Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beach Bums Corvette Club revving up for annual car show in Beach Haven

Attention-grabbing automobiles will be rolling into Beach Haven Sunday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the Beach Bums Corvette Club’s 11th annual Corvette Show at Bay Village and Schooner’s Wharf. A rain date is set for June 14.
Photo via The SandPaper
The show normally includes around
150 Chevrolet Corvettes.
The nonprofit group was established in 2001 for the purpose of furthering the interest in the study and preservation of the Corvette automobile, and to establish fraternal relationships among owners and enthusiasts of the Corvette sports car.
Proceeds from the club’s annual event benefit local charities.
The show usually includes about 150 Chevrolet Corvettes, said club President Ken Egerer.
“It is always exciting to see so many beautiful Corvettes of all model years whose owners obviously take great pride in maintaining them in pristine condition,” he stated. “The Corvette is the only vehicle manufactured and assembled nowhere in the world but the good old USA.
“The Beach Bums Club members put in a great deal of time and effort to put the show together. But it is a feel-good day knowing how much Corvette enthusiasts enjoy the show, and that we can help local charities as well as give a little boost to local businesses,” he added.
Registration for those entering the competition will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. The cost is $20 in advance, or $25 the day of the show. Pre-registration is recommended due to limited space. Spectators are admitted free of charge.
Trophy presentations begin at 3 p.m. First-, second- and third-place trophies will be awarded in three categories: street stock, modified and custom.
Street stock is genuine factory appearance; reproduction and replacement parts are allowed if the period is correct.
Modified is defined as cars with mild changes to the body and interior. Examples include chrome, custom wheels, paint (non-stock color), pinstripes and more.
Custom is Corvettes with radical changes to body, engine, interior and paint. Examples include roll bars, body panels, fender flares, paint graphics, custom interiors and custom paint schemes.
There are also awards for “Best in Show,” “Mayor’s Choice” and the “Beach Haven Police Department’s Choice.”
A 50/50 raffle will also be held to benefit the Long Beach Island Historical Association’s Fisherman’s Cottage.
For more information, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

All Route 72 Bridge lanes will remain open throughout summer construction

Photo by Ryan Morrill
The new bridge is being constructed parallel
to the existing structure.
The most obvious and visible work summer visitors and residents can expect to see on the $350 million Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project will be on the trestle bridges and their approaching roadways during the next few months, Daniel Triana, public information officer at the N.J. Department of Transportation, told The SandPaper in a recent update. Some traffic pattern changes may be necessary to complete the work, but two lanes will be maintained in each direction during peak hours. Any necessary lane closures will take place only during off-peak evening hours.
“Route 72 is vital to the tourist economy, and the normal complement of four travel lanes, two in each direction, will be maintained during construction in the summer months,” Triana said. “The centerpiece of this project involves the construction of a new $90 million bridge parallel to the existing one over Manahawkin Bay, providing the safety of a redundant route on or off the Island in the event that one of the bridges needs to be closed.
“The existing bay bridge, which is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, will be closed and rehabilitated once the new bridge is built and opened to traffic,” he added. “This sequence will preserve the current two travel lanes in each direction during busy summer seasons. This project also will create inside and outside shoulders and a barrier-protected sidewalk along the north side of the existing bridge, providing safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
Pier construction is complete, and the beams are being set for the new parallel bridge. Deck construction will begin shortly and continue throughout the summer.
Emergency work on the existing bridge structure was completed May 15 due to the discovery of a 6-foot-by-8-foot, irregularly shaped hole developing on the bridge deck. The right lane of the bridge was closed just west of Cedar Bonnet Island by NJDOT around 8:30 a.m. The roadway was repaired and reopened at approximately 5:30 p.m.
The emergency work was not related to the new bridge construction, Triana said. Construction is on schedule with no major deviations from the bridge work plan, he assured.
The project was started in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2020. The DOT is advising the public to slow down and pay attention while traveling through the construction zone.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Stolt Dagali, Sinbad artifacts donated to New Jersey Maritime Museum

