Thursday, March 28, 2013

LBI 's Shore Good Donuts reopens after Sandy, offers free coffee and doughnuts

Ship Bottom’s Shore Good Donuts, the area’s only made-to-order doughnut shop, celebrated its grand reopening following Superstorm Sandy on Saturday with free coffee and fresh doughnuts for everyone who stopped in. By the end of the day, more than 200 cups of coffee had been handed out, and the number of doughnuts served had been forgotten.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Todd Hunt of Shore Good Donuts creates
a special recipe to be used in the doughnut
robot, during the store's grand reopening
following Superstorm Sandy.
Customers came in crowds to welcome the shop’s returning staff. John and Whitney Niles and their two sons Jake, 3, and Harry, 4, drove from Essex County to support their favorite LBI doughnut shop. The family has been vacationing in the area for many years.
“It’s kind of weird to drive an hour and a half for a doughnut, but we love it here, and we’re glad it’s back to normal,” said John.
The Nileses said they drove around the Island on Thanksgiving to check out the devastation and have been following Shore Good Donuts’ recovery via Facebook.
“The resilience of these people is remarkable, so when we heard they were opening we decided to come down and make a day of it,” said Whitney. “The doughnuts are great, the coffee is spectacular, and the people are above and beyond. And we never shy away from a day at the beach,” she added.
Brothers Jake and Harry, operating on an obvious sugar high, indulged in three of their favorite doughnuts while visiting.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Customers came from as far as Essex County
to welcome Shore Good Donuts back to LBI
and to indulge in free coffee and doughnuts.
Mainstay doughnut flavors include lemon drop, French toast, cookies-n-cream, mape-n-bake, inside-out jelly and inside-out Boston cream. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, maple and glaze icings are always offered, too.
When a major disaster such as Superstorm Sandy devastates your town and doughnut business, the only sensible thing to do is to create a tasty treat in its memory. The “Sandy Donut,” topped with butternut crunch, and the “Hurricane Sandy,” a blend of your favorite doughnut and ice cream, are now on the menu for good, as well. “Debris,” such as rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, shredded coconut and chopped peanuts, can be added to the “Hurricane Sandy” for an extra 99 cents.
“Sandy’s in our memories forever. She’s a mainstay now,” said Todd Hunt, co-owner of Shore Good Donuts.
Hunt, as well as the public, got a fly-on-the-wall view of the devastation that Sandy wrought inside Shore Good Donuts’ building three hours before the power went out at 10:18 p.m. on Oct. 29, via one of the shop’s inside surveillance cameras. The six-minute time-lapse video was picked up by the Weather Channel and featured on the network’s top five videos of the week during the wake of the storm. The video on You Tube has more than 3,000 hits to date.
But Internet fame did not change the fact that Shore Good Donuts had 32 inches of floodwater damage to deal with. Everything in the building four feet and down had to be ripped out and replaced. All of the shop’s equipment was ruined, except, fortunately, for the doughnut robot, which spits out warm, fresh doughnuts in a matter of minutes while customers wait for their orders.
Although the shop lost some business because of the storm, since it usually closes for the season after the holidays in December and opens again just before Easter, Hunt said the storm gave him the opportunity to revamp some things.
“We probably could have opened up two weeks ago, but we wanted to take our time and get everything back to normal, fix some things and make things better than before. I think that’s where we’re at today,” he said.
Hunt had also written to Gov. Christie a month in advance to invite him to the grand reopening. Although Christie wasn’t able to attend, Hunt said he’s glad the governor now knows the business in there. Hunt hopes Christie will stop in sometime during the summer.
Shore Good Donuts will open for daily business during Memorial Day weekend. Hard ice cream will be introduced in the shop this summer. Customers will also be able to order doughnuts through the shop’s new website,, which should be up and running soon. Directions on how to warm the doughnuts will be provided with all shipments.
The “Easter Basket Donut,” glazed and topped with yellow sprinkles and a blue Peep will be available throughout Easter weekend. The shop will be open Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31 between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For more information, visit the shop’s Facebook page at, or call 609-492-0100.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Woodies Burgers gets new mural after damage from Sandy

Like many other businesses on Long Beach Island, the original Woodies Burgers, located in Ship Bottom, has had to be thoroughly renovated after Superstorm Sandy. The family-friendly eatery, known for its menu of more than 35 different burgers made daily with fresh chopped meat from Okie’s Butcher Shop in Surf City, suffered from 33 inches of floodwater damage. Most of the restaurant’s kitchen equipment and dining supplies were ruined.

