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The Challenge of Summer Parking in Asbury Park

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Asbury Park is bracing itself for a summer onslaught of visitors, following two previous summers when parking became scarce on weekends as beaches, downtown businesses and restaurants thrived. The installation of parking meters in the city has been very successful. Over the last five years more than $5 million has been transferred to the city’s general fund. City Transportation Manager Michael Manzella and Mayor John Moor sat down to discuss ways the city will be dealing with summer tourists and help them navigate the beachfront and downtown areas with ease. New at the beginning of…

Asbury Park Officials Discuss Banning Plastics on Beaches

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Plastic pollution is being targeted up and down the Jersey Shore and Asbury Park may be the next beach town banning items made of plastic materials including straws and plastic bags. Two employees of the Surfrider Foundation, John Weber, regional director and Andrew Chambarry, chair of the Jersey Shore chapter, spoke to the City Council at the June 13 meeting asking them to introduce legislation either banning plastic items or charging a fee for their use on the Asbury Park beaches and boardwalk. “It gets into the food chain and environment,” Chambarry said. He also…

$12,400 Distributed by Community Hope Fund

  The Community Hope Fund of Ocean Township, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to promoting youth development and supporting charitable needs in the township and surrounding communities, recently awarded eight grants totaling $12,400. The grants will help to financially support the efforts of shore area groups that strive to provide youth with programs and activities. These programs and activities build skills and behaviors which enhance positive youth development. The 2018-19 grant recipients are: the Midtown Urban Renaissance Program of Neptune; the Boys and Girls Club of Asbury Park; the Mercy Center of Asbury Park; the LEAD (Law Enforcement Against…

Interfaith Gala Event Honors Founder and Hospital Chief

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI A gala celebrating the 30th anniversary of Interfaith Neighbors drew a crowd of 400 to Monmouth University’s OceanFirst Bank Center to honor two luminaries of the Jersey Shore: Joseph Mamora and John K. Lloyd. Memora is founder and executive director of Interfaith Neighbors and Lloyd is the co-chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. Both men are retiring this year. The event, Decades of Dedication Gala, was held June 14 and will support Interfaith Neighbors’ programs. New Jersey Natural Gas, Jersey Mike’s, and Hackensack Meridian Health were lead sponsors of the event. The event brought…

New Look for City’s West Side Community Center

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI There is a transformation happening on DeWitt Avenue in Asbury Park as the West Side Community Center gets a new coat of paint, new landscaping and fencing and a new gymnasium floor. Volunteers from such diverse organizations as Neighborworks, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch came to the center on Fri. June 8 working all day to make the old new again. The more than 100 volunteers climbed ladders with paint brushes, planted flowers and installed new fencing. Inside, the old, warped gymnasium floor was pulled up by a bobcat and plans for a new floor…

City Woman Raises $6,000 for Beach Badges for Asbury Park Families

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Family beach days are a tradition up and down the Jersey shore but in Asbury Park where 37 percent of families are living under the poverty line, paying for beach badges is just not possible. Asbury Park resident Lisa Marie Cramp said after listening to neighborhood children telling her, as she headed to the beach, that they would like to go too but can’t afford it, she decided to do something about that. She set up an online GoFundMe page to raise money for beach passes, collecting $6000 in just nine days. Her goal when…

MAX WEINBERG IS THINKING INSIDE THE (JUKE)BOX

  By TOM CHESEK (Click here for Tom’s weekly round-up of area Arts & Entertainment events.) In a seven-day Asbury interlude that boasts no less than Bruce Springsteen among its headlining musical attractions, why opt to spend Saturday night hovering over a jukebox stocked with very-well-played 1960s and 70s hits? Why? Because the hit-dispensing device in question is Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, the people-pleasing project personally curated and conducted by Max Weinberg himself. For this raucously retro-rocking (and hyper-currently interactive) touring attraction, the dapper timelord who’s long steered the back of the firetruck for the E Street Hook ‘n Ladder Company has secured the…

3 Arrests and a Plea for Help from County Prosecutor

  By JOANNE L. PAPAPAINNI Law enforcement officials arrested three Asbury Park men for the murder of Denzel Morgan-Hicks on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 22, outside of the Frederick Douglass housing complex in Asbury Park. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said a comprehensive investigation involving the prosecutor’s office Major Crimes Unit, the Asbury Park Police Department and the Neptune Township Police Department resulted in the arrests of Steven Taylor, 36, Michael Taylor, 33 and Avery Hopes, 23. All three were charged with murder, conspiracy, and weapons possession charges. Gramiccioni said Michael Taylor was arrested in Marlboro, while the other two…

City Developer May Begin Work on 60-Unit Apartments Along Lake Avenue

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI A 60-unit apartment complex by Sackman Enterprises may begin construction at 545 Lake Ave., Asbury Park even though state permits are pending. At this week’s Planning Board meeting the developer’s attorney, Andrew Karas, said he has been given verbal affirmation that the permits will be granted within six weeks. An amendment is needed for a door located on the side of the building that is below flood level and plans may need to be changed. Karas said plans have been reviewed by the DEP and a representative told him they are adequate and a permit will…

Police Investigate Death of City Property Owner

  County law enforcement officials are investigating the death this week of  Gerald “Jerry” Scarano, an Asbury Park property owner and a fixture at City Council meetings.  He was found in his Long Branch home on Ocean Boulevard after a friend contacted police. A second man, who lived in the home, was also found dead at the scene.   Police have said there is no threat to the community.  Scarano, a real estate agent who lived many years in Asbury Park before moving to Long Branch, was a familiar face around Asbury Park. A frequent speaker at council meetings he often…

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