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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…

City AIDS Survivor Featured in Documentary

  By JOSEPH SAPIA In 1986, Asbury Park’s Scott Smith was diagnosed with AIDS. Twenty-seven years later, he is going strong. “I don’t want to give up that Social Security check,” he joked. Seriously, Smith, 56, attributes his longevity with the immune system disease to having good medical care, living a healthy lifestyle and having a “good personal relationship with God.” Those in the health-care field say the vibrant Smith is a survivor, said Katie Rotondi, who is putting together a documentary film on Smith and six other over-50 AIDS victims. “It’s predominantly people who are aging with AIDS,” said…

Garden State Film Festival May Move Out of Asbury Park

  By DON STINE The popular Garden State Film Festival, which has been based in Asbury Park since it held its first event in 2003, may be moving, perhaps to Atlantic City. Film festival co-founder Diane Raver said earlier this week that she is in discussion with several municipalities about hosting the April event. “We are exploring other municipalities and Atlantic City is one of them. But no decision has been made at this time. It will truly be a business decision and we are exploring possibilities for a home we can grow in,” she said. Raver said she appreciates…

Interlaken School Taxes Up $800 for Average Home

  Residents in Interlaken will see an increase in their school taxes after the Board of Education approved school-age children attending West Long Branch schools and Shore Regional High School at a per-pupil cost. Residents are expected to attend the board’s Aug. 19 meeting to express concerns. In a recent letter to property owners, Mayor Michael Nohilly said that the Borough Council has worked hard to keep the municipal tax rate low over the years but that it has no control over the school tax rate. “In 2011, we cut the taxes on the average home by $200, in 2012…

Bradley Beach to Receive $250,000 to Improve Roadway

  By KATHARINA CAVANO Bradley Beach will receive a $250,000 NJDOT grant to continue the construction and improvements to LeReine Avenue. At the Borough Council meeting this week officials said the borough can apply for more grant money if needed to complete the project from Central Avenue to Ocean Avenue. The borough will also receive another $30,500 from FEMA to go towards the tag booth on the boardwalk as well as the gazebo and the solar panels on the roof. Pete Johner, the Area Manager of External Affairs of the Central Region from Jersey Central Power and Light, presented an…

Shark River Hills Property Owners May Have Option to Sell

  By DON STINE Rumors that Neptune plans to use the power of eminent domain to acquire flood-prone businesses and residential properties along the Shark River are false, township officials said earlier this week. “There is no proposal for the eminent domain taking of these properties. Eminent domain is not an option,” Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said. According to Gadaleta, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) just released flood maps that list 21 properties in Neptune that are eligible for buyouts under the state Department of Environmental Protection agency’s Blue Acres program. The program provides municipalities with funding to…

What do you do to beat the heat?

  The Jersey Shore is getting a merciful break from the clammy heat we’ve suffered most of the past month. As July starts to give way to August – and perhaps the Dog Days of Summer – we thought it would be a good time to ask folks, “What do you do to beat the heat?”  Click on any picture for beat-the-heat tips: