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A Gnome Now Gone from Home

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Gerome is a gnome, Now, he is gone from his home, From a trove, In Ocean Grove, At 116 Avenue Cookman, At the home of the family Mileham, Taken from his wicker chair, No clues left behind, nary a hair, He liked to hang out there, With his friend, Cate, a rainbow-colored caterpillar, “Please,” Cate said, “bring back my gnome: purple hat, yellow pants, long white beard, “Put him back ‘neath the tree and no scolding there’ll be, shouts of joy on the street will be heard,” Bring him back soon, So, poems such this no…

Ocean High Graduate is an Ironman, First-Timer

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Joe Villapiano liked the idea of being called an iron man. So, the 1999 graduate of Ocean Township High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball, entered the Ironman Lake Placid. Held July 28 in New York’s Adirondacks region, it involved a 2.4-mile swim, 112 miles bicycling and a marathon run of 26.2 miles, held July 28. “If I was going to do one, I would do the big one,” said Villapiano, 32, who now lives in Boston and is an assistant football coach at Harvard University. “I just love the title, Iron Man.…

From Ocean Grove with Love: United Methodist Women raise funds for missions

  By DENISE HERSCHEL Marilyn Shotwell, who has lived in Ocean Grove for 65 years, vividly recalled her time spent as a young girl in Sunday school. One of the morning’s speakers was a missionary who had traveled the world aiding others in need. And from that moment, Shotwell was hooked. Intrigued by the mission stories, she knew as a 10-year-old girl that one day she too hoped to spread the word of the missionaries or perhaps became one herself. And although Shotwell did not become a missionary she did study nursing eventually becoming a registered nurse helping others in…

Neptune Plans Rent Control Measure

  Rent control is coming to Neptune if an ordinance introduced by the Township Committee last week is adopted at a public hearing on Aug. 12. Other municipalities in Monmouth County with similar ordinances are Eatontown and Red Bank. The ordinance is being considered in the wake of complaints from residents living at the Winding Ridge townhouse complex about onerous rent increases. The privately-owned complex consists of 99 two- and three-bedroom affordable townhouse apartments and rents are being raised by several hundred dollars, or from $1,400 to $1,800 a unit for some. Winding Ridge residents recently complained to the governing…

Out and About

  All Coaster photos taken by Mike Kearns on Sat., July 27. Click on any image for more information.      

Ocean Grove’s Together Campaign Up to $1 Million for Restoration

  By DON STINE The Ocean Grove Together campaign has reached $1 million in donations thanks to the generosity of the district’s residents and friends. “We are so excited about this and people stepped up big time. Much of the community was involved and we had a wide range of people interested and participating,” said Joanne Cotton, who co-chairs the Together Campaign with her husband, Rev. David Cotton. The campaign is a grassroots effort to raise money to repair damage caused to the boardwalk and Great Auditorium by Superstorm Sandy and to make needed repairs to the historic Thornley Chapel.…

Ocean Booster Club Still Seeking Funds for Field

  The Ocean Township Spartan Booster Club is still $44,000 short on its contribution to help pay for an artificial turf field at the high school and it is looking for additional community support. The school district is attempting to raise $730,000 for the project, which will replace the current grass field with an artificial turf field. The Booster Club pledged to raise $216,000, which already includes a $100,000 donation from a private citizen. The Board of Education will apply $515,000 from its capital reserve fund. So far the club has raised $171,000 but more money is needed to reach…

Former City Resident Known as Dr. Angel in Foreign Countries

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Since leaving Asbury Park years ago, Dr. Joseph Agris has led an accomplished life: successful domestic plastic surgeon and “Dr. Angel” to many in foreign countries as a humanitarian. Agris, 72, has been a plastic surgeon for 40 years. About 30 years ago, Agris, who has lived in the Houston area since the mid-1970s, began doing humanitarian work. A “combination of things” led to this, including getting connected to Houston television personality Marvin Zindler. Zindler, who promoted charity work, and Agris, “over the years, we kind of hit it off,” the doctor said. About 30 years…

Asbury Park Resident Prepares for Travel to Arctic Circle

  It may be hot at the Jersey Shore right now but it will be very cool- in many ways- as an Asbury Park resident heads to the Arctic Circle in September. Laura Petrovich-Cheney, an art teacher in the Lakewood school district, said her trip is part of a residency program that she researched and in which she decided to participate. Twenty-five artists, scientists, musicians, and writers are heading to the Arctic Circle to seek new material and explore ideas for their body of work, be it video, poetry, fiction or art. “I, personally, am going to document my experiences…