Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beach Haven School Board tables approval of 2015-16 budget

Approval of the Beach Haven School’s 2015-16 budget, introduced at $1,996,746 in March, was tabled for further discussion by the board of education during a public hearing Tuesday, April 28.
The public is invited to attend the next hearing at the school on Wednesday, May 6, at 4:30 p.m.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
The Beach Haven School Board has some
unanswered questions about the budget.
Brian Falkowski, the school’s business administrator, and Superintendent EvaMarie Raleigh assisted in answering the board members’ questions during Tuesday’s hearing.
“All budgets are a plan. It’s a spending plan with the anticipated revenue that you’re getting. ... It’s a balanced budget,” Falkowski explained.
But the board, which was completely revamped in January after many former members resigned or decided not to rerun, still had some unanswered questions.  A few of the members noted they had just received updated budget information that day.
“There’s a lot of questions. I would rather the board agree to how the taxpayers’ money is going to be spent,” stated board President Irene Hughes, who initiated the motion to table the approval.
The amount to be raised by taxation is $1,699,717. Overall, the total expenses between last year’s and this year’s proposed budget increased 3.7 percent or $71,401. However, the tax levy is only up 2 percent, or $33,328, which is right at the mandated cap. School Choice Aid will cover the additional $38,073.
The anticipated local tax rate per $100 of assessed property value is .103 cents, “which is pretty nominal,” said Falkowski. The annual tax for an assessed home value of $700,000 would be $14, or $1.17 a month. It is an estimated increase of .002 cents from last year.
A few new initiatives for this year include a pre-K through sixth grade math program, readers workshop units, next generation science materials, technology instructional and infrastructure upgrades, enhanced school security systems as well as additional Chromebooks.
Later in the night during the regular meeting, the board approved the school’s participation in Beach Haven’s 125th anniversary open house on Saturday, May 9. The school will be open to the public from 1 to 3 p.m.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Freeholder Vicari supports legislation to make kratom illegal

Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari recently announced his support for proposed legislation sponsored by state Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer of the 12th District that would amend the state statute to include kratom as a controlled dangerous substance.
Kratom, a substance that comes from the leaves of a tropical tree by the same name, is often marketed on the Internet for its psychoactive and opioid-like analgesic effects. It is not approved in the U.S. for any medical use, Vicari said.
Photo via Google
The substance comes from the
leaves of a tropical tree.
“This drug can cause dependency and lead to addiction, much like heroin,” the freeholder said. “Before it becomes too great a problem, it needs to be labeled a controlled dangerous substance and made illegal.”
The proposed bill would make it a crime of the second degree to manufacture, distribute or dispense, possess or possess with intent to distribute a substance containing kratom, including adulterants and dilutants, in the amount of 1 ounce or more, Vicari explained.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, scientific literature has revealed concerns regarding the toxicity of kratom in multiple organ systems. If consumed, the FDA said, it can lead to a number of health complications, including respiratory depression, nervousness, agitation, aggression, sleeplessness, hallucinations, delusions, loss of libido, tremors, skin hyperpigmentation, nausea, vomiting, constipation and severe withdrawal symptoms.
As officials continue to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of drugs such as heroin and the deadly effects they can have, it is also necessary to inform people that substances such as kratom are addicting and deadly, too, Vicari said.
Although possession and distribution of kratom is not currently barred by federal or state law, it is illegal in several countries, including Australia, Malaysia and Thailand. Kratom is also illegal in Tennessee, and several other states have introduced legislation that would ban the substance.
“We need to follow the actions of Tennessee and other states and label this illegal in order to institute penalties for its use and distribution,” Vicari said. “I want to thank Assemblyman Dancer for proposing this legislation in New Jersey. It’s so important to reduce opportunities to possess substances like this, and this legislation will provide a strong deterrent.”
Substance abuse prevention groups are closely monitoring the drug’s popularity.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Residential Document Shredding Program Coming to Little Egg Harbor

