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Middlebrook Cinemas Reopens, Plans Many Upgrades

  By ED SALVAS A theater chain with locations in India, Romania and Bulgaria has signed a lease to operate the Middlebrook Galleria Cinemas in Ocean Township. Cine Grand has reopened the complex which had closed October 26 when the lease held by Bow Tie Cinemas with the Middlebrook Plaza ended. The company has re-named the complex the Cine Grand Galleria Middlebrook Cinemas and opened for business on Fri., Nov. 7. Middlebrook represents Cine Grand’s entry into the North American market. Robert Silverstein, whose family owns the Middlebrook Plaza, said Cine Grand plans to spend a significant amount to upgrade…

Ocean Township Mayor to Retire Jan. 1

  By DON STINE Mayor William F. Larkin – Ocean Township’s longest-serving elected official – announced last week that he will be leaving office effective Jan. 1. “This comes after a tremendous amount of thought and soul-searching. It was a very difficult decision because I have enjoyed all 23.5 years but it is time to move on and let others come in,” he said at the end of last Thursday’s Township Council meeting. “I am retiring, not resigning,” he said. The entire five-member council is up for re-election this May and Larkin said he had already made the decision not…

Habitat Seeking Volunteers to Build House in City Area

  Coastal Habitat Young Professionals is seeking volunteers to help build a house in the Asbury Park area Sat., Nov. 22. Those volunteering for the event, which begins at 9 a.m., should contact Coastal Habitat Young Professionals via email, svasta@coastalhabitat.org. The event will assist a family to get back in their home, which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. After the work, there will be a social event at Prohibition tavern-restaurant, 541 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park, from 4 to 6 p.m. Coastal Habitat Young Professionals is part of Habitat for Humanity, an international group that supports decent housing for…

Give Peace a Chance

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Traveling on Asbury Park’s First Avenue between Main Street and the beach, one is likely to have seen the taller-than-an-adult, lighted peace sign on the second-floor balcony of a house. “People do know it,” said Linda Myers, owner of the house. “They use it as a landmark.” The peace sign, eight feet in diameter, went up as a political statement about eight years ago – “This was my response to (President George W.) Bush starting a war,” she said – and it simply remains in place. And who is Myers? As she says on her website,…

Out and About in Belmar

New Neptune Police Officer

  Casey Crawford of Neptune was sworn in as a police officer at a Neptune Township Committee meeting. He began his career with Neptune Township Police Department as a communications officer and SLEO II. He has his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is currently working on his bachelors degree. His parents held the Bible for him and his brother and girlfriend look on. Mayor Michael Brantley administered the oath.

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…

Middlebrook Cinemas Close

  By ED SALVAS The Middlebrook Galleria Cinemas in Ocean Township are closed, but the 10-screen theater complex at Middlebrook Plaza could be back in business as early as this weekend. The theaters, operated by Connecticut-based Bow Tie Cinemas, closed following the last show on Sunday October 26, according to Robert Silverstein whose family owns the Route 35 Middlebrook Plaza. Asked about the sudden closing, Silverstein said it had been in the works for some time. “It’s very simple, their lease was up and they chose not to renew.” Silverstein said a new theater management company is taking over and…

In Neptune City: Veteran Incumbents Lose

  By ELLEN CARROLL Two veteran GOP members of the Neptune City Borough Council were defeated at the polls this week in a municipality which has not seen a Democrat elected to office in more than 20 years. GOP Councilwomen Barbara Shafer, who has served for 22 years, and Susan Mitchell, who has served for 18 years, lost in a close election to newcomers Chris Gallagher and his running mate, Pamela Renee. The two were elected to two, three-year terms on the council. The last time a Democrat served on the council was in 1992. Gallagher was the top vote-getter…