“As far as I know, this is the first time it ever flooded in here. There might have been a little bit of water in here (before), but nothing major like this,” claimed Pete Poulas, a co-owner of Woodies. “We pretty much had to start over from scratch.”
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Elizabeth Longfield puts the
final coat of varnish over the
new mural at Woodies on LBI.
Poulas, who lives across the street from Woodies with his wife, Darla, stayed in his residence during Sandy. Watching the floodwater rising in the streets and filling his restaurant was something he said he would never stick around for again.
“In your mind, you think you can stop the water or do something, but you can’t,” Poulas admitted. “I felt like I could do something to stop the water from getting into my business, but if it’s a storm of that magnitude, there’s no way you’re going to stop anything. You’re better off leaving and letting the professionals and the rescue personnel do their thing and not get in their way.
“Me and my wife walked over to the restaurant the next day and just came in and went right back out. It was bad. The water was still past our knees in the street. There’s nothing you can really do. It was too stressful,” he added.
Nearly five months later, the local eatery has been completely refurbished with new drywall, fresh paint and supplies, including new exhaust and fire systems. Even the mural on the south wall of the dining room, originally painted by a resident from Barnegat Light more than seven years ago after Poulas and his business partner took over the restaurant, has been replaced.
Local artist Elizabeth Longfield, 24, of Manahawkin was asked to paint the new mural in February after Poulas stopped in for his daily coffee at How You Brewin’ in Surf City, where Longfield has worked for the past five years. She and Darla are former co-workers.
Longfield put the final coat of UV-resistant, matte varnish last week over the new 12-foot by 4-foot painting, which captures the look of a sunset above rolling waves and a beach dotted with a few surfers and cars – one of which is, of course, the classic Woodies mobile.
Although the beach scene was a requirement set by Poulas, Longfield was given the freedom to craft the piece using her own creativity.
“I wanted to do something different than what they had before,” said Longfield, referencing the former mural's daytime scene. “I wanted to do a sunset because the colors are so different. My favorite things to paint are landscapes and skies, so that’s really what I wanted to do,” she added.
After doing some field research taking pictures of the beaches and sunsets on LBI, drawing up a few sketches and choosing a final picture, Longfield set to work. She created a transparency of the final image so she could project the illustration onto the wall and trace the people and automobiles. This, she said, would help keep the painting from appearing distorted. The multihued sunset and cresting waves were painted freehand-style.
Longfield spent a couple of days each week working on the mural for two to three hours at a time. She said she even spent her entire week off during spring break painting at Woodies. All in all, the mural took her nearly 30 hours to complete.
“I loved it. It was so much fun,” she said.
Longfield will graduate from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking. Her other recent work includes murals at the Impact Community Church in Manahawkin. She hopes the local artwork will help her gain recognition within the area’s local art community. To contact her, visit her Facebook page at
Woodies is set to open daily in mid-April, after the dining room and restrooms are completely repaired. A new black bean burger will be incorporated into the vegetarian- and vegan-friendly menu this year. For more information, visit, or dial 609-361-7300.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beautiful brides are made at Tiffany's Salon & Spa on LBI

Most women are used to doing their own hair and makeup on a daily basis. But once in a while, everyone suffers from a bad hair day or a messy makeup application. We all have the pictures to prove it! But every bride knows that limp curls and lipstick on the teeth are a no-go for the wedding day, especially when all eyes are on the bridal party and the captured photographs will be revisited for years to come.