Artifacts from a dramatic crash off of Barnegat Light and from the story of a history-making Coast Guard dog buried in that borough are among new acquisitions at the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.
William Steinman, a former New Jersey resident who now lives in New Hampshire, recently donated an original life jacket and photos he acquired while responding to the Stolt Dagali, a 583-foot Norwegian tanker carrying vegetable oil that sank 17 miles northeast of Barnegat Light after Israel luxury liner Shalom crashed into it, shearing the tanker in two, on Thanksgiving in 1946. Steinman captured the photos with a small Kodak camera and a pair of binoculars, he said.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
The items are available for viewing on the
second floor of the Beach Haven museum.
“We’re very excited about this donation because we have had an exhibit on the Stolt Dagali, and this life jacket is a major addition to it,” said Jim Vogel, executive director of the museum. “It is something there will be no more of; it is extremely rare, and I doubt that we’ll ever come across a new one.
“The pictures are certainly one of a kind because they were taken as it occurred,” he added.
A seaman apprentice with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Cape Strait for just three months at the time, Steinman recalls arriving on scene, searching for survivors and wreckage.
“There was a lot of fat or tallow floating that had congealed because of the cold water, with bits of wood and paper,” he remembered.
When he spotted the life jacket, he initially thought it belonged to a deceased crewmember floating in the water.
“It did make me think of the crew that did not make it, and I wondered who it was close to at the time,” he said.
Nineteen crew members died as a result of the crash. The tanker’s stern sank almost immediately, settling 15 miles east of Belmar in 130 feet of water with the bulk rising to within 65 feet of the surface.
After the crash, the bow remained afloat, providing a temporary haven for Capt. Kristian Bendiksen and 10 of his men. Steinman was part of the rescue crew that helped escort the bow section to Gravesend Bay in New York.
“I only had a small Kodak 127 camera that I had gotten as a birthday gift in October, just in case that special picture would happen,” Steinman recalled. “We had to stay a certain distance away from the bow, and circled it several times in an hour, doing this for eight hours and being relieved by another Coast Guard unit. So I used a pair of 7-50 power binoculars, put the camera against the lens and hoped it would work, and it did somewhat.”
A few days later, Steinman also acquired the life jacket he had picked up since “it had no evidence value,” he said. He kept it for 51 years before finally donating it to the Maritime Museum, after reading about its Stolt Dagali exhibit, which, in 2009, received the tanker’s stern auxiliary anchor after it was recovered in June 2009 by Captains Maureen and Stephen Langewin.
Steinmen has also donated an original news article of the crash, which his parents saved. He hopes to see his mementos in the fall, when he plans to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Barnegat Light.
The Maritime Museum also recently acquired the last 49 Sinbad stuffed animals in existence, which are now on display and for sale. Copies of the original 1946 news reel regarding the pooch are also now available for viewing and purchase.
Sinbad, a mixed-breed dog who served during World War II on the Coast Guard cutter Campbell for 11 years before retiring in September 1948, was an official member of the crew complete with all the necessary enlistment forms and other official paperwork and uniforms. He even had his own bunk.
The pup became an international celebrity after his biography, Sinbad of the Coast Guard, was published by Dodd, Mead and Co. of New York during the war.
The pup was well known for consuming beer in waterfront bars around the world, including Kubel’s on Seventh Street in Barnegat Light.
He earned the respect and affection of his shipmates during one famous battle, when the Campbell fought it out with the Nazi submarine U-606. The cutter was severely damaged during the fight, and the commanding officer ordered all but essential personnel off the ship. They transferred to a nearby destroyer, but Sinbad and a few others stayed aboard while the cutter was towed to safety.
Sinbad wore his extensive collection of service ribbons and awards around his collar. He earned each of the five ribbons he wore, just like his shipmates.
After passing away in December 1951, Sinbad was buried at the base of the flagpole of the now-decommissioned Barnegat Light station, which now houses borough hall on Seventh Street. His remains were later moved to the grounds of the current station.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Extended family of Floyd L. Cranmer gathers for Fifth Street Pavilion dedication in Beach Haven

Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Floyd L. Cranmer, a prominent Long Beach Island contractor and builder between 1924 and 1954, braved the wind and cool weather in Beach Haven, Thursday, May 28, for an official dedication of the Fifth Street Pavilion, the original of which Cranmer built. His daughter, Ellie Cranmer Ollivier, was instrumental in establishing the honor.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Relatives of Floyd L. Cranmer join together at the
Fifth Street Pavilion, which Cranmer originally built. 
Beach Haven Council members approved the dedication during a public meeting in November, awarding Ollivier with a plaque that she and her brother Floyd L. Cranmer Jr. helped unveil Thursday.
“It’s quite an honor for me because I feel my father is getting the respect he certainly deserves,” Ollivier, who still lives on Fifth Street, told The SandPaper.
In 1950, Cranmer also built the former U.S. Post Office on Fifth Street, which was situated next to his workshop.
“So Fifth Street means quite a bit to my family,” Ollivier said, adding that many of the relatives in attendance lived on or often visited the street.
Cranmer constructed all of the borough’s pavilions. The Fifth Street Pavilion, built in 1953, lasted nearly 65 years before it had to be replaced after Superstorm Sandy severely damaged it. The reconstruction cost $145,000, noted Sherry Mason, municipal clerk.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
David Ollivier and his kids, Allison and David,
listen to Floyd L. Cranmer Jr. reminisce.
“We are standing in a pavilion which is an exact replication of the originals,” announced Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis, whose home – the fourth of the seven sisters houses – was also built by Cranmer. “I am quite sure that Mr. Cranmer couldn’t conceive of what we paid to have these built after Superstorm Sandy. It is a tribute to him that we all loved these pavilions so much that we wanted to reconstruct them exactly as they were.
“I remember sitting on our porch with my mother, reminiscing about those times, and later finding photographs of my house when under construction,” she later told the audience.
Cranmer built many of the town’s residential homes and public buildings, including hotels, churches and schools. He doubled the size of the Beach Haven School by constructing an addition to the original building in 1926.
The list of structures built by Cranmer can be found along with pictures in A Pictorial History of the Building Projects of Floyd L. Cranmer Contractor & Builder. The book was written by Cranmer Jr. and copyrighted in 1998. A copy is available for reading at the Beach Haven Public Library, which Cranmer helped construct with his brother Firman. The book is now in its ninth printing. It is available for purchase at the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, which was originally built as Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church; Cranmer constructed the chapel on the east side of the building in 1938.
“I just thought I owed it to my father,” Cranmer Jr. said in reference to the book, which took him about 10 years to complete.
Cranmer Jr. once worked as a contractor for his father. The most important thing he learned, he said, was that the job needed to be done correctly.
Although Cranmer was primarily a carpenter, he also did his own concrete and roofing work. One of his first recorded jobs in 1925 was to install concrete sidewalks on a portion of Fifth Street as well as on Beach Avenue from Fourth Street to Eighth Street.
Cranmer is also well-known for keeping people employed during the Great Depression.
“During this low ebb in our country’s history, the year-round population of the Island was able to survive due to people such as Floyd Cranmer, who kept folks working though he made little profit,” Taggart Davis said. “In many ways, the town was shaped by his creations. Many lovely buildings that are still standing attest to Cranmer’s skill as a craftsman,” she added.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beach Haven officials hope Native Garden will help residents be ‘more ecologically conscious’

Many helping hands took part in creating a Native Garden near the bay on Taylor Avenue in Beach Haven this past autumn. On Wednesday, May 27, borough officials held a special dedication for local residents in honor of the work.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Beach Haven officials and school
students gather in the Native Garden.
Created and built by Beach Haven resident Robert Jacobsen in connection with Rutgers University’s Environmental Stewardship program, the garden provides “a lovely spot to contemplate nature and learn how to be more ecologically conscious,” Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis announced.
“This garden was only planted in the fall, and as you can see, it survived a very harsh winter,” she noted. “Gardens, like this one, planted with native vegetation, need very little watering and no fertilizer. Water is a precious commodity, and fertilizer run-off ruins the plants and animals that live in the bay.”
Beach Haven School students, who made a special trip to the garden that day, added to the beauty of the plant life by placing down rocks they had painted with the names of the various native plants that grow in the garden: little bluestem, American holly, beach plum, purple coneflower and swamp milkweed, to name a few. The school students helped plant the trees and shrubs in the fall.
“The Beach Haven School students are learning many lessons from the Native Garden. For example, gardens like this one will soak up the rain and reduce flooding in the area caused by rain run-off,” Taggart Davis said. “The garden also demonstrates that you can grow many things in Beach Haven without fertilizer and irrigation. It teaches them that there are many plants that are resistant to salt. We hope this teaches residents, as well, that they can build a beautiful, ecologically friendly garden on the Island.”
The council members also placed two benches in the garden. One was dedicated to Jacobsen, who is also involved with the Taylor Avenue Dune Planting group. He is an active member of the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Co. and the borough’s Green Team, too.
The second bench was dedicated to George Gilbert, superintendent of public works, and his department members.
“George and his crew were a great help in building the garden. He helped during his free hours and supported the project in all respects,” Taggart Davis said. “We are so lucky to have such a dedicated Department of Public Works. They work hard to keep our town beautiful.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Free wastewater pumpout service for boaters available now through October

