Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Twice As Nice expands to second shop in Manahawkin

Twice As Nice, a second-hand clothing store that opened in the Manahawkin Mart Shoppes in August, has expanded to another location in town to accommodate a wider customer base. Women’s and men’s clothing as well as children’s apparel from newborn to pre-teens are now available for buying and selling at the second shop, located at 587 Mill Creek Rd.
Photo via Facebook
A wide range of  fall apparel is available in-store.
“We were busting at the seams in a matter of weeks at the Manahawkin Mart location and had no choice but to expand immediately,” said Carrie von Gorski, co-owner of the shop. “We are extra excited to accommodate a wider audience and have everything under one roof.”
Women’s and children’s fall and winter clothing as well as handbags are available and wanted. Due to the large quantity of inventory, customers are being asked to hold off on bringing in new apparel until Wednesday, Oct. 1. Women’s and children’s hangers are needed. Out-of-season attire such as shorts and sundresses are not being accepted at this time.
Women’s and men’s clothing is available strictly on a retail basis at the Manahawkin Mart shop.
The new location’s inventory has been added to co-owner Jay Zimmerman’s jewelry business, where vintage and costume jewelry, including gold and silver, plus coins, war memorabilia, watches and antiques are also available for buying and purchasing.
“The objects of historical and nostalgic value that Jay has found are just fascinating,” von Gorski said.
The new store is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Days and hours for selling vary based on the needs of the business.
To get the latest updates, visit the store’s Facebook page, which is available for viewing even without a Facebook account.
For more information, call 609-618-2812.
–Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, September 29, 2014

'Dancing With Dolphins' fundraiser to be held in Atlantic City Oct. 5

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, the only facility in New Jersey that cares for marine mammals as well as sea turtles that strand along the New Jersey shoreline due to injury or sickness, will host its third annual “Dancing With Dolphins” fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 5. The event will take place at the end of the Pier Shops at Caesars, located at 1 Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City, from 7 to 11 p.m.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Seals are known to strand along LBI.
A nonprofit organization, MMSC has rescued over 4,000 animals since its foundation in 1978. All proceeds from the fundraiser will directly support the organization’s operations and programs, including a comprehensive educational program, which includes off-site teaching, outreach, internships and summer camps.
“Although the past two years were important for raising funds, this year is especially so because of federal budget cuts, which left us without government funding,” said Sheila Dean, co-director of MMSC. “Last year’s event was held in August, and little did we know that we would see more than 150 dolphins ashore in the months that followed.
“We hope to have the support of all New Jersey coastal communities because we are always there for them. It so often goes unnoticed that the MMSC is the only organization that is authorized in the state of New Jersey to rescue, rehabilitate and release dolphins, seals and sea turtles because as soon as the animals land on the beach, we are there to protect them.
“MMSC relies on the support of individuals to help us to continue the work that has been ongoing for the past 36 years,” she added.
A raffle drawing for a $2,200 diamond necklace as well as a silent auction, music and other live entertainment will be available throughout the fundraiser. Light fare and a full-service bar are also included.
Tickets to the event cost $75 for individuals 12 or older, or $30 for children 11 or younger. Tickets can be purchased by calling the MMSC office at 609-266-0539 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Event attire is dressy casual.
For more information, visit marinemammalstrandingcenter.org or call 609-266-0539.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

#amelonaday campaign featured on new Steller app in Apple stores

The #amelonaday movement has reached Apple retail stores.
Photo via Steller
The new app chronicles the campaign in its demo.
A cause awareness campaign – which started in honor of Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month in March and rapidly turned into a collaborative effort among Instagram users from around the world who post creative pictures using melons – was created by Michael “Maz” McWilliams, cofounder and creative director of Digs Apparel, a men’s sportswear company that is also dedicated to raising awareness for TBI.
The project, encouraged by one of McWilliams’ fellow Instagram followers in which McWilliams dedicated 100 days to carrying around a watermelon to shed light on TBI, quickly garnered media attention after being featured on social media sites Instagram and Steller. The story is featured on the Steller app on the new iPhone 6 and 6+ that launched in September. The app is only available on Apple’s new operating system, the foundation of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
“The Steller folks have been on my wing from pretty early on in the #amelonaday movement,” said McWilliams, who has a second home in Harvey Cedars. “They have shown so much support and love and gone out of their way to provide opportunities. It’s been wonderful.
“Steller is an incredibly intuitive storytelling app that really goes a step farther than just posting a single image. You can craft an entire story on the go. It’s very special,” he added.
Due in part to the recognition from Steller, the #amelonaday project has inspired an open discussion about TBI and the many struggles that come with it, something McWilliams is all too familiar with as his older brother Timothy C. “Timbo” McWilliams Jr. suffered from TBI after being mugged in Hoboken in 2001. At age 27, Timothy died in a car crash in 2005 after suffering from a seizure while driving, a complication from his TBI.
The story is described in the #amelonaday demo on Steller’s app, the opening of which claims that someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury every 21 seconds.
To learn more about TBI and the #amelonaday movement, visit steller.co/stories/243410346394519335.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beach Haven Council candidates discuss town priorities during public meeting