Photo via Tiffany's
A braided wreath up-do is just one
of this year's hottest wedding hair trends.
Tiffany’s Salon and Spa, located in Surf City and known as the preferred bridal hair and makeup vendor with the Weddings of Distinction venues Bonnet Island Estate, Mallard Island Yacht Club, The Stateroom and The Ashford Estate, is staffed with an entire team of bridal beauty professionals who have worked in many of the area’s expert salons. The staff is educated on all the latest trends in wedding beauty and ready to meet all of a bride’s wedding needs from up-dos and airbrush makeup application to nail care and massage therapy, to help make her special day at the shore one she’ll love to remember.
Cortnee Hernandez, the salon’s bridal manager, who has been coordinating weddings and other events across the Island for the past four years, is at the bride’s service from beginning to end, whether she is looking to book a customized facial and a French manicure, or treat the entire wedding party to the ultimate indulgence.
“We’re the only full-service salon on Long Beach Island. It’s one-stop shopping for our brides,” said Hernandez.
The salon’s array of bridal packages offers a range of options at a reduced price for large or small parties, the couple or bride only, the flower girl and the honeymooners. There’s even a groom package for the husband-to-be, complete with a haircut, hot shave, 30-minute Swedish massage, manicure/pedicure combination and his choice of either an eyebrow wax or beard trim.
The spa boasts five private wellness rooms where the bride can indulge in a relaxing massage or rejuvenating facial to help ease those wedding day jitters. Treat the mother of the bride to a salon signature Egyptian facial or the maid-of-honor to a paraffin manicure and pedicure.
The bridal coordinator will even help plan the bride’s beauty regimen and help her decide when to meet with the esthetician, massage therapist, manicurist and makeup and hair artists prior to the big day. A trial up-do and makeup application can even be done in advance so the bride can play around with different options before making a final decision.
“The staff of stylists that we have here are the most excellent up-do artists on this Island today. The finished product that they put out is phenomenal; it’s such an art,” said salon manager Andrea Ford-Scola. “We all have well over 20 years’ experience, and most of us have gotten further extensive training in different areas. So this is a true team of professionals that just do phenomenal work.
Photo via Tiffany's
Trial up-dos are a great way to play
around with different ideas before
choosing a hairstyle for the wedding.
“As far as the salon as a whole, the ambience here is just so inviting. It’s comfortable, it’s bright, cheery, very positive (and) very friendly. We have the beautiful view of the bay, and if you go out on the back deck you can even catch a glimpse of the ocean,” she added.
Parties can be set up at the salon, or on-location at the wedding venue, home or hotel.  Bagels, fresh fruit and orange juice are always provided. The bride is welcome to bring her own champagne for mimosas and a photographer to capture those special moments before she and her fiance tie the knot.
“Whatever they want, I’m here to assist them and make their salon and spa experience as carefree and relaxing as possible,” said Hernandez. “My goal is to make them feel exceptional and not just a number within our Tiffany’s team. Anything special they want, I make sure I know, and I’ll have it there.”
Tiffany’s Salon and Spa will be at the Wedding Road Show on Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Boat House in Beach Haven. The salon will be raffling off one of its ultimate bridal packages valued at $330. Gift bags will be offered to all brides who stop by the table.
For additional information, visit
-- Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, March 25, 2013

NJ's 3rd congressional district enters national art contest

The 3rd Congressional District of New Jersey is accepting visual art submissions for the annual Congressional Art Competition, “An Artistic Discovery.” The competition is open to high school artists in grades nine through 12 who reside within the district. The contest will be held at Burlington County College, located in Pemberton.

