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Ocean Voters Go to Polls for School Referendum

  By DON STINE Ocean Township school officials are hoping voters will turn out Tues., Dec. 9 to approve a $28.9 million bond referendum to pay for improvements to all five district schools. Approving the referendum will not add anything to the current school tax rate for debt service. Taxpayers will cast their votes during a special election at their regular polling places from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. School Superintendent James Stefankiewicz said Tuesday that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the referendum passing, saying it is “desperately needed in the district.” “We are trying to plan for the needs…

Neptune City Library Hosts Open House

  The Neptune City Library is hosting a Holiday Open House Tues., Dec. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. wtih entertainment and refreshments for all. Entertainment will be provided by Joe “Mr. Ric” Riccardello, compliments of the Monmouth County Library System. Drawings will be held for gifts donated by local merchants and Friends of the Library. Snacks will also be provided. Patrons who join the library’s 2015 Friends of the Library that night will receive an additional ticket into the drawings. Books will be available for sale. Membership in the library is free and open to borough residents, property owners,…

City Residents Discuss Pros and Cons of Paid Parking

  By DON STINE Some Asbury Park residents told officials this week they would like to see either free parking or reduced parking rates on city streets during the winter months although many acknowledge the state would be critical of the reduction in revenues for the city. The comments were made at a meeting this week to discuss solving Asbury Park’s long-term parking problem, which is not unique among coastal towns. “Asbury Park is not unique (regarding parking), per se, but it has unique traits that cannot be found (elsewhere),” said Timothy Tracy, executive vice president of Desman Associates. City…

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Neptune City Fire Cadet Receives Memorial Grant

  By MELISSA BEVERIDGE Neptune City Fire Cadet Richard T. Maher received the Terry Morcom Memorial Cadet Grant during the Borough Council meeting this week. He was the first cadet to receive the award. Established this year by the children of Morcom: Kimberly, Andrea, and Craig, it honors the memory of their father, Terry Morcom who joined the Neptune City Fire Department in 1969 and became chief in 1983. Morcom had cancer and died last year while he was still on active duty in the department. Current or former cadets of the NCFD that are advancing their education through secondary…

Neptune Ready for Winter

  Neptune is ready for the onslaught on a severe winter, much like last year, with 41 heavy-duty trucks and more than 900 tons of salt on hand right now to meet the challenge. Public Works Director Wayne Rode told the Township Committee Monday night that the township is ready. Weather experts predict another polar vortex will hit the area this winter with freezing temperatures and inclement weather conditions. Rode said the township has 41 pieces of “heavy equipment” ready to meet the challenge, including 12 trucks with salt spreaders and two new snow plows that replace two “damaged beyond…

Shop Local and Often

  By JOSEPH SAPIA As some stores gear up to open their doors on Thanksgiving this year, many local, small business owners in the area say they are looking forward to the weekend to Saturday which has come to be known as Small Business Saturday. Jim Carella, owner of Carella’s Art and Sole Footwear in Avon, praised the Small Business Saturday promotion, saying it is “out there for the small business industry.” “It’s really raised awareness for Main Street businesses,” said Carella, who has had his store seven years. “I think people in general, since the recession hit, turned a…

New art, music festival coming to Asbury Park in 2015

  Asbury Park will once again host a film festival and this time it will include the city’s rich musical heritage. The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation said it is partnerning with the Asbury Park Press to bring a new film festival to the city in April 2015. The 1st Annual Asbury Park Music in Film Festival has been scheduled to take place the weekend of April 10, 11 and 12, 2015. The festival will replace the Garden State Film Festival that was moved to Atlantic City in 2013. The loss of the GSFF, an eleven year economic mainstay in…

In Neptune City: Property Improvements Continue

  By MELISSA BEVERIDGE Neptune City officials are working on several projects to help get properties back on the tax rolls in the borough and may even welome a national retailer to the former Wonder Bread location on Route 35. Mayor Robert Brown said work has been ongoing at the former East Construction Ice company and the former Neptune City Auto Repair Shop. At the former ice company an environmental group is currently in the final stages of a very long clean up process. Recently, a full environmental cleanup has been completed at the former Neptune City Auto Repair Shop.…

Asbury Park Toy Drive Hopes to Serve 500 Families This Season

  By DON STINE The Asbury Park Toy Drive is now 14 years old and it keeps getting bigger and better every year. “This is an Asbury Park-based drive and whatever is given here stays within the community. And you should see these kids faces when they get these toys,” Police Sgt. Connie Breech said. First started in 2000 by Breech and Georgie’s Tavern, 812 Fifth Avenue, the annual toy drive, which received its non-profit status last month, has grown every year. “The first year we got maybe a few hundred toys which were distributed to organizations in the city,”…