Beach Haven residents and officials were not interested in show business when they gathered at Surflight Theatre Saturday morning, Sept. 27. Rather, they were interested in hearing from the four candidates running for office on the Beach Haven Borough Council. Two councilmen, James White and Edward Kohlmeir, are set to end their terms after the November election.
The contenders – Don Kakstis, Tom Lynch, Ken Muha and Bob Wynkoop – each gave opening and closing statements during the meeting hosted by the Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Association.
Photo by Barbara Cona
The contestants answer questions devised by
the Beach Haven Taxpayers' Association.
Rob Weinman, BHTA secretary, moderated the event, for which questions from local residents were sent in advance to the contenders to prepare their answers. The discussion ranged from property tax reform, shared services across Long Beach Island and creation of a paid, professional fire department and emergency medical service to open space and town-owned property, an updated, comprehensive recreation plan, and thoughts about closing the 102-year-old Beach Haven School.
The first question, which focused on each candidate’s top five priorities in town, best summarized their individual campaigns.
Don Kakstis, retired executive director at Johnson and Johnson Corp.’s worldwide engineering and construction services, said his priorities involve preserving the past and revitalizing the future by maintaining and improving the beaches and parks as well as the local programs, including those at the museums and Surflight Theatre. Maintaining and improving roads and infrastructure, as well as the electrical grid, “to ensure they’re reliable and safe,” is also imperative, he said. He said he is also dedicated to improving the business climate by finding out what is missing from the community, and developing a long-term strategy of capital improvements programs.
He wants to find out what is important to “all homeowners, not just voters, especially the younger ones in their 30s, 40s and 50s.” He referenced his neighbor who purchased two homes in the area; the owners of Pearl Street Market, who have a home on Fairview Avenue; and a neighbor down the street who owns an Internet company and comes to the Island on weekends to surf.
“I’m approaching 70; they are really the future,” Kakstis said. “I can only help if I reach out, hear from them and get other people involved.”
Tom Lynch, who has more than 40 years in business management and retired from BDP International as global director of human resources, administration and employee relations, said he is dedicated to continuing beach replenishment.
“Obviously this is a critical thing. ... I want to make sure it’s done correctly,” he said. “Beach Haven has a wonderful beach. It’s great. It’s an opportunity to really bring more people to the area.”
To learn more about the operations of the beach, he became a badge checker this summer, where he met many people from surrounding areas, including Pennsylvania and New York.
“They all love the beaches here, so I really, really want to make that a shining example of Beach Haven.”
Lynch is also interested in promoting the town’s 125th anniversary next year; growing the business and retail community; rebuilding the town hall; and making sure the new pump station is effectively constructed.
Ken Muha, owner of the local Bagel Shack, spent 15 years as an engineer building plants all over the world. He is committed to “looking into each individual situation as it stands on its own, evaluating it as such, and then making any decisions based on the merits of that particular situation.” He said he is dedicated to working with town officials to reduce unnecessary fees and taxes, as well as making sure the municipal services desired and required by the residents and businesses are maintained and improved. Attracting new business and retaining existing business, including beautification and other organized efforts, is also “near and dear to my heart,” he said. Separating the tax revenue-generated decisions from the non-revenue objectives – including attracting new investments, social issues or goals, or recovering capital costs such as large-scale infrastructure investments – will make for rational and economically sound decisions, he added. He said he is also interested in looking into the feasibility of a fishing pier in the bay to be a point of interest to attract families.
Bob Wynkoop, retired senior director of compensation and benefits at Ball Corp., as well as regional human resources director at Middle East of Bechtel Corp., said he is dedicated to focusing on the government’s core responsibilities – including provided services, citizen protection and the maintenance and safety of roads, water and sewers – all in a cost-effective manner.
“If we don’t do those well, than nothing else will get accomplished, or will matter,” he said.
Empowering residents is especially important, he added, referencing the local pickleball group that formed this summer and worked with the council to facilitate better recreational use.
“That’s a small thing,” he said. “There’s lots of other things that I think we can do as a government that will empower our citizens, (and) the businesses, to accomplish things.”
Following the meeting, Nancy Taggart Davis, one of the current council members sitting in the audience, told The SandPaper she thought all the candidates seemed committed to the job and she would be happy to work with any of them.
“Getting people to go anywhere but the beach on a glorious Saturday in September isn’t easy, but we’re thankful we had a great showing,” Barbara Cona, BHTA president, said in a later email. “Our four candidates gave us exactly what we’d hoped for: an opportunity to get to know them and where they stand on some key issues.
“I entered the meeting Saturday morning with no idea who I would vote for. And by the time the event ended, I had my two votes set,” she added. “The taxpayers in our town should expect our town to be the best Beach Haven it can be. We’re fortunate to have people willing to take on this difficult position. We’re blessed with a hard-working council, but there’s always room for improvement.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Beach Haven Council candidates to speak at town meeting Sept. 27

