Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Jersey Maritime Museum settles with Beach Haven borough over ‘absurd’ water charges

The New Jersey Maritime Museum, which filed a tort claim with Beach Haven borough after receiving an excessively high water bill, is required to pay $1,000 of the $5,200 cost. The borough has no provision in its ordinance for forgiveness, and the potential for adding one could not be discussed until the matter was settled, said Sherry Mason, municipal clerk. The council is currently considering amending the ordinance, she noted.
Photo via Trip Advisor
The New Jersey Maritime Museum must
pay $1,000 of the $5,200 cost.
The settlement was approved by the borough council during its regular, monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 14. Councilman Jim White voted against it.
“We’ve taken an oath to uphold the laws of this town, and I feel like we’re usurping it by going back retroactive on an ordinance,” he said.
Attorneys tried to settle the matter multiple times. An agreement was ultimately made “so that we could move forward for the betterment of all water consumers,” said Mason.
The museum normally acquires a total of $1,000 in water charges over the course of an entire year, or between $200 and $250 a quarter, owner Deborah Whitcraft noted.
“It was such an absurd case. We don’t know (why it happened), but all of the explanations by the borough made no sense,” she said.
Whitcraft hired an engineer “to show that it wasn’t physically possible for us to use in excess of a million gallons of water in a 90-day period.” The bill was for the months of April, May and June.
During the council’s regular meeting in May, two local homeowners who each owed thousands of dollars for water charges stood before officials asking for some reprieve. Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said the issue has been a problem for some residents due to pipes leaking and bursting during the extremely cold winter.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Boxing in Beach Haven Is ‘Brutal’ Brendan Barrett’s first fight since devastating hand injury

A fight will go down at Veterans Park in Beach Haven on Saturday, Sept. 26, and everyone is welcome to watch. Boxing by the Beach, which will showcase some of the greatest talent in boxing from all over the world, is Tuckerton resident “Brutal” Brendan Barrett’s first fight back since he shattered his hand defending his Ring of Combat Heavyweight title at the Tropicana Casino Showroom in Atlantic City more than a year ago. The six-time heavyweight mixed martial arts champion and four-time submission grappling victor will go up against Satario Holdbrooks in his first boxing match after crossing over from MMA.
Photo via HITM Productions
The local fighter brings
fierce talent to the ring.
“It’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been able to fight and over six years since I last stepped foot into a professional boxing ring. I feel truly blessed to be able to fight on an event that is sure to leave its mark on local history,” said Barrett, who spent some of his time retraining at the park this summer.
The event is being hosted by HITM Productions, a promotional company Barrett started in July, after he got stuck waiting for the right opportunity in boxing.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to have such great athletes competing on our first show, and we are very excited to bring boxing to Beach Haven,” he said.
Other fighters slated for the event include Dustin “The White Tiger” Fleischer, one of the top welterweight fighters in the U.S. right now, who will be taking on Ira Frank just coming off a win in his June 12 bout. Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, boasting a record of 17-1 with seven KO’s, will be taking on Ayi Bruce, bearer of 15 KO’s, for the middleweight fight that night. Middleweight Ian Green (6-0) is paired with K Lon Spencer of Texas (4-2) to see who emerges victor of that bout after six rounds. Four rounds of light heavyweight fighting will transpire between Chinese Olympian Meng Fanlong and Michael Mitchell, presently ranked 72nd in the U.S. O’Shanique Foster (7-0) will take on newcomer Darius Jackson for four rounds of lightweight boxing. Sidney Outlaw, also a fellow pro-MMA fighter, will be making his professional boxing debut as well, against Angel Concepcion (6-0) in the light heavyweight division. Undefeated Arturo Trujillo (6-0) will be taking on North Carolina native Alex Asbury (0-2) for four rounds of middleweight fighting.
The event, held under a tent in the park, will take place rain or shine. Food and beverages will be offered by Shorty’s of Tuckerton, and music will be provided by DJ Marc V, with the help of MK Productions.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and fights will commence at 5:30 p.m. with famed announcer David Diamante taking to the ring. Seating is first come, first served.
VIP ringside (rows 1 and 2) tickets cost $125; ringside (rows 3 and 4) tickets cost $100; center mezzanine (rows 5 through 7) tickets cost $75; and general admission (remaining rows) tickets cost $50. Tickets can be purchased online at or at The Chicken or the Egg in Beach Haven, The Ice Cream Shop of Manahawkin, or the Jon Miller Car Care Center in Tuckerton.
Event sponsors include Advantage Vapors, Lombardi Construction Management, GH3 Promotions, The Sea Shell Resort, Defensive Fit, Richard Catena Auto Wholesalers, 597-Taxi, Coastal Sign and Design, Ocean Tents, JDM Andrews Inc., Point Tees and Eastern Shore Associates.
For more information, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, September 21, 2015

