of their Emergency Department expansion project. The event will be held at the Long Beach Township Municipal Complex and Bayview Park in Brant Beach between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

Last year’s festival brought in a whopping 9,000 people. Folks enjoyed scoping out the good eats from restaurants like The Chicken or the Egg and the fine merchandise from businesses such as Just Bead It and AcmeSurf and Sport, all while rocking out to live entertainment. This year, attendees can expect to enjoy just as much, if not more, fun.

We’re trying to create a good LBI experience so people will want to come back here and bring their families and have fun,” said Zach Kerzner, co-chairman of the Long Beach Island Business Alliance. “We’re trying to give people who come down (to Long Beach Island) during the off-season the option to do something entertaining. We want everyone to come out and feel comfortable here. The bay is so beautiful and just hanging out there and partying is wonderful. People will be jumping on paddleboards all day long. It should be a really nice event,” he added with excitement.

This year’s live entertainment will consist of eight local bands, including Ted Hammock; Dan Brown Duo; The Following; The Castoffs; Cheap Red Wine; The Brigantines; AJ Stone; and The 559.

A handful of local nonprofits will be on-site handing-out informational pamphlets and stickers alongside 60 to 70 local retailers who will be selling their wares. Food vendors will be serving up yummy eats and thirst-quenching beverages. Paddleboarding, kayaking and other water sports will take place on the bay. A bouncy house and slide will be provided for children on-land.

Look out for 2012 LBIfest wristbands being sold at varying vending locations. For just $2, the latex-free silicone bracelets entitle the wearer to special deals and discounts offered all season long at varying business establishments. For a complete list of participating enterprises and their specific deals running April 1 through December 31, visit bifest.com/2012wristbandpromo.html.

The wristband promotion is really a win-win-win,” said Kerzner. “We started out just trying to make it profitable for the hospital. But then we said, ‘wait a minute, let’s make it a win for the person buying it and a win for the retailer selling it.’ It’s a triple crown,” he added.

LBIfest is brought to you by The Long Beach Island Business Alliance, comprised of local business owners who are dedicated to making Long Beach Island a year-round attraction for locals and visitors alike.

We really want to excite the locals about (LBIfest), too,” said LBIBA co-chairman, Stacey Fuessinger. “ Sometimes even a lot of them think there's nothing to do on the Island. If we get the locals involved during the shoulder season, that will really help the community,” she added.

For more information about LBIBA or LBIfest visit lbifest.com.

This article was published in The Beachcomber.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Walters Bicycles supports bike commuters

Spring is here, which means warm weather is approaching the Jersey Shore. Locals and visitors alike are looking forward to outdoor activities. Lucky for us, May is National Bike Month – a great excuse for digging the bike out of the garage and hitting the pavement or the dirt trail, letting the wind freely blow through your hair. National Bike Month started out as American Bike Month on behalf of the Cycle Trade Association as a way to promote the sale of bicycles. Inaugurated by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956, the month-long celebration now aims to promote cycling as a fun, healthy, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly means of travel.

The League of American Bicyclists was established in Newport, RI as the League of American Wheelmen, about 40 years after Kirkpatrick Macmillan supposedly invented the first pedal-driven, two-wheel bicycle in 1839. Throughout the 19th century, cyclists – or wheelmen as they were originally called – had to ride their bikes across uneven terrain and were often antagonized by jockeys, carriage drivers and foot-travelers. Hoping to improve road conditions and gain respect from fellow voyagers, over 100,000 cyclists around the nation joined the League and the Good Roads Movement to campaign for paved roads, which ultimately led to the National Highway System. New Jersey was the first state to enact a law in favor of road-building projects.

Commuting by bicycle is in many ways a very liberating experience. Not only is it a great way to factor in the recommended 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise, it also saves money on those ever-increasing gas prices, and helps reduce a person’s carbon footprint. When substituted for city car driving, which is three times more polluting per mile than highway car driving, bike riding saves the environment 3.6 pounds of pollutants per mile. Riding a bike is also more maneuverable than driving a car, which makes biking a lot more convenient in traffic – especially heavy summer Shore traffic.

