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Ocean Voters Approve Fire Budgets

  Voters returned incumbent members to two Boards of Fire Commissioners in Ocean Township last Saturday and they also approved both 2014 fire district budgets. In Oakhurst Fire District 1, incumbent Commissioner Scott Nelson ran unopposed for the single seat up for grabs on the five-member board and was re-elected with 46 votes. Nelson, 50, has been a firefighter for 33 years and this will be his 11th year on the board. Voters also approved Oakhurst’s total $2,141,486 fire district budget, with $1,572,850 to be raised through taxation, by 47 to 5 votes. The tax levy is $41,219 more than…

Asbury Park Deputy Clerk Retires After 20 Years

  By DON STINE Asbury Park Deputy City Clerk Kiki Tomek (above; Facebook profile photo), who issued the first gay marriage license in the history of New Jersey, has retired from her job after 20 years. In what has been called “guerrilla clerkship,” on March 8, 2004, and for the next three days, Tomek processed applications for marriage licenses for same-sex couples in Asbury Park. Her action resulted in the first gay marriage in New Jersey. The action was short-lived, however, after the state Attorney General’s Office faxed a letter to city officials three hours later stating it would invalidate…

Out & About

  Seen beating cabin fever this past week were…(click on any image for a caption and to start the slideshow):

What do you do when you’re snowbound at home?

  Is winter over yet…? A relatively warm week ahead is a tantalizing taste of spring…but forecasters say it’s back to the deep freeze before the blossoms come.  So, we asked these Shore area folks, ‘What do you do when you’re snowbound at home?” Click on any image for a reply and to start the slideshow…  

Those Last Minute Valentines

  By DENISE HERSCHEL Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays where the onslaught of shoppers is typically last minute. And the majority of them are male…or at least to the casual observer’s eye this is what it appears to be. You will spot them gathered in the card aisle at the nearest drugstore the day of the event. Some may have a smile on their faces and others may look perplexed. But either way they will walk out of the store with at least a card or two in hand for loved ones. But to be fair to those…

Neptune Neighbors Oppose 312 Rental Units

  By DON STINE A proposal to build 312 residential rental units in Neptune near Jumping Brook Road and Route 66 in Neptune is expected to receive opposition at an upcoming Board of Adjustment meeting. Hovsons Inc., based in Tinton Falls, is seeking a use variance and site plan approval to build Victoria Gardens, which consists of 312 residential units ranging from one to three bedrooms. The project also includes 10,000 square-feet of commercial space. The project, to be built on just over 40 acres, is located west of the current AIG building. The development fronts on Hovchild Boulevard, formerly…

Tax Abatement Under Review in Asbury Park

  By DON STINE A controversial proposal to renew a five-year tax abatement plan in Asbury Park was tabled by the City Council at last week’s meeting but a vote is expected soon on the matter. First enacted about 10 years ago and renewed in 2008, the tax exemption ordinance allows city property owners to apply for tax abatements for improvements made to existing structures and new construction. The current ordinance expired at the end of last year. The tax abatement plan allows home improvements or new construction projects to receive a 30 percent reduction on property taxes over a…

Deal Police Officers Promoted

  Two Deal police officers were recently promoted to the rank of sergeant.    

Here We Go Again…and Again

  ABOVE – Geese along Wesley Lake in Ocean Grove await the next snow storm. By JOSEPH SAPIA Imagine Ray Charles singing in the background, “Here we go, again….” In a winter season of multiple snowstorms, Arctic cold, and freezing rain and sleet. And here we go. Again. Last week, we had snow. Earlier this week, we had snow again and freezing rain and sleet. This weekend, it looks as though something wintry will be going on. But, as of this time, it was too early to tell exactly what. “I’ve gotten so many emails and calls (about this weekend),”…