Photo via Google
The shredder's automatic system eliminates the
need for human contact with a resident's documents.
Ocean County residents looking to get rid of unwanted paper documents are invited to participate in the county’s Residential Document Shredding Program at the Little Egg Harbor Township Community Center, located at 319 West Calabreeze Way, on Wednesday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“This is a program that moves throughout Ocean County, offering residents the ability to get rid of all those residential papers, like old bills, files, statements, that are no longer needed,” Ocean County Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the county’s recycling program
s, stated in a press release. “With this program we provide a convenient way to recycle old documents safely and securely.”
The popular program, which accepts all paper documents and forms, began in 2008. There were 17 collection dates held throughout the county in 2014 in which the program recycled 82.35 tons, or 164,700 pounds, of documents.
“All of these documents didn’t take up room at the landfill and didn’t get into the wrong hands, avoiding identity theft,” Lacey said.
This year’s program will run from April through October. The work is being performed by Autoshred of Toms River at no cost to the county. Commercial documents, X-rays, CDs, floppy disks, microfilm and file folders will not be accepted.
All collection dates will run the complete scheduled time or until the truck, which has the capacity to hold 8,000 pounds, is full. The shredding unit features an automatic feeding and dumping system, which eliminates the need for human contact with a resident’s documents, Lacey noted.
“This board is pleased to provide this service which, in addition to the environmental benefit, is an extra layer of security for our citizens,” said Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett Jr.
Residents can participate in any of the program’s locations throughout the county. For anyone looking to attend only local sites, the Ocean County Southern Recycling Center, located at 379 Haywood Rd., Building 105 in Stafford, will be a site on July 25. Another collection will be held behind the Surf City Police Department, located at Ninth Street and Central Avenue, on Oct. 17.
Residents can bring up to six boxes or bags each day. Registration is not required.
For additional information, call the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management at 732-506-5047 or visit the department’s website,
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NJ Chamber Singers to perform at Holy Innocents in Beach Haven

Photo via NJ Chamber Singers
The ensemble is made of auditioned
singers, professional and amateur.
For years, the New Jersey Chamber Singers has joined Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Beach Haven for a performance of seasonal classics. The chamber ensemble, led by conductor Reid Masters, will again join the church on Sunday, April 26, at 4 p.m. to perform “Whymsy,” a choral concert of favorites.
“Every concert usually has at least one piece that seems to be everyone's favorite, and it’s usually the encore,” Masters, the group’s artistic director, stated. “This concert is packed full of encores.”
Joined by organist Kathleen Healy-Wedsworth, the concert will open with Benjamin Britten’s festival cantata “Rejoice in the Lamb.” In addition to a set of songs completely dedicated to animals, the program will feature a few parody songs and multicultural folk songs from Hungary, Australia and Taiwan.
A reception will follow the performance. Event admission is free, though offerings will be accepted.
For more information, call 609-492-7571.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Find summer love, friendship working at Fantasy Island Amusement Park

Working at Fantasy Island, Long Beach Island’s only amusement park, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in business last summer, sometimes leads to more than just job experience. Just ask long-time Ride Department Manager Melanie Markoski, who has witnessed love and friendship blossom among employees over the summer seasons.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Visitors enjoy the amusement
rides and games at the park.
“So many friendships are born here as well as romances,” said Markoski, who began running the carousel at the park 24 years ago, when she was just 19 years old. “We have had many Fantasy Island marriages over the years, and now they bring their kids in to play or sometimes work.
“The ride, arcade and games departments all have managers that started as teenagers here at the park,” she added. “… It is our family. We all literally grew up here.”
Throughout her time working as a full-time summer employee, Markoski said, she was able to complete her undergraduate and master’s degrees.
For those interested in working at the park this coming season, Fantasy Island will be hosting a job fair on site, in Beach Haven, on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The park is currently looking for about 100 workers to fill various positions. Teens ages 14 and 15 may apply to work day shifts in the arcade. Anyone 16 years and older may apply to work in the arcade at night as well as in the rides, games, ice cream and food departments.
About 30 international students from Russia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria are also expected to work at the park this summer.
“These students help to bridge the gap when our American college students leave us in August and we are still really busy,” said Markoski, who also coordinates Fantasy Island’s International Student Program, which began with about five students in 1998. “This year Labor Day is the latest it can be, so we rely heavily on our students to keep us fully operational.
“I always say that Fantasy Island is a clique melting pot,” she added. “Those cliques from high school do not exist here. When we are busy and the sports kid and the science kid are running a ride and have a long line, it is all about team work. Now they have that one thing in common and have a basis to grow a relationship.”
Fantasy Island will also help honor Beach Haven’s 125th anniversary this year with special events and surprises.
For more information, or to fill out a job application, email
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Zumbathon in Manahawkin to benefit David’s Dream Cancer Foundation

