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The B Plot: At Sundance with The ShowRoom

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Hours off a plane from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Michael Sodano and Nancy Sabino, owners of The ShowRoom art house cinema in Asbury Park sat down with me to talk about some of the best and most creative filmmaking of 2014. Last year, they spot-on predicted “20 Feet from Stardom” would be one of the biggest indie hits. In 2012, they were all over “Searching for Sugar Man.” What’s in store for this year? Read on. TBP: There are more and more film festivals every year, why go to Sundance? Sabino: Sundance…

Parking Issue in Asbury Park

  By RICHARD VIRGILIO Images taken in December and January and obtained by The Coaster show Asbury Park’s Mayor Myra Campbell, while conducting city business, parked on the pedestrian walkway, near a standpipe (fire hydrant) and in front of an emergency exit for the Paramount Theater, Grand Arcade and Convention Hall. “I was given a parking placard by the city as a perk of my role as mayor to use when on official city business that permits me to park in out-of-the-ordinary places,” Campbell said. “Have I passed by open parking spaces to park (on the sidewalk)? Yes. This is…

Booker’s Message: Never Forget Your Roots

  By JOSEPH SAPIA When Cory A. Booker won his seat in Washington, as one of New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators, he may have had a new title and made a name for himself. But, as he recalled, he was advised to remember his history. Booker’s parents, Carolyn and Cary, taught Booker and his elder brother, Cary II, the history of people of color in general and, specifically, family history. “Both my parents wanted us to know who we were,” Booker said in remarks before an estimated 400 at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Monday in Asbury Park.…

New City Manager Looks Forward to Taking Post February 1

  By DON STINE John “Jack” Kelly, the former Jersey City business administrator and soon to be the new Asbury Park City Manager, said he wants “to hit the ground running” when he takes over on Feb. 1. Kelly was unanimously appointed to the job at the City Council meeting two weeks ago and he will replace Acting-City Manager Tony Nuccio, who heads the human services department. Kelly, who was also worked in the Orange finance office for 21 years, replaces Terence Reidy who held the job for 10 years and left the post Oct. 31. “I want to try…

Upstage Club for Sale

  By DON STINE The legendary Upstage Club in downtown Asbury Park, where rock ‘n roll icons like Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny Lyon got their musical start as teenagers, is up for sale. Current owner, antique dealer Richard Yorkowitz, called his decision to sell the building “heartbreaking.” “There is no one specific person or town to blame- it’s overall personal circumstances that led to my decision,” he said. Yorkowitz said it his decision to put the building up for sale was made “with much deliberation” and that he hopes whoever buys it will continue with his vision to reopen…

$3.5 Million Contract Awarded for City Boardwalk

  By DON STINE A $3.5 million contract to repair a section of the Asbury Park boardwalk, damaged by Superstorm Sandy, was awarded last week. At last week’s City Council meeting, the contract was approved with only Councilman John Moor voting against it. Moor has been a critic of both the timeframe of the work to be done and, to some extent, the way it is being done. “I would like to get this awarded on the fast track and get this project started,” City Engineer Joseph Cunha said at the meeting. The $3,525,640 contract was awarded to Reicon Group,…

Asbury Park Names New City Manager

By DON STINE John “Jack” Kelly, a former Jersey City business administrator, was unanimously appointed as Asbury Park’s new City Manager at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. Kelly, 55, said he retired in August and that friends told him he should apply for the job in Asbury Park. “Asbury Park is a great town going through its own gentrification process and I would like to move that forward by working here,” he said. Mayor Myra Campbell said that more than 125 candidates submitted their resumes for the position. After a special committee reviewed the applications, the list was narrowed down to…

Footbridge Will Be Reconstructed

  By DON STINE Reconstruction of the footbridge across Sunset Lake in Asbury Park is on the table but several issues need to be worked out before the project can begin. The bridge was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy and needs extensive reconstruction. City Engineer Joseph Cunha said that the intense rising water level in the lake during the hurricane not only removed planking on the bridge but also caused the support pilings to be pulled out of their footings. The bridge, which crosses the lake at Emory Street, is now closed to pedestrian traffic. The bridge was once used…

Original Promoters at Convention Hall Will Be Honored

  By DON STINE Long before rock `n roll concert promoter Moe Septee brought bands like The Rolling Stones, The Doors, and Janice Joplin to Asbury Park’s Convention Hall in the 1960s, there were the Rediker brothers. In the forties and fifties, the three brothers, Joseph, William, and Albert (Joe, Willie, and Al), leased, at various times, the Convention Hall, the Casino, the Monte Carlo Pool, the Cavalier Motel, the Third Ave. Pavilion and beach, the Fourth Ave. Pavilion and beach, the Seventh Avenue Pool and beach, as well as Storyland Village in Neptune. But it is the Convention Hall…

Water Pipe Break at Convention Hall

  By DON STINE A water pipe break in Asbury Park’s Convention Hall (pictured above in a file photo) this past Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014  caused some damage to a few stores in the historic building’s Grand Arcade but the accident should not affect the upcoming Light of Day concert events scheduled for the Paramount Theatre beginning next weekend. Madison Marquette spokesperson Carrie Turner said a water pipe broke on the second floor in the theatre and caused some water to leak into stores on the western side of the Grand Arcade. “The problem was discovered during operating hours and…

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