A town meeting for Beach Haven taxpayers to get to know the four candidates running for the two open council seats in November’s election will be held at Surflight Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. The meeting, hosted by the Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Association, will also include a question and answer session with the contenders.
Photo via Google
The meeting will be held at Surflight Theatre.
“The majority of taxpayers in Beach Haven are not eligible to vote in local elections due to their primary residence being elsewhere; we’d like all taxpayers in town to have a voice when it comes to municipal issues,” urged Barbara Cona, president of BHTA. “Saturday’s town hall meeting will offer an opportunity for taxpayers and business owners to have their voices heard while learning more about the candidates running for council. The three council members who will remain in office will also be in attendance for our meeting, so they, too, will hear taxpayers concerns. ...
“Town officials worked tirelessly to bring Beach Haven back after (Superstorm) Sandy. Beach Haven is a special place; our residents are passionate about our town,” she added.
Certain areas of concern include joint Island-wide services, property tax reform, revitalization of the Bay Avenue business district and the relocation of the borough hall, Cona said.
“We’re anxious to hear from our candidates on these and other pertinent issues.”
All current members of the Beach Haven Land Use Board, the candidates include Don Kakstis, retired executive director at Johnson and Johnson Corp.’s worldwide engineering and construction services, whose goal is to “preserve and enhance Beach Haven as a family vacation destination and a great place to live.”
Tom Lynch, who has over 40 years in business management and retired from BDP International as global director of human resources, administration and employee relations, aims to focus on replenishing Beach Haven beaches, growing the business/retail community, rebuilding the town hall, ensuring the new pump station is built to standards and promoting the 125th anniversary of the town.
Ken Muha, owner of the local Bagel Shack, who spent 15 years as an engineer building plants all over the world, is committed to stimulating new business in the community by “looking into each individual situation as it stands on its own, evaluating it as such, and then making any decisions based on the merits of that particular situation.”
Bob Wynkoop, retired senior director of compensation and benefits at Ball Corp. as well as regional human resources director at Middle East of Bechtel Corp., plans to “preserve a family friendly and cordial atmosphere in a cost-effective manner."
–Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

17th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival to screen at LBI Foundation Sept. 26

Cinemagoers will become instant film critics during the screening of the 17th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences Friday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. The global event will unite filmgoers in over 250 cities on six continents to view and judge the work of the next generation of filmmakers.
Photo via Manhattan Short
"The Bravest, The Boldest," directed by Monn
Molson, captures the story of a mother
who tries to avoid terrible news.
“This film festival will unite people in all corners of the globe, from Sydney to Mumbai, from Buenos Aires to Cairo,” Nicholas Mason, founding director of Manhattan Short, said in a press release. “Venues also include cinemas in 20 cities in the Ukraine, 40 cities in Russia and 47 states in the USA. In times like these, cross-border events like Manhattan Short that contribute toward greater tolerance and understanding are needed more than ever.
“I want to thank and congratulate all the filmmakers and cinemas involved in this global cinematic event. This project is not going to cable TV or video on demand; it’s about communities bonding together via their local cinema,” he added.
This year’s festival, which received 589 short film submissions from 47 countries, includes 10 films by filmmakers from England, Norway, Australia, Netherlands, France, Mexico, Germany and the United States. The films are set in diverse locations, including outer space, Mexico, Norway and the streets of New York, Berlin, London and Amsterdam. Finalists include “97%” by Ben Brand; “The Bravest, The Boldest” by Monn Molson; “Crime – The Animated Series” by Alix Lambert and Sam Chou; “The Fall” by Andreas Thaulow; “La Carnada” by Josh Soskin; “Mend And Make Do” by Bexie Bush; “On The Bridge” by Elena Fuller; “On/Off” by Thierry Lorenzi; “Rhino Full Throttle” by Erik Schmitt; and “Shift” by James Croke.
After the viewing, the audience will vote for best film and best actor. The winners will be announced online on Monday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m.
Tickets cost $10 each and can be purchased at the door. To reserve a space, call LBIF at 609-494-1241.
For more information, visit manhattanshort.com.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, September 22, 2014