Photo via
"Programmed for Change," by Jayne Yan,
was NJ's 3rd Congressional District's 2012
winner of the Congressional Art Competition.
According to a press release sent out by Congressman Jon Runyan (N.J.-3rd), the nationwide competition has been sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives since 1982 to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of the nation’s young constituents.
Student artists should register for the 3rd Congressional District Art Competition by Wednesday, April 10. Artwork must be submitted to the Lewis M. Parker Center at Burlington County College by Monday, April 15, between 4 and 6 p.m. Submissions will be on display throughout the week.
Each entry must be original in concept, design and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo, painting, graphic, advertisement or any other work produced by another person is considered a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted.
Artwork, when framed, should be no larger than 28- by 28- by 4-inches and should not weigh more than 15 pounds. A 3- by 5-inch index card with the title and medium of the entry must be attached to the bottom right hand corner of the artwork. The name of the artist should not appear on the artwork itself.
The 2013 Congressional Art Competition student information and release form must be typed and attached to the back of the artwork with each entry. Entries without this completed form and any other required information will be disqualified.
A panel of district artists will select the winning entries on Thursday, April 18. The winner of the “Best in Show” category will have his or her winning piece displayed in the Cannon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol for one year. Southwest Airlines will also award the winning artist with two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C., for the gallery’s ribbon-cutting event.
Four runner-up entries will be selected for first, second and third places, as well as honorable mention. The first and second runners-up will be invited to hang their pieces in one of Runyan’s congressional district offices.
For more information and to register, contact Amanda von Leer at 856-780-636 or
--Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ocean County College hosts annual Senior Living Expo

The third annual Senior Living Expo will be held in the gymnasium (building 19) of the Ocean County College’s Toms River campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 27. Parking and admission to the event is free.

Photo via ImperialLiving
Ocean County College hosts the third annual
Senior Living Expo on Wednesday, March 27.
Health and wellness screenings presented by Barnabas Health/Community Medical Center, as well as AAA’s National Senior Driver demonstrations including “CarFit,” “Roadwise Rx” and “AAA Roadwise Review,” will be available throughout the day. The “Blue to You Van” will help participants set up doctor’s appointments and transportation services. Claims issues assistance will also be provided.
Free food from local eateries, giveaways and door prizes will be available, along with live entertainment provided by the local senior dancing group “The Calendar Girls.”
The event is sponsored by AAA, Barnabas Health/Community Medical Center, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Blue to You and New Jersey Natural Gas.
A list of business, community and food exhibitors attending the event is updated daily at

-- Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Red Cross goes from response to recovery after Sandy

March isn’t just about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Since 1943, under the provision of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the month has also honored the efforts of the American Red Cross, which offers disaster relief assistance to victims across the country and around the world – something New Jerseyans have recently witnessed and received after Superstorm Sandy ravaged their home state.

Photo via Kohn2
The American Red Cross transitions from
response to recovery 4 months after
Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast.
American Red Cross Month has been celebrated with proclamations at the state level since 2010. Ocean County provided a county declaration last year, along with nine other New Jersey counties.
New Jersey celebrated the proclamation at the statewide county level for the first time this year on Wednesday, March 20. The proclamation was presented at the Ocean County Board of Freeholders meeting, held at the Ocean County Administration Building in Toms River, in the midst of the American Red Cross’ commitment to providing long-term Sandy assistance.
During the response phase of the storm, the ARC mobilized more than 5,300 employees and volunteers and provided more than 28,300 health and mental health contacts to residents in New Jersey. The organization also distributed more than 1.5 million relief items and served more than 4 million meals and snacks.
The ARC has been in the process of transitioning from response to the recovery phase of the storm since early February. According to Laura Steinmetz, community/government relations officer of the ARC South Jersey Region, the organization will be in full recovery mode later this week.
“When we do our response, it’s much more visible because you see the emergency vehicles out in the community; you see them delivering meals. You don’t see us working one-on-one with clients, looking for their unmet needs,” said Steinmetz. “Now we’re addressing the clients who have already received some services from some of the organizations in the community, such as FEMA, and we’re seeing what additional services they need that the Red Cross can now help with.”
The provided assistance is specific to each individual’s unmet needs. Finding longer-term housing, such as in a FEMA trailer, a partially furnished form of temporary manufactured housing, which residents can stay in for up to 18 months, is one of the ways the organization is helping victims move forward. In some cases, moving costs, home appliances and first month’s utilities and/or rent are compensated.
“We’re not throwing money at people. We’re not giving them a card with money on it, so to speak. We’re helping them realize what their unmet needs are and helping them get to that next phase,” said Steinmetz. “We’re sitting down and doing client casework. In some cases, we’re touching base with them every day. We’re visiting, we’re sitting down one-on-one, and asking, ‘What are your unmet needs? What don’t you have? What do you need?’ In some cases, it may be prescription eyeglasses were lost.
“After they’re helped initially, their file is not closed. We keep that file open to see that we make sure that they get into that phase of recovery that they need to be in,” she added.
Photo via Philanthropy
Members of the American Red Cross have been
supporting Sandy's victims from the beginning.
Community organizations working with the ARC are providing phone lists with the names of people they have assisted. The ARC is also using its client assistance network software program to track the different people who have been helped.
“Part of what we’re trying to do to make best use of the donor dollar is to see that we don’t replicate services, but that we go that one step further. We want to be able to provide for X amount of people, as many people as we possibly can. We’re taking it the next step past FEMA,” said Steinmetz.
Part of the American Red Cross Sandy recovery effort includes supplying grants to a broad coalition of nonprofit organizations to ensure that partner organizations have the ability to undertake specialized recovery activities. All of the grant applications the ARC receives will be considered, Steinmetz stated.
“The Red Cross is committed that money donated for Sandy be used to help people affected by Sandy, and grant funding such as this helps fulfill that commitment. Programs such as these are vital in helping people rebuild their lives,” she said.
Individuals who have not yet received Sandy assistance are encouraged to reach out to the American Red Cross at 848-202-2930 or 848-202-2931.
The "Red, White and Bling -- 30th annual Red Cross Gala" will be held at the Spring Lake Golf Club in Spring Lake Heights from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, April 6. Cocktails, dinner, an auction and music played by Generation Next will be provided. The event benefits the ARC Jersey Coast Chapter. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Holistic stress therapy workshop for Sandy victims on LBI