With the kickoff of the 2015 boating season underway, Ocean County officials are reminding boaters that they can access a free wastewater pumpout service every weekend throughout the summer.
“We are home to the greatest number of marinas in the state. We want people to use our bays and our rivers for recreational boating,” said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the pumpout boat program. “But we also want everyone to enjoy these wonderful natural habitats responsibly and to be mindful of the environment that needs to be protected and preserved.”
Photo via Ocean County Planning
The pumpout boats plays a vital role in protecting
the inter-coastal waters of Ocean County.
The county’s pumpout boats are specially equipped vessels capable of emptying the on-board toilets and tanks of other boats, thus keeping waste from entering the bay. The boats cover different areas of the bay throughout the county, and can be accessed by contacting the captains on VHF Radio Channel 9.
“In its 18th year, we now operate six pumpout boats that are helping us do our part to keep Barnegat Bay and its tributaries clean,” said Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett Jr. “We encourage all of our boaters who are out enjoying the bay and our rivers to use this free service and stop wastewater pollutants from entering our waterways.”
The Bay Defender, a 23-foot boat with a 420-gallon holding tank that is operated by Brick Township, joined the Bay Saver in patrolling northern Barnegat Bay in 2014. Two other boats operate in central Barnegat Bay, and two boats patrol Little Egg Harbor.
“This program has been a great partnership with the state, our municipalities, the Ocean County Utilities Authority and the Tuckerton Seaport,” Vicari said.
The cost to operate all the boats is split between the county and the Ocean County Utilities Authority, which allows the pumpout service to be free for boaters.
Vicari said the program is essential for Ocean County, which relies on tourism for its economic base. When boaters are unable to use the many pumpouts based at the marinas throughout the county, they should be using the pumpout boats, he urged.
The boats operate Memorial Day weekend through October each year, including major holidays like July 4th, and have steadily expanded their operations. Last year almost 129,000 gallons of wastewater was removed from recreational boats.
“Since the program started in 1998, over 1 million gallons of wastewater has been removed and properly treated,” Vicari said. “Without this program, that wastewater could have been discharged improperly, sending pollutants into the bay.”
Vicari credited the boat captains for being “our eyes and ears on the water.”
“They can quickly notify us of any problems,” he said. “They serve as our ambassadors on the water.”
For more information, visit the Ocean County Planning Department website at
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ocean County Freeholders seek congressional help in curbing veteran suicides

According to federal statistics, an estimated 22 veterans die by suicide each day. Media reports in the Navy Times and other publications have noted that some veterans calling a hotline have faced long wait times before speaking with a counselor.
“This is totally unacceptable,” stated Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the county’s Veterans Service Bureau. “These brave men and women answered their nation’s call and volunteered to serve. Now it’s our turn to be there for them.”
Photo via Liberty Alliance
An estimated 22 veterans die
by suicide every day.
On behalf of the county’s board of chosen freeholders, Little has outlined his concerns in a letter to federal Reps. Chris Smith, Frank LoBiondo and Tom MacArthur, urging them to take action.
“We ask you to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure our veterans receive all of the services and care that they have so valiantly earned,” the letter states.
The crisis line in question handles about 1,300 calls a day, with about 300 calls transferred to backup centers manned by VA contractors, said Little. Ocean County, which is home to more veterans than any other county in New Jersey, also provides several avenues for veterans in need of assistance, he said.
Counseling is available through the Veterans Service Bureau offices in Manahawkin and Toms River.
The Vets Center, an arm of the VA, also provides counseling at its office, located on Route 70 in Lakewood, as well as at a mobile bus that makes regular stops at the Veterans Bureau Manahawkin office.
For more information, call the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau Office at 732-929-2096.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Queen City of Long Beach Island celebrates 125th anniversary