$237,000 contract awarded for demolition of Beach Haven’s borough hall

The Beach Haven Borough Council has awarded a $237,000 contract to Yannuzzi Group Inc. for the demolition of its Superstorm Sandy-damaged borough hall. The Hillsborough Township company submitted the second lowest bid after MECO Demolition of Bensalem, Pa., which proposed $189,000. By law, the borough must accept the lowest bidder, as long as it complies.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Demolition of the building is planned for this
week, but the date is not set in stone.
“MECO had an error in their bid document that could not be waived,” said Sherry Mason, municipal clerk. “The surety paperwork that they put in for the performance bond was not for the correct amount.”
The municipal building is set to be demolished this week, on Thursday, Sept. 24, but the date is not definite.
“We have to set some type of plan, so that’s the plan,” said Mason.
Officials are still working on the final revisions of the preliminary design. A variety of aesthetic alterations from roofing and windows to shingles and ramps are being considered in view of recommendations offered by members of the Beach Haven Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.
The council has yet to decide whether it is willing to spend more for some of the changes, Mason said.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Nearly 3,000 people attend Beach Haven’s first Boat Parade and Seafood Festival

Crowds of people indulged in cold beer and fresh seafood as Jimmy and The Parrots belted out classic hits from Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett’s “It’s Five o’Clock Somewhere” to “Twist and Shout” by The Top Notes during Beach Haven’s first Boat Parade and Seafood Festival held at the Bay Village waterfront Saturday evening, Sept. 19. The event, hosted by the borough in partnership with Beach Haven Future, drew an audience of nearly 3,000 people.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
The crowds let loose with Jimmy and the Parrots.
“This is just an unbelievable turnout, and we are beyond thrilled. It’s absolutely what we envisioned,” Barb Cona, Beach Haven Future’s executive director, said just before the start of the boat parade, which featured 14 boats ranging in size from 60 to 17 feet.
The main draw of the event included a variety of specialty seafood, from Biggy’s Beach Grill’s seared tuna tacos to grilled lobster from Murphy’s Marketplace. Other delicious bites such as Mullica River oysters provided by Bistro 14, clams on the half shell from The Gazebo Restaurant and Country Kettle Chowda’s award-winning clam chowders, among other food, were also big hits. Plenty of eaters also chowed down on wings from The Chicken or the Egg and Crust and Crumb Bakery’s gigantic elephant ears.
“We’ve been working so hard to bring events on the shoulders of the season to sustain the business community and give a boost to the town of Beach Haven,” said Cona. “It’s great because all the money from the event goes back into the town. We’ve had a great summer working with Beach Haven, and we hope that partnership will continue to grow over the years.”
Festival-goers gathered along the water’s edge just before sunset as boats and even a group of stand-up paddleboarders decked out in red, white and blue paraded around the bay, though a few boaters had some trouble navigating the low tide.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Stand-up paddleboarders join the parade.
The first-place award for the Americana-themed competition in honor of the town’s 125th anniversary was given to Flat Rate, a 60-foot boat that Beach Haven residents Vince and Kim D’Antuono decorated with a giant, blow-up Uncle Sam hat. Second place went to Four Play, a 28-foot boat decorated by Thomas and Patricia Tafrow of Robbinsville. Long Beach Township resident Joe O’Neill received third place, and Beach Haven resident William Burris took home honorable mention for the Melina.
The residential grand prize winner for the decorating contest went to Bill and Diane Sullivan of Essex Avenue, and the condominium winner was Amber View Condominiums of Amber Street.
BHF President John Wachter thanked the many volunteers and participating restaurants that “worked tirelessly to keep up with the crowds serving an outstanding assortment of fine food at great prices.”
“I am confident all of our vendors will be back again next year,” he said.
The event was sponsored by Beach Haven borough, BHF, Shore Point Distributors, Coastal Living Real Estate Group, Kapler’s Pharmacy, Hot or Not Yoga and Diane Turton Realty.
A Fall Festival at Veterans Park on Oct. 24, filled with activities, shopping, food and drinks before wrapping up with a bonfire on the beach, will be the next event to celebrate the town’s anniversary.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Free legal clinic for individuals affected by Superstorm Sandy to be held at Stafford town hall