To further emphasize the advantages of bicycle commuting, The League has sanctioned May 14-18, Bike to Work Week, and Friday, May 18, Bike to Work Day. This year, for the first time ever, The National Center for Safe Routes to School has partnered with the League to promote Wednesday, May 9, as National Bike to School Day. But before jumping on the bike saddle, it’s important to familiarize one’s self with the rules of the road. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as automobilists. This means bike commuters must ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, traveling no more than two abreast when traffic is not encumbered. It’s also extremely important to obey all travel signs and signals.

Cyclists must make sure their ride is in good, working condition and properly fits their build. Before heading out, the League suggests checking that the bike’s tires have a sufficient amount of air and the quick-release wheel levers are closed. Working brakes and a smooth-running chain are also necessities. Reflectors and headlights are vital if you’re riding around on cloudy days or during the nighttime. Tommy Walters, owner of Walters Bicycles in Ship Bottom, says it’s also important to have a noisemaker, such as a bell or horn, to help inform pedestrians and cars of your whereabouts. In case of an emergency, it’s a good idea to carry a few repair tools. Walters suggests investing in a small bag that can be hung behind the seat or on the handlebars, equipped with a tube patch kit, tire pump and a multi-tool that includes an Allen wrench, perfect for making adjustments to the seat and handlebars, and a tire iron, which helps slip the tire off the rim of the wheel. It’s also a good idea to carry a cell phone in case you need to call for help.

New Jersey law requires children under the age of 17 to wear a helmet. Anyone above the age of 17 is strongly encouraged to follow suit, considering head injury is the most common and serious cause of harm and death among cyclists. Nowadays, Walters says many helmets only weigh about six ounces, which means most people forget their even wearing one. Helmets are also helpful on hot, sunny days as the open vents allow for proper airflow.

Walters Bicycles, located at 418 South Long Beach Boulevard, will hold a Bike Rodeo at the end of the month for students at the Long Beach Island Grade School in Ship Bottom. The rodeo will consist of free bicycle repairs and minor adjustments for children who bring their bikes in for maintenance. The Kiwanis Club of Long Beach Island will provide helmets and noisemakers. Walters says he’s been providing Bike Rodeos all around the area for the past 20 years and fixes between 50 to 80 bicycles per event, as a way of giving back to the community.

“There are a lot of folks who maintain their bikes, and a lot of people who don’t do anything,” said Walters. “Maintenance comes along with safety. Sometimes people come in, and they have no brakes or pads left. If they don’t want to come in for a regular tune-up, they should at least look over their bike themselves.”

Cyclists nowadays have many riding options from performance road bikes to recreational cruisers. According to Walters, commuter bicycles are now more comfortable than ever, complete with extra-padded saddles and upright handlebars. Bike shorts have padding in all the right places, especially the buttocks, and bike shirts are great for wicking away moisture. Though many people see bike gloves as gimmicky, they’re actually good for preventing carpal tunnel, as the gel in the palms mutes most of the vibrations pulsing through the hands when riding a bike.

If you still find cycling to be a struggle, Walters suggests investing in an electric bike by Pedego or Tommy Bahama, which has a battery-operated electric motor. The bicycles look just like regular bikes, and the lithium ion batteries are lightweight and packed with power. A fully charged battery should get you as far as 30 miles at 20 miles per hour – the legal speed limit for electric bicycles, according to Pedego. Of course, wind resistance and a person’s height and weight will play a role in how long the battery actually lasts.

Walters says electric bicycles are great for those commuting to work because they don’t require any real physical activity, which means there’s no sweat involved. They’re also great for people with heart conditions or knee problems, or senior citizens who want to keep up with their children and grandchildren, while also enjoying the benefits of riding a bike on a beautiful, sunny day. Of course, if you want to use the electric bikes for exercise, they can also be pedaled manually. Pedego and Tommy Bahama electric bicycles run in price from $1,850 and up in-shop at Walters Bicycles. But Walters says the price is worth it, and many people are opting to buy them.

“I only sell bikes I can fix,” said Walters. I love what I do, and I want customers to come back to my shop,” he added sincerely.

For more information on how to get involved in bicycle commuting, visit the bikeleague.org or call Walters Bicycles at (609) 494-1991.

This article was published in The SandPaper.