Photo via Holistic Healing
Curing is almost always focused on the
person as a physical entity, a body.
Dealing with stress after a major disaster such as Superstorm Sandy can wreak havoc on the mind, body and spirit. Causeway Chiropractic, located at 382 West Ninth St. in Ship Bottom, will host a free workshop to help individuals suffering from post-Sandy trauma to relax and rejuvenate.

Kathleen Gill, a registered nurse and certified healing touch practitioner who has been offering energy therapy workshops at Causeway Chiropractic for the past five years, will lead the One Community Under Stress – Post-Sandy seminar in a safe and quiet environment, complete with comfortable pillows and soft lighting and music between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.
“Many of our friends and patients have been affected since the storm,” said Jennifer Bott, Causeway Chiropractic’s office manager and wife of owner and chiropractor Christopher Bott, who is also certified in reiki and craniosacral therapies. “We’ve always been open to inviting people to help not just our patients, but also the community. Our mission is to provide a positive, ethical and nurturing environment to heal in,” she added.
During the event, Gill will guide participants through a self-stress evaluation and imagery exercises. The physiology of stress and how it affects your body will also be discussed, as well as pertinent coping skills and relaxation techniques.
“The purpose of the workshop is to expose participants to the principles, theories and skills needed to effectively manage stress, understand the mind-body-spirit relationship and employ a holistic approach to stress management,” said Jennifer.
Comfortable clothing for the event is suggested. Registration is required.
A free Sandy support group is also offered at the office every Wednesday between 6 and 7 p.m.
“It’s a structured, safe environment,” said Jennifer. “You can listen or share. It’s similar to any kind of 12-step program.
“During that hour time, whoever’s the leader will share something, and then it will go around, and each person gets a chance to talk without interruptions. They usually end with some kind of saying or poem, to kind of close it out. It’s just a nice environment for people to realize they’re not alone; everybody is kind of dealing with the same thing,” she explained.
For more information and to register, call Causeway Chiropractic at 609-361-1800.