'At the Jersey Shore' screens at Island Baptist Church Sept. 27

“At the Jersey Shore,” a coming-of-age film about life and love in the summertime, will screen at Island Baptist Church, located at 215 Third St. in Beach Haven, on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. The event, hosted by the Lighthouse International Film Society, a division of the Lighthouse International Film Festival dedicated to showcasing ground-breaking films and promoting the next generation of filmmakerswill also include a question and answer period with the film’s director, Thomas Bentey.
Photo via At the Jersey Shore Movie
The film 'celebrates life, love, redemption and
everything else a summer at the shore has to offer.'
An accomplished screenwriter, actor and director, Bentey debuted the film in 2010. He stars as the main character, “a twenty-something man-child” looking to get away from his everyday life as a journalist in the New Jersey suburbs. The film captures the reporter’s journey at the shore, as he traverses the dating scene for an article that he hopes will land him a job at a big, New York City paper.
“The film is based on my personal experiences in the Jersey Shore clubs and beaches and all the craziness and beauty that comes with it,” Bentey told The SandPaper. “I hoped to find true love in those clubs when I was in my 20s; now I’m way too cynical to even think that way.
“I just learned so much about the filmmaking process,” he added. “Also, filming on location made it that much more exciting. It was definitely real and raw, which I feel added to the style of the piece.”
The film, which has garnered recognition for its moving plot, has been an official selection at a number of festivals, including the Montclair, Sonoma International, Garden State and New Filmmakers New York film festivals.
“It’s great to show the film to a group that truly understands what the area is all about,” Bentey said. “I hope Lighthouse International Film Society appreciates the effort to tell a ‘real’ Jersey Shore story.”
Tickets to the screening cost $5 at the door. Admission is free for LIFS members.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beach Haven, Harvey Cedars violations now handled at either location

Individuals who need to tend to business at the Beach Haven or Harvey Cedars violations bureau may now go to either town office to handle matters. On Tuesdays and Fridays, Court Administrator Jessica Jenkins will be available at the Beach Haven Emergency Operations Center at 420 Pelham Ave., from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and at Harvey Cedars Borough Hall at 7606 Long Beach Blvd., from 2 to 4 p.m. She will remain at the Beach Haven office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Photo via Google
Allowing violations to be paid at either bureau
makes it more convenient for customers.
“Harvey Cedars and Beach Haven customers can come to either town, depending on where I am, and take care of almost anything,” Jenkins said. “I can take care of both courts, no matter where I physically am.”
Jenkins began working at Beach Haven’s violations bureau last year. She is also replacing Barbara Courts, who recently retired as Harvey Cedars’ part-time court administrator after more than 20 years at the job.
Jenkins was hired for the shared services agreement between the two towns in July. She became familiar with Harvey Cedars’ court system after Superstorm Sandy, when Beach Haven’s borough hall was severely damaged and temporarily relocated to Harvey Cedars.
Due to off-season hours, Beach Haven court sessions will now take place the first Monday of every month, at 10 a.m. The remaining court dates for 2014 are Oct. 6, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. The parking lot, which was closed to vehicular traffic through the summer because of bulkheading work, is now open.
Harvey Cedars court sessions have not yet been finalized but will most likely be held the second Monday of each month, Jenkins said.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Phase 2 of Fishermen's Memorial unveiled at New Jersey Maritime Museum benefit