Photo via Google
The informational session in Stafford is
open to all New Jersey residents.
Superstorm Sandy survivors needing assistance with legal issues arising from the storm are invited to a free informational session with staff from Legal Services of New Jersey at the Stafford Township municipal complex in Manahawkin on Saturday, Sept. 26 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
LSNJ coordinates the statewide legal services system and provides free assistance to low-income New Jerseyans. Representatives will be on-site to assist with Sandy-related issues, including the National Flood Insurance Program/Federal Emergency Management Agency flood claim review process, ReNew Jersey Stronger grant program collections/appeals, FEMA recoupments, flood and homeowner insurance claims and appeals, home repair contractors, landlord/tenant disputes, foreclosure issues and more.
Representatives from Congressman Tom MacArthur’s office will also be on hand to assist with any issues individuals may be having with a federal agency.
A Q & A will take place after the session. If time permits, a staff member will be available for one-on-one consultations.
For more information, call LSNJ’s toll-free Hurricane Sandy Legal Assistance Hotline at 888-222-5765, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Officials announce replenishment in Beach Haven, Holgate will begin in January

The Long Beach Island Historical Museum was packed Monday evening, Sept. 14, with local residents of Beach Haven and surrounding towns who were eagerly seeking information about the upcoming beach replenishment that the borough has been awaiting. As part of the town council’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, officials from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Coastal Engineering and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District provided a detailed overview of the Long Beach Island New Jersey Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project, designed to reduce storm damages to infrastructure.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Many residents want a gentler slope at Beach Street,
but officials said that cannot be accommodated.
Replenishment in Beach Haven as well as in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township will begin in January and continue for approximately 100 days, officials announced, answering a question that had many residents waiting on the edge of their seats. It will be a 24-hour operation, seven days a week, with beach closings at approximately 1,000-foot sections. Closed sections are rolling and will advance as beachfill continues. Construction is anticipated to progress approximately 100 feet per day. Project features include sand fencing, dune grass plantings and dune grass crossovers.
The project, conducted by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. through a $128 million contract, began in Ship Bottom in early May. Construction then moved to Long Beach Township, and work is ongoing in the Brant Beach section of the municipality. The timeline for replenishment in the remaining sections of the township is still pending, said Chris Constantino, NJDEP project manager.
All work is required to be completed by April 12, 2016. Weather and/or mechanical delays may change the schedule and completion date. Despite possible delays, all parts of the project will be fulfilled, Keith Watson, the Army Corps’ project engineer, noted.
Once the project is complete, approximately 63,000 linear feet of beach and dune will have been constructed across the Island, including 9,940 feet in Beach Haven. To meet the profile, more than 8 million cubic yards of sand will have been pumped onto the beaches of LBI from an approved borrow area approximately 3 miles offshore. Around 2.5 million cubic yards will be in Beach Haven and Holgate.
The state is in the process of consulting with the necessary groups involved with receiving authorization to utilize a portion of the Little Egg Inlet as a borrow area, officials said. A final decision, which could potentially allow the procedure to be included in the current Army Corps project, has not yet been made. If sand were to be obtained, it would be used to fill the whole beach profile, not just as a top layer, said Watson.
The storm damage reduction project was only partly finished when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. The Army Corps completed construction in Surf City in 2006, Harvey Cedars in 2010 and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th streets in Long Beach Township in 2012. It restored beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars following Hurricane Irene in 2012, and entirely refurbished the beaches within all three municipalities in 2013 after Sandy. The work was financed fully by the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program.
The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system. It is entirely funded by the federal government through the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (PL113-2), generally acknowledged as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. Following the conclusion of initial construction, the project is eligible for continued periodic nourishment.
Residents and visitors in Beach Haven can expect to see offshore dredges outfitted with an intake screen, a pipeline in the water from the dredge connection point to the beach, a pipeline on the beach in different locations and land-based screens for debris collection as well as heavy machinery used to spread sand and move equipment.
Some existing vegetation may be covered and disturbed during the development. However, officials said they have been doing well in reducing the disturbance where the beach and/or dune meets or surpasses the design criteria. To begin the establishment of plants on the new dune areas, the contract includes planting American beach grass and saltmeadow cordgrass, Watson mentioned. Once that planting is completed, the borough can introduce more plant species.
A group of citizens has created a petition for a slope modification at various locations within the borough because of concern over the potential for increased risks to swimmers with the current slope formula utilized throughout most of the project area.
Modified slope areas will in fact be constructed from 12th Street to Taylor Avenue and from Iroquois to Jefferies avenues, at 1:20 from the edge of the berm to the mean high water and 1:10 from the mean high water to the tie-in that will meet the existing bottom.
Many residents, including those behind the petition, have also requested a gentler slope at the busy Centre Street beach, but officials said they “cannot accommodate any further additional modified slope areas” due to practical mechanical restrictions and budget limits.
The standard slope design is intended to allow erosion for the beach to return to its more natural profile. This process should take only one winter season, officials said. However, residents worry this will not be the case in Beach Haven because replenishment is just starting in January. Officials reminded the public that the winter season continues through March.
Based on the contract, crossovers – made of a compressed sand, clay and gravel composite mix – are required at every street end. Three handicap-accessible beaches, at Centre, Fifth and Pearl streets, will have ramps with side rails and wheelchair-accessible mats down to the water.
Although some people have complained about the variability in sand laid during the different sections of the project, officials noted the grain size and quality of the sand obtained from offshore borrow zones are pretty consistent throughout the entire project. However, there may be slight differences based upon the location of the cuts in the borrow area.
Back-passing, an idea introduced by Surfrider Foundation member John Weber at last month’s council meeting, which would require moving the town’s “sugar sand” aside and putting it back on top of the sand laid down for the project, was also ruled out by officials because there is not enough sand in the arrangement to meet the design and construction requirements. The dynamics do not allow for creation of the template in full, they said. There is also not enough room on or adjacent to the beach to accommodate the logistics, and the costs would be “exorbitant.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Blacklegged ticks that can carry Lyme disease are still active after summer