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NJ's DEP uses federal emergency grant to hire residents to clean up Sandy-battered parks

The National Emergency Grant, a $15.6 million federal grant program awarded to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will provide work for at least 1,000 unemployed state residents, officials announced at a news conference held at Liberty State Park in Jersey City on Monday, March 18. Work will consist of post-Superstorm Sandy cleanup jobs.
Photo via NJLWD
Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths speaks at a
press conference about the 
NEG, which is being
used to help the state DEP 
hire residents to
clean-up storm-battered parks.
So far, 700 people within the state’s 16 storm-battered counties have been hired through the program. Officials said the state Department of Environmental Protection is using the grant to hire nearly 80 unemployed residents to help renovate state parks damaged by Sandy. The DEP is placing workers at its two busiest parks, Liberty State Park in Jersey City and Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, as well as others. Repairing dunes, clearing debris and refurbishing walkways and trails are some of the assigned duties.
“It makes us feel so good to get these people back to work,” said Labor Commissioner Harold Wirths.
Employees hired through the program are estimated to work for approximately six months. Some could earn up to $12,000. Applications are still being processed, and representatives anticipate filling many positions with a range of state organizations within the next few weeks.
Officials also plan to ask for extra funds to hire additional people.
According to information released by the labor department, New Jersey’s unemployment rate lingered at 9.5 percent in January, even though employers added 2,600 staff members to their payrolls. That’s higher than the nation’s unemployment rate, which was 7.9 percent in January.
Ocean County residents interested in applying for employment should visit the local One-Stop Career Center in Toms River.
For more information, log onto, or call 877-682-6238 or 800-233-5005 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Email with any further questions.

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's happenin' at Da'shore?!

Stay informed; like Da'shore on Facebook!

Southern Ocean Medical Center to host men's health night

Photo via Men's Health
The Southern Ocean Medical Center
will host a Men's Health Night program,
which will include health screenings.
Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin will offer a free Men’s Health Night on Wednesday, March 20, between 7 and 9 p.m. The event will include physician-provided lectures regarding memory, prostate health, sports injuries and other topics. Health screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, bone densitometry, colon rectal, foot, pulmonary function, cholesterol and balance will also be provided.

“We’re going to have a lot of community resources there,” said Carol Schoenberger, a registered nurse and manager of the outreach program at Meridian Health. “We’re going to have a lot of information about different hospital departments, along with the Ocean County Senior Services. The Long Beach Island Health Department (and) Ocean County Health Department will be participating in the event that night, too.”
A free lipid profile screening will be available two days before the program, at the Beach Plum Conference Room at SOMC on Monday, March 18, between 7 and 9 a.m. Participants should not eat or drink anything at least 12 hours prior to having blood drawn. Medications may be taken with water. Test results will be available for review during Wednesday night’s event.
For more information, visit or call 1-800-DOCTORS.

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Irish festivities continue after holiday at Albert Music Hall

The Irish festivities don’t have to come to an end after St. Patrick’s Day. The Pinelands Cultural and Historical Preservation Society will honor the beauty of the Emerald Isle through its music and dance during the organization’s annual Irish Country and Bluegrass Music Show. The concert will be held at the Albert Music Hall on Saturday, March 23, between 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. Doors will open one hour before showtime.

Photo via Albert Music Hall
A number of live musical performances will take
place at the Albert Music Hall during the annual
Irish Country and Bluegrass Music Show.
“It’s one of our most popular shows of the year,” said Elaine Everett, a spokeswoman for the Albert Music Hall. “We always have it the Saturday after St. Patrick’s Day because there’s a lot of competition on St. Patrick’s Day. A lot of bars and restaurants have special things. But we get a very large audience because of it, too,” she added.
The event will be held in Waretown at the 350-seat auditorium complete with state-of-the-art equipment. An Irish greeter will welcome concertgoers at the entrance. Candy coins and good-luck wishes will be offered to everyone who stops in.
Performers are expected to include Ballyhaunis Step Dancers; Church Street Revival; Sky Road; Piney Blues; J & E Company; and Clan Suibhne. The Pickin’ Shed, as well as an improvised pickin’ space on the Hall’s porch and parking lot, will be available for musicians to meet and play.
Tickets cost $5 for adults and $1 for children younger than 12. Light refreshments and souvenirs will be available for purchase. Fees go toward maintaining the hall, as well as the many scholarships and charitable donations the organization gives throughout the year.
“We’re a completely grassroots, volunteer organization,” said Everett. “We travel the United States constantly going to shows like this, but we have never seen another organization that’s self-supported and does so much with scholarships and all. So we’re very unique,” she emphasized.
Live country, bluegrass and old-time music concerts are held at the hall every Saturday night at 7:30. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
A Ladies of Country and Bluegrass Music Show will be held on Saturday, June 29. All bands will feature female leads, including Heidi Olsen of Heidi Olsen and the Night; Erin Ricca from Erin Ricca and the Ocean County Cowboys; Laurie and Alice Dorisio from Warm Hearted Country; Barbara Muccie and Judi Parker of Past Times; Cindy Giejda of Cindy G. and the Rising River Band; Wendy Bartel and Jeannie O’Neill from Firelight; and Melanie Wagner of Melanie and Sonny.
For more information, visit, or call 609-971-1593.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Superstorm Sandy makes little impact on flora