Beach Haven, the Queen City of Long Beach Island, is celebrating its quasquicentennial this year. In layman’s terms, the town is officially 125 years old. That’s right, it’s an old lady.
The center of the area’s main attractions for many decades, Beach Haven has become known for its beautiful, expansive beaches and a host of popular shopping destinations, including those in downtown Bay Village, as well as its variety of delicious food from The Chicken or the Egg’s famous wings and Holiday Snack Bar’s classic burgers to Country Kettle Chowda’s award-winning chowder and Crust and Crumb Bakery’s gigantic elephant ears.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
The public can view objects from old
Beach Haven at the borough's library.
Every summer thousands of residents and visitors battle the traffic across the Causeway Bridge to gather in the small town, where they celebrate some of the Jersey Shore’s best-loved events from the newly curated Hop Sauce Festival to the well-established Chowderfest. Throughout the summer weeks, Fantasy Island Amusement Park, which is staffed by generations of friends and families, can be seen packed with ride lovers. And the nightlife hot spots, from The Marlin and The Ketch to The Sea Shell and Buckalew’s, are always hopping.
It’s a tourist attraction rich in culture; visitors are often seen exploring the town’s Long Beach Island Historical and New Jersey Maritime History museums as well as the plethora of Victorian homes and old buildings. The marine district, where visitors can catch a ride on The Black Pearl or Miss Beach Haven or rent their own boat at Polly’s Dock, has also been a town staple.
What some people may not know, however, is that Beach Haven was the first town to officially incorporate on LBI.
In 1850, Archelaus R. Pharo, the founder of Beach Haven and a Tuckerton businessman, met with a group of wealthy Philadelphia duck hunters at the Long Beach House, a hotel on the south end of LBI owned by Capt. Thomas Bond. It was here they began planning to build a nearby resort for their families.
In 1873, he bought 670 acres of undeveloped land for $243. He later sold the property, which would become the community of Beach Haven, to the Tuckerton and Long Beach Building, Land and Improvement Association for $6,666. Pharo’s daughter chose Beach Heaven as the name of the resort.
In 1874, Pharo constructed the town’s first two cottages, on Second Street. A public wharf was also built at the end of Mud Hen Creek (now Dock Road), so people could travel from the mainland to work on the many building projects. The wharf was enlarged in 1876 to accommodate visitors arriving on steamboats.
Charles Parry, president of the Philadelphia-based Baldwin Locomotive Works, also built the Parry House Hotel on Centre Street in 1874. The Beach Haven House was built at the end of Mud Hen Creek, where it stood until 1967. It is now the site of Buckalew’s Restaurant.
In 1875, Thomas Sherbourne, who owned the entire south end of Beach Haven, built the farmhouse that would eventually form the center of the three-story building on Liberty Avenue, now known as Beck Farm.
Robert Engle and his cousin Samuel, who were Quakers from Mount Holly, bought property between South Street (now Engleside Avenue) and Amber Street for the Engleside Hotel in 1876. By the 1930s, it was losing money and eventually closed in 1940. It was torn down in 1943, and since the hotel owed the borough $15,000 in back taxes, the whole block was turned over to the town. It became the current Veterans Bicentennal Park.
The Beach Haven Yacht Club was founded as a sailing society, with Charles Gibbons III as commodore, also in 1876.
In 1877, a 50-room hotel known as the Ocean House was built on Centre Street next door to the Magnolia House, which was built at the same time. They were built by the Lamson siblings who resided in Cedar Run.
The resort continued to grow throughout the 1880s, with more summer and year-round homes. Quaker-inspired houses were constructed on Third Street, and Beach Avenue became the heart of the business area with many small stores.
In August 1881, the Parry House burned to the ground. Parry’s wife sponsored the construction of the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church (now the Long Beach Island Historical Museum) in honor of the fact that no lives were lost in the fire. The first service was conducted on July 9, 1882. That same year, the Portia Cottage, located on Coral Street, was built for Edward Williams and his family.
The Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company, the first in Ocean County, was established on April 28, 1883. The Baldwin Hotel, named for the founder of the Baldwin Locomotive Company, was built between Pearl and Marine streets; it had a capacity of 400 people. A small train nicknamed the Beach Haven Flier transported guests from the hotel to the bay.
In 1884, the first Beach Haven school was erected on Third Street, and Lilly Bates became the first teacher. The building is the present-day Island Baptist Church.
Baymen’s cottages were built on Second Street between Bay and Beach avenues in 1885. The railroad approach over Barnegat Bay from Manahawkin to Ship Bottom also began to form. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company laid tracks on the Island after company executives became part of the Beach Haven community. The railroad started running trains from Philadelphia to Beach Haven the following year.
During the late 1880s, most of the town’s seaside cottages were completed on Coral Street for the Philadelphia railroad executives of Baldwin Locomotive. Williams and John Converse completed their mirror-image Onion Dome houses, designed by John A. Wilson, on Atlantic Avenue. Many of the Queen Anne-style houses were built on Centre Street at the former site of the Parry House, and most of the houses facing the Hotel Baldwin were completed on Pearl Street. Henry Drinker, who became the president of Lehigh University, bought the Curlew Cottage on Coral Street; it was sold in 1994.
On November 11, 1890, Beach Haven Borough was established by the New Jersey Legislature, and William L. Butler was elected as the first mayor.
The borough will celebrate this year's special anniversary with a variety of celebratory events throughout the summer season, including a Throwback Softball Game at Walsh Field on Sunday, May 24.
For more information about the upcoming events, contact borough hall at 609-494-0111.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The Beachcomber.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Public invited to join Bring the Jersey Shore Home Bus Tour May 28