Photo via Margarita Dawson
Margarita Dawson enjoys teaching zumba
because ‘every class feels like a party.’
A zumbathon to benefit David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation will be held at Ocean Acres Community Center in Manahawkin on Sunday, April 26, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The event, which Manahawkin resident and zumba instructor Margarita Dawson describes as a party with DJs Frank Vargas and Carlos Irizarry, is open to anyone, even if they don’t know how to dance.
“We want to give back to the community, raise awareness, promote healthy living and fitness/exercise, all while having a great time,” said Dawson, who will be leading the event with some of her students. “We are all volunteering, donating our time and resources to make this happen. The entire Zumba crew is super excited.”
Tickets cost $25 at the door. All proceeds will go to David’s Dream and Believe, which is dedicated to helping community members in need.
For more information, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Casey's Cleaning does the dirty work for you

Giving the house or workplace a thorough spring cleaning after a long winter shuttered indoors can be quite a chore, especially for landlords and business owners who are gearing up for a summer full of vacationers. Hiring a reputable cleaning company to do the dirty work instead makes the demands of the busy season a little less hectic.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Cindy Nacca, owner of Casey's Cleaning, gave
up bus driving to clean houses full time.
Casey’s Cleaning, which services residential and commercial establishments year round in Ocean and Monmouth counties, has been taking care of everything “from cobwebs to floors” for nearly 30 years. The company provides detailed cleaning, including removing dirt and grime from ceiling fans, windowsills, baseboards and woodwork, tubs, toilets and sinks as well as counters, cabinets and appliances.
“We move as much furniture as we can – the beds and the couches,” said Cindy Nacca, owner of Casey’s Cleaning, who started the business after working many years as a bus driver and cleaning houses in between.
Floors are all done by hand, and windows and glass doors are cleaned inside and out, weather permitting, she added.
“A lot of times people have them enclosed all winter, so there’s a lot of cobwebs, dead bugs, things like that. All that stuff is removed,” Nacca said. “Some of them just haven’t been cleaned in a while, so there’s a lot more dust or a lot more dirt left behind by other people. Some people live in the houses year round and they move out in the summertime, so they need a lot of cleaning up after them all winter,” she added.
The service not only saves the customer time and labor, but also provides a fresh environment for those who are expecting nice accommodations, especially at a rental home.
“The first thing renters look for is to make sure it’s clean, so they’re going to check things like ceiling fans and blinds, picture frames, things like that,” Nacca said. “Then they know that they’re staying in someplace that is up to their standards.”
The company will also provide assistance to landlords whose renters need minor repairs, such as new batteries or light bulbs. Staff works exclusively on Long Beach Island on Saturdays, when there are a lot of rental turnovers. If there are any issues or problems that come up, company employees will come back within five to 10 minutes.
“That’s something that we offer that a lot of companies don’t; when they’re home, they’re home,” Nacca said.
Casey’s Cleaning will also work for renters, if they do not want to do their own cleaning.
Although many customers leave the home or business during the work, they are allowed to be present if they prefer to be there.
“It’s their house; whatever they’re comfortable with is fine by us,” Nacca said. “You’ll notice all our cars are marked, so it’s a comfort for people, knowing that it’s a cleaning company pulling up to their house. We all have uniforms.”
Pricing is determined on how long the cleaning is expected to take. An on-site estimate and quoted price will be provided beforehand. A typical home or office usually takes four workers about two hours to clean, Nacca said. Same-day cleaning is available.
When hiring a cleaner, Nacca suggests making sure the company has a landline and is not taking calls on a cell phone. Nacca is available by phone between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and through email at all times.
To make sure whoever is coming into the home or business is trustworthy, Nacca said it is also imperative to make sure the company is bonded and insured. Casey’s Cleaning is bonded by Atlantic Underwriting Group and insured by Farm Family, which also provides workman’s compensation for all of the company’s employees. This added protection ensures customers do not have to worry if a worker slips and falls in their home or business, Nacca said. This feature can also make it more economical for business owners to hire an outside company rather than doing it in-house, she added.
Casey’s Cleaning has been in business for 29 years under the same name, “so it kind of speaks for itself,” said Nacca. “We address any issues right away; we always answer the phones. … We do a good job at a reasonable price.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Amended Beach Haven 2015 budget remains at $11.1 million

