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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…

Mary’s Place Breaks Ground in Ocean Grove

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Mary’s Place volunteers, guests and supporters gathered Wed., Nov. 5, along with its founders, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the organization’s new larger facility on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. “Everyone who has embraced Mary’s Place should feel proud today,” said Michele Gannon, co-founder. “Our mission has officially grown its wings. What began as a dream five years ago has become a movement of hope and encouragement for women fighting cancer.” Mary’s Place will pour the foundation for its new 10 bedroom Victorian-style retreat at 22 Main Avenue within the next few weeks. The hope is…

One Woman’s Story 2 Years After Superstorm Sandy

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO On October 21, 2012, Neptune resident Pam Callender was managing everyday life with her two teenage foster children, in the modest dream home she purchased seven years earlier in the Shark River Hills section overlooking Shark River. “At that point, my life was no different than any other middle class, single parent household,” Callender said. “There was never enough time after taking care of the kid’s with their schedules and activities. When the economy took a dive, it was tough but we survived. We always had a good time and I was glad to have a…

The BPlot: Meet Artist “Julio C.R.”

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Some believe dedicating 10,000 hours to something makes you an expert. Other times, you have a gift, like artist Julio Reynaga. A year ago Reynaga, whose professional moniker is “Julio C.R.” picked up a paintbrush for the first time and today he is picking up fans with his energetic acrylic on canvas pieces depicting iconic and overlooked Abury Park-area scenes. One of his paintings sold for upwards of $1,000 last week to a very excited collector. Reynaga’s first solo exhibition is at the end of the month and you are invited to see his talent up…

The B Plot: 40th anniversary of historic Little League curve ball

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO As Little League season begins, there is one woman to thank for ensuring girls everywhere get their turn at bat. In 1974, a 10-year-old Janine Cinseruli told her mother that because of her gender she was not allowed to play in her Peabody, Massachusetts Little League. What ensued was months of legal curve balls with the help of the ACLU and a landmark decision by the State Supreme Court that affirmed a girl’s right to play baseball on the same team as the boys. And Cinseruli made history by becoming the first girl welcomed into any…

Social Media Helps Ocean Police Keep Residents Informed

    By RICHARD VIRGILIO Due to the past few weeks of severe weather, Ocean Township residents are relying on social media platforms more than ever thanks to the police department’s email, text and tweet communication services. The department has been leveraging two online platforms to alert residents about impending storms – Nixle, a subscription-based email and text service, and Twitter. “We use both platforms to provide information to residents about emergencies, weather, traffic and crime,” said Ocean Township Police Chief Steve Peters. “Between Nixle and Twitter, residents can receive important information quickly in the way they prefer, on the…

The B Plot: At Sundance with The ShowRoom

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Hours off a plane from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Michael Sodano and Nancy Sabino, owners of The ShowRoom art house cinema in Asbury Park sat down with me to talk about some of the best and most creative filmmaking of 2014. Last year, they spot-on predicted “20 Feet from Stardom” would be one of the biggest indie hits. In 2012, they were all over “Searching for Sugar Man.” What’s in store for this year? Read on. TBP: There are more and more film festivals every year, why go to Sundance? Sabino: Sundance…