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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:

Asbury Election Results to Remain Unchanged

  By DON STINE ASBURY PARK – Vote-by-mail ballots rejected by the Monmouth County Board of Elections during the May 14 Asbury Park City Council election will remain unopened, a Superior Court judge ruled July 18. Superior Court Judge Dennis R. O’Brien ruled that the 252 unopened ballots will remain that way after hearing several days of testimony on the matter. It is possible that the results from the disputed ballots may change to outcome of the election and it is expected that O’Brien’s decision will be appealed. On Tuesday County Clerk M. Claire French testified about the process of…

The BPlot: She’s on a roll

  By RICHARD VIRGILLIO After seven years, the nation is finally learning what Asbury Park has known for years: Second Life Bikes, the non-profit that repairs and sells bikes and keeps lives on track, is making a tangible impact on Monmouth County. During the past 10 days, Second Life Bikes on Main Street and the organization’s founder Kerri Martin have been featured on two national news programs, “CBS Evening News” and NBC’s “Today.” I spoke with Martin and one of her student volunteers, Noah Swanson, from Wall about their newfound spotlight, which is a case study for any local business…

Vive Sells Out Townhomes in Phase 2

  ASBURY PARK – iStar Financial Inc., developer of the Asbury Park waterfront, said its luxury townhome community, Vive, sold out its entire inventory of homes in phase two of the project within one day of their release on July 8. This record demand from buyers is similar to the response that Vive’s first phase of homes experienced, also selling out the first day they were made available. Base prices in the second phase ranged from $424,900 to $449,900 before upgrades. More than 1,000 people expressed interest in VIVE, signaling the significant pent-up demand in the Asbury Park waterfront market.…

Hope Academy Charter School Receives $16,000 in Grants

  By JOSEPH SAPIA ASBURY PARK – Over the last several weeks, Asbury Park’s Hope Academy Charter School has received $16,000 in grants. A $10,000 grant from the Rumson-based Mary Owen Borden Foundation will be used to buy a new server for the Grand Avenue school’s computer system. “Getting funding for equipment” — versus curriculum — “is very challenging,” said Denise Rodriguez, the school’s grants administrator. The Borden Foundation’s grant was the school’s third from the foundation in the last few years. The TD Bank Charitable Foundation provided $5,000 for implementing a new social studies curriculum for 6th to 8th…