Although blacklegged ticks, which can spread Lyme disease, are most prevalent during the summer months, they are active the entire year as long as temperatures are above freezing. Peak activity months for adult blacklegged ticks, also commonly referred to as deer ticks, are October, November and April, as well as May and June for nymphs, said Steven E. Yergeau, environmental and resource management agent at Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
Photo via Google
Those who find a tick on themselves can bring it
to Rutgers Cooperative Extension for identification 
Ocean County, which is the second largest county in New Jersey, has many parks and recreational areas for people to traverse, making residents and visitors more susceptible to tickborne illnesses. Prevention, including wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using insect repellent containing DEET on skin or clothing, or permethrin-containing repellent on clothes, is key. For detection purposes, it is best to avoid wearing black clothing.
Limiting outdoor activities at dawn and dusk and making sure screen doors and windows are in good condition are also important prevention tips.
Individuals who find a tick on themselves may bring it in a sealed container for onsite identification at the cooperative extension center on Whitesville Road in Toms River, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. A drop-off box in the lobby is open 24 hours a day for those who are unable to come in during office hours; drop-offs will be addressed immediately the following business day. The service is provided for free by trained master gardeners.
“The main importance is to figure out what kind of tick you have in the hope of either screening out whether or not it’s a type of tick that can transmit Lyme disease,” said Yergeau. “We strictly just do the identification. We don’t do further testing.
“If they do happen to get a deer tick or a blacklegged tick on them, then we provide them information if they want to take the tick to go have it tested to see whether or not it is a carrier for the Lyme disease organism that transmits the disease,” he added.
A common sign of Lyme disease is red swelling of the skin in a circular pattern or bull’s eye. If this occurs, Yergeau recommends seeing a physician right away.
Ticks should be removed, with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, using a steady, backward force. Do not use alcohol, nail polish, hot matches, petroleum jelly or other such removal methods, Yergeau urged. The tick’s mouthpiece, which can sometimes be left on the skin, does not transmit disease on its own and will eventually work its way out.
For more information about preventing tick bites, watch the center’s tick identification video at or call 732-349-1246. Yergeau also suggests verifying information through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Students lower flag at Beach Haven School to pay tribute to 9/11 victims, first responders

On the morning of Sept. 11, students clad in red, white and blue gathered around the flagpole at the Beach Haven School to honor the lives lost and the many people who came to their rescue during the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania 14 years ago. Christine Van Pelt, the school’s new music teacher, played taps on trumpet while the sixth-grade class lowered the flag to half-staff. The students recited the pledge of allegiance and sang the national anthem and “She’s a Grand Old Flag.”
Photo via Beach Haven School
Sixth grade students help lower
the flag at the Beach Haven School.
“Each year, schoolchildren across America study historical events and learn how those events have shaped our nation’s history,” said EvaMarie Raleigh, superintendent of the Beach Haven School. “9/11 is the most recent historical event that not only changed the way Americans live each day, but has created a sense of patriotism among its people. When schools pause to pay tribute and claim, ‘We will never forget,’ we are vowing to never forget the 3,000-plus victims who were lost that day as well as the heroic actions of emergency personnel, average citizens and our military.”
Prior to the lowering of the flag, Raleigh read portions of Gov. Chris Christie’s executive order no. 183, which was made effective Wednesday, Sept. 9. The order asks that the U.S. and N.J. flags be flown at half-staff at all state departments, offices, agencies and instrumentalities as well as all public buildings during appropriate hours on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. It is a tribute to all responders and victims, including the more than 700 New Jerseyans who were killed in the attacks.
“Fourteen years later, hundreds of New Jersey families must still cope with the devastating loss of a parent, spouse, child, or other loved one,” the order states. “… We remain grateful to our law enforcement communities and our Armed Forces for their invaluable sacrifices to protect us at home and abroad since the terrorist attacks.”
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Family holds second Arthur Szymanski Memorial Charity Ride & Drive to benefit other individuals, families affected by cancer