Photo via Google
The Beach Haven Council has adopted the town’s 2015 budget with a few amendments to the initial plan introduced last month. The changes came about after review by the state Division of Local Government Services in conjunction with Shari Boehler, the borough’s finance officer, both of which oversee the town’s finances. Despite the changes, the budget remains $11,149, 618, which is the same amount introduced in March.
The amount to be raised by taxes, including for the local library which stands alone in the budget, is $7,549,295, an increase of $490,360 over last year’s budget. This is a 3-cent increase to the local tax rate.
The surplus the town will utilize to balance the budget increased by $8,712 for a total of $1,835,090. The amount anticipated for construction fees also increased by $1,956, bringing the total to $112,260.
However, the local municipal property tax has decreased by $10,678 for a total of $6,887,532, which is right at the levy cap.
“We have in fact, as I’ve been cautioning council in recent years, finally reached that point where the levy cap really is tight,” Borough Manager Richard Crane told the audience at the public budget hearing Monday, April 13.
The separate water utility budget for 2015 also had a few changes. The total appropriations are $1,795,750, which is an increase of $20,000 from the initial introduction. The reason behind the increase is due to a water valve project along Long Beach Boulevard, which encountered issues in the winter. To make up for it, surplus was increased to $320,000.
In other meeting news, Crane said the reconstruction of the town’s water pump facility, which is being partly financed by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund, has qualified for $200,000 of loan forgiveness through the fund’s Nano Infrastructure Loan Program. This is in addition to the $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We are very hopeful that this will probably pay for almost the entire project, give or take a few little things. We’re very happy to have that happen,” Crane said.
The project is on schedule, and the controls and pumps are expected to be up and running within the next 30 days. Officials are currently waiting for roof trusses to arrive, but the project should be completed in time for the summer season.
Other meeting business included the adoption of an ordinance to exceed the 2015 municipal budget appropriation limits and to establish a cap bank, as well as the adoption of a bond ordinance appropriating $5 million and issuing $1,425,000 for reconstruction of the municipal building.
The council also adopted the borough workers’ salary as well as an ordinance amendment to permit private garages as an accessory use, with certain requirements, for all residential properties.
A proclamation for Municipal Clerk’s Week, read aloud by Councilman James White, honored the borough’s own municipal clerk employees, including Sherry Mason, Lauren Liquori and Darcy Kolodziej.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beach Haven Council supports New Jersey Natural Gas’ proposed Southern Reliability Link Pipeline

Knowing all too well how critical it is for the local area to have access to natural gas following an environmental disaster such as Superstorm Sandy, the Beach Haven Council passed a resolution Monday, April 13, supporting New Jersey Natural Gas’ proposed Southern Reliability Link Pipeline Project. The SRL, which is currently in the engineering and design phase, is being developed to support customers with “safe, reliable and resilient distribution” of natural gas. It is expected to provide a major interstate connection between NJNG’s distribution system, which serves customers in Ocean, Burlington and Monmouth counties, and the interstate pipeline system adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike.
Photo via NJNG
The total distance of new pipeline is
approximately 28 miles.
The three counties are currently served by one interstate pipeline, which runs through Middlesex County. Because a majority of natural gas is supplied through this location, customers at the southern end of the system could be negatively affected by a supply interruption or system failure.
“By reinforcing the supply of natural gas with a second feed from a separate interstate supplier into the southern end of NJNG’s system, the SRL will help mitigate potential customer interruptions, enhance system resiliency and ensure safe, reliable natural gas service for the region,” NJNG’s website states.
The SRL would also strengthen the natural gas distribution system that serves Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, making it more economical by allowing the joint base to access natural gas in locations closer to its facilities. This would open opportunities for the base to install equipment that is more efficient, thereby reducing operating expenses with low-cost natural gas.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission periodically reviews existing military bases to verify their present capabilities and future sustainability to achieve the military’s mission.
“Natural gas is a cost-effective infrastructure to underpin the current operations of the Joint Base,” NJNG stated. “A transmission line within a military base is a unique feature, which provides the basis to support growth for future operations. The SRL would be a favorable infrastructure foundation to allow the Joint Base to grow.
“By supporting this major driver of the economy, and jobs in Ocean and Burlington counties, the SRL will provide tangible benefits to the entire region.”
The SRL would begin at the supply point of the interstate pipeline in Chesterfield Township in Burlington County and continue through North Hanover, Upper Freehold and Plumsted until it enters the joint base. From the base, the SRL would connect with the system in Manchester Township. The total distance is approximately 28 miles.
Permits for the project are expected to be obtained during the coming months. If acquired, construction would begin in the fall and last a little more than a year. The project should be completed in late 2016.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