A little bit of rain and bad weather Saturday, Sept. 14, during the New Jersey Maritime Museum’s sixth annual fundraiser, only seemed to enhance the unveiling of the property’s new bronze sculpture, which symbolizes the entire New Jersey commercial fishing industry. The frieze by Brian Hanlon of Hanlon Sculpture Studio in Toms River is Phase 2 of the Fishermen’s Story memorial. Phase 1, which memorializes the life of the late Jim Mears, a charter boat and tilefishing boat captain who died in January 2012 when his vessel, the Mandy Ness, capsized in a sea lane 10 miles offshore, was erected in Barnegat Light last summer.
The new monument, situated in front of the museum in Beach Haven, depicts six fishermen hauling in a net as they work at what has been named the most perilous profession in the world. They are Harold, Don and Jim Mears as well as Eric, George and Jack Svelling, members of two Island families known for their expertise in the trade.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
The second monument is sits in front of
the museum in Beach Haven.
“The point we’re trying to get across is that fishing is a traditional lifestyle that’s passed down generation to generation,” said Jim Vogel, executive director of the museum and a former commercial fishermen who claimed George Svelling was a mentor to him when he was young. “We wanted something historical, and pound fishing is a historical type of fishing that is not done anymore here.”
The monument was delivered to the museum a week before the fundraiser on Aug. 29, the same day Don Mears passed away from cancer.
“It will always be here since this place is deed-restricted to stay a maritime museum after my death,” said Deborah Whitcraft, president and curator of the museum. “There are over 5,000 documented shipwrecks off the New Jersey coast, and many of these vessels were lost by commercial fishermen pursuing what we refer to as the world’s most dangerous occupation. So that memorial not only symbolizes the work that’s involved in earning a living, but it also represents many of the losses off the New Jersey coast, in terms of shipwrecks. It’s a big part of New Jersey’s maritime history – a very big part – and will always be,” she added.
Community donations contributed to the memorial. The idea for the project began when Whitcraft approached the Mears family about honoring the boat captains and their dangerous work.
“One of the biggest things is that commercial fishermen brave weather elements that most of us will never encounter and never understand, let alone survive,” Whitcraft said. “More than a few people said to me, especially the Mears family who were in attendance Saturday, that this (the day’s weather) is nothing compared to what they face on a regular basis in their commercial fishing industry. So it was nothing to them, and it puts an entirely different perspective on it.
“As bad as the weather was, it’s nothing compared to what they deal with all the time out there, off-shore,” she added. “People understood that. People who had never stepped foot on a commercial fishing vessel said, ‘Hey, this is nothing compared to what they do. So if we can’t put up with a little bit of rain, than we shouldn’t be here.’ They were here to honor the fishermen, and the attendance was outstanding.”
More than 400 people attended the event, including local fishermen, business owners, residents and officials.
The evening was also held in honor of the late S. Mary T. Gruber, a museum trustee and docent who recently passed away. The lending library, which was expanded this summer, has been dedicated in memory of Gruber, who was one of the museum’s original volunteers. She helped catalog and digitize the museum’s “vast collection of artifacts, maritime memorabilia, books and rare documents before we even opened our doors to the public,” the fundraiser program stated.
Close to $30,000 in donations, gift certificates, merchandise and other necessities was given in support of the fundraiser.
“It was our best fundraiser yet, in terms of attendance and fundraising itself, which is surprising,” said Whitcraft. “Every year I have to beg, borrow, steal and plead with the business community to donate gift certificates, merchandise, you name it, and this year they broke all records. ... We could never thank the business community enough. Without their support, we can’t do this.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

80 residents expected to benefit this year from Auto Ownership Program

In conjunction with St. Francis Community Center, Ocean County officials expect to help about 80 people this year with a reliable mode of transportation through its Auto Ownership Program. The program, funded by a $71,630 Transportation Block Grant through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families federal program, assists low-income individuals who need a used vehicle, car insurance or vehicle registration, and ultimately helps them retain jobs.
Photo via Google
The program helps individuals
regain independence.
“A viable means of transportation is often the one major barrier standing between a single mother and life opportunities like employment and child care,” Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Department of Human Services, said in a press release. “This program has provided used cars to low-income individuals seeking to enter the workforce, in particular in Southern Ocean County. Viable and safe transportation means individuals can access employment and training opportunities, helping them to become self-sufficient wage earners,” he added.
Through the program, St. Francis solicits donated vehicles from local car dealers, churches and the general public. The organization also partners with local businesses and Ocean County Vocational-Technical schools to negotiate reduced costs for auto repairs and insurance policies. Driving lessons and instruction in car maintenance are also arranged. Individuals are referred to the program by the Ocean County Board of Social Services.
“This program not only provides a car, but it provides a person with a renewed self-esteem and pride in getting back on their feet and regaining their independence,” Little said. “Ocean County is the only county in the state to run such a program. It is part of the many social and human services we provide to the needy in order to help them regain their independence.”
“It’s an important step to a better life,” added Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “I commend St. Francis for working in partnership with the county and other agencies to help those who are in need. It truly makes a difference.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Increase in Route 72 Bridge work not expected during off-season