Summer is on the way, forcing families who are still not home for good 2½ years after Superstorm Sandy to find temporary living quarters yet again. While ready to enjoy the summer season at the shore, members of the New Jersey Organizing Project are also determined to help residents get back in their own homes.
Photo via NJOP
NJOP is comprised of a regional network of people
standing up for the South Jersey and shore area.
NJOP, a regional network of people standing up for South Jersey and the shore area, is inviting the public to join in taking action through getting involved in the organization’s Bring the Jersey Shore Home Bus Tour on Thursday, May 28. Whether or not they are still struggling to get home or just want to support their neighbors, tour-goers are encouraged to ride the bus throughout the day, or meet at one of three stops along the way.
“The governor hasn’t finished the job in N.J.,” Amanda Devecka-Rinear, director of NJOP, said in a statement. “He’s touring the country, so we’re touring the shore and taking action to finish the job.”
Participants are welcome to meet at 978 Radio Rd. in Little Egg Harbor, across the street from John and Sonia’s Luncheonette, at 8:30 a.m. The bus will leave at 9 a.m. and arrive at Fireman’s Park, located at 785 Front St. in Union Beach, at 10:30 a.m. The group will then head to 246 William Cook Blvd. in the Beach Haven West section of Manahawkin for the last leg of the tour, at noon, then return to Little Egg Harbor.
The group will be delivering post cards supporting laws in the state house that could help families get home.
“Gov. Christie needs to get it done, or get of the way,” Devecka-Rinear said. “By standing up and speaking out together, we can bring the shore home.”
For more information about the event, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Four-course wine tasting dinner at Buckalew’s Restaurant to fund Fisherman’s Cottage repairs

The fifth annual Wine Dinner and Auction at Buckalew’s Restaurant and Tavern to help raise funds for the continuing renovations of the Fisherman’s Cottage, located behind the Long Beach Island Historical Museum in Beach Haven, will be held on Friday, June 5, at 6 p.m. The event will feature a special, four-course menu offering food and wines from Washington state.
Photo via LBI Historical Association
The Fisherman's Cottage was originally built
for families working the seasons in the 1880s.
Hors d’oeuvres will include scallops with bacon jam; eggplant tabbouleh on grilled flatbread with cumin yogurt; baked apple with brie and almonds; coconut shrimp and an antipasto display all paired with Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut N/V. Cream of crab and asparagus soup will go with 2013 Columbia Crest H3 Sauvignon Blanc for the first course. The second course will include smoked trout salad with apricot vinaigrette and 2013 Columbia Valley “Erotica” Riesling. Patrons will have a choice between filet with sweet onion risotto, chanterelles and English peas finished with cranberry port and paired with 2013 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, or halibut over farro, ramps and roasted tomatoes finished with a tomato fennel sauce and paired with 2013 Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay. Dessert will include blackberry crème brulee with muscovado shortbread.
Live and silent auctions will also be available. Expected items include nautical gifts, local artwork, gift certificates to area restaurants, wines and spirits and other items donated by surrounding businesses.
The funds raised from the event – which in past years have been a “significant contribution” within the $4,000 to $7,000 range, according to Ronald Marr, president of the Long Beach Island Historical Association – will be used to help the group begin interior renovations at the cottage. The focus of the repairs has been on exterior items since the group acquired the building and relocated it a block and a half from its original setting in 2010.
“The big thing is we’ve done really no work on the interior, and that’s going to go slowly because the old plaster is in very, very bad shape,” said Marr. “Of course, all of the old paint probably contains some lead, so it’s all going to come off a little bit at a time. Then after that you have to install utilities because it doesn’t have electric or anything. Then insulation and drywall and trim; so there’s quite a bit of work to do,” he explained.
The cottage, originally used by families working the seasons in the local area, was first built in the early 1880s. An addition was later built in the early 1900s, and the building was remodeled in the 1920s to its current condition.
Event tickets cost $80 per person and include gratuity. Reservations are required. Call Buckalew’s at 609-492-1065.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fifth Street Pavilion in Beach Haven to be dedicated to Floyd L. Cranmer

On Thursday, May 28, at 3 p.m., the public is invited to the pavilion on Fifth Street in Beach Haven, which will be dedicated to Floyd L. Cranmer, a contractor and builder from 1925 to 1954. His daughter, Ellie Cranmer Ollivier, was instrumental in establishing this honor for her father because he had built the original structure.
Photo via Google
Floyd L. Cranmer built the original structure.
Members of the Beach Haven Council approved the dedication during a public meeting in November, awarding Ollivier with a plaque that will be placed at the pavilion.
A prominent local figure, Cranmer constructed many buildings on Long Beach Island, including Beach Haven Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis’ home, one of the seven sisters houses.
Cranmer built many other residential homes and public buildings in town, including hotels, churches and schools. He helped keep people employed during the Great Depression as well.
“In many ways the town was shaped by his creations,” said Taggart Davis.
Cranmer was born in 1894 in Manahawkin. He learned the building trade from his father. In 1912, he began work for the owners of the Baldwin Hotel. In 1921, after various ventures, he started his own business. In 1924, Cranmer built the Beach Haven Public Library. He later married Eleanor Walker, who became his bookkeeper.
The list of buildings constructed by Cranmer “is vast,” said Taggart Davis.
More information, along with pictures, can be found in the book titled A Pictorial History of the Building Projects of Floyd L. Cranmer Contractor & Builder, written by his son, Floyd L. Cranmer Jr. The book is available at the Beach Haven library.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