7th annual LBI Wedding Road Show will feature six area wedding locations

Brides, couples and their entourage who are interested in scoping out some of the area’s best bridal venues and wedding professionals are invited to attend the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce’s seventh annual LBI Wedding Road Show on Sunday, April 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
The event typically draws hundreds of visitors
interested in the area's wedding services.
The complimentary event is a self-guided tour throughout Long Beach Island featuring six of the region’s premier wedding locations, including The Stateroom, Surf City Yacht Club, Brant Beach Yacht Club, The Gables, The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club and The Boat House. Special open house tours at the Surf City Hotel and Long Beach Island Historical Association in Beach Haven will be available, too.
A variety of wedding professionals, including caterers, photographers, florists, entertainers, decorators and others needed to customize the special event will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions. The event will also feature DIY pop-up seminars, prize drawings, samples and giveaways. Attendees will have a chance to win tickets to see “The Chew” and “The Bachelorette” on Broadway.
“In its seventh year, this event helps the Southern Ocean County Regional Chamber and Destination Marketing Organization expand potential business for its members and the business community,” Lori Pepenella, destination marketing director for the chamber, said.
Brides who have registered for the event are coming from as far as Portland, Maine; Island Lake, Ill.; Del Ray Beach, Fla.; and Washington, D.C., while others hail from closer locales such as Brooklyn; Stamford, Conn.; Philadelphia; Harrisburg; State College; and Langhorne, Pa. New Jersey couples from Hoboken, South Plainfield, Cherry Hill, North Brunswick, Cream Ridge and Southern Ocean County are also well represented, Pepenella noted.
The Road Show will have a digital approach leading up to and throughout the event. After checking in, participants can stay connected on social media and pick up a tour map.
Attendees can register online at or in person at one of three locations, including the Southern Ocean County Chamber in Ship Bottom, Tuckerton Seaport in Tuckerton or the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin.
Interested parties can stay updated on the event via Facebook TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.
Wedding industry and media sponsors include, Celebrations Guide, Volatile Media Management, Rock the Aisle Bridal Productions and the NJ Division of Travel and Tourism. Show sponsors that will provide services throughout the day also include Ocean Tent, Trolley Tour and E Video Productions.
For more information, contact the chamber at 609-494-7211.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Living Acupuncture and Healing Arts Center to host free, two-part class on essential oils

Photo via Well and Good
Essential oils have been used for thousands
of years to promote mind and body wellness.
Individuals interested in learning about essential oils, which have been used for thousands of years for mind and body wellness, are invited to attend a free, two-part class at Living Acupuncture and Healing Arts Center, located in the Victorian Plaza in Barnegat. The first class, on Wednesday, April 15, from 6 to 7 p.m., will discuss some of the most common oils used and the different ways they can be applied.
Essential oils are often utilized for their cosmetic purposes as well as their spiritually and emotionally uplifting properties. Taryn Parascand, owner of Living Acupuncture, who has been studying essential oils for 15 years, will teach participants the importance of the quality of oils as well as what precautions to take when working with them.
“The ways that people can use oils and the ailments for which they treat are endless,” said Parascand, who is in the process of becoming certified as a clinical aromatherapist. “This is a way to reach people and help them understand the value of using essential oils. It is safe, effective, and there are no side effects,” she added.
Participants will also be able to smell and sample the over 35 Snow Lotus single oils and blends that are available in the office. Any purchases will receive a 15 percent discount.
A second class, on blending oils, will be held May 13, from 6 to 7 p.m.
For more information, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, April 13, 2015