As work continues on the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project, motorists traveling eastbound over the existing Causeway Bridge may have noticed that some of the new bridge piers have become visible. The drilled shafts that will support the bridge piers were completed during the summer, Stephen Schapiro, acting director of communications at the New Jersey Department of Transportation, told The SandPaper in a recent update.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
A portion of the new bridge's pylons can be seen
from underneath the existing Causeway bridge.
The new Intelligent Transportation System improvements, which consist of new traffic cameras and new, full-color dynamic message signs as well as readers that make up the travel time system, have also been completed. Final system testing is now ongoing, Schapiro said.
The only significant change to the project has been revising the amber DMS boards originally in the contract to full-color signs, which offer newer, state of the art technology and provide greater flexibility in use, such as supporting images as well as text, he added.
The project is currently on schedule. An increase in construction during the off-season is not expected since “we are already working with an aggressive schedule,” Schapiro said.
Construction workers will continue to build the piers and abutments and are expected to be setting new beams by the end of the year. Work now consists of completing the footings, which sit atop the shafts, as well as finishing the piers that rest upon the footings.
Installation of an underground electrical conduit that will carry the new electrical lines from the mainland across the new bridge is also expected to begin next.
No changes to the existing traffic pattern are anticipated since most of the labor is being conducted over the water. However, periodic lane closures are possible, particularly later in the fall, said Schapiro. Instances of work that necessitate lane closures include the removal of existing poles that are no longer needed as well as installation of a guide rail and of the underground electrical conduit.
“Our experience shows that, during the off-season, we can close lanes in this area without negatively impacting traffic,” Schapiro said. “Although no changes to the existing traffic pattern are forthcoming, everyone needs to remain cognizant of the fact that this is an active construction zone. Slow down, take care, and be aware of your surroundings,” he added.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Residents, officials gather in Beach Haven in remembrance of Sept. 11 attacks

Photo by Jack Reynolds
Participants honored the 9/11 victims with a
quiet moment of reflection.
On the heels of President Barack Obama’s authorization of U.S. air strikes against the militant group known as ISIS or ISIL in Syria, local residents and officials gathered at the Pearl Street Pavilion in Beach Haven Thursday morning to pay tribute to the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. A moment of silence was shared among the assemblage, honoring the thousands of people who were injured and lost during the attacks as well as the thousands more who responded and survived, taking the horrific images with them.
The Rev. Frank Crumbaugh of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church as well as Beach Haven Councilman James White spoke prior to the quiet reflection, urging the crowd to never forget.
“I ask that you permit yourself to make sure that the lessons learned that day are passed on to all generations to come. The bravery and determination of the American people was never more visible,” White said. “...We must educate in our schools, our churches and our communities, what our enemies did on this infamous day. Let it be a constant reminder that we must remain strong and vigilant, and seek out those that wish to see the death and destruction of our country.
“Since 9/11, 6,800 of the best America has to offer lost their lives in the fight for freedom and the fight against terrorism, and 52,000 have been wounded,” he added.
White also honored the government’s reorganization after the 9/11 attacks, including the birth of the Patriot Act signed into law by then-President George W. Bush in 2001 as well as the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, “to protect us from future attacks.”
However, he said, “we are now entering a new phase, and I hope and pray that our politicians will finish the job this time and eradicate the scourge of ISIS from the Earth.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beach Haven officials prepare for upcoming beach replenishment