‘G-forces are perfect’ on Six Flags Great Adventure’s newest roller coaster

I had already made a few friends by the time I reached the front seat of El Diablo – Six Flags Great Adventure’s 13th roller coaster, which opened first to the park’s season pass holders and members of the press Wednesday, May 14. No, my new pals did not include former NJ Devils hockey player Colin White, who was in also attendance, surrounded by spirited fans. Let’s face it, I don’t even know how to play hockey.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
The looping roller coaster rockets
forward and backward pendulum-style.
I was more intrigued by the members of the New Jersey region of the American Coaster Enthusiasts organization. These people really love roller coasters. Ted Hunter, the group’s oldest member at 83, rode by himself with his hands in the air the entire time. And he was smiling the whole way, too.
“Ted goes on everything; he’s not afraid at all,” said Bret Ulozas, the group’s regional representative, who has been with the group since the age of 12. “Ted’s been on roller coasters I’ve never even contemplated because they’re all gone,” he added.
Despite the fact El Diablo rockets into the air seven stories high, hanging riders upside down at the tippy top, Ulozas claimed he wasn’t one bit apprehensive of the looping ride, either. Not just because he had already been on it, but because he has ridden more roller coasters than he can count. In fact, Ulozas has been on all of Great Adventure’s roller coasters more than once. Before the Internet and Google existed, he used to write letters to many of the area’s famous parks asking for information, he said.
When he was 4, Ulozas’s first-ever coaster had been the Runaway Mine Train, which opened as Great Adventure’s first steel coaster in 1970. As a ’90s kid, that was my first roller coaster, too. Of course, I cried the whole way because the safety bar didn’t press against me closely enough and the train dipped too close to the lake in the middle. I can’t believe that rickety thing is still there.
“The g-forces are perfect on this ride,” Ulozas said to me as I sat waiting for El Diablo to take off on its first pendulum-style rotation. “It’s not too much, but not too little. It’s definitely a thrill ride.”
What he was referring to, he explained, is that funny, weightless feeling you get in your stomach from the ride’s push and pull between acceleration and gravity.
Inspired by the Jersey Devil, the fiery red coaster – featuring face-off seating – is meant to haunt thrill seekers into some of the park’s bigger roller coasters. It is situated in the Mexican-themed de Carnaval plaza, right next to El Toro, the park’s top-rated wooden coaster, which replaced the Viper in 2004.
After going through a few of El Diablo’s six rotations, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I actually was not scared at all. The ride is not super-fast, and you get a really nice view of the park, albeit quick and upside down. The seating harness felt secure, even when I was suspended from the top; I even had a moment of courage where I let my arms go above my head. It was a really comfortable ride.
I had finally talked my coworker into joining me for a second ride when the coaster ran into some issues and rides were delayed. Good luck getting me on it again.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beach Haven employees to take on fire department members in Throwback Softball Game

Photo by Ryan Morrill
Ball games were popular in Beach Haven
during the 1920s, before World War II.

Gather your friends, pack up the kids and head down to Walsh Field in Beach Haven on Sunday, May 24, at 1 p.m. for a Throwback Softball Game, where past and present Beach Haven borough employees will go up against members of the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Co. The second of a variety of celebratory events slated for this summer in honor of the town’s 125th anniversary, the game is one Long Beach Island-goers will not want to miss.
“We get along well, so it’ll be a fun time – until the first pitch is thrown and someone gets hit with the ball,” joked Darcy Kolodziej, deputy municipal clerk, who will be playing in the game.
The legendary Glen Kalina from WJRZ will call the game, and Fantasy Island’s Mayor Gator will throw out the first pitch, while also handing out passes for a free ride on the park’s Ferris wheel.
Game-watchers are encouraged to cheer on their favorite team or players by bringing posters and other festive gear.
The first town to officially incorporate on LBI, Beach Haven was once known for hosting games of donkey ball. “But (the town) is not going that far,” said Kolodziej, who will also be participating in a Chicken or the Egg wing-eating contest during the third-inning stretch.
The Chicken or the Egg restaurant, famous for its wings and sauces, will be providing naked, mild wings for the competition, which will also include START founder Joe Mangino as well as a special mystery guest.
“I will not be naked and mild. I’ll be naked and wild. People will be cringing,” Kolodziej said, laughing.
Nonprofit group Beach Haven Future will be selling classic ballpark food, including peanuts, Crackerjacks, hot dogs and popcorn. Proceeds will benefit the group.
Another anniversary event at Walsh Field, a Pig Roast and free Bay Bash Concert, featuring local band Garage Kept, will take place on June 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. Food and beer provided by Buckalew’s Restaurant and Murphy’s Market will be available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit BHF.
A Paddle and Pour Challenge at the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club, to benefit the Mordecai Land Trust, will take place on Aug. 29 at noon. Light refreshments and kids activities will be available.
A free concert with Franklin Turnpike will be held later in the day at the field, from 5 to 8 p.m. Food and beer provided by Buckalew’s and Murphy’s will be available. Proceeds will benefit BHF.
Beach Haven’s Seafood Festival, sponsored by Buckalew’s, will take place at Frank Panzone Jr. Memorial Park, located behind Bay Village on Taylor Avenue, on Sept. 19, from 5 to 9 p.m. A free concert and boat parade will be held at 7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit BHF.
The borough's anniversary events will culminate with a rededication and gala dinner at Tucker’s Restaurant on Nov. 14. An after-party will be held at Buckalew’s.
Plans for a fall festival in October are still underway.
For more information, contact Kolodziej at 409-492-0111, extension 210.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The Beachcomber.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sneak Attack performs crowd-pleasers other cover bands are ‘scared to play’