Motorcyclists and car enthusiasts will take to the streets for the second annual Arthur Szymanski Memorial Charity Ride & Drive in Bayville Sunday, Sept. 27. The event, dedicated to inspiring hope and raising funds for individuals and families affected by cancer, is held in tribute to Szymanski, who raised his family in Surf City, where they lived for over 20 years. Szymanski passed away from cancer in January 2014.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
The Szymanskis enjoy a nice ride in
honor of Arthur at last year's event.
“Cancer does not discriminate; it affects everyone across the board and doesn’t care about gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or whether you are good and kind. It is lethal,” said Szymanski’s wife, Karen, who organized the event with her three children, Steve, Sean and Kaitlyn.
“Because Arthur had a passion for motorcycles, we decided to honor his memory with a ride,” Karen said. “He would have loved this. ... It’s not the yacht club; it’s a little different, but this is just who we are.”
The ride will start at noon at Central Regional Middle School, located at 509 Forest Hills Parkway in Bayville. Drivers will ride out to Chatsworth, where Szymanski used to travel for a root beer snow cone with his son Sean every Sunday, Karen noted. The ride will end at the Captain’s Inn Waterfront Tiki Bar, located at 304 East Lacey Rd. in Forked River, where riders and non-riders alike can enjoy a full hot and cold buffet, Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle and live music by Sneak Attack (Szymanski’s son Steve is the drummer). In the event of rain, the after-party will take place inside the restaurant.
The first event, held last year, raised $8,000, which the family donated to Oceans of Love as well as The Van Dyke Hospice Program at Barnabas Health Community Medical Center in Toms River; Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The event included 88 motorcyclists as well as 200 guests. This year the family hopes to double the number of participants.
“We are just a family that’s trying to do good,” said Karen. “It’s so sad. You meet these people, and they’re struggling with not only the illness but with everything. You’re trying to process what is happening, and you’re watching someone die. Your bills don’t stop, life doesn’t stop, and it’s hard for people. You try really hard, and you think you’re bringing them to the best doctors, and sometimes it still doesn’t work out.
“We know in our hearts this is the right thing to do, and by giving back we can help others hopefully win their cancer battle,” she added.
Registration for the event will begin at the middle school at 10 a.m. Tickets, which include a commemorative bracelet, cost $15 for riders and $5 for passengers. Admission to the after-party costs $25.
Event-goers can also purchase a commemorative T-shirt for an additional $10.
For more information, go to or email
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Public invited to Q & A with state, federal officials on Beach Haven’s cpcoming beach replenishment project

Photo by Jack Reynolds
The beachfill project is being conducted
by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co.
During the Beach Haven Borough Council’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 14, officials from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will partake in a public Q & A regarding the town’s upcoming beach replenishment project. Representatives of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., which is performing the beach work, hopefully will also be in attendance.
“We’ll be providing information to the public who have questions about the project, but we’ll only specifically be dealing with the Beach Haven project,” said Sherry Mason, municipal clerk. “We’re not going to entertain questions about Long Beach or any other town that might be getting it.”
Mason said council members are encouraging all local residents, including those who agree with the project, to come out and share their opinions and ask questions.
“We’re hoping it’s not all just a big witch hunt. We’re hoping that every resident that’s affected by beach replenishment will come out and speak,” she said.
The meeting will be held at the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, located at 129 Engleside Ave., at 7 p.m. Regular business will be conducted for about the first 10 minutes, after which the floor will be handed over to state and federal officials.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Children get back-to-school supplies through St. Francis Community Center

With the help of the local community, kids in town have gone back to school in style this year. St. Francis Community Center’s annual Back to School Project, which provides children ages 3 to 18 from Forked River to Tuckerton with school supplies for the fall, assisted 281 students. All children received a new backpack filled with back-to-school essentials.
Photo via St. Francis Community Center
Residents and businesses helped the community
center provide students with school supplies.
“After our initial outreach efforts with The SandPaper and online social media, we received an outpouring from our community,” community center officials said. “Donations exceeded our expectations, and (we) were able to surpass our 250 enrolled children.”
The project, which began more than 10 years ago, was started to help families with the costs incurred by sending their children back to school. The effort has grown to include donations from local dentists and hair salons.
“We are grateful to live in a close-knit community that selflessly gives to support those in need,” officials noted. “Everyone has memories of what it feels like to get their new backpack and school supplies, and we want to provide those memories to families who are in need. Our hope is for all children returning to school to have confidence and a readiness to learn.”
Registration for the project started July 13, and distribution was conducted Aug. 20 and 21.
Funding and donations were provided by the Rotary Club of Long Beach Island, Jetty Rock Foundation, The Home Depot, Olive Garden, Surf City Police Department, St. Francis’ “Shark Swim Team,” Walmart, BJ’s, Costco, Ocean Family Dental, Ocean Pediatric Dental, Scissor Sisters, Jane’s Cutaway Salon as well as countless local residents.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, September 7, 2015

‘The Right Prescription for Success’ town hall meeting to focus on prescription drug and heroin abuse

To help combat the county’s drug epidemic, the public is invited to attend “The Right Prescription for Success,” a town hall meeting hosted by Ocean County College and Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention’s DART Coalition of Ocean County, on Thursday, Sept. 17. The event will focus on the link between prescription drugs and heroin.
Photo via Google
Prescription drug and heroin abuse
can impact perception and perspective.
Expert speakers Rory Wells, assistant prosecutor for Ocean County, and Joel Pomales of Young People in Recovery will present the discussion.
“Wells will explore understanding the prescription pill/heroin downward spiral, and how important it is to stay focused on academic goals,” said RoseAnn D’Urso, manager of promotional programming at Ocean County College. “Pomales will discuss what life is like living with addiction.”
To help participants understand how drugs impact perception and perspective, drug goggles will be provided by the Ocean County Health Department.
The meeting will be held in two sessions, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., in the Gateway Lecture Hall at OCC’s main campus, located on College Drive in Toms River. Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided by Jersey Mike’s Subs.
For more information about the event, call Kate Pandolpho, director of career, employment and counseling at OCC, at 732-255-0400, extension 2941, or Michele Buldo, DART Coalition coordinator at Barnabas Health, at 732-886-4757.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beach Haven Board of Education, superintendent differ on decision to accept and implement Title 1 funds

During the Beach Haven Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting, held for the first time at the town’s temporary borough hall on Thursday, Aug. 27, Superintendent EvaMarie Raleigh proposed accepting and using the $13,438 in Title 1 funds awarded to the school in July. In order to claim the funds, a basic skills spending plan must be implemented. Raleigh suggested a plan that included a variety of new school- and community-based programs.
Photo via Beach Haven School
The Title 1 funds were awarded
to the school in July.
The proposal included using a portion of the funds to create an after-school program for basic skills and ESL students and their parents. Raleigh noted the idea is something personnel discussed as part of the school’s strategic planning two years ago.
“So we would be actually able to accomplish this without spending our own money,” she said.
Raleigh also suggested using some of the funds toward Wilson Language Training, a program designed to better help educators working with students who have dyslexia. She recommended using a portion of the money for basic skills teachers to acquire Words Their Way training as well.
A portion of the funds could also be used, Raleigh said, to purchase LinkIt!, an integrated, web-based program that allows schools to document student data regarding assessment creation, delivery, scoring and reporting.
Raleigh mentioned that Rumson and Little Silver school districts, which received a larger sum of Title 1 funds because they are bigger districts, are partaking in many of the same programs.
“No one is turning down the funds,” she stated. “It’s something that is entitled to our district and to work with our students.”
When board members expressed concerns about whether or not there is enough Title 1 funding to cover the proposed plan, Raleigh said the district receives reduced program pricing because it is a small school.
“It’s not insignificant money, but I can’t justify spending $4,000 to track student data on 60 kids,” said Board President Irene Hughes. “While these are great programs, I’ve never seen anything that says we can’t fund it ourselves,” she added, noting that she would have to check the budget.
During public comment, student parent Kristy Davis said she does not think the school needs to invest in an array of “fancy” programs.
“As far back as I can remember, our school worked because we always allowed our teachers to teach to the individual. These teachers know these kids from birth, basically,” she stated.
“I really feel as though you’re trying to run the school like we’re a large school district and forgetting that we’re this family,” she added, addressing Raleigh. “… I want my child to be a good writer. I want them to read, and I want them to be able to be good at math. That’s what’s important, and that’s why our school is so great, because our kids get those basic skills drilled into them throughout the seven years or six years they’re at the school. And that’s why they excel in middle school, because they have this very, very strong foundation. I just feel like we’re losing sight of that, of just the basics.”
In other meeting news, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato briefed the board on the importance of utilizing surveillance cameras in the school that law enforcement can access in case of an emergency. He suggested installing the cameras in stages if funding is tight.
The board discussed the possibility of hiring someone in-house to provide cleaning services for the school instead of continuing with the cleaning company it currently utilizes. No decision has yet been made.
According to information she received from the state, student parent Beth Markoski said a teacher who was approved last month did not have the proper certification at the time, and another teacher was approved to work 2½ days but was being paid for three days. She asked why administration does not have to follow policy and why there are no repercussions for not doing so.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.