The last property easement required for beach replenishment in Beach Haven was signed just before the monthly borough council meeting held Monday evening, Sept. 8. The town had been waiting several months for the easement on the foreclosed property, located on block 91 lot 4 on Atlantic Avenue, said Borough Manager Richard Crane.
“It looks very definite that beach replenishment is coming to Long Beach Island, specifically Beach Haven, at some point during calendar year 2015,” he said.
The town has not received federal beach replenishment in the past. Beach Haven officials had their first meeting with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the project about 10 days ago. During that time, the DEP “surprised the town” with four other required residential easements that need to be finalized by Sept. 19, Borough Clerk Sherry Mason told The SandPaper in a phone interview Tuesday. She said the town will most likely not be able to adhere to the DEP’s “extremely short” deadline. Therefore, the four properties will be subject to eminent domain legal action “because the Army Corps is coming with this project, whether we like it or not,” she said.
Photo via WOBM
Beach replenishment takes place in Harvey Cedars. 
The state and federal governments require beachfront property owners to sign specific easements to allow beach replenishment construction crews on their land. The legal requirement, resisted by some property owners, has caused substantial delays in the storm hazard mitigation project that Congress approved for Long Beach Island nearly 10 years ago.
“Quite honestly, I personally never thought we’d see this day,” Crane said at the Sept. 8 council meeting. “I was one of the ones that really became involved in this when it was first talked about back in 2005. At that time, just the idea of getting all the necessary easements signed, and all the other paperwork that was originally required, just seemed beyond anything.”
Crane said the push for final easements, which was a struggle particularly over the past couple years, was most likely due to Superstorm Sandy, which “probably educated a lot of folks that may not have been accustomed to mother nature’s fury during the winter months, of what it can bring.
“Many times during the summer months, we have a more placid ocean out there. But it can really churn things up,” he said.
Another positive note is that the beach replenishment funding formula has changed, allowing for the local project to be fully covered by the federal program, Crane said. Three handicap accessible locations will also be fully funded, which will include mats that will lead all the way out to the ocean. The replenishment will be reviewed in seven years.
When the plan was originally presented to town officials, a local match of 8.75 percent of the total project was expected. However, that match will only be required if nourishment is needed after the review.
Officials are also waiting on a final approval letter from the DEP regarding the town’s water pump station, which was severely damaged by Sandy. Although it was temporarily restored, it will be torn down during the off-season and reconstructed. The town will use Holgate (Long Beach Township) water probably for most of the winter.
“We will have a brand new, much smaller, much more efficient facility ready for the 2015 season,” Crane said. “The pumps themselves will be up high enough that they will never again be affected by flooding.”
The process of re-sheathing the bulkhead in front of the borough’s Emergency Operations Center, a $303,492 project led by KG Marine Contracting of Manahawkin, started in early July and is nearly complete, Crane announced. The front entrance to the center is expected to be reopened to cars by the end of this week.
A N.J. Department of Transportation Trust Fund project for reconstruction of the 300 block of Sixth Street, including drainage, is expected to begin within the next week. It was postponed over the summer so it would not burden local residents and visitors.
Bids will be accepted Sept. 17 to repave about six oceanfront tops that were damaged by Sandy. The project should finish no later than Dec. 15.
Bidding to replace a water main on Coral Street, another DOT project, is anticipated to begin around mid-October.
In other meeting news, an ordinance amendment to provide an additional handicapped space on Third Street was passed on final reading.
An ordinance to add two locations with no parking provisions, including within 50 feet of the west end of the paved portion on both sides of Fifth Street as well as west of Delaware Avenue on both sides of Sixth Street, was introduced.
Crane gave the final beach badge report for the summer of 2014.
“It was a very robust year for us as well as, I believe, most of the folks in town in terms of business over the summer,” he said.
Beach badge sales reached $480,260, an increase of $62,600 (15 percent) over 2013. Daily badges saw the biggest increase, he said; 18,466 dailies were sold, which generated an additional $26,100 in revenue, a 40 percent increase over last year.
“Anybody that tried to get off the Island many times, particularly Thursday and Friday on a nice day, you knew there were a lot of daily people here – which is a wonderful thing,” said Crane.
He attributed the revenue increase to the extra badge checkers hired this year, as well as the beautiful weather.
“Let’s hope 2015 matches this,” he said.
During public comment, local resident Michael Davis challenged the council to place badge checkers at every beach entrance during designated hours next year. He suggested hiring someone to run the program instead of leaving it up to the beach patrol.
“Their job is to deal with the beach, not deal with the checkers,” he said. “My plea to you is to continue to pursue this. I think next year we can reach over $1 million if we do it right.”
Councilwoman Nancy Taggart Davis suggested the new summer shuttle buses – a Long Beach Township initiative for which Beach Haven contributed $10,000 – should incorporate bicycle racks next year.
Councilman James White urged the council to review the “significant amount” of calls coming in to the police regarding noise complaints due to tent weddings.
“It’s on the list,” replied Mayor Robert Keeler.
The public was also encouraged to attend the celebration of the New Jersey Maritime Museum annual fundraiser, Saturday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 11 p.m., as well as the 90th anniversary celebration of the Beach Haven Library on Sunday, Sept. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m.

— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beach Haven Historic Preservation Commission celebrates 10 years by bonoring residents in historic district

The Beach Haven Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, primarily focused on preserving the town’s cultural and historical heritage, celebrated its 10th anniversary this month by honoring four residents who have gone “overboard” in restoring their houses in the historic district. During the town’s monthly council meeting, held Monday, Sept. 8, Jeanette Lloyd, chairwoman of HPAC and town historian, and the group’s eight other commissioners presented plaques to those individuals.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Bob Serbo, accompanied by girlfriend Carol Minervino,
accepts his plaque for the Converse Cottage from HPAC.
“They’ve done a lot,” Lloyd told The SandPaper in an interview. “They’re our poster children for how historic preservation is viable. It locks a community together that’s proud of its past.”
Two plaques were presented to Belen Flores, who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of four historic homes, including the Curlew, Fairwinds, Pierrot by the Sea and Wilson cottages.
“She can be called the mother of historic preservation,” Lloyd announced, arousing a laugh from Flores and the audience.
The Blahut family received recognition for their hard work in restoring the Williams Cottage Inn, one of the onion domes. Before the Blahuts turned it into a bed and breakfast, the house had been sectioned off into 12 apartments, with hidden walls and staircases, Lloyd explained. She gave the family the title of “First Poster Child of Beach Haven” for their determination in fixing the home.
“Beach Haven is a special place, and the Blahut family will do whatever we’re able to do to keep it the special place that it is,” Richard Blahut told the audience.
Later during the meeting, Mayor Robert Keeler said his brother stayed at the Williams Cottage Inn during the summer, “and he was just blown away by the service, the dedication of the people and what they knew about the buildings.”
“Not only are they huge construction jobs, but the fact that these are functioning for families and for activities for the town, I think is absolutely wonderful,” he added.
Bob Serbo, who restored the Easton Sprague house on Amber Street and Beach Avenue and then “caught the historic bug” and bought the Converse Cottage, the other onion dome, on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Marine Street, was also recognized during the event. Before he purchased the house, it had been sectioned off into 18 apartments. Serbo restored the home to its historic essence and even painted it to complement the Williams Cottage Inn next door.
Russ and Odette Andrew, who purchased and renovated the Nearsea Cottage on the corner of Coral Street and Beach Avenue in 2004, also received a plaque. Before the couple acquired the house, a New York developer had wanted to tear it down and build a duplex, Lloyd said. Local attorney Richard Shackleton and then-Mayor Deborah Whitcraft helped enact a 90-day moratorium, which led to the Andrews purchase.
“It is now a gem on Coral Street,” said Lloyd.
The local cottages were originally used as second homes by prominent individuals who lived on the Main Line on the outskirts of Pennsylvania, or in Philadelphia. The local commission was approved by the borough government in 2004 to keep the old tradition alive. Three years later, the historic district was enlarged to include 30 square blocks, which runs from Chatsworth Avenue to Fifth Street, from Atlantic to Bay avenues. The district is comprised of 384 houses.
In June, the commission was honored at the New Jersey History and Historic Preservation Conference for having the best practices in the state, Lloyd announced. Since forming, the group has hosted over 300 public meetings and over 200 technical review meetings. The group has also won three major grants through the years.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cut-athon to benefit owner of Dazzlz Spa and Salon in Barnegat

Photo via Facebook
The event will support Dazzlz Spa and Salon owner
Maryanne Giannini as she battles the hardship of cancer.
A long-time, local business owner battling different cancer diagnoses is in need of community support. To help Dazzlz Spa and Salon owner Maryanne Giannini, 57, during this difficult time, her employees will be hosting a Cut-A-Thon at the salon, located at 912 West Bay Ave. in Barnegat, on Sunday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Giannini via a trust fund.
“She’s always given to the community, so it’s time for the community to pay it back,” said Donna Damion, a stylist at Dazzlz for the past eight years. “She’d give you the shirt off her back. She never said, ‘no’ to any fundraisers, or ‘no’ to any donations, any Chinese auctions, nothing. She always gave something.
“She’s going to have massive medical bills for all of her treatments,” Damion added. “She hasn’t been working. She’s been out of work, and she’s probably not going to be able to return to work. She’s got a home.”
During the benefit, haircuts will be offered for $15; manicures will be $10; and facial waxing will be $5. Suna Darkanat and Nelli Melendez Steverson, two previous Dazzlz stylists, will be helping out at the event. A 50/50 raffle will also be available.
Psychic readings by psychic/medium Lyn will be given at $10 for 10 minutes. Doreen Knight, owner of Knight and Day Photo Restorations, will be offering old photo alterations at a discounted rate of $12.
“She can take a kid who’s sitting on a couch, or sitting in a sink, and put them in a pumpkin,” Damion explained.
Walk-ins and appointments will be accepted throughout the event.
Individuals interested in simply donating to Giannini can make a contribution via an online Go Fund Me account at gofundme.com/dszj2w.
To set up an appointment for the event, or for more information, call 609-698-2277.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.