‘You Laugh But It’s True’ documentary exploring comedy of future ‘Daily Show’ host, Trevor Noah, to screen at LBIF

Photo via Google
Comedian Trevor Noah is taking
over as the host of ‘The Daily Show.’
For those wondering, “Who is Trevor Noah?” – the comedian taking over for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” – the Lighthouse International Film Society will screen “You Laugh But It’s True” on Saturday, April 18, at 8 p.m., at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies. The 2011 documentary, directed by David Paul Meyer, highlights Noah’s early comedy days, foreshadowing his future appeal both for his comedic abilities and what he represents, and cluing people into his penetrating social commentary.
“At his best, his work reflects similar aspects to Jon Stewart’s success; wielding humor as a political instrument, but with surprising grace,” a press release states.
Specifically, the film explores how Noah, just 25 years old at the time and  working the stand-up scene for only two years, used childhood experiences from a South African biracial family during apartheid to organize material for his first one-man show in Johannesburg.
“I think what the audience will see in the film is that Trevor has found a way to bring a diverse group of people together with vastly different backgrounds and political/culture views and make them all laugh,” Meyer told The SandPaper in an email. “He was the first comedian to really succeed at that in South Africa – before that, audiences at comedy shows in SA were pretty segregated. To do this in a country where apartheid had only ended less than 20 years ago is no small feat, and I don’t think there are many comedians out there in the world who can do that, period. So I think that’s what will really help him succeed on ‘The Daily Show.’
“In terms of working with him on the documentary, it was a great experience, and Trevor and I have become close friends since then,” Meyer added. “Trevor is one of the most intelligent people I know, and he absorbs new information like a sponge. He’s also very loyal to the people he’s closest to.”
Following the screening, participants will have a chance to get involved in a Q&A with Meyer, who is expected to Skype in from one of Noah’s performances in New York City.
Tickets to the event cost $5 for the general public. Admission is free for LIFS members. 
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Long Beach Boulevard work in Ship Bottom and Surf City begins

The Ocean County Road Department is currently leading an overlay project to mill and resurface Long Beach Boulevard, from the Causeway to the northern border of Surf City. Earle Asphalt Co., the contractor hired, will be replacing bad pipes and rebuilding some of the “older, substandard” drainage structures during the next couple of weeks, Ocean County Engineer Frank Scarantino told The SandPaper.
Photo via Google
Crew workers begin working on LBI.
“We determined that the road surface was in need of replacement, and we had some drainage issues that we knew needed to be addressed that were urgent,” he emphasized.
During this phase of the project, cars are not allowed to be parked on the Boulevard in this area from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any vehicles on the roadway at that time run the risk of being towed by local law enforcement.
Handicap ramp upgrades that require curb and sidewalk construction will take place for a week after completion of the drainage work. Minor modifications to the traffic signals, including push buttons for pedestrians, will also take place. The surface of the Boulevard will be milled down and repaved overnight after Memorial Day. The entire project is expected to be wrapped up before school ends, around June 20.
“It should be pretty easy-going, and they’ll be done with the tough work before Memorial Day, before traffic gets significant,” Scarantino stated. 
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beach Haven School invites Eagleswood Elementary students to Family Arts Festival via musical presentation