Besides hitting after the tourist season, the timing of Superstorm Sandy was favorable in another way: It came during the season when plants are dormant, resulting in less of an impact on local flora.

This was one of the points made by Ocean County master gardener and 30-year landscaper Keavy Franzoni at part two of the six-part Rutgers Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Series “Landscaping Your Yard,” at the Stafford branch of the Ocean County Library on March 12.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Ocean County Master Gardener
Keavy Franzoni offers advice on
how to care for plants after
Superstorm Sandy.
“The best thing is that it (the storm) happened at the end of October when everything was dormant. It wasn’t drinking the saltwater; it just passed by,” Franzoni said. “During Hurricane Irene, the water stayed for three days. (Superstorm Sandy) washed through in six or eight hours. It was soaking a little bit, but not drowning. If it happened in June, then it would have had a really adverse effect,” she added.
Though no one knows for sure how the floodwater and debris from the superstorm have affected the re-growth of the area’s plants, Franzoni said, “It’s too early to say whether or not plants will come back.
“Right now, it’s a wait-and-see situation. Nothing’s woken up yet. How do you know if the plants are dead or alive?” 
Franzoni recommends leaving plants in the ground for now. Ripping them out, she said, will create a lot of unnecessary work and could wind up costing more in the end.
“People should really not throw anything out yet,” said Franzoni. “We’ve never had a storm like this before, so what are we comparing it to? You’re assuming your plants are dead, so you just threw out $5,000 worth of plants.”
According to the master gardener, plants that appear brown are not necessarily dead, but are most likely wind-burnt from the high winds during Sandy. Wind-burnt plants need at least a year to recuperate, she said.
“You don’t want to rip out a 30-year-old tree that’s going to look good in a year. It’ll take another 30 years to get it to that height,” claimed Franzoni.
As a general rule, plants that have not produced any foliage by June can be removed, said Franzoni
If re-planting is necessary, it is best to use salt-tolerant plants, such as bayberry, beach plum and rosa rugosa bushes; black pine, cedar, hollywood and juniper trees; and black-eyed susan and dayliliy flowers. Stargazer and casa blanca bulbs can be planted now and will bloom in June, she advised.
Anyone interested in testing the pH level of his or her yard’s soil can call the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County at 732-349-1245. A recommended three samples from a 3x15 area, or eight samples from a 100x100 area, should be mixed together and brought to the center, located at 1623 Whitesville Rd. in Toms River.
Those looking to test the level of salt in their soil should contact the Rutgers Cooperative Extension via
Franzoni suggests using fertilizer, which is a salt, sparingly this spring.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
An audience of local New Jersey residents
ask questions about proper gardening
techniques at the shore. 
“Don’t salt the salt,” she said.
The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Ocean County will be available for diagnostic services at the Stafford library on the second and fourth Monday of every month from July to September, between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Soil and clippings can be submitted during those visits.
The gardening series will continue throughout the season on Mondays at the Stafford library. Franzoni will host a talk on beach and bay plantings on March 25. Mary Townsend will discuss irises on April 8, and Sandy Zenkel will host a presentation on container water gardening on April 22. The last seminar, on container gardening, directed by Ted Behr and Ruby Cramer, will take place on April 13. To register for the events, visit, or call 609-597-3381.