Sneak Attack, self-described as a “rock and roll band that plays cover songs,” might get carried away during shows. But that’s exactly what everyone loves about them.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
On stage, vocalist Mike Delgado
sneaks in some of his dance moves.
The group, made up of five local guys, including lead vocalist Mike Delgado, Matt Rott on lead guitar, rhythm guitarist John Geoff, Glen X Ten on bass and Steve Szymanski on drums, didn’t skip a beat Friday night at Joe Pop’s Shore Bar and Restaurant in Ship Bottom, where they rallied for another gig after playing earlier for a David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation fundraiser at Barnegat High School.
“We love helping the community and local causes because we’re from here. We like to support our own people,” X Ten told The SandPaper after the first set at the bar.
“But we still melt people’s faces off when they come to our shows,” Delgado added.
With more of a punk-rock edge, the band played a mix of music from the 1970s to today. Some crowd favorites include Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars, as well as “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Matt Rott breaks it down on guitar.
The band’s set list has become recognizable to those who often come out and join in on even the lyrics that Delgado tweaks a bit. But the band members said they’re also looking to add in some older songs crowds don’t often hear cover bands play.
“We play the songs everyone wants to hear, that other cover bands are scared to play,” said Szymanski.
Of course, the latest songs the audience wants to hear are always on queue.
“We’ve got to stay up on the Top 40 hits. When T. Swift puts out something, we’re expected to be on that. We’ve got to be on that; that’s what people listen to us for,” said X Ten. “If Kesha wants to record again, we can be on that.”
The band usually performs in matching black-and-white tuxedo shirts, but they’ll be stepping up their game with a new design, they said. Band shirts will also be available for purchase at their shows.
“You can’t buy them anyplace else, only from us,” said X Ten. “You can only get them at shows. We don’t deal with the mail. We want it to be personal; they’re going to be a part of the team. We’re a band for the people. We’re a people band, and whatever else the dollar says.”
Aside from weddings, which the band now plays, music-goers will have plenty of chances to see Sneak Attack perform throughout the summer. Starting Wednesday, May 20, the group will be performing biweekly at The Marlin in Beach Haven, where they’ll also be playing after the block party during Chowderfest in October. Every other week, they’ll be up at Nardi’s Tavern in Haven Beach.
“So we’ll be playing every week,” Szymanski said. “We’re officially LBI’s favorite cover band.”
The group will also continue to perform once a month on Saturday at the Old Causeway Steak and Oyster House in Manahawkin. The group has been playing there regularly since last August, and the public has been extremely receptive.
“We’re like the hardest people that play at Old Causeway, but they all love it,” said Rott.
“We were the first full band to play there,” X Ten pointed out. “We have a lot of fun, and we enjoy playing there.”
To celebrate their one-year anniversary playing at Old Causeway, Sneak Attack will hold a special show at the restaurant on the Fourth of July, and “there may be cake and party hats,” said Szymanski. A performance will also be held that day at The WooHoo, a new ice cream parlor and fast food restaurant in Beach Haven.
Sneak Attack will help say goodbye to summer visitors with a September show at Bayview Park’s summer concert series in Brant Beach.
“We’re closing out the season, so you start with us and end with us,” Szymanski said. “We’re the bookend of the summer band series. Everyone likes to begin and end on a great note, and they save the best for last.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.