Using bass drums made out of recycled tires from local shops, Beach Haven School students in fourth through sixth grades recently performed a musical presentation for their friends at Eagleswood Township Elementary School, whom they became acquainted with after Superstorm Sandy damage required them to attend the mainland school. The performance was offered as a special invitation to the Beach Haven School’s NRG Creatively Green Family Arts Festival on Thursday, April 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Photo via Blogger
The school students made various
instruments out of recyclables.
The festival, which “will celebrate imagination and creativity while promoting a better understanding of individual and community responsibility to protect our planet,” has been made possible through a $9,000 grant from Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The Beach Haven School was one of six schools selected out of 18 that applied.
The festival is free and open to all community members. Attendees will have a chance to participate in various hands-on art-making workshops that promote environmental sustainability, led by Young Audiences’ professional teaching artists. Beach Haven School students will provide some improvisation with the Junk Jam Band throughout the night and also complete a mosaic surfboard project.
As part of the festival, a community-wide surfboard project will be offered at the school throughout the summer, and the finished product will be donated to the town.
To better learn about the importance of keeping the local environment free of pollutants and how personal activities impact the local ecosystem, the Beach Haven students began incorporating ecology into their studies via an “arts-infused, cross-curricular, thematic approach” in September, Superintendent EvaMarie Raleigh said.
To prepare the students for their performances, Toni Dworkin, the school’s music teacher, began teaching them how to use recycled materials to make instruments, including shakers, guitars and drums. The fourth- through sixth-grade students used packing tape and experimented with different wrapping patterns to create a good drum head for their tires. They then decorated them with tape, stickers, tissue paper and whatever else they could bring in. By then experimenting with different activities, the students learned how the various materials affect the drum sound.
“Through the improvisation activities, the students were able to apply their rhythmic and musical notation knowledge, be creative, express themselves and learn how improvisation is used in jazz, dance, theater and other art forms,” Dworkin said.
The students will begin creating their own performance by incorporating everything they have learned, including movement knowledge they gained from Young Audiences. The performance will be held at the school’s spring concert on May 21, at 7 p.m.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Raise awareness of sexual assault, ‘Paint the Town Teal’

Photo via ED
A rape occurs every
two minutes.
To help raise awareness of the silent epidemic of sexual assault, the St. Francis Counseling Service is inviting the public to “Paint the Town Teal” one canvas at a time. The teal-themed event in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month will be held inside the St. Francis Center gymnasium on Tuesday, April 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. Brittany Czekai, owner of Anchor Arts, will lead participants in step-by-step painting instruction. All materials, including canvas, brushes, paints, easels and aprons, will be supplied free of charge.
Individuals can either hang their canvas at work or home or donate the artwork to St. Francis for display in the counseling center.
“This event aims to not only raise awareness, but to share resources throughout our county, including St. Francis Counseling Service, which offers free counseling to survivors of sexual assault,” said Erin Borysewiczsexual assault/abuse prevention outreach coordinator at the counseling service. “One of the biggest problems survivors have is that people ask, ‘Were you drunk? Why were you alone with him? Is that really what happened?’ Knowing that only 2 percent of reports made are false, we want our community to understand that it is not the victim’s fault and to start by believing. Our Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate Training trains advocates to accompany survivors right after an assault has happened to hospitals with the methodology to ‘not ask questions, believe and provide support for the survivor.’”
According to The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused by their 18th birthday. It also reports that a rape occurs every two minutes.
As part of its month-long awareness activities, St. Francis is also hosting two self-defense classes for men and women 18 and older, led by instructors from Jersey State Martial Arts. One class will be held at Brick Township High School on April 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. The other will take place at Toms River South High School on April 22, from 7 to 9 p.m.
To register for any of these events, call 609-494-1554.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

