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‘We Are With You Orlando’

  By RICH VIRGILIO “Asbury Park is with you Orlando,” Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said outside Georgie’s Bar. “Our hearts break for the victims, their family and friends. People came to that club as a safe-haven with a promise to see friends, celebrate life and acceptance. This is a somber time for our community; we carry the pain of Orlando with us.” And so it went Sunday night as area residents gathered to mourn and remember the Orlando mass shooting victims, their families, friends and the community. “It was a flash vigil we organized in hours because we…

Community Organizer Will Be Honored with Carousel Award

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Asbury Park resident Sonja O’Brien has spent a lifetime unconditionally giving back. She’s a doer and a giver. After 14 years of tangible local impact – much of it behind the scenes – the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce is recognizing O’Brien with the 2016 Carousel Humanitarian Award. The award is one of five given annually and celebrates “outstanding dedication” to Asbury Park. “Sonja is great at bringing people together and beyond that, she does it all with heart,” said Jackie Pappas, executive director of the Asbury Park Chamber. “She is the kind of person who…

The Angel of Salvage in Asbury Park

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO What began in 2002 as a personal desire to restore a home to its original glory has evolved into Central New Jersey’s largest architectural salvage showroom, Salvage Angel, located in Asbury Park. “Salvage Angel grew from a personal need but I knew there were other people like me trying to truly restore their homes in a pure way,” said Carolyn Curtin, founder. “I started getting wish lists from friends and neighbors and my hobby grew from collecting architectural items to include vintage furniture and home decor.” The 20,000-square-foot warehouse in the former Canada Dry building on…

The B Plot: Eat Clean

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Eating great and healthier is easier than ever thanks to Eat Clean Delivery in Neptune City. A few years ago, Mike Hollemans, was a successful event management expert. After a month-long work trip, he should have returned home to Belmar jazzed about all his achievements. Instead, he felt overweight at 300 pounds, tired and generally unfulfilled. “After that trip everything clicked for me,” Hollemans said. “That was the beginning of the new beginning. I started making small changes like cooking better meals and taking care of myself and, slowly, my friends started noticing. It didn’t happen…

The B Plot: Trail of Terror at Camp Evans

By RICHARD VIRGILIO Creepy clowns, awkward aliens and ghoulish ghosts have returned with a few of their possessed friends for Season 10 of Camp Evans’ Base of Terror haunted walk in Wall Township. “Our volunteers have done a fantastic job of making the trail extra frightening and special for its tenth anniversary,” said Fred Carl, chief operating officer of the Info Age Science History Center and Ocean Grove resident. “This is way beyond a Halloween attraction. People say it’s more along the lines of walk-through art installation or performance art because of the spectacular creativity and energy that goes into…

The Greening of the Ocean in Allenhurst

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO What began 72 years ago as a spontaneous birthday celebration continues in Allenhurst as the most popular beach day of the season – the annual dyeing of the ocean green. “My grandfather, Bob Fountain who owned the Bubble Land amusement ride in Asbury Park started the ocean dyeing in 1943 to celebrate my mom’s birthday,” said Gail Matarazzo, co-organizer of the current-day ocean dye with her sister Joan Desmarais. “He would be so happy to see how excited everyone still gets. Some people say it’s their favorite day of the summer.” The 72nd ocean dye will…

The Phoenix Will Rise in Ocean Grove

  By JOSEPH SAPIA After a fire destroyed the three-story commercial-residential buidling at 50 Main Ave. in Ocean Grove in February, The Phoenix is rising. Within the next few weeks construction should begin on a new three-story building — The Phoenix — on the site, according to Kurt Cavano, who owns the property with his wife, Janet Mazur Cavano. The two have been Ocean Grove residents for more than 30 years. Now, the Cavanos are in the process of filing for building permits, Cavano said. The new wooden building will be 12,000 square feet over three floors and a basement.…

Ocean Grove Community Pulls Together as One

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Born and raised in Ocean Grove, Bobby Eastin knows the charm of the late 1800s historic community. And Eastin, 40, knows the dark history of fire in a town of old wooden structures only inches apart from each other, sometime whipped by a Shore breeze. “Everybody in town is very fire-conscious,” Eastin said. “You’re just aware of how dangerous it can be.” But Eastin said he was not thinking of that on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 6, when he walked out of the business he owns, Ocean Grove Hardware at 51 Main Ave., and saw…

Fire Destroys Businesses, But Not Spirits

  By DON STINE A spectacular daytime fire on Main Avenue in historic Ocean Grove Fri., Feb. 6 right in the center of its small business district, resulted in the destruction of four street-level businesses and seven apartments. The four-alarm fire, that had flames shooting through the roof of the three-story building, was at 50 Main Avenue. The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. Firefighters got additional water to fight the flames by running extra hoses to Fletcher Lake, eight blocks away. Businesses destroyed in the fire include Fusion Jewelry, Village Kloset, Smuggler’s Cove, and Yvonne’s Cafe, along with the…

Ocean Police Offer First Tweetalong in Monmouth County Law Enforcement

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Ever wonder what it is like to be an area police officer? On Wed., Nov. 26 the Ocean Township Police Department will offer an unprecedented look at a day in the life of an officer thanks to the area’s first-ever law enforcement Tweetalong. “We are committed to giving our community the best service possible and our social media communications program is a part of that,” said Chief Steven Peters. “This, our first Tweetalong, will help educate the community about what we do every day.” For eight hours Wednesday, Social Media Officer Lieutenant Timothy Torchia will shadow…