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Southern Regional Middle School holds Easter egg hunt

An Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Association, will take place at the Southern Regional Middle School in Manahawkin on Saturday, March 16. The event will take place on the front lawn of the school, located at 75 Chambers Bridge Rd., between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participating children will be divided into different groups, from 1 to 3 years old and 4 to 7 years old. Admission is free, but BYOB – bring your own basket!

Photo via Southern Mamas
An Easter egg hunt and other
fun activities will be held at
SRMS in Stafford on March 16.
Games and prizes, a bounce house, crafts, face painting and other fun activities, including a chance to meet the Easter Bunny, will be offered. Treats provided by the school’s history buff club and student council members will be available for purchase in the cafeteria.
“We’re happy to do it again for the kids,” said Clair Chapter, co-adviser for the history buff club, who also teaches seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at the middle school. “It’s to bring the community together because we realize that our Stafford district is separate from the Island schools and our Waretown sending district. We want the kids who are up-and-coming to the Southern district to come and see what it’s like here and to kind of mingle. It’s kind of nice to have them introduced to the district where they’ll be going someday,” she added.
For more information, email Chapter at, or call 609-597-9481. 

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stockton College offers workshop for prospective and current educators

Prospective elementary and secondary school teachers interested in obtaining information about the teaching certification process are encouraged to attend the “Teacher Education Information Workshop” being held at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Instructional Site, located at 712 East Bay Ave. in Manahawkin, on Friday, March 15. The event will begin at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

Photo via Facebook
Nancy Fiedler and Dr. Amy Ackerman
spend time with educators, discussing
the different graduate programs offered
at the Richard Stockton College of NJ.
Participants are welcome to bring their transcripts in for review by Nancy Fiedler, the college’s assistant director of teacher education. A complete evaluation of coursework as well as necessary assessments, including the SAT, ACT and Praxis exams, will be provided. Advice on how to increase your GPA will also be offered.
“All that information is given that evening, as far as what one would need to do to begin the program and what they need to do to get certified,” said Fiedler. “It’s going to be very informal, so it’s going to be a ‘sit-down share your thoughts and questions’ (kind of event). It’s an informational workshop,” she added.
Current teachers looking to further their education are welcome to join the event between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Information regarding the school’s pertinent graduate study programs, including a master of arts in education, educational leadership or instructional technology, will be discussed. Faculty members will be available to answer questions. Contact information for further networking will be provided, as well.
To register for the free program, call 609-652-4688. Additional information can be found online at

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Long Beach Island Foundation will host post-Sandy party

“It’s been a long winter; we’re rejuvenating and rebuilding. Let’s just have a fun get-together,” said Amy Carreno, public programs coordinator at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. That’s the idea behind the LBIF’s Luck O’ the Island Party set for Friday, March 15. The family-friendly celebration, complete with live Irish music played by The Sweeney Band and The Guy Smiley Band, as well as a host of fun activities provided by Fantasy Island, Just Bead It and Viking Village, will be held inside the organization’s art gallery in Loveladies from 7 to 10 p.m.

Freckles the Clown will offer face painting, and LBI is ALIVE will be selling T-shirts. A chance to register for the Shamrocks for Sandy Run set for Sunday, March 17, will also be available.
The Amergael Society will be showcasing artwork from its annual Celebrate Irish Arts festival, currently featured in the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City.
Postcards of the Island’s most noteworthy characteristics, photographed by LBIF member Ann Coen and printed by local surf and skate apparel company Jetty, will be provided for participants to mail out to friends and family.
Food will also be catered by local eateries, including Plantation, Kubel’s Too, the Engelside Inn, Scojo’s, Cake That!, Philadelphia Pretzel Factory, the Greenhouse CafĂ©, Speakeasy Pizza, Oasis Grill and more.
“It’s a fun event just to bring the community together because we need a reason to celebrate,” said Carreno.
Admittance to the event costs $5 a person. For more information, visit, or call 609-494-1241.

This article was published in The SandPaper.