‘Pat the Darling Doula’ brings personalized education and support to new parents

“Hillary Clinton said it right; it does take a village to raise a child,” said Manahawkin resident Pat Cicerone, a registered nurse for 20 years who recently opened her own business working as a doula.
Sort of like a “rent-a-grandma,” the owner of Pat the Darling Doula specializes in helping new parents adjust to the challenges of caring for a newborn – a personalized service she wishes she had during her two pregnancies when she was living 80 miles away from family and friends.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Cicerone accompanies new
parents at their home.
Cicerone spends plenty of time around young children, including her daughter’s three kids – Parker, 2½; Ethan, 5; and Alex, 9 – who live with their parents at Cicerone’s home.
Cicerone currently is working on a master’s degree while working as a high-risk care nurse at Monmouth Medical Center, which does an average of more than 5,000 births a year. She also works with nursing students at Ocean County College and Pinelands School of Allied Health. Despite her busy schedule, as a doula she tries to get to clients within 24 hours. She prefers to stay within Ocean County so she can keep that commitment, she said.
Although some doulas also provide help to families before and during labor, Cicerone said she is dedicated to supporting new parents after they bring the baby home.
“I wanted to give on the other end because, yes, you need a lot of support during labor, but, boy, that afterwards, when that baby goes home with you, it’s like, ‘What do I do with this person?’” she said. “I think education and support is the most important thing for any new parent.”
While many new mothers experience mood swings and crying spells that eventually end, some develop postpartum depression, which is more severe and long-lasting, Cicerone explained. However, studies have proven that mothers who have help after labor are not as likely to experience this type of complication, she said.
“Postpartum depression is huge in this country. A new baby puts a huge strain on everybody, even though it’s a wonderful, welcoming event. There are just so many changes,” she emphasized.
Those adjustments also affect new dads, Cicerone added.
“Where mom might not get out of bed and get dressed for five days, or, in the worst case scenario, they harm themselves or the baby, dads do other things like have affairs, go drinking, gambling. They cope in different ways, and they don’t even realize that’s what’s going on,” she said.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Provided services include group classes
and personalized assistance.
Of course, taking care of a new child is not the only challenge parents have to juggle in today’s fast-paced world. Raising a family is expensive, which makes working a priority, Cicerone noted.
“One of the first things we ask new moms in this country is, ‘When are you going back to work? What arrangements have you made for childcare?’” she said.
According to New Jersey law, temporary disability benefits for a pregnancy are determined the same way as any other “disabling condition.” Benefits for a normal pregnancy are usually payable for up to four weeks before the expected delivery date and up to six weeks after the actual delivery date.
Although Cicerone is not a nanny, she said she can certainly lend a hand by providing light meals and housecleaning while the parents juggle everyday life, including work.
“I don’t scrub floors, I don’t do bathrooms, but I’ll throw in a load of wash and I’ll make you three sandwiches so you have snacks,” she said. “Basically I’m an education tool. I’m not going to do; I will go and show, and I will support you however you need it,” she added.
Cicerone’s support can come in many different forms, including gift certificates for group classes as well as in-home help. Instruction on breathing and relaxing techniques as well as childbirth and breastfeeding are available.
A proponent of breastfeeding, which is free and “perfect for your baby,” Cicerone emphasized that it is important for new mothers to understand that it often takes time to master the right technique.
“Human babies are not the smartest mammal,” she said. “They’re adorable, but if they were any other mammal they’d die if they didn’t know how to breastfeed. Babies don’t all know how to breastfeed. Mommy and baby need to learn together.
“If you don’t have people that are supportive, you’re probably not going to be as successful as you would be if you had people in your corner saying, ‘That’s absolutely fine, this is what they need, you’re doing it right, just bear with it, give it a couple more days.’”
Of course, some women cannot or choose not to breastfeed, which is perfectly fine, Cicerone said. She is not there to judge or persuade anyone.
“I’m going to help you do whatever you’re doing in a way that’s going to work for you,” she emphasized.
Cicerone is also on hand to spend time with a new mother who may be lonely and need someone to talk to, or simply need a break. Cicerone’s ability to provide a four-hour block at night, for example, can make a huge difference, Cicerone said.
“You can do anything with four hours of sleep. When you haven’t had any, four hours is amazing,” she emphasized.
For more information about her at-home services, call 609-290-1792 or visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Two bracelet-making workshops to be held at Long Beach Island Foundation

Photo via Blogger
The morning class will teach students how
to make an Alex & Ani-inspired bracelet.
The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences is teaming up with Elizabeth Tokoly, jeweler and owner of EatMetal, for a day of “Beautiful Bracelets.” Two bracelet-making workshops will be held at the Foundation in Loveladies on Saturday, April 11.
“Elizabeth is formally trained and an expert on all aspects of making jewelry, from design to technique,” said Amy CarreƱo, LBIF’s director of public programs. “Join her workshop and have a story behind the jewelry you wear.”
Participants who join the morning class, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., will learn how to make an Alex & Ani-inspired adjustable, wire bracelets. The afternoon workshop, from 1 to 4 p.m., will focus on beaded, double-wrap bracelets, including wrapping, forming and more.
“Design patterns with semi-precious beads and learn to weave on leather. You will walk away with gorgeous bling to show off your tan this summer,” the Foundation states.
The registration fee for each workshop is $65, or $55 for members. A 10 percent discount will apply for students who attend both workshops. Materials for each workshop cost $25.
For more information, contact the Foundation at 609-494-1241.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.