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Neptune Resident Fought Racial Injustice

  By DON STINE Ermon K. Jones, who opened the door for African-Americans to teach at Neptune High School and who filed a lawsuit to fight housing discrimination which went all the way to the New Jersey Supreme Court, died May 7. He was 92. The legacy of the life-long Neptune resident who fought racial prejudice and injustice for most of his life was celebrated at this week’s Neptune Township Committee meeting, Committeeman Michael Brantley, who was a fellow fraternity brother of Jones in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, said he knew Jones well and spent many Christmas’s at his…

Heroin Kills More Than Car Crashes or Murder

  By DON STINE More people are killed in Monmouth County by heroin overdoses than by murder and highway accidents- combined. Monmouth and Ocean counties, and Camden, have the highest rate of heroin-related deaths and a special forum on the subject was held April 27 in the High Ocean Township High School auditorium. “This is a very, very serious problem, particularly in Monmouth County,” said Sen. Jennifer Beck, who hosted the forum. “Young people can become so addicted in such a short period of time and unable to get away from it- it’s unprecedented. It really sets you on your…

Neptune Electrical Official Named Inspector of the Year

  By DON STINE Donald Clare, an electrical sub-code official in Neptune, has been selected the 2016 Electrical Inspector of the Year by the Municipal Electrical Inspector’s Association. “We are very proud of Don. He has been an exemplary employee and definitely deserves the award. He is very diligent and active in his industry and prides himself in knowledge of his field,” Neptune’s Director of Code and Construction William Doolittle said. “I am very proud of Don for receiving this honor from his peers. It just reinforces my belief that we have township employees that are dedicated to both their…

Neptune Crime Rate Down

  By DON STINE Neptune’s reportable crime rate, which includes both violent and property crimes, decreased by 12.5 percent last year, according to the department’s 2015 annual report. Presented to the Township Committee and public this weet, the report shows that violent and property crimes went from 1,541 crimes in 2014 to 1,347 last year, according to FBI statistics. Calls for service to the police department dropped from 38,611 in 2012 to 34,258 last year. “I am proud of our 74 sworn full-time police officers, our part-time special law enforcement officers, and our civilian staff who have accepted the responsibility…

Ocean Budget Has No Tax Increase

  By DON STINE The 2016 Ocean Township municipal budget, which calls for no tax increase, was unanimously adopted by the Township Council last week. There was no public comment during the hearing on the budget, which was introduced on March 10. And no public comment is sometimes a good thing, Mayor Christopher Siciliano said. “It means residents are confident in the budget and we are doing what we promised during the last election campaign- to stabilize the tax rate while not compromising services. Siciliano said that the township has also added new staff under the budget, including one appointed…

Documentary Features Asbury Park Resident, a Foot Soldier in the Civil Rights Movement

  By DON STINE Asbury Park’s Rev. Gil Caldwell was not only a foot soldier and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.in the American civil rights movement, but he is also an advocate for defending the rights of gay Americans as well. A special documentary, prepared in collaboration with bisexual and transgender rights activist Marilyn Bennet, focusing on Caldwell’s fight and advocacy for these two important social issues will premiere in Ocean Grove Sat., April 2. “From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet?” is Caldwell’s first venture into documentaries about these issues. “I am also an advocate for…

Restoration and Replacement Projects Underway in Historic Ocean Grove

  By DON STINE The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is undertaking several ambitious projects this spring in the historic district including replacing the northern section of the Ocean Grove boardwalk destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, installing a new roof on the Great Auditorium, restoration of Thornley Chapel and rebulding five tent sites destroyed by fire last year. The boardwalk project should be completed by Memorial Day weekend- at the latest. “This is now the beginning of the project and they have been working on it since January. We are hoping it will be done by the middle of May but…

Neptune Going to Tax Court Over Hospital Tax Exempt Status

  By DON STINE Neptune officials are going to court in an effort to find out what portions of Jersey Shore University Medical Center is tax exempt and what portions are not. At this week’s meeting, the Township Committee passed a resolution that allocates up to $10,000 for Township Attorney Gene Anthony to file a tax complaint in the Tax Court of New Jersey appealing the present not-for-profit exemption status of the Jersey Shore University Medical Center on Route 33. Gov. Chris Christie recently vetoed a bill that would have kept hospitals tax exempt. The Governor’s veto means hospitals, which…

Village Officials Continue to Seek Solutions to Exorbitant School Taxes

  By DON STINE Three incumbent candidates on the Loch Arbour Board of Commissioners are unchallenged in the upcoming nonpartisan May 10 election. Mayor Paul V. Fernicola, Deputy Mayor Alfred J. Cheswick and Commissioner Denis D’Angelo are seeking the three, four-terms on the governing body. All three candidates said they initially got on the governing body to try and deal with the village’s high school tax rate, adding that issue still remains a priority with them. “The high school tax rate is still an issue and I would still like to explore ways to address that,” Fernicola said. Fernicola, who…

Retirement on Hold for Neptune Township Official

  By DON STINE Neptune Township Committee incumbents Randy Bishop and Carol Rizzo have officially received the nod from the local Democratic organization to be the party’s candidates in the Nov. 8 general election. Four candidates were put forward last Saturday by the local Democratic County Committee and Bishop, who will be seeking his fifth three-year full term, and Rizzo, who will be seeking her first full three-year term, will be on the ballot. Rizzo is currently filling the unexpired term of former Committeeman Eric Houghtaling, who was elected as a state Assemblyman last November. Rizzo ran unsuccessfully for a…

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